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 The Better Bully

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Aphoxema G

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Join date : 2011-12-04

PostSubject: The Better Bully   Mon Apr 16, 2012 10:27 pm



Aphoxema stared down at the other teenagers, hidden in one of his many spy nests. Though one of the lenses in Old-Man Ggetson’s binoculars had been long broken from the many times Aphoxema had dropped them, the other half worked perfectly fine and binoculars were hard to find in the remote community of the Flourette Arcology Project.

The others called him The Rat, among other names he was less fond of, as he had for years crawled through the service ducts throughout the hulking pyramid on Dantbeinn VII. He’d worked while everyone else slept to create hiding places, installing stolen cameras and laying traps. He’d long proven his ability to escape from the other children and hide away, no longer having to worry about being caught and beaten for their sport. Now he was mostly forgotten.

“Yeah, Lord Plush, this’ll be good... this’ll’ere be real’ good, fuckers’ll laugh, laugh at ‘emselves, but I’ll laugh, I’ll laugh better, I’ll laugh last. Us and them, us and them.” Lord Plush sat ominously silent, apparently revelling in their plans for revenge. Aphoxema laughed and smiled, picking Lord Plush up and making him dance in the air, “This’ll be so good...”

Brandt and Marco sat together in the den, laughing along with the other kids, drinking the cheap, imported beer and smoking the cheap, imported cigarettes. After he had his revenge, he would have to steal some of the leftovers.

Homosexuality was hardly forbidden in the arcology, though not widely accepted. It was certainly, though, one of those things that would make bad things worse, and Brandt and Marco both had girlfriends, and they were both pregnant.

Aphoxema tittered again, holding Lord Plush tightly, “Almost time, let’s just wait’a, no.. nah, we don’t need’oo wait. Let’s just do it, I’m ready. Are you ready? Yeah, you’re ready, you’re always ready for fun.” He picked up his diagnostic console, plugged into the superstructure’s network. He was the only one with unlimited access, even the administrators worked under the policies he had set for them, working hard to make them think they were always in control.


He tapped the display, grumbling at the poor condition of the console causing the backlight to flicker. He browsed through the devices connected throughout the network, finding the holoprojectors located in the den and uploading an interesting holostream he had managed to record days earlier. He laughed again, tapping his teeth together in perverse excitement.

Everyone looked up at the sudden projection of Brandt and Marco talking in a hallway. Holo Brandt laughed, “No, she... I know she’s having my kid but, that doesn’t make us like each other. It was just a thing.”

The very real Kendit looked at the very real, frightened Brandt. Holo Marco responded, “So, you still like me, right?”. The real Marco stood, shaking, pinned by the glares of the others intent on both him and Brandt. He could have fought it right there, said it was a fabrication or out of context, but he knew it wasn’t and he knew what it meant to them.

Holo Brandt pushed Holo Marco against a Holo Wall, kissing him with all the romantic sensitivity a stupid, inexperienced teenager was capable of. The projection faded out, leaving the room in silence, Brandt standing slowly with Marco. Together, they were a furnace of embarrassment, which might be otherwise appreciated on a cold night in the arcology erected on an eternally barren planet.

Kendit stood up and screamed, “What the fuck was that?!

Aphoxema stifled himself, not wanting to give away his hiding place. He wanted to take credit for his accomplishment, to prove he was always watching and always waiting for a chance to expose the fools to themselves, but he knew they couldn’t appreciate it. They were all too immature, too close-minded to see his talent and power.

The room erupted in arguments, the other boys and girls standing to surround Brandt and Marco, to do to them what they did to Aphoxema so many times before, unprovoked. They tried to escape, getting caught and beaten by the others, eventually drug off to the garbage disposal where Aphoxema had been so many times before. They certainly wouldn’t be put in the incinerator, but the humiliation of bathing in wastewater and litter was a fate worse than incineration.

Aphoxema laughed with Lord Plush, finally free to, and climbed back through the ventilation duct to the makeshift ladder behind one of the light fixtures. He pushed the fixture out on the hinge he had built for it, sneaking out to pack up some of the rations the children had bought with their allowances. To earn credit, youths had to go to school and assist in arcology maintenance. Aphoxema didn’t do either, and had to get his spoils in other ways, the same way he got everything else he wanted.

Altering trade orders was risky, as the funds the project could work with were limited and things deemed too frivolous would be rejected anyways. The only way about it was to make small changes to individuals’ orders, which would be delivered directly to them, and steal it when they weren’t watching.

Many suspected Aphoxema, when they could remember he even existed, but there was never any evidence or witnesses he was a thief. He controlled the security recorders, he knew how to get anywhere, he had every key to every door. He was invincible, he earned this for all his suffering, he could destroy everything anytime he wanted. Everything.
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PostSubject: Re: The Better Bully   Tue Apr 17, 2012 2:49 pm

Aphoxema watched Marco sit, crying in the shower, the water still running red from the cuts on his face. The sliver above the bathroom was not much of a vantage point, but he had long grown accustomed to peeking out from cracks in the distance.

It had been a long time since Aphoxema cried, and this time it was different. This was the first time it was for guilt. Brandt had always been one of the boys to terrorize him, this was to get him, but Marco was really the one suffering. Brandt already talked his way out of it, managing to convince the others that this was a misunderstanding, but now no one wanted to see Marco.

Aphoxema held Lord Plush up to see, “He ain’t the bad one, why’d he’ave to get hurt? He didn’t do anything...” Marco was the one who saved Aphoxema from getting set on the wrong side of an airlock, and though there was oxygen to breath on the surface of Dantbienn VII, the atmosphere was also saturated with carbon dioxide and sulfur. Marco was the one who gave Aphoxema back some rations when they all had taken them. Marco was the one who talked to him like he was a person.

Aphoxema climbed back over and up a support beam. His batteries were almost dead and they weren’t taking a charge anymore. Sunlight would never reach between the walls of the arcology, and if he were blind he could surely never find the way back out. So many good lights had been lost down these spaces, with only one left it was time to steal some more.

He managed to climb back to his suite on the 15th floor, with his scampering he’d well be the fittest young adult in the arcology. His small arms and legs didn’t have much strength, but even the pain of hunger couldn’t wear him down. Despite having to climb, run and jump so much in the hidden parts of the superstructure, he could still get around faster than anyone else could with the inclinator or elevators.

He flopped into his empty bed in his empty bedroom. He didn’t dare keep the things he stole in the place everyone knew they could find him, but he had dozens of ratholes throughout the arcology, all connected together, all another little place for his treasures. He never slept well at night, waking dozens of times to check for intruders. He would just as well sleep in a nest somewhere, but tonight Erik was supposed to come back. Tonight was even worse, remembering over and over of hurting Marco.

Marco was always the nice one, he was the one Aphoxema liked. When he’d finally been driven away into the walls to hide, Marco was the next one to be picked on. But he never had it as bad, not until tonight, not until Aphoxema caused it.

Erik would know what to do, he was the only one who understood, the only one who saw Aphoxema’s foster parents for the monsters they were. Lord Plush was always there to listen, and though he tried his hardest, he never had a good answer.
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PostSubject: Re: The Better Bully   Tue Apr 17, 2012 3:47 pm

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PostSubject: Re: The Better Bully   Wed Apr 18, 2012 2:11 am

During the planning of the Andru Flourette Arcology Project, many factors were considered in planetary habitation. The most important part of the project was to prove its sustainability, and while many planets could offer what was necessary to sustain it, what was key for Andru to convince shareholders to support the construction was to show that this habitat could thrive inexpensively and without high import demands typically required by space colonies. Life was a very expensive process, and Andru’s understanding of biology revolutionized superstructure habitation.

Dantbeinn VII was an excellent location. Limited manufacturing had already found a place on the planet. It was well within the boundaries of the Minmatar Republic but its remote, dead-end route would demand some conservativeness by the residents. Most importantly, it had an atmosphere that would readily provide many of the chemicals necessary to preserve life, though the toxic, corrosive gas would not be kind to those exposed to it.

Essentially, Andru Flourette had to build a prison the prisoners would be content to live in, safely, without oversight.
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