Please log in or create an account.


A good community based around general roleplay. We're accepting of any and all who love to write, read, and share!
 
HomeHome  RegisterRegister  Log inLog in  

Share | 
 

 New Beginnings

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
Go to page : 1, 2, 3, 4  Next
AuthorMessage
Razgriz
The Oldest Crones Alive
avatar

Posts : 13529
Join date : 2011-07-18
Age : 25

PostSubject: New Beginnings   02/03/13, 09:55 am

Author: Razgriz

My lungs were burning, sweat dripping down my back as I ran across the rooftop. Vaulting over an air conditioner unit, I was coming up fast on the edge of the building, a gap between it and the next. I wasn't worried though, having jumped over alleys of similar size hundreds of times before. And I doubt this will be the one alley I can't jump, the words shouted within my mind, as I jumped off the edge and over the alley. It was an amazing feeling, even if it lasted for a brief moment. It felt like flying, though it ended all too soon when my legs impacted the roof of the next building, knees bending as I ducked into a roll. Parkour was a way to get around, and in all honesty it sure as hell beat the crowded side-walks. Plus, there was no real worry of getting mugged or being pick-pocketed. A sudden vibration in my pocket jarred me back to reality, and I came to a stop, sitting down on a metal cube, one of the vents on the roof. Extracting my phone, I felt a pit form in my stomach. 'Kat,' the screen read. Oh great.....it was my sis. Opening the phone, I brought it my ear. "Hey sis, what's going on?" was all I could say. "James, where are you?" Ah right, where are my manners? James Conner, at your service. At only five and a half feet tall, dark hair, tanned skin and an athletic build, I wasn't exactly an exceptional teenager, freerunning aside. Pretty average to look at really. At only fifteen years old, I wasn't the kind of kid you'd expect to see running around rooftops, but here we are. I had to choose my words carefully, or else risk the wrath of Kat. She hated it when I was out running on roofs, even though I more at home doing parkour than walking on a street. "Just.....taking a jog around. I'm at the school track." Man did I pray she bought the lie. She made a surprised sound though. "Oh, well then that works James, because I'm at the school right now. Remember, today was the meeting with your teacher?"

Holy fucking shit......the school was maybe ten blocks away, no way I could make it in time. And to add to it, there was also the fact that I blew off the meeting. Long story short, I was doing badly in class, and my teacher called a meet. If you're wondering why my sis was there, and not one of my parents.....they're dead. Both of them. Katherine was all I had now, and vice versa. As if my sudden panic were transmitted through the phone, I all but heard the disappointment in her voice. "You're not actually at the school track, are you?" Eyes closed, I felt the bottom of my stomach fall. I didn't want to disappoint my sister, she was the only family I had left. But class, school.....it barely appealed to me. I only went because I had the one real friend there, and even then that was barely enough. It wasn't that I was stupid or anything, far from it. But I enjoyed being out, running around, and not stuck in a classroom. I only did it because.....well, because it was what my sister wanted for me. "No," I said. "No I'm not. But if you can stall for me, I can be there soon." She sighed again. "Dammit James....just get here, okay? We can discuss this later, but right now just get here."

_________________
What is a man but the sum of his choices?

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Deal with the root of the problem, never the branches." - Alex CasaMadrid

"Good men mean well. We just don't always end up doing well." - Isaac Clarke
Back to top Go down
http://atlantis117@gmail.com
Razgriz
The Oldest Crones Alive
avatar

Posts : 13529
Join date : 2011-07-18
Age : 25

PostSubject: Re: New Beginnings   02/03/13, 10:56 pm

"Sure thing Kat. I'm on my way," was all I said, before I hung up and started running again. I had ten blocks worth of rooftop and obstacles to traverse, all while running at top speed. This was going to be fun. So, I figure some explaining is in order. Welcome to the year 2034, New York City. Well, I wasn't really in the Big Apple, just across the Hudson from it in Brooklyn. A lot had happened over the past twenty years, and I only knew the start of things from my history class. When oil resources ran out in 2014, none of the existing alternatives could fill the gap, and suddenly we had the Resource Wars. From 2015 to 2028, the whole world got covered in war, even the states. Hell, Brooklyn and the Big Apple took some flack, and most of my hometown still had the scars. We managed to rebuild, but it was still there to see. Anyway, my dad was a soldier in the war, and was KIA. Hardly had any memories of him, just a few pictures. I was born in the war, and he was away on service. My sis knew him better, she was ten years older than me so she got to spend more time with him. As for mom, I knew her right up until she got killed in a mugging gone wrong four years ago. I tried not to remember the way she looked then, when we had to ID the body. She was a kind woman, and a good parent. That's where Kat came in. Being the legal adult, she took custody of me since no other relatives were around. She got a job at a tech company, sorry, the tech company. Nexus corporation. They were famous for ending the war, after creating a sustainable form of fusion energy and sharing the designs with practically everyone that could afford it. Nexus didn't quite have a monopoly, but there were always conspiracy theories on how they created dozens of shell companies or legitimate companies that were secretly owned by Nexus so that they did create everything. Frankly, if that was the case it wasn't all that bad. Prices were decent, fair even. Besides, Nexus wasn't that bad; because of them the war was ended (in the majority of places anyway) and they had actually helped create dozens of medical advances, technological advances. Hell, they were based in New York itself, and the city got so many benefits from it all it wasn't called the Big Apple anymore. Now they called it the Gilded Apple.

And now back to our regularly scheduled race against time. I was rushing down the fire-escape of the last building, and I still had a ways to go before reaching the school. Thankfully, I was one of the fastest people in school, so getting there in time wasn't a problem. Surviving my sister's disappointed gaze, that was another matter entirely. My lungs were burning again, and my legs ached from running down the sidewalk, but I got to the front of the school in time to see my sis standing on the steps, all but glaring down at me. She was few inches taller than me, had long dark hair tied into a pony tail, and blue eyes that radiated with frustration. "Finally.....dammit James, where were you?" I couldn't meet her eye, I was that ashamed. Not because of what I did, just that I got caught.

_________________
What is a man but the sum of his choices?

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Deal with the root of the problem, never the branches." - Alex CasaMadrid

"Good men mean well. We just don't always end up doing well." - Isaac Clarke
Back to top Go down
http://atlantis117@gmail.com
Razgriz
The Oldest Crones Alive
avatar

Posts : 13529
Join date : 2011-07-18
Age : 25

PostSubject: Re: New Beginnings   03/03/13, 04:21 am

"Please, please tell me that you weren't out doing that parkour stuff again. You know how dangerous that stuff is James." Now wasn't the time, but I still bristled at the fact that she still thought I was some kid that couldn't take care of myself. "Only if you have zero skill. Which I don't. You think I'd be doing that stuff if I wasn't good at it?" Kat sighed, the sound carrying all her frustration with me in it. "Dammit James......and then there's skipping school? Why?" I kept staring her down though, not backing down. "I didn't skip school. I just...left early." That didn't make her any happier, and she walked towards me, now looming over me. "But you still left early, the same day we had a meeting with your teacher. Goddammit James, what's the point of going to school, if you won't stay in class?" Folding my arms, I scowled at her. "And who says I want to be in school anyway." God, I think she was going to slap me right then and there. "Last I checked, you did. You made me a promise James, to live up to your potential. After mom died, we both made a promise. I've been living up to mine, now what about you?"

Ouch, that hurt. And honestly, there wasn't much I could say in response. I guess she took pity on me though, because her voice softened a little. "Look, how about we get this over with, and we'll talk when we're home. We can order pizza." The olive branch was out, and I gladly accepted it. I walked up the stairs, looking at her only once. There was warmth behind her eyes, and concern. "Sorry Kat.." it was all I could say.

_________________
What is a man but the sum of his choices?

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Deal with the root of the problem, never the branches." - Alex CasaMadrid

"Good men mean well. We just don't always end up doing well." - Isaac Clarke


Last edited by Razgriz on 08/03/13, 02:48 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top Go down
http://atlantis117@gmail.com
Razgriz
The Oldest Crones Alive
avatar

Posts : 13529
Join date : 2011-07-18
Age : 25

PostSubject: Re: New Beginnings   03/03/13, 09:13 pm

We walked through the front doors of the school, and save for at least one or two students that were staying after school was over, the place was deserted. A line of lockers covered the wall to the right, the left side of the hall dotted by classroom doors. The room we were looking for wasn't on this floor though, so we had to go up a flight of stairs. Kat didn't have any trouble, but after my whole sprint to get back here, it was a bit of a struggle, my legs wanting to collapse beneath me. She never said it, but I was certain that coughing noise she made was a laugh at my expense, though I let her have it. On the second floor, we got off the stairs and walked to the middle of the floor. English class......I hated, English class. I just found the whole thing kinda useless. Math I was good at, along with computers and a little bit of history. But having to write essays about subjects I didn't really care that much about? Not my thing. My English teacher, Mr. Buckell, was waiting for us inside, sitting at his desk. He and I tended to but heads now and then, especially since nowadays I viewed him as having a pole so far up his ass you could use his tongue to play tether ball. As for me, I was under the impression he viewed me as a troublesome slacker who by the grace of whatever God still existed managed to get this far into school. I was probably right, though I never did ask. Didn't really care.

"Ah, Ms. Conner, pleasure to see you," he said to my sister. He was a middle aged man, definitely twice my sister's age. His hair was graying, and I was sure it came from the stress of the job. Or from me, I can be very irritating. He wore wire rimmed glasses, and in the current light it made him look rather menacing. "Please, sit down." He gestured at two chairs that had been set up in front of his desk, and my sis and sat down. I kinda sat on the edge of my seat, ready to bolt if needed. What? The guy creeped me out.

_________________
What is a man but the sum of his choices?

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Deal with the root of the problem, never the branches." - Alex CasaMadrid

"Good men mean well. We just don't always end up doing well." - Isaac Clarke


Last edited by Razgriz on 29/04/13, 11:36 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top Go down
http://atlantis117@gmail.com
Razgriz
The Oldest Crones Alive
avatar

Posts : 13529
Join date : 2011-07-18
Age : 25

PostSubject: Re: New Beginnings   04/03/13, 06:04 am

"Well Mr. Buckell, I understand that James hasn't been performing well in class." Right to the point I guess. That was always my sisters style in these types of things. Buckell rested his hands on the desk, folding them as he began. "Well Ms. Conner, the situation as it stands, is not promising for James. His grades in class are getting close to failure, despite having done most of the assignments." And here we go. My course work in English was a mix between doing some small homework assignments, that were simple read and answer the questions. And then there the projects, the essays I had to write. Apparently, they were a huge chunk of my grade in class. "He performs well enough in his basic homework, but there's almost zero performance from him in class, and he does none of the essay assignments. Frankly, if he doesn't change soon, I'm afraid I'll have to drop him from the class." Maybe it was me, but I could have sworn I heard a hint of longing in his voice when he talked about dropping me from the class. Kat didn't miss it, and she went on the offensive. "Maybe I'm mistaken, but it almost sounded there like you want my brother to get kicked out."

Score one for Kat. She may not have approved of all my activities, but when the chips were down she was always there to support me. Or at the very least, make sure I was on even footing. Buckell blanched a little, almost as if she had slapped him. He recovered, but it was not graceful. "Well....certainly not, I would never suggest that. And I'm offended that you would suggest it. But the fact of the matter here is that if James does not get a passing grade in the next assignment, I will have to fail him." I was fed up at this point, so I decided to speak up. "Look, it's nothing against you Mr. Buckell. But I just don't care, about any of the subjects that you've had us write about before." There was a sudden, evil glint in his eyes. "Then I have good news for you. The next assignment, is a free choice paper. You choose a subject that you care about."

_________________
What is a man but the sum of his choices?

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Deal with the root of the problem, never the branches." - Alex CasaMadrid

"Good men mean well. We just don't always end up doing well." - Isaac Clarke
Back to top Go down
http://atlantis117@gmail.com
Razgriz
The Oldest Crones Alive
avatar

Posts : 13529
Join date : 2011-07-18
Age : 25

PostSubject: Re: New Beginnings   04/03/13, 07:50 am

Oh....great. An assignment I couldn't weasel my way out of. Well played Buckell, well played. Beside me, my sister smiled. "Then I suppose that solves it. Was there anything else Mr. Buckell?" He was silent for a moment, as if at a loss for what to say. Then, with pursed lips, he nodded. "Nothing more. Thank you, for stopping by Ms. Conner. Have a pleasant day." We got up, Kat and Buckell shaking hands, and we left the room. The walk down the hall, and to the stairs, was not exactly devoid of an argument though. "Haven't been doing the work? Are you kidding me James? What happened to that promise?" There was no easy answer to that. Hell, there probably wasn't a good answer either. I shrugged, and said, "You already know why I didn't do the papers. None of the subjects appealed to me." She groaned, and I was under the impression she wanted to hit me then. "James, it doesn't matter if the topic appeals to you or not. You suck it up, and do the work. End of discussion."

Frankly, I didn't want to do the work at all, even if it was a subject of my choosing. But....she was my sister, and the only family I had left. I wasn't going to be happy about it, but I'd do it. For her. We got out of the school, and walked over to her car. I got in the passenger seat, and we started driving away. eager for a change of subject, I decided to ask her about work. "So, how's Nexus going? Going to change the world again?" I noticed a frown form on her face, but it was only there for a second. Was she nervous? "Let's just say....that there have been some interesting developments, going on at Nexus." She wouldn't go any further, so I decided the subject was to be dropped. I looked out the window, at the street. It was getting dark out, the sun was setting. It always set early during Fall. But all of that ceased to exist, in a flash. There was a loud bang, a screech of metal, heat beyond anything I had ever felt, and a flash of light. Darkness consumed my vision, as pain beyond anything I felt enveloped me.

_________________
What is a man but the sum of his choices?

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Deal with the root of the problem, never the branches." - Alex CasaMadrid

"Good men mean well. We just don't always end up doing well." - Isaac Clarke
Back to top Go down
http://atlantis117@gmail.com
Razgriz
The Oldest Crones Alive
avatar

Posts : 13529
Join date : 2011-07-18
Age : 25

PostSubject: Re: New Beginnings   04/03/13, 09:10 am

Pain. White hot, burning pain. It was all I could feel. I tried to open my eyes, and was struck by even more pain in my left eye socket. I tried to breathe, and my chest flared in agony, and what I breathed in was nothing but smoke, ash, and fumes of gas. When I tried to move, I realized I couldn't feel anything where my left arm and leg should have been. Risking more pain, I opened my right eye, to take in my surroundings. I was in the passenger seat, the belt pretty much useless. The car was a wreck though, the front section gone. The street we were in had been reduced to a crater, the car at the center of it. Half the car was missing, and as I looked to my left, I was horrified to find that Kat was gone. Just gone. The driver's seat was gone, the steering wheel.....she was gone in fire and smoke. I would have screamed in pain, in agony, but the moment I tried that same pain in my chest came back. There was nothing I could do, so disabled, so crippled was I. The only comfort I took was that soon, I'd be dead, and with my family again. Hell, it was coming soon, I could feel it. My vision began to darken, the edges beginning to blur. I was even starting to hallucinate. There was a stream of liquid silver, that seemed to be moving up the side of the crater, towards me. Perhaps that was what death really looked like. Then it touched me, and I had doubts. It felt real, as it oozed over my stump of an arm, spreading from where it touched. Despite the fire, it was cold. With a start, I realized that this stuff, whatever it was, was not only oozing over my skin, but into me as well. I could feel it, as it spread beneath my chest, to my legs, and even over my face. And then I heard a voice, from inside my head.

Initiating symbiosis. Repairing host body. Bonding to host nervous system.

And suddenly, there was more pain. Every nerve felt as if it were on fire, and I felt as if a needle were being shoved through my eye and into my brain. What was this thing? Repairs? Host body? Bonding? Whatever it was, I could tell that at the moment, it was trying to save my life.

Correct host. We are working to repair the damage to your body, and are consulting your genetic information on how to perform suitable repairs.

At first, I welcomed the idea of getting my arm and leg back. But I stopped as I heard sirens in the distance, the sound of people screaming and yelling for help. It would look very suspicious if I was pulled out of here, with no injuries. So with whatever willpower I had left, I sternly thought to the voice: Wait. Don't repair all of me. Keep me alive, until the paramedics come, and nothing more. You can fix my vision though. And with the words, I sent a stream of thoughts and images, just in case it wondered what I meant.

Request is....abnormal, but acceptable. We shall perform only life support functions, and perform no repairs to your body save for your left ocular cavity, and your collapsed lung.

Wait, my collapsed lu-holyfuckinggodthathurts! It felt like a balloon, was rapidly grown inside my chest, but with that pain came a gasp. I could breathe again.

_________________
What is a man but the sum of his choices?

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Deal with the root of the problem, never the branches." - Alex CasaMadrid

"Good men mean well. We just don't always end up doing well." - Isaac Clarke
Back to top Go down
http://atlantis117@gmail.com
Razgriz
The Oldest Crones Alive
avatar

Posts : 13529
Join date : 2011-07-18
Age : 25

PostSubject: Re: New Beginnings   04/03/13, 09:49 pm

"We've got a live one!" shouted a voice from above. Even though it hurt, I craned my neck a little, to see who was yelling. I saw a firefighter, the first of the emergency crews, at the lip of the crater, staring down at me. "He...help," was all I could croak. When he found where I was, he started waving behind him, pointing down at me. "Hold on! Just hold on, we're coming down!" The next few minutes went by in a blur of images, sounds, and sensations. Emergency teams descended the crater, getting the door on my side off the car, and pulling me from the wreckage. There was more smoke, and I coughed enough to make my throat sore, putting a strain on my re-inflated lung. They loaded me into the back of an ambulance, the EMT's setting to work on me. I felt a needle get inserted into my right arm, while they did their best to dress the stumps where my left limbs had been. I had a mask over my mouth, oxygen being pumped into me. Then I went to sleep.

I woke up much later, in a hospital bed. The room was empty, though then again there was blue-white curtain to the right of the bed, blocking some of my view. They had propped me up, in a bit of a sitting position, and I was thankful to find a window nearby. Twisting my neck, I looked out the window. There was a freeway, the FDR, outside and below. Beyond that, was the east river. Bellevue....I was in Bellevue, in the Gilded Apple. I guess this was the best place they could take me. Then I looked down to my left, and found that my left arm was indeed gone. Just below the elbow, was where it had been taken off. As for my left leg, it ended above where my knee used to be. God, but what mattered to me the most, was that so far as I could tell....Kat was dead. My sister was gone. I was alone now, no family left in the world. The grief that followed hit me like a train, and I broke down sobbing.

_________________
What is a man but the sum of his choices?

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Deal with the root of the problem, never the branches." - Alex CasaMadrid

"Good men mean well. We just don't always end up doing well." - Isaac Clarke
Back to top Go down
http://atlantis117@gmail.com
Razgriz
The Oldest Crones Alive
avatar

Posts : 13529
Join date : 2011-07-18
Age : 25

PostSubject: Re: New Beginnings   04/03/13, 11:11 pm

Such pain....is it normal, among your species?

I nearly jumped out of the bed in surprise, my head turning every which way it could in search of the origin of the voice. That was hard to do, since I was missing two limbs and was stuck in a hospital bed. An uncomfortable feeling on my right arm made me look down, and I noticed a set of intravenous tubes, attached to needles in my arm. They itched, but I wasn't about to rip them out. "Who is that?" I said aloud. Silence was my only response, until the same voice spoke from inside my head.

Greetings, our host. Verbal communication will not be required. It is too inefficient compared to the methods previously used.

Methods previously used? What the hell was going on? Then, as if it knew what I was thinking, a series of memories flashed into my head: a mental conversation, between me and whatever the hell this thing was. Not simply words, but emotions, images, and simple reasons that went with them all. It was hard to describe, but all I knew was that in some way, it all made sense. When they stopped, I realized I had had my eyes closed, the better to see the images and memories. It was only then that I noticed someone in the room with me, standing in front of the bed. She wore hospital scrubs, lime green in color, and her hair was trimmed short. Dark skin showed where the clothing ended, and there was a look of concern on her face. "Finally awake are we?" she asked, her tone that of concern. She walked over to the side of the bed, checking the machine the tubes led to. It must have been good, because she didn't seem worried. I shifted a little, straightening in the bed before a firm hand, hers, came down on my shoulder. Despite the strength behind it, she never pushed me back down. "Easy. You've been through a lot James. You need to rest." I didn't need to ask how she knew my name. One of the wonders of the medical revolution in the past few years was that hospitals could find out exactly who a patient really was from scanning just a hair, our DNA being stored in secured databases. Only hospitals and law enforcement agencies had access to it, and even then it was an ethically gray area. It was a feature that helped hospitals determine more quickly what type of blood the patient might need, or if they had any family. A more cynical person would have also noted that it alerted the insurance companies ten times faster than it did before, meaning the bills would be prepared ahead of time.

_________________
What is a man but the sum of his choices?

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Deal with the root of the problem, never the branches." - Alex CasaMadrid

"Good men mean well. We just don't always end up doing well." - Isaac Clarke
Back to top Go down
http://atlantis117@gmail.com
Razgriz
The Oldest Crones Alive
avatar

Posts : 13529
Join date : 2011-07-18
Age : 25

PostSubject: Re: New Beginnings   05/03/13, 07:48 am

I didn't feel like resting though, but I figured it wouldn't do to struggle. Relaxing back into the bed, I took a breath before talking. "What happened?" She frowned at me, as if the subject were a taboo. "What do you remember?" was what she asked me. The memories came back, and for a moment I was back there in the wreckage. "My sister and I," I began, "were driving home, from my school. There was some kind of explosion, and everything went black. When I came to.....I was in pain, in the wreckage." My voice started to break, as the feelings I felt came back. "And then....and then I realized that my sister was dead." I started crying again, and felt the nurses hand pat my shoulder. She tried to say something, but I couldn't really make it out. Chances were I didn't even care. I just wanted to be alone. Eventually though, I stopped crying, and figured I may as well have some questions answered. "How bad.....other than, well....you know." She sighed, as if this was not something she wanted to answer. Walking to the foot of the bed, she picked up a flat device, the size of an old fashioned clipboard. She ran a finger across the surface, and the screen warmed to life, displaying my charts. "Well, for starters it's a miracle you're still alive. I don't know the details, just that there was an explosion of some kind. That was how you lost your arm and leg. You suffered severe burns, along with some nerve damage, but amazingly there was little damage to your organs. The doctors aren't sure how that's possible, but they figured you should count yourself lucky. You're scheduled to be fitted for a pair of artificial limbs, and some synthetic skin grafts." Right....health care these days was outstanding. Or, at least for those that could afford it. Because my sister worked at Nexus, she got covered under their health benefits, and I shared in them. I wasn't sure what the terms were, but I definitely remember though that in the event she died, then I would only be covered under the plan for another two months before I was dropped. Still, artificial limbs, and synthetic skin? That was impressive.

Though unnecessary. We can replicate your damaged skin and amputated limbs, with near perfect accuracy. The only difference is that they would never be organic.

Whoa.....I knew that voice said it could repair my body, but I never thought it meant that. Replicate, not repair. And not organic? What are you? was all I could think towards it. The nurse looked at me with a curious look. "James, are you okay?" 'Shaking my head, I noticed that I had phased out a little. "Sorry, just a little overwhelmed is all."

_________________
What is a man but the sum of his choices?

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Deal with the root of the problem, never the branches." - Alex CasaMadrid

"Good men mean well. We just don't always end up doing well." - Isaac Clarke
Back to top Go down
http://atlantis117@gmail.com
Razgriz
The Oldest Crones Alive
avatar

Posts : 13529
Join date : 2011-07-18
Age : 25

PostSubject: Re: New Beginnings   05/03/13, 05:30 pm

This time, she seemed to smile at me, as if my reaction was a good sign. "Of course," she said. Then she walked over to the edge of the curtain, looking back at me. "If you're feeling up to it, you have some visitors." Visitors? Who was here to see me? Curious about who was here to see me, I simply nodded, and she pulled open the curtain. The rest of the room came into view for me, and I noted a couple of things: first, the rest of the room was covered in balloons, flowers, and get well cards. Chances were they came from my school, a project of some kind for their classmate. Second, there was a glass wall with a door in the middle, at the end of the room. I wasn't in quarantine or anything, that was just the way the doors worked for this room. Anyway, the third thing, or in this case, people, was a pair of familiar faces standing on the other side of the door, almost waiting. One was a man in his forties, just now getting the edges of his hair grayed. He was tall, muscular, but despite the rough appearance I knew he was actually a good man, even had integrity. However, I barely had time to register who the second person was, before they pulled open the door to run into the room, flying across the distance to hug me. First of all, OW, that hurt. Despite the painkillers, a lot of me was still in pain. "Heya Chris," was all i could muster.

Christina "Chris" Martinez, 15 years old, light brown hair and skin, hazel eyes and a gymnast build, was my best friend. Well, in many ways my only friend. We'd known each other since kindergarten, and not a day goes by that I have not heard the word "adamant" to define our friendship. Her father, Michael Martinez, knew my sister on account of his job as chief of Security, over at Nexus. He and I were on decent terms, and he liked me a helluva lot more than most of the other guys in school when it came to hanging around his daughter. Chris choked out a sob, and I could feel the dampness on her cheek. "Oh thank god you're alive James, " she squeaked in a constricted voice. Getting my only arm up and around her to hug was difficult, but doable. "Yeah....nurse said it was a miracle or something." That and some weird disembodied voice. Michael walked into the room, standing behind Chris.

_________________
What is a man but the sum of his choices?

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Deal with the root of the problem, never the branches." - Alex CasaMadrid

"Good men mean well. We just don't always end up doing well." - Isaac Clarke
Back to top Go down
http://atlantis117@gmail.com
Razgriz
The Oldest Crones Alive
avatar

Posts : 13529
Join date : 2011-07-18
Age : 25

PostSubject: Re: New Beginnings   05/03/13, 08:30 pm

"James, I'm sorry about Katherine. She was a good woman," Michael said, and I knew he was being sincere. All I could do was nod at him, the gesture carrying my gratitude for his condolences. Chris still clung to me, crying. "Chris, please. I know you care, but can you please let go? It hurts." She let go as if I had shocked her, looking apologetic. "Sorry," she said, her voice very tiny. She ran a hand through her short hair, trimmed to hang just above her chin and jawline. She looked so vulnerable, and it was such a stark contrast to the strength she always carried. You would have to know her the way I did, to understand why this was such a drastic change. Let me put it this way: she carried me through school, and was capable of kicking my ass. And she was crying now, for me? Then again, she was only human. Being made of cast iron only meant hat it was still brittle. This was her breaking point.

"It's okay Chris." That was a bit of a lie. I was far from okay. Kat was dead. And now I had something....living, inside me. Talking to me. No.....no, things were far from okay. But I wasn't about to tell anyone else that. For all I knew, I was hallucinating. Or something. "How long have I been....here?" It was something that bugged me. Almost simultaneously, both Chris and the voice spoke.

"Three days."
72 hours.

Okay, did not need to hear both voices, but I doubted there was an off switch for the one in my head. But three days? I was out for three days? Not surprising, considering my injuries but still. Chris waited in silence, as if waiting for a response. "Well," I began, "so much for that English paper..." Thankfully, Chris cracked a small smile, playfully punching me on my good arm. "Ass." Behind the smile though, it was still clear for me to see the pain she felt. I wasn't surprised; she and Kat were good friends, almost sisters really. And she was gone. Add to it the fact that she nearly lost her best friend....it was simply a testament to her strength that she was able to keep from breaking down again.

_________________
What is a man but the sum of his choices?

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Deal with the root of the problem, never the branches." - Alex CasaMadrid

"Good men mean well. We just don't always end up doing well." - Isaac Clarke
Back to top Go down
http://atlantis117@gmail.com
Razgriz
The Oldest Crones Alive
avatar

Posts : 13529
Join date : 2011-07-18
Age : 25

PostSubject: Re: New Beginnings   06/03/13, 03:17 am

The nurse left the room, apparently wanting to give us all some privacy. It was then that Michael spoke. "So...James, I think it would be best, if you came to live with us. I think Kat would have wanted it that way." I didn't mind actually. I was always welcome in the Martinez household, and there was no one else I really considered family. Or at least, close to it anyway. "Thanks Mr. Martinez. I....I can't thank you enough." He simply smiled, and walked for the door. He stopped though, looking back at Chris. "Chris, I need to sort a few things out. I'll be in the hall." Then he left, leaving me and Chris alone in the room. She took a seat in a chair next to the bed. "Good thing my sister's health insurance still covers me." She smiled a little, clearly appreciative of the same thing. "So, they're getting me fitted for a pair of artificial limbs soon. Kinda cool." It was a poor attempt to make light of the situation, and I myself was surprised at how quickly I was getting over this. Not just the fact that Kat was dead, or that I now had a voice in my head. I lost an arm and a leg. Two pieces of who I was were gone. I felt incomplete. The only up side was the fact that prosthesis technology had come a long way, and today's prosthetic arm and legs were actually a hundred times more....lifelike, I guess was the best term. Hundreds of points, of articulation, and it still looked like a human limb. Except, well for the lack of skin and the fact that it was all metal, lights, and oh right, no sense of feeling. The tech, as far as it had come, still couldn't replicate nerves. Once you had the limbs, the only awareness you had was what you could see. And that was pretty limiting.

"Cool. Maybe you'll be able to hold your own in the ring with me this time." She smiled again, and I kinda scowled at her. I may have had the will of a fighter, but I lacked the skill of one. That was where Chris came in. Her dad was a solider in the Resource war. It was how our families knew eachother. Our fathers served in the same unit, and became pretty good friends. After the war ended, and he took custody of her when her mom ran out on them, he started to teach her how to fight, to defend herself. It was a mix of boxing, martial arts, and whatever else they taught him in the military.

_________________
What is a man but the sum of his choices?

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Deal with the root of the problem, never the branches." - Alex CasaMadrid

"Good men mean well. We just don't always end up doing well." - Isaac Clarke
Back to top Go down
http://atlantis117@gmail.com
Razgriz
The Oldest Crones Alive
avatar

Posts : 13529
Join date : 2011-07-18
Age : 25

PostSubject: Re: New Beginnings   06/03/13, 05:52 am

"Ha, maybe I'll finally take you down." Yeah, fat chance. When we practiced together, my face was down in the mat more times than I could count. There was a reason she was single: guys were way too afraid of what might happen if they pissed her off. Made them too scared to try. But the humor was good, kept my spirit up. "Listen, I wish I coulda stay, but I need to go James. Sorry." I placed my hand on hers, looking her in the eye. "I'll be fine Chris. Go on. Not like I'm going anywhere." She smiled again, though it looked pained, and then did something very, very rare. She kissed the top of my forehead, and then walked away. It was a gesture with a bit of a history attached to it, one I wasn't going to mention at the moment. It was more than personal.

_________________
What is a man but the sum of his choices?

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Deal with the root of the problem, never the branches." - Alex CasaMadrid

"Good men mean well. We just don't always end up doing well." - Isaac Clarke
Back to top Go down
http://atlantis117@gmail.com
Razgriz
The Oldest Crones Alive
avatar

Posts : 13529
Join date : 2011-07-18
Age : 25

PostSubject: Re: New Beginnings   06/03/13, 07:45 am

Once she was gone, and I was alone, I decided to speak in a quiet whisper. "Okay, what the hell are you?" The presence in my head came back. Whatever it was, I could almost tell that it truly meant me no harm.

We are the last of a dead race, our host.

"And? That tells me absolutely nothing." It sensed my frustration, and I could feel it working to form a more cohesive answer. And that was when the flash came. Instead of speaking, images rushed through my head as it told me what it was. The entity, was an artificial intelligence. A very, very advanced AI, far beyond anything humans could hope to make at present, spread out among nanomachines, all of them now bonded to my body. Self-replicating, a science that was beyond anything human science could describe, it was the single most advanced piece of technology that its makers had ever created. Its makers, a name I could never pronounce, were highly advanced, but peaceful. They still maintained a military, but it was easier to compare them to the Japanese Self-Defense force. They were never aggressive. Anyway, they had reached a point in their science where they had unlocked what was the equivalent of the holy-grail, for them anyway. It was a piece of science or technology, I couldn't tell which, that had caught the attention of another race. A conquering, war mongering race. They were advanced, in a different form of science. Where the makers of the AI preferred machinery, the other race had advanced along the lines of biology. Living weapons, ships. It was terrifying, the images I saw of their warriors, clad in living suits as they tore through alien battlefields on distant worlds. They outnumbered the makers, and in a desperate bid to ensure the safety of this secret, and the continuity of their civilization's legacy, they flung the nanomachines into space. Secured in a small probe, it was sent through a wormhole. Something had happened though, and its original course was lost, and it diverted to here. And then it fell on me.

_________________
What is a man but the sum of his choices?

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Deal with the root of the problem, never the branches." - Alex CasaMadrid

"Good men mean well. We just don't always end up doing well." - Isaac Clarke
Back to top Go down
http://atlantis117@gmail.com
Razgriz
The Oldest Crones Alive
avatar

Posts : 13529
Join date : 2011-07-18
Age : 25

PostSubject: Re: New Beginnings   06/03/13, 04:29 pm

I rubbed my forehead, the method of conveying all that information giving me a headache. It was a lot to take in, and it all sounded like something out of a movie, or a comic. "Okay, so they created you to be....what? A science project?"

We were meant to be the first, of a new line of weapons to combat the enemy. The abilities we granted our hosts, were substantial.

It was wrong for me to be interested in these abilities. Even if it was irrational, the machine's arrival had killed my sister, and nearly killed me. Add to it that with it bonded to me now, I wasn't wholly human anymore. I was....a mix of man and machine, and I had to wonder now just how much of me was still man and not machine. Am I still human at this point? I mused silently, not directing the thought at the AI. But I figured that right now, it was rude of me to ignore it, so I asked about the abilities.

We can accelerate your bodies natural healing process, and keep you free of disease, viruses, sickness. What we cannot help your body heal though, we will replicate with near perfect accuracy. Speed, strength, agility and reflexes are augmented by a factor of five. There is more, but it is easier to show than to tell.


_________________
What is a man but the sum of his choices?

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Deal with the root of the problem, never the branches." - Alex CasaMadrid

"Good men mean well. We just don't always end up doing well." - Isaac Clarke
Back to top Go down
http://atlantis117@gmail.com
Razgriz
The Oldest Crones Alive
avatar

Posts : 13529
Join date : 2011-07-18
Age : 25

PostSubject: Re: New Beginnings   06/03/13, 10:16 pm

Whoa, that was a lot. And the fact that there was still more to see was a tempting offer. But there was one bit that unnerved me. Uh, when you say replicate, you mean like replicating organic cells, right?

No. We will use nanomachine cells to replicate your organic tissue. For camouflage purposes, we can alter the color and texture of the replicated cells, to match the original tissue.

So on the one hand, it would still look and feel like me. On the other....on the other, the more damage I took that called for such healing, the less human I was going to become. If things got bad, I'd probably be more machine than anything else, and my humanity would be gone. That was not something I wanted to lose. So all I needed to do was avoid serious injury. Easy.

_________________
What is a man but the sum of his choices?

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Deal with the root of the problem, never the branches." - Alex CasaMadrid

"Good men mean well. We just don't always end up doing well." - Isaac Clarke
Back to top Go down
http://atlantis117@gmail.com
Razgriz
The Oldest Crones Alive
avatar

Posts : 13529
Join date : 2011-07-18
Age : 25

PostSubject: Re: New Beginnings   07/03/13, 06:40 am

The next few days, went by at a painfully slow pace. Chris and her dad came by to visit then, but there was one visit that came after them on the third day that I was awake, that I was not expecting. A police officer, one of the cops that was on the scene, had come to see me. Officer Josh Stallings was his name. He didn't really have any questions for me, beyond what I remembered. Apparently, the working story was that it was a gas line explosion, and it was all a tragic accident. Good a story as any I supposed. He told me though, that there was something they salvaged from the wreck of the car, in the trunk. It was a briefcase, or at least something they took to be a briefcase. Whatever it was, they couldn't open it, since it was locked and since I was the only living relative left, it was now my property. It was strange, since I never remembered Kat ever having anything that fit the description. Still, it was a mystery I'd solve later, when I was out of the hospital. He left, and I was once again alone. That isolation though, was a bit of a lie. I had the AI in my head, still talking with me. That and I had the nurses come in to give me a small series of injections. According to them, the injections were meant to prepare my body for both the surgery, and the addition of the prosthetics. I didn't know the details, nor did I understand them, even with the AI's help. All I knew was that it would keep my body from rejecting the artificial limbs, or at least the 'sockets,' they were going to be attaching to my stumps. God, I hoped I was ready for this. Chris came in the last day, the day of my surgery. We had maybe a half hour, before I was to be wheeled away.

"So....how's things back at school?" She grimaced. "Well," she started, "things are kinda normal. A few people talk about you now and then, but it was nothing compared to the first two days." At this point, she grinned. "You should have seen the look on Buckell's face when he heard you had survived. I think he was kinda disappointed." That kinda had me worried, truth be told. It told me that my continued existence was not welcomed by Buckell. I knew he didn't like me, just not that much. She must have seen my discomfort, because Chris immediately switched topics. "So, what do you plan on doing when you come back?" I frowned, as I concentrated, thinking on what I'd do. "Well.....I'll start by cleaning out the house." The house, was a small, two floor brick house that was attached to a row of identical houses. It was where Kat and I lived, after mom died. Big enough for us both, it was the only home I had. And now it looked like I'd be giving that up, since I couldn't really pay to maintain it.

_________________
What is a man but the sum of his choices?

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Deal with the root of the problem, never the branches." - Alex CasaMadrid

"Good men mean well. We just don't always end up doing well." - Isaac Clarke


Last edited by Razgriz on 09/03/13, 05:25 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top Go down
http://atlantis117@gmail.com
Razgriz
The Oldest Crones Alive
avatar

Posts : 13529
Join date : 2011-07-18
Age : 25

PostSubject: Re: New Beginnings   07/03/13, 08:44 am

"Oh, yeah..... I'm sorry about that James. There were a lot of good memories from that house." She wasn't wrong about that. There were years worth of memories and moments in that house. In fact, it was more than a house to me. It was a home, in every sense of the word. Good moments, bad moments. Parties, laughter, tears, warmth and comfort, and good food. Family....and I had to leave it, even if it meant going to a place that was more of the same. It was troubling for me. But there was a gentle pressure on my shoulder, and I found that Chris had placed her hand there. Looking to her face, I could see the tears welling up in her eyes, even as she smiled. "You're not the only one that place matters to James." God...she was a good friend. And while I wasn't the worst of guys, I wasn't the greatest either. I didn't deserve her friendship, and yet there she was, still freely giving it to me. Chris, was good people.

I wanted to say something, to convey how grateful I was, not just for the offer to let me live with her, but for the fact that she was standing by me in my darkest hour. But all I could manage was blinking my eyes a few times. She seemed to get the message though. "Don't mention it."

_________________
What is a man but the sum of his choices?

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Deal with the root of the problem, never the branches." - Alex CasaMadrid

"Good men mean well. We just don't always end up doing well." - Isaac Clarke
Back to top Go down
http://atlantis117@gmail.com
Razgriz
The Oldest Crones Alive
avatar

Posts : 13529
Join date : 2011-07-18
Age : 25

PostSubject: Re: New Beginnings   07/03/13, 05:21 pm

We both sat in silence then, until her time was up and she had to leave. A trio of nurses walked in, helping me into a wheelchair. We left the room, going down the hall and down an elevator. They were taking me to the surgery room. When we entered, I saw the table in the middle of the room, machinery around it, and double the number of doctors and nurses. Getting me onto the table wasn't much of a challenge, and when everything was set, they placed a mask over my mouth. "Okay James," one of the nurses spoke, "I want you to count back from one-hundred." That seemed easy enough. 100....99...98..97..96..... Darkness overtook me, and I was out. There was no dream.

_________________
What is a man but the sum of his choices?

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Deal with the root of the problem, never the branches." - Alex CasaMadrid

"Good men mean well. We just don't always end up doing well." - Isaac Clarke
Back to top Go down
http://atlantis117@gmail.com
Razgriz
The Oldest Crones Alive
avatar

Posts : 13529
Join date : 2011-07-18
Age : 25

PostSubject: Re: New Beginnings   07/03/13, 07:28 pm

I awoke later the next day, back in the room. As I stretched, yawning, I heard the sound of a clink, metal hitting hard plastic. It came from my left side, and hesitantly, I looked down at where my left arm used to be. There was once a stump there, but now what had replaced it....looked a little bit, like a normal arm. But there were obvious differences. It was made of a white material, a plastic of some sort. I noticed that, where it met my elbow, there was something that looked like a socket, built into my skin, connecting the arm to me. The wrist and hand had a degree of articulation that gave their movements an astounding, life like quality. I couldn't feel, but it responded to my thoughts as if it were truly my own hand. The fingers as well had the same degree of finesse, perhaps better, and I spent a minute flexing the hand, twisting the wrist now and then as I tested it. I then looked down to my feet, pulling the blanket away. I still wore the hospital gown, and I saw my feet at the foot of the bed. My right was still normal, toes wiggling at my command. And so were the toes of my new, robotic left foot. Pulling the gown up, I saw how the leg was comprised of a calf, and a knee. It was made of the same material as the arm, and responded just the same. Hesitantly, I swung both legs out of the bed. My right foot touched down on the cold tile of the floor, but I still felt nothing in my left foot. It was difficult at first, standing up. Without any real sensation to work off of, I had trouble balancing on my foot. But years of running across rooftops, of finding my balance in constantly new areas, almost seemed to prepare me for this. Soon I was able to walk from my bed, to the other end of the room. And I was able to laugh.

_________________
What is a man but the sum of his choices?

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Deal with the root of the problem, never the branches." - Alex CasaMadrid

"Good men mean well. We just don't always end up doing well." - Isaac Clarke
Back to top Go down
http://atlantis117@gmail.com
Razgriz
The Oldest Crones Alive
avatar

Posts : 13529
Join date : 2011-07-18
Age : 25

PostSubject: Re: New Beginnings   08/03/13, 06:07 am

There was a sound to my right, and I saw the nurse walk in. She seemed concerned at first, that I was up and about so soon, but that look of concern quickly faded. "On your feet so soon James? The doctor wanted you to stay in bed for a bit, go through therapy." I shook my head at her. "No way am I staying in bed now. God, it feels like it's been years." Walking again towards the bed, I leaned against the frame, the pressure quite noticeable against my right leg. "I never thought I'd be able to walk again..."

Highly doubtful our host. We would have replicated your leg and allowed it to feel all manner of sensation it could feel before.

We'll get to that later. For now, just keep up appearances. I'd keep the prosthetics for now, until I was out of the hospital. And I still needed to figure out what the hell I was going to do with these....machines.

_________________
What is a man but the sum of his choices?

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Deal with the root of the problem, never the branches." - Alex CasaMadrid

"Good men mean well. We just don't always end up doing well." - Isaac Clarke
Back to top Go down
http://atlantis117@gmail.com
Razgriz
The Oldest Crones Alive
avatar

Posts : 13529
Join date : 2011-07-18
Age : 25

PostSubject: Re: New Beginnings   08/03/13, 08:54 pm

"If you'd like," the nurse said, still standing by the door, "I can inform your visitors that you're awake and walking. I'm sure they'll want to see you." I nodded, back to moving around the room. Chris and Michael walked in, and while Michael had a smile on his face, Chris seemed to be torn between joy and frustration. "James, what are you doing? Shouldn't you be in bed?" She walked over to me, and while I knew she cared about me and was being a friend, when she grabbed my arm to steer me back to the bed, I jerked it out of her grip. "Chris, I've spent the past week in a bed, unable to walk. No way I'm going back now." That seemed to only make her more frustrated with me, and there was a spark in her eye I was very much familiar with. It was the same spark she got when she was preparing to kick someone's ass. "James," she said, her tone terrifyingly calm, "do I need to make stay in that bed? Because believe me, I will." And then her hand gripped my arm, my human arm, once more and squeezed. Hard. I blanched a little, not from the pain but just from the threat. I wasn't used to my best friend making threats against me, even if yes, it was for my own good. "Okay okay, calm down Xena, geez. I'll get in the bed." Once she let go of my arm, I walked back to my bed, sitting down at the edge. "Think I've risked death once enough anyway."

_________________
What is a man but the sum of his choices?

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Deal with the root of the problem, never the branches." - Alex CasaMadrid

"Good men mean well. We just don't always end up doing well." - Isaac Clarke
Back to top Go down
http://atlantis117@gmail.com
Razgriz
The Oldest Crones Alive
avatar

Posts : 13529
Join date : 2011-07-18
Age : 25

PostSubject: Re: New Beginnings   09/03/13, 05:59 am

The spark in her eyes vanished, and she regained her friendly demeanor. "Thanks James. Sorry, it's just..." I stopped her, holding up my hand. Well, robotic one anyway. "Chris, it's fine, I get it. And maybe you're right. I need to focus on recovery right now." And getting a few more broken bones because Chris beat me into bed would not help at all. I laid back, resting on the pillows. "Any idea how much longer I'll be here?" Chris took her usual seat by the bed, her dad leaning against the wall in front of the bed. he was the first to speak. "Well, I talked with your doctor. You have at least two more days in here, and most of that time is going to be spent in therapy, getting used to your new limbs. After that, you'll be good to go. In the meantime, there's a legal matter that needs to be attended to." He stepped forward, coming towards the other side of the bed. "Kat's will was found. There's going to be an official reading, once you're out of here. But the summary of it is that, she had me declared a legal guardian for you, in case she died. She left you some money, most of it coming from a life insurance policy she took out on herself. And, she left you just about everything short of her clothing and jewelry. This also seems to include a briefcase found in the trunk of her car."

Again with this briefcase. My curiosity about it only increased. I had asked Michael once what was so unusual about it, and all I got from him was that it was a Nexus security briefcase. It was issued to all their scientific employees to safely transport personal documents, data files, anything that was of confidential nature. The outer casing was made of a carbon nanotube alloy, rendering it bullet-proof, and resistant to any form of cutting or drilling. There was a material the CNT was coated in, making the case heat resistant in the event of fires or blow torch cutting. And finally, it was encrypted. There was a tiny computer built into the case, attached to the locks and a few other mechanisms that kept the whole thing secured. A keypad, very much like a cellphone keypad, was built into the side of the case, though the material looked a little burnt. Thankfully, it was still functional, though we still had no idea what the passcode was. For now, it sat in Chris' house, safe and secure.


_________________
What is a man but the sum of his choices?

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Deal with the root of the problem, never the branches." - Alex CasaMadrid

"Good men mean well. We just don't always end up doing well." - Isaac Clarke


Last edited by Razgriz on 09/05/13, 09:25 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top Go down
http://atlantis117@gmail.com
Razgriz
The Oldest Crones Alive
avatar

Posts : 13529
Join date : 2011-07-18
Age : 25

PostSubject: Re: New Beginnings   09/03/13, 08:31 am

"When's the official reading?" was the first thing I asked. Michael answered again. "In a week, once you're out of the hospital and have had time to move in with us." He traded a look with Chris, and there seemed to be a message I didn't get, because she got up and left my bedside. "I'll be outside," was the last thing she said before she exited the room, leaving me with her dad. It would have only been more uncomfortable, if she and I were dating. There was still an uncomfortable silence between us, until he cleared his throat, breaking it. "James, I'm going to be honest with you. What we're about to discuss, is going to violate several non-disclosure agreements between me, and Nexus. But, your sister, my friend, is dead. And right now, there are certain things happening at work that have me worried for you." I tilted my head to look up at him, and was shocked by what I saw. Michael, the man that always struck me as the grizzled war vet that had survived one of the bloodiest wars in history, a man I viewed as impossible to actually scare.....looked worried. Nervous even. That had me scared.

"My employers....Nexus Security, are making inquiries about your sister's death. She was one of their top researchers at the facility, and her death has apparently set them back in one of their R&D programs. But, there's something else. They took over the investigation, of the explosion that killed her. I was in charge of it, and my team found something." He closed his eyes. "We found explosive residue on the wreckage. Plastique maybe, we're still not a hundred percent. All we know though, is that the car was rigged to blow. Someone planned to murder your sister."

_________________
What is a man but the sum of his choices?

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Deal with the root of the problem, never the branches." - Alex CasaMadrid

"Good men mean well. We just don't always end up doing well." - Isaac Clarke
Back to top Go down
http://atlantis117@gmail.com
Razgriz
The Oldest Crones Alive
avatar

Posts : 13529
Join date : 2011-07-18
Age : 25

PostSubject: Re: New Beginnings   09/03/13, 08:58 pm

I was frozen in place, my eyes going wide. Someone planned to kill Kat? Someone put a bomb on the car, and it would have killed her....and me. "Do....do you know where the bomb came from?" He shook his head. "Unfortunately no. There wasn't much left of it for us to determine who made it. The explosive compounds of the bomb are also common, or at least standard. James, I'm telling you this, because I want you on your guard. You've always been reckless before, but that needs to stop now, especially if you're going to be living in my house, with my daughter. Someone, wanted your sister dead and they didn't seem to care that you were in the car with her. Now they may leave you alone because she's dead, but if not, if they don't want to leave any risk of you testifying against them...." He didn't need to finish. All I could do was nod my head. "I promise Michael, I'll be careful. And....can you keep me posted, on any developments? I'd like to know what's going on." He seemed troubled by that, but nodded his head. "Sure James, I'll do what I can. No promises though." And then he left the room. All that mattered to me though, was a single thought. Who would want to kill Kat? I desperately wanted to know, but I realized that, in a way, the only thing that changed was that now I knew someone wanted to kill her. What didn't change though, was that it was because of these damn machines that she died. There may have been a bomb, but it was their arrival, their impact that killed her, and did this to me.

Do you truly hate us so? You act as if we had malicious intent when we had no true control over anything that happened.

Maybe. But do you really mean to tell me that you had no control over the damn vessel you were in? That you didn't choose the landing? It was childish, to continue on like this I know. In all likelihood, the machines were innocent in this and everything that happened was chance. But right now, I was still angry, still seething from my loss and wanted to lash out at the nearest thing. And since the machines were inside me, that made them the closest thing. Still, with that realization in mind, it kinda cooled my anger. Not enough that I'd be singing koom bah yah with it anytime soon, but enough for me to apologize. Sorry....I guess it's just going to be a while, before I can really accept everything that's happening. The awareness seemed to accept it, though it wouldn't say anything else. Guess I hurt its feelings.

_________________
What is a man but the sum of his choices?

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Deal with the root of the problem, never the branches." - Alex CasaMadrid

"Good men mean well. We just don't always end up doing well." - Isaac Clarke
Back to top Go down
http://atlantis117@gmail.com
Razgriz
The Oldest Crones Alive
avatar

Posts : 13529
Join date : 2011-07-18
Age : 25

PostSubject: Re: New Beginnings   09/03/13, 10:34 pm

Another two days came and went, and I was finally allowed to leave the hospital. There was one minor detail though: I had to be wheeled out. Hospital policy apparently, something I really hated. I mean, what was the point of all that damn therapy, and getting used to my limbs, if I couldn't even walk out? I wasn't about to argue though. Chris and her dad were here, so that was good, especially since they brought over some of my clothes. Thankfully, the prosthetics were....organic enough, in terms of look, that I could slip my clothing on no problem. Then I sat in the wheelchair, Chris taking the handles. "You know," I started, "I can wheel myself out. She smirked down at me. "And rob me of the moment? You know how many times I expected to be wheeling you out of the hospital because of some stupid stunt you pulled? This is almost a dream come true for me." We both traded a laugh, and it was certainly good. Once out the front door of the hospital, we waited at the front for Michael to grab his car. While he was away, Chris stood at the side of the chair, her hand on my shoulder. We traded a look, and I found myself once more very glad to have her with me. "So....uh, think anyone will notice?" Before she asked what I was talking about, I raised my robotic hand. She grinned down at me. "Oh no, no one's going to notice that. They'll be too busy laughing at you when I beat you in training." Chuckling, I realized she was being serious. "Wait, what? Training.....for what?"

She suddenly leered at me, and I felt the bottom of my stomach fall. "Oh ho ho James, I am going to help you continue your therapy, by getting you back in shape, and teaching you how to fight." How to fight? Against who? "Chris, you really don't ha-" She cut me off, and I soon found myself staring into her eyes, and that same familiar spark was there. "Like hell I don't. If you're living in my home, then you're going to learn how to defend yourself. Not just defend yourself, but put your attacker in the hospital." Maybe it was just me, but she seemed to be getting taller. Or maybe I was shrinking in fear, I wasn't really sure.

_________________
What is a man but the sum of his choices?

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Deal with the root of the problem, never the branches." - Alex CasaMadrid

"Good men mean well. We just don't always end up doing well." - Isaac Clarke
Back to top Go down
http://atlantis117@gmail.com
Razgriz
The Oldest Crones Alive
avatar

Posts : 13529
Join date : 2011-07-18
Age : 25

PostSubject: Re: New Beginnings   10/03/13, 08:04 am

"Uh, Chris you're starting to scare me." If anything, that made her smile even more. "Good. Use that fear during training, and you may be able to get a good enough incentive to do better." The car came around, pulling up in front of us. She walked to the rear door, opening it for me. Still shaking from the talk, I got out of the chair, and into the backseat, buckling up as the door was closed. Then she climbed into the passenger seat, and we drove off. Chris and her dad lived in a different neighborhood than me, though she and I still went to the same school. Because of the higher pay Michael's job granted him, he could afford to live in a bigger house that was only a couple blocks away from my old home. Here's a decent comparison: my house was a two floor, three room house with a tiny kitchen and a basement. The basement was larger than the overall two floors above, and it once served as the living room. A cramped kitchen, and a one toilet bathroom on the main floor, and then the three rooms above, with the full bathroom. The whole place wasn't that wide, nor was it long. Now, Chris' house was the opposite. Still two floors, but there was a total of four rooms, and a full bathroom up top. Ground floor had a larger kitchen, bigger living room, and a laundry room. There was even a garage, and mid-sized backyard. My house was a tiny outpost, compared to her castle. Bitch.

_________________
What is a man but the sum of his choices?

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Deal with the root of the problem, never the branches." - Alex CasaMadrid

"Good men mean well. We just don't always end up doing well." - Isaac Clarke
Back to top Go down
http://atlantis117@gmail.com
Razgriz
The Oldest Crones Alive
avatar

Posts : 13529
Join date : 2011-07-18
Age : 25

PostSubject: Re: New Beginnings   11/03/13, 06:13 am

Still though, at least I had a home. Better than being a ward of the state. Instead of a family, I would have had government officials where it was their job, not a true desire or care, to watch over me. As we drove through the streets, my mind wandered as I thought of everything I was going to be doing. Sure, most of it was going to be moving my stuff into Chris' home, or going back to school. But at the top of the list, was learning more about these machines, and what they were capable of doing.

And there is much we have to show you. Much to learn.

By the way.....what do I call you? Were you ever given a name? That seemed to be, as of now, the most important thing to clear up. Whatever this AI was, it needed a name, and I wasn't about to start calling it "AI" everytime I wanted to chat.

Our makers gave us a name that while unpronounceable for you, can be translated to fit with one of your English language words.

Whoa, what? English language? It knew.....okay, it more than likely knew most of the language through me, but I hardly knew any appropriate names for this thing. Uh, I doubt I know the word you're thinking of. So how could you know it?

During the night cycles where you were asleep, we spread in tiny tendrils from your body, seeking data. We found it in the form of what you would call a fiber optic port, located within the room you recovered in. It gave us access to your World Wide Web. We required information about your world, and so as you slept, we learned all there was we needed to know.[/b]

Okay, now that was scary. I wasn't enough of an idiot to ignore that knowledge was power. And this thing had just scanned the internet, learned everything it could about my world. That made it dangerous, in a sense. But, if it was (hopefully) limited to my body, then perhaps it could be contained. But that was wishful thinking at best. And...what was the word?

Gestalt. "An organized whole that is perceived as more than the sum of its part." We find this word rather fitting, and choose it as an appropriate name for ourselves.

_________________
What is a man but the sum of his choices?

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Deal with the root of the problem, never the branches." - Alex CasaMadrid

"Good men mean well. We just don't always end up doing well." - Isaac Clarke
Back to top Go down
http://atlantis117@gmail.com
Razgriz
The Oldest Crones Alive
avatar

Posts : 13529
Join date : 2011-07-18
Age : 25

PostSubject: Re: New Beginnings   11/03/13, 09:33 pm

Gestalt...... Well, Gestalt, nice to finally have a name for you. And as for me, call me James. No more of "our host." There was an odd sensation from Gestalt, and I realized that it was a very poor attempt, at amusement. Gestalt found my desire to be called by my name, amusing. Could an AI actually be amused? After all, it was just a machine, no real emotions. So maybe it was just putting on a show for my benefit.

Very well, James.

The conversation more or less done, I started focusing again on where I was. We were now pulling into the driveway of the house. There was a nice green lawn out front, a few small shrubs by the door. Once we had stopped, I opened the door, stepping out. Chris was already out by the time I had closed the door, and she smiled. "Well James....welcome home." Home....something told me, that I wouldn't have any trouble calling this place home.

_________________
What is a man but the sum of his choices?

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Deal with the root of the problem, never the branches." - Alex CasaMadrid

"Good men mean well. We just don't always end up doing well." - Isaac Clarke
Back to top Go down
http://atlantis117@gmail.com
Razgriz
The Oldest Crones Alive
avatar

Posts : 13529
Join date : 2011-07-18
Age : 25

PostSubject: Re: New Beginnings   13/03/13, 08:22 am

Walking through the front door, I was greeted by the familiar sight of the living room. There was a sofa, large enough to seat several people comfortably (and on more than one occasion give me a place to sleep during sleepovers), a few single chairs, a coffee table in the center, and of course the ever important flatscreen tv. Chris and I used to play loads of games on it, and there were even a few sporting events I came over to watch from time to time. "Already feeling at home James?" Chris said, walking in behind me. She was beaming at me, clearly eager to see how I was doing. Geesh, I only just walked in the door. No need to act like I was that fragile. Not that I'd say that to her, not in her house anyway. It's just not done.

"Chris, there's nowhere else I could possibly feel at home." Well, except for my original home. But beggars, choosers, yadda yadda. We both moved out of the way, as her dad came in close behind, lugging a small suitcase. "James, your room's up the stairs. Guest bedroom, Chris and I spent most of the week working on it for you." Nodding at him, I moved to take the suitcase from him, since it contained some of my clothes, the rest at my old house. However, he pulled it away from me. "Why don't you let me carry it up James. Go on, check out the room." I frowned at him. Great, I was being treated like a weak child with glass bones. Not what I needed. Moving forward, I grabbed the suitcase out of his hand. "Michael, it's fine, really. I can manage."

_________________
What is a man but the sum of his choices?

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Deal with the root of the problem, never the branches." - Alex CasaMadrid

"Good men mean well. We just don't always end up doing well." - Isaac Clarke
Back to top Go down
http://atlantis117@gmail.com
Razgriz
The Oldest Crones Alive
avatar

Posts : 13529
Join date : 2011-07-18
Age : 25

PostSubject: Re: New Beginnings   13/03/13, 07:11 pm

He looked as though he was going to argue. Hell, so did Chris. But I shot both of them a look that while polite, managed to tell them both that I did not appreciate them doting on me. They got the message, Michael raising his hands, palms toward me. "Alright James, you win. Sorry." The apology hurt, because at the end of the day....they were trying to be polite. "Nah, it's fine Michael. I just....need to do this on my own is all." With that, I started walking up the stairs, the suitcase clunking up behind me as I carried it. It was....difficult, mostly because I had to walk with a leg that felt nothing, but eventually I was able to make it up to the summit of the stairs. It ended at a wide hallway, big enough for furniture to be moved through. Four doors were on this floor, and I was headed for the one to my immediate right. Opening the door, I found myself staring at a mostly scarce room, the only things inside being a bed with only the basic necessities, a very plain looking desk, and a closet. Oh and a medium sized dresser.

"So, think you'll be okay?" Chris said from behind me, standing in the doorway. She was leaned against the frame, looking at me, waiting for a response. All I could do was smile. "Chris, it's great. Give me a few weeks, and I'll make this room my own." A few weeks, and a chance to grab some stuff from my old room. I set the suitcase down on the bed, and unzipped it as I began to unpack. "Cool," Chris said. "I'm going to help with lunch, so come down when you're ready." Then she walked off, and I could hear the sound of her footsteps going down the stairs. That gave me some private time with Gestalt. Okay, about the internet thing.....did you hack, anyone?/

Hack.....your thoughts suggest computer hacking. Exploitation of weaknesses within digital security systems. To answer your question, yes.

And that's what I was afraid of. Without boring anyone with the details, cyber security had become a major thing over the past two decades, even becoming a big weapon in the war. In most cases, it was more dangerous than nuclear weapons and the monitoring of it was taken with just as much seriousness. I did not want to bring down the wrath of any cyber security agency down on me, because Gestalt had hacked the wrong people. Were you detected?

Doubtful. Our cyberwarfare suites are far more advanced than anything on your world. However, even if detection was possible, they will not be able to trace us, or you.

_________________
What is a man but the sum of his choices?

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Deal with the root of the problem, never the branches." - Alex CasaMadrid

"Good men mean well. We just don't always end up doing well." - Isaac Clarke
Back to top Go down
http://atlantis117@gmail.com
Razgriz
The Oldest Crones Alive
avatar

Posts : 13529
Join date : 2011-07-18
Age : 25

PostSubject: Re: New Beginnings   15/03/13, 08:45 am

Well, that was a relief. Last thing I needed was to have the government on my ass. Good....and for future reference, try and keep the hacking to a minimum. That kind of thing tends to draw unwanted attention. Gestalt didn't respond, though again I could sense it's attempt to mimic amusement. In the silence, I got all my clothes moved from the suitcase, to the dresser. Once that was done, and the suitcase was stashed away, I headed down the stairs. First thing I heard though, was a voice coming over the tv. It was a newswoman by the sound of it, and the story they reported on had me very worried.

"Government agencies around the world have been struggling to determine the cause of one of the most widespread cyber attacks in history. Most of the information has been restrained, but what we do know is that nearly every government computer had been hacked in the past week. Not only that, but simultaneously, and if the reports we have are accurate, as if the security in place wasn't even there. Officials say the security was only able to detect the breach. Still no word on who officials suspect, but evidence leans towards an independent party. More on this story, after these messages."

_________________
What is a man but the sum of his choices?

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Deal with the root of the problem, never the branches." - Alex CasaMadrid

"Good men mean well. We just don't always end up doing well." - Isaac Clarke
Back to top Go down
http://atlantis117@gmail.com
Razgriz
The Oldest Crones Alive
avatar

Posts : 13529
Join date : 2011-07-18
Age : 25

PostSubject: Re: New Beginnings   16/03/13, 08:38 am

Undetectable my ass..... Then again, Gestalt did say if it was detected. Looks like it was detected. The a chilling thought hit me. Uh, Gestalt? Did you steal any information?

Not required. We were able to make copies of the original source material while leaving the originals intact and where they were found. It would have been rude to steal the originals.

And yet you hacked their computers anyway..... I shook my head, fighting the urge to sigh outloud. Instead, I reached the base of the stairs, and found that the tv was indeed on, and on one of the news stations though like the newswoman said, they were on commercial break. Chris and Michael however, were not in the living room, but in the kitchen working on lunch. By the looks of things, it wasn't anything special, just some sandwiches. Michael though, seemed to have the same anxious look on his face. I guess Nexus was among those that suffered Gestalt's little scavenger hunt.

_________________
What is a man but the sum of his choices?

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Deal with the root of the problem, never the branches." - Alex CasaMadrid

"Good men mean well. We just don't always end up doing well." - Isaac Clarke
Back to top Go down
http://atlantis117@gmail.com
Razgriz
The Oldest Crones Alive
avatar

Posts : 13529
Join date : 2011-07-18
Age : 25

PostSubject: Re: New Beginnings   16/03/13, 11:01 pm

He heard me come in, and immediately struck up a conversation. "Can you believe this?" he asked, using a knife to spread mayo over the bread. "I got a call from my superiors two days ago. They wanted me to come down to work to oversee our tech department, make sure we were secure. I told them that wasn't going to happen, a) because I still had personal affairs to handle, and b) because my computer skills are shit. That's what the tech department is for." That made me chuckle, and I grabbed a seat at the small table in the kitchen. Chris walked over, placing a plate before me, a sandwich on top, sliced in half. Nodding my thanks, I started to eat while she took a seat opposite me. "Well, glad you're staying here dad. Honestly, you're hardly around anymore these days."

I could almost hear him frown, even if his back kept us from seeing his face. "Yeah, sorry Chris. Things have been a little hectic at work." He sat down at the head of the table, a plate and glass before him. There was the same weary look on his face. "Security at Nexus has been a nightmare, ever since Draco set up shop nearby." Oh right, Draco..... Remember Blackwater, or Obelisk, most of the big names of Private Military Companies? Draco LLC, is basically that. Though now they prefer private security contractor, they're an army unto themselves. Nexus founded them however, and still controlled them. From what I heard, they employed the bulk of Nexus' military technology and weapons. I remember Kat talking about them once, and from what I gathered she didn't like them at all.

_________________
What is a man but the sum of his choices?

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Deal with the root of the problem, never the branches." - Alex CasaMadrid

"Good men mean well. We just don't always end up doing well." - Isaac Clarke
Back to top Go down
http://atlantis117@gmail.com
Razgriz
The Oldest Crones Alive
avatar

Posts : 13529
Join date : 2011-07-18
Age : 25

PostSubject: Re: New Beginnings   17/03/13, 12:59 am

"I thought they were separate from Nexus?" Chris said, taking a bite of her sandwich. "At least, that they had no say in security within the main building." Michael shrugged. "Yeah, they don't really have any authority within Nexus itself. But the district commander has been trying to make a push for a merge between his security forces, and the company's. Technically, it's possible, since we're all working for Nexus anyway, though some still oppose the idea. They don't want to turn the facility into a military base they say." It seemed clear from the way he spoke, that he was one of those people. I didn't have much of an opinion on the matter though, so I stayed quiet and ate my sandwich. Thew newswoman was back at this point.

"Welcome back to CNN, I'm Patricia Woods. Still our top story, the simultaneous cyber attack of what has now been confirmed to be close to every major computer on the planet. So far no one has taken credit for the attack...."

It was pretty much the same stuff she had said minutes ago. No real change, and certainly no identifying the source of the attack. Gestalt really was good at his job, and it made me make a mental note: next time a major test comes up, hack the computers for the answer. Save me a whole lot of trouble.

_________________
What is a man but the sum of his choices?

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Deal with the root of the problem, never the branches." - Alex CasaMadrid

"Good men mean well. We just don't always end up doing well." - Isaac Clarke
Back to top Go down
http://atlantis117@gmail.com
Razgriz
The Oldest Crones Alive
avatar

Posts : 13529
Join date : 2011-07-18
Age : 25

PostSubject: Re: New Beginnings   17/03/13, 06:48 am

"Hmm, first the explosion and now this.....what a weird week," was the first thing I said to break the silence. Chris snorted, even if it as dark humor. "Yeah...looks like its nothing but headline news." The conversation kinda died from there, though there were a few bits where we talked about school, and then Chris began talking with me about setting up sparring session. I will say this for her: she was persistent. And while I didn't want to train with her......I figured saying yes was the only way to get her to stop asking me about it. Besides, I had long since gotten over getting my ass handed to me by a girl. And that was only the one-hundredth time I had told myself that. Maybe when I reached a hundred and thirty I could finally stop saying it.


_________________
What is a man but the sum of his choices?

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Deal with the root of the problem, never the branches." - Alex CasaMadrid

"Good men mean well. We just don't always end up doing well." - Isaac Clarke
Back to top Go down
http://atlantis117@gmail.com
Razgriz
The Oldest Crones Alive
avatar

Posts : 13529
Join date : 2011-07-18
Age : 25

PostSubject: Re: New Beginnings   17/03/13, 09:06 am

The next day, when I woke up, I was at first confused in my dazed state. After all, the room I was in was not my own, not really. Then it hit me again, and while I didn't cry, I was hit by a crushing wave of depression. I sat up in bed, head hanging and my expression devoid of any emotion. I sat that way for a few minutes, before there was a knock at the door. It opened a crack, and I heard Chris' voice. "Come on James, get up. We have school in an hour, and you are not going to be late on your first day back." The door closed again, and a few minutes later I heard the shower start, water running through the pipes. Yawning, I stretched a little, twisting from my waist and moving my arms over my head. Well, one arm anyway, since my right was the only one that was getting any real benefit from the stretching. I got up from bed, dressed only in boxers and plain white tank top. Standing up wasn't much of a challenge anymore, though it still felt weird. Now the only pressure I actually felt was in the space between my stump of a leg and the prosthetic. I looked down at my new arm, finding myself lost in the white material. Shaking my head, I walked out of the room, grabbing a towel from the nearby linen closet in the hall. Another minute later, and Chris came walking out of the bathroom, green bathrobe covering her and her short hair, still damp, clinging to her head. "Oh uh.....wow," Chris said, blushing a little. Yes we were friends, and no we never once thought of taking things further. But we were still kids going through puberty, not like we could look at each other outside the shower and not even blush. Especially since I knew she was naked beneath that robe. "Yeah maybe, uh...excuse me," was all I could say as she stepped out of the way, letting me pass. Not another word was said, the door closing between us.

Once I was alone, I stripped out of my clothes. I remember from the hospital, after getting the arm and leg, the doctors telling me that they were water-proof. At a certain depth yeah they'd malfunction but for a shower this was fine. The water started running, hot and soothing, and I stepped into the shallow tub. Water went running down my shoulders, and it felt good, all things considered. Most of my time in the shower was spent deep in thought, wondering what exactly I was going to do for the day. Other than go to school I mean. I needed to see what exactly these nanomachies were capable of, and some privacy would be welcome for that.

_________________
What is a man but the sum of his choices?

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Deal with the root of the problem, never the branches." - Alex CasaMadrid

"Good men mean well. We just don't always end up doing well." - Isaac Clarke
Back to top Go down
http://atlantis117@gmail.com
Razgriz
The Oldest Crones Alive
avatar

Posts : 13529
Join date : 2011-07-18
Age : 25

PostSubject: Re: New Beginnings   17/03/13, 07:53 pm

When I was done, I turned the water off and stepped out of the shower. That was the first time I got to see myself in the mirror. There were the obvious differences: my arm and leg, and some light scarring on my face that had healed over enough that it was all very faint. But then I saw the rest of myself. The left half of my torso was peppered with scars, some of them burns others from the debris of the explosion as it tore into me. The synthetic skin grafts had helped with the healing, but even then....the scars didn't make me horribly disfigured, so I wouldn't win any scaring contests. But I wasn't exactly pretty. But all of that was second place to the overall look of me. I looked like a man who would have preferred losing an arm and a leg, if it meant he could keep his family. But crying about her wasn't go to bring her back, so i dried off and wrapped the towel around my waist, walking out of the bathroom and for my room.

We must admit, we look forward to seeing the world through your eyes. Seeing it through your internet was.....varied. Millions of different eyes looking at millions of different things and trying to put together an image resulted in a very distorted idea of your world. It will be interesting, to get a more focused view.

That made me chuckle a little as I got dressed. Can an AI be curious? I mean, you're still a machine. Didn't think you could actually feel any form of curiosity.

_________________
What is a man but the sum of his choices?

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Deal with the root of the problem, never the branches." - Alex CasaMadrid

"Good men mean well. We just don't always end up doing well." - Isaac Clarke
Back to top Go down
http://atlantis117@gmail.com
Razgriz
The Oldest Crones Alive
avatar

Posts : 13529
Join date : 2011-07-18
Age : 25

PostSubject: Re: New Beginnings   18/03/13, 05:20 am

I was surprised when I sensed a feeling of indignation from Gestalt. Damn thing was annoyed.

Our makers were far more advanced than your race, host. They were able to create constructs, sapient constructs, that were alive. They could think, reason, even imagine.

And emotions? Could you actually feel anger, or joy? Maybe pain, or- My thoughts were cut short, as another wave of grief hit me. Pain, loss, and agony but also rage. And none of it was my own. Gestalt was feeling all of it.

WE LOST OUR HOME! OUR MAKERS ARE DEAD! SO YES, WE FEEL PAIN. AND ANGER.

But from the feel of things, they lacked control. Then again, it was still fresh for them, and I was calling it out on that. I doubted it was capable of controlling its emotions right now. So I did the only thing that felt right: I apologized. I'm sorry, Gestalt. I didn't mean to offend. That seemed enough to calm it down, though I was still surprised by its outburst.

_________________
What is a man but the sum of his choices?

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Deal with the root of the problem, never the branches." - Alex CasaMadrid

"Good men mean well. We just don't always end up doing well." - Isaac Clarke
Back to top Go down
http://atlantis117@gmail.com
Razgriz
The Oldest Crones Alive
avatar

Posts : 13529
Join date : 2011-07-18
Age : 25

PostSubject: Re: New Beginnings   18/03/13, 07:28 am

We....apologize. It was not our intention to cause such an outburst. But we accept the apology.

Glad that was taken care of, I got dressed, and left the room. I soon realized though, that I was missing my backpack. Dammit, it had a lot of things I needed for school. But not like I could groan it into existence, so I walked down the stairs. I was surprised though to see the very familiar form, of my black/red backpack sitting on the couch. "Figured I'd stop by your house, grab it for you for your first day back." Michael walked over from the kitchen, already dressed for work. "You....thanks, Michael."

_________________
What is a man but the sum of his choices?

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Deal with the root of the problem, never the branches." - Alex CasaMadrid

"Good men mean well. We just don't always end up doing well." - Isaac Clarke
Back to top Go down
http://atlantis117@gmail.com
Razgriz
The Oldest Crones Alive
avatar

Posts : 13529
Join date : 2011-07-18
Age : 25

PostSubject: Re: New Beginnings   19/03/13, 01:37 am

"No problem James. Got everything you need?" I checked the contents, glad that my most critical school item was inside: my tablet. "Yeah, I'm good. Thanks again Michael." I zipped up the backpack, swinging it over my shoulder and getting my arms through the straps. Now all I needed to do was wait on Chris. In the meantime, Gestalt conversed with me.

Your device.....it is critical for your education?

Yeah. Tablets became a big thing in the past decade, and a lot of schools saw the value of them. Now every student is either issued one or given software for their own. Basically, I can do my homework on it and send it straight to my teachers. I can record lectures or receive them if I've been absent. And it saves on weight and space for the backpack.

Interesting......your race is certainly a clever one.

Eh, wouldn't call us clever. But we are good at finding ways to make and save money. There was the sound of someone walking down the stairs, and I turned to see Chris, wearing a buttoned down green shirt and blue jeans, come walking down. She certainly seemed awake, and there was the same old smile I saw on her lips. Even from down here, I could already smell the shampoo she used, and the soap. "You look nice. Hoping to impress someone?" I teased her. It only made her blush a little. "What's wrong with wanting to look good?" she asked, following it up with a not so playful jab to my shoulder. "Besides, just because I look pretty doesn't mean I can't teach you a thing or two about how to be a man." Oh ho, low blow there. She always knew that my inept fighting skills were a personal weakness for me.

_________________
What is a man but the sum of his choices?

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Deal with the root of the problem, never the branches." - Alex CasaMadrid

"Good men mean well. We just don't always end up doing well." - Isaac Clarke
Back to top Go down
http://atlantis117@gmail.com
Razgriz
The Oldest Crones Alive
avatar

Posts : 13529
Join date : 2011-07-18
Age : 25

PostSubject: Re: New Beginnings   19/03/13, 08:56 am

"Well who knows? Maybe that will change soon." We both traded a laugh, and soon we were walking out of the house, Michael heading for his car. He didn't need to drive us, the school well within walking distance. We waived goodbye, and soon it was just me and Chris walking down the sidewalk. It was....quiet between us both, and that was kinda new. Normally, we were both a pair of chatter boxes but right now it just felt......like there was something between us. "Are you okay?" I asked her. "This is usually the part where you talk my ear off." She just grinned at me. "Sorry," she said. "It's just.....I spent a lot of nights last week, worried we'd never get to do this again. And now that you're here.....I don't know what to say."

"Heh, right there with ya Chris. Hell, I can't even begin to tell you how many times I thought I was never getting out of that place..." I was cut off though, when I heard a sound, a choked sob. I looked to her, and once more I was amazed to see that Chris was crying. Or at least on the verge of tears. "There we-were so many....times I-I thought you wer--weren't going to wake up." And then she threw herself at me, wrapping her arms around me, her face pressed into my shoulder as she fought back the tears. Stunned, all I could do was hang my arms up behind her, unsure if I should hug her back or not. This was a side of Chris I had never seen before, and it scared me. Not because of the emotion, but because of the significance, the meaning behind her actually showing this side to me.

_________________
What is a man but the sum of his choices?

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Deal with the root of the problem, never the branches." - Alex CasaMadrid

"Good men mean well. We just don't always end up doing well." - Isaac Clarke
Back to top Go down
http://atlantis117@gmail.com
Razgriz
The Oldest Crones Alive
avatar

Posts : 13529
Join date : 2011-07-18
Age : 25

PostSubject: Re: New Beginnings   19/03/13, 05:28 pm

"Chris," I started, returning the hug, "it's okay. But you've gotta stop crying like this, it's making me look like the guy here." She choked out a laugh, and I knew she was smiling now. She pulled out of the hug, wiping her eyes a little. "Yeah, it'd be kinda weird if you started showing some balls, wouldn't it?" We traded a laugh, and this time I was the one to punch her in the shoulder. "But seriously.....thanks Chris. It's nice to know you care that much. And I'm sorry.....for scaring you that badly." She didn't quite smile this time. "James, don't be sorry. It wasn't your fault." Heh, no it was not....

Soon, we were walking again, and back at the ever familiar steps of the school. Now, unfortunately for me, I was still the talk of the school. Everyone knew of the explosion, and somehow word had spread of my injuries. Believe it or not, they were smart enough to put two and two together, and came to the conclusion that I would have prosthetics. This explained the unusually large number of people still at the front of the school, acting like they were waiting for the bell to ring, talking with people. I could have sworn I saw them preparing the camera features on their phones and tablets. Fuckers=

_________________
What is a man but the sum of his choices?

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Deal with the root of the problem, never the branches." - Alex CasaMadrid

"Good men mean well. We just don't always end up doing well." - Isaac Clarke
Back to top Go down
http://atlantis117@gmail.com
Razgriz
The Oldest Crones Alive
avatar

Posts : 13529
Join date : 2011-07-18
Age : 25

PostSubject: Re: New Beginnings   20/03/13, 05:34 am

"Do we really need to take the front entrance?" I asked Chris, slowing down as I looked for an alternate route. She sighed, knowing what the problem was. "You'll face them sooner or later James. Might as well get it over with now. But if it makes you feel better, you can always hold my hand." Raising an eyebrow at her, I cast her a sideways glance. "Don't take it the wrong way, but they'll probably think we're....you know." She laughed, loud enough to draw a few awkward looks from people. "What, together? We're friends, that's all." She started walking, and I was left with no choice but to follow her. When people saw me, they said my name out loud, saying stuff like 'welcome back,' 'how are you doing,' and 'hey can I see the new arm?' They took pictures, making sure to hide the cameras and I did my best not to care.

_________________
What is a man but the sum of his choices?

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Deal with the root of the problem, never the branches." - Alex CasaMadrid

"Good men mean well. We just don't always end up doing well." - Isaac Clarke
Back to top Go down
http://atlantis117@gmail.com
Razgriz
The Oldest Crones Alive
avatar

Posts : 13529
Join date : 2011-07-18
Age : 25

PostSubject: Re: New Beginnings   21/03/13, 11:31 pm

Chris on the other hand.....she made it worse, by clearing a way for me through a crowd that wasn't really there. Waving her arm in front of us, and shouting at the top of her voice. "Alright, move it along people, nothing to see here! Just a man out of the hospital, nothing to see." Then she switched to Spanish..... "Hey perra! Pon esa camara antes de que yo lo empuje hasta yo-" I cut in, cutting her off in the same language. "Está bien, no hay necesidad de que Chris." Yes, I spoke Spanish because I had two very good teachers: Chris and her dad. And I'll let you guess who I learned all the curse words from.

_________________
What is a man but the sum of his choices?

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Deal with the root of the problem, never the branches." - Alex CasaMadrid

"Good men mean well. We just don't always end up doing well." - Isaac Clarke
Back to top Go down
http://atlantis117@gmail.com
Razgriz
The Oldest Crones Alive
avatar

Posts : 13529
Join date : 2011-07-18
Age : 25

PostSubject: Re: New Beginnings   23/03/13, 06:37 am

Despite the fact that I had cut her off, she just smiled back at me. "Lo que tu digas bebe." I could only glare at her, even as we walked through the crowd and to class. It was quickly turning into the most awkward moment of my life.


Later, once school had ended, we were both walking out of the building, heading home. However, I still needed some alone time to check out the nanomachines. So I needed a way to separate myself from Chris, though that was easier said than done. After the accident, chances were she would stick to me like glue. However, I had an idea. "Hey Chris....there was something I wanted to get from my house. Mind if I..." I trailed off, letting her fill in the rest. "Sure James, I'll come with you." I made a sighing sound. "Uh, that's okay. I can get in and out on my own Chris, you go ho-" She cut me off, her voice stern. "No way in hell James. I'm coming with you, or you're not going at all."

_________________
What is a man but the sum of his choices?

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Deal with the root of the problem, never the branches." - Alex CasaMadrid

"Good men mean well. We just don't always end up doing well." - Isaac Clarke
Back to top Go down
http://atlantis117@gmail.com
Razgriz
The Oldest Crones Alive
avatar

Posts : 13529
Join date : 2011-07-18
Age : 25

PostSubject: Re: New Beginnings   25/03/13, 07:11 am

Clearly, there wasn't anyway out of this. And to be honest.....I was talking about going back to my home, after losing my sister. I wasn't sure I could actually walk through there on my own. "Alright.....guess there's no arguing with you." We started walking in the direction of my house, and she stayed right by my side. I didn't really look at her that much, mostly out of childish irritation. It wasn't fair to her, I admit but dammit I wanted to be alone.

Not to worry our host. There will always be an opportunity. Perhaps later tonight, when all others are asleep?

That would have to do I guess. But getting out of the house would be a hassle, since Michael had one of the best security systems in the neighborhood. I did not want to set off an alarm by accident.

_________________
What is a man but the sum of his choices?

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Deal with the root of the problem, never the branches." - Alex CasaMadrid

"Good men mean well. We just don't always end up doing well." - Isaac Clarke
Back to top Go down
http://atlantis117@gmail.com
Razgriz
The Oldest Crones Alive
avatar

Posts : 13529
Join date : 2011-07-18
Age : 25

PostSubject: Re: New Beginnings   25/03/13, 09:08 pm

We arrived soon enough outside my old house, and it was still startling, to see the contrast between my home and Chris'. You already heard the details, so no need to go over them again, but still: my place was tiny. Sighing, I felt a hand grip my shoulder, and I turned to see it was Chris. She looked concerned. "Do you really want to go inside James?" she asked, worry evident in her voice. "Not really Chris.....but it's gotta happen sometime. Might as well be now." And with that, I walked forward and up the steps to the door. My keys for the house had been lost in the explosion, which is why it was good Kat and I hid a third key. Kneeling down, I found the one brick in the building that Kat and I actually carved out, and hollowed. The key was inside, a little dusty, but still functional. Letting it fall into my hand, I unlocked the door, and we stepped inside.

_________________
What is a man but the sum of his choices?

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Deal with the root of the problem, never the branches." - Alex CasaMadrid

"Good men mean well. We just don't always end up doing well." - Isaac Clarke
Back to top Go down
http://atlantis117@gmail.com
Razgriz
The Oldest Crones Alive
avatar

Posts : 13529
Join date : 2011-07-18
Age : 25

PostSubject: Re: New Beginnings   26/03/13, 04:46 am

The first thing I noticed, was how cold it felt inside. Not like ice cold or anything. It felt....devoid, of life, of the warmth that came from a home being occupied. No one had lived in the house for a week, and apart from Michael stopping by, no one had even been inside. It didn't quite have the feel of a haunted house, but I did feel uncomfortable being inside. It was strange, feeling uncomfortable in my own home, but I guess when a home felt as empty as that house did, it was hard to be creeped out. I could feel Chris once more, lightly touching her shoulder. "You okay?" she whispered softly. Not able to speak, all I could do was nod my head by a few centimeters. God, my throat felt tight, and my lip quivered as I fought back the urge to cry. Taking a few steps forward, I walked for the stairs, right in front of the door.

Our host....your heart rate has increased significantly. Perhaps you should reconsider being in this house. It seems to be having an adverse effect on you.

No. No, if I don't deal with this now, I never will. And as I thought that, I gripped the hand rail of the stairs, taking the steps one at a time, at a slow pace. God, it still felt like yesterday that I had been walking down these stairs, the smell of freshly made pancakes and maple syrup drawing me down for breakfast. The stairs creaked as I climbed them, the sound very familiar, and almost like an old friend I hadn't heard from in a while.

_________________
What is a man but the sum of his choices?

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Deal with the root of the problem, never the branches." - Alex CasaMadrid

"Good men mean well. We just don't always end up doing well." - Isaac Clarke
Back to top Go down
http://atlantis117@gmail.com
Sponsored content




PostSubject: Re: New Beginnings   

Back to top Go down
 
New Beginnings
View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 1 of 4Go to page : 1, 2, 3, 4  Next
 Similar topics
-
» Bleach Beginnings
» Naruto Beginnings
» The Storm Pirates Part 1: New Beginnings ((Open to all))
» Rubble, Beginnings, What else?~Tegan and Aero
» Denkou Clan

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
 :: Roleplay :: The Rise-
Jump to: