Behind The Music With Project Killswitch.

Posted: September 9, 2012 in Allosaurus, sci fi
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Part twelve of Allosaurus. Here’s part 11. Here’s how all this got started.

Once upon a time, there was a social stigma attached to wearing glasses as a child. Especially if you lived in certain parts of town. If you lived in these parts, and you wore glasses, you needed to develop some self defence skills. You needed to be able to fight, or be able to run faster than anybody else, or be funny enough that people thought you were too cool to actually beat the crap out of. If, however, you were too weak and uncoordinated to fight, or too slow to run, or your jokes tended to sail over the heads of your audience?

You were gonna catch a few beatings.

There were a bunch of kids, a whole school full of them actually, cowering. Under desks. Hiding from the bad people who were shooting just outside, while their teachers tried to reassure them that everything was going to be all right. They just needed to stay calm.

And then, all their hearts stopped beating, as if someone had flipped a switch.

Pamela Divers played this scene out in her mind, every single night since it had happened. Every night she would wake up ice cold and drenched with sweat, gasping as all the screams were suddenly cut off. There was a little boy whose face was always the last one she’d see: his brown, expressive eyes would grow wide with shock and fear, and then he would simply fall to the ground.

Every.

Single.

Night.

No one had told her what the weapon would do. Forbes had given them some song and dance about it being a “defensive field generator”, that was supposed to stop people from attacking you. The three of them, herself, Franklin and Fenris, had reasoned that she should be the one to carry it. She was the weakest one, after all.

God help you, if, on top of all that, you were smart. If you knew the reasons why the bullies were picking on you, all the time. You knew it wasn’t because of what your parents were saying. Those other kids weren’t jealous. Jealous? Of what? Your pudgy ass? Your habit of pronouncing words correctly? Or the fact that you always had your face in a book, maybe? Really? The other kids beat up on you because they were jealous of that? Good one.

You learned to deal with it, over the years.

You reason that those other kids are beneath you, anyway. When we all grow up, they’re gonna be the ones in shitty, dead end jobs with no future. You, on the other hand, have unlimited possibilities. You could become anything you want. That’s what the teachers all told you.

“It’s not your fault,” Fenris told her. Pamela knew he meant it. Fenris took the blame for everything. He always did. He would reason that he should’ve been closer to her, so that she wouldn’t have felt so endangered that she might need to use that horrible awful weapon. Or that he should’ve been the one to hold on to it, and somehow protect her with it. Now, he was also blaming himself for getting her mixed up in all of this.

“Thank … thank you, for saying that,” Pamela sighed. She squeezed Fenris’ hand. Fenris nodded.

“We can still make it, you know.” He said. Almost as if he believed it. “We can still make things right.”

It was particularly galling, then, for Pamela to find herself ringing up groceries.

Especially when her twin sister, Bam, was doing so well in her career.   

Bam, who always struggled with school. Always hung with the cool kids. Always laughed along with the others when they made fun of Pamela’s super-thick glasses. Pretended not to know her when Bam’s friends were around. Bam got a well-paying job in some government agency that she couldn’t talk about, while Pamela wrestled with philosophy and literature and hadn’t even graduated from college yet.

“I don’t think we’ll have to be taking orders from Forbes much longer,” Franklin yawned. “We do this kidnapping thing, get this, this whatever it is offa her. Gotta be something with a lotta firepower, right? More than the BMP gun he gave us, at least, or else he wouldn’t want it back so bad. Think about it.”

Fenris nodded. Pamela merely grunted. Franklin was logical, mathematic; a super computer plopped down in the body of a rap cliché. Many people took him too lightly. They later regretted it. Pamela knew that if Franklin had a plan, it was bound to be one that had been mapped out like a grand master’s chess moves.

“We get that shit from this Franny chick, gear up, take out Forbes,” Franklin continued. “Then, this town is ours.”

Underachiever. Slacker. Wasted talent. No one hardly ever called her that to her face, but it was the underlying accusation, always. “Look at how well your sister is doing!”  “Did you see the new car Bam just bought?” “I heard your sister just got a promotion on her job, sweetie.” “That man Bamela brought around to the family picnic is such a thoughtful gentleman, isn’t he?”  It was just so … unfair. That was the best word for it, Pamela decided. Simple, unadorned, no frills. Was that, the basic inequality of her existence, what led her to this?  Holed up somewhere in a warehouse taking orders from some guy on a computer? Perhaps.

Perhaps, she figured, it wouldn’t be long before she wasn’t the one taking orders.

words  and pictures © Christopher Ward. All rights reserved.

Allosaurus continues next time in One Day, The Bottom A Go Drop Out.

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Comments
  1. […] long last, here’s part thirteen of Allosaurus. Part twelve is here. Part one is here. Thank […]

  2. […] Allosaurus continues next time in Behind The Music With Project Killswitch. […]

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