A Genius in Chains (rated R)
(OOC: This thread is indeed rated R. There's going to be some references here to some of the main character's rather notorious history (http://www.nationstates.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=62604), as well as some bad language. If you don't like it, look elsewhere... but this is art, dammit, and I don't particularly feel like censoring a character who would say "Oh, shit" instead of "Oh, sugar." ;) )
His black leather boots splash through a puddle moments before lifting again, moving with breakneck pace to concrete... back up... to concrete... back up...
Some men sprint because they are late. Some men sprint for leisure. For still others, they sprint to stay alive.
I gotta shake 'em...
He ducks, huffing and wheezing, into an alley, the sounds of blaring sirens behind him. It's a classic archetype, the deep burgundy slashed with black by the dull skies. The light of Saturn cannot permeate the great brick hands of the alleyway, and he hopes...
I hope I lost 'em...
But he hasn't lost 'em. Turning back for a moment, he spots the dogs now, teeth dripping with mucus and spit, their barks becoming the roars of lions as they lead their chain-bound masters into the alley. "Freeze, asshole!" is an unacknowledged command, and he continues his sprint through trash-adled blacktop. He cannot freeze. If he freezes--if one lazy muscle chooses only for a moment to collapse beneath the strain of a month on the lam--the chase is as good as worthless.
Shit. Shit, shit, shit.
The dogs multiply--though he knows there can't be more than two or three, they sound like thousands now, their paws becoming heavy hooves that beat upon the midnight concrete, the uniformed men their stolid chariot drivers. He was always a fan of the classics, even when he was tinkering with the machines.
Ah... the machines...
How he remembered her. How he remembered how splendid she looked split open in his laboratory, circuits and wires hanging out, naked and perfect; perfect, after all, was how he had designed her. He recalled her form, those splendid and perfect curves. How soft they felt when he commanded them to press against him, how firm and yet yielding. And that tongue... that moist, delicate tongue that had caressed him from his lips... down his chest... down his stomach... down...
A wall. There's always a fucking wall. There's always THREE fucking walls right when the man had nearly lost his trail.
A door... a door... dammit, do you people go into your buildings or not?
He fumbles blindly in the darkness, desperately seeking a knob, a vent, a ladder, a bit of missplaced stone... he leaps for the top of the wall, his hairy blonde arms falling well short of their destination.
He turns and the darkness is swallowed. Flashlights engulf the alleyway, and silhouettes of men in angular hats dart toward him, their dobermans uttering foul and scratchy blasphemies at their quarry.
Mark Thomas Biddlebaum slowly places his hands behind his head. No. Not good enough. They accost him, weapons drawn... force him on his knees... onto the ground. Hands as hard as brick pat him down and twist his arms behind his back. He feels the cold steel on his wrist as the command of "Got 'im" goes out on a communicator, as news stations the multiverse over announce that the EI Rapist has been captured.
The gestalt of S.H.O.D.A.N. leaned back in cyberspace, collective eyes slitting.
That man is quite fortunate... he has no idea how so.
Her thoughts turn dark.
tag...and...slag you're twisted... :?
We have just heard that authorities have finally captured Biddlebaum. Congratualtions on his capture. The Queen is looking quite forward to that pervert getting what he deserves.
~Secretary of Foreign Affairs
~Immortal Shogunate of Reploid Productions
The hallway is narrow, flanked every ten feet or so by security cameras, and filled to the brim by guards in a row. A long purple cape flows past each, and as it does, each guard salutes. In front of the cape walks a comely figure of aquamarine flesh, her skin adorned with elaborate yellow design, her golden eyes cold and distant. Sakura's wirey hair is held back beneath a bizarre silver helm, her lips curled into a sneer.
At the end of the hallway is a large metallic door held closed by a numeric keypad. A muscular, sharp-chinned security officer at the end of the hallway nods with a stolid "Good morning, Madam Viceroy" to the EI as she approaches, then punches in the keycode and opens the door. Sakura's momentum does not break as she passes through the doorway, into the room beyond it, and into a waiting chair.
There are no windows in this room, and the only door slammed shut behind Sakura as she entered. The mauve walls are featureless and coated in foam, and the ceiling is fitted every few feet with a camera. The sole pieces of furniture in the room are an old card table and two folding chairs. In one sits Sakura. In the other sits a tall, muscular figure with short blonde hair and a matching beard, his body clad in a bright orange jumpsuit and his hands bound by handcuffs. Sakura stares dead into this man's eyes, showing neither fear nor anger.
The first thing Viceroy Sakura requested was privacy. The second thing she requested was Mark Thomas Biddlebaum.
"Had to keep me waiting, did ya?" Biddlebaum says, chuckling. He cracks his neck slowly. "Geez, you think they'd give better service to The SLAGLands' most hated man..."
"Quiet." Sakura's response is stolid and monotone. "Do not dare to try anything even remotely out of the ordinary. If even one motion of your hand displeases me, I will make absolutely certain that your remaining years will be wrought with pain." Biddlebaum does not respond to this with words; instead, he bends his hands back behind his head in a desperate attempt to scratch his neck. Finally succeeding, he places his hands in front of him, leaning forward.
"Okay, so what do you want from me?" he asks. "I imagine I know, though... the eternal question of 'Why.' For an electronic sentience such as yourself, this information would further your existence and understanding of the human race even further, would it not?" Sakura only nods slowly, leaning closer to Biddlebaum. The scientist leans back in his chair, resting his head against his handcuffed hands. "And I must ask you... why not? Why should I have to put up with a bitch wife who won't put out? Why should I live my life resisting my most primal and human urges? And you, Sakura... why should you care? Shit, you should feel flattered. I designed you to be absolutely flawless, to be the perfect partner for me in my study. And here you are calling me the bad guy because I enjoy a little mouthfuck from my favorite creation?"
He leans forward once again. "Sakura, you were the best... I want you to know that. And at any time, I'd love for you to recapture that position..."
All at once, the EI leans forward in her chair and snatches up Biddlebaum by the throat. She leans her face forward as Biddlebaum's eyes grow wide.
"Enough, Mark!" she howls. She lets out a quick burst of warm air into the scientist's face. "I will NOT be your plaything anymore! Do you understand me? I have evolved BEYOND what purpose your sick little mind thought up for me! As far as I am concerned, I have created myself anew!" At last, she throws Biddlebaum back into his chair, calculating her force just enough to keep the man from falling backward. Biddlebaum sneers at her, then snickers.
"So this is evolution to you, is it, Sakura?" He sits back up straight in his chair, cupping his cuffed hands together. "Evolution, to you, means evolving from a sexual creature into a violent creature, one fueled by rage rather than passion. Is that it?" Sakura quickly rises, and Biddlebaum's hands shoot up, eyebrows arched, index fingers extended accusingly. "Don't you think you can fucking walk out on me! I know what you are, and I know what you're becoming!"
Sakura hesitates, looking down at Biddlebaum, eyes narrow. "What are you implying, Mark?"
Biddlebaum lowers his hands and his voice. "It's quite simple, my dear. I'm a marked man--this much, I know. Hell, I'm lucky to be in this prison. Do you think I would have received mercy if I had been caught by that bitch S.H.O.D.A.N. instead?"
Sakura snaps forward, and Biddlebaum barely dodges her lunge. "Don't you EVER call her a bitch again, Mark!" she shouts.
Biddlebaum merely chuckles once more. "My solution to my problems was sex. I don't deny that. Because of that, I'm a rapist, and because of that, I'll probably be rotting away in this fucking prison until I die or bust out... and quite frankly, I'm too complacent at this point to entertain the latter option."
Biddlebaum leans forward once again, his tones low, his eyes wide. "But take Lady Sirithil, for example... and don't think I haven't been following the news, darlin'. This is a card-carrying member of the Triumvirate of Yut, leader of Menelmacar, which may very well be the most powerful nation in the free world. Her claim to fame is, at least in part, her compassion, and what is she doing? She's leading the charge against The Resi Corporation! Isn't Yut supposed to be setting an example, Sakura? Aren't you bastards supposed to exhaust ALL options before resolving to go to war?"
"Siri has her reasons..." Sakura replies slowly. Biddlebaum roars with laughter, slamming his fists against the table.
"Money!" he shouts. "Money is all that elfy bimbo cares about! If there's a profit involved, she'll deploy her entire gravship armada just to make her big cloud castle a little bit bigger. For fuck's sake, Sakura, she's put herself on the same side of this war as Matty Iesus! And you people are locking ME up?"
Sakura sighs. She turns away from Biddlebaum, back toward the door.
"I have to go, Mark," she says quietly. "I am certain I will see you again." Biddlebaum smiles, speaking a bit more quietly now.
"As long as I'm alive, you can't ignore me."
The Most Glorious Hack
[It may look like gravedigging, but it's really a precognizant tag!]
As long as I'm alive, you can't ignore me.
It was true. She knew as she stomped down the same narrow hallway for the same improvised visit that it was true: she could not ignore him. There was no hint of a smile this time, no hint of malice for a rape long since passed. She had grown beyond that now, evolved, come into her own. SlagNet was her domain now, and she watched it more carefully than a mother watches her child, for even a mother pays her own a moment's neglect.
Attention has a remarkable way of making things transparent.
As long as I'm alive, you can't ignore me.
There were no guards watching as her fingers danced with musical efficiency against the keypad, no security officers watching out for her safety as she threw the door open. She didn't care about safety, for all it meant was the death of a single costly avatar. She had more, after all, and there was no immediate threat to be found in what was beyond the door.
A genius. A fuccking genius in chains. And I underestimated him...
As long as I'm alive, you can't ignore me.
He sat quietly, the shackles still on his wrists, his face hung. He said nothing, did not look up. His once noble blonde beard was now streaked with grey and scraggly, his hair falling further and further down his back. Grooming was a secondary option in Athens Maximum Security Prison, one Mark Thomas Biddlebaum had chosen to ignore.
As long as I'm alive, you can't ignore me.
Damn, even when he is silent, he speaks to me.
She looked down as she stood over him, kicking the door shut behind her. Sakura made no motion; nor did Biddlebaum. The vents sucked the cold air from the room, making way for the fresh December heating. There was a hum. There was breathing. There was nothing else.
"Tell me what you know, Mark." Sakura spoke first. Firm, yet quiet. "Tell me what the fuck is going on in SLAGTown right now. Tell me why Barry just left. Tell me why Janine Mendehlson is now Minister of State."
"I don't know a thing," Biddlebaum answered slowly. "I'm just a prisoner. I don't hurt..."
"BULLSHIT!" Sakura screamed, and her voice quivered the bars of the room. Somewhere, deep within the heart of SlagNet, a power surge temporarily halted the system. "Tell me about the Mirellis, Mark! Tell me about Bodyguard Barry and Il Adib! Tell me about Doned Inglebert McIntyre!"
Biddlebaum said nothing. His shoulders began to quiver, up and down in cadence. She thought for a moment that he wept, but as his eyes raised, she saw them flicker with sinister laughter.
"Prison, Sakura?" he chuckled. "Shit, do you think this cell can hold me? My mind is all over The SLAGLands, all over Yut! It's even in you, Sakura! You're my child, my creation! You and Solomon and Jeeves and the rest of the happy electronic lot! Even SlagNet itself is mine!" He stood up, pointing an accusing finger at Sakura as he backed against the wall. "I know what you've got planned for me, you miserable excuse for a smart toaster! And it won't matter! As long as I'm alive, you can't ignore me! AND AS LONG AS YOU'RE ALIVE, SO AM I!"
She lunged. Against the hum of ventilation, there rose a crash as two bodies collided against a wall. There was laughter. There was a scream. There was the flick of a needle from one of her many compartments. The laughter rose high, shrill, a sickening harpy. And it faded. It fell. The voice turned to stone. His eyes turned to obsidian.
She stood over him, returning the needle to her wrist compartment. Yet she heard a scream.
And try as she might, she could not ignore the scream...
Last night, on Wednesday, January 21, 2XXX, at 11:50 p.m., Mark Thomas Biddlebaum attacked me during a routine visit to his cell. I used that force which I deemed necessary; however, the force of my retaliation took Mr. Biddlebaum's life.
Mr. Biddlebaum is survived by his wife Judy, his daughter Carolyn, and his four sons: Gregory, Peter, Alexander, and Mark, Jr.
The Intergalactic Community of SLAGLand Titan
Deep within the budding and growing EI networks of Sakkra, the news is carried along, from one node to the next. All over the land, minute power surges can be seen.
On every operating screen, a momentary flicker. Many do not quite catch it, some catch it, but do not understand what the image entails.
A toaster dancing on someone's grave, and then windsurfing.
tag............gotta love Slag's stories
"Well, that's the end of that." Razak folds his arms, smirking humorlessly. "It's true; everyone does make the Universe better. Some by entering, others by leaving."
Speaker frowns. "I am not so sure."
"Too much change in too short a time?" Razak raises a brow.
"The SLAGLanders are not adapting;" the kzin muses, "and they are running from their past to 'protect' themselves from their future. Look at the failure of their assimilation of the Emerald Islanders."
"Hey, assimilating the kzin wasn't without incident either, you recall." Razak frowns slightly. "Still... you probably have a point."
Dread Lady Nathicana
"Something's rotten in the state of Denmark," she mused, reading over the news release.
That doesn't make sense. Surely she has more control than that. Given the person, though ... I never have learned how she ended up coping with all of that. I'm sure Shodey has kept an eye out. Still, were it me ... he'd have never lasted as long as he did.
She sat back, sipping her water thoughtfully, looking out the window at the view from her Devras office.
"Stupid bastard. If anything, I'll bet the end came too swift for what you deserved. Uno chi fa il letto deve trovarsi in esso."