Twenty Two Fifty Eight: The Minds Eye(Unfinished)

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Twenty Two Fifty Eight, is a series of short stories set two hundred and fourty four years in the future revolving around numerous people. It's a Cyberpunk esque world, that

I openly admit is highly influence by Philip K Dicks work(But to be fair what Cyberpunk works arent.) The stories are not entangled though most of them are connected and paint a vision of a world on the brink of revolution.

 The hallway was flickering with thegreen tinge of the old Biogenic lights, Gareth chuckled to himself as hethought, they looked like they were installed in twenty one ninety nine.Despite the numerous stains all over the walls and floors the Hallway smeltidentical to the ones where he lived a mile away, in fact the sterile almostsurgical smell could be found in every building he had ever been in, even outin the fresh air while outdoors seemed to have a faint scent of it.
 Gareth turned left and stopped at thefirst door he came to, the numbers 2258 were painted diagonally across it. Hechecked in his pockets that he still had all of his Credit Notes, took a deepbreath and buzzed the door. Twenty seconds later the door slid to one side witha sudden creak "Come in, Gij, now." he said in a raspy voice.
 Gareth stepped inside the flat and nosooner had he done the door had slid closed again, heading into the living areaand sat down in the customer chair, before he could even get settled Andyentered with a rack of three different coloured Shot cans, setting thwem on thetable in front of Gij he grinned widely and asked "So which will i be?Blue, Red or Yellow?"Gij thought to himself how evil his friend looked,Andy quickly added, "This is the best batch I've had."
 "Have you got no Green, I washoping for something a little more natural." Gij asked the drug dealer.”
 "Nope I sold the last of it to thatKenny guy you introduced me to, he got the last 4 cans earlier." hereplied.
Gij shrugged and said "I guess I'll take one of those then." pointingat the red canister.
 

 

 

 Andy had been out the room for a coupleof minutes, he'd told Gij that he'd just got a 'Medical Grade' ShootGun, he wasobviously still getting used to installing the cans, a few more moments passedbefore the Drug Dealer re-entered the room, he passed Gij a silvery brushshaped contraption, the handle had a singular pressure pad, obviously to startthe process, the head rather than bristles had four tiny little injectionneedles.
 "This is a big step up from therigged up shooters we're used to Andy." Gij said.
 "Yeah well be careful who youmention it to, you can get the sentence for possessing one even if you don'thave any Goose on you." Andy said to him with almost a proud smile on hisface.
Gij took a deep breath as he got acquainted with the Shooter, he breathed outand went to put it to his arm, before he could the wall directly facing himexploded in a ball of fire, Gij jumped out of his seat, 'What the hell just didthat? He thought frantically." Through the dust and rubble he could makeout what seemed to be the outline of what seemed to be a giant man, as he duststarted to clear, Gareth got a better look at him, the shooter slipped from hisnow trembling hand, the Canister impacted the floor first shattering with astrangely loud crash.
 What was before Gij was now whollyvisible and a petrifying sight, the smash of the Shot Can snapped Gij out ofhis terror, he was faced with a robot of epic proportions, standing 8 foot tallat least, and six foot wide, but it moved like a regular Work Bot, whichweighed one hundred and fifty, this bot probably twenty times that. Suddenly itspoke in an almost human voice "I am the Biologically Altered Neo-GuardianFederally Assisted Robotic Mandroid, you have been identified as a threat tosociety, you will accompany to the local processing plant forconscription."
Gij looked around his surroundings; Andy had vanished, possibly under therubble from the wall. Gij looked to the door, but he knew it would be futile torun through the building being chased by this thing, plus how many people mightbe injured just so that he could escape some conscription time, he decided itwas best to give up, after all there were no drugs in his system it had beenover a month since his last visit.
 "The culprit is not responding,permission to execute? Awaiting reply" the Robot said, a few seconds hecontinued "Order confirmed, terminate positive. Citizen you have beensentenced to a Corporal Death, please stand still and await your sentence to beenacted"
Gij eyes widened as his head folded this information in properly, he glanced tohis left, then back at his would be assassin and replied "Like hell Iam!" two seconds later he was crashing through an eighty third floorwindow.
 Free falling Gij pondered was this thebetter death? on his own terms, how many people would have made that choice,and out of those how many would be carrying the exact gadgets to survive thefall, when he finally managed to safely grip his line gun out of its holster,curling his legs up and twisting them to the left he managed to aim himself atthe building block across the road, he quickly aimed the gun while looking downat a 45 degree angle for his target, finally 36 floors into his fall he firedlocking onto a small ledge the line was about 80 feet extended out.
Gij had tested the gun but never while free falling, he quickly found himselfswinging at the window of the 41st floor of the opposite building. With a crashhe collided with it, the window gave way instantly he attempted to roll throughhis landing, but was stopped abruptly by a large metallic desk, he bounced offof the back of it back onto the floor the back of his head hitting with quite a thud.
 A moment or two passed Gij's sight wasblurred from the bang to his head; he rubbed his eyes while pulling himself upon the desk. He attempted to stand up straight, he turned to look back at thewindow as his sight was becoming clearer, just to see a small rocket about tocollide with the floor, he jumped backwards planting his hands on the desk,passing over it in one swift motion, he ducked under it just in time as anexplosion ripped hat part of the building apart.
 The floor beneath Gij and the deskquickly gave way, as it started to he rolled the desk off of him so as not tobe caught underneath it. He collided with the floor below moments later, theair was pushed out of his lungs completely. He scrambled to his feetfrantically, knowing full well that his Robot pursuer was only a few momentsbehind him.
 Gij had moved no more than five feetfrom where he was lay when a huge smash erupted across the room, as theMandroid tore through the floor above him looking for its target, I’ve only afew seconds he thought to himself, he could see his escape route, but it wouldtake more than a little good luck for him to make it off that floor in onepiece.
 A few seconds passed the Robot was stillaudible as it moved around above him, Gij limped as quickly as he could to hisonly salvation, a second away from his escape he heard the Mandroid comecrashing through the ceiling behind him, as debris skimmed past the side of hishead, he quickly dove into an open garbage shoot in front of him, as he did hefound himself hoping that it was clear all the way down, the 30 degree drop wasdangerous enough without the risk of being impaled on random garbage,
Luckily for him there was no blockage in the tube, however he was not so luckyin that the tube led straight down to the sewage lines under the city, well atleast at first he wasn’t appreciative of the detour, but once he got over thesmell he quickly realised it had been a godsend that he ended up underground.
 If his pursuer was unable to locate himbefore he dived into the sewage pipe he would have a much better chance ofavoiding further contact with it now that he was underground, of course thechances were that it was only a matter of time until the Mandroid figured outwhat had happened, Gij concluded that it would best to get moving as fast as hecould.
 The sewer system was cleaner than he had imagined, the tunnel wallswere pristine white, reflecting the light for maximum potential, while thesmell was unpleasant it was mixed with the smell of Chemirile that seemedomnipresent down on the crust, so it was as bearable as a public toilet. Gijheaded west down the tunnel he was in figuring he could emerge a mile or twocloser to his apartment, there would be little chance of his pursuer findinghim then.

 

 

 Ten minutes had passed, Gij had seen afew exit hatches, he had deduced there was one roughly every eight hundredmetres, and that he would exit out of the fourth one he came to.
 He had barely three hundred metres leftwhen he hit a section of the tunnel that had seemingly had a power outage. Gijsquinted as he entered the darkness, he could just barely make out the light onthe other side of the blacked out area, which by his estimate was at least akilometre away, meaning the next two exits were likely in the pitch blacksection of the tunnels.
 About twenty seconds later and he couldnot see a thing, the total darkness was going to make it hard to find the exit,Gij reached for his torch, as he unclipped it he felt his foot catch onsomething throwing him off balance, he stumbled trying to frantically catchhimself, he let his torch slip from his hand unintentionally, shifting his weightto attempt to catch it he lost his footing and came crashing down shoulderfirst into the metal grates that run up the middle of the tunnel.
 Gij felt the blood trickle from his arm,as the pain rippled through his left arm and side of his chest, he took a deepbreath, and rolled onto his back, as he placed his head down he felt somethingcrack underneath it, lifting it back up he felt underneath it and realised hehad rested his head on a skeletons hand. He sat bolt upright, his arm vibratedwith pain once again from the sudden movement, he let out a scream, trying tocompose himself long enough for him to locate his torch.

Using his one good arm Gij scoured the floor close to what he had fellover, which he had deduced to be another dead body, pain rippled through theleft side of him again, making him bite down on his lip so hard that it drewblood. Finally his hand came into contact with his lost torch, he turned it ononly to be faced with his worst fears, the further into the darkness he lookedthe more bodies he saw.
 Gij pulled himself up using a railattached to the wall, once back on his feet, he swung his shoulder into thewall a loud crack resonated through the silent hall, as his shoulder was pushedback into socket. Absorbing the pain mentally he slumped against the wall andtook a moment to ponder what could have done this to so many people in such asmall area, he shined his torch around where he was, and noted there were atleast twelve bodies within ten feet of him, as his torch passed over one bodyhe noticed it was wearing a police corp. uniform, Gij pushed himself off of thewall and slowly walked over to him hoping he might still have some sort ofweaponry on his corpse.
 He bent down and checked the officer fora gun holster, he felt nothing under the right arm, as he moved the torchlightover to his left arm he noticed that the lower half had been severed just belowthe elbow, the sudden revelation caused Gij to step back for a second, once herecovered from his initial shock, he inspected it further and to his horror herealised it had been bitten off. To add to the bad news the Officers holsterwas empty.
 Gij stood back up and decided it wouldbe best to find an exit before whatever had ripped the officer’s arm in twofound him, nervously shining the torch in front of him he ventured deeper intothe blacked out area. The stench of decay was thicker than any smell he hadever encountered, for the first time in his memory he couldn’t smell Chemirileat all, he flicked his torch from side to side of the hallway a few times, eachtime revealing more and more corpses and skeletons.
 After a minute or two he shined hislight into the right corner of the hall, running it as far along as it wasvisible, about 40 feet in front of him the light finally revealed a glint ofreflection, Gij knew it was a ladder to the surface, he quickened his pace,eager to escape the graveyard as quickly as possible, suddenly he heard a snarlfrom in front of him, Gij stopped dead and took a step backwards, swinging historch into the centre of the hall in front of him, what he found was aterrifying sight, the beast that had left a trail of hundreds of bodies, waslay a mere ten feet from him, and seemed to be some hybrid of a lizard and atiger, it had all the physical features of a large cat but rather than fur it’sskin was covered in dark green scales.
 The creature roared at Gij infuriated bythe light, suddenly it stood up and to his amazement and terror showed just howbig it was, now on all four feet, it must have stood at eight and a half feet,the monster gnashed its huge teeth in order to intimidate it’s new prey,unfortunately for it Gij wasn’t easily scared and had already developed acourse of action in his head. The monster started to move closer to Gij but asit did, he switched his torch to strobe light mode, realising that the creaturehad already shown a dislike for a constant light quite probably because it washighly sensitive to light given that it’s hunting ground was pitch black, hetheorised that a flashing bright light might disorientate it long enough forhim to slip past and make it up the ladder. He was half right the light diddisorientate the monster however it also caused the animal to go into a blindrage, charging at Gij and knocking him over, moments later the creature had himpinned to the ground using his front right paw, its claws tore through hisshirt and cut into his skin.
 Gij knew this was the end, he just hopedthe animal didn’t like to play with its prey before killing it, the monsterroared in his face and then opened its jaws intent on starting with his head,it moved downwards and Gij could feel the creatures breathe on his face he knewhe was only a second away from having his face literally torn off. Suddenlythere was an explosion and the roof started to cave in all behind where he hadbeen stood, a familiar robotic voice boomed out into the tunnel from out of thedust cloud, “Citizen 1058671983 AKA Gareth Jones, you are under arrest pleasesurrender and prepare to be executed under the neutralising threats act.” Thecreature startled, pounced off of Gij and shot into the dust cloud to attackthe threat that had invaded its home.
 Gij knew that this was the only chancehe would get to escape, whichever won the battle that was going on inside thenow nearly clear dust would finish him soon afterwards, the hall was now lit upwith the light that was shining through the hole made by the Mandroid secondsearlier, Gij squinted and looked through the hole trying to pinpoint somethinghe could catch with his grappling gun, after a few seconds for his eyes toadjust from total darkness he spotted a lamppost, unclipping his gun he aimedit with his right arm, his left was all but useless by this point. Gij hit abutton to fire two lines separately in order to pail himself out steadily, thegun hit the post with both lines perfectly, Gij hit the button to reel the gunup on the lines. A second later he was back on street level again; he heard aloud squeal from the creature still down in the hallway.

 

 

 

 Finally out of the hellhole Gij took alook around him, he had come out in the shopping district probably less thanten minutes walk from his apartment block, so if the Mandroid followed protocolnow that he had escaped leaving no leads, it would check there first. Gij slidinto the bustling crowd.
 It had taken Gij fifteen minutes to getout of the shopping district, he’d quickly slipped into the back streettunnels, these were rarely used by most citizens since about 85 percent of muggingsand murders happened in them, so there was less chance of being found there,not to mention the bleeding from his chest where the creature had scratched himwas now soaked into his shirt so any chance to avoid interactions with peoplewho might ask him questions or contact the authorities.
 Gij was less than ten minutes from hisstash when he heard a woman scream, while his best sense told him to carry onto Rose Street for his gear, his moral compass wouldn’t allow him to justignore a woman in danger, he turned right down the alley the scream had comefrom.
 “Let me go!” he heard the woman screamas he entered the alley, about 60 feet away he could make out three mensurrounding a woman, one had his arm wrapped around the scared girls neck.
 “We’ll let you go, don’t worry, we justwant to have some fun before you leave.” Said one of the attackers, who startedto rub the girls inner thigh, “I promise you’ll enjoy it too...” he added.
 Gij picked up his pace now fuming withanger at what he had stumbled upon, less than ten seconds passed before he wasin arms length of the nearest attacker, the would be leader of the group nowhad the poor girl pinned to the wall, “Yo!” Gij shouted loudly, causing allthree to look at him in shock, Gij took this opportunity to attack the oneclosest to him, smashing his knuckles into his opponents trachea, the thugkeeled over gasping to get air into his lungs, but Gij was far from finished,quickly he added a knee to the thugs face causing him to stand back up straight,albeit stunned, Gij added the final touch by bouncing the thugs head off of thecorner a nearby dumpster, both cracking his head open and knocking himunconscious.
 The leader of the men, punched the girlknocking her off of her feet, then turned to his comrade who was still standingand said “Let's do this guy and then make him watch...”
 This just infuriated Gij even more,“I’ve escaped giant robots and a crazy ass cross bred tiger lizard today alone,two guys who beat on women, to get their action don’t really strike me as aproblem.” He fired back, opening his arms in a gesture intended to beckon themto attack them.
 The one who had done the talking threwhis friend a metal pipe, and produced a blade himself, they both charged at Gijthe one with the pipe got their first, he swung for Gijs face, but Gij archedhis back and dodged the first blow, responding by throwing the bottom of hisboot into his attackers abdomen, sending him hurtling backwards rolling overhimself, Gij turned his attention now to the Leader who was already lunging athim with the knife, it was less than a second from being buried into Gijs leftshoulder, quickly he pivoted on his ankle twisting his body to the right handside moving completely out of the way of the blade, the knife passed by aboutten inches away from his face, the attacker now off balance was met with Gijsright elbow to his face, crushing his nose, blood splattered across Gijs face,and he wasted no time in following up striking downwards into the thugs knee withthe bottom of his foot, causing it to buckle, he was about to finish him with aknee to the face, when he heard the footsteps of the metal pipe wielding thugrunning towards him.
 The attacker screamed in rage “You’redead motherfucker, I’ma ram this bar through your face.” He swung the barhorizontally at Gij again, this time Gij ducked and took the thug down with afootball style slide tackle, the thugs face hit the floor first and Gij heardthe metal bar hit the floor a few feet from the thug, Gij rolled over andpushed himself back onto his feet, turning to face his floored opponent, whowas now crawling towards his metal bar, Gij cut him off with a kick to theface, causing the thug to roll over a few times while grasping at his face.
 Gij knelt down and picked up the bar,gripping it sternly he turned back to the one who had dropped it, who had justpushed himself back onto his knees while using the wall to steady himself, Gijwasted little time and swiftly moved towards him cracking him with a backhandedswing of the bar it landed at the top of the thugs jaw, a loud crunch let Gijknow that he had at least cracked his jaw, the man span one eighty and slumpedback onto the wall, but Gij wasn’t finished, he took the bar and swung itanother five or six times, each one being echoed by a louder and more sadisticsounding crunch, finally Gij stopped his onslaught as his opponent collapsedbathed in his own blood, Gij turned round to check on the other two thugscondition, the first hadn’t moved from beside the dumpster, however the leaderwas back on his feet and was rushing at Gij knife in hand.
 The thug lunged at Gij with the blade,Gij attempted to pivot like he had earlier but wasn’t able to avoid the knifecompletely, it tore a 5 inch long gash in Gijs upper chest and shoulder,sending him spinning into the wall, he slumped down a foot away from the thughe had just incapacitated, the leader jumped into the air, intending to bringthe knife down on Gijs head, but he scrambled out of the way just in time, theknife connected with the wall, as did the thug which bought Gij half a seconddue to the attacker being stunned, Gij was left with only one option, hequickly rolled onto his back, now barely 4 feet from his attacker, he unclippedhis grappler from his belt again.
 The thug turned back towards Gijbrandishing his knife and a sick smile, he intended to kill Gij and he knew it,Gij wasted no more time, hitting the fire button on his Gun, the two linesexploded out of it the first collided with the thugs shoulder, and passed cleanthrough both the bone and flesh with a horrifying crunch, the second hit muchlower, piercing the attackers groin it cut through his pelvis bone like it ahot knife on butter, Gij gripped the bar again in his right arm, “I’m gonnacave your scummy little head in.” He told his attacker, who was too busycontemplating the holes he had through his groin and shoulder.
 “I need a doctor... please, I’m gonnableed out if I don’t get to a doctor.” He screamed at Gij, but he just shruggedand hit the button on the gun to reel in the top wire. Gij now on one knee,swung the bar upwards into the oncoming thugs chin, his head flew back but thestrength of the line caused a whiplash effect. Gij stood up and took threeoverhead swings with the bar leaving a gaping wound on the top of the thugshead, blood gushing out, Gij retracted the second line, and then hit the buttonto retract the gripping claws, both lines slipped out of the criminal as theydid Gij caught a spray of blood across his stomach and face, the now lifelessattacker collapsed in a heap.
 Gij turned to check on the poor girl whothey were trying to rape, walking over to her he offered her his hand to helpher up, she took it somewhat reluctantly, now face to face, Gij thought tohimself that even in the dimly lit tunnel the girl appeared to bebreathtakingly beautiful, her golden hair was reflecting the small amount oflight available,  “We better get out ofhere, they’re part of a gang, we don’t want to be around when others turnup...” Gij said to the Girl, “I’m Gaz most people call me Gij though.” He addedoffering her his hand to shake.
 The girl shook his hand “I’m Tash.” Shereplied with a warm smile, she figured this guy seemed quite nice, having cometo her rescue when he could have just walked away, “Thanks by the way, Ithought they were going to kill me.” She continued.
 Gij decided it would be best to keep thegirl with him for now, if he had indeed been sentenced to be executed he mightas well spend some of his last day with a beautiful woman, he continued on histrek to Rose Street, now barely ten minutes from his destination, he figured hemight actually have half a chance of surviving this.
 
 

  He reached the back entrance to hisbrothers old apartment block, the whole block had been shutdown a few years agodue to an explosion that had gutted about an eighth of the whole building,luckily his brothers apartment had been at the other end of the building towhat had happened, and his stash room was still secret. Gij pulled a Card outof his side pocket and slid it into the card reader that had once been used byresidents to gain entry to their homes, the card lit up, as it started to crackthe system to gain entry, Gij chuckled to himself, a piece of tech Stu and AJ haddeveloped nearly eighteen years ago was still more advanced than the securitytech used by the government now.
  “What exactly is that doing?” The girlquizzed her saviour, already sure of the answer.
  “Well you’ve heard of the QualityStreet Duo right? Stuard Rose and AJ Davies?” He asked her, she nodded toconfirm the obvious, “Well to be honest we grew up together, I was responsiblefor constructing the hardware that went with a lot of their coding, that cardAJ designed to hack any system on the planet, in less than three minutes, andto my knowledge it’s the last of the ones in existence that the government donot have possession of, it’s the prototype model too, as I built it AJ gave itto me.” Three beeps alerted him that the card had cracked a code, the lockdemagnetised and Gij pulled open the door the beckoning the girl to enter theabandoned building.
 They both slid into the empty building,to the girls surprise the lights were still active, however before she couldquestion it, Gij started to explain, “The lights and elevators in here arestill active, because they’re on the city’s main circuit, it gets constantpower no matter what, I guess that’s what happens when you stick with businessmodels that were developed one hundred and twenty years ago.”  He pressed the button to call the elevator,the door slid open with a creak it had probably been out of use for threeyears, and Gij was a bit nervous of getting inside given the lack ofmaintenance, but the lack of stairs inside the apartment blocks left him withvery little option he and Tash stepped inside, he hit the button to go up tothe seventh floor the doors creaked again as they shut, and the lift started tomove upwards.
 They had just reached the sixth floorwhen the lift suddenly stopped, a loud creak could be heard from the wires thatwere pulling it up, Gij hit seven a few more times, each time the lift shookslightly, he looked up for the hatch used to maintain the lifts wires,convinced there was something jamming it.
 Gij slid a panel on the ceiling to oneside and pulled himself out of the elevator, now sitting on the top of the lifthe shined his torch around to try and locate whatever was jamming the lift, thefirst scan revealed nothing, but on second inspection once standing he found ametal bar jammed between one of the wires and the edge of the lift, the bar wascaught underneath the lip of the doorway for the seventh floor, “Hit cancel andthen five...” he shouted down to Tash, who quickly did as she was asked, thesudden movement almost made Gij lose his balance and tumble from the roof downthe shaft, however he managed to steady himself before he fell over the edge.The elevator would be stationary again in a minute, as they passed the sixthfloor Gij picked up the bar and threw it into the shaft.
 Gij lowered himself back into theelevator, just as the elevator doors slid open on the fifth floor, he looked atTash, and smiled “that should do it, now just need to head back up to seventh.”He said leaning past her and hitting the seven button. The lift continued onits journey upwards, fifteen seconds passed and the door finally slid open onwhat used to be Gijs brothers floor, Gij and Tash stepped out into the desolatehallway, Gij was just moments from his best chance for salvation, he quickenedhis pace down the hall and turned left, then right and stopped at door 767, hetook out his brothers old key from his pocket, sliding it into the key reader,it beeped twice to acknowledge it was the right lock and key combination, andthe door unlocked.


 


Submitted: July 22, 2014

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