Sh Si St

Story: Cora

Original Heading when published on Swateam

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 [ 1998 - 2010  - Hacking, Phreaking & Anarchy in the UK ]

February 28th 2015 . Author davethefan
[     Fiction: Cora       ]

'Did you upload them?'
'Yep, all 2456 of them.'
'Did he see you?'
'Just before I jumped, yeah.'
'He'll be looking for you, you know. We're rare, our type.'
'Let him look' she spat as she stubbed her cigarette out with her boot, smearing it into the trodden concrete.
'Cora, Cora Bleach.. You're Phil aren't you?'
'Yeah, how did you know?'
'I did a school report on you' she paused 'don't look like that! In the time I'm from, you';.been wanted for some suicide bombing for 80 years.'
'Sitek, yeah. I still go back to that time quite often.'
'Will you take...' and before she could finish, he interjected.
'Another time. We have to trust each other first - gauge each others alignments'
She sulked a little, but deep down could understand his reasoning - and tried to lighten the air, she slipped another cigarette out of the packet.
'I'd love to see his face, when he tries to input an insult - and it already exists - with our name!' she giggled. 'and thats 57/43% you know. I won that.'
Though they'd just met, he could see so many similarities of himself in her - they were almost the same person, except polar opposites.

'Do you...affect anything when you jump? Water, fire...electric?' he asked, he'd been meaning to for a while - but it was on his tongue.
'Electricity. What about you?'
'Electricity - I charge it'
'Oh, I'm the opposite - I shut it down. I'm like EMP.'
'That's going to be chaos when we jump together.' he mused; half serious - unaware of how true this will be.
He spent longer than he would have liked to have done thinking about it, and aware of the silence, tried to break it
'What do they call me? The media in your time?' he asked curiously
'A few things: The Demons' Son, Lone Traveller, Time disrupter. the Time Travelling bomber.' she let that sink in
The Demons Son - he remembered back to the Ashes of Monovision concert at the church, they called him O'Tkon. The same as the demon they summoned onto the stage.
'Wanna know what they call me?' she was going to tell him anyway, and he did want to know 'Blackout. Because I switch off electrics.'
'Blackout. I like that. I may call you that'
'No, we agreed that you'll call me Cora. Blackout is what the media call me, I hate the media.'
He admired her fireyness, her strength - she had already lit her cigarette, and stood with her ripped trousers, covered in black and white patches and scorch marks, her leather jacket that looked melted in parts, and covered an indecipherable black and white t-shirt.
A black box was attached to her sternum - he couldn't see a chain, and presumed that it was attached in the same way as his glasses were, prongs into his temples. He made a note to ask about that later.
She was clearly an angry young lady - and he found her feistiness and unwillingness to be pushed around incredibly attractive: and had already decided he wouldn't act on it, at least not until he knew he could trust her.
He was fighting a war, he had no time to fall in love and be burnt. Had to keep moving - keep strong, show no weakness.

He eyed her from the corner of his eye to watch her body movements and mannerisms; transfixed.
Unaware she was being watched:
'Bastards' she spat, and drew another draw on her cigarette. 
She was looking away - giving him a profile view of her impressive pink mohican - against the backdrop of a ruined, condemned building where graffiti and the plants had taken over, forcing their way through the brickwork of the desolate architecture, bricks already beginning to crumble - he wondered who would lead who astray; which of them would have trouble keeping up with the other?
He had a funny feeling it'd be him, and the familiar blue light of a Police 
saucer that hovered above, illuminating the street below; reflecting in the 
puddles on the cracked road confirmed that he was about to find out.


Simon Burner had a bad feeling about this. Really bad.
He had a meeting with Rex Jensen of MechTech; a weapons manufacturer based in London.
Burner Security had a piece of equipment that their Seniors had thought would be of use to them, Burner wasn't sure whether the lucrative weapons industry was the direction he wanted the company to be taking; but share-holders and the committee had voted in favour of it, and to run against the grain would secure the loss of his job and company or life - possibly both.
'Just run it by me again: what pitch are we going for here?' he sat in the boardroom, surrounded by his entourage who were preparing him for the meeting.
'It's 'organic technology - make sure you put it that way. Marketing are very adamant about that.'
Arnold Castillo, his right hand man. 
Where would he be without him?
'Organic technology? What the hell is it?'
'We've been through this Sir, it's bio-tech...'
'Bio-Tech, Organic technology - does anybody speak English in this room?!'
Vincent	Berry cautiously stepped forward
'Sir, if I may' 
Burner nodded.
'the technology is a mixture of living cells, from genetic engineering. Like stem cells - Stem cells are'
'I know what stem cells are!'
'Right, well we've grown miniature versions of animal organs, and attached them to microchips - and the two communicate with zero latency.'
'So what's it good for?'
'Well, we have a working prototype of a squirrel that is 70% robot, and 30% squirrel.'
'A squirrel.'
'Yes sir, and what's more - it's upgradable.'
'Upgradable.' he scoffed 'Castillo. What the hell does he mean, upgradable?'
'Well Sir...' Castillo was back in his eyeline to his left 'if you look at Page...17, it describes it' and leant over to find the page for him.
Burner leant forward, and peered through his glasses.
'Modular organs... swap, upgrade and replace organs in less than thirty seconds... even brains, damaged limbs...interesting.'
He sat back in his heavyset chair and looked Arnold Castillo in the eye.
'So, what is Rex Jensen of MechTech goingt to do with an electronic squirrel with a replaceable brain?'
'His influence Sir, means that we may get the push within the Government for human trials. Super-soldiers.'
Burner thought this over in his head: they'd be ahead of their game, half the work is already there - it's just a case of using humans, rather than bloody squirrels, they'd be able to manufacture security guards in a factory: this would save a fortune on employment, would he even have to pay them? they are mostly robot after all.
'Very well. I can sell this to him.' and after his little pep-talk, he was on board - changing the face of Burner Security forever, unaware that the decision he has made in this room is going to start a war.
None the wiser that the product he was selling was based on technology brought 
to his companies attention from the future by his arch-nemesis, the time 
travelling rogue: Phil.
A knock on the large, wooden board room door - and Burner, in his black suit 
shuffled his papers on the desk; a report he hadn't even read through 
thoroughly yet. Cleared his throat and
In walks Rex Jensen; in three-quarter length combat shorts, barefoot and a 
plain dark turquoise T-shirt.
'Now then!' he yells from across the room; Burner feeling uncomfortable and 
prudish in his suit, and feeling hot under the collar.
'Nice to meet you, Simon' he booms - trying to shake Castillos' hand
'This, is Mr. Burner' and motioned his left hand towards Burner, who hadn't 
even stood up yet.
'I'm Arnold Castillo. I'm vice CEO.'
'Rex Jensen. Pleasure' he had a strong, firm handshake - almost crushed 
Arnolds' hand.
'A-all mine, Sir.'

'Burner!' he smiled, big grin on his face - going for a hug.
Simon awkwardly hugged him, and patted his back. Is that good etiquette, in a 
formal environment? Oh hell, Rex is anything but formal! He relaxed and 
embraced the hug, and quite enjoyed it.

Rex perched himself on the edge of Simons' desk - sending Castillo scurrying 
out of the way. 
'What you got for me then?'
'This, is organic technology'
'Organic techology' he scoffed, slapping his thigh in hysterics. 'your 
Marketing team gave you that, didn't they?' he laughed 'Fire them!' he hooted, 
and let out a little inward breathe, like you do at the end of a laugh 
sometimes -like a sigh, but with more tone.
He straightened up and looked serious.

'Listen Simon, I'm making a very big deal out of this - a large amount of money 
between you and I - I want you to be very straight with me; I don't want you to 
try and advertise it to me - I want you to tell me exactly what it is.' he 
looked at his leg, and up again - right at him.
They locked eyes; Simon couldn't look away.
'I don't like being sold crap. Do you get what I mean?
Drop the shiny packaging, and open the container right in front of me - and 
tell me exactly what you have on the table.
I'm a very busy man, I don't like to feel like my time is, or has been wasted.'
'I understand, and you will have nothing but honesty from Burner Security 
- of that, you have my word.' Burner extended his hand to shake 'before we 
begin - let us promise trust, and complete transparency.' the pair shook hands. 
A firm, solid handshake. That's what Rex liked; not like his vice CEOs limp 
handshake. Rex would never allow an employee with a weak handshake onto his 
payroll, he saw it as a sign of a weak man.

We honestly do believe we have a game-changer here. This changes everything.' 
Burner continued.
'Well, let's have a look then!' Jensen beamed, rubbing his hands with a grin.
Burner smiled.
This changes everything for Burner Security.
Time to close this deal, and force these useless, suited clowns around him out 
of his way: except Castillo of course.

'You see what you made me do?! You hesitated!' she was yelling at him. She 
paused for breath, and continued:
'I just had to kill that pig because you hesitated! Don't hesitate! Now move! Quick!' calmer now; her words more deliberate.
She stormed towards the city center - her half-unlaced boots thudding on the concrete and echoing around walls of the derelict buildings, as she marched Heel, Toe. Heel, Toe. Left, Right, Left, Right.
'Come on!' she yelled back to him; urging him to snap out of whatever state of trance he was in before she had to blow another Police Soldiers head apart: they'd have had instantanious report that his lifesigns had ceased, and the officers last known position.
Pulse speed saucers meant they'd be here anytime now. Literally now.

He was in shock, for the first time since he could remember; he'd seen an execution without the bright, digital overlay of his glasses - no ten second foresight of the future, no trajectory prediction, no clock overlay or immediate memorybank access and visualisation, GPS was gone, waveform analyisis: off - his glasses nothing more than a clunky pair of expensive, yellow sunglasses.
Her anger; her energy; her increased heartbeat, connected to the mysterious box embedded into her sternum had eminated the disruptive, knockout effects of the electricity around her - including that which powered his glasses, and the embedded circuitry within his skin - for those few seconds, he felt like a mortal: seeing the blood-spatter from exit wound of the Police Soliders helmet, and thick, red, gloop dribble nonchantly out of the entry wound, onto his shoulder; seeing his knees give way first, his whole body stiffen and fall to the floor.
The 'pig' had no idea what had hit it; and Phil could almost see the facial expressions of the reinforced metal mask contort into a death grimace before falling face first into the ground.

'Right, well I need you to calm down first. You're shutting my electrics out.
'We good?' she nodded, affermative.
'OK. Take a deep breath.' 
She slowed her breathing, and her heartrate dropped to a less adrenalised rate.

The almost forgotten, vaguely familiar twitch of electric entered his temples. It's working. I'm coming back online!
His screen illuminated, bringing a reassuring glow; he breathed a sigh of relief and smiled at Cora.
'We're cool; I'm just booting up.'

Checking BIOS Integrity............[cool]
Boot record acceptable.............[cool]
GRUB Seems fine:
1. Temple Integration: Overlay [default]
2. Recovery mode
3. Flash update

'1' he said out loud
His screen continued, at the top left of his display
Speaking to Kernel................[cool]

'Is this going to take long?' Distracting his attention from beyond his screen.
'Not much longer. Almost there.' He thought; the last time he'd had to do this was when they implanted the bloody things onto him in a forced operation.
Connected to Temples: ...........[100%]
Complete. GO!
Phil@temples-wearable:~ >

'Let's go.' Ready.
For the first time since meeting her, he'd seen her weapon of choice drawn - 
and he was surprised, no he wasn't surprised at all, actually to see what it 
was - it made complete sense. She carried a 2008 Desert Eagle.
His software actually picked it out and informed him; that's how reliant on tech 
he was - he'd almost lost his real world observational skills.

There was no point of Cora carrying an electric weapon that she would render 
futile as soon as she entered a rage? Of course she's going to use a 
traditional firearm! He'd never even thought of that.
She tucked the chrome and black weapon into the back of her black, 
dishevelled, ripped and distressed trousers - covered in a disorganised montage 
of perfectly stitched, grotesque patches of virulent bands he vaguely 
recognised the names of - the bottom of Coras' trousers tucked tugged tightly 
into her semi-loose boots. 
One patch he did recognise that caught his eye; he knew that one, alright: 
Ashes of Monovision - a random, noisy orientation of spikes they used for a 
The band that summon lower vibrational deitys into the physical realm with 
their dark magick lyrics, spells disguised in disgruntled, insect-like, 
gurgling, boiling vocals: he'd always seem to end up being pulled into a time 
when their concerts were occuring, for reasons unknown.
A theory he had was that they were summoning him, for a crazy reason people 
believed him to be related to O'Tkon - and they are trying to concoct 
a bizzare, twisted cross astral-dimension family reunion.
Nevertheless, Cora liked the music; and maybe she was no stranger to the occult 

'Bastard pigs' he heard her spit, as he ran to catch up.
Phil wondered where Coras' anger came from; and what side of the war she fought on - whether she fought for any side at all.
Right now though, she had just saved his life - she was on his side, and the score was 1-0.
They travelled towards the afternoon sun in silence - the orange glow hanging low in the sky - masked out by the metropolis of New District City.

Everything was wobbly; the buildings quivered and shook in a non-existent wind.
Greenflame was on the High Street of the town, only it looked different - like a combination of the street from two completely different eras of time - the street was more crowded than he'd ever seen it.
He walked against the traffic, not knowing where he needed to be - but knowing how to get there; it felt urgent - he was trying to rush, but people kept getting in his way.
'Why aren't you dead yet?' an old man asked him.
'We know who you are, you corrupted our time' a young lady carrying her baby in her arms, spat on the floor infront of his path.
He strafed to avoid it, and elbowed a man next to him in the ribs
'Oi! You just obo'd me!' He yelled. 'Fucking time travellers' he muttered on his way past in the opposite direction.
Greenflame looked over his shoulder at him: who was he, and how did he know who he was?
A high pitched scream, sounded to him like a young girl - nobody even flinched, never looked round. 
They focused dead ahead in a zombified states. He ran towards the sound, to find a girl, around ten years old - looking down at her mobile comms device.
A woman behind her, obviously her mother, trying to calm her down:
'What's wrong dear? What is it?' she saw that the girl was looking at her screen, and read what was on it.
'That's awful! Who would send such a thing?' and read it out loud
'I have your pet, and I am going to eat it?'
That's one of mine, I thought of that!
Around his peripheral vision, he heard lots of devices going off, beeping with notifications - claxons, whistles, movie sound effects, sounds of pre-1990s home telephones - a grating ringing sound that always bugged him: everybody was getting messages - and he heard people repeating them in disbelief around him - furious to know who send them such an atrocity.
'Who sent this?!'
'I'll fucking kill them. Who is that'
'Hello? You better ring me back when you get this - you've got some bloody explaining to do!' 
'You better not be in my house! You hear me? When I get back...'
In the distance, he heard worriedly
'Who's in hospital?' a concerned citizen asked one of the recipients of his evil prank messages.

He walked further, past the mother and child, and saw Troy Montgomery in a dark grey shirt and swished back hair, on the phone to the Police 
about his daughter, Daisys' abusive text message.
'What's the number? Give me that, Daisy. I'm on the phone to the Police... Hello? Yes, the number is...' 
Greenflame stopped and overheard the number - committing it to memory.
'HIM! He sent it!' A burly man from behind him! Sleeves pre-rolled up - 
storming towards him.
'He whaaaaat?' a lady shrieked, her face contorting in an inconsistent manner, 
eyes rolled back in her head, jaw shaking, hair flailing in a spiral for no 
reason whatsoever'
People closed in on him. Blocking his exit
'Is that him? Let me at him!' right from the back of the ensuing circle of 
people around him.
They were touching him now. Crushing into him.
They didn't stop once they had reached him; they just continued pushing forward.
He felt like how he felt as a teen; getting to the front of concerts and being 
pushed into the railings. 
This time there was no let up, nobody was concerned for his microscopic amount 
of personal space - they walked forward, the pressure of the oncoming crowd 
building up against him, condensing him into a small point.
'Why have I not been taken out of here yet?? Another time! ANY other time! 
NOW!' he yelled with what he could muster with the remaining air in his lungs.
The people in front of him were so close to the people behind him that they 
were touching shoulders with each other, and compressing themselves into each 
'Sixteen thousand people squashed into a the centre of a molecule' he heard 
from nowhere 'Oops, sixteen thousand and one.' and a high pitched giggle - as 
if they were getting a sadistic enjoyment from it.
Oh fuck, what is this?
This can't happen. 
And the realisation hit him: it's a dream.
It's a dream! it's a dream!
Wake up.

Like a cat in a bath, he leapt off the sofa to find Phil leaning over where he 
was laid just seconds ago.
'They know you sent --' he was saying in a whispery, spooky, ghostly voice 
'Oh shit!' he giggled
'You! You little bastard! Were you trying to give me nightmares? 
Cause it fucking worked! I had people trying to crush me, confused the --'
Phil and the female both laughed louder.

Her. That's her - Cora Bleach. The one from the roof!
'Who's she and what's she doing here?' alert now.
'Relax, she's cool.' Phil, casually.
Greenflame relaxed - they may not see eye to eye, but Phils' judge of character 
was right on target.
'What do you guys want?'

'I'm Cora' she raised her fist. A Human Army salute 'Nice to meetcha'
'Greenflame' and raised his fist in solidarity; he didn't believe any of that 
Human Army nonsense, but to keep the peace, he made some voluntary muscle 
movements for her: feeling like a bit of a fraud, having never contributed 
Maybe her Daddy was a squaddie, who knows?
Whoever she is, she looks like trouble. 
Heh, aren't we all?

'You got a real name, then Greenflame?' 
'Greenflame. That's my name, to you and anyone.'
She gave an exaggerated nod.
Sir, yes sir.
'Cora's a...' Phil introduced 'What are you Cora?'
'Sniper. Best shot in this City, no matter what time we're in.'
'Are you, military?' he'd been wanting to ask that for a while.
'Was. But I didn't like being told what to do.' 
'So you left?' Greenflames turn to show an interest.
'AWOL' Human Army will kill me if they find me, and boy are they looking for 
I'll kill any motherfucker in a uniform - Army, Pig - any cunt in a suit.'
Phils' private curiousity had been answered: Cora is a rebel. 
A military trained rebel.
It was at that moment he decided he trusted her.
'She saved my life back there - we had some..incompatiblities with our 
electrical chemistry. She killed a pig to help us get away, I owe her one.' 
Phil pleaded, not even knowing why - he felt needed Greenflame to trust her too.

'Two' she said, matter of factly.
'You owe me two. 
That was me in the bell tower; with the tiger guards. You remember that?'
He did! But what was Cora doing there? The sniper in the bell-tower, those three shots.
He'd just come from that battle, what was Cora doing at the same battle?

'You guys can't be here.' Greenflame announced, and excused himself 'I've got a visitor coming'
'For the SMS project?' Phil, slyly.
I knew it! I knew he was a part of it! 
'How did you ...'
'Your contact couldn't make it - he sent us to complete the job with you.' Cora explained;
'We have the script that will generate the unique contact numbers.'
Greenflame was unsure; he didn't trust them, especially not her. Something about her: a loose cannon.
'We ready?' he looked to his accomplice, Cora.
'Ready.' he closed his eyes, visualising in front of his glasses the spreadsheet that Greenflame had been writing - chuckling to himself as segments of Greenflames literary abuse flashed before his eyes.
'Uploading...' before his eyes, seeing the data from his internal storage meld seamlessly with Greenflames.
14,679 entries.
'Still got some work to do yet, my friend' he laughed 'fourteen thousand, sixhundred and seventy-nine entries.'
'You little bastard!' Greenflame screamed, and thought of the big picture; how stressed he had been. 'But thanks.' calmer now.
'Is this both of you?' he looked at the pair of them.
Phil and Cora nodded
'I did most of them' she boasted, jokingly punching Phil in the top of his arm.
'We gotta chip' Phil announced; he never said that - how much else of her vocabulary had he picked up? And she of his.
The two had chemistry, not in a couple-y way, or as if they were soulmates or anything - though they wouldn't be an unlikely match - the bond they had, they complimented each other. Like opposites, but one and the same.
'This window open?' Phil nodded behind them, Greenflame still behind the sofa - the visions from the dream still reeling in his mind.
'Yeah.' no suicide locks on the window; the ability to circulate new air a luxury in places like this.
Phil opened the window and peered his head out, enough height for a jump
He looked down towards the vaguely visible street: flying vehicles in three tiers of height; closest to the ground. Domestic and Commercial ships operating in the same airspace, above that - emergency vehicles, Police, Ambulance, Fire and low-level Military craft.
Above that - Military surveillance: facial recognition, wireless audio and data interception, anomaly detection: such as the interference our trio emit on their jumps and emotional rages. He looked up at the third tier, above him - none in sight.
'Cora! Lets go! Quick!' he shuffled his satchel over his right shoulder; 'Sitek bombing! We're going back there.' before dropping like a stone out of the small, one ft crack in the window. 
Plummeting towards earth at a heavily increasing rate
Faster, faster - push me faster. Gotta get near that ground - static over the air, and through the radio a faint crackle of static he'd never noticed before; close enough to the ground to be able to count the individal slabs of concrete. 
'Gotta chip' he heard in Coras voice over the radio - saying her goodbyes to Greenflame, even from this height - her blackout static reaching him, he looked over his shoulder; and sure enough was the silhouette of Cora hugging the side of the building - pulling the flying traffic down with her.
He hit the ground beside a different building; electrical discharge spitting along the ground: across pedestrians feet, momentarily scorching them and disappearing in the time it had taken them to look down at the obscure burn, under cars. 
Dogs on their leads chased after it, before it disappeared infront of their eyes, leaving them confused with gaping, excited jaws; sniffing around for the scent of its new gift of entertainment.
Phils' screen flickered in front of him, she's here. Out of the way!
He ran as far from Coras' predicted land site, and out of the range of her shock-blast. 
His eye caught by a HGV, the large rubber tarpauline decorating the side of the vehicle with a  blazen advertisment for a popular soft-drink.
Rubber! he thought and ran around the side of it, into oncoming traffic, and leapt up the side, gripping to the loose material.
He felt a blast of negative energy, saw lights blow out and switch off, car alarms screeched, TV screens flicked out of action to a devoid shade of black.

'Where the fuck is he?' she thought as she landed. 'Better not have jumped here and left me alone.'
Lost in a time on the verge of a world-changing bombing. He better not have left me here. Little shit.
Fuck him, anyway. I'll just climb the highest building and jump out of here. 
No, no I won't - I'll fuck his shit up for him and tell them I saw him - nobody takes the piss out of me. Bastard.
'Phil! Where are you? This isn't funny!'
He was waiting for Cora to calm down, but with her thinking he'd abandoned her, she couldn't calm yet.
She sounds pissed off.
'Cora!' he yelled from the back of the truck
Thats' me! He's shouting me! He's here! Oh you little superstar, you! She grinned ear to ear. There it was again:
'COOOOOO-RRRRRRRA!' even over the rabble of traffic, her name pierced like tinitus through the cacophony of busy New District City.
Phil clambered to the roof of the HGV and waved his arms above his head
'Cora! Over here! Co-ra!' 
'Phil!' she ran towards him - he motioned her to stay back, arm outstretched. 
Whoa, girl.
'Calm! I need you to be calm!' and pointed to his glasses.
Of course, I'm Blackout - He needs me to be chilled.
Calm down Cora, chill it out. Breathe deep. 
Lighter now, more relaxed.
Breathe deep. Heart rate slowing now.
Breathe deep. Even deeper.
Breathe deep.

'I'm good' she gave a thumbs up, just in time for the driver to come out of the cafe and spot this miscreant stood on his lorries roof.
'Hey!' he yelled, 'The fuck are you doing on my wagon?!'
Phil fearlessly leapt down, and the two ran away, giggling -  towards a probably loud, rather concerning, unrelated explosion in the same direction. 
Police saucers almost immediately at the scene: Scorpions overhead, casting a shadow onto the ground, permitting the light from the sun from reaching the warm, morning concrete below.

The backdrop of his lorry filled with black smoke as the towering Sitek Headquarters behind it, had a fresh, giant hole in its architecture, plooming with smoke and fire.
The lorry shook to the side with the blast, wobbling on its left and right axis - as if deciding whether or not to fall at a 90 degree angle onto either the road, or its trusty driver; rattling its glass and pressurised carbonated drinks payload, and bleeding the bright red froth out into the path; spattering the surroundings with sticky, sugary fluid, the cabin eventually deciding that it couldn't be bothered to topple over and flatten anything in its path; and was happy being stood with all twelve of its wheels firmly planted on the road - leaving a very relieved trucker stood staring at it in amazement.

'600 more. Six-hundred, exactly.'
Greenflame mused, exhaling smoke out of the window; watching it mingle with the electric smog, crackling slightly as it hit a pocket of static in the air. He never smoked, but found comfort in the procrastination, and slight relaxation effect in watching the chaotic nature of smoke, it followed no rules except that which they invented on-the-fly: manipulated by the atoms in the air; the electrical charge spat out from technological backwash, remnants of GPS packets emanating still in the air, pulse plasma fragments from engines left with nowhere to go - bouncing from building to building, reflected onto windows and back out amongst the swarm, or absorbed into rubber sheeting on the skyscraper wall; neutralising it, swallowing it and through electrical osmosis, providing a small electrical charge for the building to utilise - enough to keep the aircraft warning lights on, and any light-art attached to the building; not a lot,  but something nonetheless.

He cast his mind back to when he was a youngster, and used to have a fascination with looking out of high windows; the thought of jumping thrilled and terrified him, what frightened him the most is that he wanted to do it. 
Knew somehow that he would one day. One day.
He certainly wouldn't have expected the reasons why, as a young eight year old child.
The thought itself a product of a young, fertile imagination.
Now though, it is a regularity, something he has gotten used to.
He wondered if he took it for granted: and how it affected his perception of memories, most have them in a chronological order - this happened, then that happened - which leads to this turn of events, or that turn of events.
Greenflame, however saw things differently - even to Phil, Greenflame had a better grasp of connecting memories and events than Phil, maybe because he didn't rely on tech to do his remembering.
'Sitek, eh?' he mumbled to himself 'You're playing into his world now, Cora.'
Can't jump now, things to do. Deadlines. A time-traveller affected by deadlines and time constraints, oh the irony!
He took the last few drags of the cigarette, leaving around an inch left; held it by the paper; closed his eyes - and projected green heat through his fingertips, so bright in his closed eyes; he visualised so hard that he forgot his eyes were closed - a warm heat on the palm of his hands caused him to open his eyes. Fire. 
The cigarette was aflame with a bright green fire, a miniature raging inferno - he flicked his wrist, and hurtled it down to the ground - the filter itself, burning, spittling and melting under the pressure of the descent and intense heat of the flame -  until crashing on the ground, green and orange embers exploding from it with the ferocity of a cluster bomb onto an unsuspecting public.

'Keep away from Pigs and Army!' Phil yelled over his shoulder to Cora. Preaching to the choir, Phil.
Cora took no condecension in his words, he was right - and they were looking out for each other.
'Last time I was here. I got captured'
They slowed to a walk, head down. Hands held.
Looking over the hoods of their eyes, and feigning confusion; shock at the blast.
'We're ok for now.' he reassured; ten second foresight told him so.
In the distance, clunk click of Peace Enforcers, 30ft mechanoids on stilt legs.
Red, White and Blue lights, Police - the human operatives high off the ground, controlling the machines.
'The fuck are they?' Cora whispered
'Police enforcers. Avoid them at all costs. They're highly accurate, and very fast on their feet.'
To Cora, this was like going back to the time of technological dinosaurs, she'd never seen even drawings of these, let alone in real life - Digital Atlantis having deleted the Internet and any references to these metal animals. She was in awe; and wanted, nay - needed to pilot one. Maybe she'll come back sometime without deadweight Phil slowing her down.

'We're here. Keep an eye out for a man with one leg. Moorkoft.'
She repeated the name, commiting it to memory.
'Alex. Alex. You there?'
'Who's Alex?' Cora asked.
'My comms guy. I should be able to reach him in this time. I brought him here to investigate the bombing - you'll like him.'
'Wahey! You alright mate?' over the radio.
'Good, man. Hey look, I'm gonna plug someone in to the data center - can you let them in?'
'Sure thing man. Plug em in.' 
Phil rustled through his satchel, and removed a tiny, earplug.
'Put this in. Quick'
Unquestioningly, she inserted the plug into her ear. Trust: established.

'Testing 1, 2...' she heard
'You hear that?' she nodded to Phil.
'Try audio out. Say something, Cora.' through her earpiece. Alex.
'1,2 1,2 testing..' 
'Yeah I got that. Loud and clear.'
'Plugging you into data now, Cora. This might feel a bit weird.' he instructed over the airwaves.
And it did. It felt very weird.
An entire world opened up inside her, she felt it - saw it underneath her skin, a wave of information: like a computer plugged into a router for the very first time and communicating with the outside world. What is this? information?
'Lets get out of here while you adapt' Phil took her hand, and guided her to a nearby alley - well out of the line of sight; not knowing how it will affect Cora.

'You see it?' he asked, curiously.
'I feel it. Here' she tapped her heart, the black box embedded into her sternum.
'Peoples emotions, man. I feel it.' a world of information inside of me; I can navigate around, and the first impression I get is their 'energy''
She laughed
'Does that make sense?'
'It sure does.'
'What is this place?'
'Greenflames databanks' 
'What?!' she tightened up : 'I'm hacking his databanks with this?' and pointed to the blackout box.
'We're allowed in - kind of, he knows we're here. He uses it too.' It's how we communicate.
'Relax. You'll learn to focus in time.' Phil assured.

A door slamming open, a fire-door with the elongated bar push-to-open lever - it slammed into the wall, and was pushed out in urgency, a man with long, straggled hair, crawling along on his one and a half leg. One and a half leg?! Moorkoft!
'Cora! Cora! Here he is. Quick!' she looked around, and saw his glow first - Moorkofts aura. Dark, and pulsing weakly. 
She didn't need her eyes to tell her he was injured, his emanance gave that away.
They sprinted towards him - his signature intensifing. pulsing harder now, lighting up. He's panicing.
'You!' he pointed at Phil, and tried to shuffle himself away even faster, to no effect.
'Need a hand?!' Phil yelled, and swooped him over his shoulder, carrying him in a firemans lift.
'Put me down!'
'Shhh! You'll get us caught!' neither of them wanted to be caught.
They rounded a corner in the alley, Phil watching the skies to see whether any intruders would break his view of the clouds, no artificial insects yet - with his free hand, he pulled a fire exit down - a collapsible set of metal steps, and hurried up them to a mid-floor window.
He looked down the stairs to Cora, she was right behind him, quick as hell too.
On cue, she smashed the window with her boot, wrapped her hoodie sleeve over her wrist and fists and punched in the remaining shards of glass. 
'In' she commanded.

Phil pushed Moorkoft through the window
'Don't even think about running away.' he advised, and hurled himself through the window.
'They'll be looking for us.' Moorkoft complained
'They'll be looking for me!'
'My friend here is from 80 years after this event, and doesn't know who you are! In her time, I'm still wanted!'
'He gets executed for it' Cora blurted
'What? Me?' Moorkoft panicked.
'Do you mind not telling people their futures, like that?' Phil joked.
'Sorry, I just...feel it now.'
'You will do.'
'And yes, you do get executed.'
'Would you like to know how?'
'Ignorance isn't bliss, you know.' Phil patted him on the shoulder.
He turned to Cora.
'Lets test this connection, then eh?' he walked over to her. 'Tell me...
what method of execution is used?'
'Please, no. I don't want to know!'
'Quiet, you. Cora?'
'Hanging. Like in a market square, it's well public! Loads of people there. Good vibes, considering.'
Excitable; glowing; waiting for the main event.
'Not just hanging... there's a.. is that a saucer? 
No way, they're hanging him from a flying saucer?!  Wow!'
Phil beamed: 'You got it. Now, there was some other controvesy before that, what was that?'
'Something to do with a court...hang on, I've got it  - it was a corrupt trial...the media..MB...MB Networks! They...bought media rights to the execution. Bought a verdict? They wanted a show! 
Was some judge killed, and another brought in? something like that? Plants.. I see plants, that's Plant Zone! a crash there..someone got eaten by the plants on the side of a building; his ship was shot down.
He was supposed to be the judge, but they brought another in. Assasinated him'
'Sold, to the media.' he looked at Moorkoft
'Alex, are you telling her any of this?' 
'No man, she's picking out data just like you do. She's got it; she's a pro.'
'Does he know I'm here? This Greenflame'
'No, perhaps you should introduce yourself. Say hi, it's only fair.'
'Yeah, maybe I will. Not yet though, we need to figure out what to do with this shit here. I say string him up ourselves, and deny him the fame.'
Moorkoft shuffled uneasy on the kitchen chair.
Cora was already circling him, with the cold metal handgun in her hand - she pressed it against his face, it felt cold. 
Merciless. Like her.
She slid it slowly away from him, keeping it in his line of sight, and in contact with his skin - and pointed it to his forehead, grinning.
Rubbing it against his hairline, as a gorilla may groom one of its young for bugs.
'He's worthless to us now, anyway; done his part of the big picture - no longer serves a purpose.' she giggled. 'Can I?' looking over at him, Phil. Phil the Great Betrayer of The Cause. The reason he was in this fucking mess in the first place.

'BANG!'she yelled in his face, inches away from his - she jumped up and squealed with laughter at his reaction; did a giddy little dance in her excitement - for him, it could quite possibly have triggered a life before ones eyes moment, but the relief to still be alive surpassing it. She walked away laughing at her cruelty.
'I wanna see him hang, I want that footage of the saucer swooping you into the air. I want to see that with my own eyes.' she paused
'Lets leave him somewhere they'll find him.' Cora suggested; hoping for a run-in with a Peace Enforcer.
'Was just thinking that.
'I'll be decoy' her Human Army salute.
'Alright, but no going after Peace Enforcers. I know that's your game
Don't think I didn't notice you pulling up schematics of them just now.'
She smiled coyly, as if I would do a thing like that.
'I'm serious. Don't.'

373 Insults remaining:


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