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Aberrant RPG - Breakdown - Theory and Practice

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<h1 align="center">Breakdown - Theory and Practice</h1>

<h2><a href="mailto:seanriley@iname.com">Written by Sean Riley</a></h2>

First fact: Everything breaks down.

Second Fact: When something breaks down, it is replaced by something superior to it. This is the law of evolution.

Third Fact: I am breaking down.

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Daniel swung away from the computer, rubbing his eyes as gently as he could. They hurt now. Hurt every time something touched them. His fingers, water, hell.. air, all of it stung and made his concentration that much more difficult. But the cure is the disease, isn't it always? 'Concentrate hard enough, and you can blot it out', he thought.

One tiny little rub again, to take the weariness out of his eyes, and he lay his head on his pillow that was constantly available on the desk for him. His eyes hurt, his neck hurt. Ever since his head had gotten bigger, his neck had just been unable to cope with the change. He understood the logic, hell, he didn't need some high and mighty Utopia (Now THERE'S the height of arrogance. Calling yourselves after an impossible goal. Everything. Breaks. Down. Including social situations. Give the Utopia movement another 50 years, and a combination of the ridiculously presumptuous Terregen, that new Abberant movement, and probably some religious movement or other cause Religion always fucks up good stuff; and Utopia will be through.) scientists telling him what the problem was. He knew it full well, the Node expands and spreads its influence throughout the surrounding areas. It develops the brain, which initially gains in efficiciency from 2% to 6% to 18% to 54%. But then the great stuff happens. The brain keeps trying to get 3 times more powerful, and ends up without enough brain to be efficicent with. So it starts making.. more. More brain, more skull to hold it in.. but just not enough neck muscles to keep it up. 'I'm a machine to think', he thought, 'But not to live'.

Finally, his stomache hurt. His eyes hurt, his neck hurt, his stomache hurt. He'd developped a serious addiction to caffeine. A serious addiction. Last week he'd managed to put away 151 cups of coffee. Since he slept 21 hours a week (3 hours a day) that's exactly 4 more cups than hours he spent awake. Two weeks before, he'd had 140. Two weeks before that, less than 131. The curve kept growing, much like the wretched ache in his stomache. Holding his head to help pull it up, his walked to the cupboard, hearing the creak of the oil starved jointed like a wrenching through his body. Sympathy pains, he thought, bemusedly, but the amusement faded. No coffee. That would mean a trip to the supermarket.


<hr width="50%" align="center">

First fact: Everything breaks down.

Second Fact: When something breaks down, it is replaced by something superior to it. This is the law of evolution.

Third Fact: I am breaking down.

<hr width="50%" align="center">

The street was filled with sterile, unfeeling and false niceness. Utopia had created the perfect streets, trashless and totally devoid of any glitches that might make it interesting. If it hadn't been night, the perfectly monitored weather control probably would have had the sun shining and the temperature at a perfect 72 degrees. The people were equally devoid, he thought with a mental sneer as he walked down toward the supermarket. They'd been slammed with so much Novastar bullshit that they now lived their lives for the Gods on earth. Dammit, they'd done a poll on N! just two weeks ago, and the Baseline twits had all voted, overwhelmingly, that their favorite Nova was Divis Mal. A Nova who is most well known for a bit of paper equating the whole of them to Baboons shitting in the wild jungle, and they worshipped him. A Nova who paved the way for dozens of Gods of Death to their kind, and they worshipped him, and the Death Gods too.

Braindead morons. Utopia should pay me just for existing, he thought. Because at least I can do something Caestus Pax can't: Inspire them to think differently for a few brief seconds. To force them to at least hate him.

The stares started soon enough. They never stared at his head, the most obvious sign of his Novahood, either he noticed. They looked at him. They just seemed to know. Just by looking at Slider, they could tell she was a Nova, he supposed, although he never could. Now, of course, they could look at her and tell that she was dead. So much for their precious immortal, invulnerable Gods.

Finally, one broke out, speaking his mind and yelling "Fuckin' Aberrant!"

Good! Daniel thought. It's the first time in three weeks someone's had the guts. There might be hope for one of the few in their after all.

But the word stung. He couldn't help it. Past all the ideolgical bullshit, hate hurts.

And he swung around, casting a ferocious and fierce gaze at the outspoken one. The loudmouth stopped, mid-obscenity, and slowly turned and quickly ran away. Suddenly, the streets were empty.

Daniel got his coffee and went home.

<hr width="50%" align="center">

First fact: Everything breaks down.

Second Fact: When something breaks down, it is replaced by something superior to it. This is the law of evolution.

Third Fact: I am breaking down.

<hr width="50%" align="center">

Daniel continued to walk up the stairs to his shoebox appartment. The mould continued its campaign of conquest upon his door, and he pulled out his keycard. One corner had chipped, and the damned thing wouldn't go in. Cursing, Daniel banged on the card and finally, the green light flashed. Daniel snarled, pulled out the accursed card and went in.

Daniel had just turned back, when he saw the man sitting in his computer chair. Daniels face twisted into a snarl and he yelled, "Who the fuck are you?"

The man stood up, straight and tall. He was an immaculately kept man in a well cut EuMarni suit. He had a strong, hard jaw and very small, deep set eyes. His blond, spikey hair offset the traditional look and forced those looking at him to decide between respectable European buisnessman or simple Eurotrash. Daniel chose neither for the moment and waited for the man to speak, which only happened after a very long pause.

"Greetings, Mr. Levinos. My name is Eric Wittgen. I've heard much abo.."

Daniel cut off Eric with a scowled response, "So how'd a euro shitheels like you get into my appartment? This is tresspassing, asshole."

Eric endured the tirade, and then waited, patiently, for Daniel to calm down. It happened slowly, as Daniels eyes flicked tot he still turned on television. The inanity of a childrens television show somehow calmed him. The whole situation, his own inflamatory language, the eurotrashes solemn demanour, and the inanity of the corporate stupidity putting him back in his own element.

Once it was clear Daniel was actually ready to listen, Eric began speaking, "I've heard much about you and your talents, gifted even among us. I entered under the door. As for trespassing, I don't believe in those kind of laws anymore." He smiled, and that was the first truly unwholesome thing this guy showed. He had a rotten smile.

Daniel threw his hands up. "Oh, wonderful. Hello, Mr. Terragen. Here to tear my head off cause you got no social skills? Here to lecture me and compare the humans to rabid dogs on your little power trip?" He looked back, disdainfully. The Terragen were, ultimately, just as bad as Utopia. Idealists with no idea about where they wanted the ideal to go.

The european lifted an eyebrow, "Mr. Levinos, a power trip is only a problem if the power isn't really there."

"Fuck off." Daniel shot back. He didn't have time for this. What he needed was coffee. A mug of it. He grabbed the instant and started scooping in three teaspoons.

"What do these people have to offer you?" Eric continued. "They are not your kind.."

"Is this a recruitment drive or something?" Again, Daniel cut him off.

Eric nodded. "Exactly that. What can they offer you? They show you only hatred and fear. Utopia offers you a pathetically false 'love'. We offer respect. No-one else will do that. We respect your power. We understand your genius. We offer respect."

"Well, count me not fuckin' interested. If I needed to have other peoples opinions justify my work - " Daniel cut off as he saw the brief flashing lights hit the front of his eyes. White, pink and aqua lines flicked toward the center of his vision, and he whispered below his breath, "Not again."

"Mr. Levinos, are you alright?"

Daniel gave him the finger, and clutched his head on the ground. No drugs could help him with these. Any other humans body would have responded to the anasthetics, taking the edge off the headaches, but Eric's nova body filtered them out all too efficiently.

Suddenly the migraine hit like a ton of rocks, smashing into his right temple. Daniel winced, and bashed his head against the cupboard door, trying to dislodge the pain, but it did no such thing. Eric yelled, only making the headache worse, "Mr Levinos!" Again, Daniel smashed his head against the wall. "Mr. Levinos!" Once again, Daniel smashed his head against the wall, "Mr. Levinos!" And again, Daniel smashed...

Blackness. Pain. An overwhelming combination.

"Mr. Levinos!" Eric shook Daniels shoulders, and Daniel weakly put his arms up, attempting to resist. "Are you alright?"

"No." Daniel replied, and began to think seriously about what Eric had said. What else could he do? There was nothing here. Continual work on the stock market that could only end up getting him money, which he wasn't interested in. Walking down and back to the supermarket, enduring the hateful and jealous gazes of those lesser than him. Eric offered a chance to maybe escape that. Daniel didn't care about the respect. He had enough in himself. But he offered escape and that, not respect, was why Daniel nodded his agreement with the Terragens philosophy and brotherhood.

Or so he told himself.

<hr width="50%" align="center">

First fact: Everything breaks down.

Second Fact: When something breaks down, it is replaced by something superior to it. This is the law of evolution.

Third Fact: I am breaking down.

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