Grammar be damned. I hate editing my work in fact I never do. To fix this I’m forcing myself through an online grammar course for the next 5 weeks. Somehow I ghosted through the public school system and college with a rudimentary grasp on grammar, yet I still write and read more than anyone I know? Until that tedious task is taken care of I’ll continue to shower you with unedited rough drafts. Also if you can’t tell I’m struggling at formatting the text on wordpress, every time I paste my writing in all of the paragraph breaks and indents disappear. Its a mystery that I don’t care to solve today. hopefully the next post will be ‘more legible’.
I stumbled across an inspiring photo gallery. Over the next few weeks I’d like to use each image as a writing prompt. Here’s the first one. It took sort of a weird\dark turn but I’m satisfied. You never really know what will spew out of my mind when I gaze at a photo for too long.
– cheers and what not.
Like jets in the distance the thunder continued to roll. Punctuated by artillery claps of lightening the storm lingered over Malovia as if the land itself wept. The capital had fallen, with it the moral of the Malovians drained towards the Barllian Sea. It hadn’t merely fallen; in fact it had been obliterated. The Gausten blockade leaders must have grown weary of their attrition game, nobody could know now. The towering spire of New Juseil had cast a warm shadow over Malovia since its construction some centuries before. Like the hand of a clock or a giant sundial New Juseil’s shadow claimed what was hers.
However, the man in the shadows was far from finished. At the first sign of incoming ordinance New Jusiel’s defensive shields sprang to life bathing the twenty two mile tower in a green shimmer. The gilding of energy reflected the first few blasts, sending their payloads careening of course to light up the hillsides. The man in the shadows shut it off as told. The proud spire city of New Juseil collapsed on itself leaving a plume of sorrow and hopelessness that rained debris on Malovia. The man in the shadows died a thousand deaths as the tower crashed down in/around/on him. Each time his nanomolecular cells blasted apart and found each other again. They could do nothing to stop the pain. The man in the shadows rested. His liquefied true form filled a crater left by who knows what.
The Guasten blockade was crushed by the wreckage, he could hear survivors. Their cries were drowned out by the storm, nobody would save them.
Justine was with them, posing as a tactician. She had embedded herself into the Gausten forces over the last ten years, as she was told. The man in the shadows received new orders. The signal came from where it always had; his unknown masters pulled all the strings from high in orbit.
“Cancel current objective, New Juseil has been compromised. Malovia is a lost cause. Find Justine and await coordinates for evac.” There was a pause as the speaker moved closer to the transponder. “Rickard” he whispered. “It wasn’t your fault; you know we can’t stop them all. None of our tellers saw that coming. Find Justine, her distress beacon has been pinging us for the last hour. We’ll have several months of rest, Hithero is the next stop.”
The man in the shadows winced as command used his given name. ‘Compromised’ is right this would set Malovia back centuries the people may never recover. It was his fault, but he didn’t grieve. He was tired of preventing wars. He rose out of the puddle standing nearly seven feet tall. The nanomolecules rippled allowing each rain drop to pass through his Stygian form. He tuned into to Justine’s frequency and headed east towards the distress ping. The ever present downpour of rain overflowed the Gyres River, new tributaries cut into the farm land and wound their way around gargantuan pieces of wreckage. Rickard let himself slip into one and flow with the water.
He found her. She was dead. He removed the CPU nodule from her throat and vowed to find her a new body on Hithero.
“Command, Justine did not survive the wreckage. Her nodule was destroyed as well.” He lied.
“Sending coordinates for extraction, you’re coming home.”
The man in the shadows had no home not sense command has whisked him away and turned him into their stealthy pacification pawn. The man in the shadows had had enough. The sleek shuttle settled down into the mud. Its curved side yawned open for him to enter, and he did. He sat waiting for the docking klaxon to sound before de materializing into the air of the shuttle. As the shuttle depressurized he allowed himself to be taken away by the command ships air filtration system.
“The shuttle has returned. Where are you?”
They would triangulate his position soon. He rode the air ducts towards the bridge. He had never been on the bridge but the Tellers were there. The security was tight but his molecules could fit through one at a time. He gradually materialized next to a vent in an ancillary chamber that must have been used when humans piloted the ship. The Tellers didn’t need anything to survive other than the life force of the universe, if life thrived so did they. If wars occurred and civilizations snuffed themselves out the Tellers suffered. The man in the shadows knew of four command ships like the one he was on, it wouldn’t be a quick process to end their egotistic pacification crusade. Civilization had not survived for so long by keeping the peace. War progressed humanity. With each world shattering battle thousands of innovations were made that allowed society to grow and learn from its mistakes. Since the Tellers began their façade of assistance humanity remained stagnant.
“Rickard, we know you’re here. Please be warned that you have disobeyed them. They Tellers want to blank you, the onl–“ The gurgling noise followed by static could only be the captains last breath.
The man in the shadows was angry. His sprint made no noise; each stride touched the ground with a scientific grace, projecting sound waves to cancel the would-be-ringing footsteps. He approached the bridge and saw pieces of Captain Gherilt slumped over the console, blood dripped from the remains.
“Where are you!” he screamed. Gherilt was the only man he knew for the last two decades.
“Show yourselves, I will not stand for this any longer!”
“As you wishhhhhh.” The pressure in the room dropped and a silver portal opened in the far wall. The gelatinous Teller shambled into view. The man in the shadows retched. The Teller was an amalgamated disaster of a beast. A plethora of appendages and tentacles separated by gaping maws, some fanged and screaming others lax and drooling. The anguish of seeing and hearing the Teller sent The man in the shadows to his knees. He could hardly maintain his structure. Each piercing howl from the teller was accompanied by an EMP like wave that would slowly blank him. The cycle ends today. He would avenge the unknown number of men that had been blanked before him. If he didn’t they would wipe the nanomolecules and uplift another poor soul. The mantle of the Pacification Pawn was one that he would bear forever. Humanity would once again roll forward through bloody conflict like it always had. He stood on shaky feet and took three steps towards the Teller.
“You’re a foollllll, of all the asinine attempts your ‘people’ have made yours has to be the most ill-conceived. What will you do to meeee? There are hundreds more roaming your universeeeee doing the same thing. You and I, Rickard Riechalie son of Romus Riechalie and rightfulllllll heir to the planet of Kilex are but a smudgeeeee on the cosmic painting. This is your people’s fateeeee!’
Blanked nanomolecules rained down from him as he strode closer and closer towards the Teller. They plinked and bounced across the bridge floor by the hundreds.
“Inaction is not action. Pacification is not an answer; Humanity begins its stand against the Tellers today. You’re right; we are nothing in the grand scheme of things. You are nothing.” The man in the shadows was blanked. Rickard Riechalie son of Romus Riechalie was no more.
Far beneath them Justine was waking up. She could feel blood; no it was rain a steady patter of rain against her skin. Her visual systems were coming online too. She blinked and rolled over her hands sunk deep into the muddy bank of a river and she rose to her feet. The face of a female android stared back at her in the river. At least she was a woman this time. But what happened? She took in the landscape around her Malovia was devastated. A notification chime sounded and recording began to play.
“Justine. I am no more. Malovia is no more. The Tellers have no doubt blanked me by now. What we’re doing is not saving anybody. Humanity was meant to rise and fall in spikes of innovation like an eternal wave. Hard times forge us and force us to be creative. Peace is a cancer that will get us nowhere. I’ve told the Tellers you were dead and disabled this androids locaters. You have a chance Justine, a chance to fight them. There are others aware of the Tellers, find them. Find them and organize a resistance. I don’t know how to stop them but there must be a way. Humanity needs war, humanity is war. Bring the war to the Tellers and help us break free from their reins. There must be thousands of pacification pawns like us capable of who knows what, they’ll be necessary in the centuries to come. Enjoy your freedom, our freedom.”
She stood and looked up at the clouds above her in mourning. The man in the shadows did not die in vain.