Ayres/Fleur - Season 1

The first part of the serial to accompany the collaborative EP 'Ayres/Fleur'. Find the music here: https://thequantumsweep.bandcamp.com/album/ayres-fleur
Revolution is afoot in a shocking alternative-timeline dystopian vision of the North American continent. Fleur, a priveleged student and engineer is dragged into the struggle between the crazed revolutionary 'Ayres' and his struggle against The Senate.
But, as Fleur uncovers secrets regarding the organised rebellion in her country, new information begins to come to light regarding The Senate and with whom the power really lies.

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5. New Places

A jolt of pain, crashing through her skeleton like an earthquake through a city.

Fleur was awake, suddenly, as if she had never been asleep.

The helmeted guard beside her removed the cold metal prod from her side.

Fleur winced. Shooting pains would flicker up her neck restricting her movement when she let her head move outside the boundaries of a paralysing cramp that stretched from the back of her neck and down her whole right side. Her legs felt numb, as if without nerves.

The lights before her eyes danced, faded and reappeared with no apparent distinction visible between hallucinatory spots caused by waking up, or the bright lights that apparently surrounded her.

“Who are you?”

At first, the words washed over her like a foreign language being spoken on a television somewhere in another room.

“Who are you?”

A slap to the face ground her senses into coherence.

“I won’t ask again.”

“Fleur - Fleur White-”

Another blow to the face.

“Lies! That’s a fabricated name and you know it!”

“What?-”

The person - apparently male and a little under six feet in height kicked her in the stomach this time.

Fleur choked as the air rushed out of her lungs. Somewhere in there she bit her tongue, and he mouth rushed red with blood.

The man left her alone momentarily, walking a few feet away before circling back and, out of the blue kicking her twice more in the stomach.

Fleur gasped. Tears were now running down her face.

“My name is Fleur White. My Father is James White the engineer.”

“LIES!”

This time he hit her around the head, a small metal element in his gloves colliding with her skull, causing the spots to reappear around the lights.

“The traitor James White never had a daughter. You are either a League spy, or some Briton or Hatian still trying to escape-”

“My name is Fleur White. I have a place to study engineering at the Institution-”

“No such person exists, nor has ever existed. To belittle the Institution with your presence would have been-”

“I am not lying - test me!”

This time when the man hit her, his colleague did not hold her upright. Fleur’s head hit the floor with a sickening crack.

 

***

Light flickers through orange-tinted velvet curtains. The sounds of a street market float through the window.

***

The man pulls Fleur’s head from the floor, and turns it to face him with his right hand. He extends his left hand behind him. Into it is placed a small metal device a little smaller than a golf ball. The man adjusts his grip on Fleur’s face and forces her mouth open. Still dazed, she is unable to struggle as the man forces the device into her mouth and down her throat.

***

In the corner of the room, a figure stands waiting. In the centre of the room is a bed. The occupant of the bed begins to stir. The man in the corner does not react. He knew she was about to stir, just as he knows that this will be yet another brief awakening before she passes out again.

On cue, the occupant of the bed briefly opens her eyes, and sluggishly draws them across the room. As she passes out once again, her eyes come to rest on the man in the corner.

The human wakes up.

The wires have been keeping watch, and update him with the occupant’s progress.

And you didn’t do anything? Asks the human.

No, we did not, respond the wires. We would not move or alter the plan without your approval.

But you could, suggests the human.

We would not, say the wires.

The human relaxes.

Very well. I will go back to sleep. You know what to do.

 

In the corner of the room, Ayres is as motionless as ever.

***

Once in place in the oesophagus, the device begins to work.

Its first step is to activate a small charge of plastic explosive, should it ever be necessary.

Its second step is to perform an automated surgical procedure, extending miniature talons into the nerves surrounding and controlling the vocal chords.

Fleur chokes and gasps, grasping at her throat. The guard pulls her arms away from her neck and holds her hands above and behind her. The man draws his face up close to hers.

“Tell me your name again?”

Fleur opens her mouth to speak. Her mouth forms the words, and air escapes her lips, but no sound comes out.

“I’m sorry, I can’t hear you-” The man is laughing. The density of the bristles on his skin around his moth and chin decreases slowly  as his faces stretches somehow unnaturally into a smile.

“Speak up darling. You don’t seem to be making any sound.”

The horror began to set in. Fleur tried to pull he hands away but only served in wrenching her shoulder blades.

“What’s that I hear? It seems Miss Fleur White is in somewhat of an ordeal-”

***

“Miss Fleur White,”

The occupant of the bed begins to stir.

***

The room was grimy, apparently constructed primarily out of steel girders and concrete. A car park, a concrete bunker or a film studio it couldn’t have mattered. By any indication this location was as anonymous as any other building of its construction in a society whose Senate pressed as strongly as this one for painstaking efficiency at all costs.

Fleur White is handcuffed and hung from a rail in the ceiling, her feet suspended above the floor. A small motor starts somewhere above her head.

At once she feels a tightness across her chest. Her heart rate increases erratically and her limbs begin to twitch and shudder of their own accord.

I know what this place is

The rail enters a dark cavity in the wall. The smell hits her first.

There are cavities in the wall on either side of me

Shapes move in the darkness

People, no, humans in various states of decay

Bleached white skin, the remains of brightly-coloured icons painted on their bodies, writhing in tiny walled-off enclaves lit only by naked bulbs embedded in the ceilings.

This is a Treator farm.

***

“Miss Fleur White?”

Eyes open slowly to a calm, warm, furnished environment.

“Miss Fleur?”

The human wakes up with a start.

“Don’t talk!”

Smooth move, smart guy. She’s still asleep, for the most part, though she’s waking up, slowly.

Good. We wouldn’t want to move quickly at this point.

“Miss Fleur?”

The girl shifts slowly to look at us. She is almost a sun-baked skeleton, the last parts of the white dye are still yet to fully disappear from her face and eyelids. She will hate us. She will be horrified at her own reflection-

“Hello?”

“Hello, Miss White.”

 

 

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