Monthly Archives: March 2020

thmdltr

The Modulator was researched, designed and created for one purpose and one purpose only: to cause the most suffering possible to a human being.

Its function was simple: to remove the ability of the human mind of regressing into madness, hysteria, unconsciousness or even zoning out, such that the victim’s mind would be ever-present and lucid.

It meant a person going through so much hardship and pain, beyond that which he ever thought possible, only to find that he did not snap. That his mind kept powering on, that despite the sufferings his psyche and body had to endure, the machine of his being would just keep plowing forward. Ceaselessly, with no end in mind.

It would leave him beyond exhausted, hopeless, feverishly hoping for death, but never slipping across the threshold to make suicide a possibility.

Once a the Modulator was removed from the victim (if ever), he was left an empty husk, a shadow of a man. Interestingly enough, the function of the Modulator had an added effect, which was to disable the mysterious part of the brain that served as a tripwire of sorts.

It meant that even after the Modulator was removed, the person would still be in a similar state of endless torture, a drag of a life, till overwhelmed by whatever external force to mercifully end his pitiful and pathetic life.

::themodulator

sthts

It has been many years now since they’ve been with us. First the Terran Terrors, then quickly the Terran Presence, and now simply the Terrans.

Truly, they speak the truth when they say they’ve come a long way and have learnt a lot, and are here to share.

Without a doubt they are more ancient, wiser, and infinitely more powerful. Despite all their advantages over us, they never called themselves our Terran Masters.

They have always treated us as equals, and that, they say, is a lesson their race took too long, and shed too much blood, to learn.

::isthatus

drpndrpt

He opened the booking up and pinged his location. If he timed it right, he’d be able to make the drop AND catch the next ship out, all within the hour. Two seconds later his communicator vibrated, indicating the availability of a ship: it was approaching atmo and would land in the next ten minutes, and boarding would commence approximately an hour after that.

Ok, so maybe he couldn’t time it so perfectly. But still, given how everything had materialised at the very last minute, this was a miracle as far as he was concerned.

I’ll thank my stars later, now I gotta move, he thought. Pulling down his dust goggles, he flicked on his air bike and whooshed down the slope, headed for the main road.

::dropindropout

thndrcvrpsts

The children were only supposed to climb over the huge foam vaulting box, then land safely on the crash mat on the other side. There were two queues, one teacher, and twenty students. Everything was within parameters and manageable.

Until Clyde had his turn.

Instead of climbing over, the 8-year old stood up tall, and almost immediately lost his balance. He had moved in such a smooth and quick manner, to do an unprecedented thing, that Mr Rogers the gym coach could hardly cry out and rush over before Clyde fell over the edge.

It was an awkward landing, somehow head first, and everyone heard the sickening crunch. Most the other kids stopped what they were doing and stared at the still body of Clyde Kape. A handful rushed over to gawk or assist or God-knows what.

And before his eyes, Mr Rogers saw Clyde straighten his bent neck and get up, a wide smile on his face, as though nothing had happened.

The kids who were nearby immediately screamed and ran away, causing the rest to stare in fear or panic themselves. Mr Rogers was infuriated. He grabbed Clyde firmly by the arm and yanked him off the mat.

He blew his whistle and got the other kids to line up, before marching them back to homeroom, all the while Clyde in his firm grasp. Once the other children were safe in their classroom, he walked briskly to the headmaster’s office, the boy in tow smiling serenely the whole time.

“Headmaster? Sorry to bother. We’ve got another one,” Mr Rogers said into the headmaster’s office, without even knocking.

“My GOD they keep popping up… What’s its name?”

“Clyde Kape, sir,”

“Alright, Clyde, sit there. Rogers, lock the door please,” instructed Headmaster Smollet. From his desk drawer he produced a water pistol. Clyde grew still, eyes fixed on the pistol.

“It is exactly what you think it is. Vinegar and iodine.” Upon hearing that Clyde Kape hissed and scampered backwards, into Mr Rogers who was guarding the door. Mr Rogers shoved Clyde, hard, and it fell to the ground.

“Tell me your brood location, now,” the headmaster said, leveling the pistol at Clyde.

“Death to Earthmen!” it spat. In a flash Mr rogers seized the thing called Clyde and the headmaster promptly squirted its chest, once. Its skin that came into contact with the wet patch on its shirt started sizzling and bubbling, and the creature let out a shrill cry of agony. It tried to break free but Mr Rogers held on strongly.

“Last chance. Brood location, right now, or I’ll make it hurt worse.”

“PARAMONT STREET. ABANDONED HOUSE. LOT 57. LET ME GO!!!” it cried out, still obviously hurting a great deal from the burn.

The headmaster calmly wrote down what was written, then looked up and smiled. He retrieved the pistol and without flinching shot the thing full on in its face, several times. The unearthly screams did not last long as its throat melted, till all was left was gurgling noises and a body that still writhed vigorously, desperate to break free. As the neck fully melted, a little orb-like object became dislodged and fell to the ground. Moments after, the whole body went limp, and started smoking. Mr Rogers let it drop unceremoniously to the ground, and picked up the orb.

Casually, he handed it over to the headmaster who then opened his left drawer and deposited it into a glass jar filled with a certain liquid, a several more of such orbs. He screwed the lid to the jar tight, then pushed the desk close.

By now the body of the thing had nearly totally evaporated, leaving behind just the clothes. Mr Rogers dutifully picked them up and disposed of them.

“That’s the fifth this month alone, Sir, it’s wearing me out,” Mr Rogers said as he sat across from his boss.

“I know, Pete, it’s quite a drag. But their presence, or infestation, is real and we’ve no choice but to do our part. Say, what gave this one away? Did it do something completely ridiculous, like the previous two?”

“Yes, in a way. It took a big fall and snapped its neck. If you ask me, they’re getting bolder. It’s almost like they want to be caught. Mocking us, even. I don’t get a good feeling about this, sir.”

The headmaster only frowned, deep in thought. The ends of his lips got more down-turned and he looked properly bothered.

“It’s scary, but you do have a point. They are in fact getting bolder. I’ll pass that on to our contact, then. Mr Rogers, thank you once again for impeccable work, and if there’s nothing else, you may leave.”

“My pleasure. Thank you, sir.”

Once the door had clicked shut, the headmaster took out his communicator and hit the quick-dial key for his contact in the government task force. Another report to make, yet he couldn’t shake the feeling that they weren’t getting any closer to solving this problem. On the contrary, it felt quite the opposite…

::theundercoverpests

ndsltn

Frederick-2942 ploughed through the tall purple weeds, the sound of his respirator marking the drudgery and tedium of his hike back to base.

Overhead he heard a faint yet distinct roar, and felt the ground shake as yet another alien ship streaked through the sky, probably to land at Sector 5 as well. Frederick-2942 sighed. The Settlers really were everywhere. When the first ship was spotted, he had somehow hoped that they would pass him by. Him, and the other 2000 odd settlers on this God-forsaken wasteland of a planet.

But no, here they were too, reminding everyone why they were nicknamed the Settlers in the first place.

It would be a month before they established contact with his colony, but that was a headache for another day, and frankly speaking, not much of his problem.

Yet.

::indesolation

lst

There was no satellite signal on his Communicator but he kept hitting ‘refresh’ anyway. The pointless action of it was better than just waiting.

He glanced at his wrist monitor and his heart sank as the O2 reading dropped by another 1%.

At this point, every star in the bleak sky he would mistake as the drive plume of a rescue vessel approaching. And every time he realised he was wrong, the disappointment and agony washed over him afresh.

::lost