Heart of Darkness

supercomputer

  She could feel it, standing at the sidelines of her consciousness, waiting for her guard to slip. It wanted out. It wanted freedom for her people and retribution for those responsible. It wanted to punish the world and make it bloody. But she kept it in check. There was a job to do and she was going to do it.

  Her legs moved ever forwards, jogging to keep up with Caleb’s strides. They only ever stopped to sneak past a patrol, hiding in the shadows until the armed guards passed them by on their way around the facility. They travelled in packs of three or four. Regardless of the prospective results of any encounter which didn’t adhere to Caleb’s strict instructions of stealth, they couldn’t risk the exposure. Not seen, not heard he’d said in the brief discussions they’d had prior to tonight’s escapade.

  They were pushed ever onwards by the ghoulish bodies that filled every room and corridor, their frequency increasing as they delved deeper into the heart of the generator. Soon even the ceiling was made up of the tubes, rows upon rows of lifeless bodies so close to death it was excruciating just to think of them existing for any longer. Elise was glad she hadn’t eaten that day, and despite all his bravado and determination she could see Caleb was having just as much difficulty stomaching the experience.

  Below them the glass floor glowed with an aqua tint and beneath it more containers, spiralling down into the ground further than Elise could make out. The building itself was like a giant screw, a deceptively gargantuan construct that plummeted down, deep into the planet. Only one of many such operations spread out across the land. 

  She swallowed hard, shut her eyes tight for a few seconds and reigned herself in. The mainframe was up ahead, a towering behemoth of blinking lights and criss-cross cabling. Caleb was already at it’s base, his tall and slender frame dwarfed by the monstrous super-computer that controlled and distributed the power to the city.

  In and out, Elise thought, coming up beside Caleb. He shot her a meaningful look as he unstrapped the leather bag from his back. He opened it gingerly – respectful perhaps, but more than likely afraid – of it’s contents. Like a magician from his sleeve Caleb began to withdraw a long length of string and gave the end to Elise. She took it from him as tentatively as he had handed it to her. Caleb began to unravel it – It was like a necklace, but in lieu of white pearls the string thread through a cluster of blue orbs instead, a faint aura emanating from them; a haunting light in the darkness. Just when the string’s length verged on comical, impossible, even, it stopped, and Caleb dropped the empty satchel to the floor.

  “Go. Work fast,” Caleb said in a frequency and volume Elise knew only she would hear. He motioned behind Elise and she nodded, turning on her heels and starting down the eastern wall of the generator. Caleb – holding the other end of the string – set off in the opposite direction, following the southern consoles. As she walked Elise held the string against the wall, it’s gelatinous baubles adhering to it as she went. It was taut and secure, and Elise could tell that Caleb was doing the same on his side. Their plan was going to work; they would meet in the middle, connect the ends, complete the circuit and detonate it all remotely. And darkness for all, she thought bitterly.

  She turned the corner and stared down the barrel of a pistol. It was not alone.

  “You didn’t really think it would be that easy, did you?” A drawling human sneered. He was flanked by his armed brethren. Somewhere on the other side of room, above the roar of the computer and the mechanical grind of the facility around them, she heard Caleb swear in their mother tongue.

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~ by Joseph Blame on August 6, 2010.

3 Responses to “Heart of Darkness”

  1. […] wait is finally over! Here is my continuation of Joe Blame’s part three, which you can find here. My bit is a little more visceral than I usually go for, but I hope you enjoy, and I can’t […]

  2. […] PART 1 (JB)  PART 2 (DW)  PART 3 (JB)  PART 4 […]

  3. […] 1 (JB) PART 2 (DW) PART 3 (JB) PART 4 (DW) PART 5 (JB) PART 6 […]

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