Electric Dreams

Part of a thing that might be part of another thing. It probably needs an ending or another part or a first part really…

I wrote a bunch of prompts you can read about the process here.  This is my response to one of them.


Benton turned in his seat looking over towards where Blake the OpsCom stood hands on hips staring at the bank of screens.  A hundred different images flashed before him and his gaze flitted from one to the next searching desperately.

“Sir we have her on screen forty seven now, she’s in 1692.  Status red.  She is way off of her time line and it looks like she’s got herself into some real trouble.”

“Jesus Christ” exclaimed Blake stepping forward.  “Bring her up on main comms.  Full resolution, all channels.”

Benton’s fingers flashed across the keyboard and the image jumped to two large screens on the wall above the array of smaller ones.  The screen crackled with interference and the sound was patchy, but from their angle they could see a grey sky swirling above a thick crowd in front of a large oak tree.  There were probably thirty people all told, all dressed in little more than rags and the signs of hard and desperate lives etched across their gaunt faces.

The wind whipped autumn leaves around their feet and dirty faced children huddled against their parents as a larger, round bellied ruddy cheeked man came into view.  Dressed all in black save for the crisp white collared tunic beneath his heavy brass butoned jacket a number of mothers pulled their children close as he stood and stared.

“Are you certain this is Cassie’s feed? Can we get boots on the ground?” Blake asked, panic in his voice.

Benton shook his head.  “It is her sir weve have the genesis protocols in place and confirmed but we can’t get assets in place in less that 30.  We’d need to recalibrate the chamber and we don’t even have a full geolocation.  She’s somewhere on the east coast but she’s so far out of time the techs can’t get a solid ping.  Her tracker is bouncing all over the place.”

Blake remembered his training.  “Officers never run” he told himself.  Dont scare the troops and all that but it was easier said than done though.  It was his wife out there and every sinew in his body told him to run like hell.   “Order Brave team to suite up anyway” Blake instructed. “And tell the techs to get the chamber ready and to get me that geolock asap.  Nothing else tops this.”

Benton nodded.  “Sir, yes sir.”

Blake looked at his watch as the image blurred and then sharpened again.  The man grinned a black toothed smile and licked his lips slowly.   His bulbous and heavily veined nose gave away his love of liquor and the tight fitting tunic was a certain sign of priviledge and power.

“I will ask you just once more” he shouted with a flourish of his hand in which he held a heavy leather bound book which Blake assumed to be a bible.  “You will tell us where you came from and how you know of these things of which you speak.  They say you dream of these things and cry out in the night as if haunted by the dark one himself.”

“She bears the mark” a stooped old woman in the crowd shouted shaking a stick on which she had been leaning.  “And I hear her speak of metal birds that fly and horseless carriages that speed across the land.”

The man raised his hands to the sky.  “She claims to know that which no man can know” he proclaimed and the crowd murmered.  The screen shook momentarily as a stone was thrown that seemed to strike her in the chest.

“Christ Cassie what are you doing there” Blake shouted desperately as the screen panned down and he could see her bare feet where she stood on a pile of wood.  Blake turned his eyes wide and panicked breathign heavily.  “Benton come on man, get me that geo lock now damn it.  We need to get her out of there before they…”

“Sir the techs have said they cannot get a lock.  She’s not showing up in any of the known time streams.  She’s invisible to us and without the lock we cant pull her out.”

“How the hell can she now be showing up?  We’re getting her feed aren’t we.  She’s there.  We can bloody well see her.”

Benton lowered his eyes and tapped at his keyboard as Blake returned his gaze to the screens.

“Where is your tongue woman” the fat bellied man barked, “do you not know the punishment that awaits you?  Have you nothign to say for yourself?  Does the old woman tell the truth?”  He turned to the crown and raised the book in his hand and they cackled and began to shout.  A young boy picked up a stone and pulled back his arm to throw it before his mother grabbed his hand and took it from him sharply.  The screen focussed on her and Blake could see a sadness in her face.

“Benton.  Geolock NOW” he shouted.  “We need to get her out of there before they…”

“If you will say nothing woman then we must assume you cursed” the man shouted spinning around and approaching Cassie.

Cassie seemed to shake her head but said nothing.

“Say something damn it” shouted Blake.  “Do something Cassie you’ve been trained for this.”

Again the screen crackled and blurred and then panned across the crowd as they became more and more agitated and vocal.  Slowly the angry twisted faces came into view and then disappeared until once more only Cassie’s feet could be seen.

“If you will not speak then you will burn” came the now cruel and manic man’s voice.   The crowd bayed and howled as a fiery glow flickeder across the screen.  “You shall return to the place of darkness if you will not repent.”

Blake turned to Benton but Benton just shook his head and looked back down. Fighiting back tears and with clenched fists he turned and walked towards the exit of the room.

“Screens off.  Get me that lock and inform Bravo team to prepare for recovery.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leaves of Autumn

Gerald stared out across the broad lawn, leaves skipping across the surface as the wind chased them through the garden.

I wrote a bunch of prompts you can read about the process here.  This is my response to one of them.


 

Gerald stared out across the broad lawn, leaves of red, gold and brown skipping across the surface as the wind chased them through the garden.

“Can I get you anything Gerald” a kind faced nurse asked, pulling the rust coloured blanket up onto his lap.

Gerald looked at her over the rim of his glasses for a moment before answering.  “No.  No thank you” he said slowly.   He was pretty certain that she was new but something in the back of his mind told him that he knew her from somewhere.  Somewhere else though.

“Okay dear” she said walking away smiling. “Dinner will be at seven, it’s pork chops tonight, your favourite.”

“Did you hear that Albert?” He asked the man in the blue pyjamas sat next to him.  “It’s pork chops again, third time this week.”

Albert didn’t reply and stared out into the distance.  Albert always stared out into the distance these days though he did enjoy the pork chops.

“Is she a new one Alfred?” Gerald asked him without expecting a response.  “I’m certain she is but she seems to know I like pork chops.”

Albert blinked.

“No I don’t quite remember either” Gerald continued.  “Everything seems a little fuzzy you know.”

Albert blinked again.

“And I’ll tell you another thing, not only are we eating a lot of pork chops Alfred but it seems to have been Autumn for a rather long time.  Do you even remenber when it was anything but Autumn because I don’t.”

Gerald pulled back the blanket from his knees and let it drop to the floor.  There was a word he was looking for but he couldn’t quite find it and then just before he had it he felt it slip through the his grasp like the wind that whistled through the trees outside and teased the leaves until they sailed to the ground.

His old gnarled fingers gripped the arms of the chair as he attempted to lift himself up onto his feet.  He felt a shooting pain in his stomach and stood bent over.

“Gerald, what are you doing?” came the voice of the new nurse before he was able to steady himself.   His legs felt weak, like they hadn’t been used for a long time.  He looked down at them noticing how thin they seemed.

“Come on you” She said placing a hand on his arm and easing him back into the chair.  “Whatever is he like eh Albert?” She asked Albert smiling.

Albert stared straight ahead though Gerald noticed him stiffen ever so slightly.  He didn’t remember much but he didn’t remember Albert being so fat.

“There really is no need to be up and about Gerald whatever is the matter?” She asked sharply.

Gerald tried again to stand but felt once more her arm on his shoulder and this time more forcefully and he sat back in the chair.

“There’s something wrong here” Gerald said as she once again put the blanket on his lap.  “Everything feels wrong, what’s going on?” He demanded.

The nurse’s eyes narrowed and she placed a hand on each of his shoulders as she leaned in towards him.

“Now Gerald let’s not get upset, you know how it effects Albert.  There really is no need to concern yourself and you don’t want to miss out on pork chops tonight now do you?”

She stared deep into his eyes and it sent a chill through him.  He scrambled in the recesses of his mind, everything a blur and tried to remember something, anything.

“What have you done to me?” he whispered as she continued to stare at him, pinning him where he sat.  “What have you done to Albert and why can’t I remember?  Why is it always autumn?”

Albert.  That was it.  He hadn’t always been like this.  It wasnt’t always pork chops and autumn.  Before there used to be…

“Gerald, you really need to settle down” she said, her tone now ominous her smile long gone from her face.  “You’re upsetting Albert see.”

Gerald turned slowly and saw that Albert was staring across at him, tears running down his fat cheeks.

“Albert I…”

Nurse stood upright looking down at him.  Gerald suddenly felt very small and there was a knot in his stomach.

“Now shall I get you those pork chops?” she asked with her fake smile now plastered once more across her face.  “I’ll fetch you some too Alfred.”

Gerald nodded as Albert continued to stare at him before nurse settled Albert back into his chair.  She straightened him up and again he faced the wall as she tucked Albert’s blanket tight around his legs and patted his stomach.

“Albert loves his pork chops don’t you Albert.”

Gerald watched her walk away and push through the double doors at the far end of the room.

“Albert, what’s going on” he whispered.

Albert turned towards him, his eyes wide and breathing heavily.   A mix of pain and fear was etched across his face.

“Christ man what is it” Gerald pressed.  “What’s going on?”

Albert opened his mouth to scream holding his stomach but no sound came out.  His face contorted and eyes bulged as his mouth continued to widen and his face reddened.  His lips, stretched thin,  turned white and then began to bleed as his voiceless scream continued and his eyes began to roll back into his head.

Gerald forced himself from the chair once more, his heart pounding in his chest and his head spinning.  He looked about and began to move as quickly as he could towards the double doors.  His legs felt like they would buckle beneath his as he shuffled in his slippers, and turning back he saw Albert reach out an arm towards him and even in this state it seemed to him to be somethign of a warning.

He slowed as he reached the doors and stood pressed against them, breathing heavily.   Nothing made sense, nothing felt real.  he shot a glance back at Albert and saw he was slumped on the floor in fromt of his chair.  Surely the only thing he could do was to call the nurse.

Gerald reached for the door handle but before he could push through them he heard the voice of the nurse beyond them.

“Just get those pork chops ready” he heard her bark.  “And add extra we need to fatten them up.  The pupae are getting hungry and Albert’s will be ready to hatch before the spring.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Firestorm

It’s funny but when you join up you think it’s going to be endless excitement and adventure, and sometimes it is, but what they don’t tell you is just how much time you’ll spend sitting around.

I wrote a bunch of prompts you can read about the process here.  This is one of them.


>Log date 2243>>

>Location>>>Confidential>>

>Status >>>Transmitting>>>>>

It’s funny but when you join up you think it’s going to be endless excitement and adventure, and sometimes it is, but what they don’t tell you is just how much time you’ll spend sitting around.

‘Hurry up and wait’ seemed to be the mantra most days once we’d finished basic training , and even with all of that down time there wasn’t much to see on Mars at all so when we were posted to the Orion system everyone couldn’t wait to get star side.

We were stationed about five hundred thousand miles off of Rigel because it was a known dropping in point for the Confederacy, and brass figured that it was best to wait for them and hit them as soon as they dropped out of faster-than-light.  What Brass didn’t figure though was that they had the drop on us and when we dropped out they were already there waiting for us with most of their fleet.

They say your training just kicks in instinctively when it needs to but you know, I remember the klaxon’s sounding shrill as we scrambled across the deck and seeing the Aspidistra getting torn to shreds through the hanger doors, and I wanted to be anywhere else.  Jenson didn’t even make it much beyond the main hanger when a Fed ship took him out and most of the lads didn’t suffer much better.

I took a few of them out before I ran out of ammo but they were all over us because nothing had prepared us for just how ferocious and desperate they were.  Picking us off one by one they didn’t seem to have any regard for their own lives and they just wanted us dead.  All forward vessels were taken out within the first few minutes and those of us that scrambled were no match for them.

I was left drifting when my main power drive took a hit and I guess I was lucky because I was dead to rights but just slowly drifted beyond the carnage.  With my comms down and only life support ticking over I watched as a huge nova bomb took out the main attack carriers of the Foreshadowing and the Callista.  In the silence of space they simply evaporated into a billion shards of pulsating light and in a blink of an eye 15000 lives were lost.

I think it’s been five solar cycles since I saw the last of the explosions, time escapes you when you’re drifting through nothingness, and I don’t think anyone is coming to find me.  Power is low and there is less than a few hours left in the reserve tanks.

I’m not sure this will ever reach anyone, it probably won’t, but if it does then tell my folks I’m sorry I ddn’t write more often.

Status >>>Received>>>>>