Friday 3 June 2016

Dark Fiction – The Sky Fucker

Dark Fiction – The Sky Fucker

Written by Casey Douglass

The Sky Fucker Pic

‘Hello Ralph, please sit down.’
‘Thank you, those stairs are quite tiring.’
‘Good exercise though, once you are used to them. I dare say that it’s all hover-lifts and teleportation in your line of work?’
Ralph pats his beer belly. ‘Too true, although it’s my ex line of work now.’
‘Oh you’ve quit? If so, my notes here haven’t been updated.’
‘It only happened an hour ago.’
‘Well, it looks like the session is beginning of its own accord so why don’t we continue and get right into things. Why did you quit?’
‘I couldn’t take it any more.’
‘Working on the antenna?’
‘No... that’s never been the problem, as I’ve told you before.’
‘The suicides?’
‘Has there been another one?’
‘Two last night, the mess met me as I came on shift early this morning.’
‘Not that I want to be disrespectful to the dead or anything but it has an effect, seeing that more than anyone should ever have to see it. That’s fifteen this week alone.’
‘That’s why Jurn Technologies pays for these therapy sessions Ralph, it is trying to help its workers.’
‘Oh I know that, I don’t blame the company, they’ve done all they can to stop it happening. No-one would have imagined that building the world's largest antenna would attract every loony that wants to top themselves. The company removed the maintenance ladders at intervals, put up some zero-field netting, perimeter guards and drones, mesh-capturing fields, all sorts of things, but the bastards still get through. I guess it’s something about wanting to fall from the greatest height on Earth or something.’
‘Depressed and unhappy people do tend to seek out all manner of ways to end their lives, if they are so far inclined. They can be quite brilliant in the way that they pursue it too.’
‘Yeah I know, as I said, I get to clean it up.’
‘I suspect the media doesn't help?’
‘Hell no! The sick fuckers are trying to film it happening half the time, their drones buzzing around the antenna like flies around a dead dog. Mind you, remote piloting Big Ralph always brightens my day.’
‘Big Ralph is the security drone?’
‘Yeah, the one I etched my name on when no-one was looking! The plasma guns on that could shoot the cuss out of someone’s mouth at a two mile distance!’
‘Well, I mean when authorization comes through to “disperse” the press drones, it always makes me think of fireworks night, all of those little plumes of colour. Of course, the clean-up of metal fragments later is my job too, so I can’t even fully enjoy the carnage.’
What will you do with yourself now that you’ve left the position? You’ve been in the job quite some time.’
I’m not sure. That’s partly why I still came today, as I’m guessing this will be my last session, seeing as I’m no longer an employee.’
Yes, I’m afraid your free session entitlement will end today. You are fortunate that this session was already paid for, otherwise I would have had to turn you away, however much I didn’t want to.’
I thought so.’
You look troubled, more so than when you first began talking.’
Well, I don’t really see that I have a future after today. My life has been my work, my health is poor, my relatives distant or dead and my social circle non-existent. I’m thinking of killing myself.’
That’s a permanent solution to a temporary problem, although please don’t think that I’m calling your life the problem.’
Yeah I’ve heard all that before. I’m at peace with myself for the first time in thirty-odd years, I know when I’ve had enough of something and that bell is ringing right now, has been for the last year if I'm honest. Do you know what the engineers call the antenna?’
I know that you are changing the subject Ralph but I will play along. What do they call it?’
The Sky Fucker, on account that it looks like a massive knob piercing the clouds.’
Very clever.’
Well, it makes us chuckle.’
Us? You aren’t one any more.’
That doesn’t mean I can’t chuckle at my memories.’
You won’t be able to chuckle at anything if you end your life.’
It’s okay, I’ve laughed enough for one life time.’
How will you do it? End your life I mean.’
The Sky Fucker.’
Really? Why? How?’
The why is that I want to see what the attraction is. The how is that I know how to get past every fucking security measure and every checkpoint. And as I know that you have to alert the authorities if someone is a danger to themselves, I’ve already removed your network capabilities. That was why I was puffing as I came in, that circuit-box is in the tinniest fucking vent I have ever seen!’
The screen in front of him flashed a variety of primary colours before the androgynous lip-less face returned.
I...why come to the session then Ralph?’
To help make up my mind, to see if talking out loud about what I’m going to do would make me change my mind.’
I’m guessing it hasn’t been changed.’
How will you get through the checkpoints though, they won’t let the public enter the facility that surrounds the antenna. You are public now, as you well know.’
Ah but you are wrong there, so it’s all gravy.’
The A.I frowned. ‘What do you mean Ralph?’
Ralph stood and moved to the door, the plexi-metal dissolving in a mist of dematerialization. He turned and smiled as he left the room, saying: ‘They don’t know I’ve quit yet.’

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