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Fiction: Green And Black

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Sepherim Sepherim's picture
Fiction: Green And Black
[i]A different, I think better, version is posted bellow. If you prefer not to read a very similar story twice, skip this one. ;)[/i] I open my eyes and all is black. The only thing I can see is the green triangle with the letters RGC in its apexes: the symbol of the Re-Gen Corporation. My eyes still hurt a bit as they adjust to the lack of light, but I know what it means. It means I'm dead. Well, was dead. Now I'm alive again, I guess. That means I never died? And when was it, and how? I can't think too straight. Slowly some light starts to fill the chamber, giving my new eyes some time to adapt. I feel strange all over, as if I had been beaten heavily, but I know my body is in perfect shape. Is it a memory, still not in its place? How did it all end? I do remember the alley, that's true, back in central Extropia. It should have been a safe place! But, what happened there? I can't focus straight, I'm probably still drugged a bit, or maybe this body has been on hold for too long. Doctor Hassan enters, using the same body and morph as every doctor in every RG-C facility. Corporate policy, they call it, to make people feel like they know where they are and overcome the confusion. Well, it ain't helping me a thing! -Are you feeling well Mr. Troit? Your medical data shows the body is working well...- Troit. That's my name! I do recall a flat, yes, and my wife Ji, and my second wife Alice. A nice three-marriage, with one little Daniel to share between the three of us. But, how did I end up here? As light fills the room, the bed I'm on turns to show me my reflection on the mirror. What the hell!? That ain't me! That tall, slender man, with a couple day's beard is not like me! I'm smaller, with darker skin and a stronger chin, he looks... weak. I'm not weak! -I apologize for the new morph, it was the only one we could dispose of in such a short notice. I'm sure we can reinsleve you as soon as one more to your liking is available, at the usual fee.- So I'm going to have to be caged in this white-skinny-tall body for that long? I sure hope someone leaves a body I can use soon enough. -What day and time is it?- I manage to ask, though I know there are more pressing concerns to ask. My voice comes out weak, and my mouth feels like a sponge that's been away from the water for too long. -Two days after your... coming. 27th of August, ten years after the Fall. And it's about six in the afternoon. Your muse will be activated as soon as you leave the room, as is usual, and she'll fill you in with all the details.- -How did I... how did I end up here? I can't remember.- -It's in your clause, letter 27BO: "I don't want to recall the immediate time before my death, so I pay a small additional fee, according to parameter FO201, so psychosurgery is done to me in order to not remember such terrible event". I see it is your first time in your file. It's always hard.- -But, what if something important happened during the part of time you've erased? How will I know if it was an accident, or someone is intently behind me? How will I- my voice was interrupted by his arabic accent. -That's in the Police's hand, Mr. Troit. Don't worry. You have a full coverage police contract, so they are investigating the matter fully and probably will report to you any findings. Please, try to stand on your own feet.- I take a step forward, still trying to digest everything, and almost fall to the floor. This body is strange, doesn't place the weights as I'm used to. It's taller, so the gravity center is less stable, and I have to open my legs to amplify my base and lean on the bed. It only lasts a few seconds, but it makes me feel deeply sick, as if the floor was moving beneath me. How can I say I am myself, if I can't even use my body as it should? If I can't recall some undefined time of my own life, is it my own life? Or am I just a copy of myself and the real me is dead? Is this the real me, being a copy, or am I even just a computer programmed version? Dr. Hassan must have noticed something in me, or maybe everybody thinks the same questions, but he leaves into the next room and I follow the best I can, getting accustomed to this new alien body. [i]"Hey Eddie! It's been a while!"[/i] the cheerful voice of Erika fills my head as I cross the door and my muse is re-activated. [i]"Erika, it is good to hear you"[/i] I am so relieved to have her with me that some of the pressure just washes away. It is like returning home. I hadn't noticed how heavily the silence had weighed on me on the room before until now that the silence is broken. Dear, Erika, my true best friend. -Well, if all is correct, Mr. Troit, could you please confirm in the digital paper that service rendered were as expected?- A digital form was transferred to Erika, and she put it in front of my eyes. As if it were really there, but I don't have time to consider the reality or surreality of the mesh... more than enough is not knowing if I'm real. I sign without taking a second glance at the paper and Dr. Hassan nods. -If you want an advice, Mr. Troit, don't give it too much thought. It's always tough the first time. Just go and live your life, meet your friends, and throw a party to introduce your new body. And in a couple nights, you will wake up and feel like everything is in place. It is just adjustment time, all of us have gone through it. It's usual, and nothing to worry about.- Dr. Hassan's smile doesn't confort me as I leave and head back into Extropia, my own city. A few days... A few days not feeling I am myself? How am I supposed to stand that? My favorite song starts playing in my head, it always soothes me, and Erika knows it. And slowly, she turns me to the day's events and what I've missed in my sleep, making me forget of my thoughts or not allowing me time to think. Dear Erika, how well you know me! [i]All critics and comments are welcome, only constructive criticism can get one to improve afterall! :)[/i]
root root's picture
Re: Fiction: Green And Black
root@Green and Black [hr] Not bad at all. I like the idea of a brain scrub being part of the resurrection contract, but I imagine the company would keep the memory on file as XP in case a customer really pitched a bitch about it, or if the Gorgon Defense Systems police need it for evidence. I would do some more work on either developing Eddie's character more to build reader empathy, or if you prefer readers to project themselves into the character's position, you should remove more of his personality and focus on sensory descriptions and his reactions to them. Good stuff. Sepherim f-rep++;
[ @-rep +1 | c-rep +1 | g-rep +1 | r-rep +1 ]
Sepherim Sepherim's picture
Re: Fiction: Green And Black
Thanks for the comments Root, I'll see how to work on those ideas. I hadn't thought about keeping it only sensorium feed for reader's implication, which is a great take; I'll have to think on it. :) Edit: ok, beneath here is my attempt to do what you said. :)
Sepherim Sepherim's picture
Re: Fiction: Green And Black
You open your eyes, and all is black. There is a small scent in the air, but you can't actually identify it, and all is silent. Before you, a green triangle floats apparently in the air, shining with the letters RGC in its apexes: the symbol of the Re-Gen Corporation. Your eyes hurt a bit as they adapt to the lack of light, but the meaning is clear: you are dead. Well, were dead. Now you are back to life. How did you die? How was it, painful? You can't seem to think too straight, maybe you're drugged. Slowly, light starts to fill the chamber, giving your new eyes some time to adapt and it turns out the triangle was painted on a wall. Feels like they hadn't worked in ages, and maybe it is so. You feel strange all over your body, as if you had been beaten heavily, but you know the body is in perfect shape... it's just not your body. Or maybe it is a memory trying to find its way back to you? You do remember the alley back in central Extropia, but what happened there? Can't focus still, maybe this body has been too long in storage. Doctor Hassan enters into your line of sight, using the same body as every doctor in every RG-C facility. "Corporate policy", they call it, to make people feel like they know where they are and overcome the confusion easier. But your confusion is still in place. -Are you feeling well Mr. Troit.? Your medical data shows the body is working well...- You recall your life as the name hits the back of your memory and starts activating it from its slumber. It's almost painful to have so many things come back all of a sudden. But you do recall your two wives, Ji and Alice, and your little Daniel which you three raise with all your care. A loving three-marriage that works. Just as you remember, your feeling of sense of touch returns to you, and you notice that you are strongly strapped to a bed that slowly starts to turn making you face a mirror. But what you see isn't you! -I apologize for the new morph, it was the only one we could dispose of in such a short notice. I'm sure we can reinsleve you as soon as one more to your liking is available, at the usual fee.- -What day and time is it?- you manage to ask, though you know there are more pressing concerns to ask. Your voice comes out weak, and your mouth feels like a sponge that's been away from the water for too long. Specially your tongue, almost seems like it's still frozen. -Two days after your... coming. 27th of August, ten years after the Fall. And it's about six in the afternoon. Your muse will be activated as soon as you leave the room, as is usual, and she'll fill you in with all the details.- -How did I... how did I end up here? I can't remember.- -It's in your clause, letter 27BO: "I don't want to recall the immediate time before my death, so I pay a small additional fee, according to parameter FO201, so psychosurgery is done to me in order to not remember such terrible event". Your file says it's your first time. It's always hard.- -But, what if something important happened during the part of time you've erased? How will I know if it was an accident, or someone is intently behind me? How will I- my voice was interrupted by his arabic accent. -That's in the Police's hand, Mr. Troit. Don't worry. They have a copy of those memories for their investigation, and with your full coverage Police contract, they should be investigating the matter deeply and probably will report to you any findings. Please, try to stand on your own feet.- You get out of the bed with difficulty, and take a step forward, still trying to digest everything. But your feet don't work as they should and you are sent to the other side of the wall due to the low gravity. The body is strange, doesn't press the world around you as your used to and feels uncomfortable to even command to move. You land roughly on the "ceiling" of the room and try to compose yourself. The dizzyness only lasts a few seconds, but it makes you feel deeply sick, as if the world was moving beneath you or you were drunk. Or as if you were wearing shoes that were way too big for you. Uncomfortable questions about your own identity rise in you, as you realize how far this body is from the one you used to have. The one you had always had. Dr. Hassan must have noticed something in you, or maybe everybody thinks the same questions, but he leaves into the next room with a strange smile and you follow the best you can by taking hold of the walls and getting accustomed to this new alien body. The undefined smell disappears as you enter the clean and white chamber, which has the characteristic smell of a reinsleving facility. "Hey Eddie! It's been a while!" the cheerful voice of Erika fills your head as you cross the door and your muse is re-activated as promised. "Erika, it is good to hear you" you are so relieved to have her with you that some of the pressure just washes away. It feels like returning home after a long day's work, or even on holidays. It feels safe. You hadn't noticed until now how heavily the silence had weighed on you on the room before until now that it is forever broken again. Dear Erika, your best friend without a doubt, the one that knows it all and has always been there with you. -Well, if all is correct, Mr. Troit, could you please confirm in the digital paper that service rendered were as expected?- Erika puts in front of your eyes a digital form just transferred to her by Dr. Hassan. A ghostly white, as you have configured all Mesh objects, it stays right before you waiting for your digital signature. Erika confirms that all is correct with a small revision by her lawyer programs and you sign it without a second glance. Dr Hassan nods as he receives the signed version back. -If you want an advice, Mr. Troit, don't give it too much thought. It's always tough the first time. Just go and live your life, meet your friends, and throw a party to introduce your new body. And in a couple nights, you will wake up and feel like everything is in place. It is just adjustment time, all of us have gone through it. It's usual, and nothing to worry about.- Dr. Hassan's smile widens a bit, but doesn't bring much comfort with it even though he tries. Maybe he's just too tired, but it seems a bit forced. You leave uneasy and head back into Extropia, your city since many years ago. A few days in this state? And then your visual range starts to get full of different news elements that Erika thinks you would like to read, while the first notes of "Graceful in the Stars" fill your mind. Low, but powerful, they start to gather momentum as the song advances in your head... your favorite song, it always calms you down. And, slowly, you sink back into the day to day, with so much to do and so little time to think.
OneTrikPony OneTrikPony's picture
Re: Fiction: Green And Black
I feel poorly qualified to comment as a critic but I like this second version better. Generally I don't like being forced into the protagonists point of view by the author writing, "You". I wouldn't tollerate it for very long but for some reason it worked for me here. I think this version gives me more oppertunity to be sympathetic even if it is forced by the viewpoint. I was personally struck by the metaphore; "as if you were wearing shoes that were way too big for you." That one is beautiful. Minor point. Extropia, being a behive habitat on the asteroid 44nysa has gravity much lower than that of Luna. 0.019m/s is effectively freefall. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/44_Nysa thanks for this one. f-rep ++

Mea Culpa: My mode of speech can make others feel uninvited to argue or participate. This is the EXACT opposite of what I intend when I post.

Sepherim Sepherim's picture
Re: Fiction: Green And Black
Hm, thanks for the comments, I hadn't thought about the gravity issue. Hm, that has to change a lot of things. Time to rethink and redo. :) Thanks a lot!
Sepherim Sepherim's picture
Re: Fiction: Green And Black
And modified to fit the lower gravity. I think I didn't skip any reference that should have included it in any way, but I'm no physic, so I'm not sure.
Sepherim Sepherim's picture
Re: Fiction: Green And Black
Double post, sorry.