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 Time's Up

Discussion in 'Open Stories' started by Teneo Lupum, Dec 13, 2018.

  1. Teneo Lupum

    Teneo Lupum Book Worm Book Worms

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    The countdown was down to less than half an hour now. There was a time when the red implant in her forearm glowed with numbers indicating years, months, days, hours, and minutes. A countdown to something. She had no idea what; no one did. When the clock ran out of time, the person just … disappeared, never to be seen again.

    Syth sighed and scrubbed a hand across her face. With her countdown to close to zero, she’d decided to skip work for the day. What was the point? Everyone knew she was close to zeroing out. They’d just find someone to replace her. Another faceless cog in the machine doing mind-numbing work for some rich people living in their gilded towers that reached to the sky.

    She lifted the mug of coffee to her lips, blowing across the top to cool it down before she took a sip. Syth had never had such delicious coffee. It was expensive but with her countdown so close to zero, she figured there was no harm in spending so many of her remaining credits on a simple luxury. Where she was going in less than five minutes, she doubted she’d have a use for credits.

    The coffee was hot and she chose to savor it, sipping it slowly. It was a simple pleasure, one she’d never experienced before. It was a luxury reserved for the people who could afford it. And until today, Syth wasn’t one of them.

    She’d just finished the last swallow of coffee and set the white mug down on the small table situated in the back of the cafe when a voice spoke up from behind her. “Forsythia Dayholt, you need to come with us.”

    Grayish-blue eyes flicked down to her forearm. 00:00:00:00:00. Her time was up.

    Helpful Info (open)

    I literally have no idea what happens next. If you'd like to throw something up and see where it takes us, that's fine by me. If you'd prefer to message first and have a discussion, also perfectly fine by me.

    This doesn't have to involve any kind of romance/love story but it can. I'm pretty open with regards to what happens with Syth.

    I will say that I greatly prefer a partner who knows their way around a homophone and correct apostrophe usage.
     
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  2. Smoke

    Smoke Experienced Verified Book Worm Book Worms

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    His last few minutes had been of fear, curiosity and acceptance. For as long as people could remember, the clock had counted down and people just famished. No one understood why some were born with clocks, some without clocks, some had more time and some had less. It was what it was. As Mark's clock struck zero, he closed his eyes. He thought that nothing had happened but then he opened his eyes and he was in a totally different place. He walked towards the building or auditorium where others were moving towards. Everyone seemed like they were just as lost as he was.

    As he entered the foyer it was large and people were moving towards another set of doors. He made his way in and found a seat next to a pretty girl. The sign on the screen told people to sit down without spaces between them. Nervously, he said hello and introduced himself to the girl. Her name was Syth and she seemed to be about the same age. There were older people and younger people around the auditorium.

    When the space was filled, the doors closed and a video started to play. "Welcome to level two. Some of those you knew in level one were there just to accommodate the game. They were the ones with without clocks. The ones with clocks had to grow and develop their knowledge, their athletic skills and their survival skills. There is no clock in level two but you will have to make it to the transport pod to make it to level three. You are not competing against each other but there are limited resources so if you all stay together you may do fine or you may starve to death. Good luck."

    A map flashed up on the screen and mark out of instinct grabbed his phone and took a picture of it. He didn't know how long the battery would last but at least he had it. People started to yell questions and get frantic. A list of rules, suggestions and hints popped up and Mark took another picture. He didn't know about anything else but there was information being provided and he wanted as much information as he could get. When the screen finally went blank, he saw a few that were still in the room but many had already left. He shook his head and looked around. He looked at Syth. "Do you want to work together or are you going to try to get through this alone?" Behind him another man and another girl, were there and he said, "I'm Tim. I think a small team would be best. I have some military training and as soon as I saw you start to take pictures and focus on the information, I did the same. I want someone that can think fast with me. Can we all team up?"

    Mark nodded. He new how to hunt and camp. He had some self defense training but knew little of military tactics. The women might be a hindrance but they may have other skills. He wanted to stay and plan but the screen lit up with a message. "You have 10 minutes to leave this area or you will be eliminated from the game." Mark said, "Let's go find a place to plan."
     
  3. Teneo Lupum

    Teneo Lupum Book Worm Book Worms

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    The police, or who she assumed was the police, took her arms right above the elbows and escorted her through the streets to the large building in the middle of the city. There was no point in trying to fight them. Their grip was strong enough to the point that she swore her hands were going to be numb by the time they got where they were going. Not to mention the people giving them a wide berth as the trio marched their way toward the large building. No one would be jumping in to save her; it was clear that her time was up.

    Syth settled into her seat, crossing her legs and her arms as she looked around the room. The place was full of people. Most of them were about her age but there were some pockets of older people and some even smaller groups of younger people, kids maybe. As she was busy looking around the room, a man sat down next to her and introduced himself as Mark. He seemed nice enough and, just like her, had no clue what they were doing here. In her quick appraisal, she took stock of the fact that he was taller than she was, seemed fit enough under the shape of his clothes. In another place, she might have even called him handsome. But right now, she was more worried about what was happening here than worrying about whether the guy sitting next to her was hot or not.

    Syth watched with a raised eyebrow as Mark had the wherewithal to take pictures of the information that popped up on the screen. Unlike everyone else freaking out, this guy was calm enough to think clearly. The battery in his phone wouldn't last forever but at least having pictures meant they could reference the map along with the suggestions and hints when there was some time to stop and think.

    She was quiet at first after he asked if she wanted to work together. Then she spoke, nodding at the same time. "Let's work together. It can't hurt, right? I mean, having someone to watch your back is good."

    She glanced back at the couple behind them and nodded slightly in greeting. The other female offered a scared smile and leaned closer to Tim. Maybe they'd been a couple before running out of time? Whatever their relationship, Syth didn't much care as long as they didn't get her killed.

    The final warning flashed up on the large screen and she stood up. "Let's go find this transport thing. Can we look at the maps while we're on the move? At least make sure we're headed in the right direction?"
     
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  4. Smoke

    Smoke Experienced Verified Book Worm Book Worms

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    Syth - The beautiful smart girl
    Mark - good guy
    Tim - teammate and ex-military
    Amy - Teammate

    Story continues:

    As they left the building, the walked through a turnstile and as they did, a ticket popped out. As they took the ticket they were allowed to exit. Glancing at the ticket he saw that it had some writing. There was little information given rather quickly but there had to be some kind of rhyme or reason to it all. The ticket said, "Voucher" on one side and "Redeemable at the general store" on the other.

    Some of the more adventurous people were walking down Main Street and it seemed like most of the others were just following as if it were a race to get there first. Mark saw other vouchers on the ground and picked them up and his teammates followed suit. Mark led them off to the side after they each had three or four vouchers. "Guys, these say they are redeemable at the general store. I think we should just slow down. This is a test not a race. I want to come up with a plan."

    Tim jumped in. "This is weird but I think you are right. If it was a race they would have said it was a race. Whoever they are. There is a bench over there, lets sit down and read through it all together."

    At the Bench, Mark opened his phone and started to read. One thing he noticed were that the bullet points were numbered but they weren't in order. So if you only read one or two then you may not get the right sequence.

    5. Make it to the transporters.
    6. Obey all signs and laws
    3. Be prepared
    4. Working as a group may make it easier.
    2. The people you ask questions to can't lie to you.
    1. Take the road less traveled.

    Mark read them all then read them again in numerical order. The map was a map with big features and smaller ones. The big ones were easy to recognize, the smaller ones had to be zoomed in on but were there. Mark said, "I think we should ask a lot of questions and find out what we can. We should get outfitted and find the road less traveled." Tim nodded and so did Amy. Mark turned to Syth and looked for her agreement.
     
  5. Teneo Lupum

    Teneo Lupum Book Worm Book Worms

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    Syth was a little less convinced than the others but she was willing to go along with what Tim and Mark were suggesting for now. She gathered herself a handful of the mysterious vouchers and glanced at them until they were huddled around the bench. A bit of confusion furrowed her brow as she read the bullet points first in the order they were printed then again in numerical order.

    She nodded slowly in agreement to Mark's suggestion, her lips pursing slightly in thought.

    "But...it has to be some kind of race, doesn't it?" She began slowly, gathering her thoughts before she outlined them to the rest of the group. "I mean they told us we have to get to the transport pod to make it to level three. Is there a time limit? Is there only one transport?" Syth chewed on her lower lip as she glanced at Mark. "Are these the kind of questions we should be asking people? Is the general store on this level or is it in level three?"

    The sheer amount of questions running through her brain made it hard for her to sit still so she stood up and shifted a little, rocking her weight back and forth as she thought.

    Amy piped up next with some questions of her own. "I think we need a plan for how we're going to transport supplies. We don't want one person to carry all the important items. Just in case...you know...something happens to that person." She glanced nervously up at Tim, looking for his reassurance.
     
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  6. Smoke

    Smoke Experienced Verified Book Worm Book Worms

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    Mark didn't know if it was a race or a test or both but he liked the way that everyone was thinking and thinking not only for themselves but for the team. Tim said, "Splitting up the load is a great idea. we can each have food, shelter, tools and weapons. Maybe we can find out more about the mission at the store."

    They made their way to the store and was met by a greeter with a big smile. "Good morning."

    Amy said, "We have some questions. Can you help us?"

    The greeter said, "I have certain things I'm not allowed to say but I can't lie to you either."

    She asked, "Is it a race to the transport pod or do we just have to get there?"

    "That's a good question. The pods go back and forth on a regular basis and new people are coming in all the time. There is no race, it is just progressing from one stage to the next and weeding out those that aren't smart enough to make it. It isn't a hard trip but there are a few things you should know and were presented in the orientation."

    Mark asked, "What are these vouchers good for?"

    "One of the few people that comes in with more than one. One voucher allows you to get food, shelter, a tool, two personal items and a weapon. You can get that for each voucher."

    "Is there any advice you would give someone with more than one voucher?"

    "It looks like between the four of you that you have ten or twelve. Get some extra food so you don't have to ration but too much is a burden. You won't need it once you get on the transport. Tools and weapons I would use all the vouchers. A cart or wagon, a backpack, a compass and map, a shovel, an ax, rope. All can come in handy. For weapons you can get a knife and a gun as well as some sling shots for quiet hunting. The personal items may be a auto charger for your phone or some candy, pots and pans."

    Tim asked, "How far is the journey and how long will it take?"

    "It is about a hundred miles. How long could be a week or a month. The weather, the terrain, the path you choose and the things you encounter can all make the trip go slower or faster."

    Amy asked, "Is everyone against us?"

    "I'm not. There are people that live here in level two just like some people that lived in level 1. Some are willing to help and some are here to harm. If you read the rules then you know that some paths are easier and the people more helpful. If not then I'm sorry."

    Mark asked, "What else should we know before we start shopping or traveling?"

    "I can't answer that. But I think you are on the right track so far. Read the rules again before you shop and before you travel. Obey the rules."

    The greeter was at the door and they could always ask him or others if they thought of anything else. Mark asked his group, "Any other questions for our new friend before we go shopping?"
     
  7. Smoke

    Smoke Experienced Verified Book Worm Book Worms

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    Closed Story.....