This is a short story based in the world of Dystopia Rising by Eschaton Media. The main character is my own. But many of the mentioned character (Cadence, Sliphox, Francis Boss, etc) are creations of other players and story tellers. They are characters that have had a significant impact on the life of my character. This is based on the events that arose during the last game I played and many previous events before that. I hope you enjoy. And if you want any more information on the world of Dystopia Rising, feel free to check out http://www.dystopiarisinglarp.com
Normally, walking a lone was noisy. Each step seeming to echo and call out to unknown threats. Here I am! A lonely Iron. Just perfect for the taking. Now, there were birds. There was a breeze rustling the summer leaves.
It isn’t that these things didn’t exist before. I just didn’t notice them before. They were not important. The existence of birds and a breeze were not part of the logic utilized in planning out the day before me. They were extraneous pieces of data and not worth analyzing. But now…
They are beautiful.
That night up in Ripton Falls. Standing with Cadence by the beach and looking up at the clouds, their reflection in the water. Then I could not understand. What made something beautiful? What made something impressive? What made Cadence so amazed to see the round shapes the clouds had made and the dark blues with their subtle yellow highlights? Then, I had not understood. Now the memory, still vivid and recent in the mind, brought up this… feeling… longing… There was a loneliness about that night. Desperation. It hurt. It brought a lump to the throat. But despite all of that, there was something peaceful about the sky. The clouds were perfectly shaped. They were the highlight to the night.
They were beautiful.
That first night with Sliphox. A battered deck of cards. The look of confusion on the Ascensorite’s face as he debated whether or not he should take another card. Cheeks pulled back. Eyes twinkled. There was a bit of shaking from the Iron’s belly… a laugh. A smile. That night had been absolutely perfect. It had been more than just probability and percentages. It had been more than just formulas and the science of the Vegasian card game. It had been Sliphox. It had been a chance to forget all of the troubles I had. It had been a chance to sit down and have fun.
It was beautiful.
Was this what it meant to have emotions now?
Having died so many times, it was hard to pin down just when the gravemind had taken them away.
The first time, there were so many feelings. Fear. I had never died before. Loneliness. Where had everyone gone. Why weren’t they coming back for me. Relief. Bones was still there. Then fear all over again. It was too late. We weren’t gonna get back to town in time. Then coming out in the morgue and just being overwhelmed with loneliness. Bones wasn’t there.
No, She didn’t take the emotions away then.
The second time, there was no loneliness to worry about. Everyone else was around. There was no fear, I had died before. I knew what to expect. There was none of that. There was only hunger. Loads of hunger. But hunger was not an emotion. It was a physical feeling, a cue that the body was in need of nutrients. That was it. Could that be when She took it all away?
Before then, the feelings existed. There was still the curl of a lip and the good bubbly feeling in the stomach when the rad rod shot out of the pipe in the reactor room. There was still the feeling of peace that came that first time in the tea shop, knowing that I was safe even though I understood nothing of what was said. There was still the safe feeling and the cared for feeling around the GDI campfires. There was feeling, it had just been hard to explain. It had been hard to understand.
Back at Motor City, Francis Boss and all the foreman had been very clear that you had to focus on the work. Don’t get upset. There is still work to be done. Don’t let anything get in the way of your work. It was always about the work. Feelings got pushed aside. Eventually, you didn’t quite notice them anymore.
But after the second trip through the gravemind. After the raiders left me to die by the lakefront…
There was nothing.
Cold logic and overwhelming extremes. Outliers.
She really had taken it all away.
But now, it is mine again. Through death, Doctor House had taken us to the gravemind. I found it. I figured it out. I took it back. My emotions are once again mine. They do not belong to Her anymore. They are mine. They are overwhelming. They are hard to sort through. But they are, once again, mine.
They are beautiful.