Sunday, July 31, 2011


In every moment
Every corner of our lives
There’s opportunity
It’s not so much a question
Of whether or not
We have what it takes
Will we recognize
And act upon it

Imagine all that could be achieved
If we gave everything
For just a few short moments
Each day
Simple goals
Such as writing 1,000 words
Would be a certainty
No longer relegated
To the theatre of our minds

Scrape together
Enough of these moments
And the extraordinary
Becomes possible
Writing 10,000 words
Is within reach
With a simple change of perspective
And a little discipline

But to take advantage of opportunity
One must be aware
Of its existence
Consider the time
You have right now
You will not have it again
It is yours
This one time only
Invest it
Take that first step
Don’t let the journey
Pass you by

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Without You - Chapter 26: Signature

Are you insane?
They’ll come for her
Destroy your pathetic little playground
Before giving her away
Ignatius snaps

Relax Ignatius
Her secret is safe
In the shadows
Of the underverse
Creeley replies
Take her invitation
Work it into your own flesh
If you so choose

That’s not how it works
Her biological signature
Is encoded in the seal

If it’s no use to you
Don’t bid on it
All I offer
Is a chance for a better life
Use it
As you see fit
Creeley shrugs

To be any value
One would have to match
Her genetic makeup
Undergo convergence
And biochemical augmentation
Ignatius squawks

Oh the sacrifices
One has to make
For salvation
Wressen chuckles
A fine whore
You would make
Do it for your country
Take one for the team

Only a fool
Would consider
Such a ludicrous proposition
That is not the true value
Of what she has to offer
Even if one
Passes the biometrics
It is only the first
In a battery of tests
Sooner or later
Your deception
Will be uncovered
And you’ll be worse off
Than out here

I am reminded
Of the sacrifices
Our ancestors made
When coming to this land
Indentured servants
Many of them
Never seeing their debt clear
Dying a slave
In a free land

Unless you’re her biological twin
Or can assume her identity
With minor alterations
Then it cannot be used directly
What you have
Is a tool
To infiltrate their walls
And show us past
Their defenses
Tell me
By chance
Is she serviceable?

The golden passes
Were given to humans
Not clones
Or the like
They were meant
For The Chosen
Creeley replies

It would have been
If she was
It’s not every day
You come across
A golden pass
We can make her so
Wressen grins

I’m all in
I know
You’re not just going
To give her to me
I’ll double your highest offer
Come on now
I’ll be offended
If you don’t make a run at her

The remaining seven
Shake their heads
Kick chairs
Punch holes in walls
None have a shot
And they know it
Not even
If they pooled
Their resources together

Not fair
Says Roach
Another unwashed face
In dire need of a bath

Life’s not fair
Are you in need of the lesson?
Says Wressen
Why settle for a ticket
When you can have
Valtryst herself
Pledge your allegiance
To me now
And I’ll find
A way inside
For each of us
Rot in this hellhole
Until you are no different
Than the scavengers
Scattering through it

Do I hear another bid?
1.1 million?
Creeley looks around anxiously

Ignatius raises his hand and nods

2.5 million
Wressen counters

Anyone else?

3 million
Dr. Phil winces at his own words

A red light flashes
Invalid bid
Insufficient funds
An automated voice
Scolds him

2.5 million credits
Going once
A bead of sweat
Runs down Creeley’s cheek

What a delightful specimen
A D-24.8
If I’m not mistaken
Gyruss raises his head to the ceiling
I’ve serviced those before
In fact
I repaired
This very one

Shut him up!
Wressen finally loses his cool
Shoot him
I will not let him spoil
This fine moment
He’s just more rubbish
For the scrapheap

As Creeley repositions the gun
A silver sphere
With 10-inch spikes
And twin Gatling guns
Materializes from the darkness
Three red dots
Converge on his forehead
He freezes
Caught out of position
Not enough time
To reroute the guns
And raise his shields

The winning bid
Goes to Wressen Wight
Creeley utters
Have mercy on us

Friday, July 29, 2011

Without You - Chapter 25: Insignia

Unlike Gyruss
These wicked warriors
Have screws loose
In all the right places
Creeley hisses
Fogging the lens
Of the camera
Tabitha Hayne
Step forward

A woman in light body armor
And a mirrored visor
Enters the spotlight
The murky breath
Around her
Leaving behind
A ghostly aura

A killer body
If I ever saw one
Captured and recycled
By yours truly
Trust me
It wasn’t easy
A lot of spunk
In this one

She’s a Russian model
One of many
In the DC area
Her cell
Was supposed to go live
Three months after The Departure
Of course
The Republic beat her to it

I’ve archived the details
Of her mission
In case you’re interested
Her instruction set’s limited
She’s meant to slit your throat
Not bake a cake
Unlike our other crony over there
Creeley glared at Gyruss

On the other hand
Was born and bred in the U.S.A.
Yet another defunct Black Ops project
Incorporating synthetics
Into the battlefield
He’s a skilled field medic
But don’t let his charming looks fool you
He’ll pull out your fingers
With a pair of pliers
While playing
A relaxing game of chess

The spotlight moved over to a third man
Broad and grizzled
Not an ounce of fat
On his massive frame

Looks like this one
Eats glass for breakfast
Wressen chuckles

Pure brute strength
That’s what 90,000 credits buys you
Says Creeley
No idea
What language he speaks
Some gibberish
I’ve never heard before
The only thing
I’ve been able to decipher
Is his name

You really do
Surprise me
Invest some time
In a little product knowledge
For a change
Will you
Wressen scolds him

Remember the headlines
A few years back
About an unmanned settlement on Mars
Perhaps that part of your cranium
Was removed too

The colony is still there
Not skeletons yet
But soon shall be
The last traces of life
On that rusty rock
Long since departed

You can’t understand
What he’s saying
Because his words are encrypted
Only members
Of his elite team
Can decipher them

I don’t know
How you snared him
But there could be
A treasure trove of intel
If we unravel the code

Hear that K-mart shoppers?
A treasure trove
Creeley beams

If we can break the code
Wressen reiterates
Even so
All this
Could be academic
Most autonomous systems
Still in operation
Are located in Valtryst
You’ll need at least one
To pilot a ship to Mars

In addition
The Republic
Moved their manufacturing
To the moon’s surface
The vital pieces we need
Just a world away
Could be gold mine
With the right guide
And a means to get there

I suspect you intercepted
The Chief of Security
For the Mars mission
Not bad
Next time
Aim a little higher
Up the food chain

Are you a buyer or seller Mr. Wight?
Ignatius asks
Cause if you’re a buyer
Like the rest of us
Then shut the fuck up
So we can get out of here

Not until I know more about her
Wressen points at me
I’ve had my eye on this one all evening
Why are you holding back Creeley?
Are you saving her for yourself?

I almost forgot
Thanks for reminding me
Last but not least
The lovely Leiland

An ovular craft
Floats down from above
Lights flashing
Like an amusement park ride
A series of tubes and cables
Snaking out Creeley’s back
A metal brace
Holding him in place
With stumps for an arm and two legs
He sits atop a silver throne
Flipping switches
And redirecting
A giant hydraulic arm

He plucks me from the wall
And sets me
In the center of the stage
The gathering of eight eyeing me
With curious intent

What’s so special about her?
Wressen asks

Creeley grins

If you are trying to peddle
Another one of your escorts
You should have done so
In the previous phase
Wressen ran his fingers
Through his ivory hair
What the hell
Why not?
Let’s see what she’s got
Remove her clothes

Remove your clothes
Creeley parrots

You first
The words spill out of me
Without a stutter

And refreshing
Wressen swallows a mouthful of Merlot
He removes his shades
And gazes at me
With his icy blue eyes
Another gift
From an unwilling donor
Put a muzzle on her
And strip her bare!

Says Creeley

The assassin lunges forward
And knocks me to the ground
Riding me like a bull
As she tears off my shirt
And exposes my back
Abruptly she stops
And recoils

Is that what I think it is?
Wressen stares at the monitor
Gold and silver markings
Tattooed on my shoulder
It’s the first time
I’ve seen it myself
The mark of The Republic
He utters
One million credits

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Without You - Chapter 24: Gyruss

We’re on fire!
You have something left in your coffers
Because things are about to get
A whole lot more interesting
Not to mention
It’s time
For my hot picks
Creeley’s voice booms

A woman and two men
Walk onstage
Each step
Silky smooth
Too perfect
To be human
Synthetic soldiers
Discovered in a secret stash
Or discarded by The Republic
A fourth follows
With a strange twitch
As if drunk

Every bushel
Has its rotten core
I urge you
Take advantage
Of my ignorance
Surely he can be fixed
For the bargain-basement price
Of 50,000 credits

50,000 credits?
What are you trying to pull here?
He can barely walk
Wressen balks
I’ll bet 1,000 credits
He can’t say a word

Even a fool’s wager
I’ll gladly accept
Creeley grins
The truth is
It’s difficult
To shut him up
Isn’t that true Gyruss?
Say a word or two
For the crowd

What to say
What to say
The pale droid scratches his head
I am a GSR-8 autonomous system
Series 4
Patches 11.2 and 13.1
Green star
Environmentally sound
I have been self-aware
27 months
13 days
And 19 minutes
Though my internal records show
I’ve been active for five years
Do not panic
I am not a refab
My internal banks
Most likely compromised
Due to the events
Of October 19th
As you can see
I am in prime condition
At least five decades remaining
Of loyal and efficient service

The android twitches
I am government-certified
And field-ready
To repair drones
Even medical crafts
And bridges
I also have experience
Installing and maintaining weapons silos
Including the one
You are in right now
My internal repository
Contains over 10,000 schematics
Residential homes
Military bases
Just to name a few
If given the proper resources
I can build these for you
In a timely and efficient manner

On a personal note
My favorite color is teal
I enjoy attending operas
And live performances
I am also a certified Karaoke singer
My favorite musical instrument is the drum
I will entertain you
Enthrall your guests
And help you achieve
An optimal lifestyle
Throughout your tenders years

All right Gyruss
That’s enough
Creeley groans

I can aid in reprocessing
Biodegradable waste
Or gas
To power your entire home
And shield you
From high levels
Of radiation

Shut up Gyruss!
Creeley snaps

And furthermore-

The female droid
In yellow and black body armor
Steps forward
And kicks him in the head
Gyruss is knocked back
But does not fall
Pausing to consider
The raven-haired assassin

I believe he has a mute button
Hopefully that isn’t broken too
Wressen sneers

Mute thyself
Now and forever
Creeley moans

Though his lips
Are still moving
Not a peep
Comes from Gyruss’ mouth

I’ll give you 40,000 for him
Says Wressen

And furthermore
Gyruss’ bumbling words
Are audible again


Dang it
Why do I always
Have to repeat the rules
Just for you
You can’t retract or modify
An existing bid
You may be my biggest client
But don’t test me
Creeley grumbles

A particle gun
Lowers from the ceiling
And points at the observation deck

Very well
And another ten percent
For my ignorance

Any other bids?
Creeley shows off
The rotten array of calcium
Protruding from his gums
Now let’s move on
To something truly ballistic