Project: AKRA pt2

Part 2 of the story, make sure you check it out, its going to be big!

The five members of the squad were sitting on the bench in the sterilization room of their ship, naked while a battery of electromagnetic waves, chemicals, and machines poured over their toned bodies.  Since the nanites within their systems protected them from any likely xeno-disease of the planet, this was for the exact opposite reason: so their own bacteria would not wipe out the entire planet’s ecosystem.  That kind of xenocide tended to be bad for business.

“What the hell!?  We are taking another recovery mission without getting any of the details?” Ziko’s fist slammed into the bulkhead.

“Do you want to bitch your whole life?”  Raist pointedly asked him.

“Come on Raist, we need to start getting way more info before we get into these things!”

“Leave him alone Ziko, it’s not like you are smart enough to ever care about details anyway,” Leio’s voice stated calmly as she lay back against the wall of the room, arching her back with her hands locked behind her head.  Her perfect breasts and thinner, toned waist would distract even the hardiest of males, but it was only a matter of course: she was Aelisha Genetically Engineered that way.

“How nice,” he replied as he gave her a sideways glance. “Your girl is playing secretary for you as well.  What do I have to do to talk to the man in charge?  Kill her?” he joked.

“She could kick your ass.  If you can make it past her then you can talk to me,” Raist responded quickly, his brain coming up with a retort more out of habit than anything.

“Jeez, team effort here.”  He wore a huge smile, closing his eyes and flexing his huge arms he had behind his own head.  “Sorry for trying to show caution when our Leader is failing to do so.”

Leio giggled for a bit, opening her eyes and winking at Ziko while giving him a slight smile.

“So she is your battle-secretary?  Damn that sounds hot,” Agrest, the fourth member of their team, suggested.  Raist and Leio laughed at his typical joking demeanor, belying the fact he was the group’s Sniper capable of blowing any creature’s head off at amazing distances, or surviving alone for long periods of time  “What type of other ‘uniforms’ do you get her to wear when we aren’t rolling out?  Old school maid perhaps?”

“Why would her uniform be different?”  Philira, the second girl of the group, naively asked.  Through her hair was a bright pink when it wasn’t nano-camouflaged, her eyes left a cold sensation, amplified by her obvious young age compared to the older soldiers.  She was a girl AGEd to be the best soldier you could have on point, with extremely heightened visual and aural acuity, rapid peripheral vision processing, and, above all, reflexes to keep her alive in the extremely dangerous position of Scout.

Agrest frowned exaggeratedly, “Uh, never mind…”

“Yeah, stow that shit Agrest, what is your problem?” Ziko’s joking demeanor changed to one that was stern.  Though Agrest and Ziko were both the group’s source of laughs, Ziko had a sensitive spot in that he couldn’t stand jokes about Philira, or anything sexual that might ‘taint’ her mind.  Ziko considered himself the father figure, or more like the big brother, of the younger Philira, unsurprising given the general close proximity of the two with his role as Assault and hers as Scout.  It was probably a mistake for Ziko to ever have made an issue about it at all.  Even cool-headed Raist got in on the jokes just to make him mad.

The five of them were a close family, but there were still a lot of secrets between them such as where they came from, action they’d bene in before getting into super deep groups like this, and what horrors they had lived through; all somewhat natural given their line of work.  Very rarely would someone get rotated out to a new team, such as Raist’s few other friends.  Mostly people died in the team they start in or get maimed too bad to continue or they make it through a deadly grinder and live an all-expense retirement after a short but brutal tour.

Even so Ziko still felt a duty to protect the girl, even though she was just as good of a killer as him and her young eyes had that dark coldness to them.  This was despite her naivety of some aspects of the world, namely those that didn’t involve killing such as relationships, love, or sex.  None of them knew the past all of them came with, and a girl like Philira likely didn’t have much since Scouts tended to get grinded worse than most other Classes.  At this point of their lives they still trusted each other deeply, as it took tremendous service and sacrifice to the Solarian or Aelisha empires to get here.

“Anyway, Leio’s sexy maid costume and Philira’s overall hotness aside,” Agrest began, grinning boyishly, “anything else about this mission you haven’t brought up yet?” he ended seriously.

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Proud Infinity pt 33

2nd to last post for the story, I hope you guys are enjoying it.

“The ship’s security card is over there.” She pointed to a building that we walked towards.

“How the hell are you doing this?”

“You remember asking about my Chrono Psionics?  Well, even the most developed on the physical plane fall fairly flat with ours.  Now that the time fracture is gone, all the various pathways in front of us are clear.  I am just choosing, and telling you, the correct ones.”

“Isn’t that kind of powerful if you can see all the options time could take, and I am able to act on it?”

“Quite so.”  She nodded turning around to look at me for a moment.

“A limitless actor, who is given perfect information…”

A guard had opened a door in the back of the building and turned away from us, propping the door open with his foot while he went to the bathroom.

Proud nodded to me. “It’s the red one with an orange stripe.”  I slipped in behind the guy, hoping I could see the card easily, which I did, and grabbed it painfully in my mouth, slipping back out and around the corner.

“Unbelievable,” I said between closed teeth, shaking my head, holding the exact card she said I would find.

I was about to walk in front of the guard’s shack when she grabbed my arm, shaking her head.  “He is going to see this regardless, and a lot of other paths are converging here.  We just have to run now.  The ship is the silver one with the red trim on its tail fin.  I gave you enough energy that you should be able to manage it.”

I nodded and we started running.  A bit later I heard yelling and a few shots exploded across the pad.  Twice Proud physically pushed me to one side or another while a round hit exactly where I once was.  I held the card up and the ship responded, then we both jumped in as the door closed.  I was breathing hard, holding the ground, then lifted my body up and started laughing before she joined in on my jubilation.

“We did it!”

“Not yet,” she said coldly.  I looked at her with worry.  “Start the ship, then we will be okay!” She laughed at what was probably a joke to her.

“Right.”  I nodded and went to the bridge, starting the ship with a few pushes of my chin and hitting a random coordinate in it.  Suddenly the ship was taking off.  The ruins of the ReCorp building were visible as we gained altitude. “Do time fractures happen often?”

She shook her head, frowning. “Unbelievably often.  Just about every space faring race runs into this at least once through their various particle accelerators trying to ‘understand’ the universe.  They never realize they will not understand anything that way.  It only leads to destruction.”

“Thanks for coming to save me.  Seriously.” My head went back and forth a bit, maybe trying to shake itself free of everything going on in it.  “But now, is that it?  You are off to stop another time fracture?  Are you going to leave me?”

“Only if you want me to.”

“Hardly.  I’d love you to stay with me.  If I could be so selfish to request it.”

“Well, then I will!” she stated loudly, hugging me.

“Isn’t it your job to stop the fractures?”

“It was.  Perhaps you do not understand.  I was created to stop that fracture, and now it is stopped.  So in a way, I am without a purpose.  You felt purposeless, but I am much more so.  You were born, in the physical sense, and I was born in a different sense, with my sole purpose being to pair with the most responsive physical element, that’s you, and stop this local time fracture.  So now my purpose is complete.  It is like the immune system of your body, the task is complete now I am adrift.”

Proud Infinity pt 24

I am working on my first paperback, and it will probably be out in the next 2 weeks or so.  Here is the cover art

vl-chron-final

Of which Proud Infinity is a part of!

 

Anyway on with the story as Trego is navigating his way through the time loops:

 

I walked over to the space port, spending more time with the android, Mitreah.

I waved when I walked in and she gave a friendly wave back, but did not know me from anyone else at this point.

“Hi, Mitreah.”

“Oh hello!  I don’t remember your name.  Have we met?”

‘A few times…’ I thought to myself.

“Mitreah: Farewell Fallen Sword,” I stated cryptically.  Her face went blank like it always does, before her bright eyes returned.

“Override confirmed.  What are you orders?”

I waved my hand.  “Nothing major, I simple want to talk to you a bit.”

“An odd request, but certainly.”

I spent a long time talking to her.  Unlike the old man, she was much more fun, but I learned less.  There was not as much applicable to me due to her combat android form and background.  She could teach me so much about fighting, but not as much about the world.

Before the end of this loop I wanted to fight her more to train my combat ability.  That was perhaps the biggest boon from her, other than eventually using her to break into ReCorp.

To her, my words were novel, “Mitreah, I want you to train me to fight.  I want to use my pistol, and anything you can teach me.  Execute training protocol number 2.”

She smiled at me.  “This is so much more fun.”

She left to go get some training supplies she had in her personal locker.  I had never figured out why an ex-combat android ended up here, I could never get it out of her.  The best I could figure is that she was injured slightly, or had served long enough she got to retire.

Mitreah came back with a training pistol that would fire visible lasers that did not actually do anything but would respond if I hit her and she could react appropriately.  Combat androids could fight with guns, and melee weapons, but there most signature weapon was their arm would form into a very sharp blade, essentially like a nano blade.  Something like this would kill my obviously, so it was more like a blunt bat I was struck with.

She tossed the training pistol to me like always.  I caught it and started firing at her dashing form.

Probably an old Aelisha combat android based on Solarian form, evidenced by her dashing style was leaning super far forward: the same way Aelishas ran.  She slashed at me with her blade arm, I blocked with the pistol and dodged, firing at her.  I knew her moves well enough at this point I could end it easily.  My main goal at this point was to build up my own reflexes, not to use known paths.

I dove awkwardly a few times just to get off any previous path I would ‘remember’.  I felt blind once again which I liked.  Mitreah could easily take me out given her superior programming and speed but limited it during the training.

I fired a few times at her, impressed by how my own skills were coming along; she had to dodge which slowed her assault down.

She got close, swiping at me hard and connecting.  Her blade arm of course was dull for training, but in real combat I would have lost my arm.  Regardless it gave me a strong shock that made it numb.

I dove to the ground, grabbing the pistol out of my numb arm, turning around rapidly and hitting her in the chest.  A spray of the laser beams struck home, and if it was a strong enough weapon she would have been killed.  My aggressive push of not running and doubling down on the attack was enough to win.

“Uh…”  She moaned in pain from the ground a bit before standing.  We helped each other up.

“Dang, that was fun.”  We with standing there, hugging each other for support.  I was breathing hard.

“How are you so good?  I had to go to the very limits to even catch you.”

I stepped back.  “I’ve done this before.”

“Who was your teacher?”

“You.”  I pulled out my real pistol, aimed and reset.

 

***

Proud Infinity pt 21

Never seeing her proved okay for a while, but then the regret grew, and with no counter to my dark thoughts, they surged endlessly.  My thoughts turned back towards something I had fallen into early in the loops: could I kill myself out of this nightmare?  I tried…oh god, I tried.  But no.  I would die, and then the universe would later in the cycle, the time fracture traveling backwards past the point of my own death to the morning as it always did.  Each cycle, wake up, grab the pistol, pull the trigger.  Instantly wake back up in the same room, but dealing with the emotional fallout of ‘surviving’ a suicide.

I felt my body shaking from the fear of itself from the horror I had inflicted on it in the name of escaping.  Or trying to anyway.  I could not get out.

“I’m so so sorry…” I whimpered to myself, hugging myself to try to believe it.  My eyes were watering.  This was so painful, so confusing.

I was shaking hard at the overwhelming memories.  ‘The positive, just focus on it.  Just focus…’ But all I could do was grit my teeth at yet more regret.  How the hatred I felt at myself for taking advantage of Proud that turned to suicide, then to unrequited rage at the girl who was the singular cause of the nightmare I was in.

I was on this endless rollercoaster of extreme emotions throughout the loops.  Even after all the regret towards Proud, it then turned to anger.  Blaming her for somehow involving me in all this.  I didn’t want any of this, I didn’t want this nightmare.

My teeth hurt from how hard I was biting down, trying to not remember the time I tried killing her.  Despite the slow learner I seemed to be with everything else, I only did this once.

I leveled the Liner pistol right at her.  ‘Die bitch’ I had said to her confused face.  I pulled the trigger, unloading half the clip into her, but…but it went right through her.  I fell to my knees.  ‘You really are just a figment of my imagination,’ crying at how crazy I was.

‘Would it make you feel better to actually let you shoot me?  Try it Trego, if you really want, as dark as this path has become.’  To which my teary face pulled the trigger again at her, and was shocked when he body recoiled away, blood, or something similar, exploding out the backside.  ‘Proud?’  I asked to her dead body, the bloody ribbon covering a massive crater in her head.  The shock was so severe I turned the pistol on myself, and the darkness only crept on.

“No!”  I shouted, trying to forget.  Just remember the good, the times I actually was productive, not lost in despair or hatred.  “It was not always bad!  That was when I started changing!”  I yelled to the world, trying to make it real.

Yes, focus on how during my self-killing spree, Proud came to me one trigger pull away and asked if there was anything she could do.  I had not seen her since the crime of killing her, or perhaps crimes, I committed against her, and her innocent appearance before me nearly caused me to follow through yet again with the trigger.  But I stopped long enough for her to tell me it pained her to see me this way, and ask why I was like this.  She was here to help if I would only ask.

I told her reluctantly a big part of it was how bad I felt for taking advantage of her when so much was at stake, both having sex with her, and later shooting her in another iteration.  When she laughed loudly, I lowered the pistol out of confusion.  ‘How did you take advantage of me, if we both wanted it?’ she asked.  She did not even mention the time when I had shot her because to her it was nothing.  She said she was entirely joyful for the experience, and did not regret anything and wondered why I did.  She said that the physical plane was overwhelming in its feelings, and to have experienced something like that with me, well, she’d remember forever.  She said she loved me and hoped I would have asked earlier, or again.  She lowered my pistol and we held hands, me crying for hours in her simple embrace until the end came again.

Proud Infinity pt 20

The killing sprees honed my abilities.  I learned to fight with my fists, knives, my Liner pistol.  Each cycle was a new challenge.  How many could I kill with just my hands, or could I beat my score using my gun?  It became this dark abyss where others only existed to see how many I could blow through.  It didn’t matter when I was maimed, shot or imprisoned, I was reset every morning.

With women it was another challenge and at this point I no longer cared about ‘knowing them’ as it was pointless.  It was easy at gunpoint but didn’t stimulate me the same way of manipulating their minds with perfect words and actions.  My respect for them tanked down to zero.  I could get any girl to be with me, it didn’t matter how loyal or pure she was.  Enough predictive power or perfect words and they all melted.  Eventually that game grew boring as well.

By the way, Proud?  It was easy.  I only had to ask.  She was more than happy for the overwhelming feelings of the physical realm, and indeed it was quite amazing from my end; but that was the largest regret I had.  Amidst my absolute depravity she represented perhaps the one untainted thing in this fractured world I inhabited, and I proceeded to destroy that as well.

My curiosities turned to sorrow and anguish.  The hedonism left me cold and empty, the shallowness overwhelming that I had given in to.  Soon it became a burden, thinking of all the crimes I had committed, even if they were not longer ‘actually done’.  The pointlessness of everything amplified by a thousand experiences I had now come to hate.  Especially what I did with Proud…or maybe it’d be better to say ‘what I did to Proud’.

We had come to love each other through the circumstance we were now in, a deep friendship from the stories we shared.  Our friendship was not one of two different races of a physical being and a near-energy being creating a physical body, but of two consciousnesses that liked each other from so much time together.

Then I had sex with her simply to satisfy a burning question of if she would.  And she did, and she loved it.  As soon as it was over, I started crying.  I was so stupid, so shallow.  Defiling the last totem of sanity in this world left me broken and under no more delusions of how messed up I had become.

What the fuck was wrong with me?  The universe was counting on my freewill to prevent this time fracture, and I was doing this to its incarnation?  I was murdering people, manipulating every woman I could into sex, and fucking LineGod Proud instead of doing anything productive.  I felt endlessly evil for taking advantage of her which I did many times ‘just to make sure’.  That sent me on an even darker spiral for many, many time fractures.

I swung my arm around, trying to grab something else.  I grabbed something soft, pulling it towards me; it was my white shirt.  On the floor, holding the white shirt and the desk brought forth more grim memories of the even further pits I fell into.

‘But she was the sensual one, she wanted it!’  I would lie to myself, trying to justify the single action I hated myself the most for.  My personal best for kills was over a thousand using just a pistol, most women was over ten, and that was due to my own physical limitation, but none of those compared to the final break in sanity by using Proud.

Her name was ‘Proud’ and that was nowhere near what I felt about my actions, only all-consuming regret and self-hatred.  The shame was overwhelming, and then it was eventually mixed with hopelessness of my position.  I had forsaken seeing Proud again because I felt so bad for what I did for so many times before I finally snapped.

Proud Infinity pt 18

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“Uhh…” I woke up, looking at the beam of light on my colored pillow.  I woke up from something that had just killed me, of that I was fairly sure.  The longer I sat there thinking the clearer and more coalescing my thoughts became.  I had recalled variations of the unfolding day, at first thinking it was just dreams within dreams but they were too vivid, too painful.  On some level something really messed up was happening here.

I felt this aura or field around me, as if it was a physical medium.  It was dark and thick, like the feeling at graveyards but a thousand times stronger.  The more I lay there the more I could slowly start feeling experiences of sorts wash over me.  It was strong ones at first: fear, anger, lust.  But it had an instructive element to it, that I was relearning or recalling old knowledge or skills I had.  Like grabbing a bicycle after not riding it, I ‘remembered’ on a vague level of stuff rushing back to me.

What was this, the third?  The fourth?  My head swam, and I had a grim feeling somewhere in my mind it was much higher than that.

Maybe I had finally remembered simply by raw repetition of being unraveled.  It appeared to be true what that girl named ‘Proud’ had claimed: I was stuck in a time fracture.  Something at ReCorp had created a particle that was so destructive to our reality that either it or the universe somehow reverberated that destruction back into time to before it occurs to ensure it never actually occurs.

And according to Proud, I was the one who had to stop this.  My stomach dropped; the universe was probably screwed.

At this point I was seriously trying to decide how many times had I ‘lived’ this day.  I remembered the couple recent ones.  But it seemed like the further back ‘times’ I remember, the vaguer they were.  It was entirely possibly I had been through this a thousand, or a million times.

I got up and splashed some water on my face, helping remind me ‘this’ was real.  I sat down against the wall, trying to think critically.

Last time I actually seemed to gleam a lot of information.  I recalled the last loop in pretty good detail, but looking back on it, I knew things I should not have.  There were a lot of things I remember personally saying I was not sure I might normally understand.   I was accepting of a lot of Proud’s crazy ideas, and jumping to conclusions that did not necessarily follow.  What this meant to me is that somehow I knew things I normally should not have.  Maybe indeed I was many iterations into this fracture, and that knowledge was slowly accruing within my consciousness packets or whatever she said I had.

So, the question then was, when do I remember?  Right now I was piecing a little together, but not to the extent I was talking to her last time.  Wait….‘last time’ certainly isn’t the right word, but what else to call it?

I saw my white shirt on the desk and remembered her changing it to pink.  Today was definitely a new cycle, but her show definitely had something important to it, I just could not grasp it yet.  What did it mean that she could change a shirt, but I could not?  There was something profound I was missing.

Sitting there holding the white shirt I was thinking of the people I ran into this day, and how any of them could possibly help me.  One thing that was clear is that I seemed to only remember the most recent resets clearly.  There was no telling how many I actually endured, I might be really early, or really far in.  I’d have to keep that thought in mind.

There were a few major characters excluding Proud that stuck out and maybe had some clues for me.  There was the bartender, either of the two guys I fought, that old man at the pit, and the android girl.  They likely had some key to this.

Proud Infinity pt 4

Hey guys, here is the 4th path of Proud Infinity.

We last ended with Trego getting shot and stumbling back to his room where he sees a black wave come out of his old work place that destroys everything and in the next moment thinks he is killed.

Story:

***

 

“Ahh!”  I sat up, throwing the covers off of me.  My breaths came fast as I was hyperventilating, my eyes flung around, trying to feed my brain that everything was okay.  After a few panicked moments I realized I was alive and that it was the morning.  The sky was turning blue from its brilliant orange.  The colors of my shirt, the room, everything was there, and I never loved the morning so much.

“What was that…?”  I lay down again, holding my face and trying to figure out what that was.  Some crazy nightmare.  Ugh, been a while since I had something like that.  I opened my eyes through my splayed fingers and saw my two black socks on my desk, and it reminded me about the other part of being shot and the grim ends I resorted to.  Kind of badass in a way.  At least my subconscious thought I was legit.

For a moment my heart jumped.  It was just a dream right?  My left hand shot to my right shoulder, and nothing.  No shot, no pain.  My right hand worked perfectly.  But I remembered the pain, I remembered gunning that guy down and taking his gun, I remember throwing up over myself, but my white shirt was completely clean.

I put two fingers on my forehead and took a few deep breaths.  Okay, just some whack dream.  Damn, that was insanely real.  The more I thought about it, the more I remembered random details like the old guy by the fence, fighting that guy at the bar, and…that girl.  For some reason I felt she was really important to whatever that dream was about, even though she played almost no part in it at all.

I wiggled my fingers a few times, feeling that their motion was really divine; there was this complete satisfaction at the simple ability of being able to move them.  I moved one at a time right down the line, thinking about complex the movement actually was.

I heated something up for breakfast.  Tried reading a little, a book about a guy who would not take pain killers whereas all his enemies did and could not feel pain; I wasn’t convinced someone could win in a situation like that.  The sun was coming through the slits on my blind and the sunlight made me think about that dream again.

Man, I just could not drop this.  I had a few nightmares before, but this one just would not subside.  “Alright, just drop it.  I am not shot, and that whole thing never occurred.”  I rubbed my shoulder a few times and, convinced it really was just a dream, left my room to go about my day.

The monotony of the day once again lay before me.  But one thing was still bothering me.  It felt really stupid, but I wanted to check.  Levels of precognition existed, that was a fact.  There were three major varieties of the Chrono Psionic that was based on that.  I daydreamed a bit that maybe somehow I unlocked a power like that.

Strangely, there was a bar right where I had dreamt it.  My hopes raised a bit that maybe something special was going on with me.  My scientist mind tried to look for explanations.  It was possibly not that odd, as I was probably through here before and the subconscious has a really good memory.

My heart rate was quickening as I opened the door, and the bar lay out in front of me the same way I had seen it before.  There was the bartender I argued with, the guy close to me whom I had envisioned clubbing down after breaking his knee.  My heart fell when I recognized another man in here as the one who shot me and I killed later in the dream.

This was far clearer than any dream I had had before.  Faces were always kind of vague, even the most visual of dreams were based a lot more on feelings and metaphors.  I recognized this guy’s ugly face and I had never seen him in my life.

I staggered backwards. “What the hell is going on?”  My eyes went wide and my stomach dropped along with my heart.  People supposedly had precognizant dreams, but that was all bullshit, no way any of that happens in real life.  It defied science.  If this was some Chrono Psionic, no wonder those people were so awkward and fucked up given how weird this was to me.

How could I have known about these people I had never seen!?  The fear of what was happening was too much and I left before I checked much more.  I turned and ran to the next spot of the dream: the fence overlooking the ReCorp complex.

No one was around here.  Hmm, that was different.  And just that simple fact brought a much needed sense of relief to me.  I let a huge sigh out, and started laughing loudly.  Oh man, okay.  I have no idea what that was.  Some low probability dream, maybe I had been there when I was younger or something.  I was so desperate to find something, my mind assumed anyone’s random face was the face I supposedly saw in my dream.  Sounded about right.

Yeah, well, whatever.  Not like I was going to get gunned down later today.  Yeah, some dream to just tell me to avoid that spot.  Not that odd.  There was actually some pretty crazy research in Psionics/Senses, and to have a dream about your death that you are then able to avoid is a lot less crazy than some of the stuff I had heard about.  Not sure I believed any of it, but it was out there.  There was some ‘danger Sense’ or something that was pretty common in Solarians as well that kept people out of getting killed; maybe that’s how this thing went down.

Wait…why the hell am I even jumping to these conclusions?  It was some dream, period.

I laughed again, then my laugh got caught in my throat, and my breath froze.  A bit further down a saw an old man…the old man coming on his walk across here.

I shook my head in disbelief.  Okay, think critically.  Maybe I indeed have a latent Sense that is manifesting itself here, and I foresaw the danger I would be in from the gunfight and warned me about the events that would occur.  Take this slow, and experiment with what exactly will happen.  I hated that I didn’t read more about how the Chrono Psionics worked, so I was stumbling blindly trying to conclude if I had something I knew nothing about.

‘Some sight huh?’ My mind played, or maybe it was ‘replayed’.

“Some sight huh?” the man stated.  Hmm, what did I say back to him?  I think I was dismissive.  My mind found the right words as if I had said them a million times.

“Yeah, if you mean totally disrupting to the entire culture and planet that was already there.”  Consciously, I felt like a watcher on a play I had seen before.

He started coming closer to me.  I remember I did not want to talk to him, but actually I was quite interested now.  I wondered if my intent would change reality, or was it only things I actually did?  If I still acted the exact same but thought differently I wondered if that would change anything.

He came closer. “Yeah, you are young enough that I am sure you were displaced by what occurred here.”  His hand motions were moving the exact same way.

Now here was the time to experiment.  I think I was sarcastic with him.  But this time it would be different based on how I acted.  “You don’t seem too bothered.  Let me guess, you retired here?”

He stopped, and looked a bit confused.  I felt confused suddenly too, up to the moment I felt like I had seen this before, but now I was on a new path.  Blinded.

Damn, what the hell was going on?  Maybe precognition was weak.

“Good guess, yeah.  I made enough in the Solarian Space Forces to retire.  I feel bad for guys like you though.”

I almost got caught up in the conversation or the social mores of being polite but a deeper feeling reminded me that something profound had occurred here.  I just didn’t know what it was.

I turned away from him. “See you.” Then I ran back to the bar.  As I ran across the empty streets, dodging an occasional body, I wondered how much of my vision still applied?  Could this new power of mine protect me only from a specific path, or a wide band of actions?

I opened the door to the bar.  Last time I was spoiling for a fight, but no one would know what I wanted inside my mind, only my actual actions.

I went to the same chair and had the barkeep come over.

“What will you be having?” he asked.  Yeah, he said the same thing, but perhaps it is predictable, nothing to gleam out of this small interaction yet.  Anyone would say something regular like that.

The next part was something about asking about a job, and my mind said what it had said before: “Well, I’m here to find out if there are any jobs or contracts anyone has posted.”

He laughed dismissively.  Hmm, this definitely seemed familiar.  “I don’t even know you.  You think I’d tell you one with these many deserving people here?”

The grunts again came up from around the bar.  Hmm, definitely the same.  I was not sure why it was occurring the same way even though I had done different things.  I thought that maybe it was a very specific, A then B then C, and because I did B first it would change.  There was a lot to learn here.  The major thing right now though I had to end the timeline from occurring and ending up getting shot.

Proud Infinity pt2

Hello readers, here is the 2nd part of the story Proud Infinity that is the new story I am putting together.  Enjoy and comment, I like to see your reactions!  Yesterday we read about Trego seeing a strange girl at a bar and how he was attacked and left.  We pick up right where we left off:

Trego and Proud

 

Pt 2:

 

As soon as I was outside I ran.  The only safety I had from anyone in there was raw distance.  At the very least I was no longer angry, just a little shaken.

I ran a couple of blocks until I was sure I was out of there and no one was behind me.  I doubted anyone actually would come after me after such domination, but I was just being safe.  A bit further ahead was a fence that appeared to be next to a pit.

I walked over and realized it overlooked the ReCorp complex.  Only a few steps in front of me was a steep cliff into a pit that surrounded the entire complex except for the single road in.  The small community’s buildings rose ominously from the void of ground all around it.  A few pillars of smoke or steam rose off the power plant that had been built strictly for this.  Even during the day, I could see the black buildings with their endlessly burning lights from here.  I switched my eye filters to pick up thermal, and the heat signatures radiating off of them disgusted me with the environmental damage they were probably doing.

“Some sight huh?”  I blinked and turned towards the sound, my eyes returning to normal.  It was an old man further down the fence looking at the eyesore, that cancer of the city, that tumor on our fair planet, that blight of aesthetics, a veritable citadel of pain on our hopes and dreams…

I waved the comment off.   “Yeah, if you mean totally disrupting to the entire culture and planet that was already here.”

He started walking towards me, but I didn’t really feel like talking.  He lifted a hand up towards me as if to include me. “Yeah, you are young enough that I am sure you were displaced by what occurred here.”

“ ‘Occurred here’ is right.  Like it was some sort of disaster.  Which is what it was.”  Where was a portable nuke launcher when I needed one?  I fantasized about sighting it up, then watching it all get blown away.

He turned back to overlook the pit and the city beyond.  “I retired here.  I was in the Solarian Space Force my whole life, and Center always intrigued me.  I have an off-planet account, completely filled with gems.  This depression has actually made me relatively more well off.”

I went to walk away once more. “Great for you, join the rest of us.  Unless you are going to give me money I don’t want to hear how much you got.”

“Hey, wait, I guess I got carried away.  Sorry about mentioning money.  It’s just… Look at you.  You clearly are not, or at least were not, in the dregs of society.  Tickets off-planet are not the expensive.  Why didn’t you get out?”

I laughed once. “I thought I was going to be hired.”  I looked back at the place I hated now.  Maybe I still wanted to go back.

He lifted his hands, trying to encompass the whole compound in his arms; it seemed he liked using his hands to communicate.  “Ahhhhh.” His hands came back to his side, and he turned back to me, smiling a bit crazily.  “That’s the mystery, isn’t it?  Being near Center, there are a lot of phenomena that is still being researched and even new discoveries happening fairly regularly.  Since this planet is within Center, naturally it makes sense that it was a beacon of research.  Let me guess, you were a researcher?”

At this point, I was a bit cautious of his craziness, but also intrigued as he seemed to know what was going on.  “Of course.  Just about everyone here was.”

He leaned his face in a bit towards me. “See that’s what strange.  What were you researching, if you don’t mind me asking?  If it’s not classified.”

“It was, but I don’t care anymore.  Everyone betrayed me so what’s the point of a misplaced loyalty?  We were studying the fabric of reality, component particles, its intervention with time and all that.”  I added the ‘all that’ because I am sure he had no idea what I was talking about.  “Notably that reality seemed to be potentially constructed differently near Center, and scales away from there based on distance.”

The man nodded. “That’s what adds to the mystery.  You clearly were in the know, but a large corporation comes in, buys out everything, and doesn’t even take any of the staff?”

I froze for a moment.  How’d he know all the staff got whacked?  I never mentioned it, which made me wary.

“Tell me about it,” I agreed, slightly suspicious.

He turned back to me. “Since you told me something, I’ll tell you something.  I am a bit intrigued by this, and looked into it, used some of my old contacts.  Guess what: ReCorp is not that big of a corporation.”

“Really?” I asked, intrigued quite a bit now by this guy I thought seemed crazy.  I had assumed that due to ReCorp’s massive buying power it had to have been huge, near empire status itself.  I couldn’t look up anything on it which was suspicious itself, so it always remained a mystery.  I suspected the void of information was just a payoff somewhere.

“Ha, got you interested?”  The old man’s eyes looked brighter than I gave him credit for; he still had a spark of life in him.  “Well guess what?  ReCorp does not even exist off planet.

“What!?”  My mouth dropped open.

“Yeah, ‘ReCorp’ is nothing more than a puppet organization propped up by probably nothing less than a full-on empire.”

I shook my head. “I could see that now that you mention it.  Pisses me off.”

“It’s completely true.”

“Oh, I have no doubt of that.  It makes perfect sense.”  The info void and firing the old staff being the largest offenders.

I stood there for a few more moments, thinking about what he said before he told me, “Keep an eye out, reality has an…interesting aspect to it,” and left.  Well that sure was a random but interesting encounter.

Maybe I should buy a ticket off this dump like that guy suggested.  I figured I’d walk around the city like I usually do until something came to me for inspiration to get out of my plight or perhaps what to do for credits.  As I passed people again and again out on the streets, not doing anything, and having nothing to do, my thoughts drifted back to that man’s question as to why I just didn’t get out.  I had more than enough credits originally, but the thought had not crossed my mind.  I had no loyalty to this place; it was an odd decision for me to have made now I thought about it.

I continued thinking as I mindlessly walked forward, nearly stepping on a slumped body on the sidewalk. I stepped around the stagnant figure, not even sparing it a second glance as I kept walking. I honestly had no idea if the person was dead or just sleeping, but I didn’t really care either way. I saw this quite often around here, so I suppose I became immune to it in a way. I ignored the still body as I went back to my contemplating.

Part of the problem about me leaving though was that I was not ‘technical’ minded.  I had gotten my job because of a friend who indeed was good with the details and rote memorization of minute facts.  My skills lay in assimilation of facts and creative solutions or ideas.  I was actually lucky I had fallen into the position I had, but it was a very good relationship for both me and the research unit.

My big ‘breakout’ was when we were faced with some proof of time running differently within the same system.  The data was checked, and experiments reran, but it appeared that on one planet in the system, time indeed did ‘run faster’.

My suggestion was simple in my mind, but everyone else found it really profound.  I suggested we take a look at some of the old theories of time non-linearity and let’s assume it might not actually be linear everywhere.  I suggested that the five dimensions of space perhaps exhibited preferential pathing for the three physical dimensions, along with time, and gravity.  If we looked into the gravitational attraction constant we could see if it might be different, or at the very least gravity could be affecting the time dilation effects.

Ha, yeah.  That was back when I was a hero among the researchers, not some chump with a gun cruising the streets.  The fall from grace was pretty rapid, and in my own mind I still felt like I was ‘different’ from the rest of these fools.

‘I’m not just a chump, I’m a cut above.  At least advanced chump,’ I thought wistfully to myself.

I heard a rumbling of a large truck that drew me out of my reverie.  The grav plates must have been loose, because even though the truck was balanced as it floated down the street it was extremely noisy.  No surprise: it was a ReCorp truck.  I kind of just wanted to shoot the driver and drive the truck off the bridge.  Me inside?  I don’t know.

Anyway, my theory was probably about a solar cycle ago, and indeed we did find some data that seemed to correlate with my thoughts.  I was living on high for a while there, but then ReCorp came in, shut down all the research, bought out everything, and made their own compound isolated from anyone who was employed prior.

Maybe it was part of some big government cover up, like they didn’t like what we found out.  Made sense why all of us would be out.  What we had found was still in the early stages, so if that was true it’d be more to shut down the info rather than use it for themselves.

Oh, and my friend, the one good with the details and was actually pretty instrumental in getting our project to be so successful?  Committed suicide.  I found him in his room, took a tie and hung himself off the doorknob.  It was pretty fucked up, I doubt he died quick.  The claw marks at his neck suggested he thought twice about it after it was too late.  All because he ran out of credits…or maybe hope first, I don’t know.  For me, I still had credits, so I guess I still had hope.

In a lot of ways, what was once a vibrant city was rapidly falling apart.  Though not everyone here was involved in the massive research complex as researchers, it was easily the primary employer from logistics to food service and so on.  There were still a fair amount of people around, but I have noticed a decline in the amount still here.  I didn’t know if they left the planet, were murdered, or pulled their own pin.  In evidence of the later I found quite a few bodies just dumped in the streets.  I didn’t really pay that much attention after a while.  Really, you stop counting after about five.

I sat down for a moment, looking at the empty sky.  It was really calm now, and I mean that in a bad way.  There used to be a vibrant trade through here with ships coming and going through the sky; now only a single ship came once a cycle for supplies for ReCorp.  I can’t think of the last time I saw an alien…probably an Aelisha a few planet cycles after ReCorp came in and shut everything down.  I didn’t even see Aelishan patrols anymore; that was pretty odd itself.

I wonder if I could leave here now.  Could I have even left back then?