Sara looked down from her window. She should have evacuated but this was her home. Her grandparents lived here, her parents lived here. She was born in the room she was in now.

She hoped her brother, wherever he was, survived the madness and kept the line going or it was going to die here.

Her city had been bombarded for a month now. They had been aiming at military areas. She was amazed by the amount of military sites were said to have been built in the middle of residential areas.

Defenses had been mounted – signals had been jammed, EMP pulses had brought a number of planes down, until the guns had been taken out. People had wondered where the air force was. It turned out that there was a massive denial of service attack being made on the country. All methods of co-ordinating an attack had been thwarted. What made matters worse was that it appeared to be the populace that were mounting the attack. Hordes of machines slaved together making continuous hits on vital systems here.

Sara supposed it was only a matter of time before we struck back.

The tanks had rolled in three days ago. The army moved out and meet them and there had been pitched battles in the streets. The casualties on both sides had spiked dramatically, the civilian count on her side was heartbreaking.

Every punk with an implant was on the streets.  Guerrilla  squads constantly updated through non-official means of communication were supporting the troops – passing orders, setting up check points, or even transmitting live as eyes on the streets.

Sara looked down from her window. It was the future of warfare, she supposed. The bot-net taken to the extreme. The public had been downloading and installing code, without any idea what it did.

It did what any other bot-net did. It slaved thousands of machines and set them to the task of hitting the enemy. Except this time it wasn’t computers in homes, it was implanted in heads.

A zombie army of civilians on the streets and throwing themselves at the enemy – soldiers and tanks – with gleeful indiscrimination. Soldiers pumped round after round into the wave of bodies that just kept coming. Those who fumbled a reload were torn apart as the wave moved on. Tanks were harder to stop and, eventually, only were through the amount of bodies that clogged the wheels.

Sara turned away from the window and prepared to leave her city.

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George sat and stared out of the window.

He was not happy.

This vacation wasn’t all it was hyped up to be.

The accommodation was just a little to comfortable for his liking. Definitely not the “roughing it in the wild” that was advertised. And the food was terrible.

He’d tried complaining but the staff just didn’t understand a word he was saying. They just gave him more of that disgusting food.

He left the window and headed to his bed.

Of course he’d expected some teething problems. He was, after all, an early adopter. But this, clearly, was not what he had been sold.

“Take a turn to the wild side with Crossroads Vacations.”

The teaser ad had done it’s job. He had been teased. He’d searched out more information and found their cheesy full length ad.

“Is your life at a crossroads? Only the same old vacation to break up your dreary life? You need a change of direction. Head into the wild with Crossroads Vacations.”

So he’d gone in, picked one he liked, and signed up. Then it was all a matter of waiting.

“A week as the wild feline, dangerous, ready to attack at a moments notice.” That’s what the ad said.

“Not,” George thought. “Be a fat house cat, owned by a mad old woman and eat tinned food.”

He sighed, and tried not to think about washing.

***

Brian was not happy.

“Take to the seas as the ultimate predator. Cut through the oceans as a proud and dangerous shark.”

He turned in his bowl.

“I’m a bloody gold fish. I know I am.”

He swam to the other side.

Brian was not happy.

“Take to the seas as the ultimate predator. Cut through the oceans as a proud and dangerous shark.”

He turned in his bowl.

“I’m a bloody gold fish. I know I am.”

He swam to the other side.

Brian was not happy.

“Take to the seas as the ultimate predator. Cut through the oceans as a proud and dangerous shark.”

He turned in his bowl.

“I’m a bloody gold fish. I know I am.”

He swam to the other side.

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It turns out there’s still people reading this – either through RSS or Widsets.

Thank you. It has been patchy for a while, but this will get better.

There’s a lot of things planned for Litranaut this year.

Advent has come and gone and there is a new sister site – 365.litranaut.com. This takes the idea that is Advent and spins it out for a year.

I want to try and push some paper publications of Litranaut too – either collections, or give aways, or semacode links. As these ideas come into play, I’ll post them here.

That’s all. Come back tomorrow for another story.

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“Nuuhh! Urrh nurh thuth thuth thuuurrr”

She looked up, “Hur?”

“UUUHHH!” She looked at him, fingers caught up in his neck tie. He could never manage them. She grinned. He was as beautiful to her now as he was when she first saw him – his lower jaw missing, his tongue lolling uselessly against his neck, straining and flicking like a blind snake when he tried to talk.

She grinned. She knew she shouldn’t but he was so cute in his grey suit with his grey tie and that helpless look on his face. That, and the fact that she didn’t have any lips.

“Nuuuhhh,” she told him, hobbling over. She wasn’t happy about the high heels she was wearing.

There was a crack and she tipped over onto the bed.

She looked down at the floor. This time it wasn’t the heel that had broken. Inside her grey shoe sat her foot, cleanly broken at the ankle.

“nuurrh?” His voice was quiet.

Maybe they’d have to give The Walk a miss this year.

***

They massed at Central Station. Somehow it seemed appropriate. Those that could scavenged what they could. They arrived dressed up like dinner – in ill fitting suits with buttons undone, or shirts ripped; some in jogging gear, most of them in clothes too big, or put on backwards.

Towards the back, and looking dead bored, were the hipsters – all the skin ripped off their waists, ear pods jammed into their heads, congealed blood oozing from busted ear drums.

At the front, on a burnt out car, arm pointing the way, groaning as loud as his deflated lungs would let him, was the walk leader. He flopped his arm around, trying to point out a route, but soon gave up and decided that he should lead by example.

He stood, poised, lifted his leg and placed it in front of him. Then lifted the other and placed that.

The others watched for a while before copying  the movement.

Even the Hipsters managed to do it. While still looking dead bored.

And so it started – The Great Annual Human Walk.

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