EbonVasilis, The Reader
I'll be working on my own works, although those won't be done for awhile, if ever. PM me if you want, or not.
Recent PostsDuel Me on 2/25/2017 11:58:56 PM
Alright. There's my story. First attempt at a mystery, so definitely make sure to hold nothing back. If it's trash then say it straight.
@Seto @Lancelot @ISentinelPenguin Please state whether or not you think it is commendable. If all three of you agree that it is, then it goes to JJJ for the final verdict.
@StrykerL You might want to see if you could've beaten it or not.
Duel Me on 2/25/2017 11:54:44 PM
“So what you're telling me, is that someone hacked into this guy’s Sleeve? Why do I need to know this?” Van asked this impatiently, because as Head of this space Station Security Corps, SSC for short, he didn't have time to deal with such small matters.
He focused his gaze on the Sleeve technician in front of him. He was short for his height, with grey hair and a bald spot at the very top. He wore the typical Station jumpsuit under his lab coat with his translucent Sleeve strapped to his left forearm. The technicians were always required to have their Sleeve showing.
Van’s partner, Eric, interjected, “Just tell him what you told me.” Van glanced to Eric, and saw he was giving the poor man a compassionate look. It was out of habit that Van and Eric did this routine. Van always made sure to appear rude and presumptuous, while Eric tried to be more compassionate and friendly. It was and offshoot of the ‘Good Cop, Bad Cop’ routine. This was more subtle, and by virtue of that, more effective.
“She’s a g-girl actually. Well actually my daughter, but that's aside the p-point.” The poor guy had a stutter. Van looked at his name tag discreetly. ‘Steve.’ Van almost laughed out loud, but stopped himself just short of it. Having a name that rhymed with Sleeve had to be horrible for self-confidence. Steve continued speaking, “Lyla came into my office, Lyla’s my daughters name…” he added quickly. “...today at about one o’clock saying she was feeling sick. She does intern work under me at the office. I just told her to her to get her Sleeve to help her. After all it can help get rid of the whatever bug she caught. And all sorts of other things like…” he stopped mid sentence when he caught the contemptuous look Van was giving him. Steve had been about to start rambling again. “Basically, sh-she, her Sleeve popped up with this message.”
Steve stopped speaking and lifted his Sleeve to show Van the message. It was a good thing humanity had upgraded from ancient handheld ‘phones.’ The poor guy looked like he wouldn't be able to hold one, for his arm was shaking so much. Despite this, he deftly slid his fingers over his Sleeve until a message popped up on the Sleeve’s interface. Steve flicked a finger across the Sleeve and up, and the message appeared in front of Van’s face via holo display.
The word, “WARNING” was at the top in bolded blood red letters. Van scanned the message. There was only a paragraph present on it.
Also in blood red, “Failure to comply will result in your death.” It was written out to Lyla. As soon as Van read the word death, his demeanor changed entirely. He thought the situation wasn't serious at first, but this message confirmed that it was, in fact, more serious than he had originally thought.
It continued on, “Your Sleeve has been hacked and is now under my control. Each and every person’s Sleeve is connected directly to that person’s body. As such, the Sleeve monitors heart rate. If someone’s heart rate gets into dangerous levels, then the Sleeve will send a message to the portion of the brain that regulates blood and blood flow. Since your Sleeve is now my Sleeve, I can manually tell your brain to decrease its heart rate until it results in your death.”
Van paused and turned to Steve, “Is this true?” Van repeated the last sentence he read. Steve answered “Yes” and started to say more, but Van tuned him out. ‘Yes’ was all he needed to hear. Eric would listen and gather all information that might be considered useful from what Steve had to say.
Van continued reading, “I need only one thing from you. I don't care how or where, only when. Kill your mother by midnight tonight, or you will die. Don't notify anyone and you will die anyway. Thank you…” the ellipses continued on for a few more spaces before falling down below the message and assembling to form a smiley face made of periods. Moments after that, the period at the corner of the face smeared and each of the periods that were a part of the smile connected into one curved line. It was as if a paintbrush had drawn it. The message reached a close, and with finality each letter dripped off into a holographic puddle of blood.
Van’s stomach lurched for a second. He rarely had to deal with cases like these. Normally it might be dealing with kidnappers, or murderers that have already killed. This was different. Not only did he have to find this potential serial killer, but he also had to do it within the day.
With a sense of foreboding, Van turned back to Steve. His face was white, and now that Van payed more attention he could see beads of sweat at his temples. If Van had children, he wondered if he might be in the situation. Wrought with the fear of his loved ones dying, but he had a case to do. He couldn't allow personal feelings and idle thoughts distract him.
“Let's go see this daughter. Shall we?” Van glanced at Eric and with a subtle movement of his head gestured for home to lead the way with Steve. Eric would be in charge of keeping the guy calm while Van began to interrogate him. Walking to the daughter would give him ample amounts of time to get more information.
Steve and Eric made their way out of Van’s office door, but Van lagged behind a moment or two. He looked around his office which had given him, until just a few minutes prior, a sense of safety and security. His desk sat in the center of the room stacked with some papers. His secretary would take care of them for him. Instead he walked around and stood behind his desk. After a moment he he opened a drawer and took out a long sheathed combat knife. Modeled after that of the ancient Bowie knife. He stuck it in a sheathe inside his suit jacket, on his left side the opposite side of his gun holster. Normally he wouldn't bother taking his knife, but if they were dealing with a killer that could hack a Sleeve, then what's to say they couldn't hack his electricity powered gun?
With purpose in his walk, Van headed out of his office.
Van decided to wait until they were in the sideways elevator, often just called a sideways, to start his line of questioning with Steve. Eric had been making small talk until then about random things in Steve’s life. It helps people to talk about the familiar. Calms the nerves and takes them to a place where their sense of security wasn’t at risk.
Van walked along a corridor in the SSC headquarters with his thoughts wrapped around the case. His eyes seemed to look ahead through the hallway lined with blank grey walls, but they didn't actually see that far. No, when Van was involved in a case like this he barely saw anything on walks like these. He let his muscle memory take over for him, and instead focus solely on the project at hand.
First, what was the problem? The lives of two people were at stake. To save those two people, he needed to find out who was threatening them and lock them up, or if the situation requires it, kill them. The real question then, was who? Who would want to threaten this girl in order to kill someone else. The motive was different from someone a typical killer. This person wanted something out of this, other than just the death of these people.
The hallway came to an end just as the sideways started. After a moment or two of Steve fumbling with the buttons, the group walked into the sideways, and began to head towards the direction of the daughter. The walls of the sideways were built with reinforced glass, and were still able to move at a high speed. Van leaned against one of these walls and looked out to the space station beneath him. Buildings were sprawled out everywhere, which created a stark contrast when compared to other stations. After all, this was the first station meant to double as a city in space. Past those buildings stood a bluish force field that encircled the entire station. Van brought his gaze back down to the buildings, but this time to the streets below. He could see each of the people like ants from where he stood in the sideways. They were barely more than a blur as the sideways zipped towards its destination, but Van didn't forget his role here. Each and every one of those blurs is someone for whom he is responsible, and he was not one to neglect his responsibility.
There was a pause in the small talk between Eric and Steve, so Van took the opportunity. “How does your wife feel about all of this Steve?”
Steve looked back up toward Van in a slightly more relaxed manner, although he still looked like he had bathed in fear and sadness. “I d-don't have a wife.” He only stopped talking a moment when he caught Van’s raised eyebrows. “I'm divorced,” he explained, which made Van nod once.
“Does the mother know what's all happened thus far?” Van paused after the question, and Eric chimed in. “Go ahead and tell us anyone that knows while you're at it.”
Steve was shaking his head his head before Eric even finished. “She would die from worry. You, the SSC people know, then m-me and my daughter. Th-that's all.”
Another slight nod from Van. “Make sure to keep it that way. Do you know of anyone that would hold ill will toward your daughter and her mother?” The sideways began slowing down.
There was another shake of the head, and Van could see that Steve, the poor guy, was beginning to tear up in his mud brown eyes. “Carol, my former w-wife was amazing. Everyone was filled with compliments about h-her. She's at a job that is p-perfectly legal, so nothing sh-should be wrong there either. My daughter takes after her mother, with the looks a-and personality too. I know she isn't involved w-with anything illegal either.” The sideways came to a stop as he was speaking, and they got off at their stop moments after that.
Van let Steve’s answer meet silence as they left the sideways and headed to Steve’s apartment complex a block away from the sideways loading docks. There wasn't much of anything to go on so far, and unless Steve is an amazing liar then he doesn't know anything either. Van glanced at his Sleeve to check the time. It was barely past 5 o’clock and if he were to believe the killer’s message then he had a little less than seven hours left to find this would be killer.
They walked with the along the sidewalk for a short while longer before coming to a stop at the head of an apartment complex. It was, Van took note, not a very high class one. Not one that someone would expect a Sleeve engineer to live in at all. After a quick walk through the modest lobby, and a much shorter trip in the elevator the trio of men came to a stop at apartment number 329.
Steve brought his arm up and ran it against the lock scanner once, twice, even a third time before the red light switched to a green one, and the door slid open. “S-sorry,” he muttered nervously.
Moments after the trio stepped in, a weak feminine voice called out, “Dad?” Steve stepped forward and the pair of detectives followed closely behind.
“I'm here honey,” Steve called back as the trio stepped beyond the worn foyer, and instead into nearly bare living room.
There was an ugly green couch in the center, and a single black recliner a few feet away from that. A young women, probably close to twenty, with platinum blonde hair sat in the recliner. Her complexion was pale, and when Van brought his gaze to her eyes, he realized they were an astonishingly bright green. Van looked back and forth from Steve, and the daughter, Lyla.
With purpose Van brought his hands behind his back and away from view. More importantly Van’s Sleeve was hidden from view. He typed behind his back and onto the Sleeve a message. “We have our first suspect,” followed by, “match their DNA.” He sent the message to Eric. He would look at it in a moment, and with luck realize what Van was getting at. But in the meantime…
“Hey there,” Van spoke to Lyla and approached her with his hand extended, “your father tells me that your name is Lyla. Yes?” Lyla nodded and took his hand to shake it. With her big green eyes she looked up into Van’s own. For a moment there Van almost lost his composure in her emerald pools of green. Almost.
“Are you here to find my captor?” Those eyes were filled with hope. Her breath smelled of peppermint toothpaste, and it was all Van could do to take a step away from her and beside Steve a few feet away. He wasn't normally affected by women this much.
“Captor?” Eric asked. When Van looked toward him, Eric nodded discreetly signifying he got the message.
“Im held captive, aren't I?” Lyla held up her right arm, the arm that the Sleeve was plainly present on.
“Yes you are held captive,” Van glanced once more toward Eric, “but I believe we have already found your captor.” With a solemn countenance Van looked from Lyla and to Steve.
“Who is it?!?” Steve asked hurriedly. Shock was plain on his face, but it was different from the shock that was on Lyla’s face. Shock at being found out from Steve, but shock from founding out her own father was out to kill her, from Lyla.
Eric clicked a handcuff on Steve’s left wrist and quickly followed by attaching it to his right. “DNA diagnostics were run, and your DNA does not match with that of Lyla. Nor do you look like her, or her like you.” Van paused in his explanation to look away from Steve and to Eric who nodded.
Steve took this pause as an opportunity, and cried out in despair, “She isn't my real daughter! Look at her! She looks nothing like me, but that doesn't mean I'm out to kill her!”
Van continued in his explanation, “However this alone does not guaranteed that you in fact plotted your own daughter’s death.’ Van held up his Sleeve and with a swipe of his fingers brought up a holo display. It showed Steve's picture as well as his life insurance bills. Listed under the people he was charged for, was Lyla and her mother Carol. Both of which, if they were to die, close to a million dollars would go straight to Steve. “Right here shows the situation you placed them in, Steve. You threatened your daughter into trying to kill your former wife. If your daughter succeeded, then you got the insurance money. Finally you would be able to buy yourself out of this dwelling that was t suited to a man of your occupation. If Lyla failed then she would die, and you would receive money anyway. A win win situation right? And what better way to do it, then in something other people would have no knowledge about. The Sleeves. No one would be able to hack into a Sleeve as easily as you, but this still does not guarantee that you are the killer. It only displays overwhelming evidence.”
Lyla and Steve were both struck dumb from shock it seemed. Tears were beginning to flow from Lyla’s face and down to her chest, where Van definitely made sure not to look.
Eric finished the rest, “We will bring you in for a few days, with no Sleeve, and we’ll see whether or not Lyla’s heart rate returns to normal.” Steve cringed at the thought of having his Sleeve taken away. “If it doesn't then we'll have our killer.”
Following that and a nod from Van, Eric exited the apartment with Steve in tow. Van stepped back towards Lyla, and gave her a comforting pat on the shoulder. “I've made an appointment for you to stay at the hospital while we close this case. If you ever need anything just call the SSC.” Lyla nodded resolutely, and Van left.
A week passed, and Lyla’s heart returned to normal and all signs of sickness or ill health were gone. A week after that, Steve had his hearing and was found guilty of first degree murder. A few days after that he was executed.
A month after the day she was threatened with death, Lyla walked into her mother’s apartment. She found her mom sitting on an expensive black leather couch with a glass of wine in her hand, and a smile dancing on her face.
“Enjoying the fruits of our labors?” Lyla asked with a smile coming to her face.
Carol nodded and laughed, before responding, “Its all thanks to you. You gave the act that fooled those detectives into thinking that Steve was the one that wanted the insurance money. Ha!” She said the name ‘Steve’ with utter contempt.
“But it was your amazing tech skills that hacked into the detective's Sleeve. I mean, he might have been all over me even if you hadn't made his Sleeve tell his brain to turn him on a little.” Lyla giggled contagiously at that.
“A toast to both of us then!” Carol poured both of them another glass, and they drank to their success.
Duel Me on 2/25/2017 3:15:14 PM
I forgot to mention that Stryker didn't just simply go over his word limit. He's turning that story into a story game.
Duel Me on 2/25/2017 2:33:41 PM
@StrykerL for confirmation on this, and anything else he wants to add.
I'll post my story at some point today.
Duel Me on 2/25/2017 2:33:05 PM
The site went down a couple days ago, and a couple things happened during that...
1. Neither of us were able to post our stories as the site was down at the deadline and even before that.
2. StrykerL pmed me to talk about the competition. Namely, he was not able to finish his story. More specifically, he was not able to finish his story within the 2,500/3,000 word limit. Instead he went over. I, by my honor, did finish my story. By the rules, he lost by default. However, since he went over, I had no way to prove I finished the story, and a couple of other reasons, we dedcided to have a compromise.
3. The compromise is simple. He lost by default, but I don't feel right in taking his points, when he lost because he went over the limit. If he couldn't reach it, then it might be a different story. But I also don't feel right taking his points when I'm not even sure if the story I wrote is even good, because if he had finished, then I might lose. So, we mutually decided that I will post my story, and if it is found worthy of commendation then I will be declared winner. If it isn't, then the duel will be called off, and the points will be returned to their owners.
Because of this compromise, the judges role will be more minimal, but I still ask that they give feedback on the story. If the story gets commended, but any one of the judges think it isn't worthy of being commended, then the duel will be called off. Conversely, if all of the judges think it is worthy of commendation, but isn't commended then the duel will be called off. We also give rights to the judges to determine the mod that will decide if it is commendation worthy. @Seto @Lancelot @ISentinelPenguinI
Duel Me on 2/23/2017 7:54:15 AM
Yeah I'm good for wagering 25 points. @EndMaster Is this good with you?
Duel Me on 2/22/2017 11:23:33 PM
Assuming you're fine with this, then this duel will officially be about a story in a sci-fi setting, with the central genre being mystery.
Best of luck Stryker. Post your story as a reply to the OP post for the cleanliness of the thread.
It's time to duel.
Duel Me on 2/22/2017 11:00:28 PM
I like the idea of 1v1. If I add more people it takes that uniqueness out of it.
@Seto @ISentinelPenguinI @Lancelot we need a genre
Duel Me on 2/22/2017 10:48:48 PM
At the top of the hour the duel will begin.
Which means 24 hours from then, both of us will have to have an entry submitted.
The judges need only say the genre and it will begin.
@beteband I'll duel you next
Duel Me on 2/22/2017 10:04:08 PM
Gotta wait til we decide an official time. He said he would take the offer up if no one else answered 7 hours from then. So he has taken my offer. Now we actually need the genre start time etc.
@Seto @Lancelot @ISentinelPenguinI
We need you three to decide a genre.