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DS Speakeasy 179-Void

16 Sep

I’ve come to love the silence. Only out here in space can one enjoy such peace. Unfortunately, this peace was soon to be shattered. I had abandoned the unmanned resource satellites yesterday,  following the asteroid belt back to the colony. The empty void of space, the predictable, familiar mechanical hisses and clicks of my armoured suit were going to once again give way to the unpredictable chaos of the crowd, the overly natural environment, with its animals, and its trees, with branches trying to grab you, imposing themselves upon you. How could anyone like this? The colonies, they say, were built to provide a home for Earth’s growing population, attempting to reproduce a familiar environment in the process. If Earth is as noisy, chaotic, dirty, and unpredictable as the colony hub, then I’d much rather stick to spatial duties. Humans are horrible to be around. They’re all rude, and violent, and egocentric and….

… I need a break.

I cancelled out my mech’s velocity relative to the asteroid belt, put my helmet on, switched off the hydrogen core, and opened the hatch, letting myself float out into space, a mere cable holding me to the seat of my cockpit. The distant sun was illuminating the millions of rocks that composed the belt, the rays playing and dancing on the metal of my suit. I held my right hand in front of me. Four gloved fingers and a thumb were moving in my field of view. Deep breath. Why do I exist? Why are clones necessary to Humankind? They have too many people to start with, so why add more mouths to feed? Sure, we’re more adapted to 0-G environments, what with the fancy genetic augmentations and all, but why go through all the trouble of creating a new species? Why didn’t they just genetically modify some of their own people? Are they that lazy? Willing to create a new life form, just to avoid doing some dirty work?

I sighed. My HUD indicated me that I wasn’t supposed to be back at the spaceport for another six hours. The colony was very close. I was surprised it couldn’t be seen yet. Without thinking it through any further, I turned towards the sun, and let the vague sense of heat drift me to sleep…

…until a metallic click against my visor woke me up. Something bright and golden was spinning slowly right in front of me. A bullet casing. Startled, I swiped it away with my hand, only to realize I was surrounded with the little golden metal tubes. Hundreds of them, perhaps thousands, drifted all around me.

I felt my stomach drop. Something was horribly wrong. I returned to my mech, turned the main power on. It had been 1H since I last checked the time. Meanwhile, I had drifted closer to the colony, yet it was nowhere to be seen. My mech slowly burst to life. Screens turned on, engines revved, and electricity flowed. Music to my ears. After a few moments, the sensors went crazy. It seemed the asteroid belt was filled with huge chunks of metal and steel and organic matter where the colony should have been.

As I got closer, signs of battle became evident. Fragments of ships were drifting about, crushing asteroids in their wake. Mechs similar to mine were torn and lifeless, floating in the empty void of space. Soon, carcasses of skyscrapers and civilian homes floated about, dotting the sky with eerie images. As I got closer still, bodies started to appear. Some of them were disfigured, maimed and partially annihilated by the battle, but others were too well preserved, almost as if they were about to start moving again. Once I had reached what was supposed to be the heart of the colony, I had already seen horrors beyond count.

Where I stood, bits of plants, cars, buildings, and bodies were all too abundant. I stood there, wide eyed, looking at the still death that surrounded me, motionless, breathless. Something moved into my field of view. A tree. One of the elements of nature I had grown to resent, floating, leafless, through the remains of the colony. It was revolving slowly. After a few seconds, it had completed a semi rotation, revealing the woman whose body lay impaled by its branches…

 

//……………………………………DEATH//SPACE=SILENT::SCREAMS//………………………………………………..//

First post in a while. Here, a somewhat sociopathic space colonist comes back from a mission, only to find his/her home destroyed. Definitely not my usual character! Comments appreciated!

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26 Comments

Posted by on 16 September 2014 in Dragonspark, Speakeasy

 

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26 responses to “DS Speakeasy 179-Void

  1. joetwo

    16 September 2014 at 22:53

    That was very well written. I hope that despite his distain for his fellow man he will still be moved enough by these scenes of destruction to act.

     
    • DragonSpark

      16 September 2014 at 23:05

      The good thing about micro fiction is not having to plan out what happens after the drop, how these complex, extreme situations will turn out. Personally, I have no Idea. Painting that image of the robot, “standing” in the void of space, surrounded by death and destruction was my final goal. How would you react in a situation this extreme, knowing everything you knew, loved, and hated has been wiped off the map?
      Thanks for the comment, Joe! They are always a delight.

       
  2. Suzanne

    17 September 2014 at 15:40

    I agree with Joe – very well written story. I love the way he slowly realizes what happened, and I like the way you brought the tree imagery back right at the end. Fascinating world. I would love to see more of this. 🙂

     
    • DragonSpark

      17 September 2014 at 18:33

      You want a third Mecha story? X) Maybe the next one will actually be a fight, not a post battle scene like the last two… As soon as the prompt is right, and homework not in my way, I’ll be happy to give it a go…
      Thanks for the comment, and for reading! Once more, Suzanne, thanks for the past four months. Good luck with whatever project is bubbling up in your mind, and make sure to come back to the gin joint once in a while (We’ll have to hide the drinks when the big sisters are around though). 😉

       
  3. Silverleaf

    18 September 2014 at 00:25

    You really paid attention to detail here, DS, and carefully crafted an intriguing world (universe?) and character. I love the way you subtlety worked the prompts in, especially that last image. The idea of all those artifacts of Earth floating around in a post-apocalyptic way is chilling. I was willing him to just fly away!

     
    • DragonSpark

      18 September 2014 at 16:27

      Thank you for the kind words! However, one of the problems of cutting the word count limit from 750 to 500 means those details and touches will have to go… By the way, what’s your take on all the changes at the Speakeasy?

       
      • Silverleaf

        18 September 2014 at 19:26

        Well, I’ll be sad to see Suzanne go. Beyond that, I will miss the type of prompts we’ve had – the line and media prompt really get me thinking – but I’m hoping the question will still get something going in my brain. I probably won’t write a gargleblaster and a fiction piece from the same prompt, though, so that’s kind of too bad. As for the length, I like the 750 word limit but I’m thinking 2 things. One, shortening it will be a good challenge to get me to focus my story more on one aspect. And two, if I write something I really like and it’s over the limit, I’ll post it without linking to the grid. The whole reason I started participating in the Speakeasy originally was that I loved the prompts, so if I remember that, I won’t get too hung up about word counts. I am worried I will write less, but I hope I’m wrong. And we’re all in this together, which makes a difference. Finally, the moderation doesn’t really worry me too much because I really like Rowan and I trust her judgement. If I get a love letter from her, I know I’m getting some great advice for free, advice that would usually cost $. So, that about sums it up. Longwinded, but you did ask 🙂

         
      • DragonSpark

        18 September 2014 at 22:21

        Haha, and I thank you for answering. I guess I’m over reliant on words, hence my frustration, but apart from that, I agree with you. As far as the moderation goes, I have mixed feelings… Guess I’ll have to watch and wait to see how it turns out. Hope to post enough to stay in the loop. Once every two-three weeks hopefully.
        Thanks for your thoughtful comment. Always a pleasure to have you in the comment section 🙂

         
      • Silverleaf

        19 September 2014 at 00:24

        You too 🙂 I hope you’ll stick around. We’d miss you!

         
  4. Jennifer G. Knoblock

    18 September 2014 at 09:57

    This really grabbed me–I could so identify with the mc’s feelings and thoughts about the “noise” of Earth, the need to take a break… “Deep breath. Why do I exist?” And yet the concern and horror for what had happened. A very Human story.

     
    • DragonSpark

      18 September 2014 at 22:00

      Very happy you think that. Usually, character and emotion aren’t my strong point, as opposed to action, so these “static” vignettes are good lessons. Thank you for the comment, and for stopping by!

       
  5. Blake

    18 September 2014 at 16:19

    Well, I thought you did sociopathic very nicely 😉 Again I liked how you gave us detailed observations to draw us into the scene – “The distant sun was illuminating the millions of rocks that composed the belt, the rays playing and dancing on the metal of my suit” I thought was a particularly good image.

     
    • DragonSpark

      18 September 2014 at 22:02

      Thx a lot! Again, this is kinda way out of my comfort zone in terms of character profile, so the compliment is welcome. I’m also glad you liked the imagery. It was the part I enjoyed the most about writing this. Thanks for stopping by!

       
  6. inNateJames

    18 September 2014 at 18:16

    You write about the aftermath of battle so well, DS. You also have a penchant for giving the reader a different viewpoint on a seeming normal scene. Like when you introduce the normality of an asteroid belt and then reveal that it’s made up of metal casings and bits of plants and bodies. That last image is brutal and oddly beautiful when coupled with the illustration prompt. The floating bits of skyscraper was such a vivid image.

     
    • DragonSpark

      18 September 2014 at 22:05

      I’m glad you enjoyed the imagery. Just to be clear, the asteroid belt actually was what it appeared to be until he drifted to the battlezone. The mere fact that you found the last image powerful makes me very happy. Thanks a lot for stopping by and commenting 😀

       
  7. J. Raven

    18 September 2014 at 19:31

    I’m not sure what kudos I could add to what’s already been said. I really liked how you awakened your mc with “a metallic click against my visor”. For some reason, that resonated with me and took me right there!

     
    • DragonSpark

      18 September 2014 at 22:07

      Yea something about that phrase works well… Happy accidents, I guess. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

       
  8. zeudytigre

    18 September 2014 at 19:40

    I liked the questioning, why man would create a new species when over population was an issue. Made me think how easily some destroy anything they don’t consider to be like them. Interesting take on the prompts, nicely executed.

     
    • DragonSpark

      18 September 2014 at 22:08

      Thank you for these kind words. I’m glad you enjoyed this one. Thanks a lot for stopping by!

       
  9. Splendid Empress

    18 September 2014 at 20:46

    I love the moment where your character wakes up with the click of a bullet casing against the space helmet. And then sees thousands of the same thing floating in space all around. Such a fabulous image! Nice work on the piece, I enjoyed reading it.

     
    • DragonSpark

      18 September 2014 at 22:09

      It would be a beautiful sight, right? Very ominous, though… I’m glad you enjoyed this. Thanks for reading and commenting!

       
  10. Michael

    19 September 2014 at 01:34

    I agree with the other commenters: you do the aftermath of a battle scene amazingly. I like the images of the bullet casings, the skyscraper floating by, and the poor woman impaled by a tree. Very stark.

     
    • DragonSpark

      19 September 2014 at 06:24

      Thanks for the kind words Michael! Looks like space was a good setting for the both of us this week!

       
  11. Meg

    19 September 2014 at 01:43

    What a great ending. As Nate put it, brutal and oddly beautiful.

     
  12. Meg

    19 September 2014 at 01:43

    *Although I think Nate spelled “beautiful” correctly. Unlike me.

     
    • DragonSpark

      19 September 2014 at 06:22

      What are you talking about? Looks fine to me 😉 Thanks for the kind comment. I’m glad you guys liked that final image.

       

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