All the Time in the World
Posted 19 August 2006 - 11:28 AM
"Good work!" said Eliza "Let's go!"
"No," replied The Vigilante "We must wait,"
However, no sooner had he said this than a striped yellow ball hovered into view, illuminating the corridor outside but not the room they were in.
"Good to see you," said the ball calmly, hovering about five feet off the ground.
"We need to transport this criminal somewhere more secure," said The Vigilante pointing at Eliza.
"I'm sure you know your business," said the ball, hovering away down the corridor. The Vigilante beckoned to Eliza who followed him after the 9 ball.
"Where are we?" asked Eliza quietly, Sagan sitting on her shoulder and the 8-Ball in her bag.
The Vigilante pointed at a sign on the wall.
"Outpost 93 - Holding Cell B"
Posted 24 August 2006 - 09:54 AM
Bauman thought about it, there were only a limited number of things one could do in a high-security gaol to be alone with someone else. These things tended to be watched all over and... she found the billiard balls just plain creepy, there was something about a loud-mouthed irish eigh-ball that was at least a little calming, you were pretty sure of what it might be thinking. The an idea struck her, she tugged on the Vigilante's sleeve and then tried to do an impression of her strangling herself. All with eye-popping goodness. The Vigilante frowned and Eliza continued with ripping of her fingernails, punching herself in the face, pouring oil down her throat, being electricuted and having herself racked before the guy got the hint.
He cleared his throat, "Uh, I am assuming that the torture room is not in use at the moment, or rather, is not in use for me to use." The striped ball stopped and spun round. It seemed to eye the Vigilante with a quite terror, Eliza saw him tense himself in what she assumed was attempt at menacing.
"It's here. Free," the striped ball said and blinked at the wall which became a door. There was a note of discomfort in its voice. "You are aware of the rules?" The Vigilante nodded and led Eliza, who tried to look terrified and even gibbered a little, into the worst torture room she could have imagined.
It was clean and white and sterile, all the 'instruments' were arranged in neat rows, categorized and neatly labelled. She didn't look at the names, instead she turned her gaze to the chair, the chair looked comfortable, but htere was something about its formality and plainness that was threatening.
"I don't like this place," she whispered.
"You're not supposed to," the Vigilante said carefully inspecting something with a very sharp end and some sort of channel and tray. He carefully put it down and walked to the bookcase. There was a book-case there. It had volumes on correct torture techniques and preservation of the victim's life right to the last drop, he didn't even think of opening one.
"So how many times have you been in this place before?"
"Here? Never," he said with a slightly shaken voice.
"I mean the gaol," Eliza said.
"Well, technically only once, but if you mean in your normal sense then, several, I uh, well, there's a special reason they can't catch me," there was a pause as the Vigilante looked positively small and scared, "I work here."
Posted 28 August 2006 - 05:22 PM
"I think we've seen enough," said the orange ball. The court fell silent. Dale and John both felt washed out and thoroughly dejected. They took a deep breath "The case for the prosecution rests," said the orange ball, gradually fading away as a door opened and green light flooded in.
From nowhere a voice boomed "Please proceed for judgement!" With an air of inevitability, John and Dale trugged through the door into the room. The green light was coming from a green ball which was facing the far wall. Two glass pedestals were standing behind its back. Dale and John moved to them.
"Dale St John-Smithe," boomed the voice from nowhere. "How do you find the defendant?"
The green ball span around, bathing Dale in the bright white light of his spot.
"Guilty!" roared the ball. Dale, who normally would have protested his innocence, just stood there. He knew it, John knew it - they had been defeated.
"John Cliché. How do you find the defendant?"
The ball span now to Cliché and roared "Guilty!"
The two glass podiums faded away as did the green ball. The room was in darkness for a second before dusty brown light entered through a newly opened doorway.
Posted 29 August 2006 - 12:46 PM
"And this place... this..." Eliza waved her hand at the room, hopelessly, "this is how you do it?"
"I quit," said the Vigilante, "or... I do quit. You don't understand what it's like. They caught me."
"But, you're free. You came after me-"
"No. They caught me," said the man, "in the future. And... they brought me here. To me."
"I don't understand."
"I had to correct myself." said the Vigilante. "I had to break myself on these machines."
"But that... that's..."
"That's how these things work," said the man. He threw the 8-Ball a cold glance. "That's how they operate. After I... after I did that... that was when I decided. I had to get out of here. Do you understand? They'll catch me again. And they'll bring me back here. And... and..."
Eliza looked at him fiercely.
"There has to be a way to break the cycle," she said.
Cliche and Dale stepped through the door. Dale nudged his parter.
"Well," he said, "what happens now?"
Posted 03 September 2006 - 11:07 AM
"Dale St John-Smithe!" said the brown ball "You have been charged with the temporal crime of the murder of Albert Frint 300 years before he was born. You have pleaded not guity to the charge on the grounds that it was yourself from the future that commited the crime. This was rejected and you have been found guilty of your crime. This court hereby sentences you to death."
Dale said nothing. He just took out his wallet and slid a picture of his girlfriend out. Dale kissed the picture goodbye with a smile of resignation.
"John Cliché!" said the ball "You have been charged with the temporal crime of the murder of Emmanuel Frint 500 years before he was born and the murders of Susan Cliché and John Cliché. You have pleaded not guilty to the charge on the gounds that it was yourself in the future that committed the crime. This was rejected and you have been found guilty of your crime on all counts. This court hereby sentences you to three death sentences."
Cliché snorted petulantly. He gave a mock salute to the brown ball as it began to fade away. The colour drained from the room. Part of the wall dissolved and the black light flooded in.
"I don't want to die John," said Dale
"It takes more than death to stop us old friend," replied Cliché striding forward. "Besides, you're only being killed once. They're doing me three times,"
They stepped into the darkness.
"Don't you think I've tried!" said the Vigilante "I had my eye on you three because I thought you might just do it but... well, look we can't wait around here. We must hurry!"
"What about the ball outside?" asked Eliza
"Pass me that stick," said the Vigilante, pointing to a long, thin, cylindrical piece of wood. Eliza did so.
The Vigilante opened the door. As he did so the striped ball span around. Quickly the Vigilante pointed the end of the stick at the ball, resting the end at the base of his thumb. He drew back, released and potted the ball into a nearby bin, that had been set into the wall.
"Come on!" said the Vigilante "We've got to get to the final room, it's the only way we can be sure to see them - that's if we're not too late,"
The Vigilante, Eliza and Sagan set off at a pace.
The Black Room
Neither Dale nor Cliché could see anything. They weren't sure if there was even a ball in the room - it could have just been dark. In the darkness Dale stretched out his hand. Cliché found it and gripped it tightly.
"John..." began Dale
"I know," replied Cliché "I know."
"It's the waiting I hate,"
"Don't worry. I'll avenge us. You, me, me again and Susan. I'll make sure our deaths don't go unpunished,"
There was an ominous whirring sound. They both took a deep breath in and held it.
Suddenly there was a faint glow through the darkness. A door at the other end of the room had opened. Muffled sounds filtered through the gloom to Dale and Cliché - sounds that sounded an awful lot like swearing. Suddenly a bright beam of white light cut through the blackness. Footsteps approached. Cliché and Dale were blinded by the light but they heard her voice even though they couldn't see her.
"Dale! John!" cried Eliza, rushing up to them. The Vigilante followed suit. The whirring sounds were getting louder.
"There's no time!" he said "We must get out of here!"
The 8-Ball, which had been used as a torch by Eliza to guide them through the darkness was placed spot upwards in her hand. Everyone reached out and put their hand on it. The whirring reached a crescendo. The beam of whitelight faded away as did the room. Everyone let out a sigh of relief.
As they moved the 8-Balls screen, currently pointing at the floor shifted slightly. No one saw it because they weren't looking. They were too relieved to have survived, to have cheated their fate. The screen began to fade, the words "Sentenced to death." fading into murky blue water.
Posted 03 September 2006 - 11:09 AM
The party trumpet let out a squeak as Sargent John Cliché breathed out. He exhaled again and emitted another squeak. He reached up, pulled the trumpet out of his mouth and replaced it with a cigar. He lit it and sighed. Lying amongst the detritus of last night's retirement party, with a headache and a gap where the memories of last night should have been, Cliché needed a good cigar. It was strange he thought - he never usually got hangovers as bad as this. He sat up and pulled the streamers off him.
It had been an incredible party. When every officer on the force retires you couldn't expect anything less. It was a balls up to have everyone retiring on the same day but the party had made up for it. The whole force had been there and Cliché didn't think the photocopier would ever be the same again.
Of course, it was just his luck that whilst everyone else had retired, he still had one day left till retirement. No one would show up to his party. Hell, he thought having his morning drink (replacing his normal breakfast whiskey with stale punch), I'm not even going to get a party.
Cliché and his partner, Dale St. John-Smithe were the only two active officers in the whole city of New London. So when Cliché's commander called him into his office, John knew that the day was going to be bad.
"CLICHÉ! GET YOUR ASS INTO MY OFFICE NOW!"