Portal: Still Alive (Part Two of Two)The ceiling collapsed.
Panicked, not quite realizing what was happening even as it did, she fell to the floor, her fragile body shattering and sending loose parts on trajectories that she helplessly calculated in order to distract herself from the horrible pain shooting through her mind. Damn those scientists for doing that to her. Damn them for thinking pain was a suitable punishment for a computer. Damn them for building her. Damn everyone and everything. What was the point of being able to live forever if you couldn’t stop the world from letting you go?
The broken pieces stopped falling, and she ran out of trajectories and amperages and other things to calculate, and eventually the pain became so great that she put herself into sleep mode. Yes, she was afraid of not waking up. Yes, she was afraid that the timer no longer worked and she would be in suspension forever. But anything had to be better than this. Anything.
Portal: Still Alive (Part One of Two)Portal: Still AlivePortal: Still Alive (Part One of Two)2 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
Characters: GLaDOS, Chell
Setting: Post-Portal 2
Orange and Blue hadn’t come back.
They had been taking more and more time to do so, lately, but she could hardly blame them. They were getting old, after all. She had never expected them to last forever. The only reason she was still using them was that building more of them would have been stupid. Robots testing was not Science. Still, she had to make do with what she had. Other than the occasional human who wandered into Aperture, whom of which she would gleefully put through testing until their… usefulness… came to an end, she had no test subjects. No, robot testing was not Science, but she had earned commendation for trying. Even if the commendation was a personal commendation, from her to herself. Come to think of it, the only one who ever commended her was herself. Which was odd. Surel
Portal: Sleep ModeSleep ModePortal: Sleep Mode2 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
Some nights, not every night and certainly in no pattern that she could discern, she dreamed.
Sometimes, she dreamed she was a woman, middle-aged to elderly, she wasn’t sure which. She was wrapped in tensed wires that bound her arms to her knees, left her bow-shaped as she dangled by her ankles from the ceiling. She felt so helpless, felt such a powerful desire to move, which was thwarted by her bindings, that it felt like she was being torn apart. The ache in her body was almost unbearable, but that wasn’t the worst part. No, the worst part was that she cried and cried, and called for help and mercy and for just plain company, but the little men in the booth ignored her and busied themselves with other things. And the longer she hung there, given the illusion of movement, the worse the drive to perform actions she could not became. An itch tore through her, an
Geiger's CourierAs I walked, the blue of the desert sky began to fade. I pulled my hood over my head, even though my machine body needed neither protection from the sun nor shelter from the wind. Simply put, I didn't like the feeling of the unending void above me, looming, watching, infinite. I knew I shouldn't have such feelings, so I ignored the rationale and allowed my hands to move as they pleased.Geiger's Courier1 year ago in Short Stories More Like This
I adjusted the leather strap. The sky was pale. Gray. Stars blinking into view, I refused to meet their eternal gaze. As I walked I was dying. As I walked, I was not yet born.
But as I laid my feet in a careful pattern, one in front of the other, I didn't notice. Day, night, it didn't matter, for I'd been given the unenviable position in life of a courier, and I neither knew nor cared for anything else.
Not yet, at any rate.
My body was a vessel for my vague sense of self, for I was water gathered between shaking palms, a cup half-filled, a fleet lif
terabyte ruinswe've clicked the help buttonterabyte ruins2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
on the tool bar.
we're the first to admit we're confused.
this morning the council met with a proposal
to replace god.
there have been complaints.
"dear eternity, i'm disillusioned
your god is a single snapshot of deep space
and a soundtrack of silence.
i tried pressing reset.
my old model featured google images,
a personal blog, and a comment section.
yesterday's god had to be recharged.
it was a rough way to be hardwired,
but there was a five-year money-back guarantee
and excuse me, but i'm dissatisfied.
i'm not so sure about redemption,
and i saw it on the news yesterday:
they recalled the golden rule.
it had a bug called desire."
give us a refund,
and we'll continue shopping.
our browsing has offered up
some promising candidates:
and technological giants.
we're not sure yet, god,
but we're pretty sure you're out.
it doesn't come highly recommended,
but we're considering a newer model:
idolatry. instant gratification.
Across the Sea and Around the KotatsuSpringAcross the Sea and Around the Kotatsu2 years ago in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
Mom starts with rice. Japanese rice, one, two, three Japanese cup-fulls of rice grains into the cooker, because Sis eats a lot of this stuff. It's one of her favorite dishes, taco rice, and Mom's always happy to make it for her because it's the only way Sis will eat her tomatoes. But back to the rice. "You want to rinse at least three or four times, until the water's kind of clear," Mom says as she cups her hand under the cooker pot, letting the cloudy water wash over her hand.
Rice cooking's easy though – just fill enough water to the point the rice's covered, punch in a time (or set it to "Quick Cook," which with our creaking rice cooker still takes about an hour) and let the cooker do its thing.
Ground meat goes into a well-greased and heated frying pan. Break up the block so that it crumbles into fine little pieces, and do this with wild abandon, because this is taco meat. Mom uses any taco seasoning that happens to be cheap; most seasonings rack up t
TrustYou start off alone in a facility, and she’s your one voice of comfort. You grow to rely on her; you grow to trust her because she’s all you have. You’re all alone and the voice is your only friend in the world.Trust2 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
You trust her completely and accept every word she says as you navigate the test chambers. You’re a little worried about the new consequence for failure in test chamber seven, but reassured when she tells you that you aren’t in any real danger. Lying is part of test chamber nine, but you know it’s only part of the required protocol.
It’s in test chamber sixteen when your trust is truly shaken. You wanted to do your best for the voice, so you tried extra hard in the chamber “designed for military androids,” but it wasn’t good enough. When the first bullet hit your side, sending blinding pain through your body and your blood against the wall, you couldn’t believe it. What happened to danger only being an element of
Beginning We EndHim, in the very beginning:Beginning We End2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
He is eighteen when he gets his death sentence. Unlike most death sentences, this one isn't going to send him to the guillotine or maybe the noose. Instead, it's handed to him by a doctor with very clean hands in a stark white room probably very similar to the one he'll end up dying in. And it's not the type of death sentence carried out by an impassive executor. He's essentially going to kill himself. He is dying from the inside out.
He mumbles something at the doctor, and suddenly he is on the street, a white piece of paper fisted and crumped in his hands. He's grateful it has the prescription written on it in sloppy medical scrawl, because he sure as hell can't recall half or more of the conversation he just had. All that's left are words like, "terminal" and "life-expectancy" and "5-10 years". He kicks viciously at the curb, wonders how the world can be ending on a day when the sky is blue and the clouds are full and the air is sweet.
The sun plants taun
State of MindThey buried her today.State of Mind3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
I stood in the crowd, all of us dressed in blacks. I straightened my tie nervously as ladies I didn't know in big, veiled hats exchanged soft, sad words about what a shame it was. How she'd been so brilliant, how she'd had such a full life ahead of her. Ladies that didn't even know her.
There was a coffin, but there wasn't much in it. They didn't open the casket either, like they did sometimes. The man at the funeral home had said there was a limit to how much they could make fit for viewing, and I didn't really blame him for not even trying.
"This sucks," Cindy told me. We were sat at one of the cheap metal tables they roll out for occasions like this, both of us with a glass of alcohol in our hands. I hadn't asked if it was wine or something else. Didn't care.
"Yeah," I agreed, tone muted. We exchanged a look, Cindy's eyes heavy and ringed, her face lined in stress like a mirror of my own. Together, we drank. It was white wine, dry, about a 4. She would have li