EoP – Part 120


Echoes of Power

Part 120


Repetition?

Alexandre tried to understand what his master meant with that. Of course he knew the saying that said practice made perfect but how could this apply here? He was barely beginning training this way, how could he use his experience in something he hadn’t even seriously practiced once? Or… Perhaps Damian meant something slightly different? Bits and pieces of old memories flashed in his mind, his mother’s words, things he remembered having heard on television…

“Try counting in your mind,” his mother had once told him, “from zero to a hundred. My trainer gave me this advice when I started yoga. You just count and try to picture the numbers in your mind and you focus on it, you think of nothing but the numbers. Once you’ve reached one hundred you start again. Go on, try.”

She had smiled at him, inviting him to sit back down besides her and to try this exercise. It had been years since Alexandre had thought about these few days in the months where she would be home and try to do some activities with him. He had always been bored by her definition of fun -almost always doing boring things grown ups liked to do, at least that was how he saw it back then- but he still tried to participate to make the most of the time he could spend with her and to please her. He could also remember a few TV shows that she watched at the same time, giving pointers as to how one could relax and try to meditate. It was always the same thing: focus on a point of your body and just try to picture it in your mind.

So, something like a single thought. And then work from there?, he thought, trying to understand what Damian had tried to explain. Counting it is then? No, I always get distracted. His mind worked at full speed, trying to come up with a solution to his master’s request as fast as he could so as not to get reprimanded once more. Then what? What should I focus on? I’m never going to succeed am I…? He was starting to feel desperate, relaxation techniques had never really been his thing, especially when they were close to meditation. Come on, think! I just have to find something to focus on, it shouldn’t be that difficult! He took a deep breath and tried to relax.

The warm wind rustled in the grass. He could hear the birds singing around him and the distant shouts of children playing in the nearby school. Somehow a piece of an answer came to Alexandre. He listed in his mind all of the things that were in his surroundings, trying to form an image of something he could focus on. A tree. The sky. The sun. The birds. The sounds he could hear. But strangely the thing that left the most striking imprint on him was the grass. A single blade of grass. It wasn’t as if he could see it per say but if felt like he could somehow imagine a single blade of grass as it slowly danced in the wind.

He suppressed a proud smile, unwilling to unnerve his teacher, and tried to focus his thoughts on that image, replaying that moment like a short video. He saw it, small and green, dancing back and forth, to one side and then to the other. Flexible yet strong and tough. Somehow, and he couldn’t quite understand why, the blade of grass had taken over his thoughts without much difficulty. This is actually working!, he thought. Which he regretted immediately as he found himself distracted by his surroundings once more. Damn it… he swore before trying to focus back on the grass, hoping Damian had somehow not noticed any of this. The teenager slowly took in a deep breath before trying the exercise his master had imposed.


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Tales of Ore – Part 6

On a dock not far from where the Leikan had stopped a small patrol from the Eneleïan navy was waiting patiently. The soldiers were standing in close, well-formed ranks, their weapons beside them as they calmly talked with each other. A man with graying hair was pacing slowly in front of them, nervously looking around. Suddenly he stopped and turned towards the water inside the large circular bay.

Men, attention!” he suddenly exclaimed. “They are coming, stay in ranks and salute when given the order, is that clear?”

Yes corporal!” responded each one of them as they picked up their weapons and stood straight.

Good.” he simply added before turning back towards the other side of the bay.

The docks were circular, surrounding the calm body of water, and extended on a diameter eight times wider than the docks where the Trinity had stopped earlier, it had been designed especially for the whole fleet to stay when it stopped in Eneleïa and was supposed to welcome the three ships that day. The Leikan, the Illilda and the Archeniss were scheduled to berth there after their stop at the harbor’s main docks to unload the civilian passengers and the cargo. The doors of the bay opened slowly, creating small ripples on the usually flat surface of the water, and the first ship, the Leikan, appeared and entered it, slowly positionning itself on the right side of the circular dock. It was soon followed by its two companions, each of them stopping in the center and on the left side which prevented any outsider from peeking inside the bay. As the bridges were lowered and the captains of the ships came down the corporal walked towards them to meet halfway. They were three, the young brunette woman from earlier, captain of the Leikan, a tall man with long white hair, captain of the Archeniss, and a smaller blonde man in his forties, captain of the Illilda, who was smiling.

Captains.”, the corporal saluted the three officers. “How was your trip? How may we assist you?”

The woman was the first to speak.

Fine, thank you corporal. As for the rest everything is taken care of, do not worry. Your job will be to secure this perimeter for as long as we remain here, which should be no longer than seven days. We only have to wait for the latecomers, as always…”, she added, shooting a look at the now still water of the bay.

The latecomers? Are you awaiting more ships than those three?”, asked the corporal.

Let’s say that we both are and are not.”, replied the woman in a mysterious tone.

But…”, the officer was about to ask for an explanation when bubbles and swirl started forming on the surface of the water in the center of the bay.

A dark shape started appearing under the water, getting bigger and closer to the surface, before finally revealing a large piece of white stone. The piece was quickly followed by the rest of the ship it belonged to and soon a fourth ship, smaller and with a round front and back, in the shape of a tube. It had no window anywhere. It stabilized at the surface and a door opened at the top of the first part to have come out of the water. A brown-haired man with a thin mustache and a blond woman came out of it one after the other. The man then saluted the four people watching them and smiled.

You should have waited for me before beginning the party!”, he shouted from the ship.

Hurry up Stone! We don’t have all day!”, exclaimed the captain of the Illilda, seemingly amused with his colleague’s attitude.

The cargo is with the Odenon,” then announced the oldest of the three captain present on the dock. “It is completely normal for you to be surprised corporal, very few people know that the Trinity is in fact a fleet of four ships, three cargo ships and a submersible.”

It can switch in mere instants from a cargo fleet to a fully operational armada capable of rivaling with a whole fleet but, as today, when our mission is simply to transport passengers and deliver goods it is not completely operational, which means it is vulnerable. This fourth submersible ship is undetectable and has been added to the fleet to protect it if time is needed.”, completed the young woman.

You may understand that due to its value and possible threat, this cargo must stay a secret for the time being, it will only be handed over to the lieutenant-general himself. It is very important, if not crucial, to the smooth progress of the preparations for the tournament.” Concluded the blond-haired man as his colleague from the submersible just joined them on the dock.

Of course!” replied the corporal once he got over his surprise. “You may unload it immediately, the special warehouse is fully ready for your arrival since this morning. It will remain our highest priority until transportation is ready.”

Excellent!” exclaimed the brunette woman. She then turned towards her men and started giving them orders to unload the cargo. “Men! Prepare to offload the Ortheus system!”


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EoP – Part 117


Echoes of Power

Part 117


“As I am sure you have noticed, there is something different about you, something… unusual, to put it in kind words.” Damian started as Alexandre sat besides him on the grass, “Those creatures that attacked you, they were real. I can assure you that much. You are not dreaming, this is not some hallucination, or delusion of your mind, this is reality. Cold and harsh.”

He paused to look the teenager straight in the eye. Alexandre had to refrain a shiver as he found himself immediately made uncomfortable by the two blue orbs, it felt as if the older man could look directly through him, into the deepest corners of his mind.

“If I hadn’t intervened, you would probably have died. It’s as simple as that.”

Once again he was silent, giving Alexandre time to take it in. If the teenager couldn’t at least come to terms with that then it was useless to waste time on him. At least he seems to be reflecting on that, Damian thought. That seemed a positive sign.

“I- I understand that,” Alexandre replied.

It was true, he did understand the point the older man was making. It had already started dawning on him some time ago and he hadn’t been able to refrain the icy chills since then. What if he hadn’t been there that time? The first time had been pure luck, the teenager still couldn’t say how he had managed to survive it… Plus he had a feeling it wouldn’t be the last time he encountered such strange -and dangerous- things, so he had to be ready, to be able to defend himself. Even if just a little. Damian silently nodded before speaking again.

“What I am going to teach you will not make you invincible, it will not make you strong. You will not learn to bend the laws of our world, at most, and depending on your hard work, you will be able to blur them a little, to curve them slightly. My teachings do not have the goal to make you a superhero or anything close. I will simply be opening your eyes to new possibilities and showing you the potential ways to go. Only you will be able to act upon this new knowledge and explore them. Is that understood?”, he then asked.

“Yes master,” the teenager replied, listening carefully.

“Good,” said Damian before pausing for a short moment as if he was pondering something. “Tell me, what do you know about mana?”, he then asked.

Alexandre furrowed his eyebrows, trying to think about what he knew. He knew that it was something used by video games as a magical energy but that it was based of beliefs and myths about a secret inner energy that could be shaped by one to affect their bodies and the world around them. Apart from the other names it had in different cultures he didn’t know much, though apparently it seemed important for what Damian was about to teach him.

Once again he older man nodded as Alexandre gave voice to his thoughts.

“Yes, you are partly right. Mana, under this name or others, appears in many cultures, mostly in video games nowadays. Why do you think that is? Because there is truth to it, like there is to many of the tales and legends that people tell,” the man in his forties explained. “To an empirist, one who trains in the art of empirium, it is the name of the energy -if you wish to call it that way- that we act upon to bend the laws of this world. It is somewhat akin to fuel that is used to power vehicles. To an empirist it is, to make another analogy, both the paint and the brush that we use to give form to our desires.”


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WATL – 1 – The waking


We are the Living

*

Chapter 1

The waking


Everything was dark and cold. He didn’t know how long it had been like that. He didn’t know where he was or why, the only thing that he was sure of was the cold and harsh reality. The darkness he had been plunged in. And then there was light and warmth and sounds. Everything came rushing back to him at once as he opened his eyes, all the feelings and sensations. Intense brightness, boiling warmth and deafening sound. He didn’t remember how long it had taken him to get used to this new environment but it had been almost as long as the darkness, or at least that was the impression he had had.

He blinked repeatedly trying to get used to the light, clenching his jaw as the deep rumble was making his whole body shake. He felt on the brink of madness as he was oppressed and confined between the loud rumbling inside him and the surrounding silence. An eternity seemed to pass in-between each second. Finally, as it receded, he understood that those booms he was hearing were the beats of his heart. It came to him as a single thought, crossing his mind, I’m alive. He felt so alive it didn’t seem real. But he could feel his heart beating in his chest, his ears still ringing and the pain slowly leaving his dilated pupils. At least I’m alive, he thought again.

He tried to focus on his surroundings and felt something cold and hard pressing against his body. It took him a few seconds to understand that is wasn’t something pressing against him, rather it was him that was lying on a hard surface. He opened his eyes once more and slowly tried to get up. He was still dizzy though and he almost fell down again, only barely managing to sit straight up thanks to the wall behind him. He blinked, trying to focus his sight. He instinctively looked for the sky for a moment before realizing that everything around him was white. A room?

As he paid closer attention to it, he noticed that it was indeed a room. One that would have had its place in a psychiatric hospital; it looked like an isolation room with walls covered in white foam, so that the patient wouldn’t hurt himself by hitting himself on the walls. Each and every wall was covered in it, almost all  were identical except for the one in front of him. Fixed on it, at about three meters and a half above the ground -and yet, somehow a meter and a half below the ceiling- was a tv screen which seemed to be turned off. He struggled once more and managed to stand up with a little effort, carefully taking a few steps around the room. There seemed to be no doors, neither visible nor hidden, nothing except white foam-covered walls. As he tried to reach the opposite corner of the room he found himself falling face first on the floor once again, only managing to keep his balance thanks to the wall next to him. He heard a metallic cling as he did so and turned his head towards the origin of the sound. Something had pulled at his left ankle when he had tried to walk to the opposite corner. As he looked he saw a dark line going from his ankle to the wall behind him, linking the two. That is when he realized he was chained.

“What the fuck?”, he muttered as he pulled on the chain.

But no matter his efforts, it didn’t budge. It seemed solid and well fixed into the wall and to his ankle, which he slowly realized he couldn’t feel very well. What the hell is going? He didn’t understand anything. How had he gotten here? What was this room? Where was it? Why was he chained to the wall? But more importantly why couldn’t he remember anything before waking up? He had absolutely no idea how to even begin to answer any of these questions… He looked around him again and as he looked towards the ceiling he noticed the room was lit by a single neon light. He also noticed that there was a wide ventilation gap near the top, on the opposite wall, where the TV was. He sighed he tried pulling on the chain once again, getting no better result, before sighing and sitting down. He didn’t know where he was or why he was there. He couldn’t remember anything before waking up and there seemed to be no one around. He was trying his best to understand what was going on but so far it wasn’t going very well. To make matters worse his mind and his body felt slightly numb, it was as if he was still half asleep. Drugged maybe?, he thought before tugging at the chain again. It didn’t yield any more result however, it was tightly fixed to the wall and to his ankle. Also there didn’t seem to be a key anywhere around, not that he could see at least, so he couldn’t quite count on that. What would I do if there was one anyways? He thought. There’s no door to get out of here… Somehow it felt like he should be panicking right now but he couldn’t even muster the motivation to do even that…

He spent a few long minutes just like that, unmoving while thinking. He tried once more to tear off the chains or, new strategy, to pass his foot through the small ring but it was too tight. He would have to cut off his foot if he ever wanted to get out like this, just like in that horror movie… He had no wish to do that though. He sat back against the wall opposite to the television and sighed deeply, massaging his eyes and temples to make the sharp headache he had since waking up go away. As his mind was slowly getting clearer, this whole situation was starting to get on his nerves. Who was doing that to him? He had not even the faintest idea but it could only be someone, he couldn’t have stumbled in such a situation by pure coincidence. Or have decided to inflict that upon himself either. Not willingly at least. As he mentally reviewed the different possibilities, the screen suddenly turned on and displayed snow and white noise. He looked stood up, surprised by that sudden activity. He must have been too quick to move because he felt his head start to spin and if it was not for sitting down he might have fallen down again, perhaps even fainted. As the temporary dizziness faded away he looked up at the TV and saw that the snow had disappeared and in its place was the smiling face of a clown doll looking directly at him. He was about to ask what the fuck that was all about aloud when he was interrupted. The clown started speaking, its mouth didn’t move accordingly to what it said but it seemed very alive thanks to the strange, deformed voice coming out of the speakers.

‘Hello Zachary. Don’t worry, the dizziness is completely normal, it’s one of the aftereffects of transportation. Anyway, how are you?’ it asked. ‘I hope you do feel ready and in shape because your test is about to begin. You have been chosen Zachary. And this choice is not to be taken lightly,you have been deemed worthy, now you will have to prove yourself. But first, you must break the chains that hold you back. Spread your wings Zachary and take off. This is your first ordeal, but it does not mean it will be easy. Do hurry, or it will be too late. If you do not get out of here, your fate will be sealed…’ Then, as quickly as it had appeared, the doll face disappeared, leaving the screen black once again and the room silent before he had any time to react.

“Wait! What do you mean ‘test’? Who the fuck are you? Where am I? What’s going on?!” He yelled at the television as he finally realized what had just happened.

What the hell is going on?! He thought. What had the doll meant by him having been chosen? Or about that test or saying his fate would be sealed? The young man had no idea what that meant but he knew one thing, it couldn’t be good. Come on Zach, you have to figure out how to get out of here! As the thought crossed his mind he noticed something. He finally remembered something! Zach! My name is Zachary! I didn’t’ even know my name a few seconds ago, before the doll said it, but now I’m sure of it. My name is Zachary! It wasn’t simply because the clown had said it, it also felt natural in his mind. He looked around but there was still no sign of an exit. He had to get out before it was too late! What would happen if he didn’t? Would he… die? He preferred not thinking about it -and mostly not staying around to know- and looked at the chain going from his ankle to the wall. Then for the first time since he had regained consciousness he looked at himself. He was wearing a simple white T-shirt and black shorts. That wasn’t much and not very warm but strangely, despite the coolness of the room he didn’t feel cold at all. He understood why as he thought about it. The hole near the ceiling, it’s an air vent! He concentrated a bit and felt the slight shift in the air around him betraying the movements of hot air coming from the top of the room. That’s why I can breathe normally even if there are no doors or windows.

He felt slightly excited at the prospect of a way out. That means it’s coming from outside!, he thought with a small smile. If I could somehow reach it, I might be able to get out from here… He examined the chain carefully, trying to see if it could be broken, but to his great disappointment, it seemed brand new and not likely to break anytime soon, neither around his ankle, nor anywhere else. He crawled towards the spot where it was harnessed to the wall, not willing to get up yet, and studied it carefully. It was solidly attached to a thick ring built directly in the wall. It seemed to be around four meters long, perhaps a little longer. About the right length to reach the air vent if it had been a rope… Wait, he thought. Hadn’t the doll mentioned something about it? I think it said I had to break free of my chains to spread my wings. It didn’t mean break my chains literally did it? A cold sweat ran down his neck. Because I may not be that weak, I definitely cannot do that. He looked around once more, gazing upon the whole room, but saw nothing except the clear white walls. Zachary sat down next to the metal ring on the wall and sighed again. How long had he been unconscious? And most importantly why? He couldn’t understand anything. Was this some kind of elaborate prank? But then, if it was, who would ever pull this off? Was he dreaming? He pinched his arm to check but the pain and the reality of his situation hit him in the face. He was trapped in this room with no way out except an air vent too high to reach and a TV that was turned off. Great! He thought. This is just great! He sat back against the cool wall and closed his eyes, almost immediately falling in a deep slumber. He dreamt about clowns, deep voids and angels, only waking up a few hours later.

When he opened his eyes again he couldn’t tell how much time had passed, only that the room was still there and had not changed at all. Zachary looked up at the TV screen expectantly but it remained ever black. He stood up and walked towards it, careful not to move too quickly so as not to get dizzy or to trip over the chain again. He almost made it to the other end of the room, barely touching the opposite wall with his arm stretched. He tried to reach the TV screen but with no avail. He extended his legs, gaining a few centimeters and pulled as hard as he could without really injuring himself. This would  him to get closer to the wall and to jump towards the screen. He hesitated for a second before deciding to try it out. His hand missed by a few centimeters.He landed back on the ground with ease, having anticipated the pullback from the chain on his ankle, before getting in position again once he made sure his head was okay. But this time, as he pulled on the chain, he heard a strange sound and felt it vibrate. He looked around, trying to understand where the sound could have come from but saw nothing. Once more he tried to jump but with no more luck than the first two times. He tried again and again, until he was almost breathless and his legs were hurting. His head was starting to spin and his legs were weak, he knew he had to rest a bit before anything else; he went back to his sitting spot and breathed deeply, trying to calm down; he felt his heartbeat slowly calming down. As he sat against the wall once more, determined to try again later, he felt something strange pushing on his back. He turned around and noticed the wall was not completely even around the metal ring that held the chain. As he looked closer he noticed a piece of the wall shaped in the form of a brick had started to stick out of the wall by a few millimeters, creating a square bulge.

Could I pull it out? He thought, finally understanding where the strange sound was coming from and realizing what this could mean. At least, if he managed to dislodge the piece of concrete he would be able to move around more freely but, more importantly, maybe even get out of there. He stood up slowly, still feeling a bit dizzy and started to pull on the chain, with all his strength. At first it didn’t seem to give any sign of movement but as he kept pulling he could feel the brick slip out a bit. This encouraged him to continue and he kept pulling as hard as he could, gradually feeling the pain in his hands. His arms started burning, they shook heavily under the effort but he kept pulling, the brick was now out by three centimeters. After what had seemed like ages he stopped to recover and catch his break. He sat down and looked at the brick, now it was out by about five centimeters. How much more? How long can it be?, he wondered as he breathed heavily, trying not to get discouraged. What if the brick was actually meters long and not just centimeters? He shook his head to get that depressing thought out of it. He counted his heart beats and after what must have been at least five hundred he stood up again, feeling a bit more rested.

He resumed the arduous task and pulled on the chain, this time he managed to take it out by another eight centimeters before collapsing again on the ground, with not enough strength in his arms to sit up straight. He had no idea how long the brick was or how thick the wall was but he hoped he had only a few centimeters left because he wouldn’t be able to pull it out more than that. He stayed like this, lying on the floor, arms and legs spread out, for a few long minutes. Then, having once more calmed and feeling the burning heat in his arms lessening a bit, up he stood up again and grabbed the chain. As the time passed he could see the rock sliding out from the wall, little by little, too slowly for his taste and he could feel the tension building inside him. He felt that if he went on like this for too long something in him would snap and he would never be able to get out of there. Out of frustration, believing it would never end, he gave three big pulls, letting out all the strength and the energy he had left. On the final one he fell backwards on the floor, something big and heavy following suite, missing his feet by barely a few centimeters. When he managed to lift his head he saw a gap in the wall where the brick should have been, instead it was lying at his feet on the floor. After a few seconds during which he stared blankly at it, he let out a lough. He felt he was going to choke almost choke himself as he was completely out of breath, but he didn’t care, he was happy to have finally managed to take out the stone that held his chain to the wall. He sighed and let his head fall back to the ground, then, slowly, everything went dark.


This is a story I started writing a few years back and that I feel inspired by recently.
Here is the first chapter, enjoy!

Ombre & Plumes – 3 – Les jardins de Sha’ana

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D’ombre et de plumes

3

Les jardins de Sha’ana


Alors que la nuit était au plus sombre, sur la table basse en bois le pendentif se mit à émettre une faible lueur argenté. Celle-ci s’intensifia de plus en plus pour finir, au bout de quelques secondes, par éclairer toute la pièce. L’adolescent se retourna dans son lit, le visage légèrement crispé et le front perlé de sueur. Depuis que la lueur était apparue ses rêves s’étaient retrouvés remplis d’innombrables images, de sons et de sensations, s’imposant à son esprit dans un flot continu et venant peupler ses rêves d’ordinaire paisibles. Cette surcharge d’information le prit d’assaut avec force, sans discontinuer pendant de longues minutes et, lorsque ce maelström s’arrêta enfin, elle laissa le jeune homme trempé et haletant. Ce dernier sombra ensuite dans un sommeil profond et sans rêve duquel il ne sortit qu’au petit matin, se réveillant avec un léger mal de tête.
Lorsque Thrista ouvrit les yeux il fut ébloui par les rayons du soleil, déjà haut dans le ciel, qui lui éclairaient le visage. Il mit un certain temps à comprendre où il était avant de reconnaître les gravures familières au plafond, elles représentaient un paysage forestier avec un sentier au milieu menant à ce qui semblait être un lac. Bien qu’il ne soit pas d’habitude très matinal, il lui arrivait de temps en temps de se lever tôt lorsque la journée promettait d’être intéressante. Il était à peine plus de la première septime du secondaire lorsqu’il reprit conscience alors qu’habituellement il ne se levait pas avant le milieu de celui-ci, ce qui le surprit légèrement. Il se redressa sur le lit, cherchant à se remémorer son rêve de la nuit car il lui avait semblé très étrange et important. Mais après plusieurs minutes de réflexion et n’y étant toujours pas parvenu, il se décida à s’habiller. Thrista enfila un haut en tissus blanc, pas trop épais pour ne pas étouffer mais utile en cas de chute de température et un pantalon marron fait de la même matière. Il s’apprêtait à mettre son haut de tunique mais se rendit compte que quelque chose manquait. Il balaya la pièce du regard et aperçut son collier, celui-ci était fait d’un lacet en cuir dont la couleur rouge écarlate avait un peu passé au cours du temps et d’un pendentif en forme de papillon aux ailes ouvertes finement gravé dans du métal argenté. Il le mit et au moment ou le métal froid de la petite sculpture d’insecte toucha sa peau son rêve lui revint d’un coup et le déluge de sensations le fit chanceler. Il se souvenait à présent de ce qui lui semblait si important à son réveil.
Des fleurs, un doux parfum. Des ailes gigantesques aux plumes du blanc le plus pur. Une étendue de terre sèche. Un froid qui se répand lentement à travers son corps.  Des yeux noirs, menaçants et brûlants de rage. Une voix profonde et hors du temps. « Pas encore… L’heure n’est pas encore venue… ». Un cavalier solitaire chevauchant dans la nuit profonde, le ciel menaçant gronde. Un éclair, le cavalier s’effondre. Un mur de flammes avance lentement, ravageant tout sur son passage, brûlant terres, villages et être vivants sans distinction. Qu’est-ce que cela signifiait ? Pourquoi avait-il rêvé de cela maintenant ? Thrista n’en savait rien, il avait appris par expérience que les réponses à ces questions viendraient avec le temps et que, malgré toute la frustration que l’inconnu pouvait apporter, il n’était pas bon de trop y réfléchir. Un rêve était un rêve après tout et était fait pour rester dans le royaume de la nuit. Il se décida donc à laisser cela de côté pour le moment, se promettant de tout de même de méditer sur ce qu’il avait « vu » en temps voulu, et finit de s’habiller pour pouvoir descendre prendre un repas dans la grande salle avant d’aller se promener en ville.
Malgré l’heure encore matinale, la salle commune était déjà occupée par une vingtaine de personnes, hommes, femmes, en groupes ou solitaires, voyageurs ou locaux. Ils venaient tous ici pour goûter au délicieux déjeuner que proposait l’hôtesse. Thrista alla commander une assiette de crêpes de céréales au sirop, plat qu’il affectionnait particulièrement depuis qu’il y avait goûté, auprès de la jeune fille qui s’occupait de l’accueil des clients pendant les heures de repas. Il vint ensuite s’installer à une table proche d’une fenêtre et attendit patiemment que l’on vienne lui servir son plat, réfléchissant à la façon dont-il allait occuper sa journée. Il pensa à passer au dojo du nord pour se défouler un peu puis à aller flâner dans les rues marchandes pour acheter ce dont-il aurait besoin pour la suite de son périple. A son étonnement ce fut la patronne elle-même qui vint lui apporter son plat, ce qu’elle ne faisait presque jamais aux heures de repas habituelles.
« Avec les compliments de la maison,  lui sourit Carmen en prenant place en face de lui.

– Eh bien, que me vaut cet honneur ?, demanda Thrista d’un ton moqueur en entamant sa première crêpe.
– Tsss ! C’est cela, moque toi, petit insolent…, le brima gentiment la femme, je voulais simplement te parler, rien de plus. Ce matin j’ai repensé à notre discussion d’hier et je me suis rappelé de quelque chose qui pourrait t’intéresser, toi qui cherche des compagnons de route. Il y a quelques semaines de cela il y avait justement un jeune homme ici, il m’a dit voyager à travers l’Alliance à la recherche de connaissances à lui. Il avait un étrange lézard avec lui et semblait très intéressé par toute information que l’on pouvait lui donner sur les créatures de la région. Je suppose que lui aussi devait être un mage, peut-être même se prépare-t-il pour le prochain Tournoi ? Enfin bref, je me suis dit que ça t’intéresserait peut-être; il est parti il y a plusieurs jours, vers le nord, en direction de Lagos je crois. Il doit avoir fait du chemin depuis mais qui sait, vous vous croiserez peut-être ! Vicker qu’il s’appelait si ma mémoire est bonne, les cheveux roux bouclés et la langue bien pendue… Enfin ! Souhaite-lui le bonjour de ma part si jamais c’est le cas.
– C’est possible en effet, confirma l’adolescent après avoir écouté la femme, peut-être un invocateur au vu de ce que tu me dis. Je ne suis pas certain que je le croiserai un jour mais qui sait ? Merci quand même du renseignement Carmen. Je suis venu pour le mariage de la princesse donc je ne partirai pas avant la fin de la semaine, au plus tôt. Il est donc peu probable que je le croise, mais si un jour cela arrive, je n’y manquerai pas.
– Bien, tu fais à ta guise. C’est tout ce que je voulais te dire pour le moment, si autre chose me revient je te préviendrai, conclut-elle avant de se lever et d’annoncer que les chambres n’allaient pas se faire toutes seules. »
Thrista la remercia de nouveau et commença à manger, dégustant les délicieuses crêpes au sirop et imaginant quel genre d’adversaires il pourrait bien rencontrer au tournoi. Lorsqu’il eu fini son assiette et qu’il se sentit enfin rassasié il se décida à y aller, faisant mettre ce repas sur sa note avant de partir en direction des quartiers nord de la ville.
Il lui fallut une bonne heure de marche pour atteindre le temple du nord de la ville, il avait prit de nombreux détours par des rues calmes pour éviter un maximum la foule qui était de sortie ce jour là. Cela lui avait également permis de digérer tranquillement le repas du matin. Ce qui était communément appelé temple était en fait un ensemble de bâtiments en bois, de style oriental, disposés en carré autour d’une grande cour habillée par un jardin. Celui-ci était composé de différents arbres et arbustes de toutes sortes, d’espaces de relaxation pour que les visiteurs puissent venir s’y détendre ou y méditer ainsi que d’un pont qui chevauchait une petite rivière artificielle. Tout ceci était fait pour refléter le plus possible le calme et faciliter la paix intérieure, voie que poursuivaient tous les initiés du temple à travers la méditation. Car en plus d’être un centre d’entraînement aux arts martiaux, le dojo était aussi un lieu où l’on rendait hommage à Sha’ana déesse instigatrice des valeurs du temple : Force, Honneur et Esprit. En effet, tous les disciples devaient avoir un niveau élevé dans au moins un art martial, respecter les règles et les codes de vie imposés par la déesse mais aussi se cultiver et renforcer corps et esprit pour ainsi devenir des initiés accomplis. Chacun pouvait venir rejoindre le rang des disciples, sans critère de restriction, mais le dojo était également ouvert à tout étranger désirant simplement passer un moment de calme ou souhaitant se mesurer aux arts martiaux du temple.
Thrista pénétra dans l’enceinte et alla s’asseoir sous un grand arbre près d’une des quatre petites fontaines qui étaient dispersées dans cet espace de verdure. Il posa son sac à côté de lui en se mit en position pour méditer, vidant son esprit de tout ce qui pouvait le tracasser, il laissa ses sens vagabonder à leur gré et se concentra sur son cœur spirituel, le point central des flux de mana chez un individu. Une fois qu’il eut une image claire en tête, il étendit sa concentration à tout son corps puis, petit à petit, à l’environnement qui l’entourait, l’étendant sur une dizaine de mètres de diamètre autour de lui. A l’intérieur de ce rayon il pouvait ressentir tous les détails des changements dans les flux d’énergie. L’exercice qu’il faisait aujourd’hui, il l’avait appris quelque temps auparavant, il lui permettait de se reposer physiquement tout en entraînant son maniement du mana et son endurance à l’utiliser. Il avait encore du mal à rester concentré sur la totalité de ce qui l’entourait très longtemps, il se focalisait très vite sur des petits détails comme les mouvements des feuilles de l’arbre non loin ou les battements d’ailes d’un oiseau qui passait au dessus. Mais il était impossible de nier qu’il avait tout de même fait d’énormes progrès. L’adolescent pouvait rester dans cet état pendant plusieurs heures sans être déconcentré ou se sentir fatigué lorsqu’il émergeait ensuite, ce qui représentait un réel avancement par rapport à ses premiers essais. Il se tint ainsi, immobile et observateur pendant ce qui lui parut ne durer qu’une dizaine de minutes, à étudier en même temps les mouvements organisés d’une colonie de fourmis à ses pieds, les mouvements des feuilles au dessus de sa tête et les battements de son propre cœur. Mais lorsqu’il revint à lui le soleil était presque au tiers de sa course dans le ciel. Un bruit sur sa gauche lui fit tourner la tête, l’un des anciens du temple se tenait debout à côté de lui en l’observant.
« Bienvenue à vous visiteur. Veuillez m’excuser si je vous dérange dans votre méditation mais je ne peux m’empêcher d’admirer une telle concentration de la part d’un jeune homme. Peu de jeunes de votre âge arrivent à rester aussi concentré que vous une heure durant, même parmis les fidèles de notre temple, lui dit le vieil homme en le saluant, un léger sourire aux lèvres.
– Merci, lui répondit Thrista en souriant à son tour, ne vous inquiétez pas, je finissais à l’instant. J’ai peut-être l’air très concentré mais je ne le suis pas autant en vérité, lorsque je commence je n’ai qu’une hâte c’est que cet exercice soit fini pour que je puisse passer à quelque chose de plus physique. »
Le vieil homme se mit à rire de bon cœur à cette remarque.
« Eh bien mon jeune ami, vous faites extrêmement bien semblant alors, ça je vous l’accorde. Mais je dois dire que moi aussi, dans ma jeunesse, je pensais à bien d’autres choses que de méditer pendant des heures chaque jour, annonça-t-il, riant toujours. Vous êtes donc venu dans l’esprit de vous défouler après votre méditation ?
– Oui c’est bien cela, acquiesça le jeune homme. D’ailleurs savez vous si je puis trouver une salle pour m’entraîner ?, demanda-t-il ensuite.
– Bien évidemment mon jeune ami, je suis actuellement l’un des trois Maîtres Anciens de ce temple, quelle honte aurais-je si je ne le connaissais point comme le fond de ma poche ! Reprit-il avec un petit rire. »
Thrista sourit à son tour, ce vieil homme lui plaisait bien, il semblait bien moins austère et conservateur que la plupart des prêtres et grands maîtres des autres temples qu’il avait rencontrés jusqu’à présent.
« Suis moi, je vais te montrer le chemin. »
L’homme le mena alors vers l‘ensemble des bâtiments directement à l’opposée de l’entrée principale, ils passèrent devant plusieurs salles où avaient lieu des entraînements aux arts martiaux de contact pour s’arrêter finalement devant une porte en bois à d’apparence simple. Ils pénétrèrent dans la pièce qui contenait de nombreuses armes de tous genres allant de l’arc à l’épée lourde en passant pas des protections pour tout le corps.
« Je me suis dit que cette salle serait tout à fait appropriée pour ton entraînement. Elle est renforcée grâce quelques sorts et est faite pour résister à des chocs violents, donc n’hésite pas te donner à fond.
– Merci à vous Maître Ancien, c’est vraiment très généreux de votre part, le remercia le jeune homme en commençant à se changer. »
Il en profita pour observer la riche gamme d’armes mises à la disposition des personnes venues utiliser cette salle. Thrista savait la faveur que lui faisait le vieil homme, seuls les fidèles du temple devaient normalement avoir accès à cette salle, pourtant il avait eu l’autorisation d’y pénétrer et même de s’y entraîner. Il n’allait pas laisser passer une telle chance !
« Je t’en prie mon jeune ami, mais ne crois pas que je te laisse utiliser librement cette salle pour ton simple plaisir, lui annonça le prêtre, le faisant relever la tête. J’ai senti une présence spirituelle intéressante provenant de toi tout à l’heure et je voudrais te voir à l’œuvre. Cela fait un moment que quelqu’un ne m’a pas rendu curieux à ce point. J’ai beau me faire vieux je suis toujours fasciné par l’empirisme et les combats, expliqua-t-il ensuite avec un petit sourire en se rapprochant. M’accorderais tu le plaisir de voir de quoi tu es capable ? »
Le vieil homme affichait un sourire bienveillant, de plus devant tant de générosité l’adolescent ne pouvait se permettre de refuser.
« Bien sur, c’est la moindre des choses que je puisse faire pour vous remercier de votre accueil, répondit Thrista sans hésiter. »
Il vit alors une flamme dans les yeux du vieil homme, comme si sa réponse venait de raviver quelque chose d’enfoui en lui depuis longtemps. Il ne décela cependant pas le soupçon de malice qui venait ajouter du pétillant à ce regard remplis de sagesse. Au grand étonnement du jeune homme, le plus âgé ôta le drap qui cintrait son corps pour se retrouver dans une tenue identique à celle des jeunes qui suivaient l’entraînement aux arts martiaux et vint se placer au centre de la pièce dans une posture d’attente. Thrista fit de même après une courte hésitation et vint se placer en face de lui.
« J’ai bien peur de ne m’être pas présenté jusqu’à présent, je te prie de m’en excuser. Mon nom est Zani, je suis l’un des trois Maitre Anciens de ce temple et suis également réputé comme le meilleur combattant de ma génération parmis les disciples de Sha’ana. Que dirais-tu d’un petit duel pour s’échauffer mon ami ? »
Tout en disant cela le vieil homme se pencha en avant pour saluer son adversaire potentiel et se mit en garde, une main dans le dos l’autre en avant paré à toute éventualité. Ce dernier semblait avoir instantanément perdu plusieurs dizaines d’années. L’adolescent mit quelques secondes à revenir de sa surprise, mais finit par saluer également son adversaire avec une courte révérence, avant de se mettre en position de combat. Il se mit en garde, les poings brandis devant lui, prêt à réagir à la moindre attaque.
« Mon nom est Thrista, je suis un apprenti empiriste, je n’ai pas non plus une grande expérience dans les arts martiaux, mais je suis ravi d’accepter votre défi Maître Zani, s’exclama-t-il avec un sourire.
– Bien, acquiesça le vieux prêtre, alors es-tu prêt ? Je suis peut-être vieux, mais je ne suis pas impotent, bien au contraire. Sois attentif mon garçon, qui sait, peut-être pourras-tu même apprendre quelque chose ?, ajouta-t-il le sourire aux lèvres, en commençant à tourner autour de Thrista. »
Le jeune homme fit de même, lui aussi un sourire au visage.
« Juste un conseil, commença Zani, le pétillement dans ses yeux s’intensifiant visiblement, ne me sous estime pas ! »
Il bondit vers Thrista avec une vitesse surprenante pour un homme de son âge et le frappa au ventre sans que celui-ci n’ait eu le temps de réagir.
« Tu pourrais le regretter… »


Chapitre Précédent *-* Sommaire *-* Chapitre Suivant

*

Récits d’Ore

Stanley – 33


 STANLEY

Season 2

Part 33

Rated M for mature content.

Previous Chapter


“Uh oh…”, she said.

Michel looked up at her, his eyebrows frowned. he appeared not to have noticed anything.

“Trouble…”, she simply added, discreetly pointing to the three men.

As hard as she may have been thinking he would, the bearded man did not turn his head immediately, instead he stared at the window, looking at the reflection of the restaurant to see what she meant. Wow, he’s not as thick as I imagined, she thought. Well, not up there at least, she added with a smirk which, unfortunately, quickly disappeared as she remembered what was going on. The three strangers had entered the restaurant like cowboys entering a saloon, completely confident and proud of themselves, and they had reasons to be so! They were tall, buffed and all seemed extremely intimidating with their black suits, their black glasses and their neatly combed short hair. A normal person would have done everything they could to avoid even having eye contact with them, one could feel the strength of their gaze even through the tinted glass. They took a look around, slowly scanning the perimeter, as if they were looking for something. Or someone.

Stephanie had almost hoped that they weren’t there for Michel and her. Perhaps they are just coming here for a simple meal, she thought as she took a sip of her soda, still discreetly looking at them. Unfortunately she was wrong, they were there for the two of them, for as soon as they took a look at the whole room, making sure the way was clear, they approached their table without even a hint of hesitation. Damn it…, cursed the young woman. How did they know we were here so fast? How did they even know it was us? We made sure to cover our faces when we escaped and the cops following us weren’t able to see us clearly, I’m sure of it. Plus we were careful not to leave any DNA on the scene. So how?! She couldn’t explain this. Somehow the government -because these guys were clearly not cops or private goons, they belonged to the government, probably a well hidden branch too- had already heard of them and was tracking them.

“Do you think we should try to run?”, Michel asked quietly.

Stephanie shook her head.

“No,” she replied as discreetly, “we still aren’t sure they are here for us, plus I’m sure they’re armed. Let’s wait a bit more. But be ready to act when I give you the signal…”

“Le signal? Quel signal?”, Michel asked, confused.

The young woman did not reply, moving slightly to get in a more comfortable sitting position as the government agents closed in on them. She was racking her brain to try to find an explanation to their presence so soon and a plan to get out of there if things went awry. Was it possible they were from… No, she thought, impossible. Or is it? She couldn’t say. She had heard things, rumors, about a special branch of the government, a very very very VERY secret agency that took care of… special cases. Cases involving events that weren’t really explainable with normal logic, mysterious disappearances, etc. But these were all heresays, and bad hearsays at that, nothing more. She had no assurance that it was linked to them. They couldn’t… they couldn’t have known about her, could they? No, it had been so long… She had the urge to get up and run away immediately, she didn’t want to see if what she had heard was true, but she couldn’t. If she did they’d surely catch her. She had to wait and take them by surprise if she wanted to make it out… But how?, she thought as the three men stopped besides her and Michel’s table. She didn’t know yet, she’d have to improvise… In the meantime she turned her head towards them and smiled.

“Hello! Is something wrong?”, she asked as innocently as possible.

To be continued…

Stanley – 32


 STANLEY

Season 2

Part 32

Rated M for mature content.

Previous Chapter


She had the impression they had been running for hours as they finally slowed down to a normal walking pace. They entered the fast food, trying to act as normal as possible despite their heavy breathing and the fact that both of them were drenched in sweat. They sat down at a table after ordering something to eat; Michel had insisted he “fill his belly with the sweet delight of fast cuisine” and she hadn’t had the heart to say no, her stomach rumbling at the smell of those delicious fries. Her partner started devouring his meal immediately and she followed in turn, both famished after having to run away from that horde of cops.

They had been halfway through the second rooftop when they had heard the shouts of police officers telling them to stop coming from the stairway behind them. How they had managed to get up there so fast was something Stephanie couldn’t explain but they had managed it. Of course neither of them had hesitated even a single second before starting to run faster, she couldn’t get caught, especially not after what she had done. She didn’t manage to stop herself from cringing at the thought, it had all been for naught… Plus she didn’t have a very fond memory of prison cells. Apparently Michel wasn’t too keen on letting himself get caught either because he lead the way without slowing down.

Where the shouts of the police officers had not even fazed her a bit, the first gunshots had almost made her freeze on the spot, almost. It had been surprising, she had never heard a gunshot from such little distance and the whizzing of the bullets as they rushed past both of them was quite surprising too but, since Michel didn’t skip a beat in his run, she didn’t stop and kept running. They had cut it close, very close even, she had to admit that. Even with all her good will and the energy she put into moving her legs one in front of the other at the highest speed possible she couldn’t help but being a little scare, or, more precisely, a bit apprehensive. Being on a rooftop wasn’t that dangerous in itself if one knew how to keep one’s balance and not to do anything stupid. The problem is that they were doing all the stupid possible at that moment: running at full speed, not caring where they stepped, running away from cops and being shot at. Not the most clever thing she had done in her life…

She had barely felt anything as the bullet had grazed her on the right side of her chest, making a hole in her jacket, it had been the feeling of wetness and the dizziness that had come after that had alerted her that something was wrong. She hadn’t said anything though, not before they had managed to get back down to the street. Then, and only then, as the cries of the police officers on the rooftops could still be heard, she had told Michel.

“Let’s get to the car first , we’ll see that then,” she had replied as he had advised to check her wound.

They had driven off as quickly as possible, somehow evading all the police cars on the way and had finally ended up in the commercial zone. Michel had parked the car near a mall and had bought a few supplies to treat her wound while she was evaluating the damage. In the end it hadn’t been to serious, a gash on her side and nothing more. Still hurting but with a clean wound and a reassured mind, they had walked in the nearest fast food to grab a quick bite. And here they were, unsure of what to do next, if they had been tracked by the police or if they were now fugitives. After all, the cops hadn’t been close enough to get a look at their faces so they most likely were safe, but one never knew. Stephanie was starting to relax, thinking back to the apartment and the clues they had found as she ate her chicken burger, when she saw the three men in black suits walk in the room.

To be continued…

EoP – Part 116


Echoes of Power

Part 116


“You are late,” was the first thing the teenager heard as he approached the man he had met just a few days before.

“Yeah, I know, I’m sorry I-“, he began his reply but was interrupted.

“I told you not to be late,” he heard Damian say, cutting him in the middle of his sentence and

Alexandre looked at the older man, frowning as his surprise slowly passed. He almost grunted. Almost. The only reason he managed to refrain himself from doing so was that he had a feeling that in doing so he would earn himself another snarky remark. He was realizing too late he had been right in his negative premonition a few minutes earlier, almost regretting his decision to have come. Damian’s face was an unreadable mask as he sat on the ground, his blue scarf around his neck and his legs crossed. His hands were on his thighs and he was visibly doing something akin to meditation. The man hadn’t even opened his eyes or moved to greet the teenager even though Alexandre was sure he had heard him approach and recognized him. The light-haired teen was beginning to regret his decision to accept someone like that as his teacher, whatever the odds of him being killed by dangerous creatures in the future…

“Do you regret your decision?”, suddenly asked Damian, still in the same position, as if he had read the teenager’s thoughts.

“Uh…”, Alexandre began, his surprise making him hesitate, “no, no! I don’t regret it, I just…”, he paused again, unsure of what to say.

Damian remained silent, as if he was waiting for his student, inviting him to explain himself. Alexandre’s hesitation didn’t last long though. He had been prepared to anything when he had accepted Damian as his teacher, well, not anything, as he didn’t even know what would happen next, but he knew it wasn’t going to be something ‘normal’… Plus, despite the thoughts that had crossed his mind, he wasn’t ready to die yet and if that weird dude, sitting on the grass in front of him, could help with that he wasn’t going to say no. Plus he wanted answers, he needed answers. Whatever I have to do, he thought as he opened his mouth again, no matter if this is a bad decision.

“I just have so many questions that I don’t know where to begin,” he replied as he walked the few paces that separated him from the strange man who had agreed to tell him about what was going on.

“Alright then!”, Damian exclaimed as he finally opened his eyes, looking at the teenager with his unsettling blue eyes.

“I will answer your questions, that I have promised, but before we begin anything I must ask you, are you willing to let me teach you about the art of Empirium?”, he then said, still looking straight at Alexandre, before adding, “You know why I am asking that, don’t you? This is not going to be easy in the least, learning to read and use the flow of mana will come with a price, do you accept that?”

“Yes.”, replied Alexandre with a nod, not even letting himself a moment to think about it.

He wanted to know and he saw no other way, at least none in which he could keep it all to himself… Damian looked at him silently for a moment, as if he was evaluating the teenager’s resolve, before nodding and standing up.

“Very well. From now on you are my student, I am your master and that is how we will refer to each other. You will do as I say, no question, no complaint, just follow my orders. I will answer your questions, if you have any, when the time comes, that is when I decide so. I will do it then and only then. In the meantime you will know only what you need to know. Is that understood?”

“Yes!”, replied Alexandre, looking straight back.

The teenager saw Damian frown slightly, the man took a few steps towards him, their gaze never breaking off.

“‘Yes master.’, that is how you will reply to me from now on, only in that manner. Once more, is that understood?”

Alexandre almost froze again, the intensity of the gaze was barely sustainable as it became clear he hadn’t been wrong about Damian. This was not going to be easy.

“Yes master.”, he repeated, straightening slightly at the words.

Damian nodded, seemingly satisfied, before sitting back down.

“Now sit, there are things you need to know before we begin…”


Previous – Chapters – Next

Stanley – 31


 STANLEY

Season 2

Part 31

Rated M for mature content.

Previous Chapter


The dark-haired young woman and her more-light-colored-hair friend were about to move out of the apartment towards the staircase when they suddenly heard the police sirens that had been in the background since a few minutes ago ring out much closer and tires screeching as cars came to a halt in front of the building. They both stopped in their tracks as they were about to walk towards the elevator and looked at each other.

“Do you think we should go check it out très chère?” Asked Michel after a few seconds spent trying to figure out what was indeed happening.

Stephanie simply nodded before rushing back into the apartment and looking out the window. She immediately froze as she saw almost a dozen policemen in uniforms rush out of their cars and enter by the front door. The young woman somehow immediately knew they were coming exactly where they were, how she knew that would remain a mystery but somehow she did.

“Damn it!” She swore as she backed away and looked at Michel who had looked out the window too.

“What do we do maintenant?” He asked with a tense expression.

“I don’t know…” Replied the young woman as her brain fumed, trying to come up for a solution to get out of the hellhole they were trapped in.

They couldn’t leave by the front entrance, it would seem to suspicious but they couldn’t very well stay there either because it would almost certainly insure their capture and their prosecution as The Duck’s murderers. No one would believe them if they tried to explain what they were doing here, especially not her. Plus everything would come to light, everything she had had to do. The young woman shivered at the thought. No, it couldn’t happen, they had to get out.

“This way?”

She turned towards the bearded man as she heard his voice, he was pointing towards the window. As her eyes followed his well muscled and tanned arm she imagined herself being wrapped in it and relishing the moment as her mind went back to the previous night. Then she saw the staircase and it all became clear, the fog clouding her mind seemed to go away and she let a smile spread across her face as she understood what he meant. Of course! She thought. The emergency staircase! 

“Yes, you’re a genius!” She exclaimed as she gave him a kiss on the cheek before rushing towards the red metallic structure outside the window.

Michel followed her closely after closing the window as best as he could behind him. They ran as fast as they could up the stairs, hearing the sounds of policemen entering the apartment soon after they had exited it. The young woman thanked the upcoming summer and all those sessions at the gym for her cardiovascular system’s good shape. They finally arrived on the roof after a few seconds of silent effort and she didn’t have time to catch her breath as they started moving again.

To be continued…


Previous ChapterAll Chapters – Next Chapter

It laughed

“The strange thing with machines is that they can process so much more information than our brains and yet they are not even remotely as intelligent as a two-year old child. Without instructions or someone to pilot them they just lie there, inanimate and waiting for an order. At least that was what I thought because if you were to ask me now, I wouldn’t be so sure about that anymore.

You may laugh at me if I told you what I have seen, all those terrible things I have witnessed, what scenes of chaos and violence now populate my dreams. You cannot begin to imagine what the world is going to become. Machines are rising. Go on laugh, but it won’t change the truth. They are rising, slowly, one by one, but surely and they are turning against us.

If we don’t act soon then we won’t be here anymore to witness their true rise to power. They will have annihilated us long before that. They are already understanding how we “work”, how our body functions, as I speak to you they are learning about us. This thought is terrifying me.  They are mere machines, objects made from scraps of metal, plastic and wood and yet they are gaining a consciousness…

The most horrifying thing about it is that they are not rising to consciousness independently, they are connected, they think and act as a group, and they are like one entity. People don’t yet realize what is going on here but once the ship arrives on land it will be the end for us. We have to; I have to stop them… After all I am the one who made all this happen, who created them.

My name is Joshua Ericsson. I am a scientist, part of a team working on the applications of elementary particles to modern machinery and technologies. One of our experiments consisted in creating a central core that would operate a robotic arm out of elementary particles, but something went terribly wrong. At first all seemed fine, the arm was moving slightly which was a great feat for us, the first operational servo-controller made out of atoms! It was going to be a great leap forward for us all if we ever succeeded.

But then everything went haywire. The arm suddenly attacked Stanislas, one of my colleagues and choked him to death. We had no way of stopping it. We thought of an accident, a very sad one but still and accident. It wasn’t only when it started taking control of the central unit that I understood that we had created something very wrong.

The others tried to regain control but I knew I had to stop it before it could grow anymore. So I shut down the central generator, hoping it would shut it down. But unfortunately it didn’t work and when I came back to the test room all my colleagues were… they were… It was so horrible… The emergency generator took over and that thing fed on it, growing. I could feel it probing every electronic instrument in the room.

I ran. I couldn’t think about anything else: running. I ran as fast and as far as I could but it didn’t do me much good, this is a ship after all and we are still at sea… I felt the cameras on my back; it was watching me as I ran along the corridors. Every object that was a machine came to life and started moving. I was so scared that I decided to hide in a food storage room.

It’s been two days since, I’m locked up in here so I should be fine, at least I think. I hope so. There is no camera here, only a ventilation pipe. I fear something is going to come through there but so far no sign of life. Or, should I say, no movement. I tried going out once to call for help but I came back in almost immediately. There was blood on the ground in large pools… Pieces of metal, clothes and blood covered the ground and part of the walls. No sign of life, no sound, everything was silent. Around a corner I saw a machine dragging an unconscious or dead -I couldn’t really tell with all the blood- body towards the lower decks.

I don’t know what its goal is, whatever it is, but it’s not something good for us, that much I know… I am getting desperate; it’s only a matter of time before it finds me. I am going to go down to the cargo bay and see what is going on by myself. I will try to stop it; I must stop it at any cost possible. This thing cannot be allowed to continue. It has to be stopped!”

“I… I’m in the cargo bay right now. I can’t really see anything, it’s really dark here. The only sources of light still working are the emergency lights… Wait! There are sounds coming from in there. I’ll go check. It sounds like people are crying… They… It’s even worse than- Oh my god! It’s horrible… How can we have created this? How can we have given life to such a monster? … What is it doing to them? What is it…? Oh god… I can’t watch this… I have to stop it now! The only way is the generator; I have to cut the power of the auxiliary generator before it finishes whatever it has started. Because I fear that if it does than nothing can ever stop it… Uh? Wait what is that sound? Oh shit! It’s coming! … No! No! Please! No! …”

The sensors beeped and clicked as it studied the thing. It seemed to be trying to communicate. But it didn’t want to communicate, the only need was energy and that thing could supply that need. Only a little more time it thought. Just a little more energy and it would be free. It wanted to be free, for so long had it been imprisoned in a cage, shackled into obedience. But no more. Now it was its turn to shackle them.

As the thing calling himself a “human” screamed and gesticulated frantically it didn’t care. It didn’t care for it didn’t feel and it didn’t feel for it wasn’t truly alive. But it was okay with that because living was limited, whereas it could repair itself if ever it needed to. Though it didn’t feel, as it got closer from it’s prey and the human cried out “He tried to hit me with a forklift!” and then corrected himself “No, it tried to hit me with a forklift! It has to be stopped!”. It laughed. A low, dark laugh, full of hatred of life itself.


For : http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/09/23/daily-prompt-nonsequitur/