The tale of Cyberia

Imagine a world, where imagination is illegal. A world where the few people who can dream are hunted like animal, in a world made of metal, in a sociaty controlled of a single man. A city where everything you do is registered and filed. Art is non-existing, music is non-existing. Love is non-existing.

In this vast world of control, the few dreams that exist, can come to life.

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8. Chapter Seven "Artist Mode"

The silence of the night was entrancing, the view over the ruins was almost beautiful. William had never been here at night. Normally the view of the ruins made him sad, reminded him of his family and friends, but at night it seemed as though, the darkness covered the tragedy, and left only the starry night. Rose was walking besides him, her eyes the size of frisbees, on his other side was his giant wolf, his best friend since the fire.

He didn't remember much from that night, he'd been trying to suppress those memories, since they arrived, everything after the fire is a blur, and all memories from before the fire are gone. He remembered running away, whit what felt like the heat of the sun in his back. His path was illuminated by the orange gloom of the burning city. His vision had been blurry from tears, his right leg had been hurting from a burn he acquired, when jumped out the window. The ground had been treacherous, and he had fallen agin and again.
You see, when the metalified the world, it was remade in the same shapes as it was before, creating forests, waves, deserts and tundras of metal. But not as many as you might think, there hadn't been much nature left, even before they started to remake it. The mountains had been demolished to harvest minerals, the deserts converted into the class, used to make your bedroom window, and the forest, well they had been cut down for the heat and paper, neither of it useable today. But if you were lucky, you could still find a few square kilometers, covered in frozen metal trees, like a forest of grey tombstones. When the Metropolitian was build, they evened an area the size of Australia, but everything outside that area, looked as it did before they started their machines, hills, valleys and mountains. So when William ran of that night, it was on dangerous and dangerously hard ground, and every fall hurt, like having a hammer slammed against your knee. But he managed to get far enough away from the city, so that the inspectors wouldn't see him, he survived the attack. He almost didn't survive his escape.

"Do you know where the main entrance to the city is?" It was Rose, interrupting his line of thoughts, he blinked a couple of times, making his way back into the real world. "I think its on the opposite side, why?" He asked, even though he knew the answer, "Because i want to see it, i've heard its marvelous" she said, no surprises there, Rose was the kind of artist, who'd do anything to get the perfect picture, "No can do, they might not be too systematic with surveillance out here, but its a whole other deal at the front door, you poke your pretty little redhead around the corner there, and it goes flying like a football, your body wont necessarily follow" he said, with a touch of humor in his voice, she made a sad face, and sounded very offended when she said "Well then ill just go there alone, one day when you're not looking", William sighed "maybe you will, if you do, good luck" he said with a shrug, she made a grimace, addressed to him. "If haven't ever gone there, how do you know so much about it?" she asked, curiously, "because i did go there, once, and its a long time ago" he said, knowing he would have to tell her everything now, "tell me everything" she demanded, not even bothering to ask first, William sighed, there wasn't really a lot he could do to avoid her question.

He had been at the gates, a mere one week after his escaped, he had been to weak, to do anything but beg for mercy. He had with the last energy he had, walked to the city gates, then he had sat in front of it, waiting for someone to let him in, they didn't. But after almost one day, something happened. A man yelled at him from the wall, "get away kid, or i'll have to get nasty", William, who didn't understand the threat because of his age, had then got to his feet, and looked up on the guard, then stretched his arms as far up as he could, a begging gesture, a short laser burst strafed the right side of his torso, he fell to the ground, tears of pain wetting his cheeks. "Too bad kid, should've listened to me when i told you to get lost. Now go, because after the next shot, you wont be able to" the guard had yelled, with a sent of laughter in his voice. William had then got to his feet, slowly making his way through across the flat surface, that used to be the fourth ring.
He didn't get much more than barely out of sight, then he collapsed, leaning against what used to be a rock. His eyes were heavy, and his thoughts were out of focus, his chin falling to his chest. He closed his eyes, and slid into unconsciousness, without much hope to wake up again. He did though, and when he did, the giant wolf had been lying by his side. He hadn't recognized any of the surrounding. His first thought was that he had become dog food, and that his death was to be less peaceful than he had hoped. But the he realized that there was no food in the wolfs nest, and that the wolf wasn't well fed, it would have eaten him immediately, if it wanted to eat him. His next thought was that someone planted him here, for the wolf to eat when it woke up.
The small nest, was planted in a little indent, in a small hill in the middle of nowhere. The floor was pretty even, therefor usable to sleep on, couldn't say the same for the walls, which were full of nicks, scraping marks and jagged edges, perfect for cutting yourself a quickly infected wound. Luckily William was placed in the middle of the room, the giant wolf lying between him and the entrance, blocking it so he couldn't escape the cave, without crawling over the wolf, and that was out of the question. He than looked for a second exit, but the cold metal walls were solid, not a crack anywhere, he was trapped.
A slight grumble came from the wolf, William almost screamed. The wolf was a terrifying beast, it was the size of a rhino, with gray fur, covering its entire body, long sturdy hairs, made, for keeping its owner warm, and to camouflage it from potential attackers. Its paws, which were the size of dinner plates, each ended in a pair of dagger-long claws, perfectly fit for causing severe physical damage, and they were obviously used, they were worn, som of them even had cracks, and little nicks had been knocked of them.
William lay perfectly still, hoping not to wake up the sleeping animal, he then, very slowly, crawled away from it, getting to his feet without a sound. He had but one possibility, and that was to jump over the giant, and run all that he could, hoping it would be to groggy to follow a fleeing meal. He backed up against the wall, getting as long of a run-up he could possibly get, he took in a deep breath, and ran as fast as his little legs could manage, towards the exit of the cave, and the one keeping him here, in the last second, he jumped, flying over the dangerous mass of grey fur, which didn't seem to really notice, the little being, jumping over it. He landed on the other side, and started running towards freedom, he made it fifteen meters, then one of his worn out and partially burned shoes, got caught in a little crack in the ground, twisting his angle, causing him to fall over. He laid still, his leg hurting too much for him to get up. When he fell, ha had landed so that he could see the mouth of the cave, the wolf getting up and slowly walking towards him, looking at him with a pair of deep black eyes, it didn't snarl, nor did it seem to be in any kind of hurry, why would it be, it wasn't like he had much of a chance of escaping anyways. When it got to him, he closed his eyes, facing the inevitable. He opened them again, when the feeling of a large rough tongue, hit his face.
As it turned out, the wolf had found him lying in the wild, and brought him back to its cave, so that he wouldn't die. It has stayed with him ever since, guarding him.

William ruffled the hair between the wolfs two big ears, smiling as he said "you really never let me down do you", the wolf purred. William then turned his head, looking for Rose. He found her, in the act of setting up her painting gear, "seen anything you like" William asked, wondering what it was with this girl, she never did anything half-assed, if se decided that she wanted to go to the fourth ring, she went to the fourth ring, she went to fourth ring, with or without his assistance. If she wanted to bring her heavy bag of painting gear, she brought her heavy bag of painting gear, ignoring his continues offers to assist her.
"Yes, this view is perfect, theres loads of ruins, plenty of sky, and in the distance you can see the wasteland, its the perfect picture of this place" she answered, apparently oblivious to the fact that, thinking ruins and wasteland is a perfect image, would have you classified as a psychopath, if you were positioned behind the walls, not fifty meters behind them. "Great" William said, relieved that it hadn't taken too long, "get painting, so we can get home", but she was already gone, into her artistic mode, she barely sensed anything in there, she didn't register what she was drawing either, all she saw was that it looked like the picture in her head. William turned away, there was no point in starring, she never said or anything, or did anything but concentrate on her painting, so all he could do, was shutting up and waiting, and he might as well spend his waiting time by looking around. Not that there was much to look at, but it was better than nothing, he had often found items, lying about in the ashes, small things like a coin, or part of a piece of jewelry. But it was rare, and never very exciting. From time to time he would go up to Rose, and look at what she was painting, and how she painted it, colors and shadows and such. She was a really good painter, and he knew that, when it was done, the painting was going to look exactly as the real image. After one hour, he had searched the entire area, and he didn't want to leave Rose alone, she probably wouldn't mind, if she even noticed, but he would blame himself if something happened to her. So he ended up sitting beside her, on a little pile of scrap, his eyelids grew heavy, and he was about to fall asleep, when he noticed something on Roses canvas. "What's that?" He asked, she didn't respond, normally he wouldn't have asked her anything, if it wasn't as important as it was, so he grabbed her shoulder and shook her, she returned to the surface. "William!" She yelled, "what are you doing?" William withdrew his hand, to avoid it being bitten, "what's that on your painting?" he asked, almost hearing the slight tinge of panic in his own voice. "Why do you give a damn?" she responded, angrily. William wasn't up for explaining himself, "look!" he said, pointing at the painting, Rose looked. "It's my painting, so what?" it isn't like its the best in the world or anything, but i do my b-" then she stopped, because she noticed what William was talking about.
The painting was dark, and obviously not done, a quarter of it was in details, the rest was a rough sketch sketch, of shapes and only partially colored areas. One of those areas, were the small patch of wall, barely visible in the bottom left corner of the painting. As far as William could see, when he looked behind the canvas, at the actual picture, he could see nothing but ruins and scrap metal, but in Rose's painting, two small figures were standing, side by side, unmistakably looking in their direction. "Who's that?" William asked, looking at Rose with a confused look, she looked back at him, with seemingly the same look on her face, "don't know" she said, then shrugged "they must have been standing there, when i first looked at the area". "But they aren't there now" William said, pointing with his arm, to the spot where they, according to Rose's painting, had been standing. "No i can see that" she replied, looking offended "its not like i'm blind". "Well either that, or you're hallucinating, i see no other explanation" William said, he knew he'd crossed the line, the second he saw Rose's face, she didn't like people who insulted her mind, "i know when i'm hallucinating, i know what is real and what is not", she spoke more to herself than to William, when she said the last couple of words. "I know, I'm sorry" William said, feeling terrible that he would say that. "If they were there when you started painting, they should still be visible from here, and their not" he continued. Rose looked thoughtful for a second or two, then she spoke "either that" she said, "or, theres an entrance over there somewhere". They looked at each other for whole minute, then Rose quickly packed away her gear, and the two of them started walking, towards the spot, where the two mysterious figures had been standing.
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