Dec 1, 2019

Still Here

The spaceship hung in the vastness of the empty nothing like a dead body rotting on a rope. The batteries in the ship had long since died out. No lights blipped on the dashboards, all life support systems were down, and the oxygen had long since ran out from the multiple holes in the body of the ship. It used to be the pride of the crew once upon a time, but now it was useless space junk. Part of a debris belt that spun around the planet like jewels hanging from their places in a broken crown.

After years of floating mindlessly, a timer inside the ship ran its course and something came alive. A previously dead battery sent a spark of current through its systems and a light on one of the dashboards lit up, bathing the broken insides of the spaceship in a garish red. Systems woke up slowly. Coming online one by one. In the dejected insides of the ship, movement created a wave of activity that stopped at the single pod that was still intact.

Inside the pod, a body lay with its hands crossed across its chest. Liquid oxygen, slightly rotten from the time it was in a tank flooded the pod's inert environment. Life support systems monitoring the body started to inject various cocktails of chemicals that were going to bring life back in the body.

Small repair bots crawled out of the belly of the spaceship and started to patch the one room of the ship up where the pod was located. Once the hive mind of the repair bots had confirmed the structural integrity of the pod room, the atmosphere regulators took over and started to warm up the room to a comfortable level.

The pod opened up with a hiss, releasing stale gases that were trapped inside the glass.

The figure in the pod opened its eyes.

It put one hand on the edge of the pod and tried to get up, but it could not. It was still too weak, too feeble to attempt even such a simple task. It lay back and let the nutrient and chemical mix running through its veins take hold and give it some strength back.

A spell of sleep later, the person felt strong enough to at least pick its body up from the surface of the pod and look around the room the pod was placed in. It was as bare-bones and small as any room on the ship had been.

"Who attacked us?"

The computer system came online on hearing the voice.

"The attacking fleet belonged to Subversa Minor 6687."

"Compose message for Subversa Minor 6687."

"Composing message. Please speak the body text."

"I'm still here, motherfuckers."

So am I.

May 7, 2019

Drag The Iron

Breathe in. Breathe out. 

Sweat from Skak's brow made the dirt on his face a tattoo of dark streaks. He didn't dare wipe away the dirt and simply blinked when the sweat reached his eyes. His cheek firmly pressed to the side of his rifle and his eye to the scope, keeping his target in sights.

"Got him," he whispered to his spotter. The spotter, Jex raised her hand and make an OK sign with her thumb and forefinger. Further up the hill, another set of eyes zeroed in on where Skak was looking. They were all in place. Ready as they would ever be.

Mission lead Commander Devish observed the two communicate and he tapped his second in command on the shoulder. Years of fighting the enemies together didn't leave any room for miscommunication and the simple gesture was enough to signal that the game was on.

Skak's earpiece frizzled with static and Commander Devish's voice spoke in his ear, as close as a lover's whisper. "Is it him?"

"100% sure," Skak whispered back.

"How far away is he?"

"A kilometer, give or take."

"In range?"

"At the pace he is walking, he will be."

" you see it?"

Skak suppressed an involuntary shudder. "Yes, he is carrying the sword."

Maybe he imagined it, but he felt there was a tone of reverence in Devish's voice when he spoke next.

"What does it look like?"

Breathe in. Breathe out. 

"Heavy. Black. Big. He is having trouble in carrying the sword and it drags behind him. He is slow because the iron seems heavy. I doubt he could lift it, let alone move it. I think we will need a truck to transport that thing once we are done here."

He heard a sound like someone trying to stifle a cry on the other end, but it could just have been static.

"Take the shot, captain. It's your call."

"Affirmative," he replied and focused the cross-guard of his scope on the walking man's face. He was still far away and in his camouflage, Skak was all but invisible to anyone looking his way.

"Jex, we are on."

He saw Jex nod at him through the corner of his eye and saw her do some quick calculations on her wrist-pad. She fed the calculations to the small computer and the computer relayed it to the chip in Skak's rifle. The scope adjusted itself and the man's face at once became clearer in his vision. There was lines of age on the man's face. Scars from battles lost and won. A deep tiredness resulting from the constant need to feel the rush of a fight. Life without the fight was dull and boring for people like that. At some level in his core, Skak was relieved that he was getting the man rid of the sword that he was dragging with him. How many had he killed? Skak had no idea. He only had orders.

All it would take was few more steps till the walking man was in range. A slight pull on the trigger and their hunt for the past many months would be over. Skak could already feel the warmth of the sunlight in his village on his face when he went there after putting the full-stop on the essay of this mission.

Breathe in. Hold.

Skak's finger was a whisper on the trigger of his rifle and then the walking man looked up.

Right at him.

And he smiled.

Lightning flashed in his scope and the man was gone.

The next thing he felt was a sharp sting and a leaking, sticky fluid all over his brow. He touched his forehead and his fingers came back red.

And then everything went black.

Commander Devish looked at the scene on the ridge below him. The walking man and his blood stained sword had just taken off the scalps of his best sniper team and now the man looked up and Devish.

"Shit," was all Devish could mutter.

Just wanted to write this short piece. All written while listening to Tool.

Apr 14, 2019

The Art of Man

The broken man shrinks against the garbage strewn in the street. His wounds bleed, dripping blood in small puddles around his broken form. His tormentor stands silhouetted against the streetlight. A knife glints open in the dark figure's hand like a reptilian tongue, tendrils of light smoking off the polished steel.

"Are you ready?" he asks, voice grating with the promise of violence.

The broken man shakes his head slowly.

"Good. You will never be ready. We'll just get on with it," he sits down on his haunches and starts to cut into the broken man. There are already cuts on the man's face and body, but this time, it's done with a purpose. Like calligraphy, painting, or writing a letter to a loved one. There is thought and meditation behind every cut, every slash, every poke of the blade. The steel is drenched in crimson and the man wipes it on the clothes of the broken man every few slashes. He stops after a while to let the light shine on his handiwork but something is missing. He turns his head this and that way trying to see what is missing.

"Ah," he slaps his forehead, "silly me, you are still breathing."

He puts the blade to the side of the man's neck. "Have a good journey, friend."

The final slash opens up the man's throat like a ziplock bag. Blood pours freely, staining the man's knife hand. He dips the fingers of his other hand in the arterial spray and draws a symbol on the broken man's forehead. Satisfied with what he has created, he stands up, turns around and raises his arms to the sky like antennas.

"Accept my gift, mother. I give you death and blood and pain and suffering. Accept my offering and call me home!"

The skies remain, silent.

Can't let 2019 go without an update now, can we? How are you doing, constant reader?