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Nevrmore

Full Royal Steam: Beta v2 Go!

This goes out to Woland.

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“So can anyone tell me why the Battle at Long Yank was a failure on the Harem’s part?”

Another boring day. Another boring class. Another boring lecture. Everything’s so boring for the Average High School student.

“Come on, anyone?”

A bird lands on a tree branch near the window. It sings a lonely song. That’s what it feels like in this town. To be a lonesome bird, perched on a branch, its only recourse to chirp through random windows and try to tell the humans in its own language, ‘Hey, flying isn’t all its cracked up to be. We aren’t as free as you’d like to think. I wish I could feel love. I wish I had a designated spot to go take a shit. Stop envying me.’

“I’m sure someone here knows the answer. Come on, guys, put your thinking helmets on!”

The sun shines through the window and the rays stretch out and out and try to reach anyone, begging for any sort of contact, but despite their best efforts they fall short and splash against the linoleum floor. That’s what it feels like in this town. To be a desperate sunray, reaching through a win-

“How about you, Gawain? Do you have any ideas?”

Gawain shot into a stand reflexively upon hearing his name. He felt the air catch in his throat when he realized that his daydreaming had rendered him completely ignorant as to why exactly his ass was suddenly in the air.

“Well, Gawain? Think you know the answer?”

“I, uh...” The student stumbled. “Could you repeat the question?”

“No.” The teacher snapped, her own reflexes sharp and practiced. Gawain dug his tongue into his cheek.

“Um...Is the answer...Because...That’s what God wanted?”

“Correct! Good work, Gawain!” The teacher gave him a toothy grin before turning back to the chalkboard to write his words on the board. By the time she was done, it proclaimed in proud, white print:

BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT GOD WANTED

That was the answer to every question. Gawain returned to his seat with a big sigh and spent the rest of the class comparing his own colorless life with random things he saw outside of the window. When he saw another window, things got meta.

The bell rung, a banal “bing” that sounded like someone tapping spoons into the concave end of a tin bowl. Gawain stood up from his seat and began to shovel his books into the waiting maw that was his satchel. Hurried footsteps across the tiles, and she was already upon him.

“Oh, hey Gina-“ Gawain began, taking a step back as he saw her. She was a beautiful girl in all respects. A brilliant display of purple hair caked the top of her head like a mountain, leading down to the incredibly soft features of her face. Her full, pouty lips were an arrow pointing down to her delicate neck, curving into her sloping shoulders, perfect enough to ski off of. Her breasts were large and bouncy, cups of jello waiting for any sign of vibrations. Her figure was absolutely hourglass, a tight stomach exploding into curvaceous hips that melted downwards into delicious legs, finally pooling into her modest leg-warmers. She was a picture of perfection, a testament to the beauty of the world. She made the lives of students who were constantly bullied and demeaned worth living. She looked meaningfully at Gawain, and she said,

“EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!”

Gawain bit the inside of his cheek and dug his fingernails into his palm as he tried his best to listen to Gina. She continued.

“EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!”

There was an odd ringing left behind her words, like an aftershock following fast on the heels of an earthquake, that made when she stopped difficult to determine from a passing ear. A moment of silence passed before Gawain retorted,

“Yeah, Gina, I know I missed your recital last night, it’s just that I was so slammed with homework that-“

”EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE; EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!” Gina interrupted, the way the whistle of a falling bomb would instantly halt a conversation and make you look to the skies.

“I’m sorry, I realize it meant a lot to you!” Gawain said, “I swear, I’ll come to the next one. Okay?”

Gina didn’t look satisfied. Gawain could almost hear a cocking sound as her lips parted again, another rapid shot about to go off, but that was cut short by the same ringing that signaled her introduction to begin with.

“I’m sorry, Gina, we’ll talk about it later, okay? I’ve got to get to class.” The relieved boy slung his booksack over his head and shuffled quickly out the door, leaving the angered girl by herself in the class. He walked down the hallway, silently wondering how she ever managed to land a job as a voice actress. Turning his pace into a jog, he just managed to get to his next class before the tardy bell. He slipped into his seat as the teacher began.

“Alright kids, welcome back to Religious History of the New Century. Today we’re going to be talking about our last pope, Pope Eggs Benedictus Arnold. Now Pope Benedictus was interesting because...”

And that was Gawain’s cue to drift off again.

Seven classes.

Seven hours.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

That’s what it was in this town. A continual cycle of lathering and rinsing. If you’ve been to one building, you’ve been to them all. There was never anything new or exciting to do. Everyone was within six degrees of each other; If you didn’t know someone, you knew someone who knew them, or knew someone who knows someone who knows them, so on, so forth, till the day you die. Death’s probably no big deal, either.

“Hey, Gawain!” A voice shouted to the boy as he descended down the steps of the Average High School. He turned to look at them.

“Hey, Gal. What’s up?” He said to his fast approaching friend.

“Dude, you want to hang out at the Arcade for awhile? Old Man Lorenz was just diagnosed with cataracts in both eyes so I bet if we say we’re his grandkids he’ll give us free coins.” Gal jabbed Gawain lightly in the arm and cocked both eyebrows up twice to emphasize the genius of his plan.

“Sorry, man, I can’t do anything today. Zoot needs her shots.” Gal exhaled deeply.

“Maaan, I know your sister is like, a crippy and all, but you spend more time with her than you do in the outside world!” Gal said rather insensitively. Gawain snorted.

“Gal, maybe if you had the responsibility of caring for your ailing sister in the stead of a dying mother, you’d understand.” He shook his head and walked off. Gal just crossed his arms.

“Man, I’ll never understand that guy.”

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Gawain took his shoes off upon entering into his house, not wanting to track mud on the carpet. He made his way into the bathroom.

“Brother, is that you?” A weak voice called from down the hall.

“Yeah, Zoot, I’m in the bathroom.” Gawain called back. He caught himself in the mirror and gave himself a quick examination. He never considered it before, but with his black, almost even blue, short hair and purple eyes, he was probably one of the most handsome boys in school. He smirked a bit at the thought.

“Welcome home, brother.” The same weak voice said as a small hand opened the bathroom door. Gawain turned to look at Zoot, thin, weak, and brittle from years spent sitting in the very same wheelchair she sat in, now.

“Zoot, you shouldn’t just open the bathroom door like that. What if I’d been on the toilet?” Gawain said.

“Oh, you’re right...I’m sorry, brother.” Zoot hung her head and wrought her hands together, shame overcoming her.

“Hey, it’s alright, sis. Now come in here. You know what day it is?” Gawain said as he opened the medicine cabinet up. He took a small white box out from one of the shelves and closed it up again.

“Oh no, do I have to have my shots? I don’t like getting my shots...” Zoot watched as her brother slid the box out of its cardboard wrapping, pulling a hypodermic needle and bottle full of green liquid from inside. She was visibly shaken.

“Zoot, you know this is for the best.” Gawain said sternly as he stabbed the needle through the top of bottle and carefully sucked exactly 200 milliliters into its belly.

“I know...I...Just promise you’ll be careful, brother?” Zoot asked. Gawain smiled.

“Of course. Now, hold out your arm.” Zoot complied stretched her arm out before her brother. He set it down right at the inside of her elbow. She shivered from the cold steel. “I’ll count to three.” Gawain told her, hovering the end of the needle right over her vein. “One...Two...Thr-“

A huge tremor bore through the house. Gawain felt control of his body rip away from him for a second as he flew forward and into the hallway, tumbling. The sound of miscellaneous objects falling, Zoot screaming, and the ground itself shaking violently melded into one almost harmonious orchestra for but a moment before it fell into disarray again. Eventually, it ceased. Gawain pulled himself to his feet, taking a moment to let the disorientation wear off.

“What in God’s name was THAT?” He asked aloud, shaking his head. “Couldn’t have been an earthquake, they would have announced the prediction on the news...Zoot, are you alright?” He asked his sister, lying on the ground a few feet away from her wheelchair with a five-inch needle plunged into the fat of her upper arm.

“I...I think so, brother.” She replied, dazed, as Gawain hoisted her back into her chair, plucking the syringe out of her arm before she noticed it. “What was that?” She asked as her wits slowly came back about her.

“I don’t know...” Gawain turned her around and wheeled her to the nearest window, opening the blinds to look outside. He felt the skin around his eyes tighten. “Good God...” He said, staring at the huge plume of smoke climbing high into the air.

“An explosion?” Zoot asked, looking too into the growing expanse.

“No...No, it’s the wrong color to be from an explosion...It must have been caused by something hitting the ground from high up...Something big.” In a flash, Gawain had his shoes back on his feet and was wheeling Zoot out of the door.

“Where are we going, brother?” She asked as he locked it behind her.

“We’re going to check out what that is.” He confirmed, turning her down the street and towards the direction of the dirtball.

“Do you really think it’s safe to bring a weak, invalid sister with you?” She asked.

“Shut up.” Gawain replied intelligently.

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“Damn...Those cops got here fast...” Gawain whispered out loud, not so much to Zoot, as the two of them peered at the scene behind a stack of conveniently placed crates. He counted twelve around the immediate area, which was also covered in yellow police tape.

“What are you going to do, brother? You can’t possibly get past all of them.” Zoot said. Gawain shushed her as he continued watching. After a few minutes, he spoke again.

“They’re going around in a set pattern. If I wait for the right time, then I’ll have about 20 seconds when everyone is facing another direction and I’ll only have to deal with one of them to get through.” He said.

“But still, how are you going to get past even one guard?” Zoot asked.

“That, dear sister, is where you come in.” Gawain smiled.

It was exactly four minutes and thirty three seconds later when Officer Dickson had stopped to give a quick visual sweep of the area. A voice called out to him.

“Help...Excuse me, sir, could you please help me?” It whined small, pathetically. Dickson turned his head to look at the small girl lying face down on the ground. He was only a second or so away from asking who she was, why she was here, and why she was on the ground, but several blow to the back of the head dealt by a large wheelchair rendered him delightfully unconscious. Gawain smirked, holding the assault weapon up in the air like a trophy.

“Good job, brother!” Zoot called. “Now can you bring me my wheelchair back and we can continue on?” She smiled.

Gawain tossed the wheelchair over his shoulder and quickly ducked under the police tape, running behind cover before the other guards came back to formation and saw one of their own lying half-dead on the ground. As soon as he was sure the coast was clear, he continued further into the belly of the site. It was after some dozen minutes of walking that he noted over extremely cautious the government was being if they set the police line so far away from the actual ground zero. He was just about to give up and turn back when -

“...Holy shit.”

Gawain looked up at it, so large it looked like it stabbed the sky. He marveled at it, for it was something he could honestly say he had never seen before. Sitting enormous in its own crater, sizzling with energy and smoke, was what appeared to be a giant, humanoid, robot. The gravity of the situation suddenly hit Gawain.

“Oh man, I’ve got to get out of here.” He said aloud to himself. “A giant mecha?? If I was found with this, man, who knows what’d they do to me. I’ve got to get away from here.” He turned to sprint back to Zoot, collect her, and run home as fast as he could before his presence was ever discovered. Before G-men could seize him up and take him to some hidden government facility where they’d find out every intimate, well-kept secret he ever had. Before they strapped him to a chair and electro-shocked the pleasure centers of his body as they demanded information from him.

“Who are you!”

“Where are you from!”

“What were you doing with that giant robot!”

“Stop, stop!” Gawain’d scream. “I’m just an Average High School student! I don’t have anything to do with this! I am just a boring kid living a boring life, I swear!”

A boring kid living a boring life. That’s all he was.

And suddenly, he felt his joints lock into place. A well oiled machine being turned on, his body twisted and turned from the cowering, hunched over position into a back-straight military stance. No, he thought. He wasn’t a boring kid. He used to be, but that was going to end now. Trudging forward would be an affirmation of everything he had ever dreamt of, a validation of his fantasies and hopes of breaking out of this diseased town and going on to be something else entirely. Something so unseen that when a person witnesses it, their mind cannot sync it up to any past memory, leaving them staring, their brain scrambling to make the mental links necessary to accurately comprehend it.

He would be the first time Jesus walked on water. He would be Prometheus showing the humans fire. He would be the first time Jim Carrey acted in a serious role.

And so that is what motivated him to start climbing. Hopping up on the leg of the monstrosity, jumping to grab the jutting kneecap and pull himself onto the thigh, his shoes hitting with a metallic ring. Slipping, slipping, so many strange angles and false-footholds that made him lose his grip and with each misstep almost lose his nerve as well, but he flashed back to those images in his head of breaking out and being something no one had ever seen and like the roar of a jet turbine everything hit him again and he kept climbing.

Hanging onto a lightning-bolt jutting from the center of the mechanoid’s chest, Gawain stared quizzically at the large, green sphere right in the middle of its robotic pectorals. While from a spectator’s point of view, the large emerald stuck out no more than any other gaudy accessory on the beast, for some reason the near-glowing green seemed to entrance the boy. He stared at it for a long time, almost forgetting where he was. He felt its warm glow on his face. Carefully, slowly, with the same reverence as if it were a sacred holy relic, he held out his hand, reached out and placed a palm firmly on its smooth surface.

With the sound of a power drill, the emerald spun clockwise under Gawain’s hand. The lightning bolt decorations all around it jutted forward, unlocking it in a rhythmic pattern, two to each beat like a twenty one gun salute. A perfect, straight crevice ran down the center of the jewel, releasing hot steam that blew right into Gawain’s face, forcing his eyes into slits. He watched as the emerald separated into two pieces and slid back into the inside of the robot’s chest. The boy didn’t notice this at the moment, but inside the robot’s pecs was a considerably large room, a chair situated right in the middle with several complex looking controls hovering around it.

However, as previously stated, Gawain did not notice this room, for his attention was on the burnt, blackened body that fell forward as the emerald opened itself and ended up leaning against the boy, dead eye holes where two perfectly fine optical organs roomed together staring up at him, a mouth frozen open in horror belching the black smoke that appears when skin and sinew is scorched. The pin on the corpse’s futuristic albeit melted suit had survived just enough to have the words “Hi, my name is Arthur!” printed on it in big font still legible, but of course Gawain didn’t take the time to read that either as he was too busy swinging to the left and shrieking in the high-pitched falsetto that he really was, though he tries his best to hide it. The body, suddenly finding that the nice young man he was leaning against not there, tumbled down, bouncing against the mecha and leaving a deep black mark on each rebound until it eventually hit the ground below it.

Gawain took in huge goblets of breath as he stared at the cadaver’s eventual resting spot. It’s never good when the first time you see a dead body in real life, it’s trying to give you an introductory kiss on the cheek and welcome you into its abode. He closed his eyes, trying his best to get into a fetal position whilst hanging off of a giant robot and sat there for awhile until his mind was clear again. Okay, so it was one dead body. So what? There are lots of dead bodies around the world. Just because this one happened to be inside of the giant robot you were planning on exploring does not exactly mean anything, I mean, right? In fact, it’s statistically probable that, given the death rate, there would be even more than one dead body in every mech you find! As far as Gawain was concerned, he got lucky. With a deep exhalation, he decided at the same time to continue on with his investigation and also not to blink for awhile - every time he did he noticed that an image of the corpse’s face flashed in his mind.

Gawain shimmied over towards the open passageway in the robot’s body as close as he could get, thanking that he did not fear heights at this particular moment. He experimentally reached out with his feet to see if he could plant it firmly on the floor inside.

Damn, just a few inches too short. With a big gulp, he leaned forward, then back, swinging like a drunken monkey, building up his momentum until, with a little muscle and a lot of faith, he vaulted from the lightning bolt. His feet hit the floor at an awkward angle, sending him tumbling forward and slamming his head into the neck of the chair bolting it in place. He would have been content to lay there, hunched over in a ball on his knees, shouting curses and cradling his head like a newborn baby or maybe a bowling ball (a lucky bowling ball, the one that always picks up the spare no matter what. That gets so many chicks, not even lying), but the pneumatic hiss behind him and the suddenly strangulation of sunlight caught his attention. Turning around, he was all but too late jumping up and trying to run forward before the door into the room had snapped shut, trapping him inside.

He tried pounding on the inside of the emerald that had mesmerized him not even a few minutes before. That didn’t work. He tried shouting for help and seeing if maybe someone was nearby. That didn’t work. He tried praying. That didn’t work. He was about to resort to his fool-proof plan - Putting his head between his knees and crying as he slowly starved to death - But then another thing caught his attention.

With a sound that you might think a huge firefly would make as it fired up its abdomen, the blackness of the room was cast away in colorful light. Dancing squares, soft bastardizations of the primary colors, stamped the area, played over Gawain’s face. And in the middle, the maestro of the concert, was the same chair he had been cursing at only a few minutes before. The boy felt a soft rumbling in his stomach, like a baby inside his gut trying to push him towards the seat. It took him a moment to consciously realize that he had begun taking steps towards it. Before he knew it, he had planted himself into the soft cushions of the chair, the smart fabric taking in the imprint of his gluteal muscles. Like a slithering snake, the seatbelt came down to wrap around his shoulder and waist. Well, I guess a snake can’t really do both at once. So, it’s more like a...doublesnake. But this gentle creature had no harm in mind for Gawain, instead clicking softly into the buckle on the opposite side of where it hid.

Gawain looked down at the panel in front of him, a flat touch-screen with illuminated buttons shining out into the world. He had never seen this layout before in his life, but yet he felt like he knew it. Like he had a primitive understanding of it, not enough to utilize it, but enough to recognize it, the way that you would recognize a different type of car’s interior design. He studied it carefully, but his eyes locked out a round green light at the far right of the board. It seemed to pulsate gently, begging to be touched. Reaching out to grab Gawain’s hand and force it down onto its creamy surface.

A sound registered into Gawain’s ear, a building noise growing in intensity. He looked around, trying to determined exactly where it was coming from, but it was too late that he realized that the sound was swallowing him from every corner of the room, a million bees surrounding him at once. And, for seemingly no reason at all, they all spontaneously exploded. That was the signal for Hell to break loose.

Gawain felt himself not forced into the back of the chair, but rather into the bottom. A great force slammed down on him from above like several hundred tons of water suddenly filling the cavity in which he sat, like a huge vortex sucking below him and trying to pull him in. Every joint in his body cracked simultaneously, air bubbles hiding inside them bursting out of existence at the strange, inverse gravity beholden to them. His chin pinned to his chest, all he could do was stare at his crotch and listen to the sounds of his organs compressing into a singularity inside of him. He felt warm liquid trickling down from his ears and nose. Just as he felt his entire body was about to be crushed into a fine milky powder, it stopped. Not a gradual slowing, not a smooth deceleration, but a complete and total halt, a freeze in time. The only thing that kept Gawain from flying up and splattering all over the ceiling was the surprisingly strong doublesnake seatbelt around his torso, letting him fly up maybe eight or nine inches before re-asserting their grip on him and pulling him back into the seat. His head lolled every which way, like the head of a stuffed animal being held out the window of a car speeding down the Autobahn.

Gawain would have been content to sit in the seat, head limp, tongue hanging out his mouth and letting a steady stream of drool absorb into his jeans for awhile, but he felt his attention being turned to the muffled sounds just outside of the robot’s cockpit. Unbuckling the doublesnake, he stood up and took a step forward - a step that immediately turned into a kneel as he vomited his day’s food intake all over the floor. Perhaps he should have waited a bit longer for his stomach to settle, but hindsight is 20/20, as they say. Again, the position that he found himself in was one that he would have gladly stayed in for as long as he needed to, but once more he found himself looking up as this time the door to the cockpit opened of its own accord. He stared dumbly outward at what he saw.

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The refutable Lieutenant Bleed sat in his comfortable Lieutenant Chair, tapping out an annoying ditty on the top of his Lieutenant Desk and taking large drags of his Lieutenant Cigar. Of course, in the real world there is no such thing as a Lieutenant Chair, Desk, or Cigar, but where Lt. Bleed was he had the authority to designate such things with such titles. Or, at least, that’s what he had gotten everyone to believe. In any case, he lorded over what appeared to be a chess board, some pieces having been lost ages ago and replaced with whatever was available - a checker piece, a Jenga block, a Cheeto...He studied the current layout of the board carefully and made a few altercations to it, grading his work with a deep “Hmmmm...”

The door behind Lieutenant Bleed slid downwards into the floor.

“What do you want, Private?” Bleed asked without looking up from his chessboard. He moved another piece.

“How did you know it was me, sir?” The woman who had entered asked, her pretty face contorted into astonishment.

“I heard your footsteps coming down the hall.” Bleed explained. He took the piece he had just moved and returned it to its original position. “And you’re the only person on this base who always steps to the beat of ‘Another One Bites the Dust.’”

The Private lowered her face as she could feel it begin to burn red. Before she could open her mouth, the Lieutenant spoke again.

“Anyway, whatever you have to say had better be important. With The Rabbit Hole missing I have to work on this contingency plan in case we don’t find it.”

“But that’s just it, sir!” The Private exclaimed. “The Rabbit Hole transported back to the hangar!”

“What?!” Bleed was up on his feet quick as a tap dancer on Adderall. “Why didn’t you tell me sooner?!” He pushed his Private out the way, nearly knocking her to the ground, as he ran out the door and towards the hangar, heavy boots making his footsteps rolling thunder.

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“Where the Hell am I?” Gawain asked himself, staring at the huge, steel expanse out before him. Lining every wall was a giant robot like his own, but different enough to stand out against one another. At the floor, a million ants ran to and fro. Someone must have kicked their hill. The student felt that he had just gotten in over his head, but there was definitely no turning back, now. He walked to the edge of the cockpit and was pleasantly surprised to find a walkway sitting right outside of it. He walked onto the metal grating and took another looky-loo around the area. It seemed like a huge warehouse, or an airplane hangar. Holding tightly onto the guardrail, Gawain took careful steps along the walkway until he found a set of stairs and began his descent.

“Okay, so I was out near the docks, and now I’m in this weird shed...Did I fly here?” He wondered aloud (He’s a lonely boy). “Maybe I can ask one of these people if they know what’s going o-“ The “n” at the end of Gawain’s sentence was muffled as he reached the bottom of the stairs and the sound of two dozen guns pointing in his direction swallowed up his thoughts. The boy took an instinctive step back and felt himself pressing against the poles holding the walking in the air as he stared at the owners of the guns, many men in futuristic black suits and gas masks, kaiser helmets on their heads.

“Who are you!” One of the Nazi robots shouted.

“Where are you from!” Another followed up.

“What were you doing with that giant robot!”

“I, uh, well, I -“ Gawain stumbled over his own tongue, all of his intelligence and linguistic skill leaking from him just as the urine leaking down his pants.

“Answer me!” The Kaiser stuck the gun at the panicking boy’s face. Gawain felt like he was about to vomit for the second time in as many minutes, but a deep, powerful voice broke through the crowd before he could.

“Men, stand down!” It shouted. The Nazibots looked back and immediately lowered their weapons, parting like the Red Sea to allow the man through. He looked down at Gawain as he walked forward, having an entire head over the boy, his pointed bear looking like it could drill into his skull and make a very nice brain frappe. The man’s eyes met Gawain’s, and the student felt the most peculiar mixture of fear and comfort.

“Boy, did you ride in that robot to this place?” The man asked, his voice becoming smooth like warm oil. Gawain could only think to nod slowly. The man also gave a knowing nod. “Right then. Come with me.” He said, turning around to walk away. He looked back to see Gawain frozen in place. “I said COME!” His voice raised into what could be described as half a lion’s roar, prompting the weak boy to jump up and scurry to his side quickly. The man did not need to ask the boy again to follow.

-----------------------------------------------------

“Take a seat.” The man pulled a chair sitting at a desk with a chessboard filled with cheetos on it and offered it to Gawain. He sat down quietly. The man smiled a bit. “What’s your name, son?”

“G-Gawain, sir.”

“Gawain, that’s a fine name. And you don’t have to call me sir. I’m Lieutenant Bleed.” The Lieutenant smiled.

“...Bleed?” Gawain asked, his initial fear being overtaken for the moment with skepticism.

“Yes. It’s Polish.” Bleed nodded.

“Right.” Gawain coughed.

“Now, Gawain, I’m going to ask you a question, and I need you to be 100% honest.” Bleed said, to which the boy nodded. “Right. Now, was there anyone on that robot when you got inside?”

A nasty image of the ghoul that awaited Gawain’s arrival flashed in the boy’s head.

“Well, sir, there was a, uh...” He began. Bleed leaned forward.

“A what?”

“Well, a...A body, sir. It looked burnt up.”

Bleed took a deep breath.

“Arthur’s dead then. I was afraid of that.” He shook his head. “But then, that means you were in the cockpit alone?”

“Uh, I suppose so.”

“And you turned the robot on and was able to bring it back here?”

“Well, I mean, I don’t know, it was a weird feeling...Like, I felt like I just sort of knew what I had to do and then did it...” Gawain scratched his chin. “Can you tell me exactly what the Hell is going on here?”

“Very well, Gawain. Right now, you’re aboard the Mandorla.” Bleed said.

“Mandorla?”

“Yes. A giant military vessel hidden deep in space. We use special mechanoids to-“

”Wait, wait, wait.” Gawain interrupted. “Did you say ‘space?’”

“Indeed.”

“As in OUTER space?”

“There’s only one kind, last I checked.”

“That’s bullshit, man. There is no possibly way, no contrived explanation for in any shape proving to me that we are in outer-fucking-spa...” Gawain’s mouth became slack-jawed as Lt. Bleed walked over to the wall of the room as he was talking, pressing a button near the corner. With a hiss, the walls slid into the floor to reveal glass paneling beneath them. Gawain stared dumbly into the black expanse, twinkling lights winking at him from every direction, beautiful nebulae swirling and dancing an immeasurable distance away but still conceivable to his eyes. “That...That’s space. That’s fucking SPACE.”

“Indeed it is, Gawain. And we need you to help us fight for it.”

Gawain had stood up from the Lieutenant Chair and walked over to the window, staring out at it.

“What do you want me to do?” He asked, placing his palm flat against the glass.

“Arthur, the pilot of the mech you found, is dead, as you know...And that mech is the lynch pin in our victory up here. I want you to pilot it in his stead.”

Gawain looked at Bleed. “Me? What makes you think I can pilot that thing?”

“I believe in you, kid, I think you’ve got what it takes. I think you’ve got the experience to do what we need. What are you, nineteen? Twenty?”

“Fifteen.”

“...Yes...Well, in any case, the fact that you were able to turn on and successfully operate that mech without even wearing a SynchroSuit is nothing short of unbelievable. Gawain, you and that mechanoid are a perfect match, better than even Arthur was. If you were in that mech, The Rabbit Hole, we would win, no problem.”

“How are you so sure that using that mech would mean our victory?” Gawain asked, fully turning to Bleed now. The Lieutenant chuckled.

“Because that’s what God wants.”

Gawain frowned. “Now hold up, I don’t want to take any of that bullshit. I am not saddling up with anyone who goes with that outlook. If everything was decided by what God wanted, we could just sit back and let everything play out like it’s supposed to.” He spat.

“You misunderstand, Gawain.” Bleed said. “Up here, in this endless expanse, this cold and lonely void...” He gave a toothy grin, “We are the ones that are God.”
NecroPaladin

Oooooh.  Very "A Clockwork Orange"-y.  I like.

Except...I'm assuming that some of your more ridiculous discriptive metaphors were meant in jest?
Woland

...And the tropes that were the mech genre gravitated towards each other inescapably, each writhing in bestial rage.  And in the final moments of their horrid non-existence, each melting into a single scream on the fatal point of convergence with japanimation...




...THEY SPAWNED.....


Basically, Nevr and I were talking about taking all the mech anime stereotypes we could find and nailing them together with railroad spikes.  This is Nevr's crack at actually putting it into writing, of which I must say he has done a terrific job.

Anyway, hope that semi-explains this thread, carry on everyone.

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