Thursday, August 26, 2010

Camera Issues

He smacked the side of the small television a few times. That didn't straighten the picture out at all. Sighing, he went to the back office and tried unplugging the wire to the main monitor.

"Please work!"

Plugging the wire back in showed nothing but static.


He put the ladder up near the shelving in the back room and climbed to the top. Grabbing the long stick that looked a lot like a broom handle he hopped up on the wooden shelf as quietly as possible.

"I don't get payed enough for this" whispering as he made his way to the back corner.

Raising the ceiling tile as quietly as possible he peered through the darkness. From the faint light cascading from all the different places he could see the silhouette gnawing on the wires. Thankfully it was turned away from him. Ever so slightly he pushed the stick through the small gap he had made.

The quick jab startled the creature and it was gone in a puff of dust. Coughing and throwing the stick to the floor, Richard climbed down the ladder muttering "Goddamn ceiling unicorns..."

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Verus Ortus

Before the Universe, there was nothing.

Well, almost nothing.

There it was, a tiny speck in the middle of emptiness, less than a speck. She couldn’t see it with her eyes, it was more a feeling, maybe even a whisper.

Then it happened, a huge explosion from the only place it could have come, perhaps a
seedling, she thought. The power of the explosion couldn’t be felt or heard and she moved just out of reach of everything that the tiny spore dispersed. That’s when she noticed them, did they come before the explosion? She wasn’t sure. She counted thirteen in all. They looked just like the Truanthleng. But why thirteen? The Elders only ever spoke of “The Decem”. So who were the other three? As she squinted to get a good look at the furthest three, all but the nearest one shot off in all directions so fast that she didn’t even realize it for at least half a minute.

The Truanthleng that stayed with her, floated there beside her before turning face to face. It seemed to smile, though it lacked any visible mouth. The only thing visible on its head where three eyes. She knew she wasn’t suppose to be staring at one of them directly, it was forbidden, but it was as if the being was telling her the rule did not matter here. Its head resembled a seedling in almost every way. The odd double roundness that looked as if a smaller bubble had joined with a larger one. The upper sloping ridge that reached the top of its head looked as soft as her flora. Below it,another ridge sloped up just above the third eye. The eyes, the only other real feature of the being, were like nothing else she could imagine. They were in a straight line, one below the other. A soft glowing white emanated from the edges of them. The whiteness seemed to coalesce with the pitch blackness that made up the their center. In her world, that kind of darkness should have chilled her to the roots. But it was, some how, a reassuring darkness that gave hope. As she stared, she saw its name “OE”.

Without realizing what she was doing, she closed her eyes and tilted her head slightly toward it. She knew that if she opened her eyes, it would be the last time she’d ever see anything again. She felt the cool warmth of a dew like moisture on her forehead followed by what she imagined were hands running through the soft feathery-flora that flowed like hair from her head. So sensitive were her feelings that she actually felt her flora change its color. Something seemed off.

She felt the change, counted slowly to herself. She lost count as she felt the slight surge rush through her. Each feather seemed to have multiple colors, and each layer was a different color fading into the next as though it belonged, but it didn’t! “What’s happening to me?” She wondered, panicking silently. She dared not open her eyes. She felt confusion flow through her flora. Green flowed into white, white caressed yellow, orange sauntered from the edges of the yellow, and into brown. Brown fluttered into to red, red swam into pink, pink sank into purple, and the purple FLARED into blue! This couldn’t happen, this…wasn’t suppose to happen. She felt the Truanthleng flow back away and her eyes burst open at the knowledge that assailed her from the damp spot on her forehead. What was happening? She tried to speak, to allay her fears, but she couldn’t open her mouth, couldn’t see anything but the blinding sights within her head. As the images slowed to a subtle climax, a tear fell from her eye. A subtle breeze sang in her ear, and for the first time, Nioce knew her own name.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Homecoming Badge

The clouds began covering the moon and the roar of the ocean signaled the rising tide. Beth stood on the beach with the flashlight signaling one of the far off ships. The escort might get here on time, but they'd never make it to the ship before sunrise. Sure, there were more state of the art suits for her condition, but all she had was the old hazmat looking version that she felt embarrassed to wear. Scanning the barely visible lights on the horizon with her binoculars, Beth found the ship flashing a signal where it would send a boat to pick her up. Looking down at her watch she felt hesitant. It was already 4:30 A.M. About an hour and a half till the projected sunrise time. They'd be here in about an hour and ten minutes. If she was lucky and they were not rookies, they could make it in fifty minutes.

Nostalgia started setting in. The sand in her toes felt comforting, and the smell of the salty air pulled at her to stay. Sadly, there were preparations to be made. There was one of the showers to wash all the sand off right in front of the van. The water was terribly cold as she stuck each foot in the streams, trying not to get too wet. She'd never realized how awkward it was to drive barefoot. What she wouldn't do for a towel right now.

Tybee Island isn't a large place, and it doesn't take long at all to get around at this time in the morning. It was the drive back to the dock that would take too much time. Getting pulled over by a cop would get the word to someone she didn't have time to deal with. Someone that would most likely need to be “taken care of” and the boat that was being sent didn't have room for anymore people. So, the speed limit it was.

The docks finally came into view about thirty minutes later. She was cursing the many back roads on Wilmington Island for getting her a bit lost. Picking the little blue box up from the passenger side floorboard, she got out and unlocked the back of the van. She filled each syringe with a little less than normal of a stronger anesthetic. With something already in their system, she didn't want them dead from too much. The usual drug wouldn't be good enough out on the waves.

The boat made it to the dock about fifteen minutes after she arrived. Before they got close enough to tie the boat off they waited for her to give the code. "Manifesto Zebra Triage" A necessary odd set of words that would never be accidentally spewed by anyone. Satisfied, they roped off the boat and threw the large bulky suit to Beth. Two of the three boys and two of the girls climbed out of the boat and followed her back to the van. As she donned the stuffy suit that would allow her to be out in the daylight the others carried to unconscious siblings to the boat. Climbing in the boat would have been an annoying task had it not been for the twin boys that helped her. Blushing for needing the help, she thanked them and turned away.

They were almost to the ship when the sun started to rise. She'd forgotten what it was like. She stared at it in wonder until the ship interrupted the view. The ship was large and looked like a science vessel of some sort. It flew the flag of the Sea Scouts. This is where Beth had been trained in her youth, alongside the boys and other girls that the coed program allowed. They'd be safe here. Though she worried what was going on back at the camp with her friends.

Down in the small infirmary Danni and David were just waking up on the beds. The ship’s Captain came down to greet them with Beth and two of the other specialists. She was glad to be back in a naval uniform, it felt like home. The Captain could have just given her a regular uniform, but he wanted her rank showing. Jennifer, the other female specialist, was glad to supply one of her older uniforms that didn't fit anymore. Her and Bradley were the second mates and siblings, like so many of the Sea Scouts. Beth almost teared up thinking about her brother. He'd drowned in a bad storm three years ago. That was why she decided to go undercover. Someone had to stop the Girl Scouts from coming to power. Now with Danni and David joining them, they would have little more hope.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Extradition Pin

It was around 2 A.M. when the white van parked outside the large house in downtown Savannah. Danni was just starting to stir in the back. As the driver got out to open the back doors, Beth stuck another tranquilizer dart in Danni’s arm. “Don’t need to make this any harder than it needs to be”. Stepping out into the humid air, the pale and fragile girl looked around to make sure no one had followed. She looked up at the driver with an air of authority, but not too harshly, said “Lock the doors and give me the keys. You are to stand guard until I get back.” The driver nodded, locked the doors, and handed over the keys without question.

A few minutes later, Beth strolled over to the backdoor of the house and pulled out her lock picking kit. It didn’t take long for her to get inside. She was a bit surprised at the lack of an alarm. As soon as she turned the corner into the kitchen, she understood the lack of an alarm. There were two girls about fourteen years old sitting at the table. Thankfully, they hadn’t heard the back door open. They only noticed the new arrival as the drug worked its way into their system. They were out before they could raise an alarm. The lone Night Owl was hoping that the six darts she had left would be enough to get this done. Pulling the two dart guns out, she started towards the stairs. The house wasn’t very open. This was a good thing when trying to sneak around. Though it meant there could be more guards than she knew about. There wasn’t nearly enough time to search every room. Luck seemed to be on her side for now having made it to the stairs with no incidents.

It had been at least five years since Beth had been in this house. She didn’t remember the layout very well. All of the top girls in the organization had come here at one time or another. This is where the girls were sorted into their special task groups. That night was the first time she had ever met anyone with the same disease. She always felt so alone, like she was the only one in the world who wasn’t allowed feel the sun. Having such a horrible thing in common, the five girls warmed up to each other really quickly. The thoughts came flooding back fast, Chelsea. The oldest of the group, she was eighteen. It pained Beth to remember those days. Their bunk had UV blockers on the windows. They didn’t need alarms or locks on the door. Not until a soft ball broke one of the windows. None of the younger girls in the camp really understood why we couldn’t come out. Two of the brownies approached the cabin that day. They probably thought they could just open the door, run in, and get the ball really quickly. They didn’t want to wake the night guards. Beth shook her head. Those poor girls had just started with the Brownies. Chelsea was the only one to hear the window break. She got up to see what happened and found the ball. As she walked by the door to get to the phone the two little girls opened it really fast, letting the sunlight into a place it was always forbidden to go. They saw the older girl standing there and bolted. She must have been in shock. Anya was the first to find her, the front door still open. She was just out of reach of the sun light curled in the fetal position. None of the girls had ever seen someone that red before. Chelsea died about a week later. The two young girls that caused the accident will probably never forgive themselves, but that’s probably also the reason they have become so enamored with Anya.

Shaking the memories from her head, Beth walked into the room at the end of the railing. It seemed a cozy den, except that she saw the clock against the left wall and knew exactly why it was really there. Only the guards were taught those secrets. She now knew where to find the prisoner. Sticking her head out of the door to scan for anyone that might be there, she decided to be smart this time. She crouched and snuck out of the room and made her way to the door near the stairs. She knew that anyone else would have thought it cocky to keep the prisoner so close to an escape route. But anyone else wouldn’t know that the prisoner was being kept there by using subliminal messages coming from the clock in the next room over. Before opening the door, she fished in her pocket for the earplugs. She knew the mind control wouldn’t work on her that fast, but she didn’t want to take any chances. Opening the door just enough to squeeze inside, she knew there wouldn’t be any guards to catch her there. Silently, she closed the door and stood up straight. Her watch told her she’d only been in the house for about ten minutes, but that was longer than she wanted to be. She strolled over to the bed and placed her hand over the boy’s mouth while shaking him with the other. His eyes opened slowly until he realized something was covering his mouth. Bolting upright, he threw the covers off and went to remove the object before he noticed the girl holding a finger to her mouth in the universal language that told him to be quiet. He quickly settled down and she removed her hand. She whispered almost too quietly “I’ve got your sister in the van, come with me.” His eyes widened again, but this time with hope. Quickly, but quietly, the recovering boy got up and got dressed. Beth hoped that the thought of his sister would get him to conquer the suggestions to stay where he was, and she was right.

They managed to sneak back out without anyone else running into them. The driver was wide eyed when she saw the boy walking beside her. A minute later the driver was unconscious on the side walk. Beth walked over and unlocked the back of the van, opening one of the doors for David to see his sister sprawled out on the floor of the van. He didn’t even stop to think, Beth had planned on that. He hopped into the back to make sure his sister was alright. She took aim and fired a dart into his leg. Not even waiting for him to hit the floor, she closed and locked the back door, and made her way around to the driver side. She was sure she pissed off a lot of people in one night. Looking in the rearview mirror she mumbled to herself “time to go home.”