Sleipnir

Sleipnir

this is an assignment I’m working on and thought of sharing with you guys-

also content warning: strong language

 

„Where’s – the horse?“ The words. So hard. To speak. Heavy. My eyelids are heavy as stonework. I swat at the light in my eyes and the fingers forcing them open.

„What horse?” The light hurts. Who’s voice is that?

„That kicked me. Somewhere…Chest” Sighing. „Proto?“ The light and fingers retract. The floor is spinning, so I have to hold tight.

Above me, a silhouette fogs up. „Don’t you scare me like that, EVER again!” I know that uniform, that shape. A captain-shaped uniform! Huh… What’s he doing here?

I’m soaked and flat on my back. „Still on the ship, aren’t I?”

„Aye. Still on board of my Sleipnir.“ His words fall on my stomach, their weight make me nauseous. My head is empty. Think! What am I doing down here? Something went wrong. Dosage? Anaphylactic reaction? Why am I wet?

„Oriented to location. Now tell me your name.” I obey.

„Oz. I mean Oscar Wellington. Doctor.”

„Good. Who am I? Don’t roll your eyes, you know the drill. Location, person, time, situation.” Yes. I know the drill.

„2198.“ I don’t have to think. „You’re the captain. Edward Wong.”

A disappointed shade crawls over his face. Or is it anger? I can’t tell. „Do I have to run a drug test on you? Were you high, or what?! How do you explain THIS?” He waves at me, the destroyed electronics and scattered data sheets on the floor. „Why were you locked in, and floating facedown in that tank? Spill it!”

Everything’s smashed… I sit up. Just look at that mess! My work! „I-I dunno.” Six months research! What happened here? “Wires?” What am I hooked up to? A defibrillator unit… „How many shocks did I get?”

“One to 250 and three to 310 Joules. Jumpstarting you wasn’t easy. I might have cracked or broken some of your ribs.”  He looks at his hands, as if they were bloody. “It looked like you wouldn’t make it.”

„Explains why I feel like a schnitzel…”

Eddy’s eyes search for mine. I can’t stand the look. „Who did this?”

Why was I fully dressed, if I was doing a hibernation experiment? “I’m sorry—„ I start pulling off the electrodes of my chest and back. “I can’t remember. All I know is… I was testing new chemical compounds.” My first accident ever. Cardiac arrest is not an option… Strix Genome won’t be pleased with my near-death-experience… Of course, this is not the first accident with hibernation research anyway. CPR is taking long, which means that my electrolyte metabolism is off balance… Where is my safe guard? Where is Proto?

“You mean, you did this on purpose?!” Eddy bellows. “You little prick! You asshat! You were DEAD! No breathing! No pulse! What do you call that?! Fuckin’ power-napping?” Oh-uh. That shade of red can’t be healthy. A human volcano is going to spit a ball of anger right into my face.

“Eddy, I’m sorry.” He grabs my torn shirt and pulls me up to his face, lips tightening.”- Really sorry. Okay?”

“–NO! What if I hadn’t pulled you out in time? Or the liquid destroyed your lungs? There are no prosthetics on board! And you are THE doctor. IDIOT! Even downloading and printing would take nearly half a day!” He lets go and turns to leave, but has some powder left. He’s not done. „Where’s your lapdog? Where is Proto? Isn’t it supposed to watch your back? PROTO? Where are you hiding, you little shit?”

“HE is doing research. I sent him.” At least, I think I did.

The captain turns to the surveillance panel in the medical unit. „Don’t make me laugh! Babe? Who’s on board?”

„Captain, Edward Wong. Doctor, Oscar Wellington. My robot pilots, ninety-six maintenance robots, and my neural hub.” The Sleipnir answers in a flat tone.

„See?” Eddy gives me the I-told-you-so-look. „Where is Proto?” he asks.

„Proto is – not on board.” WHAT?! „His suit is – not on board. Scanning… Scanners are jammed.” Another I-told-you-so-look.

No! Where is Proto? He is priceless! He is a being between an AI and a human clone. A miracle, if you ask me.  For the captain, he’s just an AI, in a meat suit…

With a soft purring of the Sleipnir interrupts. “Warning. Warning. Collision imminent.”

“What the hell is going on?!” The captain shouts sprinting out of my lab.

 


pic by Nasa, the black knight satellite

ink on ash

ink on ash

The schoolyard was going to be a graveyard.

Preparations took two whole days.

Men had been hired to empty the library. I watched them slowly pile up manuals, maps, and books. Considering the size of that heap, it was going to be an impressing fire.

The library must be empty by now… The librarian, a small withered woman with huge glasses and grey hair tied to a knot, ran nervously from one corner of the building to the other. That quiet, dark room has been her home, for who knows how long. Now the books were gone, and the emptiness took over the shelves, cupboards, desks.  Continue reading “ink on ash”

SCOOTER

SCOOTER

The screen flickered to life. A simulation of the landscape hidden under the thick blue methane and helium clouds unraveled itself. My custom navigation grid stretched over it, and listed all promising magnetic anomalies in the partially viscous crust. Areas of seismic instability stretched further into the polar regions. That was what the analysis program showed me in the lower right corner. I threw out my right index and thumb and the writing faded away. I did not plan to stick around to witness any crust activity.

Through the bull’s eye the surface seemed so peaceful and lush blue. It reminded me of Earth. The upper atmosphere showed a relievo ribbon of white clouds further to north to our orbiting position.

What bothered me most were the atmospheric pockets and the wind velocity, unpredictable and vicious. Even the CPU had problems showing me depressurization timely. Scooter was approaching faster than the simulations showed. Something was off. I had less time than calculated. That peacefully looking blue under me was deadly. It was ready to tear me and my glider to shreds. If anything went wrong, I could only hope for a fast death. Continue reading “SCOOTER”

The Rio Negro Game

The Rio Negro Game
Backstory to "BOCA DE MORTE"

 

Pick yourself a nightmare!“ Howard snorted and waved patronizingly at the swinging boat hulls. They bobbed up and down, in the brownish shoals of the Rio Amazonas. The plank under our feet creaked, so I showed Howard towards one of the newest looking boat. It hit me, that new was just a mere concept in Manaus. New meant anything under 15 years, more or less. My partner gave me the brow. „You know, there are easier ways to-“

Shut up ’n move!“ I had no intention on striking roots here. It smelled of dead fish and rotting vegetables, if we stayed longer we’d put on mold. The sweltering heat was getting on my nerves. Dammit!

My. Aren’t we cheerful today? Nicky? Really?! A death-stare? I’ll be another mystery death. A body with two holes in the chest, burnt all the way through. Oh, noes … Just imagine the newspapers will write horrible headers, that the Chupacabra finished a mighty good-looking tourist. What a terrible loss to humanity… Seriously. …Stop it. Continue reading “The Rio Negro Game”

Septim

Septim

He felt the pressure-lock shutting behind him. Latching. He clutched at his suit and breathed.

To catch a sane thought he tried to shake off the wooziness, but his head was spinning,  fingers tingling. All that adrenalin screaming through his system. The sensation of moving skin and muscles under his hands. The fading power of defense, which wasn’t a defense anymore. His arms would remember that feeling as long as he lived. The nausea was overwhelming. A big gulp forced his stomach back down.

Continue reading “Septim”

orange

orange

With a low growl she pushes me away, as I try to kiss her. She turns her head.

Just breathe in. Fine! Still angry! Whatever.

I seat myself, in one of those rattan chairs waiting for customers outside the Cafe. “Ah, the sunshine! So nice. I’m fed up with winter. And it’s not only me. The birds are going crazy, specially blackbirds. One of them tried to give me a haircut, flying by. I had to duck.” It really is warm enough to enjoy the sun and the blue sky. “Why are we meeting here again? I had lunch cooked… You know. At least you could have told me earlier.”

“Mmmhm…” She hasn’t ordered anything till now? Waiting isn’t her forte. I wonder… She looks absently to the passers by. Maybe it is something more than the usual trouble. “Now what’s with those coffees?!” Rhetorical. How should I know? She sounds impatiently. Oh, so she did order then. After a nightshifts she’s usually grumpy – caffeine makes her bearable… No scenes in public, she’s not doing that. Neither do I, which may be the perk of meeting here, I guess. Waiter is nowhere to be seen. Her fingers drum on the table.

“I don’t know, maybe the waiter just borded a plane to Brasilia for those beans…” A cheap one, I admit. Well, she’s not relaxing. Neither do I. I don’t need this…

We have issues.

Yes, we both know it. Our relation is – how do I put it – dying. Slowly dissolving into the daily routines of both of us. At least we’d don’t have to talk about it… Here. “You know, something weird happened today. I don’t think you will believe me. Hell, not even I believe it. But it happened.”

She looks at me with that expression on her face, saying “Try me”.

“On my way here, I encountered a group of odd-looking orange man. I parked, and got out of the car. But then, a black van pulled over. The tailgate flew open, and a lot of orange men spilled out. ´Bout twenty, I guess. All dressed in orange, from head to toe. I first thought, this was a – donno – happening, some weird art, an add or simply a prank. But the orange men ran up to every one walking on the street. One of them tugged my hand and scratched me with something on the back of my hand. Here. It stung. See? It left a little mark there, it even bled. I don’t know what it was. He just smiled and said – ‘You’re welcome.’ What do you make of that?! And then, they all ran back to that van and jumped in. The car drove off with screeching tires.”

“Right. I don’t believe it.” She’s pale. “You making this up. Stop with your stories! All lies. All LIES.” She glares now at me.

“What? NO! What lies? I’m not a liar! I’m a writer! I live with stories, they pay the rent and your clothes and food. And this one is true.” I protest. It is true. “God! What’s up with you anyway?”

She looks at me dead serious. “I’ve read the one you left on your desk…” What does she means? I don’t let stuff lie around. Usually…

“It’s about me, isn’t it? That’s why you left it lying around. For me to find it! Since when did you know? Tell me! And you kept silent. For what? If you knew bout me and Andy, why not fighting for us?!”

“What…?” Confused, I try to understand. I swallow. “What did you just say?” Barely audible question. This hurts. It’s not fair. No, it wasn’t a question. I’ve got to sort things out. I’m not staying. Not making a scene, eh? What a fucking joke. “…Why?” No I don’t want to hear an answer. Just go. Go. GO.

I try not to bump into everyone.

The black van pulls up again. It slows down, to match my walking speed. “So… How did you like that luck-infusion? You’re welcome,” grins the man in orange, from the passenger seat. “You know, things we need are not equal to those we want. Now have a good day, sir. Try not to waste the rest of it. It wears off easily, if wasted.” He smiles.

night bird

night bird

A Chuck Wending – THE RANDOMIZED TITLE REARS ITS HEAD – prompt

*

Trapped in our nightmares, we let them lead our salvation.

Oh god, there it is. The burn.

Again. In my head.

The pencil runs down at the bottom of the “Happy Lotus” takeout menu. Get out!

This line has been nesting between my ears for month; and now just slipped, wriggled itself from the tip of my tongue. Bad eel. I haven’t been able to exorcise myself from it. I turn it over hundred thousand times. It hurts. It… Hurts.

Continue reading “night bird”

frequency

frequency

Okay! Don’t look now… but I just busted the lock on 388.

Yeah, yeah. Don’t be so shocked!

As if you never slipped! – With a bolt cutter. On a lock.

I mean, come on… We’re on the same side here, aren’t we? We’re havin’ a little fun! You ’n me… Little snoopin’ round, little snuffin’ out. It’s what I do for livin’. No, I’m a part-time jacker. I know it’s not so reputable, but I ain’t a reputable man. So don’t bother.

Continue reading “frequency”

threats

Mr. Jones’ psychotic adventures – part 4

-part 3-part 2-part 1


Ziggy is sitting across the table. You will not give him any food, not even a pinch. As punishment. Anyone, who behaves like that doesn’t get a bit from the delicious dinner you are making.

You concentrate on Marina. Yes, that´s her name. She’s your beautiful tailed woman. She was surprised seeing you again at her door, but she accepted your offer. So you did well last night after all. That makes you proud.

She changes as you start preparing. Sweet potatoes, apples, flour, eggs, salmon, cutting herbs and that stuff. She makes you coffee. Still no milk. But she shows you where the sugar is. She´s smiling. She´s beautiful, you state that and swallow. She giggles.

Continue reading “threats”

The Harpy

part 1 - another way to die
 

“Ugh. Stop. Go away!” I chase away the light and the fingers forcing my eyes open. „Where’s the horse?“ I crow.

„What horse?“ Who’s voice is that? The light hurts my eyes.

„That kicked me in the chest? Catch it, before it runs off.“ Sighing. The light and fingers retract. “Proto? Is that you?” I try to sit up, but the floor is spinning.

“No. Don’t you scare me like that, EVER again! Stay where you are, you hear me?” Looks like an uniform. I know that uniform. I know that shape. A captainshaped uniform… Oh… I’m in serious trouble. His silhouette swims into my field of view. Why is he kneeling beside me? Huh… I’m soaked. Why? I’m definitely too groggy for any of these answers. „Still on the ship, aren’t I?”

Continue reading “The Harpy”