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Skullhack 7

SkullHack 7
by alphaborie

Link:Part 1 | Link:Part 2 | Link:Part 3 | Link:Part 4 | Link:Part 5 | Link:Part 6

“Hello Philly, this is Neve16. I’m vid feeding from 13th street where something strange is going down. I’m not sure how to explain it, like, you’ll just have to see for yourself.”

The shaky image panned away from the face and came to rest on a man. There is something shocking and unnatural in the way he moves; the floating, billowing waves that undulate around his form with each step taken, as if the force of the ground upon the soles of his feet are sending tremors through his body. It almost looks like each tiny cell wants to fly off in its own direction, but something holds them back. A crowd of onlookers are gathered on the side of the street, all filming and talking feverishly into headsets.

“People are saying it’s a ghost. As to what it is, I don’t know. We’ll have to leave it up to the diggers to find out more information. I do know that this…person...departed off a train a few moments ago, causing a considerable commotion amongst commuters. Weird.”

“Thank you Neve16, let’s see what…..”

Breaken the Younger flipped his comm screen closed. There was no time to waste, if the Industrials were going to get control of the nanos, they had to act now. He flipped his comm again, as he hurried to the tower labs.

“Father…Jordan’s on 13th street. He’s all over the feeds. It looks like his nanos are in some kind of swarm. They maintained his shape.”

“Yes, I’m watching it. We need to control that technology, it is imperative. What did you and Collective discover?”

“We have a plan. But its going to take a little time to get the necessary…materials….We need to get presence down there…I‘m going to the lab to get Clare grafted, I‘m going to use her to bait Jordan into a trap.”

“It had better work” he spoke in slow threat. “ I’ve already sent the Bit Clerics, along with some of your brothers. They should keep him occupied until you get your plans in order.”

“And the Feds?”

“The Feds…let’s hope they don’t pick up on the significance of the feeds. In the meantime, your brothers will contain the situation, until you arrive. Be quick.”


Breaken ended the call as he strode with militaristic intensity through the steel lab door. The lab was dark and populated with quietly humming machinery, as a few white suited scientists tended to arcane lights and interfaces. A scientist, spectacled and gray haired approached Breaken with trepidation clumsily disguised as surprise.

“Can I help you sir?”

“I need replicant grafted. And I need it done in an hour.”

The scientists eyes almost popped out off his head when he heard this unusual request.

“But sir, it’ll take at least six hours to graft specific DNA to a humanoid body. There is no way…”

Breaken grabbed the mans coat and began dragging him through a door into a small darkened antechamber. The room was empty except for four Perspex cylinders. The cylinders contained a pinkish liquid animated by small bubbles as they traversed the height of the tube. Within each tank, humanoid forms floated, docked by a multitude of tubes and wires that made their appearance akin of grotesque puppetry. The most striking feature of the blank replicants, was their lack of features. Their eyes had no pigment but white, their skin bore no signs of hair, their vacant stares bore no intelligence; perfect in their homogenous design.

“I want it done in one hour. Or you’ll end up like one of them. Do you understand me?”

He pointed to the garish vegetables floating in the grafting tanks. The brainless expressions drove his threat home as the scientist gave up trying to hide his fear.

“Y..Yes, but…” the man stammered.

“But WHAT?” Breaken yelled dragging the man towards the tanks for a closer look.

“But, there will be problems with the graft if we do it that fast, brain damage, genetic damage, there could be…”

“All I care about is that she looks like one of my sisters. That’s all that matters. One hour.”

“Y…Yes, one hour..sir”

Breaken released his hold on the mans coat, and turned to leave.

“Good, contact me when you are finished.”


The two small robots danced and twirled on the stone floor. Standing at one foot tall, their stickman bodies are reminiscent of praying mantis architecture, but less insect like and more human in form. Their shiny dull skin, one light green and one light blue, stands in stark contrast to the rough hewn stones of the floor which look as if they are of the same vein of rock that built the pyramids. The robots perform an elegant Kata, the precise movements of an ancient meditation fighting style. With smooth motion, one robot slowly defends and blocks a blow from his opponent, turning his opponents energy back around for counter attack. His opponent does the same, and this back and forth spar continues, without winner nor loser.

On opposite sides of the room, a young man and young woman sit in a lotus, clad in austere and monkish black hooded robes. Their eyes are open to the barest slits, they could be statues in the stillness of their meditation.

The robots in the center of the room slowly back away from each other, performing a slight bow in some long respected tradition, then coming to a complete stand sill. After a moment, each robot folds itself neatly into a rectangular piece of metal, each with a different glyphic marking.

The two clerics rose and walked towards the two robots, performing the same ritual of bowing, just in reverse. Upon meeting each other in the center of the room, the two clerics bent to pick up their robot trainers. Another man, much older approaches them from the corner of the room, where he has been watching them silently. As he walks, the three remove their hoods as is custom when master and student converse.

The heads of the two pupils are shaved bald, and their scalps are populated with several electronic implants, highly detailed and carefully placed. The master is equipped with many more implants, covering his entire cranium, a symbol of his lifelong devotion and mastery to skill enhancements.

“Students. You are to go to 13th street. There is a man there, detain him. Breaken, of the Industrials, has requested this of us, he is an important man. There is further information in your Hovers”

Moments later the students stood outside on the Temple tarmac, facing the docking hangar. Breathing slowly, each students eyes closed to mere slits, and for a few moments only the birds could be heard in the distance. Then, with a low roar, the huge hangar door began to fold up on itself.

There were twelve Hovermechs lined up in their prone positions. All were exact copies of the two little sparring tools of a few moments earlier, save for their differences in color. The two students opened their eyes, having established a connection with their respective mechs. With an audible hum, and the elegant heavy whizzing of mech machinery, the two giant forms lowered themselves from prone to board position, allowing the students to enter their cockpits. Secured inside, they fully integrated into the electronics of their second skin with expert efficiency. Both knew that successful completion of this, their first mission, would move their training above the level of student, to the long awaited title of Cleric.


Orleans rounded the corner at a brisk pace pulling a hat closer over his head. The next moment, he was standing still. Hadn’t he just been running? He started walking again, muttering in confusion. Several times today he had snapped out of short spells; short lapses in memory where he would wake in different place from only ten minutes prior. He would have to talk to Dr.Brady about this memory loss, damn getting old.

“Orleans, pull yourself together. Your on a case.” he muttered to himself.

He was on Germantown Av, in the plex housing district, trying to find a single person. There was probably 200,000 thousand people living in plex housing in this sub grid alone, he would have to find another solution then a stakeout. The hit map had led him here, this section of Germantown, there had to be a way to find Jordan. Orleans turned and walked into an Infobar. Perhaps he could…Something caught Orleans eye. A large vid screen on the Infobar wall was showing some kind of commotion, lots of people standing around filming…that face, Jordan’s face. Orleans couldn’t believe it.


/* Sorry about the delay in postings. Thanks for reading. Let me know how this one holds up, thanks.a*/

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I thought this was a good installment in the story. I think the first paragraph could have been done better, I think it would have been better if it was more from the onlookers point of view or if it was more of news report than part news report/part description of the situation. I liked the part with Breaken. I also think the bit clerics could have been expanded on but I love Mecha so I'm looking forward to the next installment. :)


I agree that the first paragraph is a little odd. See, Jordan is no longer Jordan, he is a different entity. Every approach I took to try and describe his new form came out messy, so eventually I decided to lay off and just write something, just to get the plot to continue forward. I appreciate your comments, they will be used when I do my rewrite! Thanks!

This one felt...

... a bit rushed. Lots of plot, not much character. I think we could use a little more backstory or other color for the Bit Clerics. Also, I've got an idea what would play real well on the screen: Start with Jordan as he exits the train, then follow the Vit story through the feeds to each of the other characters in turn. Know what I mean? Use the videographer to stitch each scene together and provide a real cyberpunk sense that everything's happening at once.

I am intrigued by the Bit Clerics, tho. They practice martial arts (& piloting?) purely through remotes?


kelson.philo's picture

Ha! tension mounts and

Ha! tension mounts and mounts! Like seeing the bit clerics. ready for the badazz cyber fu action. Is the infobar a big billboard like in times square? that tidbit might need a bit of fleshing out.

This is another installment

This is another installment I had trouble with. Its been sitting and festering on my hard disk for over a week and a half, so I just said "I'm done with it." there is a lot that I don't "like" about this installment, that I will have to change during re-write. Hopefully the next part will come with a little more ease than this one!. Thanks for reading!