Intro: Red, by Brian Webb © 2018.
Musky dark room smelled of aged cedar and mold loaded dirty water. Lights were mostly non-existent outside of what leaked in from the adjoining rooms. The air was thick with steam and the sounds of large pistons pounding in the distant. Large hoses suspended along the walls going from one room to the next throbbed with each piston beat. It gave the room a feeling of life, as if it were the bowels of some larger creature.
Alice stood there, in her red sterile hazmat suit, and thought about how this room always felt like a mirror to her emptiness. She stood there, because going into the brighter of the two adjacent rooms that was connected to this one, would expose her very soul to that which she hated most. The thing that she was commanded to call mother.
Mother wasn’t her real mother, but a living organic computer, that was the result of a project that was started before the age of semiconductors and vacuum tubes. Mother was started when people were still marveling about plants, fungi, and bacteria. So libertine scientists, madmen they were called, so began hybridizing symbiotic cellular structures into a cohesive life. Massive leaps in life science, genetics, and psychology were made, just to be kept in the closure of W.o.l.f.
World Order for Life Foundation, W.O.L.F., aka Wolf, was a group that would bring out benevolent products, on occasion, just to keep people from prying into their business. There was no benevolence to Wolf, they bought out those that would harm them, and removed those they could not buy out. Even now, Wolf was looking for its new prey.
Alice finally pulled up her courage and opened the door. Before her a large mound of beautiful and sickening colors sat before her in its life promoting bowl. Alice turned to a protrusion that looked have way between a gaunt human face and a modern art hodgepodge of natural material expressionism.
“Ah Alice, there you are.” Came a gravelly voice from the depths of the protrusion. It craned its long spindly neck to turn its face towards Alice. “I was wondering if you were ever going to enter. Your stops in the threshold seem to get longer each time.”
“I …” started Alice, but she was cut off by Mother.
“No, no. No need to comment. Standing before me is exhausting to your psyche. I do understand that. Just remember, you are the last of those who have not joined me permanently. Nor do I expect you to. As such, your interfacing with me is the most difficult.”
Mother stretched her neck back and up, her head bringing Alice’s eyes to focus on the withered and clear cocooned bodies of various executives, athletes, artists, politicians, and reporters. Their bodies do not look dead, just suspended at the edge of their last breath. The nerve bundles and fluid lines linking them to mother, keeping them alive, and joining them to mother, being their reward for their commitment to her.
Mother then said, “Alice, you are the head of Wolf; I am the heart of Wolf. The body needs to be feed. Go find food. Remind our sheep that we are their care takers. Remind the others in the pack that we are alpha. Remind the world, that this world is our hunting ground, no other predator may enter.”
With that, Mother pushed an image of her next target into her head. A young man, Jeremy Balentine who had a successful software startup business and was now branching into urban agriculture. After his failed deal on the investment television show Sharktank, he decided that he was going to prove the investment sharks were wrong with their undervaluing of his company. A few years, Jeremy turned his home business into a trillion-dollar success, then immediately branched out to new businesses and markets.
What brought Jeremy to the eye of Wolf was that he was finding ways to circumvent their controls, and their regulations, which were locking him out. Most of his business was operated on international waters on the first privately owned floating fortress. It looked like a giant floating hotel with an island on top.
Alice spoke up, “I got it. He will be ours, and his will be ours.” Then Alice turned.
When she started to step towards the exit, she realized that this all seemed choreographed, as if she was repeating this dance every time she meat with Mother. Before she could think about it anymore, her hand on the handle for the exit, she heard, “Alice! Do not fail. Wolf is hungry.”
With that phrase, her determination was set in stone, and the fleeting thought of déjà vu passed. Alice was quickly out of the chamber and onto her new mission; to enslave another man to Mother. The smell of blood permeated her senses, she exited saying, “I am agent Red; head of wolf.”
Due to the strange interactions between Red Riding Hood and the Wolf, in one of the older versions, I kept wondering, was Red really all that good? Maybe it was Red who was the wolf, and it was her who the woodsman had to put down.
I am writing a story is meant to be a dystopian speculative fiction, It will delve into the psyche of someone who has been the villain all their life. But denies it, and what feeds that villainy. Red is by no means a damsel in distress.
This intro will never be put in the final cut of the story. It is meant to be a primer, a seed document for the actual story. I will probably write the actual story during NaNoWriMo. A 300-page book in 1 month takes a lot of prep, and 0 time for waste.
Last note: All characters are inspired by real people, most of whom I call friend. Some of whom are just political figures, which I sort of blend together into singular personalities.