1.1 – Reincarnation Force

The most dangerous, most unfriendly environments known to humankind are not the monster filled forests of Kith Kilan, nor the hostile Suon Kiin deserts to the south, for those a man might survive in if he is well prepared. No, the land that kills is the northern expanse: The Rhew.

Barmir’s Guide to the Unknown, 976 

 

I stare blearily at the two men in front of me, one of which is screaming cuss words at the other. My hearing’s going in and out, though, so I’m not quite sure what he’s saying. Not that it matters. Dad warned me about this. Warned me repeatedly, in fact. Don’t go kicking hornet nests. I give a weak chuckle, ignoring the cussing man gesturing furiously at me. Gosh, it hurts to laugh.

I had kicked open a big one. My luck’s run dry, and everything’s coming back to bite me. I shift my hand covering my stomach. It’s strangely warm compared to my other one. Random thoughts continue to swarm my head.

Eighteen years of running around, constantly trying to keep the stupid boys of my delinquent riddled school and neighborhood in check. Pride surged through me. I did done a darn good job, the best anyone could ask for. The stupid boys learned to avoid me and the girls under my protection, and if they didn’t learn fast enough, they got a broken nose and a mouthful of loose teeth for their stupid antics. I wasn’t gonna take any of their nonsense.

{(start-up Sequence 832…

 

It was supposed to be a routine patrol around the alleyways around school at dusk, clearing out delinquents and other undesirables. I’ve done it several times with no problems before. So, when I saw a poor girl being cornered by two thugs, I gave it no thought and flew in.

They whirled, their stupid, greasy faces flashing in surprise. Dodge the first punch Punk#1 threw. Sweep his feet out from under him. Duck under Punk#2’s arm. Grab it. Flip him over my shoulder. Stand protectively in front of the poor girl with arms crossed and an intimidating look. Easy.

They scrambled to their feet red-faced and veins bulging on their forehead. Not surprising.

<[begin]: protocol.objective5>
<//return: (Sequence Error 404): Unable to [retrieve] = [reroute]: protocol.objective5>

 

“You! Who the heck are you? What do ya think you’re doing, getting in our way?” Punk#2 shouted. They apparently hadn’t known who I was. Then again, they didn’t look like the usual sort of trash around here. Must’ve come from out-of-town.

“Wait, she’s the Kamikaze!” Punk#1 said.

“Who?”

“Greenville’s Pitbull!” Oh? Maybe they did know who I was. Surprising that they used my more agreeable nicknames instead of my less than savory ones.

“So what?”

“I don’t wanna deal with her. Haven’t ya heard she’s crazy?”

“Like I care. Look at her standing there. I don’t like the look on her face.”

“Better get out of here, girly. Looks like they won’t be backing down,” I said to the girl behind me. The girl nodded, and I pushed her towards the entrance of the alleyway. She took off with a glance over her shoulder.

 

<[begin]: protocol.objective5.1>
<//return: (Sequence Error 401): Encrypted= [reroute]: protocol.objective5.1>

 

What happened after that was quick. You’d think such a life changing event would happen in slow motion, like in movies. Punk#2 moved in for a choke hold. Break some fingers on his right hand. Dislocate his shoulder. Kick him in the back of the knee. Elbow Punk#1 in the gut as he comes up from behind. Roundhouse him in the head as he doubles over. Turn back to Punk#2 only to receive a punch to the jaw. Disorienting. I miscalculated. He’s left-handed.

He punched twice in the face again and once in my stomach just as Punk#1 began to come around. Block his next punch aimed at my face. Spit blood in his eyes. Sweep Punk#1’s feet out from him again just as he’s about to regain them. Turn to find Punk#2 charging like a bull.

I really shouldn’t have ignored him. He kept recovering faster than I expected him to. It was just, Punk#1 was so much bigger, and I knew if he’d ever get a hold on me… Well it wouldn’t end well. I barely had time to grit my teeth as Punk#2 rammed into me and launched me. I slammed in the wall.

Gravity didn’t seem to work the way it should have. I should have slid down the wall, crumpling at its base. No, I remained confused at my feet.

<[begin]: protocol.objective5.2>
<//return: [recognized]; proceeding… protocol.objective5.2 = [found]; acquiring “random.address“… “random.address” = [found]; proceeding… [begin]: {!recall}>

 

The reason behind this abnormality quickly became apparent. It was finally dark, and the single street lamp in the alleyway flickered on, lighting me up. All three of us froze, staring in horror at my abdomen.

“Wha–why is there a rebar here?”

“Freak! It’s going straight through her!” Punk#2 shouted.

“What the heck man! How could you do that? You fricking killed her!”

“I don’t know! This is all wrong! I never meant this! What am I going to do? They’re gonna send me prison! My dad’s gonna kill me. I’m dead. I’m so dead. I can’t go to prison! What am I gonna do?”

“Don’t look at me. This is your fault!”

“I’m not dead…yet,” I said. “Please… call an ambulance.” The pain was just starting to hit me. It felt like someone was pouring molten lead into my stomach. I suppose, in a way, that was true. It was weird. I should be panicking. I was scarily calm.

“No! I can’t call the police! I’ll go to prison! I can’t go to prison!” Punk#2 yelled.

“Freak man! Call them! She’s freaking dying! Can’t you see that man!”

“You call them!”

“I can’t! You broke my phone last week! Frick! Give me your phone!”

“What? No! They’ll trace it back to me!”

“It doesn’t freaking matter! They’ll trace it back to you anyways ’cause you’re a fricking dunce!” At this point, I start to tune them out. My mind starts drifting. Nothing much matters anymore. There’s a metal bar sticking through me, and that’s that. I’m surprised they haven’t run by now.

<//return: (state.{!recall}) = processing; proceeding… “body” = (Sequence Error 404): Unable to [retrieve]>

 

A movement from the alley entrance breaks me from my thoughts. Girly is back with a policeman in tow. I feel touched that she’d come back. Policeman orders the two punks hands up facing the wall, then comes to check on my. I don’t catch what he says on the radio. He turns and says something to me. I stare at him in confusion. He speaks into the radio again.

You know, everything’s so far away now. Someone should turn on the lights, ’cause it’s getting pretty dark in here. Turn on the heater, too, while you’re at it. It’s pretty cold. I think it’s getting colder.

Sorry, Dad. Don’t think I’ll be up in time for school. I’m too tired, so let me sleep in today, Ok? Dad? Why are you crying? Oh hi, Mom. I haven’t seen you around for a while. Sorry, I haven’t been going to your grave as much as I should’ve. You’re drifting with me now, aren’t you? It feels nice.

<[dismiss]>
<//return: {!recall} = proceeding… “soul” = [found]><[retrieve]: “soul“>
<//return: {!recall} = complete; (status.soul)= (Sequence Error 401): Encrypted>

 

I feel a sudden jolt, and invisible hands suddenly grab me. I’m jerked out of the nice flow I was floating in. A dizzying array of colors flash past. Nausea assails me. Where did Mom go? It hurts. It feels like I’m being torn in half.

<[decrypt]: “soul“>
<//return: success = 59%; proceeding… (status.soul) = destabilized; (state.soul): loss = 41%; !recommended: {memory.wipe}>

 

A probing finger invades my mind. It sweeps up my memories like dust into a dustpan. No! Those are mine! I won’t let you take them from me. It’s so hard, though, to hold onto them. They’re being sucked away. I repeat to myself who I am. Over and over and over. Keep me sane, please, as this thing ravages my memories, tearing everything from me.

Devin McMullen. Female. 18. Brown hair, blue eyes, athletic build. Practical sense of justice. Senior in a sucky high school with three more months till graduation. Single working dad in a two bedroom apartment in the bad part of town. He works in a sucky desk-job. Mom’s dead. Has been since I was 8. No siblings. Good in fights and little else. Probably won’t go to college. Plan to get a job straight out of high school to help Dad pay for rent. No real friends, but plenty of enemies and surprisingly a fan group composed of mostly females. Hates pickles, mushrooms, and peaches. Loves pizza and brownies.

Devin McMullen. Female. 18. Brown hair, blue eyes, athletic build. Practical sense of justice. Senior in a sucky high school with three more months till graduation. Single working dad in a two bedroom apartment in the bad part of town. Mom’s dead. Has been since I was 8. No siblings. Good in fights and little else. No real friends, but plenty of enemies. 

Devin McMullen. Female. 18. Practical sense of justice. Senior. Single dad in an apartment. Mom’s dead. Has been since I was 8. No siblings. Good in fights and little else. No real friends, but plenty of enemies.

Devin McMullen. Female. 18. Single dad. Dead mom. Good in fights and little else. No friends.

<[begin]: {memory.wipe}>
<//return: (status.{memory.wipe}): success = 94%; (Sequence Error 20): Unknown Interference; unable to [complete]: {memory.wipe}>

 

Devin. Female. Single dad. Dead mom. No friends. 

It hurts.

<[dismiss]; [begin]: {!reincarnate}>
<//return: [find] = {random.body.pattern} = “dgn.core“; proceeding… [create]:{random.body.pattern} = success; [install]: {random.body.pattern} = success>

 

I slowly picked myself up from the war ruins of my mind only for the invisible hands interrupted my weeping, pushing me inside a hard… something. Instantly claustrophobia assaulted me. I rammed myself against my enclosure to no avail.

<[install]: {instinct.pattern}>

 

The probing finger was back. I shrank away, but it only dropped a packet of information inside my head and then disappeared. The packet unfurled and strange emotions and instincts suddenly flooded me, seeking to take root. The dark, gleeful, murderous ones especially shot straight for me. I pushed them away as hard as I could.

You are not changing me! I am Devin! I am Female! I have a Single dad! A Dead mom! No friends! I don’t know what those all are, but they’re me, so back the frick off!

<//return: (status.{instinct.pattern}): success = 88%; (Sequence Error 20): Unknown Interference; unable to [complete]: {instinct.pattern}>

<[dismiss]; [install]: {random.attribute}; >
<//return: {random.attribute} = installed; (status.{random.attribute}) = green>

 

Okay. Now I’m just confused. I feel something float around me like motes of dust, and just as I concentrate on them, they’re sucked into me. I feel very… green right now. What the heck does that even mean?

I’m feeling much less overwhelmed after my personal victory over whatever it is that is that’s trying to change me. It’s succeeding, and I’m pissed about that, but, I still was able to keep just a bit of myself. I treasure that piece. Nothing’s going to take it away from me.

<[install]: {guidance.system}, {set.abilities}, {random.abilities}; [install]: {growth.pattern}>
<//return: {guidance.system} = installed; {set.abilities} = installed; {random.abilities} = installed; {growth.pattern} = installed;>

 

The probing finger returns and deposits four more packets of information. They were less destructive than the last, mostly surging a little, then settling on the floor of my mind, not changing anything, just adding to what little I had. I felt tired. The need to sleep washed over me, and I remember little after that urge.

<//return:  (status.{!reincarnate}) = complete>

<[begin]: {!transfer}>
<//return: [find]: {random.planet.address} = “otrera-4a“; [scan]: {random.biome.spawnpoint} = “84°16’42.6″N, 54°31’52.3″W“; proceeding… [create]: “random.spawn.environment” = complete; (status.{!transfer}) = complete; (status.protocol.objective5.2) = complete>

 

//… Sequence 832 shut down)}

 

Next ->

 

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2 comments

  1. instinct.patern seems wrong, missing a t.

    It shouldn’t compile like this :D. Or is it a log of events?

    Great chapter though.

    Like

    1. Oh man there were a lot of those weren’t there. Thanks for catching that. Yeah it’s a bit more of a log. Kind set it up like commands and then a return of the results of those commands.

      Like

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