Today's Messages (off)
| Unanswered Messages (on)
Forum: Fan Fiction
Topic: Out of Time
|Out of Time [message #107871]
||Sun, 24 May 2015 03:26
Registered: December 2014
Port Arthur, Ontario Canada, |
December 15th, 1897
Beneath an out of the way Canadian Pacific Railway office on the outskirts of the small city of , in what was a hidden laboratory, a man could be heard talking, almost ranting to the empty air. "Called me mad. Deluded. A fraud! A QUACK! How dare they!" he screamed, as something shattered and metal rang.
Otis Helm, a minor engineer for the CPR stared at his newest machine in wonder. It would revolutionize shipping. If only he could get it to work for others, that was the problem, whenever he gave his inventions to someone else, the small minded moronic imbeciles inevitably used it badly and broke it. He spared a second to glare at his revolutionary Mobile Armoured Knight. The steam powered suit of armour could fire two Maxim Guns at the same time with ease, allow the soldier to survive a direct hit from a 3 pounder gun, and a close hit from even a 12 pounder. He'd tried it out himself and all he'd received was some light bruising. But get a so called experienced soldier into it, and he couldn't take two steps before making the steam generator explode. Incompetence like that had forced him to leave London, Paris, Washington, Berlin and even his hometown of Toronto when he'd finally crawled back to the city in disgrace. Now he was here, in the howling wastes of the north, doing work an opium addled monkey could do.
But no more! As soon as he made some adjustments to his Aetheric Cooling Device, he would be able to present it to his employers, who while not understanding the beauty of the science involved would see how it could allow the safe and efficient shipping of many things that would normally spoil, making them more money. With the patents involved, he would be a rich man and would finally be able to hire professionals that would listen to his instructions, and he would show the world his GENIUS!
Taking a chicken which was sleeping peacefully in its cage, Otis placed it in the center of the small closet sized prototype. Closing and latching the copper door, he checked the gauges to make sure the fluids were at the right pressure. Everything looked alright. Stepping to the steam generator he flipped a lever, his still not patented steam converter vaporized the water in the generator creating a full head of steam in a matter of seconds. As his Aetheric Cooling Device began chugging along, he cautiously went to the doorway, pushing the door with his shoulder, the wall and the shelf in front of it moved outwards. Listening carefully for intruders all he heard was the raging blizzard outside. He couldn't be too careful, he knew that at least one of his inventions had been sabotaged by competitors who couldn't risk being challenged by him. Satisfied there was no one there, he closed the door, listening carefully as the shelf rolled back into place.
Looking over the gauges once more, he noticed that the plasmic aether conducting fluid wasn't achieving the correct degree of volatility it should have been. Frowning, and ready to throw another mug of coffee against the wall if he hadn't already destroyed his mug, Otis quickly checked that everything else was in working order.
Without the conducting fluid, nothing else would work. Recalibrating everything would take hours, but if he was right, the problem was in the cooling flux engine, he thought he had it fixed, but the connections were proving troublesome. It would only take a moment to repair the problem. But he didn't want to take the time. He had a presentation to conduct in less than a week, this test was critical. Another look at the gauges showed he would have at least five minutes before the gases and fluids reached a critical temperature. Taking a deep breath, Otis Helm opened the door of his machine and went inside the quickly cooling compartment. The door shut behind him, but that wasn't a problem, it was designed to do that, and would open with the slightest push.
Almost instantly he saw the problem, the connector was out of alignment. Within seconds he was unscrewing the pipe, ignoring the way his hands stuck to the bronze pipe. A minute later, it was back in position and screwed in place properly.
Turning, with a look of triumph, he never saw that the various fluids and gases had built up too quickly. The jamming had caused a bottleneck all across the system, as soon as it was fixed, the contents rushed forward forming a catalyst far sooner than Otis had planned. His hand hadn't even touched the door when he was flash frozen.
It would have made Otis happy to know that his design was a complete success. However the knowledge that no one could find him or his device, along with the fact that he was eventually declared missing two weeks later after being fired from his job for not showing up, and no one remembered him or his inventions after a few years except as a funny story to tell about insane inventors by historians who enjoyed pointless trivia, probably would have rained on his parade quite a bit.
Fortunately it would be a long time before he find out about any of this.
Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada,
December, 15th, 2015
"Shit, shit, shit, shit!" Andrea whispered to herself, running as fast as she could down the icy street. Where the hell were the cops when you needed them, she wondered.
A growl that sounded doglike, but was far too loud ripped through the night. She nearly pissed her pants at hearing it, it meant the asshole supervillain Wihtiko, had found her scent again. Andrea felt her pocket again, making sure the power gem was still there. She should have listened to the stories and left well enough alone. There was a reason the insane cannibal had been forced out of every major city in Canada, before settling down in T-Bay where he could take control of the gangs without having to worry about any capes. But no, she needed to prove herself as a big time thief and steal one of his stones. She didn't even know what the stupid thing did.
A car roared down the street just ahead of her. There wouldn't be any regular people out in a night like this, not in the run down factory area beside the lake shore. They had to be part of Wihtiko's gang, probably the ones who had stolen her car, while she stole their bosses stuff.
Another growl sent shivers up her spine.
Still running, despite the way the bitterly cold air stung her throat and lungs, she reached out with her power, thinking 'safety'. Following a hunch she turned down an alley without even looking. Halfway down the dark, garbage filled alley was a wooden door that was half rotten. She kicked it open, slipping inside, and closed it as best she could. It probably wouldn't help, the thing could smell her, but it might help a little.
Finding herself in a stairwell she did the opposite of what she wanted to do and went downwards, the old cement staircase crumbled a little with every step. Only the pull of her power that promised safety kept her going, even though she was growing more and more certain she was in some horror movie, and she was being the dumb blonde who was going to get gutted by the monster at any second.
Reaching the basement, she turned on her flashlight and made her way around the rotting furniture, moldering boxes and unidentifiable messes following a path she didn't know and couldn't see, but her power led her unerringly on.
She came to a metal shelf that looked like it had been there for at least a hundred years. "This is it? This is my safety?" she asked her power incredulously. "You have got to be fucking kidding me!"
Andrea looked at the metal shelf looking for something that could help, a ray gun, anti-matter grenade, a force field generator, anything. Another growl made her scream. He was close and getting ready for the kill. She grabbed the shelf and pulled it, not thinking it would do anything but just wanting to let loose some rage at her stupidity before she was eaten.
There was a click and the wall started to move. Never one to look a gift horse in the mouth, Andrea slipped inside the hidden door before it was even half open. Grabbing the handle on the other side, she pulled it shut. There didn't seem to be a lock, but it should confuse the Wihtiko for a minute or two. Turning around, she saw that she was at the top of a small staircase. Below her was a room full of metal tubes, pipes, and machines, but there weren't any computers, monitors, or anything. It looked like a workroom of some kind, half built machines were on the floor and tables, blueprints, lightly covered in dust hung from the walls.
Another growl told her she didn't have time to sight see. She raced around the room looking for some kind of way out. A minute later, she realized it was a dead end, there was only the one way out. Again she looked for a weapon. There were thick metal pipes, but they wouldn't be much good for her, Wihtiko could take an RPG to the chest and not even blink. Another quick look and she saw something that could help, a ten foot tall robot of some kind, with big guns on the arms. She tried to find a way to turn it on, but there weren't any buttons or anything, just a bunch of switches, handles and valves. Kicking it in frustration, she swore in pain, it was hard.
There was one last thing to do, hide.
The only place to hide wasn't very good, a small metal box in the center of the room. Deciding beggars couldn't be choosers, she ran over and opened the door. She jumped back, choking and barely able to see as freezing cold smoke enveloped her.
As she coughed, she heard a chicken clucking furiously, and a man coughing and sneezing. Waving the smoke away she could just make out a person stumbling out of the box. "Hello?" she said.
"Ack!" the man screamed. "Who are you?! What are you doing in my laboratory?!"
"I'm running away from Wihtiko! He's trying to kill me! How can I get out of here?"
The man who she could still barely make out stopped coughing. "Wihtiko? Who the devil is that?"
How could he not know who Wihtiko was? Everyone in the city knew him after he'd put out a video showing him eating the leader of the local Syndicate chapter. Didn't matter, "He's a monster, he's going to eat me alive if he catches me. Please, how can I get out of here?"
The smoke finally cleared enough that she could see who the man was. She wasn't happy with what she saw. He was weedy, pale, with greasy brown hair, his clothes were possibly worse, stained, burned and torn, looking like something she'd see in a Western movie. He gave her a smile which looked a little insane. "A monster you say? Is he well known?"
"YES!" What was this guys problem?
Otis was elated, despite feeling that he was on the verge of getting hypothermia, and that his lungs were full of angry bees. He'd only been awake for a minute, but he deduced that his Aetheric Cooling Device, must have gone off prematurely, still he was alive and whole so it was a complete success. It didn't matter if he had lost a few days or even a week or two, it was safe to use. And if the strangely dressed woman was telling the truth he could give his Mobile Armoured Knight a test run. Once he brought in this monster who would kill a lady, the newspapers would see how effective it was in the field. With that type of publicity he could easily get the contracts necessary to mass produce it. He'd become rich and famous. Feeling around in the dark he found the switch to turn on the electrical lights, allowing him to see properly without relying on the strange lantern the woman was carrying.
A primal growl, like something you'd hear out of darkest Africa rattled the pipes. The woman, who for some reason was wearing a pair of mens pants, very tight pants, cringed and backed into a corner. A corner of his mind assumed she was one of the strumpets who were found on every corner of the city. Still she was a woman and gentlemen defended them when necessary.
And of course it would look good for the papers. A knight in shining armour returning to the wicked world once more.
His machine was covered in dust. Which was rather odd, he kept his laboratory immaculate, with specially designed filters to keep dust from mixing with the oils. Maybe he had been cooled for longer than he thought. He shook his head, it didn't matter, the armour would still work.
Pulling a lever, the steam engine on the back was refilled with water, as oils filled the tubes, that would assist with moving it. Opening the chest, he climbed into the leather harness, strapping himself in. Closing the hatch, he waited while everything was topped off.
A roar came from the basement, the woman screamed again answered by an even louder roar. Whatever was up there started throwing things around. It sounded like an elephant was stampeding up there. Otis, started to sweat and looked at the pressure gauges, willing them to work faster.
As the door was ripped off its hinges, Otis pulled the lever activating his steam converter. There was a wail as some excess steam was let loose through the pipe at the top of the armour. Just another minute and he'd be ready for action.
Something stepped through the door which could easily accommodate two large men walking side by side. It was big. It was ugly. It was so big it's rotten, icy shoulders broke the wall on either side. And it's hideous, rotten face was so ugly, Otis pissed himself, repeatedly.
"Where are you girl?" the thing rasped.
He saw that the girl was hiding under a table, trying not to breath. Briefly Otis wished he could join her. But that was hardly the way for a soon to be famous hero to behave. Despite not having a full head of steam working, Otis made the machine take a step forward. The room seemed to shake as the foot came down.
"The girl is under my protection now, you turn around and leave or I'm going to give you Jessie," he said, into the speaking tube. The words were repeated through the bull horn, hiding the squeakiness in his voice.
The thing looked at him, it looked a little confused for a second, the huge bloodshot eyes turning into slits. It spoke in a whisper, yet he could hear it as if it was speaking right into his ear. "Tin man, you are making a big mistake. I've opened up more tin can heroes than I can remember. You're like lobsters to me, a bit of lemon, butter, and a can opener and you're good eating. I particularly like your kind because I can break your armour and eat you while you're still squirming. It helps make you go down easier."
Otis was very glad he had defecated earlier, because while he could live with wet boots, it would have been very hard to clean up the armour if his now loose bowels had had anything in them. "I'll teach you a lesson today, monster. Dad burn me if I don't."
"I think you should work on your threats a little more, tin man. I don't know if I'm suppose to laugh or be intimidated."
Otis raised his arms, pointing the Maxim guns at the monsters chest. "Surrender now, and I'll hand you over to the police. You're own threats aren't worth a fart in a windstorm."
The monster raised his hand revealing icy claws that were at least ten inches long. It smiled, yellow teeth grew out, pushing back split, yellow lips, becoming long enough to make a shark jealous. It ran down the stairs howling.
Pulling the triggers on the Maxim guns, Otis yelled as bullets shot out in a stream, hitting the monster. The yell turned to a scream as the hundred year old guns and bullets jammed, and the rotten, ice creature kept coming, the wounds healing up before his eyes. Claws dug into the solid iron frame, like an axe cutting a tree.
"Damn you cockchafer! What are you?!"
"Death," the thing said, bringing its face right up to the visor, the smell of rotten meat filled the suit.
Otis made a fist and punched the monster in the gut as hard as he could. The three fingered hand with studded, stainless steel knuckles hit like an express train, sending the creature flying backwards. Racing forward on legs the size of tree trunks, the Mobile Armoured Knight lived up to its name slamming into the stunned monster, shattering the cement wall behind it.
He saw the girl take off running up the stairs like the devil itself was on her tail. The split second distraction was enough for the Wihtiko, who grabbed him around the waist and threw him headfirst across the room. In his harness, Otis was shaken up, but unhurt. That didn't last long however as something landed on his back and he heard metal shrieking again as it was cut.
The pressure gauge for the fourth steam tank which controlled his right arm plunged into the red as it was pierced. The straps connecting his arm to the machine became flaccid, as the steam was lost. He heard the shriek of steam being lost. He realized at once that he was going to die.
But even as the steam shrieked, a worse sound came from the monster, an ungodly howl of pain. The weight of the creature left his back, allowing him to awkwardly get to his feet. The monster clutched its arm, the claws had dissolved and the ice covering its flesh was dripping and falling off. Seeing it in pain, Otis grabbed the thickest pipe in the room and ran at the monster swinging wildly.
The monster caught it in one hand. "You caught me by surprise tonight, tin man. I'm going to find you and the girl. I'm going eat her piece by piece as you watch, and than I'll eat you alive." Shoving him away, the thing ran up the stairs too fast to follow.
Otis struggled once again to his feet, shaking and quivering with fear. A few minutes later, the woman who had caused all the trouble came back.
"I saw Wihtiko running away. I was hoping you were still alive," she said.
"What was that thing?"
"A mutant. Come on, we'd better take off, his gang could come in at any minute."
"But my plans. My blue prints. My prototypes! I need them!" he said, looking around at his life work.
She sighed. "I have a friend coming with a truck in about ten minutes, I figured you'd want to save your armour now that your hideout is busted. Get your laptop and lets get going. You can make most of this stuff somewhere else."
"Laptop?" What did a lap have to do with anything?
She spoke slowly, like she was speaking to a foreigner. "A com-pu-ter."
"What the Jessie is a computer?! You come into my laboratory, bringing a monster with you, and now you want me to just leave everything when I'm on the verge of the greatest discovery in the world! Are you insane!" he shouted losing his temper.
"Hey dude," she shouted back at him in a very unladylike manner, "I'm trying to help you. If you stick around here, that big ugly guy is going to come back and kill you. I'm sorry I wrecked your experiment, I was kind of running for my life, and now I'm trying to help you. So just get your notes and lets go."
She pulled something out of her satchel, pressing sliding her fingers along the black handsize rectangle, it lit up. "Come on, if you want to get out of here without everyone seeing your suit my buddy is almost here."
"What is that thing?" he asked in wonder.
"My phone?" she asked giving him a most puzzled look.
"What's a phone?" he asked.
"Where you hit on the head during the fight? Get your stuff and lets go! We can drop you off wherever you want, but we have to go now!"
Otis finally realized that he really didn't have anyway to get his Mobile Armoured Knight out of his laboratory and he didn't want his employer to see exactly what he had been doing on company time and with company equipment. He could talk to them in the morning and try to settle things then. Grabbing his most important blueprints, he took a minute to break the essential parts of the Aetheric Cooling Device, and released the plasma into the air where it harmlessly evaporated. He couldn't risk someone stealing his invention.
With a pile of papers safely put into the armoured carrier case built on the leg of the Armoured Knight, he followed the woman up the stairs. He almost fell over as he looked at the basement. "What happened here?" he asked looking at the debris and dust that filled the formerly immaculate workshop.
"No idea. I just got here. Come on," she said.
He had trouble with the stairway, his armour broke the old cement and his feet were too large, but by stamping down as hard as he could, and digging his working hand into the wall he was able to climb up. Reaching the alley was another surprise. He didn't recognize the buildings. His building was almost the same, older, covered in paintings and signs that didn't make sense, but he knew it. But the neighbouring building was one he'd never seen before. And the building across the street was new, yet it to looked old and worn down.
Staggering to the street, he saw streetlights, that used real electricity and looked far different from what he was used to. These were tall, far taller then necessary and putting out more light than he could believe. The streets were wider to and paved. How long had he been cooled.
Something like a train or a trolley came down the street towards them, It was impossibly quiet, and he couldn't see any steam or electrical grids powering it. "What is that thing?" he asked in a whisper.
"A truck. What did you think it would be?"
He watched the machine come to a stop before them. Bending down he saw that it had tires, a quick poke showed they were of something like rubber, but much thicker and stronger then he could believe. His armour clanged as he ran around the new machine. It was a marvel of technology. Someone yelled at him, getting his attention.
"What is this?" he asked again. "Who made it?"
A man answered. "It's a Ford. Get your ass in the back, and lets go. I don't feel like getting shot."
The man opened the back of the Ford and Otis climbed in, making the thing groan. The door closed leaving him in darkness. Smoother than any train, the wonderful thing began to move. Otis sat there in wonder, thinking about how he could make something even better.
Hero Initiative a web serial of a world thrown into chaos.
Topic: Algernon Rises
|Algernon Rises [message #107608]
||Tue, 19 May 2015 23:15
Registered: April 2014
"Honey, it's time to get up." Tanya Brown called from the hallway in front of her teenage son's room.
Conner Brown reached out to grab the wheeled walker and pull himself stiffly out of bed. It took a great deal of effort for him to move, especially in the morning after his muscles had tightened up through the night. He wills himself to reply and after several seconds manages to call back. "Okay mom."
He made his way to the bathroom and began the long process of showering himself. Sometimes it frustrated him that it took so long, but he was proud of the fact that he hadn't needed help in the shower since he was 13.
Conner had several developmental disabilities which made his life difficult in many ways. Both his mind and his body were severely impaired in normal function, but if he put his mind to it, he was still capable of most things. He had worked very hard and with the help of his parents had come from totally bedridden to mostly self-sufficient by the time he turned 15.
Almost an hour later, Conner rolled the walker out of his room and toward the kitchen where he knew his mother would have breakfast ready so he would have time to eat before school started. Conner really liked school even though he struggled with even the adjusted workload that he received. . Because of his positive attitude and friendly demeanor, people at school were generally pretty nice to him despite
his disabilities, especially now that he was in high school.
He ate his breakfast out of a high sided, sectioned plate slowly and deliberately. It took him almost 20 minutes to eat the small breakfast that his mother prepared but he was happy he managed not to get any on himself. Tanya ushered him out to meet the adaptive school bus that took him to school.
Conner was sitting in his second period math class working on problems with his one on one instructor when he started to feel bad. He didn't quite understand what was happening, just that he wasn't feeling good. He tried to just ignore it and keep working since he liked his lessons. It got worse at the period went on though and he was soon leaning forward to ease the pain in his stomach and sweating profusely.
Noticing his obvious distress, his one on one instructor said that she would take him to see the nurse. He considered protecting, but just felt too weak to ask to stay. She helped Conner to stand and grab his walker. The made their way slowly down the hall as Conner started to get an intense headache. He tried to just ignore it as he did with his daily body pains, but he was moaning softly by the time he made it to the nurse's office. His instructor and the nurse eased him onto an exam table in the office and the nurse put a hand to his forehead.
"Hole on a second." She said, grabbing a thermometer and placing it against his forehead.
After a second, she said. "103. Grab me some of the compresses out of the freezer pam. I want to get him cooled down."
The instructor went to the freezer and came back with several cold compresses which the nurse placed at strategic points around Conner's body. Conner wanted to ask what was going on but he was just in too much pain.
It became hard to focus as the nurse called his mother and he was unconscious by the time the nurse called the doctor.
Conner began to come to and was uncertain of where he was at first. He opened his eyes and looked around, noticing that he was in a hospital room. He had spent enough time in hospitals over the years and there was really no mistaking them for anything else. He looked to his left and saw his mother curled up in a visitor's chair with her head on the shoulder of father Bruce. Both seemed asleep. He hated to wake them, but he needed to know what happened.
He prepared himself for the great chore of talking but to his surprise, "Hey, can you tell me what happened?" came effortlessly from his lips. He thought to himself, "Weird."
At his words, his parents snapped awake. His dad stood up, almost knocking Tanya from her chair. "I'll get the nurse!" He cried, before bolting from the room.
Conner's mother came to his bedside. "Oh honey. Are you alright?
He responded "I don't really know. I feel better though. What happened?"
She paused briefly, stunned by the clarity and ease of his speech. "We haven't heard much. You've been here for almost a day and they have been running some testes. That is about all we know."
Bruce walked in shortly after with an older looking doctor in tow.
The doctor smiled and said. "Well Conner, how are you feeling?"
"Not bad. Really well actually. I ... I feel like I am having an easier time talking. What happened to me?"
"Well, it looks like your nurse caught a nascent burnout but we got it under control."
"Wait a minute." Tanya said. "Does that mean that he's a mutant?"
The doctor looked up from the chart. "Absolutely. Though of course the specifics will be unknown until he goes through power testing but it seems like you may have some positive effects if your speech has improved."
That makes sense, Connor thought and nodded. Then he considered that and realized that he probably wouldn't have normally understood that. He wondered if that meant that his mind had been changed as well.
"Our preliminary tests do show some good news though." The doctor said. "Can you try to stand up for me Connor."
Connor spoke up. "I can't I mean. I need a walker to stay up."
Tanya followed shortly with. "That probably isn't a good idea. He has some real mobility issues."
The doctor looked at him and gave a warm smile. "Trust me."
Conner shrugged and decided to give it a try. He sat up and turned so that his legs hung over the side, noticing that the movement came easily and unimpeded despite his extended sleep. He placed his feet on the ground by leaning forward and gently eased himself to a standing position.
His father gasped.
Tanya cried "It's a miracle."
Conner smiled and cried. "Mom. I can walk!"
Current Time: Sun May 24 19:06:52 EDT 2015
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