Motionless

Just a quick bit of sci-fi I wrote out of boredom.

Motionless. The only way to describe the wasteland of Braxis. The rolling dunes of the desert were completely without movement. From one side of the horizon to the other one could look an they would see nothing but the barren plains of grey, the desert of Braxis being not covered in sand but ash. Over the centuries since the planet’s core had burst the ash thrown up into the atmosphere had settled and compacted under the harsh winds and heavy rain storms, leaving a solid floor of darkness, leaving it motionless, or all but motionless. Slowly and tentatively something small broke the surface of the ash. A small creature, it’s fur matted and coarse carefully poked it’s head from where it had been hiding beneath the cover of ash and, after many minutes scouting the area. Broke from it’s cover, running a few feet it hid in the shadows provided by the closes dune and went to ground, flattening itself to the floor and watching. Taking it’s time the predator waited, knowing that before long it’s patience would be rewarded. Finally it’s patience was rewarded when something moved, skirting the desert quickly it darted forward before stopping. Sliding forward almost leisurely the predator moved, what it was hunting didn’t matter, only that it was soon to become food. The hunter had learnt after years of life, how to move silently but quickly across the desert and before too long it had closed on it’s prey which was still very much unaware of it’s presence. Staying low the hunter stopped, knowing that even as it closed, one wrong movement would cost it it’s meal. The ash moved minutely before it as it carefully moved again, finally it was close enough, the time to strike was now and with one surge of it’s muscles it burst forward and out of the ash, It’s huge frame exploding from the ash like a breaching whale and it’s jaws scooping up and enveloping the small rodent which hadn’t even realised it was being stalked and which managed a small, pitiful squeal before it disappeared completely into the maw of oblivion.
The Dust Devil lay on the surface of the ash,resting it’s huge frame allowing it’s scales to absorb some small amount of sunlight from the clouded sky as it chewed it’s prey a few times before swallowing. In the distance it watched a as a trio of dust clouds made their way across the desert, the Devil had seen clouds like this before, it didn’t know what caused them but it’s primitive animal intellect told it that it was best to stay away for now. Even if it moved at top speed it was no match for the vehicles on the horizon, but what else it knew was that sooner or later those vehicles would releases softer, slower targets and then maybe it could claim a more significant meals that the one it had just had. Casually the beast turned back to the ash, using it’s ram like nose to crack the surface and then pulled itself underground again. The only sign that it had ever been there being the long thin track left by it’s dorsal spines as it moved, punctuated by one larger crater before the trail continued, turning east and following after the clouds on the horizon.
Heedless of the display of nature that had just occurred the small army jeep sped on across the wasteland, it’s wheels kicking up huge plumes of ash as it did so, causing the bus that followed behind it to need to keep a good distance to it’s left in order for the driver to be able to see where they were going and the same said for the cargo truck behind that, causing the convoy to gouge a wide series of tracks out of the previously perfectly flat ash.

White Wolf

The sun had hardly slipped below the horizon by the time the rain had started, not a heavy downpour by any stretch of the imagination but sufficient enough to provide most of the would-be nightlife pause for thought before ensconcing onto the streets of Southampton. The clouds in the sky made the streets even darker than would be usual for a cold winters night and there were plenty of alleys into which the light failed to stretch more than a few feet. It was in one of these alleys in which Sindrax lurked. Staying just beyond the line of light created by a nearby streetlamp to remain out of view of any passers-by, he intently watched the office building opposite, waiting for his contact to emerge.

Sindrax had arranged the meeting place for the nearby park where he and his contact could exchange information relatively unnoticed and even if someone did spot them they would hardly think anything of them. That was if Sindrax’s associate didn’t ruin everything. However even in life, when Sindrax had still answered to his old name, he had been somewhat paranoid and death had only reassured him that it was better to be overly cautious than too lax. And thus Sindrax had decided that he would follow his contact to the meeting point, allowing him to get there first so that Sindrax could observe his movements and ease his paranoia somewhat.

Though mostly covered by the high buildings that flanked the alley Sindrax was soaked through before anything happened though death had since stopped his feeling the rain or the cold. Even so it was still unpleasant to feel ones clothes clinging to their body and Sindrax’s dark jeans and shirt were doing just that as he stood semi protected in the alley. Finally the doors swung open and a figure stepped out. Sindrax tensed, the figure was a woman, short at about 5’2 and dressed in a black business suit and white shirt with the top button undone. Her hair was platinum blonde, almost white and hung down to her lower back in a ponytail.

Paranoia started to fill Sindrax’s head, he had been expecting a male as his contact, was this just someone who happened to leave the building first? Was she his contact? She was pale enough and had that look that all kindred wore of disconnect and contempt for the world around them, why had he not been told who to expect? And where the hell was his associate? He had said that he was going to survey the area but for all Sindrax knew he had gone off chasing rats.

The woman looked around as if inspecting the environment before starting off down the street. She was heading towards the park for certain. Sindrax closed his eyes, focusing his energy before opening them. The world’s colours seemed to light up, brighter than they could ever really have been. The dark shadows faded away and even the blackened sky seemed to brighten, the moon becoming as the sun was during days that Sindrax would never again see. The few people that were on the street also seemed to light up but unlike the surroundings they seemed to radiate a single light, each one giving off different shades though most of them in hues of blue or purple. Sindrax turned his attention to the retreating form of the woman. Where everyone else’s aura had been mellow shades hers was a deep blood red. She was kindred without a doubt. Sindrax shook his head and the colour faded from the world, making it seem cold and empty, almost monochrome in comparison. He took one last look around for his associate and upon seeing no sign of him cursed under his breath and strolled out into the street and after the woman.

Attired as he was in a black sweater, coat and jeans Sindrax drew little attention from passers-by as he strolled confidently down the street, making sure not to get too close to his target but keeping her within sight. Studying this woman Sindrax decided that dressed like that she was likely a Ventrue, trying to make the world think they were more important than they actually were, Sindrax knew that if his associate hadn’t disappeared he would have spit in disgust. However walking down the street, his eyes fixed on her he couldn’t help but notice the way her thighs swayed and the way her trousers were pulled so tight over her…no he mustn’t get distracted, he had a job to do, a favour he owed to the camarilla.

When they arrived at the park Sindrax broke away from his target and went wide of her while still staying behind, he tailed her all the way to the clearing in which the bandstand where they were supposed to meet stood. Expected her to go and stand by it, Sindrax was annoyed to see she instead stopped just short of the treeline and lurked there looking out over the clearing and keeping the bandstand in sight. Sindrax cursed, she was smarter than he had given her credit for. Pausing for a moment he pondered on what action to follow next, not sure whether to just watch or approach, eventually deciding that she must be his contact and she clearly wasn’t going to make the first move he circled back to behind her and made to announce himself.

Phantom Limbs XV

Gonna try to rapidly get the last few chapters of this story out in the hour I have left before I head to Japan for a month so be ready for a few quick uploads. hopefully the quality won’t tank to hard and i will pretty it all up when I get back.

Thursday 13th September 2116

James Dylan’s Audio Diary

She left me…I think she’s left me. Joanna found out about the upgrade I bought.and then she started shouting. I’m in such a daze, I can hardly remember what she was saying. And then she took Mily, she took her and shouted something about her mother and then she left. Poor Mily was in tears. Her little face was balled up, she was confused. She was afraid. It was like looking into the face I saw so often in my dreams that it’s almost burned into my mind. Now I’m just sat, in this empty house…I don’t know what to do. Where did my life go wrong? I…I’m not even sure I can speak right now.

I know I did wrong here. I know that it is my fault. I should never have gotten the upgrade, never gone to the store but…nobody can understand the trauma! The dreams were nightmares, the sleepless nights. The bins piled high with packs of used 5 hour energy tablets. What was I to do? I needed something to help and, somehow something about getting the implants. It just spoke to me. Every upgrade seemed to help.they silenced the dreams, made the pain go away. Made me a better man at work. Every bit of machinery inside me has made me a better person but each piece has pushed someone else away from me. My family…my coworkers. And now I am the best at my job, I can sleep easy and I am sat alone in my empty house. I can’t stay here. I need to go get some fresh air.

James Dylan logged out.

Phantom Limbs XIII

Luck part 13…

 

Sunday 9th September 2116

James Dylan’s audio Diary

Another morning waking up in a hospital bed, another new surgery, more new machinery added to me. I’ve made a huge mistake. I couldn’t help myself, I was on edge. And I’ve always been one that can be talked into compulsive purchases. I bought the arm upgrade. They installed it and the update at the same time, I can’t even change my mind. It’s too late. It’s built into me. What am I going to do? I needed that money. Now how can I afford to buy Mily that gift for her birthday? That play house. She wanted it so badly. I can seen her disappointed little face when I close my eyes now. It’s worse than the dreams could ever be. What have I done? And Joanna, she’ll be furious, there is no hiding what I’ve done. How can I? If there was an award for worst father of the year than it would be me. Why couldn’t Joanna have come with me? Why did she need to be so self righteous? She could have stopped me, why didn’t she take my credit ships off me? She was always going on about how she was the smarter one with money. God damn her, she always has to be so right and now she’s going to laud this over me when she did nothing to stop it happening, if she had just listened to me for once. Worst of all I can’t even go get a drink to try and calm my nerves. I can’t drink for a few days while I am taking the medication to help they systems adapt better to me. Why should I need to drink though? Why would a man ever be afraid to go back to his own home. And I bet I won’t get any sympathy from her. I’m the victim here, I’m the cripple. She’ll forget that though, forget or ignore it like my damn colleagues. Anyway better cut this short, doctor is coming.

James Dylan logged out.

Phantom Limbs XI

this wasn only originally going to be a ten part thing, guess i can’t even keep to my own guidelines.

 

Thursday 6th September 2116

James Dylan’s audio diary.

As expected Joanna flipped her lid at me again when I told her that I had signed myself up for this update but she just doesn’t get it and I was just too tired to explain it to her. I haven’t slept all night and now I am sat here, in the bar again, running up a tab that I have no idea how I am going to pay for after this update and after I buy this damned present for Mily. But I can’t lie, the alcohol at this rate is the only thing that is keeping me sane, as stupid as that sounds. Anyway the procedure is in a few days, if no0thing else I can count on Apex top be there to give me the help I need. Not like those damn, so called, colleagues of mine. I went about today and explained my situation to all of them and to a man they were all unsympathetic. They carried on asking why a man who will now be earning more than they will needs to borrow money of them? As if I hadn’t explained about how I needed the upgrade, how I need this gift for my daughter. I even brought out the big guns, I said to Phil that maybe I wouldn’t need to borrow money if I hadn’t had the lost income from a few weeks off work. Wouldn’t even need the upgrade if we hadn’t had our little accident. Then he goes off on a tangent, says that it was a ‘shitty thing to say’, apparently the truth really does hurt some people. Then the rest of the guys came along and they were there backing up HIM! One of them even says that I only got the damned promotion because of my handicap and that I should be THANKING PHIL!

Great now the barmaid is telling me to keep it down, says she’ll have me thrown me out if I keep making a racket. Apparently there is more discrimination against disabled people in this city than I thought. Guess you only see it when you’re on the other side of it. Anyway Joanna is still in a huff with me, fortunately Mily was at home again yesterday, kept the battle axe off my neck, but she is staying with a friend tonight, there is going to be a riot when I get home, maybe I am a coward for hiding here again but I just can’t take the stress right now. I need some time to myself, away from the damned job, the arsehole colleagues, the judgement, thought I apparently can’t even escape that here. Thought maybe it’s just a gender thing, there is a woman over there, bionic leg, she’s had no trouble. Keeps looking across at me like I’m something foul she stepped in. The hell does she want? As if I don’t have enough problems with nosey bitches giving me the evils.

James Dylan logged out.

Phantom Limbs X

I realised i hadn’t added the ‘James Dylan’s audio diary.’ section of the opening in since about the 5th entry in this little sage. oops.

 

Wednesday 5th September 2116

James Dylan’s audio diary.

Well I’m doing something I never thought I would do. I’m recording this from the bar in town because I can’t stand the idea of going home. Ok let’s be truthful, I’m being cowardly. I took my advance on my wages and I signed myself up for the advanced augment, the one I was talking about before that should help stop the dreams. Well I had another awful one last night. It’s always the same start, the corridor, the flashing light, Mily on that table. This time I make it to the table, I am right there, I can reach out and touch Mily, but as I do so one of those damn arms reaches down and hits my arm, smashes it clean off. The shards rain down onto Mily and she gets cut up by them. Before I can stop myself another arm hits me in the head, it shatters but I can still see as shards rain down on my daughter. I haven’t had more than an hour or two sleep in days. I just sit up all night, afraid to close my eyes. I hear you can get alterations to your body, keep you energised during the day  so that you don’t need to sleep so much. If this surgery doesn’t work I may have to start looking into that. I really can’t live like this.

Joanna was talking the other day. There is something Mily wants for her birthday. It’s like this toy house that she can sit in and play in. It has a small working TV and an oven that can actually cook theses little premade meals that come with it. An iron I think. It’s all been made safe for children somehow and I know she would love it. But it’s expensive. I mean we can afford it, especially with this new job. But her birthday is so soon, and I need this upgrade. And I can’t afford both. You see why I am hiding in the bar? Maybe I can borrow some money from a colleague, this surgery doesn’t use up all the advance. If they will stop being such jealous pricks for a moment. How can they be jealous of a guy who lost an arm?

James Dylan logged out

Phantom Limbs IX

Monday 3rd September 2116

So the good news with the bad, I got the job. Yea my boss gave me an advance on my wage and now I have the money I need for a present for Mily. I asked the guys if they wanted to go out for a drink to celebrate though and none of them seemed very keen, in fact most of them didn’t really talk to me at all. I mean I get a little bit of professional jealousy but really I never thought they would be so childish, oh well, their loss. So I went out with the intention of having a drink on my own, just a little well done to myself and I saw, in one of the augment clinics, an upgrade for artificial system which promised a smoother transition into augments. Apparently it can shut down the artificial limbs at night and thus stop them from causing any interference with dreams while keeping a very low level of power just to ensure the arm, leg or whatever will reactivate in the morning. I had to know more and they man at the counter was very informative, said that it didn’t even cost that much, being as how it was quickly becoming an necessity with some people.

And then there is the bad. I went straight home, told Joanna about the upgrade and she lost her mind. Accused me of becoming a technology junkie just like she was worried I would. She said that before long I would be living for the upgrades and that it hadn’t even taken long. That this whole business was going to ruin my life. I tried to defend myself, tell her how the dreams were ruining my life and that was when she smelled the alcohol on my breath. Said I was drunk and that was probably what was causing the dreams. Then she started asking how much more I had been drinking before storming out the house. I was so angry I slammed my fist into the wall, my augmented fist. Needless to say that the wall came off worse. I considered trying to hide the hole but I decided against it. I was so angry though, with her, with my colleagues, and worst of all with myself because I lost control. If Mily had been home to see it, god knows I would have been so ashamed.

James Dylan logged out.