2010/05/16

Allnighter

I had a dream a few nights ago. I lay in bed for a while thinking about it, arranging the things that happened into a proper story. Then I had to write it, so I did, three thousand words straight off with barely a break. I have since edited it slightly for spelling grammar and punctuation, but this is still pretty much what crawled out of brain that morning.
I hope you enjoy it, I look forward to reading any comments you may have.


Allnighter
By Kim L.

Jack pushed open the door. A machine beeped alerting the girl at reception of his presence. She smiled as she looked up and saw Jack and Peter enter.
“You here for the allnighter?” she asked as they approached.
Before answering. Jack lent over her desk and planted a kiss on her cheek.
She placed her hand where he had just kissed her. “If you're looking for a discount because you're my boyfriend, I'm afraid I can't do that.”
“Aww come on, Alice,” said Peter.
“Or my brother.”
“Okay,” said Jack, feeling like he was surrendering, “How much is it?”
“A tenner.” Seeing their uncertain looks she added, “It is allnight, and we do a discount on snacks after 11.”
“You know we're going to do it anyway.” The boys each passed her a crumpled note. “Thank you. Don't we get a receipt? To prove that we've paid?”
“I'm staying here allnight, and I think I can remember you two. So, did your lecture finish early?”
“A little. Calculus is so dull, each minute should count for half an hour.”
“You only say that because you're freakishly good at it.”
Jack looked into her eyes, Peter rolled his. They both walked off into the large darkened room.
“I don't think I'll ever understand you two,” said Peter.
“Hey, she's hot, nice, and we share so many interests.”
“You mean like shooting terrorists?”
“And breaking bedsprings.”
Peter winced. “Dude, That's my sister!”
Strait faced, Jack said, “lol.”
Their conversation attracted the attention of the others they all waved and said 'hi' or sometimes even a verbose 'Hey there.' Jack and peter too their seats, and pushed the on buttons at each of their stations.
As they waited for the computers to boot, they leaned back to talk around the dividers between the stations.
“What do you want to start with?” asked Peter.
“I feel there are too many zombies in this world, do you want to do something about that?”
“Sure.”
They both turned to their now active computers and logged themselves in. in a few more minutes of loading an navigating menus, they were finally ready to play.

After playing for a couple of hours there still seemed to be no end to the zombie haord. Jack, Peter and a couple of the others shot, kicked, axed and crowbarred their way through, achieving various minor objectives on the way to safety. The hoard proved to be to numerous, and the difficulty too hard. The small group were backed into a corner, with no hope of rescue, and their other friends dropping like flies, they were ready for a last stand, shotguns at the ready they blew away the ones that came faster than the slow plodding crowd.
As their predicament seemed truly hopeless, a box in the corner notified them of another player logging in. What seemed like several minutes of zombie splatting panic later, a black cloaked figure dropped from the rooftops, with a sword and a gun, the zombies seemed to fall to pieces.
After the last of that hoard turned and ran, it receiving a single piece of lead into the back of its mouldy brain, Alice realised that she wasn't just being watched on the game, there was a face at the side of her station.
“You saved us again, honey.” said Jack.
“Yeah, you two are such babies. Why are you looking at my screen, I'm sure neither of you died.”
“You're just too awesome, it has to be seen to be believed.”
She sniffed a laugh, then leant back to kiss her boyfriend.
“Come on guys,” called Peter from the far station. “There's more coming.”
Jack and Alice snapped away from each other, going straight back to their own computers. Ready to fight through yet more zombies.

Peter was woken in a massive fiery explosion. He screamed, flailed and his chair fell over backwards. He staggered to his feet rubbing the back of his head. He looked up and found Jack and his sister staring at him.
“I was wondering when you were going to do that,” said Alice.
“You make it sound like I did it deliberately.”
“Didn't you?”
Peter set his chair back on its wheels, now just holding the back of his head.
“You're acting this a lot more than I'd expected.”
“What are you on about?” Peter asked, taking his hands off his head to gesticulate.
Alice rubbed his head. “I told you you wouldn't get me with your silly games, brother. Wait.” she looked down at her hand, there was blood on it. “You're really hurt, aren't you.”
“What else would I be?”
“I'll get the first aid kit.” Alice ran off.
“What the hell was she on about?”
“I don't know either,” said Jack.
“She always has been a bit crazy.”
“Yeah.” Jack smiled, looking at Alice as she ran back.
Alice started employing her first aid training and wrapped a bandage round her brother's head. “We need to check you aren't concussed.”
“I think we need to see if you're concussed.”
“You're starting to worry me now. You're really acting like you didn't come in earlier.”
“We didn't!”
“You did, you told me something about having to avoid your doctor, that he was a monster or something.”
“My Doctor?” asked Peter.
“No, Jack's doctor.”
“We have the same doctor!”
“Oh, yeah. Well, you said he was actually a monster, and we would need to run from him. You even had a bandage on your head, and told me that you were going to fall off your chair, and that I would put one on you. I didn't believe you, of course, time travel's impossible. So I was expecting you to pretend to fall off your chair and get hurt. But I don't think anyone would do this deliberately. Not even you.”
Jack laughed. “That's crazy even if there were a time machine, why would we be its pilots?”
“There isn't a time machine, it's the doctor, you said he makes me cease to exist, and that you need to run from him to find a way to save me.”
“Cease to exist?”
“Like, pop, gone you said.”
“what else did we tell you.” asked Peter, sounding amused by the idea.
“You said I said there was something you had to do, but he got me before I could tell you, so you'd have to work it out again.”
“And what was this thing?”
“You didn't know, because I hadn't told you.”
“But if you don't know to tell us now,” said Jack, “Then we can't know to tell you then.”
“Don't act like you actually believe her,” said Peter. “Jack? Jack? What are yo looking at?”
“Doctor Pankhurst?”
Peter looked up and saw a figure dressed in white, with a stethoscope round his neck.
“This is far too elaborate for her just messing around.”
Before she could turn, the doctor reached out a hand and placed it on Alice's shoulder. A moment later, she was gone. Jack and Paul screamed together, looking up at the doctor's face. He had a contented expression like he'd just saved a life or something. He seemed dazed for a moment, giving the boys an opportunity to slip past him and run out of the front door.
“What the fuck!” exclaimed Jack. “Where the hell did she go?”
“Language young man!” an elderly lady said as she passed by on the street.
“Sorry mrs T.”
“That's okay, Jack. What's wrong anyway? You look like you've seen a ghost.”
“Uh, I don't think I could explain it.”
“Okay deer. I'll see you tomorrow.” She walked on down the street.
“What's she doing out at four thirty in the morning?” asked Peter.
“She always was a bit mad, mrs Tanner.”
The heard the beep of the door behind them. The doctor was once again towering over them.
“Run!” shouted Peter, not waiting for Jack to start running.
“Where are we going?!” asked Jack.
“I don't know! I'm just running. That think killed my sister!”
“Lets get to the train, we'll be able to get away much faster.”
“Okay. Good plan.”

The pair stopped, panting, at the station. The next train home was in two minutes, they bought tickets from the machine, and stood on the platform waiting impatiently.
“She just disappeared, Jack, Vanished into thin air. Do you think he's going to do that to us?”
“No,” Jack said trying to sound more certain than he was. “And he won't do it to her either.”
“What do you mean?”
“You know the stories, if we find a way to defeat this guy, everything will be back as it was.”
“That's just stories, wishful thinking. What if she's gone forever?”
“She can't be. She said there was a way to save her, all we have to do is find it.”
“Okay. I suppose that's better than just running away.”
“I think I hear the train.”
“That doesn't sound like the train should.”
“I know, it's different.”
The train engine passed them as it decelerated into the station. Steam billowed out of the top of it. Jack and Peter looked at each other, then back at the train. They saw their reflections appear and disappear as the windows passed them. They also saw a tall white figure behind them. Fear kept them looking at the train, begging it to stop and the doors to open. As each window passed the doctor's reflection grew closer. Enveloped in a final puff of steam, the train stopped, and a man in old fashioned cloths opened the door. Peter and Jack squeezed in before the people waiting started coming out. Every one looked at them for a moment with expressions of surprise. But they looked away again almost instantly, as if they'd never seen them. The boys slipped into a compartment and went straight up to the window looking out at the platform. The doctor was standing in the exodus of people, being avoided by them, but otherwise ignored.
They heard the door open, and a few more people came in, taking seats, and ignoring the two at the window. They looked back out, and found the doctor gone.
“He must be on the train!” exclaimed Peter.
“We need to get off before he catches us.”
The left the compartment. The occupants looked up when the door opened, but didn't seem to find anything amiss. The boys pushed past people to get towards the door. The reached a break in the crowd, where the corridor was clear at the far end the doctor stood looking down at them hungrily.
They turned and fled the other way, passing through the crowd without apparently disturbing anyone. The train started moving. The corridors emptied into the compartments, making it easier for the boys to run, but soon they ran out of space, reaching the front of the train. They ducked into the vacant foremost cabin, and waited for what felt inevitable.
“What the hell is going on!” exclaimed Peter. “What's with this old train, and all the outfits.”
“We really are travelling in time, we're in the past.”
“Creiky.” so we could change stuff, make sure that man never meets my sister.
“I don't think we can, you know how it is, we mustn't change things, do you know what happens if we cause a paradox?”
“No.”
“Well neither do I, but it is always really really bad.”
“Okay, so no paradoxes.”
“I think we should get off at the next stop.”
“No shit Sherlock, with him on the train, we can't get off soon enough.”
“I think it's stopping.”
“Bit soon isn't it? But yes, look at the trees.”
“Well good, the sooner the better.”
They went to the nearest door and watched as a station came into view. There was a diesel train on the opposite side, which seemed fine at first, then they realised what sort of train they were on. The disembarked quickly, and stood for a moment on the station.
“Wait a second,” said Peter. “We're back where we started.”
“Indeed, and the train's gone.”
“Yeah. Where's that doctor thing, then?”
“No idea, for now. But I expect we need to find out what time it is.”
“And what date it is.”
“Yes, that too.”
“Ah, it's quarter past one.” said Peter, looking up at the big clock over the platform.
“And it's today,” said Jack, seeing the date on the clock, “so this must be our chance to warn Alice.”
“So we go back to the games lounge.”
“Yes, her shift starts at one, so we'll probably meet her.”
“We know we meet her.”
“Good point.”

The machine over the door beeped and Alice looked up at Jack and Peter.
“Hello you two, I wasn't expecting you for another two hours. Didn't you have a lecture.”
“Cancelled.” said Peter, thinking quickly.
“Really?” she asked sceptically, knowing her brothers knack for skipping lectures. “What happened to your head?”
Jack ran up to her and hugged her over the desk. “Oh, I was so worried about you.”
“What? What's going on?”
“You won't believe us now, but later, Peter will fall of his chair, and hit his head, you'll bandage it up, and that will convince you we aren't being messing around.”
“Okay,” she said humouring her somewhat eccentric boyfriend.
“We'll need you to tell us some things, the other us, that is, well, our past, your future. There's a man after us. He looks like my doctor...”
“Our doctor,” corrected Peter.
“The doctor. But he isn't, he's some kind of monster trying to kill us.”
“The doctor is trying to kill you?”
“Well, not kill excatly,” said Peter, “more like Pop!”
“He makes you explode?”
“No,” said Jack, “you just vanish, gone, ceased to exist.”
“Okay? Was there anything else, like men from Mars, or Daleks?”
“I'm afraid, he gets you.”
“You mean he's going to vanish me?”
“Yes, but don't worry, there's still a way to save you and make it like nothing happened.”
“And what is this miracle cure to not existing?”
“We don't know yet. He vanished you before you could tell us,” said Peter.
“Not quite, you told us we told you that he got you before you could tell us, but that might just be because we told you that.”
“Huh?”
“It not important, well it is important, but the point is you don't tell us how to solve this, so we still don't know.”
“So I should tell you about this when my brother falls over and hits his head?”
“Yes.”
“Okay, but you're right, I don't believe you.”
“Don't worry about that, you will, and I'm sure everything will be fine in the end. We have to go now, I think the past us are coming. Just be natural, don't mention anything until you believe us, there's no way you'll convince us than, if you don't believe us now.”
“Okay, whatever.”
“I'll see you in a little while.”
“There's no need to get all emotional.”
“Of course. Good bye.”
The boys left hastily, ducking into an alley as they saw their past selves coming down the street the other way, followed by the doctor a short distance behind.
“There he is, let's get him,” said Peter.
“But we know we don't, he got to the games lounge in our past, so there's no way we can change that.”
“But he gets there in the small hours of the morning, it's only one thirty now. It can't take that long to walk down the street.”
“Maybe there's some time thing, makes him get there later.”
“I don't think so, he's coming this way.”
Jack turned to look at the tall white figure, reaching out a hand towards them. Peter grabbed a pipe that had been left in the alley. He swung the pole at the tall man. The doctor seemed to slide out of the way, appearing behind the boy, and placing a hand on his shoulder. The pole clattered to the ground, Peter was gone.
“You've killed my two best friends you bastard!” screamed Jack as he backed against the wall.
“I've killed no one. They are simply gone.”
“Who are you?!”
“I would appear to be Doctor Pankhurst.”
“Well, what are you then.”
“There is no way for you to understand fully. I am an alien, I suppose you would say.” the man slowly advanced towards Jack, wearing the same contented expression as when he'd vanished Alice. “Also, I have only taken one of the three of you so far. I will take you second and Alice third.”
“How do you know her name?”
“I've been her doctor for fourteen years.”
“What, so you really are my doctor?”
“Yes.”
“What do you want, why are you doing this to us?” Jack stood on a bin to put some more distance between him and the monster.
“My species feed on the temporal energy contained within a paradox.”
“But there hasn't been a paradox, we never met ourselves.”
“That's not the only way to cause one. You did it by telling Alice about me, the information you told her was never invented, you told her in the past what she will tell you in the future, if you had told her nothing, there would have been nothing for her to tell you, and there never would have been a paradox.”
“But what about the time going all screwy?”
“Ah, I do that. My species can sense the possibility for a paradox, and we alter the way time works for a few people to make that happen. Which is in itself paradoxical, which we can also feed off.”
“So what are you going to do to me?”
“Time travel creates realities. If there is a paradox the reality is unstable, it will destroy itself in time, which I suppose won't make sense to you, as you can only view time from the inside. This reality we are in at the moment is such a reality. To avoid causing harm to life, we create a semi-paralell reality. In this reality, most of the people are actually an interrealitational representation of their real selves in another reality, that's why they can only notice you on a very low level, and they aren't capable of making any memories from something that happens here and not there. You, Peter, Alice, and myself are the only ones who are really here, and we are represented similarly in the normal reality, though we are more effected by it than it is of us.”
“So what happens when you touch me?”
“I absorb the temporal energy from you and you are put back into your normal reality. Then after I touch Alice, all four of us will be back to normality, and you can continue to live as if this hasn't happened. In fact several people I've done this to in the past have gone on to write some rather enjoyable novels and screenplays.”
“So we'll all be fine?”
“Yes, of course.”
“Then why did you chase us and let us get so scared?”
“Since people started writing time-travel stories, real people are much better at avoiding paradoxes, so I'm afraid I occasionally have to improvise. I'm sorry I scared you.
I wish your friend would fall of his chair sooner, I'm going to have to wait fourteen hours for the paradox to start before I can start putting you all back in the right places. I'm going to send you back now, but I have one final piece of advice, don't stay up all night watching every “Back To The Future” movie, you have lectures tomorrow, and there's plenty of time to watch each of them on separate nights. Trust me, I'm a doctor.” He laid one large hand on the boy's shoulder, leaving him alone in the alley.
“I guess I'll go for the high score on Pacman while I wait. Do these fancy new computers even have those old classics? These humans make time pass so quickly.”

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is Great!! I saw it on your Face book notes.. :) :) keep it up.

Kiml said...

Thanks. I'm so glad you like it.
My parents really didn't.

Anonymous said...

hi i started checking you out after seeing the xenos explorer ship post.
could you do an about me post, are you working in design, where you a from, what software you use, even some tips on how you get your inspiration.

Kiml said...

Hello Anonymous number two (or one again, there's no way to tell).
I am entirely untrained when it comes to CGI. I haven't even looked at very many tutorials, I like to work it out as I go along. I use blender almost exclusively, it being free, open source, and working on any OS I can think of.

I think I'll do as you ask, and answer more thoroughly in an about me post.

I take it by your comment that you frequent or even subscribe to my blog. This is exciting news to me as I though I only had four subscribers, and three of those are in my family, and the other I've known since primary school.