Dog Eat Dog

Games and stories.
Post Reply
User avatar
Shroom Man 777
Global Mod
Posts: 4497
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 7:09 pm
Contact:

Dog Eat Dog

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Wed Jun 03, 2015 5:16 pm

> CASE PARA / SUPPLMTL <

> > > TECHSPEC: ORGANIC – RECCE

> > > LOC: UNDRCTY – DDNM

> > > HAZRD: MARGNL

> > > SUPPRT: OPTNL

. . .

. . .

> CASE RCVD >

The pungent odor of drying Makelite filled the room’s reprocessed atmosphere. With a whir, the printer tray ejected the plastic device, gleaming in the purple lamplight like an LSD ostrich egg. Its acetone smell drowned out the other processes taking place nearby, flesh-faxed neuromatter being extruded from a tabletop ovipositor.

Haphazardly, he opened the shell and caught the lobe before it splatted on the floor. It snapped shut and powered up, the combined components producing a functional endobrain. He toggled its settings and attached the olfactories, rigged from a second hand drugsniffer, simple but adequate. He downloaded open-source canid behaviorals and when the installation was done, he put on a fresh polo and left the container home.

Perspiration stained the underarms of his shirt in under five minutes. Dust and grime began adhering onto him, skin particles shed from millions of inhabitants now getting on his, along with sand, soil, powderized asbestos. He wiped his face and waited on the sidewalk until he flagged a Johnny Cab and gave it directions.

The descent went by in neon flashes reflecting off the cab’s windows. Hologram facades of crammed hiveblocs surrounded by expansionary excavations, dust plumes billowing as processions of pedestrians struggled to avoid falling into the ditches, like blood cells through a constricted artery. DeHavilland Yu contemplated his life. The exchange rates of digital currency. Cinc’s profit attenuation by organic piracy. His next meal, which he’d buy with this job’s payoff. Possible career upgrades. Skimmed the classifieds, listened on private police channels. Anything but the task at hand.

The garish complexes gave way to dull nondescript depots. They arrived at the duodenum, an inter-area between commercial and industrial zones where waste pipes were illegally tapped to supply fabricators on the cheap. He left the cab and walked on, trying not to breathe in too deeply. In his hands, the canid endobrain tested the atmosphere, tagged concentrations of ammonia byproducts, puddles of accumulated sewage, dried up thermoplastic seepage. It excitedly identified leftovers from scavengers, pheromone traces, piss stains and dried dog turds.

“Good boy,” DeHav muttered, watching his step. He found the address, an undressed and seemingly abandoned structure between several addressed ones. Crisscrossing truck tires denoted freight activity. The graffiti stained wall had a steel door. He was about to bang on it when a voice from an unseen microphone asked him his business. He raised the endobrain up for the observing cameras and explained.

Magnetic locks disengaged, the door swung open and two heavies in overcoats escorted him to a makeshift lobby with a counter decorated with bottled tissues, eyes and limbs looking and pointing at him. The dealer appraised him from behind the table like another piece of meat.

“I need a new body for my dog,” DeHav showed him the endobrain. “Genital goiter, spread all over the body.”

“We’re not exactly RePet,” the dealer scoffed. “Why don’t you try them?”

“I did, but the originals are too pricey,” DeHav replied. “Plus their markup for uploading is insane. I’d rather get a body and do it myself. And I know you’ve got bodies, ship them east for food. Butcher’s son told me at the clinic.”

“Ha, well you came to the right place, mister,” the dealer chuckled and the heavies lightened up too. He got up and led them through another door, going deeper into the building. “Here, take your pick.”

DeHav entered the storage area. Hundreds of hairless canines hanged from the ceiling, suspended in lines of dozens like bloated mammal sausages. The chains were interlaced with tubes entering the creatures’ orifices, pumping in enriched nutrients and sucking out excrement. Electrodes went inside their skulls and lined their bodies, making them convulse rhythmically, each sausage-string of pink-skinned canines collectively writhing and undulating in a peristaltic conga line.

“For their muscles. Don’t worry, they’re asleep,” the dealer gestured to a corner where a control panel displayed the creatures’ vitals. He pointed to the other side where newborns were being fished out from an embryonic vat. “They come in several sizes.”

“I’ll take a small one, thanks.” Dehav held his hands a foot apart from each other.

“Glass or plastic?”

“What?”

“Want it in a glass container or a plastic bag?”

“Oh, I never thought about that.” DeHav scratched his head. The endobrain vibrated in his hand and transmitted its findings epidermally. The dealer looked at it and DeHav placed it behind him as innocuously as possible.

“What’s with your dog?”

“It’s just nervous from all… this.” DeHav gestured at the overhanging forms. An awkward moment of silence passed as both men seemingly considered things. He coughed. “What’s the difference if its in glass or plastic?”

The dealer snorted and signalled the heavies. “Stop stalling. No more games, you little pri-”

A heavy reached for him but he swatted the hand aside and rammed the endobrain into his face, breaking his nose bridge and sending him reeling. With his other hand, he drew his sidearm and shot the other one in the torso. He staggered but stayed up, subdermal armor absorbing the rounds, so DeHav aimed low and the man’s foot turned into an explosion of shoe-leather and severed toes. He shot the nose-broken one in the leg too, putting both of them to the floor.

“Organic Detective, freeze!” DeHav shouted. “You’re all under arrest for genetic pattern theft and illegal organic fabrication with intent to traffic!”

“Fuck you, freelancer!” the dealer spat as he pulled out a handgun.DeHav shot at him but he ducked behind a stack of bio-canisters. The rounds punctured several, causing compressed excrement to spew out and turning the floor into an ocean of frothing filth. The dealer screamed and fired back at DeHav while the work crew fled for their lives.

The crippled heavies tourniqueted their wounds and produced submachine guns from under their coats. DeHav realized that he had no cover at all - too far from the workstations, barrels or anything.He shot one of the overhanging dog chains, breaking it and sending a string of convulsing canines smacking onto the floor. He scrambled behind the writhing dogpile, fired at the gunmen some more and shot down a few more dogs, forming a perimeter of meat. Nutrient and waste cables were severed and a foul combination of preprocessed gruel and semi-solid excrement started accumulating around him too. Rounds impacted canines, causing them to yelp reflexively. Blood poured out of their wounds and joined in the mixture drenching DeHav.

“Gee, I wonder where my backup is,” he muttered, trying vainly to reach them. Such were the vagaries of freelance law enforcement. As the gunfire receded, he grabbed the nearest eviscerated dog carcass and pulled it towards him. Human organs spilled out of its abdominal cavity, unlicensed replicas of branded consumer products. He discreetly pocketed a pricey athletic-grade adrenal gland.

“At least, confirmation.” DeHav took a picture and sent it to his client, meeting the case parameters and guaranteeing payment. Satisfied, he shouted and shot at the dealer. “What a bunch of low-grade knockoffs!”

The dealer replied with his own screed of gunfire and profanities. “You think we’re just some small time organ smuggling op? Well, think again, cop!”

The hobbling heavies brought him a particularly bloated canine. He took a scalpel and sliced its abdomen open, extracting a meter-long mass of bulbous flesh, cartilage and bone from betwixt its intestinal coils. He slid its elongated form over his forearm. Its organelles began to pulsate.

“Eat this!” his grotesque glove vomited a high-pressure stream of molecular acid at DeHav’s convulsing flesh-fort. DeHav emitted a high pitched shriek and leapt at the closest pile of canines, dropping his sidearm in the panic. It clattered uselessly on the shit-stained floor. The dealer laughed, a genuinely gleeful laugh, exuberant and musical. “I bring you the final solution to the future of law enforcement!”

“Fuck my life,” DeHav cursed as he clambered over the dogs. His rear was a clear target for the heavies, they raised their guns…

“He’s mine,” the dealer fired another shot. The corrosive globule ate through the dogs and burned a crater on the floor. Coverless, DeHav tried to run but saw that he had nowhere to go. He turned around and looked at the organ pirates, his face pale, mouth agape. The dealer began his sales pitch. “Organic weaponry, you see? Bioprocesses makes acids, melts the fuck out of people’s faces. Undetectable to normal scans, counterfeit detectors, tissue readers. Not like the other cheap shit we’re smuggling. Concealable, collapsible, corrosive! I’d buy that for a dollar!”

He spewed another glob. DeHav jumped to avoid it. Another glob and another jump, and then some more. He danced and they laughed. They fucking laughed.

“Alright, playtime’s over.”

DeHav dodged the subsonic wad and leapt for the control panel. He slammed against it and punched the EMERGENCY RELEASE button.

“I said, playtime’s-”

Blaring sirens cut the dealer off, followed by a loud snap as the chains were severed, sending hundreds of canine bodies crashing all over the place, burying the men in meat. Nothing was hanging over the control panel. Spared, DeHav surveyed the scene and took his turn to laugh. His guffaws echoed across the warehouse until he had to gasp for breath. By then, a hundred units’ worth of severed tubes had poured their nutrients and bodily fluids all over the place. His face contorted in disgust and he tried to cover his nose with his shirt, but it was also smeared in filth. The endobrain was vibrating wildly from the olfactory overload.

“Just kill me now,” he groaned in disgust and turned toward the exit.

The dealer crawled out of a dogpile. His flesh-glove was limp and bent at a wrong angle but the organ weapon was able to discharge a final shot. The misaimed glob landed on DeHav’s foot, melting it to the bone. He screamed and collapsed on the control panel, grasping onto it in sheer pain and desperation.

“I’ll gladly oblige,” the dealer ripped the useless weapon from his arm and pulled out his scalpel. “I’ll take pleasure in gutting you, boy!”

DeHav looked at the approaching dealer and at his own smoking foot-stump. He searched for the closest weapon, his pistol now buried under dozens of spasming dogs, electrodes still attached to them…

His eyes widened with realization. He grabbed a data cable from the panel and plugged it into the endobrain.

“Fuck you, cop! No you don’t!” the dealer shrieked and swung his blade at him. He drove his scalpel into DeHav’s guts while, all around them, a dozen of the still-living dogs began to stir. The antagonists collapsed into a tangle of limbs, soiled clothing and screams, rolling around in a sea of shit and piss and dog carcasses the floor had become. The scalpel was about to slide in between DeHav’s ribs when an enormous pink-skimmed mass of flesh plowed into the dealer and wrapped its jaws around his temples. His lower face was still exposed and showed his expression of pure silent horror before another dog came and sank its teeth into his throat. The others went for his limbs and began thrashing eagerly, playfully. Their bodies finally awake, the downloaded canid brainware finally corporeal, savoring their new existence.

“That’s a good boy,” DeHav uttered as he rested his head on one of the dead guards while trying to listen for any arriving reinforcements. Nothing, but a notification informed him that he had received his pay. “Must be my lucky day.”
Image

"Sometimes Shroomy I wonder if your imagination actually counts as some sort of war crime." - FROD

User avatar
Invictus
Posts: 1211
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 11:44 pm

Re: Dog Eat Dog

Post by Invictus » Fri Jun 05, 2015 4:45 am

The opening's a bit dense for your usual fair, but that's certainly not a complaint on the story as a whole, which is a nice little vignette. And chock full of the requisite Shroomian grotesquerie, of course. :P

I assume the endobrain's for verifying the presence of illegally grown organs as soon as it gets close enough?
"This explanation posits that external observation leads to the collapse of the quantum wave function. This is another expression of reactionary idealism, and it's indeed the most brazen expression."
-
REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 1 - Rey Quirino Versus the Dark Heart of the Philippines
"...a literary atrocity against the senses..." - Ford

REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 2 - Advent Rey Returns: REVERGELTUNG
Coming NEVER

User avatar
Shroom Man 777
Global Mod
Posts: 4497
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 7:09 pm
Contact:

Re: Dog Eat Dog

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Fri Jun 05, 2015 7:47 pm

Invictus wrote:The opening's a bit dense for your usual fair, but that's certainly not a complaint on the story as a whole, which is a nice little vignette. And chock full of the requisite Shroomian grotesquerie, of course. :P

I assume the endobrain's for verifying the presence of illegally grown organs as soon as it gets close enough?
Yep, as a cover "I need a new cheapo bootleg for my body!" and a plausibly deniable drug detector. But the dealer was a bit of a clever cookie, and the reinforcement SWAT team didn't arrive at all (probably canceled the contract at the last minute). In this future, law enforcement cases are taken/appointed/done remotely.
Image

"Sometimes Shroomy I wonder if your imagination actually counts as some sort of war crime." - FROD

User avatar
speaker-to-trolls
Posts: 764
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 12:34 am
Location: The World of Men

Re: Dog Eat Dog

Post by speaker-to-trolls » Sat Jun 06, 2015 1:50 pm

I like the slow buildup, sometimes it works better to give the impression of the wondrous and grotesque bits being part of the world.

This seemed somehow more grotesque than anything in Errance, I just imagined everything here being so slimy and gelatinous. Shroom, your mind is a treasure chest of horrors :-P
"Little monuments may be completed by their first architects, but great ones; true ones leave their copestones to posterity. God keep me from completing anything."

User avatar
Steve
Posts: 440
Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 5:52 pm
Location: Orlando, Florida
Contact:

Re: Dog Eat Dog

Post by Steve » Sat Jun 06, 2015 4:49 pm

As I said before, Shroom, it is indeed good.

Indeed, it is so good that despite its content, it is quite shiny and chrome indeed. ;)
"A Radical is a man with both feet planted firmly in the air." – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

"No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant idealism." - Sir Winston L. S. Churchill, Princips Britannia

Moderator of SDN, Former Spacebattles Super-Mod, Veteran Chatnik

User avatar
Shroom Man 777
Global Mod
Posts: 4497
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 7:09 pm
Contact:

Re: Dog Eat Dog

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Sat Jun 06, 2015 7:27 pm

Thanks guise. I think the flaw of Errance was that it was me trying to do something rather sizable but after such a long period of no practice, AND I was cramming so much woah-eeew stuff, trying too hard even, without any buildup - just throwing it right there. Whereas with Dog Eat Dog and Unnatural Philosophy/Unnatural Selection, I tried to do more minimized writing, more focused and deliberate, so the grotesque bullshit is actually working with the plot, developed by it, etc.

I know I should eventually get a different shtick without organs spewing and excrement and sex fluids spewing everywhere, but I think I'm trying to convey some weird ass... notion of the lack of separation between ecological biology, artificial "inorganic technology," the individual and the society. *pseudophilosophical jacking off* We're all made out of meat, and our environment - from highscrapers to warehouse gunfights to societal bullshits and akshun scenes and whatnot - are just extensions of human tissue.
Image

"Sometimes Shroomy I wonder if your imagination actually counts as some sort of war crime." - FROD

Post Reply