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.

He had imagined it to be more difficult, that someone tried and stopped him. Someone knocked him out, before he did it. Someone tying him up before he could proceed,  with his plan… Nothing. Nothing happened.

Setting everything up has been so unbelievably easy, but the main act, the distraction…

It…

It broke him, scarred him.

It was a sin.

A necessity. But a sin.

He felt it clearly, like the metal door he was leaning against. It was bad. But bad things started a new life.

The deep rattling of the activated escape capsule made it worse. The nausea and  the dizziness were back. His heart tried desperately to crawl out of his thorax.

Before he realized it, he heard someone talking. It was his voice, and his words, but he didn’t remembered opening his mouth. He listened. First it seemed gibberish, distorted words, half understood facts…

Saliva in his mouth turned to acid, he had to spit it out. No way he would be able to swallow that.

If he stayed where he was, everything would end disastrously. Then it made suddenly sense. Imperative. “Dontlookbackdontlookbackrun. Run. RUN!”

If he looked back, he’d go back. Go back and try to save him. And all the work and effort for nothing!

“Oz…” 

He was a friend. A true friend, the best he ever had… His only friend. A sacrifice.

“Point of no return!” He commandeered, just to hear himself over the CPR-alarm. The ship’s life monitoring system did pick up Oz’s cardiac arrest after all. Colored him surprise. He had shut off all surveillance in the lab. Wasn’t enough though. 

“No time for all loose ends.” Override wasn’t possible from the lab, only the setting to self-destruct. On the other side of the doors, the alarm was screaming. “FOCUS! This is important.”

The fabric of the suit was soft in his fists. He had to take it, even if it ment leaving bread crumbs behind. When they found the wreck, they’d be searching for the suits. They’d know it was fishy. And that he was missing.

He was property, after all. Priceless property. But that couldn’t be helped now. He was going to deal with it later.

His tracking device had been deactivated and removed. Oz did it. Happily.

Poor Oz.

His name on the helmet started to gleam. “Proto.” Simple. 

They didn’t allow him a family name.

They were his family, mother and father. They were his owners. Literally. They were Strix Genome United Inc.

Strix… He grinned.

They gave him this name. This despicable. Boring. Unoriginal. Joke of a name.

At least, they could have picked Adam, for man. But no! It had to be the short form for Prototype. Disappointingly predictable. He had asked for another name, one he gave himself. But Strix never allowed it.

He liked Adam, George too, then he remembered Brutus and Marcus. Romans had elegance in choosing names. His choice would be Septim.

He was the seventh clone, the first still alive… Seventh. He had to think of a back story, if he bumped into other humans. He made a mental note and crossed the small chamber to the capsule.

The ticket to freedom lied in front of him. Life pod 4.

“Get yourself together! No guilty trip. Can’t take it back! What happened, happened,” he told himself spurring on. “Can’t turn back. No matter what. Killing a man means death sentence.” Oz would understand. He always did. Sad though, that it had to be this way.

Entering the escape capsule, the door closed automatically. Proto seated himself in the pilot’s seat. Designed for four people, it had enough room and supplies to risk a three months journey to Europe.

The ride would be bumpy, since he changed Harpy’s course into the asteroid belt. He hoped it was enough to catapult him into a safe and steady course to Jupiter. From there it would be child’s play, joining the terra-forming units on Europe, he’d help build that magnetosphere inducing system around the core. It was his chance to be human, and be treated like one…

And no one would take that from him.

“Five, four, three, two, one, zero.” Harpy’s voice counted. With a rapid accelerating boost, the capsule left it’s mother ship. Ascending fast. 

In a safe distance Proto took over manually and switched the autopilot off. Now he had to look. He needed to look.

The ship was nowhere to be seen. He scanned the last coordinates…

“Identified: Traces of crystalline fuel, debris, 
remaining parts of shell and wing panel of: 
interplanetary transporter, Type: J 408/c. 
No S.O.S signal detected.” 

The gleaming writing on the analysis display blinked orange before fading away.

brain storms

(Interstellar)

*

I was once trapped.

Caught and bound.

Wrapped in bones,

flesh and blood and skin.

A hostile universe tied

to me, inside of me.

I knew it, deep down,

felt it move.

Felt is grow.

Dressed up into

my own delusions,

in my own pictures

of the world and me-

it’s leather on skin,

thought on fact,

flesh on bone,

time on space…

Good intentions on sins

clean gloves on dirty hands

Me on me.

And another me.

Infinitely.

said and done

I can’t wait for those nightmares

bad choices snicker at my scares

on the fence I’m drying my sins

guts of a scapegoat fixed with pins

*

Light the fuse, I sit on bombs

I’d stick to the world in your palms

I can’t stop grinding my teeth

Excuse me, let me breathe!

*

Don’t tie me to the back seat!

You can’t hear me praying on repeat.

When I wake up I’m afraid,

I feel cold and betrayed

*

Secretly hiding your good-bye letter

into the sleeves of my favorite sweater

knotted around your swaying waist

We dance – a death tango, fast paced

*

Somebody’s beneath my face

Somebody else took my place

Let me go, or start listening!

 you look – my heart’s blistering

Janus

I can’t stop myself from looking at him – snow white skin, hair, dark as chocolate, topaz eyes borrowed from a bird of prey, soft lips, bowed in a mischievous arch – vibrant memories, which won’t  let me sleep, won’t let me close my eyes. Even if I do, I’ll open them up, asap. Feeling his breath, his gaze peeled to whatever there is to be to be noticed in my face.

Even in the darkness of the room, drawn curtains, and the half moon shining… Even in the solid black mist his eyes seems to glow in that strange orange golden light. He seems to emit it, his faces, his mouthes, his shiny teeth… All screaming curiosity.

“What is it?”

“Nothing. I´ve never seen someone fall asleep before.”

“What? Never? Why?”

“I never sleep. So I’m curious.”

“Suit yourself.” Indeed, I’m exhausted, and ´bout to fall asleep. “So you never sleep, hm? Do you – ever dream?” My lips move lazily. The bed sheets still hot and messed up. Feeling heavy on my skin.

“Yes. But mine are different from yours. I do not lose myself doing so.” His voice softens, moves closer somewhere near my left temple. “And when you’ll lose yourself, you’ll be empty – a living, breathing hollow shell. Just waiting.” His voice sounds now like a whisper, moves suddenly from my left to the right ear… Of course -forgot- two mouthes. Two tongues. Strangely, they sound the same.

Can’t open my eyes, sleep burns inside of them. It is a soft warm black, that keeps dripping, dissolving into my mind. “Mhm. What for?” Words drop out hazily, I just breathe them out.

“For me, to do as I please… Shhh, now. Go back to sleep…”

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.

professional

He looked at the photo closely. His thumb felt the glossy surface of the printed paper. Black and white. Actually this was the photo of a drawing.

The table was a mess. Coffe in different cups, different blends of age, vaporizing ever so slowly. The ashtray looked overcharged. Smoking can kill you- yes it can. The lack of it too…

“Yeah yeah, I know,” that she would say. He imagined  she rolled her eyes.

He was still staring at that picture. Following the outline of her jaw, the way her hair fell, her mouth, and stubbornly trying to avoid her eyes.

His back ached. He had to light the lamp. Outside, the world has been washed. Well, maybe not the whole world, just this side of town. Till now it has been a gentle rain. Usually perfectly fitting for work. But not today. Not yesterday, or the day before yesterday… Not perfect for the last two weeks. He sighed and laid his head on the desk. A headache was coming. He could feel it creeping up his back. Dammit. He won’t be able to sleep. The cold he was feeling on his temple and cheek was soothing. He squeezed his eyes shut.

“Ah, dammit. I have to do it.” He mumbled. They paid already. And he spent it …already.

He grabbed his little black book and went through the notes.

May 7th. She is shopping again. Things she already owns. Ridiculous pink. Childish giggling. He sighed exhausted. She made a boring and shallow impression on him. He  did not understand his client – but he did not have too. He just had to do his job. Accurate and on time.

May 8th. Visiting a  friend. More giggling. Taking photos of each other.

May 12th. She got nearly hit by a car. He has been right behind her and had jerked her back, with all his power. It was a reflex. No one could blame him for that… Even he had such reflexes left in him. She cried and had thanked him, then she ran off. She wasn’t relieved. He tried to follow, but she was faster. He thought she would need some dark corner or hole to hide in. He understood. He understood very well.

May 19th. Ice cream. Strawberry. Vanilla. Such a child. Cheerful as ever. When no one is observing, she sinks her nails into her thighs. There has to be a pain, but she isn’t flinching. What a Drama-queen! Today blue jeans. She met her crush in the streets. Puppy-love. If she knew, where that boy has been before, she’d never kiss that mouth.

turn here

“Hold onto someth-” He doesn’t finish his sentence.

The car skids round the corner with screeching tires. I already have my fingers digging deep into the backseat, but my head thuds against the window anyway.

He’s checking the rearview mirror. I’m not happy. And it’s written all over my face. I just keep my mouth shut, cause I’m grateful to the man who just saved my ass. No comments on his driving.

He floors the accelerator. I rub my head. “It’s going to be a lump” I state.

“Well, dude… That’s your smallest problem.” He grins and throws my wallet on the backseat.

“How did you get hold of it?” I wonder. I don’t remember that he could have swiped it… I look baffled to the mirror, but doesn’t look back, nor does he bother to answer. “Fine. Don’t tell me.”

“So… What do you have in your bag, that is so important?” He asks with a low rumble in his voice. What  have I gotten myself into again?

“Nothing!”

“Fine, don’t tell me. I’ll find it out by myself,” he laughs a throaty laugh. And it’s not benign. I grab my bag tight and lock my arms around it. “I´m just curious”, he tries.

“Curious, my ass!” I spit. Now he’s bursting into honest laughter, slowing the car down to normal speed.

“You hungry? I know a great place!”