Sunday, November 15, 2015
Sunday, September 13, 2015
Her name is **Alex** - uh - *Something*. As the sounds of battle faded and her bike got louder and closer, I found some strength. I pushed myself up to my knees in time to see her ride up on me. Glorious.
Sunday, May 24, 2015
Every day, I go to the "new" page of reddit.com/r/WritingPrompts (I apologize in advance if you were previously unaware of Reddit) where I select the latest prompt - whatever it is - and write it out. I've decided to post those here. Hope you enjoy it. Today's Story is:
<blockquote>[EU] After years of trusting his cybernetic additions, he feels them betraying him, sees the blood on his hands, and can only think, "Stop stop gadget..."</blockquote>
It can be hard to look at yourself with honest eyes - to admit your faults. It tears you up inside - owning up to your failures. I won't lie to you and try to convince you that I didn't know what a screw-up I was back then. I won't tell you I didn't love the praise, though. And now that Penny's dead.
I switched off my data reception and disabled the WiFi upgrade. This old empty warehouse is quiet. Secluded. If Brain was still around, he'd probably come over here and put his head in my lap. I could pet him...
...If the servo-actuator in the Gadgetarms weren't malfunctioning. He probably would've been disgusted with all this anyway. The left arm is still twitching.
I can feel the water from that broken pipe seeping through the seat of my trousers. Claw hasn't moved in - 32 minutes and 14 seconds - according to the Gadgetbrain Onboard Chronometer. All those times he tried to kill me. All the times he tried to hurt me. To hurt Penny.
I guess the servos in the left hand are still working after all. I hear the broken bones in his neck grind against each other as the Gadgetarm twitches. Claw lies 7.82 feet away from me. The Gadgetarm won't contract back into its socket. The one on the right won't do anything. Not with the bullet lodged in the shoulder actuator.
Wowsers. I really fucked this one up, Chief.
The Gadgetlegs aren't much use, either. My left foot is vibrating, and the right one seems to have been disconnected from its coupling. I think it fell off - held in place by the pants leg. There's a terrible pain in all the diodes down my left side. I think there's a lot of blood mixed in with the oil and coolant.
"I think I'm going to die here, Penny." The voice is choked, weak. It doesn't sound like me. How much of John Brown is in that statement, and how much of the Machine? The two never were much different until today.
John Brown came here to arrest Dr. Claw. John Brown was furious - but mostly with himself. All these years combating M.A.D. and Claw's ridiculous schemes. How could John Brown have done things differently? What if I'd stopped listening to the hype and the press and the accolades from the Department, and really paid attention? Could I have stopped this?
I know I could have. John Brown could have. I have the most advanced Robotics and cybernetic systems available - some of them not even - technically - legal, without the Patriot Act and the Quimby Initiative.
I should have been a better role model -
I should've been a better father. Penny would still be alive, if I'd come here and done this sooner. Day One. Right out the door. Ditch the cuffs, break out the .45.
But I didn't come here to kill anyone. Did I?
No. I can't believe that. John Brown came here to arrest Claw. It was the Machine that did all this. Claw tried his worst to stop it. Agent after Agent fell beneath the might of Gadget. I couldn't even count the dead. After the first few years, they all sort of look exactly the same, don't they? How could I differentiate between them while I was snapping their spines and crushing their skulls?
How could I let the Machine do this?
They're all dead now. My niece is not coming back to me, and none of the amazing things she did - none of the great and heroic deeds I took the credit for will be remembered.
They'll all be swept under the rug and replaced with "psychotic cyborg slaughters dozens." If the tear ducts weren't automatic, I think I would be weeping now. It's cold.
I'm definitely dying now. Back-up systems have kicked in. I no longer have access to the communication systems. WiFi boots up, data. I had no idea that subroutine existed. Hidden. I mean...
Of course it does. Whatever happens to John Brown, the technology's good. I can hear the locator beacon. They'll be coming for the tech. Maybe they can put it into a competent officer this time. Equip someone more deserving. I wish there was some way I could warn them. Tell them what to look out for...
There's a rudimentary processor in the back of the Gadgetbrain. It records everything - keeps Inspector Gadget honest, I guess. Or it's supposed to. If I could partition...
<i>"Listen to me. This is the most important thing you have to know about all these changes they've made to your body.
"None of it matters. The enhanced vision and hearing, the waldo arms, the telescoping appendages, or the top-secret Gadgetphone. It's a bunch of props. Tools.
"Whoever you are... you're not a superhero. You're not even a supercop. Not because of the gadgets, anyway. The only way you can be a good cop is to be a good cop. Pay attention to the things around you. Pay attention to the people. Protect and Serve. Remember that first.
"Be mindful. Listen to your family and friends. Don't let all this bullshit go to your head. Truth be told, you wouldn't have been a very good cop in the first place - they won't be putting all this tech into a healthy body, so you must've done something to screw it all up. I can't see how you could be here, if you hadn't.
"But maybe that's my ego getting in the way, because I was such a screw up.
"Well, don't let that be your defining trait. Don't fuck it up, like I did. Stop. Learn how to control the Machine. Don't let the Gadgetbrain control you. Ask for help when you need it. Acting like you've got everything under control, when you haven't, is just going to get someone killed.
"And speaking of that. Cherish your family. Love the ones who love you. And keep them away from this. You are a cop. Not some silly crime-fighter on a mad-cap adventure. You don't need sidekicks. Don't be stupid.
"I was going to tell you about...
"about some of the unex... unexpected... un... side effects. No clock... no... time, I guess.
"It's over. I'm dying Penny. I'm sor... I'm.... I'm..., </i>
<B>END OF LINE</B>
She shook her head. The compensaters in her artificial tear ducts were failing. Her eyes were wet. "It's Detective," she said. "Detective Gadget. And I'm fine. I found an old program hiding in the crime scene protocols of the Gadgetbrain OS." She wiped her eyes.
He eyed her nervously, "anything we need to report?" All the street cops were nervous around her. It was to be expected. She'd only been on the street for a few months; and they made her a detective right off the bat, even though she was still a recruit when... when *it* happened.
"It's nothing. I deleted it. I'll debrief Chief Quimby, when we're finished here. Show me what we've got." She moved the file to her personal SD card and encrypted it.
The officer started across the sidewalk and into the alley and the fresh crime scene. Detective Gadget looked around, the Gadgetbrain absently recording her surroundings, in case something useful escaped her notice, and could be identified later. She turned her attention southwest. 14.8 miles in that direction was the ruin of the old M.A.D. Warehouse.
"Goodbye, Uncle Gadget," she whispered somberly, and turned to follow the officer into the alley.
Tuesday, April 21, 2015
[WP] The Four Horsemen have arrived on Earth. Mankind tries to bribe its way out of the Apocalypse.
Monday, April 20, 2015
[EU] You are a Common street Magician, who has been misunderstood is dragged to Hogwarts against his will.
Friday, April 17, 2015
Thursday, April 16, 2015
Every day, I go to "new" page of reddit.com/r/WritingPrompts (I apologize in advance if you were previously unaware of Reddit) where I select the latest prompt - whatever it is - and write it out. I've decided to post those here. Hope you enjoy it. Today's Story is:
"Welcome, Mr. Johnson." The woman was dressed smartly - a suit with a skirt and a blood-red tie. She wore no jewelry; but then, who did these days? Her hair was short and she wore no make-up. Aesthetically, Simeon found her to be quite pleasing. He wondered if his bride would be as attractive.
"Falicitous greetings," he bowed curtly. "You are Ms. Hanover?"
"Mrs." She said. When Simeon failed to mask his surprise, she added, "part of the conditions of my contract with PerfectedLove was that I agree to a match myself." She motioned to the desk behind her, and the two sat down.
Simeon leaned forward, placing his hands on the empty surface of the desk. "Do you enjoy it," he asked. "Is it worth it, I mean?"
Mrs. Hanover smiled, "Mr. Johnson, I'm here to facilitate your Union. I could hardly tell you otherwise."
He shrugged. "Of course," he said. "But even if you intend to lie to me, I think I would benefit from your perspective. You were looking for a job, right? Not Love or marriage?"
"That is correct," she said. Her hands were folded in her lap. "My perspective... The interesting thing about PerfectedLove, Mr. Johnson, is that it doesn't rely on pre-existing chemical processes to work. My husband is a powerful man. I remember a time before I loved him, when I believe I was intimidated by the prospect of meeting him.
"I remember he was cordial, curt. Aesthetically pleasing - healthy, I mean - with no obvious deformities. You've already been through the Training Program; all of the things you think about, I assume I also dwelled upon."
"Except that It was Mr. Hanover in my position."
"Well," he said, taking a deep breath. "Is there anything we need to do?"
"No, actually. Everything has been arranged. Your provider is in the next room. We'll sit with her and go over the contract. If both parties are amenable to the arrangement, then we'll sign the contract, and by the end of the day you will be happily married, and madly in love with your bride."
"If both parties are amenable? So if she finds me unappealing or-"
"Oh no, no," she said. "it's just a formality. This is the 21st century, Mr. Johnson. With genetic screening, the advent of CustomPhysiQ and modern cosmetic biology - we find that physical attraction isn't even an issue. Even if you don't find the other party to be aesthetically pleasing, the presence of LP9 in your system will rewire your preferences to find her more favorable - the most favorable option. The same goes for the other party. It's all in the contract."
"Okay," he said. "Let's do this." His heart was racing. It was...
It was the most emotion he'd felt in his entire life. "I..."
"It's nerves," she assured him, offering her hand as he stood. "We call them 'wedding jitters' after an old pre-war tradition. For some reason its one chemical reaction that resisted the Wipe."
"It's amazing!" He smiled broadly. "Will it always feel like this?"
"Fortunately no," she said, leading him through a pair of powder blue doors off to the right. "Actually, we find it best to give the initial LP9 injection after the initial emotional response wears thin. It's why the contract negotiation process is done here, today - and not something you can do during the Training Program or from home."
She led him down a spartan hallway with dark blue carpeting and off-white walls. They passed two doors on either side, before she motioned him through the third door on the left.
Within the small office, there was a short desk and three chairs. Sitting in the chair opposite the door was a young woman - though only slightly younger than Simeon. Her hair was long and curly, chestnut brown. She sat upright, with her hands folded in her lap, her legs crossed at the ankle. She stood up as they entered. Her expression was hard to read, and then Simeon realized she must be feeling the 'wedding jitters' as well.
"Mr. Simeon Johnson," Mrs. Hanover said, gesturing toward the woman, "this is Seong Hera."
The woman curtsied and he responded with a bow. "It is a pleasure, of course."
The three sat down. And the contract came up on the screen. The negotiations were tedious and long. Each page of the contract required a number of thumbprints in acceptance - a lot of legal stuff. Simeon agreed to provide a home for Ms. Hera. He would share all his property with her, and in the unlikely event of a LP9 rejection, he would agree to a 50/50 split of all holdings.
He would give her children and agree to LP4 injections should his biology not generate the proper paternal response. He would care for her children as he cared for her. They would be guaranteed a place in his home and under his care until such time as they chose to leave - or until the 21st anniversary of their birth if it proved a hardship.
Ms. Hera's part of the contract was equally long, but primarily dealt with her acceptance of the agreement, and her willingness to submit to no less than three LP9 injections, in return for the financial and social security provided by Mr. Johnson.
There was an addendum for everything - from acceptance of hobbies to an agreement about location stability and joint assessment of any major decisions. That part, Mrs. Hanover added, was purely for legal reasons, and in practice was unnecessary.
In the end, they both placed their hands on the palm reader and voiced their agreement. The door opened again, and a young man in white came into the room with a small black box.
"This is Howard," Mrs. Hanover said. "He'll be administering the injections."
Howard was a consummate professional, performing his task quickly and efficiently. When he was finished, Mrs. Hanover stood.
"Alright," she said. "It is now necessary to separate the two of you for a brief period. We find it expedites things if we go ahead and have you change into your wedding attire. When you're done, we'll all step into the Chapel, where you'll be given a half-hour or so to explore your new feelings. You will be monitored during this period, so we encourage you to avoid engaging in any sexual activity. It will be unusually difficult for you.
"The initial onset of PerfectedLove will be euphoric - like the wedding jitters amplified ten-fold." She motioned them out of the room. "As you learned in Training, the rush of emotion will fade to a background - though ever-present emotion that will thereafter color your every decision and desire. And of course, we offer discounted renewal injections on your 10th, 25th, 50th, and 100th anniversaries. Please, step right into these dressing rooms..."