Friday, January 30, 2015

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Silent Room: Part 28


The shadows drifting around the stone walls of Watcher Hall thickened, further blurring the line between the virtual projections of the Watcher Collective and the reality that contained its heart. The arches soaring somewhere overhead were completely obscured now. At the Watcher Table a soft hiss drew attention to the slow wisps of dark mist drawing in on itself as the Watchers began to solidify back into their corporal forms.

Tricket pulled back into the darkness around the edges, hunching his shoulders and bowing his head. Becoming again the forgotten one, the not to be concerned with one. He did not look down at his own battered form slumped in a wheelchair and stuck full with sensors and manipulators. Anger and grief would not aid him in his battle. Only cunning. And invisibility.

They should perhaps have been more wary of him. He’d been with them a long time. Once upon a time, they had known he was capable of far more than being their humble power source and vassal to be commanded without complaint. Here in their sanctum, he had found the safest place to hide from them.

He smoothed his hands down his mentally projected butler suit, their preferred costume for him, muted the crisp of his white collar, blended the the black edges of his coat tails. Blurred his presence just that small bit.

With a final rush the Watchers solidified. In an instant the anger in the room was a palpable, ripping thing. Their great jaws ground together; foam dripped from their chins. The Collective Unison was completely broken by their hatred for a full moment before they snapped back into oneness.

“Find him,” spoke One. His voice jagged and forced. “Find him now.”

“Find him,” echoed several of the others.

Out in the corridors, Tricket felt the guards snapping to attention and moving out in formation under the force of their release command. The first set of locks slid home.
Already guards neared the Silent Room and its emptiness.

With a laser focus he tracked the path of the secret pass he had been trying to block from his mind, held the lock spring on a single important door.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Silent Room, Part 27

Dr. Adelheid

Somehow she managed to keep her lip buttoned despite the entire stream of freaked out “no, no, no, not now, NO” running at full volume inside her head. What did she do with an extra patient? An extra important patient who had not even made it into one of the sub-bullet point list of contingencies because no one, ever, had made it free from The Silent Room once its programs had been initiated? There had been a lot of contingencies in The Plan. A hundred options for what to do if an extra individual made it into the plan at individual points along the escape line. She’d already had to initiate more than one. This was not one of them.

The man lying on the floor was very definitely one of the new “high profile” patients. He still had his prisoner cuff on his left wrist. From the rise of his chest, he looked like he was still breathing. Did she dare aid him? Did she dare not? What if his escape brought the guards rushing into these hallways? What if the doors only opened because she was passing? Seconds counted at this point.

She listened down the hallways for a moment, for any sounds of rushing guards. Silence hung in the air like an enveloping cloud. Keeping her right hand elevated, the capped needle of the syringe pointing up and out lest she accidentally endanger the disconnect serum, she managed to get down on one knee and gently shake the man’s shoulder.

He let out a long low groan.

“Shhh, you have to be quiet, or I can’t help you,” her words a whisper of breath near his left ear. Whether he heard her or simply had come to the end of this particular groan, he didn’t groan a second time.

When she looked back down, a set of eyes looked up at her through the cascade of curls. Okay, so he was alert. That was better than any of the alternatives.

She looked up at the countdown timer above the door. It read S3, so about a third of the way through the cycle. She managed to draw his arm halfway over her shoulder, then she gestured for him to stand up. Gripping fiercely onto, he made a fumbling attempt to get to his feet as she slowly stood up.

It took much, much too long. First to get to his feet. Then to begin making tentative steps down the hall in the direction of the pass through to which she was heading. Sweat began to bead on her forehead. She felt the countdown in her body like a physical presence. The hundred feet remaining seemed impossibly far. Finally she broke.

“Quick,” she murmured softly in his ear. “Quicker than you can possibly have energy for I know. But we have to get to the end of the hall or neither of us will make it out of this.” Somewhere he found the strength to walk a little faster.

By the time they reached the door, she heard the locks unsealing in the far hall and the low voices of the guards beginning to zig and zag through the hexagonal walkways on their evening check. There would be no sliding through unobtrusively under her own name now. She fished under her tunic and pulled out an emergency temporary bypass card. She waved it near the sensor, holding her breath until it opened the restricted access hall. Dragging the patient through, she just managed to get them through and push the door closed when the voices turned into the hallway they had just abandoned.

A minute later, the first of the guards must have discovered the open doorway to The Silent Room as she heard the shouts go up and the locks sliding into place on the doors behind them as the immediate lock down procedure was engaged. She’d have to use two of the escape hatches then. Hope there were enough Resistance members there to help at all points.

On the left wall she found a hatch door leading to a larger laundry checkpoints. It would have to do. She leaned him against the wall and fished a sensor out of her pocket, pressing it into his hand. Then she showed him how to open the door and pull it shut after himself.

“Sorry,” she whispered. “You’ll have to go without me. Get in the closet and slide down the laundry chute. Keep beneath the sheets if you can, and press the sensor until it flashes red once. Someone should find you from there. Hopefully, I’ll have to catch you on the far side.”

Somehow he didn’t argue, just slid one foot into the closet. Maybe the doors opening and closing and the crashing boots… As he got the second foot moving, she turned and made a run for the far end of this hallway while keeping a tight grip on the syringe. Already the serum was beginning to darken in color from too much time at room temperature.

She heard a faint series of thuds from the laundry chute as she slid through the next set of doors. A moment after that she heard all the emergency locks slide into place on all the doors up and down the hall.

This was just so not good.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

The Silent Room, Part 26

Prompt writing with Copper


She stood in the center of the living room. The same place she had been standing for well over an hour. Ever since she had come back in with the soft ginger striped kitty with its big blue eyes. She had been so sure it could make Uncle Kerr smile. She had only been gone a few minutes. She had only wanted to look at the kittens. But it had been too long.

Nothing felt right anymore. Not the warm welcoming sofa on the side of the kitchen. Not the comforting presence of Grandma Nan. Not even the beautiful fluffy soft kitten rubbing against her leg. Somehow they had switched the important bits out when she wasn’t looking. Like they had done when she first lost Mommy and Daddy, before she found Uncle Kerr. And all the kittens, and all the baked oatmeal with peaches, and all the hugs in the world from Grandma Nan could not make it alright. Uncle Kerr was gone.

Always before she could find him. Find his connection to her and pull herself into his reality. This time it wasn’t working. It had never not worked. Even… She felt the desperation building within in her. She couldn’t let it distract her.

Grandma Nan brushed a soft hand over her brow and tried once more to pull her away from trying to find him. She ignored the soft touch. Instead she focused her thoughts yet again, pounding on the mind door with all her might.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

The Silent Room: Part 25

Prompt with Copper


He had left before Sora could come back in and find him. Her moment of inattention was his only chance. He would never be strong enough to leave her behind if she had her thoughts on him. Tricket would be strong enough to hide her and keep her safe. He had to believe that. Hope was to fragile a thing to weight against Sora’s life. He ran through the options again in his mind.

The decision was simple, the only viable possibility. He knew it was the only way. Even if he explained to Sora until he was blue in the face, she would never understand enough to get safely away with him. Even if he could find her after he woke to the surface. But still, leaving her? Walking away and leaving this bit of sunshine alone and abandoned again, hurting her in the deepest way? She was still smiling now, but would she be after this? His courage wavered. He sat at the round oak table staring into Grandma Nan’s eyes, agonizing as the ticking of the clock seemed to fill all the space in the suddenly tiny room like an unwanted alarm screaming into the stillness.

Outside Sora laughed. Even now, she might be coming back inside. All it would take was a fleeting thought, and he would have to wait and make this this impossible choice again. The thought beckoned, but he knew the truth. He could never hide it from her, not completely. His distress would be written on the lines of his face and the anxious tapping of his hands.

For such a tearing, ripping choice, the actions themselves had been simple. He had had only to stand, nod once at Grandma Nan, and then walk out the door. As if it was any other day and any other door.

Outside the day had passed into night. He didn’t bother to wonder about how. Somehow Tricket, Grandma Nan had arranged things. He found the glimmering hazy blue light that made up the “north star” in this sky. He looked at it. Focused his attention. Let reality take him back into its arms.