Dystopian Future Archives - Page 2 of 3 - Lyonesse

Category Archives for "Dystopian Future"

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The Dragon’s Teeth

Master Sergeant Jacobs arose in his tomb, ready for duty. He scanned the inside of the subterranean bunker with radar, lidar and IR, noting the lack of any intruder or breach in the wall’s integrity. Chemical analysis indicated the presence of no foreign gasses, and the standard neon-argon gas mixture was uncontaminated by any rogue microbes or nanotech. Standing up in the armored stasis coffin he mentally gave the signal to bring the bunker tomb fully online.

He looked around with his new eyes. Infra-red, light amplification, full spectrum analysis, X-ray, radar, and range tracking and direction finding were all available with full telescopic detail. It would have been overwhelming were it not identical to the neural overlays of his reconnaissance old helmet with which he had trained, back when he was still alive. Now, he was able to able to take in the information faster with his quantum brain. Rather than it seeming to be less dense information, the rest of the world simply seemed to move slower, though.

While the bunker powered up around him, he reviewed his own internal diagnostic information. The  quantum computer that composed his brain was functioning at several times the speed his mind had in his former life, and the full archive of planetary maps as well as tactical battle data were intact. His micro-fusion torus in his chest was running flawlessly, and should function for centuries of normal activity, and weeks of combat. Already, it was diverting extra energy to superconducting loops to provide extra hours of energy in case his fusion “heart” shut down. His bones were each a single super-covalent molecule with interlocking orbitals, the same material used in armor-plating. That structural strength was needed to anchor the nano-scale superconducting magnetic strands of his muscles each with the speed and power of a rail gun accelerator. He could break the speed of sound with ease, and strike faster than a shock-wave could propagate though metal, shattering most armors.

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Negev

Do you remember?

We swore to make the desert bloom, you and I.

We all did. Each and every one of us.

What greater desert can be found than this? This world, this galaxy… It will all bloom one day. First here. First Negev. First our world, so far from earth and the ancient battleground, where we are, perhaps, safe from those older than man, should they come back to finish what they started.

Then the galaxy. We will heal the ancient battlegrounds, and they, too, will bloom. And should Avaddon return then…. Well, maybe then we will be able to beat them.

I saw the first wild flower today.

It was lovely. Just a small, frail thing, clinging to life in the desert, surviving only by virtue of its enhanced genetics. It was the only plant in sight, as far from Ben-Gurion and the ruins of the Merkava as Negev is from earth, it seems.

I knelt next to it, cupping the blossom in my hands for just a moment. The petals were broad and blue, thin like tissue. A gift from the posthumans, a preview of what our world could be like. With the Merkava’s resources gone, we could not have done it ourselves.

I wrenched it from the ground, crushing the flower in my fist.

Not at the cost of our son.

I’m so sorry, Ester.

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Henbit and Clovers

The sun was shining for the first time in weeks, and it was mid-morning on a Thursday. James knew it was a Thursday because he still meticulously counted the days as they passed in his calendar, even though many didn’t seem to care anymore. James still cared, even if it had little real world meaning any longer. It had finally stopped storming and finally gotten warm…spring was here and he was determined to enjoy it.

In his old life, he would have been locked up in a school room at this time of day, only able to look out the window. Now he could go wherever he wanted and do whatever he wanted, instead of sitting at the tiny desk and waiting for three o’clock to come.

The boy stood at the edge of the forest, peeking out from around the trunk of a large pine tree. The street in front of him, the back road of a big neighborhood, seemed empty. If he squinted his eyes he could even pretend to see what it used to look like. Without the broken windows, open doors, abandoned cars, or slightly overgrown flower beds. It was a nice sort of pretend, anyway. He had once run through a neighborhood kind of like this one with his friends, playing tag and superheroes and dinosaurs.

But now those friends were gone, and he wasn’t allowed to run about freely anymore.

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Second Home, Second Chance

He was alone. The cramped apartment seemed strangely empty now. He sat with his back to the window, the sole source of illumination. The sun was setting; its rays cut horizontally through the room, slicing it into light and dark.

The room was half the size of a garage he once rented in the old country. His neighbors’ apartments were all identically proportioned; he had lived here long enough to have seen them all, though it was rare to be welcomed inside because of the lack of space. The dimensions supposedly conformed to strict regulations for government-supplied housing. Based on his experience of this land, none of its natives could argue they had been treated unfairly.

He sat in what the locals called a ‘living’ room: a space for kitchen appliances plus a square table with four chairs. The wall to his left was decorated with a photograph printed on canvas. It was mounted on brackets which had once supported an outmoded television. Pencil drawings were pinned to the wall on his right. The photograph showed the man with a woman; she embraced him as he cradled a naked infant. The sketches featured fantastic places that could never exist in the real world.

Doors led to two bedrooms, a washing cubicle, and the elevator lobby for the 180th floor. With twenty-four families per floor, the locals treated the floors like neighborhoods. He could hear the neighbor’s children running around and around the central elevator shafts. At one point he thought the kids had knocked on the door, like they used to. They were sorry that Keisha would no longer join their fun, but were too young to dwell on such matters. Their racket distracted him but not enough to cause him to rise from his seat. Let the kids play, whilst there was still somewhere they could.

He had stopped reading the letter, which lay in shadow upon the table before him. The remainder of its contents could be deduced from the opening paragraph.

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Edge

My motorcycle hung, thirty feet up the side of a brick wall, suspended only by luck and willpower – which is about how I managed to hold onto the katana, too.

Motorcycles are different from cars. Cars, by their nature, want to stay upright. If you leave a car alone, it’ll stay upright. If a sudden gust of wind hits it, it’ll stay up. If you lose your balance while driving, it won’t fall. If you hit a slick spot in the road, you might lose control – but the car won’t topple over. A car has four wheels under it – four fat, wonderful, stabilizing, traction grabbing wheels. Cars are nice that way.

A motorcycle, by its nature, want to fall. They say their are two kinds of motorcyclists – those who have lain down their bikes and those who will lay down their bike. Motorcycles throw away two of those wheels under the theory that stability is optional. They’re held upright by a freakish combination of gyroscopic physics and balance. The former only works if you’re going fast. The latter depends entirely on the rider. And all of it can fall apart in a heartbeat if you hit a slick spot, a sudden gust of wind, or a redhead that makes you do a double take.

Let me tell you, a motorcycle suspended three stories off the ground wants to fall in the worst kind of way.

But maybe I should back up a bit, because you’re probably wondering how I got up there. And if you know me a little bit, you’re probably also wondering what damn fool idea got me on one of those two wheeled monstrosities in the first place. To be honest, I’m still not sure why I did it. But I can at least tell you how it happened.

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