Home > Stories, Writing > NaNoWriMo Preview – An Interview With Terminal

NaNoWriMo Preview – An Interview With Terminal

As part of my planning for National Novel Writing Month 2016, I wrote a brief sketch for one of the characters I was tossing around; I figured it’d help me get a grasp on the setting. A few details about what you can expect from the final product:

  • It’s set in the same universe as “Deal with the BSDevil“; a world where hell is always around the corner and where the forces of technological development have placed chaotic magic in the service of humanity.
  • The initial draft is proceeding at a breakneck pace. I am actually ahead of the NaNoWriMo targets, with over 20,000 words in my manuscript alone. This is by far the longest sustained burst of creative writing I’ve ever done; exceeding my rate of output at DMU as well.
  • The final product will almost certainly take longer to release. NaNoWriMo sets a modest target of 50,000 words by the end of November, but I expect to expand on those afterwards, as well as making whatever revisions I feel necessary for the end product.

Read on after the “Read More” tag.

“It’s not that I actively dislike baseball… it’s just that I prefer sports with more headshots.”

My actual name? I will never tell you, and you will sooner die choking on your own entrails than that a single syllable of it should escape your lips. That being said, I’m really not that bad. I’m sure you’d enjoy my company if you behave yourself.

I recently finished playing a video game called Blood. Such a silly game; an unending orgy of violence and destruction. I do like the flare gun, though. It’s just that in the game, it takes a few seconds for your enemies to ignite, and the way they suffer once it finally happens is so satisfying. The flare gun is a gem of stellar design in an otherwise standard product. To be honest, I don’t play a great deal of video games, but for first person shooters, I make a big exception. People say video games are a good way to get some downtime from their stressful lives, but I have more downtime than I’d like between my contracts, so I figure that anything that even vaguely resembles work helps me keep on my toes.

I thought I was being clever when I logged onto the Ancient Secrets of Jotunheim BBS under the pseudonym of “Terminal”. It took all of my then-limited cunning to keep from being instantly banned, and even more to write my first spellscripts without incurring the wrath of my parents. In my defense, I was twelve. Twelve year olds are stupid. I had to kill one a few years back for shoplifting from the local Wegman’s.

Look, if I hadn’t done it, they would’ve continued down the path of vagrancy. I’m pretty sure that kid was the son of a rich executive or something. Either way, I don’t care. You would’ve killed them too, if you’d had the chance.

I, on the other hand, kill for a living. I know it sounds unbalanced, and that you probably think I came from an abusive household or something similar, but believe me, my family is very nice to me. Perhaps even too nice. About the same time that I was first delving into the occult, I had the misfortune of vandalizing my middle school’s gymnasium with a couple of cans of spray paint. I wanted to open up a portal to the demon world and harness the realm’s power to improve the performance of the school’s basketball team, but I got caught by a security guard before I could recite the necessary incantations. They called my parents, and I got suspended for a week, but my parents had the temerity to forgive me! They said my efforts, while misplaced, had artistic merit, and that there was no need to punish me further than what the school was doing. They even took me out to a movie that day and signed me up for painting lessons on the weekends. Hexley only knows that if they’d been more disciplined back then, I wouldn’t have had to take up the role in their place.

My parents are still alive, by the way, and living pretty comfortably. I send them some extra money when I can. It’s not a lot, but I need to keep my systems up to date in order to work properly.

It’s entirely worth it, before you ask. My latest system is glorious. It has not one, but two Pentium IIs in it! It takes some finesse to coordinate them properly, but it means I can render one spell while writing another without having to boot up my backup system. That saves a lot of time, which I can spend on important things like tracking my targets and eating healthy. Did you know that I grow my own vegetables in the back yard? Say what you will about demon scat – it is an excellent fertilizer, and it’s much better for the planet than the nitrate cocktails you can get at Wal-Mart. Listen to me, talking about growing food. I say it’s important, but it’s probably not what you were expecting. I know your type. You want to hear about exactly how I carry out my assassination contracts. I won’t just tell you – I’ll show you.

You see the program I’m booting up? This summons forth a little tracking program that I like to call a “mite”. It takes up very little of my many system resources, and it allows me to keep an eye on the mark. It even records their movements, so I know what they were doing when I was sleeping. I’m also going to copy that flare gun from Blood onto the desk over there. A little hint about summoning things into the real world – I don’t recommend copying more than about one megabyte of data per second, at least on your typical Wintel system. Things can get unstable really quick if you do that. But with my system, I can push up to two or three megabytes of throughput before I start running into the safe limit.

I’m going to play things safe this time and simply detonate the target’s computer. What, you thought I was going to use the flare gun for this target? I just want to have it for a rainy day. Pulling this off shouldn’t take long. When I was scouting out this guy’s location and habits with Xeyes (which, unlike a mite, is smart enough to follow the target outside their house), I noticed he spends a lot of time gambling on the Internet. I suppose I’m not entirely against it, given that it’s always a gamble whether the police will even try to trace my kills back to their source, but then the guy started looking on the internet for ways to cheat at online poker. Nobody gets away with that on my watch, especially if there’s a bounty on their head. Yesterday, I sent him an email from a cheap AOL burner account I had lying around; it contains an executable loaded up with reality destabilizing spellscripts ready to explode on my command. The text of the email describes the file as a “cheat engine” for some gambling website that I’ve already forgotten the name of. Anyways, if he downloads it and runs it, I don’t have to worry about getting my hands dirty.

The mite tells me that the program is running, and that the mark is using Netscape to look at the NFL’s official website. Not that the latter is very important, but… now that I think of about it, the guy’s probably going to place a call to his bookie in a second, so I’m going just going to bomb him out of existence before his net worth falls any further.

As for you? Your time will come someday, perhaps, but as long as you make no effort to prevent me from carrying out my jobs, I will return the favor by not interfering with your life. I hope you understand that the mark I’m going to brand you with is only for tracking purposes- Hey, get back here! This is for your own good! We agreed that you’d do this in return for my interview!

Aw, heck. More loose ends to tie up.

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