Running With the Engineer: A Novel of Weird Fiction

By: D. W. Tyn

Chapter I: An Unusual End to a Dull Day.

"Damn it, Pross", Hodge yelled at me as his monkey head ruffled, fingers tapping madly on one side of his armadillo shelled body, while fiercely stomping one of his rabbit feet; a subconscious ritual he did when he was mad at me. "Why do you always try to avoid your annual evaluation with the Hierarch?" I just kept on pretending to be looking for something.

"I'm not trying to avoid anything, Hodge, my dear, Un-Human friend," I said, doing my best to feign ignorance. "I didn't even know that the evaluation is next week. Besides, the Hierarch's palace is on the other side of town, and my car is in the shop."

"Prospero Nazareth," he said while using my full name as a sign of true mifftness. "I know for a fact that the Hierarch had your car confiscated two years ago. He did that on account that you are drive like a bleeding madman." I stopped my little charade, took my glasses off and stared right into his eyes; he just hates it when I put my blue/red mix-match eyed Stare on him. "Why doesn't his Lordship come to me instead of me to him?" I asked.

"You know that he cannot go outside the palace what with the war with the Eldrichian Regime."

Instead of replying, I just stared out of my P.I. office window, while running my fingers in my blood-red hair (My actual hair color.). It was just about sunset and the city of NeoDis, one the crowned jewels of the Feudal Syndication of City-States, was starting to light up. It looked beautiful with the Barrier Shield Charm making the light change different shades and hues. Sometimes, I wished that this war would never end; only so the Charm would stay up. It was a real slow day. When I mean slow, I mean stand-still. You'd think that the populous set aside their differences to help our chances in victory. In truth, even with the forces of The Ten-Thousand Heavens and Hells, I don't know if the good old FSCS will make it through this one; I really hope I'm wrong. Although, the Regime's ideology seems very tempting to me; that everyone has a purpose and no one is higher than another. There just two factors in their ideology that I really disapprove.

First, when I said that everyone has a purpose that also includes the dead. The way I hear it, they use the dead for three uses:

For the Body, they collect the corpses and send them to a Flesh Factory to make Homunculi for the labor force, and a form of foot soldiers appropriately called "Pawns." For the Mind, They gently remove the brain, erase it of all memories and personalities, and turn them into the power source for their bio-organic computers called "Cerebra-Comps." And, for the Soul, they use it for the most perverse thing imaginable, they trap the souls of the recently deceased with devices called "Soul-Cages," take them to the nearest power-plant, and convert them into energy to power their cities, vehicles, and weapons. That's the main reason the Ten Thousand Heavens and Hells allied with us two annuals back; if the Regime wins, and all souls are used to light cities, then every being angelic and demonic alike, including the Divinities in charge of them, The Celestial Board of Governors, would be out of a job.

Of course, the only ones that don't apply to that post-mortem duty is their leaders, The Eldrichian Brethren, which all of them had most of their body parts replaced, human, artificial, or otherwise. In my opinion, they are a cross between power-mad dictators and overly-fanatical high priests to the Seniority, the Regime's devilish deities and the real dictators.

Second, is that only those who are not pure and don't appear human cannot be allowed to live, or more specific, the Un-Humans. They treat them worse than garbage. There's even word that they built special camps for Un-Humans just to destroy them like stray dogs or cats. That just sickens me, because some of best friends are Un-Humans; there's never a dull moment with them (Well, most of them.).

"You know Hodge," I said to my guardian, assistant, and time-to-time best friend. "When the Hierarch got me a job as a Private Investigator, I never knew that some days would so damned boring. I just wish that something really exciting; maybe even putting my dumb old prophecy to the test. Hell, I might help save the whole of Sham-Gartha. I just wish something like that would happen, right now."

And with that, there was a great gust of wind coming in the center of the office. It made Hodge roll up in ball. Then, a strange multi-colored light came flashing and flickering. And finally, the light disappeared and, in its place, laid a naked woman around my age. She was somewhat attractive with straight neck-length black hair and slightly tanned skin. Now, there's some crazy stuff in this sideshow of a world, and I have seen my share. And all can say to this eye-pleasing show was: "Damn, I'm so good, it's almost terrifying."