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Topic: [Creative Writing] Newlife

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Xinika the Omnispawna
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[Creative Writing] Newlife

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ACT 5
Newlife

 “Shut the com down.” Thomas came in the control room annoyed that we had even considered any contact with outside. All of the room had paused in disbelief. We all looked at the head scientist like some stone cold dictator.

I remember looking at him with my jaw slightly out of place from the distress that all of us were experiencing. I knew it had to be tough on him especially. Most of the other scientists had given into their own emotions and problems alike.

Thomas had to remain resilient. Everyone depended on him to keep his composure and still, I could still see that he was nothing more than just a man, trying his best to keep it all together.

His ash blonde hair was messy, his eyes were dragged from the obvious lack of sleep and to top it off, his glasses had left a small imprint on his nose.

“Did you hear me?” He barked at Harry – “Turn that damn thing off! We entertain any more of these calls then they’ll know to come here. We can’t have that happen.”

After that, Thomas stormed out tensely. Harry didn’t waste another second on wondering his superior’s thought process. He immediately shut the communication channel off. I could understand where Harry coming from.

The look on his face was trying to tell Thomas that he felt obligated to help those people. They had no food, no shelter, their technologies were failing and they radioed us by pure luck.

Then again, I could also understand Thomas’. If we did help them, they’d spread the word. Soon this place would be flocking with refugees from all over the world.

The sick would come, the helpless, the good and the ugly along with the bad at their side. Chaos would erupt and all this carefully planned work would go to waste.

I couldn’t just sit here and see my crew deteriorate like this. I know Harry might’ve taken it more personal than he should have, so I did my part. I walked over cautiously and placed a comforting hand on his shoulder.

“This is how it has to be, Harry…” I told him gently.

“Yeah…” He whispered, slowly shifting out of the pity he was feeling – “I know, I know.”

Seeing as Harry was fine, my next move would be to check on my husband. I followed the direction where he left. Each step I took, I felt the heartache oozing through the atmosphere. This would be hard, but I had to do this.

The scent of cheap nicotine caught my nose when I accessed the automated sliding door. I knew he was out here, smoking some of the last reserves we have. I didn’t see him immediately and then my eyes connected to that white coat of his.

“Thomas?” I quietly called as I watched him slouched against the wall, lost in deep thought.

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When I was a child, I had childhood dreams, feelings and desires.

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"Thomas?"

I took another drag of my cigarette before glancing up in acknowledgement of her presence. Sheila, my wife. She had always been there for me in my times of need. Always supported me in my endeavors, no matter how crazy they seemed, no matter the boundaries I pushed, she always understood what I was trying to do. She kept me in check though. Made sure I took care of myself and never went too far. Boundaries could be pushed, but not broken, and she was the one that pulled me back when the cracks started to show.

These days though, there was no saving us. There was no coming back. No apologizing for our actions and being forgiven. No, we had screwed up and we were going to have to deal with the consequences - complete annihilation. The stupidity of humanity. Science had given them such greatness, but all they chose from it was destruction. It's like they had been given fire, but instead of seeking warmth from a distance they had commit self-immolation. It was the fastest way to get warm after all. They didn't have a Sheila to pull them back from the edge, to whisper reason in their ear, to touch them softly at night. They just had power and the blindness that accompanied it.

Fine, let them take their punishment. Let me take mine. But there were good people in this world as well. Why did they have to suffer for our mistakes? Humans could be good. It didn't have to end like this. There was hope for us, but there was no coming back from what we've done, from what we've been through.

No forgetting all the chaos that humanity has done and said and lied about over the millennium. No, if we were to continue on it had to be a clean slate. We had to erase it all. The barbarians outside these walls had confirmed that. Now, it was up to me to plant the seed of a fresh start.

"Thomas?"

I sucked the cigarette down to the filter in my final drag. Hypocritical if you think about it, criticizing humanity of self-destructive behavior as I enjoy this wretched waste. But there wasn't much time left, so what the hell. I got up and dropped the butt, snuffing it out with a twist of my foot. I walked over to Shelia and pulled her in close, my hand stroking the back of her head.

"We can't let them in. You know it. It's for the best. They don't get to have us anymore, Sheila. They had their chance and this is what they chose. They could have chosen greatness, but they chose destruction. If we want anything for the future, we need to give up the now, and that includes all the lives out there. That includes our own..."

I held her for a moment and then took a deep breath. There was so much work to be done. I couldn't indulge myself in this kind of behavior. I let her go, stepping back to look at her. My fingers combed through her shimmering brunette hair. She looked up at me with her fine-like amber eyes, staring into me, seeing me as she always had. Her red lipstick accentuating her features. My hands ran down her shoulders, then her slender arms.

I grasped her small hands and raised them to my lips. I closed my eyes and gently pressed my lips against her fingers, holding them there for a moment. My Sheila. Ok. That's enough. I let go and made my way to the door.

"We have work to do."

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I was a baby, born into a realm that harbored nothing. No hate, no love. Only that which is to the eye, is as it is.

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I… I had to keep it together, no matter what. Looking at him walk away just made me think of the project’s original ideals. Ten years ago, we were approached by a joint military interest. Back then we were nothing more than prominent genetic scientists. We were known as the Ekhart Duo to some of the television audiences.

 

“This is the chance of a lifetime, Ekhart.” I remember that snarky General speaking in the most alluring manner he could fetch – “You’re not going to let this one slip through your fingers, are you?” He commented, reminding Thomas of his past failures as a scientist.

Thomas didn’t say a word. He just looked to the wall of the small office with mixed signals. Here came the opportunity both of us never even dreamed of achieving. The chance to finally eradicate all of man’s sicknesses and defeat aging at the same time. We would be able to construct humans that would live for thousands of years. Humans that no longer bared the primitive functions of the old.

A new breed of human. The perfect kind.

Yet we were still bound to the will of swashbucklers. The man that stood in front of us didn’t see this as some sort of potentially uplifting breakthrough for humanity. Absolutely not. The way he thought of it, was just that this was a new weapon of the future. He wanted a super soldier and we wanted to evolve the human race.

Would you have called that a fair trade?

And now here I stand looking at Thomas go back into that room again, prepared and ready.

What about me?

Am I ready? Back then when the decision was made, he needed me to be there with him and we made that decision together. Now more of these decisions will have to be confronted. No one ever said it was going to be easy. What’s necessary for the greater good must be done.

I reach my hand out to him, in a way hoping he’d see me or at least knew I wanted to talk, though I knew better that Thomas was no mind reader. As he entered that room and the silence around me became thickening, I realized it there in that moment that I even if I wasn’t prepared, I had to be. Prepared to stand at his side, unmoved by whatever the rest of the world would think. We made it together in the past… we’ll make it through this again.

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The two of you had dreams.

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I made my way back through the communication room that I had just stormed out of. They were all busy, hard at work trying to finish my commands in the little time we had left. Harry glanced up at me as I sped past and our eyes met.

I nodded at him in an attempt to soothe his fear that I was upset. He could be a weak man, acting on impulses of emotion and not just the logic of his mind, a fault of the past world, but he was a good worker. They all were, and I knew what they were going through now, and what they had given up to be here. Harry nodded back in acceptance of my gesture then quickly turned back to his work.

I entered my quarters and moved to the bed. I sat down, feeling myself sink down a bit into the mattress. The room didn't contain much, a bed, a desk and some knick-knacks that Sheila had set up, but it was enough for me to complete my work, and that's all I needed. I shrugged off my coat and began to unbutton my shirt. A shower should help clear my head and get me back on track. I hadn't slept in what felt like days, and I couldn't permit myself to with so much still to be done, but I could give myself this. This one comfort.

The phone rang. My fingers stopped mid-action and reversed their movement, putting the plastic circles back into their respective slots of fabric. Another time, then. I got up, slipped back into my coat, and made my way quickly to the phone, catching it on its last ring.

"Hello? Mhm... Right. Yes, I'll be right there... Yes of course! Do the security check, I don't care who they are, check them anyway. I'll be right there, prep the test machines."

The shipment, of course. Was it noon already? I glanced down at my watch to check and realized that it had stopped working. Probably fried by the rays from an experiment, or rattled as I labored on a machine. Although, with how things were going these days, and the lack of supplies, it's very likely that the battery was just dead with no replacement within a thousand miles.

Great, the end of the world is near and I won't know what time it happens.

I moved back towards the exit and notice for the first time Sheila is here. 

"The shipment's here."

She nodded as if she knew already and I realize she must have overheard the call. My awareness isn't what it normally is in this worn state, I would have normally noticed her presence long before now. As I approached the door, Sheila turned to lead and my hand reached out and found the small of her back. We moved through the facility, my gentle hold keeping us connected. When we reached the test chambers the room was already abuzz. Machines were humming and colorful wires were strung out everywhere, making the event look like a party rather than the rigorous scientific task it would actually be. We entered the observation room connected to the main testing room and sat down at the computers hidden behind one way glass.

These tests would hold the key to the future. I had my doubts, doubts that anything that came from outside these walls had any business being used for the future, but we were running out of time and this might be able to work. 

"Ready?" An attendant asked, popping his head in the doorway.

I looked to Sheila, my face asking her the same question. She nodded and put her hand on mine. I nodded.

"Yes bring them in."

I flipped a switch and a green light illuminated. Let's hope it stayed green.

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Would you say your dreams were fulfilled? At what point did you have to compromise?

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“Guru?” I inquired to our highly efficient AI
“Mrs. Ekhart?” The response came immediately
“Run a double check on the shipment. Make sure everything is in order.”
“Right away.”

Thomas peered at me somewhat demanding more information but he knew very well he could trust me. There was something off about all this. I just wanted to be sure.

“Mrs. Ekhart?” Lea’s communication channel opened up to contact me
“Yes?” I responded
“We need you in room 401. Subject 16 has woken up!”

“I’m on the way.”

I was intended to simply dart out the door and rush to see what the issue was, but I stopped in my tracks, feeling Thomas’ grip holding me surely. I smiled at him and he nodded at me. No words to be said at this point, only duty to perform.

“What’s the problem?” I asked as I stormed into the private test room. Not much to my surprise, Subject 16 was awakened and staring me right in the face. Lea did not need to say anything more. The boy was supposed to be asleep. As a part of Project Afterlife, he was one of the chosen to rebuild the world. He did not need to see anything related to our current world.

Poor Lea, she was a good scientist. Able and willing, but like the others she began to lose her greater qualities. I could not speak of Subject 16 as if he were some thing, at least not in front of him – he’s too young to understand.

“Are you alright?” I asked the young blonde boy we refer to as 16.

He was only five but his intelligence was greater than that of a standard 25-year-old man.

“I can’t sleep.” He tells us

I look at Lea and Lea looks right back at me, hoping that I would be the one to solve the dilemma here. Why did I expect any different is beyond me. Thomas and I would be the only ones capable of carrying out what we had carefully planned.

“Would you like to go for a walk?” I ask the child.

“Will that help me sleep?” He asks

I smile at his wittiness – “I guess we’ll have to find out, won’t we?”

He returns my smile and walks confidently to me, holding my hand excited. I could’ve asked for a shot to his neck, put him right into cyrosleep again – but I didn’t. For some reason, this reminded me of the child I could not hold. My child that was too precious to currently unfold…

 

 

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When did your innocence lose its way in favor of the imaginations your world enforced on itself?

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Sheila got up to leave and I followed her with my gaze. She stopped before leaving the room, feeling my stare and concern, and gave me a smile. Everything will be all right, she can handle this. I nodded and she left.

Soon the subjects entered the room. They marched in line and stood at attention in front of the glass. They were naked. Their perfect forms stood in stark contrast with the blandness of their surroundings, yet oddly similar in a way - their bodies created and upgraded for a purpose, just like the machines that surrounded them. Their chiseled muscles sent shadows cascading in sharp lines across their skin. The only sign of imperfection came from the cuts and bruises that they had gotten in combat. Let's hope there were only physical scars left over from their time in the outside world.

"Let's begin with vitamin and mineral readings. After that we'll start the physical tests." I glanced down at my watch and, though broken, it reminded me that we didn't have much time, "Actually, put them on the treadmill and we can do the readings while they run."

The light on the switchboard remained green. Test after test they passed with flying colors. Vitamins and minerals, muscle mass, BMI, cardiovascular, etc. They were designed to be genetically perfect, and they did not disappoint. Sheila and I had done well. Now came the deciding set of tests: mental stability.

They had seen things outside these walls, done things, and I had to make sure they were still fit to restart the human race. Math, science, history, all the academic subjects they passed - again their brain tested and tuned to perfection. When it came to the psychological evaluation however, things broke down. You see, we did not code ethics into these humans. You can create muscle mass for strength and speed, align brain synapses in the correct order to ensure quick and logical thinking, but you cannot however create a personality. That is up to the subject once he is awoken. It depends on how he puts together the pieces of his surrounding, and what he experiences in life. These subjects had seen the worst humanity had to offer and it showed. They failed every test. Death, destruction, and insensitivity all were prevalent in their answers.

The light turned red. It was hopeless. They were corrupted and now useless to Afterlife. I slammed my fist down onto the desk. Anger, an emotion I usually did not permit myself to feel due to its uselessness, I now allowed to flow through me. All this work for nothing. Nothing! I placed my palms flat on the desk, pushing down aggressively, stabilizing myself. My breathing slowed and I began to calm myself. Enough. 

"That's all. Send them away." My hand reluctantly released the intercom button. Like letting go after giving the command solidified the end. Sheila. I had to tell her. My hand moved to my forehead, my thumb and index finger rubbing my temples. Ok. Together we would figure this out as we always had. Together we could do anything. Even restart the world.

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Do you blame the tree, or the idea of the tree?

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“Where are we going?” 16 asked somewhat agitated from the aimless walking. The boy is so capable. In terms of his understanding, he will be miles ahead of what we could’ve accomplished. I’d hope the hallways of science would calm him, but I guess there’s no calm in the coming storm. He could sense it and I knew it, so what good did it do me to keep it from him?

“Tell me something.” I begin lightly trying to divert his attention – “Do you know your name?”

“Sixteen.” He replies.

I shake my head denying the designation as a form of acceptance for the little boy. I named my own daughter and here this boy had nothing more than a scientific number as a claim for his existence?

“What’s wrong?” His headstrong gaze penetrated me wanting, no, demanding more.

I look at him with almost teary eyes. I’ll choose name for him right here and right now.

“Your name is Adam.” I bend on my knees to even our height and brush his hair back – “You are a special boy, Adam. Our world won’t be like this forever. One day you will wake up and you won’t see me again.”

Adam felt comfort that I was addressing him on such a personal level. Something the other scientists won’t dare do. Don’t stop now Sheila, this has to be done.

“All of this will make sense in the future. I promise you.”
“Your consciousness weighs heavy on you.” He responded.

I look away as quickly as I can to divert his intuition and a tear rolls down my eye. I try to smile to defocus myself from the picture.

I realize I can’t hide from him anymore, so I get to my feet and offer my hand to him, that we may continue walking together.

“Mrs. Ekhart?” He called for me. I almost didn’t want to stare him in the eyes. It felt increasingly hard to be around him when Nyxe was sleeping in a cyro chamber. I’ve talked more to this boy than I have my own daughter.

“Please don’t cry.”

Adam’s words were actively doing the opposite. That’s when I caught myself from slipping any further. I faced him surely and manufactured a smile that couldn’t be any faker but at least, it gave him hope I was trying.

“Come Adam, I want to show you our storerooms. There might be some interesting gadgets in there for you to see.”

WARNING! RED ALERT! RED ALERT!

What on earth…

My chest felt like it was collapsing, my throat dried up and my teeth crunched in denial at the alarm.

“Sheila!” Major Brutski’s voice came in my communication link – “Sheila we need you up here now! Floor 2, Sector C. One of the subjects have gone berserk! Thomas is missing!”

Whether it was the fear or just plain denial at the reality, I couldn’t move. I was standing there frozen until Adam’s voice knocked me out of the stasis – “Mrs. Ekhart? Are we going to the storeroom?”

I was paralyzed. I didn’t know what to tell him…

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You knew this was coming but you didn’t leave. You had this misplaced sense of hope. To be there with him, even till the bitter end. Was there a chance at all?

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I enter the hallway from the control room and turn left towards room 401. My mind is racing, trying to think about all the possible ways to proceed with project Afterlife now. There wasn't time to start over. And now there was trouble with 16? If that batch was ruined as well...

WARNING! RED ALERT! RED ALERT!

I stopped in my tracks.

"What's going on!?" I shouted into my radio.

"We're under attack. A few of the soldiers have become aggressive. They're..." I heard shots and then static burst forth from the speaker.

I turned off my radio and stood for a moment, thinking.

Sheila. I'm sure she's safe. If the attacks happened in the subject's quarters then she should be far from harm’s way. We're not equipped to handle a situation like this - we're scientists, not soldiers. If they all rebel... this is it. I have no other option. I need to initiate Aterlife. Now.

With my mind made up I turned quickly back towards my room. My pace quickened and soon I was running full speed, sliding around corners and hopping down stairs, too impatient to rely on anything but my own two legs. When I entered the room I leaped toward the desk, pushing the chair out of the way. I pulled up the security cameras of the facility and started to cycle through the many different views: the main room, the hallways, the greenhouse, the cryo chambers, and finally the subject quarters. There were bodies on the floor. Their white coats soaked with blood and no movement could be seen. Some of my best men and women. They had no chance. They were slaughtered - brute force snuffing out intellect like it always had in this world. I cycled through more angles until I caught sight of the renegades. Three of them, guns in hand moving through the hallways to the communication center. Were they going to call for back up? This was much worse than I originally thought.

This must have been the plan all along, to infiltrate us with this shipment. Of course, this was one of the last working facilities on Earth, and like all looters they took what they needed. Brute force snuffing out intellect. What's done is done though, and now I must do what needs to be done.

I began to close out the security footage, and initiate the Afterlife countdown, when a certain camera frame caught my eye. I clicked to enlarge the image. 17, my daughter. I saw her in her chamber, deep asleep, unconscious of the outside world. Her innocence filled me with a great emotion, and my vision became blurry. I quickly wiped away the tear. I would never see her again, and I wished, while I could, to see her with the full capacity of my sight. I reached out and touched the screen. She'll never know me. Never know that all of this was for her. I had to tell her. I had to at least tell her not to make these same mistakes. Not to come to the same conclusions that our current society had. I could give her guidance. I sat down, turned on the recording program and began to talk.

We were such creatures of great promise. Heirs to a world that would’ve given us all we ever needed, but we always wanted more. Nothing was ever enough. I could leave this behind and tell you that this is all man’s fault.

For whatever reason, we didn’t listen to her soon enough.

She cried over and over again, warning us. We didn’t care. We just kept going.

Kept destroying, killing and pillaging and now, it’s come to this. We can’t even walk outside without dropping dead in a heartbeat. It’s funny, I didn’t think this is how it’d end up, but then again who takes the time to sit back and consider the consequences of their actions?

I know we didn’t and that’s our own fault.

But I hope you will.

When you wake up, don’t forget these words. You’re the last hope mankind has to make it right again.

Don’t forget that, my dearest Nyxe.”

When the recordings were finished I sat back in my chair. A certain peace came over me. I was ready now, for this to be over. I leaned forward, hunched over the keyboard.

My fingers and mind worked together to input complicated lines of code that would end our world and set into motion the reboot of the human race. I answered security questions and input codes and passwords, each entry becoming easier than the last, like a second wind as the finish line comes into view. Finally a voice filled the room.

"Vocal confirmation of the final password is required." The monotonous tone of the AI was eerie. Guru had no idea the gravity of the question he had just asked.

This was it. I cleared my throat, knowing that the next set of sound waves that I emitted would stop the world, sending it into a humanless state for hundreds of years. I closed my eyes and took a calm breath.

"Nyxe."

"Vocal recognition confirmed. Activating Project Afterlife."

And that was that. I got up from my chair and went to the closet. Inside I found a stun gun I had stashed away months ago for an emergency such as this. It wasn't exactly an even match for what the opposition had, but it would have to do. I threw the strap over my shoulder and headed for the door. I needed to find Sheila. If this was the end, I'd need her by my side. I'm coming, Sheila.

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Don’t stop now…

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“Adam, honey, I want you to cover your eyes.”
“How will I see? Will you guide me?”
“I will. I promise.”

I couldn’t let the poor child see the horror of our undoing. The absence of life overcame all the hallways and they became filled with sorrow, regret and sudden death. All I hoped was that Thomas had done what was necessary. Afterlife would have to start without us. The thought was troubling that I would never see my Nyxe grow up. The pain of that thought began escalating the more I came back to it and the boy with me was a walking reminder.

Adam placed one hand over his eyes and with the other he held onto me tightly. I guided him past my dead co-workers cautiously. To say horror wasn’t within me couldn’t be further from the truth. I wanted to scream but I knew better than to give in now. The cyro chambers were near. Soon, I’d be able to put him back to rest and whatever happens next would have to wait. I just couldn’t leave him out here. No matter what was happening, I couldn’t do that to him.

“We’re almost there. You’re doing great.”
“Why are…”
“Adam! No!”

Curiosity got the better of the child. He dropped his hand briefly and everything that was wrong on earth came clear to him. I quickly picked up him and kneaded his head into my shoulder comfortingly.

“I told you to cover your eyes!” I began scolding him, only to change my tone lovingly – “You don’t need this. You don’t belong to this…”

He didn’t say a word. I had never seen him so quiet before. I could feel his heartbeat racing as he rested on me. The innocence of the child was ruined. He had seen the true face of mankind.

How could I have been so stupid to take him here? I should’ve had him slept the moment I was called in. How careless of me!

“Don’t worry, hun. We’re almost there.”

Nothing came from him. Only a boy clenching onto me in fear. I swear I could hear his thoughts telling me to not let him go. When we got to the cyro chambers, there was still one tube available for him. I sat him down on the bench and took a good look at him. I had never seen him like this before. His eyes, his mouth, his entire face… just felt so heavy.

I held his arm out to put the sleep shot in. He didn’t resist. It was like he wanted it.

Maybe he felt he had walked into a nightmare and I was waking him up. Yes my dear, this is a nightmare and when you wake up, you will have the chance to change it all. I smiled at him and brushed his hair back. It didn’t take look for him to curl into a little ball and collapse on his side.

Once he was asleep, I darted to the computer and activated the essentials on Afterlife. Thomas had already started it. Good. Time was running out. The sounds of the howling alarms reminded me I was racing against time. Then a random thought came across me.

I don’t know why it mattered, but I thought of how ransacked my hair was. How little I had cared for myself over the past few days and all the sacrifices I had made. Never mind. None of that matters now.

The chambers sealed a sleeping Adam into the secured lock and he was submerged underground to unite with the other Afterlife assets. I smiled at this victory until the clicking sound of an armed gun held me gunpoint from behind. When I turned around, I saw Subject 5. Everything was really loud when I got in here and now, nothing. I think he was saying something but I couldn’t hear anything. I was just standing there, waiting for him to pull the trigger…

 

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Don’t…

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The hallways were eerily quiet for an assault. I guess that the main troops hadn't arrived yet. I made my way through the facility towards the cryo chambers where I knew Sheila would have taken 16. I needed to get to her as soon as possible. I needed her to be safe in my arms. I needed her to know that she wasn't alone, that I hadn't abandoned her. But most of all, I just needed her.

As I came around the corner I saw a soldier at the end of the hall, blocking my way to Sheila. I quickly flung myself back around the corner, my back pressed against the wall. Panic would have overcome me any other time, but not now, not at the end of it all. I tightened my grip on my rifle and readied for the exchange of gun fire - my stun ray versus his bullets. Stop, Thomas, what are you thinking? You're no match, he's much too quick and better equipped. Find Sheila. Get to Sheila. You'll have your revenge soon enough. I shook my head, snapping out of it. There was another way to the cry ochambers, albeit longer, but if it guaranteed I saw my wife again it was my best option. 

I approached the chambers cautiously and quietly. I didn't want to draw any attention towards our location. There was a sound that pierced through the silence, however - the hammer of a gun being positioned to fire. I concentrated hard and concluded that it had come from the room I had pegged Sheila to be in. A muffled voice started to speak and I knew that she had been found. I swung around through the doorway and saw Sheila staring blankly at the soldier. Before he could turn to react I fired my gun and hit him squarely in the chest. His body went limp and he collapsed onto the floor. Sheila stood there, eyes still wide staring at the body of the soldier. She backed away slowly as her eyes moved up to meet mine. Our gaze connected and the life started to come back into her eyes. She blinked a few times, like she was trying to reset her vision. Finally I saw a look of recognition staring back at me.

I ran to her, scooping her up in my arms. Her embrace tightened around me, with every ounce of her strength being used to show how much she cared. I squeezed back and then looked her in the eyes.

"You alright?"

"Yeah..." She reached up and felt her hair, "But my hair’s a mess, heh…"

I burst out laughing. How could she be thinking about that in a time like this? I reached out and held the sides of her head, leaning in to kiss her forehead.

"You look more beautiful to me now than ever before." I leaned back to look at her face again. I truly meant it.

"This is it, isn’t it?"

"Yes."

A solemn look came over her face. Like me, she was reminiscing about the entirety of her life. The good, the bad, if she had lived justly or morally, how she got here and what would happen next. I didn't want our final moments to be ones of worry or regret. I lifted her chin up so that our eyes met fully and stared into her beautiful soul.

"We're here now, Sheila, and we got here because we knew what we were doing was right. It was what needed to be done. That…"  I exclaimed pointing at the monitor that showed Project Afterlife underway, "Is our greatest accomplishment, what we've lived for and now it's a success. We've done it, you and I, and I couldn't be more proud!  I love you so much, more than the whole world!" We both smiled at the literal accuracy of that statement

"I love you too…” She spoke quietly – “Will she be okay?”
“Yes, and she’ll know us too.”

That assurance gave Sheila enough confidence to face the incoming inevitable. I planted my lips onto hers. It was the deepest and most passionate kiss of my life. In the background the alarms began to sound again and there was a loud explosion. I could hear voices shouting and the clattering of boots on tile, the sound of an invading army.

Our mouths moved against each other and I savored the taste. I could feel our heartbeats beat together in unison. There was banging on the doors. I pulled back for a moment, keeping our foreheads pressed against each other. My eyes closed so that my other senses could fully enjoy this moment. A beeping from the computer joined the alarm's consistent pulsing, signifying that Afterlife's preparation had been completed. My fingers moved to the 'Enter' key on the keyboard. One last input to make. My lips moved back to hers, lightly grazing but locking into the seal of a kiss. A tender farewell…

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This is part of a novel I am currently writing. To add to the versatility of the flavor, I had GJ help me out with this chapter.

Thomas Ekhart by Glassjaw
Sheila Ekhart by Shin



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Manhattan
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As K said, I wrote the part of Thomas for this section of the story. It was a challenging and rewarding experience and I think it turned out really well.

Although I'm seen as the anti-lore, anti-philsophy guy of the guild, I actually thoroughly enjoy writing and expression of this kind. There's a lot more to me than meets the eye.

Anyways, I hope you enjoyed and look forward to posting more work like this in this section in the future.

 

Edit: Does my avatar make a little more sense? :P



-- Edited by Glassjaw on Sunday 1st of June 2014 02:36:43 PM

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Evo
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Wow GJ, that's deep man.

Anyways, been reading the whole thing.. And I really have to say that Shin has been doing an amazing job with this story so far.

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Xinika the Omnispawna
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Evo wrote:

Wow GJ, that's deep man.

Anyways, been reading the whole thing.. And I really have to say that Shin has been doing an amazing job with this story so far.


 Thanks. I may expose some more pieces but it's still in a really early alpha state and I'm a hardcore perfectionist, so that will take some time. I do plan to do some side pieces and other creative work I'll be posting around here. (GJ does too) and I hope others will as well.

This section could be a ton of fun.



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Cheetah Defender
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Have been enjoying the story so far.  You're very good with writing details and emotion, and some of the sections have an important message encoded in the chapter.  I look forward to see the continuance and conclusion of this story :).



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