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Skynet- chapter 1

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My mother is listening to the same old music player of hers. My father is writing in the same frayed leather-bound notebook. I am sitting on my window seat, looking out of the only nice thing in our apartment: our huge glass pane. My mother is in tears, my father seemingly oblivious. As always, I am just looking out the window. The hammering of rain on the windowsill and the upbeat racket of the music makes for an odd atmosphere in our dusty living room. Another wave of hacking sobs hits my mother, but my father and I stay where we are. Me, because I do not understand how to comfort my mother I - have never even seen her in tears. My father, on the other hand, either because he is usually stoic as a dull stone, or because he is barely holding it together himself.
After a few minutes of Mother sniveling, attempting to put on a strong face, and just breaking into more sobs, Father mechanically sits down next to her. He tentatively wraps his arm around her in an awkward hug, lets out a small sigh, and starts scribbling incessantly. He’s a medical researcher, says that he's onto something big, but he almost always does. If there’s a smile on his face,than you can bet he’s talking about his work.
The rain was now an angry, rampaging storm, blundering its way through the black night sky. My mother was now asleep on the couch, worn ragged by her grief. Neither my father nor myself have moved for a half-hour or so. The room is lit by a softly glowing candle on our coffee table. Mother’s head is draped on Father’s shoulder. Her brown hair is turned a soft blonde by the candle.
“She’s a tough one you know,” my father murmurs, though i’m not sure if he is talking to me directly, or just talking aloud. “She’ll have pulled herself together by morning,” A long silence follows his words.
“What happened?” I ask quietly.
“Well, he was supposedly killed by a disease he contracted while on the surface” So he was on the surface, a place more commonly known as the Outlands. The Outlands are uninhabitable desert that is often visited by sciency people to study the soil, look for natural mineral resources etc. In addition to the wild climate and superstorms, disease runs rampant. which might explain why Father was obsessing over his research even more than normal.
“So they couldn’t treat him? Why weren't we notified that he was ill?”
“Because the disease he contracted was unidentified, and supposedly he fell ill quite suddenly. However, his autopsy painted a more... concerning picture.”
“Why does this worry you?”
“Your uncle had been involved in some research that may or may not be illegal, depending on who you ask. The cause of death was allegedly because his body stopped producing proteins, which can usually only happen if one were poisoned.”
“You really think he was poisoned?” I ask, incredulous. Deaths due to acts of violence were extremely rare. A murder would almost always make news.
“Unfortunately, yes” my Father says with a grim expression. The lull in conversation is filled by the onslaught of rain hitting the windowsill, whose noise drowned out all hope for further conversation.
“Good night” mouths Father before gently rising, as to not wake up Mother, and goes onto his room. I give out a long sigh. Things have been so stressful lately.



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