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ghost crow
Jul 9, 2015

by Nyc_Tattoo


I'm in, I'll take a judge picked status :)

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ghost crow
Jul 9, 2015

by Nyc_Tattoo


I'm in with a :toxx:, and I'll take a Bowie song as well if they're still available.

ghost crow
Jul 9, 2015

by Nyc_Tattoo


I failed my toxx last time I entered because I am a wimp. I don't know how it works or how I report myself for banning so I can redeem myself.

(USER WAS BANNED FOR THIS POST)

ghost crow
Jul 9, 2015

by Nyc_Tattoo


I'm in

ghost crow
Jul 9, 2015

by Nyc_Tattoo


Sensorium
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m326LNIRB3k

Sensate was the largest club in Max’s sector, ten stories of writhing bodies and copious amounts of chemical euphoria. Giant wallscreens throbbed with visuals keyed into the heart rates of and brain waves of the masses, a smorgasbord of horniness and hyped nervous systems.

Max pressed against Sera, music and alcohol thrumming through his body. At some point in the day she had gotten a mod, one of those animal print inspired skin ones. Leopard spots shimmered and emerged on her body, swirling lazily and then sinking away. Forms pressed in on him, sweat slicked bodies moving in time with the music.

“You know what time it is.” A voice boomed from the ceiling, and a shriek of primal glee rose from the crowd as the glitter fell. As the hallucinogens pierced through his skin Max’s everything bulged, forms becoming distorted and displaced, his vision cracking into a million shards of light.

*****
He stumbled into the bathroom, his skin mods whirring with the rush of drugs and dancing. They were gears, something Sera always teased him about because he’d had them for so long, at least long in fad time.

He looked in the mirror and he saw her.

A woman, noteworthy in her total lack of mods, looking almost naked despite the fact that she was clothed.

And then she was gone.

*****

Max woke up like he woke up most days, with a killer hangover and covered in Sensorium top grade hallucinogenic glitter.

He groaned, head throbbing, and rolled over. He groped for the HangX dispenser by his bed, pressing the bright red lever.

“Thank you for using Sensorium HangX. I hope you had a sensational time.” The dispenser chirped.

“Yeah, yeah.” The derm patch dropped into his hand, greeting him with a stamped yellow happy face on one side. He slapped it onto his arm.

A second delay, and then the pain in his head receded. Another second and a pleasant fizz started building up through his spine, lightning euphoria tracing his body. Then the uppers kicked in and he was wide awake.

“poo poo.” He laid there for a second, savoring the cocktail of chemicals coursing through his system.

“Mmm babe mind getting me a derm?” A slim arm emerged from under the covers next to him, nails covered with swirling fractal designs pulsing with her heartbeat. One of the new fads to hit the clubs in the last day or so, and probably would last about that long.

Max obliged. There was a gasp, and then a giggle, and the rest of Sera emerged. Her hair had been turned silver sometime the night before and glitter dusted her cheeks. He got up and padded to the window, opening the blinds.

An arm snaked around his waist, lips pressed against his ear.

“What are you thinking about?”

“Hm? Oh, something weird happened last night. I saw a woman in the bathroom but then she like, just disappeared. Vanished.”

He could feel a smile against his ear. “That glitter was good stuff huh?”

“No it didn’t feel like the usual, I mean-“ He trailed off, brows furrowed. Something nagged at him, something else weird that had happened…

“I think I saw something while I was sleeping too.” Uttering the words, he knew it for certain. A hazy memory of a strange building with strange people.

“Do you ever have that? You ever see things in your sleep? Like images and stuff?”

“No. But that’s be a killer mod wouldn’t it? Like if you go to sleep and it replays your night to you so you can live it all over again.” She said excitedly.

*****

The woman visited again that night, in his sleep. She sat on the edge of his bed, watching him.

“Who are you? Why are you here?” He asked.

“You made me Max. I’m here because it’s time.”

“Time for what?”

She leaned forward.

“Time to remember. Where is your past Max?”

*****

“Maybe something’s wrong with your brain. Like it got fried on something.” Sera speared another piece of cake on her fork. They were in one of the new fad love themed coffee shops, bots disguised as fat cherubic angels floating around dispensing cake and drugs.

“I don’t know. I’ve never heard that happening to anyone before.” Max frowned. “And that thing about ‘where’s your past’ I mean, that’s just so weird.”

“It’s pretty silly. I mean of course we have a past. Yesterday we were at Sensate and then the day before there was that new popup adventure course and bungee jumping.” Sera said.

“Yeah I mean you’re totally right.” But later on, lying in bed, Max realized that he couldn’t seem to remember what they did past the last couple of weeks. Beyond that and the past seemed to stretch into a dim distance, blocked from view, a vast and unknowable thing.

*****

The woman’s words seemed to fizz into his brain like a bad derm, eating at the edges of his consciousness. Something seemed to have been triggered deep inside him, something terrible and unshakeable, unfurling inside his body.

“Doesn’t it feel like nothing really changes though? I mean we kind of just do the same things day after day.”

Max laid beside Sera. They had just gotten back from Sensate and he could still feel the hallucinogens pumping through his system.

“What are you saying you’re bored with me?”

“What? No, not at all. It’s just some things have started feeling weird is all.” His tongue felt thick and sour in his mouth. What was wrong with him?

“I’m sorry. Forget I brought it up at all ok?”


*****

It ended up being something as simple as Max banging his hand against the counter that triggered it.

Max frowned as he looked at his hand. He had a vague recollection something was missing, something that should have happened when he banged his hand. And then it came to him in a terrible rush.

Pain. He should have felt pain.

He looked at his hand in horror. Why did he get hangovers but never felt any pain any other time?

And then it rushed into him, crashed into him. It was a joke. Something decided in a board meeting when planning features to be programmed into the Sensorium. He had suggested it. Let people have hangovers but make sure to program something that will get rid of it. He had programmed it himself. And then he had programmed something else, something secret when it became clear the Sensorium was going somewhere there was no turning back from, that no one would come back from.

He felt nauseous. He had to see, had to see for himself.

He looked at his hand. He grabbed his pinky finger and with a grimace snapped it back. There was a dull crunching sound as the pinky broke, and no pain.

He looked in horror as he broke each of his fingers on his left hand. When he was done the fingers looked grotesquely bent out of place, but there was no pain. No pain at all.

ghost crow
Jul 9, 2015

by Nyc_Tattoo


I'm in.

ghost crow
Jul 9, 2015

by Nyc_Tattoo


In with a :toxx: and "Aware".

ghost crow
Jul 9, 2015

by Nyc_Tattoo


Aware “The bittersweetness of a brief and fading moment of transcendent beauty”
789 words

The information bloomed in Hanako’s mind like a flower in spring.

She could no longer feel the coils of machinery attached to her body, could no longer hear the thrum of the ship. She was gone, gone into the expansive nonspace of her mind, whorls of data unfolding like origami against the curve of her skull. The ship’s neural network kicked in and with a lurch her brain seemed to expand into a galaxy, the data resolving itself into white hot points of information, each one a pulsing star of complexity. She was already searching for the patterns needed for the job at hand, her body forgotten in the ecstasy of possibilities…

The thump of her neighbor stirring from bed woke Hanako. For a brief second the stars continued to pulse behind her eyelids, the joy of transcendence still coursing through her body. Then it faded, her mind already reaching and failing to grasp the patterns she had so briefly and sweetly remembered.

Her small one room apartment seemed stifling after dreaming of infinities. Cold gray light filtered into the room, rain drumming against the window. The room was sparse and neat, the only concession to decoration a calendar on her wall.

She got up from her futon and crossed the room to the calendar. A ghost of a smile crossed her face as she saw her cramped handwriting for today’s date, the only thing she had ever written into the calendar.

Frost on a summer day:
all I leave behind is water
that has washed my brush.
-Shutei

Today was finally the day she was going to die.

***

For her last meal Hanako chose the conveyor belt sushi place down the street from the train station. With each bite of her krill imitation tuna roll she felt a thrill at knowing she was closer and closer to her own death.

She had eaten real Bluefin tuna once, raised in a CEO’s private farm, even more expensive than the vat grown stuff. She remembered each bite tasting like eating a bite out of the sea, the feel of real flesh in her teeth.

She looked out the window onto the rainy streets of Tokyo. In the distance she could see an orbital ship launching from the space port. She wondered if there was a patternist on board, feeling the thrill of anticipation as they prepared to leave their body for the beauty of the pattern.

The scar tissue on the back of her neck, the only physical reminder of the damage the virus had done to her, began to tingle.

***
In Japan suicide trends came and went. From what Hanako understood the latest fad involved complex suicide pacts and cult suicide reenactments.

She had chosen a simpler, older option. She stood by the train tracks, thinking about the patterns of the trains, the kind of star of information it created. It seemed fitting that her end should interrupt a pattern, should cause some poor entry level patternist to have to spend time untangling and rearranging around her death.

Hanako took a deep breath and walked off the platform and onto the tracks as the Chuo Express train approached.

***
Red hot pain lanced through her body.

They told her later that it was one of the more sophisticated Chinese viruses they had seen, breaking through the ship’s firewall like a hot knife through butter. All Hanako could recall was a sudden searing red lighting up the inside of her skull, unending agony.

By the time they pulled her off the machinery she had caused several industrial meltdowns in her panic. The virus thoroughly wrecked the neural link, her neck a mess of melted wiring and burns that would turn into scars.

***

There was white everywhere.

“Hanako.”

The white resolved itself, going into focus. Hospital ceiling, hospital lights.

“Hanako.”

Somehow she had survived. She had failed.

“Hanako.”

She turned her head painfully. A strange woman, with the sleek designed face and hard flat muscles of a military figure, high ranking.

Bitterness welled inside of her.

“Go away.” Hanako turned her head back to the white ceiling.

***
Her name was Major Sato and she didn’t leave. In fact she started coming into the hospital every day.

At first Hanako resolved to ignore her, but on the third day the Major brought an antique Go set, black and white stones worn with age.
“Will you play a game of Go with me?” Sato asked.

Hanako wondered who had tipped Sato off about her passion for Go. She thought about calling her out about it but instead lifted a hand and set the first stone.

ghost crow
Jul 9, 2015

by Nyc_Tattoo


In.

ghost crow
Jul 9, 2015

by Nyc_Tattoo


In with a :toxx:

(USER WAS BANNED FOR THIS POST)

ghost crow
Jul 9, 2015

by Nyc_Tattoo


Failed my toxx again because apparently I love throwing away money :downs:

ghost crow
Jul 9, 2015

by Nyc_Tattoo


In, and i'll let you pick.

ghost crow
Jul 9, 2015

by Nyc_Tattoo


In with a :toxx:. I'll take a flash rule too.

ghost crow
Jul 9, 2015

by Nyc_Tattoo


In

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ghost crow
Jul 9, 2015

by Nyc_Tattoo


in with a :toxx: as an investigator

(USER WAS BANNED FOR THIS POST)

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