Y’Sil’s Unlikely ‘Boat’ [Writing Warm-Up #4]

Y’Sil’s Unlikely ‘Boat’
By T.A. Saunders

Doctor Chaise Michaels wondered if she had truly made a mistake. Born of desperation to find a weak, depraved soul, that could be whisked away without much worry from significant others, parents or guardians proved more difficult than she had anticipated. Her position at Sisters of Mercy Hospital, she imagined initially, would give her a perfect opportunity, with the sorts of genetic flotsam that commonly found its way in through its doors.

But that really wasn’t the case. Many were gangers, or prostitutes that would be missed, even if it was by their pimps. Chaise was by no means a physically imposing woman, or had the ability to fight off an attacker. She was a delicately curved woman, with dark chocolate brown hair, and matching eyes, that gave her this innocent look about her. Most of the people she required for her needs were also quite capable of causing her great harm. She had to be careful, she had to apply two of her assets that those she required likely did not have: patience and wit.

And Chaise had been patient. Despite the murmurings of her dark master, Y’Sil, she waited and plotted for the right subject, the right moment. But even she was beginning to worry to her master’s willingness to wait for a vessel, one corrupt and weak enough for him to take over, and make his own. Aaron was surely a prime candidate, with his weak will, his already delusional frame of mind and his only living relative thinking he was really nothing more than living refuse. There was just one sticking point with Aaron, that had the doctor concerned that Y’Sil might reject this vessel, and strike her down. Aaron Thorpe was so bafflingly stupid, she had begun to wonder if even Y’Sil would not have him.

“Yes, Aaron.” She said with a soft, assuring tone. “You and He are going to go on a little voyage together. I just need to prepare you.”

“I had to be chained up to go on a trip?” Her potential sacrifice replied, while tilting his head vacantly.

“As I indicated, preparation can be…painful.” Chaise replied, while doing herself the service of pulling a ball gag she had dangling from Aaron’s neck, into place. “Now, I need you to be very still Aaron. Can you do that for me?”

“Mmmff! Mmhmmff Mh!” Chaise assumed by the tone of the muffled response and his bobbing head, that Aaron planned on being compliant, which was advantageous, since the next option was gassing the young man with Sevoflurane. No telling what Y’Sil would do if he was brought into a body knocked out by general aesthetic.

“Shh now.” She urged, while taking a small knife from a nearby table, to carefully cut the fabric of the “Keep Calm and Call the Doctor” t-shirt he was wearing. She found no small amount of irony to this particular garment, considering her position and the predicament poor Aaron was in. Probably thought this was bondage play, certainly not preparation for demonic possession.

As a physical specimen, Chaise felt Aaron was somewhat thin, and could probably do with a workout regimen that worked on building a little muscle mass. Hopefully Y’Sil wouldn’t be as discerning as she was. Still, she took pride in her work, whether it be to save a patient, or to place demonic runes on somebody’s skin. The body was her canvas, after all; making it look pleasing to her master was quite important.

“Mmmfh?!” Aaron mumbled loudly, as Chaise replace the small knife she had been holding, with a scalpel. She recognized the fear in his pale blue eyes, so much like his grandfather’s, and answered it with a gentle caress of his cheek, even while placing the edge of the cutting implement upon perspiration-slicked skin.

“Very still. You must be very still for me, Aaron.” She cooed into his ear, while carving the first part of one of many runes to come, into his chest. The point of the scalpel didn’t cut into the muscle, but left a clean split of skin, that quickly filled with the red of Aaron’s life. Another slice through the skin, and another, that was answered by more panicked mumbles through the ball gag.

Chaise had become exceedingly careful now, with her canvas writhing and bucking against the chains. She was still considering hitting him with the Sevoflurane, if only to ensure he’d keep still, but decided against it. While a mistake in cutting the flesh would mean waiting another three or four days while the wound healed, so she could try again, it was essential that Y’Sil’s vessel properly suffer, to accept Him. He had to bleed. He had to feel pain.

* * *

Her canvas was red now, streaked with the delicate little incisions that were fashioned into runes over Aaron’s chest, stomach, shoulders and pelvis. In total, there were nine hundred and forty-two little marks, tiny symbols of demonic importance lovingly etched into the meat of this degenerate’s body. Aaron had passed out from the pain, which while not conducive to building his suffering, certainly made it easier to accomplish the blood-wrought artistry now covering his body.

Chaise pressed a kiss to Aaron’s bloodied chest, then leaned her cheek upon it, as if she were listening for a lover’s heartbeat. Unbothered by the smear of red life upon her own pale cheek, she whispered gently against the ruined skin.

“He is yours, Master. Aaron Thorpe awaits to receive your infernal host.”


Evaluation [Writing Warm-Up #3]

By T.A. Saunders


“Are you ready, Aaron? Are you ready for a new life?”

The words were soft and warm on my ear, as the unseen voice whispered them to me. I heard her, and her voice and the way she used it immediately aroused me. She wanted me, whoever she was. Must be a dream though, fucking weird dream, because I feel cold, and when I reach out to pull her from the darkness, my arms are held back by chains, and my feet can’t move at all. Shackled.

“What the fuck do you mean? Is this some kind of kink dungeon?”

Her laugh had the same effect as her voice. I wanted to lay this crazy woman, and I almost didn’t care if she had a pitbull face. If she was going to linger in the dark, I could imagine she was Christina Hendricks. I was confused though, because the last thing I remembered, was waking up in a hospital, with my grouchy ass grandfather, and some doctor. Maybe that was it? Maybe a nurse took me home, and locked me in her kink dungeon. Best kidnapping ever!

“No, Aaron. I’m preparing you for evaluation. I’m Doctor Michaels. I oversaw your treatment at the hospital.” She explained.

“Evaluation? What kind of evaluation needs me to be chained up? Because I’m no subbie! I’m dom all the way! So, uh look here, unchain me or else!” It really sounded convincing in my head, but seemed to lack the gusto I intended when the words peeped out of my mouth like some panicked duckling that fell behind the duck line. I really don’t like ducks either. I definitely wasn’t a duck in a past life.

“The evaluation can be a little upsetting, Aaron.” Even in the dark, I could feel her lips were close to my left cheek. I really wanted to turn my head and kiss this bitch, just to prove chains don’t have shit on me, but I thought better of it. Her soft, gentle voice, combined with that warning, made me a little uneasy. I knew I got banged up in that fall, but what happened that I needed to be chained up?

“This isn’t the psycho ward, is it?” I already knew the answer, but I just wanted to make sure. I wasn’t completely sure I wasn’t hallucinating, or caught up in some vivid dream. I really wanted this to be a dream, because this bitch talking to me is going to have tits for days, and red hair, and…

“No. You’re in a special ‘facility,’ however.” Her soft voice shook me out of my attempting to make her come out a certain way in my imagination. “I’m afraid the restraints will have to remain on for a bit longer, Aaron. Please try to understand, it’s really for your own good.”

For my own good. I’ve heard that a lot. Getting sent to my grandfather’s when I was ten was for my own good. Him beating me unconscious was for my own good. Yeah, I wasn’t a fan of people doing things for my own good, but I really liked her voice. Maybe just this once it would be for my own good. Maybe.

“I’ll try.” It’s all I can give the mystery woman with the soft voice. A lot of things don’t make sense, and as I reflexively test the restraints again, with a soft clank of the chains, I realize that whatever sense I’m going to make out of whatever predicament I’ve gotten myself into is irrelevant.

“What am I being evaluated for, exactly?” I ask, because why not? I’m chained up near a probably beautiful woman I can’t see. Good as time as any to make small talk, right?

“For your spiritual feculence,” She replied in that same breathy voice. I don’t even know what feculence means, but this suddenly went New Age, fast.”If Y`Sil, Master of the Living Dark, finds you suitable, He will wipe your mind, your memories away, and make you his vessel.”

“Wait, he wants to make me his boat?” This really was a messed up dream!

Beagles Don’t Fly [Writing Warm-Up #2]


By T.A. Saunders

“He was found on top of a garbage truck. He’s lucky, really. That jump could’ve killed him.”

“Lucky? He’s an idiot. What’s that he’s muttering?”

“Something about beagles. Been going on about it, since being brought to the E.R.”


Doctor Chaise Michaels really didn’t know what to make of her patient. After pumping his stomach free of the mixed cocktail of prescription drugs, then having his broken arm and broken shin set, as well as the numerous abrasions, she couldn’t help but to feel he’d just be back here in a few more months, as the result of something very similar. Some people just couldn’t be fixed, unless they truly desired change. Or could they?

“With your permission, I’d like to have him ‘evaluated,’ perhaps find some means to help Aaron.” Chaise was being vague with her patient’s grandfather. Aaron really was the best subject for her research, but explaining it to the angry old coot was going to take longer than she really cared to entertain.

“Evaluated?” Aaron’s grandfather, Henry Thorpe repeated, with a raise in the timber of his sandpaper-rough voice. “What do you need to evaluate him for? He’s an idiot. You know, the other day, I caught him soaking tampons in vodka? Who does that? An idiot does that, that’s who. There’s your evaluation.”

“Mister Thorpe, “ Chaise replied, a bit flustered with the prospect of just how to explain the motivation of soaking tampons in vodka, tactfully attempted to switch the subject matter to a more clinical topic. “I believe Aaron needs a deep psychological evaluation, to determine what’s driving him to make these clearly poor decisions.”

“Eh.” Henry didn’t have much use for doctors, or evaluations. Surviving the Korean War and Vietnam had been quite enough of an education on doctors and their evaluations, for him to have no taste whatsoever for the process, or its details. Still, he eyed the woman, his hardened ice blue gaze critical of any signs of hidden meaning or, more importantly…”How much is this going to cost? If it’s between this putz and the new Ford truck I’m eyeing, it’ll be the Ford!”

The doctor couldn’t help to find a sardonic smile for the old fellow’s commentary. It was this sort of thinking she reasoned, that probably put Aaron where he is now; the sense of worthlessness that drives somebody to taking drugs, jumping off buildings, and worse. This is why her research into memory alteration was so important. Making people see themselves and past events differently could take a broken person, like Aaron, and perhaps allow him a chance to be a productive person. Somebody he could be proud of, somebody even his cantankerous grandfather could be proud of.

“The treatment will be free of cost,” Chaise replied while brushing back a stray lock of chocolate brown hair from her glasses. “This sort of thing is covered under my research grant. He will have to be transferred, of course, once he’s well enough to be moved. As his legal guardian, you would have to sign all the necessary paperwork.”

“Fine, fine.” Henry responded, with a dismissive flick of his thin hand. “Give me whatever paperwork you need me to sign. I’m missing ‘The Price is Right,’ on account of the idiot here.”

“Yes of course,” Chaise replied, while opening the door for Mister Thorpe to exit Aaron’s room. Once the old man had departed, the dark-haired doctor turned back to her patient, with a soft, nurturing smile forming on her petal pink lips, as she touched his brow, with her thumb.

“How you will see the world differently, once I’ve finished with you.” She whispered, before leaving the room herself. Doctor Michaels was pleased, indeed.

Flying [Writing Warm Up #1]


By T.A. Saunders

I always dream of flying. It’s a world of grays, whites and overbrightness. It’s a world devoid of the joys of color, but one I’m pleased to suffer; I have a sense of elation, despite the minor sensory discomforts. I’m always squinting, always looking, but never quite finding. Flying around like a hawk maybe, but I imagine hawks usually catch things. Maybe more like one of those stupid finches that are always hitting windows, and mailboxes. I’m left unfulfilled by the end of the dream, which makes me think it’s more real than not. Makes me think I had been a bird once, in a past life. I really hope I wasn’t a finch though. Stupid finches.

The absurdity of those words is something that I both accept and further, feel no need to defend. Past lives are part of religions around the world, and there are people all over the world claiming to be Elvis, Jim Morrison or fucking Jesus. Jesus is the most popular reincarnated person I’ve never met. Considering these things, me thinking that I was once something so inconsequential as a bird in a past life, hardly seems insane, or even remotely far fetched.

Now, as then, I find myself unfulfilled. I’m trapped in this meat sack and I can’t get out. I can almost feel my brain wanting to claw its way out of this feeble body, with no care or consideration to bone, muscle or precious organs. Meat chains. I want to get out of this fucking body and fly like I once did, like I once could, but I can’t get out. I’m trapped in this reincarnation, I am trapped in this existence where I must heed the word of those who are my intellectual inferiors, I must smile, nod and seem pleasant to coworkers that, I’ve often postulated are really just well-trained chimps, that some asshole decided to shave and stick in a work force.

But there I remain. In here, trapped. Trapped with my thoughts, trapped with my dreams of a life that will not allow me to forget. The curse of a human mind is that it works so well. It remembers things you cannot make yourself forget. You cannot line item delete painful memories, sorrowful moments and the scars of abuse that the world, and people who say they love you carve into you. All I want to do is fly and escape that ‘love’ that does more to bleed than to nurture. Barbed wire round and round until its cutting from all directions and there’s no room to keep beating.

The dreams are so vivid, that I wake feeling more exhausted than I was when I went to sleep. I don’t believe in the Christian mythology, but I don’t believe in all the crazy New Age hoodoo either. This girl I know in Memphis claims to be a Wiccan and has had more abusive relatives, tragedies and heartaches than a season of “Supernatural,” and she tells me that I’m Astral Projecting. She also told me she can do it better than me. I think if she were any more full of shit, she would cause a fecal matter detonation of such monumental proportion, they would have to call the event, “The Really Incredible Shitstorm of 2015.” That, and I don’t believe in Astral Projection either, but something’s going on. Something I can’t explain, something that won’t stop, because my wonderful human mind won’t forget something my soul remembered. Should have been reincarnated as a fucking dog. I really like beagles.

So I’m standing here, doing the only thing I can do. The only thing that makes sense. The only way I can escape. Once I jump off the top of this building, I’ll know who I really am. I will know if I’m supposed to fly in this meat suit, or if I really am crazy. If I’m wrong, from this height, I won’t have to worry about medical expenses or a psychologist, that’s for sure. I’m not afraid though. Spent my whole life afraid of loved ones, not loved ones, afraid of everything. But I’m not afraid of this. I’m smiling. I’m smiling because either way, I’ll be free. Gonna fly now.

Oh shit, what if I was a beagle?


Hangman’s Tree [Chuck Wendig Flash Fiction Challenge]

 Hangman’s Tree

By T.A. Saunders

“We’re all dead.”

“We tried to save you all.”

“There’s no one left. Just you and me.”

“You can’t be too sure of that. You never leave the area around your house.”

“Anything that lived isn’t human anymore. They’re…well, they’re not human.”

“If you brought one here, we might be able to study them.”

“I won’t. No good you can do anyway.”

These were the kinds of conversations I had every day with my only companion. I’m not real sure how it started. He called it a ‘pandemic.’ Not sure if that means it started with panda bears in China, but I know it ended with a whole lot of dead folks and nobody held accountable. Except for my companion. I hold him accountable every day, for all the good that it does. He tells me he almost has the cure worked out, but he needs some infected people that have gone and changed. Never had much use for racism or bigotry, but I sure do have a problem with folk trying to tear my arm out of my socket to beat me with it. Fine with my arms where they are and my companion is fine not meddling with Nature more than Mankind already has. Dang fool.

“You have to trust me. You might be saving the whole human race if you help me.”

“Who says the human race is worth saving? Haven’t seen much worth saving here.”

“That’s a very jaded outlook.”

“Consider myself realistic. Most people aren’t worth the dirt they walk on.”

“But what about the people that are?”

That got me thinking more than I normally do about doing what he asked of me. For every self-entitled, smart phone-addicted dimwit out there, there’s probably one decent sort that doesn’t much deserve this fate. I’m fine here on my farm. Food’s still good and my water comes from my well and that’s still clean. Even have my own gas pump with a few hundred gallons still left in it. I don’t have much need to go out looking for them diseased folk. But my companion has a point. So I give it further consideration.

“I don’t trust you, but tell me what you want me to do. I’ll think about it.”

“Capture somebody with the infection and bring them here, to this tree.”

“Right. Not sure how I’m going to manage that even if I agree.”

“The soldier hanging from this tree has an air taser. Take it and his sidearm.”

“Better shot with my .30-60 but fine. Suppose having a pistol won’t hurt.”

Didn’t much like handling folks that have been exposed. That’s why the soldier that was hanging from my old oak tree was still there. Some of those diseased folk caught him on the way to the city with a truck full of other soldiers. Stayed in my house and locked all my doors and windows, then drew the blinds rather than risk going out and helping him. He was a soldier. He knew the price he could pay. So they hung him and beat his corpse a while with bats and axes, howling something fierce through the night. No idea what they did with his friends, but they left him hanging from this here oak tree.

“You haven’t much time.”

“Begging your pardon, I have all the time I want these days.”

“How long do you think you’ll last out there, on your own?”

“As long as I need to. Told you before I’m on a farm.”

“If they were there once, they’ll come back.”

“Haven’t done so in a few weeks. They’re probably killing each other in the city.”

“You can’t be sure.”

I stare down at the walkie-talkie I’ve been talking to my companion through. It’s hitched to the soldier’s belt and I can’t get the confounded thing undone. When those diseased crazies were swinging away at this poor boy’s body, they must have smashed the buckle. I don’t exactly agree with my companion, but he makes a strong argument. I can’t be too sure they won’t come back. I decide it’s wiser to go board up my house, rather than standing out here in the open waiting for something to happen. I gather the gun the dead soldier has but I leave the taser. Would probably electrocute myself with it anyway.

“Are you still there?”


“Are you going to help me?”

“Why don’t you send more soldiers?”

“There aren’t any more left to send. They’re elsewhere, or dead most of them.”

“Sounds like it would be wiser for me to not help you. I like living.”

“And if they come back? You won’t be able to stop all of them yourself.”



He probably hears it. The heavy breathing of the one that crept up on me while I was standing here talking and bit me in the neck like a wolf would. He’s staring at the walkie-talkie on the soldier’s belt, while I bleed out. As wild as this disease makes a person, he probably thinks its the tree talking. Ugly cuss looks like he’s taken to cutting on his own face or survived somebody doing it to him. Still not sure if I would’ve made any difference if I had chose to help. But I’ll make a difference now in the seconds I have. I’ll make the difference a single bullet can make.

“Hello? Are you still there? Please respond?”

I last long enough to see the muzzle flash from the pistol. Heck, hope I didn’t miss.


The Good Works of Aloysius Woodward

The Good Works of Aloysius Woodward

by T.A. Saunders

My laughter is the sound of a mind fragmenting with terror as I look upon the incomprehensible thing writhing in the dark. There is little comfort in knowing that it has arrived at my beckoning as I watch the multitude of long spidery appendages reach out for my sacrifice. Miss Eva Thompson truly did deserve to die, but I wonder as I watch it draw her screaming body into itself, envelop her and silence her ear-splitting shrieks of fear, if I have perhaps gone too far. It is ridiculous that I should have such doubt, given all that has come to pass. Yet, I am compelled to reflect upon it as I silently observe the great gaping maw, filled with millions of needle-like teeth grind away at the unrecognizable meat and bone of the woman that humiliated me with laughter and mockery for asking her to coffee. Alas, even a thing called up from primordial darkness cannot digest hair. Miss Thompson did so have a lovely flaxen mane.

I feel I am justified, even if such an end is horrified and grotesque. Were people a bit kinder to their fellows and most of all me, I might not have had to call upon black craft and science to avenge myself of wrongdoings. Before this, I was a mild man, a quiet man and a man content to read good books, tutor those in need of learning and pleased to live out of the way of those who would frown upon me and my intellectual pursuits. No. I am not brutal. People are brutal. People who cannot help but to take those more anxious and fearful than themselves and find ways with words to break them or by closed fist demean them. The awful thing before me is a justice born of the very deeds that I have suffered and it is a means of cleansing them from the world.

“Mister Woodward,” my next victim called out, “There is really no need for such theatrics. I understand now that you are quite serious. If you let me go, I will most certainly revise the grade on your dissertation on Magic and its Relation to Space-Time!

Professor Eldridge the fat, pompous goat. I regret that I ran out of duct tape because I used too much to bind that brute, Matt Brosman. Now, because his mouth is free the good professor obviously feels this is an invitation to simper like a mewling kitten about his fate. Most unfortunate.

“I believe your words were: ‘This insane, unsubstantiated tripe has no business being in print anymore than you deserve a degree from our fine university for writing it.’ The only grade I require is the ‘A’ for the effort to drag your corpulent mass of arrogance here for proof of my discoveries.” I replied while hooking the rusty, but serviceable chain to his back. I had to use an abandoned pig farm for my purposes. It was the only location I could find that was both reasonably close to the university and remote enough that nobody would hear the sounds of death that were sure to grace the evening. It also had a manure pit that could serve as a means to safely contain the creature for my purposes.

“You cannot possibly expect you’ll not be found out, Aloysius Woodward!” The portly educator howls at me, “The police will discover this place and lock you away! See reason before it’s too late.”

“Reason, yes.” I reply with clear derision as I haul his weighty form over the maw of teeth, long, insectoid appendages and black, shapeless mass. “I saw reason when I placed before you a notebook full of calculations that proved the symmetry of what we understand as magic and real-world mathematics that allow for barriers of Space-Time to be breached. Now, I see you feeding the findings of my science. Good evening, Professor Eldridge. I pray you are not difficult to digest.”

The garbled symphony of the professor being broken apart in the saw-toothed confines of the indescribable thing’s maw combined with the putrid churning of its digestive juices both sickened me and enthralled me.

In what world would such a creature exist? What evolution would require a thing to be nothing more than an a voracious eater of flesh? It seemed to almost have a dog’s intelligence; it knew when a meal was coming and it understood that that clank of chains meant that the meal was close. When it salivated, a yellowish substance seeped from the corners of its mouth and its pincered, wiry appendages clacked eagerly to express its desire for food. While my ability to call forth such a horror through the marriage of ancient magic and bleeding edge technology was a most profound discovery, I am quite sure that I would never want to visit the place that my monstrous avenger comes from.

“And now for you, Mister Brosman,” I said with a most pleased tone. Matt Brosman and I went to high school together, where he delighted tormenting me with daily humiliations in front of classmates that were paired with daily beatings. He always smiled with this savage, unchecked malice when he brought his meaty fist against my body. We also had the misfortune of attending the same university, though his presence was by the blessing of a football scholarship, whereas mine was through hard work and academic excellence.

Mister Brosman had little to say, on the account of having his mouth duct taped shut. When the drugs I used to knock him out wore off, he had far too many threats to offer to my liking, so I mummified his mouth much like the rest of him. He is a rather strong fellow and I couldn’t take any chances for his escape. His was the most deserving punishment of the three and the most difficult to arrange. Imagine my joy when I discovered he was involved with Miss Thompson? It made capturing both of them so much simpler.

“I want you to remember every day that you decided to treat me like common filth, Mister Brosman,” I implore my former tormentor. “I want you to remember every bruise and every moment of laughter you had at my expense. They are your eulogy, Matt Brosman.”

He mumbled something, I know not what. Given his crude vocabulary I couldn’t expect it was much to hear anyway. As before the chain was hooked to him at his belt loop and with a bit of effort, I pull him into place. The nightmare fiend was eager and seemed to grow more hungry the more I fed it, said the excess of yellowish saliva and the loud click-clack of outstretched, pincered limbs.

While the temptation was there to draw out the bully’s death, I thought better of it and simply let go of the slack and allowed Mister Brosman to plummet into the creature’s waiting jaws. Sadly, he didn’t scream as he died. He growled at me like some rabid thing and kept his hateful blue eyed gaze upon me, even as flesh turned to liquid and bone came undone. Alas, the willful bastard has robbed me of the savoring of his death. At least I have the joy of its finality.

I turn to replace my equipment back in its cases and replace my journals in my briefcase. My work is done for the evening and while I cannot consider myself a dietary expert on inter-dimensional fiends, I must conclude that the glistening black horror in the manure pit behind me has taken in enough food to survive till the morrow, where I will have more of my tormentors to feed to it.

As I move to depart, I feel a snag at my pant leg. Thinking it nothing more than a metal latch that I’ve caught upon I turn to remove it, only to find the creature has extended one of its limbs over the edge of the old manure pit. Before I can simply tear it free, the clever horror locks its pincer wholly around my ankle and hauls me up into the air. I should be horrified beyond reason, but I find that I am left in wonder of the spectacle of its open mouth. The rows of teeth are endless and it has a star-like configuration of barbed tongues that I had not seen before.

My good works of science and vengeance it seems, are at an end.


Meeting God (Chuck Wendig Flash Fiction Challenge)

Meeting God”

by T.A. Saunders

My companion and I had no idea what to expect when the Temporal Rift Generator came to life in a yawning bloom of crackling azure and white. The light had danced off my skin in such a way that it reminded me of how water looks from below, when sunlight shines upon it. I only knew the sight from holopedias, but it was enough for me to appreciate what I was seeing. My companion, Hadley likewise was held in silent awe of the spectacle the scientific wonder before us had made. She and I were about to make history among cheering comrades, scientists and other officials that had interest in the mission to breach temporal space, in order to garner knowledge of our lost, distant past.

Hadley crossed the threshold first. It was like watching somebody walk into a blue sun and be consumed by its flames. I was struck with a sense of apprehension as the tendrils of energy abruptly drew her from sight, but left the long shadow she had cast for a moment or two longer than her actual disappearance. The thought she might have been torn asunder through 4th dimensional space and there was no way to know for certain was in its own way, completely horrifying. I looked back at the smiling faces and clapping hands and allowed myself the brief luxury of wondering if they had any such fear for me? Probably not. I stepped through and prepared to meet our past or my destruction.

Crossing into temporal space was like being cast onto an ocean of softly glowing white water. I could see my past, present and future simultaneously, reflected in the waves and ripples that flared outward from me. There was no pain but there was incredible disorientation; I had no sense of up or down or if I was falling or sailing upward. The hazy images collided and mingled together in such a way that it was impossible to focus on any one thing and glean a significant truth. It was knowledge of all existence, but no way to comprehend it in a manageable way. The blurred sea of light and jumbled tangents was short-lived however as the temporal displacement actuator strapped to my wrist beeped three times, signaling that where I was about to disengage from 4th dimensional space.

I hit a hard surface with an abrupt jarring. The light was much brighter than I was used to so there was a few moments that along with my continued disorientation, I was stuck blind by the glare in my eyes. Dillon. I heard the name Dillon being called out quietly in my haze and I realized that it was Hadley talking to me and we had been deposited in an alley way. I didn’t recognize her at first, thanks to her appearance re-imager. Her hair had been turned long and dark, with eyes to match and her skin was a soft brown color. She had also imaged a charcoal colored dress suit with a white blouse and black shoes.

She nudged my shoulder with her foot and told me to re-image myself before somebody mistook me for a killer alien robot. I remember seeing some of the old pop culture references to robots from archives of the 20th century and I cast my companion a disgruntled look, before finding my footing. After muttering about liking my shiny, golden skin I activated my own appearance re-imager. There was a flash of green light, as the re-imager cast a grid across my metal body and calculated the parameters required to render a three dimensional hologram over the surface. I don’t think my outfit was quite as nice as Hadley’s. While I enjoyed the darker skin and the long, dread-locked hair it gave me, I’m not sure what I thought of the little olive green hat and the brightly colored shirt that followed. The pants and the sandals at least matched and I offered my smiling cohort a shrug, before setting forth to figure out exactly where we had ended up. We would be here for only two hours, before our actuators recalled us, so we had to work quickly.

The first thing I noticed was how immense and noisy this city was. I never expected that the world of our creators would be so loud and for that matter, filthy. I nearly stepped on a discarded cylinder crafted from aluminum as we walk down a cement pathway crowded by people. None of them were smiling. Nobody looked at one another; they either stared through one another or down at some sort of device, Hadley and I could only assume was for communication.

These were our creators? These people would eventually build our progenitor and imbue us with life? I felt as though I was walking amongst ghosts rather than the brilliant minds that created the first Synthi-Sapians. As we walked down this path of apathy Hadley commented that perhaps our creation was originally meant to augment those of humans, to give them the joy they were missing. As I looked up at a flashing red sign that said WOMEN FOR YOUR PLEASURE I began to wonder if the truth of Hadley’s statement was something less uplifting. This city felt like a dirty little maze, meant to slowly kill off the uncaring souls that wandered it.

These were our gods. These people, who lived only for their own self-fulfillment would eventually create us in their image. Yet I know of no Synth that behaves like our gods. As we watched two of them fight on a street corner we passed over something one of them referred to as crack, Hadley and I came to a realization. In all likelihood, we had been created for their fulfillment, their lusts and not out of some noble purpose, as we have believed for thousands of years. It became quite clear why our gods died out. Our actuators couldn’t send us back fast enough.