The Rise of Tacgnoll

January 27, 2011
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The warm California air blew through the area. The clear blue sky radiated the city below as the sun hang like an ornament in the sea of blue. A small breeze whispered to the swaying leaves of the palms. You couldn’t tell where the sky stopped and the vast Pacific began. Its waves crashed against the barnacle-crusted wood of the boardwalk. The hum and chatter of the crowds echoed through out the air. It was almost untouched by time against the metallic glow of the costal city.

The impact of the technological boom of the 2030s was beginning to ware off after twenty-three years, but the country’s prosperity on the other hand, was still going strong. Factories were filled with workers as well as the stores that sold their products. Needless to say, life was good in the United States of America.

As you go closer into the boardwalk, a small group of teenagers chatter away to one another.

“Hey, Gill, did you hear that Kat got the new iBot 3G?” One of the girls asked another.

Gillian nodded and replied, “Yeah, I did, I wonder how she got it. Those things cost so much. Do you know Carly?”

Carly sighed at Gillian’s question. “Gee, what do you think? She probably got it from her loaded boyfriend, the little gold digger…” She scornfully retorted.

“Carly, you can’t judge her off of that! They really like each other and you know it.” Gillian scolded I know Carly and her had a falling out, but still. Just because she dates a rich guy she’s a gold digger? That’s shallow, even for her. That was Gillian for you, never judging and always sticking up for the other person. Sadly, this made her a bit gullible and a slight pushover.

“Yeah yeah, keep telling yourself that Gill. Come on, let’s go get a drink.” Carly turned to the others in the group. “We’ll meet you guys at the sling, okay?” Then Carly and Gillian went towards a small cart.

“Do I have to ride the sling? It’s so freaky. Oh, one Tropii please.” Gillian ordered. The woman in the cart nodded and gave her the drink.

“$2.50 for that young lady.” The woman told her.

“Oh sure, let me get out my wallet…” She pulled out her small, green wallet and got out three dollars. She placed the money on the cart. When the woman saw Gillian’s wrist, her eyes widened.

“You have the mark… I’ve found one! Oh dear child, you have it!” She joyfully shouted. She grasped Gillian’s wrist and pointed to a birthmark the size of her thumb. The woman’s hand felt like worn sandpaper. It looked like a crescent moon with a dot between its points. Gillian tried to pull her wrist away, but the vendor was much stronger then she appeared. She just kept rambling about some mark that Gillian had seen on her for as long as she could remember. Carly was at a different cart and couldn’t hear her and didn’t notice. Attempting to pull away again and failing, she couldn’t do anything else but beg the woman to let her go.

“Please, just leg go! Leave me be.”

“You are destined for great thing dear. I know from experience, good luck.” The woman added before squeezing her wrist a little tighter, then letting go.

Gillian grabbed her drink and ran over to Carly and explained what happened. Carly calmed her down and they headed to The Sling where everyone was waiting. The whole way Gillian stared at her wrist. It was just a birthmark, nothing special about it. Her cousin had one that looked just like a hippo, but you didn’t see crazy drink cart ladies spazzing out about that. What was so special?

Later that night, Gillian was dropped off at her house. She greeted her parents and flopped onto her bed the second she came into her room. It was a fun, but very long day. She laughed as she recalled Carly’s screams from The Sling. She also chuckled when one person from the group, Tim, lost to Kat in a shooting game. It was always great to be around her friends.

Sniffing her clothes, Gillian’s face scrunched up. They smelled like a combination of corn-dogs, sweat, and a twinge of saltwater. She quickly changed into her pajamas and began her nightly routine. “G’night guys!” She shouted down the hall. She heard muttering from the direction she shouted and sighed. “Must be asleep. I wonder what time it is…” She questioned as she checked her bedside clock. “Ugh, 11:27.” She threw back her comforter and slip into bed. Slowly she drifted off to sleep.

Gillian woke with a start and slowly glanced around. Metallic walls enclosed a busy room, where things of all shapes and sizes moving about. She was in a bed that resembled a pod. Figuring she was dreaming, she shrugged and scratched her head to find wires tangled in her messy, brown hair. This is too weird… she thought. Time to wake up! Just one quick pinch. Gillian squeezed her arm and felt a small, sharp pain. Worried thoughts raced through her head. Who took her here? Where is here? Why are there wires on her head? How long had she been asleep? She would have asked all of these, but the only one sound escaped her mouth, a shrill scream that echoed across the room. A sunburned man came towards her along with a robotic nurse. He issued a command to it that was almost inaudible to human ears. The nurse’s finger then formed the shape of a small needle filled with a clear solution. Another of Gillian’s screams filled the room, but no one paid her any mind. With speed much greater then her own, the nurse administered the shot. Everything was engulfed in darkness.

When Gillian came back into consciousness, she breathed in, but before anything could leaver her mouth, a short woman covered it with her rough, dry hand.

“Rest easy, Earth child, you are safe. Things are all right, now I’m going to move my hand. I don’t want to have to sedated again, so don’t scream.” The woman assured. She was only as tall as a desk, but had large hands. She was the color of spinach and was speckled with white. She had short, cropped hair. She also had a small mark of white on her forehead that matched Gillian’s birthmark, a crescent with a dot between its points. The woman had a hardened face, but a sweet voice. Gillian nodded and bit her tongue, restrain the urge to scream bloody murder. She removed her hand.

“Good. Now why don’t you tell me your name?”

“Gillian Mc-McCully…” She managed to choke out.

“Alright Miss Gillian McMcCully, I’ll grab you some food and show you to your sleeper. Then you’ll head to orientation and training.” She explained as she rose from the booth they were in. Before Gillian could say a word she was gone, off to get food.
“Orientation and training? What’s with this place? I doubt I can get out of this. Lord, please help me…” Gillian sighed and cupped her hands around her face. Her head was still pounding; it was almost like she could feel her pulse in her head. Things were so weird here; she had no clue about what was going to happen next.

Soon the woman was back, with a tray full of food in her hands. “Let’s hope you enjoy this food, if not, tough.” She told her, setting the tray down. It was filled with many strange foods, so smelling sweetly, reminding her of honey, but others were sour. The scents clashed in a way that made Gillian’s stomach churn. The woman plopped down across from Gillian, who she was looking at with anticipation. “Well, what are ya waiting for?” She questioned, “Eat up!” Gillian wasn’t the most enthusiastic about the idea of eating thee so-called foods.

“Um, what is this stuff, uh…” She asked the woman while she poked puffed up green meat with a fork. It looked as if it was road kill, left to decompose.

The woman quickly took a bite of a rough yellow root, which made a large, cracking sound as it was bit into. “Oh, that’s just some nicmen meat, it’s perfectly safe for humans, if that’s what you’re wondering. Call me Aconey, I’m what you’d call a coper.”

Gillian tilted her head a little. “A coper? What do you mean by that? I’m not getting it.” She slowly took a bite of her meat, which slimily slid down her throat. It wasn’t as bad as she imagined, but it was defiantly not on the list of her favorite foods.

“That would be someone who works with little nudges like you. New recruits who are having problems accepting what is in front of you.” Aconey explained bluntly. “The world is bigger then you think kid. You aren’t some ordinary carbon based life form either. You, along with many others, are part of something much bigger. You are now part of the alliance.”

Gillian’s eyes started to widen. “What’s that? I’m still really confused! Nothing makes sense!” Gillian shouted as she began to wheeze. She looked down at her clothes, which weren’t what she went to sleep in. Someone grabbed her.

“Calm down! It’s alright, you’ll know more soon I don’t want to be forced to use this…” Aconey held up a needle to Gillian’s face. Gillian immediately shook her head in silent fear. IT was all so scary, but the stuff in that needle was scarier. “All right then, now come on and finish, we need to get moving.” She shoved some cherry red goop on Gillian’s plate, which Gillian, along with her meat, reluctantly chocked down.

“Now where are we heading? Am I going to get another shot of that stuff? I really hope not.” She tried to say as calmly as possible, which was much harder then she thought it would be. It didn’t help that the meat wasn’t settling well with her stomach.

Aconey shook her head. “Now that you’re calm, that won’t be necessary. Now come on, we need to get you to your sleeper.” She motioned for Gillian to follow.

They weaved through a crowd of people and exited the lunchroom. The two walked through a metallic maze of corridors, dodging creatures as they went. Soon they came to a set of doors marked ??. They entered the room, which had four pods like beds coming out of the walls. Two of the spaces were decorated with different pictures and such.

“This is where you’re going to stay during breaks and for sleep. You can decorate it how you want, so make yourself at home. Here is your bed an dresser. A transport will be here in a day or so with other things of yours.” She pressed a button and the bed slid back into the wall. A small buzzing sound started, which appeared to be coming from Aconey’s headband. Out of it, an earpiece and microphone moved around her head, as well as a holographic screen over her eye. “Hm? Another nudge in hysterics, sure, I’ll get Tal to come along, I may need some muscle. “

Panic rolled over Gillian. “You’re leaving me alone?! You can’t! I, I-“

“You will be fine, now be quiet! A droid will get you to orientation safe and sound. Your room-mates are bound to be back soon as well.” Aconey reassured. Though it didn’t help much, for the fact that Gillian was still as pale as fresh snow. Aconey waved goodbye and exited the room. Slowly Gillian sat down on her bed, which had just slid back out, next to her new empty dresser, in her new room. A thought dawned on her, what were her parents going to do? They were probably waking up to her missing and calling the police in a panic, but they would never find her. What was she going to do without them? What else was she going to miss? Prom? Getting a good job? Being with her friends? She was going to miss everything she wanted to do with her life because of these psychos! With nothing left and no one around, she cried.

Join the Discussion

This article has 4 comments. Post your own now!

BrielleM said...
Mar. 17, 2011 at 8:46 pm

This was a really interesting idea! I always love stories that are set in the future! iBot 3G. Hehe.

Anyway...There were several grammar mistakes. I would just take a look through and fix them...

Sometimes, events happened to fast and that can sometimes distract from the story...I think sometimes, the sentences sounded a bit awkward...But it wasn't too bad, and nothing you should be too worried about!

Other than that, I really liked it! (: Nice job!

charmiypiggy said...
Mar. 7, 2011 at 8:08 pm
I was a little distracted as I read this, so I'm sorry if my comment's a little vague. Throughout the piece, I kept noticing grammar mistakes, which you really should fix. The plot is interesting, even more so because it is set in the future. The flow was decent, but sometimes it was a little choppy. I do think that it progressed a bit too quickly though. OTher than that, great job and keep writing!
charmiypiggy replied...
Mar. 7, 2011 at 9:04 pm
If you want, could you please check out my novel Hunted? Look under most discussed novels in the sci-fi/fantasy section
MuffinTheStud replied...
Mar. 14, 2011 at 8:05 pm
Oh, thank you! It was a rushed publish anyways. But now that I re-read it again, I see what you mean. I'll have to work that out. Thanks again!
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