Project: AKRA pt 13

(They are down to three people, assaulting the base soon, will they be able to save AKRA?)

 

Raist spread his arms out while he was falling through the sky, seeing the two of them further down through clearings in the clouds of mist close to the bottom of the river.  He enjoyed the quick freedom of the descent when the small cord he was tied on began providing a counter to gravity as he rapidly slowed down, controlling the final length of his descent with a button on his suit.

Spinning around slowly, he lowered himself the final few body lengths to the small rock platform the other two were at.

Agrest took their three cords, pressing them into the wall and triggering their camouflage system, which caused them to fade into the rock color.

“What’s the likelihood of hostile creatures in this water?” Raist asked.

Philira shook her head rapidly.  “No way, this water is too fast.  Even if there are creatures, the water should hide our thermal signature with the outside of our suit being cold.  I’ll wave when I have the system set up on the other side.”

She knelt down, spiked another rod into the ground and dove into the water without waiting for any command from Raist.  Her body moved up and down in a rhythm as the wave started by her head swept through her whole body over and over as she flew across the rapids.  Scouts…good at everything.

“I am glad she is such a good swimmer,” Raist said.

“Yeah, never got good at that style.  Luckily I could pass all my tests doing the side-stroke.”

Raist was spiking his safety system, hooking it up to the line Philira was establishing when Agrest put his hand on his shoulder.

“Something doesn’t feel right.”

Raist didn’t like the pit in his stomach hearing Agrest say that, but evenly responded, “Why, what’s wrong?”

Agrest shook his head.  “I don’t know, can’t explain it.  But call it a Sniper’s intuition.”  Raist was ready to dive into the water having seen Philira’s pink hair emerge from the other side and waved the two of them over when Agrest interrupted him.

“If I don’t make it out alive, can you deliver a letter I have in my room back on the ship?” Agrest asked coldly.  His joking demeanor was totally gone, replaced by a dim realism.  “It’s to that girl we saved last time on Azure 2.  I was always scared to write her back.  But at least let her know that I died, but was thinking about her, okay?”

Raist turned around, and pushed him hard.  “Don’t you dare say that!  What is everyone’s problem?!  We have been through way worse shit than this.  Border-Action 9, the assault on Klattu, being stranded on Kilo?  Come on, Ziko’s arm?  I lost both of mine on Kilo.”  Raist lifted both of his arms as he went on.  “These are bio-synths!  We sustained a few injuries early and everyone is thinking this is the end?”

“Heh.” Agrest pushed Raist’s hand away as his lip rose in a slight grin. “You feel it too, then?”

Raist turned around, mad Agrest had basically gotten him to admit his unease, and dove into the water.  He started swimming with all his might against the harsh current.  Memories of the drownings he sustained during swim ‘training’ came back to him, but only focused his mind as he crashed through the waves and rocks.  He felt a strong pull that was Philira’s line dragging him to the other shore.  He felt his back legs sweep to the right, pulling away from him, and suddenly went spinning into the water as he got trapped in a whirlpool.

Underwater, he tried kicking off a huge rock he was trapped next to, but the whirlpool was too strong.  He stopped struggling and went limp, conserving his oxygen.  His nanites would keep him conscious for a much longer time than even the best breath-holders on Terra were capable of before nanites, but still knew anything could happen.

He protected his head with his arms as he hit the rock over and over with every spin of the water.  Feeling the line on his suit finally tighten, it forcefully ripped him out of the whirlpool and back to the surface.  He turned on his back, took a breath, and continued covering his head as Philira dragged him to the other side.

“Brings back bad memories of water survival school!” he shouted over the din, standing up and shaking the water off his face and hair as he backed away from the spraying mist the river was generating.

“Haha, yeah,” she agreed as she smiled. “Lot of memories is for sure.”

He suddenly remembered that as much as he went through, while he was in tactics and strategy classes, she was probably still out there swimming and running.  He felt bad for even thinking about his hardship; he had no doubt the ‘expendable’ Scouts were trained far more cruelly than the Leaders.  She had swum through those rapids that likely would have killed Raist had he not had assistance.

Agrest was dragged to the shore and Philira hid the line across the river.  Now that this line and the descent line were established, on the return trip all they would need  to do is hook up to it.  The mechanism could pull them across the river, or up the cliff.

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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.

Big Scifi giveaway I am part of

Hey guys I am part of a big scifi giveaway this week.  I am giving away Project: AKRA if you have not picked it up yet.  Lots of new talent to check out.

http://sffbookbonanza.com/freebooks/

I am still hammering away at trying to be an author, so something like this could help big!

Enjoy if you check it out.

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 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 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 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 23

I hope you guys are enjoying the story!

 

***

 

The more loops I endured, the easy it was to accept it was happening.  What I meant by that is that I would not be crippled by existential terror of the situation, or of the acts I had taken.

There was a degree of random-ness of what exactly was remembered and why.  To me it was a bit akin to learning a new language by reading a complex book.  It often meant nothing to me but I would start to see patterns.  Many times the patterns were wrong, but again with enough failures these too would be refined.  Consciously it was tougher to explain than on a subconscious or intuitive level where I’d remember things on a ‘déjà vu’ type experience.

Had I always known the android girl, Mitreah, at the spaceport was the highest level combat android available?  Or how about that the android girl’s override phrase was actually three words long?  And it wasn’t just words: a big key was I had to say her name before the words.  A lot of these key facts were slowly extracted by practically begging, ‘How could I prove to you that I know you?’  And so slowly would she tell me, ‘Well if you can tell me X about myself,’ to which I’d spend cycles and cycles trying to figure out one little fact just so I could further advance the true search of finding her code word.

Every time, it would be the same with slightly more info.  I would tell her of battles she had fought in, what her favorite food was, where she lived, what number she was thinking of.  Silly things like that was what it took to get more vital info out of her, all for the eventual end of unlocking her control code.

Damn androids, not easy to deal with in a time loop; so much harder than Solarians, ironically.  This was a large reason why I bothered, it was part of a challenge.  I could figure out people a few cycles, but her programming was resistant which was so problematic.

How funny that the first cycle I felt embarrassed just standing there shouting things to her, but how fast my embarrassment died to grim necessity.

That took forever just to get to three words, except once I after busting out about two thousands words, I think I was around, ‘Mitreah: nanite uhh…Mitreah: nanites’, to her in the empty port she laughed and said it was three words long.  Considering I had not told her any of her secrets during that reset, I was surprised she volunteered the information.  Maybe in some little way was something of hers becoming implanted into the Emotion Field?

I asked Proud about it, and she could not answer like usual but said things work in ways I would not understand.  It was quite curious regardless, that this perfect programming may actually be affected by the Emotion Field.  It made me think that part of Mitreah’s body, the Solarian part, had an element of some type of ‘soul’ that so many would refuse to believe.

‘Mitreah: Farewell fallen sword’.  I found out eventually through thousands of cycles of dedicated attempts.  I think I skipped straight from ‘farewell fallen swift’ straight to ‘sword’ on a gut feeling.  Living in this cycle over and over, it was amazing to find out just how powerful intuition was.  Because I literally could try every path, the path my intuition would pull me on, and compare it to just about every other one.

I have no idea what ‘intuition’ is anymore, but it went far beyond anything simple as some might think.  This was one of the biggest examples.  Such a random thing as words, but it had saved me so much time.  I truly believed intuition was likely low levels of Chrono Senses manifesting.

Oh, I of course realized I did not possess any sort of Chrono Sense in a large scale like I thought once upon a long time ago.  The only reason I ‘knew’ what was coming is because I had died thousands of times to it.

Proud Infinity pt 22

How many annihilations ago was that?  A thousand?  A million!?

In the absolute darkness of my being and existence Proud had saved me from the darkness of myself, showing me my own light by simply exposing hers.  Taking a few deep breaths, trying to wipe the tears away I recalled some of the positive things I had figured out during the focus of every time after that, since I decided to actually get serious.

Right, remember the things I had figured out even during the darkness.  Like how my repetition of a hundred different phrases and conversation branches allowed me to sleep with numerous girls, showing me I could find out almost anything from anyone with exactly the right prompts.  What was initially fueled by dark sexual desire proved to be very useful in the fact I could use perfect conversation choices positively, and not having anything to do with sex.

The old guy at the fence?  Indeed he was in the Space Forces as he claimed, but he also was a special operator.  What did I learn?  I rubbed my eyes, trying to recall.  Definitely some stuff about infiltration and explosives.  What exactly had he taught me?

What was hard was that I could no longer separate ‘my’ knowledge with what I had learned from others simply teaching me.  A thousand repetitions with the same person, each ‘cycle’ simply advancing the conversation as far as I had learned from the prior cycle, allowing me to eventually learn everything a person was capable of teaching.

I got up and left, slightly energized by the memory I was actually making progress.  Normally later in the day the old man would be over-looking the pit, but long ago figured out where he lived.

I went to his house, knocked on the door and he was much more suspicious and cold compared to his more jovial act at the overlook.

“What do you want?” he asked through a chained door.

“Coding Alpha Delta,” I let it sink in a little.  “We need to talk.”

From my view, I saw the one eye looking at me through the chain blink once, then he unchained the door.  He put the pistol under the slot on the table like he always did, not knowing I had been killed by it quite a few times.

By playing the role of an agent from the highest reaches of Solarian intel, I was able to learn a lot from him.  At this point I was sure I had exhausted everything he had to tell me, but it was a good reminder.

Had I always known that an innocent nano block used to repair stuff could be overrode to create controlled directional explosions?  Had I always known my Liner pistol could be turbo charged simply by taking over the cover and turning the limiter off?

I doubted it, but there was no way to know. Knowledge was a strange thing to me that often hung at the edge of my understanding.  Given all the loops I had been through, what was ‘my’ knowledge melted away into this strange mixture of things I now knew from others.

The old man had just finished showing me how to take the limiter off my Liner pistol; I could probably do it better than him at this point.

“You still have the explosives you were tasked with, right?”

“Are you requesting transference, Operator?” he asked back.

At this point everything was growing dark.

“Negative, just need to make sure.  But I always knew you still did.”  I lifted my Liner pistol up.

“What…are you doing?” he asked, concerned.

“Resetting,”  I said.  I pulled the trigger as I ended my life in a far less painful way.

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.