The Short Story

Foreword

Before I wrote the script, there was the idea of a short story. This was done at the time on a weekly basis on my tumblr site (which doesn’t exist anymore).
But I still find it an interesting read, and so without further ado, the first four chapters of theoriginal short story of THE WORLD BEFORE THE END.

I-The Day After…

There was ash and smoke in the aftermath of destruction. Buildings crumbling, people screaming only for them to stop with the progression of time, and there was nothing but silence left.

Streets that had teemed with life were now empty corridors of ash, concrete and metal. Yet amidst all this, all this chaos there was a pile of rubble that was not like the rest. No, this one seemed to move, it shifted as if it had a will of its own. Rocks rocked back and forth, falling down to the grid-like floor that was a road, and slowly but surely a hand emerged. 

Or rather a mechanical hand. It moved like a snake, trying to get a grip of its surroundings, grabbing on to a rock good enough to notion pulling the rest of its submerged body up. 

A elegant, sleek but badly bruised and broken machine, it dragged itself out of the rubble. Missing its lower legs and its other arm completely.

It fell down the mountain of rubble, and slowly it moved, dragging himself. The scratching noises it made as it moved echoing throughout what seemed to be a large city. 

It moved and moved until it was too weak to go on. It stopped at a nearby pile and there it turned and rested, laying it’s back against it, looking up.

Staring at a set of large concave towers that peaked above all the chaos. It looked and kept looking until-

Creation, something that many take for granted. The power to give life, the power to take it away. Once mankind believed that such power rested only with the Gods…only to realize that they themselves were creators/ Gods in one form and many (procreation, manufacture and so on). Yet, such magnificence wasn’t enough…still they wanted more…and thus throughout the years steps would take place that would ensure another type of creation…I am proof of that. But as I lie here in this chaos, all I can think back and wonder is how this all started, how this all came to be, all because of me.” 

2-The Creator

“Bits and pieces. Corks and screws. Useless pieces that when put together make something devoid of a soul…something in their image, just not the image that they wanted to see…”

The day was rather misty for the night had been cold. The sun was bright, and through the mist and smog it shined upon the metropolis that scoured the horizon.

The metropolis called: Neo-Nippon was a multilayered  and what seemed be endlessly going city and country. It stretched across the entire island of former Japan, across the sea onto the mainland coagulating in a relinquished piece of the Chinese territories.

The top layers were glossy and glassy, glamour was all around, with hover cars that swooshed across the metropolis. Their hum hurling in an organized orchestra of mechanical creation. People were well dressed, well mannered and all seemed like they had come from magazines themselves.

But, the further down you went in this multilayered city. The more you saw of the truth that was meant to maintain this beauty, this grandeur.

The middle class level that was houses of blocks stacked next to one another. A column to support the upper. Their cars, all their same. Mass produced consumerism.

Below this, the working class, living in cubes with only a bed, lavatory and a projection display to keep their lives at bay. Their only access into the city being public transportation and elevators that descended further down into the markets that hung and were built in-between pillars of metal and pipes. With crooked man-made pathways connecting all this.

And below this, below all this lied the lowest of the low. The slums, houses made of what could be found. What the sea that rustled below it in its grey and murkiness would spit out. 

Smog from the machines that ran the city from above spat out into this level, and the air was rather dreadful.

One would think that this would be a rather depressing state to live in. But in one of these houses (if you could call it that even) on this bright early morning, a head stuck out of the window and looked on and above at the sky and city above, and the man couldn’t help but sport a smile.

Quickly he went back inside, excited.

His room, which its floors had holes in it (albeit this was because the floor was composed of wooden panels) was filled with all manners of mechanical parts and apparatuses. Things he had been working on, things he was going to work on…come to think of it. Things he should be working on…

En fin, he moved carefully through his room, passed his bed (which was nothing more than a broken down mattress) to a shelf in the corner which housed a rather peculiar contraption…an Automaton (robot).

He looked at it as he saw his face in its reflection. The Automaton made of parts that were found all around, and he couldn’t be happier.

” Today, today is the big day”  he said to himself. 

He examined the machine once more, looking through and writing on his old piece of paper all the parts he needed.

When he was done he picked his broken down and dirty backpack, and out he went into the world, into the city, all in the hopes of finding what he needed…finding the pieces that would join the rest into making an inanimate object come to life..

3-The Suits

Life that was so busy far above, above the confines and filth where the young man threaded, looking for parts for his machine, unbeknownst of what his actions had already progressed.

Above in the central tower, the Company that ran this city, continent, metropolis, people were moving, talking, pondering.

Their day had begun like every other day until he walked in.

Old mr. Matsushita (who worked in engineering) as he was known by some had not worked for months, on company money due to an accident, a loss of an arm.

It was his last month, his last day before he would need to be reassessed and most likely would have been fired.

But in he walked, at first shy, but then more confident.

Attached to his body there was a machine, a machine that seemed hand built in the form of an arm, and it moved and greeted the receptionist, the clients, the people coming in.

He quietly took the glass elevator where none of his kind dared to take along with the suits, they stood away from him, but then, they too were amazed, but too proud to ask.

He pushed the button and down he went, passed the glossy and Victorian designed floors that ran the company and city, down into engineering where all manners of machinery and steam punk contraptions ran and supported the beauty of above.

He stepped out and passed his fellow workers whose jaws dropped, he passed the engineering manager, all the way to his station, and there he stood.

He stared at the panel nervously, would it work? He placed his hands, and like magic his robotic fingers began to move and at first it was clumsy, but then…it was like nothing had ever happened, like his has hands were never gone.

He laughed  ”Sugoi! That crazy kid did it!” he said ecstatically. He had tears of joy and began working as he always had before. He was happy only for him to feel a shadow looming over him. A tap on the shoulder, he turned, it was a wel dressed man.

“We need to speak to you said the man without a faint of emotion. Word had spread fast about the creation that was attached to the man. A creation that they were all eager to find out about. The creation of the boy from below.

While below in the city…

The boy had traveled throughout the side streets and the bargain streets, looking for old apparatuses that were thrown away.

He had amassed quite a pile, thankfully he had brought his portable and retractable magnet gun, which held everything in the air, light as a feather.

He traveled half an hour back to get to his home, unpacking everything he had with him.

“Where are they, where are they?” he asked. He looked and extracted what he needed, walking over to the machine. A part here, a part there. Bits and pieces that were mended and unmended.

More and more these pieces began to form into a being a being that was missing a central component, a heart.

He searched his bag and out he pulled this mysterious emerald emitting box. It pulsated, like life itself.

“What will you be? What will you become? Questions I wonder, questions i hope to see with you”

He moved the last pieces, the pieces that would make the heart fit, to give life, energy, and consciousness itself.

The green energy flowed like blood through it system, the machine shook, the box pulsated, “Took, took. Took, took” it said, at least thats what the boy thought he had heard.

At first there was nothing, but then more energy flowed, the boy moved forward, and then. He moved, he took a breath, at least it imagined it did.

It’s face lid opened, and it’s green eyes looked straight at the boy. It gargled, it seemed joyful.

“Hi there…” the boy said cautiously. he extended his arm, and the machine in turn extended his. He did what he did, like a child imprinting.

“Amazing” he said.

“AAAAA-Maaaaa—-zinkgggg” said the machine through it’s speaker box. and the boy couldn’t help but laugh. hefell to the ground, shaking his head…”Amazing indeed” and there he sat in wonder while the machine stared back the same.

Outside however the area was quiet, the people were gone, and from above, two sleek black hover cars descended, landing near the plateau were he lived. Out they stepped, walking carefully, and at the door they stood, wanting to knock, only for their eyes to peak through the cracks and watched creation being unfolded, the only words they could utter were,

“Oh my God”…
And thus it was, as it would be, as it should be…

4-A Proposition

The two men stood there for a moment, hesitating, and though they knew what they had seen, somewhere in their subconsciousness or trail of thought still lingered self doubt.

Yet, one knocked.

The boy was nervous asking only, ”Who’s there!?

He moved closer to the machine which had just come to life, protecting it as if it was it’s own child.

But there was no answer, just a knock on the door once more.

“Who’s there!?” he asked again, this time more cautious.

He took an old cloth he found on the ground and threw it over the machine.

He saw shadows looming through the crack of his old creaking door, he moved closer, this time not saying anything.

He crouched down nearing the door. He heard a voice,

“Are we allowed to move in?”

“The warrant has almost finished transferring”

“Does it allow claiming of the proprietary creation?”

There was no voice, nothing, then only,

“God dammit..no…He is a legal citizen.”

Well what now?”

The boy was quiet, not hearing a word that was said anymore, then suddenly “SWOOSH” a sound.

His padded lock turning hot, light streaking through.

The mechanism he had built melting to pieces, he moved back, the melting pile fell to the ground, through the wooden floor, into the water turning into a pile of smoke.

Smoke which rose as the door creaked open and the two suited men entered. 

They stood at the entrance, looking at all the amassed junk and contraptions, all the things that were being built and one arrogantly said,

“This is where he built it?” 

“How the hell is that possible?” said the other.

They then both looked at the boy,

“Are you Serge? the owner of this place?

“Yes…yes I am” answered Serge, though he immediately regretted it.

The two of them remained silent, looking at one another perplexed.

“H-How did you find this place?” Serge asked.

“We are Executive Representatives of Rayyon Industries. The Company and Central Government of Neo-Nippon” said one.

“One of our employers came into work today with a strange apparatus stuck to his body.” said the other.

“An arm, fully operational, something that we have been trying to develop for years, and made of scrapped parts no doubt. When confronted, he said that it had come from you.”

“An arm…” said Serge as he pondered, “Oh mr.Matsushita’s arm!

“Yes…he said he knew you”

“Yes, well no, and yes. I would pass by his place because he always had lots of scrapped goods. He always helped me, and it was the least I could do.”

“The least?”

“Well yea, you just draw up a schematic after analyzing how a human arm works. Then you make a version that works as close to it as possible with as little parts as possible.”

“Fascinating…But how did you make the brain accept the foreign body, how did it interpret command?”

“Well, that was a bit more tricky. But I used frequencies that could react to the synapses within the brain..

“Why didn’t we think of that?” said the one to the other.

“But yeah, that’s how it was” said Serge, who was a bit more nervous as to their prying of questions.

They then turned their attention to the object under the cloth.

“And that? What is that over there?”

“What’s what?” he asked as if not knowing.

“The object under the cloth.” said the other.

“It’s-it’s nothing” though he had hardly finished that sentence when the other passed him and removed the cloth, revealing the machine who looked at them and repeated what he had heard,

“Are you Serge?” to which the two men stood back.

“It’s already learning speech?”

“Y-Yes…” answered Serge hesitantly.

The two looked at one another,

“This has to be shown, he as to be presented.”

“And Serge?” asked the other.

The one pondered and looked at him,

“It may be more advantageous if he were to work for us”

“A bottom dweller? Are you crazy!?

“No choice, this can’t be unseen, and if we take this then what? We can’t duplicate it.”

“With time-“

“Time that we don’t have”

The other was annoyed looking in disgust at Serge and angered at his colleague.

“Fine, but if this backfires, then it’s your career on the line.”

“It won’t matter, take the stuff, we’re going” said the one and the other took of his coat, revealing that he had a metallic arm. That was as far as Rayyon industries had come with their development. 

The arm took everything that resembled a contraption like a magnet, drawing things to it, even the Automaton.

They then took Serge and outside placed everything in a separate containment box that emerged and transformed from the back of one of the hover cars.

“You take him, I’m not driving with him” said the one as his scissor door opened and he entered.

The first one having less trouble, the hover car approached, the door opened and Serge stood there,

Wha-What is this?” he asked fearfully.

“This…this is probably the only chance in your life that you will get. A proposition, and it is best that you take it. We already have your stuff” (which wasn’t legal. But the corporation made the rules, and so they could manipulate it to their will. The less informed abides by their rule, they had no choice)

The man entered the car and closed his side, at the door Serge stood, he looked at all his things that were taken, he looked at his house that was now empty,

“No choice” he said,

And in he went, the doors closing, the hover cars rising up into the air towards the central capital…

Further chapters will be published in due time…

 

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