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Thread: One Last Chance

  1. #1
    Caged for your safety Member RabidGibbon's Avatar
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    Mar 2005

    Default One Last Chance

    One Last Chance…

    These new skyscrapers act like rain funnels I tell you, it makes sense though you gotta admit - less room for the clouds up there, so they get, like packed together and shit - and the end result is when I stepped out of the Office for Subversive Elements Dispatch I get rained on. I’ve just left a warm office for a filthy stinking street - and I mean that for real, when it rains the sewers back up, and its always raining - result? Grade A stink.

    Still at least its dark, the low clouds and the crappy street lighting take care of that, and the shadows of the damn towers make pretty sure.

    And why am I here? I mean, why? Were not gonna catch this guy, and even if we do its gonna be, I dunno, 12 months before they pay the bounty. Don’t know why I work - get paid more as a consumer. Of course I’m thinking like this cos’ its raining, and here in Sheffield its always raining. Always.

    Of course that’s climate engineering for you isn’t it. 800 billion tax payer dollars and they screw it up big style. No more damaging water shortages, no more devastating heat waves - nope, now we’ve got the December floods, a continent that’s 90% marsh and more than enough water to go around. Food? Food? You ever tried farming a marsh. Heh, we might as well just lay back and wait for the aliens to save us cos’ no other buggers going to.

    That’s the problem with big problems, like the boss says, their big. Right now I’ve got another problem which is getting this dossier to the airport dry - I’m looking round for a cab, but damn me, I cant find one cos’ I need one.

    I give up finally and stuff the dossier under my overcoat - but I cant close the overcoat without folding the dossier, and I cant fold it without ruining the laminated suspect visual record, so the up shot is I’m getting wet, the dossiers getting wet, were both getting wetter whilst I try to find a way round this and wishing like hell I hadn’t done the sensible thing and handed my briefcase over this morning when a cab comes racing past, drives through the biggest puddle of backed up sewage on the street and leaves me smelling and feeling a damn sight worse than I have for some time.

    By now I’m cold, you know, real cold, where your bones are cold and you cant feel your flesh, but suspect its going to just gonna turn to sludge and drip off cos’ your so damn wet? Well that’s how I was feeling when Larry pulled up.

    “Hooo hooo” he was hollering, like he always is, noisy sonoffa----- “Your one wet bubble o’ crap man. You need a lift, dudeo, like kinda hot off the press.”

    “Yeah, so you gonna give me one then punk?” I snarl back without stopping, or even looking at him. Ya gotta realise that Larry being Larry he’s probably gonna drive off any mo’ now and leave me to get high on the emissions from his wheeled over compensation, and I aren’t gonna give him the thrill of seeing me get excited about the chance of a dry, warm trip to the port.

    As it pans out this is the wisest move I could’ve made - some weird twisted part of his psyche absolutely has to do the unexpected, so he stops, hit’s the door release, and gestures me in. As soon as my ass hit’s the seat I can tell he’s been at the stuff again. The smell is stronger than my new found sewer enticed stench - and trust me that’s saying something.

    For about 3 seconds I wonder whether its wise to drive with Larry whilst he’s as high as he so obviously is but then decide sod it - its raining outside and Larry drives one of those ex-army 4 by 4’s, so if any ones gonna get hurt in a crash it ain’t gonna be yours truly.

    Larry wishes he was two things in life - a gangster, and black, and trust me when I say he ain’t either. Too much time in his blacked out windowed car smoking the stuff means that he’s lost the tan he got in China, and he’s no closer to going “big-time” as he puts it then when we both got released.

    Hell that’s the only reason I still talk to him - we did our time together and then counts for more than actually liking some one.

    “So where ya going my bruvva?” as he speaks I notice he’s a step closer to his stated dream of replacing all of natures teeth with golden ones. Crazy son of a…. he’s probably got more money in his mouth than I earn in a year.

    “Heading for the airport man, I’ve got a file for the boss.” I say tapping the bright yellow folder.

    “Still working for that freak huh, fool, you should come work for me man, I’ll find you some shit to do.”

    “Larry, you don’t make enough for yourself, let alone two people.”

    “Well, hell, neither do you.” He’s put on weight I think, looks more like some ones stuck a hose into him and turned on the tap - he’s kinda inflated looking.

    “What you been up to anyway?” I ask, trying to change the conversation from the perennial job offer.

    “Loads of stuff, man, Loads of stuff.” he replies, shaking his head to show how many amazing (but unmentioned) tasks he’s been heroically striving towards. Freakin’ fraud.

    Larry nods towards the file “So who you got there? Some brother?”

    “Nah, bank robber,” I reply, shouldn’t even had said that much, but its an interesting one. Normally the police only farm out non-violent offenders to private firms, but this son of a’ is proving hard to track down - ex-professional, went to China for fun rather than rehabilitation - and judging by his file had fun too.

    He's come back now and decided the real enemy of civilisation is poverty, or rather his poverty, and turned his little bag of tricks against a couple of banks in New Moscow. And of course because the cameras ain’t got Moscow blanketed yet, and without a satellite overhead the boys in black don’t know where to start.

    Should make a change from sitting in front of the screen tracking down hackers, tough on the boss though - then again maybe not, he’ll probably just get yours truly to do all the plod work.

    Larry pulls up in a disabled space outside the port, and flashing a grin at him I get out, waving the file at him, we promise to E each other some time - both knowing where not gonna, and I turn to enter the bustling main gate, gazing up a sign that’s been plastered above the entrance for as long as I Can remember….

    “Sign up Now, Fight for Freedom.” Like the message’s meaning the once bright red words have faded over time and the peeling message is barely visible now. I jump with surprise, then cus as Larry beeps his horn twice whilst driving off, and turning I return his wave.


    Heres my latest effort, more to come later.
    Last edited by RabidGibbon; 06-02-2005 at 01:15. Reason: spelling errors

  2. #2
    Caged for your safety Member RabidGibbon's Avatar
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    Mar 2005

    Default Re: One Last Chance

    So there I was at Sheffield ‘port. And the momma of all booms has just told me that they’ve just fired my flight into orbit, so I’ve got an hour at least, probably more before I can get my ass out of this dump and back to Malaysia, where I’ve left the chopper.

    So it was inside I go, pushing past the crowd of consumer recruiters that any company has crawling over any of its outlets,

    “Excuse me sir, have you considered the advantages of claiming benefits from Aero Regis?”

    “Yep, sure have buddy. Bye” The chump doesn’t even hesitate - gets a hundred wise guys an hour probably, straight onto the person behind me. As I go stand in the queue at check out, the music they’ve been piping out over the PA system cuts out, and I’m trying not to cringe like, getting ready for one of those ear splitting announcements y’know the ones that tell you not to do something your not doing and then end with a “Solidarity in the face of the enemy, Consumers!”

    Just at that point a second boom goes off, and I begin to hope that maybe there doing a big convict drop, and maybe my flight hasn’t gone, just been delayed.

    Anyway, as my hearing comes back I realise the music’s started up again - only it ain’t the stuff they normally play in public, y’know that slow piped stuff that “reduces stress” or one of those military marching songs. It’s got a drumbeat and then a guitar chirps in - christ I haven’t heard a real instrument since that sax my old man used to play.

    Pretty much at the same time it dawns on everyone in the place that this is some subversive shit, and we all start staring real hard at the floor, and generally pretending that we can’t hear it. Y’know, like kids “I can’t see you can’t see me” only in this case its “I can’t see the PA speakers so I can’t hear them.”

    Well hell, it makes about as much sense. Over to my left a pair of bruisers in suits are pushing their way through the cloud, staring determinedly ahead at a door marked “No public access” and each clutching an overly chunky com system in their meaty paws like its some kind of badge of authority.

    “Some hippies gonna get it!” grins the guy in front of me, a little fellow in Macro Happy consumer overalls and big glasses, nodding at the security men, now nearly at the door. I smile and nod whilst the music speeds up a little, then, causing a murmur of surprise all over the check in area, a high pitched, screeching, weirdly asexual voice starts accompanying the instruments,

    “Had a dream, where things were blue…”

    “Whats a hippy?” with a start I realise the guy in front of me has got a little girl with him, he looks down at her and shushes her, before returning his ghoulish stare to the two bruisers, who are now struggling with the door.

    “Perhaps it comes from thinking of you…”

    With a crash the door comes off its hinges and the two guys are inside it in a flash, trying to close it behind them - the little girl starts up again, this time with a kind of whining pleading note to her voice,

    “I want to be a hippy when I grow up!” The glass wearing guy looks down, almost comically alarmed, “No you don’t darling,” He reaches down and scoops her up - holding her face level with his,

    “I should have told you what was right…”

    Now the little guy starts waving his head inanely and singing the Macro Happy advertising jingle “Macccroooooo Happy, Happy, Happieeee, Happy, Happy” The jaunty tone seems completely at edge with the wailing mournful notes coming from the PA system.

    “You should have known we were going to fight…”

    On that tone the music cuts out suddenly, and the guy in front of me is suddenly making the only noise in the entire place, finishing his little jingle on a real high note “Happppppiiiiiiiiiiiieeeeeeeeeee…”

    He cuts out as quickly as the PA did, glances round smiling nervously and puts the little girl down hurriedly.

  3. #3
    Caged for your safety Member RabidGibbon's Avatar
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    Mar 2005

    Default Re: One Last Chance

    I sometimes think bout how easy travelling was before they invented these goddamn orbital drop planes. I mean sure we can get to Australia in, like, one or two hours, but getting on an old fashioned jet you never had to strip off, put an oxygen tank on and climb into a great big pod of green goo.

    Still I suppose its that or get turned into a human flavour pancake against the rear wall of the damn plane when they fire out of the travel cannon. So I found my locker, stuffed my clothes into it, put my key card round my wrist and pushed through the crowds doing the same looking for the pod with my number on it.

    I’d been right earlier, about the convict drop - another load of prisoners off to do their time in china. Finding my pod I climb into it, attach both hose’s and my air pipe and, without waiting for the stewardess to come round and check I’ve set everything up right - hell there insured against idiots who don’t read the safety notices and I’ve done this enough time to know how its done.

    Of course the first time I did this you didn’t have the choice of doing it yourself - the sergeant-major did it for you, all the time screeching obscenities at you. I wonder for a few moments about how long ago it was, maybe 10 or 12 years ago we were all bundled out of the courthouse onto the back of those army trucks - the crowd hooting and jeering at us as we came out of the back gates. Happy Days, yeah Happy Days indeed. I remember Larry just wouldn’t shut up - silly bugger……


    “I mean, I thought we, like, get some training man. Why ain’t we getting no training man? How come there sending us straight to the port man. It ain’t right.” The truck goes over a speed bump hard throwing all of us, there must be about 30 of us crammed into the back of the open topped truck, and those of us who’d grabbed themselves seats on the side where thrown onto those who were sat on the floor.

    A brief confusing fist fight ensues, and I come out of sitting on the floor. I scowl at the floor and silently damn the big looking guy who’s swiped my place. From his unconcerned look, close cropped hair and the “7th Air Cav” tattoo on his forehead I assume he’s been to China before - a piece of detective work that the boss would’ve been proud of had I known him then - and I take some kind of twisted revenge in my mind in knowing that thanks to the gov’s 1 strike and your out policy he won’t be coming back, wheras yours truly here has only got two years of “Low-risk rear area work” on his dog tags.

    “Can’t this fool drive?” hollers Larry, “You think the army’d teach its friggin drivers to drive man - I mean what gives?” The big guy who stole my perch on the side of the truck frowns at Larry who continues to rant on anyway until a second bump throws everyone into the middle again.

    “Aww Shit!” I hear someone cry, and realise at almost the same moment that the big guy has been thrown clear of the truck and is rolling around on the floor clutching his arm. The police tail car screeches to a halt and the two officers leap out, one grinning broadly as he draws his gun.

    As the truck hurtles away none of us can hear anything they say, but we can see the big guy waving his good arm desperately right up until the point the police officer fires one, two, three into him. Wordlessly everyone clambers quickly off the side of the truck and shuffles up tight in the middle.

    The police car is following us again, the body left laying in the street as we can continue in silence to the port, not even Larry speaking……


    I come round as we land in Malaysia - damn haven’t passed out during flight for a while, thought I’d damn well got used to it. Simultaneously the pods all crack open, and I float for a few moments until the sprinklers come on, if there’s one thing I hate its climbing out early and having to stand around with all that slime dripping off me.

    It only takes a few moments for the goo to be rinsed away and everyone starts making their way to the sides of the ship and their lockers whilst the stewards and stewardesses wander around handing out towels.

    As open my locker I’m confronted with the dog eared, slightly water stained dossier I’ve got to give to the boss. Goddamn it, this is going to get one of those long, disappointed sad looks. I just know it. Oh well nothing for it but to try and get their on time - I figure it might help if I could do that, and if I can make up the time lost waiting for the convict drop to be finished whilst flying the helicopter to the island I might just be able to do that.

  4. #4
    agitated Member master of the puppets's Avatar
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    Oct 2004
    where destruction lay around me from a fight i could not win

    Talking Re: One Last Chance

    very very interesting, i like it
    almost like one of those 30's gangster novels.
    A nation of sheep will beget a a government of wolves. Edward R. Murrow

    Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. —1 John 2:9

  5. #5
    Caged for your safety Member RabidGibbon's Avatar
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    Mar 2005

    Default Re: One Last Chance

    Johor Baharu’s a hell of a lot nicer than Sheffield, but you don’t need me to tell you that do you? Like pretty much every other day not in the rainy season (Or what’s left of it anyway) the sky was a uniform umm… sky blue colour, Ha theirs poetry for ya. Anyway there I was, at the top of the steps leading down from the drop ship, from there you can see the towers of Singapore - maybe that’s what made the guy in front of me think it was a good idea to just race off across the tarmac towards the terminal.

    Fella must have been in a even bigger rush than me, probably on a business trip to one of those big shiny towers - but security were pissed of course, a cop car racing out onto the tarmac whilst the rest of us stood around waiting for a bus to show up and drive us there. I’m looking at my watch, constantly putting back the time when I’m absolutely going to have to ring the boss and tell him I’ll be late. My first deadline was 5 minutes ago but a good run through customs and I can still make it if the choppers already fuelled up. No really I can. Honest.

    The cop cars caught up to the runner now, but the daft sod has turned away from the terminal and the drop plane and is legging it down the runway with the police car cruising after him, the officer who isn’t driving leaning out of the window and shouting something that’s drowned out in the constant low hum of the various pieces of heavy aviation equipment on the tarmac.

    Whilst everyone else is looking at the entertainment I notice, just appearing round the side of our drop plane a luggage carrier, going slow but picking up speed. Whilst everyone else is pointing and competing for the prize of most smart assed comment on the runners situation I put my head down and run in the opposite direction. I gain on it quickly and just as it starts to pull away I make a desperate leap, getting one leg over the upraised tailgate and quickly following the rest of it with an out of breath private eye.

    I sit on a pile of suitcases and handbags and interrupt my thoughts of how clever I am with a sudden alarming vision of myself being hauled up on charges of attempted luggage theft and thrown on the next drop plane to China.


    I hunker down close behind the drivers cab, and make my leap and run for it much earlier than I was planning, and well before any luggage handlers might see me.

    Bizarrely as I race across the metalled surface I’m thinking not about getting caught, but about how much better this is than the last time I had to run across a port runway



    Our Drop Plane has just performed a military style landing at Nanjing central, which for those of you who don’t know means it’s bounced about eight hundred times, half of which it seemed to come down the wrong way up. Odd thing is that a anti-G goo pod (not the scientific name I know) may protect you from a 30G acceleration, but drop it 10 feet onto a surface it bouces on and your gonna have bruises that’ll be sore in the morning.

    Mind you the way that pilot came down we were already sore as we hauled ourselves out of the pods. The man with The Voice was striding in amongst us already - wearing a uniform that told me at least that he must have come in board after we’d landed ‘cos we were still all naked as the day we were born. And covered in green goo of course. I lifted half of me over the side of the pod before collapsing gracefully over the side of the pod onto the steel floor. Course this was the first time I’d ever flown drop style, but I knew from the movies there were meant to be showers - after all isn’t the spontaneous drop plane landing orgy in the steamy showers a staple plot item for dodgy vid-shows?

    I doubt any of us were thinking about that though as we lifted our battered frames up into what we imagined was the attention pose The Voice was demanding from us. The Voice, as I still think of him today was about 5 and a half foot high, and about the same across at the shoulders - he needed all that space in his chest for lungs that must have had a capacity that could be compared to one of those stratospheric surveillance airships (Course we‘d all get a good look at his insides later on). Satisfied that we were presenting a military enough appearance, standing to attention in our birthday suits and dripping with goo The Voice began bellowing out names, throwing the dog tags that had been taken off us along with our court uniforms when we were shoved in our pods. When he repeated the same name for a third time I realised it was mine,

    “HARRIS!” he cried, doing his beetroot impression before noticing I’d stuck my hand in the air “OH MY GOD… ARE THEY SHIPPING ME GUYS SO DUMB THEY DON’T EVEN KNOW THERE OWN NAME?” He shouted in my face, adding a fair amount of spittle to the goo that was gathering at the tip of my nose.

    Playing dumb seemed the safest thing to do, so I just try standing more to attention than, before, although Its mainly an effort taking place in my head, I’m kind of already on my toes.


    “Yes Sir” I congratulate myself on the sir - that was a piece of improvisational magic.


    I’m a happier guy when he turns away from me and starts shouting at the lot of us in general,



    We all cotton on at pretty much the same time and a haphazard chorus of “Yes First Sergeant” rings out from our battered frames. The Voice glares at us like we’ve just called him momma something really bad, and takes a deep breath, ready for his next all out attempt to burst our ear drums open.


    I look around for where our new uniforms are, and realise before most of the other guys that they must be in barracks room 15. Great.

    “I SAID NOW” screamed The Voice, as his birthday suit wearing charges looked around in confusion, and a few at a time, as we started to get the gist of what was happening we moved off, down the ramp, still coated in dripping green goo and onto the tarmac of Nanjing central airport.

    As the last guy off (It was Larry, no surprises there then) crept down the ramp The Voice came out behind him like he’d been fired from the hatch and gave him a pretty meaty sounding kick to the behind. Larry rolled the rest of the way down the ramp, and this was the cue for a bunch of Tech types loading a nearby transport to finally burst into a mixture of laughter and tears.

    “Welcome to sunny china,” hooted one, and the rest followed suit, shouting hilarious remarks over each other’s hilarious remarks, and generally busting a gut to make us feel all at home.

    The Voice was busting a gut too, as he started off again “NOW GET YOUR GOVERNMENT OWNED ASSES TO BARRACKS ROOM 15 NOW YOU BUNCH OF…” At this point emotion overcame him and his words became a kind of roar as he began shoving all those of us he could reach in the direction he wanted us to go. We got the idea and started jogging off in the direction he wanted us to go - 30 men and boys, stark naked, dripping with green goo being chased by one guy across a tarmac carpet towards god knew what.


    I make it quickly and arrive at the glass terminal doors, which stay resolutely shut.

    Of course, theirs no bus due, so the sensors aren’t switched on.

    I wave my arms around in an attempt to catch some sort of door opening beam, but know its pointless. Fortunately (or unfortunately) my frantic wind milling catches the attention of some lowly port attendant who stops whatever they were doing and walks briskly over to the door, opening it from the inside.

    “What where you doing out there?” she challenges me, eyes wide with confusion or surprise. I’ve already decided on my exit strategy and return her stare with a look that plainly says I think she’s crazy,

    “Trying to get in of course!” I snap, and brush past her hurrying off and avoiding feeling guilty about not saying thanks for her opening the door. Still she doesn’t call security (or gives them a pretty bad description) ‘cos a few moments later I’m in the terminal building proper and shoving frantically towards the exit, where I an catch a taxi to the heli-pad.


    Glad you like it MotP. I was trying for a kind of retro feel but I was thinking more 50/60's PI movie - the ones with the hero narrating in the background.

    Still I'm completly unpracticed at first person writing of any sort so I'm just glad that its recognisable as a retro attempt at all!


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