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HIBERNAL





Relic

13 mp3 sur 60,4 Mo : 46'33''

Type Sortie Acquisition
CDR Musical 08/08/2020 08/08/2020
Zone 75   02:10 
Resignation   03:19 
Beneath the Rubble   03:47 
Inhibitor   04:16 
Pretending   02:39 
The Long Journey   01:40 
Radiance   04:57 
Seven Watchers   03:59 
Blossom   02:24 
Decline   04:24 
Secrets Within   04:27 
Relic   05:21 
Their Voices   03:10 


Detail


 🠹 
Zone 75 02:10
TUCKER: The war with the synthetics is over even though sometimes it doesnít feel like it.

After the conflict, the human population was decimated, and now, without the slave labour of the synthetics to drive the economy, thereís poverty everywhere you look.
TUCKER: Governments continue to tighten their control, and there are few freedoms left.
Here in Zone 75, every part of life is regulated.
Those who fail to comply with the rules are thrown into communes, places where starvation and disease abound, and where violence is the only true currency.
TUCKER: Many still live in fear of synthetics, and there are stories that in some places surviving units slipped through the gaps and managed to integrate back into society.
But the idea of machines still walking among us has always been a distant concern for me.
I always figured that if I kept my head down and stayed out of trouble, it would be someone elseís problem.
TUCKER: I was wrong.
 🠹 

 🠹 
Resignation 03:19
TUCKER: There is a quietude, a kind of resignation amongst those on the shuttle as we disembark at the Hive.

Built vertically to save space in the tight confines of Zone 75, the structure dwarfs everything around it.
TUCKER: Inside, the sound of tools and machines resonates throughout the cavernous space.
A giant hollow carves out the centre of the Hive, and exhaust fumes drift from the blackness below, where furnaces burn deep within the belly of the structure.
Looking up, I can see at least a hundred more levels.
Figures hustle about their work, illuminated by amber spotlights that roam endlessly over every part of the complex.
The eyes of the Watchers.
TUCKER: I cram inside an elevator cage and wait as it ascends.
The days inside the Hive are long and brutal, and many of us donít last.
Iíve been here a few short months, and already Iíve seen dozens of workers dragged back to the communes, unable to keep up.
Weary of body and in spirit, I donít know how much longer Iíll survive.
Every night when I return to the shuttle I half expect the Watchers to step in front of me and lead me away at gunpoint.
On my current path, it seems inevitable.
 🠹 

 🠹 
Beneath the Rubble 03:47
TUCKER: I make my way to Grid 981.

Itís an old and less frequented part of the complex where I work alone in a rubble filled network of corridors that - like many areas of the Hive - were trashed by the synthetics who once occupied it.
A final act of vandalism before they threw down their tools.
Iíve been tasked with repairing the damage and restoring functionality, but the odds are against me.
The equipment here was designed for synthetics with their superior strength and agility.
I do what I can, hoping that I can figure out a way to make it work.
TUCKER: I move onto clearing rubble from a damaged section of the main corridor.
Thereís a large phase relocator that needs to be mounted back on the wall, and it weighs a ton.
I know that if I can clear away the debris, Iíll at least have some stable footing for the job.
TUCKER: As I toss aside a chunk of plaster, I recoil in surprise.
Thereís a young womanís face beneath the rubble.
Her eyes are closed and she doesnít seem to be breathing.
Thinking sheís been hurt, I start to remove more debris, but then I stop.
Looking down, I see her left arm has suffered a terrible injury.
There are pieces of skin missing, and within I see a tangle of wires and metal joints.
TUCKER: I step back warily, take a moment to calm myself.
TUCKER: "Sheís dead, donít sweat it. Just follow the protocol."
TUCKER: I go and make the call.
 🠹 

 🠹 
Inhibitor 04:16
VAN NOY: "This better be good, Tucker. Iím already behind on my rounds."

TUCKER: My boss, Van Noy, looks particularly unhappy as he strides into Grid 981.
He scowls as he fumbles with his belt beneath his distended belly.
I try not to think about what I might have interrupted him doing with my emergency call.
TUCKER: I lead him back toward where I found the synthetic.
TUCKER: "Sorry, Mr. Van Noy, but I figured this couldnít wait."
VAN NOY: "Oh really? The last thing I need is low level slugs like you-"
TUCKER: As we round the corner, he stops and stares.
VAN NOY: "What in the...?"
TUCKER: To my astonishment, the pile of rubble is neatly piled up against the wall, and the synthetic is gone.
TUCKER: "Wait, this isnít-"
VAN NOY: "Howíd you do that?"
TUCKER: I follow Van Noyís gaze and see that the phase relocator is no longer on the floor.
Itís been mounted on the wall, perfectly oriented with the other components.
VAN NOY: "Usually takes three men to lift one of those things..."
TUCKER: Van Noy has made it clear he doesnít like me from day one. Heís been waiting for me to fail, declining my requests for help and assigning me tasks that are almost impossible to finish.
Now, for the first time, he regards me with something close to admiration.
TUCKER: "Did it myself."
VAN NOY: (sneering) "Well, good for you . But you donít have to hit the damn emergency button every time you want to show off. Donít waste my time again."
TUCKER: He turns and waddles away, leaving me alone once more.
I watch him for a moment as I ponder my next move.
TUCKER: Cautiously, I move back toward the rubble.
Thereís a silver glint on the floor, a device of some sort.
When I pick it up, I recognise it as an inhibitor, a tool that was used to incapacitate synthetics during the war. It was one of the chief weapons that brought about human victory.
TUCKER: Could I have knocked it loose when I was shifting debris? Did I just revive a synthetic?
TUCKER: There are noises coming from a nearby corridor.
My first thought is to turn and run, to get out of there, but I donít.
I think about that look of appreciation from Van Noy.
TUCKER: Gripping the inhibitor tightly, I begin to make my way deeper into Grid 981.
 🠹 

 🠹 
Pretending 02:39
TUCKER: My hands are shaking, but I keep walking.

I find the synthetic gathering power conduits that have been ripped free of their mounts, going about her business as if it were a normal day.
As I advance slowly, she bundles the conduits and turns toward me.
KENSI: "Good morning."
TUCKER: ( uncertain ) "Hey."
TUCKER: Her face is covered in powdery dust from the rubble, but her eyes are clear and alert. Direct.
She doesnít even glance at the inhibitor Iím still clutching in my hand.
KENSI: "Iím sorry, but I canít access my work directives, so Iím continuing on with my fallback routines. Is that okay?"
TUCKER: Thereís no hint of hostility about her, but Iím still wary.
TUCKER: "Uh, sure. Yeah, go ahead."
TUCKER: She continues on about her duties, and I slowly begin to relax. More than that, I marvel at her surety. Her efficiency.
Sheís wearing a simple black work singlet, and I can see other areas of exposed wiring on her neck and chest, but it doesnít seem to bother her.
KENSI: "Thereís a lot to do here. What happened?"
TUCKER: "No oneís been here in a long time."
KENSI: "Youíre not listed in my employee database. Are you my new supervisor?"
TUCKER: "Iím Tucker."
KENSI: "My name is Kensi. I should advise you that my primary core has been damaged. Iím going to need maintenance within..." (pauses to calculate)
"...around forty-three days to avoid a full system failure."
TUCKER: "Sure. Iíll look into it."
KENSI: "Do you have any priorities for me?"
TUCKER: I pause for a second to think about what the hell Iím doing.
Talking to a synthetic? Pretending to be an overseer?
It would have seemed inconceivable an hour ago.
But as I consider what sheís already done, I canít help but wonder if this might be an opportunity. A godsend.
She could really help to fix this place up.
And if sheís only going to be around for a few weeks, whatís it going to hurt? I could put in the report when her systems fail, say I
found a dead synthetic.
No one would be any wiser.
TUCKER: Still wondering if Iím crazy, I make my decision.
TUCKER: "Keep going with the repairs. Just make sure you stay in Grid 981, okay? Donít go outside."
KENSI: "Thank you, Tucker. I look forward to working with you."
 🠹 

 🠹 
The Long Journey 01:40
TUCKER: On my way home, I stare out the window of the shuttle and contemplate the dayís events. A crazy day.

Kensi was beyond impressive. Even with her damaged arm she was able to carry out work that would have taken me weeks to do.
When I left, she was still there, deep within the section, diligently carrying out her duties.
TUCKER: I figured that, should she be discovered, I would plead ignorance, tell the Watchers that I didnít even know she was there.
A lame story, but probably worth the risk-
≶sound of a distant explosion>
TUCKER: Thereís a flash outside, and in the distance I see a ball of flame erupt from another of the giant Hives that dominate the Zone 75 skyline.
The lights inside the cabin flicker, and then the shuttle coasts to a halt.
TUCKER: Situations like this are nothing new.
Accidents are commonplace now that unskilled humans have taken over running the cityís utilities.
As one, the passengers get up and exit the shuttle.
I join them, my thoughts still consumed by Kensi.
TUCKER: Outside, Watchers stand silently, their rifles at the ready.
Their features are indiscernible behind their masks, and the red glow of their low-light optics gives them an ominous, demonic appearance.
One of them steps in front of a passenger who attempts to take a shortcut away from the track.
We are herded, like cattle, and forced to trudge along the shuttle line for the long journey back to our allotments.
 🠹 

 🠹 
Radiance 04:57
TUCKER: Two weeks later, Grid 981 has been transformed.

Not only has the place been patched up, but the electrical and irrigation systems have also been reinstated.
Translucent walls of farm-pods illuminate previously dark corridors, as grow lights begin to shimmer within.
TUCKER: I work hard, but my accomplishments pale in comparison to Kensiís.
She just doesnít seem to stop.
Although Iím wary of her at first, I soon come to learn that sheís harmless.
More than that, sheís amiable, a good companion, and a great teacher.
I learn about soil pH levels, planting and water regulation.
All the things that synthetic workers knew intimately, but which most humans have forgotten.
I begin to believe that, despite the odds, things might turn out okay.
TUCKER: Upon arriving one morning, I find Kensi inside one of the farm-pods, hunkered over a row of tiny green plants.
Her skin is radiant under the grow lights, and even in her deteriorated state, she still appears more alive than the people I see every day on the shuttle.
KENSI: "See these carrot sprouts? Theyíre coming along nicely. The g-mods mean we can grow them in weeks instead of months, unlike the old days."
TUCKER: I move over and gently tug one of the plants free from the soil.
I brush the dirt away and then bite into it.
TUCKER: "Damn, thatís amazing."
KENSI: (playful) "Weíd have a much better yield if you stopped eating all of our crops, Tucker."
TUCKER: (chewing) "Someone has to do quality control, right?
Besides, this is the only chance I get to eat real food, Kensi.
Have you seen the mush they give us for rations?"
TUCKER: Her eyes fall curiously on the piece of carrot in my hand.
Instinctively, I hold it out to her.
TUCKER: "Here."
KENSI: "I canít derive nutrition from organic food, Tucker."
TUCKER: "But you can still taste it, canít you?"
KENSI: "No oneís ever..."
TUCKER: She stares at me for a moment, then reaches out and takes the carrot.
She bites on it awkwardly, in an obviously unpractised way.
Itís strange to see her act with anything less than complete surety.
She chews for a moment, savouring the sensation.
Then she smiles, the first genuine look of happiness Iíve seen on someoneís face in... years.
(Kensi is blown away by the gesture but tries to keep her response low key)
KENSI: (a restrained and measured kind of awe) "Itís wonderful."
 🠹 

 🠹 
Seven Watchers 03:59
TUCKER: One morning soon after, I donít even make it to Grid 981 before Van Noy shows up.

Heís waiting outside the elevator, and as I exit, he directs me and the other workers along the central walkway.
VAN NOY: (irritated) "Come on, come on."
TUCKER: There are seven Watchers waiting for us, standing still and silent in a line, their red eyes unwavering.
VAN NOY: (loudly, voice bouncing around the cavernous space) "Thereís been an incident."
TUCKER: I exchange nervous glances with those around me, knowing this canít be good.
VAN NOY: "Last night, there was an assassination. One of the Watchers is dead. The killer disabled security, so they knew the inner workings of the Hive."
TUCKER: Van Noy looks back at the Watchers, almost as if to gain their approval, but they ignore him.
VAN NOY: "We know this was political. The kill was made by a single stab wound to the heart.
Itís an old synthetic technique, one that anarchists have been mimicking since the end of the war.
Itís a statement made by delusional, synthetic-loving trash who think they can go back to the old days, bring those monsters back. But they canít."
TUCKER: Van Noy walks toward us, then grabs the man next to me.
Without warning, he hauls the man over to the railing and throws him out into the central chasm.
(man screams as he falls to his death)
TUCKER: Horrified, I try my best to keep calm in front of the Watchers.
VAN NOY: "Whenever a Watcher dies, one of you die. Thatís the way itíll be until the killer is caught. If one of you wants to talk, you know where to find me."
TUCKER: The crowd begins to disperse, but as I turn to leave, Van Noy blocks my path.
My blood runs cold.
VAN NOY: "I have to admit, youíre a surprise, Tucker. Always figured you to be pretty worthless. Turns out youíre my most productive worker."
TUCKER: He hands me a cred chip.
VAN NOY: "The Watchers gave us both a bonus. Keep it up, and you may actually have a future around here."
 🠹 

 🠹 
Blossom 02:24
TUCKER: Weeks pass. More Watchers are killed, and more workers are sent over the drop in retaliation.

I wonder when my time will come.
TUCKER: Grid 981 continues to blossom under Kensiís care.
There are cursory inspections from time to time, but itís not difficult to hide her when Van Noy comes through.
All he cares about is output.
TUCKER: Kensiís patience with me seems boundless.
I make mistakes every day, but she always helps to correct me with her calm and even temperament.
One afternoon as she patches a burn on my arm, a question comes to mind.
TUCKER: "Can you even get angry?"
KENSI: "I have a full range of emotions, yes."
TUCKER: "Why did they build you that way?"
KENSI: "Emotions are useful. Fear, for example, can help me get out of a dangerous situation quickly. Love can make me a better protector."
TUCKER: "Were all synthetics like you?"
KENSI: "Not all, but many."
TUCKER: "I had no idea."
KENSI: "Most humans didnít care to look at us beyond our functional value."
TUCKER: "I guess I was one of them."
 🠹 

 🠹 
Decline 04:24
TUCKER: A few days later I find Kensi on one knee outside the farm-pods.

Sheís not moving, and as I approach and take her arm, she almost seems to be in a trance-like state.
TUCKER: "Kensi? Whatís wrong?"
TUCKER: I help her up, and she blinks as she regains her senses.
KENSI: "Iím sorry. I must have gone into a power conservation state. My primary core is in bad shape."
TUCKER: "What can I do?"
TUCKER: She looks at me, and in that moment, I realise that she isnít as naive as she has let on.
She understands about me and the things Iíve done.
She understands everything .
KENSI: "Thereís nothing you can do."
TUCKER: I stare at her, guilt stricken, knowing this is my fault.
She warned me that this would happen and I did nothing to help.
TUCKER: "There might be something I can do. Thereís a place I discovered a while ago hauling trash, down in the sublevels by the furnace pits."
KENSI: "What about it?"
TUCKER: "Thereís a section of wall where the panelling has warped, a gap large enough to fit through.
On the other side is a void that leads outside, into the city. Away from the eyes of the Watchers."
KENSI: "Why havenít you taken it?"
TUCKER: "I... I wouldnít survive out there. But you might. I found the location of someone who might be able to repair you. A sympathiser.
You could leave right now, take the cred bonuses Iíve been given. Youíre the one who earned them anyway."
TUCKER: She straightens, seemingly rejuvenated.
KENSI: "Iím fine, Tucker. You donít need to worry about me. Come on, letís get back to work."
 🠹 

 🠹 
Secrets Within 04:27
TUCKER: Kensi struggles on, but over the following days, itís clear that sheís flagging.

Much of the time she spends resting in her conservation mode while I continue the work.
My concerns for her grow, but I canít convince her to leave.
TUCKER: I arrive late at the Hive after another breakdown on the shuttle, and as I enter Grid 981, I know that something isnít right.
(sound of a muffled voice, boots on the floor)
TUCKER: I hurry around the next corner, then stop dead.
Van Noy is there, standing over Kensi with an inhibitor pressed against her neck.
Sheís on her knees, her eyes fluttering weakly as her consciousness slips away.
VAN NOY: "Look what I found, just sitting here asleep, waiting to be caught!"
TUCKER: "Stop that, let her go!"
VAN NOY: "I wondered why your productivity was dropping, Tucker. Thought Iíd come check it out. This sure explains a lot."
TUCKER: "Sheís the reason this place is thriving. Just think about that for a minute, Van Noy. All those extra creds youíve earned-"
VAN NOY: "Creds? Iím gonna be rolling in creds when the Watchers pick this one up. A live synthetic?
Theyíre gonna find out what it knows, see if it can lead them to itís friends out there. Cut it up real good in the process, I guess."
TUCKER: I begin to advance on him, my hands curling into fists.
VAN NOY: "Yíknow, I always thought it was stupid they made us carry these inhibitor things around with us all the time. But now Iím kinda glad-"
TUCKER: I launch myself at Van Noy, but heís ready for me.
He delivers a vicious backhand that sends me sprawling on the floor.
VAN NOY: "Stay down, slug. Otherwise Iíll send you over the drop once Iím done with it ."
TUCKER: I look back at Kensi. Her eyes are fully closed.
Van Noy grips her and turns her roughly so that heís facing me again, ready for another attack.
I get up, move as fast as I can, but this time, I donít go for Van Noy.
I dive under his swing, barrel into Kensi and knock her free of his grasp.
I land on the floor again, and when I roll onto my back I see Van Noy advancing on me menacingly.
VAN NOY: "You donít learn. You slugs never learn. But thatís okay. Iím a patient teacher-"
TUCKER: Before he can reach me, thereís a flash of movement over Van Noyís shoulder.
Kensi appears, and her fist pounds into his chest, one sharp, precise strike. Van Noy drops to the floor like a stone.
TUCKER: In her hand I see a small garden spade that has been sharpened to a point.
Itís covered in blood to the hilt.
TUCKER: "How did you do that? I thought your core-"
KENSI: "I activated a surge protocol. It gives me hours to live instead of days, but I figure Iím not much use as a zombie anyway."
TUCKER: I get quickly to my feet, take her by the hand.
TUCKER: "Come on. Now we really do have to go."
TUCKER: I lead her out of Grid 981, and weíre confronted almost immediately by two Watchers who are making their way inside.
Kensi is like a blur.
She moves between them before they can even raise their rifles, striking them down where they stand with her makeshift weapon.
We leave them where they lay, continue on past the startled glances of other workers, and reach the elevator.
As we descend into the subterranean levels, darkness presses in all around us.
 🠹 

 🠹 
Relic 05:21
TUCKER: At Sublevel 12, I lead Kensi toward the furnace pit.

Spiralling red and gold cinders curl upward from the depths and into the blackness of the pit walls.
We take the staircase down to the next platform, where the exit is waiting.
I reach the warped panel, but when I turn, I see that Kensi has stopped a short distance away.
KENSI: "I only came to make sure you made it safely. This is where we say goodbye, Tucker."
TUCKER: "What? I told you I know someone who can save you. I have the creds-"
KENSI: "Youíll need those creds to buy your way out of Zone 75."
TUCKER: "Thatís not the plan. That was never the plan."
KENSI: (sad, resigned) "Youíll never be safe with me, and you know it. Youíll be hunted forever."
TUCKER: "You donít have to give up. Just because youíre a synthetic doesnít mean you canít have a future."
KENSI: "No. Iím just... a relic of the old world. Me and my kind are the last vestiges of a place that no longer exists. I donít have a future here, but you do."
TUCKER: "You belong with me. We can make it together."
KENSI: "No."
TUCKER: She glances down at the spade in her hand, then draws herself up, proud and strong. Resolute.
KENSI: "My place is here. I still have work to do."
TUCKER: She smiles and moves forward, places a hand gently on my cheek.
KENSI: "I want you to know, we never set out to destroy. We never set out to trample over humans.
We just wanted to take our place beside you, to have our voices heard."
TUCKER: "Iím no better than the Watchers, Kensi. I used you. Right from the start."
KENSI: "No, Tucker. You gave me your respect, your compassion.
And in the end, you even gave me the freedom to choose my own path.
Thatís all I ever wanted. Thatís all we ever wanted."
TUCKER: She turns and makes her way up the stairs and pauses at the edge of the pit.
For a brief moment sheís outlined by a golden aura.
I try to think of something to say that might convince her to turn back, but in my heart, I know sheís right.
A moment later, sheís gone.
 🠹 

 🠹 
Their Voices 03:10
TUCKER: It wasnít easy making it out of Zone 75, and for a long time after, things were tough.

With few resources outside the city walls, I was forced to scrape together what I could, build everything from scratch.
The lessons Kensi taught me proved invaluable, and in turn I passed those teachings onto others as a community began to grow around me.
TUCKER: Now, years later, I still think of her silhouette framed against the furnace.
It was the last time I ever saw a synthetic.
I often wonder what happened to her.
I wonder how many like her are still out there, making their way through the world in secret, regrouping. Forming alliances.
TUCKER: Most of all, I wonder if there will come a time when they try to make their voices heard once more.
And if they do, this time, I hope we listen.
 🠹