Project: AKRA pt 11

“It’s okay…I know.  I can get a bio amp replacement if we make it through this.”

“Hey, you guys over there?”  Agrest’s voice shouted.  “Get over here now!”

Ziko pushed himself off the tree, they all grimly watched for a moment as what remained of his arm was quickly chopped and consumed by the blade grass and its acid once the suit’s structural integrity had been broken down.  “I hate this fucking place.” It seemed to be an understatement from Ziko as he watched his arm get eaten by the grass.

The three walked over to Agrest, his huge sniper rifle leaning against the tree.  Raist realized it was Agrest’s shot that killed the diving bird before it killed them.

Leio was sitting on the ground, her knee looked crushed, and everything under it was gone.  Her other ankle was broken, bent back up to her calf.

“What are you going to do with me?” she asked, looking straight at Raist.  He felt his stomach drop a bit with the implication of one entirely real option he could take to save the rest of the group time.  This was a woman he was intimate with, yet the mission was now at risk of being compromised due to both her legs.

“What happened?” he asked, trying to buy some time to think this through.

“The ankle was from the fall, and this,” she pointed to her missing calf and the crushed knee, “was from that bastard over there.”  She indicated a large dead beast.  “Heh, damn.  I’ve never seen such a hostile fauna before.”  She leaned back while they crouched down to inspect her damage.  Even with her mutilated legs, she still was amazingly lusty, along with a slight independence still obvious in her countenance.  “No wonder they put their fortress here.  Secure the skies, and let the planet take care of the ground.”

Raist could feel everyone waiting for him to decide what they were going to do with the obvious change in plans the injuries and the planet presented to them.  Maybe they were especially waiting to wonder if he would leave Leio, or kill her.  The latter might be humane.

He stood up.  “We are not leaving anyone behind.”  He looked to Ziko before continuing, “I am taking you off Assault-role.  It’s too dangerous to not have a combat-able person not firing, so because of your injury you are the one who will carry her.  Leio, you are staying on the Sweep.  The rest of us are changing our weapon configuration.  Agrest, switch to your Silvershot for faster shots, I’m moving down to the ‘Saw and Leio you go with whatever you can shoot while still staying on Ziko.  Z, you can either go weaponless or take a one-hander.”

“And me?” Philira asked.

“Stay with the Plaz-Shot.  It is obvious to us now most of the fighting is going to be close range.  I need Agrest and Leio to be on drone watch out.  We are not that far in raw distance to our target so we are going to press on.  I do not think resting is a wise decision.”

He walked over to Leio. “You know what we have to do right?” he asked.

“Of course, get it done already.”

They dragged her to an area devoid of the grass where it looked shot up from the battle.  He handed her the handle of the SSAW with its softer grip, pressing it towards her mouth, she opened it and bit down on the handle.

“Hold her,” he commanded.  Philira and Agrest knelt down and held her body and arms down.

“Heh,” she muttered out of her jammed mouth, turning her head towards the sky.  “Never…get used…to this.”

Raist knelt down by her foot, grabbing the misplaced foot, and, without waiting for any okay or any delay, pulled downward and backward.  Immediately her leg started flailing while the other two struggled to hold her down, letting out a painful ‘guuuaaaaa!’ through her gritting mouth.  It was clear she was trying to maintain control despite the massive pain and compared to a scream most would have let out, her moan was fairly benign.

He continued pulling back until it was straight, and pushed it softly back into the semi-correct position.  He held her foot still for a moment while she stopped moving; she spit the gun handle out.  “I’m okay…”

All three of them let her go as she sat there.  “Should be walk-able in about a cycle.  I feel my nanites reforming the bone already.” It was quiet for a moment before she continued. “Well, stop staring at me already!  As much as you guys like to do it, let’s get this going.”  He reluctantly managed a smile at her pride hiding her shame of slowing the group down.

She lifted an arm up and Raist grabbed it, hauling her body over his shoulder then transferring her to Ziko where she sat on his shoulders.  She used her one leg to wrap under his shoulder to his back and was using her hips to hold onto his head.

“Not pretty, but it will work.  Z, can you still function?” Raist asked, handing him a pistol for his one remaining arm.  The chemicals in them and their advanced nanites could keep them functioning at conditions worse than this, but still wanted to make sure.

“You mean with that hot ass wild woman riding him all night?” Agrest joked.

“I think his head is facing the wrong direction for anything wild,” Leio said, giving Ziko a tight squeeze.

“Damn Raist, no wonder you like her.  I can tell she’s probably into bondage,” Agrest responded.

“Don’t make me squeeze his head off.”

“Why would you punish me for your two perverted minds?” Ziko said while he practiced moving around a bit with Leio on his shoulders.

“I think he’d like that.” Agrest added, “Either getting his head squeezed off, or your ‘punishment’ that is.”

At least their spirits…and chemicals… were still high enough to joke.  Raist looked at the Spreading Squad Assault Weapon he was holding in his hands, its neon blue lines pulsing an incredible power just waiting to be unleashed.  He was practicing drawing his knife out of the SSAW Philira had hidden in it in the event of a surprise.  Raist was glad their spirits were still good for now though.  He knew how bad missions could get.

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Project: AKRA pt 10

Raist took a prone position in the clearing Ziko had cut through the forest with his CSW, while the two close range fighters fought back-to-back against the horde, standing right above Raist.

He was taking careful burst shots, squeezing a few rounds, gauging whether the creature needed more rounds to die, then either delivering, or moving on to a new target.  The counter on the side of the rifle shot down rapidly.

He squeezed the final 30 into some creature hopping between the trees and as he rolled to his side to put a new magazine of 1,000 in.  The magazine was in, and his hand was going to the ‘accept’ toggle when he saw a huge bird diving out of the sky right at their group.

“Up…!” he started, but it was too slow.  Its mouth peeled open to reveal a tri-maw opening ready to consume one of them.  The creature was closing on them when its large neck was separated from its body, liquid exploding out the backside as its head crashed to the ground not far from them, its body gliding into another dead creature.

“What?”

Raist toggled the rifle back on, and saw a line of white tracers clearing the sides of part of the trees.  He knew that weapon anywhere: it was Leio’s Sweep Rifle, but she was aiming horizontally.  What killed the bird?

“It’s Agrest and Leio!” Philira shouted, another of her clips dumping out of her Plaz-Shot and hitting Raist in the head as she reloaded with robotic speed.

He didn’t need to tell the two he was with to not hit them, and he hoped the other two knew they were here.

Beasts continued advancing on them until all of them mysteriously stopped, turning and running as fast as they could.  Death had not scared them before, so it was definitely something different.

“Phi?”  Raist asked.

“Something’s coming…top of the trees.”

The strange silence had returned to the forest, though a few wounded screams still pierced the night.  Raist hated killing animals, and hearing their moans as they were sawed apart by the grass hurt his soul.

“Drone!”  Philira shouted, grabbing Ziko and diving to the shot-up ground.  Above them a large floating disk hovered over the scene of their battle.

“Shoot it!  Shoot it!” she yelled.

Raist was the only one of the three with the longer-range weapon and brought it to bear, and though he was giving it rapid bursts of ten sonic rounds that were undoubtedly flying straight through its hull, its size would not easily be brought down.  The two he was with were each rapidly reaching for their longer-range weapons as a firing arm extended above the disk.

A loud whoosh reached them long after the rocket did, rending the ground apart as they were flung through the air.  Raist crashed into one of the trees between two of the razor edges and escaped serious damage.  He switched his weapon to packet mode, morphing the small rounds into larger slugs designed to pierce before blowing apart inside their target.

He aimed at the disk that was readying another rocket and started shooting, catching the white tracers of the Sweep Rifle also on target of the drone.  The thin, fast spray of the Sweep rounds, and Raist’s exploding slugs were pounding away at the machine.  It tilted to one side for a moment, but righted itself.  Raist was sure it was going to fire again until its core exploded and it crashed somewhere into the trees above them.

He was breathing hard, his mind in combat mode, looking around everywhere for the next thing to kill, and with nothing moving for a long time he gradually began to come off his combat high.

Something was hurting his core and looking down, he saw a mat of the spiky grass imbedded into his chest after being propelled by the rocket.  He pulled each out; feeling the distant pain of sucking out the semi-vacuum each projectile had created in his body.

He pushed himself out of the slight cove of his tree and staggered to the clearing.  “Who is alive?”

“We are, but Ziko is hurt,” Philira’s voice had an edge he never heard before in it.

Raist ran over and saw Ziko slumped next to a tree almost exactly like where Raist had been blasted.  The difference was he was moved slightly to one side, right into its sharp edge.

“Zi…ko?” Raist asked nervously.

“Yo, I’m alive, but shit…these plants are even worse than the creatures.”

Ziko’s words made it seem like he was okay, but Raist realized Ziko’s left arm had been cut cleanly off right by the shoulder.  His nanites and suit sealed what was left of the arm to prevent any bleed off; it actually looked like he had a stub arm his entire life with how clean it was.  The fact he could talk clearly was a result of their advanced training, and very tailored drugs to block pain and maintain combat efficiency.

“Your ar—” Philira started, Raist grabbed her and shook his head no.

Proud Infinity pt 29

Hey guys Proud Infinity is going to be free on amazon tomorrow in ebook format so be sure to pick it up, and if you do, please rate it, rating help huge for new authors! I will continue the story here though.  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MTB19WD

 

“Show some faith,” Mitreah said as she stepped up, stabbing her blade hand into the door.  I saw the muscles in her arms flex hard as a piece of steel came pulling out of the door with her appendage vaguely like a mutated hand.  “Try it now,” she said with a smile.

At about that time a siren started wailing.  “Attention all personnel, we are under attack.  The agent is located at Block Six.  Exercise extreme caution.  Repeat, hostile agent located at Block Six.  All combat personnel deploy immediately.”

Oh man, I forgot they have a security force.  That’s how I got killed so fast a long time ago and it made me stop trying.

“Hope you are close to the target,” Proud said as I pushed the door and it slid open on an emergency track.

The door opened, and in front of us was a voluminous room with a long blue mechanical tube stretched far beneath the small walkway we were on.  We were running on the thin walkway when a shot from below us exploded above my head on the roof.

“Damn!”  I dropped into a tightly compacted crouch as we crept forward. “Is this it!?  Is this what we need to destroy?  Do I just drop the bomb here?”

Though I suppose neither of them knew the answer.

“There they are!” Across the walkway a squad of three people appeared in the opening doorway, kneeling to take firing positions.  Rifles.  They were going to hit me way before I lucked a pistol round downrange to hit them.

Behind me I heard more noise.  With a skill I had developed over a long time I turned and expertly fired.  Three rounds tore into one guy’s chest, and the next two were into the other’s head.  Taking the two of them out required little thought or effort.

Turning back to the farther squad, I realized Mitreah was already halfway to them.  The loud explosions of their guns reached me long after I saw a few sparks of light fly off her body, the rounds hitting metallic substrates.  She stabbed her blade-arm straight through one of them, twisting and slashing the second one in half before stabbing her way through the final one and was already running back towards us before I could even realize we had to keep moving.

“Hey, are you okay?”  I nodded to the holes in her chest and arms that were leaking a dark blood.  It had not hit her deeper substrates yet.

“I can take way more before I am compromised.”

At this point I had never made it this far, so no longer ‘knew’ what to do.  All I had was my skills, which were substantial.  I saw movement below us and with a single shot killed the guy sighting us with his rifle.  My skills were far past what it took to be an expert marksman.

We hurried along the walkway, an occasional shot from below us hitting the walkway or the ceiling.  The walkway was a ‘T’ shape and we took the left instead of the straight path where the dead guards lay.  Below us the huge machines hummed ominously; the bright blue energy from the glass cylinder did not look very good at all.

The walkway ended at a door Mitreah front kicked off its rolling ridge, quite an impressive feat.  Inside were three scientists and a computer mainframe.  We entered quickly and soon the three of them were holding their hands up, begging to not be killed.

“Where is the center of the particle creator?!” I yelled to them.  One of them pointed behind him where beyond the computer was a railing overlooking something radiating light.  I was walking towards it, unhooking my satchel, programming the time charge on the bomb.

“Don’t do it!  Do you know how much research has been put into this?” someone behind me cried.

Proud Infinity pt 28

We are getting close to the end, how is it going to resolve!?

 

The cute girl of the space port leaned far forward as she dashed inhumanly fast at the other man on the ship.  He barely had time to look surprised before she punched him in the stomach, and slipped behind him, her arms going around his neck.  For a moment I thought she was going to kill him, but he simply fell to the ground unconscious from being choked out.  I threw their two bodies out of the way of the truck and we hopped in.  I hit a string of button prompts on the screen before it went to flashing ‘Ready?’ and we were off.  I remember how many times I had died trying to get the damn truck moving.

“Am I crazy?” I asked to the two woman with me.  Mitreah shrugged, saying probably, but she wasn’t one to judge.  Proud said no.  If I was crazy, at least it was fun.

We rumbled through the streets, passing by the millions of places I had seen so carefully in the scope of a single cycle.  I was shot there, I killed someone there…  We came now to the single road into ReCorp.  The gate opened for our vehicle, and on both sides the ground fell away into the huge pit.  I hoped this controlled vehicle wouldn’t decide to spill us over the edge.

“In case you are wondering, we are taking out the particle accelerator or disabling it in some other way to stop it from causing the creation of a dangerous particle.”

“You don’t need to justify anything to me,” Mitreah said.  “I am simply happy to be back to my old self.”

“I thought you might like to know.  Do you really not care what I tell you to do?”

“Often it is only our Creators that know our override, and no, you do not possess complete control over me, in case someone was thinking of doing something perverted.”  She smiled slyly at me. “Though to you, I might do things willingly…”

I shook my head only once. “No, I outgrew that a long time ago.”

“You seem sincere.  But my Creator died, and you seem fun enough, so I might have done this mission anyway if you asked.  This is what I truly enjoy; not sitting in an empty room people rarely come to.”  I had asked before, she only came if I knew her code word, she was too loyal to the nearly defunct spaceport.

Damn, this was scary; I had rarely made it this far before.  Everything I had done had been to bring me to this position, and now, well, now it was time.

In my hand was my Liner pistol, and a small satchel of high explosives from an ex-special operative.  I had long ago in all my annihilations gotten over the idea or revulsion of killing.  If I could spare them like at the dock I would.  This was too important even if they were innocent.  I was not convinced of their innocence or not, but it did not matter to me anymore.

The vehicle stopped, and some guy opened the door.  “Hey.”

“Hi,” I said, lifting my pistol and plugging him right in the chest.  I turned back to the two girls. “Let’s go.”  Proud jumped out gracefully, landing and walking behind me.  Mitreah jumped out, dashed across the room insanely fast, slashing a man who was standing there.  The only thing I saw was a spray across the wall behind him.

“Any idea where to go?” I asked the two of them.  I had not been inside here for a long time, and this one the first where I had my skills and the two women with me.  They responded ‘no’.  “Well, let’s see if we can’t get lucky this time.  We can always try again,” I said as I started laughing at my own joke.  Turning to my left I ran through a door shaped like a circular portal that opened as we got close.  If it was an accelerator, I only had to work my way to the middle where the core would be, so that seemed a good place to start heading.

We were running down a hallway, eerily empty, with Proud behind me and Mitreah the combat android in front of me.  Some guy stepped out from a corner, and before I even realized he was there, he was dead at her feet.  She crouched back down in a scary combat stance.

“Hey, this way,” I said to her as I took to the right as we headed a new way, and within seconds she caught up with us and was back on vanguard.  There was a sign warning about having protective suits on and I figured we might be getting close.  My fear of dying was long since gone; I had done it so many times.  I neared the portal, but it didn’t open.  I tried the handle and it was locked.

“Damn it!”  I pulled my pistol towards it, firing some rounds into the locking mechanism and front kicked the door, but it remained solid.  “No way.  A damn door is going to stop us?”

Proud Infinity pt 25

Hey guys hope you are enjoying the story.  For those that missed it, here is the link to the first part of the story where you can read everything up till now: https://vayneline.com/2017/01/16/sample-of-my-next-story-proud-infinity-stuck-in-a-time-loop-with-only-a-god-to-keep-him-company/

 

***

 

I spent a lot of time with Proud.  I had come to like her in a way no one else ever before.  We were utterly alone in this.  I could say any right move to manipulate anyone.  But every cycle, every loop it was the same. Not with Proud.  She was the only one who kept her consciousness through the resets.

I might have gone crazy actually if I had to ‘re-meet’ her every single time.

“Hey Proud, let’s take a walk,” I said, looking down the bar.  Everyone else stared at me, holding the door open for an invisible person.  These people stopped seeming real to me a long, long time ago.

“I am really impressed with you so far, Tre, you are making great progress.”

We took a walk over to a small park, where there was a fountain jetting upwards and a bench overlooking the pond.  We sat down.  I didn’t expect to do much this time period, mainly used it just for a break.

I turned, smiling at her briefly before sighing as I turned forward.  “The Emotion Field sure isn’t perfect for what is occurring here, is it?” I asked.  The Emotion Field I eventually learned was the term that referred to a dimensionality our experiences, especially the strong ones, are laid down on.  The somberness of graveyards was the easiest example.

“I sympathize with you.  The fact your recollection is imperfect is a testament to your fortitude and determination.”

I laughed.  “The words are nice, but the situation isn’t.  Thanks anyway, Proud.  So you remember everything?  Is that even possible from a memory point of view?”

She was twirling a piece of her hair and her ribbon in her fingers.  She acted like such a girl at times, it was endearing.  “You act like we have to play by the same rules.  What is it like for you?”

“Sucks,” I said, sprawling out on the bench, my arm was around her back.  She giggled, and leaned into me.  She nuzzled her head against my shoulder.  “I very rarely remember anything specific.  It’s mostly this endless overpowering vagueness.  I know that doesn’t make full sense.  But I come up to situations, and on this unclear level I remember how to do things.  I remember how to aim, how to fight, how to dodge, how to say things specifically to manipulate people.”

I stopped, pointing at two girls that were walking by.  “I don’t seem to know anything about the blonde, but the dark hair one, I get hit with these thoughts that she likes vanilla cake, likes showing off her flexibility, and is lonely.  Also she’d fall for my ‘come with me if you want to live’ gambit.”  I looked down, pulling Proud away from me for a moment.  “Then later I really get to see her flexibility in action…” I hit her with a sly smile.

Proud playfully hit me.  “You’re bad.”

“I joke, but in truth it really messes with me.  I start to forget what I know ‘for real’ compared to remembering from back fractures.  I have essentially given up on thinking that maybe I am just projecting or making up things like what I said about that girl and simple roll with that I have found all those things out in the past.  It is this disturbing thing where I ‘know’ so much, but can’t remember how I know any of it.”

“I am sorry, Trego.”  She was sincere.  “Is there anything I can help you with right now?  You know you only need to ask.”

I didn’t have any requests; simply being with her was enough.

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 19

But in a way, I was in a game that had a set boundary specifically tied to the time limit.  This made it hard, as I could not do ‘anything’ as there simply was not enough time in this singular day.  Was it even possible to pull off whatever Proud thought needed to be done?  So my options were not limitless, as there was a practical distance I could travel before my ‘time was up’ so to say.

‘Time was up…’

With those thoughts, a huge wave of experiences came flooding over me.  My eyes started watering and I fell backwards.  My eyes zoomed outwards as I fell out of my body.  The simple act of me sitting in my room faded away to nothingness as so much blanketed my mind.

This was not the fourth; this was not even the tenth, even a hundred would be low!  I had been though thousands.  All the experiences came flooding back.  All the cycles lived, and then died.

“Shit…”  I said, holding my head as I rolled down to the floor, my mind hurting so bad with this new awakening.

First were endless denials out of me, the ‘no way this is happening’ of thinking each cycle literally was new, and I had just been dreaming.  Hell, even the last couple of times I thought it was just a dream and I had already been looping thousands of times.

I could see why Proud made a comment about annoyance or something along those lines.  It was frustrating seeing myself constantly deny what was actually happening.  I was trying to ignore the important events like the guy at the fence, the android girl at the spaceport, and the whole bar scene or talking with Proud.  Even though little things like my banter with the android girl, or me gunning that guy down rather skillfully were a bit beyond my normal ability.  With grim realization it was probably hundreds of repetitions that had improved me.

My hand found something, maybe the leg of a desk, and I held on tightly like a sick child.  Even my most recent memories I was not sure had actually recently occurred.  I talked about winning against that guy, but if I had looped so often, I never would have got shot, or avoided it all together.  Thinking about it this way, I felt that there actually was a far deeper well of combat prowess inside me than I currently appreciated.  Honed over thousands of random battles.

The more my head swam, the more I realized how far down the line I was in regards to loops.  The denials lasted forever, but gave way to sadness before darkness.

When I started realizing I was looping, it was perfect to learn about people.  There were women I could get close with and my loneliness faded away for the cycle.  I had met a lot of girls and felt so close to many of them.  But each reset I was greeted with words that cut into my heart deeper and deeper each time hearing them: ‘who are you?’

Nothing that I had done with them remained.  No clever date, no laughs we shared, no talks about our past.  I would remember vague things about them, but no one else perceived the loop, I was just as unknown the hundredth time talking to them, as the first.  The closeness I thought I had with them was an illusion.  It was only in my mind.  That sent me down a dark road as I no longer had this to comfort me given the end I experience without fail.

The terror of dying every cycle started grinding on me until the desperation reached a breaking point.  I started trying to kill myself out of this nightmare, thinking that this simply wasn’t real.  If it was, I would rather be dead than be trapped in this fearful world where nothing I did mattered.  And it ended in absolute pain every single time.

Sitting here huddled on the floor, crying while this multitude of memories flooding back was not fun.  I wondered if every time was like this.  Probably.

The desperate loops were short lived, and then it became rampant hedonism and dark experiences.  When I realized I would indeed be reborn each cycle anew my curiosity took a dark turn.  How many people could I kill before I was stopped?  How many girls could I get within a single cycle knowing the perfect things to say to them from thousands of scripted conversations I had tried?

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.