A-24

Dystopian Sci-Fi

She walked past the fence and glided into the house with ease. The gate hadn’t been unlocked, but the lock posed little hindrance to her. As she walked further into the sleeping house, this strange feeling passed over her – a certain sense of déjà-vu. The sensation was so strong she had to stop for a second, overwhelmed by her body’s strange response. She shook her head, deciding to observe her surroundings to take her mind of off things. But that didn’t help. The kitchen made her feel a strange sense of longing, while the living room opposite it made her feel as though what she was about to do was very, very wrong.

Then a rush of static through her earpiece broke through her strange musings, forcing her to concentrate on the present. “Why have you stopped, A-24?”, came their piercing inquiry.

For the first time since waking up, she felt something from inside herself telling her to lie to her superiors. “I thought I saw something out of my peripheral vision, sir.”

Silence ensued as she waited for them to tell her they knew the truth, that they knew she was lying, that they knew she recognised this place.

“Nearby cameras can’t see any threats; you are clear to go. Proceed, A-24.”

She straightened her shoulders and marched up the stairs, batting away any thoughts of doubt or guilt that began to creep into her brain. She needed to concentrate on the task at hand.

The Light

Jaran Reddington Part 2

“Be careful, Jaran. Keep yourself safe. Get to the Portals and go through them as soon as they appear. I’m sure you’ll emerge into a favourable place.”

With that, Rip’s body became still as the life drained out of him.

 

1

Jaran fell over his body and began to sob amidst hard, laboured breaths. He felt weak. He knew though, what he had to do. He had to get to the Portals and step through them; simple enough. What if I end up going to Hell?

No, I mustn’t think like that. I’ve had just one serious encounter with the law. I’ve done nothing else wrong my entire life.

He pushed himself off the ground and swung the quiver over one shoulder, with the bow over the other. He sheathed the sword, grabbed the shield, and began to walk. With all that weight pulling him down though, it wasn’t easy.

“I could lose some of this, right? I mean, I don’t need a sword and a bow and arrow.” No sooner had the thought entered his head, that the quiver, shield, and bow faded away, leaving no trace of their existence.

“What the fuck? Where the fuck did my stuff go?”

“God damn it!” Jaran stomped on the ground in anger, swinging his fists through the air. “Give me my stuff back!” Just like that, everything came back – exactly the way it was when it vanished. “The hell is going on here…” Jaran was thoroughly confused now and had no idea what was going on. Damn it, Rip would know. These were all his weapons, after all.

Flying Sparks, Reapers, and Death

Jaran Reddington Part 1

The red needle slipping past the white 100 was the last thing Jaran saw before the world went black. One second, he could feel the cool breeze through the open roof of his convertible riffling through his hair. The next, his ears were ringing. His head spinning. His body aching beyond measure. The edge of the world was becoming hazy, and he could feel a warm substance trickling down his temple. Eventually, all feeling left him, and Jaran slipped into a permanent slumber.

Sometime later, Jaran blinked his eyes open, heavily disoriented. Judging by how the dark was now streaked with wisps of light, it has been a few hours since he had lost touch with his senses. Dazed, and in a sort of trance, Jaran began to climb out of the once-glorious BMW M4, rubbing his arm against the cut glass. Oddly though, his arm remained unbruised. The edges of his vision were now pure black, giving him a tunnel vision of sorts.

At the furthest point he could see, there stood a man dressed in pure black, right down to the shoes. There wasn’t even a streak of any other colour. Seeing no other viable option, Jaran began to limp towards the figure, hoping he would offer some sort of explanation for this weird state of being he seemed to be trapped in.

After about a minute of advancing though, his limp vanished, and he could walk normally again. Eventually, he broke out into a run, now thoroughly desperate to get some answers.

“I’ve been waiting for you,” muttered the figure once Jaran reached him.

Russian Roulette

A naked bulb hung above the table for two, lighting nothing but that and the two men on the chairs, positioned squarely in the centre of the room. Two others stood to either side of the table. The two on the chairs were tied to their chairs, bags over their heads, tape on their mouth. Their knots had been tied so that the more they struggled, the tighter the rope got.

The door slammed open, momentarily lighting up the room. But that was soon gone when a man walked in. He carried a walking stick, but didn’t seem to be too dependant on it. Without breaking stride, he clicked the door shut with a flick of his cane. Irritably, he made a gesture to the two men by the table — probably his subordinates. They pulled the bags off of the men’s heads and ripped the tape off their mouth. Immediately, the one on the right began to shout and the left one’s sobs became more pronounced.

Streetlights Shattering on Essex Street

The streetlights flickered out one by one, starting with the one furthest from Jade. She stopped dead in her tracks as the one directly above her shattered, immersing the whole street in darkness. An eerie, cold chill descended onto Essex Street, making it much colder than it had any right to be, even for late autumn. A pile of leaves, collected at the foot of a tree, rustled and began to whirl around like a tornado. Jade’s head began to spin; she clung on to the nearest streetlight pole to steady herself. She didn’t want to fall to the ground. She knew what was coming, she had experienced it before. She couldn’t let herself be found slumped on the ground in front of him.

Suddenly, the leaves picked up speed and all turned crimson. Dust joined in in the swirl and a draft began to blow. The elements bundled into an eddy of blood red and orange, then exploded, the leaves and dirt flying around in all directions. A man now stood next to the tree. He wore a well-ironed matt red tuxedo and a black shirt underneath. A white tie added an extra splash of colour to his attire. In his right hand he carried a cane that bore a skull for a handle. It was sleek black, save for one scarlet line running down its length that matched the colour of his tux. He rapped it on the ground as he proceeded towards Jade, but didn’t seem to be using it for support.

The One Who Follows

Have you ever had that feeling? The one where you think there’s someone watching you? It feels like something prickling your back, tickling it, but not pleasurably. Because I have. And it’s not fun.

I really shouldn’t be writing this. He might find out. Might come for me, like He has, the others. But I am. Because soon it won’t matter. But someone else should know the truth.

The secret.

I got that feeling first on the highway, in the car at night, when I was eight. I looked out the window to see what was causing this strange feeling, what had so easily spiked my interest. And I saw two eyes, two glistening jewels in the night sky, red as blood, pupil-less.

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