Core

Part IV — Moirai Games

The sphere was larger than she expected, at least 12 feet wide and high. Sending a power tone from one glance. Ryn couldn’t remove her eyes from the rotating colors within the sphere; ribbons of purple, green, and blue. 

Most humans are familiar with the sphere. Few humans venture to Moirai. The sphere hovered above the ground by a foot; a dancing drop of putrid water. She shut the vehicle door and walked to the front of the facility. Concrete streets melted into solid glass tiles surrounding the grounds. The Moirai appeared to breathe in anger, ready to chew on each human who entered. Solid shimmering walls of glass encompassed by 50 stories; piercing the innocent sky with ease. 

Rooms closest to the glass were visible office spaces holding humans and Kyrios. The dark core of the facility was viewable from outside, but the black walls kept the circular inner core hidden. Ryn studied the core walls as a parasite-like, bulbous creature moved silently among the black.

The sun peaked over the horizon as reflection on the building intensified. Ryn zipped her jacket to reach her chin and held her bag tight against her side. Her nerves were settling into the pit of her stomach. Ryn looked behind her as the vehicle pulled away, leaving her alone at the mercy of the Moirai. A few Kyrios were nearby, paying Ryn no attention. Each cyborg standing calm in place while making slight head jerking movements with each scan of the Moirai environment. The more they moved their heads, the louder the chirping.

Today is Ryn’s 22nd birthday. Yesterday the Moirai pushed a notification to her ExPose asking her to confirm an intent to appear on her birthday. Ryn agreed to be in place no later than 7 a.m. with an optimistic plan she wouldn’t dare share outside of her best friend Dari. 

Ryn wished her best friend would have come with her. She knew she had to visit the Moirai early, before Dari persuaded her. She’s determined to complete the requirement. Fear of losing life years on the back end overwhelmed her. Others didn’t talk about the experience at the Moirai, however Ryn knew the rumors couldn’t all be true. Why would the Moirai seek to harm humans? Ryn believed that powerful control of her emotions and thoughts would divert her future into something better.

Ryn tugged on her right ear, rubbing the lobe where heat was forming. She walked up to the sphere and stared only two feet from the surface. The colors and movement were entrancing.

“May I help you with your purpose today?” said a soft voice from behind Ryn.

Ryn turned to face the Kyrios as her heart rate became stronger through the pulsing jugular vein in her neck. Ryn caught herself looking beyond the Kyrios as the cloud of controlled oxygen began filling the lobby.

“Um, I’m here for my mandatory divert session.”

Ryn focused her attention on the perfect Kyrios standing eye level with her; sleek hair, soft pale skin, dark voids for eyes. The Kyrios unrolled the ExPose from its wrist and began swiping and typing with one hand. Ryn saw wording on the translucent underside but could not recognize the language. Without expression, the Kyrios used its ExPose to scan Ryn’s wrist and with a quick deep tone it echoed a few words in a language Ryn never understood. Ryn’s photo was viewable.

“Ryn, I have accepted your purpose. Please wait inside. Thank you for choosing Moirai.”

Ryn smirked as the Kyrios folded the ExPose and moved away from her. The Kyrios stopped with a twitch near a pure black tulip garden at the corner of the facility.

I didn’t choose Moirai, you force Moirai. Ryn thought to herself, glancing down at the current time. She was ready and nervous, stroking her heated earlobe a second time. Ryn walked around the sphere as she stared through the changing ribbons. She had a powerful urge to touch the sphere, but moved a curly piece of red hair from her face and tucked it behind her warm ear instead.

The front entrance to the Moirai cast dark, insecure chills to those within reach. As Ryn approached, a gentle tingle moved up her wrist and into her neck. A low buzz passed through the air as the building scanned Ryn’s body, allowing entry. The thick glass entrance melted like a curtain into millions of evaporating shards to the floor, allowing Ryn to enter inside. She stared at the line where the glass wall once stood only seconds ago as she crossed into the Moirai. Ryn turned behind her to see the glass build itself into a solid wall, trapping her inside. As she turned to face the main lobby, another smaller sphere with similar ribbons rotated deep inside. A centerpiece surrounded by glass boxes filled with pure black tulips reflected against the glass floor.

A voice echoed through the lobby, announcing Ryn’s arrival and assigned number that she felt was familiar but couldn’t pinpoint; 8248RL. Multiple Kyrios wandered without purpose through the lobby. A shift through one door to be replaced by another Kyrios. The black core wall stood silent but alive; Ryn became anxious the more she stared. A steady, soft humming from the core pulsed terror through her skin. Easy, she mumbled to herself. She glided into a lobby lined and scattered with glass boxes along the wall and center for seating. Ryn found a group of glass boxes and sat upon the cold frame; waiting on the number they assigned her.

A short ping echoed through the room, reminding Ryn of water. She watched as the glass wall at the front of the lobby melted away. Another human walked through the doorway, showcasing the same confusion as Ryn. He was here with the same purpose. Just as the glass wall secured behind him, they announced a number; 8248GW. Ryn realized they shared the same number, but each had a unique set of letters on the end. Her number carried her initials.

As Ryn watched the young man find a seat nearby, the two of them passed anxious stares as every single Kyrios ignored their presence. Among them both were meaningless movements by the Kyrios with minimum sound. Only the core released a steady hum of uncertainty. A loud voice startled the silence. Her attention moved to the smaller sphere in the center of the room.

Welcome to Moirai. We want your future to be perfect. Divert to discover your improved chosen path.

Ryn watched as an image of a tall man with dark black hair appeared above the sphere; a clear human figure formed through light. He smiled and waved his pixilated hand toward his body, motioning for Ryn to follow. After only seconds, the image melted into the swirling ribbons of blue and purple within the sphere.

She stared at the sphere as her earlobe became flushed with heat. Marketing within the Moirai was worse than she thought. Ryn’s wrist pulsed, her ExPose alerted her to a call from Dari. Ryn hesitated while selecting to accept.

“Hey Dari, I can’t talk at the moment,” said Ryn, keeping her eyes low.

“Happy Birthday!” said Dari.

“Thank you. I will call you soon, okay? Are you at work?”

“Yes. I just arrived and wanted to say hi before I begin. I can see you are at Moirai.”

“I am. Wish you were with me.”

“Really? I wish you never went today.”

“I — ”

A sharp sting to her side cut through the conversation. Ryn jumped in her seat from the surprising pain. In front of her stood a Kyrios still grasping the metallic object in its hand and releasing a soft chirp as it stared. The sickening smirk from the Kyrios made Ryn’s stomach churn and fade the dull burn to her ribs.

“Outside interference is prohibited. This is your last warning.”


Thanks for reading! This is a chapter of a running speculative fiction series. Go here to start at the beginning.

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