Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Silence of Sound, Chapter 1

I want to see how people react to this without any author notes first, and maybe I'll get around to explaining what it is and where i'm going with it. Enjoy!

Guiding her rollboard down the crowded walk lane, L-SS JNSN idly flicked through the ads that popped up on her view screen each time she passed another store. Some of the people she passed, those who saw and admired her suit’s vibrant blue hue, her helmet’s elegant fins, and the casual swaying motions she used to maneuver the rollboard, sent pings for Friend requests to the teen’s datafile. L-SS glanced at the pings arriving at the edge of her view screen, the interior of her helmet’s visor, and angrily dismissed them all. Anytime she was on a hurry through the city, there were also at least a few dozen Friend requests shot to her. Usually L-SS would take the time to go through the profiles of the people behind them, sort out those who matched her caliber of Cool, accept them and toss out the rest.
After her bad morning cycle, though, the teen wasn’t inclined to indulge anyone’s hopes.
Her now former-boss, J-NS FLR, had waited until L-SS got to the designer’s shop to send her the message of immediate employment termination. When the teen stormed to the back office to demand an explanation, FLR’s only response had been to trigger her security drones, which forcefully ejected L-SS from the premises. Furious at the loss of her job, she’d since been rollboarding aimlessly around the walk lanes of Arctopolis, deleting Friend requests from strangers and ignoring the hails from people she knew who’d heard about the termination.
Eventually, though, she went ahead and triggered the Open command on a Chirp Alert from her Friend S-MY. As L-SS’s oldest confidant, the other girl had a right to receive a reply.
OMG, wat happen with the FLR freak? The Chirp displayed.
Terminated my position, L-SS typed on her bracer’s holo-keyboard. Guess she finally got fed up with my style, knew I was on my way up and her on the way out.
Too true. The return reply came in a few moments later. Where u at now?
Dunno. Around.
Coordinates, L! The demand was followed by the image icons for sympathy and exasperation. L-SS knew her Friend wanted to come hang out with her - since looking cool and relaxed was usually the way to get back at people trying to be upsetting - but all the teen wanted to do was keeping rolling about by herself. She didn’t particularly care about her image at the moment, only for working some of the frustration out of her system.
I send coords when I someplace I know you heard of. She sent with an amused icon. S-MY shot back one sticking its tongue out, but took the hint and left her alone after that.
Leaving the more crowded walk lanes behind as she moved into a residential district, L-SS browsed some of the Special Offer ads that downloaded from the Web every night cycle. She didn’t normally bother with the exotic arrangement of goods that one could purchase from the Trading Companies, letting the ads expire and delete on their own time, but it was something to do. The teen paused when she came across an ad for some antique Stargazers, left over from The Era Before. Studying the image file of the odd looking tubes, L-SS inadvertently found herself tilting her head and helmet back in order to look at the sky.
Ugly, black and grey smog filled the atmosphere over the city, rendered harmless by the c-breathers built into every person’s custom helmet. Supposedly, Stargazers had once allowed humans to study distant objects in space in an age before everyone wore vision enhancing visors, also now a permanent feature of their headgear. L-SS wondered if the skies had always been so dirty, and if a Stargazer was powerful enough to see past the smog.
Knowing her ample Digi-Credit savings would be able to support her for years if necessary before a new job was secured, the teen went ahead and impulsively ordered one from the seller’s Website. If nothing else, owning an antique like that could raise her Coolness Caliber.
And maybe... She’d actually be able to see some stars.
Shaking her head at the thought, L-SS brought her gaze back down to the surface world - just in time to see the large garbage collector vehicle that rammed into her at forty MPH. In the moments that she was airborne, the teen was offered a dizzying view of the sky, buildings, and ground rotating around her. It seemed oddly restful, actually. Then reality caught up with her, about the same time that gravity did.
When L-SS was finally able to start thinking again after her painful impact with the pavement, the first thing she registered was something tickling the side of her head. Except... That wasn’t quite right. It wasn’t so much of a physical sensation as something else, but L-SS didn’t have a way to describe it. Lifting a hand to her head, the teen was startled to find a gash ripped into her helmet; two of her gloved fingers were actually able to enter it and touch something soft and rubbery, which she assumed was her skin.
Suddenly aware of a painful tightness around her throat, she reached both hands towards it, finding that the decorative seal which kept her helmet attached to her full-body suit had become bent inwards. Scrabbling with it, L-SS was finally able to untwist the thing - and at the same time, accidentally release her helmet from its locked position.

Terrified, as every lesson she’d ever been taught about the dangers of the city’s atmosphere came to the forefront of her mind, the teen nonetheless cautiously removed the headgear she’d worn since reaching ten years of age. Further sensations assaulted her - the protrusion at the front of her face began to twitch as it detected something unpleasant, which was mimicked by further ticklings entering the rubbery shape at the side of her head, which L-SS determined had a matching one opposite it. Tilting her head back to stare upwards and try to make sense of these new stimuli, a gap in the teen’s face opened, just below the protrusion. Grit and smog, two things she was always able to ignore even when they tapped against her visor, entered, immediately setting the teen to coughing and hacking. Her vision was beginning to grow blurry even as public security drones finally arrived, with medical ones right behind them. L-SS waited for their instruction messages to pop up, belatedly realizing that she wouldn’t be able to see them without wearing her helmet. Then it didn’t seem to matter anymore, as her vision went dark.

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