Space L Clottey

Chapter 7

I never WANTED to marry him! I was doing it FOR THE FAMILY!

Heye looked apon the skies, blue and yellow, black and pink.

​ The temperature had only decreased as the night wore on, and now his jumper wasn’t even enough. Coated in darkness, he shivered, the sensation of a sharp decrease in temperature littering over his nose as he drew in a breath, the air dying white in swirling clouds as it came careening out of him.

​ Then he picked up the rope.

​ The bots had ignored his fingers. He couldn’t even smash them because they were too small. It went without saying that they were far beyond the physics classes he had sat through, too much for him to reverse engineer.

​ It hadn’t taken him long to realise that his best bet, his only bet, was to try to disable them at the source.

​ So, wincing, he had ran past the Sokotians, past dozens in agony as he streamed toward the place he had visited the last time he came here. He left the storage cupboard with a large, heavy rope sagging down apon his shoulders. And he had run, unheeding, once again through the Sokotian night. And ended finally staring up at the metal tower.

​ Holding a rope.

​ His head craned upwards, its mighty height looming down at him. And a lurching feeling manifested within himself.

​ But what else was he to do? The front enterance was, as expected, locked, and if Floop was expecting him at all he’d be stupid to go through the excact same way he was caught trying to escape through last time.

What else can I doo?? sand Isabela Madrigal inside of his head.

​ He peered back down a his hand, wrapped tight against the rope. Pictures of the Sokotians agony — which hadn’t ended just because he wasn’t there any more — flooded back into his mind.

​ What else could he do?

Absolutely nothing.

​ He lugged his hand back, and threw. The rope careened through the sky, juttering as it flew… yes! It hooked onto the antenna like object sticking out of the building. His world seemed to slow as he drew the rope down, drawing two curls around his hands. He tugged, and the mechanism he had created didn’t budge.

​ Okay…

Everything is so crazy right now, and I have no idea what my future holds but, it would be so cool if you were in it.

So… Uh….

​ He drew a mighty boot forward and planted it against the metal with a clank as the vibrations ricocheted through the metal plate.

I’ve been wanting to ask you something for a while said his brain to no one. He wrapped his hands tight around the rope, and pulled, lifting his other foot off the ground. His muscles tingled with the excursion, as he now held his entire weight up against gravity, leveraged only by the rope.

Okay…

​ This wasn’t hard, right? He lifted up another foot, landed, and tightened the rope, his other one joining behind. And again, and again, on and on it went, as he descened further and further.

​ Generally, Heye enjoyed climbing. The few opportunities he’d had to do it, it had come relatively easily to him. There was something undeniably pleasant about a task being purely mechanical — about everything relying on whether he could move his limbs in excactly the right way.

​ And, of course, it’s all about me. Excactly!

​ There was something exhausting about the stress of failing with others. Something that put an unnegotiable dent on the quality of every team sport he had ever tried (though the list wasn’t long). But climbing was just him. A challenge that depended on him, was about him, and only mattered to him. (There was no one anywhere who this challenge mattered to. No one! Except, him.)

Not this time…

​ With each step he took, each tightening of the coil, the air seemed to thin.

​ He looked upwards, and the tower seemed to almost split in two. And it felt like… like he could feel his heartbeat in his head? No.. no. Something tight… clogging… sucking at it…

​ Oh god.

A hand raised at lightning speed towards his head, desperate to swat away the horrific invading tube — then he snapped to his senses — Heye pulled both arms downward with all the strength he could, stabalising himself.

​ He brought his hand upwards to swipe at the tube suckling his brain and tumbled, snapping onto his senses and pulling both arms vertically down as fast as he could.

​ He was okay.

​ Finally he reached the first metal spike and the distance of rope between two hands was it it’s shortest point. Shaking, he coiled the rope around the spike, then peered downwards, the world stretching out beneath him. He began to draw up the left side of the rope, and peered upwards, begging there to be another ledge.

Yes, yes, that’s it!

​ With only a single hand he threw the rope up again, and let out a sigh of relief as it caught against the next hook and flowed downwards toward his hand. And he repeated the process, coiling it around his hands and taking up upwards with him.

​ It really shouldn’t have been so hard to spot — the the land around the tower was natural but barren. But only now, the air still thinning, the height was sufficient for the town to come inching into view.

​ And barely, so very barely, Heye could see them, even here. The bugs were completely invisible, but dotted between the brown smudges of buildings were tiny blue spots, so very, terribly still.

​ Heye looked back up.

​ No, this wasn’t like climbing.

​ Not at all.

​ Occasionally, the very best quote Heye had for an occasion was the precise opposite of what he meant. And as he tried his hardest not to hear the distant rumble of Sokotian screams, his brain was doing excactly that as it said

I’m alone. I’m all alone.

​ But no matter. No matter! That was why he was here, wasn’t it? Wasn’t that what he was doing? He didn’t have to convince himself it was nothing to him if he felt so moved!

​ Yes, he thought, as he heaved another mighty step, the creaking smile on his face blocking out the icy winds peneatrating the crevaces of his clothing. What did it matter, as long as it was here? As long as he took another step?

​ Yes. He needn’t worry. There was nothing that needed thinking. He planted another quivering foot against the metal, and another, and another.

​ Was he not going where he needed to go? Were the steps required to alleviate the planet of the qualms it faced not being carried out, as he raised his foot?

​ His speed picked up.

​ A part of him was aware of a cold whispering past. But that was outside.

​ A part of him was aware of a twitching. A spasm inside of his arms.

​ A part of him was aware of an exhaustion building… growing…

​ He’d do it. He’d scale the building and get in through a vent. A door, a grate, anything.

​ And he’d see the Sokotians smiling faces and they’d say “thank goodness you’re okay”.

​ And he’d say “thank goodness you’re okay”.

​ There wasn’t that much to do, right?

​ His hands… the ropes… the pressure…. repelling more and more gravity…

​ The twitching was stronger now. He tightened his grip on the rope, gritting his teeth. But then he laughed, as he realised how silly the whole thing was. What did he think, that he was going to fall? Did he actually think for a moment that that was a real possibility?

Ee hee hee hee, oo oo oo oo, a aa aaa, WHAT A PLAN!

​ He giggled. He was so close now, he could feel the familiar metal tiles begin to curve beneath his feet. Within reach was the top of it. Only a few more steps.

​ He heaved, and landed.

​ Heaved, and landed.

​ Heaved, and…

​ What?

​ Heye had taken a normal step, and found his foot stopping halfway through the air. He had been almost in a trance as he finished the vertical trek, and was thoroughly broken out of it as he directed his full attention onto the phenemon.

​ He effortlessly drew his foot back into the air, his arms still straining against the ropes to keep himself from falling.

​ He did not want to fall from this height.

​ Slowly, he manovoured his right foot towards the place where it would naturally go, merely further above his own. And it passed through the air…

​ And it stopped!

​ He pressed his toes against… a force? Something was preventing his foot from passing… through…?

​ He pressed harder, and found whatever it was not remotely respond to his level of force. His foot merely did not continue through the air like every other step before, and pressed against absolutely nothing as though there was a slate of perfectly transparent glass.

​ An onlooker would have noticed the quivering in the ropes increase, as the silohette drew back it’s foot and in its place drew out a hand.

​ And it died! And it died inside of me because it was half a million ants and half collapsing star!

​ Fingers outreached, Heye carried his quivering hand, blood pooling in the ends of his fingers from the pressure of the rope, and… touched it? His fingers stopped against the nothingness identically to his foot, but there was nothing there. It didn’t even feel like anything.

​ The world felt colder.

​ A cold he knew he had always felt barraged against him, filling every crevice with a terrible, terrible isolation from everything it wanted. A gust of wind attacked, knocking him sideways, his foot slipping off the metal and careening in the air as he spun. AH! His other foot came off, and his stomach dropped to his shoes as he grasped onto the ropes for dear life, dangling in the air for a terrible, terrible second.

​ He spun, and planted his feet back on. Shaking.

​ The boy stayed, his belly in his shoes, his heart in his mouth.

​ He almost died!

​ And for what? He raised his foot and booted the air ahead, it predictably being stopped by the wall. He tightened his grip and slammed his side against it, as if to crash down a door, but it gave not the slightest.

​ Who the fuck built a fucking obsidian glass fucking diamond wall horizontally against their ROOF!?

​ Heye’s breaths were heavy, as he stayed, maintaining his own weight.

​ And they picked up, as he stared at the nothingness blocking his way.

​ And an anger rose, cartwheeling inside of him in horrendous furious flips.

​ Then it dawned on him.

​ Floop did this.

​ Floop did everything.

​ Floop wasn’t stupid.

​ He had let them in the first time.

​ He had only kidnapped Sam to draw Heye nearby.

That’s why it was so easy to get in the first time.

​ Floop had robots and squids and freaking nanobots. He could stop people from entering his tower if he wanted to.

​ Maybe this forcefield had been up the whole time! Maybe it had been up for years!

​ And he thought about what Floop had wanted.

​ About what he had already done.

​ And he craned his head, his stomach dropping as his periphal vision allowed him a peak of a drop that was many, many times his height. A drop enough to kill him.

​ The wind wisped through his hair as he craned his head, the vision of the town in the distance reaching his eyes. He couldn’t make out any shapes any more, but that didn’t mean they vanished. That didn’t mean they were any much less there.

​ Heye’s armed burned.

​ They were there, and Floop was changing them.

​ Would he… talk to them? Once they were done? A part of Heye wished he had spent more time trying to think of what Floop meant when he said he was going to fix all of their brains, but he knew he’d have never expected nanobots. But it was clever, it allowed him to be anywhere in the world as he orchestrated the attack.

​ It was obvious he wasn’t down at the town, but he might not have even been inside the tower. He could be anywhere, doing anything.

Winning.

​ How much pain were the Sokotians in now? How much, if you were to add it up? How close were they to complete? To past the point of no return…?

He’d won. Excactly as he’d planned.

​ Heye’s arms were on fire, all while the frantic wind shoved against him as it danced through his every crack and crevice.

​ A part of him wanted to know how long Floop had been planning it for.

​ A part of him wanted to know what excactly he’d do now that it was done.

​A part of him wanted to live.

​ The rope was almost ondulating. His arms were on fire, the spots that didn’t just burn with a brutal aching flaring with a ferocious sting—

​ The Sokotians were Floop’s.

​ Heye shut his eyes in the pain.

​ He felt a tear in the rope.

​ His stomach tightened.

​ And his brain sang.

I don’t know what to do Diane. It doesn’t get better and it doesn’t easier.

​ His hands slipped down further, the rope tearing a little more. [A sickening coming from up above]

You’re a real wise guy but you made one fatal mistake, you messed with my family.

​ The rope snapped

​ The boy let out a yelp. He instantly lost all leverage, all hope to staying in the same place.

I’m alone. I’m all alone.

​ And for the second time in his life, he felt a tingling. The air felt almost slow to move through, as he fell. The unbearable ache of dying muscles was replaced with an absorbant tickling, rapidly compounding into an omnipresent tingling, an almost pleasant scraping sensation running along every part of him.

​ He fell backwards, the town occupying the square of his vision, and he pictured the Sokotians he was abandoning.

​ Then his ears exploded with a deafening crack.

​ Everything in his sight clicked, his growing momentum stopped brutally against a floor with all the momentum of a boy falling off a building.

​ And the dozens of Sokotians square in his vision were in a click vanished, and replaced with darkness, of a room he recognised, one that sent his heart into hyperdrive.

​ Two eyes stared directly at him.

​ It was Floop.

​ The sound of beeps and dials echoed off the metallic walls of the room he found himself in, pillars of steel snaking upwards from the floor, joining in robotic unison along the ceiling. The room was dark, grim almost, most of the light provided eerliy from below, the light of a thousand dials and beeps in an awful cacophany.

​ And Heye’s already frantically sweating body leaped into overdrive as one of the shadows shifted, and he realised with a terrifying coldness that all of it was different, it was a person.

(he’s like convincing himself it’s fine, and feeling fakely very happy, until he suddenly hits the forefield then gets very sad, then is very sad and scared, then blips through and sees Floop.)

Heye: not to brag but being 13 means that I am officially a grown up

Floop: what are you talking about?

Heye: Ah, nice Abuela Madrigal quote there

Floop: You fucking moron! It’s not a quote! They put it in the damn movie because it’s a thing that people say!

(This would be a nice way to have)

It’s that minecraft y coordinate thing. Did heye play minecraft as a kid? I mean, sure why not. It doesn’t have much to do with anything. Actually I don’t want him to. Just say generic things. I don’t know why but I don’t want him to. Heye is not just me. (I mean, he isn’t a full person, alas. )

— — —

Cram it down and shut the hell up.

​ For a moment he peered upwards, and felt a terrible suckling sensation against the side of his head.

​ He looked upwards, and felt terribly dizzy.

The rope can pass through, but organic stuff can’t. Just roll with it.

Roll, more like fall lmao.

Yeah so far this is a cool fucking climax.

So far this has been an exciting story.

Oh wait, Heye should just climb down. Eh, for whatever reason the rope thing doens’t work, or he’s not there long enough. Or he tries and it’s too weak. Or the idea just never comes up. I didn’t think of it.

Oh wait, the fall from the building can’t kill him the second time.

uh oh, he’s crazy.