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Author Topic: Those Who Were Forgotten  (Read 493 times)

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Offline TheEndisNotThere

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Those Who Were Forgotten
« on: December 06, 2021, 11:14:12 AM »
This story is not part of the world my other stories use, but this is an other story with a different setting, more Sci-Fi in nature.  Please let me know any thoughts about it.  Thank you.

A low thrum hums through a metal room.  After a few seconds the white fluorescent lights in the room slowly begin to activate revealing the red metallic egg shaped pods that line the walls.  Eight pods line the room's east and west gray walls while seven line the north and south to make room for the two black doors.  The room lacks any windows or other sources of illumination.

The lights flicker and go out.  “PRIMARY POWER DEPLETED.”  Booms a monotone male voice into the room.  “SEARCHING FOR BACKUP POWER SOURCE.  ALTERNATE SOURCE FOUND.  ATTEMPTING CONNECTION.  CONNECTION SUCCESSFUL. READING ENERGY TIME FRAME.  2 HOURS REMAINING POWER.  SEARCHING FOR ALTERNATE BACKUP POWER SOURCE.  NO POWER SOURCE FOUND.  EMERGENCY EVACUATION STARTING.”  The room's lights come back on while dim green lights on four of the pods turn on and they begin beeping.

After an hour the beeping stops and a hologram begins to play in the center of the room.  The pods slowly begin to open, while a man's figure appears in the center of the room and begins speaking in a charismatic tone.  “WELCOME, BRAVE VOLUTEERS, TO THE FUTURE.  WE AT THE BOOMING–” static breaks the message up and the hologram jumps for a moment. “–INDUSTRIES UNDERSTAND THAT YOU HAVE HAD SOME TROUBLES IN THE PAST, BUT IT HAS BEEN–” static and a quick jump.  “–YEARS FROM WHEN YOU STARTED.  DURING THIS TIME WE HAVE DISCOVERED A WAY TO HELP YOU WITH YOUR–” static and a complete loss of visual. “–PROBLEM. PLEASE STEP OUT, CLAIM YOUR BELONGINGS IN YOUR PERSONALLY ASSIGNED CHESTS, AND WAIT FOR FURTH–” the message stops abruptly.

Four naked people leave the pods.  The first is a young man with dark brown hair.  He is slim to the point of being able to see his skeletal structure in some places, but appears healthy other than the constant coughing.  While the pod had frozen him standing up, he cannot find the strength to stand as he immediately topples out of the pod onto the floor.  He stays on the floor for a minute before struggling to his feet. The name “Coz” is etched into a metal plate at the top of his pod.

The second person to step out is a well built man who appears to be around 40 to 45 years old.  His shaved head and different parts of his body gleam with a metallic sheen, but appear to have a remarkably human shape.  Unlike the other man he steps out of the pod completely naturally.  He begins to inspect his mechanical parts as if checking for damage or ware.  The silver colored arms and legs resemble normal human shapes, but there are some differences.  While checking his hands the fingers are able to make a fist on the inside and outside of his palm.  “Frode” is the inscription at the top of his pod.

The third person to step out is a young woman in her mid 20's.  She has tattoos over a large amount of her body.  There are depictions of various religious symbols, animals, and tribal markings.  Her long brown hair covers more on her back, but small amounts of black, gold, and red can be seen poking out.  She slowly looks around inspecting her surroundings before fully exiting the containment device.  “Enid” is marked on the metal plate.

The final woman only briefly pokes her head out of the pod to inspect the other people before exiting.  She does cough a little, but manages to step out of the pod without difficulty.  As she steps out the light makes her skin appear to be a lighter shade of green then it normally is.  Her snow white shoulder length hair sometimes brushes against the large white feathered wings protruding from her back.  “EMA” is her designation.  As she steps out of her pod, her stomach growls.  She looks down and places one of her hands on her stomach and has a quizzical look on her face.

“You haven't eaten in a while, have you?” asks Enid as she seems to be opening a chest located near the pod she left.  There is an audible jingle that sounds just before the chest opens slightly.  She fully opens the chest and grabs a brown bar in a clear plastic wrap and throws it at Ema.  The green woman barely manages to catch it, almost dropping it on the floor, and shoots Enid a questioning glance.  She looks back into her trunk gabbing a bag and begins placing more bars into it.  “Relax.  It may look like, and honestly taste like, *censored*, but they are made to contain a full day's worth of nutrition.  They're made for long pilgrimages, and you wont go hungry if you eat it.”

Ema opens the bar and smells it.  She looks back at Enid who is now ignoring her.  She takes a bite and immediately scrunches her face.  She slowly chews the bite before swallowing it.  She then chokes the rest of the bar down painfully but quickly.

“Who or what the *censored* is that?!”  Coz manages to choke out between his coughing.  He is struggling to scramble away from Ema.

“Calm down kid! Ain't you ever seen a spliced before?”  Frode asks approaching Coz.  He picks the struggling youngster up and places him on his feet.  “Relax and just stand.”

“I can't feel my legs.” he says as the older man slaps his back.  He coughs one last time then seems to recover.  He struggles a little, but he stands on his own.  “What's going on?  Where are we?  Who are you? Wha–”

“Easy kid I can only answer one question at a time.”

“Quiet down gear-head!” shouts Enid as she fills her bag with more of those brown nutrition bars.  “Transport pods always leave me with a headache, and they keep everything in your body from moving too much.  I was grabbed after a long night, so light and yelling aren't doing me any favors.” she says while placing the full bag on the floor next to her.  She pulls out a long black robe and quickly covers herself.  She pulls out a bottle, which she takes a drink of its contents, and stuffs it into the bag, she opens a box of cards, quickly counts them and puts them away, and a small metal ring which she puts on.

Ema quickly locates her own trunk and starts try to open it.  The dark blue trunk is about the length of an arm and built into the floor.  There is a green flap on the trunk's lid with a small black square.  She tries to open the trunk, but she is unable to get the top to move.

“You ain't going to be able to just force it open,” says Frode.  “It's genetic pulse lock.  Put one of your fingers on the black square to open it.”  The jingle plays again and the woman's trunk opens.  There are only her clothes, a black slightly altered tank top that allows the wings sprouting from her shoulder blades to flow over the fabric, jeans, and sneakers, a small knife, and an envelope with the word “MOTHER” written on it.  After she quickly gets dressed, she makes sure no one is looking as she stuffs the envelope into her pocket.  Frode begins to examine the room.  One of his eyes glows with a green light. “What's with the gear-head comment?” He asks Enid.

“What about it?”

“I thought everyone moved past the robotic replacement hate.”

“I have never moved past the idea of sacrificing parts of your humanity so you can be more machine.” She says as she pulls out her bottle for an other drink.

“Hey sometimes we don't get to choose wha–”

“You always have a choice.  If it I had to choose between life or circuitry, I'd die first.” She angrily shoves the bottle back in the bag and turns for face Frode.

He angrily walks straight up to her, leaving only inches between them and says. “Well some of us still have things we need to do and take care of.  We can't all be selfish children crying about things that aren't ours.”

“Is that what your 'logic' program is telling you?” she asks calming herself a little before asking her next question.  “Doesn't even that part bother you, the part where you don't even fully think for yourself?”

Frode angrily turns away from her and walks away continuing with his previous task.  “You'll never understand.”  He says under his breath as he examines the other pods and floor.

Coz opens his own chest and looks inside at the contents.  He shuffles through a couple of his belongings before sighing with relief.  He pulls out the picture and quickly inspects it.  The picture is of him and a woman about his same age.  He stares at the picture with a pained expression for a few moments before he is snapped back into reality.  “If you have any weapons in your  trunk, you better get them out and get ready.” Frode says as he jogs over to his own chest.  “I am seeing signs that this room has a lot of people who have come in, but there are also a lot of drag marks.”

Coz gets dressed.  He puts on a pair of boxer shorts, an old t-shirt with a design on it, a pair of khaki pants, and black walking shoes.  The jingle plays on Frode's box and he throws open the lid.  He pulls a large number of metal parts and begins to assemble something as he continues.  “My guess is that someone knows where and what this location is.  They probably have people come here when the pod timer is supposed to be up.  These chests are designed so that only the living person it is assigned to can open it.  Basically, you wake up with a weapon pointed at you, get robbed, then get shot.  Ain't no excuse for that.”  He finishes assembling a rifle looking weapon and gets dressed leaving the rifle on the floor.  He puts on an undershirt, a pair of briefs, an odd shirt and pair of pants combination that seems to shimmer slightly, and a pair of boots.  He puts on a vest with many pockets and rapidly starts filling them with the other contents of his chest.

The south door is suddenly kicked open and three masked people with purple and silver jump suits rush into the room.  They aimed their weapons at at Ema and the two men.  “We have four pods open, but only three sleepers up.” says one of the men in the masks.

“Where did the one in this pod go?” asks one of the men gesturing to Ema.  “Did she already leave?”  The woman just shakes her head no and looks toward the door on the north wall.  “Looks like we might have one in the chrono room.  '21' go and check the room.  It was supposed to be locked, but we don't know what they had packed.”

“Why do I need to be the one to check it out.  You guys are the veterans here.”  the other man in the suit said.  His voice is noticeably younger then the others.

“I believe you were the one asking to stop on the way here.  Something about needing to make a 'pit stop' so you wouldn't 'explode' before we got here.  We were supposed to be here before they woke up to set up and make sure what they had packed wasn't an issue.”

“I can't help that skitter steak goes through me.  You were the one who made it last night.”

“Then you don't EAT IT!  Now get over there and check the door or you will be having this conversation with SPIDER-PRIME! NOW MOVE!”

“You're TOO LOUD!” yelled Enid as she steps out from between two pods.  She points her ringed hand at the man aiming at Ema, and a bolt of lightning leaps from her hand and strikes the man's torso.  The man shrieks in pain and crumples into a heap on the floor.

“'12' DOWN! OPEN FIRE!”  The masked man aiming at Frode swings his weapon towards Enid.  Frode drops to the floor grabbing his own rifle, targets the masked man who yelled and fires at the same time he does.  Both the masked man and Enid falls to the floor.  The last masked intruder points his weapon at Frode.  An explosion rings in the room.  Smoke begins rising from an old revolver in Coz's hands.  With a muffled thud the last jump suit hits the floor.  Coz stands only for a second before the revolver tumbles out of his hand and clangs on the floor.  He falls to his knees and immediately begins to vomit what he had eaten his previous night.

Frode jumps to his feet and rushes over to Enid on the floor.  He pulls the small dart shot into her arm and begins to check her over.  “*censored*, no pulse.”  He opens her eyes to the light, but closes them again.  “She's dead.  I've been awake for about ten minutes and there have already been four deaths.”  Ema walks over and puts her hand on the man's shoulder.  He looks at her and sees her giving him a sympathetic gaze, but shifts her gaze to the woman.  “They ain't even playing fair.”  he says as he hangs his head.  “They came armed with synapse darts.  Those are more than illegal.  With normal weapons, there is a chance of survival.  A synapse dart overloads the brain with a focused electrical current.  There is no surviving if you have a nervous system.”  He stands up and walks over to the masked man named '12.'  His smoking remains are very obviously dead, and unfortunately nothing survived.  He then checks the man he shot.  It was a clean shot.  This man was also dead.

Coz slowly recovers.  He does not look at the body of the man he shot.  He instead focuses on retrieving his remaining possessions from his chest.

A confirming tone rings through the room as the door on the north wall opens.  Frode retrieved an identification card from one of the dead intruders.  “Time to see how long we have been in this place.  Lets go everyone.”  The other two remaining pod inhabitants move into the room.  Frode turns on a computer and begins typing in information.  “Lets see, we were in these three pods here.”  The computer processes the information entered.  It displays each of their names and how long they have been inside the pods.  The three look at the screen in disbelief at how long they have been sleeping for...