Greater Good Protocol (2)

Part 1 – “SAFE ATMOSPHERE” – here

Part 2: published here


I’M THAT KIND OF GUY

It’s no fun,  being tied up and dragged behind a vehicle at breakneck speed.

In case you’re wondering, and want to try it yourself – DON’T! Contain your beer-fueled impulses, folks! Don’t kid yourselves, I only make this look easy and enjoyable!

Continue reading “Greater Good Protocol (2)”

Entropy and Other Inconveniences

Part 1:  published on WriterToWriters – see here


“Nobody took a dump here.” A scrawl in black sharpie stretched over the upper right corner of the booth door. “SEXXX! Call 314-159-26.” The lower margin of the door warned about the pervy limbo dancers.

Andy cracked a smile and checked for the naked chocolate bar and the newspaper in the inner pockets of his long leather jacket. Someone flushed a toilet two cubicles to the right. He heard the someone leave the public restroom, without washing hands. The door slammed shut. Andy sighed. He squeezed his notebook into one of the butt pocket of his denim. His naked toes felt wet and cold on the tile floor. He took a deep breath. The air was stale, the aroma of urine was overwhelming. He consoled himself with the fact, that in a blink, he was going to disappear from the questionable puddle, he had to stand in.

A whispering sizzling noise echoed from the walls of the stall, and Andy concentrated upon an imaginary spot, half a step away, in front of his navel. A little sphere of pale blue brightness formed instantly. He cupped his hands hovering two inches away from it. The heat it radiated, didn’t disturb him much. Its density grew fast, till the light emitted hurt his eyes. With every breath, it got bigger and brighter. The muscles in his arms vibrated with effort. His fingers tugged at it, his mental fingers dragged, pulled and stretched the ball of energy over his shoulders. The sphere spun counterclockwise.

Andy stepped into the pale blue vortex in front of him.

The bathroom, and the rest of the world at his back folded, and faded to nonexistence. Everything went black. The muscles on his chest and back rippled with tension and fibrillation. His spine tingled and burned, as if his skin had been shock frosted.

At the edge of his visual perimeter, the pale blue light twitched and sparked.

He felt lightning licking and stinging at the back of his head and around his shoulder blades. His fingertips and bare feet stung with electric pins and needles.

He stood in an Andy-shaped hole in the fabric between realities.

Entropy swept over him like a tidal wave, knocking his breath out, leaning on him, pushing downwards. He bowed his head. Submerged in the currents of energy flow, he slid through spacetime layers into lower energy state realities. The torrent caught him in a tight grip around his waist and yanked him down.

He hated this part. The sinking feeling in his stomach froze his mind.

He panicked.

He always did. What if, he got a hypo here and had no strength to get out again? Would he die, or would he be arrested in the terrified state of  just realizing, that he was about to die?

Forever?

His instincts took over. Grab! They ordered his hands. Hold on. His fingers found his daughter’s little praying bead bracelet.

In his imagination a happy family breakfast flared up. Ava buttered a bun for Emily. He was drinking coffee. The pressure that made him bow, lifted instantly.

The breakfast table faded, as he stopped focusing upon it. There was nothing to see, nothing to hear. He closed his eyes. For once, no static filled his head. Calm. Silence. He imagined this was peace. Surely this was, what it felt like. He wanted to stay. Inertia crept closer to the thinking part of his brain. Transition was a bitch.

Peace was not human nature, guilt was. Sickness, decay, futility, death, war and famine were too. Always suffering…

The burning sensation chewed up his limbs, his arms and legs stung. His face hardened into a heavy ice mask. He couldn’t breathe. His eyelids weighed tons, lips sagged. He couldn’t stop shivering. The clench of solid inertia overpowered his bones, his organs, his muscles.

The breakfast table flickered again. It hung in front of him, some steps away, taunting. He shuffled a foot forward. Keep going. Something cheered on.

A strange murkiness pushed into his pores, dissolved into his veins. He felt sick and broken. Entropy knew he was, and caught in his edges, in the fissures of his brokenness. It cooed to the darkness, that sprouted in his body and soul. His heart seemed to transform to a homing beacon to catastrophes and bad intentions. He had no time to brace himself. The rotten blackness in him sprawled. It found all his hiding places and poisoned them. Dizziness tipped him out of position. He spun, but his heart slowed.

He had to keep moving. The gaps between the beats grew.

Sick yellow light shone somewhere in front of him. It flickered like a candle a mile away in a dark stormy night. He tore at the slowness of his body. He tore at the spinning of his senses. His heart locked.

Move.

Just.

One.

Step.

*

He fell to his knees in a moving cargo elevator, between Floor 17 and 18. The air around him crackled and fizzed. The elevator stopped with a sigh and a jolt. The lights flickered.

He shivered violently. Rime coated the walls of the elevator, his clothes, skin, hair, brows and eyelashes.

For a moment, Andy’s arms remembered the shape of his dying daughter. The scent of strawberry shampoo and blood hit him. Memories sank deeper and vanished from his consciousness, as his heart returned to the race. He knew he had the right timeline.

His mouth was a desert. Andy propped his arms on his knees. His lungs tried to breathe, but air refused to get in. The familiar pain burrowed deeper into his spine. No hunger, no cold, no nothing. His heart crawled up his throat.

Normality willed itself back into Andy.

The Greater Good Protocol

The Greater Good Protocol

Part 1 – Safe Atmosphere

part 2 – I’m that kind of guy


 

"Safe atmosphere..."

The safe sign and the notification flash on the screen shield, blink and then fade away. The pressure sensors in the seats activate the engine. Gently purring, the rover comes to life, instruments flare up on the dashboard and project unto windshield. The underground magnetic guidance system pings back on it’s navigation, showing their position on the southern hemisphere of the Moon.

“Great booty, innit?” Terry nudges Larry’s elbow, as they take their helmets off.  Larry, Terry’s twin brother, is paler than usual. His grey eyes scan the inside of the cabin. No Chinese or Cyrillic characters, he sighs with relief. Blue arrows project unto the screen, showing the routes to the nearest landmarks. Tycho Crater is eighteen kilometers away. Surveyor Tycho City is six point seven, and Surveyor Seven fourteen kilometers north-to-northeast. “Lots of bucks.” Terry pats and kisses the console affectionately. He pulls his thin lips into a satisfied grin and straps into his seat. In the knowledge of a job well done, he holds out his palm, and awaits the high-five.

Continue reading “The Greater Good Protocol”

med bay snippets # 3

Is this one of your stupid jokes, Rains? What do you mean with, “we lost Decker”? He’s hooked to E-bed 2, in quarantine, thanks to you. Care to elaborate? He raises an eyebrow.  I know the doc doesn’t approve that I ripped off the seal. The best I could do, to trigger the alarm.

I shake my head, but plunk down into the seat, the doctor offers me. He pushes a cup of fresh coffee over to me, and glances down his watch. I know perfectly well, that what I’m about to say is… It sounds batshit crazy, even to me.

Look doc, I’m… I don’t know. I – I just – I have to tell someone. Makes me feel less…

Disoriented? Distressed? The doctor offers. I know he means to be helpful. But…

This is a report. I keep telling myself. I have to warn everybody. Doc Wellington has to keep his cake-hole shut. I tell him, before I let the Captain in on this… Whatever this is.

I can’t meet his gaze. Those eyes,  they accuse, they see through, they strip you bare.

I nod and take a sip from the freshly brewed hot dark liquid. My mouth burns…  This is a report. I will burn less, when I talk. I need to get this out of my system.

You know, some hours ago… Down on Chimon, when Decker knocked himself out, and I had to haul his heavy ass back? 

The doctor nods.

I… I think something happened to Decker. Uh, he said some very weird things… Some, uh, really disturbing stuff… I don’t think he was himself.

The man sitting opposite to me,  fixes me with his blazing eyes. Even though I’m not looking at him, I feel two hot spots resting on my cheeks.  As if two wasps had decided to sting me simultaneously.  Just freaks me out. He harrumphs politely, and  folds his fingers into a praying gesture.

Well, delirium is a very strange mental state. He begins explaining, but this is bullshit. But this is not that easy. It can spook anyone. I don’t like how he shrugs. There are documented cases, where people started speaking tongues, even ancient greek or latin… His patronizing smile turns my guts.  And it was a most stressful situation. Acidic taste seeps on my tongue, and I force my stomach back down. I shake my head.

THIS IS NOT WHAT I MEAN!  Not at all. I nearly left him on the surface! I have his full attention now, he leans forward.  I nearly left him on the surface, because he freaked me out. 

The solar storm damaged the engines of the landing pod, upon reentry.  And the com.  I have to admit, the landing was less than optimal, and it’s my fault, that Decker got nearly killed on spot. He kind of rescued me, and got his oxygen tank damaged. 

My hands leave the cup alone and I raise them, palms up. Shrugging palms.

First everything was normal. Well, as normal as being stranded in a volcanic eruption zone on an unstable planet. Normal apeshit crazy stuff.  The man in front of me scoffs.  A sense of humor is always a good sign. That’s what they tell you in the military. A residual coping mechanism, when everything else is beyond repair.

Got him into the nearest pick-up area.  That was when his oxygen got down into the red zone. He said that he won’t survive this, that the drugs aren’t working properly, that something was wrong.  Then… I swallow.  

Then, uh… He screamed! He screamed for three minutes straight. It was, it was , uh nauseating. It must have hurt so badly. He screamed for his mother… I – I-  Oh, God…

Take your time… It must have been hard to listen to a man dying. 

I cannot hold back, to my surprise – I sob.

Uh, he said that he is going to enjoy this. And that I will enjoy this too. He’d make me…

med bay snippets #2

The soft purring of the monitoring alarm on my watch wakes me, by vibrating. I’m up…

I tell the watch and it recognizes my voice. The command kills the alarm.

Sleeping at the med bay is seldom a good idea, and sleeping at a working station – uh, table – is downright irresponsible. I rub my face into some kind of wakefulness and wish I could rub my back into a painless state.

I wish I would have slept in one of the E-beds, but shake my head at the idea. The beds are semi-autonomous, so they can keep an exhausted man in stasis, till he gets all the tiredness out of his system. No matter how long that may take.

In case you are the ship’s doctor, this is a very bad idea. They tell you that in doctor’s school. Don’t get high on E-beds pain or sleep medication. I guess some of my colleagues must have tried, during their long trips to the Kepler System.

I have Lieutenant Decker in one. The screen above his E-bed flashes red.

Let’s check you then. 

I download the most recent parameters the bed has measured to my watch. I throw out my thumb and index above its display to activate the tablet function. Blood pressure: 100 to 80. Good, pulse: 110. Almost okay. Oxygen saturation: 85%. Not okay… Breathing frequency dwindling under 10. Bad. I shake my wrist to retract the tablet. The antidote is wearing off.

Load E-bed 2 with enough Naloxone. Doctor Oscar Welligton, authorization 00.01, code 672779-0.

The unconscious man in front of me looks like he just hopped from the grim reapers grasp, with a nearly translucent, pale skin.

What a disappointment… I do not recall Decker to be a genius, or  even smart. The flashing red on the E-bed monitor stops. His breathing improves visibly, oxygen saturation climbs above 90%. That’s the spirit, Lieutenant. 

This bloke finds the most pleasant way to go. Fearless, without the hunger for oxygen, without the hunger for life. I make a mental note to stock every suit – at least mine – with enough morphine to kill an elephant. This is a manageable last resort.

It is a stroke of genius to use morphine to save himself from asphyxiation. The question remains, if he’s left with cerebral damage. No one knows how long he was cold out, or even breathing… After all, Rains is not to be trusted with precise observation about his colleagues. If I recall correctly, he even broke Decker’s nose in a brawl a month ago.

How’s the lieutenant? 

The captain’s voice rings through the med bay. The com is in override mode on my watch.

Barely alive. I answer. That’s that.

Any permanent damages? 

Can’t tell… Sleeping beauty has to wake up on his own. The morphine still has  about two hours to the  pharmacological half-life. Ask me again in two hours. 

The Captain seems satisfied, and the com dies down. I pull the footage from Decker’s and Rains’ suits.

med bay snippets #1

I look at my bandaged hand in the unnatural green light of the exam room. Nasty… That’s what I would say, if my mouth would do its job. Lips and tongue are swelling and numb. I try not to be too suspicious by licking them. I bet, if you eat a swarm of angry hornets, it would feel the same. Not the regular ones, but the big, Japanese ones, with mean attitude.

Oz is smiling at me, like he always does, when I get into trouble. It’s an equally patronizing and cheering smile, reserved for fuck-ups like me. It’s the smile of a big brother I never had. I’ve seen him do this with his patients too. I can almost hear his habitual mantra.  Unbelievable!

Oz jumbles on his sterile gloves. Elegant trick, how his long slim fingers do the opposite of striptease. Now comes the folding, his fingers clench into a praying gesture. I call it The-praying-Oz.

Hibernation unit. Ate my hand. 

My mangled palm leaks through the bandages. The black stain seeps through the cloth I wrapped around the hand.

I hate this part. The peeling away of bandages, the revealing of hurt, skin, muscle and sinew, maybe bones. The heavy lid traps not only fingers and palm, but the momentum of damage. The will to destroy, the idea to kill needs dear payment. Maybe I pay with more than my blood and my  fine motor skills. My breathing is fast, but not because of pain. I switch my pain sensors off, when I’m about to pull a stunt. To pull a stunt… That’s what Oz calls getting into trouble. Breathing. Fast and shallow, which is a problem. I feel the swelling starting down my throat.

This is bad. I sure hope Oz tries to get me to speak, so he’ll notice. Come on Oz, do your magic! I cheer him on mentally. 

How did you hurt your hand? Tell me!

Oz’s eyes lock on mine. Guided missiles…

I’ll pull the footage afterwards.

They just look like laser guided death on a mission. Thank God, my mouth is out of function, or I might be telling him the truth.

Mffpfen…felin …Ifaf…wetwiiin…it. 

Ah, yes, the perks of drug allergies. Not having to care about the tension in your voice, when you are lying.

My pen is safe, don’t worry about that… Of course, I won’t tell him that I was meddling with the security protocol of that hibernation tank.

I swallowed codeine beforehand and brought a broken ampule. I already swapped it with the one on the table he did not give me, when I stumbled in.

What? Why are you talking so funny?! Epinephrin. Now!  

Oz jumps out of my field of view. Better hurry…

He slams the epipen into my thigh. There they are, the angry hornets with attitude flooding my leg, or is it my lungs? Feels like drifting…

Look at me! Focus!  

I don’t think so….

test costumer 2

  • second draft of  my assignment, eh – still not it…
  • here is the first draft

I update my feed: Natsume’s companion (&) ship. Not to brag, but this is pretty popular revlog on the iView Flash Network, and I’m a pretty popular Flash celebrity. My 6 mill followers say so.  As a pro android tester, I’ve gotten myself quite a reputation.

Valentine Goddess Maiden Cafe Ueno is next. Limited possibilities, limited time, limitless fun. Not stopping for any taboos, or whimsical second thoughts. I take them all the way.

Adjusting my custom interface in my glasses, I walk through Ueno Park, avoiding the masses, the lovers, the loners. My reflection waves me, at the entrance of the Cafe.

Some birds squawk over head. Probably lovesick, and the February cold doesn’t help. Valentine’s Day doesn’t stop at any life form – human or animal, maybe not even artificial. I open a line for the flow of requests, pinging links back and forth to my F.A.Q. wall.

“Welcome Natsume-sama!” The maiden at the entrance  seems to recognize me. “Welcome at the Valentine Goddess Maiden Cafe Ueno. The best table for you.” I nod at her friendly and follow her down a little hallway into a big darkened room. Candles lit on every table, all of them occupied by couples. The maiden leads me to a table at the far back, to a young woman. “This your seat,” she beams at me.”Can I bring you something to drink? Or who’d you like the menu card?”

“No, only hot chocolate for me… Oh, and the premium gold Valentine’s Day package.” The maiden bows and hurries away. I sit down. The woman facing me is smiling. “Hello. What’s your name?“

„It’s a secret. Pick any you like.“