As this is a language of tastes and strands of DNA analog names cannot be written phonetically and are instead replaced with a human name or Earth analog in [brackets].
Span: The diameter of an average [Gaian] = 0.94mm, Kilospan = 0.94m.
Beat: The amount of time takes an average [Gaian] to move their cilia = 0.064s, kilobeat = 1min 4s
Work Cycle: 10 kilobeats. Equivalent to around 15 hours on their time scale
Day: Day length on [Gaia] = 28h 16min. Equivalent to around 3 months on their time scale.
Year: Year length on [Gaia] = 224.4 days = 264.3 Earth days.
[Faythe] was positively sick with excitement. She had hit a wall on the rescue mission front, [Alice] had been adamant about not revealing themselves further by sending a rescue team, and launching a mission in secret would have required sabotaging half of the station. Even if she thought she could get all the comms and scanners down she wasn’t crazy enough to actually try it. Widespread sabotage or ship hijacking was a dangerous proposition, and she doubted [Walter] and the others would want her to put the station in jeopardy for them.
After 3 solid tenth days of appeals, requests, and contemplating sneaking off while scouting, she had to admit a rescue mission wasn’t going to happen. But that doesn’t matter now!
She thought giddily as she rushed to the docks. They
are still alive, and making contact!
. Her hope was warring with caution and hope was currently winning. Like most of the station she had followed the messages from the Humans with rapt attention. She recognized [Eve]’s signaling right away and found it a bit funny she had been the main speaker, [Faythe] had always pegged her as the [quiet] sort. [Faythe] had attempted to remain cautiously optimistic as she read the debate, wary of the creatures playing some terrible trick, but frankly she was past caring. Her hope that her friend was still alive had been fading by the cycle, and now they were supposedly about to be picked up. There was no way in hell she was going to miss that. Thank the depths [Grace] let us be the ones to go get them. I would be gnawing on the walls if I had to wait around and let some other team be the first to greet them again.
She thought amusedly, wondering how the reunion was going to go. The “painful testing” [Eve] had briefly mentioned was concerning. She began wondering what kinds of terrible things someone might do while experimenting on supposedly subsentient drones and winced. Sometimes an active imagination is a bit of a curse.
She thought as her mind was filled with scenes of detached and methodical disembowelment.
She was so caught up in her thoughts in fact that she didn’t notice the harpoon that flashed out behind her.
[Sybil] [grinned] as she boarded the hastily readying recovery ship. She always like being a [Hephaestus]., being able to effortlessly push through crowds never got old, though annoyingly enough it seemed she would have to keep that to a minimum if she wanted to avoid notice, apparently it was out of character for her to be that rude.
She managed to get abord the ship with no questions raised and made some small talk with a few of the ship crew she knew while she waited impatiently for that blasted representative to arrive. I hope she doesn’t pull the translators off into to a private meeting the moment we pick them up.
She thought worriedly. She hoped to get at least one of them alone first, and had a somewhat believable reason to do so. She had been openly expressing concerned for her dear missing friend for tenthdays after all.
A few beats later and representative [Grace] finally arrived. The ship silently slipped free from its birth and flicked up and out of hanger into the lunar surface above. It hung there for a moment before the lunar dust below the ship briefly rippled as the stations great grav units bent the space around it, and in an instant they were elsewhere.
Flicking back into existence 28 thousand kilometers above Earth, the ship did not bother making orbit, it simply fell towards the night shrouded continent below, heading towards the outskirts of a vibrant patch of light. As the ship sped downwards [Sybil] settled in for a few cycles of waiting, running over her plans. The basics of [Mallory]’s plan is somewhat sound, but there are some holes that need patching
She grumbled. They were tortured and the humans attempted to mindhack them into being saboteurs and they pretend it worked on them so they can escape. Simple enough. People might ask why they didn’t try and say any of this in their message though. This could be explained by the Humans having a better grasp of Standard Gaian then they let on. I could say they learned enough Gaian and Solarian that they planned out most of the things in those messages, including the supposedly stealthily side comments that [Eve] had added in Solarian, all to make it seem like the crew were being genuine and not just reading off a script, but really the Humans were following every word they said and would quickly notice if they went off script or tried to slip something behind their backs by sending in an language they didn’t know. The crew didn’t bother risking that since they were trying to play along and pretend they had been fully brainwashed, since they knew the humans were planning on letting them go back to the fleet if they thought their program was working. Thus, they played along, following their script, not letting anything slip until they get safely back onto this ship and out of the humans clutches. Only then do they tell everyone what really happened. If I don’t manage to edit the memories on all of them, that could be explained as the brainwashing being successful on some of them. A suboptimal result, as it would place significant scrutiny on the psyche of the supposedly mindhacked crew, and I would have to justify the humans having somewhat effective mindhacking techniques. However it might still sow enough confusion and outrage to be effective, and by the time they are studied close enough that the story might unravel we will hopefully be long gone…. Yes, that could work.
[Walter] strained his eyes peering skyward as the beats crawled by. He had asked the humans when the ship was arriving but they had said he would know more about that then they would. He grumbled at that and spent some time calculating the fastest time he expected a ship could be scrambled to collect them. If they jumped in right overhead and had a powered decent downwards it would probably take around 80 kilobeats for them to get here. The trip out to this field took around a quarter of that so they should be arriving in another 60 kilobeats or so.
He thought tiredly. He sighed and settled in for 6 cycles of waiting.
The break did give him time to finish up some more of his signal pathway repairs and other projects but that was a minor consolation. The comms were mostly silent, as eventually the mix of tension and boredom sapped most of the energy of the group. The lull was broken near the end of the sixth cycle when [Eve] spotted a faint point of light in the sky that was rapidly growing brighter.
“Look! That’s them!” The group staggered to their feet and twisted their heads to point their eyes skyward. [Frank] [laughed] when he spotted it “Yeah that seems to be them all right, they must be coming in hot. I guess they aren’t bothering with stealth for this.” The point of light grew to become a bright red star in the sky above them, before suddenly not being in the sky at all.
With a thunderous crack a 300 span tall ship appeared before them, going from hypersonic flight to a dead stop in moments. Its hull still glowed a dull cherry red from the heat of its reentry.
“Going with shock and awe I guess.” [Walter] sent wryly. Normally seeing a skyscraper sized structure floating in midair was awe inspiring enough, however he imagined it’s scale was less effective on their current audience. The ship was barely larger than one of the creatures’ heads. Speed on the other hand…well, to the humans it must have looked like the ship appeared from nowhere.
“Ha yeah, that must have looked even more crazy to them…not that they saw it though, they are still looking at the sky. Oh! They are beginning to flinch now. Geez. That pilot is wasted on this crowd.” [Frank] sent mirthfully as the giants around them reacted with comical slowness.
“Oh wow, look at that one, it launched itself into the air! It’s going higher than the ship!” [Eve] [laughed] as one of the white robed figures belatedly hurled itself away from the loud noise. The human guards appeared significantly less amused, as several of them trained weapons on the ship.
“Hmm, maybe that was a bit to provocative.” [Walter] said the humor draining from his signal. The team watched anxiously as the giants continued to stare daggers at the slowly cooling ship hovering above the grass a few kilospan in front of them.
“Sorry that surprised you, that was just a sonic boom from a rapid decent.” [Walter] slowly spoke, trying to calm the situation. “That was a standard landing for this type of mission.” He added, lying through his gills. One of the guards glanced at the radio his voice came from, and then over at him.
“Well you should have warned us then.” It slowly groaned out.
“Sorry, didn’t think to mention it. Could you stop pointing your weapons at the ship though? I don’t think anyone is going to come out while you’re doing that.”
The guard made a wordless grunt which [Walter] figured wasn’t a happy sound.
“If it can move that fast then our guns are useless if we aren’t already pointing at it.”
“Their useless even if they are pointed at it. You can’t even see it move, much less activate your weapon in time.” [Eve] interjected.
“Then there is no harm in us continuing to point our guns at it then.” The guard ground out even slower and louder than normal, before pausing as it listened to something over its comm. “…yes sir.” It said at last before lowering its weapon slightly.
“I guess that’s as much as we can hope for.” [Walter] muttered to the rest of the team as they watched the rest of the guards begrudgingly point their weapons just far enough downwards as to not technically be pointing at the ship.
[Walter] was going to continue but paused as signal came from the ship.
“Team 9, this is representative [Grace] sending. Good job on diffusing the situation. I had figured a small demonstration of our capabilities was in order, but I did not expect it to startle them so thoroughly. With that in mind please inform the humans that this ship is unarmed and we will be opening a hanger door soon.”
[Walter] glanced up with relief. “Yes ser, we’ll begin translating immediately.”
Director Townsend was not having a great day. Well, that was too harsh. So far it had been a truly remarkable day, he just wished he wasn’t the one in charge of organizing it.
This morning the main thing on his mind had been tightening the budget in preparation for next month’s funding review, now he was standing in the middle of a field while a tiny alien spaceship flaunted gravity and the sound barrier a few meters from his head. It was an interesting change of pace to say the least. He glanced around at the several technicians and researchers from the physics department that he had hastily assembled.
“Please tell me one of our cameras caught that.” He half whispered to one of the technicians.
“Umm, yes, I think camera 4 and 5 got good shots of the deceleration event.” the man said as he began pulling up clips on a nearby laptop. The field behind the lab was currently filled with a rough semicircle of high-speed cameras, range finders, microwave scanners and whatever other equipment the physicists had been able to carry outside, all pointing at the landing site. Townsend was currently standing a few meters back, next to a pair of folding tables where the snarl of cables from all the equipment was being fed to several laptops and a small server bank. He glanced over the mess and was glad there was no chance of rain tonight.
The aid confirmed they had several clear shots of the deceleration and Townsend turned his attention back to the ship now silently floating in the field before them. It was hovering in midair a few centimeters above the ground with no sign of effort, no sound or flames or gusts of wind. The grass below it was completely untouched. “The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don't.”
He thought wryly, as the pain of having to give up the grav drive they were studying was freshly renewed.
Aside from the hovering the ship itself wasn’t that interesting to look at, though he did admit there was a certain elegant simplicity to it. It was a perfect ovoid, 30 or so centimeters tall and 15 wide. Its outer hull was smooth and unadorned. On the high-speed camera shot he had seen it arrive shinning like a mirror, but after coming to a halt its color had shifted, rapidly darkening into a pitch-black shade to better radiated heat. Some sort of color shifting meta material perhaps? I wonder how they managed to make something that complex reentry proof.
He tore his eyes away from the strange sight as he heard an argument breaking out by the wasp enclosure. He suddenly noticed how on edge the guard detail was. “Oh for…” He leaned over to one of the NSA agents that were hovering around him like buzzards and hissed “Tell your goons to stop pointing their guns at the ship! Do you want to start a diplomatic incident?”
The man opened his mouth to reply but appeared to think better of it. He sighed and spoke a few words into his earpiece. Townsend relaxed slightly as the guards lowered their weapons again. Stupid. Why did the NSA insist on bringing armed security for this? If shit hits the fan we’re screwed regardless of how many guns we have…
One of the crackling voices from the wasp cage briefly rose in volume, calling out “Attention, the ship is unarmed. A hatch will open on its side in 87 seconds. It is a door to a hangar. Don’t shoot it.” before falling back into inaudibility as it started talking to a technician next to its cage.
“I guess that’s my cue.” Townsend muttered as he began walking apprehensively over to the front of the crowd where the ship and captives were. He hoped the creatures were just going to leave quickly and not bother with ceremony, he really wasn’t looking forward to giving the apology speech he had hastily written on behalf of the lab.
Waving off the two guards that started shadowing him he made his way over to wasp tank and watched a touch nervously as a technician opened it. The creatures paused for a bit, eying the door like they were worried of some trick, before suddenly flinging themselves out and beginning to buzz around the grass and the tray of returned equipment.
“Uh, I hope everything is in order?” Townsend asked cautiously.
“No, quite disordered.” The radio hissed. That’s not what I mea-
His thought was cut off as the ship a couple of meters in front of them moved. A seam appeared on its smooth surface and pair of doors appeared, quickly sliding apart to reveal an opening around the size of a post-it note. He crouched down slightly to get a better look inside and saw the ‘hangar’ went back a handful of centimeters, with platforms and wasp sized indentations set into the floor and walls at regular intervals. The off-white material of the floor and walls was dotted with faintly glowing lights, seemly marking out paths or landing spots. He couldn’t make out much detail about them from where he was standing though. I doubt pressing my face up against their hull to get a closer look would go over well.
His eye was eventually drawn to faint bit of movement near the front of the opening, if he hadn’t already been peering closely at the spot he doubted he would have noticed. A speck around the size of a mite was on the floor by the entrance and was shifting slightly.
The radio behind him spoke up “That is the council representative.”
Townsend started slightly and saw that one of the wasps was hovering near his head, keeping an eye on him while the others were gathering their equipment. The radio continued “They wish to convey gratitude/relief that you are upholding your end of the agreement. They hope this interaction will improve trust and improve future interaction.”
Townsend relaxed slightly. “That is good to hear. We hope that this is the beginning of more open communication with your people. I and the rest of the facility apologize for the…trying nature of your capture. We hope we can put that period of secrecy and misunderstanding behind us.”
“The representative expresses agreement.”
Townsend nodded stiffly, noting that the creature didn’t mention if itself agreed. He wondered how much resentment they might be holding. He was painfully aware of the many cameras were trained on him right now and figured this might not be the best time for such delicate questions. Instead he stepped back a pace and spent a few awkward moments watching the wasps shuttling the grav drive and the dissected ‘drones’ into the ship. Thankfully they were quick and it seemed the politician was satisfied with his short exchange as it remained silent. Townsend noticed with interest that the wasps were having to tie down the equipment in the hanger as it was apparently in zero g. After a few seconds of fiddling the creatures seemed to be satisfied that all was in order and one of them turned to look out the door at Townsend and the rest of the lab crew behind him. “The ship will leave now. Thank you for releasing us.”
He let out a breath he hadn’t realized he’d been holding.
“Of course. Safe travels.” He replied, stepping back a few paces in case their departure was going to be as dramatic as their arrival. The doors of the ship snapped shut and hull rippled to a mirror shine once again. For a moment Townsend saw a distorted reflection of himself in the shimmering ovoid, but then with a flick of motion and hiss of wind it was gone. He whipped his head skyward and for an instant saw a faint glint of silver against the darkening sky, and a breath later everyone in the field heard the crack of a distant sonic boom.
He paused like that for a few moments, just looking upwards, before turning his gaze back to Earth and walking back to the lab, sagging with relief.
When the door closed and the captain informed them that the ship was underway and that it seemed like nothing was being fired at them [Walter] finally let his last doubts melt away. “They did it. They actually let us go. We really are heading back.” He sent with his signal choked with relief.
“You’re just now accepting that?” [Eve] asked bemusedly as the rest of the team let out a ragged cheer and began disembarking from their crafts.
[Walter] [shrugged] “I didn’t want to get my hopes up to high.” He replied as he parked his craft in its familiar perch and disconnected. After scurrying down one of his crafts legs he felt his way blindly along the rungs of one of the paths set in the floor, the familiar routine of disembarking and the feeling of the solid pseudopodholds under his limbs provided a surprising amount of comfort.
After [Walter] and the rest of the team cycled through the hanger’s waterlock and took off their environmental suits they could finally smell again and were immediately hit with the jubilant greeting signals of a dozen or so of their old crewmates gathered in the tunnel outside. A very familiar signal reached him, followed swiftly after by a rush of water and a thud of impact.
“[Walter]!” [Faythe] sent jubilantly as she gripped him in a membrane stretching hug. “I’ve been worried sick about you guys! I tried to get [Alice] or a captain to rescue you sooner but nobody listened. I came really close to doing something stupid a few times. But you’re back now!”
[Walter] [laughed] and hugged her back. “I missed you too. Can you let up a bit though? You’re crushing my gills.”
The pressure dropped immediately and [Walter] stopped resembling a squeezed water balloon.
“Sorry. It’s just…how have you been?” She asked, her signal fading into a much more worried tone.
“…it was terrifying, painful, fascinating and boring. Often multiple at the same time. Being studied and experimented on by something that it can kill you with a twitch of its smallest limbs is…uniquely horrifying. Things got a bit better later, and I got kind of numb to the scale eventually, but let’s just say I’m glad to be back.”
“Experimented on? [Eve] mentioned they did some painful things to you guys at first, what happened?” [Faythe] asked worriedly.
[Walter] [shrugged] “I’d rather not relive it, at least not right now. I’m still in a wonderful mood at finally being back, I’ll process the trauma later, right now I just want to bask in the sense of normalcy of being on a familiar ship again.”
[Faythe] [smiled] “Want to go to the break room and play some [Fleets] to keep your mind off things then?”
“Yeah, that sounds nice.”
The rest of the group was similarly breaking up, most heading to the cafeteria to get the first bit of flavorful food they had in half a day. [Walter] and [Faythe] meanwhile headed over to one of the ship’s small lounge rooms. The ship was operating with minimal crew, [Faythe] bashfully admitted [Alice] probably only let her go on this trip to prevent anymore nagging, so the room was pleasantly empty.
“Nice, I think the game set is in the [scent designation
] cabinet.” [Faythe] said as she entered.
[Walter] drifted over to the compartment in question and fished around inside. “Hmm, I’m not feeling it, are you sure it’s…AGH!”
[Sybil] relaxed slightly as the little [Gaian] stopped twitching as the dart did its work. She would have to work fast, the lack of private quarters made time consuming modifications like this quite a risk. Keeping half her focus on checking the currents and scents coming through the doorway she deployed a few silencer filters to mop up the alarm scent her target had briefly given off. Clumsy
she snarled to herself. She had hoped he would be more distractible.
She swam over to the body now drifting limply against the far wall and began the delicate task of deploying her editing equipment. Parting the tough but annoyingly stiff cell wall that covered her current body [Sybil] formed a tube of cell membrane and stabbed it into her target. Keeping a watch on the door she split off part of her attention to focus on the data stream from the equipment she began tunneling inside.
Feeling around the entrance site with a few sensor arrays she felt and tasted nothing alarming, there wasn’t any stray glue strands or chunks of mangled thought center drifting about, so the dart hadn’t failed catastrophically. She began quickly widening the hole and sending in the rest of her equipment; snipping proteins, grasping limbs and memory reading equipment were carried along a rapidly unfolding scaffolding network. The tips of this network forked and twisted deeper inside like thirsting roots, touching and tasting every structure they bumped into, following the scent left behind by the dart.
After a few moments she found the signal line which the dart had first latched onto, and she sent her editing equipment along the line after it, following the trail of sent markers the little machine had laid down as it rushed along the cable. Following the pathways that walker proteins use to carry sensory data back to a target’s main thought center was a trivially simple task, after all it had to be straight forward enough for a mindless molecule to follow. The pathway grew steadily as she made her way further inwards, different lines merging together to form a major signaling trunk. Just as the diameter of the cable started to indicate she was nearly upon her target however, several of the motor proteins dragging her editing equipment along suddenly reported that they had lost grip.
She felt around wildly and realized the pathway in front of her was gone. The sensory cable was sheared through, most likely via a hasty misuse of the pilot’s drone linking equipment. The fool had begun ripping his own mind apart, he would be a near vegetable at this point, assuming he hadn’t killed himself entirely in his thrashing. Damn it all. I don’t have time for this.
It was at this moment the data cables near her tunnel into the target reported a strong current heading towards them. She had brief moment of shock before her mind was suddenly jerked back outwards as her connection to her hacking equipment was severed.
Reeling from the violent sensory shift and the realization she had be tricked, she hastily tried to regain control. Turning her focus to the ragged remains of the data cables that had connected her to her equipment she felt through a few remaining sensing hairs that something large was rushing towards her. Something that smelled rather familiar.
Her dart. Fuck
[Walter] was mad.
No. That [word] was inadequate.
He was absolutely furious.
When he had felt something rushing towards him he had been confused. When he had felt it stab him he had been shocked. When he had felt it begin moving inside him, heading towards his mind, he had the icy realization that his friend was gone. That a nightmare from the brightest corners of the overworld was aboard this ship, a mind hacker.
He was suddenly deeply deeply glad for the redundances he had been adding to his sensory network. Most would consider what he had been doing to himself in his limited rest time over the last 3 tenthdays highly paranoid, but after his cycles long purgatory trapped in self-inflicted sensory deprivation he had decided that he wanted a few more sensory lines and better control of his mind weaving equipment. He didn’t want a repeat of that hell to be possible.
So when he felt the vile machine begin clawing its way deeper inside him he hastily powered on his weaving equipment and went to work. He rushed his nearest array towards where he felt the thing racing along, the dumb machine rapidly working its way along a major sensory pathway, its rapidly spinning corkscrew motor burrowing through the water briefly leaving a noticeable wake. A spindly limb protruded from the main body of the missile, loosely gripping the signal pathway it was swimming besides, feeling its way along as its swift passage tore walker proteins from their mountings.
The moment it felt the currents from the mass of scaffolding, sensors and snipping proteins [Walter] was hurling at it the machine reacted. It released its grip on [Walter]’s signal pathway and he lost touch of it, though a few sensor hairs felt its wake. It narrowly dodged a slice from a diamoniod cutting blade which tore the cable it was just swimming along in two. [Walter] winced but he had a spare. He reached out toward the wake he could feel as it hurled itself farther away. He tried to grab the craft, splaying his mind weaving array outwards, scaffolding and motor rods cast wide like a net, but the dart was far too quick and rapidly outpaced the now drag choked limb.
Fortunately, he had more than one weaving array, and by now 2 others had closed in, one of them dragging a food vacuole. He did not want to feel what kind of self-destruct poisons this thing might spit out. He forced himself to bring those limbs in slightly slower, giving time for their wakes to rapidly still in the viscous water.
The dart was quiet now, but he had a vague idea of where it was lurking. If it was moving at all it must be moving slowly as he felt no hint of movement from where he had last felt it. He carefully unfurled all three arrays, feeding them more scaffolding by cannibalizing nearby sections of his cytoskeleton, englobing the region where he was sure it could have gone.
At last he felt a twitch of movement. It seemed the next phase of the dart’s programming was to stealthily continue in the direction it had been heading before it was caught, as it had bumped into a section of net while slowly swimming in roughly the direction of the severed signal line. The moment it contacted the net it tried to swim way again, but [Walter] cut that section of netting free and whipped it forwards using a branch of scaffolding, and the flexible strands of motor protein in the net grabbed at the dart greedily. More lines and scaffolding piled on as he brought more sections of the net to bare, and he began hastily shuttling over the vacuole to contain it in case it might release poison in its death throws.
It did, sort of. As soon as its motor and cilia were completely jammed the missile ceased struggling. [Walter] was almost hoping it was over just before the nest of cables and struts enclosing the thing was wracked by an explosion. The missile had violently split itself apart to release its payload, a cloud of particles and tangling cables tailor made to jam mental machinery. [Walter] was exceeding glad that none of his thought centers had been breached, but the cloud would still be a problem out in his main body. They jammed signaling and motor proteins just as well, and he could feel the shredded remains of the net covering the dart go numb as messages from them ground to a halt.
He hastily ripping open the vacuole he had brought over and tried to englobe as much of the mess as possible. It cost him half of the remaining arrays in the area, but he managed to get most of it inside. There was still a few wisps of jamming particles floating about but he would just have to avoid them for now.
With the immediate threat taken care of he turned his focus outwards to what was wearing his friend. It was still by the door, waiting for him to succumb to the glue he supposed. Shit. [Faythe] is 3 times my mass and covered in armor, she could crush me like a [bug]. I’m faster than her but she is 4 span closer to the door then me. The only thing I can hope for is surprise.
With that in mind he gradually stilled the violent twitching his internal battle had caused and went limp. He felt currents close in as the thing swam over to him, and had to fight off the urge to move as it cornered him. Well. This is the exact opposite place you want to be in when fighting a mind hacker.
He thought nervously as he prepared to run or wage an internal battle. He had no illusions of his repurposed civilian equipment being any match for black-market gear in a fair fight. Though, he did have some black market equipment at his disposal now.
He carefully began prepping the glue and debris filled vacuole for offense, hastily gathering vacuoles of a few volatile chemicals, digestive acids and respiration byproducts and merging them with the glue one or lashing them together so they wouldn’t mix just yet. He felt some ripples as the thing fiddled next to him and he knew he didn’t have much time, he hoped this would be enough of a distraction to dart away.
He began moving the whole mess with a remaining weaving array, trying to move just fast enough that he wasn’t noticeably twitching his outer membrane as the complex swam/crawled its was through his cytoskeleton, spiderlike limbs extending to grab at the web of struts and signal lines darting out like tentacles, disconnecting and reconnecting it to his signaling network as it moved. He wasn’t fast enough however, as he felt himself get stabbed a second time, and this time the hole was held open.
A nest of filaments and wires squirmed their way inside him. At first it was only faint movements that nearby sensors could barely feel, and then larger motions as other things were forced through the wound. [Walter] slowed the weaving array’s movements to a crawl. It is sending stuff over, so it opened up a chink in her cell wall, that’s the only place I can get a good hit in.
he thought nervously, as he cautiously dragged his bulky payload closer.
Soon he felt the bulk of the machinery crawl deeper in and begin moving along where he knew the severed signal line was still drifting. He [smiled] Good, follow that dead end, nothing out of the ordinary happening over here.
He continued along a fast as he dared, aware he had a time limit until the thing found the cut and realized something was up. That time limit ran out when he felt the hacker’s train of equipment stop with a lurch.
With the game up he abandoned stealth and closed the last few millispan to the wound site with several cutting tools thrust out on a pillar scaffolding, aiming for the data cables he knew must be trailing there. The cables were thick, it seemed they were actually tubes with the protein walkways and vibration transmission rods within their armored walls. They were still no match for the four diamoniod cutting clamps that slammed into them though. After a quarter beat of twisting and hacking the bundle of lines came apart entirely and he yanked that strut back with the data cables still caught in its grasp to delay any reconnection. He then shoved the mess of vacuoles into the breach.
The hacker for its part recovered quickly, lurching [Faythe]’s body backwards and severing the tunnel of membrane in an instant. But cell wall was not as malleable. [Walter] abandoned his finer scale controls and moved his body normally, pushing out a pseudopod with the mind weaving gear and vacuole bundle inside it and stabbed the limb into the slowly closing hole in [Faythe]’s cell wall. The last signal he sent the equipment before severing the pseudopod was to merge the little two explosive vacuoles he had stuck on the main one’s surface.
He didn’t pause to admire his handywork though as he had to immediately squirm out of the way of 5 armored limbs rushing at him. He got the impression that this second hug wouldn’t end if he asked politely. He managed to weave between three of them but the last two partly encircled him and began to squeeze.
He stretched his body out 3 times its normal length, trying to narrow himself down fast enough that he could slip out of its grip but it was fruitless. Another limb smacked him down and the three arms pinned him against the wall. He shoved off the wall and the thing had to dart a few limbs out to grip the ‘floor’ as it drifted backwards a touch. That was enough for him to flatten his body and slide under one of the limbs pinning him.
A current warned him of another incoming blow and he narrowly dodged a serrated limb, lightly scraping his membrane. The thing had gotten enough time to fashion something more than crude clubs, and now it no longer needed to play a futile game of punching an amorphous blob. Popping one was much easier. Fortunately, it seemed the glue was beginning to have an effect, as its movements were becoming decidedly more erratic.
He made a mad dash to the exit, and sprayed a series of data packets out in front of him towards the comm unit by the door. “Mind Hacker!
“ He managed to [scream] before he was cut off by the thing launching itself off the back wall and barreling into him. They collided in midwater and [Walter] felt a massive gash in his side appear as its claw tore him open.
He crumpled inwards around the wound, doing his best to stanch the flood of cytoplasm and internal organs. His mind began to go hazy as the amount of [ATP analog] with in him dropped precipitously. He noticed the thing wasn’t doing much better though, it was struggling to use nearly half of its body, flailing awkwardly as it tried to keep him from drifting away. Guess that glue trick wasn’t for nothing.
He thought sleepily, as he felt a few weak blows and slashes rain down on him, doing little more than pushing him away from it. I hope they got the warning…
was his last thought before his mind faded to scentlessness.
He awoke again in a medical ward with a nurse and several guards in armored environmental suits.
“What happened?” He sent, feeling around wildly.
A guard caught his signal packet and fed it into a large comm unit floating beside them. They paused for a moment while the machine gargled softly, and when they finally replied it was a through the same isolated comm. In the dry and formal tone of someone reciting a recording the guard responded
“The crew of the [Stalking Sea Predator] received a signal from the body of [Walter] about a mind hacker attack taking place in the ship’s third lounge room. When they arrived they found the body of [Walter] unconscious from a grievous rupture and the body of [Faythe] in the process of attacking it. Initially the body of [Faythe] claimed to be run by the mind of [Faythe] and that the body of [Walter] contained the attacker, but upon requests that it submit to a medical exam it became hostile. It presently revealed that the mind of [Faythe] was not in control, but the attacker did claim it still had her in storage and could irreparably damage her at anytime. As we cannot currently rule out this claim, we are treating it as a hostage situation.”
“The attacker eventually submitted to being moved to the ship’s brig to begin negotiations for a reduced sentence and the body of [Walter] was stabilized for the remainder of the 8-cycle trip back to [Luna Station]. Upon arrival a medical team and a mental hazard team were dispatched to the ship to assess the situation and to awaken the mind inside the body of [Walter]. It is currently unknown how thoroughly the mind of [Walter] was modified while in the presence of the attacker. Does this entity claim to still be the mind of [Walter]?” Oh light. Here we go.
[Walter] thought worriedly as he prepared for several kilobeats of interrogation and medical scans. He didn’t feel any different and didn’t remember being modified, but the truly horrifying thing about mind hackers is that meant nothing.
Eventually the interrogators were reasonably satisfied that he had the same memories as the original [Walter], and that if his personality had been replaced or significantly altered he was doing a decent job of hiding it. Like always they couldn’t rule out subtle changes or hidden triggers though, so he would be under close watch and placed on a tenthdaily schedule of mandatory psych evaluations for the foreseeable future. They removed every mind weaving tool from his body, including the gear from the hacker (boy had that raised some concerns) before finally deeming him safe enough to leave the room while under armed supervision.
(Continues in comments)
A few weeks ago, I received the news that my best and only friend had passed away.
It took me by complete surprise and am completely heartbroken about it. His name was Martin.
I don't really know why I'm telling part of my story here, I guess its so i have something written down that I can come back to in the future and reminisce. Or maybe even have someone who can relate or offer advice.
I've never really written anything and I'm not the best with words, so I'm sorry if it's uninteresting or if i ramble on a bit. I'm just going to write what comes to mind.
So the story begins. I am and have always been a bit shy and reserved (especially in high school). As apposed to Martin, who was more outgoing and funny.
We both met eachother in the first year of high school. We were friendly but weren't in the same classes or groups (he was with the skateboarders and I was with the wogs, however im caucasian and not a wog). We basically just caught the same bus to and from School as we lived close together.
Martin was an only child and his parents had divorced early in highschool. He was living with his father who had remarried and later had another child with his stepmom. He never got on with his stepmom and didn't have much to do with his brother at the time. I only met her once or twice. But from all accounts from Martin, she sounded like a nasty person.
For a bit of context his step mom is Chinese and is a psychologist (Martin is Caucasian). He had told me his stepmom had once blamed him for having a miscarriage because his computer games were too loud. I guess being a teenager put in that situation couldn't of been easy.
It wasn't until 16 where we started hang out more, we had both left school early. I guess our love of weed , skateboarding and gaming connected us along with the fact that his parents were never around for most of the day.
So it became a daily ritual of me and a few of my friends I hung out with from school gaming and getting high at his place. After a while I drifted from my high school group and started to hang out with just Martin. It was clear they were never really my true friends and they were just using us for weed and a place to smoke. Regardless of what we were doing it was great to just hang out with him.
Martin had a small group of friends from highschool who I had never really talked to. Eventually we started to hang out more as a group and just smoke and play games etc. We all got along fine, however I never connected to anyone as I did with martin.
Now it was around the time we were 18 when martin tried lsd. I wasn't really aware of psychedelics at the time and had no knowledge of them. The extent of my drug knowledge and use was just weed, pills and coke basically.
Just a bit of background too on our weed use.. Martin was a heavy smoker and would basically smoke an ounce every week. Martin had access to his fathers atm card and would withdraw upwards of $300 a week. (His father was well off and whether he knew or not he never mentioned it) So this was how he was able to afford it. I however have always had a job since I left school with no more than a few months of unemployed at a time. Martin worked at EB games for a few months as an after school casual, which turned into more shifts when he left school, but then one day they just suddenly stopped giving him shifts and that was it. I was a daily smoker too but like 1/4 of what he smoked because I couldn't afford it and had to hide it from my family, plus I had work commitments aswell.
So back to Martin taking LSD.. we were in a hotel room smoking up with a few of my old friends from high school and he had taken his dose around 8pm. I had to leave before he started tripping, as I had work the next morning.
Whatever happened that night it had a profound effect on him and it changed him. I guess looking back it was one of the keys that unlocked the doors for what would be a life of struggle and pain. So after his trip, he sort of became a little disconnected from reality and acted like he was above the rest of us, sort of like he knew more about life and the universe than any of us.
Anyway we all sort of had a falling out and lost contact. I started to hang out with this new group of friends without Martin present anymore. We would just hang out mostly smoking and just talking about random stuff. After a few months we all sort of started talking again, Martin seemed to be mostly back to normal.
Around this time Martin's father had sold his house and built a new home elsewhere, so Martin went to go live with his mother in a small unit not far from me. All I remember of those times, were how stress free and simple life seemed just spending everyday just hanging out, skateboarding, smoking , playing video games and whatever else.
His mum had her own mental health issues and her mind wasn't all there. She didn't care if we smoked in the house either.
So over the course we grew really close, i trusted him more than anyone and felt I could be my true self around him. Someone who never judged me. We had a great connection.
About this time, I had been reading alot about psychedelics and had become somewhat obsessed with wanting to experiment with them. We came across something called DMT, which just sounded insane. So we set about making our own. It was relatively easy and we managed to produce a largish amount.
I'll mention that a couple of guys from our group had started to get a bit weird and develop psychotic symptoms. I'm just going to say it is my firm belief that weed isn't the cause but simply the trigger for underlying mental conditions. Basically if you have an underlying condition like schizophrenia, weed is going to accelerate or trigger the conditon. If it wasnt there to begin with i feel there is very little chance of developing any serious mental issues due to marijuana.
One guy in our group just kind of disappeared one day after having a psychotic episode watching Benjamin button, it just fully fucked with his head for some reason. I heard he quit smoking and was diagnosed with schizophrenia. Just living day by day on medication and dealing with his issues.
One other guy still hung out with us but just didn't smoke as much. We tried to advice him against it and did our best to help.. regardless there were some bizarre moments.
One time about 5 of us were watching TV and talking about some advertisement that came on. Out of nowhere the guy just flipped out because he thought we were all somehow secretly talking shit about him. Or he would just smoke a bowl and just sit there with his head in his hands, like he was in deep thought about something, it would make us all pretty uneasy.
Anyway back to the Dmt.. we made it at one of our friends house when their parent's went away for a few days. When we tried it for the first time no one tripped, we all just got this intense body high, which I personally found to be super uncomfortable.
We had organised a few days trip to the snow where we would try the dmt again. We had done alot more research and learned about breaking through and how to do it. I went first, i was nervous af but I always felt i had a stable mind to handle whatever happens. So i packed it in the middle of some bud and slowly vaped it and held it in as long as I could then whilst heavily under the effects took another large hit.. I close my eyes and BAM! I was seeing things I never thought possible and even with my eyes closed it was as if I was seeing it as clear as anything like if my eyes were wide open. The geometrical shapes, formations and insane visuals just blew my mind. It lasted only 4 or 5 mins and when I came down , it was the ultimate euphoria with no negative side effects besides the harshness of the smoke.
Martin and a few others had their turn with similar experiences.
The guy who had those delusions of us all talking about him instead of about the ad on TV. Well he was there wanted to try it, and in hindsight we should of really done more stop it. He smoked it and just sat on the couch looking at the TV with his head in his hands. It was a pretty tense moment because we didn't know what was going on in his head at the time. When he came to, he just looked up at us all and ran straight for the front door and ran outside. One guy managed to run after him and get him to come back. He literally thought we were trying to kill him that night. It was a pretty uneasy night having a mentally unstable person just sit there on his bed, while were all laying down trying to sleep.
Over the course of the next year or so I would hang out at Martins almost every night after work. We smoked alot and I would shout him food and weed regularly because he wasn't working and just living of his Gov payments.
We would also smoke Dmt occasionally (over 30 times i would say). There were some real large doses that we would take, which would catapult you into another living and breathing dimension with all sorts of alien like architecture and entities that would interact with you.
Around the time I was 19 or 20 I had decided I needed to change my lifestyle as I was real overweight from eating pizza and junk food all the time and just smoking way too much.
I really wanted a girlfriend, something i hadn't had since i was 16 or so. I took a break and started to diet and exercise, at my most i weighed about 110kg and I got down to 74kg. I didn't see much of Martin at this time.
I don't know what lead up to this moment, but I was in the city by myself one night, i cant remember why..maybe i trying to pick up a girl at the club or something. Anyway I found myself at kings Cross looking for some drugs. Somehow I found myself with a point of coke and a random junkie chick who scored for me, offering to shoot me up if I shared with her.
And so I found myself in an alley with 2 random junkies that were shooting up Heroin. I always told myself I would never use a needle in my life.. but here I was. The rush was unlike anything I had experienced, it was awesome and I wanted more. However the biggest downside was the comedown from the high was extremely uncomfortable and unpleasant for me.
Anyway I figured I wouldn't meet anyone at a bar because for one I was too shy and second I didn't have anyone to go out with. So I put up a profile online... these were the days of MySpace before Facebook had lifted off and there was no tinder. I'd consider myself decent looking and had always had a girlfriend throughout most of highschool. I just let myself go once i left.
So not long after I came across a cute girl and we started talking, the online convos were really short and not the most interesting. Didnt really think anything was there, but one day out of nowhere she asked if I wanted to hang out and go drinking. So I thought whatever, why not.
Before I met her I had never really been into alcohol, I just didn't like the taste and the fact you had to consume a bit to get a buzz, where as with weed its instant and cost way less.
So our 1st outing was pretty uncomfortable, we didn't have a lot to talk about and she didn't seem too interested. But I guess due to the alcohol I spent the night at her place, we made out and that was it. I kept thinking about her and called her the next day to see if she wanted to go out again, she said ok. She was surprised I called her. It then turned into a weekly thing.
Around the same time i had gotten back into contact with Martin and had learned he was currently a patient at a mental health facility. He had a psychotic episode, where he went out into the street and threw some digital scales at a passing police car. I guess the psychedelics and heavy marijuana use along with a family history of mental illness (his mother had bipolar), finally took its toll on his mind. He spent the first few nights in a locked down psych ward where he told me he had smoked a joint with some other dude whilst inside.
Anyway he started living in one of the cottages on site with about 5 other people..in total there might of been around 6 cottages on the grounds. They were allowed to roam around a bit but had to be present for medication (which was given against his will) and dinner time, i believe the nurses also checked up every hour or so.
So I went to visit him a few times a week (no one else from our group did). It would become a ritual every Friday night, I would bring over some bud to smoke then head to the city to see this girl. Martin's curfew would be at 9 then I would catch the train to the city and would have to wait 3 or 4 hours until she finished work, so around 1am. She was a waitress who would finish at 11 or 12 at night and had to catch an hour ferry ride back to the city where she lived too. So we wouldn't really start our night till after 1am. Just going drinking, eating out or to the club with her and often with her work friends too.
It was an awesome time.. but in the background I was kind of struggling with an addiction to coke, shooting up a few times a week. Spending money i didn't have. Eventually I found myself 5k in debt.
The only reason I stopped.. and thank fuck too, was what had happened with this guy that I met whilst hanging out at the cottages. He had gotten out and called me to see if we could get some coke together. Unfortunately my contact was unavailable and we ended up scoring some speed instead of some random junkie. Went back to mine and this guy was having a hard time mixing it up, but didn't think much of it as i figured he had experience with speed. He went first and I second, as soon as I shot it up it felt like rocks and sand coursing through my veins and I thought fuck, is this it for me.. I thought I was going to die, luckily it subsided and I made a decision right there to never do it again. I never spoke to the guy ever again.
I hid it from the girl, she never knew at the time, though eventually I told her but downplayed it. The only person I told was Martin, I even introduced it to him and he had tried it a couple of times.
Looking back its crazy to think of that facility and what everyone got up to unbeknown to the staff. Some things that come to mind are the fact that he was in there against his will for mental health reasons and there he was smoking bongs inside his room, blowing smoke out the window. Or the time 3 or 4 of us shot up coke by the grounds. Basically some people were just getting high all the time.
Seeing the people inside that facility with real mental heath issues, really opened my eyes to the struggles that so many people are going through and in a system that is pretty broken. Just in his cottage alone there was a lady who was really nice persom and seemed normal enough but her personality could change in an instant and she would be yelling and banging on the doors. Another guy would pace up and down non stop for hours..never said a word either.
Then there was the drug induced cases, where one guy was having paranoid delusions, thinking someone was trying to kill him because he was fucked up on meth all the time. Who also just so happens to be the same guy i shot up the speed with. I remember this one young guy, who was very soft spoken and just looked like a shell of a person..he had walked in on his best friend after he hung himself in another room of the house they were at that night.
Looking back, we were so young and fearless.. I don't think I would have the balls these day's to hang out smoking weed at a mental health facility and pretending I was a patient if someone saw me.
Anyway i kept seeing this girl, things were going good. Until one day out of nowhere she said she didn't want to hang out anymore with no real explanation. I was pretty devastated. Though I didn't consider us girlfriend/boyfriend at this stage because we had never even talked about it. Still I had strong feelings for her and was a bit heartbroken. I cant remember exactly what happened next but she sent me a message soon after asking me to buy beer and come over. So i did and seemingly like that we were back hanging out. Not long after it was her birthday, and she was having a small party at her place. Was just her and some work friends, all having a fun time. Sometime in the night some guy was knocking on the door asking to see the girl I was with. Everyone just ignored it and I didn't think much of it. After a while we wanted to go to a bar just us 2. So we're just walking when some guy just appears out of nowhere. Guess he was pretty cut she was with me and tried to fight me. She diffused the situation and we left.
Come to learn that she had met him online before me and had hung out a few times. But she wasn't interested once she started to fall for me. So he basically started stalking her when she stopped talking to him. I didn't really care because when they met we weren't exactly a couple, we were just hanging out and having fun. I was kind of happy knowing she chose me.
So things were getting serious, and one night she told me she loved me, it took me by surprise because I didn't know exactly how she felt for me. But man, I was happy because I felt like i was in love with her too.
Not long after she asked me to move in with her and so i did. It was a share house with probably 7-8 people, most of whom worked together at the same resteraunt (they were all Thai, as is she). Then one day she told me all about how she was here on a student visa and they were going to cancel it because she wasn't attending classes. I didnt know what to do, I was so in love that I couldn't imagine loosing her and so I asked her if she wanted to get married and she said yes.
We got married at the registry with only my parent's present, it was real basic. We soon got kicked out of the place we were staying, and so we decided to move into my parents place.
We went to Thailand shortly after for a holiday and to meet her family. Just before I left Australia I went to the doctor who gave me some valium as I was dealing with aggresion and anger issues, I wouldn't be able to control myself at times.
I had put it down to the after affects of my coke use, as I had never been this way before.
The first night we had a pretty big fight, we were inside her friends apartment aswell. Whatever happened to me, I just lost complete control and the rage took over. There was a pair of scissors on the table which I grabbed and without thinking slashed my arm 4 times. When I calmed down a bit and looked at my arm and the damage I had done. My anger turned to a bit of panic and being in a foreign country, I pleaded to my wife to get me to hospital and told her she could leave me after if she wanted. She stuck by me, and that's why I love her.
I put it down to the valium and never took it again. I never had anything like it happen since and my anger issues are pretty much under control.
Martin had moved back into home with his mom, and we used to hang out regularly when my wife would be working at night. At one point we had a falling out over like $5. I was kinda pissed since i had shouted him hundreds over the years on buds, food etc and he was going after me for $5 . He even showed up at my doorstep one day starting shit. He later reached out and apologised. The next time I went and saw him, he had put on alot of weight and had recently lost his mother. He was now living alone.
Over the next few years it was definitely a rough time. Marrying at 21, living with my parents and just lack of life experience combined. There were fights, lying, drug use behind her back. She hated drugs and was against me using them. Eventually she always caught me out.
I was still smoking on and off with Martin and hanging out together. I think it was around the time we were 28 when Martin decided to call it quits on smoking weed completly because it was messing up his body and mind. He had taken long breaks before but this was permanent.
My parent's had sold our home and divorced. So my wife and I had started renting. As much as i hated living at home with my wife and parents, it allowed us to travel overseas every year and save up enough for a house deposit.
So anyway now instead of smoking with Martin we would have a few drinks at his place or head to the local pub for some drinks and a game of pool. Probably hang out 3 to 4 times a month.
Just before I turned 29 my wife got pregnant and we decided to move state and buy a house, as Sydney was too expensive for us. We lasted less than a year.. it was a tough time, i got a transfer through work and it was a horrible experience working in this new environment. Topped with a newborn, money issues and lack of seeing my family.. i was stressed and turned to marijuana to escape after i had promised my wife i wouldn't. Of course she caught me and it wasn't good.. i was so close to loosing them for good.
Ultimately we decided that we would sell our place and try a for life in Thailand. Moved back to Sydney to my mum's place to try and save a bit more money.
Saw Martin every so often, as my time was real limited. He seemed to be doing a little better, he had started a casual job at a pizza shop, his first job in over 10 years. It was good for him to get out of the house, mixing with people. Unfortunately the pizza place went out of business after just a few months.
We would chat and play games online on our ps4s whenever I had some spare time. Loved to play Battlefield, been playing together since the days of Battlefield Vietnam back on pc.
Finally moved to Thailand in October 2019, whilst my wife was pregnant with my second child.
I saw Martin just before i left and it was sad to be moving so far away from my only friend.
So were living in Thailand with my wife's family, we ended up building a small home on her spare land.
Then Covid happened..our business wasn't producing any income and we ended up clearing though most of our savings..but regardless it was a mostly happy time since i got to spend every day with my family.
We had no choice but to come back to Australia.. it wasnt what we thought it was, life wasn't easy and stress free. Our dreams of living a simpler life, having our own business and being more self sustained. Thing's weren't like when we first went to Thailand 10 years ago. Everything had gotten expensive , less and less friendly and alot more rude people around. Money is everything in Thailand, and pretty much decides how you are treated as a person in society. Still, there are many things I love about Thailand.
We arrived back late June 2020, moved with mum again and just spent time settling in and looking for a place to rent.
I never told martin my plans of coming back to Sydney, I wanted it to be a surprise.
The last time I messeged him was on the 7th June , I just said what's been happening?
He replied on the 11th with "in hospital man sucks"
I replied "shit what happened"
No response, i just figured he didn't have internet access or something.
So I sent him another message on the 14th saying "well best of luck anyway, hope its nothing serious".
he replied "cheers man, nah just mental hospital. How you doing man?"
I replied "not too bad, hope you can get out of hospital soon"
He replied "cheers man"
That was our last contact.
It was pretty simple and short, which wasn't like him.
I sent him a message on the 25th August on facebook just to say hey and that, I didn't get a reply. Tried his PSN account with nothing.. i messaged a friend on his Facebook who i knew he spoke to occasionally.. he hadn't heard from him in a while either. I thought well he just hasn't recharged his phone credit, he might still be in the mental hospital.
I called around a few places with nothing. I went and buzzed his home 3 days in a row with no answer.. i was like wtf where was he... did something happen to him? I left a note in his mail box for whoever reads it to contact me because I was trying to reach Martin for a while.
I'll never forget the moment I got that call on Saturday afternoon, I knew that voice anywhere, it was martin's father.. my heart immediately sank, I knew what news was coming.
He said i found your note, im sorry but ive got some bad news, Martin had passed away on the 27th of August. He had been admitted to the hospital one night when he started to feel dizzy and was throwing up. They ran some tests and it came back to be brain cancer. The conversation is kind of a blur but he moved into his fathers home and spent the remainder of his life with his family. Im sure deep down he loved his father and brother, even though they had a strained relationship. He had said Martin had lost his memory and the passwords to his laptop and phone, so he was unable to contact any of his friends. He mentioned he would send some photos of Martin if I wanted to see them.
Fuck man it hit me so hard, I've never lost somebody I've cared about before. It was an intense set of emotions. From sadness to anger and regret.
I was real angry, how could the world take him like this..he was only 32, he didn't deserve it. Did he know how much I cared about him.. why didn't I make more effort to talk to him and just contact him more often to check in on him. Why didn't I go to his house earlier and put that note in.. I might of been able to see or talk to him before it was too late. Just so many things going through my head, from the memories we shared to the memories we can no longer create together.
I took his father up on his offer to send some photos of Martin's last few months. He sent a few photos with a message. Its hard to look at the photos, Martin had lost so much weight and was real skinny. His father had said he became ill on the 15th April, when he came to live with them until August when he went into palliative care at hospital. He received the best of care and did not suffer any pain. He died on the 27th August from brain cancer (Grade 4).
Thinking of how he told me he was in a mental hospital on the 11th June, after which he would of already known his diagnosis. I was like fuck man, I wish you had of told me. But I don't blame him at all, I mean how do you deal with your own mortality. Ultimately would it of made any difference?.. I don't know.
He was living a life of loneliness, struggling with his mind and the demons within. A troubled life..I just wish life was better for him. But i think for the most part he was glad to be here. If I had to say one thing Martin ever wanted to do in life was to make music. He was heavily into underground hip hop, his favourite artist was Aesop Rock. He tried making a few beats and spitting some rhymes. But I guess he struggled with motivation and just missed that spark. Most of all to me, he had been a part of my life for as long i can remember.. more than half of it. We have told each other stuff nobody else knows. Been through so much together over the years.
I cant believe you never got to play the last of us 2 or even got to see what the playstation 5 looked like.. no more battlefield or late night chats. We were so excited about the ps5 coming, and now I'd be lucky to even afford one. With the ps5 literally a week away, it hits home even harder, I feel like it's just not the same if we can't enjoy it together.
It seems like this time last year I had it all, and in a year I've lost everything but my family. What took us 10 years to save is gone, my best friend is gone. Everything I had.
Last time I had help by staying with my parents, no kids, and my youth. Now this time around I'm already -20k that I had to borrow from my father to help me out, I had told him wouldn't need to use it, but i had no choice. He doesn't have much money to live off by, so I can't just not pay him back. I don't know how will I ever recover from this, I have no education or skills.
I feel like I've come to a point in my life where it just seems like I'm just wasting away. I have my family who is everything to me, even though my marriage isn't always the best. My 3 year old son who is my world, just so smart, funny and a real personality but also extremely active and naughty. My 7 month son who i love, but is super difficult and hard work. Somehow I'm just not as patient as I used to be and get annoyed at him all the time. I would never hurt him but it makes it hard to like him and I hate myself for it. I know he's just a baby and once this stage ends, things will be alot different hopefully.
It just feels like I'm a looser and failing at life. I look around me and all I see are families with nice homes, jobs and cars. And all I want to do is be able to provide that for my family. So that they have a place to call home and build the future they deserve. Make the kind of memories that can only be made in a home.
But how can I ever achieve that with my current situation and house prices are insane. I guess I have to accept that..but thinking about how sudden Martin lost his life, made me think of my own and what if that was me. My family would be left with nothing and my children without a father.
Right now all I care about is trying to make the best life for my children. Make sure they have a comfortable and loving upbringing, good education and a solid family relationship. Not make the same mistakes I did , by not following any clear path in life and working lower paying jobs.
Not putting effort into maintaining my own relationship's with my parents and brothers. I rarely speak to my father and never had a good relationship. I won't let that happen to my children.
So right now I've set a goal to work on my health and lack of energy. Enjoy my time with the family. These two kids sure are alot of work.
Beginning in the new year I'll start looking for work and keep on chugging along, trying to make it work for us. I'll be honest being 20k under and having a car in Thailand that I have to make monthly payments on for the next 6 years is an extremely depressing and demotivating thought.
On top of that i put on a fair bit of weight being out of work for a year and being not as active as I was. I started my diet at 103kg and I'm down to 88, I want to loose 10kg more. I want to make it a life goal to get back into skating and relearn the basics, a few flip tricks, grinding and ollieing simple stuff. I always had a love of skateboarding, which I shared with Martin and I want to pass that on to my sons and be able to skate around together.
I tried to get back on the board and I'm pretty hopeless, i can barely Ollie and lack confidence. I guess being a bit overweight and the fact my body doesn't work like when I was younger. I'm hoping that loosing a bit more weight will make it alot easier to move around and commit to the tricks.
I'm sick of living a life of fighting my addictions and constant procrastination. Its always been either food, drugs, alcohol, porn.. just something. I just hope I can do something before it's too late.
I just miss you so much Martin. I hope you made peace. I will always remember the days we spent together. I feel like ive lost a piece of myself.
I love you my brother.
P.S. Fuck cancer man.
EDIT: Wow, thankyou guys for the awards, I didn't think many people would actually read my post. Thankyou to all of you for taking the time to read it, I know it was pretty long. I'm very humbled by all your comments and well wishes. Sending my love back to you all.