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Other Kind of Junkie ~ Ivan the Terrible

cyn004
classifications: Cyberpunk / Dark

Introduction to our protagonists, Ivan and Mardi.

I'm now having conversations with the coffee maker...at school and at work....

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8:35PM and Ivan is now leaving work.

It’s late-spring, barely on the cusp of summer.

A flash shower pasted over the grounds over an hour ago, leaving the college campus all dark and wilted. Graying professors and some students, either studying or working were the only souls left on campus.

Friday night and all Ivan could think of was to leave the campus grounds.

Ivan blades past the campus grounds thorugh the massive front gates. He glides onto the slick city streets, putting as much distance between him and the university.

Every year, Ivan works at the university laboratories. Formulations, updating databases and typing reports for his professors, nothing couldn’t be anymore boring then this. Ivan once considered working as a waiter at some coffeehouse, but his professor, old grumpy Prof. Arhn, put a end to that thought.

"You are not going to work at some coffeehouse to serve imported coffee drinks with fancy imported names. What are you? A hippy? This prestigious institution has invested a great deal into you and all you want to do is become a waiter!

Your making this out to be such a terrible tragedy. You own them so much. I do not envy such debit."

The thought of him owning favors, any favors, to anyone made his skin crawl. Except for the old Arhn, Ivan didn't like anyone else. This wasn't the choice life he wanted. There was no finger of blame to point, except to himself.

Ivan recalls the damning science magazine. He purchased it from the black market and it was almost out dated by a year. Ivan took to a particular interest in an article regarding the new developments in pharmaceutical grade therapy.

Feeling that he needed to correct some of the articles facts and contribute some of his own espert thoughts, he decides to write the chief-in-editor.

He tries to use his mother’s archaic typewriter. The letters were barely visible against the thin paper. The graying ink ribbon needed replacing but the company no longer made typewriters, only computers. A luxury Ivan could not afford and would settle for pen and paper instead. By the breaking of the dawn, he stops. Hands and mind exausted, Ivan is finally satisfied.

5 hand written pages.

Impressed by his own elitist hand, Ivan surely thought the chief-in-editor would enjoy his submission. Maybe the magazine would send him a generic thank-you note or, if he dared to dream, a free yearly subscription.

Ivan figured the letter would probably end up in some wastebasket. Ivan didn't know it then, but he would see his letter again the next winter.

Chief-in-editor receives it a week later. If it wasn't for the unusual stamps. He would have told his assistant to send a thank-you note to the return address.

The five page letter was reviewed twice. Although the Chief didn't understand most of it's contents, he fires it off to the research facility where the article was founded. His reasoning was simple. The facilitators would know if the letter had any merit. If so, maybe a new article could come out of it.

Impressed, but mostly embarrassed was the reaction of the researchers. With in the hour of the letter's arrival, they fire it off to everyone in the department.

The sterile corridors begin to fill with worried whispers.

"We didn't disclose these finding in the article"

"We must have followed up on this ourselves..."

"I hope the media doesn't know about this"

"Do we need a lawyer? Someone should contact the board"

"Who is this guy?"

Soon copies of Ivan's letter find their way into the powerful hands of the board of directors.

Men of power and knowledge are never wrong nor do they admit to being wrong.

This being one of the worlds authority on chemical and biometric engineering, this wasn't possible.

Behind heavy oak doors, the whispers became points of hostile debate.

"Contact the magazine chief editor and call our lawyers!"

"This can't go any further; make sure no press releases have been made."

"Get Interpol! Have him checked out for any crimes or criminal related activity"

"Get immigration on the line and contact all agencies, suppress any new information until we know this isn't a joke"

"He needs to be in our possession. This is our first priority to date"

"Call the university research facilitators next week"

Greedy ears burning with opportunity.

University chairs begin making arrangements to accommodate the company's demands. In turn, earning a an additional laboratory wing, prestige, recognition, and a new lab monkey named Ivan.

Chirstmas arrives early. Instead of a life time subscription, Ivan was splashed across several magazines. The Dean and Chief Editor were present welcoming Ivan at the airport.

Ivan couldn't feel a thing.

"Your very lucky boy..."

Tight fingers gripping his hand.

"This is a positive step in the right direction..."

Heavy pats on the back.

Camera flashes bathing them; rendering them blind.

Smile.

----------------------------

"A infamous mind for a famous big-mouth" She would tease.

He missed Ana, Ivan’s former sweetheart.

She kept on telling him “How proud she was” and “That this was the golden opportunity to make change." Not once did she show any sadness, only stubborn strength and pride.

Women from his town we’re intense and strong willed, Ana was the same. An admirable trait Ivan couldn’t find in women of this strange city. Ivan found the women here boring and easy. All looking the same to Ivan and not one he met since his arrival could stir desire, not even curiosity. They, city women, lacked the certain balance of strength and gusto the women back home had.

Maybe they lacked the need to struggle; city 'kittens' are very spoiled and pampered. He just wasn’t used to the particular brand of urban female.

Ana showed no sadness when Ivan left home. The news of his departure, Ana instantly grew cold. On the day of his departure, they walked side by side, not hand in hand.

No one could have known just by watching if they knew each other well, let alone an amorous relationship.

At the departure gates, Ana grabbed his shoulders, kisses both Ivan’s cheeks, flatly says "good-bye" and immediately turns and walks away.

Ivan was frozen. His eyes fixated on that last moment, Ivan is not able to will his mind to disassociate itself with the feelings of gloom.

This made Ivan miss Ana more. Hate her even more.

Faster he glided on the street, Ivan's mind churned.

"Ivan: The "Goodwill" Investment..."

"The elitist in you got the last laugh..."

"Blessing or life sentence, depending on the day..."

"Science community god-head-freak..."

"Just a lonely guy"

"You don't have to make this to be such a terrible thing..."

"A famous mind for an infamous temperament"

"SHUT UP" Ivan yells. His voice travels nowhere.

These 'voices' consumes his mind so much he blades past his industrial loft, Industrial Block A1.

As Ivan turns around, he notices a human silhouette exiting the warehouse. Quickening his strides, his curiosity gets the better of him. For the two years no one has occupied the level floor loft and now Ivan wonders if he’s been working too hard to notice a new tenant.

Ivan immediately becomes aware of his tone of voice

“Hey, you live here?”, hoping he wasn’t too abrupt.

“Do you?” the answer held the same tone.

“I’m sorry if I startled you…”

“…but I didn’t know who you were. Question is who are ‘you’?

Ivan is taken aback.

Immediately a smile appears and Ivan sees this stranger is just playing.

“ I’m Ivan. I live on the top level. Are you new?”

“Yeah, moved about a week ago”

“Do you like it here?”

“I would like it more if you can tell me where the nearest bar is”

Now this is a strange creature. Ivan finds himself being amused or amusing, whatever the case; this was not your typical neighbour.

“It’s kind of far to walk from the Industrial Garden to the Lily-Front harbor but…”

“Nothing is too far to walk; besides you’re invited”

“Pardon, I don’t understand…”

“I can’t drink alone and it was your recommendation, let me get my blades and lets go”

Ivan doesn’t really understand what’s going on, and it’s going by so quickly.

Whatever it is, it’s better then watching movies, reading textbooks and feeding Misha the cat.

“I will wait for you here on the street, um, I didn’t ask….”

“Mardi”

“Marty?”

“No, Mardi. It’s Tuesday in French. My mother was Parisian. We’ll talk about it on the way to the bar.”

What a strange name for a stranger. Ivan watches Mardi disappear through the massive steal warehouse doors. He realizes it’s been so long since he’s been on any outing except for the occasional pizza. Ivan starts to skate in little circles and his mind starts lingering to the face of Ana.

“Ok let’s go” Mardi instantly appears beside him and starts to glide forward.

Ivan moves in parallel and notices a faint sweet smell from Mardi hair.

Long glossy black hair fashioned in a simple ponytail.

Ivan feels a rush of blood run through him.

Ana. Just like Ana.

Cool!

Wanderer (February 11th, 2004, 4:27 pm)

Works well as a character introduction. I get a good view on the kind of guy Ivan is.

Could do with some editing here and there though.

Cool!

drd (February 12th, 2004, 5:05 pm)

This does work well!

Interesting feel to it, I like it.

Would like to see these charactors and story expand.

thank you!

cyn004 (February 13th, 2004, 9:02 pm)

I just made some slight changes. I know it's not professional of me but eh!

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