The beginning of my character’s adventures. *Completely rewriting it.*
|From my position on one of the two remaining corners of an aged, slowly collapsing auto-shop I can almost feel it as they move around me. Through the din of the creaking metal, and crumbling stonework I could hear the shuffling of their feet as they start to flank me. I wish they’d get to it already, I hate waiting. Nothing beats a good scrap, no quarter asked, no quarter given. No lies, no double talk, no negotiation just good honest, direct violence. It may not always be the best answer, but more often than most tend to admit it is the only one left. I feel the rush of the adrenaline hitting my system, I am ready to join the fray. From nowhere a voice booms “Even in dreams you act like a child.” Wait, I’m dreaming? With that realization I promptly fall off my perch, as if remembering that a normal person can’t balance like that suddenly made it impossible. Now staring up at the darkened sky from my new perch, on my back, on the ground. “Must you ruin every dream, would it be too much for you to announce yourself in a way that allowed me to maintain at least some dignity?!” She’s always ruining the best parts of my dreams. For the past year this has been happening, bouts of lucid dreaming, one moment I’m fighting ninjas, dinosaurs, or what have you. The next I have a voice “From fucking nowhere!!” Giving me shit for the dreams I have. The fact that every time she pops up, I’m fairly sure the voice is female, I end up on my ass is becoming bothersome. “Boy, just so you know, I am close enough that I can hear what you’re thinking now. Are you just going to lay in the dirt for the rest of your dream?” I’m being chided by a voice in my head. “It’s my dream, I’ll lay in the dirt if I want to.” That sounded petulant, even to me.
Well, I might as well figure out what she wants this time. I get up, brush off the dream dirt I picked up during my stay on the ground. It dawns on me that the dirt isn’t actually there, and I can’t help smiling at that. “Okay, what are we doing today? I was enjoying that dream I’ll have you know.” I said, making sure the statement is dripping with snark. The irony of trying to be witty in a conversation in my own head is not lost on me, but when in Rome.... “I’ll have you know I am no mere voice in your head, but you’ll find that out soon enough.” Ok, fine, I’ll bite. “So enlighten me, if you’re not a voice in my head, what are you?” After a few moments of silence she replies. “I am the only reason you’re alive, but I don’t expect you to believe that until we meet. You always were the suspicious sort.” She had me there. “Is it easier to believe you’re a voice in my head over being a voice from beyond you know.” I stated simply. “Boy, what you choose to believe is more you’re problem, than mine, as I said, you’ll soon be finding that out on your own. I wanted to talk to you once more before we meet, it’s going to be a big day for the both of us.” Ok, that piqued my curiosity. “So we’ll be doing what exactly? Meeting up for a coffee at Timmy’s?” I said trying to cover how uncomfortable this conversation was starting to make me. From above me a giant face began to form almost filling the sky. At that point I was certain of two things; the voice in my head was most definitely female, and that giant faces forming in the sky above me makes my heart wish it could jump out of my ass, and hide under the bed I know I must be on. “Ok, that’s unnerving.” I said mustering all the calm I had just to keep my legs under me. “I find showing is better than telling, you’ll find out soon enough. Until then I do have one last thing to tell you.” She stated simply. Having a conversation with a giant face in the sky is so much more surreal than it sounds. “Which is?” I ask not entirely sure I want an answer. I see her mouth open to speak, but what comes out were not words. “WONK, WONK, WONK, WONK!!!”
I awake shooting out of bed as if I was a bullet from a gun. I grab the dresser to steady myself while the rest of me finishes waking up. In the background I can still hear the alarm wonking away. “These blasted dreams are starting to be getting a bit much.” I state as I make my way to the bathroom to get ready for work. I’ll take this time to introduce myself, it would be impolite to allow strangers to watch me shower anyway. My name is Jacob Tavner, and I am pretty much a drifter. Just a fella who was too cool for school, and found himself doing one dead end job after another. Up until I met some folks who had job opportunities for someone of my...... temperament. Lugging lumber around makes for a good official “day job.” Also keeps me in tip top shape. I keep an eye on the clock as I dress, I best motor, or I’m going to miss the bus. Last thing I need is Frank throwing more Italian expletives at me, having someone swear at me, him more so than others, stresses me out. While making my mad dash to the bus stop I do wonder where I could have taken myself if I weren’t always perceived as a walking meat tank, but hey, that retirement I’m after won’t fund itself. Not much to tell on the trip to work, a woman’s giggling informed me that my fly was down, yup, today is Monday alright.
I arrive on time, so that should mean that my day should pass by without too much trauma. No sooner do I walk through the gateway to the lumber yard I work at do I get treated to a sound that I can only describe as a herd of cement trucks trying to sing in unison. “Jake!! Why do I keep you here?! There are trusses in the back of the yard that were left in the rain all last night. Wasn’t it your job to take care of that?” Yard foremans, it is their sworn duty to find someone to pin the stuff that goes sideways on. “No Frank, you had me taking inventory on the new insulation that just came in. I’m still itchy by the way.” I’m not lying, I hate working with that fiberglass crap. Gives me hives just looking at it. “Whatever, just get it into the warehouse, and out of the water before it warps.” Frank said sounding as indignant as possible. “Aye, aye capt’n, ‘tis my honor to serve.” I said with a salute just for the added flourish before marching off. “Less babbling, and more working. I want it done before lunch.” He yells after me. I’ll spare you the details of lugging large wooden objects from one place to another, it is exactly as much fun as it sounds. Little did I know it was the to be the last job I’d be given.
An hour after arriving at work I started to get the most odd, and distracting sensation, the only way to describe it was that it was like my whole brain had begun to itch. It wasn’t my scalp, it came from within my head. Picture being in one of those situations where you need to scratch your ass, but can’t because you have company. After an hour of it starting I was wishing I could get under my skull like it was a cast on your arm, or leg, anything just to make it stop. Two hours later the itching had started to taper off, but in its place was white noise, only I didn’t hear it so much as feel it. Not painful, but quite distracting, and it was slowing me down. When I finished moving the last truss I was debating whether, or not to see if I could take a sick day, I never get sick, but I’ve never felt anything like this before. I found Frank tormenting one of the new guys, I’m telling ya, he either needs a date, or an enema. “Frank!!” I call out. “WHAT!? This better mean you’re finished!” My idol, and inspiration ladies, and gentlemen. I want to be just like him when I grow small. No sooner do I open my mouth to ask if I could take the rest of the day off do I see every ounce of colour drain from his face. He just stands there like he’s a goldfish with his mouth opening, and closing. All of a sudden everything gets real dark. Odd, there was hardly a cloud out today, I thought it was all rained out after last night’s downpour. I turn to look, and very quickly find out where Frank’s colour got to. It was no cloud, just a big dark thing in the sky blocking out the sun. I had never seen anything like it before, it was unlikely anyone has, at least not since the dinosaurs.
All I could do was stare at this giant rock as it came to wipe us all out, humanity, everything we as a species have done was coming to an end right before my eyes. The irony of something so complex as us being brought to an end by something so simple as a big stone, if I weren’t so awestruck I would laugh at it. “Boy, there is nothing simple about me.” That voice, from my dreams, how? Am I still dreaming? Ohh please let me be dreaming. “This is no dream, and you out of all your kind have nothing to fear from me, this is what I have chosen you for. *Grraah!!* NO!! There should be no resistance. This should not be happening!!” Her tone had switched from arrogant calm, to confused outrage very quickly. Around me the world erupted into chaos, everyone was running, and screaming, Frank was curled into fetal position rocking back, and fourth, and babbling to himself. My mind reeled as I tried to take everything in, the dream lady’s voice made me question my sanity, no better time to lose it than right before we all die. “No!! You will not die. You are mine, I will not be denied after all these millennia. Plans have changed however, this will hurt so you will just have to bear with it. I told you, you would not believe me unless you saw with your own eyes.” My mind raced to make sense of any of this, the voice from my dreams was some asteroid? I much preferred thinking my sanity was leaving me. “Think what you will, if you would hold still please.” As if following commands I didn’t give it, my body just froze in place, and all I could do was stare as shining blue cracks formed on the surface of the descending asteroid. A moment later it came apart as if made of some kind of black flowing sand, and it was flowing directly at me. Rooted in place, I wanted to run, I wanted to do anything, but stay where I was, but I couldn’t get my body to function as I wanted it to. The black sand wave consumed me in moment, I felt it cover me, up my nose, in my ears, pick an orifice, I had this sand in it. I felt a tremendous burning, then I felt nothing at all.
“That’s my boy, you get those neurons of your’s working again. Glad you were able to join me again, it was touch, and go for quite some time.” I knew I was awake, but that was about all I was sure of, I also knew I had pain, but I couldn’t be sure where the pain was. I tried to rub my eyes, only to find that I either had no hand to rub my eyes with, or I had no head to touch. “Wha, what’s going on? I can’t feel anything. Hey, you burned me!!” I yelled into the black that surrounded me. “Is this another dream?” I was desperately trying to make sense of my last few memories before passing out. “Settle yourself boy, panicking won’t serve you well here.” Her statement certainly raises a relevant question. “Where is here?” I couldn’t tell if I was thinking it, or speaking it, I really don’t like this. “This is us...... me.” Suddenly there was a flash so bright that I’m sure even if I had eyes to close it would have blinded me, the blast wave itself passed straight through me, and radiated outward pushing crumbling black crystal as it went. I heard what seemed to start as one scream, but quickly turned into hundreds, then thousands. “This was the beginning of my life. I was just a mass of what your people theorize as Dark Matter, I think, I may have been around awhile, but I am not all knowing. I can’t tell you how long I was like that. What you’re seeing is my first real memory, light, pain, and destruction, it spread out from within me outward. It broke me apart, I became we, parts of me remained, each fragment that survived the initial blast became our own mind.” My mind was reeling as I tried to take in what I was looking at. “What is this? What am I looking at?” Awe couldn’t even describe what I was feeling, the blinding wave of destruction spread out in every direction, leaving so little in its wake, but I could certainly make out surviving fragments spinning in the void it left behind.
“I have no idea how, or why it happened, just that it did. I don’t know how long I was little more than a ragged ball of pain, and fear.” She stated. I watched as the blast wave disappeared from view, in the dark left behind lights began to flicker on. My mind drifted back to my current status. This was getting frustrating, in as much as I enjoy a good movie, I was getting no answers to my current situation. It was like being stuck in your own IMAX experience, I could see everything around me, but I couldn’t move, or do much of anything beyond look around. I like backstory as much as anyone, but I really need to find out what happened to me, and why I can’t feel my body. “I’m running it through its final checks before you take over.” She stated curtly. Having my thoughts read was beginning to grate on my nerves. “Your nerves are hardly my priority at the moment.” And that folks, is the sound of my final nerve giving out. “FUCK THIS!!! Let me out!! I can’t move, I can’t feel anything, what have you done to.... AARRRGH!!!” Pain the likes of which I have never known seemed to flow straight through me. I could feel her presence all around me choking off any remaining complaints I may have had. “Are you quite through with your temper tantrum, or do you need another demonstration of my ability to focus your attention?” My seething aside, she had me, I have no idea what was going on, or even where I was, if I’m going to learn anything I’m going to need this lady to tell me. “A Lady am I? You fleshy things do like your titles don’t you? Very well, I accept your title for me, you may call me Lady, as in your Lady, you, and I are bound now.”
Well that cleared nothing up, it’s all I can do to keep from panicking, yet I don’t feel my heart pounding, just a lot of nothing. “Will I be able move soon, or are you pausing for dramatic effect?” From nowhere I got a sense of amusement, but not my own. This is entirely too strange, I’m as far from amused as anyone can be, yet I’m picking up the emotion. “That would be my amusement you feel, get used to that. Now keep calm, I need to finish dropping the remaining defenses.” I’m picking up on what she’s feeling? I’m not liking the implications of this. “Don’t fret so much, we’ll get along fine, If I didn’t think we could understand one another I would have picked someone else. Now brace yourself.” From feeling nothing I was jolted to feeling absolutely everything. “GAHH!! Too bright, too bright!!” It was like having a strobe light shoved under my eye lids. Ok, wasn’t expecting to open my eyes staring into what looked like the heart of a supernova, good to hear my own voice again. Let’s get the elephant in the room squared away first. “What are you?” I ask hoping for a simple answer, but I wasn’t getting my hopes up. All I could pick up on were confusion, and resignation from her. “I don’t know what I am, I know I can produce a lot of a kind of what you meat things call exotic radiation. I know that from the first other intelligence that found me drifting along the outskirts of their solar system.” She said wistfully, and I felt better listening to her speak while my eyes adjusted to the daylight. Hearing her so casually talking about meeting aliens made the child in me that was raised watching old Star Trek shows squeal with glee, I always hoped we weren’t the only ones floating around out in the black. She continued; “Yes, you are hardly as alone out here, as most of you think you are. I learnt quite a bit from the survey team that landed on me, once I consumed them anyway.....” She trailed of distracted by something.
“Is something wrong?” I ask, I could almost taste her trepidation. “I didn’t expect these guys to show up quite yet, your eyes haven’t had enough time to adjust, and I doubt the natives will be happy to see us.” She answered. Natives? There isn’t a reservation around for miles, did I miss something? “No time boy, here, look for yourself.” Without even opening my eyes I was able to suddenly see. I was in the middle of a crater, it was as deep as I was tall, and at least 40 feet wide, and I am looking at myself. The bowl of the crater were as smooth as glass, like it was scooped out like ice cream. I felt a breeze hit my neck, and face, and even saw my grey patched, brown widow’s peak shift. Rather than curl up into fetal position, and begin sucking my thumb as was my first instinct, I couldn’t help, but notice movement to my right at the edge of the clearing we were in, those are some funky looking trees. I felt my stomach drop at the sight of what walked into the clearing. Ok, let’s do a checklist. I just woke up, I still have my work clothes on, I can see without opening my eyes, and I’m about to be put through a meat grinder by three 8 foot tall things that looked like someone managed to get a gorilla, and an iguana to reproduce. All three were a dark green, with brown bristly hair from their necks down their spines. Their heads looked very gator-like, though their snots weren’t very long when I saw their lips pull back revealing teeth like jagged daggers. The rest of their bodies looked almost exactly like a green scaly gorilla, stubby back legs, with arms the size of bazookas, ending in rather vicious looking clawed hands. I’m either dreaming, or this is the worst hallucination, ever. “Boy....... Jacob, I need you to focus, you need to deal with this.” She says that so easily, like she was just asking me to pop down to the store for a few bags of milk. I was just at work, now I'm stuck in this Survivor show wet dream. “RAHH-G-G-G-G!!” That can’t be a good sound, sounds angry. Once the sound of their roar faded they started stampeding straight at me. They were mighty fast for having such tiny legs, but those aircraft carrier arms help them pick up speed. Underneath me the ground was quite smooth, one could almost curl up, and take a nap. “Princess, Lady, whatever the fuck you wanna call yourself, Do you mind filling me on how you’d like me to handle this?” Her frustration was growing, and those Apezilla things are fast. “What else do you do when words are useless? I gave you power boy, use it.”
My guts went cold as it dawned me that she expected me to fight them, these things looked like they could use my ribs as toothpicks. No one is coming to save me, and all I could do is watch my death come. I opened my eyes so I could have a less distracting view of them, all three of them galloping straight at me. I push myself upright so I don’t die on my knees like some coward. The frustration that has been growing in me since I woke up finally surfaced. These beasts are simply the latest thing to try, and end me, and I am seriously tired of being jerked around. So I let all my pent up emotion free, one does not make it into Valhalla by standing, and dying. If there’s an afterlife I want to at least earn my way there. I breathe out the last of my frustration, and breathed in the rage that always lies just underneath it. Those tiny legs have to be a weakness, let’s see how long I can last. I push off from the crater floor meaning to land on the crater lip before trying to use my body to trip them up. What I end up doing is leap over them entirely, and land about 40 feet behind them. The shock at performing that feat loosened the grip of the rage I had built up. I just stared at my own legs in shock. I know I very rarely skipped leg day, but I had never done that before. Then I remembered Lady’s last words to me mentioning power that she gave me. It was Lady’s voice in my head that brought me back to reality. “Idiot boy!! Admire later, act now!!” Properly chided I shift into a defensive stance to try, and roll with the attack I knew would follow. All three had spun around, clearing not expecting me to leap over them, but wasted no time in throwing themselves at me once more. These things were smart, no longer trying to dog pile on me they tried pressing attacks one after another. I managed to avoid getting pummeled into the ground by the first, but the second came at me from the right leaping over the first with a backhand the size of a Thanksgiving turkey. I’ve been hit before, many times in fact, you don’t get a smart mouth like mine without learning how to take a hit, but this, I actually lost consciousness for a moment. When I snapped awake again it was just in time to cover my head as I was flying directly at a rather sturdy looking tree.
The impact was tremendous, I felt the the tree tilt, and heard the wood crack underneath my weight as I hit. From there I fell to the ground limply. I should be dead, that impact should have broken...... everything, every bone I have should be powder. I’m not even out of breath. I had a sharp pain at the back of my head which I wiped with my hand to see if I was bleeding, only to come away with the palm of my hand covered in a fine black sand that had an odd shimmer to it, likely picked up from where I hit the ground. I made an effort to push aside the confusion, and pain to get up. The beasts saw this, and roared their complaints at my ability to keep walking after that hit, before charging at me once more, this time they were lined up, that gave me an opening to trying my first tactic once again. Once the first committed to its attack I went low to knock its legs out from under it. I pushed off, and sent myself rolling, knocking the legs out from under the first two. They fell into a heap of flailing arms, scales, and teeth. The third tried to stomp on me, but I caught its descending foot, making it stumble off balance. I used its weight, and my grip on its leg to swivel under, and behind it. Getting up I gave it’s left leg a solid pull making it fall face first into the dirt. I heard the clack of its teeth being slammed together. The fall stunned the creature long enough for me to get directly on its back, grabbing its short reptilian snout I wrenched it to the right as hard as I could. I heard it’s vertebrae give, it spasmed once, then fell still. I looked in shock as the light left it’s eye, it head on almost completely backwards. The sight of what I had done froze me long enough for its companions to get the drop on me.
Ok, I’d like to pause the action a moment, and clear a few things up. so before that great big mitt of the creature’s knocks me into low orbit, let’s get that out of the way. I am not a pacifist in any sense of the word. Not only do I think a decent fight is good for you, it relives stress. It is, bar none, the most honest form of communication we have, if a guy pops me on the beak, I can trust he’s telling me honestly that he doesn’t like me. Words can lie, promising you one thing, while delivering something completely different. Fighting transcends language barriers, if someone drop kicks you through a window I think it’s a safe bet both parties know that wasn’t a form of greeting. In as much people say violence solves nothing it still remains a solution doesn’t it? Anyone remember how the U.S.A solved the problem they had with Japan during World War II? I grew up listening to how I should turn the other cheek, which is a great idea, until you start running out of cheeks. In the end, when negotiations break down, it always boils down to fighting, or some other act of violence. I have nothing against pacifism, but it’ll get you killed. If you won’t defend yourself, you’re just a victim waiting to happen. I was a victim once in my life, once, never again. So growing up I made it a point to learn how to “speak” fluent violence, being angry helped a lot, but my anger is another story. Everyone has it in them. When was the last time you drove in a metro area, and not felt ready to take a human life a few times, at least? I tend to look at fighting as severe negotiations, when the Apezilla’s entered the clearing, they roared their displeasure at sharing it with me. I chose to remain where I was, this did not please them, so they stepped up their diplomacy a notch by trying to throw me out, or eat me, I’m still fuzzy as to their exact intent, I’m good not finding out though. Now having lost one of their negotiators, their debating position is greatly weakened. I dreamed of getting into fights like this as a child, two comic book super types pummeling each other through buildings. This is far too painful to be any dream. Now, shall we pick the action back up?
I was so stunned at how easy it was to put this thing’s head on backwards that I only looked up in time to see a flash of mottled brown, and emerald green skin before I heard the wet crunch of splintering bone. What felt like a supernova went off in my frontal lobes, and I lose all sense of direction as I was sent head over heels, I assume that because I remember both my feet, and face hitting the ground as I was sent spinning off. My next coherent moment came when I slammed chest first into a tree with a split trunk that looked like a redwood, but smelled of, and had the needles of a pine tree. I’m not sure if the splintering sound I heard came from the wood buckling, or my ribs breaking. Judging by the sick chill spreading out from my chest I think it was likely a mix of both. My vision cleared enough to see Lady looking very concerned at me. The only thing I could think to do was cough up a small cloud of that goofy black sand that keeps getting all over me. I’ve never been hit that hard in my life, and I’ve been taking haymakers since I was nine, being sent flying is nothing new to me, feeling my rib cage buckle, and break was most certain new though. I had lost vision in my right eye, like due to that was the part of my face I was traveling on, on my way to the tree. Forcing my remaining eye to focus on Lady I wanted to tell her that she can take her IMAX experience, and shove it up whatever passes for her ass. All I got out was another small cloud of sand. “Ohh don’t be so dramatic, you haven’t broken anything that I can’t fix. You’re lucky you’re still so fresh, otherwise it would take me longer to fix the eye.” She reached out, and took my chin in her hands, looking me directly in the eye so she had my full attention. “This is going to hurt boy, you will feel everything reknit. Once it’s done I’m going to need to sleep for awhile, I haven’t been awake this long since…… well, a lot longer than you can imagine, I’m sure. Before I fix you up, remember, you’ve seen for yourself you can fight them. You’ve fought without your size advantage before, I expect you to still be here when I wake. Don’t disappoint me boy.” She said before poking me gently on the forehead, setting off a chain reaction that freed my broken body from the tree to fall backward hitting the ground sending off more waves of agony coursing through me.
When I could focus again I raised my head so I could locate the two remaining lizard monsters. One was pacing back, and forth glaring in my direction while the other seems to be trying to get a response from its pack mate. I became aware of Lady hovering just above me watching them as well. “I’ll be back as soon as I can, this is going to take up my remaining stores of……. let’s call it energy. I’ll need to go dormant for awhile, so they’re up to you.” After looking at me, and smiling gently, she said, “When they won’t let you go around, you go through.” Snapping her fingers, she faded from my vision. She was however quickly replaced by blinding flashes of agony as my bones sought to right themselves. I opened my mouth to scream, but my pride trapped the sound in my throat. The last thing I wanted was to draw attention to myself while my two new friends were distracted with their own loss. I knew only mere moments had passed, but it felt like centuries, dull coldness was replaced by white hot burning tendrils wrapping around me as my sternum pushed out, and reset itself. The burning quickly spread to the right side of my face. If the sound splintering bone bothers you, you really don’t want my description of the sound a shattered nose makes when it resets this fast. The upside being that I could see my nose with my left eye again. After a sound like that of sliding glass, a click, followed quickly by a sensation that was akin to my eye socket filling with lava I was able to see out of both eyes again, beyond a mild odd flickering from the right one, I was fully functional again.