Oriana Rising- Flash Fiction Challenge

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: The Imaginarium
Day eight of my 30 day flash fiction challenge. I am rather proud of this one because I have been writing despite a head cold and sinus headache. So, hopefully I'm not editing with day quill goggles.

Submitted: October 09, 2018

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Submitted: October 09, 2018

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Day Eight Flash Fiction Challenge

 

Prompt: Scientists have discovered cryogenic freezing. You are its first test subject and it is a massive success. They plan on releasing you in 500 years. You had no way of telling them you were conscious.

 

Iron, geometric, skeletons scraped the sky. A stark reminder of what man use to be. Two hundred years of decline has left the human race as little more than scavengers. Nyx looked up at the tall ancient building. It was the same one he had been seeing in his thoughts for over a month now. The city, once known as the big apple, had been reclaimed by Mother Nature. Gaps in the leaf litter revealed broken patches of hard black tar that once stretched for hundreds of miles. An image flashed through Nyx’s mind, a door. A broken hinge held it lop sided in its doorway. A faded ‘Emergency Exit Only’ sign distinguished it for the other doors on the building.

Nyx had to stop walking. The images took all his focus, “I know, I see it. Just trust me, every time you send the images I have to stop.” Even though he spoke aloud, there was no one around to hear.

“You need to hurry, I don’t have much time,” said the voice in his head. The first time he heard the voice he was skinning a deer and almost cut himself. Now after endless badgering he was tired of her voice. He wanted to find her and save her and be done with it. Nyx climbed up a fallen log and jumped off the other side. Concrete walls greeted him. He followed the edge running his hand over the smooth stone, wondering how man had ever made such wondrous things.

Images of a dying girl flashed through his mind. She was gulping for air, suffocating. “Sorry,” said Nyx as he lengthened his stride. Rounding the corner he found the door. Using the crowbar he kept in his pack he broke the last hinge and jumped out of the way as the door fell outward. The hall way was long. Light stretched as far as the eye could see, but still ended in a patch of black nothingness. Habitually, Nyx felt around at his bet, finding comfort from the dagger and makeshift sword that hung at his side. He opened his pack and removed his small lantern. He made the lantern years ago, a fact that always brought him pride. It burned deer fat, bringing light to his dark world, not just literally. Nyx had learned at a young age that dangerous creatures inhabited the night.

He followed the directions he had been given. Down the hall, turn right, fourth door on the left, follow the stairs down. Nyx stopped halfway down the stairs. A strange flickering light at the bottom of the stairs caught his attention. Slowly he approached, his hand on his dagger. A long rectangular box hung from the ceiling. Inside the box were two glowing white tubes, one flickered arrhythmically. He blocked the light with his hand, it was hurting his head. Several of the illuminated boxes hung from the celling down a hall. At the far end he could see a familiar door. Large and rounded the door had a wheel in the center. He had to turn the wheel to the left twenty times to open the door. Ignoring the strange lights he proceeded. Nyx had seen several doors like this in his time as a scavenger, he removed a bottle of liquid oil and worked it into the doors mechanisms. Using his crowbar he threaded it through the rungs of the wheel to increase his leverage. He had to jump up and down using his body weight to break the wheel free.

 Inch by inch, jump by jump he turned the wheel. The more it turned the more the oil seeped into the threads making it turn further with every rotation. An eventual loud clunk told Nyx it was done. Again, using his trusty crowbar, he pried the door open.

“How long has this door been closed?” Asked Nyx through his labored breathing.

“Since before the fall. Two, three hundred years,” said the woman in his head.

It took him another ten minutes to open the door wide enough for him to slip through. The putrid smell of death seeped from the room, causing Nyx to gag. Panting from the effort he took a moment to catch his breath while trying not to smell the air. What looked like two dozen metal coffins with oval glass windows lined the walls. All of the tanks except for one were black, some were broken. Their doors hung wide, skeletal human remains sunken in black goo at the bottom of the tanks. Nyx weaved through desks and work stations to the back of the room to the only working tank.

“Catastrophic failure, emergency backup power failing, two hours till total system shut down,” said a female voice over head. In a flash Nyx had his dagger in hand, looking for the woman.

“It’s just an automated voice, ignore it,” said the voice in his head.

“What does automated mean?” Nyx asked.

“It is a recording, played automatically. The person who is speaking died a long time ago,” explained the voice. That comforted Nyx, and he sheathed his knife.

He approached the tank. Beautifully intricate ice crystals, extending from the edge of the glass inward, blurring his view of its contents. All he could make out was the obscure shape of a human body.

“Is this you?” He asked.

“Yes,” she said.

It was strange seeing her now after all this time, the intangible voice that haunted his waking thoughts now in physical form. A placard was mounted on the door two words engraved into it. Rebecca Jordan. Red numbers above the tank counted down, he had just over an hour and a half before she would lose power to her tank.

“What do I need to do?” he asked.

“You need to initiate the defrost sequence. It requires manual input from the control station and a code on the number pad located on the tank itself,” said her voice. Most of what she said didn’t make sense to him, but he saw the number pad on her tank. He looked around the room till he found what had to be the control station. Large screens covered the workstation. The language was similar to his own but time had altered the English language into a new dialect.

“What do I need to do?” He asked.

“Relax your mind, embrace the darkness of your consciousness,” she said in a calming tone. Nyx’s mind went blank, no matter how hard he tried he couldn’t form a thought. He couldn’t see anything but total darkness. He felt her presence in his mind growing, soon it overwhelmed his own. His arms began to move without his command. He felt his fingers rapidly touching the screen. His legs moved on their own as well. He tried to move within his mind so he could see where she was taking him. His fingers typed a long code on what had to be the number pad on her tank. Then like the sun chasing away the night; the darkness that covered his mind was lifted. Control of his body returned unexpectedly and he fell to his knees. Loud hissing filled his ears and cold air beat against his face. He looked up as the door of the tank opened.

She wore a shiny, skin tight black jump suit from head to toe. Peeling off the hood, she shook out her long black hair, “Ah,” she moaned, “You have no idea how that feels,” she dug her fingers into her scalp as she worked the rest of her hair loose. Nyx couldn’t get up, his legs were too weak, whether from being possessed or from shock he didn’t know.

“Rebecca?” Whispered Nyx. She didn’t respond. She was stretching her arms, a big smile on her face.

“Rebecca Jordan?” Nyx said, this time louder. She looked down at him like she had forgotten he was there.

“My name isn’t Rebecca Jordan anymore. For five hundred years I was trapped in that tank,” she leaned over and helped Nyx to his feet, “My body was frozen, perfectly preserved, but my mind was wide awake. Rebecca Jordan is dead. I am Oriana.” She lifted a hand towards the door. It was stuck partially open the way Nyx had left it. With a flick of her wrist the door creaked and protested but yielded. Next she held her hands low to her sides and slowly lifted them. Any tank that was closed opened. The partially preserved corpses within shuttered before reanimating. Nyx, shocked and terrified, watched as the human remains throughout the room reassembled and stood.

“How?” He stammered.

“You will be amazed what the human mind can do when trapped within itself for half a century. They are not alive, just under my control,” she held out her hand to Nyx, “Take my hand, join me. I will bring a new world order and restore mankind to their rightful place.”

Nyx reached out, his hand shaking, and took Oriana by the hand.

 

 

Day Nine Prompt: In a world where magic is gained through one’s interactions with others, how does your antagonist acquire power?

 

 


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