Metal Deep 4: Soul on Fire

BOOK: Metal Deep 4: Soul on Fire
13.97Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

METAL DEEP

 

 

a series by:

 

GX KNIGHT

 

 

 

Copyright 2012, 2013 Kindle Edition

 

(So if you see this anywhere else in the near future… It’s a fake!)

 

 

 

All rights reserved.

 

(I have no idea what this means except that I think you can’t steal it.)

 

 

 

This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used whatsoever without the express permission of the author except for brief quotation necessary for review.

 

(If you want to write in my world, with my people, or my places, ask… and then pay… simple.)

 

 

 

All characters in this publication, other than those of public domain, are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

 

(I made it all up. Except for a few cases of popular reference. There are no evil characters based on Aunt Ruth or my former jackass boss, though there should be.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Further updates and information can be found at:

 

www.gxknight.com

 

 

 

Follow on Twitter:
www.twitter.com/gxknight
or @gxknight

 

 

 

“Like Knight” on FB at
www.facebook.com/gxknightwriter

 

 

 

Shoot an Email:
[email protected]

 

Those Who Make This Happen

 

 

 

Story and Concepts:  GX Knight

 

Edits and Critiques:  Aaron Salt and Emily Hale

 

Art and Cover Format:  Andre Frattino and GX Knight

 

Official Music:  Drew Hale (Collide)

 

Technical Support:  Bane-Tech.com

 

Publicity: Brian Barber (Author of LYCCYX) and Kathleen Barber

 

Guerilla Marketing Advisor: Jacob Stokes

 

Contributions: Libby Ludwig, Michelle Downing, Rachel Avant, and Shery Butler

 

Moral Support and Inspiration: GX Spartan

 

Author’s Note

 

 

 

This is a continuously evolving edition of the METAL DEEP series. I have tried my best to create something that everyone can enjoy, while offering the most professional experience this amateur can muster. With that I ask:  Please be patient with the formatting. I and my friends have scoured each and every piece to make sure the rules of grammar, punctuation, and spelling have been observed to the best of our limited ability. We will no doubt miss something… Okay, probably a lot of somethings. We all work full-time jobs and my help has graciously volunteered
hours
of their free time to make this a reality for me and for you. Your patience and understanding is appreciated. Should you find glaring faults, please feel free to visit
www.gxknight.com
and leave me a message. I would be happy to make necessary applicable changes for future updated editions.

 

 

 

Now that’s out of the way… I hope you enjoy the adventure!!!

 

 

 

THANK YOU

 

 

 

G.X. Knight

 

 

 

 

 

PS - If you
really
like what you read, please help spread the word and leave those 5 Star ratings on Amazon. If you don’t… Ummm… How about we just keep that between us, okay?

 

 

 

 

 

What’s Been Happening

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contest Winner

 

eBookBuilders.com

 

Favorite New Indie Author Vote – 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

What they’re saying about METAL DEEP…

 

 

 

“If you are a fan of sci-fi and fantasy then you should definitely check this series out. I laughed, I cried. And I absolutely can't wait for the next installment.” –Ryan

 

 

 

“I really enjoy the pace of the series … like someone's pressing hard on the accelerator.” –Julie

 

 

 

“It's a wonderful read, especially for the price. Highly recommended!” –M.E.

 

 

 

“I'm not gonna lie. I'm not usually a sci-fi reader, but, I heard about it and wanted to check it out … Seriously, it's great!” –Sarah

 

 

 

“Everyone should read this! It is fabulous! I just want more! But isn’t that the point?” –Rachel

 

 

 

“Strong story line, wonderful character development, and a witty sense of humor makes the Metal Deep series a must read.” –Anthony

 

 

 

“Fast paced read, draws you into the story immediately … I AM HOOKED!” –Michelle

 

 

 

“[GX Knight] has two things that every author needs: a story and a voice. Now I'm proud to be a part of the third thing every author needs: the audience.” –Jacob

 

 

 

Metal Deep is an ongoing novelette/novella series. It is not necessary to have read previous episodes to enjoy the current, but it is suggested. All episodes can be found on Amazon by searching “Metal Deep” or “GX Knight,” and they are conveniently linked on the Metal Deep home website:
www.gxknight.com
.

 

 

 

 

 

Episode 1:  DAMSELS IN DISTRESS

 

Episode 2:  SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL

 

Episode 3:  INFINITE AND FOREVER

 

Episode 4:  SOUL ON FIRE

 

 

 
EPISODE 4:  SOUL ON FIRE

 

 

 

 

 

ME AND MY BIG MOUTH

 

 

 

I have gone through many changes since becoming a Cyborg, but there was one terrible attribute that would not stay pruned away, and it seemed to be getting worse…

 

A humanoid fighting robot, with a black roman numeral “V” painted on its dull chrome chest, circled me like a stalking cat. I could feel its sensors penetrating my metal skin looking for signs of weakness. I could actually hear the calculations burning across its countless circuits and wires while it formulated a plan of attack. As V preyed, it had to step over broken and busted pieces of the four predecessors I had already scattered throughout the room. I knew robots did not feel emotion, but this one seemed to gulp with apprehension laced over its electronic “beep-burtle.” It didn’t have a face, save a blank silver plate, but if it had, I’m sure it would have worn a look of fear. – As it should have.

 

From behind a newly reinforced glass partition in the training studio, Largo’s voice rippled from a speaker in the center of the room. I was on my knees trying a new breathing technique while waiting for V to attack, “Remember, the point of this exercise is to
disable
. Treat it as if it was someone you would need information from. Most subjects you encounter can’t speak without their heads attached.” You’d think that was common sense, but I was having a bad day. I needed the reminder.

 

To my right V stalked with light soundless steps.
In
– I inhaled a deep, smooth breath. The air was tainted by the smells of melted plastic, burnt oil, and spilled hydraulic fluids. V hawked back to the left.
Out
– I summoned all the rage and anger I had used to litter the air with those scents of destructed bots, and I tried to push it all away from me with the concluded breath I forced from my nose.

 

My focus was scattered. It did not come easily. Especially after Largo left the microphone on, and I had to listen to Kata ask the same question for the fifth time, “So, what does an Infinite do again?”

 

I tried to concentrate as Largo and the Party Elves, who had not been as party-hard since Maeve’s unexpected departure, prattled back and forth like gossiping buzzards. My deep breaths grew heavier after every passing moment of discussion involving me in the third person.

 

“He’s like the old Texas Rangers.” Largo answered.

 

Sway thought it was funny, “At least he’s supposed to be. If Sir-Breaks-A-Lot in there doesn’t get it together, he’s going to end up on a wanted poster himself for decapitating jaywalkers.”

 

Kata droned on, “I still don’t understand. All Amalgam provinces already have protectors and law enforcers. So what’s the point of an Infinite?”

 

Largo tried his best to explain, but it wasn’t working, “Well the local people handle
local
issues. They’re not equipped to handle
issues
that may jump around from province to province. Let’s face it; the Amalgam community doesn’t exactly have the most cooperative of governments. The reinstitution of Infinites could really be a good thing. Especially, with more groups like the Street Vipers coming out of the woodwork. The Amalgam world is a powder keg waiting to blow.  It hasn’t been this bad since back when the Infinites were first started.”

 

“So he’s not the police?”

 

Sway got a little testy. As we all were getting if Kata’s genius IQ didn’t hurry up and click on. I could mentally visualize Sway tapping Largo on the shoulder as she said “I got this,” before changing her voice to resemble Kata’s Valley-Girl-Speak, “Okay, so you know when we go party at Zyn? And each club along the strip has their own super cute, super buff bouncers? But
outside
there’s those other security guys, who sometimes aren’t as cute, but they’re responsible for all that’s going-on
not
in the club?”

 

“Yeah?”

 

“He’s that guy!”

 

 The light dinged on. “Oh… And if a club happens to need extra help, like the time that one tramp from Lessik got her tentacle drunk and you picked a fight with it, and then the club about burned down before the bouncers and the security hunks came to break it up... He’s like that guy with the gun and the fire extinguisher.”

 

“Yes.” Sway said flatly, and apparently not happy to have had the “tentacle incident” brought up. I could only imagine.

 

“Got it.” Kata said proudly.

 

I snapped. I tried to hold it in, but I couldn’t. I started yelling at everyone, “I’m
so
happy you
finally
got it. I was getting worried. I couldn’t tell if you had been drunk or stupid.” I yelled directly at the mirrored booth on the far end of the room. “Maybe after this we could all look up the ancient histories of “shut the frel up,” and then we can draw a picture in finger paint so you can figure
that
one
out. Better yet, how about we do a web search on
everyone
not talking, so I can concentrate? I’m sure there’s a bottle at the package store that could teach you
that
.”

 

Sway grumbled, “How about we do a search on cybernetic
assholes
?”

 

“Focus.” Largo told me.

 

“Don’t I look focused? I have a front row seat to the Tweedles philosophical dissertations on Amalgam occupation practices. How could I not focus with that being hammered into my ears?” I jumped from my kneeling position. V used the moment of distraction to fire one of the new electric darts at me. The girls put them together after Falor, so I could practice with “live” ammunition. I formed a round green shield using the power of my Dragonstones. It projected about three inches off my left forearm and worked just like an old world battle shield. I knocked the dart away as another surge of anger pushed over me. My eyes narrowed, my mouth curled into a snarl, my gems glowed brighter, and with a lunge, I swung the circular energy projection. I used the edge as a weapon that cut the robots “bleeping” head off. The chrome spun away in an impressive display of rolling flips, but before it could hit the ground I bashed the crumpling body with my right fist. The torso flew and flailed with lifeless arms and legs like a stringless marionette. It crashed into the falling head, and then both shattered into a display of sizzling sparks up against the booth’s unbreakable glass. “If you want to do something useful, design something that doesn’t belong on a toy store’s shelf!
That’s
supposed to replace Maeve’s teaching? She had more skill in her pinky toe than that thing does in its entire matrix. Maybe if you spent more time focusing on
your
jobs instead of mine, we could get something worth a damn for practice in here.”

 

I stared at the smoking bot pieces. I was still seething, and I hated to admit that I rather enjoyed the feeling. There was silence from the booth. Well, I guess my interrogation of the prisoner was complete. The subject told me everything I needed to know: I still had a temper problem, and it really was getting worse. I left the room and passed VI as it slumped down the hallway with a broom and dustpan on its way to clean up its friends’ remains. It stopped and pressed its back against the wall to stay clear of me before I could shove it out of my way. That was the first smart thing any of Kata and Sway’s new training bots had done all day.

 

Later, I sat at the kitchen table, alone. I had a box of cold tacos sitting in front of me, my first victim, only half-eaten, was just staring up at me from a small orange plate, daring me to take another bite. I pushed the plate back and let the litter bugger live for a bit longer. I plopped my head down into my cold metal hands and sat there until my face grew numb. I didn’t want to rehash my emotions. Largo, Kata, and even Sway had tried to get me to talk on more than one occasion since Maeve left. One trick I learned from Maeve – people stop asking when you start getting feisty after they broach a forbidden subject. Unfortunately, things had snowballed. It was happening more than just whenever the conversation strayed to the topic of Maeve. If it had just been that, I probably wouldn’t have felt so bad. Lately,
everything
caused me to wig out. I was losing my shiza all over the place
.

 

My attitude reminded me of how I had acted toward Dad during my last night of humanity. I had hoped that maybe this new life would have fixed all that. I was evolving with the newfound purpose of becoming an Infinite. I really thought I’d be calmer, happier, and less of an ass. Turns out I was exactly the same, only now I could hit harder and do more damage. The newly reinforced training studio was evidence enough of that. Steel walls replaced the old sheetrock, and the new observation booth had become necessary after I snapped a forty-five pound weighted plate into flying chunks of shrapnel. The pieces almost hit Sway while she “trained” in the corner with her iPod and
PARTY DRESS CENTRAL
magazine. She thought it was funny. Largo did not. He had construction workers in there within the hour. Guess I know where Maeve got her efficiency when it came to procuring odd things in a super-timely manner.

 

Nothing seemed to help. I could only think of one other option.

 

Largo kept a stash of Dwarven Ale in the upper cabinet beside the freezer. I left my tacos, grabbed a glass, iced it, and from a silver and tan bottle I poured a large helping of the mint-green liquid. I poured more than I had ever been able to drink. I believe the rule is:
The more you hurt, the more you drink
? I swirled the glass and let the ice dilute the heavy sweet scents of the nostril burning beverage. If that rule were true, I probably should have just forgone the glass altogether, and pulled my swigs straight from the bottle.

 

Largo was more connected to his Ale than he was his own hands. To be fair, he was also connected to us. He always just seemed to know when we were about to do something stupid. He also knew when we were about to do something embarrassing. He loved popping in for those moments just to get a laugh. Just ask Sway about his appearance with an umbrella during the exploding spaghetti sauce incident. Warning: Keep a safe distance from her if you do. Per his impeccable timing, Largo came around the corner into the kitchen just as the glass rim touched my lips. “It won’t help,” he said. “In fact, it might make things worse.”

 

I pulled the glass down before I could take my first sip, “Maybe, but if it can dull what I’m feeling right now, I think I’d be willing to risk it.”

 

“I’m not willing to risk it.” Largo’s pale eyes searched me over as we both stood in silence. His gaze stayed transfixed on me. Instead of scanning for my weakness, as V had, I felt him looking for strength. I was afraid I would disappoint him. I had become good at that with those who mattered to me most. He offered a smile, “If you want to dull the senses, I’m sure Sway’s got a tool for that.”

 

I shook my head, “She doesn’t have a tool for
this
.”

 

“No, I suppose she wouldn’t.” Largo walked over and gingerly took the glass from my hand. “I love this stuff,” He said before downing my heavy pour in a single gulp, “And maybe I partake a little more than I should at times. However, I’ve never stared at the bottom of a glass for the reason you are wanting to right now. I can’t let you. I’ve grown to care too much about you, Scion. The safest way to travel a dangerous road is to never start down it.”

 

Largo pulled out one of the old history books left on the counter he and the girls used for various projects, “Sway found this the other day.” He flipped to a picture circled in Sway’s favorite purple ink. “Pimnoss Thantosa,” Largo said about an ancient sketch of a shirtless man hefting a boulder the size of a house over his head in true Hulk fashion, “Third dynasty era.” He pointed to a headband where two curved smudges appeared mounted in the center, “Look familiar?” He asked.

 

“My Dragonstones,” I answered dutifully.

 

“You’re strong enough to move mountains. Once you tap into your potential, there will be no end to what you can do. To do that, you are going to have to learn how to run through Life. You’ll never get there if you start stumbling now. You are going to need your wits, but more so, your friends.”

BOOK: Metal Deep 4: Soul on Fire
13.97Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

Avenge by Sarah M. Ross
Weapons of War by M. R. Forbes
A Spring Betrayal by Tom Callaghan
Un Lun Dun by China Mieville
Becalmed by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Assassin's Quest by Robin Hobb