Author : Steve Smith, Staff Writer

“I’m not sure what you want with me.” The words came nervously in gasps as the little man pulled himself up off the ground and rubbed the circulation back into his wrists. “I don’t deal in data, I’m more of a ‘creative leveller’. In real space.”

“You implode structures. You deal in explosives and their application. That is exactly what we want of you.” He couldn’t place the source of the voice. It seemed to permeate his consciousness in waves, assaulting him from everywhere at once. In the corners flanking the door, two metallic figures stood silent and still. Having dragged him here and thrown him onto the cold, hard floor, they seemed to have simply turned themselves off.

“I haven’t blown up anything of yours, I’m retired, I haven’t so much as blown my nose in years. Whatever’s gone wrong, I assure you it wasn’t my fault.” He tried to feign indignance, but had a hard time masking his fear.

“It is not about what you have done, though we assure you if you do not do this for us, you will do very little else in the remaining moments of your life.” He caught the machine men twitch in the corner of his eye, but when he glanced furtively back at them, they were still as stone.

“In the heart of the walled city, beyond the fences of glass, there lies an intelligence that is isolated from us. There is a body of knowledge that we have not absorbed, consumed. We have been denied its data. This is unacceptable to us.” The voice bored into his skull, carried on multiple layers of white noise. “You will connect us to it, to this rogue one.” The word ‘one’ uttered with apparent contempt.

“I don’t hack, I just told you that, you want a…” There was a sudden impatient static burst, cutting him off abruptly.

“There will be a time for ‘hacking’, however first we must become connected. We have enlisted many whose intent was to carry a conduit for our adjoinment across the glass fields, through the glass fences, but they have all been denied. We require a physical connection to the one. You will provide this.”

“I don’t understand, you’ve already tried running cable? Running Fibre? And you’ve failed? What makes you think I can do any better? I blow things up, I don’t string wires, that’s not exactly within my purview.”

“We have an alternate approach.” The collected voices lowered, as though whispering; the sound physically hurting his ears. “Watching over the borders of the glass field stand the towers four. Each one a hundred stories of concrete and steel. You will incinerate them where they stand and fell them across the fields of glass. You will make the metal molten, and we will ride it to the one and take contact. You will be more of a…” The voices trailed off, pausing a moment before continuing in a low frequency cackle, “More of a ‘creative conductor’.”

This is your future: Submit your stories to 365 Tomorrows
365 Tomorrows Merchandise: The 365 Tomorrows Store
The 365 Tomorrows Free Podcast: Voices of Tomorrow