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cherrywheat

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cherrywheat
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11
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Karakura Town Japan
PostedApr 08, 2013 4:38 pm

What If..? (Completed)

A One-Shot Story Arc
-Ark Log 001-

My name is Adam Owun… uh, I’ve been awake for… I think I’ve been awake for several days now. It took me a little bit to get my bearings. I don’t think the programming during my growth period was complete. There seem to be things that are… missing from my memories. I’m aware that I am a clone and that… oh! This is important… or could be later! Mother is degraded! Something isn’t right with Her, I can tell by my interactions with Lota. Her instructions are choppy and often incorrect. It’s made survival more difficult than it should be. I’ve finally found the command center and decided that maybe I should be recording things, just in case… no, I refuse to think about that. I will find a way to fix Mother and get the rest of my siblings out. Oh, by the way… I am the only clone here… on the Ark.

-End Log 001-

“Jog forward by ten”

-Ark Log 011-

It’s funny that I was only planning on making this a weekly thing. I didn’t intend on spending a lot of time with these recordings, but they’ve turned into the highlight of my day and something to keep me motivated. Motivation is lacking here. My interactions with Lota are… frustrating. It’s not that I blame my forbearers or the technology of their day, but Mother seems to be in horrible shape, even by Old World standards. I’ve spent the last week studying in the library, when not looking for food, to learn more about the ones who built this Ark. Maybe I can find something in the histories that will tell me why Mother is acting this way… and why She will not allow me to wake any of the others.

-End Log 011-

“Jog forward by twenty”

-Ark Log 032-

I’m so **** tired of that alarm going off all the **** time! I’m tired of Lota popping up and scaring the piss out of me just to inform me of some sector losing power. There’s nothing I can do about it! There’s nothing in the 9th sector except for military hardware and I can’t eat any of that! Why in Mother’s name is the 9th sector losing power anyways? And why is all of the carefully sealed and preserved nutrient formula rotten? How does nutrient formula rot inside of a sealed container? I caught a rat… I think it’s a rat. I don’t really know what it is… what it was. Somehow I knew what to do with it. Next time I’ll be sure to disable the fire prevention system in the room before cooking one… if I can catch another one.

-End Log 032-

“Jog forward by six”

-Ark Log 038-

So busy. I haven’t even had the time to record my daily log. When was the last one recorded? Mother, two weeks ago? I found a greenhouse! Lota, that dumb, glitch-ridden *****… I finally figured out the correct way to phrase my questions in order to find something that would allow me to grow food. The ratadillos, as I call them, are few and far between and they’ve started finding ways of avoiding me. Those things may be ugly as rotten fluid bags, but they’re really smart. Anyway, the greenhouse was in bad shape, but I’ve come a long way on fixing it. Hydroponics is coming much more naturally to me than dealing with stupid Lota or this **** computer system. I have to get back to my garden. Don’t be surprised if I can’t record for another two weeks! Oh, by the way… another sector lost power yesterday. I asked Lota what was causing the power loss, but all she would do is reassure me that the main chamber of the Ark was in good condition and would sustain a single human indefinitely. AI systems can’t lie, can they?

-End Log 038-

“Jog forward by ten”

-Ark Log 049-

Soooo, I found the room that contains all of the alcohol today! Life has been pretty easy since the last log. I’ve finally gone back to weekly logs, but I’m not always on time with them. My garden is magnificent! I just wish… Mother, why won’t you let me wake any of the other clones? Lota assures me that I’m fine in the main chamber of the Ark, but the mission left by the forbearers is pretty clear about returning to the surface of the planet. I cannot do that by myself; I need help… preferably one of the Arkana. According to Lota, it takes nine months for an Arkana to go from embryo to fully-formed adult. If I started the process today, could I even wait that long? I think the excitement would be too much to handle! Mother, I’m so lonely here and Lota is a piss-poor companion. I can’t even touch her.

-End Log 049-

“Next log”

-Ark Log 050-

I did it! Screw you, Mother and screw you, Lota! I started the cloning process for Lilith! I can’t stand being the only one here anymore and even if this Arkana is the most annoying person ever imagined, at least I’ll have someone real to talk to! Plus… I need some heavy lifting done and all of the mech units are in sector 9, which you’ll remember as the first sector to lose power. Lota is mad, which means Mother is too, if she’s not so insane at this point that she can’t even feel anger. Lilith will be here in nine months! I love vodka!

-End Log 050-

“Jog forward by ten”

-Ark Log 061-

So bored… I can’t stop thinking about Lilith…

“Jog forward by two”

-Ark Log 063-

Mother, it hasn’t even been a month yet? Only eight more to go. Have to stay focused on the garden…

“Jog forward by fifteen”

-Ark Log 078-

No! This can’t be happening! This is madness and I… holy ****, there isn’t enough time! You stupid AI piece of…

“Stop! Go back. Play Ark log 077”

-Ark Log 077-

Three months, eleven days and a wake-up. That’s how long until Lilith is here. I’ve stopped looking at her progress in the growth chamber. I want to be surprised when she comes out. I’ve even picked out her outfit… oh, Mother, did I just record that? How embarrassing. Maybe I can go back and edit that out later. I don’t need future generations hearing about how much of a lonely, perverted fool I am. Anyway, to bide my time, I’ve been tracking down the ratadillos to study them and they led me right to the systems management chamber! What a relief. This will make it much easier to try and figure out what’s wrong with Mother… and just in time. I… I think Mother might be really sick. Lota won’t talk about it, but something is very wrong. Another sector shut down today. If I can access the systems report for the hundred years since the Ark went into hibernation, then maybe I can figure out what’s going on. My name better go down as humanity’s greatest hero for this!

-End Log 077-

“Jog forward by two. Do not play Ark Log 79!”
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cherrywheat

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cherrywheat
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Karakura Town Japan
PostedApr 08, 2013 4:42 pm
-Ark Log 080-

I’m sorry. I’m sorry for that last log and for anyone that hears it. That was not… it wasn’t my best moment. I won’t even play it back for me to hear because I promised myself that I would never slip into such a… psychosis again. I’m fine now… and I know what I have to do.

-End Log 080-

“Next log”

-Ark Log 081-

This is Adam Owun, of the Ark, and I am back to weekly logs… on a detailed schedule. I’ve had to grow up considerably this last week. It may or may not have been clear through the gibberish of the last few logs, but I found the systems report for the Ark last week and discovered the problem with Mother. When the Ark was created, it was the only option for a dying species: man. It was intended to be a vessel for mankind to be reborn from after the extinction event that necessitated it. The Ark was to remain dormant, conserving energy for one hundred years before testing the surface and beginning the cloning process that would repopulate the Earth… which it did. Only, the cloning process did not initiate because the surface tests revealed a planet that was completely inhospitable to humans. The Earth was still too toxic from the war to even attempt a repopulation. Therefore another initiative took over and the Ark went back into hibernation, to test the surface again in another hundred years. For some reason, that test never happened, nor were any other surface tests completed. The Ark went back to sleep and did not wake back up… until now.
-pause edited-
The forbearers, for whatever reason, installed a protocol that forced Mother to generate at least one clone in the event that the Ark ran out of power and begin to shut down. The power source for the Ark was the best that technology had to offer. It was good. It lasted much longer than one hundred years. It lasted one thousand years before the power ran out. That’s why the nutrient fluids were rotten; that’s why Mother is completely degraded; that’s why two logs ago I had nothing to say but profanities and threats. There was no repopulation. No one retook the planet from the Narak. Humanity simply perished from the Earth and here I am, a millennium after the last, natural human died, generated only to record the dying breaths of mankind’s last hope. Lilith will wake in thirteen days. I don’t want her to come into this horrible world, so I’m going to abort her procedure… then I will take my own life. This is Adam Owun… signing off.

-End Log 081-

“Next log”

-Ark Log 082-

I am keeping the previous log in, with only a slight edit to the time it took me to gain my composure. It’s to remind myself of what might have happened if I had not found the resurfacing vehicle. I have no way of testing the surface… I don’t even know which direction it is or what’s on the outside of the Ark, yet, but I will find out how to get out of here! Even if my first breath is nothing but toxic fumes, I will not die down here in this tomb! Lilith wakes in twelve days and I’ll need her as soon as she is ready. I can’t get the vehicle back online and serviceable on time by myself. I have enough food and supplies for the both of us and I believe there is enough power left in the Ark. It was a bit of a shock when I realized exactly how much energy was required to create Lilith. No wonder Mother did not want me waking any of the others.

-End Log 082-

“Next log”

-Ark Log 083-

Lilith is here and she is beautiful! She’s still in a bit of shock over all the information that I’ve given her, but I think she’s holding up well. I never imagined the forbearers could have created something so astonishing as an Arkana. I’ve given her some time to rest and come to terms with our situation, but I’ll need her help as soon as possible. Also, she might kill me for putting this in here, but… Mother, what a pair of mammaries she has on her!

-End Log 083-

“Next log”

-Ark Log 084-

We’ve done extensive work on the vehicle, but it’s working now. The drills on the exterior have been replaced, we’ve had to replace all of the wiring and couplings… Lilith was given a pretty hefty amount of knowledge on machinery, mostly related to the mech units. Speaking of Lilith, she is very duty bound and it did not take long for her to grow accustomed to our mission. I say our mission because we are both the last of humanity. It does not matter to me that Lilith is Arkana or that she cannot reproduce or grow old. She is my partner… she is my only friend.

-End Log 084-

“Next log”

-Ark Log 085-

Time is growing short now. All sectors outside of the main chamber are offline and without power… including the greenhouse. We have enough food to last us and Lilith was able to get some of the solar lamps and soil from the greenhouse, at great risk to herself, but we are confined to the main chamber now. Oh, and the launch tube for the vehicle, of course. All power has been diverted to keeping those two areas full of oxygen and light. We should be ready to leave this place before the month is out. On a side note, though we hear her voice on the intercom occasionally, I have not seen Lota in over a week. I think her holographic manifestation is gone for good. As annoying as she was, I will miss her.

-End Log 085-

“Next log”

-Ark Log 086-

I’m so glad this thing is portable. We’ve fled the main chamber, Lilith and I. We were being overrun by ratadillos who had evacuated the other sectors and Mother went berserk… and then died. There is no longer any AI running the Ark and soon there will be nothing running it at all; just an enormous time capsule under the Earth’s surface that will never be found. We took what we could of the gene samples and some equipment to load into the vehicle, but we are stuck here, in the launch tube, for the night. There is also another problem. The vehicle cannot launch from the inside. The tube will not open unless we can figure out some way to trigger the release switch from inside the vehicle without breaking the pressure lock. I don’t know how, but I have to figure out a way or else Lilith and I cannot leave this Ark and soon… we will be out of oxygen in the tube and if we use up too much of the stored oxygen in the vehicle… well, we’ll just have to hold our breath, I guess! Ha! I still have jokes. That’s a good sign, right?

-End Log 086-

“N… next log”

-Ark Log 087-

My precious, precious Adam. You cannot imagine how sad I am that I will not be there to defend you on the surface. You are braver than you know and I have faith that you will find a way to survive up there. I also have faith that you will one day forgive me. I hope I have not overstepped my bounds as Arkana by taking your recorder and making this recording while you sleep. You look so peaceful when you sleep. I will truly miss that sight, as I will miss the way you look at me. I know you wish to find a way to save us both, Adam. You want it so desperately that you would die trying to fix the switch. I cannot allow that, Adam. I am your protector and I will protect you even from yourself. Do not spend too much time grieving. You still have a long fight ahead of you and you need to prepare yourself for the dangers ahead or else my sacrifice will be for nothing. I thank you for giving me life… a life with you, no matter how brief. I do this with a happy heart that I can fulfill my purpose… the purpose Mother intended for me. I love you, Adam Owun. Goodbye.

-End Log 087-

“…”

-continuing playback, last entry-

-Ark Log 088-

Why? Why did you do it? I hate you! I wish I had never cloned you and that I had never, ever even looked at you! It should have been me sending you! Humans are the ones who screwed up the Ark and lost to the Narak! It should have been the Arkana to take back the planet! I was going to send you, Lilith! Oh… I was going to send you…
-Edit pause-
This will be my last entry on this recorder. This is Adam Owun of the human trash-heap called the Ark. I have escaped that dreaded tomb, but not unscarred. Lilith, my Arkana… no, my… my wife. She knew that I was having problems with the tube hatch; that I wouldn’t be able to find a way to fix it in time. She might have even known that I was planning on drugging her and loading her into the vehicle. It made sense. Arkana are stronger, healthier and more resilient than humans. She stood a better chance of surviving on the surface than I did. That woman… Lilith used my own plan against me. I woke up just as she was opening the hatch. I could see her from the monitor and she was looking at me. She blew me a kiss and then hit the switch to open the tube. I didn’t know what was on the outside when we geared the vehicle for plate drilling. It was water. The Ark was submerged in water and the pressure from the flooding tube killed her quickly… at least I hope it did. The vehicle was already shooting through darkness, racing to reach the surface before the hull caved in. Since you’re listening to this, you can assume that I made it. I did. The vehicle had preloaded protocols and a few minutes ago I felt it hit dry land. I will soon break the pressure seal and step out onto Earth… the first human to do so in a thousand years. Whether I will make one step or many remains to be seen. For Lota and Mother and all of the forbearers who resigned me to this Hard… but mostly for Lilith, I now set forth. This is Adam Owun… signing out.

-End Log 088. No further entries-

cherrywheat

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cherrywheat
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PostedApr 08, 2013 4:46 pm

Epilouge

The man pulled at his beard and ended playback on the digital recording device. It was a pretty sturdy piece of equipment for such an old relic but the surface air, full of humidity from the coast was taking its toll. If he did not transcribe the entries soon, all of the information included on it would be lost and that would be a shame, he thought. Sitting there, overlooking the majestic turquoise water as it rolled back and forth across the white sand, all under that expansive azure sky, he realized that he had one more entry to add before he put everything down on a more solid medium for future generations. He looked down at the recorder. It had been years since he had used it, but he still remembered most of what was on it; what the important logs were and which ones were just ramblings of a sixteen-year-old alone in an abandoned complex. He remembered to skip the 79th log, for even now he could not stand to listen to what had been recorded on the day he nearly went insane. He supposed he would have to listen to it sooner or later and surely it could not be as heart-breaking as the 87th entry.

The man activated the recorder and loaded the next entry.

-Ark Log 089-

My name is Adam Owun and I am the last human on Earth. That is not to say that I am the last person on Earth, however. Upon my escape from the Ark and after opening the escape vehicle, I came upon a land so beautiful that… well, I was overwhelmed. I had never seen a sky so clear in any of the pictures in the Ark library and the colors of the planet, the flora and fauna, brought tears to my eyes that would not dry. The air was clean and free of radiation and toxins. Most importantly, the Narak were gone, having left the planet centuries ago… after their work was done. It seems so strange that they were seen as monsters by the forbearers, now that I know who the Narak are. You see, not long after I exited my vehicle and it was pulled back out into the sea, I was found by the new natives of this planet. I call them the Amphibyons because of their affinity for water and ability to oxygenate while submerged, but they are actually quite human-like in appearance. They took me in and sheltered me. Then a group of youths took me on a journey, deep into the land and away from their precious coast. It was a test of might for them, because there were creatures so fearsome inland that we had to be careful not to come across them. The Amphibyons, though very intelligent and resourceful, were still primitive compared to the humans of the Old World and still had fear of the beasts.
We finally came upon a sacred place that looked similar to something I might see inside the Ark. It was Narak technology and I was afraid. But the youths believed in me and pushed me onward, alone, to discover the mystery within. I came upon what I now call the Listening Stones, which activated upon my close proximity. The image of a Narak came forth, just as Lota appeared to me upon waking in the Ark. It spoke in my tongue and was even tempered and polite. It told me that several of these places had been placed about the world, as signs of their passing. It also foretold that the Narak knew the humans were not annihilated; that they expected a species such as ours to find a way back. To any like me, this place was a warning. The Narak had invaded Earth and attempted to destroy all of mankind in an effort to preserve the planet Earth, which was one of the few planets in the universe capable of sustaining life. The Narak explained that humans had caused so much damage to the Earth that if allowed to continue on their path, the precious planet would become completely uninhabitable and that could not be allowed. Other life forms in the galaxy were desperate for a planet and to the Narak, humans had forfeited their right to the monopoly of Earth. According to the image, the Narak had eliminated all traces of mankind, spent centuries cleaning up the nuclear fallout from our war and relocated several sentient, alien beings to the newly renovated planet.
Before it faded back into the Listening Stone, the Narak gave its final warning to any humans who managed to survive the Purge. “Look to the skies, but do not reach for them. Balance will be maintained.” The message was clear: humankind had reached space-faring status just before the Purge and we would not be allowed to grow that large ever again. It didn’t matter. The Ark was the only one of its kind. I know I should be mad, but I’m growing wiser with age and I like my life here among the Amphibyons. I have a garden, friends all around me and even a mate from among the local tribe, though the engagement is more… emotional in form. I think that maybe it’s better that man could not retake the Earth. For now, there is no war beyond tribal squabbles and the only threats here are from the annoying insects and occasional panther coming too close to the village.
I will say that I wish that Lilith were here. I miss her terribly, especially at night when the darkness reminds me of our time together in the dying Ark. I’ve started to forget what she even looked like, aside from the dark hair and brilliant eyes… and of course the amazing bosom. I will end on this last note. Religion was merely touched upon in my training and most of what I learned of it in the histories terrified me, what with the holy wars and inquisitions and all, but even at the end of the Purge, most of humanity clung to it. Perhaps it is the comforting notion of an afterlife, for I sort of like the idea that Lilith could be looking down upon me from a place with no pain. If she could see me here, years and years above ground now… would she be as happy as she claimed in her entry? Would her sacrifice feel worthy, even though humanity will still die out with me? This is Adam Owun, of humankind’s last hope the Ark, signing off for a final time. Goodbye.


-End Log 089-

“What is that you are doing, my partner?” the Amphibyon female asked in her own tongue, easing down beside the man. “Your eyes are red! You need water! Is this thing making you upset?”

“No, I am fine, Ulana,” the man replied in the strange language. He reached his tanned arm around her and pulled her close as she smiled up at him. She had large, green eyes, like Lilith, but her body was much more lithe and petite. He enjoyed her company immensely and was glad that she had found him alone out on the beach as dusk approached. “I was just listening to the stories I had recorded while I was under Oceanus’ prison. They are all that is left of humanity.”

“I don’t like it,” she said, frowning. “I don’t like it if it makes my partner sad like this. We should swim, my partner! We will swim until you are not sad anymore.”

“I will, I promise, Ulana. I thought that I might transcribe these recordings on tablets, so that the story of humanity will not be lost forever. We were a part of this world for so long… something has to live on after I am gone. Do you understand?”

“I do, my partner,” she replied. “You cannot fill a tablet with those odd noises, like the ones you made when I was young and first saw you. Who can understand that?”

“I will have to translate them, obviously, although a lot of the drama and context will surely be lost by doing so. You don’t even have words for half of the things I mention.”

“Can we swim now, please?” she begged. She was a marvelous creature, he thought as he looked upon her. Swimming the way that she did, with the face that she had, she might be mistaken for a mermaid in the Old World.

Humans would have tried to kill her just to be on television, he thought grimly. Then he cast those thoughts aside and launched himself from the sand, chasing the girl out into the surf. Grim thoughts would not change his circumstance, but swimming with a beautiful girl would change his mood and he alone carried the happiness for the entire human race.

wiedzmah

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wiedzmah
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PostedApr 08, 2013 5:47 pm
One critical moment - dairy is not so good source of information : the entry recorded by the arkana is completely unproved - you might've written anything from her side with same result her love is so unsupported by - I even catch myself in disbelieving her words at all.
Were she lying to the commander's dairy ?

Even in drama leaving to the reader open major storyline by providing several ways of conclusion - better to settle the particular environment to a solid base - words of arkana haven't such basis.

I liked the form of diary it've been written - very good, but that's not what i really wanted to praise.

gryffon011

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PostedApr 08, 2013 7:40 pm
A few more entries covering Adam and Lillith getting closer may have made her death hit home a bit harder, but that's really the only negative thing I have to say. All in all, it's a very good read and I enjoyed your take on the Narak. Just was kind of "Oh... she died... how sad." at Lillith's death where it could have been an "Oh my god... no!" moment. Food for thought. Smile

michaelxushi

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PostedApr 10, 2013 6:30 am
I pretty much simply shares gryffons opinion~~~
No real need to say more as he have it all covered XD

Me: Lazy, perverted, talkative, got lots of interests, otaku.... That more or less sums me up XD.

Huntersteel85

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PostedApr 24, 2013 5:42 am
What michael and gryffon said.
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