A Machine Soul
[MachineSoul] Sketches, ideas and other written thoughts
As the title says, I will dump stuff here. Why here and not a notepad? Because maybe people can offer me some (preferably constructive) criticism, help and feedback. Among excerpts and sketches, I'd might throw some of my own thoughts and analytic views over life, mundane shenanigans and emotions. Without further ado, let's get this thing started.
A Machine Soul
The documents were important, all too important for him to hold them into his own hands. In the same time, he just couldn't leave them into the suitcase he was carrying with him, what if someone ran by and snatch it? Not only for the sensitive content inside, but it could very easily be nicked by a thief for some money; or if he weren't careful enough, his thick, sweaty, sausage-like fingers could lose grip of the handle and drop it on the pavement, crack it open and have the files fly everywhere. He had to move, and quickly so. The dossier is too important, the papers must reach their destination.
Although he was overweight and old, two chins hanging from his neck, his face congested from the effort, narrowed small eyes, hooked nose and a clump of white hair protruding from his nearly bald head, he decided it was better if he was to walk his way to the drop site. He could very easily take a cab and drive him, it would take him maybe two dollars and a nickle or two, but no, what if he gets in the wrong cab and he's disposed of the suitcase? He could not have that happening to him, no, he couldn't. No, no, no, no. He had to walk, be fast, swift; but he was exposed like this. That's why he decided to take the most crowded path to the destination, no one would have the audacity to expose themselves in the public, not even for these files. He descended from the stairs of the corporate building, his left hand sliding on the railing, the right one snug tight on the leather handle. He immediately took a left and crossed the street, trying as much as he could to keep up with a large group of people; he slowed down his pacing enough to match with theirs, but always kept his eyes open and his senses ready. He used the mirroring windows of the buildings around him to analyze people's faces, try to see if someone's tracking him, following him. But there were too many, way to many to discern, but for now, he was good. Although he stuck with a group of tourists, it was still something; but what if it made him look suspicious, a fine dressed man among the casually dressed foreigners? Soon, though, the guide of the tourists pulled them away to gaze upon one of the more famous skyscrapers, leaving him to feel suddenly exposed and endangered; he felt the urge to look behind, but if movies taught him something, it was a huge mistake to do so. He had to keep walking and breathe heavily as the fat on his body barely keep up with his aged, tired muscles.
A light grey cloud shroud covered the sky, saving him from the burning sun; it would make him sweat more than he usually does. And because there was no sun, he could easily glance at reflections, without being blinded by the celestial object he loathed so. The air was cool, chilly, October was nearing it's conclusion for this year, leaving a small coat of red and dark orange leaves underneath the trees misplaced in the asphalt. Some of the leaf coats covered the windshields of the parked cars on the left of him, depriving him from the glances behind him. The side mirrors were positioned so that the driver could see behind his car, not for pedestrians to check out if he's being followed, the man figured out. Being distracted by the surroundings, he realized nearly too late the red light flaring, a car flew just millimeters away from the tip of his black shoes; he felt the rushing wind the car threw as it passed by honking, leaving him to catch his breath and relax the burning muscles of his calves. He wiped off a few streaks of sweat from his forehead with his free hand and quickly took the suitcase to his chest, just to make sure it was under the safety of his own small, greedy eyes; beside him, a few people stopped and waited for the light to turn green and cross the street, none of them looked all too important: a suited man yelling at the bluetooth earpiece with great passion, some of the tourists from before caught up in the mean time, a tired, miserable looking young student with a mighty frown overlapping a thick pair of eyeglasses and his hands thrown into his pockets, a tall figure with a leather jacket and jeans, looking overly confident of something. Any of these people could be someone following him, but he felt most suspicious of the one man dressed up in the expensive suit, a red tie and black suede shoes. The way he talked at his bluetooth earpiece felt as if he was acting out, as if he didn't have a real conversation, no one ever could have such awkward reactions and topic to discuss about. But would someone sit so close to their target and put off a show just to look like an innocent civilian? No, it had to be him. It was all just way too obvious. He felt his arms and fingers growing numb, shivers ran down his spine after his realization, genuinely afraid for his own life.
As soon as green light flared, drawing a walking man on the black display screen, he took off first and paced up quickly, trying to keep a stern, impenetrable face as his lungs were screaming for air and his heart was trying to burst itself out of his chest; he was scared, who wouldn't be if you carried such information with you? This was no national threat, this was a growing global crisis, one so important the heads of all super-power states would be overwhelmed. Yet, the very same information lies in his hands, a small politician and entrepreneur, stock holder in gas companies and a hobby for collecting golf clubs; all of these wouldn't matter anymore if this information would reach out the public, for there will be nothing left of the world. No, no, no, he could not let that happen. Never. He had to keep an eye on the suited guy, he and his fancy red tie, neatly trimmed hair and charming stubble; who does that snotty scum think he is, James Bond, following him around like in a spy movie? He will show him.
With a sharp turn to the left after the next corner, he squeezed himself into a mass of people standing at the bus-stop and navigated between the sea of faces and voices. Just then, a bus arrived in the station and opened it's doors, the flock of people rushed inside the public transportation vehicle; he then saw the opportunity to evade the suited man, which had the diligence of keeping a 5 meter distance from him all the time, 'till to the crowding of course. He got inside the bus and quickly claimed a seat away from the revealing windows, he wouldn't want his trackers to see him in the bus. He took the liberty of looking around him, but to his terror, he saw the suited man in the same bus with him, standing and gripping the railings inside the vehicle, but with his back turned to him. At first unsure why would his tracker stand with his back at him, he realizes he would be watching him with the help of the window reflection, the lighting inside the bus was perfect for that. He gripped his suitcase and pulled it at his chest, a small whimper escaped his sweaty upper lip at the thought of sitting in the same bus with his possible murderer. As soon as he felt the bus come to a halt at the next station, he clumsily ripped away from his seat and rammed his way towards the front door, without even looking behind, not until he was out on the pavement. To his relief, he notices that the suited man remained stuck in the bus, seeming to yell at one of the other passengers; he wiped his forehead with his knuckles and sighed in relief, spittle flew from his floppy upper lip. With half of the problem "solved", he quickly jaywalked across the street and follow down the alley until he reached a small, grey and miserable residential area composed of long-forgotten flats the mayor couldn't care less about destroying them. It was sheer luck that the bus had brought him so close to the drop point was close, as it was right in his sight: a cracked, morose and miserable flat where the lowest working class used to dwell; he outsmarted that piece of shit of a tracker, but they will be back, no doubt. Maybe the next time they won't send in a rookie like him, but maybe the agency's finest. But he couldn't stop to pick up his breath and to think over his situation, he had to reach his destination and leave the suitcase as he was commanded: reach on the third floor of the building number 43, end of corridor I, to the left of room 372, in between the two balcony doors next to the apartment door. The voice over the phone was almost robotic in it's tone, but only a live person could deliver a message that important with such strength and alertness; how could he trust the random voice so easily? No one calls the phone at his desk without the secretary's permission and that man bypassed all security measures to reach out directly to him. It had to be real, it had to be big. The tracker only confirmed his suspicions.
The lock was busted and the entrance wide open, because there was no doors left in the frame. The corridors were filthy and filled with garbage forgotten by the abandoning owners and renters, the walls decorated with vandalism and street art scattered among the rude messages and anarchy propaganda. The sun outside was slowly making it's way to set beyond the horizon, darkening the sky as streetlights have been preemptively lit and the building itself was dark and arid on the inside, the low ceiling gave him an uneasy feeling of suffocation and desperation, his heavy steps and gasps for air echoed along the walls; he pressed on, he had to deliver them, he was so close. He would take part in the plan to make sure this suitcase will not fall into the wrong hands. But no matter who would get their hands on this, it will still be harming to anyone who reads this. He wondered how many times in history such a discovery was found then hidden by all costs and covered by lies and stories of wars and conflicts? He was now writing history, that what's he's doing. With hope in his heart, he bends over in front of the abandoned room with the number 372, leaving the suitcase just where he was supposed to, in between the shattered glass doors that led to the maintenance balcony of this floor; he took a final glance upon it before he would pivot around and go anywhere but here, maybe catch a cab and serve dinner at a restaurant and drown himself with wine. But he fell on the ground hard, the fat in his body taking most of the shock from the impact with the cold concrete.
He was deafened by the burning sting choking the life away from his neck, feeling a warm fluid running down into his lungs. A small puddle formed under his head from his desperate attempt to cover the hole and hold his precious blood inside, but if he did so, it would all go down his throat and bathe his lungs in it; this is how drowning must feel like. He looked with his small black eyes while he still could, recognizing a raggedly figure dressed in baggy and tattered jeans, a dark green jacket over a black hooded sweater; a frowned young man with thick glasses on his nose, bedraggled hair, pale skin tone but devilishly handsome figure, brown eyes gaze upon his sorry choking face. He took off his glasses and hid them into a side pocket, so he could take off and turn the jacket inside-out, revealing a two-sided jacket colored in the same dingy dark tone, only it was blue. He took himself time to neat his raggedly hair to look somewhat civilized and crouched at the suitcase. He pried it open with the help of some instrument he pulled from a side-pocket from his backpack's handle and emptied the contents of the suitcase, even the money and ID that was left inside. Clever young man, he had his hands and fingers covered by a pair of green surgical gloves, so he wouldn't leave his fingerprints everywhere. He felt the same hands pulling out any last ID information from his pockets, while he could only choke and swallow his own fluids, sweat trickling down his face and stinging his eyes; the young lad then took a last look at the fat man and turned around to reveal one of the dossier contents: blank pages. And a photography of the man and another political figure, shaking hands and sharing a suitcase of sorts, the same he held all this time; now he wasn't sure what the whole fuss was about with this suitcase, whether it was truly important, whether it was all a political game or an assassination. The young man surely knew what was going on, as he stood there and read one of the files that had something written on it, but whatever was there, it couldn't impress him; the devil packed up his things and left without looking behind, without uttering one word and forgot so easily about his target, laying down in his last seconds of his draining sorry life. He will never know what happened here, maybe he would have never understood.
He will never know.