Live for Today

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I gave myself a writing challenge. I put out an open call on facebook for individuals willing to let me write their Dystopia Rising characters. I explained that I want to write more than just Jeanie, that I’d work with the individual who plays each character. But, it’s a chance for me to work on my writing skills by challenging me to branch out into other characters. So, here it is. The fourth of my Dystopia Rising Friend Fictions.

**********

Ramsey shuddered as he walked back up to the Double Tap. A lot of people had fallen in the fight with the raiders. That part was normal. People often fell during raider fights. Patch them up. Use some brews. No big deal. The hard part was watching someone use a needle filled with a milky white brew. The Iron had watched the man’s eyes, saw the calm wash over him. The Iron felt his stomach wrench into a knot and his hand shook.

He wanted the drug.

Ramsey glanced through the crowd of smokers on the stairs before stepping through the haze and into the building. Turn left and around the corner to the small porch with the hookah.

“What’s up?” The bald Rover smiled and leaned back in his chair. “Care for some hot brown?”

Ramsey shook his head and sat down across the table.

Bloom shrugged and took a sip from the scrap mug in his hand. “Let me know if you change your mind.”

Ramsey nodded. He leaned back in the chair and swallowed, trying to regain control, trying not to disappoint his dad by hunting out a vial of what he craved. The Rover looked on, watching Ramsey for a few quiet moments and stroking his beard. Then he leaned forward and placed his elbows on the table. “Alright, what’s bugging you?”

“What do you mean?”

“You’re sitting here, not partaking in this glorious shisha, just breathing. Something’s on your mind.”

Ramsey sighed and crossed his arms. He turned his face away from the Rover. He didn’t want to talk about it. Talking about it meant thinking about it. Thinking about it meant craving it. That’s something he didn’t need right now.

“Alright, don’t talk about it,” Bloom leaned back in his chair and took another sip from the mug. “But something has you thinking and you’re not enjoying it. It’s a beautiful day. We’ve got a nice break. Some delicious shisha, hot brown, and cheese. Did I offer you cheese yet?”

Ramsey shook his head.

“Well, you can have some if you like. Anyway, what I’m saying, is that it’s a beautiful day and it’s worth enjoying.”

Ramsey nodded and looked over toward the House. People were standing around laughing in the field. Feargus and Bastion were sparring. Bastion took a shot in the chest and glared at Feargus. “Dude, not in the tits!” Overall, people were enjoying themselves. It really was a good day.

Ramsey closed his eyes. He could still feel the craving for Mother’s Milk. He still wanted it. But he could also feel the heat of the sun and the joy of people living.

“Enjoy yourself while you can,” Ramsey muttered under his breath. “There is no vice anymore, the gods of temperence have left us.” He took another deep breath. Right now there was no Mother’s Milk, just cravings. Cravings are a vice that made him worry when instead, he could enjoy what Bloom had to offer. Enjoy now, that was the point of the seven. That was the point of Hedon.

Ramsey shifted in his seat and took the hookah hose into his left hand.

“So, how about that cheese?”

Natural Percussion

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I gave myself a writing challenge. I put out an open call on facebook for individuals willing to let me write their Dystopia Rising characters. I explained that I want to write more than just Jeanie, that I’d work with the individual who plays each character. But, it’s a chance for me to work on my writing skills by challenging me to branch out into other characters. So, here it is. The third of my Dystopia Rising Friend Fictions.

It is also based on the recent plot going on in Dystopia Rising Mass.

**********

The refugees of Ripton Falls had come to know the almost constant sounds of music drifting around whatever town they were living in. Back in Ripton, the sounds of flutes might drift from one of the bars. In the Grove, you could usually find the bar filled with the graceful sounds of saxophone. Even when the people of Ripton had gathered in Pequod Port to help the Saltwise who lived there, the sounds of music had followed them. An interesting breath powered keyboard contraption could be heard echoing across the water and through the hills of the town.

The refugees of Ripton Falls had forgotten how unsettling silence could be.

The Ascensorite sat at a picnic table mere feet from the water’s edge. His saxophone sat upon his lap, highly dented but carefully cleaned of rust and any other damages to the gently tended piece. There was a comfort in it’s presence. The knowledge that this tool of the beat was still here in his hands, reminding him of the constant aspect of the beat in his life.

That comfort was needed, especially considering everything he had learned while working with Jeanie, Krey, and Viktor. The information was hard to put out of mind and it kept eating away at him.

Someone was trying to create the undead.

Sigmund shuddered. There was something unnatural about it.

Sigmund shook his head, trying to clear his thoughts. He closed his eyes and listened carefully for the beat around him. The beat was with him. And despite the terrifying implications of those notes, the beat would live on and guide him. He would listen for that.

The steady thump-thump of his heart was heard first, a gentle drum beat. The water lapping against the shoreline was heard next, a faint but still steady sound. It blended in perfect time with his heart. The wind blew through the trees. Some branches rustled against each other. The rustling was almost like brushes on the cymbals that pure blood entertainers might own. Nature’s precise percussion session.

His own King spoke of this when he mentioned the beauty and love he could sense all around. John Coltrane’s lyrics were pure genius, presented generations before people truly needed them.

The Ascensorite’s head began to bounce lightly in time with the natural percussion sounds that were surrounding him. He brought his saxophone to his lips and spent a few more moments listening, quietly.

Gently, he began to play.

He let his fingers caress the instrument, speaking all of his fears. The air pushing past the reed carried his frustrations through the instrument and out the bell at it’s base. Someone may be doing the unnatural, but his King would carry him through. The beat would fill him and guide his fingers, as they always did.

Unevolved Twits

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I gave myself a writing challenge. I put out an open call on facebook for individuals willing to let me write their Dystopia Rising characters. I explained that I want to write more than just Jeanie, that I’d work with the individual who plays each character. But, it’s a chance for me to work on my writing skills by challenging me to branch out into other characters. So, here it is. The second of my Dystopia Rising Friend Fictions.

Also note, for those who were a part of Uprise, this is set before the burning of Bravo by Mustang. Don’t take this as canon.

**********

Seconds ticked by. Simultaneously the fastest seconds he’d ever experienced and the most agonizingly long ones in existence.

He had heard many of the Telling Visionists discuss programs like this and had never given them any credence before. The signal, the sponsers, and all that other shit. It wasn’t truth. It wasn’t evolution and radiation and the things that Max had known for years. But they had discussed it before. Red wire. Blue wire. No red wire. The curie had always shrugged it off. But now, suddenly, he felt that tension.

Maybe there was a slight bit of truth behind the visions of the signal.

Maybe.

Nah! Crazy religious wack jobs.

This was science! Pure and holy. It was engineering in it’s majesty and darwinism at it’s absolutely purity. This was the pinnacle of his skills. It was a test of faith.

And if it happened to blow up and destroy the town, well then he just wasn’t evolved enough. Hopefully the town would be evolved enough to survive the radiation induced blast that Mustang was hoping for with this delivery. Though, it was almost genius. The Remnant had to hand it to that bastard. Surgically implant a bomb inside an Iron Slave. Now waltz into Bravo with the idea of holding an auction. The people of Bravo would be up in arms to free the Iron and get them situated and on their way. The so called slaver and anyone with any remaining connections to Mustang would be long gone by the time Bravo realized what they’d been given. Sneaky bastard.

Removing it from the Iron Slave had been the easy part. What’s his face had done it. You know, that doctor who did that thing… Okay, so the guy was also a Telling Visionist and Max never really paid him much attention cause, well, stupid Telling Visionsists and their bat shit craziness. But yeah, that part was easy. This part, this was no child’s game.

This was Science!

Max wiped the sweat from his brow and re-examined the engineering of the bomb. The wires were crudely attached to some old world tech that was counting down the seconds. There was a blue rad rod housed inside a lead compartment, currently perfectly safe. But when the timer was up, it was designed to send a spark of electricity down… down where?

“It’s the red wire! Cut the red wire!” someone called from the crowd that was gathering to watch.

“Will someone shut him up?” the Curie called out without removing his eyes from the task at hand. There was a delicacy to science. It was crucial that he wasn’t interrupted.

Also, if people wanted to be unevolved waste then that was their choice… but standing around a live bomb like this was absolutely one of the most backwards and unevolved choices they could possibly make. They didn’t have the scientific know how to do this. So all they did was risk getting destroyed. Max on the other hand, knew what he was doing. Also, it was some amazingly intricate technology. How could he not look at this absolutely beautiful creation?

Crap, 10 more seconds gone. Back to the task at hand. That spark of electricity…

The remnant pulled out a screw driver and carefully removed a side panel to get a better idea of what was going on. The heat of the blue rod could be felt on his skin as he pulled the lead siding away from the box. He had to take a deep breath to keep from gagging. As much as he loved the precious and holy glow, his body still didn’t react to it very well.

Stupid unevolved flesh.

Anyway, his eyes scanned the contents of the box and he smiled. The wire brought the electric spark to a simple bit of fabric. There was a second wire on the other side. The electricity would arc from one wire to the other through the fabric, igniting it. Only the fabric was also wrapped around the blue rod. Fire plus blue rod would be devastating and the small lead box holding it would not contain that blast.

Max chuckled to himself.

It was so simple.

He carefully screwed the side panel back onto the box and pieced it back together. For now he’d continue to contain the radiation within. As much as he wanted to keep it, the Priest knew it would have to be carefully contained or the few pure bloods in town would throw up a stink and no one wanted to hear them whine.

He grabbed a knife and brought it up to the yellow wire.

Stupid visionist was now screaming that it had to be the red wire and he was gonna cut the wrong thing. Crazy religious nut head.

A quick slice of the knife and everyone around gasped, waiting for the inevitable explosion.

Max just chuckled and returned the knife to it’s proper place before standing and wiping his hands on his pants. He grabbed the beautiful piece of technology and whistled to himself as he started walking back to Bravo proper. He had to show Harper this piece of beauty, especially now that there was nothing the timer could do to set it off anymore.

The Curie chuckled. The visionists should write scripture about this day, about how he saved Bravo… again…

Nah. Unevolved twits would probably forget about it by morning.

Stupid Telling Visionists.

The Seasons Prevail

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I gave myself a writing challenge. I put out an open call on facebook for individuals willing to let me write their Dystopia Rising characters. I explained that I want to write more than just Jeanie, that I’d work with the individual who plays each character. But, it’s a chance for me to work on my writing skills by challenging me to branch out into other characters. So, here it is. The first of my Dystopia Rising Friend Fictions.

**********

“Fucking Dead Eyes,” she groaned as she hefted the shield up in front of her face. There was the ping of a bullet bouncing into the shield before it fell, harmlessly to the ground. The ascensorite glanced around the edge of her shield and up the hill to where the Dead Eye Raiders were sniping down on them. To make matters worse, they could clearly see through the windows of the building behind her and they were sniping down anyone they saw inside.

Murphy had family inside.

With a deep breath, she felt the spirit of Autumn swell up inside her. She adjusted the grip on her sword and glanced at the enemies above her. Winter’s guidance pointed out that despite being in a strategically worse position, her shield would be very useful right now. Plus, she could charge at the two out front with the shitty guns and then make her way around behind the sniper who was doing the most damage. A gentle breeze brushed back her hair, reminding her that even if the dead of winter, the life of spring breaks through. Now, in the dead of battle, life would still prevail. The seasons made it clear. They always did.

Murphy charged up the hill. She stopped at the first raider and with a swing, sliced into the raiders hip. She quickly pulled back and then sent a quick thrust into the raider’s lower gut. It dropped his weapon to the ground. A twist of her blade sent him to his knees.

The ascensorite cried out as flaming pain entered her shoulder. She whipped her head around to see one of the Raiders running towards her, his gun pointed. She closed her eyes for a quick moment, focused on the heat of the pain and how it was similar to the heat of Jeanie’s forge or the heat of Sol’s freshly made weapons. It was a reminder of the heat of summer, a reminder of the constant support the seasons gave her. She adjusted the grip on her blade once more, pulling it from the first raider and ready to face the second.

Murphy dropped to her knees, holding her shield in front of her and waited carefully as the Raider charged forward, continuing to shoot his gun at her. He shot again and again, firing the bullets into her shield, each one dropping to the ground. Then at the last moment, she popped up and lifted her sword. The momentum from the raider’s charge, sent him barreling towards her sword. A shift of her hips and the sword sliced through the front of his abdomen. The raider toppled to the ground.

A cold gust reminded her to check her surroundings, a gentle nudge of winter to reassess the circumstance and change her tactics accordingly. Her ascensorite brothers were fighting along side of her. The chaotic jingle of bells on one side of her, the steady determination of a tree on her other side. Farther off was the scream of someone pummeling his fists into a raider’s head. The colors of Autumn swirled in the movements of her loved ones and revealed the still open path to the Dead Eye who continued to snipe at the people hiding inside the building.

Murphy charged forward. She let the spirit of spring guide her steps through the new growths and up behind the raider. A thrust of her blade into his kidney. She pulled back and shifted her hips to slice the blade through his other side. The raider dropped his gun to the ground and fell forward onto his knees. She carefully lined up the blade with the artery in his neck before pulling her blade and slicing through to ensure the raider’s death.

She glanced around her as the heat of the sun shown down. The saint of the seasons was carefully brushing off the bark skin he had. Standing nearby was a grinning young man, his paws wrapped around a blood coated spear as he scanned for another threat. In the distance an Arkadian was staring down at a deceased raider muttering about how much he hated Dead Eyes. The screaming from the building had stopped.

Murphy took a deep breath and smiled.

The seasons had prevailed.

They always did.

Promises

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Dystopia Rising story. You know the drill. 🙂

**********

Jeanie spit the remaining bile from her mouth into the bucket and flopped back onto the mattress. The brown ceiling of the summerwind tent glowed above her with the heat of the morning sun and the iron groaned. She’d barely slept during the night. Most of the night was spent hunched over that bucket and then hauling it outside to dump. The times that she wasn’t knelt over the scrap bucket was spent trying to slowly drink water and keep the nightmares of the past two months away.

The iron rolled onto her side, too tired to try and empty the bucket right now and closed her eyes. It was better to try and sleep then face the reality of the empty bed she lay in.

It had been two months.

Two months since Sliphox broke his deal. Two months since he left her alone. Caleb had been there. Made another promise to never leave her. He was also gone. It had been almost two months since she’d seen him. Two months since he had watched over her. Two months since he slept next to her.

What good is someone’s word when even a rover born won’t keep his promises?

Jeanie groaned and slowly sat up. The sun on the brown tent roof made the tent disgustingly warm. It also wouldn’t be long before the tent reeked if the Iron didn’t empty and clean up the bucket she sat near. Besides, she’d have to scrub the sheets sometime soon. Some of her blisters had popped open in the night. There were stains of blood and green goo where they had rubbed against the fabric.

Slowly and carefully, Jeanie got herself off the mattress and dressed. She grabbed a stick to help support her tired and aching body in one hand and the scrap bucket in the other.

As she stepped out of the tent, she heard a jingle coming from down the hill. Her head popped up and her eyes darted toward the sound. For a moment, she hoped she’d see a familiar face with antlers on his head. Instead, she saw a familiar face, carefully made up with a coin belt wrapped around her waist. Jeanie sighed and turned back to the bucket, not even caring who Natasha was with or what they were doing. She made her way over to the tree line and dumped the bucket out. Some dirt was thrown in, swished around with a stick and dumped out. She repeated the process a few times, trying to clean the bucket as much as possible without trudging down the waterfront Once she got there, she wasn’t coming back up the hill for awhile. Stupid Pequod Port.

Once the bucket was relatively clean, she left it outside the tent and began her descent down to the main building where people had been congregating. Her eyes kept glancing around for a familiar ascensorite with antlers and her ears kept listening for the jingling of many bells. But, she found none of this.

With a sigh, Jeanie entered the main building and plopped down at one of the tables.

“Hey, uh, Jeanie?” a Bay Walker called over to the Iron.

Jeanie turned her head to the voice. A man in khaki pants and a tucked in blue shirt. He held a black bag in his hands. “Yeah?”

“You feeling okay? You’re kind of bleeding there.” Dr. Rain walked over and pointed to Jeanie’s shoulder. She glanced down and saw that a bunch of blisters had popped open. There was blood and a greenish puss slowly oozing from them.

“Oh.”

“Why don’t I take a look at that for you.” He plopped down the medical bag. He spent a few moments poking and prodding. Asking Jeanie to do all of the things that doctors do when they’re checking on a patient. Then he sighed as he grabbed a cleanish rag and began carefully wiping the blood away from the burst blisters on her shoulder. “You really should let me cure this for you. I know it’s your faith and all, but it’s kind of killing you.”

“When it needs to be cured, I’ll come find you.”

“Jeanie, it’s not healthy. Have you seen any of these blisters?”

“It’s helping me to evolve.”

“It’s killing you.”

Jeanie sighed and turned to look at the Bay Walker. “And if it kills me, I don’t deserve to live.”

He stopped. “That’s not true. Everyone deserves to live. Besides, what would Sliphox think?” He turned to his bag and grabbed a clean bandage all rolled up. He began to unwind it around her shoulder, carefully wrapping the blisters inside.

Jeanie turned her head and looked away. Sliphox said he loved her. He said she was still his mate. So he’d want her around. Then why didn’t he come back?

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to upset you. I know it’s tough for you, not having him around.” Dr. Rain carefully tucked the end of the bandage so that it wouldn’t unwrap. “Look, he’s coming back. But he’s not gonna want to see you like this. Please, please, let me cure you.”

“Not now.” She didn’t turn back to face the doctor.

He grumbled under his breath. “Fine, at least let me keep checking up on you. When you want to be cured, I’m waiting.” He gathered his tools and slipped them back into his bag. “He’ll be back.” The doctor gently pat Jeanie on her unbandaged shoulder and then walked off.

Jeanie sighed and looked down at her scarred palm.

When would Sliphox be back?

When would he keep his promise?