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blankseplocked [Short Story] Purloined
 
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Doctor Carbonatite
Corporation for Public Broadcasting
Posted - 2011.04.10 01:14:00 - [1]
 

Edited by: Doctor Carbonatite on 10/04/2011 15:44:54
He liked puzzles. He had always liked puzzles, had liked them far more than the holoreels or music that had been popular with his "peers" as he was growing up. While others dithered about, wasting their lives on social interactions that were nothing but displays of the basest animal instincts, he had chosen to use his intellect. He deciphered codes, wrote new ones and found ways to break them, found and solved every logical puzzle he could get his hands on. It was his life, it was his happiness. Now, however, it was his torture.

"Finish your work, damnit. Get that thing open."

The words came into his ears like rusty knives. He didn't like these people, had never liked them. They did not care, they simply wanted his talents at puzzle solving, specifically as regarded hacking into sophisticated electronic systems. It made no difference to them that he hated them, made no difference that he had no desire at all to work for them. Their hardware made sure of that. The information they wanted him to analyze was forced into his brain against his will. The information usually came with pain, pain that would only be allowed to dissipate once he had successfully completed his assigned task.

"There. It's all yours."

The pain stopped. He allowed himself to feel relief, though he admitted it was a very weak sort of relief. He hadn't known peace since he had been captured by these people and forced into their service. He had been a codebreaker before them, serving on various spaceships with people who understood that he was different, understood his needs and his talents, and were in many ways different themselves. When they had first approached him and made their offer, he was hesitant at first, but decided to accept. It had been the best decision he had ever made. His employers had been right - he was an ideal fit for their group.

"The next one. Get it done quickly and there will be no pain."

"Already done. A simple system."


His employers - who had certainly been no technical slouches themselves - were amazed by his aptitudes at codebreaking. Their admiration, and their understanding and even sharing of his attitudes, had been a kind of unity he had never before felt in his life. For once, he had actually belonged. Regardless of what others said about them, these people were far more kind and understanding than any he had previously been forced to deal with.

"The control tower. Patching you in, I want control in under a minute."

"Acknowledged."

He never knew exactly what happened to the ship he had been serving on. One moment he had been decrypting communications; the next, everything had been blackness. He had awoken to new, strange voices in his head. His friends were gone. He was alone, still shrouded in the dark. These new voices were not friendly, were not understanding, they were only demanding. It had not been pleasant when he had found out how far they would go to get what they wanted.

"Tower subverted. You have control."

He had never actually met his captors. He had been kept in the dark, alone, since he had been taken. The only communications he received were tasks and pain, the only he was allowed to send were acknowledgements of tasks and confirmations of their completion. He had no idea how long he had been in their service. He wasn't even sure who "they" were, other than enemies of his friends. That was easy enough to detect in the systems they wanted into - some of them he had designed himself. For this, he hated them, but their hardware brooked no argument regarding his intent to work. Consequently, he had been alone, in limbo, forced to do things he once loved for people he hated for an unknown length of time. He wished for death, but it would not come, and he was unable to harm himself.

"Disconnecting you."


Doctor Carbonatite
Corporation for Public Broadcasting
Posted - 2011.04.10 01:17:00 - [2]
 

This was possibly the best part of his new "life". He didn't know what that meant, although he knew he had long been disconnected from all he loved. Following "disconnection", he would be left alone without communications for an indeterminate time, until his tormentors needed him again. He resigned himself for what must have been the thousandth time to the fact that he had no influence over his fate and drifted deep into fantasies of returning to his former employers and his life with them.

He was pulled away from these thoughts by a loud shearing sound and horrid vibrations that shook him through. After a brief respite, they resumed with even higher intensity, until finally his space was flooded with searing bright light, though he knew it was likely average lighting and that his reaction was likely due to the fact that he hadn't actually seen light with his eyes since his capture. When the vibrations finally stopped, he took a moment to settle himself, then opened his eyes, looked around the room, and frowned.

He saw a small group of people, all staring at him with shocked expressions. He did not know them, but their uniforms indicated they were employees at a space station reprocessing plant. One of them had fainted as soon as he looked at her. He tried to call out to them, but to no avail. He had no voice.

The reprocessing plant manager stared in horror at what they had found. His wife lay on the floor beside him, unconscious. He could not tear his eyes away from the sight before him, could not help her. Looking back at him, through fluid and glass, was the head of their long-lost son in a jar.


Ghost Hunter
True Slave Foundations
Shaktipat Revelators
Posted - 2011.04.14 18:07:00 - [3]
 

Hmm, hmm.

I like it, it's a good read ♥

Not too sure on the main character's internal monologue, though. The first four paragraphs do good for showing 'I don't want this' to 'Man this is a great job' phases of indoctrination. Then the rest of it seems to revert back to 'man this sucks'. That mostly seems to conflict with the third and fourth paragraph, though. It comes off as a consistency issue to me, more than anything.

Do you think differently, Carbonatite?

Doctor Carbonatite
Corporation for Public Broadcasting
Posted - 2011.04.27 14:21:00 - [4]
 

Edited by: Doctor Carbonatite on 27/04/2011 14:22:30
Originally by: Ghost Hunter
Hmm, hmm.

I like it, it's a good read ♥

Not too sure on the main character's internal monologue, though. The first four paragraphs do good for showing 'I don't want this' to 'Man this is a great job' phases of indoctrination. Then the rest of it seems to revert back to 'man this sucks'. That mostly seems to conflict with the third and fourth paragraph, though. It comes off as a consistency issue to me, more than anything.

Do you think differently, Carbonatite?


I was more trying to get at a "second stage" of use - a True Slave that had been modified into a decryption node by the Sanshas now being forced to serve on a capsuleer vessel, remembering fondly his "first stage" of indoctrination (i.e., with his "employers", the Sansha) and not liking his new capsuleer bosses (his "captors") at all. The "this sucks" parts are in the present, the "Man this is a great job" sections are reminiscence.

I actually did have a concept for a story based on the progress of indoctrination, but haven't gotten around to writing it yet. It'll probably be as poorly done as this one if/when I do - I have an unfortunate habit of wanting to get it all written in one sitting.

Rek Jaiga
Minmatar
Crimson Path
Posted - 2011.04.27 23:12:00 - [5]
 

I really enjoyed the story! A man goes from being a decryption/hacking ace to a head in a jar serving Nation! \o/
He had overwhelmingly negative emotions and experiences as a True Slave Decryptor O' Nation though, whereas it is typically said (at least IC) that Nation brings Unity and joy. Do you think the decryptors are still allowed some amount of free thought due to the special nature of their work?

Doctor Carbonatite
Corporation for Public Broadcasting
Posted - 2011.04.28 04:53:00 - [6]
 

Originally by: Rek Jaiga
I really enjoyed the story! A man goes from being a decryption/hacking ace to a head in a jar serving Nation! \o/
He had overwhelmingly negative emotions and experiences as a True Slave Decryptor O' Nation though, whereas it is typically said (at least IC) that Nation brings Unity and joy. Do you think the decryptors are still allowed some amount of free thought due to the special nature of their work?


Actually, I was trying to get across that he had the "Unity and Joy" experience with Nation (without going too far into the details/origins of that, or how he didn't mind being a head in a jar) and then ran up on negative times after CONCORD "purloined" him/the "Sansha codebreaker module" and gave him to a capsuleer in the Great Echelon Giveaway.

Thanks for the compliment, though! I've got a few more ideas along similar lines; I may try to flesh them out at some point, and I'll try to work on making things clearer.


 

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