Cunningstuff

A new life, for an old man.

Category: Science Fiction

Setting – The Two Jollies

The Two Jollies take Boy to their home.

The stand of warehouses sat on the flat plain like a giant row of cathedral cookie cutters. Thirty giant arched warehouses, all in a row, all in one linked up super-complex. The metal on the buildings looked over-armored, as if they expected these warehouses to be the bank vault of the universe. Peaked at the top at 100 meters, the steeply sloping sides of the buildings bowed out, as if they had enormous pressure inside them. No windows could be seen anywhere, and the sparsely lit entryways were barbed and covered in metal and concrete as well. Not a sound peeped for miles, but there was a consistent hum from inside. I had followed Marf and Wire for about two miles now, and although I was not lost, I had definitely not come to this quarter of the abandoned city yet.

Wire looked at me and winked. “You nae gotta be wurried abouts here mate, we know there are only two city guards that watch this place, and mostly, we just let them chase us around a bit.”

I shook my head and chuckled, having seen these two in action once today, I was pretty relaxed with the news. They could handle two city guards with a blink and a nod. We stepped up to the door, and Marf pulled on it with his giant arms, and it creaked slowly open. The door was probably a foot and a half thick, and it moved ponderously, like there were hydraulics making it stiff. All the hinges and handles were made of thick stainless steel, gleaming grey in the white wash of light that spilled out. I stepped out of the dark night and into the building, and saw that the roof was not attached to anything, but machinery and pipes went in confusing directions all over, and there only seemed to be one main corridor that ran through it, the one we came in.

Catwalks and ladders and pipes and pipes and pipes. Hundreds of thousands of pipes, all sizes with all kinds of color codes on the grey metal that was the standard color. One other color was obvious, as all the catwalks and ladders were a bright safety yellow, widely stained and spattered with grease and dirt. The hum I found, came from the enormous lights hanging about five meters off the peak of the warehouse’s roof, bright as any sun, but by the time the light hit the concrete floor, it seemed as dirty as the surroundings.

We walked about 200 meters into what Marf simply called “The Main.” The corridor we walked down was about 5 meters wide, with a feeling of claustrophobia from all the pipe work and abandoned machinery laying about, but the Main was 20 meters wide, and not one pipe through it. It was clear up to the ceiling, where the arch from the separate warehouse we had been in connected to the main roof. A shallow ditch ran the exact middle of it, but it was dry, although there could be seen water stain along its bank. Wire pointed to a metal sign that simply had the number 7 engraved through it.

“Thazza door number 7 we cames in, you has to members them, cause only 7 and 19 will open. ”

I nodded and we started walking to the right of the corridor we came in. Wire continued telling me a bit about the place.

“Thems are folks behinds us, Hungarians I thinks, they farms outside, but lives in dah warehouses. They will probably not talks to you untills you helps thems. We comes in numbers sevens cause the 19 door is wide out in the flat, and the forest we came through is easier to hide in. Dems city guards, they can stuns yah and take youz down to jail, and you don’ts wants that. We live by 18 though, so you knows.”

On our right the corridors kept repeating at the numbers, and the immensity of the place started to sink in. On the left was the pipes again, but about 20 meters in were the old rolled doors you could see on industrial buildings everywhere. A noticeable difference was the fact that these doors were only 6 meters tall, and 10 meters wide, unusual in that doors like this were usually taller than wider, and much taller at that. We got to corridor 18 and Marf took the smaller hall to the first door at the end of the corridor. He took a piece of bent rebar steel that was through the lock, and straightened it with his amazing strength. One small thrust of his giant paw, and with an ear-splitting sound of rolling metal, the door shot up.

We stepped in and he slammed the door back down, bending the rebar back into the lock on this side. We were in a cozy, (well after our long walk through the giant complex, a feeling of cozy,) twenty by sixty meter store-room. The ceiling was only about 15 meters up, and there looked to be a small box bathroom in the corner.

Marf saw my eyes glance to the bathroom, and he nodded, “Yeps, theres runnin waters here.”

His eyes sparkled with happiness, as we were all dirty, and he could tell, I am sure by the smell, I had not seen running water in a while. I was suddenly embarrassed, but grateful for my new friends. Cable storage made excellent round tables, and there were several logs that had been cut to chair high, sanded smooth and worn glossy from use. A sink was against the door, and I turned the faucet on and off, laughing at the sight of running water. They were waiting beside a large long table made of left over pallets, smiling and watching me with their sharp glittering eyes. Stacked along the top of the table were real actual running computers, the LED’s on and green, the faintest hum of internal fans that were actually spinning.

“We thoughts, since you was coming, we could find some good stuffs for you to use, and helps us three become better persons.”

My eyes began to water, from some unknown source deep inside me.

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Conflict – Ever’s 1st Fight

The hunter runs, using all its energy in the culmination of the kill.

Ever channeled her last bits of energy into getting over the mountain pass. Her tough lean body was a good machine, but she was out of fuel, and out of fuel means out of speed. Chased from forest to forest for the past two weeks,  she had no way out it seemed. Five hard men were on her trail, five men who insisted she speak with them, about her ID, her papers, her citizenship. Feds, and feds with nothing to do but chase a fugitive through the mountains.  The one thing the States can not abide by is the idea of someone not cataloged and licensed into the grid.

The air was pulsing with strange pressure waves, the results could only be from a helicopter.  Soon enough the pilot spotted her in the alpine pass, as there was no cover. The whites and blues of lichen covered rock spread out before her, but straight down into the valley there was a stand of trees. She ran down the pass and watched the copter carefully. Lots of wobble there buddy, I don’t think your heli is made for this altitude, so if you land that thing you are not going back up, not quickly at least. Her thoughts started to formulate a ridiculous plan, it would be bad, and she would have to fight, but it should work.

Her last reserve was in her leg pocket of the military pants she wore. She pulled out a warm plastic bottle of apple juice, swigging it while she ran. The tree was 500 yards away now, and the copter was flying slowly, and not the usual fast swoops of small chopper that was stable. There were no other trees for miles, a bare valley, probably logged out just a few years ago. It looked square even, and sure enough, as she got closer it was obviously fenced off . She sent a silent prayer for what ever tree hugger kept this place with old forest, there must have been at least five acres of trees in a square plot.

The chopper pilot could soon see where she was headed, so he moved ahead and landed before her. Perfect! she thought, you could not ask for a better fool. He did exactly like I hoped, worried I would get away, in the one isolated area that had some cover.  Oh wait, did he just get out with a baseball bat in his hand? Well, ask for a better fool and the universe gives you one. She slowed to a jog, letting the fruit juice power her limbs for one last battle. About 50 yards away, the pilot figured out she was not going to run away, but was instead making a straight line for him.

“No wait! Please help me, there are these men after me!” Her voice was filled with fear, and quavered and squeaked. He hesitated just enough that she was able to close the gap quickly. She pulled up short, just out of swinging range of the bat. He seemed like he would use it.

“Why are you running from cops?” He squinted at her, staring her down.

“I didn’t know they were cops!” She baited him with the exclamation and some over exaggerated panting. She opened her eyes wide, and brought her hands up and open to her chest.

He looked her up and down, and then reached behind his back for a set of handcuffs.

He said, “Put your hands above your head. We can straighten this all out at the station.”

She nodded slowly, and started to turn around, but at the last possible moment, she sped it up and slung a booted foot out to where his chin was going to be. The foot snapped out and connected with something soft. She glanced and saw he had blocked her foot with his upper arm, so she spun for yet another half turn and shot a fist right into his nose. The connection gave her the half second of pain shock she needed to drop and continue the spin another half turn and hit his knees with her leg, dropping him to the ground. As he came around to understanding what had happened, she had him with a baseball bat locked around his throat. His struggle was short, and eventually, he passed out. She dropped the bat and thumped his chest, he was breathing fine, even if an ugly welt had started to creep across his throat.

The men were coming over the pass now. They pointed and shouted and started running. She reached into the cockpit and pushed the throttle all the way up. The stability computer kept the chopper from going crazy, and it started to rise straight up. She climbed in and started getting familiar with the instruments. She touched the joystick, and the copter tilted and began slipping sideways. She touched it again the opposite direction and it leveled out.

Well, making computer aided flight was just the thing for escaping, she thought. She pushed it forward a touch, and started moving. Slowly, very slowly, but from the altitude she had gained, she could see a new forest, and no roads in between. Her luck was holding for now, but that would change very soon. Taking the vehicle meant heavy searches now, and lots of people and equipment, and especially thermal satellites.

No roads and no vehicles though, she would make for the huge forest ahead, and think about an escape plan from there. A glance in the helicopter showed her some med kits, a shotgun, and the leftovers from the pilots lunch. Her gamble was tight, and it all had depended on subterfuge. Now they would know she can fight, and they probably can get a mock-up of her face, although the pilot was the only one to see her close up. Once she was 100 miles from anyone, she would ditch the heli and make her way down to the mexican border. The Rocky Mountains had been her home all her life, ever since she was freed from the lab. Time to go join the society, and lose her face in vast billions of the urban jungle.

Ever – Character Study

How I imagine her sensitized sight sees the apple in the dark.

In the deep dark of predawn, Ever reached into her backpack for an apple. It was a Granny Smith, and it was about two weeks old and still perfect and unblemished. She listened to the small noises of the new day, and could hear a truck, or some other loud vehicle, some ten miles away. No human noises broke the night, and once satisfied with her solitude, began the noisy task of demolishing the fruit. Her ass hurt from sitting on the rock, but sleep had again evaded her, and walking around only increased the chance of discovery. She looked around the tiny cave with some apprehension. She could see everything fine, but the heat signature from her body could escape the mouth, revealing her hiding place.  Eight hours should not be enough for the heat to classify her as human to the satellites, there were bears and cougars in these mountains still. The grainy black and white was slowly giving way to the rosy wash of dawn, her eyes were adjusting to the glow of predawn. Morning was her favorite time, once the sun broke the horizon the wash of heat would hide her infrared footprints, which was the most used trace method for refugees and immigrants.

In the year since the scientists had let her escape, life had been a joy, if a joy filled with nightmares. She had but one fear, and that was she knew Jericho would not stand idly by and soon would start a war with the race he hated. Never mind that he himself was human, she read the reports, he considered himself a god, and gods are not human. Cities were fine if the police had not been replaced with military, but everyone was to be avoided, at least for now. Her virus identity still needed another month of “baking” before she could claim it and print it out, but until then, life was basically an extreme camping trip. The Rocky Mountains had been the closest to her escape point in Denver, and she had gone north instead of south, like the scientists had suggested. They meant well, but they raised her in MOTHIR, so they could not even understand most basic principles of escape and detachment. Yes, there were more military outposts and even Jericho might be installed in the Rockies, but a valley was the most secure way to travel in the day, and it was beautiful, with fish and wildlife for food, along with about 500 edible plants. Montana has always been the stronghold of independents as well, so more foot traffic in the woods meant less possibility she could be tracked and found.

Her skin registered the movement of air and the rising temperature, and she could see the earth’s shadow retreating from the sky in the entrance to the small cave. Time to go! She got down on her stomach and pulled herself out of the cave. After getting up, she could see the brilliant reds, browns, and greens of the Montana wooded valley. The extra cones in her eye let her see the wind as well, the minute movements of air causing a temperature change that was evident. She felt a sting on her knee, sometime last night she must have torn the worn military fatigues she had stolen from the christian martial outpost the night before. Pulling out the canvas tape in her side pocket, she wrapped the knee with a couple of layers, and then stuffed it back in. She waited, looking for any sign of satellites, and when she was sure no stars were moving, she headed out into the grey dawn fog in the valley below.

The fog impeded her sight in no way other than clinging to her canvas clothing. The sun would burn it off soon, so even that did not deter her from her goal today. When going over the pass the day before, she had spied a small glacial lake in the center of the valley, sure to have fish and their ever important protein for her diet. The hike into the foothills had been arduous, and since she avoided everything but either empty cabins or abandoned outposts, her muscles were getting a bit smaller than normal. Nothing the eye could see, but she could feel it in her legs on the way down the valley. A pound of raw fresh fish would give her exactly the aminos and proteins she would need, and the apple she had saved would give her the energy to catch them. She reached the lake in about 40 minutes, and the fog was holding, so she was not worried about being spied in a moment of hunting.

She stripped down, her long lean body knotted with trim muscle, free of fat. She had very small breasts, but she was very glad of the fact. For a moment, she giggled, no one was around for probably 40 miles, and here she was worried about her body. She caught her reflection, and wondered if her gene donor mother was still alive. She assumed that if she was, they would look alike, although her face was the face of a competing athlete, skin tight to her cleft jaw, the eyes grey in reflection, but turning dark green when her emotions ran high. She spied a reflection of quicksilver in the rising sun, and dove in immediately after it. There was a sharp pain as a fin stabbed her palm, but once her fingers clenched on the tail, the fish was hers. She pulled herself up the rocky outcrop on the side she dove in on, and saw she had nabbed a 30 centimeter Esox lucius, but she knew most people called them pike. Using the sharpened edge of her longer thumbnail, she gutted the fish, and proceeded to eat it raw and still alive. She could feel the proteins being processed in her intestine after about five minutes, and smiled smugly with her breakfast still twitching in her hand. The sun broke over the foothill’s top, and she knew she was going to have a good day again, her and mother nature.

The Two Jollies and Me – agent introduction

Another token note and experiment, with pretty picture!

Mostly from birth I have witnessed the downfall of man. We have become technologically amazing, but since we never got rid of early capitalist values, most of the good stuff has shrunk down to just a few cities. I am what they call a free citizen, and I have been all my life, because I tend towards scavenging off the old cities that were abandoned. My dad taught me how to “hack” old electronics before he succumbed to cancer, but he never told me why he called it that. I think it is because I have to hack off the covers of old electronics and get inside them. I have scoured most of the land I grew up around, but since we were by Googlity, I decided to try my hand out in one of the independent states. I took a hitch off a carbon tube trucker who was on his way to Koch City, and got off about halfway when his hydrogen ran out. Unlucky for him, he probably won’t outlive any of the road gangs, but I took off and found a well-traveled road that lead to Kansas.

I have only been here for about four months, and have done fairly well, most people here do not even have lights, when I met the Jollies. Marf was big, and I mean like, giant. He was 2 meters tall and built like one of those old highway hills, slowly sloping up from the ground to a slight rise above his shoulders where his head was. Jackson was the complete opposite, maybe 1.3 meters tall and always clothed, but when an arm showed or a leg popped out, it looked kinda of like an old mechanical clock, all knots and wires and coils ready to go. They rented an industrial space that had been a storage area for one of the big corps before they gave up trying to convert older cities over to their megalopolises, it was owned by the police army, funny enough. I was hacking an old computer box for magnets and leds to put on my electrocycle when they found me.

“Hey Marf, this’n here looks tuh be smarts and handy”

I stopped and looked around the darkened old store I had found the box in. I was in a room with one window and one door, and the window was two floors up. The voice was above me, but all I could see was dirt, dust, and flayed paper peeling off  old rockwall. I crouched silently, hoping to spring from whatever was watching, or speaking.

A huge voice rose up through the floor, I could feel the vibrations of his voice through my tattered sock wraps.

“Imma founds mah sledges! Be right up!”

THOOM! A sudden impact in the building made the whole building shake, dust and white flakes of rockwall fell about me. I muffled a squeak, it was terrible, whatever had found me.

“Marf! Beez gentle, we wants this’n as friends!”

“Imma sorreez!”

Clumping steps started underneath me, where before the voice I had heard nothing. A small figure suddenly dropped through the ceiling, and a short man, wrapped in so many rags and scarfs I could barely see the human underneath, fell through the rockwall above me, dust and dirt rising all around the room. I covered my face with a cloth, so I would not breath the toxic fog he caused by falling onto the floor. After a few seconds the dust settled and I saw a sun aged face of about thirty, and kind of mousy, smiling at me from the opposite corner of the room.

“Eeeezy friend, eeezy. Imma not heres to causes you problems or hurts,” his face broke into the biggest smile you have ever seen on such a small guy while he spoke gently. “Imma here to help you, and you to help me, but I gotta warn you, Marf is big, but as nice as they come. We could help each other!”

He was closest to the door, so at this point, I figured, why bother running, he had proved to be stealthy and had a friend. I could escape to my cycle in due time, I have a knack for getting out of dirty situations. I tied the scarf behind my head and stood up slowly, so he could see I was not armed but for an old screwdriver.

“Tell your friend not to kill me, and let’s get out of this dust so we can speak proper,” I replied slowly, so he could see I was calm.

He laughed with a small giggle, and nodded. ‘Marf, we are comin out, don’t be swinging that hammer or anything, we gotta get out of this dust!”

We both dusted the bulk of the dry dirt off of us, and walked out of the room. We took the stairs and walked out the new gaping hole in the back. A bright blue and green tarp covered something about the size of a pile of old world 25 kilo bags outside, and we walked around it. I nearly jumped out of my skin when it moved, and said, “Hello.”

A hand the size of two people’s dinner plates came out of the tarp and stood open, at about where the short man’s head was.  In it was a 9 kilo maul, the kind that was made before the Great War,  with a new looking carbon fiber handle, apparently it had been inside the store, preserved from the ravages of time. The metal hammer head was as big as my head, and gleamed softly in the sun. I followed up the hand to the arm, which was connected to the largest person I have ever seen. His face was like a little boy’s, but the eyes where sharp, and showed the wrinkles of sun. I guessed him to about 2 meters tall and 300 kilos. He wore the tarp as a cape, and he was about as big around as he was tall. His arms showed no fat though his belly over lapped some old military pants he had on. It was like someone had taken a square of stone and carved a human out of it.

Ancient Henry – unfinished

This is an older piece, and I am just interested if it has anything to it. Having it put out so folks can see, well, I am always welcome to feedback, but that is the point behind this piece, it was done before I decided to become a writer. It is a lot angrier in tone, but then again, I tend to be a lot angrier in tone than most. Everything after this sentence was written over two years ago.

Ignorance increases.

Welcome to modern society. All those things we were taught to hate, we have become. All the morals of thousands of years are not enough to teach us. To release your hold on the material world, and let your true self through, is the most abusive terrorist conspiracy inspired stupid backasswards way of approching things ever. We can only learn the moral of the news, LOST Little White Girl Hour, hosted by Layered Haircut.

You know of what I speak. While fat kings feast on thrones above the world, in isolated and regal splendor, eating only the most fresh of foods, hand grown and picked by personal chefs, catered to by the empire of banks, they push to enslave and kill us all. They enslave us with idle desires, that our team wins, that we can own a … very little piece of property they take back when we die. That our next self absorbing piece of technology will again be hacked and sold, cordoned off from truely being used. And space, our true final frontier, has been shut down to an amusement park. Mars? Fuck you, 2035. Or maybe even later.

What about a very common sense idea. The Earth, is the property of the human race. The human race has come to a point in time where ownership by private interests only ruins the lot for the whole.

This is a story of what could have happened

Henry asked, “You ready to start?”

I shake my head, “Nuh-n… Not yet, is twenty minutes or so ok?

“Ah good, I’m going to fix a sandwich.”

Henry was like any other old fart from the mid gens of the late nineteen hundreds. Fat, a bit lazy and slobbish, for the first time in his life, he was truthfully happy. He stepped back in the kitchen with a vigor he had not felt in decades. His age was instantly identifiable, as was his style. Most folks had switched over to one of the hundreds of cheap but comfortable unisuits, so Henry’s athletic pants and jacket from the old days stuck out like a sore thumb on a pale skinned princess. His stomach was distended and scarred, and you could see it at odd times when he moved, he was once grossly obese.
Henry’s skin and hair showed his age, and unhealthy beginnings to. Dry scalp, skin cancer scars from removals, dentures, and the cane all showed a man who was basically, lucky to still be alive. His eyes smiled though, and tended to look you right back, eye to eye. If the soul was in the eye, Henry made sure you could see it.
He moved around the tiny kitchen with an easy grace, belied by his age.

“Henry, what keeps you so young mate? I hope I get around like you when I am your age.”

A big guffaw cracks out so loud I flinch. “Bwahahahaha! You needlenose, your gonna be young your whole life, for hundreds of years. I am old, and my bones ache, and I sometimes yearn for the big sleep. If the brain transplant takes, I might make it for a bit longer, but I did a lot of stupid things when I was young, back before the big change. This old tired model is just happy he could see into the future a bit.”

I was reluctant to begin anyways, I was told being nervous was not a good state to be duplicated under, and since it was my first time, I had plenty of time to hold off if I wanted. Henry seemed in a rare state, talkative and personal. Usually he was all business, get the job done, duplicate, move on to the next person. I had assisted him twice before, as were the two assistants in the living room assisting us now.

“Mate, I can’t relax. I need something to distract me, and well, ever since I met you, I have always wanted to ask you to teach me about the old days, before the changes. You seem… so distant when you mention them.”

“Because distance lad, is the best way those days are kept.” He looked at me with those eyes, curious if I was being honest about him. A long breathy sigh escaped him, and he continued,” I dare say, mate, you do not actually want to hear about those days. Evil it was, and demeaning, and you, you have a beautiful world to live in.”

“I need to know why I am nervous, I need something else other than what I know.” My eyes got a bit moist, it was hard telling someone a weakness, no matter how much you learned what it is worth in class.

Henry slathered a large amount of black bean curd on some bread, studiously avoiding talking.

“Henry look… I don’t mean to pry. But Dad’s gone to Mars, Mom’s shut down, and I live this stupid life. I dunno how I am supposed to handle being a citizen. I mean, I know we have access to all the information, I know we have groups and advisers and all kinds of tools to help us, but I don’t know whether I am doing anything right. It all seems to easy, get duped, get a vote, get everything you need…

Henry sat everything down, turned and looked at me, one hand on his hip, a finger of his other hand on his lip.

The Dream is Broken

Into the Unknown, where we all dream.

The greatest moment in human triumphs was quick to happen. The Meeting of the Minds was the greatest gathering mankind had ever seen, witness to tens of thousands of people comfortably encamped on a giant level field, created just for the occasion, in the middle of Kansas, USA. Giant LED screens dominated and lit up the night sky, so much so that some people made a lot of money selling cheap eye covers to the people in the MM encampment so they could sleep. Everyone had a chance to present on the screens, and multiple broadcasts went on for 24 hours a day. It took millions of man hours in work and preparation, but having the crews from Burning Man had really made things easy, using their knowledge of building an instant city and making sure everyone had access to the basic necessities of being human.  Lots were sold cheaply, just covering the actual utility costs, and everyone was invited. Scientists, religions, politicians, groups, non-groups, volunteers, thousands had come, to share, to grow, to understand each other, for a full month. The entire 4 square miles was a constant festival, everyone had brought their best. Parades of shining faces, of people promoting the best they had to offer, new foods, new ideas, new software, new clothes, new everything. One group was very memorable, called the Knights of Peace, wearing white tunics and carrying EL lit flag poles, with symbols of all the world on flags above them. I even paid to have them carry our flag, it was only 500 US, and they got a bit of insight into what we were presenting later in the month.

I was from a group of genetic engineers called The White Castle, and we had our purpose to be there as well. Mostly, for the first three weeks, I tooled around, meeting different representatives of different scientific communities, and being the liaison for us to outreach the others. Mostly, my job was to hype up what we had brought to the MM, and it was easy, though very hard not to let out the details until the final debates had started. I was basically on a nonstop high, knowing that we were changing the world for the better, doing something that humanity had always cried for, a better human. The summit of the MM was the last week of the month, with each group debating in front of impartial judges for their right to speak and present on the final day. Our group was chosen as the final speakers, meaning we had the most important revelations during the Meeting of the Minds. All debates were simulcast across various spectrums, but mostly everyone tuned in through the video flash connections brought in by JTV.

We showed them ARMS, our genetic improvement computations. We had discovered that with a good bit of computer modeling, we could trim and regrow the DNA sequence, taking out the useless banana and parrot problems, and instead installing a memory system that cells were programmed to read from.  MOTHIR was an advanced material and education system, taking but 6 weeks to raise a newborn baby to a stout teenager of the equivalent age of 16. It worked with the ARMS manipulation software, and using the cells of the body itself MOTHIR was able to implant holographic memory and teach the subject not only muscle memory but real knowledge, all the basics of chemistry, physics, quantum mechanics, science, math, and medicine. Shakespeare, Rembrandt, Debussy, Vonnegut, Kierkegaard, all the best of the written language and many languages as well was installed into memory, and many other things. The cells were also improved, cellular structure was enhanced, muscle cells improved, the bodies organs made more efficient. It was a triumph of a presentation, and the entire MM camp broke out in shouts and applause, then we brought out Jericho. He walked up, took the mic, and said, “I am the first immortal, you will all die now.” What we didn’t know was he had modified the podium over night, using some of the new weapons that had been presented in the summit, taking great care not to say a word to anyone. We didn’t know he had gone insane, we didn’t know he had been impaired in his raising in MOTHIR by a devious priest of the catholic church, our biggest monetary supporter. We didn’t know as much about Jericho as we thought, and when he brought out the guns, most of us died for not knowing.

The Meeting of the Minds was the greatest triumph, and the last day, the greatest tragedy of humankind. The security forces were no match for Jericho, and he sawed through 11,782 People in about 4 hours. A small silent black helicopter picked him up from the burning remains of the MM, and he was beyond our reach and understanding from that day on. He stole all our information, our private computers, and the first MOTHIR unit, and disappeared into the world.

White Castle was taken over by the NSA, almost immediately after. Out of the original team of 250, three other scientists involved and myself were hustled into an underground city, and instructed to comply or die. We didn’t intend to fight the NSA, and we knew now, with Jericho and the church against us, it was probably the safest bet to live. It has not been entirely unpleasant, unless you count my nightmares every night, indeed, all the goods we needed, all our wants and desires were pretty much taken care of, after we capitulated to the demands of the government. What argument did we have anyways? We had singlehandedly turned the most peaceful meeting of humanity into the worst nightmare, the ultimate scourge and horror show ever seen.

The only bright side to this story is her, the one we did alone, without government intervention. We used the scientific argument for having a control group, and were allowed to have one subject that was not implanted with dark seeds of the military, was not made into an inhuman killing machine, but instead, was the opposite of what Jericho was turned into. We were supposed to destroy her after study of course, but corruption is as corruption will do, and with a promise to put a minor sergeants child through the MOTHIR for a few days, to help him boost his stats, we were able to sneak her out into the world to help humanity, to take back Jericho, or to take him down. We called her Ever, and she was our one hope to setting things right. We burned a brainless clone to cover her tracks, and no one knew about her. She is now out there, watching and listening, and soon, she will begin to change the course of our future.