This group is open to everyone who likes any kind of aircraft
This member has provided no bio about themself... or has he?
The elevator stopped on a raised circular platform that overlooked the whole room and all of its equipment and personnel. Technicians patrolled amongst the isles of computers, checking for faults in the system. The rest were men or women using the ones declared status green, or officials discussing something in the distance. Ethan, Jamie and the man Alma assumed was Rook were directly in front of her, down a flight of steps and through some several rows of computers, discussing something around a table fitted with a holographic projector.
The doors opened up and allowed the sound of the room to finally be let in, and there were voices everywhere speaking into headsets and mentoring others on what to do.
"Maybe you underestimated them, Newblood," Alma said to herself as she stuck her head out of the entrance to get a better look.
Keith walked ahead and went down the steps. Alma followed closely behind, and as she passed through the corridor the workstations made, she noticed once again that those who were not glued to their screens or replacing components or discussing whatever it was they were discussing, their eyes had caught a glimpse of her and they wouldn't let go. Some of them even jumped back in surprise. Or maybe it was shock or terror. Was she really that scary? Did being scary mean anything good?
It didn't take too long to reach the table, even less for her to hear the conversation much to Alma's delight - she wanted to occupy herself before she thought too much.
"No," Rook stated firmly. Alma didn't like where it sounded the conversation was heading
"What do you mean ‘no'?" Ethan exclaimed.
"I mean, no. I'm not risking the lives of my men or anyone else's just on this piece of unconfirmed intel. For all you or I know Damocles' main production could have been moved someplace else."
"No buts. The USDOD could have faked your friend's phone signature and set it as a trap or something, and I'm not risking Bishop's guys just to get some civilians out of custody."
Keith stopped before he walked into their personal space and tried to find a moment to interrupt.
Jamie pushed in from behind, "Rook, I don't know who you are and you don't know me, but I just want to say that I want to hit these bastards just as hard as any one of you do. They killed my whole family barring my sister who I have no doubt is in there-"
"And that story is no different from lots of others who are with us. Like it or not there are people like you, and they wish they could get their revenge right now, but it is never going to happen if we don't have a legitimate reason."
"But this reason is legitimate," argued Ethan.
"But you can't give us any evidence whether The Pentagon houses Damocles or not, can you? I am not having Bishop risk her men just for two civilians. You've seen in the movies how that shit ends: with more people dying than being saved. With what limited soldiers we have, we can't afford to be wasteful like in Word War One. And trust me, we tried saving fugitives once, it didn't end well."
"I'm confident that The Pentagon is one of the places they're-"
"Confidence is not enough. We need to be certain. Don't you get it? This revolution isn't going to be won by being brash. Give us evidence and then we'll consider it."
"Sir," Keith finally interjected.
"What is it, Keith?" asked Rook, clearly agitated, then stopped as he saw Alma looking back at him. He turned his gaze back to Keith, "Is this that lizard thing you were talking about?"
"I'm not a thing," Alma muttered head down.
Rook squinted, "Did it just talk?"
"Yes I did, thankyou very much," she haughtily replied, "And for the record, I'm a she, not an it, and I'm a coelophysis, see-low-fie-sis, not a thing. And I have a name, you know? It's Alma. Use it."
Rook just stood there, fixed in a look that was a mix of curiosity, alarm, and... unexpectedness... if that was the right word to describe it. Then he relaxed his posture, twisted his head to Ethan, stroked his stubble, then pointed at her with his thumb and said, "So she can talk is that supposed to impress me?" His tone was disapproving of her, "So what is she? Made in a lab or something? Whatever, I've got no time to look at whatever crazy ass science shit you bring to me, all right?"
Alma was getting bad impressions about him, "I'm not some stupid escaped lab rat, Rook," Alma was internally surprised at how harsh her voice was, "Now could you and your men please just cut that stuff out? I've had enough of it already."
"And who the hell are you to just waltz on in here and speak like you're the fucking queen of England?!"
"My name is Alma. I am a coelophysis and I am responsible for eight people dying spanning from Kelowna in Canada to Bitterroot National Park and I hate that fact! I hate these guys just as much as anyone else here not only because they took my father and are torturing him even now, but because they kill their own families just to prove they're patriot enough!" Was Simon really her ‘father'? Alma noticed a pang of something hit Rook's face as she spoke those last few words, and he straightened his hat, "And I'm that evidence you need! You want proof that whatever this Damocles thing is is in The Pentagon?! Look at me! You can't see it, but I'm a robot with the LMC-III as my CPU, and Newblood is in here too!" Rook's eyes widened, "And don't even try to take him out and put him in another machine! He won't cooperate and neither will I!" She only realised how loud she really was when she stopped her little rant and heard the echo resonate about the room with no noise in reply: everyone in the area had stopped working and looked her way to see what was happening. Even Rook's stern expression was failing and giving way to something more thoughtful. Maybe she hit the right notes?
He turned back to Ethan, Keith and Jamie, "It's saying the truth?"
"I'm not an it," she said to herself. At least he didn't hear her that time.
"Yes," Jamie replied, not Alma's first choice when it came to whom she thought would come to her defence, "Simon's her creator and this New Blood guy is in there."
"I can confirm," Ethan proclaimed.
"And she told me up above," Keith admitted, "And she wouldn't stop asking questions."
Alma turned to him, "You should have said if I was annoying."
"Didn't want to seem rude."
"Wait," Rook intruded, holding his forehead in one hand, "you told her everything about this place."
Keith was silent.
"Bloody hell Keith, that mouth of yours is just gonna get someone killed sometime."
"Wait, you think we're aligned to the US?" Jamie questioned with volume.
Rook turned his head, "No, but some of my men," he glared at Keith, "have a bigger mouth than what they should and yak all of our secrets to civilians, who in turn could alert the US. And they don't always alert them intentionally. Those CCTV cameras about the major cities and towns all have voice-recorders too."
"Thankyou for giving us that piece of useless information," Ethan boldly stated, "now are you going to help us or not?"
Rook put up his hand, "Don't push my patience, Ethan," he placed his hands at the back of his neck and stared off into the distance. It was after some uncomfortable silence when he spoke again, "Fine. I'll see what I can do," the group, barring Keith and Rook, blew out a sigh of... it wasn't relief... The group blew out a sigh of something that was not relief but close to it, "however..." Alma stopped her internal celebration, "if Bishop agrees, you," he looked at Ethan, "will be on the ground in the fight."
She felt hollow inside.
"But why?" Ethan asked with a grim look
"No description, map or 3D model you could give would ever help us. If this would ever work, we'll need you in there to guide the troops."
No one said anything. The space was silent except for the spectators who had now gone back to working on whatever it is they were working on, or talking about whatever it was they were talking about. Ethan looked paler than usual and stared down at a point just ahead of his feet, twiddling with his trouser pockets with his fingers. He didn't seem to be enjoying that last bit of news at all, neither was Jamie, who had put her hand on his shoulder.
"I know it doesn't seem fair," Rook added, "but if you really did help Simon to steal that chip, then you'd know this place better than anyone here. And I want to maximise the amount of people brought back home."
Wait, don't Alma.
Alma stepped forward.
Think about this.
"Then in that case, I volunteer."
"What?!" Ethan exclaimed, looking at her with a face of surprise and angst.
"I said I want to go."
"But you... you... Alma, it's dangerous."
"This whole thing has been, and look where it's got me: several hundred miles from home, Simon kidnapped and eight plus people dead."
"But nothing. He saw me out of trouble the last time he was with me, so it's only fair I return the favour."
Ethan said nothing, just stared at the ground again.
"I want to go too," Jamie proclaimed.
He turned his look of discomfort to her, "Not you too."
"Ethan, these people murdered most of my family and are keeping my sister alive only so they can torture her and Simon. If the Rook here's giving us the chance to hit the bastards back and save her, I'm going to take it."
Ethan twisted his head left and right between Jamie and Alma, then brought his head back to look straight at Rook, "...Then I guess we're all going."
"I'm a little hesitant about the little one here," Rook gestured to Alma with an open hand.
"I'm not a ‘little one', please, Rook, I have a name."
"Alma, yes, sorry," he apologised, though he didn't seem to like being corrected, "What happens if she goes and gets killed or captured? Providing she really is a robot, the LMC will be back in United States hands, and that's exactly what we'd want to avoid."
"I know the risk, but I want to do this," Alma spoke the words, but even she was arguing inside her head whether she should or not, "I... I just..." she sighed, "I just don't want him to be alone..."
Great, she thought to herself, one of the most pathetic ways to end an important sentence. She had to say more than that. C'mon, how could she convince him to let her go? ...What about something personal? What about the way he shifted uneasily at the end of a sentence in her angry rant? One hell of a gamble... No... no never mind. Any subject that could anger him was best left alone.
"Well I think we can safely say that Simon's a father-figure to her," Ethan said.
"He's not my dad, he's..." she began to argue, "...I don't know what he is..."
"In any case," Jamie continued, "we're rescuing what's left of our families, so... maybe we're one in the same."
"So I until we get them safely out, I guess I'll keep watch over her until then."
Jamie answered Alma's anxious expression with a look of solemness, then she turned her gaze to Rook, "Put me next to her if she goes in and I will make sure nothing happens to her or the LMC."
"I thought it was my job to keep her safe," Ethan held, "Simon trusted her to me after all."
"So maybe I'm a voluntary godparent."
"...But we are not related in any way your or I."
"No of course not, unless you count that work experience excursion to Ghost Ranch."
"Wait... You were that second girl? The one between Simon and I when we were shifting though the fossils? And your sister was on the same trip, right?"
"Yeah. You remember!"
"God, bloody hell, Alma, you have my consent to go, just get these guys to stop talking about their life story, please," Rook pleaded, rubbing his glabella with his left hand while resting on the table with the other.
Jamie and Ethan stopped their conversation.
"Okay, yes, fine, you can all go, but Jamie, keep that promise of yours. And all of you, realise that this is a huge undertaking you're asking for, but this won't stop Damocles, only delay it."
"If you don't mind me saying, Rook," Alma said, "I never expected I'd be saving the world from anything."
Rook shifted his feet and leaned on the table with crossed arms, "Liberation."
"...I... don't understand."
"You're saving the world from liberation."
Alma shared her confused look with Jamie and Keith both of whom had blank expressions. She curved her head back to Rook, "...L-liberation from what?"
"...But that makes no sense, why does the world need to be liberated?"
"That's the point, it doesn't."
"Do you know anything about the Truman Doctrine, Alma?" Keith asked.
I know a little about it, but not much.
"...Yes... a little... Newblood does, actually."
"What is it?"
"A... pact, created by the US that basically said it was its duty to go to war with any country that was... communist... But I still don't understand, what's this to do with Damocles?"
"Operation Damocles is the Truman Doctrine in effect," replied Rook while activating the table's holographic projector. Giving a white glow, the projector switched on and showed a 3D model of Earth.
"So Damocles is a military procedure?"
"Yep," Rook confirmed, and then started typing on a touchscreen keyboard in front of him. The globe lit up with certain colours. Alma recognised the PIEA to be marked out, and assumed the rest of the other coloured countries must have been the other WEGs, "This is a map of all the World Economic Groups," Rook confirmed, "We have the Pan-American Commercial Coalition," he described, pointing to the countries highlighted in green around the Caribbean and all of South America, "the Pacific Independents' Economic Alliance," his finger hovered over all of the yellow in the Pacific, "the Turan Federation, and that's barely holding together," his hand circled the Middle-East, where an earthy-sand colour was present, "the African Financial Trust," highlighted in red, "the European Union," blue, "and the Baltic Pact, which is all the counties in Scandinavia, including Iceland and Finland," all in white, "but... I assume you know that already."
"Only the TF and PIEA, everyone else is new."
"In any case, these groups were formed for the sake of countries becoming self-sufficient, but... Basically, the president disagrees. He and his brother, General Nathan Fox, have somehow led themselves to believe this whole thing is a commie plot, and ever since he won the seat, John and his brother have been forging America into some kind of patriot-filled, military-focussed superpower. And Operation-"
"Which isn't too far from how the rest of the world's been seeing America over the past century," Ethan shrewdly interrupted, "you savvy?"
Rook let his head drop and sighed, "...Yes, that's right," he raised his head back to face Ethan, "and we're sick of copping that shit, so if you don't mind, Ethan, keep that crap to yourself, please."
Ethan looked unmoved.
"Ever considered that maybe we don't like the past? That maybe, just maybe, I don't like the fact that America has as much to blame for the world's troubles as Russia? I'm a patriot, but I'm not a blind patriot like the majority of the fuckers up there."
"Please," Alma near inaudibly pleaded, "no bad language."
"Yes, sorry, thankyou, Alma. Now, as I was saying. Operation Damocles is the mechanisation of the American armed forces, integrating thousands, if not millions of self-governed UAVs, UGVs and UNVs into the ranks of the air force, army, marines, navy."
"To do what?" Alma inquired, though she knew the answer immediately after she asked.
"What do you think?" Rook tapped something else on the keyboard, and then hundreds of holographic arrows launched from various locations in the USA, each landing in a specific country, then that country turned red, white and blue. Alma stared on with wide eyes, "Liberate the world of the communist threat. Now the second we found out about this, the APR was formed, and we're doing all we can to delay if not prevent this from happening. We have the weapons and vehicles left over from before John ordered a crackdown on civilian firearms, but we have to be careful about what we do with them."
"Why not ask the outside for help?"
"That's like stepping away from a door you're bracing against to stop the zombies coming in. What if Damocles is finished before we prove it exists? Besides, all incoming and outgoing flights are checked for fugitives like us. Same with incoming and outgoing phone calls, emails, whatever. You know how little time it takes to decrypt something these days? And we don't have any good encryption stuff anyway, not like something in the UK."
But how do I fit into this?
Alma spoke to herself, "You don't know how you fit in?"
"You say something, Alma?" Keith asked.
She was surprised she was heard, but she may as well have gone with it, "Newblood wants to know where he fits into this."
"Newblood," Keith explained, "is a branch of the development process of Operation Damocles, called Project: New Blood. New Blood was... sorry, New Blood is supposed to be a super-adaptive, super-responsive AI that uses the LMC-III as its CPU. The plan was to mass-produce hundreds of the chips, put them in bodies, and let them wreak havoc on the battlefield. Basically a New Blood unit is a mechanical soldier. Not using tracks, wings, rotors or whatever: feet, hands. They're supposed to be worth at least a thousand men each, so say their blueprints."
"No country needs that amount of overkill," Rook exclaimed, "not America, not Russia, not China, Japan, Korea, Britain, France, Germany, wherever. No one needs it. I mean... why should we prepare to defend ourselves if the world's settling down? And the only war that recently broke out was the invasion of Azerbaijan by Iraq."
"You mean the Turan War?" questioned Ethan, "The one where Azerbaijan was invaded and Turkey responded and they still don't know who the aggressor is?"
"The aggressor was Iraq."
"How the hell do you know that? That hasn't been on the news."
"A few years ago we intercepted a video/audio transmission from a United States Spec Ops detachment operating in Iraq. They were posing as a joint Azerbaijani-Turkish force and their objective was an Iraqi missile facility that was to be decommissioned later this year as part of the Turan Federation's Terms and Conditions upon entry. They were speaking in fluent Turkish so it took us a while to translate, but we did eventually, and we know they had aerial support and extraction, all with Turkish vehicles. We focussed on two of the belligerents' transmissions, callsigns: Warrior 1 and Misfit 5, but they were the wrong ones. We should have looked at Misfit 3, who stayed behind to use the missiles."
"Iraq. The missiles that launched weren't nukes: that would catch world attention instantly. The missiles launched were special Hydra-class missiles - undetectable even by friendly radar."
"Precisely. A minute before impact the missile shatters and launches mini-missiles. The Hydras are meant for decimating large encampments, not precise targeting, that's why the missiles were perfect to target the major cities in Iraq."
"...So that was the country-wide terrorist strike we heard about?" Jamie deduced.
Keith nodded, but Rook was the one who spoke, "Yep. Iraq claimed to everyone else it was a national terror strike, but since it was confirmed by the ground troops defending the missile site that it was Turkey and Azerbaijan who attacked, Iraq had an incentive to strike back. Thousands of civilians killed by their own Hydra missiles. You don't need to ask why the person threw the punch, only how you'll punch back."
"...But... Why would the US do this if... Why? There's no point to it."
"You're wrong. It proves to the community a false point. The public above now has the impression that the communists can't keep themselves in check and fight amongst themselves, so someone is going to have to do something about it. The US saved the world in 1918, 1945, 1951, blah blah blah, so why not now? Now it can save the world from itself and earn the gratitude of everyone ever."
Everyone was silent for a few moments, looking at the floor or sharing uncertain looks with one another. Alma hung her head low. Simon... He knew all this? How... What... What could she say? Did she need to say anything? What could she say? She sighed and drooped her head lower.
"Look, if what you say is true and Alma's a robot with the LMC, I'll sort things out with Bishop and affirm permission from the others."
"I'm the head of operations in the northwest. Bishop's head in the northeast. Knight is southeast, and Pawn is southwest. We never conduct any operation without a consensus. So that means while I might agree to her going, the others might not."
"So what do we do now?" Alma asked.
"Rest up," Rook answered, then nodded to Keith, "Show them to the spare rooms Ghost has, then join the rest of your company."
"Sir, yes sir," Keith replied, but not like a hardcore soldier: more of a casual remark he would say to someone everyday - no doubt he did, "All right," he said while heading to the elevator and gesturing for Jamie, Alma and Ethan to follow with his right hand, "follow me down a floor."
Alma turned to move.
Rook's voice halted her, "Alma," he paused to let her face him, "what's in that bag of yours?"
She angled her head sideways to see the brown leather satchel resting solidly on her back. Ethan had crudely modified it while Jamie was training in The Simulator to include a buckle-strap reaching left to right so that it could stay on her back and not slip off. She need only slip her head through the main strap then lock the buckles together under her belly. Even though the books were important to her, she kept forgetting that she had them with her. "Just some books."
"What makes you so interested?"
"Did Simon give them to you?"
A pang of something hit her in the back of the neck.
"They're children's books. And I like them. But they're good for any age... I think... not that it matters..."
"How old are you?"
"Two. I only started speaking about a week ago."
"Yet you have the dialect of an English teacher."
"Thank Simon for that."
Alma and Rook both looked to the elevator when they heard Ethan beckoning, then he was cut short by Keith, "Actually, you can stay up here for a bit," he said, "the lift's too small for four. I'll take them down, then come back for you."
She nodded, though she doubted he could see from the distance. They left.
"So why'd he steal the LMC-III?"
"Why'd Simon steal the LMC-III?"
"To make me."
"Yeah," Rook agreed with the obvious, "but what I mean is why would Simon need it? I mean, wouldn't something civilian suffice? Why would he need some military-grade tech for you? If you are machine."
"Which I am."
Rook put his hand up in mock surrender, "As you say. But still, why?"
"Because... he..." Alma tried to find the words without making it sound outrageous, "Never mind. Ah... He... wanted to... code emotion. And he succeeded."
Rook's eyes were angled to his top left in... contemplation, maybe? After a brief few seconds, all he said was, "...O...kay..."
"You're... not surprised?"
"No no, I'm surprised all right, I just find it hard to believe, I guess."
"Sometimes so do I."
"Yeah. Bit weird isn't it, how the creation sometimes doesn't think its existence possible?"
"I guess. Oh, look, the lift's returned," Rook pointed to the raised platform in the centre of the room. The door unlocked and Keith waved for her to come to him. She did as she was silently instructed and jogged her way up the steps to the podium.
"What were you two talking about?" Keith asked.
"Just my bag."
"My bag," Alma repeated, "the thing on my back?"
An epiphany struck his face, which was now uncovered. He cringed, "Sorry, I never noticed it before."
"Don't worry, sometimes I forget it's there too," she admitted as she entered the transparent elevator, "We're going down, right?"
Keith stepped into the space and pressed a button on the side furthest from the entrance. It was a downwards-facing arrow, so Alma's question had already been answered. "Yes, didn't you hear before?"
"Guess I must have been thinking to myself."
The door sealed shut and the lift proceeded through yet another layer of concrete. She noticed that Keith was humming a tune.
"What's that you're humming?"
"Just some new-age stuff, you might not know it. What's in your bag anyway?"
Keith raised his eyebrows, "Oh really? What genre?"
"Children's, but I think it's good for any age."
"Well, what's the title? Or titles I should say," he asked as the door opened up to a large room. Smaller than the command centre up a floor though in terms of radius. It was at that point Alma realised that the true edges of the space were being covered up by walls, "This is Ghost company's living quarters, by the way."
"Well, yeah," Keith started heading towards one of the doors embedded in the walls, "There's seven companies of us operating here. Companies are the unofficial name, really. Anyway, each company has twelve twelve-man squads. One company's stationed at each of the entrances to this place, then there's Ghost, who stays down here, just in case, you know?"
"No I don't. You're the one with the info."
He stopped walking and stared at the floor, "...And I shouldn't have said a bloody word."
"You can trust me. I've got no one to tell."
"That doesn't really help when you're in a place where anyone can have ears."
"If you're just going to stand here, then at least tell me where Ethan and Jamie are."
"Nah, I'll walk," then he continued walking, "...So what were the titles of the books?"
"The How to Train Your Dragon series."
"...I think I actually had those a long time ago, before I joined this."
Alma cocked her head at him, "You're less than fifty, so you had yours in digital?"
"Yeah. I sort of wish I had a hardcopy now."
"Did you like them?"
"I did, I still do. You know they made at least two movies based on the books?"
Keith rested his shoulder on the wall the door was attached to, "Yeah, they did. Same characters, completely different story."
"That doesn't sound appealing."
"No no no, the first was just as good as the first book itself, but I'm not sure about the second or any of the others, if there are any others. But I'm probably boring you," he thought aloud, and then opened the door.
There wasn't much to say: the room was tan in colour, illuminated by two bright lights on opposite ends of the space, and filled with twenty-four wall-mounted beds. Underneath the majority of beds there were wooden chests, no doubt packed with valuables the soldiers prized. In the centre of the room there were some chairs and an assortment of other things ranging from weights to game consoles. "Two squads to a room?" Alma said, a cross between a statement and a question.
"Yeah. Don't go meddling with anyone's chest in here, or they will find an excuse to pound you."
"Oh, and Ethan and Jamie went down a floor to the cafeteria."
"You need an entire floor for a food court?"
"It's almost exactly like this floor here in the sense it has six rooms. One of them is for food, the rest are residential. For civilians. A hundred and twenty was the last count, maybe a few've joined up or have taken their chances outside. I dunno, but a hundred and twenty give or take."
"You let people go outside? In the open? Where they can find them? Why not just keep everyone here?"
"Because that's no different from keeping people against their will. They can take their chances if they want. We don't conscript."
Alma lowered her head and stared at the floor, "Sorry," she said, "I should really learn when to be quiet."
"Hey, it's not your fault, it's a common question we get. Then again, the ability to question is severely undervalued these days."
She looked up and smiled, "...Thanks, Keith."
"How'd you... Oh, right, right, the guys up there. Yeah, you're welcome."
There was an awkward silence.
"So, yeah, ah, your beds are over there in the corner there."
"How many are spare?"
"Plenty. Wait. There's only enough beds for twenty-four people. They're not spare."
Alma turned her gaze to the beds Keith had been mentioning, "...You mean to say..."
"It's a war. Stuff like that happens."
"I know but..."
"Who're the survivors from the squad?"
"Spectre, Phantom and Visage, the ones who rescued you. We gave them those nicknames because they slipped out of the combat zone like ghosts."
"What were they doing?"
"Gathering intel, but the liaison was a turncoat. It was less of an ambush and more of a massacre."
"...I'm sorry. Did you know anyone?"
"No. But that doesn't mean it's any better. We can't find anyone Spectre likes to fill in the nine gaps in his squad. By the way he's been acting recently Rook's considering marking him unfit for duty."
"You know his name?"
"No, no one does. From what I know ever since he joined her was pretty secretive. We only ever referred to him by his callsign: Ghost 12 - 1. It's pretty sad now I think about it."
"...I want to say something."
"I don't know what to say, or who to say it to... Never mind. What's the time?"
Keith raised his arm and shifted back the long, dark green sleeves of his shirt to reveal a dirty, sweaty forearm with a wristwatch. "About twenty past six in the evening."
"I guess I'll get some rest then."
"Don't want dinner or something from the cafeteria?"
"...Nah. I don't want any more people looking at me like those guys up there."
Keith shrugged, "If that's what you want, so be it."
"But what do they have, just out of curiosity?"
"Let's see... The meat's all grown from a petri dish, and that ranges from chicken to pork to beef. Then we have an almost limitless supply of fruit and veg. W can make just about anything provided we have the base ingredients."
"In the mornings. Wait, do dinosaurs eat pancakes?"
Keith waited a few moments, and then shrugged with his eyebrows.
"Why is it that everyone I meet is weird?"
"Just about everyone I've ever met has been completely okay with the idea of talking to a robotic coelophysis with real skin. Everyone I've met is weird."
"Maybe you just keep accidentally finding all the right people."
"Hayhe," Alma tried to speak in the middle of a yawn, making her intended ‘maybe' sound almost uninterpretable, "Pardon me. I think talking about time is making me sleepy."
"I guess I should go anyway," he headed to the door, "I've probably taken more time off than the other guys would deem necessary. And I've got the night shift."
"You have to stay lookout the whole night?"
"Yeah," Keith smiled, "The perks of my job, eh?"
"You volunteered for it."
"I guess," he opened the metal door. It wasn't a heavy-duty airtight blastdoor as seen in many movies of the stereotyped bunkers: it was a simple metal door built solely to withstand the strength of a bullet, "Good night, Alma."
"Good night, Keith."
"You're probably too old for it but... Sweet dreams. Wait, do you dream?"
She smiled in reply.
"Of course you do," he smirked, "Goodbye."
The door closed. With the light still on, Alma read for half an hour to finish off the first book. The epilogue. Very sweet in its own macabre way. And to think, this wondrous world filled with dragons and Vikings and beer-bellies could all exist within the imagination of a single person: the lore and backstories and context and personalities and psychology. To become an author was to become the architect of a world worlds away - an age ages past.
Imagine. Just imagine.
Who lay on this bed before her? Man or woman? Good or bad? What was their last thought? What would have been the least likely thing for them to think? "Gee, I bet there'll be a robotic dinosaur who reads books lying on my bed some time in the future"?
She found her eyes sore, and then rested her head on the pillow. Within a few minutes, she'd begun to dream.
"You have to admit, she's pretty cute when she's asleep."
"You're right. To think; the US is after a dinosaur brain."
"You glad you forgave her?"
"...Life's too short to hold grudges... Especially now."
This group is open to everyone who likes any kind of aircraft
this is a group, (like the tank and aircraft lovers) is dedicated to the IFV (infantry fighting vehicle) like the BMP-2 the M2A2 bradly and so on and...
To all those who are Australian... join this group! :D This is for all who are, and or live in Australia. Ozzie Rules!!
Join this group if you are a big fan of the Battlefield series by EA/Dice!
A group for any fans of Command & Conquer Generals
The mod development studios for Battlefield: Scandinavia, Battlefield: Africa, Winter Warfare and BF2: Final War. If you are intrested in joining ethier...
This group contains a lot of stuff of the Halo community. Mod news, game screen shots and Halo humor.
Home for all kinds of humor, satires, parodies, sarcasms and more.