Sins of a Dying World's Journal|
[Most Recent Entries]
Below are the 5 most recent journal entries recorded in
Sins of a Dying World's LiveJournal:
|Sunday, July 6th, 2008|
The Earth Stood Still 5
Sins of a Dying World
Regaining her composure, Andera left the common area and headed down an all too familiar hallway. She came this way whenever she had questions that needed answers, though usually she came away with no answers and more questions. Still, it was a common pilgrimage place for not only her, but most of the colony. Something about it always drew them back.
She passed the data banks that contained libraries full of information. They had answers to a lot of questions, but she wasn't sure she really wanted to know them. Rounding a corner, two large double doors stood before her, their windowless faces towering even taller than Scar did. A lump in her throat gave her hesitation, told her she shouldn't keep coming here, that there was nothing left for her. No matter how many times she told herself that, she still found herself drawn here.
Lowering her eyes, she pushed open the doors and stepped into the room, letting them swing closed behind her. They closed with little more than a gust of wind against her back, the hinges oiled to prevent the slightest creaking. The room was warm and humid, it always was. The heat added to the ambiance, like a warm blanket wrapped around her.
Andera dared not lift her eyes just yet. She stood at the entrance, frozen in place as she listened to the noises of the room. The gurgling sound of tubes full of liquid, the quiet hum of electronics and the quiet musical chime of hard objects bumping against glass. A muffled sound, like an infant's cries, came from a distant corner of the room. She tried to ignore it, but couldn't help as it tugged the corner of her mouth into a smile.
Mustering her resolve, she allowed her head to slowly bring her eyes up to take in the room. Large glass tubes full of colored liquids lined the walls of the room, many of them filled with small wriggling shapes. Even among the still developing fetuses, she could make out wings and tails, even the occasional set of bumps that would indicate horns or spikes. Hundreds of tubes filled with every viable genetic combination the machine could find, yet all terminally flawed.
Cautiously walking up to the central dais, her eyes were drawn to the large machinery hanging from the ceiling. Dozens of robotic arms and faces were suspended with hydraulic cables far up in the darkness. A pang of loss touched Andera's heart as she sat in the central chair and waited patiently. The arms moved between tubes, checking for defects or flaws that might have crept in.
Suddenly one of the heads swiveled and went to where a pair of arms far above had found something amiss. Peering into the tube, the head nodded silently to the arms, who unscrewed the tube from the wall and spirited it away up into the blackness. She wondered for a moment what would happen to the child within, if it could be saved, or if it was determined unfit.
Andera's worries fled her mind as several of the machine's arms and faces descended down next to her on the dais. She stood up and the hands gently picked her up, suspending her a dozen feet above the ground in a careful embrace. She reached up to kiss the lifeless face, holding the steely visage close against her own. She cried softly against the cold metal, somewhere deep inside knowing this was wrong, but trying desperately not to care.
She had missed Mother.Chromosomes are rearranged between species to ensure that interbreeding is discouraged to preserve genetic differences. Best to leave such work to the machines than try to find two compatible humans these days.
|Saturday, July 5th, 2008|
The Earth Stood Still 4
Sins of a Dying World
Waking up from her nap, Andera lay curled up on the bed, her long slender tail wrapped around her legs. The bed wasn't much to speak of, a small ledge jutting out of the wall with a bit of padding on it. The rest of her room was no better, consisting mostly of salvaged furniture from nearby houses and office buildings. She glanced over at the lone piece of personality in the room: a large crystalline egg she'd recently acquired while out "shopping".
The crystal itself was clear as a cool pool of water, lit from deep inside by a strange flickering light that seemed to shimmer and shift colors ever so slightly. She puzzled over the source of the light, since it didn't resemble the LED lights that lit the darkest corners of the colony. Her eyes lingered on it for a few minutes before she dragged herself out of bed and headed toward the common area.
She wandered down the hallway, her head numb as she recalled the events of the previous day. Around her, recessed lights gave off a soft red glow that seemed to drench the world in blood for a long, dreadful moment. Even the thin synthetic carpet looked wet under the eerie lights. She paused to consider why someone had taken the time to lay carpet when the bare floor was serviceable enough. A smile crossed her lips as she realized the hallway to Dis had been carpeted with good intentions.
Pausing briefly in front of the door to Scar's room, she pondered knocking. Maybe he would want to come with her to the common area. He'd seemed happy enough to see her yesterday. She decided against knocking, he was probably fast asleep anyways and didn't want to be disturbed. He was always grumpy when he woke up, and even worse if he was disturbed. Deciding that discretion was the better part of valor, she continued on down the hall to the common area.
The room opened up before her as she stepped out of the dark hallway and into the light. Dozens of people bustled around the room, some almost normal, others looking like their namesakes in Hell. From huge muscular goat-men with horns that scraped the ceiling to small nubile women with pointed tails and leathery wings, they'd all been made to be better than normal. Somewhere in the equations, the human element had been factored out.
Across the room she spied a large majestic fin with piercings running its length. The fin rose from a reptilian face with shifty eyes and scales the color of burnt coal. The figure was unmistakably her friend Jet, whom she hadn't seen in over a month.
Bounding across the room, Andera leaped into the air and tackled the tall, thin man. With a surprised yelp, he toppled easily, Andera pinning him to the ground. He hissed and struggled before relaxing with a sigh. He quit trying to escape and smiled up at her.
"Long time no see Andera," he chuckled, his eyes flicking over her form.
"Likewise you rascal. How come you haven't returned my calls?"
He paused, turning his gaze away from hers. His forked tongue flicked in and out nervously at the tone of her voice as he struggled for what to say next.
"I'm sorry. I've been busy."
She cocked her head to the side. "What have you been up to?"
"We've been testing a new MAGE prototype."
Her eyes widened. This was big news, no wonder he'd been keeping quiet about it.
"How far along is it?"
"Almost done. We're hoping to have a public demonstration in a week or two."
"What's the range on it like?"
He laughed. "This baby could pull an angel right out of Eden."
She hit him playfully on his fin, setting the rings jingling. "No, seriously."
"You'll just have to wait for the demonstration," he grinned impishly.
Suddenly, Andera felt a tingling coursing up her arms. She tried to open her mouth to protest, or pull her arms away, but her muscles wouldn't move. A terrible lurching feeling swamped her body as she regained use of her muscles. She was lying on her back, gasping for air, her head swimming with colors and pain. Jet slowly stood up from where she'd pinned him to the floor on the other side of the room. Everyone was silent, some of them looking at Andera, most of them gawking at Jet.
He grinned over at her. "I guess you got the demonstration a little bit early."
Without waiting for a response, he turned and walked away, waving curtly back at her as he disappeared out of sight. It was several minutes before Andera was able to stand up, hesitantly wobbling to her feet and blinking through blurry eyes. Jet was good, really good.Every time man harnesses one of the primal forces of the universe, a new one emerges. First our ancestors controlled the wild fire. Next we harnessed electricity. We learned to break the atom and merge it. Now we have harnessed the power to destroy the atom, the power of anti-matter. Each step of the evolution gave man more power to create.
And more power to destroy.
|Friday, July 4th, 2008|
The Earth Stood Still 3
Sins of a Dying World
The setting sun lit the room with flaming shades of dusky red. Hours had passed since her encounter with the alien. Luckily, her adversary had not pursued her this far. Shakily, Andera raised herself on her elbows and stretched her wings experimentally. They still hurt, she wasn't going to risk another stunt like that again tonight. Sighing grudgingly, she stood up and followed the signs towards the stairs.
Once she was safely outside the building, Andera's slitted eyes took in her surroundings. Judging by the craters and scorch marks, a battle had been fought here not long ago. Machine parts and discarded weapons littered the area like a child's forgotten playthings, and the smell of hot plasma still hung in the air.
Making her way to a nearby sewer grate, she carefully lifted it up and moved it aside, revealing a rusty ladder into the darkness below. Turning so that her feet went first, she descended a few rungs of the ladder before reaching up and pulling the grate closed. The darkness welcomed her into its fold.
Trudging through the sewer was never Andera's favorite way of getting home. The slippery slime that coated every available surface made travel precarious but at least it was out of the line of fire. She knew most of the routes by heart, but she stopped every once in a while to run her hands along the walls to check the way. Worn smooth by countless hands, the notches pointed the way home, reassuring her as she pressed on into the darkness. The first thing she was going to do when she got back was take a bath.
Judging by the dim light streaming in from above, it was almost an hour later that she reached the exit. Grasping the slippery ladder, she climbed to the top and lifted the grate out of the way. She still had a couple blocks to go before she would see anyone, but she knew she was now safe. She was at the edge of the perimeter, and nothing bigger than a flea moved without the whole colony knowing about it. Replacing the sewer cover, she strode down the familiar street towards her home.
She had almost made it to the door when a beast of a man swung it wide open and charged her, wrapping his arms around her. He stood a good foot and a half taller than her, his curved horns adding another foot on top of that. His pants were tight around his thick legs, trailing off into tatters to reveal thickly furred legs with cloven hooves instead of feet. None of his features, however, compared to his chiseled chest and barrel arms that were squeezing the air out of her.
Gasping for air, Andera struggled girlishly to get away from the affectionate embrace.
"Oh c'mon you big meanie. I'm not hurt THAT much." she chided, trying to squirm out of his arms.
"What, I can't just give my lil sis a hug because I missed her," he grinned back, his pointed teeth peeking between his lips.
With a drawn out sigh, Andera crossed her arms and pouted. With a hearty chuckle the big man set her down carefully, as though she were made of glass.
"So how's my little devil today," he asked.
She glared at him, her eyes flickering dangerously. "Not funny Scar. You know I hate that."
"I'm kidding, I'm kidding, geez," he held up his hands defensively.
After holding an angry face for a few more seconds, she sighed and leaned against him, holding him close.
"I'm sorry. I just hate when people say things like that. Angels, Demons... like we're the bad guys. And to top it all off, we've got aliens and robots trying to kill us every move we make. I can't take it Scar."
Resting his calloused hand on her shoulder, he sighed. "I know. None of us wanted to be like this, but we have to play the hand we're dealt."
Nodding quietly, the two of them strode in through the door and descended the stairs into Dis. Far below, she could make out forms in the dim light. Horns, wings and tails were common. Some stood upright and others walked hunched or on all fours. Some had long reptilian jaws, while others had sweeping, drawn back faces. A few even had scales or gills, the result of some of the more esoteric genetic combinations.
She wondered how long it had been since mankind had stopped being human.We sought to master our bodies and perfect nature - and we destroyed humanity.
The Earth Stood Still 2
Sins of a Dying World
Andera jolted back to reality. Where there was one spider bot, there were usually more, and she was little more than a sitting duck to any airborne adversaries. Glancing nervously in the direction of the distant cloud city of Eden, she crept across the rooftop and perched precariously on the edge. An updraft caught her leathery wings and she leapt into the yawning abyss.
The wind whistled around her as she barely managed to slow her rapid descent, angling herself towards another nearby building. Her wings weren't strong enough to fly, but they were able to slow her fall and allow her to glide if the draft was good. Pulling herself into a ball at the last minute she crashed through a glass window a dozen floors below her starting point.
Waiting for her stinging cuts to subside, Andera lay there on the ground for a minute listening for signs of movement. Relieved at the silence, she stood up and dusted herself off. Aside from her recent impromptu entry, it seemed like no one had disturbed this place for months or more. A choking layer of dust covered every inch of the floor, a thick fog of it thrown into the air by her landing. Coughing quietly, she confidently strode towards the exit, following the unlit exit signs.
Stop. Between her footsteps, she heard a sound. A quiet, padding noise, like soft leathery shoes sneaking across the floor. She swore to herself and pulled out her pistol, adjusting the dial again.
She hated aliens.
Peering around each corner she came across, she crept towards where she'd heard the sound. She heard it again, closer this time. Then she heard the hum. A faint high-pitched whine that would have been inaudible to most people. She flinched, wishing she could plug her ears somehow, but it would do her no good. Listening intently to the humming, she adjusted the dial on her pistol a couple notches to the left.
The piercing whine grew louder and the footsteps came closer. The alien's heavy feet made leathery flopping sounds as they padded across the floor looking for her. She listened to the way the sound bounced off the walls, trying to position her enemy in her mind. She waited for the footstep that would put him right where she wanted.
There it was.
She spun around the corner and fired straight down the hallway with her pistol. A green lance of light lit up the dark corridor, but stopped just short of the dark skinned alien at the end. A globe of light expanded around the figure, almost blindingly bright as the force field absorbed her shot harmlessly. A look of panic crossed Andera's face as she turned and sprinted towards the exit.
The leathery footsteps flapped behind her and the humming changed pitches rapidly. The cacophony was giving her a headache - it rose, fell, and jumped between frequencies without pattern. She'd never outrun him on foot, she had to jump again. Her wings weren't fully healed yet, but she had to risk it.
Turning a corner, she ran straight for a window and jumped out of it. This time there was no updraft, no time to plan for a good moment. She stretched her wings as wide as she could and hoped that she'd make it.
The wind shrieked by as she began falling. Her wings struggled to control her descent, to carry her across the street to the next building. The ground rushed towards her, every second faster than the last. Fear gripped her throat as air fled her lungs and she fought to take a breath. Time seemed to stand still as the last few stories of safety slipped away.
She plunged through a large glass window only a couple floors above street level. Shards of glass tore through her wings as she tumbled painfully across the floor, colliding with the door on the far side of the room.
Her whole body hurt. Her wings were badly torn, they'd take at least a day to heal, and she was pretty sure she'd broken a few bones that time. She lay on the ground, keeping her breathing as quiet as possible. She would wait until dark this time.We called out into the darkness, seeking dwellers in the void, and they came to destroy humanity.
|Thursday, July 3rd, 2008|
The Earth Stood Still
Sins of a Dying World
Wiping sweat from her face, Andera stood looking out over the sunset. She was tired from the long hike up the stairs - the elevators hadn't worked in years. Now, on the roof of a skyscraper, she looked down on the remnants of what had once been a sprawling city.
Her hand drifted idly to the small horns on her head, running her fingertips over them. Her eyes darted across the ground far below where fights still raged over what few resources the city had to offer. Explosions rang out from far across the city, followed by a thunderous rumble as a distant skyscraper's final support was destroyed.
A noise behind her drew her attention from the action below. A spider robot had scaled the building and was scrambling towards her. With a quick tuck and roll, she dodged out of the way and drew a sidearm from her boot. Spinning around to face the metal creature, she spun the dial on the side of her weapon with her thumb. The weapon hummed with energy as she frantically tracked her adversary and fired. A single red beam lanced out and pierced the shell of the spider bot, cleanly cutting through the circuits inside.
The threat averted, she stood and strode over to the smoking remains. A swift kick sent it over the edge, plummeting to the asphalt far below. Her eyes drifted to the sick sky above, as she recalled the words of the Book of Memories.We built machines of war to destroy each other, and now they seek to destroy humanity.