Skinwalkers, XXV

Nathan’s solitary walk back to his own cement hole felt less solitary than usual, yet somehow more isolating. If only the cost of rent in the slums afforded them all the same luxuries it did in areas like Beta. Obviously, if that were the case, they’d not only be free from autoads. They’d also enjoy fewer street dwellers, less concentrated smog, lighter traffic, better living quarters…

Time and technology may move ever forward, he philosophized, but each suncycle passed much the same as it always had for humanity. What had his grandfather often said? “The toilet gets fancier, but we all still take a -”

N, man. How’s the air?” a familiar voice interrupted. Nathan’s thoughts returned to his current reality. His autodrive walking had led him down the citypaths, down the familiar cracked stairs to his entry, and, obliviously, down past Franks.

Nathan stopped and turned, clearing his face of concern. In the mere jiff of the movement, he relaxed his jaw, released his scowl, and widened his eyes slightly. “Franks?”

Fortunately, his neighbor was alone. Unfortunately, he appeared overloaded. Does the guy ever just eat and sleep? Nathan thought. Like most fixers, Franks also depended on the various substances he helped mix and distribute. Nathan almost felt sad for the emaciated, twitching man. Almost.

“You forgot to answer.” Franks’ shoulder jerked a millimeter, then again.

“I was at work.”

“Comms work at work.” Twitch.

“Not mine. What you need?”

Franks paced. “Neo.” Stop. Pace. Stop. Pace again.

Nathan spent a useless jiff wishing he knew what his unpredictable neighbor had taken recently. He had to get through this conversation before Franks hit an aggressive stage. There was no way he could afford the charge he owed to Franks’ contact before next paycycle. “Neo?”

Franks stopped, scuttled closer. Keeping his unshod feet flat on the ground, he tried to meet Nathan’s eye as he’d done the last time they’d met on the landing. Nathan blinked harmlessly. He watched Franks’ brows draw together in confusion; watched him look away and shake his head with a sharp jerk. “Neo…” he mumbled, as he stumbled back to his own entry.

Nathan continued watching as Franks managed to open the door, grope his way through, and activate living lockdown. He saw Franks fall to the floor just before the door slid home.

He allowed his pent-up tension out through a long, even exhale. “That was close,” he quietly told the empty landing. Though he felt drained enough to follow Franks’ example, Nathan decided to check his main comm before collapsing. Pulling out the one he’d used for work, he scanned open his own dark apartment.

He walked in and activated its security. Squinting into the cramped living space, he said, “Light.” The lights and his comm obeyed. He’d really have to change the activation word for one or the other, he mused. A few steps led him into the sleeping area; a few more, to his bed. He depressed the hidden night stand knob and switched comms. The night stand drawer closed.

10 new messages, the screen displayed. Feeling too tired to peer at its tiny surface, he said, “Display.” Nine queries from Franks floated in the air above the small, black device. One at the very bottom, however, was from Carapace.

 

Continued from Skinwalkers, XXIV.
Read to Skinwalkers, XXVI.

Mrs. Owens

Agent Smith

As you can see, some bloggers have been reading my posts for some time now. I admit, however, to writing on two blogs. In one site; I am Chelsea Owens, freelance blogger for my own whims and devices. I have a registered URL, I pay an annual fee, and I respond to people commenting on my garbage.

The other life is lived on James Edgar Skye, where I go by the alias of …Chelsea Owens, and am guilty of indulging in every idea regarding mental illness my personal experience allows for.

Whether either of these lives has a future or not, is irrelevant.

Part of me believes that I’m wasting my time writing about this, but I believe you wish to understand a few things. I’m willing to write a parody of a Matrix interrogation scene, give new visitors a fresh start on navigating; and all I’m asking is your cooperation in following along with my winding train of thought.

At some point in the blogging process, I was followed by Skye. Many of my posts before that point touched on mental issues; say, like futility involving procrastination, frustrations involving housework and an inattentive husband, or poetic breakdowns inside my head.

I’ve noticed a personal decrease in posts involving mental conditions since contributing a few posts in my other site. Perhaps those who find me over here, from there, are disappointed. Advice regarding blogs is usually to keep to only one subject.

I’d hate, however, for readers to experience déja-vu.


via GIPHY

That, and I want to write without limits; “without rules or controls, borders or boundaries.” I aim to create in “a world where anything is possible.”

And that, confused followers, is why you will find such a hodgepodge of expression over here.

“I don’t know the future. I didn’t come here to tell you how this is going to end. I came here to tell you how it’s going to begin. …Where we go from there is a choice I leave to you.”

The real world is a place of myriad lifestyles, environments, perspectives, and ages. Even our personal mindset evolves over time. Variety is more than a spice of life; it’s the constant throughout our lives.

So, go on; have some variety.

The Oracle

And keep reading.

 

All quotes and parody material obsequiously taken from The Matrix.