My Fatal Futility Book 1
by N J M Hemfrey
Genre: Cyberpunk, Time Travel
In a neo-Japanese inspired future, comes a cyberpunk epic with a razor-sharp time travel edge.
Kage Carnifex never bleeds easily. He’s stronger than the slickest cybernetics. And the chip in his brain whispers the value of violence.
Kage is the last product of a dead corporation. When he is scraped off the streets by another megacorp, Kage plunges headlong into an unforgiving world of unbreakable contracts, absolute loyalty, and soulful devotion beyond what he thought possible.
Yet, the psychotic butchers from his shrouded past cannot be escaped forever, nor their malicious masters denied Kage’s life. Blood is owed and carnage is coming to carve everything Kage loves apart.
And the secret to surviving may lie within a device Kage can’t control; the chrono-disruptor — a time machine — but time is a fatal thing…
Life is fucking unfair. The steely voice of the Shirei-Kan brain chip reverberated in my mind. So, you best grin and bear it. Dying is not an option.
That malfunctioning piece of hardware had been chattering randomly in my head since I could remember, since I was seven. She never responded to my verbal commands. She never listened to my thoughts trying to motivate it to shut up or needing it––
When I feel alone.
The brain chip never filled in any of my missing memory. No, for the past two years, Shirei-Kan had only invaded my thoughts sporadically. She usually spoke about the value of violence.
At first, I’d thought that made sense. I could be good at violence, at breaking things, at wounding people. My body displayed “atypical durability against foreign objects”, so I could hurt without getting hurt much back.
Nobody wanted me to be violent in here. The Abertay Orphanage was not the place for “irate boys with irrational tendencies”. The Abertay Corporation was the place I apparently owed my loyalty and livelihood towards.
Not that I remember being given a choice.
Not that they’ve fixed my memory.
None of my living arrangements or routine had been decided by me, even though my adherence to corporate code of conduct was apparently always “up to me”. Apparently, every action and reaction I had, or my “carers” performed, that developed symptoms of rage in my emotional core, was something that I controlled. They enjoyed telling me that whenever I possessed consciousness, I had to take ultimate responsibility for the consequences of my behaviour.
Not that long words are a good source of calm.
The white, bouncy-foam walls of my room were finally allowed some colour when I did start cooperating, when I finally learned how to pretend and resist lashing out from the frustration boiling my veins. They even stopped wrapping me in that creepy crawly cyber-leech jacket and feeding me with icy tubes down my gullet. I hands-down preferred the utility-crab scuttling across my bouncy floor, from its shell-shaped vent, and delivering my meal plates to me. I’d been told that utility-crabs didn’t enjoy playing games, but my bot could sort of play “catch”. Little utility-crab’s springy steps, where I thought its blue bionic legs might trip over one another, and its perky bleeps got me laughing, at least. I didn’t know any actual person that could do that.
Not that you let me see…
There were other children at Abertay Orphanage, but I’d been labelled an SDF––a socially disruptive figure––and I still carried the label. Even though most children, as my doctor informed me, didn’t stay in Abertay for more than two months, the staff clearly didn’t want to risk any other children being exposed to my “atypical durability”. I often thought about the first time I’d lashed out. I remembered the hyper feeling that came with impaling my fist through the radiator-shaped head of a bouncer bot. I’d really felt life burning through me as I’d pulverised the piston-clad limbs of those two-metre machines, and crushed their white tessellated plating. I’d gone toe to toe with five of them and had thrown them around easily. Part of me, if I thought hard enough, could sometimes still taste the powdery puffs of shards bursting from the walls and floors that I’d dented their robotic frames into. I’d really loved the fizzling sound of the sparks sputtering from their crushed circuitry.
My Fatal Futility Book 2
Return to the high-octane, ultra-violent world of the 25th century: where cybernetics, bionetics, and bionics blur the lines between people, robots, and beasts; where a secret sinister syndicate play the strings of apocalypse; and where the river of time runs with a fatalistic flow.
Honour-bound, tough as titanium, Kage Carnifex follows two paths that twist his head and heart. One turns him towards the past for love and strife in the climate-ravaged steppe of Norvono. The other fires him into the future under a new captain and a new strategy to devastate Psychosisium.
But seeing the truth of his destiny and origin is barbed with manipulation and betrayal. The hologram ghost of an archenemy promises answers to avoid armageddon. While the malfunctioning chip inside Kage’s head seeks greater control of his body.
Facing off against temporal assassins, teleporters, and butcher-bots has never been deadlier. Fortified by samurai-instincts and bulletproof flesh, Kage plunges into the depths of this neon nightmare — where good deeds make devils and the worst make gods.
Your humanity is broken, and your behaviour is ensured efficiency via implants of mental, emotional, and physical design. Shirei-Kan pulsed through my muscles, the teeth of the nanotrix network digging in. It was trying to wrestle control from me. I am better. Just ask your daughter.
The Tennoyari shuddered terribly, an unknown force jolting the entire hold. Sirens screamed and the inertia shifted in the opposite direction of the blow, our pilot swiping the ship sideways. I swiftly braced against the twisting gravity and checked the holo view screens. Intense, glaring, yellow lasers shot through the cloudscape from below and sliced the air.
Beam after beam slashed across the sky and the Tennoyari swooped and pivoted faster and faster to avoid them. The team scrambled around me for battle-stations, then the ship rolled and my feet left the floor. The Tennoyari swerved downwards, through yellow flashes of solar-lance beams. I clattered back into the deck and felt the smack of someone’s armoured form landing on top of me. Another swerve split the tangle of the team’s bodies apart. I reacted faster to the next violent inertial pull, locking an arm and a leg against the central aisle seating.
Reject your autonomy, Shirei-Kan whispered. Give yourself a chance.
The Tennoyari swiftly swerved again and again and slipped through criss-crossing lasers. Dozens and dozens more anti-air shelling joined the magmatic blasts as the ship drove hard. New alarms blared in the hold and red neon-lights flashed.
‘Incoming!’ the pilot panted. ‘Teretoika swarms.’
I glanced at the closest view screen, a long mirrored shoal slithered its way through the clouds up at us. A chunk of the shoal suddenly vanished, teleporting. The Tennoyari careened sideways, hit by the teleporting mass of squid-bots. A second mass bashed against the ship and sent it slewing the opposite direction. Then a third. Then a fourth. The ship swerved into the sporadic spirals of the vicious momentum, my brain squeezing against the inside of my skull. Mirrored bodies filled the viewscreens, then Tennoyari dived and just avoided a fifth hit. The acidic contents of my stomach splashed the back of my throat, choking any sound of relief.
‘Don’t worry fellas,’ the pilot remarked. ‘A lady’s got claws.’
On the view screens, cobalt streams of high-vektor rounds poured out of the Tennoyari’s auto-turrets. The rounds lit up the air with mini electrical explosions. Long lines of teretoika shoals shredded and burst apart as they cascaded towards the ship. External plating groaned and screeched from the rain of shrapnel. The ship dodged past deadly slashing solar beams, diving for the enemy’s fortress, and slammed straight into a thick teretoika shoal. Our pilot seemed to enjoy that.
‘We’re about to punch through the cloud-base,’ the pilot said. ‘Railguns, pretty please.’
I clambered through the constantly veering ship, then lunged into the railgun turret on the Tennoyari’s portside. The skeletal turret rig attached to my legs and arms, thrusting the mechanical limbs that controlled the gun into my hands. Stapler-size triggers pressed into my fingers. Holo-screens activated and conveyed the area outside of the ship. White clouds swirled about from solar beams cleaving through them. Teretoika shoals wove around like massive flying serpents. Magenta plumes of anti-air shells almost made the scene picturesque.
Come get some.
I jammed the railgun triggers down. Silvery ripples enveloped the cuboidal barrels of the weapon. The knetfi rounds hammered out with my guttural roar.
N J M Hemfrey has degrees in Philosophy and Sociology, and Information and Library Studies, and is an administrator for a charity. He lives with his fiancé Kasha, who is the best individual to spend existence with, whether in lockdown, the apocalypse, or more normal things like the cinema, or wandering around old castles. He is an utter movie, book, video game and comic enthusiast, especially for the science fiction, fantasy, and horror genres. One of his greatest frustrations is that there is not enough time in the universe to ever finish the lists of things he wants to do.
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