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Short Story Voting (06)

Poll closed Aug 21, 2007.
  1. dushechka -

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. JSMallory - Convenience

    1 vote(s)
    6.7%
  3. Chase42 - Accidental Assassination

    1 vote(s)
    6.7%
  4. Scavenger - Resolve

    1 vote(s)
    6.7%
  5. Crazy Ivan - Based On A True Story

    3 vote(s)
    20.0%
  6. adamant - Savage

    3 vote(s)
    20.0%
  7. TheOnly13 - Aphrodisiac

    6 vote(s)
    40.0%
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  1. Torana
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    Short Story 06 Voting

    Discussion in 'Bi-Weekly Short Story Contest Archives' started by Torana, Aug 14, 2007.

    Short Story Contest 06
    Voting


    (Sorry that these aren't links like Ferret had done, I am still working out the details)

    Voting will end 21/08/07. You can vote for yourselfs But I would hope in the name of good sportsman ship you'd vote for a short story you haven't written. But I'll leave that decission up to you.​


    Good Luck and happy Voting.​

    Torana​
     
  2. Torana
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    dushechka

    Remote microrays. Such small words that mean so much. It was never supposed to turn into such an ordeal. We were paid to be animals, to be tested, to let them control us. “What an adventure!” we thought. How wrong… How wrong and utterly lied to we were.

    The Remote Microrays were reminiscent of the past project MK-Ultra I think they called it. We never knew much about it, as did most of the public. It wouldn’t be talked about, for obvious reasons. Public repercussions could be disastrous. But where to turn? We were employed by and for the Government! The public would never listen. Tin foiled hats they’d call us!

    Anyway, back to the project. They called it Regal. And we were the occupants.
    They took us, all of us, by car to the institute. I believe it was an old Psychiatry ward, most likely bought by a couple Feds. Anything can be bought. And anyone who doesn’t believe that, hasn’t lived long enough, nor hard enough, to realize it.

    “Weapons of War” they liked to call us. We were the future! No need for troublesome land operations. Microrays could change all of that. Where once death was more than a likely possibility for an agent, the Microrays could, and most likely would, prevent them. It worked by prematurely interfering with brain waves. This created a temporary “block” in human consciousness, which in turn, let the Fed (or whoever else had the device) control the individual. The targeted would never know nor understand what just happened. Except of course, for the annoying headache that always followed the rays.

    Imagine if the Microrays were mass-produced! The chaos would reign over all of us. Free will? Freedom of thought; where once more than a possibility, now a distant muse. How far would these go? What else must the Government control? They already controlled all media, political, and social outlets. Now even our minds? Our very beings?

    You’re probably wondering why we didn’t revolt, once we understood the full repercussions of the project. Believe me, we wanted to! We lived for that moment! But the Microrays had hidden features- mood altering abilities. Suppose we wanted to escape or fight. One dose could calm us, depress us, make us sick. Why fight when you have no motivation? Why scream when you’re too tired to stand?

    I was never shown the thing, nor was anyone else to my knowledge. I watched friends kill themselves, each other, but never their haunters. Eventually, we were released, they told us they ran out of funding, or some other shi* like that. I never really believed that excuse. Maybe because of what I had seen. Or maybe because I knew, with that technology, no one would ever stop the funding.

    As time went on, I did believe the torture and insanity had stopped. But now, when I see the society I live in; the pointlessly depressed, suicidal, anger ridden society. It makes me wonder.

    Were they defeated? Or were we nothing but a smoke screen? Maybe not even that. Maybe we’re nothing but tinfoil hat wearing lunatics.
     
  3. Torana
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    JSMallory

    Convenience

    Life is just so convenient. I can’t imagine what we did before this day and age. This one wonderful worldly invention changed our lives…simplified things. It can be spelled out in just three letters:

    D.N.I.

    Direct Neural Interface. Even the acronym is simple, just like my life. This lovely little device makes our lives so streamlined, barely any effort is involved. Fantastic, really. A simple little surgery and you get this little metal implant in your skull. Then the world is at your finger tips.

    You can implant these neat little computers into just about anything and it handles everything with a simple mental command. Wireless, baby…gotta love it.

    Me? I have receivers in just about everything. It’s great! I just think a keyword or phrase and things just start. Get a load of this: if I think the word ‘Clean’…see that? The vacuum just started making the rounds. No need for me to even move furniture out of the way; all my stuff moves itself! Pretty cool, huh?

    Now, there are some limitations to these little receivers. The standard ones can only do simple things, like move a single part or issue a program to an electronic device, but I’ve got a few of the advanced models and it’s sweet. You can program these things to handle complex tasks. I’ve got some in my kitchen to automate my cooking and I’ve a complex sucker in my chair here. I spend a lot of time in this chair, so why the hell not, right? I sit here while I’m connected to the office and while I’m watching the game…don’t tell the boss this, but sometimes I do both at the same time. So, this thing has been programmed with the layout of my condo here and I just say a room name and it wheels me wherever I need to go.

    Huh? That noise? Oh, I just fired up the microwave…kinda feelin’ a bit hungry. Come on, let’s wheel into the kitchen and you can see my setup.

    See? I have this neat little loader system. This arm thing grabs food from the freezer and deposits it right into the microwave. Why don’t I have a fridge? That’d require a program I couldn’t afford at the time and besides, I’m kinda fond of those frozen dinner things anyways. You want anything? You sure? You mind if I eat? Cool.

    Hmmm…might have to calibrate the microwave receiver…still a little frozen. No biggie. Anyways, let’s go back to the living room and chat. You wanna see if there’s a game on?

    Aw crap, hang on. I gotta get the phone. Watch this…I just think ‘Speaker’…

    “Henry? Where the hell are you?” the voice said over the phone.

    “Where else would I be, boss? I’m working from home.”

    “Did you forget there was a mandatory staff meeting today?”

    “No, I didn’t forget. I just figured I’d conference in.”

    “We are meeting with our Japanese associates and they want everyone here. Now get your 400 pound ass in here, pronto.”

    *sigh* What a hardass, eh? I guess I should grab a shower or something. Can’t remember when my last one was, so it’d probably be a good idea.

    Phew…I don’t remember this chair being so low to the ground. Really hard to get out of this thing for some reason…

    Wooo…little dizzy. Maybe I should get a glass of water or something. Ow! What the hell? My chest is killing me…oh crap.

    Whoa! Oof…lost my balance there. Pain’s getting worse…gotta get to the phone. Any chance you can get to the phone and dial 911? Of course not. What good is a stuffed bear when you’re having a heart attack, I ask you? Wish I’d sprung for the deluxe dialer receiver for the phone…
     
  4. Torana
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    chase42

    Accidental Assassination
    word count: 1157 (im ok this time)


    The Lieutenant stood in the enemy leader's office, the work room of the mastermind of the war. The war had raged long, but the Lieutenant's army had failed, despite many attempts, to assassinate the very man before him. He remembered how he gotten to the lavishly-furnished officer of the High Commander. His memory after the Event had been spotty, but he could still think inside his head even if he couldn't move his body.

    The Enemy, who had always had the advantage in technology, if not numbers, had spent endless resources developing what was essentially a thought-control device. The Lieutenant wasn't sure exactly how it worked, nor did he care, but he did remember the images and sounds that had flashed through his head during the Event. It was a horrible, unspeakable mental bombardment that had reduced every man of the Lieutenant's army on the winter front to weeping heap of a creature.

    The Enemy's infantry forces, who had been protected somehow from the Event, swept through the piles of semi-living men, taking unimaginable amounts of prisoners and killing those who had somehow survived the Event. There were no handcuffs, no chains, no shackles, no zip-ties, no magnetic bracelets. The prisoners were simply pointed in the correct direction and told to walk. It was completely unlike the Bataan Death March of ancient history; men kept marching until their feet fell off from frostbite or they fell dead from dehydration or the cold.

    The Lieutenant could only vaguely remember this early part of his death. Indeed, many of the men felt dead, as they no longer controlled their own bodies, as if automatically physically conditioned to the Enemy's preferences. The Lieutenant had ceased to live for a long amount of time.

    The prisoners were herded into shabbily constructed POW camps. Build quality and lack of facilities was not considered important for prisoners that could not complain. A few prisoners, as the Event's effects wore off, did complain. They were promptly shot, and the Lieutenant's camp was shocked with the Second Event.

    The Second Event was just as torturous as the first, if not made more so by the prisoner's contained pain of anticipation. However, as the men began to gain mental freedom, they braced themselves for the successive Events.

    The Lieutenant was unsure how many Events he had endured, but he and the rest of the camp had gradually gained the ability to speak short, soft phrases and gain full mental freedom. Naturally, the was all unknown to the Enemy, who may have bean able to control the mind, but not read it.

    Now, the Lieutenant stood before the High Commander, as many had anticipated would happen. None of the men knew exactly who would be picked to be the Commander's example, but they all knew that his personality made it certain that an example would be picked eventually. They had not expected the showing to happen so soon however, and were caught unprepared. When the opportunity was given, none of the men could physically function well enough to do much more than mutter, walk, and urinate. The Lieutenant's heart raced as he searched for a way to overcome his conditioned paralysis. He found one.

    The High Commander was inquiring sharply to the thought-control program's representative, and walking circles around the Lieutenant. They had purposely kept him near the entrance of the office, far from the Commander's desk to prevent any mishap from occurring, but it was this circumstance that provided the Lieutenant the means to complete his final mission. Flanking the wide, tall oak double-doors stood the Commander's Elite guards.

    At that moment, when the High Commander passed directly in front of him at the distance of two meters, the Lieutenant was provided with the opportunity, means, and most certainly the motive to kill the High Commander. However, the officer simply could not resist his physical conditioning. As he strained against he deeply-ingrained reflexes, his body began to shake and shudder, alarming the guards and the program manager. The High Commander stopped his circling and glared at the Lieutenant.

    It was now or never.

    In the seconds before his physical death, the Lieutenant searched his head for a way, any way, to defeat his conditioning. He needed to be stronger, he needed a stronger influence. He knew he could do it, but he needed a brace.

    It was over the course of half a second that the Lieutenant remembered his long-forgotten religion. His status as a combat soldier in an endless war and his mental death after the Event had effectively erased the idea of religion from his mind. In was in this staple of his younger life that he found his strength.

    “GOD!...” The Lieutenant broke his paralysis. The Enemy's conditioning was replaced with his own army's.

    “GAVE!...” His right arm snapped to tension with bone-breaking velocity, cracking the right-guard's lower ribs as the Lieutenant's hand grasped the pistol on the man's belt.

    “ME!...” He had trained for weeks learning how to operate this very weapon, the Enemy's standard sidearm. The safety was already off. He felt the weight of the full magazine in his wrist.

    “FREE!...” He aligned the three dots of the sights on the High Commander's head. He felt the weight of the trigger pull against the tip of his index finger. He squeezed.

    “WILL!” The Commander's head snapped back, trailing a thin mist of blood as the dead man fell to the floor of his office. The two guards, who had been more prepared, reached for their weapons. The Lieutenant spun and succeeded to shot the left-guard in the chest. The right-guard, who was holding his ribs with one hand, raised his rifle with one hand and landed three rounds into the Lieutenant's mass. The latter fired at the man's helmet. He collapsed.

    The program manager fled out the doors. The Lieutenant shot him in the ankle, and he spun to the carpet. He was no threat, but he didn't care. The Lieutenant limped to the window, with one hand against his mortal chest wounds, and shouted: “God gave me free WILL!” The prisoners in the truck jumped out and overwhelmed their unsuspecting captors. The radio crackled the same message across the Enemy's net as the Lieutenant died with his hand on the receiver.

    The Enemy suffered a massive internal attack across their territory. Countless winter-front camps rebelled with overwhelming strength and fled into the country side, isolating rear-echelon troops and destroying industrial resources. The war was over within a week.

    Thus, the greatest war of the century was ironically won by mind-control weapons, the men who were themselves the victims of mind-control. The army had fooled the Enemy into harboring the greatest invading force in history within the invaded country. Thought control is a powerful thing, especially when used against those that believe they have control over the control.
     
  5. Torana
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    scavenger

    Resolve

    He remembers a flash of teeth, blinding under fluorescent lights, lunging toward him, bared at his throat. He remembers flinching, throwing up his hands, closing his eyes and ducking away.

    After that, he remembers a dull thud and a heavy pain in his stomach, spreading out to his chest, his heart, pushing him backwards and down, and the crack of his skull against the hardwood, one bounce, and nothing.

    He keeps his eyes closed, now, attempting to assess the damage, determine the extremity of his situation. He aches, and outside the cool haven of his eyelids red light flashes and tangles in and around itself, so that he fears to look at it unprotected. He can feel blood pounding through each vein in his body, surging through his head, imagines it pooling on the floor underneath his hair, already sticky with sweat. Later, he will be expected to clean it up, and he does not enjoy the image of a mop and a scrub brush that drift in through his pain to hover in his mind, tauntingly, as though they know how he despises them.

    “Get up.”

    The voice cuts through the haze, firm, smooth, scornful. He doesn’t move, preferring instead the reassuring solidity of the floor, the cool wood underneath his back. He does, however, squint one eye open, searching for the owner of the voice. It looms over him, blessedly blocking the glare of the light, a black splotch with a bright outline.

    “Now, Shaun,” it says.

    “No,” Shaun says rebelliously, mumbling the word through swollen lips. He shuts his eye again, and concentrates on not moving. Something hard and unyielding slams into his ribs and he yelps, rolling away quickly and opening his eyes completely, glaring angrily upward. “What the hell?”

    “Get up,” the voice repeats. “I’m not telling you again.”

    Shaun crosses his arms over his chest, staring at the ceiling resolutely, though he can feel the anger radiating from his instructor, the impatience that threatens to snap at any second. The pain from the blow and from his head are fading already, no lasting damage today, but he doesn’t want to continue, he doesn’t want to stand up only to be thrown back down. “I can’t win,” he says. “There’s no point.”

    A hand with fingers like vices grips his bicep and hauls him upward, shoving him forward so he stumbles, reeling. He spins, ready for the attack he feels sure will come, but encounters only air. He slumps, dropping his hands and letting his hair fall over his eyes, staring sullenly at the man in front of him.

    “You aren’t trying.”

    “I am,” he says. “I can’t do it. I’m not strong enough.”

    “Strength has nothing to do with it. You have to want it. I’m not teaching you if you can’t be bothered to put in an effort.”

    He rubs his stomach, slick with sweat, then moves his hand up his chest to grip his own shoulder, the other hand tucking a lock of wet hair behind his ears. He can feel his muscles trembling from hours of exhaustion with no stop, no rest, no time to breathe.

    He opens his mouth, ready to retort, to argue, to fight the way he knows how, but something long and black, with red lips and sharp eyes, curves around the door and leans against the frame, stretched out and languorous.

    “I don’t think it’s any use, Gabriel,” she says. “He’s as useless as all the others.”

    “He’s not trying,” Gabriel tells her, turning away from Shaun in disgust. “All he knows how to do is complain, and I’m not going to teach him anymore.”

    “I’m telling you, I can’t do it,” Shaun says angrily. “My body won’t listen!”

    “Your body is a tool,” the woman says dismissively. “To be used and controlled by you – it will do anything you tell it to.”

    “I can’t fight,” Shaun retorts. “I’ve been trying for hours, and I can’t do it. I’m not strong enough, or fast enough, and he’s not teaching me anything, he’s just hitting me again and again. That’s not how people learn to fight.”

    “You’ll get hit until you figure out how to hit back,” Gabriel snaps. “You refuse to use your mind – this isn’t about your body, as I’ve been trying to teach you. It’s your mindset, your will, that gets you places. You go into the fight thinking you don’t know how to do anything, and you don’t. You come at me knowing you’re going to hit me, and then you will. Your mind has to make your body react.”

    “It’s self-control,” the woman adds, one long hand running its fingers through a sheet of black hair cascading down her shoulder.

    “I have self-control,” Shaun says sharply. “I can control myself, you know that.”

    “Apply that self-control to your actions, then,” she says. “Just like your mouth is a device controlled by your thoughts, your body is a tool, controlled by those same thoughts. Fight with your mind, not your muscles.”

    “Let’s see you fight, then,” Shaun says. “Let’s see you get out on this floor and ruin your nails, if it’s all about self-control. You should be a master, Valencia.”

    “I don’t believe in fighting,” Valencia says, glancing up at him. He eyes travel down his body and back up again, taking in the bruises dotting his arms and sides, the rivulets of sweat running down his abdomen to soak into the waistband of his pants. He shifts, one arm wrapping around his belly, not meeting her eyes. “It’s vulgar.”

    “I don’t have time for your bickering,” Gabriel growls, one hand curling into a fist, tightening the muscles in his arm, veins straining against his skin. “Shaun, you’re either going to hit me or stay here until you’re dead. Pay attention.”

    The words snap Shaun’s focus back on Gabriel, not a moment too soon; the man has already lunged, flying forward, one hand ready to crash against his jaw. He ducks, spins away, losing track of where he is, where Gabriel landed. He turns, blindly, expecting the hit, only to find Gabriel on the other side, ducking under his own flailing arm, stepping back only to dive in again, and while Shaun throws out a hand to block his punch, he feels a foot hit his knee, sending him sideways into the floor where he collapses, automatically throwing his arms over his head and curling, hugging his knees to his chest.

    “Pathetic,” Gabriel sneers, nudging Shaun with his toe. “Anyone could have seen that coming a mile off.”

    Shaun doesn’t answer, tries to bend his knee. It pops, but moves successfully. He winces and pulls himself to his feet, feeling the heat rise in his cheeks, refusing to look at Valencia. He can feel her smirk from across the room, creeping into his brain, and he shakes his head, turning around once to find Gabriel, who moves faster than shadows.

    “You still aren’t thinking,” Valencia says, her voice echoing. “You move without thinking.”

    “It’s hard to think when he’s lunging at me like a madman,” Shaun mutters.

    “On the contrary, that’s when it’s easiest,” Valencia says. “Watch him, watch how he moves. You’ve done this long enough, you should know what different stances mean – pay attention to those. You’ll know what’s coming next; anticipate it and move to avoid it, or meet it. Don’t spin around in circles like a two-year-old.”

    “Now,” Gabriel says, and flies forward again. Off guard, Shaun jumps back, flinging his arms up in a cross, nearly closing his eyes but forcing them open at the last second. Gabriel pauses, knees bent, looking for all the world like a cat about to pounce. Shaun watches him warily, letting his arms fall from his face, holding them close to his body, one ready to block, and steps sideways, blowing his hair out from his eyes. The light reflects off the hardwood floor, distracting him, but he keeps his attention on the shift of Gabriel’s feet, the tension in his arms, his legs, the curve of his body.

    “Now plan for it,” Valencia says, straightening up, her eyes traveling over the two. “Plan for what he’s going to do next, how you’re going to counter it.”

    Shaun sees the muscles flex in Gabriel’s right arm and thinks, he’s going to punch me. But no, there is something else, something is wrong, he can’t punch if his legs are spaced so far apart, so therefore…

    Shaun dives to one side as Gabriel’s foot flies toward his ribs, twisting to keep his eyes on his instructor, sees Gabriel’s momentary surprise at his success and thinks, now. He pushes off of one foot, launches himself forward, and feels the satisfying pain of his knuckles colliding with the iron steel of Gabriel’s hurriedly raised forearm.

    “See?” Valencia asks, sounding amused, and pleased. “Your body is a tool. All you have to do is think.”

    -End-
     
  6. Torana
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    Crazy Ivan

    Based on a True Story

    I.
    Genesis: The history of thought-controlled devices found its origin early in the 21st century, when neuro-scientists from Silicon Valley began working on programs and appliances that could pick up on a human user’s brainwaves and convert it into a command. Starting out as a tedious process, advances in technology made it a much easier science to research, with programs based solely off of the user’s emotions becoming commonplace. Soon the programs entered mainstream life, being used for appliances, computer games, and eventually entertainment.


    “Good,” the film executive said, putting the script down and looking across the table at the screenwriter. “Very good, excellent research, I can tell. But the thing is…it comes off sounding very…documentary.”
    “But it is a documentary,” the screenwriter said, pale, tired-looking, and with tangled black hair. “It’s intended to educate people on how these stupid rage-based games got dumped on society.”
    The film executive, a yuppie past his prime with too-blonde hair (and a face that was getting around to needing its yearly plastic surgery), tutted. “Such strong words. Panderson Films doesn’t like to be so negative. You’d do well to keep it on the upside.” He smiled with artificially whitened teeth. The writer didn’t respond, merely throwing around a dejected expression as he waited for the exec to read more.


    II.
    2010-15: Soon emotion-based games became a hit, but other games went underground, like a genre of interactive programs that based the user’s score level highly on his level of rage, and the things he did in the game while based on that rage. These games of rage became known as “Gages,” partly as a poorly-conceived abbreviation and partly because of the distinctive emotion-gaging bars on the side screen of these bars. Although initially rare games, these soon rose to popularity. Naturally, notable anti-video-game forces such as Jack Thompson and WWJP (What Would Jesus Play) soon attempted to prove that these games could influence a user’s personality. But then they made a shocking discovery: The games really could.


    “Hrm.”
    That was all the film man said.
    The screenwriter tapped his fingers on the smooth tabletop worriedly. He looked outside the wall, which was entirely made of glass, affording a brilliant view of the Great Western Rift, where California and America had separated completely in the 2070s. The canyon was currently having acid rain poured into it from the gray skies above. So far below that it was hard to see, people drove their SUVs around on the street, making the screenwriter’s tiny hybrid car look like a pile of crap. Small objects flew through the sky, unnoticed by the people on the ground.
    The screenwriter’s eyes returned to his film outline…


    III.
    2016-2020: These games were found to turn a constant user’s personality into something highly unstable, making them combative and temperamental. With proof they had never had before, video-game protesters were finally able to get the attention they thought they deserved, denouncing all interactive programs. Although it was only the Gages that have such a dramatic effect, soon all video games were cast as evil in the public eye, and the government was forced to act for an increasingly restless public. Although they only outlawed emotion-based games, the regular video game market was still decimated, as their entire product line was now perceived in a negative light.

    “So your name is-?”
    “What- oh. Oh. Neil. My name is Neil.”
    “Well…” the executive paused, already struggling to remember, “…Neil, you’ve certainly got yourself one detailed outline here.”
    “Well I think it’s very important to-“
    “Don’t talk, Neil.”


    IV.
    The 20’s: Although Gages have been cut from mainstream life, they once again garner a devoted underground following, as an entire illegal black market based around rage games pops up worldwide. The government, already understaffed on the drug war, now has a major new problem to deal with. By the late 20s, Gages have earned a place in popular culture. Novels about Gage and things pertaining to it become a notably prominent theme in popular books, particularly teenage fiction and action/adventure, raising gore in literature to an all-time high. Films and documentaries about the lives of Gage addicts and smugglers are made, raising sympathy for those whose lives are centered around the games.


    The executive looked at Neil over the top of his bundle of papers.
    “You do realize that Panderson Films produced America’s first Gage documentary? Get Your Head in the Game? With the famous Chicago sewer chase scene?”
    “Um. Yes, I do,” Neil said, fidgeting.
    “So you decided to bring this outline to us because…?”
    “Well, I thought, you know…you might want a chance to redeem yourself, I guess. Or something.”
    “Redeem?” The executive’s voice dropped several degrees; Neil could feel his battleship sinking. “You are fond of strong words…”
    The objects in the sky had gotten larger now; they seemed to be manmade.


    V.
    By the 2040s, protests are being filed to bring back Gages and other violent video games, and the governments of the world have no choice to accept, signing the enduringly controversial Thompson Act. Gage comes back with a passion that didn’t exist the first time around; by the early 50’s vast portions of first-world countries are becoming hooked to Gage as a method of entertainment, anger venting, and escapism. For all those who can afford it, Gage becomes a way of life, both due to the way it takes up so much of their time while they play it, and because its credo of associating violence and anger with being cool quickly seeps into the personality and psyche of an otherwise normal person, especially because the VR games are so realistic. And for those who can’t afford it, the act of getting Gages becomes their life goal, raising theft, assault, mobbing, mugging, and all-around crime rates to an amazing high, the most dramatic example of which occurred in the late 60’s and early 70’s.

    “Hmm….we could have a really cool montage here, right? That shows, like, kids getting hooked on Gage, and maybe a bit on the troubled youths in the cities who resorted to stealing to get their games. Dig up real sympathy for them, you know?”
    Neil couldn’t believe what he was hearing. “But- those kids were monsters!”
    “Yes, and I’m sure you thought Bernie Goetz was a hero,” The executive sighed like he pitied Neil. “But that’s ancient history, and we have to learn from our mistakes, right?”
    If Neil’s skin had not been so consistently pale, his cheeks would have flushed with fury; as it was, they just tinged a wan pink.
    The flying objects were now casting shadows on the ground. People were beginning to stop and look.


    VI.
    Since the victims of the attacking have already had their darker sides fueled by Gage, the resulting conflicts created between desperate people and unbalanced people send mortality rates skyrocketing. People in high government positions find the world crumbling around them, and are full of pent-up frustration. Since Gage has by now become a society norm for most people, including therapists, the government leaders' therapists and advisors recommend they try Gage as a way of anger management, a way to release their negative emotions.


    “Hold on, what’s this part?” The film executive said, looking confused. “I haven’t heard this on the news-“
    “No, you wouldn’t have,” Neil said grimly.


    Soon even the uppermost leaders of the world have fallen to addictive Gaging, and as their personalities spiral in proportion to their addictions, international affairs go swiftly downhill.

    “This hasn’t happened at all yet!” The film executive’s plastic face was now contorted with disbelief.
    “That’s what you’d think.” Neil’s tone was now dark. He had the expression of someone marching in the parade who has looked up and seen the steamroller headed towards the band.


    Both the infrastructures and exostructures of the world are quickly destroyed as governments are at each other's throats, and sometimes their own.

    “What are you trying to pull here, mister?”
    Neil didn’t reply. Outside, the manmade objects were almost here; they looked like flying torpedoes. On the ground, the tiny people pointed and yelled.


    The film ends with the leaders of various countries giving the final order to launch their supplies of nuclear bombs at anyone they can target.

    “Alright, now I know this hasn’t happened yet!” The exec was standing now, finger pointing accusatorially at Neil, who regarded him with a frightening calm.
    “Not yet,” Neil said. “But very shortly.”
    “What do you-“
    Outside, the nuclear bombs collided with the glass window.
    Roll the credits.
     
  7. Torana
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    adamant

    Savage
    Paul sat upon the stoop of his small, beaten up home looking out at the dead grass under the darkening sky. Black, iron bars covered each of its windows like every other one in the neighborhood. Wood had even replaced a few. He had been sitting there for some time, disappointed after a call from a potential employer, drinking a malt liquor encased in a brown paper bag. The taste was strong and numbed him a bit, but not enough.

    His wife came to the screen door behind him, and in a sharp voice said, “Paul, the baby needs food! How are we going to take care of him if you don’t even have a job? Mother was right, you’re not even a man,” she stood there in an unnerving silence, staring at her scrawny husband in his wife-beater and over-sized jeans.

    “I’m sorry dear, I’m trying,” he replied, but did not dare turn to face her. “I’m going to go to a friend’s place. He may have some work for me.” He paced towards his old, run-down car, got in, and took off. Although he had only a vague idea of where he would end up, he was happy to have left. About a block away, he retrieved a map from the glove compartment. A circle marked cross-streets in an industrial section of the city. After studying the directions, he headed east, towards a plume of dark smoke that was drowning out the little light that remained on the horizon. The ‘82 Buick LeSabre journeyed for hours, finally ending up at a warehouse.

    The brick-paved façade was massive, dark, and cold. Paul turned off the car, stepped onto the pavement, and headed towards the storage facility. “So you decided to come,” said a voice that seemed to collide with him from all sides. The man was in a dress shirt, slacks and sunglasses, approaching Paul; apparently, he had been waiting by the poorly lit door.

    “Yeah, I needed the money. What am I testing anyway?” Paul replied, rubbing his arms for warmth.

    “Some game, new technology,” he said, motioning for Paul to go through the heavy, red door.

    As he got closer to the light, he noticed a man vomiting – his eyes bloodshot. “Is that guy alright?”

    “Yeah, come on, you’re already late.” The warehouse seemed much smaller inside. Windows that had never been cleaned, wood that had fallen from various places, useless pipes and crates cutting off areas. They walked to a group of people that were already beginning to conduct the experiment on others. “I’ve got another one.”

    More people in suits placed crowns of wires and microchips upon the heads of the test subjects, and finally, one on Paul. He saw various moments of his life flash before him; they angered him. Suddenly, finding a release for his frustration took priority over everything. Looking around, the others fused with his memories. They had become his father. They had become his tormentors. They had become his enemies.
     
  8. Torana
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    TheOnly13

    Aphrodisiac

    My days had all changed that autumn night when Next-Dream had finally broken through to the next barrier. It was inevitable, I guess, with the world of technology advancing around us so quickly. The thought of being able to manipulate ‘love’ was too powerful for me to grasp.

    Being an employee, I understood that the aphrodisiac couldn’t ever be released, but the idea of forcing love upon someone intrigued me. I wasn’t able to grasp it; how the hormones in the human body could be so directly stimulated into falling into an enhanced combination of love and lust by a simple device. The thought that anyone in the world could fall instantly head-over-heels for someone like me was too far outside the box. I was consumed.

    I wasn’t one of the direct manufacturers of the product, but understood bits and pieces of how it worked. It was almost like the “self-hypnotizing products” of the past that never worked, except ours had been tested. I’d heard many things about the results. Women fell for men, and became almost like predators, wanting nothing but satisfaction that was only chemically induced. Basically, I’d learned, the product was a CD that had hidden messages imprinted into the lyrics. Convincing someone to listen to it while sleeping? The aphrodisiac would have them awaken in love and lust.

    I lusted for a day where things would be different for me. I wanted freedom from the monotonous life of waking, working, and waiting. All that time, I’d thought love would never come to me. Now it seemed like it had fallen into my lap. I was determined to take a sample of the product that would never be released, and use it for myself. What good was something like this unless it was used outside of closed doors? For the betterment of science, I told myself. Oh, such lies.

    I wasn’t the type of girl to stand out in a crowd; I was short, and somewhat skinny, but I was just bland. My eyes were a deep brown, to match my hair, and my figure wasn’t anything that drew attention from guys on the street. My last kiss had been college, in my sophomore year. I still remembered every second of it, because of how much I regretted it the next morning. Its strange how one little slip up can change your life completely. I was the partying type, and I loved to go out and drink away all my problems. Eventually it went too far. Eventually I was lying in my room being pressed against my bed, screaming in a mixture of pleasure and pain as Jared Matthews went in and out of me. Jared Matthews. The soccer captain that got around. The type of guy I wanted nothing to do with.

    So now that I was recalling my motives and seriously ready to take the CD for myself, I was determining in my head who’d I’d have listen to it. There was always Damien, the guy down the street who was always nice to me. He wasn’t too bad, either. I decided that, just for the express purpose of seeing how real this could get, I’d try it.

    After taking a copy of the CD for myself, and convincing Damien to check out a “really cool” new band, I decided to wait up the whole night. I laid in bed and stared at the TV, only half listening to Conan O’Brien’s usual opening routine, when I started thinking about how life would be. I was enjoying it. I didn’t even realize, however, that I fell asleep.

    It was nine in the morning, a Saturday in November, when he first knocked at the door. He embraced me, and kissed me softly, almost as if he knew that was exactly what I’d wanted. The words we exchanged were meaningless. It was the actions, the feelings of love and lust that exchanged between us. We kissed and held each other, and told each other feelings that neither of us had. And we ****ed, better than any time I could ever have remembered or envisioned in my mind.

    When it was over, he held me close and continued to kiss me, telling me how much he loved me and trying to apologize for never admitting it before. I brushed off his simple admissions, his confused statements, and started to get up. His grip around my wrist tightened, and I absent-mindedly groaned in pain. “You okay, baby?”

    I looked at Damien with resolve, and continued to attempt to pull my arm from his firm fingers, but he wouldn’t let go. “Damien, babe,” I started to say, but stopped. I started to think of something good to say, something to make him let go. “I want some time. This has been a fast day.”

    “No, no, nothing’s been too fast,” he said. “We’ve taken it too slow, Regina. We’ve known each other for like… three years. We coulda been ****in’ for a while, love.” His grin gave me utter remorse, and I realized that security in love sometimes does bring out the horror in people. His face was almost haunting. I wanted to throw up.

    After he finally let me go, I wanted him out. I started trying to think of ways to get him to leave, while pacing around my kitchen, but nothing could come to mind that’d make him leave for long. It was love. He’d go through anything to get me now. And he’d had me. He wouldn’t forget that.

    His piercing gaze fell upon me every time I walked past the bedroom, where he waited for me to come back like I was some kind of toy dangling just out of his reach. He was patient, but patience was a virtue that wore thin. And as I had expected, it was only hours before I felt his breathing on my neck as I sat in my kitchen, choking back the tears of regret in what I’d done.

    “Damien, this was a mistake,” I turned to say. The remainder of what I’d prepared for him dissolved in an instant as I felt the cloth cover my lips. I started to try and scream, but his strength was too much for me.

    “Baby, I feared this was what you were doing down here. You can’t take me and hang me out to dry. This love is real, as real as it gets.” He started kissing my neck, but continued to hold the cloth up against my face. “You’re mine, Regina, forever.”

    I fell out into a deep sleep, almost like a coma. Regret swept over my body, along with the fear of what Damien was doing to me. I didn’t understand. This wasn’t love, and this wasn’t lust. This was obsession, and this was dangerous! I started wishing inside that I never took the CD, and wished that I could find some light in this darkness. I looked around, encased in the darkness of thought, wishing for some bright reality. And my eyes started to flick and flutter.

    I sat up abruptly and looked around. All I heard was laughter; I turned to the front of the room, where the TV sat, and Conan O’Brien was finishing the punch line of another joke. I’d never felt more relief in my life.
     
  9. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Actually, Torana, I prefer having the stories copied into the voting thread. It's easier to go through them that way than having to pop back and forth through links.
     
  10. adamant
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    adamant Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah.
     
  11. Torana
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    Torana Contributing Member Contributor

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    awwww That is a relief then cause I have spent hours trying to figure out how he did it and was beginning to feel rather blonde!!!!!
     
  12. adamant
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    adamant Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well.. technically you should still feel that way, Twiggie, as you never actually figured it out. :p Probably could have asked a Super Mod or LP, I think I saw the latter do it for the Image Story Contest.
     
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  13. Torana
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    Torana Contributing Member Contributor

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    Will you stop calling me twiggie or I will take you out the darn contest adamant :p lol And I will figure out how to do it eventually....Maybe....Possibly....
     
  14. adamant
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    adamant Contributing Member Contributor

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    That would be abusing your admin powers, besides Twiggie, you probably don't know how to do that either. :p
     
  15. Torana
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    Torana Contributing Member Contributor

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    I do so you little sod! I will prove it if you would like me to demonstrate how to make adamants short story dissappear!!! :p

    And I can find some good excuse ya know and I don't have admin powers I have Bruce Almighty buttons hahahahahahaha
     
  16. adamant
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    adamant Contributing Member Contributor

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    Someone hasn't taken their pills yet...
     
  17. Torana
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    Torana Contributing Member Contributor

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    lol stop trying to hijack my thread adamant!
     
  18. adamant
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    adamant Contributing Member Contributor

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    Right... but did you know, when you copy and pasted the title page, you never changed the number of the contest? Dork.
     
  19. Torana
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    Torana Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yes I did you little rat bag! I am so going to beat you over the head soon!
     
  20. adamant
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    adamant Contributing Member Contributor

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    Edittttt
     
  21. Torana
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    Torana Contributing Member Contributor

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    well of course!!! duh!
     
  22. adamant
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    adamant Contributing Member Contributor

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    So... *puts arm around Tor's shoulder* who do you think you're voting for?

    (wow... someone got in a vote quickly)
     
  23. Torana
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    Torana Contributing Member Contributor

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    Your smooth moves won't work on me!

    And I ain't sayen who I will be voting for or whether I will be voting or not!
     
  24. adamant
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    adamant Contributing Member Contributor

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    Woot, Woot! Two more votes than the last contest I entered, already!
     
  25. TheOnly13
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    TheOnly13 Senior Member

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    Oh man =) As a new guy to the forum, I figured I wouldn't get many votes to my story. Thanks to whoever enjoyed my piece. Its a cool feeling being up there with the other guys.
     
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