Posts Tagged ‘ Short Stories ’

Internet Friends: Chapter 3

The creaky floorboards of the old dilapidated house threw dust into the stagnant air with each step AJ and Kathy took. Nothing had changed since the last visit there and to AJ that was good news considering the situation him and his girlfriend were now a part of. They anticipated the worst as they ventured back into the living room, peering into the hole above the secret dungeon. The makeshift staircase they crafted from stacking old computer towers remained intact and looked sturdy enough to handle the descent.
“Okay, I’ll go first to make sure nothing is down there.” AJ said with slight trepidation.
“Be carefull babe.”
AJ placed a foot on the top of the towers, shaking it to test the stability. “Good.” He said to himself as he stepped down. The darkness of the sprawling space before him installed a sense of anxiety, unaware of any hidden presence. He could feel something–someone, but regarded the feeling as paranoia. AJ reassured Kathy of the safety and called for her to follow.
It was darker than Kathy remembered, prompting her to search for AJ’s hand. They exposed each dark corner and nook by walking around with the lit camera light of their phones. Finding nothing, they proceeded to launch the computer systems.
“We need to find more information on whatever the hell is going on here, I hate surprises.”
“I know you don’t, but this stuff takes a while. As soon as it’s up we’ll search for files related to this…Peter Lancing.” Kathy said as she raised the dusty armrests higher for comfort.
“That’s his name; Peter?”
“Yes. 19 years of age–well, was.” Kathy answered with the roll of an eye. “He was an anonymous hacker for this Interweb Reformery, however I’ll have to get more than that if we’re to save ourselves.”
The large screen blasted light intense enough to turn the room into a light shade of grey and displayed several icons that left AJ befuddled to its meaning. Kathy understood each one and immediately clicked on a folder which held files describing the studies of Peter. One was opened and read:

May 5th, 2042.

There’s not a lot I can say here, not from what I have discovered. The world around us isn’t what it seems. There are things I cannot explain, but ever since I have accessed the network I have began to see strange signs on everything. The room around me seems to be made out of codes, as if I’m in a virtual realm.  I go outside and see the same thing, it’s a scary thought that my research has led me to believe that I am living in a digitalized world, one that can be and probably has been manipulated in the way the organization sees fit.

The Organization is “deleting” people as they say, which further continues my belief…and I feel I might be the next to go. This is all too vital, this information is too great to be in the wrong hands, but if I were to find the one that could fix all of this there would be no worry for humanities survival. I’ve said all of this too many times to the Interweb Reformery; my group that is planning to take over The Organization.

I need to find the one person able to carry on our plan. I may be at a loss of hope.

AJ’s and Kathy’s minds reeled in utter confusion. They couldn’t interpret the possibility of them living in a digital world.
“My goodness…what if what he said is true?” AJ said still in shock.
“If it is, everything about this world that we knew was false.” Kathy said, swallowing the lump that formed in her throat. “That also means we…both of us are just floating point calculations. Data swimming around a virtual realm that we can’t control.”
The couple’s view of their life and the world around them changed drastically at that moment. A realization that they had no idea who they really were. Kathy closed the file and tried to search for more information concerning the discovery the boy wrote about. A audible thump on the ground behind them startled the two and as they turned around a man in a black and grey armored suit launched himself toward AJ.

He dodged the swinging fist that was aimed for his face, stepping back with enough clearance to allow one of his own fists to connect with the side of the man’s head. The man jumped away and ran back to AJ then kicked him in the abdomen. Kathy watched in terror as AJ kneeled on the ground clenching his sides. He managed to get back up and formed two firm fists ready to defend himself with his might. The man rushed toward AJ again, but this time AJ pivoted his body to dodge, granting enough clearance to grab the arm and break it with his knee. The man stumbled backward and held his arm steady to prevent the bone from protruding from the skin any farther.
“Bastard!!” The man yelled loudly in pain.
Kathy’s face flushed with irritation.
“Who the hell are you?” AJ demanded.
The man mustered the strength to stand up and face AJ a few feet away from him. “My identity is not necessary for this time. Not ever. You do not need to know when the gathered knowledge will only be a waste of my breath when you’ll be dead soon!”
“We know who you work for, that may be enough.”
“There are far more things that you will never learn, no matter how much you try.” The man said with a glare directed toward Kathy.
“What is it that you want?” She asked. “There has to be something that you you’re fighting for.”
The man shook his head and chuckled. “Fighters. You two are not what we usually contend with. My leader will find great use in your determination. My name is Hal73, an agent for The Organization. They are multidimensional, all knowing, and invisible, they cannot be stopped, and they cannot be eradicated. You on the other hand, are.” The man said as he walked in circles around the room, switching attention between AJ and Kathy. “We only want one thing; a perfect world with no strife, no death, no poverty. No crime or abuse, a world that should have been. We are happy, no? It’s been going on for decades and this so called ‘Interweb Reformery’ desires to take control to shape the world back to it’s original tainted form, back to it’s insufferable and inconsistent way of life.”

AJ and Kathy reflected on the spoken words of Hal. They felt sinister and dark while maintaining a sense of truth and sincerity. To believe those words put them in a position of having to choose between helping or fighting against one or the other, two sides that could lead to any outcome and they didn’t know which one was truly against humanity.
The confusion was overwhelming and AJ began to devise an intricate plan to halt the progress of both wars, taking Kathy to a corner of the room for a more private chat.
“I have an idea, and you need to trust me baby.”
“Okay.” Kathy said in a more concerned tone of voice than usual. She could anticipate what was running in AJ’s mind and assumed the worst. “What is it?”
“What if one of us…were to join a side. As a team, both of us working inside the two sides.” AJ said. He thought perhaps his girlfriend would serve a better purpose inside of the Citadel, her knowledge of the systems were profound and she agreed. AJ figured he could stay behind and search for others who had direct relation to Peter since his father was a correctional officer who had access to civilian records.
Kathy looked back to see Hal with his back toward them, ripping a part of his suit off to create a bandage for his arm. “But how would we still remain in contact while keeping this plan secret?”
“That’s what we’ll figure out. For now play along.” AJ said with forethought, then proceeded to throw his hands in the air shouting false statements of their relationship with a wink of an eye.
“You never want me around anyway, all we ever do is have sex.” Kathy said jokingly, but with a pure act of seriousness.
“Oh is that how you feel? All I ever want is to use you for my pleasures? Please.”
“Fine! You fail to understand my point of view, every single time we get into these arguments you go off about me, me, me–I’m done!”
AJ scoffed. “Done? Who else do you have to go to?” AJ said as he nudged toward the confused and spectating Hal.
Kathy walked up to the man and stood beside him. “I’ve found my place with people who don’t want conflict, who wish of a better life.”
Hal nodded in accordance to Kathy’s plea. “I’m glad one of you came to their senses. It seems this war may be over as we speak.”  Hal was convinced by the couples facade and wrapped his unbroken arm around Kathy’s waist. “Gatherer-ninty-four, request for teleport.”
In an instant Hal and Kathy disappeared in a flash of light and dancing codes, leaving AJ alone in the dimly lit enclosure.
“It’s over when I say so.”

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Internet Friends: Chapter Two

The orthogonal room Kathy occupied for hours began to induce a degree of Cabin Fever. She used the excuse of possessing a sore body to justify the lacking desire to part from the enticing comfort of the bed.  The adventure her and AJ endured was enough to make anyone not want to move either, but the mysterious origin of the discovery they made had a magnetic attachment. They both wanted to go back, regardless of how dangerous the situation could be and as much as AJ advised against visiting again, Kathy felt a strange need.
A knock on her bedroom door initiated a groan as she forced herself to her feet. AJ stood before her holding flowers and a box of her favorite candy.
“Good morning honey.”
AJ and Kathy locked lips and held each other for a few seconds. It lasted longer than usual and as much as she was enthralled by the surprise, she was also concerned.
“Sunflowers…on a Tuesday morning? What’s going on?”
AJ chuckled. “What makes you think that theres something wrong?”
Kathy gave him a look that explained everything. AJ sighed and sat beside her on the bed.
“Im leaving. I don’t know for how long, but it may be for a week. The team decided that going to Washington DC is for the best.” AJ said solemnly.
Kathy looked down in a depressing manner beginning to imagine some unfortunate event that she could create to keep him here. AJ lifted her head by the chin and kissed her. “I love you babe, but this is what the Debate Team has always wanted to do. It’s not like im not coming back.”
“I know.” Kathy chuckled. “I know.  I hope you have a great time.”
“I hope so too.”
AJ left the room with Kathy in his arms and the two made their way to the high school.

Aurobindo High was one of the more hostile educational establishments in the state-wide area, it crawled with cyber-bullies and all forms of technological terrorists who loved to “troll”. The school’s system and how it functioned revolved around modern devices and the accessibility of the internet, one of the first to become a fully paperless environment and replaced everything with computer interfaces. It was Kathy’s sanctuary amid all of the conflict.
AJ hauled the two suitcases onto the bus, completely unaware that the entire space allocated for luggage was to it’s capacity. AJ cursed silently and handed them back to Kathy for her to set them aside.
“Wow. I can’t believe it, no room at all. I figured maybe they would get a bus big enough for 13 people.” AJ said bothered by the fact the back of the small yellow vehicle was full to the ceiling with luggage of assorted colors.
“You could set them in the walkway.” Kathy said, trying her best to offer her services of wisdom, but AJ refused every one and continued to fret over the lack of preparation. “It’s going to be fine. Someone will come and make room.”
AJ sighed in agitation. “The bus can explode for all I care. Then they’ll be room.”

Suddenly a bright flash blinded the couple, shrapnel from the bus flew out of the fireball that engulfed the transport vehicle hitting AJ in the arm. He fell to the ground, clutching the fresh slash in his limb. The searing heat from the explosion injected more pain as he groaned in agony.
“What the hell!?” Kathy exclaimed in shock. “What did you do?”
“Me? Why would I do that? …It…was only a wish.”
Kathy shook her head in bewilderment while AJ googled at the flaming remains of the bus.
“Do I have superpowers?” 

The ride to the hospital lasted longer than usual, enough time for AJ and Kathy to analyze every little detail of the incident. It didn’t make sense to any of them to how a simple joke instantly manifested into reality.
“Do you think it was some kind of murder plot?” AJ concluded.
“Who would want to murder you though?”
“I don’t know. I don’t know anyone who would hate me passionately enough to kill me.”
Kathy ran through the numbers in her head. She knew AJ wasn’t the most liked person at the school and she only knew of one person who would attempt to challenge his mortality. “Dean. What about him?”
AJ pondered the name, but no viable reason surfaced to what could be behind Dean’s motivation in wanting to end his life. “I couldnt tell you. It may be, but we need to find more clues.”
“Like this?” Kathy said as she handed her phone to AJ. A text message stretched across the screen reading,

Enjoy the show kids?
We don’t like killing off younglings such as yourselves, but the secret of the Citadel will not be placed in the hands of those who’s comprehention of power exceeds what can be understood. Or controlled.
Do not begin to question the seriousness of my intentions, you two hold a secret greater than you realize.
We plan to take it back.

A cold chill ran down AJ’s back. “They tried to kill me.”
“It has to do with that room we found. The Citadel was mentioned in that one note too.”
“Yeah, so? I still want to know what this secret is that is so dang important. We didn’t even steal anything, all we did was read the note.”
“And found out that who ever was in there before us spied on hundreds of people…and what happened to him.”
AJ shot a look of shock at Kathy. “How much information did you uncover?”
“Just that. The history of the guy who was there before and nothing else. Apparently he was part of the Interweb Reformery and was trying to reverse some effect that changed the world. He researched everything he could about the internet and discovered what he called a “Matrix Backdrop” which supposedly has to be part of the secret he was…deleted for.” Kathy said to her best knowledge.
“Deleted?”
Kathy nodded with a gulp.
AJ stared off into the black asphalt of the road they traveled on, baffled at the ludicrous news that entered his ears. The “D” word rang in his head like a painful memory. AJ only heard of the word being used in that same manner once before, mostly in urban legends of people that dissapear without any trace left behind, and no suspect to blame for it. His gut wrenched in worry that he was now completely exposed to death’s touch, not only him but Kathy as well; the love of his life now in the same danger as he. The risk of him losing her was not an option and he vowed at that moment that he would fight against that fate that was inching nearer in his mind. He wondered if Kathy felt the same, realizing that he now had not only her life in his hands, but the entire world as well. 

                                                                      ************

The night passed by with several mixed feelings stirring inside of the two. There was no telling what each one felt at any given moment due to the extreme nature of their situation. AJ waited for his insides to turn upside down to expel his lunch for relief, including the desperate need for asprin for the patchwork from his wound, and Kathy wished that she would’ve been born with the personality of dumb blonde. The two sat on the porch of Kathy’s apartment, looking up at the stars in a conscience despair for answers.
“I feel as if this is my fault.”
“Nonsense.” AJ said defensively. “It’s us. We did this.”
Kathy buried her face in her hands and began to cry. AJ moved her arm toward him and placed his hand in hers, clasping them together. “We will get through this. It’s going to be hard, but nothing impossible.”
Kathy smiled through the tears and huged AJ tightly. “Tomorrow, we finish this war.”

Steamship Billy

Let the games begin!

This is the official submission for The Dark Globe: Create a World Writing Contest (as you could have clearly read from the banner above). Read it, Enjoy it, Love it.

Jexis popped the cork from an old bottle of whiskey, wiping the rim to remove the dust that had accumulated for years. He tipped the bottle into his mouth and squinted with each swig. I couldn’t imagine what it could have tasted like; one-hundred years of fermented wheat and barley was far from what I deemed as refreshing. If being drunk was a hazard enough we were also thousands of feet in the air, piloting a Steamship of unsurpassed quality. Gears, wires, and pipes gave it it’s distinct design that kept the spirit of Gennua, the craft was the only personal property I had labored for solely from scraps of gold and metal–of course the life I cultivated in piracy pardoned me to “borrow” a few utilities I had no further access to. My status of Captain was self granted, there was only a few who possessed the bravery to soar alongside the birds and our reason in occupying the craft was to relocate to a remote, more edifying residence.

Jexis growled then gave the impression of one trying to beat his ribs into an altered form. The man was in his mid-forties, the appearance I was used to seeing consisted of ungroomed facial hair, an early case of balding, and wrinkled skin, but his wardrobe was of supreme condition; a brown coat, fresh black boots, a maroon vest and the several rings and watches lined across his arms was enough to deceive others as being considerably wealthy.
“We shoulda’ tapped into those provisions years ago.”
“You should know why we didn’t. The war would not grant us access.” I said before Jexis could guess incorrectly.
“I knew that.” Jexis laughed.
The war was a time of tribulation and misfortune for the multitude on the surface of Gennua, the soldiers of the neighboring world accused us for pillaging their lands and taking it as our own when it belonged to them. Their forces helped themselves to our nearly unlimited supply of gold which soon revealed the true objective; the initialization of war was to control our storages of the rare substance. We ultimately lost and now we are left to fight for what is left of our golden planet.

The Steamship crashed through the masses of clouds. It was the exhilaration of flying was what kept me from a more professional occupation, besides I had in mind that I could become the driving force behind the eventual repossession of our home, but I couldn’t do it alone. Jexis was the only other individual I trusted, he was once on the other side of the field, but was impelled to joined us when his inner conscience determined that he was among a perverse people. A man like that I honored, but sometimes worried about since he adopted the addiction to alcohol.

In the midst of my reminiscing I mistakenly altered the course of the Steamship and now we were exposed for the ground below to detect.
“What happened to the fog?” Said the drunken Jexis.
I bestowed a look of disapproval and rotated the wheel of the helm. As soon as the craft was almost turned to it’s port-side a massive object emerged from within the clouds. After the war they sent out mobile refineries what we titled them as “Sun Strippers”–created to capture vessels like mine and strip any remaining gold they didn’t retrieve the first time–and we were being followed by their flag ship.

I spun the wheel back to the right as hard as I could manage and pumped more coal into the engines, with a jolt a burst of blistering steam shot out of the exhaust vents and caused poor Jexis to fall to the cabin levels. The flag ship began it’s attack by penetrating our hull with small projectiles. I was content with that for I knew the integrity of my hand built creation.
“Jexis!” I called in urgency. “Take the wheel!”
“What? Me? Ya’ crazy!”
“I know.” I grabbed the turret at the stern and adjusted the gear-spring, with the push of a lever hot metal poured out and pelted the offender.
Jexis, who was ignorant to the functioning of piloting airships, harnessed the helm and steered erratically. It not only made my aiming a more tedious process, but it also flustered the accuracy of the flag ship. We took turns shooting at each other while spiraling in circles, almost a mechanical waltz of sorts. I could tell that the captain of the Sun Stripper was becoming increasingly aggravated and resorted to using a type of weapon I had only seen before in stolen diagrams.

A small canister attached to a wire launched from one of the hatches of the ship, sailing through the air until it hit the stern of my Steamship. It was a way for missiles to strike any viable target without a chance of failure, and now we were to await our impending fate. With a flash the missile fired from it’s dispatchment and guided itself on the wire. I estimated that I only had a small window of opportunity to devise a means of removing the harness, it was made of an exceptional fabric that didn’t get hot, however it was subjectable to sharp objects.
As absurd as it seemed I was prepared to jump off and slice the wire, taking a hold of a Grapple Sword.
“Steer toward the enemy!”
“Ya’ crazy, we’d get killed!” Said a perplexed Jexis.
“Just trust me.”
“Alright…”
I peered over the deck and saw the wire embedded deeply onto the craft.
With a running start I jumped off and the sword firmly at hand, slicing the wire cleanly. I flipped a latch on the side of the weapon and a wire of my own fastened to the side of the ship. Time seemed to slow down as I swung back aboard calling for Jexis to yaw upwards. He responded in the nick of time and the ship pitched up to the heavens just as the unguided missile traveled underneath the ship and impacted the Sun Stripper. An impressive explosion encompassed the enemy ship and devastated it enough to send it out of commission.

Jexis and I witnessed the burning machine plummet to the ground below, cheering for the victory we had claimed entirely by ourselves.
“I think I be givin’ up drinking.”
“I think that would be a fantastic doctrine to adopt.” I chuckled. For that moment I knew that our world of Gennua had a profitable future.

Surprisingly this is the very first short story have conceived successfully and I figured what better way to show it off than to send it in to contend other short stories.