Tag Archives: cyberpunk

Short Story – Neon Garden, Part 1

22 Jun 2014

This is a short story set in the same relative time and place as my cyberpunk story.  It’s a brief side story intended to flesh out, a little more, the nature of corporate warfare in the nearish future.  I hope you enjoy it, I will post this as a three parts over the next week.  The next update will be on Wednesday and the subsequent final update will be on Sunday.

Neon Garden – Part 1

Down on the streets, where columns of light beamed down in between parts of the skyline that had not yet grown to cover them, in between the interlocking sky bridges and office-complex junctions, there was a park. Well, what used to be a park, now it was a concrete makeshift playground for employees of Titan-Pyre Industries. Though, as with most corps that are on the decline after the biotech industry bubble burst, it was slowly being taken over by the other elements of the sprawl. The full time security staff was, at this point, in a sorry state and their attitudes towards their duties were questionable at best. The drones and cameras were infinitely more alert, though clearly not the current models. One particularly sad looking drone sputtered about on it’s flight path, occasionally twirling about as it’s failing gyros tried to compensate for their growing deficiencies.

As a result most anyone could walk in and use the place to hang out, get high, or use P.A.N. Devices to cover the net’s interface of the place in ugly poorly drawn graffiti. Beat box headed drifters ambled about aimlessly at all hours. The children were more concerned with games, dotting the neon landscape of the age-restricted P.A.N. cloud with the typical refuse of youth. Poorly drawn exceptions of skimmers, troops at war, games scrawled on to the ground with bizarre shifting rules. The occasional junkie or punk hacking the cloud to leave crude messages was actually somewhat of a rare occurrence, and with the ignorance of youth, was usually met with indifference or clever ‘modifications’ from the children who frequented this place.

A unique feature of this otherwise unremarkable place was it’s flower gardens, planted by some well-intentioned fool before the skyline blocked out the sun. Now what remains is a ring of dirt encompassing the entire plaza with a single patch of flowers, maybe three feet by four feet in area, still left alive. The sky bridges cover the sunlight so thoroughly that this one spot was the only part that still received direct sunlight. There was a small girl who attended these flowers from the looks of it, coming by to water them and pick up the weeds. A single defiant piece of the natural world that somehow managed to avoid being choked out by the voracious maw of urban design run amok. Flowers aren’t exactly a unique feature, in most corp parks they exist, but what set these apart was that they weren’t synthetic or fake. These plants were one-hundred percent natural.

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Monolithic Horizon; Act 1: Heathen – Chapter 5: A Better Future

03 Oct 2009

When I first met John Seifer, it was at a press conference.  This was after a failed assassination attempt on yours truly.   The speech was my glorious assurance to the people that those responsible were brought to justice and that the threat has passed, but my heart wasn’t in it.   The speech was flat, but no one seemed to notice that I didn’t even seem to believe what I was saying anymore.  This is because I realized that I had become so used to lying that it came natural to show the correct inflection and emotion at times, like a reflex.   While I didn’t summon up any feeling, there was no difference.   This made me wonder what the point in me being a figurehead was.   It was clear no one really paid attention to the government anymore, the people more that likely felt that I was totally irrelevant.  Therefore I eventually came to the realization that I was most likely going to die.  It wasn’t, as they say, a matter of how but when.   The Commission’s market research data showed that most people didn’t even realize the government was still in operation, and therefore my termination was inevitable.   That’s what Seifer told me after the conference was over.   Off the record.  It  was the first time anyone talked to me like I was anything more than a tool, so I suppose that my guard was lowered slightly.  Maybe that gave me the false pretense that he actually cared if I lived or died.   Which, I should have known was far from the case.

This was over a year ago.

We only met about a dozen times, and each time it was off the record.  From what I was led to believe about that sort of thing, with enough money you could say and do whatever you wanted and it wouldn’t be used against you.  Which, was rather stupid in retrospect, but I was desperate for someone to talk to.   Desperate to speak about the things that concerned me after ten years, almost seven of which I felt like a walking corpse, barely capable of functioning without being told what to do and where to go.   Over the last three years the headaches would get more frequent and more terrible, a cackling electric fire across my synapses, feeling like my brain had been replaced like a teeming swarm of fire ants.   The thing about the noises, is that I could hear faint sounds, almost like voices.   Yet, it wasn’t English or slang or anything human.  It kinda sounded like a phone connection.  A modem.  You see some of those in the more low tech areas of Europa.  For the like of me I don’t know how I knew that.   There’s a lot of memories in my head, unbound like that.  Little fragments of information, little factoids but they aren’t based on any experience of mine.  This, combined with my normal experiences day in and out has accumulated over the years into this growing hatred for The Commission.   Like lighting a waterproof fuse, once ignited there is only one possible outcome.   

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Dreams of the Future

13 Sep 2009

Picture a skyline, and it goes on for as long as possible till it’s cut off by the edge of the horizon.   Even at that distance you can see great buildings and towers rising up like giants to worship the rising sun.   The buildings, the skyline, is not pristine and beautiful.   It’s dirty and grimy, and in that sky you can see bridges, little specks of life moving about, cables hanging, things moving.   Platforms and odd-looking vehicles.   Signs everywhere, a suspended sea of architecture and neon extending for what seems and feels like forever.

The future is not something I view with much hope in terms of progress.  When I see the future I imagine in some cases a mere continuation of all the crap and garbage we have to put up with now only on a larger scale.  Sci-fi authors, in the 40s and 50s seemed to have some sort of uptopian delusion wherein they pictured the future full of chrome and high-technology complete with self-cleaning houses and flying Cadillacs.  My grandfather used to ground me a lot when I lived with him and as a result the only things I could spend time with were old sci-fi and western novels.   Believe me, when I tell you he had a lot of them.   Apparently he’d buy whatever the public library would be phasing out of their book stock at the little store they had for a huge discount.  Most of these books were not classics by any means, don’t get me wrong some well-known works were in my Grandfather’s library.  H.G. Well’s War of the Worlds. Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. Some various works of Issac Asimov.  Tons of Louis L’amour westerns, which, from what my grandfather says, is basically the most accurate western fare you can find.  The rest was all stuff with corny titles and features such as hilarious cover art depicting some dude with a mullet on mars holding a ray gun with a fawning space-babe on his shoulder.

So you can imagine me, grounded for something stupid, curled up in a ball in the back bedroom reading nothing but old dreams of the future day after day during most of the year.   A lot of these books were from the 40s through 80s.   Almost nothing current but I made due.   When reading these books some were surprisingly good, some were utterly forgettable.   The future was a shining place, filled with high technology and adventure.   When I was older this stuff could be real.   I could leave earth and go into the space fleet, scour new territories, explore the stars.   As time went on and I kept reading westerns as well.   I began to see romantic parallels between cowboys and space explorers.   Rough and tumble types always using thier meager resources and thier wits to save the day and get the girl.  

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Random Quote

My butt is like WW2… the hole is Europe, the pimples are the Japs and the roids are the Germans.. they’re killin my Jewish tissue and I need Prepration America.

— Teh Warden, Top-secret Documents