Broken Thing

Milo Corr

Independent
Rank
Citizen

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OOC
Cartoonkarl
Joined
Mar 6, 2024
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Dark, temperamental clouds hung above the upper levels and around some of the ecumenoplis’s greatest towers, lightly showering the endless stretches of city below when the mood arose before quickly twisting into moments of dryness. The gray smothered the gilt, the upper levels so full of life now left feeling melancholic.

Yet there was one who did not bask in its misery, arms wrapped around a fancy device as he dashed from a boutique. Ruddy, dirty, with red eyes and purple bags, a sandy-haired man broke the relative peace of the cosmopolitan district, security alarms chasing after him.

Three weeks prior, Empress Teta’s security forces had just performed a major bust, breaking up not only production labs in the lower levels but smuggling rings which had plagued the system since the dissolution of the Republic, in cooperation with other security forces of the Core Worlds. This had caused a supply shock and a price hike. Where an addict could acquire an injector for some pilfered trinkets, now one had to spend a couple week’s wage. To someone like Milo, who didn’t work at all, it was a fortune.

The only decent hit for an addict who had gone a week without a hit was where natural light shined, among the gold and white. Thus he ran, having nabbed the priciest thing he could find, and now splashed through the puddles with security on his tail. There were so few alleys up here, there was no need for them, they had plenty of space. Few places for him to hide or lose them. All he needed to do was find a vent shaft, yet the upper levels had done away with the ancient systems, replacing them with newer machines in more efficient, or bureaucratically optimal, spaces with better safety features.

“Stop,” a sec-officer shouted. The rain and wind began to pick up once again.

“Fuck fuck fuck,” Milo muttered, fatigue nipping both his heels and balance. There was only one other option besides ventilation. Dropping levels, and quickly.

Rich and upper middle-class citizens streamed around them, slowing the thief down little by little as he had to push through umbrella-wielding crowds, yet he knew where he was going. He sped towards one of the many grand shafts which allowed freighters to pass from one level to another, the higher levels of which broke into docking ports containing a crisscrossing of catwalks. All it took was a bit of jumping and he’d be free…


Yet that idiotic plan was far more foolish the moment he found his gut pressed to the railing, trying to summon the urge to leap over it and onto the far slimmer platform below. A pair of boots thundered behind him and, in a panic, he clutched the device closer to himself. “Oh fuck.” Milo began to climb onto the railing, yet his worn down shoes struggled to grip the middle bar due to the rainwater. The fall was a lot longer than it was a moment ago.

“Woah there,” one started, a larger human with a stun baton in hand. “Get down, you’ll get yourself hurt.”

His partner, a scrawny zabrak, stowed his own baton to raise both hands. “Careful there, buddy, don’t need to be making hasty decisions. That thing ain’t worth your life.”

He couldn’t hear them over his heart, or the thread his mind spun. He needed the credits, he needed to get away. Despite their warnings he moved to stand on the highest rung, prepared himself to jump, and as a sec officer lunged to catch him by the ankle, Milo slipped.

He missed.

Down, down, down.

The air rushed through his hair, deafened his ears to all but the sudden thundering of his heart. That was it, he was dead. Another life snuffed out by addiction. He couldn’t really blame anyone else, no matter how tantalizing the needle was he always knew it would kill him. What peace was there to make at the end of his life? Garo was gone, the only father-like figure he had was dead. This was the end.

Yet a trapped animal still struggles.

Shock bled away and the man’s arms began to whirl, letting go of the object. Panic consumed him, darting eyes searching for any means of escape. Milo spotted it, a lone speeder, unattended and free floating where its owner had left it. It shouldn’t be here, and yet it was. So close…

The vagrant reached out but he knew, as it came closer and closer, that he was too far. Not by feet or inches but millimeters. Throat raw, he could do nothing but scream. “Please!”

And then...

Bliss.




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Entry - 01

I remember what it felt like, even now. Life. True life. Connected to everything and everyone in one pure moment. The leaves of the gardens, the food purveyor in the dregs, the lazy pet in the window. I could feel the fear of the security above, the contentment of a job well done, the laughter of children. All of this and more, so much more that even now I can’t comprehend it.

Awful and wondrous, terrifying, energizing, agonizing, soothing. How does one even describe it? The most fitting analogy I can come up with is that it is both the tip of the needle and the stim all at once, yet a thousand times more. Thousands of thousands. Millions, billions. I don’t know.

I’m just rambling for my own sake on this old broken thing. Even after all these months I still don’t know how to process what I felt. It left me in an instant but I was lost in the afterglow, clutching onto the edge of the speeder with tight, frozen hands.

They said I had pulled an arm out of its socket, that I didn’t even react to the pain. I don’t really remember either way. From there it is just flashes, riding in the cruiser, getting processed.

But falling? I don’t think I could ever forget that.
 
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