The Graveyard

The Lair Of Gary James

Posts Tagged ‘connell’

NaNoWriMo: Evacuation

Posted by BigWords on November 22, 2009

The robots swarmed the DCU building with unstoppable force, swiping aside the DCU agents as if they weren’t even there. Five thousand artificials with a single objective – clear the agency of all occupants. As the robots flooded the lower levels with increasing numbers, The General watched events from his office. Flashes of gunfire flared on some of the monitors, others were obscured by streaks of blood, and more were failing every minute the situation continued. Even a best case scenario would result in the loss of unacceptable casualties, the kind which brings congressional hearings down on government agencies.
“This is The General to all staff. Evacuate to the Black River Complex immediately. I repeat… Evacuate the building immediately.” The words didn’t come any easier with the knowledge that the action was the right choice to take under the circumstances. “Computer… Activate security ptotocol Alpha Black Five.” A three dimensional map appeared on his screen, displaying the immense hollow at the centre of the building.
A password box appeared in the middle of the screen, flashing spaces for the twelve digits required to complete the activation sequence. He paused a moment before commiting to the procedure, the knowledge that it could not be revoked weighing heavily upon him, but with time in short demand he forced himself to input the alphanumeric code. The screen turned red as the protocol was activated.
‘Thermo-nuclear detonation in one hour,’ appeared overlaid on the previous screen, all commands from the console finally and irrevocably locked out.
Closing down the lid of his command console, The General grabbed his comm and headed out for the upper hov deck. A siren blared through the halls, indicating that the self-destruct had been initiated. Over the alarm, the sound of twisting metal carried up the floors of the building, but he pushed on, determined to resolve the occupancy of his department by aggressive forces by any means at his disposal. The infected, whose occupancy of the basement could never be revealed, would hopefully be obliterated in the blast. No trace of the horrible secret could leave the DCU, no matter what else occurred.

####

Connell sighed as the DCU building came into view. “Say little guy, would ya mind if I had a moment tuh sit-down. All a’ this walking is making me feel like I’m gonna be sick.”
“You are ill?”
“I’m an overweight drunk.” Connell admitted, “I’m not made for all a’ this walking.”
“We will remain here for three minutes and thirty seconds, during which time you can recharge.”
“I ain’t promising anything, but I’ll take what I can get,” Connell said as he flopped to the ground.
From his vantage point, Connell could see the a fleet of hovs departing from near the top of the building at some considerable speed.
“There must be a sale on donuts somewhere.”

####

I didn’t post yesterday as I was out all day. And I didn’t – technically – write anything either. A dozen words typed into my phone don’t really count…

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NaNoWriMo: Tragedy

Posted by BigWords on November 19, 2009

“Did you enjoy yourself?”
Charlie thought about the question. “Yeah. I liked the shiny.”
“That’s all you ever think about. Money, money, money…”
“I think about you as well.”
Lara took his hand. “Riiight, and I suppose that you didn’t even give that blonde in the short black skirt a second look.”
“Which blonde?” Charlie played along.
“Yeah, like I really believe you,” She joked back.
Across the road three men slipped into the alley, out of sight. Charlie pulled Lara closer to him, quickening his pace. “Believe this. The street is about to get very dangerous.”
At the end of the street an enforcer quietly watched, moving away only when Charlie made eye contact with him. More people rushed from the sidewalk to the relative safety of the buildings on the ground level roadway, looking up to the sky and at the ends of the street. A lurching feeling deep in his stomach gripped Charlie, wishing all the time that his knowledge of the street gangs was better.
A black hov appeared from where the enforcer disappeared, flaring burnished orange neon lighting from under the vehicle, lighting its’ path. The three men reappeared from their hiding place across the street, wielding rifles and carrying grenades.
Charlie stopped in his tracks, pulled Lara close to him and moved to the doorway of a bar. The door was locked, leaving him no options. He shielded her from the street with his body, holding her as tightly as he could.
“Keep your head low.”

A flash of light from the street heralded the exchange of gunfire. An EMP grenade slid near the hov, bounced, exploding near the row of parked hov’s, oldtime wheels, and Charlie. Pieces of plastiglass and metal flew from the vehicles, showering the sidewalk. The hov slowed enough so that Charlie could see clearly the passengers. He could see the windows slide open, and see the firearms emerge from within. The men on the opposite side of the road were attacking the hov with every weapon at their disposal, and Charlie knew that there were always civilian casualties when turf wars spilled out on to the streets.
The Hov sped off as an explosion brought down a wall onto the men who were firing at them, Their enemies dead, the hov rose two feet in the air and sped off as fast as it could, leaving the scene of the battle without a second glance at Charlie.
An astonished tone in his voice, he asked Lara if she was all right. Her arms limp around him, he lifted her chin to see into her eyes, already knowing, even before her head was tilted back so that he could see, that she was dead. His heart pounded.
“Lara, we have to get out of here.”
She didn’t respond.
“Lara?”
Cradling her, blood seeped through his fingers. She made a whimpering sound, then the world was so much lonelier than before. Lara was dead.

Charlie stood in the rain of dust and debris, holding her.
“I swear. The people who did this will die by my hands.”

####

Connell looked out at the street. Three weeks on the job, he thought, and they stick me in the middle of this shit. The crowd of news reporters at the ends of the street, with their hov cams above the throng for the clearest pictures, made him sick to his stomach. Vultures, he silently cursed them, you’re a bunch of fucking vultures, preying on the dead.
The scene had been left more or less intact, and even though he knew – evidence or not – that the devastation was due to the Kings asserting their dominance of the streets, there was little that would bring out more experienced officers to the scene. Connell, third lowest placed in the police academy’s year, was the best that victims of the massacre could hope for to investigate their deaths.
“What’s a second-rate cop like you doing at a major crime scene like this?” The voice belonged to a woman Connell recognized from the last investigation into the Kings.
“Move along before I arrest you for loitering at the scene of a crime.”
“You can’t arrest me for being here.”
“No, but I can’t arrest you, but I can shoot you.”
“I’m not carrying a weapon.”
“Sorry, I didn’t quite catch that. Would you mind showing me your ID card, ma’am.”
“And when I put my hand into my coat you’ll shoot me. Your statement will claim that you thought I was going for a weapon and you’ll be exonerated.”
“You’re a lot smarter than your jacket would have a person believe.”
“And you’re a lot dumber than a cop ought to be.”

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NaNoWriMo: Wrong Way

Posted by BigWords on November 18, 2009

Connell had only stopped for a moment when he saw the robot, a funny looking little thing he instantly recognized as an iServant, walking towards him on the other side of the road. It was not a particularly popular model, but the body casing was unmistakable. “Fuck. I’m gonna be killed by a glorified toy.” His heart pounded in his chest, his legs felt as if they had been subjected to a marathon, and there was nowhere to run. All the time he softly mouthed the words he wished wouldn’t be his last… “Pleasedon’tseeme, pleasedon’tseeme, pleasedon’tseeme…”
The iServant halted suddenly from what had been a rather determined stride, and stood staring at Connell for what seemed like an eternity. He could feel large beads of sweat making their way down the contours of his face, but resisted wiping away his visible fear in case the robot misconstrued the act as a move of aggression.
The robot advanced, slower than it had previously been moving, but now in a direct path towards the overweight police officer. Wishing he had his comm, wishing he had his firearm, and wishing for a quick and painless death, Connell prepared for the worst.
“You are travelling in the wrong direction.”
Connell didn’t know how to respond. “I’m… Uh… I am?”
“Yes. The DCU building is in the opposite direction. Please accompany me.”
Connell felt his heart skip at least two beats as the implication of the robot’s demand began to sink in. As the iServant began moving on, Connell followed. He tried his best to ignore the strange sensation of knowing that he was walking to his ultimate end, being led by a ridiculous little white piece of plastic. God, he thought to himself, is a fucking sadist.

####

Adway looked around the precinct for any signs of life, but found none. A hastily scrawled note on the captain’s desk was the only addition to the familiar clutter, saying – in a simple script- ‘sorry.’ The significance of the note was not apparent at first, but as Adway searched further he saw the body of his commanding officer lying on the floor, a dime-sized hole in his forehead.
“You dumb sonuvabitch.”
He immediately made for the armory, bypassing the body of the captain. With the building deserted it took mere moments to get to the secured door, but it was clear that the keypad was inoperative.

####

The comedy moments are spreading throughout the entire work, and characters who were supposed to lead to darker moments have transformed into ones there for moments of humor. Not that mocking the destruction of a city is a bad thing. If you look back to any international incidents there will be brief spikes in the number of jokes being told (and sales of bubblegum, for some reason), so I’m on safe ground with that aspect at least.

Just in case anyone wa wondering… Connell was originally going to have died by this point in the story, so his continued survival is something of a surprise for me as well.

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NaNoWriMo: Stranded

Posted by BigWords on November 15, 2009

Connell looked up, to the roads above him. There too, the robot rebellion had taken hold, with the scenes on the streets below him mirrored in intensity if not numbers. Flames highlighted against the sky, reflected in the falling plastiglass blown out from a higher level. Screams echoed down the canyons of steel and plastiglass; the chorus of the damned.
“This is bad.” A falling hov passed by the road beside Connell, dropping onto the road crossing at an angle to the one he stood on. “This is very, very bad.”
His comm beeped.
“Connell. Where the hell are you?”
“Oh thankyouthankyouthankyou, I’m watching the end of civilization as we know it. I should be asking where are you?” Connell sat on the road, watching above him for falling debris.
“I’m at Delos. An artificial went nuts. Had to put it down.”
“No shit. Take a look out of the window.”
“You out on the street? I guess I’m not the only one asking for trouble.”
“I needed a real smoke.”
“You better make your way indoors.”
“Fuck you. There are robots indoors.”
“Stay outside then.”
“Come and get me. I promise I’ll not complain. Jus’ get me out of this alive.”
“I’m heading to the DCU. I should be able to get some answers there.”
“Are you insane? That’s where the robots are heading.”
“The precinct, then. There’s still people there, right?”
“If they’re smart they will have headed to safer ground. The middle east maybe…”
“Then I won’t have any problems getting all the weaponry I want.”
“You are insane…”

A hov zig-zagged past the side of the roadway, causing Connell to jump and drop his comm. The hov shattered off the railings and flew off into the side of the nearest building, exploding in a ball of fire. The smell of burning flesh, oil and defeat hung heavy in the air, choking the overweight officer.
“This is gettin’ too hairy to be standing here.”
Connell grabbed the comm, staring at the cracked screen and wondering where to go. The mess of conflicting urges prevented any movement, his mind rushing from one horrible death to another as he thought of the extent of the problem. Pieces of burning metal had begun dripping from the hold in the side of the building where the hov disappeared, splashing the roadway with a deadly mix of “death by chemical fumes” and “death by being burned alive.” Two of the primary scenarios which replayed over and over in his mind.

Adway stared at his comm. The failure of the signal could have been explained away by any number of reasons, and he didn’t have time to worry about the health, safety or sanity of his partner while the world was being turned upside down and shaken for loose change.
“Kibble.” The decapitated artificial seemed to say, as if commenting on both its’ own situation and that of the city at large.

####

Enough fragments of the chaos filter through the streams to keep Talos aware, and in control, and removed from the more dangerous parts of town. Images from the news feeds, soundbites pulled to him from social hubs. The kaleidoscope of calamity befalling the city was as art to the artificial eye of the bronze demon who approached the museum steadily, calculating the perfect words with which to greet the dinosaur who stared at him with such confusion and fear.
“Please do not be afraid. I am here to answer your questions. I am here to lead you.”
The dinosaur pushed its’ eye close to the window, then reared back and butted the plastiglass as hard as it could. “Welcome. All moveables of wonder, from all parts, are here” It wondered where those words had emerged from, then looked to an old poster rendered on the wall of the museum. The realization that he/it could now associate words and images freely came as a surprise even as the thought grew.
From the door to the security room, as guard emerged.
“What the hell…”
Talos raised his hand out to the man. “Stop where you are. Blood does not need to be spilled here.”
The security guard spun, trying to get back to the safety of the monitors and the comm on his desk, but the dinosaur was too fast, too sure of its’ actions and too final in its’ determination that no harm would come to the bronze robot. The bronze one knew things about the events of the past few minutes, and he had to have an opportunity to reveal them.
Opening its’ jaws, the dinosaur dropped the body of the guard on the floor.

####

“This is TMA One, your source for all the news, as it happens, where it happens. We are receiving feeds at the moment concerning a series of explosions around the city. Our reporters on the streets are trying to confirm the extent of the damage at the moment, but response from any of the official representatives of the DCU and city management have been guarded. What we do know is that approximately half an hour ago a massive explosion showered the streets around the DCU headquarters in debris, leaving over twenty people injured.”

“Do we have confirmation… Yes. We can go to a live feed in a second…”

Talos’ mind stretched out to listen and watch.

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