A/N: Hey everyone! Sorry for the long wait, I guess we’re having Friday Fiction on a Saturday after all. It’s just been a really big week for me (midterms), and so I’ve been scrambling to get papers written, tests taken and all of that other fun college student “stuff”. At any rate, I didn’t have a chance to proof the next section of the Greybell story, so I’m posting this little oneshot I whipped up this afternoon. I hope you enjoy it and next week, I’ll try to get back to Nena, Andy and Liandra. Happy weekend!
winking, before it swung open with a quiet click. The hallway was barely lit,
as usual and her footsteps echoed on the damp concrete floor as she scurried
down to the door at the end where the green light signaled a vacancy.
passcode before swiping an available credit card. The transaction took a few
minutes and then asked for program selection and physical verification. Carla
tapped through the presented options and selected the time slot of half-an-hour
and then reached inside her shirt for the fat gold locket. Clicking open the
catch, she held up the contents to the tiny robotic eye.
light shot out and analyzed the curled lock of hair and the faded photograph. A
congratulatory message flashed on the screen, then a progress bar blinked to
life beneath it.
checking data match…
doorway and tried not to flinch when she heard the door clang shut. The lights
flickered and dimmed as her vision adjusted, before a virtual backdrop of green
grass, blue sky and stick-like trees were projected on the blank walls.
left hand, the painful hangnail on her right pointer finger and the way that
her shoelaces were tied unevenly as the gaudy pixelated images sharpened until
they were so fine and delicate, she could almost believe they were real.
vents at the corners of the room switched on and a white noise chatter seemed
to filter through with it. A generic wooden bench slowly formed in front of her
and Carla gingerly perched on the edge, twisting her hands in her lap.
clenched into fists.
looked just the way he always did, a little worried for her sake, a little more
wrinkled than she remembered, but always, always so steady and comforting.
sniffled and bawled and babbled incoherently into his chest. She cried until
her voice was rough and hiccupped as the tears eventually stopped on their own.
her down next to him, one arm wrapped around her thin shoulders. He pressed her
head to the crook of his shoulder and hummed softly, an old lullaby from years
the same uniform as her father had—he stopped humming and smiled down at her. “Feel
was a lousy week.”
right sort of thing to say or the right sort of pause that let her continue
explaining about her work, the new management rules and how her mother was too
sick for two weeks in a row.
hand through her fine hair. “And eating. You don’t sound like you have enough
time for anything.”
know how I’ve made it this far.”
referring to the internship. It had been just the break she’d needed at the
time, but sticking it through to the end was the real challenge.
sadness filtering through her eyes. “I really hope so.”
blinked them back and made herself smile even as his digital form twitched and
fizzled, the timer on the door, chiming for the remaining thirty-seconds.
and exploded into tiny fragments of floating blue light. It swarmed around her,
briefly, cool to the touch, before the air vents along the ceiling sucked it
setting slowly vanishing away, taking the light with it, until four, drab grey
walls greeted her. Carla shuffled to the door and stepped out into the damp
hallway once more.
and hurried out with the same speed she’d entered. She thought of her coworkers
and then her poor parents. Six more
weeks, she reminded herself. Six more weeks and then she would be certified
for one of the prestigious IT positions.
rooms. She could store more data for free and even purchase her own canister of
Realistix, the evolving AI that could mimic any given creature or person with
the proper DNA sample and a visual reference.