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Clockwork Theocracy

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Summary

May the self-centered belief lead you to peace. In a world that feeds on minorities, two friends, Forty-one and Forty-two are escaping fate. With an unwelcome or unexpected visitor Daughter at their tail. With many times, many tries, and many cries, down, down, and down they go. Chased by the many elements of the Tower they live in, will they be able to see the stars or touch the soil. Can their will and wits suffice to reach the freedom they want to grasp, learning the past on their way? If not, there is no need to worry as no end is the last in this Experiment. In the name of the Mother, Father, and the Family we lead you to peace if you ever give up your stubborn loyalty.

Genre:
Mystery / Scifi
Author:
Spiritus
Status:
Ongoing
Chapters:
3
Rating:
n/a
Age Rating:
16+

Chapter 1: You can never wake-up dully

Chapter 1: You can never wake-up dully

He stood at the edge, the wind was quite insistent today.

There was some distance between him and the barrel of the gun looking his way. Not much to wonder, to think. He knew how it would end and in which way.

”Oh well, I did at least go a bit further than the last,” He turned to look at the city glittering below his feet.

Sparks, neons, sound, and stories within. How lovely in its brutality. The cars go through the veins of the city, beating in a drum of every pulsing action. It spoke in shouts, car horns, and music. Such was its beauty. Or such was its hatred. It wasn’t easy to tell in his circumstances.

How alive it looked. How much it killed.

“Is it my time to leave,” He turned back towards the gun. There stood a man, grasping at the small pistol pointed at Forty-one’s head. That gun, it took many lives, many loved ones, both from the Bear and him. Forty-one didn’t know his name, not that there was a point in it. He was the bear, a bear holding a gun. Prey and Predator didn’t need such formalities. Forty-one was already well acquainted with the Bear. Bluejacket, reverse white triangle behind his back, and his signature cigarette. If it wasn’t there, it meant someone recently died.

They didn’t have much dialogue. It was mostly Forty-one talking to his own with occasional grunts from the Bear. Yet he felt a sense of comradery, letting him have these precious last moments of time. He heard the slow cocking of the gun.

“For what it’s worth, brat-” He pinched the cigarette at his mouth and threw it aside, grabbing the gun with both hands. “- you are the one I struggled with the most. It will be quick.”

He hated those words. Did the actions of others don’t matter?

The gun fired and the bullet made the union with his engine.

His eyes shimmered as darkness crept from the side.

His vision had the city he admired, disgusted.

Coming ever closer, Death hung moments away, yet it didn’t bother him.

He hated what came after.

You can never let go

All had given

***

That day, bodies rained down in the sky.

Forty-two stood in front of the door under the cover of his house.

Splash after splash, sometimes bodies, sometimes only pieces fell.

Arms, legs, or full bodies. They differed in color, in appearance. Some of them were pink, others pale, some white, some brown, all red.

Drop by drop, they rained down the sky.

They painted the streets red, leaked purple, and died in black. Yellow, black, and white, yet they all looked the same inside. Born not out of steel, but something unseen. Red, purple, and many more colors. What it was, he wondered.

It seemed squishy, bending, feeble. How can even a human stand up with a body such as this?

What were they?

Were they even human?

Where was the steel? The glass? Fibers? Carbon?

Who and what were these people?

One fell down close, right in front of his house. Red splatter reached almost to his door. The pavement, the grass near, and the body itself were all painted red. Only two spheres devoid of light looked back at him. Neither lively nor dead, it was forgotten to rot.

They looked bleak like a bloated fish. Grey in appearance, long lost the life it once had. Eyes are the window of the soul, yet these windows stood broken. Something within him wanted to come out, make space for all that has happened so far. He almost re-tasted yesterday’s meal.

His worries of someone breaking into his house came and went as swiftly as the bodies fell. His kitchen was a mess: someone threw the utensil drawer aside and there was sugar everywhere. Well, not everywhere, but the dining table and the chairs had seen much better days.

Forty-one had gone with the wind or rather, the rain in their case. Frankly, the day didn’t seem like it intended to share its secret to Forty-two either.

Oh well, he wouldn’t mind a divine intervention just about now.

He didn’t expect his prayers to be heard, yet the gods sent him the message…

In the form of something crashing the roof into his living room. Just because they answered didn’t mean they liked or appreciated him.

Forty-two bravely, not cowardly, I must insist, but bravely screamed and threw himself back as dust arose in the living room.

He managed to dodge the pieces of his sofa and table coming in his path only by a split second chance.

Was it another body? Was it an intruder? Was the skydome collapsing down?

Painful squeaks of the house followed. There stood the morning sky, welcoming a new day. The only issue? He was inside the house.He could at least consider his dream of the sky window fulfilled. Splinters gave a new meaning to the ambiance, a painful one at that.

His face could testify to this fact with its new acquaintances.

Forty-two’s body set off its alarms. Sawdust: Flammable and lethal, for those who seek to go down ablaze. Sparks, cracks, and finally a stream of air came out of his mouth, exhaling what got inside. He coughed as narrow filters filled his nose.

Countermeasures established. Green letters took his vision for once and then left him to his devices. Namely in the form of someone crashing down at his house.

Forty-one would’ve loved this.

An unwanted visitor. There laid the roofbreaker, in the middle of his table, or the remains of his table. A petite figure, someone a head shorter than him.

As the dust settled, a new picture painted itself. There laid a woman, the woman who would foot the bill for repairs. Forty-two bought this house only a month ago, and in this housing market, it took several miracles. Just because she was a mysterious person who crashed down in his house during the rain of bodies did not mean he would let her go.

He ran to help her stand up. Tried, at least; he wasn’t needed. She got up and dusted off her dress as if nothing happened. As she looked back at him, her laid-back attitude went back to where it came from. Likely the sky above.

She looked like a marionette, dressed in blue and white, held by strings above. Lips parted, quivering like a cat left in the old. Parted words escaped those parted lips, jumbled and robotic.

“Sorry, but I ca-,” He stalled as she walked towards him. “Wai-”

She grabbed him by the shoulders, getting on her tiptoes. Her face stood close to his, and her sky blue eyes shimmered. Were those tears? Meant for whom?

“Who am I?” she asked. Or pleaded. Hinging at the edge, tears held back by her sheer force of will.

”Sorry, I don’t understand?”

“Who am I?” she reiterated, this time louder. It wasn’t the answer she hoped for, yet she wasn’t surprised as well.

Was this a scam?

“You are the one crashing down my ceiling, you tell me?”

She began to wail, fell down on her knees, and cried. She cried her heart out. Forty-two crouched right beside her, trying to hold her straight, but he failed. He tried to calm her down, saying it is “okay” in a soothing voice. All it amounted to was one more reason for her to sob. She punched the already pummeled ground without either a reason or a sense.

“Not fair,” She punched down the remains of the table.

“Not fair,” She threw a sizable remain of the sofa aside.

In all honesty, he wanted to run. The day was becoming too much for him. He could feel the cold creeping all around, shocks of bolts going wild in his circuit.

Forty-one disappeared from the house for no reason, his kitchen was ransacked, there were forged bodies raining down the sky; and there was a girl crying in his living room, who crash-landed inside two minutes ago.

It felt too much, so he remembered the age-old saying of her sister.

If a job can be left for tomorrow, no need to do it today.

He could see the wisdom in her laziness now. One crisis at a time, he thought to himself. Raining bodies can wait.

First, understand what was going on with this girl.

He forced himself to close the distance between them, scrawling on his knees. ”I’m here if you wan-,” As he touched her shoulder, the world turned upside down.

Or she sent him flying. Probably the latter.

He checked his chest. It felt intact. Forcing himself up, he turned back towards her.

“You are not him, just an empty copy,” her eyes shone with hatred. Lips thin as a line, jaw clenched. Her small pale fist didn’t seem like they would hesitate.

42 took one step.

She searched for something to throw.

”Tell me, who am I the copy of?”

“You,” She threw a plank at him. It didn’t even come close. A half-hearted attempt at best.

“I’m sorry if I did something to anger you, but for me, you are just some girl who crushed down my roof.”

It was the wrong choice. He could tell. A tense silence hung, cut to many pieces by the echoing splashes. She closed the distance between them in a moment and threw him down. She got on top of him and grabbed him by the collar. He was too surprised to talk, let alone get out of her grip.

“You… are… just… a… copy,” with every word, she hit him to the ground. It didn’t hurt him as much as it hurt her. In every hit, a part of her heart died. ”I… “

“Stop.”

This is all he said. It was clear she didn’t want to hurt him. She could’ve done so already. The last two minutes were proof of that. A hit from her palm was enough to send him flying. Looking at the bright side, the sky was beautiful today, apart from a particular hail. Namely, pieces of forged humans. He hoped bodies wouldn’t rain inside. At least the splashing sounds stopped. Yet every word of her begged.What for, it wasn’t clear. Did he forget something? Someone?

You can never reach the stars

Incentive changed

She wasn’t fine, that much was clear.

“Who am I to you?”

She flushed further, yet didn’t answer. Her stone gray hair turned into curtains, hanging down from both sides of her. Forty-two didn’t feel comfortable looking at her face.

“This home… this life is full of secrets and patches… even now, I can’t talk… even knowing we will die in this life,” a drop of her tears fell down on him. She struggled to speak. Her mouth opened and closed, yet words couldn’t escape her mic.

“Care to enlighten me?”

“I won’t. We will die… this is what he told me.”

“Who?”

“Forty-one, why does he never talk with us?”

Forty-two felt jolts spreading around his body. She knew Forty-one. This explained one thing, but what about what she said?

“Will die?”

“Exactly, we can’t run away.”

“We can leave the city.”

“The tunnel between here and Love Town is closed,” She furrowed her burrows, “Or it would be closed if he didn’t slash the neighbor’s tires. Doesn’t matter, we will die without the car”

At least he finally knew what happened to his utensil drawer. ”We can hide.”

“They can track us.”

“We can call the sentinels,” it did make sense. Despite the limited population of Tower, the Sentinels were nothing to scoff at. Armed to the teeth, they were the police force of Mother. If called for aid, they could likely deal with whoever troubled this girl.

“They are the ones hunting us,” her sight went south. She seemed tired, broken, in admission of defeat. It was the look of someone who admitted defeat.

“What is even my crime?”

With that, she laughed, for once.

“You shouldn’t have been born the way you are,” she laid down like a deflated balloon.

Forty-two tried to get up, but she refused to move. She snuggled up to him. A captive in her embrace, he couldn’t do anything but oblige. He returned the favor, embracing her, pampering her back in an attempt to calm her down. Filled with hesitance and questions. He could feel the hot drop of tears dropping down on his shoulder, her hiccups, her sobs.

“Everyone is snuggling up to someone they met, at least I’m getting lucky with who I get,” He hoped it wasn’t awkward. He felt her snuggling up closer, frankly, he would be happy if she rather didn’t.

”So, about the death thing… Can you tell me more?” Forty-two tried his chances.

“If we escape… they will kill us in the tunnel or on the street… Can’t we just cuddle?”

“Why are you hugging me?” He wanted to ask her name, yet they were not on a name basis yet. Hugging seemed okay though.

He was already a prisoner in her embrace. In different circumstances, he would consider it luck, but currently it was more of a curse. She could break his chases at any moment.

“Just because I’m pushing down my emotions doesn’t mean they disappear, you know?” She whispered in his ear.

If Forty-one entered the room right now, he would both have questions and then ask him to leave them alone. Yet it felt wrong, whatever she felt at him was one-sided. He didn’t even know her name. ”Were you pushing down? Sorry, I thought you were pushing them up.”

She chuckled, her voice was like a wind chime, one left to rust. Beautiful, but battered. ”I want the whole bakery,” at this point, Forty-two wondered if this were a joke organized by Forty-one.

“How about the bread inside?”

“I want them inside as well.”

“Okay, you are playing unfairly now,” a smile formed in his face. “At least get off me,” He pleaded for mercy, yet it fell to the ears of a tyrant.

“No… we don’t have much left anyway,” She eased her hug a bit, but it wasn’t enough to escape

“Your tears have run dry,” 42 continued playing with her hair. It didn’t even feel familiar, but it seemed to ease her a bit.

Well, he was never going to complain about not getting attention in his life ever again.

“You two got off fast. Well, at least one having memory does help, I guess?”

Like that, Forty-one saved him. She suddenly broke their embrace and kicked him across the room, so much for requited attention.

“Ouch,” no, he will complain about not getting attention again.

“Are you okay?” She ran back next to him.

Not wanting to give her a chance, he forced himself to stand up. There were pressing matters to attend, questions to ask, deaths to avoid.

“Where the hell have you been? Who is she? And what is going on?”

“Sorry, but, I can’t help you,” a somber chuckle followed this statement. “Yet... next time, I will try”

A song of steel and lead followed his words.

Bullets pierced down Forty-One and the Nameless Girl.

He felt the holes formed by the bullets. When he looked down, he noticed the jets of coolant coming out of his chest.

The room turned blue, sparks lit up the dry wood, jets of coolant fluid escaped the holes in his chest.

It went through his engine.

He died.

His consciousness followed soon after.

Letting himself in the cold embrace of death. In his last moments, he understood why she didn’t let him go.

It was cold and alone.

***

Mother lied to her.

She trusted her mother, and she lied.

It was a lie. They weren’t free.

She was another bird in a golden cage, singing for her pleasure. Tears streamed down her face. She wasn’t a human. She knew that now. She was just like any other.

A cold dead machine, made for comfort, sewed with human sins and stuffed by the Gods of City.

There was no changing that, yet her freedom, it was her own.

Above where earth resided. Where her freedom was. It stood right in front of her, taking the form of a hatch going down this city. She smiled bitterly.

“Down, down, and down, I go,” So she leapt.

You can never touch the soil

Penalties Enforced

*****

For all readers, first, I must say welcome and glad to see you read it until the end.

I’m a novice writer seeking to improve my prose and ability to tell stories, as such I decided to start out with an idea I long had, Clockwork Theocracy.

I did plan the story from beginning to end, as such do not worry about the story being left half-done or about writing myself into a corner. I did contemplate a lot before writing the first words just for this ordeal.

I welcome all criticism with open arms, if not ask for it. As I stated before in AN, I want to improve my writing. If you have spent time reading my story, please do be critical, if not over critical, so I could polish out my mistakes.

Thank you for your attention.

Finally, to mention the MVP, I must thank PoliticanSeal for beta-reading this chapter.

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