About Us

Contact Us


The 21st Century

Hacktreks Travel

Hacktreks 2

First Chapters
Lifestyles 1
Lifestyles 2

The International Writers Magazine
: Our Serial: The Great Beyond - Chapter Six
'Death was supposed to be a restful break from a life in which nothing ever made sense. I wanted my money back'.

If you haven't read the previous five chapters of this amazing novel in the making - start at
Chapter One here

The Great Beyond - Chapter V1
Brodie Parker

"Because I could not stop for Death
He kindly stopped for me
The Carriage held but just Ourselves
And Immortality."
- Emily Dickinson

"What does that mean?" I asked. I felt that I should panic, but there is a certain comfort that comes with the insecurity of invisibility. If no one could see my future, no one could get and edge on me. Fencers reflexively develop an eye for potential weakness or strength, and the more you do it the better you get at it. It appeared I had the upper hand for now.
"It could mean several things. To my knowledge, there is no precedent to learn by, therefore, we have to go with what we know. I know that your death was no accident. This suggests that we are not the only ones who know about your unique condition. This isn’t too surprising. We could hardly keep something like this a secret. The murderers were likely trying to end any potential threat you pose by rubbing out your existence at the museum. However, you didn’t die in the museum, you died on the operating table in the hospital. That thwarted their plans to take you soul with your body." He motioned to the scroll, and it laid itself flat on the table. The lines floated off the vellum and formed a three dimensional grid which spun slowly around in the space between us.
"What do you mean I was murdered. Who could have known I would lean against the scaffold?" I relived the moment slowly. To all appearances, it was a stupid accident. I shook the case open and gravity took care of the rest. It was a mesmerizing shower of lovingly polished, shining steel. My audience were all a good ten feet away. None of them even looked at me while I was speaking, they just looked around at the weapons on the completed sections of the display. I reflected momentarily on the amount of garbage I had to put up with at the job I worked so tirelessly at. I got an odd sort of satisfied thrill at their reactions to being splattered with blood. It really got their attention.
"I think you know the answer to that question. You must have seen it when you were watching the timestream. Think back. What did you see?" He flicked cigar ash onto the floor, though none seemed to reach it.
"I know what you’re talking about. The pattern of evil was all too obvious. Who is it? Loki? Satan? Anghra Mainyu?"
"Of course. It has many names and faces but it’s all the same evil. Call it what you will, it is the adversary, and its minions did you in."
"This massive force came after me; after one person? Do I really deserve that much attention?"
"The casing didn’t unlock itself. Truthfully, I was surprised to see them set such an elegant trap. I had expected a full scale assault."
He laced the timelines where they were still fighting for my survival in a sharp blue light. He motioned to the display, and the scores of branches arranged themselves to give a clear view of the lines with lights following the crux. One at a time, they were sporadically fading out. "In most instances they came at you with an army."
I watched speechless as more and more of the lights on these lines dim and disappear. Sometimes the whole line itself followed. "What does this mean?" My voice didn’t shake because I didn’t have vocal cords, but I’m sure he caught the emotion.
"It means that they are looking for you, and they won’t let anything stop them. They have succeeded on all of these lines so far to take you out completely. Except for yours. You’re safe here; they can’t see you now or you wouldn’t be here. You need to lay low until things quieten down a bit. As you can see, in some places entire timelines are at risk, and are being systematically combed through."
"I won’t ever be safe will I?" I was beginning to be annoyed. Death was supposed to be a restful break from a life in which nothing ever made sense. I wanted my money back.

"You’re safe now, and you will be for as long as you want to be. They can’t see you here or anywhere on this line." He twitched a finger and one line following from the crux lit up with a pale red light. All the other lines moved away from it. "Even if they knew where you were, they wouldn’t be able to see you through my defenses. Besides that, I can also teach you to hide."
"Where does that leave me?"
"You are in a position to do whatever you want. You can live your dream of rivers of beer and rolling green fields full of topless women for all eternity. You can reincarnate; return to the land of the living. You can go anywhere and do anything." He paused for a moment and returned the graph to the scroll. "There is an option I want to present to you, though it is more dangerous and less glamorous than your first impulse. As an invisible life force you have the potential to fight against them with a devastating effect. I can train you to be an agent, an instrument for the side of those of us who wage war against the darkness. You have the gift Sloan. You have the instincts of a fighter, and you have an advantage over any of the hunters looking for you. This path is not for everyone, and like the enemy I have no foresight into what you can become. I only know that I see in you the potential for a powerful force for everything that’s right in the scheme of things."

He let the silence hang in the room while I took it in and mulled it over. I thought about all the things I hated about the world when I was alive. I thought about all that I had seen and heard that made my stomach turn. I thought about all the times I felt I should have acted when I let it slide. I thought about all the times I felt ashamed for turning a blind eye. I helplessly gathered an accumulating picture of the things this black force had accomplished throughout time. I thought about all the lives of all the people erased on the timelines that were gone forever because of me. I lingered for one last blissful moment on the prospect of retirement in anonymity.
"The choice ultimately lies with you, of course. I can guide you and teach you, but I cannot decide this for you. I don’t think that I would even if I could. I don’t envy you."
I waited a moment before I asked. "Who would I answer to?"
"There is a sort of council that organizes resistance for our team. They have an army of sorts, but you don’t have any obligation to tie yourself to them. Regardless of what some of them think or may tell you. You can work independently for them after you’ve had enough training, but if you do you should let me contact them for you. I know some of the more influential members who would see me imprisoned in a madness web for telling you this. They would grab you for themselves and use you as they saw fit if I would let them. There are no real laws but there are conventions we all follow and respect. Your freedom to decide for yourself is foremost in my agenda. If I may offer a word of advice, your greatest advantage is that of your invisibility. Keeping your ties at a minimum for now will preserve that better than enlisting in an organization; even as a special covert operative."
I nodded in understanding and resignation. I could see no other alternative that would let me enjoy a decent drunken orgy of naked female flesh with a clear conscience. "When do we start?"
A strange smile came over his face. "In some ways, you remind me of your Uncle Jerry too. To answer your question, we’ve already begun."

© Brodie Parker September 14th 2004

Only in Hackwriters…
Missed Chapters One & Two of our serialised novel - it begins here
Chapter Three here

Chapter Four here
Chapter five here

Chapter Six here
Chapter Seven here
Chapter Eight here
Chapter Nine here
Chapter Ten here
Chapter Eleven here
Chapter Twelve here
Chapter Thirteen here

Viva La Resistance! Exclusively At Hackwriters…

More Fiction in Dreamscapes and First Chapters


© Hackwriters 2000-2005 all rights reserved