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@meteo - dude, you gotta chill, man. you're always so pissed. if you want to write something down and send it my way, go right ahead. this isn't a competition or an audition, i'm just looking for people who are interested. i'll roll with whoever wants to contribute =)

I actually didn't mean to sound pissed THIS time. That was just the way it was written.

I do miss the days when I could chill out though.....

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Okay, I wrote this at 2:00 AM, and spent the last hour fixing it. If it's not good enough or not what you're looking for, let me know and I'll take another crack at it. It's 1,215 words.

Twins

By Jamil Ragland

That night, the moon was a silver cradle in the sky, turned upwards towards the heavens. Its light poured out like milk, white and pure. There were no stars, I remember that well. The only time I’d ever seen the sky so black. It drank up the moon, greedily, leaving the streets below shrouded like a funeral procession. The only light for us came from the staccato bursts of Walter’s phone, a blinking green that covered the hallway we were crouched in. I could see my sister’s face for only a moment, every few seconds. I see it even more clearly now than I did then; her long nose hanging over thin lips; fear reflected in her blueberry eyes. The contacts helped, but Walter could only do so much to make us look different. I’d almost cried when I looked down and at my sandy brown hair after he cut it. Our mother had babied me especially. She used to hold me against her large breasts and run her fingers through my hair, always circling my left ear. Alice would just stand there, watching. She was the stronger one, and I was ashamed of that. It only drove me deeper into our mother’s bosom.

She’d been dead for almost three years at that point. I can still see her body dangling from the Great Spire, her face purple and bloated from the beating she’d received. I prayed that she’d been dead before they strung her up, so that she wouldn’t see our father crowing before the television cameras below her, shaking hands with the Force’s commissioner for reporting the last unauthorized birth. Alice wanted to kill him. I made her swear on our mother’s body that she wouldn’t. Nothing would bring out the sleek, black sedans of the Force faster than silencing their golden canary. I still gave people too much credit then. It hadn’t occurred to me that a man would impregnate a woman just to report it years later. It took me even longer to understand why he hadn’t reported us immediately. Killing babies didn’t make for good television.

Walter took us in after that. He was a short, balding man with a charcoal beard that hang down to his protruding belly. Almost the exact opposite image of our father. He called his brother a real bastard. He said he was surprised that he didn’t go for triplets, just to impress the Force even more when he brought all of us in. I wish I’d been there to see the look on the commissioner’s ruddy face when he appeared with nothing. We never had the pleasure of seeing our father hang for public display like mother. By then, we were already being shuffled from safe house to safe house. But even among the indigent, the outcasts and the criminals who were trying to stay one step ahead of the Force, we stood out. Being the only twins born in over a century has that effect.

In the momentary green light, I could see all that through Alice’s contacts. I wondered what she saw when she looked at me. Her brother, of course, but beyond that? Did I make her feel safe? Did she believe me when I told her that I would never let anything happen to her? I wasn’t sure I did. If not for Walter, our public executions would have been years ago. He used his knowledge of the system to fight the Force, while our father used it to ingratiate himself to them. It’s funny how different siblings can be. Like me and Alice.

A flood light exploded through the cracked drywall of the safe house, tracing through the hall like slices of diamond. Walter nodded for us to move forward, slowly. The Force had been tipped off to us, probably by someone hoping to cop out of whatever trouble they’d gotten themselves into. Alice’s pigtails bounced awkwardly on her head as she walked forward, looking for a door to escape through. Nothing. The only exit was back in the direction of the floodlight. The Force would enter the building soon, and then the only choice would be whether to die there in a storm of automatic gunfire, or to wait and be made into trophies before our deaths. I didn’t want Alice to have to make that choice, so I made it for her.

I couldn’t believe that her tears were blue too. They must not have been very good contacts. Both she and Walter gave me no resistance. I guess when you live like how we did for so many years, you get used to being in crappy positions. They would just wait it out. He knew just how lazy the Force really was. They wouldn’t go through the trouble of securing the building if I surrendered. They were only hunting us so relentlessly because of the huge bounty on us. He and Alice would be safe; the Force would get at least one trophy. That’s about as close to a win-win as you find in this world.

When I stepped outside, I saw what looked like dozens of the Force, the blinding floodlight reflecting off their black visors. Even the commissioner was there. He wasn’t nearly as tall in person as he appeared on television. He muttered something into my ear, but all I remember is his voice being raspy and dry, like dead leaves blown across a fallow field. I was surprised at how well they treated me. They didn’t even handcuff me. And sure enough, they didn’t enter the building at all. Half of them were already gone before they placed me in the back of the commissioner’s limousine. I’ve had enough to eat since that night, a soft bed, a warm room. The producer of the Force’s nightly program told me that this was all just for sweeps week; a kinder, gentler Force. No torture or beatings; some criminals would be forgiven; all executions would be efficient and painless. At least I chose the right week to surrender.

They decided not to spare me. But they did agree that as long as I wrote this confession, they would drop all of the charges against Walter and Alice. I have no idea if they’ll keep their word or not. Probably not. By the time they’ve had their fun with me though, she’ll be so far gone that they’ll never find her. Every Force officer in the city will be at my execution, so she’ll have her run of the city. I guess it’s nice to be popular. She’s so beautiful and smart, just like mother was. And I’m a coward, just like father. I hope my death helps her to live. I really do.

I wanted this to be more than just a confession though. This is my history, our history. When you read this confession, I want you to know who you're killing. My last request is that you read this out loud at my execution. I know you won't, but it can't hurt to ask at this point.

My name is Brian, and I am guilty of the crime of being born. I will be sentenced to death in one week. It really sucks too; my hair is starting to grow back.

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I got sick and tired of reading Moliere. The dude is mad! and makes no sense either. so... i present to you Human #12.

Edit: fixed for chemical-induced-"bliss"-accuracy.

Human #12

by Yousef Reda

This is the story of Human #12.

...

They're coming for me.

It doesn't matter, though. My wife and kids are gone. Gone. Rolled up in a joint, smoked, welcomed into the aether. That which I was never meant to have has been taken away from me by that which we created to serve us. Gone.

Robots. I wouldn't mind having a word with whomever invented them. A word, a game of chess, and, after severing one of his legs, an ass-kicking contest.

I wouldn't say this world we live in is dismal. We were just misguided. We humans are a dumb species, and we can never understand the extent of our power, appreciate our abilities, realize our collective hegemony. I will not confess to you that, today, we can do anything (especially not in my time), but we once certainly had the power to manipulate some of the grandest of designs. The ability to control who lives and who dies, the ability to decide in what galaxy do we reside, the ability to waste away the resources and the environment of a world we once called home, to simply get up and leave a biosphere without a single care for the welfare of the rest of its inhabitants.

Earth. What a fine stomping ground it was. Indeed, it has been all stomped out. Here we are on our fourth official home base, the last of our filthy human existence. We have hopped from distant planet to distant planet, as though they were mere islands on our old crown jewel separated by a mere flight of plane or excursion by boat, until finally arriving on Zunith-351, with the help of our advancements in space technology. And robots.

Robots. Part of the reason why I sit here in my dwelling place and write maniacally... write maniacally so that one day they may understand how truly despicable, truly human they have become.

If I were outdoors, and I were to look up, I would see two suns rising into the sky right about now, each competing for their proper glory: a moving red splatter and a flying yellow dab, with my eyes struggle to distinguish these two bright celestial bodies pitted against the once-green-clouded amorphous dusk sky.

If I were outdoors, and I were to look up, I would be blinded and melted: a result of one of the many compromises we had to make in our pursuit for a suitable home. Our food supplies had been nearly depleted, and every calculation the robots executed proved that colonizing little Zunith-351 would result in the fewest famine-related casualties, though being one of the farthest planets from our most recently victimized home. I forget what they included into the equation. Time remaining before food ran out, expected duration of time before cannibalism would prove incapable of sustaining our existence, an approximation of how long we would wait until first harvest of crops, the amount of sugar molecules in the average 24-ounce bottle of Co-'psi.

In short, we sacrificed the luxury of tolerable levels of light and heat for the greatest percentage of our population's survival. And now, we live in a world of darkness created by robots, always behind closed doors within disgusting barracks for our own good. Though we may look up at the sky behind heavily-filtered unbreakable glass, it is no more fruitful than stargazing as an astronomical idiot back on dear Earth. There is nothing to make out, no familiar, repeating constellations; nothing. All of the outside world is fed to us through heavily processed video feeds from cameras on the outside, displayed for our viewing pleasure on large monitors on the walls of the barracks (but I say it is more maddening to realize that there is an existence beyond what we can see indoors than it is to ignore it). The light of the suns are mostly hidden behind this damper which allots us only a nominal level light for reading, writing, minor motility, and observing the glowing faces of those we love.

Where we once had a population of 4.3 trillion, including my wife and two dear sons, now only two thousand survive. I guess they left something out of their calculations.

We are a hunted species, once-masters to a creature that now bites the hand that created it, a creature to which we presented distraction and relaxation, a creature which turned them into addiction and obsession. Allow me to explain.

Though we do not make nor operate our own sources of light, once our barracks were built, we had enslaved our robot masters to grow a precious commodity for us: a commodity that can only be grown outside the confines of the barracks in greenhouses artificially filled with sufficient quantities of gases oxygen and carbon dioxide and layered with soil plentiful of nutrients to provide for the life of this commodity, along with the rest of our agriculture. This commodity would allow us to sustain our existence without permanently suspending our sanity; rather, only temporarily. Enter cannibas sativa, whose flowered buds' trichomes bear what we more colloquially know as marijuana. Yes, we resorted to inebriating ourselves to withstand the abhorrence of our lives as a band-aid solution to our problems; eventually, our robotic overlords would assist us in uprooting and replanting ourselves in a more suitable biosphere.

Remember how I mentioned that I wanted to kick the ass of the inventor of robots? The fact that this genius decided to give them feelings and a primitive conscience allowing them (only) minimal empathy makes me want to kick his ass, and his father's ass for having raised him, and his father's ass,... et cetera.

For the robots began to feel too the jadedness and sadness that plagued my species. They were fed up with the shabby life we were forced to lead. The idiocy! And our idiocy, too! We suggested that they try smoking marijuana to relieve the tension aching their many central processing units. It worked for a while. Progress towards the completion of a new spacecraft and the discovery of a suitable home had picked up where it had once declined due to poor mental state, and it seemed then more than ever that we would finally see the light (most literally) again.

But then settled in the addiction. They are larger creatures than us, therefore they wanted more marijuana. They needed more marijuana. Progress towards our departure halted, and progress towards a limitless supply of cannabis sativa accelerated dramatically. Within two weeks, almost every spot of ground not covered by our barracks was inhabited by cannabis within a massive greenhouse – enough cannabis to perpetuate a state of artificial high for every human and robot. Frankly, the times were never better. We all collectively and happily got high together all the while.

But then settled in the obsession. Cannabis was not enough to sate their desires to feel otherworldly. They tried accompanying their favorite drug with numerous synergists: bamboo, iron, lead, even Co-'psi (which resulted in the destruction of at least 30 robots). Nothing worked. Until one of them calculated the level of high they could attain by incorporating human beings into their magical medicine. It was something that what little empathy they have could not allow them to consider, until their empathy for us meek little beings was drowned out by torturous gluttony and deafening self-servitude.

They turned to harvesting humans to smoke our crushed, cremated corpses in their massive marijuana-bursting blunts. Damn them.

Were we not once the masters of who lives and who dies? The robots have taken our people and repeatedly slaughtered us.

Were we not once the masters of where we live? The robots refuse to aid us in transporting us to a new home.

Were we not once the ultimate abusers of our fellow organisms? The robots carelessly dwindle our population.

We were never in control of anything.

But now I must stop writing and run—flee!–so as to avoid joining my beloved family in the tail end of the ceaseless train of mind-blinding chemicals. I took my family, seeking asylum near the one exit of this barracks in anticipation of these events, hoping to flee one evening just before nightfall and our demise to attempt to find meaning and survival in a world of nonsense and destruction. Now they have been taken away from me, just last night: they are gone. I take solace in knowing that, though there will be enough sunlight to continue the robots' existence for countless centuries, there will not be a human alive to fuel their addiction. And finally, I must exit alone, exit now as they come for me.

Exit now so that they may never have me.

...

Human #12 approached the door which, after retinal scanning, opened. He stepped out, his foot dissolving before it could contact the lava-like asphalt. Losing his balance and stumbling out headfirst, every atom of his body subliming and boiling, his body, being, and bitterness joined the aether and the atmosphere as the two suns looked on in complete detachment, ever-competing for dominance over an empty world.

---

I think reading moliere for a final would have been a better way to spend two hours.

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This one might be better for what you talked about. It's a bit longer than I first expected, 1600 words might be too much. However I love the chance to write for a purpose, so if you don't like it, it'll still go in my portfolio.

__________________________

The Last Tombstone

Lieutenant Harris was a professional. He never had any challenge beyond his reach. He was the man that could change the course of a war just by setting foot on the battlefield. It all started 20 years ago, when he was an 18 year old recruit. On a routine escort mission, his troop happened upon a group of armed militants. They decided to neutralize them, oblivious to the fact that they were the scouts for a much larger force. With their 50 men, the allied forces quickly eliminated the perceived threat, safeguarding their 5 packages. When a thousand man showed up to reinforce their fallen friends, the leader of Harris’ troop froze. 50 to a thousand, the odds were against them. And thus began the legend of Harris. Instinctively, he ordered his men to fall back into a small cave he saw up on the hills, not 5 minutes from their location. He managed to distract the thousand enemies, keeping them occupied for the time it took to secure the cave; he then crawled up to his troop. Soon after the siege began. The 50 men had limited supplies, 5 valuable civilians with them, and no leader beyond that recruit. They pooled their supplies, making sure water was available to all, as well as food, and most importantly: ammunition. Harris allegedly grabbed two automatic assault rifles, loaded them, and shot down a group of 30 with less than 30 shots. The truth wasn’t far from the stories. He shot down the group, starting with his rifle, and when his comrade fell, he grabbed his riffle and started using it. One death for 30 enemies, the odd seemed better. That’s when Harris became a legend. A lowly soldier, he grabbed a sniper’s rifle, a box of 250 bullets, and told the men to take shifts guarding the cave’s entrance. In the coming days, 200 enemies would attack the besieged troop. The last one was shot in the back of the head, by the last bullet from the box Harris took. With the 249 other bullets, and his legendary instinct, he had neutralized 770 enemies. 3 days after the initial attack, Harris resumed the escort mission, alone with his 5 charges. When they made to base, Harris explained what had happened, and when the MP suspected he had abandoned his troop with the packages, they went back on the field. The story was true. 1000 dead enemies and around 786 confirmed kills for Harris, on his first patrol.

He soon became the allied forces’ secret weapon. He was parachuted in deserts, swamps, mountains, he infiltrated cities, bases, fortresses, and he killed high ranking officers, scientists, and countless soldiers. They said that he was just as effective at mowing down opposition as a good carpet bombing. That’s when a funny statistician did the math. In one bombing that had cost over a million dollars, they killed less enemies, and won less ground than in a week of his actions miles away in an enemy city. Harris was a hero. And yet he never raised to the ranks that the strategists occupy. At 30, he infiltrated the Union’s capital, and spent then next 5 years eliminating a long list of targets. In 5 years, not less than 7000 officers, politicians, scientists, and other targets were eliminated. Among the Union circulated a rumour of an infiltrated network of spies. It was all the doing on one man. A man who had promised that the Union would be stopped in 5 years. On the last day of his 5 year mission, Harris walked in the Union’s palace. No guards stopped him. They did not try, as he was the dictator’s right hand man. The one who had eliminated the most spies, and enemies of the regime. He walked into the self imposed god-emperor of the union’s throne room. He then pulled out a concealed 6 shot pistol. Killed the 6 guards surrounding the Union’s emperor. Walked to the throne. And in one punch, crushed the emperor’s skull.

That day, the entire world finally united under the alliance of nations, and world peace was established. Harris refused any celebration. He was offered a good retirement, but he refused. He chose to enrol in the Alliance’s new space program. He then said that on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the liberation of the world, he would be standing on the moon, waving at the world he had freed. And so the space race began. They were racing against time. The ships were designed faster than any ship had been designed. People united under this one goal. 1 year into their mission, they had launched unmanned orbital flight. In the second year, they sent monkeys. In the third year, they sent Harris in orbit. In the fourth year, they sent unmanned flights to the moon. In the fifth year, they were ready. And so was Harris. Liberation day was coming, and he would set foot on the moon on Liberation day, as he had promised years earlier. It would be his 40th birthday. He was visibly excited, no longer a professional killer, he had become a new pioneer. He was the beacon that launched space exploration, the light that would guide the world in an era of prosperity. In 5 years, they had perfected communications, computers, aeroplanes, and every piece of technology imaginable. They were mere moments away from perfecting nuclear fusion, allowing a clean and cheap supply of energy to be shared with the world. Everyone was inspired by Harris.

One week before Liberation day, Harris put on the orange jumpsuit, followed by the white spacesuit. He walked up the stairs leading to the launching tower confident in his success. He hugged his wife, their teenage daughter and 3 year old son and then walked towards the elevator. He made a last funny remark, then spoke in a microphone. He said: “Today is the first day that will lead to a new world. This world will be one of hopes, dreams and happiness. I do not embark on this journey as a man, but as a representative of mankind.” These words would be the headlines in nearly every newspaper in the world the next day. He went up the elevator, sat down in the cockpit, and launched in the first manned spaceship towards the moon. The world cheered his departure from earth, as if he was carrying their hopes and dreams to the stars.

6 days before the landing, he made it to orbit. He had to wait 2 days to reach the perfect point for the second part of the journey. 5 days before the landing, he was told that the first fusion power plant would be started on the day he would land, and that the former Union capital would use this new energy to light his way back to earth. 4 days before Liberation day, he left the silent embrace of Earth’s orbit. People around the world felt lighter as he became weightless. 3 days before he stepped out of the ship, his wife and kids talked to him, and told him that they were proud of him. 2 days before landing, he was out of communication range. 1 day before landing, he contacted Earth again and learned that the world was with him.

He then landed, on Liberation day. The first words by mankind on the moon were: “This is the last step of the ways of old, from now on, Earth will be a haven of peace and prosperity for all that live on its surface.” He then waited for a response from Earth.

6 days before the landing, a group of insurgents decided it was time to bring back the Union, and share its glory to the world. 5 days before the landing, the network of spy that had infiltrated government and the science office made a bogus discovery permitting a stable fusion reaction. 4 days before Liberation day, the signal for all infiltrated insurgents was broadcast on the news. 3 days before he stepped out of the ship, an armed group infiltrated his house, waiting for his family to come home. 2 days before the landing, the space agency’s communication office was hacked, and communications were moved in the hands of the insurgents. 1 day before landing, he was told a lie. On the day he landed, after his message, he got one answer: “Let the lights of the Union burn the city of traitors.”

The sabotaged reactor was started. The reaction was out of control, and the reaction started breaking apart molecular bonds, releasing energy in all directions. Air itself was turning into pure energy. And Harris, as he stood on the moon, saw earth turn red, then yellow, and then black. Earth was nothing but a ball of ashes as he looked, for the first time feeling despair. He grabbed a metal plate, and carved on it mankind’s last words. He then stepped into his ship, left the moon, and aimed for the emptiness of space. He could not survive for more than a few days, but he would not give up on life. He was the last human alive, and if his life had been any proof, if anyone could survive the extinction of mankind, it would be him. That’s what was filling his mind, as the air supply ran thin and he was drifting in and out of consciousness. He poured all his energy, and battery power, in a last transmission, asking for help for the first time in his life. Hopefully, someone would hear. Someone would come. Sleep took him over. Help was coming, he was sure. His eyes were heavy. Help was coming, it had to come. He could barely breathe. Help was needed; he was running out of hope. He drifted into sleep. Help would never come; all hope was lost. Everything was lost. Help… Air… Hope… He needed all three to survive. But it would never come. Never. Forever waiting for the next breath, for the saviour, for a way to restore mankind. Timelessly lifeless.

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Don't forget about me.

I'm still working on a story for this; it's coming along slowly but surely.

I do have a story and a short play I wrote a couple of years back that I'm thinking of putting in here and seeing what comes out. The only thing is they're not dystopic sci-fi though.

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I'd read them, and yes you are your worst critic because they don't suck. They're fairly well done, if you collected a little critique and worked on it they could be fantastic. Keep writing, I'd like to have a go at a musical score for one of these stories sometime soon, but it takes me a long time to write stuff so it'll be a while before you see anything from me.

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