Wednesday, May 24, 2006


Googling my old username at MIT produced this little snippet of fiction I had posted to a USENET group back in 1992 and promptly forgotten:

"Follow me..." shouted 76599230-- the man he knew as Sidrath. The wail of sirens grew louder and louder, the maniacal rhythmic thumping of the bowels of Prime seeming to echo the pounding of his own heart.

'Third time,' he thought to himself. 'Last chance. No going back.' Sidrath spun around a corner, feinting a dive into a doorway which slammed shut preemptively, and broke into a full sprint down the black steel catwalks, his body glistening with sweat in the multicolored hues of the searchlights. Winded, but unwilling to pause for even a moment's breath, he followed right on Sidrath's heels as they entered Section 729, their last chance for escape.

The Hounds had been prepared this time. It wouldn't be as easy as last time, when they had simply edged their way to the Tunnels and abruptly made a break for it. That was when the Society was new, when the Hounds were still pieceing together its membership and modus operandi. But the Hounds worked quickly, smoothly, effortlessly-- like the clockwork that was their homeworld. Doors mysteriously closed without warning, accessways no longer existed, beltways moved in the wrong directions, it was as if Prime were a sentient labyrinth, malevolently running them in circles, around and around, as the Hounds methodically dispatched each as he made a slight miscalculation, that stumbled on previously nonexistent stairways, that paused for the split second to get his bearings.

"This way!" Only he and Sidrath remained. The others lay strewn either six floors above or three floors below, lifeless glowing lumps of grey flesh and violet blood. But he didn't dwell on the nine who didn't make it, on the five now classified as 'terminally defective,' as he too would be classified if the Hounds ran him down, caught him as he senselessly crashed into the walls that seemed to shift and flow, directing his flight into terror.

As they reached a dark intersection, Sidrath stopped-- so suddenly that he almost slammed into him. His heart began to sink. Was it over already? "Sidrath, what...?"

"Quiet!" Sidrath hissed through his teeth, his face twisted into a mask of intense concentration. Against all of his better judgement, he listened to Sidrath's command, his heart beating faster and faster, as if it would burst at any moment. But louder than the heartbeat, even louder than the 'heartbeat' of the world about him, was a familiar humming sound, emanating from beneath his sore and bloodied feet.

The Tunnel.

"But how do we--" He was cut off as Sidrath produced a dark, fist-sized sphere from his powder-grey overalls, darkened by his sweat, stained by his blood and the oils of the Machinery. He crouched down low, against the onyx latticework of the floor, expertly sliding his hands over its unnatural plane. Without a pause, he slipped the chocolate-brown globe into a crevice that seemed to materialize out of thin air. There was a loud click, and Sidrath suddenly turned his gaze to him, as if to say something--

"Nexor, never forget that I--"

Freefall. Chaos. Darkness.

Where on Earth was I going with this?

(Or perhaps more importantly, can I now sue the Wachowski Brothers for copyright infringement?)

((And isn't there a drug out there called Nexor?))

No comments: