17th January, 2004. 11:47 am.(hiddenpaw)
Half a mile bellow in another town altogether I watched as a young nieve looking 20 year old stepped past me his hand raised politely.
"Excuse me. When will we get our baggage?"
"You won't need it." Said the guard "you will be given overalls to wear."
"What about when we're not working? I when will I have my things back?"
"If we can be arsed which we never can and if we don't want any of it for our selves which we normally do. although given your taste in shirts you may be an exception."
Immediate confusion spread over the mans face. He was obviously not a man used to being angry but stepped forwards to protest. The rest of the group also let out a roar of protest which stopped abruptly as the guard in one smooth movement pulled out a truncheon and rammed it in to the mans balls. There was the sounds of crackling electric and the man crumpled to the floor far from unconscious and far from being able to move.
"Your all dieing to tell me I can't do that" said the guard in a steady voice to the now silent mob. "I can do what ever I wish. You will be working here till you die. You will never get the chance to tell anyone so I don't have to worry what I do to you. You have ceased to be and nobody will miss you. That's why we picked you."
Behind us we heard the lift gates slam shut and heard a click. We turned round to see a man and a woman in the lift cage. The man was desperately hitting the button controller. The woman was shouting.
"Make it go Up! Make it go Up!" She yelled and watched desperately as the guard walked slowly towards the lift; as the rest of us parted to let him through; As he reached the gate; as he told them the power to the lift had been switched off; As the guard slid the door open. The man could see what was coming. The desperation was all across his face. He Pushed the woman behind him and swung a punch at the guard. We all saw the punch coming a mile off and so did the guard who blocked it with ease and returned with a truncheon to the crouch. The same sparking of electric was heard but this time we also heard it as the man bent double enough for the guard to give him a swift blow to the neck.
"You never hit One of Us!" The man crumpled to the floor and was followed by a brutal kick to the shoulder "There Is no escape."
Behind me I heard somebody whimper. I was silent my mind a void. It was just so not possible; So not happening.
16th January, 2004. 9:12 pm.(calgor)
She ran, not from the guards, those mindless tugs would not have had the stamina to keep up. No she ran from her feelings, her guilt and her pain. And right now she ran to the only thing she could hope for. The now cold streets dimmed as she entered one of the darker and seedier places of the city. Deep down and on the sides of the city construction, Buildings less resembled constructions built by people and more resembled caves hewn from the living rock of this god forsaken planet. Her pace slowed to a walk and finally a panting halt she lent bent over double against a wall her red hair rolling down around her covering her face from view. “To close” she muttered.
Finally she stood up sweet and tears now marked the grime accumulated on her face. She could not let that stay she crossed the street and entered an ally opposite. About half way down was a door like so many others the surface covered in the thick sooty crud that built up on every thing around here. She pushed gingerly on the door and it swung open. In the glom within a slab brainless muscle moved then grunted as it recognized her. “You’re late!”
“Yes” she replied in a mouse like tone. She walked on, the security guard was a simpleton but could be awkward if he spotted something. She walked on past the other girls… god and they were just that young girls awaiting there fate. “Dam it” she muttered under her breath “to close again”. She walked on to her room knowing that she would have to change, and fast the audience expected her and loved to see her. She placed her hand on the door and glanced out through a crack in the curtain to the crowd at the bar that jeered and wolf whistled like possessed men that they were.
“Good evening” came a voice like soft silk, unquestionable female but ladled with malice, “Ready to kill tonight lover?”
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3rd January, 2004. 9:44 pm.(hiddenpaw)
The guard did not even look past his fallen colleague to the Lugadge outside.
"If you want them you can go get them."
"They will be retrieved when the area has been secured." Intervened the other guard as the man was turning to him to complain. The man shut up and the Lift doors were closed. Our decent started.
Fear was on the face of everyone except the guards in their body armour. The remaining guard from the holiday complex stayed at the top of the shaft. He looked very afraid as he disappeared out of view.
I slowly started to piece facts together. It was a five minuet descent and as we went down I slowly started to realize I was an idiot. It started with the basic thought that I didn't want to be here. As I started to decent I was thinking that I didn't have a choice where would I have stayed after all how bad could it be. Then I started to think that somebody was shooting the guards. That was how bad it was somebody wanted out and was killing to get it. We never got to see the miners they worked at night, "to avoid the worst of the sun and heat." we were told. Our robots had shaded glass and aircon. This was bad things were going on here. I was being lied too. Nothing made sense If this ever got to a paper the whole holiday business on this planet would be history. They wouldn't let that happen. How would they stop me. They had to let me out right? It was them being shot at up top. I could have run and not been shot at. Maybe I was wrong. Maybe the shooting had made me over jumpy. The lift stopped.
The Gate opened.
"Out." ordered the guard. Some mumble about curtacy costing nothing came from behind me. I didn't see who.
"Right." said the guard. "You are now in the mine." A cruel smile of a man who was just about to crack what was sure to be a funny line spread across the guards face "You're mine." None of us got that joke at the time but several of us were smart enough to be unsettled by it. "From this point on if anyone in uniform tells you to do something you do it." Another cruel smile "This is for your safety. It can be dangerous down here and people get hurt if they don't do what we say. You work at night down here. Breakfast will be in about 5 hours. You will be taken to your lodgings where I suggest you sleep."
16th December, 2003. 6:29 pm. A view from the tower(calgor)
Far away high up in a tower of stone steal and glass general Alex read the flash report. He stood up and strolled to the window gazing down on the city below. What was running through that mans head at that time no one would ever know.
A screen flicked on behind him but no discernable image could be seen. "so it has started then" came a voice like soft silk, unquestionable female but ladled with malice.
"Yes it has begun" said the general in the level solid tone of his.
The screen flicked off and no more could be herd in that room for a moment then in little more then a steel edged whisper the genral mutterd "And when the blood fills the streets and they cry out for justice and safety then it will be ME that steeps forward the hero this time." The general gripped the windowsill and an expression of contempt flashed across his face.
Another screen flickered on this time an officer appeared clear and sharp in his black uniform he saluted smartly despite the fact that he could not possibly be seen by the general "Sir there has been an incident at entry level three one casualty we are bringing in some witnesses and a likely suspect sir. Request permission to… question the suspect.
"Go easy on him Sergeant Kane it will not look good at his execution if he is badly bruised"
The screen flicked off. The general gazed down at the smoke obscured city the orange light of a setting sun casting deep shadows into the lower levels. "yes they will come begging, and then I will show them how law and order should work!"
15th December, 2003. 7:00 pm. "Pinnocioed"(hiddenpaw)
The Firing of a focused energy pulse weapon makes no noise like a Physical projectile would. A PCR is no exception. The Noise comes when the target is hit. If the target is Rock you get quite a loud cracking explosion. If the Target is flesh the noise is still quite audible but sounds more like "SPLUT!" It sound such a comical noise until you get used to associating it with it's visual effect.
This was my first time. it came just as I had entered the Concrete lift building. I was Last in through the door apart from Buzz. I had just had time to take in the two Guards in Black and gray body armor. I was just thinking .oO(That's strange, why do they wear body armor?) and .oO(This place could do with a clean, how did I get myself in to this shit hole on holiday?) When I heard the noise Behind me. "SPLUT!" I turned to look. We all turned to look. We saw the Guard that had been standing outside the door smiling politely at us fall across the door way. His chest half gone. His arm spinning in the air as it came down landing a foot away from him and the wrong way round. The Woman who had gone in just before me was now at my side, I wish she hadn't been, her scream tore through the air and through my head. I still today don't know if it was the Site of the Mangled corps or her scream that most got to me that second. Numb was not an option with that noise.
I stepped back a couple of paces. One man gagged and ran towards the door. The security guard inside didn't try to stop him but Buzz who had just been looking at the Body with silent dead eyes came to life and grabbed him pushing the man to the side of the door and up against the wall holding him there and all the time keeping himself as much out of the line of the door as he could. It looked professional, practiced, right up to the moment the man through up on him.
The other Guard from outside dived in through the door whilst the Guard behind us Spoke quickly and quietly into the radio. The guard from outside moved everyone back in to a corner of the lift hut. If our would be assassin fired at the wall we would be in trouble I noted as it was the wall on the side the shot had been fired from that we were herded against.
The other guard still looked unbothered. He finished don the radio.
"In to the elevator cage" He ordered.
We started to pile in. The screaming Lady was now wailing almost as loud as she had screamed. She was coaxed in to the lift by another woman she seemed to know.
"But, My Bags." Complained another man " Their still outside."
15th December, 2003. 6:50 pm.(calgor)
From its vantage point far above a shadow observed the arrivals with pity. She shrugged and adjusts her stance closing her eyes. "Focus" she mutters to herself "Focus" she repeats. Seconds later her rifle comes to rest on her shoulder and this time, when her eyes open the sights of the rifle circled a figure by the corner of a building.
The young security grade dressed in mottled grey smiled at the passers by unaware he was being observed by the shadow atop a building. His mind empty and free of fear or hatred he bore no contempt to those around him and yet he himself was now the focus of one persons hatred.
She licked her lips and her finger griped the trigger of the rifle his face was now clear to her and she could see him "shit" she muttered "to close".
Doubt slipped into her mind like a cold icicle cutting through her hatred till it touched her humanity crying out for mercy for this pore young man.
She shook herself and readjusted her stance targeting carefully no doubt, no concerns this time. For a second the ice cold of the trigger burnt into her finger then the blinding flash and agonising kick of the rifle as it discharged its plasma coils into a coherent bundle of energy.
Silence reigned for but a second before the security guard was hit full in the cheats within that second all his hopes all his dreams focussed before his life vanished. Consumed by the hatred of one person and so the first shot was fired.
The assassin collapsed to the ground her shoulder ached but not as much as her heart. "To close" she muttered again. Screams began to filter up from the street below and she knew she had to move. Casting the gun aside she moved to the ladder that lined the side of the building leading down to the darkness of the ally below. She descended into the shadows then moved quickly making for the meeting point a quiet bar on the edge of town.
15th December, 2003. 2:35 pm. "Pinnocioed"(hiddenpaw)
The trouble started the day before the journey home I was summoned to the rep's office and told that our flight had been delayed. The ship had got in with the new tourists it had arrived but it had developed a major problem with life support. Another ship was on the way but would not be there for 3 weeks. In the mean time the new tourists had first digs on the jobs with the big robots. I said that was fine and I'd just rest and race a bit for the rest of the time. But the rep point's out that the hotel room still needs to be paid for the extra time I'd be there. Of course I argued that it was their problem since they had to get me home but apparently since she was just a rep for the hotel and the ship was the responsibility of somebody else I would have to speak to my travel agent to and claim compensation when I got back. For now, if I wanted a roof I had to work the manual mining jobs. Also since my finances were close and the money from the new work wouldn't cover the hotel prices I would have to move down to the worker village for the next three weeks. I didn't have a choice. And they said it's really wasn't all that bad. Bunch of fucking liars.
Now I know that the ship did take back a load of my fellow tourists. This was to keep up the image. It was also because unlike me a lot of the tourists had money and if they didn't have enough to pay for the hotel with them they could get it transferred from there earth accounts in moments. They just used their contacts and hackers to find out who couldn't pay and targeted them. I had just enough to cover the holiday and the extra time I would be off work. They targeted me.
It was all very nice till we hit the elevator. They carried my bags to the waiting car. In the car I was joined by another tourist. I knew him from the buggy races. He was a top shot with a paintball gun but couldn't drive for toffee. Tex was short but solid with blond hair in a buzzcut.
"You to eh?" He said "What a bummer. I guess we'll see quite a few others when we get there." He was for the most part wrong. It was a rich crowd that came out here. I often wondered what would have happened if instead of taking a new girl every night I'd got it on with one of the rich girls. Still, too late for that.
We arrived at a small windowless concrete building at the top of the gigantic artificial canyon that was the mine. Inside were about a dozen of the 1000 of so who had made the trip out from earth.
14th December, 2003. 6:23 pm. "Pinnocioed"(hiddenpaw)
This was me giving in. Submitting to the fact that I was beaten and trapped and would never escape this hell hole. Trapped on a planet with so many other defeated fools like me. I had been trapped for months but this drink was the admittance of defeat the admittance that I would never save enough to get out of here.
When I think of what I fell for I have to admit little shame. Who would have seen a trap so gigantic. Hundreds of people fell for it. Here was the trick. First thing I saw was an advert. Cheep holidays, off world, Class transport out and back and when you get there earn spending money operating giant mining robots, which sounded like a right blast anyway (It was too). These adverts appeared in the papers every year as well as the reports on the TV and all. It looked good it really did. I went for it.
The journey out was really something. The cabins were nothing spectacular but the were comfortable. There was good food. Plenty of sports including loads of 0G stuff and even a choice of clubs (I gravitated towards the dark rock joint towards the back. There were even, for thoughts smart enough to take one, there was even the option of 0G sleep quarters. Some people find it hard to sleep in 0G so most people avoid it. I wasn't thinking about sleep when I got the room. There were a lot less girls than men on the ship (Not like the adds but I should have guessed). It's a real advantage to be able to offer the novelty of 0G sex. It's an experience several times over (Well it was for me).
Three times a day the ship would make a it's warp jump. The ship would dilate and become somewhere else many light years away. Everything Dilated, time, space and the soul. The hallucinations were mind numbing. A lot of folk opted for sedation. Personally I lived it raw. Not that I could describe most of what happened. Three dimensions doesn't cover it. It was like I was twenty things at once. It was an amazing journey.
The journey out was a week. Then I had four weeks there. The four weeks were great Running the mining robots was a real blast. Try being a 60 foot metal god chucking huge boulders about sometime and tell me it isn't. During the time off there was the all kinds of stuff going. I loved the buggy racing the best. It wasn't just a normal race. The track was along the sand dunes and back and we all had paintball guns. Hit the driver and they were out. Four weeks in a total play ground.
And now I was walking in to a bar a mile underground in the sulphur orange glow of all the tunnel lamps down here. The iron walls dripped. It wasn't like the bars up above. I was trapped now. Suckered in. Caught. And no Blue Fairy.