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Fanfiction ► |-Nameless+| (a short sci-fi story)



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GuardianOfHearts

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Nameless


He was alone.

That much he knew.

But it was almost the extent of his knowledge; the rest of his mind was empty and panicking, like some confused animal thrashing about in a cage.

Where was he!? Who was he!?

His fear was that of a man who has no identity, not even the sense of a home to anchor him. He lay trembling on a tree-branch nearly half a mile long, like a rabbit caught in a snare. His fingernails scrabbled against the wood, leaving shallow gashes in the amber bark. He tried to cling to that feeling, afraid that he’d literally slip away slip away if he let go.

He had been awake for three minutes- and it was the only three minutes he could remember of his life.

It was enough to make a man go mad.

But no; he couldn’t lose himself to that. Survival. Survival. He began whispering that one word over and over, using it to draw himself back to sanity. Without personal memories to prove his humanity, his baser instants started to take over. Listen, breathe, be wary, stay alive.

A man would go mad. But an animal adapted.

He wouldn’t question why he had any language at all. He would only focus on keeping himself alive.

He pushed himself shakily to his feet, slowly looking around at his environment. He was in a sort of clearing on an impossibly wide branch; all around him, vibrant blue-green foliage grew around much smaller, intertwining branches. Red and purple and yellow blossoms grew like bright insects amidst the greenery, and insects flew around like fluttering blossoms on the wind. Everywhere, raucous birds attempted to outdo each other in pitch and volume.

And yet he was so alone.

Were there others like him? Surely there must be. Was he lost, abandoned?

He threw his head back to the alien viridian jungle above him, noting with despair the tiny shaft of sunlight that seeped in through the leaves.

He was nothing; he was nowhere; he was lost without a name to call his own.

But then a distant memory, like far-off music, like that defiant ray of light piercing the gloom, wormed through his empty conscious and filled that void, a trapped bird beating useless wings against unforgiving walls.

"‘Nameless here forevermore,’" he gasped, all thoughts being swept aside by those words, all he had left. A scattered piece of his identity that was nothing, yet meant everything to him.

"‘Nameless here forevermore....’"

He sank to his knees again and sobbed in rage and despair.



But he was not alone. Not quite.

Miles above him, orbiting the forbidding planet he was wordlessly cursing, was an O.C., formally known as an Observation Craft. Inside, it was the size of a small room, with computers taking up two of the walls, the southern one being the entrance to an airlock, and the northern one consisting of a tinted window. In front of the viewport were two chairs that were currently swivelled so that they faced away from each other, each person occupying the seat busy at their own computers.

One was a women with short yellow hair and steel grey eyes, dressed in light blue; her posture was of one who was used to holding authority, and her fingers were swift and sure on the keyboard.

To the right was a dark-haired man with a short, square jaw and desperate brown eyes; he was half-hunched over the keyboard, working with the reluctance of one who has a gun pressed to the back of his head. The screen in front of him showed a video of the man down on the planet below them, weeping soundlessly.

The yellow-haired woman reached up and flicked a switch, and a recording suddenly echoed throughout the cabin.

"Nameless here forevermore ... nameless here forevermore...."

William Hawker winced at the sound of the desperation in that voice. His superior listened with stoic interest.

"Interesting. That’s from ‘The Raven’, isn’t it?"

Her second-in-command tensed at the casual question, but he answered all the same. "Yes. By Edgar Allen Poe."

Averil Wakefield sighed. "I suppose you were right after all, Lieutenant. The memory shrouds aren’t impenetrable after all. Looks like something of his past got through. I doubt he’ll remember anything else though." She turned her chair around and looked at him, one eyebrow raised in cool tribute to a previous discussion.

There was a silence, and another sigh, this one from Hawker, yet this one was in true regret. He looked over his shoulder at the Captain.

"What is his name?"

Wakefield’s icy eyes narrowed, and she said in a mocking voice, "Getting idealistic again, Hawker?"

He glared back. "Call it professional curiosity."

He was certain she would refuse- but a few moments later, she pulled away from his gaze and typed in a command to her computer. A short buzz sounded from his own machine, and he turned back to see a new file opened up on the screen.


NAME: WYLES, ELLIOT

SEX: MALE

AGE: 24.6 yrs

HEIGHT: 5"9' ½

WEIGHT: 152 lbs.

OCCUPATION: INSTRUCTOR OF LITERATURE

HOME: PADENA, UNITED EMPIRES, NEO EARTH....

The lieutenant stopped reading after that, leaning back to process the information. No wonder a quote from "The Raven" had been the one thing to surface. Elliot Wyles was an English teacher.

Was. Is. Had been. Never would be again.

How he wished he could stop thinking such thoughts. But they had been plaguing him since the very beginning of this depraved experiment.

"He won’t last, Av," Hawker said quietly. "He’s losing it already. Do you think he can handle the strain for much longer?"

The Captain whirled around, her expression one of cool ferocity. "I am still your superior officer, Lieutenant. I could suspend you for insubordination." She drew herself up. "It’s Captain Wakefield to you."

Hawker bowed his head in submission. Where was the friendship he and Averil had possessed as young cadets in the academy? Where was her spirit, her humanity? She had sacrificed it all for the sake of ambition.

And where had her thirst for immortality led her? To being the head of a project that was nothing more than murder. The government had kidnaped ordinary people and hidden away their personal memories while putting them in a chemical-induced coma; then, under Averil Wakefield’s watchful eye, they were reawakened on Planet Nuit, where they would be studied to see if humans could adapt to life in such a strange environment.

But Planet Nuit was dangerous, if fertile. There was no land. A fresh-water ocean covered the entire planet, and the only terra firma were the "tangle-trees", trees that extended miles high, with enormous branches that grew horizontally at the top in a bramble-like fashion, hence the name.

Such was the setting where this undeniable execution would take place, cleverly titled Project: Adaptation. The government refused to acknowledge the immorality of the experiment, and Averil? She was ecstatic to be given such an important position so short a period after her promotion to Captain of the Starlancer.

William Hawker clenched his fists and cursed himself for being such a coward, for taking part in the project, unwillingly or not.

"Nameless," he whispered to himself, with the voice of a haunted man. "Nameless."

It did not surprise Hawker that the famous poem was now coming back to him....

"Till the dirges of his hope that melancholy burden bore...."



And below them, Elliot Wyles continued to silently form that single quote of "The Raven" around his lips, unaware that his fate was being recorded by people who watched over him as a god might look down on an ant.

He was purposeless; what could he do? Crouching against the mammoth trunk of the tangle tree, shadowed by an immense teal leaf, he clenched his eyes shut and tried to dredge up something else, some tiny scrap of memory that might prove his existence, anything that would hint to a life beyond this maddening, feverish fear.

But there was nothing. Nevermore.



The hours passed. Captain Wakefield continued to watch and type out her report, and her second-in-command continued to fecklessly pray for a miracle. He watched as the satellite camera recorded Wyles’ actions, noting his straight, pale hair, long noise, and long face. Seeing how his thin lips continued to move, forever focusing on the only thing he could remember. He saw these features and knew they belonged to a young man. If only Av could see him as more than just a variable.

It was half a day into the project. The axe was poised to swing, the lever ready to be pulled. The only question was, how much longer would Elliot Wyles last until his inevitable execution?



He sat, weary and bent, facing the light tree-trunk, hair plastered to his face with sweat. He dug his nails into the bark, staining the wood darkly red as numerous splinters sliced his skin. But it didn’t matter. Nothing mattered except for those three words, the words he was carving into the tree with his bare hands....



"This one is useless. His mind snapped under the pressure. We’ll have to kill him."

"Av- Captain -you can’t!"

Averil Wakefield did not look up from her report. "A lunatic is a superfluous test subject. What further use can he be to us now?"

"He’s a human being! He doesn’t need a use."

"Contain yourself, Lieutenant. He has one more hour."

Sixty minutes until execution.



"A name ... a name ... a name forever ... forever nameless...."

Wyles murmured this to himself, his eyes clouded with dispersed dreams and harsh reality, his feet blindly stumbling forward, his arms absently pushing away the dense foliage. His voice was like a crow's, hoarse and cracked. Unmindful of the distance, he only stopped when his feet brushed the edge of the branch, one hand clinging to a thick vine as he gazed down into the nothingness of fog and far-off water below. Unaware of the two people still watching him, unaware of the life he had been ripped away from, unaware that he even had a name, Elliot Wyles shrieked into the wind-

"‘Nameless here forevermore!’"

-and plunged into the emptiness of the sky.



And in the security of the O.C., William Hawker covered his eyes with a shaking hand, while Averil Wakefield sighed and moved on the next test subject.
 

TheClamWhisperer

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Holy. o.o

Amme, that is deep. Not just deep, like...20,000 leagues under the sea deep!
You wrote the insanity theme so well, and left me wanting more. =D -salute-

'The Raven' ftw!
 

Daniel Faraday

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I'm not sure that the human mind, even when stripped down to it's most basic components, would snap so easily, but it's executed nicely, and it's a very somber retelling of one of sci-fi classic ideas.

Very Bradburyesque in style, very nice.

~Dorian Gray
 

Cloud_Unchained

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I really don't have anything smart to say in contribution to the comments of the others, but I enjoyed reading. The use of "The Raven" was eerie and established the theme of insanity. o.o

Very nicely done.
 
D

Desert Jesus

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My god, that was quite the accumulation of well-implied themes and allusions to classic literature. Very nice, I enjoyed this very much. The rhythm was almost undeniable, and the work flowed as well as a river would.

I look forward to reading future pieces of yours.
 

GuardianOfHearts

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Thanks for reading, you guys. I wrote this yesterday after my English teacher informed us that we had to write a science-fiction short story. It's actually a sorta-kinda sequel to a story a wrote last year for English when we had to write an "epic". Only, it's the way I wanted it to be, without the "protangonist" prevailing.

I think I'm going to add a little more, just to make sure I fit the requirements of the assignment. Luckily, the fact that it's around five pages makes it so that I don't have to read it aloud. :D
 
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Ruki

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Nice fic. You pulled the insanity theme out really well. I hope you got an A for it. Wanna read some more of you stuff. Also good choice with "The Raven." Its my second favorite Poe work.
 

GuardianOfHearts

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Guess what I just learned today? That our teacher isn't, in fact, collecting this at all. It will not be graded. We're just going to read it aloud the whole period.

I have a few choice words for this, but they aren't allowed on KHI.

I don't have to read all of mine because it's long, but I have to read something. This sucks. An easy A and it doesn't count for anything?

Well, since I'm bored, I'll sketch out my characters here.

Averil Wakefield: An ambitious starship captain who is ruthless when it comes to pursuing her goals. She basically gave up her humanity on her quest for immortality, though she is a capable leader.

William Hawker: Averil's second-in-command and her used-to-be friend from their days at the academy. He's weak and feckless, though he has strong morals and ideals despite his cowardice.
 
D

Desert Jesus

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Guess what I just learned today? That our teacher isn't, in fact, collecting this at all. It will not be graded. We're just going to read it aloud the whole period.

I have a few choice words for this, but they aren't allowed on KHI.

I don't have to read all of mine because it's long, but I have to read something. This sucks. An easy A and it doesn't count for anything?

Well, since I'm bored, I'll sketch out my characters here.

Averil Wakefield: An ambitious starship captain who is ruthless when it comes to pursuing her goals. She basically gave up her humanity on her quest for immortality, though she is a capable leader.

William Hawker: Averil's second-in-command and her used-to-be friend from their days at the academy. He's weak and feckless, though he has strong morals and ideals despite his cowardice.


Not what you thought, eh? Yeah, this has happened to me quite a few times, being in AP Literature classes where the teachers seem to change their minds every few seconds. (In my school, anyways)

So, which passage do you plan on reading to the class? The beginning was quite good, and seemed superior than the rest. (Mainly because the theme of the entire work was so well done.) Though, that doesn't really fulfill the sci-fi requirements... Meh, I don't know. You'll make the best decision, I'm sure.

I also adore your characters, primarily because they almost mirror two siblings in a novel I'm beginning to write. ^^
 

GuardianOfHearts

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Oh god, I haven't a clue. Funny how the fact that I know my story is more well-written than anyone else's could be embarassing, but it will be { it isn't arrogance; the stories I've seen being written so far is enough to make any author cringe}. I'll have to choose something that might make sense. >.<
 
D

Desert Jesus

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Oh god, I haven't a clue. Funny how the fact that I know my story is more well-written than anyone else's could be embarassing, but it will be { it isn't arrogance; the stories I've seen being written so far is enough to make any author cringe}. I'll have to choose something that might make sense. >.<

Lmao, for God knows why, most schools would let anybody into those AP classes. Dx I share your pain... Anyways, my suggestion... Tear it up. Read the part which you think best fits the requirements, and leave them all like "Wtf?" You'll deffinetely distinguish yourself from the remedial ones, and even the less dense ones.

Besides, your little tale deffinetely makes sense. ;)

I should get tutoring from you... >_> I can feel myself climbing the skill stairway, but something is holding me back... I have no clue what it is. o.o
 

Zearth

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Its because you lack hatred/Bankai, DJ. =O

Anyway, yeah. This is a good read like all of your other works. Don't really have much to say besides that. All I know is that your one-shots are usually good enough to become full stories, but you don't continue them for some reason...>_> Anyway, I'm making a semi sci-fi story atm, and this was a good chance to get ideas.
 

darkisaac

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School assignments depress me, the topics they give me are always dull.

Case and point:

Write to convince your readers whether the minimum age requirement for driving should be raised, lowered, or left alone.



I wrote an essay on that today, it sucked.


You'd think they'd give me a more difficult, not to mention interesting, topic, but no, I have to write about underage driving.

Your teacher must be awesome to actually make you write a sci-fi story, I'd have to beg my teacher before he'd allow me to do that.


Btw, it's and incredible story, really nice.
 
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Taokitty

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Nice one shot GuardianOfHearts!

Twas fairly well done and it seems very realistic of something like this to happen in the future... Fairly well done! =^_^=

I'm sorry to hear that your teacher isn't grading it and that you have to read some parts infront of the class... I'd hate to read my story to anyone since it probably wouldn't have that pull less you read it youself....

Anyway, I agree with Desert Jesus! You should do that, and if they're confused, smirk at them. =D

... Sorry if I seem idiotic as usual! ><

xD
 
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