|You Can't Take The Sky From Me
||[Jul. 22nd, 2006|01:42 am]
Our frantic breathing soon drowned out the humming of the lights above. My own heartbeat soon overcame even that. Blood pounded in my ears and sweat pushed its way to the surface of my skin. I unsheathed the softblade. “The door’s over here,” said Sarah, and I ran towards, shoving it open while jamming the softblade in its top hinge. There was no time left for subtlety, and before bit of broken metal had hit the ground I was out in the open air – And found myself looking up.
I blinked. The Wall loomed before me, concrete and metal and circuit going on seemingly forever into the sky. But it was an illusion. Of holography, of hypnosis, or even just a simple paint job and the Wall that stretched over the city fooled those willing to be fooled into thinking they were free. I saw different. Where there should’ve been open air, there were only prison walls. They’d taken the sky from us.
Lionel’s hand fell on my shoulder, and his weight felt strange on my person – It wasn’t about my balance, or the shift in weight. It was the knowledge that Lionel – my lieutenant, my stern, dependable wall – was leaning on me, depending on me. Bleeding on me.
Five months time and it felt like humanity rested on my shoulders. Why would one weight feel any stranger? I used to be a slave to a family of slaves, and what dependence was on me then? Childhood under the Zagy heel was never preferable to being stillborn. Youth was fleeting, naivete was punished. Man's inhumanity to man was almost as bad as the methodical caging practiced by the Machines.
Childhood under the Zagy heel consisted of sleepless nights, life under Machine rule consisted of starless skies. The best a man could hope for in his youth: A mother's smile, a strong heart - a rubber ball and a paper cup, bouncing and falling and being caught, played with and slept with and then stolen by a child born into luxury.
That was youth, under a starless sky. That was a bitter taste of life.
I don't miss those days.
Again, I saw the great looming wall in front of us, miles high, completely encircling. It was strange and alien and utilitarian, Machine to its very core. Yet it was familiar somehow. Like some thin splinter caught in the folds of my finger, it was a memory I could not pry out from my mind. I shook myself and brought my attention back to the peril at hand – Lionel’s hard breaths and Sarah’s whimper’s came back into focus and I left the intangible concepts behind. Survival. Live through this, then philosophize about freedom.
“Sarah, take Lionel – If anyone comes near you, hold him steady and let him take his shot. I’m going to scout ahead – take out anyone in our way, maybe find a path out of here.” I shifted him into Sarah’s arms, and his tired eyes locked onto mine for a moment. Just a moment.
Light jogging brought them out of sight in a matter of minutes, such a snail’s pace at which they were walking. Better this way. I could concentrate of blacking out all security cams within a miles radius – maybe further. The security shutdown moved faster than a virus, faster than gossip – and I was the one who started the rumour.
The Machines will be smart enough to pinpoint where I am and where I’m heading. I remember this place. And the Mechs have no clue who I am, or what I can do. They're building a civilised world. And in a civilised world, people talk their problems out. And I've got a way with words. Translation:
I’ll play them like a fucking ball in a cup.