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story:awaken_in_subterrain_city_culture

Awaken in Subterrain City Culture. Short story by Royce Edward Barber.
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Basic Story Outline
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* Music at home
* Awake in new place
* new place turns out not so nice
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Story Thus Far
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Well here I am typing away on my website…making online friends, and enjoying the world. Such a peaceful day, with the breeze coming in through the window… I'm wearing my cellphone headset, with a voice-to-text program running on my laptop computer. This way my computer types out whatever I vocally say. Oh man what is that horrid noise… It's a high pitch squeal…making me dizzy.
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Wow what kind of place is this. I've awoken after some sort of journey, and I'm on my bed with my laptop and phone…but my bed is in the middle of a giant hall way. Is this a space ship? Have I been abducted?! But there is no such thing as aliens, how can I be here! Bits of my wall and floor are here too…Like a big scoop came out of the ground and stole a chunk of my bedroom. I'm scared and don't know where I am. I see a man a distance from here…working on a wall.
I walked up to him, and he said; “Well boy there you are, ready for your new life. We've arranged a top class apartment for you. What kind of door would you like, kiddo?” His voice was a bit garbled and he wasn't looking where he was working.
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To humor him, I described the most elaborate expensive door I could imagine. He said he would be pleased as peaches to install the door for me. As I looked about the hall way, all the other doors were bland metallic sheets..some rusted out. Why would my door be fancy? This place seems huge, and made of metal…looks like a futuristic bank vault. As I stroll down the hall, I feel mighty alone all of the sudden. This doesn't seem like a dream. I see these intricate machines tossed about here and there. Very aged looking mechanical devices, of which I've never heard of. These aren't from any point in history that I can recall. Some piles of mechanical and circuit board lead up to various corridors and shops. people seem to live and hang out in this very building. no windows. many video game rooms. why are people playing games. i come to find these people are slightly rude, cynical, and wont tell me anything i ask. they think everything is a big joke. they are dressed in tattered clothes, but some of them aren't. i don't think its because they have to dress this way, I think they want to. So I'm asking people about themselves, it seems the only think they stay focused on. sure they are friendly, amongst themselves, but not to me. there are people of all ages, just hanging about the place, in various rooms. many staring into what look like video glasses. i have a hard time finding my way back to my room, but fading in and out is a translucent map of the floor i'm on. at first it just looked like light shining on the floor, but then it rose up gradually, forming shapes and scrolling information. i got to my room, the door looked to be a mix of the original, and the one i requested. like one was fading out and the other growing up into it like a stain. this room is immense, but void of anything but a floor. no walls, no ceiling. it seems to be just white space, going on forever, but i can tell it's gotta be no more than 100 feet by 100 feet. where is the kitchen? why aren't i hungry? There are very square snack machines, and people gazing into them with a kind of panicked look, but not eating anything. One poor looking woman here is fumbling with coins, but they don't fit the machine. She's talking to me without moving her lips, saying these coins all do different things, and aren't meant to be spent. I see that light between her and I. What is this? I'm starting to mad, I don't want to be here any longer, I want to just go home. But I have no home. Who, in fact, am I? What is my name and history? I know I'm from earth in the year 2008, but these people don't act human at all, and it's certainly the future, or at least a place on earth no one knows about. This building is a mix of high grade metals and machines, and rusted out trash just left there on the ground. Clean and junky, all mixed up, but there are very clean areas. These people have no concept of wanting to impress one another, spend money, or even be sad. There don't seem to be any sad people. I need to explore more, but first I have to get outside. I'm breathing heavy and I feel like people are watching me from all over. I've never felt this. There are those little shards of light moving about mechanically, as if little toy cars on a grid. Here is a door to a large hallway, perhaps. I go near it and I'm instantly outside. What was that about? Can I ever get back in?! The buildings here are immense, square, and in groups. I'm walking on cold wet metal..this seems to be the road. No sidewalks, the road goes right up to the buildings, and thin strips of it go up the buildings to various windows. I thought there were no windows. It's nice out, although the sky is a solid blue, without any shade to it. I feel a lot of moisture in the air, but it's cool, as if coming from the road. I think..this road is quite slippery. I can slide about for distances at a time. This thing can't be safe. I go sliding in my shoes, feeling like ice skating. My shoes have picked up yellow metallic substance from the road, and its spreading over them. No matter, I don't think this world wouldn't care either way what I look like. I think a lot of them do care, but are quite selfish… Here I am ice skating down endless streets and corners, between sharp boxy buildings that shoot far into the sky, and I'm only thinking about those people who were careless..you know they did smile at me. They gave me an apartment, and I felt safe there. I was scared, but safe. I feel very hungry here outside, and not very focused. I'm alone, lost, and no one is out here. These buildings go on forever. What can I do… What is that, a big clearing, with what might be hot dog stands. And people! I skate as hard as I can toward them, with lonely tears in my eyes, and a feeling of panic that I'm so lost. There are those shards of light again, following these people..who…have metal skin. These are boxy people..why are they boxy. They are moving about like people, fairly fluid movements. But they won't look at me. I'm in some kind of courtyard, with boxy news stands around this great square relief from unfeeling buildings. I walk up to a big circular fountain, seems ten feet across, but no water. Just a pulse of sound and little flickers of light moving up and down from the sky to this fountain. I see shapes in the sound..of which I can also see. Ripples of geometry, shooting vertically and erratically into the sky. I walk up to someone, nudge them on the shoulder, and they just glide away from me.
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I shout loudly “Hello? Are any of you people? Why don't you look at me? Where can I buy some food?”.
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The boxy people don't seem to notice. Those news stands are empty, too. This town really sucks. I skate down the road in my shoes, now completely metallic and yellowish. On the inside they feel good though, a kind of gel feeling. Better than the original shoes. Hey…some smaller buildings…coming up fast. How do I stop?!
“Watch out I can't stop!” I cry, and people jump out of the way, as I crash through a door into what seems to be a space age fast food place. As if 2008 didn't have enough of those. I get up, unharmed, with people starting at me and some nervously leaving at a spectacular urgency. I slowly get to my feet…ask what this place is… And the lady at the counter screams at me that I've “broken all protocol and messed up the whole role play.” Her English is quite mechanical and hard to understand.
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I ask “What is going on, where am I, and can someone point me to the police?”
The lady yells “No no it's all wrong. Did you not practice at all? Sit down and eat. On with you, sit, and stop showing off! We are trying to have a relaxing evening without your type goofing around.”
“I'm not showing off, I'm lost! I've never seen you before!” I scream back at her and slip and hit the ground with a painful thud. Yes that's right, everything here is metal and slippery. A very human looking child comes up to me when I'm on the ground, and stares at me while I rub my face in shame. This world is mad..and I'm becoming part of it. She sits down next to me, and calls out to the room in some crazy language. It's computer code, I've seen it before, and she's speaking it. Some kind of technical language. The room starts to laugh with her as she pets my head. She digs around in her pocket and pulls out a little stone, of which a jagged plate of light flickers out of. A shabby unkept light. She sets the stone between us, the light moves over her face. Her mouth stops moving, and computer code language turns into garbled English, with high pitch shrieks and a low rumbling sub-woofer sound. I talk into the light, asking “Can you help me, I speak English, and I don't know how I got here.” The girl frowns and screams at me, then seems happy again as I cringe and lay down staring at the ceiling. At least I found people. This will be a long day. She stands on my stomach and calls out to the room in this garbled English, as if she's saying something important. I try to roll over but she's quite well balanced and stays standing on my side. From the corner of the room I hear the words “Kill him, right now, he's not welcome and you're just taking his side so you can say you have a pet!” I get up quickly and look right at the man, and he's shocked to see that I'm paying attention to him all the sudden. I ask “That's English! You actually speak, and quite well!” The man slams his fist down on the table and says “Who has their light turned on over here?! Turn it off right this instant, least he hear everything we think and say! He has no right!..” As his voice turns garbled and into computer code.
I ask this angry man, “I need a translation light of my own! I need to know what is going on so I can be polite and get out of your way.” The man shrieks in computer language and throws a cup at me, but I block it with my arm. The girl picks up the cup and sets it on the counter, then ties a leash to my neck and presses some buttons on her shoes. The man starts to pack up his things, even though it seems he didn't even touch his food, and hurries toward me with a fierce look. The girl shoots off, and the leash is quickly choking me as I'm tugged out of the restaurant, hitting the door jam on the way out. I get to my feet, crouched down, trying to balance, and tugging at the leash, coughing. We've got to be going twenty miles an hour, with this thing around my neck of all places. The man shoots out of the building, heavily winded, and races toward us. Apparently he didn't like his food, and he likes me a bit less.
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To be further improved…
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Possible Story Updates
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So here I am with this angry man, sitting in jail, and he's telling me he's sorry for trying to kill me earlier, and that it was a normal mistake to make.
So the girl was a robot after all. The only one I could trust. I have to find some human friends.
My first night in this town, all alone and lost.
So the girl wasn't really a robot… What a relief.
So the girl was hit by a truck…I just don't want to live anymore.
So there were two girls. One a robot, which was hit by a truck. The human one doesn't even know me.
So the angry man really does want me dead after all.
So the angry man is the one who brought me here?
So the girl is the daughter of the angry man.
So the sky isn't really a sky…it's simply a glow from light tubes far above us. In this vast cavern system.
So the girl has many robots, and invents them?
So the angry man is the captain of a digging crew that travels to other caverns and has a goal of one day reaching the surface world. But then how did I get down here?
So I was abducted by renegade robots who were programmed to remove humans from the surface world.
Small event.
Tragic event.
Shocking event.
Blissfully happy event.
Two hundred people die to save five million metal workers.
My apartment turns out to be some kind of virtual reality center in which I can access so many kinds of information.
The sky goes black for the first time.

story/awaken_in_subterrain_city_culture.txt · Last modified: 2017/09/18 19:32 by reb