A subtle silver dances be-yonder
Mentally disturbed; deranged; insane; demented.
And as the council of one decide
sanity sat stagnant, mad we ponder
Enraged; greatly provoked or irritated; angry.
it is the moon we can confide
Extremely foolish or unwise; imprudent; irrational.
shoe was laced put out to wander
shoe was laced and bow was tied
Wildly excited or confused, frantic.
on the hills of change is thunder
no more of war can we abide
Overcome by desire, eagerness, enthusiasm, etc.
so up is lance we cast asunder
Excessively or uncontrollably fond: infatuated.
whilst pale faced and wild eyed
Wildly gay or merry; enjoyably hilarious
halting yet another blunder
so must the three forces collide
(of storms, etc) furious in violence
the moon is true, less to wonder
across rooftops we so stride
here is the darkness that we plunder
where three were sat and also died.
Outside the train tracks rattled and shook, Jasper knew what was coming. The great machine flew past once again on its journey into the vast desert…a barren waste blown flat by storms and hardened by a crust of bleached salt but the desert wasn’t what was concerning the man, it was the unholy sound of rusted metal on rusted metal. The screech was nails on chalk boards. The rusted goliath roared past, it always kept him awake when it made its monthly trip. It was not often and Jaspers flat wasn’t as close as some other residents but being uneasy at the best of times the train set him on edge, it had been the first time in three weeks he had a good nights sleep and now it was gone. He opened his eyes on his pillow and sat up holding his head, he mumbled some incomprehensible words and swore in the dark tongue at the train, his brain was doing flips inside his skull and he lurched forwarded thinking of vomiting but managed not too. Time slowed, the train slowed. He sat for what seemed like hours just studying the intricate patterns the twisted bed cover had made against the contours of his legs, and then he looked to the window, black with smog and years of pollution, the last few enormous carriages of the great train sped past shaking the windowpanes. As the final carriage of the train passed, the sun peaked out and dimly tried to penetrate the blackened glass. The only light that got through was sallow and little.
Jasper pulled himself out of bed and stepped bare footed across his littered floor. The cold lino of the kitchen was not appreciated this early in the morning, nor was the stale air of the refrigerator as he searched for milk, milk he didn’t have. Everything in the fridge was out of date or simply an empty wrapping waiting to be thrown out. He closed the door and wandered back to his bed, a nail snagged between two of his toes and three flecks of blood were left as proof. Sitting back on the bed Jasper peered out at one of the great air ships as it slowly eclipsed the sun.
With his right hand, he started adjusting the pistons, cogs, straps and chambers that allowed his left to function, and after some twisting and pulling of pumps his left arm sprang to life, with a similar noise to that of the great train. Jasper thought maybe that was why the noise bothered him so much. He looked at the complicated cogs whirring beneath the plating. The thing needed oiling, it was starting to show faint hits of rust at the edge of certain panels, panels he couldn’t afford to replace. It must have been the most expensive thing he owned…worth more than his apartment. And as he looked at it he felt both grief for loosing it…for having his arm ripped from its socket, for what else the man who pulled his arm off did, for the death of his boss the chief of police, and also while looking at his synthetic arm he felt relieved. It was the best compensation he had ever heard of and allowed him to continue his job…not that he had, the station wasn’t the same after the Chief died. The other officers and detectives just kept on going, as a new chief was chosen. Jasper didn’t mind. They could sit there pushing their paper back and forward across desks, whispering behind each other’s backs and letting there bodies become flabby and decrepit, hell why not, they deserved it. Jasper leaned over and picked his badge off the nightstand, He may not officially be allowed to carry it but he had earned the right ten times over the other officers.
A knock on the door shattered his concentration and jasper’s mind flooded with possibilities of who might try to contact him this early…friends of the man he had beaten to a pulp last night? A new contract possibly. The landlord after the last three months rent…some one from the police department come to have a word about his “behaviour”? The killer back for the other arm?
Jasper didn’t know but he couldn’t take a risk, he grabbed his coat and quickly put it on over his shirt which remained unbuttoned and splattered with the man’s blood. The door knocked again and jasper’s heart skipped a beat, for a second he had thought it had been gunfire. He could hear they were impatient, in a hurry, eager to see him? Eager to kill him…just waiting for him to open the door so they could send shell after shell from some unholy weapon through him. He would fall lifeless onto the pile of crap he called home and his blood would pool out of him until some one on the floor below complained and had his body and his possessions sent to the incinerator, well not today. Jasper grabbed his gun off the drinks stand…it should have been decommissioned but he knew he needed it…it had been his bosses gun, the gun of a captain, the gun of a leader its three barrels gleamed dimly and the leather of the handle was cuffed and falling to bits. it deserved better than him and he knew it but he would have to do…he was the last good man in the city, the only one trying to make this hell hole a better pace.
Jasper walked over to the door, his gun in his right hand as his left mechanical arm grasped the brass handle, he knew he was holding it but no nerves confirmed this, only wire attached to nerves, which rather than proved it to him simply told him he may be grasping something…this had taken a while to get used to. He felt sweat form on his brow and his hand tightened on the gun making the bruised bones in his fingers ache… he pulled the door open and instinctively raised his gun, the man in the hallway was thin and balding but other than an initial widening of his eyes his face showed no sign of fear. He had no weapon drawn and in his arms was a large wooden package. Jasper exhaled and felt the gun become heavy in his hand, he lowered it and a look of relief spread across his face.
The thin man spoke in a hurried kind of way as if to let jasper know there was a lot of other things this man would rather be doing, or possibly that he was not supposed to stay in one place for a huge amount of time, either way the man was hurried, edgy and bored all at the same time.
“you are Mr.Valik?” the mans small eyes look Jasper up and down. Jasper didn’t have time to answer before the lithe man spoke again “good, well this if yours then” the package was pushed at jasper with surprising force and in an instant the man had produced a note book and pen from some concealed pocket
“sign here if you would” the man tapped the pen on a dotted line that really didn’t need to be pointed out. Jasper took the pen and roughly scrawled his signature, it wasn’t as neat as it had been, in fact not so long ago Jasper almost forgot his signature altogether. The Skeletal mailman gave the smallest nod and walked off at some pace.
Jasper Valik closed the door behind him and bolted two of the three locks. He cleared off a place on his crowded drinks stand and placed the box down, it was heavy and not many items were such a peculiar shape. Jaspers heart rate had slowed and he felt the wave of relief finally engulf him, he took a bottle of whisky and poured a few shots worth into the last clean glass in the apartment. He pulled over a chair and unclipped the lid of the wooden case, inside was a large amount of packaging, a document which must have had twenty pages talking about his next assignment, his pre-payment and underneath all the paper was an extremely high quality rifle.
Valik knew what it was…a kind of gas and cogwork sniper rifle, they were extremely hard to purchase and cost a ridiculous amount. The model number read 330, which stood out in his mind as the only other model he had ever seen was a 214 and he overheard the man at the bar say it was one of the newer models and that was only a year ago a most.
The rifle was exquisite, it had a thick dark finish on the wood and the metal was almost black in colouring. In contrast The pistons and cogs were a bright golden brass. It must have cost a hell of a lot, it was not a standard model, it couldn’t be.
Jasper valik shouldered his gun and walked over to the window, the sun seemed blinding outside the room but still the room seemed only half lit, like a vale of shadow lay over the glass. jasper put the scope to his eye and looked out into the city, he could see further than he imagined and suddenly understood why they cost so much. He could see in windows three streets away and when he raised it to look at one of the airship’s, the cogs and pistons whirred and the sight zoomed in and focused almost all on its own, he could see men in tail coats and hats dancing on the back deck with women in elaborate dresses. Jasper thought that they must not know what went on down in the city, that most of them were born into riches and had never left the great dirigibles…he looked along the air ship and saw the jukebox playing some kind of music. Jasper pushed up the grimy window, he wondered that if he could see such a thing as a jukebox but not here any music, was it real…if he pulled the trigger on a man he didn’t know on that air ship and couldn’t see if the man died did the man actually die? had this “man” ever existed? It reminded him of kittens and boxes. Jasper pointed the scope at the jukebox once more, he held his breath to steady the sight and clasped his finger over the trigger. The sound was deafening, the hiss of gas leaving a chamber, the clicking sound of mechanics re-setting, the kick back on the gun was bad but not as bad as jasper would imagine. He re-focused the lens on the blimp and saw the people who had been dancing now had fear stricken faces and were running in panic…jasper thought that although they didn’t know him and hopefully never would he had been the most interesting thing that happened to them today.
He drank his whisky.