Because this blog is used to post literary works in installments, I highly suggest consulting the BLOG ARCHIVE to the right side of the screen, which will enable you to start at the beginning of whichever piece you care to read.


Monday, January 3, 2011

White Noise (pt I)

"We found her, Madison. We found her."

The words echo in her head. She strides through the corridor, barely registers the people—other pilots, support staff, ranking officers and enlisted personnel—who flatten themselves against the bulkheads to get out of her way. Jerome’s voice is a meaningless buzz mixing with the white noise filling up her mind. Only his first words matter.

“We found her.”


Hes still speaking. No coordinates, but Genesis can download those from the bunker mainframe. His words fade in and out, like tuning an old-world radio. Needless, pointless sounds. Shouldnt have told you worried about you not like you Madison, just listen…” Layers on layers of static in her head. White noise. Red.


Captain Donohue! The Bunker Commanders authoritative tone barely penetrates the static and haze. She keeps walking. Captain, he snaps again. If you run off and murder Kara because you're having a temper tantrum, how is it any better than what she did? It's just another breach of discipline. Control yourself, or you're no different than her! Coming from Jerome, the words cut.

Stops, spins, her lips an inch from his skin. Close enough to kiss. Snarls, That. Is notKara.

He stumbles back a step. His face is ashen. He thinks shes crazy. He may be right.

Worth it.


Shes walking again. Theres a hand on her arm, restraining. Jerome hasnt given up. She moves it away. More hands, black leather gloves: Jeromes called up the MPs. She moves them, too. Screaming. White noise.

The hatch is in front of her. Tunnel vision, the rest of the corridor fading to red. She turns the knob; nothing. Security lockdown. Kick. Kick. Kick. Kick. No more hatch.
Across the hangar, Genesis rising before her. Comforting, cold titanium alloy. Genesis makes sense; it would never give and then take away, never earn her trust and then use it against her. Like Jerome. She moves his hands off her again. Like Her.


 The lifts are locked down like the doors. Not a problem. Climbingshe sees her hands through the red haze as she looks up. Small. Delicate. Deceptive.

Like Her.

Jerome has stopped chasing her. He wont touch Genesisits not his. Taboo. Heresy. Bunker Commander ensures and exemplifies religious devotion to military order. Taboos are laws. Defiance is heresy.

Red haze. Small, delicate hands. Covered in red. Blood.

Worth it.

Shouting. Meaningless. Genesis access hatch. Inside, quiet. Calm. White noise. Red haze. Light. The hangar doors open. Smooth power-up sequence cuts through the static. She sees Jerome on the ground. His hand is on Delilahs shoulder; the girl is trying not to cry. She sees the struggle on the childs face, remembers the feeling. Unbidden, memories come. The word she never thinks about. Abandoned.

Her commander. Their daughter.

Worth it.

She turns away. Turns past the empty dock where Revelations once stood. Turns toward the light, the open doors. She cant see Delilah anymore. Nothing to see. Delilah is trained. Has the best genetics. Top ranked pilot, Bunker Commander. Shell survive.

We found Her.

Uplink to bunker mainframe. Last step. Download coordinates. Deep breath. Static peaks.


White Noise (pt II)

Ground rushes by. Unimportant. More white noise and red haze. The trip is long. Has been longer coming.

Worth it.

Warning beeps. Closing in on coordinates. Slow now, stealth. Distance meaningless. Topping a rise. Looking down.


A small communeno other word for it. Mostly civilians. Revelations nowhere in sight. Minimal armaments. Moderate defenses. Assessment complete. No match.

Feels like there should be more to this moment. Genesis and Revelations. Alpha and Omega. Beginning and end. Beginning ending end. Irony, justice, revenge, something.

White noise. Her.

Crosshairs. Trigger. Squeeze. End.


She has turned. Still unaware. Kneels, arms open. A girl. Barely younger than Delilah. Mouth moves.



Not Maam? No respect, no structure?



An embrace. A little girl; that forgotten word: mommy.

Peace. They have peace.

Red haze. White noise.

She doesn’t know how long she’s been there. Lying just beneath the crest of the hill, watching. Genesis’ sniper position is second nature. She can’t tell if the time crawling by is made of seconds or weeks. Watching.

A small collection of surface-dwelling civilians. Not raiders; almost a community. The forbidden stuff of bedtime stories told to the youngest, the children too small still to understand. Old-world concepts, passed through the generations, of a safe life, a life without military order and the constant struggle to survive. Twisted. Idealized. Peaceful, yes. Helpless. The only reason theyve lasted this long ishas to beHer.

Static peaks at the thought of Her. Her.

Shes holding the little girl, the little heretic, Her daughter. No rank, no order, mommy and daughter. Abomination.

How dare She? Not only to leave, but also to betray the entire system? Is She trying to end the world again?

Not that She cares about anyone but Herself. She proved that. She left.

Red haze. White noise.

The little girl in Her arms. Mommy.

The child isn't much older than Delilah-- less than a year's disparity in their ages. She wonders for a moment who the father is. Could the child come from her own bunker? Is the child much different than Delilah? She shakes her head, minute movement. Invalid comparison. Delilah has all the tools she needs to survive. She and Jerome saw to that.

And she will come back. She will not abandon Delilah. Not likeWarning: Forbidden thought not like she was abandoned.

Crosshairs. Squeeze.

Pulse. Red haze. White noise.


No more hesitation! The little one is an abominationeveryone in this mockery of a commune is! Revolution against the system. Intolerable.

And then theres Her.


She has to die.

She murmurs under her breath, solace in the official procedure, the scripted words. For the following crimes against the state: incompetence of command. Desertion from Bunker ACL61, and the standing army therein. The murder of Kara Hall, and subsequent impersonation of the same. Abandoning the responsibilities and duties of command. Abandoning me.

The accused, who styles herself Kara Hall, is hereby sentenced to death.

No more hesitation.

They all have to die before their heresy can spread. For Delilah. For Jerome. For all thats left of civilization. Only way to survive.

For the child she was when she was abandoned.

She has to die.


But not first.

Crosshairs. Inhale, exhale. Squeeze.

White noise.

White noise.

White noise.


Part II: Excerpt from "Song of the Blood"

 Upstairs, Sera struggled to change out of her sweat-soaked clothes with hands that shook. She loved to dance, but it wasn’t safe and she knew it. How could she have let herself be so stupid? She berated herself mentally as she frantically set about packing her few belongings. She should never have stayed in the tavern when she found out there were performers that night—it didn’t matter how hungry or cold or tired she was! For when she heard music, invariably it captured her, inescapable, and she was unable to disobey until the dance had run its course. She forgot herself completely, helpless to do anything but allow the music and her bloodline to turn her body into a living, moving work of art.

Fey-touched was the technical term for the enchantment, handed down through her family’s lineage for generations, but she called it a curse. The inevitability of it infuriated her, but more than that, it was dangerous. Most of the world had forgotten that the myths about the Duresk line were based in fact, but not all of it. Far too many people had been in the room—someone had to have noticed the attention she drew to herself, both with her prowess and her reluctance. The Warlord’s spies could be anywhere. She had to leave at once.

Donning her shawl, she slung her backpack over her shoulder and ran for the door.

Before she could reach it, the door flew open! It slammed against the wall; two men stormed in, and Sera gasped, letting out a shriek of alarm as they advanced on her. She backed away, but there was nowhere for her to go—the window was shut, and she’d never get it open before they reached her even if she cared to brave the three-story drop.

Losing her head completely, she dropped her bag and darted between them, fleeing for her life. Her desperate bid for freedom was to no avail; they reached out for her, too fast to avoid, each of them seizing one of her arms in a vice-like grip.

Sera opened her mouth to scream in earnest, clawing at them, and found a hard cloth ball shoved between her teeth. Working with silent efficiency and ignoring her pitiful attempts to struggle, they bound her arms behind her, her legs together, and the gag behind her head. Finally, they divested her of her few weapons, searching her writhing form thoroughly, and the larger, black-haired man threw her trussed body over his shoulder. The smaller man picked up her bag, and they ghosted from the room. Within a minute, no one in the outside world even aware, Sera’s hard-won freedom had been stripped from her, and she found herself a helpless prisoner.