Scar Factory

Scar Factory

A Story by Nephil
"

Sort of a story I started a long time ago. This might be a prologue of some sort...

"

 


01: The Factory where Scars are made

 

Orix hated his job. He hated the scrape of metal, the heat of the blowtorch, and the stickiness of the oil accrued around him. His body was a round metal shell with three insect-like legs, two arm joints, and a single swiveling periscope. The plates that made up his shell slid and shifted as he moved, giving his six limbs 360° of mobility. On the end of one arm was a thin blowtorch, incredibly precise and nearly silent, and on the other was a pincher arm to hold steady whatever he was welding.

Orix was one of many. Around him were hundreds just like himself, with the same metal shells, welder-arms, and optical periscopes. Their focus was uniform. In front of them towered the frame of the city’s newest tower. Orix reached up with an intricate little claw, held a bronze plate in place, and welded it to the frame. His row of units would weld the plates in place, and the row below would pass the plates up. Simultaneously they climbed the wall they built, with larger, overseer machines passing by occasionally, measuring Orix and his family of units against on endless procedure of efficiency calculations Orix could never comprehend.

Orix, on his own, was capable of comprehending very little, actually. His name, in that, was nothing. He didn’t have one. He was referred to as a long line of numbers higher than the previous unit to his left and lower than the upcoming unit to his right. In his own mind, he wasn’t even a ‘he.’ He could be more accurately described as an ‘it,’ a genderless being, but he had no concept of gender.

In fact, he had no concept aside from the task at hand. Its origin and purpose were meaningless.  Place, torch, climb. Place, torch, climb. High above him, billows of black smog issued from scarcely covered vents high atop rust-covered towers slick with oil and grime. He’d been involved in the construction of a fraction of them, along with the rest of his sect.

Place, torch, climb.

Place, torch, climb.

Place, torch…

Orix’s curiosity had gotten the better of him and he tilted his spindly periscope to the sky. The sight of a white sliver of moon burned into him. He’d just seen something forbidden. He could comprehend that. Without consideration, he began to weld again, hurrying to compensate for the few seconds he had spent stargazing, and within three rows, his pace was back on track.

But something inside him was anxious. For a reason unknown to him, he wanted to see that pallid moon again, Perhaps it was simply an act of rebellion brought on by the natural affection living things bear for the illicit. So every few plates, he would take a split-second glance above in hopes to see that beacon again. At first, all it did was disappoint him and force him to work harder again to catch up with the rest of the unit, but as he practiced, he got better and better at it. But once he had reached the equilibrium between work and curiosity, the dark red firmament refused to yield.

A buzzing sound issued from far away, along with a scrape. A larger machine tore by on one of the many thin rails of the city and stopped behind Orix’s sect. It hung down from the rusty blade-rail from its back with elongated, four-jointed arms lowered in front of it. Its head, a round ball with a wide lens covering the front like a tinted helmet, scanned the row of units.

“Unit 0255-4328-4234,” it declared in a hissing voice over Orix. The tiny machine twitched and turned away from his welding plate. “Your performance has been recently evaluated and deemed inefficient in accordance with Deus Protocol 457.”

Just like any of the units in his sect, Orix failed to comprehend the reprimand he received. He looked from the thin face of his overseer to his rising cluster of units. His place in line had been taken by another.

The overseer’s arms extended and grabbed Orix’s little round body between long, multi-jointed fingers. With one jerk, the restraints connecting Orix’s three pointed legs to the building shattered and he came forward. “Under Deus Protocol 457, the penalty for deliberate inefficiency due to inappropriate curiosity is termination.”

The cord and harness connecting the overseer’s thin body to the railway sprung once again into action as thrusters on its lower side burst into spark-clusters of blue light. Orix’s single pivoting eye passed over endless towers surrounded by rusty fails with overseers and other units riding them between factories. Some towers emitted smoke, others fire, while some were hollow and empty as little machines picked them apart with tiny tools, saving each piece. Beneath the buzzing of the grinding rail-wheel, the endless industrial sounds of an automated world filtered through the smoggy air.

At last they passed the last building and the lights vanished with blackness below and smothering clouds above. The overseer paused on a rail looping out of the city like a vein reaching from an organ above a lacuna of darkness. “Unit 0255-4328-4234, prepare for termination,” it buzzed.

With a crackling sound, the long fingers twisted Orix’s metal carapace. He clawed and thrashed, trying to move his tiny insect limbs, but they were nothing against the overseer’s mighty digits. The carapace split in half and Orix’s numerous limbs fell limp and useless. His periscope swiveled back and stopped, pointed at the sky.

 

 

 

 

 

 

There was no moon above him, only perverted claret sky.
With a final crack, Orix’s metal shell abandoned him and a tiny grey piece of meat fell from the edge of the city, dripping with blood and oil.


© 2008 Nephil



Author's Note

Nephil
Totally incomplete and unedited. I didn't even read it before I posted it. But I kind of want to go somewhere with it, I just haven't decided. I have all this other weirdness planned about this little world, but I don't know what to do with it. I sort of want Orix to survive and later become self-aware. I dunno.

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Featured Review

Weirdness? No no no. I thought this was magnificent. There are so many interpretations one can apply to this. In fact, I see a lot of communism (when first developed w/ Mao and the mind control). That's pretty random, eh? I've been reading a book about that lately. I find your details amazing as usual. One day I plan on picking one of your books up off a shelf at a fancy mainstream bookstore. You're just that good. Anyways, even though it's unedited I found nothing wrong with it.

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

Weirdness? No no no. I thought this was magnificent. There are so many interpretations one can apply to this. In fact, I see a lot of communism (when first developed w/ Mao and the mind control). That's pretty random, eh? I've been reading a book about that lately. I find your details amazing as usual. One day I plan on picking one of your books up off a shelf at a fancy mainstream bookstore. You're just that good. Anyways, even though it's unedited I found nothing wrong with it.

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on November 24, 2008

Author

Nephil
Nephil

Esper Shard



About
Hey, my name is (not really) Nephil. I use aliaseseses. I write a lot, so here's what I have. I do fantasy, horror, sci-fi, and combinations of the three. I also mix in drama, but that's not a genre,.. more..

Writing
Displaced. Displaced.

A Poem by Nephil