Chaos Praxis
rating: +31+x

Light?

There was light.


Lights blazing to bathe, bugle call. Ten minutes to the cafeteria. Mandatory.

The usual. He slid his feet over the bedside and moved to his dresser. The same inconspicuous white shirt, black slacks, white socks, black shoes. Not that he had a choice. But he would've chosen it anyway. Seven minutes.

He then made his way over to his desk. He frowned. Two pens. He placed them and a fresh one into his pocket. Six minutes.

He moved to leave when he remembered to check his ears. He found a tissue in his right. He tossed it in the trash bin, brushing his hair to cover that ear, and he left. Four minutes. Right on time.

Head down. His to heys. Disgusting impressionistic blueredgreygreen splatter to snow vinyl floors; hallway to cafeteria. Pick up box. Sit at the same seat. Open box, retrieve food. One hand eating other undertable pass pen one to contact, foot tap pass pen two. Pen three doodle on box. Done.

Finish eating. Byes to seeyas. Toss box, head to hallway, to room; disgusting impressionistic blueredgreygreen splatter to crimson vinyl floors. Head up, sit at desk, work.



Blood?

There was blood.


It happens. He was used to it tracing the curvature of his jaw. Nothing more than a trickle from his ears.

Not that it wasn't bad, or that he didn't wince from the warm onset. He closed his eyes and swept the document with his left hand, black-out in his right. He got to a small bump, sighed, and set to work expunging it.

Once finished, eyes open. Still accurate enough, he placed it in his other work, and pushed off from his desk to rest for a moment.



He took out his pocket knife.

There was blood.

It happens.

He'd put the pillow from his bed against his mouth, and…


He'd always hated this part.


He'd always hated this part.


He'd plunged the knife into his ear. Enough to cause a reasonable bleed. He retracted it.

If he didn't, people would get suspicious. One of three reasons for people to bleed in this place. One, sickness, he wasn't sick. Two, self harm, grudgingly accepted. Three… He didn't know what to call.

Words, some kind of words. They had made some words hurt him. Just enough to make him think he was dying, to make him (almost) head to the infirmary.

He was better than this. He gripped a tuft of his hair and tugged. Such a simple thing. Such a simple, costly, painful mistake. He'd learned early on in his job that the hurt, that reality bending had tells. A color change here. A tactile anomaly there. Tiny bumps you can't see but can feel.

He'd thought, he'd thought ahead, was one step. The first time it happened he panicked, and he did the same thing he always did. Self harm was common enough onsite. High stress. You had to get through the day and if it works they don't care and he didn't care because it worked.

He grabbed a tissue and placed it into his right ear once more to soak the blood,

and…

he cried.



Death?

Death happens.


He'd been unfortunate enough to have been born to two Foundation researchers. Easy enough to erase government records of newborns. Too risky to let their kids be public when they'd been exposed to who knows what anomalies in the womb. Not to mention having nonexistent persons was convenient if they went missing. Or that they gave a bonus to the parents.

He'd spent his childhood here. Childhood? There were no parents, not in the sites. There were teachers, and there were guards. He wasn't lucky to get teachers who cared about him. All he had were libraries and labs. So he read.

Bodies sometimes happened. Not often, but they happened. And they certainly weren't hidden. The morgue was on the way to the library. So while he read, sometimes he'd hear the gurney wheel down the way, look up, and see a John or Jane or Jet Doe.

One day, he couldn't remember how old he was, the bodies kept wheeling.

Some researchers were spending their off-time in the library that day, and he overheard them chatting. Something about traitors. About a failed coup and a purge. Something about a "Chaos Insurgency" being put down.

He didn't know much about what a coup was, or what a purge meant, but he thought the two must be related. Seemed like they were wiped out. He didn't really know why it happened, but he did know that the name "Chaos Insurgency" was pretty cool.

Then, that day came and went, and he carried on with his life.

As he finished whatever schooling he could, he moved to the labs, to begin work. He must have been only fourteen. But, laws weren't exactly relevant, and the Ethics Committee had a ruling (he'd seen them in the library's archives) that thirteen was the age when you could begin assistant work. Small things. Getting drinks, food, utensils.

Eventually he'd worked up to getting document access. Simple things, scanning for spelling and grammar mistakes. The occasional suggestion to procedures, or description. Simple things.

One day, when he was finishing up, he'd found a document which wasn't assigned to him, underneath ones which were. He knew this, but he figured it would be innocent enough to do extra. There was small handwriting in a blank space after the document.


"Read very, very carefully."




He blinked.

His?

His handwriting?

He read it again. There was more writing, but he had to make sure.


"Read very, very carefully."




He rested for a moment. He had a headache coming on. He didn't remember writing this. He shouldn't have been able to write this. But there it was. He needed to know what this was. And so, he kept reading.


"You're me. Don't ask how. I'm you. I don't know how. All I know is that if you follow these instructions things work.

Work?

Do what you want to do. You want to rebel. And I know how.

From now on, you are going to receive an extra document with your work.

Screen it for any infohazards or anything like that, remove them, and hide the document in something you could exchange without suspicion.

Go to breakfast with your head down. Don't look up. Pass the documents underneath the table. Some… Thing will grab them.

To be honest, I don't know what thing.

And then, it will leak them to someone.

I… don't know who. I don't know how. I don't know why this works. I was told by me.

But you're in it now. You're in deep now. Good luck, traitor."




He mulled it around in his mind. Traitor. He let it simmer, churn. His headache was splitting. Traitor. He smiled. Yeah. He liked that. He liked that a lot. He wondered if he… if he knew that he was going to go through with it. He clutched his forehead. He tried to stop thinking about it.

All he knew was that he might as well try it out.

He felt a slight drip from his ear.



Darkness…

Darkness happens.


It was approaching curfew, he thought. He would have to finish things quickly.

He pushed back to his desk, taking out a pen. He disassembled and gutted it. Then, he took the newly redacted document. It was of a series he'd passed along, about object animation. He was too tired to remember the details.

He always signed the documents, as a reassurance that they were clean. To who? With the most elegant script he could, which was not extremely, he wrote "Chaos Insurgency". He always let himself a small chuckle after that. Arrogant.

But it fit. What started off as a curiosity became a passion, and then a rage, a desire to see the organization he was bound to brought to its knees. He hated it. He hated his parents, his employer, his childhood, his teachers, his boss, he hated him.

Thus it seemed right. Chaos, yes. Insurgent, yes. So why not? He'd never had a name he got to choose, so why not Chaos Insurgency. Chaos Insurgency himself. What a joke. But who knows, jokes sometimes get out of hand, and sometimes they gain power.

He rolled the sheet up in a tight curl before slipping it into the pen. He frowned. It was too tall to fit. He removed it and tore it in half, preparing another pen and putting half the script in each. It was suboptimal, but required sometimes.

As he finished reassembling the pens, the announcement for curfew boomed over the speakers. Five minutes.

He set the pens down and got up, undressing and placing his clothes in his hamper. He replaced his tissue with a fresh one, and yawned. Two minutes.

He got into bed, one minute.





And the lights went out

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