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Citadel Space • View topic - The Original Echo - Series
Page 1 of 1

The Original Echo - Series

PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:24 pm
by EchoSeven
This is a work of fiction.
Echo's story will be told over several parts in this thread for your enjoyment.

Please don't leave feedback in this thread, it would be kind if feedback is left in this thread here --> viewtopic.php?f=16&t=815, rather than here so it can be kept clean. :)

The latest version will in future be published in the newsletter as an exclusive, then posted here for those who want to follow the whole series or have come in half way and are wondering what is going on.

If you have not yet got the newsletter, it's amazing, search the thread for it or contact Wave for details on how to get a copy to your email every month.

Re: The Original Echo - Series

PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 7:17 am
by EchoSeven




He was still almost smiling as he said it, of course.

"Which makes what I am about to say very difficult.."

They never mean that. They have such nice ways of saying the most awful things.

"It is my duty to let you know that your employment with the company has been terminated as of today. We need to let you go."

He was feeling several things right now. But he wanted to just beat beetroot's face to a pulp. That might feel pretty good actually.

Ernst eyed the carpet. Yes. The stains would probably not go out. That was the thing about wool. Everyone was after wool. It was rare nowadays, most people went for synthetics. They didn't realise though, that the stains in cotton are really quite permanent. They won't go out. Fantastic wearing though.

His eyes narrowed, then brightened.

This was probably a chance for something new. His mind was suddenly caught up in the schematics. Whirring machines. Wiring. Power pods humming, with interconnected cabling interfacing with the AI ports. Connections, wiring and snaking towards the processor, where neat, eloquent decisions were being made, on a split, microsecond level...

Pain. A sudden pain. Then bewilderment. A grimace.

Was it six years? Its best inventions. Solutions which no one else would have developed. Flushed, unacknowledged, really.

"Mr Harkins?" A look of concern from the Beetroot? How quaint.

"Are you alright?" The question, of course, was only whether Beetroot would be.

Ernst eyes fell to the carpet. He saw a shadow. It looked like red wine really. Seeping toward him. And following it back, he saw Beetroots lifeless eyes.

"We have, er.. appreciated your many and um, varied contributions to our enterprise... "

That part at least was true...

"We will have a place for you in our hearts and I know our staff will be deeply saddened by your moving on."

That part, was not. "Moving on"? Such a weasel word. Such hypocrisy. You mean dismissal, don't you? You son of a bitch. You Beetroot. You want me to smile right now, don't you? To pretend I understand. To accept what you have given me. To pretend that we'll stay in touch and for me to wish you the best of luck. That we will help you get another job. You want me to accept that this is all just some accident. That sabotage, undermining, mockery and deceit had played no part. Hell will freeze over before he accepted such fecal matter as truth.

"I completely understand, Director. It's tough times, really. I sincerely wish the team here all the very best, especially Ashley, who really has one hell of the job keeping things going."

Blood is swallowed. A cough.

"Are you okay?"

"Yes, I have just.. bitten my tongue somehow?"

Confusion. A forced smile.

"May I offer you a tissue?" Beetroot stretched out his hand, dangling a tissue.

Ernst observed his own hand move to meet his.

"Yes, Sir. Thank you again."

He slowly grasped Beetroots hand, and felt his fingers tightening over his skinny fingers. A look of confusion and fear came over Beetroot's face.

Re: The Original Echo - Series

PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2013 2:07 pm
by EchoSeven




Beetroots fingers were turning white. A nice colour really. Considering his usual, pasty complexion. If his throat is squeezed, will his face be as white?

Slowly, the pressure on Beetroots fingers lessened. Beetroot looked relieved. Ernst dabbed the side of his mouth, and inspected the blood.

"My thanks again Sir. It has been a pleasure and I wish you and your wife the very best. You will pass on my regards to my colleagues?"

Oh greet them indeed. They will know humiliation. And then shame. For they will know fear and then pain.

"Absolutely. I know they think of you warmly, and will miss you."

Warmly eh? Those cold, jealous, inane weaklings that pass as human beings? Miss me? Hardly. Putting their unwashed hands into his clean work.

Ernst slowly stood, using his hands to push up his body, to help stand erect. He slowly turned as he approached the door, and glanced back at the carpet with longing.

----------

It was cold. He pushed shut the window and tried to decide whether the bedsheet was responsible for the lost night's sleep. It seemed... sticky. Damp. It clung to his body, like a wet rag. He moved it to the side, seeing if that worked better. It didn't. His sweat turned cold, and somehow, a draft of cold air swept over his body. Was that even possible? He heard a tick. Some sort of clicking. What was making that noise? He listened carefully, but only heard enough of a noise for him to wonder if it was in his head or not. He heard a whisper.. Something indistinct. Then again, but he could not make out the words. Then a word came.

"Your"

It was distinct now. He sat bolt upright and flicked on the light. Nothing. He went to the bathroom to shake off the feeling, and refreshed his face with some water. He looked up into the mirror and saw someone looking right back at him. Someone that he had never seen before. Another word.

"Me"

It was not indistinct, it was not quiet, it was not whispered. It was an unholy scream which tore through his mind, and obliterated everything in its path. The fabric of his mind tore into separating shards, and each searing light burning until all was consumed.

----------

The coffee was good. Excellent in fact. He raised the cup to his mouth, and felt the delicate crema, like silk, flow over his tongue. He enjoyed, just for a minute, thinking about how it ended up that way. The high pressure, old copper boilers, pressing water at just the right temperature and pressure through a constricted place, to create a creamy delicate silky drink, which could be enjoyed. His thoughts were interrupted.

"So you are in agreement, then?"

Jarrod smiled. Oh yes. Agreement there would be. There would have to be.

"I stress the need for my privacy to be respected."

"You'll have it."

"I set my hours. Flexibility!" he lectured.

"That is the agreement. Providing the work is completed."

"No... regardless of whether the work is being completed" he corrected.

"And I won't be disturbed either" Jarrod stated firmly.

"Not unless you ask to be then."

"Very well. I accept."

"Excellent. I suggest you look at the schematics of the drive to start with. That will give you a baseline to work with when you move to the harmonic distortion we are experiencing in the resonant grid."

He took his time, and slowly lifted the cup to his mouth, taking another sip. He ever so slightly failed to place it dead center on the saucer. That annoyed him, though of course, he knew it was not the slight tremor in his hand that bothered him as much that the company had just now, again, violated the terms of the agreement he had only moments ago negotiated. And every fiber of his being were letting him know it.

"I would remind you, Mr. Daniels, that the nature of the work is not be discussed with me by this channel." Jarrod raised his eyes.

"My terms are specific." he continued.

Jarrod knew the type. He wanted to test him. See whether or not he meant what he said. If he failed the test, the corporation would only be too pleased to 'renegotiate' the terms down the track, in a way that favoured them of course. He would not allow that to happen. He must remain in control of this discussion. At the same time, he knew that he could not allow this to continue much longer. Jarrod felt his pulse accelerate. This needed to end. Quickly.

"Yes.. Yes they are..." Mr. Daniels stated thoughtfully. Slowly, Mr. Daniels smiled. Apparently, he had learned what he wanted. And that bothered Jarrod.

"Well, thank you then Mr. Harkins. We appreciate your talent."

The proverbial handshake with the devil then took place, and Jarrod sat down slowly in his chair, focusing his eyes on the clean, white tablecloth and the reflections on the silver cutlery before him. He heaved a sigh.

----------

"More coffee Sir?" the waitress asked.

The man looked up at her, scowled and shoved the now empty cup towards her, spilling what remained over the white tablecloth.

"Bloody Disgusting stuff. Keep it."

He stood up and shoved the chair back under the table.

The waitress shook her head and collected the cup. The tablecloth would have to be replaced too now.

She placed the cup into the tray with the others. A slight smear of blood marred the white cup.

Re: The Original Echo - Series

PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 1:20 am
by EchoSeven




Corporations. They were all the same. They were not meant to be alive. They were not meant to be alive. But they were. People die. And that was just as well, in this 'verse. Imagine what people could do, of the type that he worked for, had they forever to do what they wished. It reminded him of a proverb. "Can you imagine what I would do if I could do all I can?" Death inhibited humans. And they lived one life, and one life only.

Corporations however had all the powers of men and seemingly none of the responsibilities. Human of course are both humane and at times, inhumane. And when they are inhumane, we shudder and feel revulsion for it. As terrible as humans are, we are not mindless, and inhumanity is never accepted, while in Corporations it is almost expected. Corporations have no glimmer of humanity. They are artificial constructs on the skyline. The funny thing is, that no corporation would exist if no one was willing to work for them. Corporations had no charters which lay out responsibilities. They had no terms of dissolution, no objective, and no ending. Resistance is just an exercise in futility.


And how did this all happen? We could not deal with death. So then, dying themselves, humans created monstrous things. Entities, which though not alive, lived as though they were. Immortal. Undying. And an entity, once created as such had no natural way of dying, no way of knowing when to quit, and when the price of surviving exceeded the cost any individual would be prepared to pay. And thus they were created. To suck the life and morality from the citizens that they were supposed to 'serve' and entities that were beyond the control of any one individual to stop.

He lowered his cup and winced. The crema gently flowed over his tongue, and over a painful ulcer that had developed. Jarrod was tired.

The shift was about to begin.

A buzz sounded, and an electronic message appeared on the screen. He shook his head. Something about resonant grids still not working.

He shook his head. Good grief. Jarrod guessed that meant he would be tired tomorrow. It certainly had nothing to do with him. He closed his eyes.

----------

It was quarter past four in the morning. He was tired, but he wished that Mac had decided on more sleep rather than his work. He could tell, that on this occasion, he hadn't. Jarrod slowly bit into his croissant and looked out of the apartment. This place had been chosen for them, and though he disliked the d├ęcor himself, it was undeniably and excellent location to work from. As the smell of the coffee permeated the small kitchen, he felt a wave of revulsion from within. Ah excellent. Charr. He allowed himself a small smile.

Charr. we need to talk.

Oh really? (contempt)

The future. Our future.

I don't feel like talking.

Where are we headed?

Revenge is an excellent start. (stirring interest)

It's non productive.

On the contrary, it is very productive.

Oh? I share your contempt of the corporate world, but revenge can be taken in principle. It does not need to be personal.

Revenge is always personal. And you will cooperate.

Oh? It's cooperate now? Don't be too sure of yourself Charr.

It was your choice. Our agreement.

Jarrod shifted uncomfortably. There were times where he regretted 'the agreement'.

There are others.

They are disinterested. Mere echos of the past. Reclusive. Irrelevant. (contemptuous)

Only for now, and never irrelevant...

We shall see. (dismissive)

How many do you know?

There is at least one other, besides Mac.

I'm not sure. I have sensed another.

Jarrod stopped the discussion and gazed back out the window as the corporate lights went on, slowly, one by one and started their work day.

Order had a price. While he did not care, personally, for revenge, it was a price he would apparently need to pay. Jarrod sighed. Charr was an issue that would need to be dealt with at some point. But for now, the agreement held. The first piece was in place, the rest would need to wait. The best laid plans take time.