Dreams in the Tower Part 1

Dreams in the Tower Part 1 by Andrew Vrana

Book: Dreams in the Tower Part 1 by Andrew Vrana Read Free Book Online
Authors: Andrew Vrana
    Down on the street the brake lights trailed red tracers, the cars they belonged to giving off a heat that was visible even in the broiling summer air. All around the city, lights came on, he ralding the night with gleaming rays of every color; but despite this vast neon palette the city’s hue was orange, like the flames the lights imitated. Inexorably the sun sank below the tallest building on its way to closing out another day, and the man looking out from the highest window smiled.
    Even if it was for the smallest of moments at the very end of the sunset, in that moment not even the sun stood higher than the Silte Corporation tower.
    His grin fading as fast as it had come, back to the reserved demeanor his years at the top had sculpted, the man in the highest room of the tallest tower turned his gaze along one unus ually empty street. Down the street beneath the shadows of skyscrapers, a person with implant-enhanced vision might see from the tower a thousand little ants swelling into an army, waiting to launch their hungry march on Silte Corp. But they were just that: ants. He couldn’t even see them from where he stood, having rejected the implants and other body mods that were trendy among those in his social class. Still, he felt the ants’ swelling ripple and saw it as a threat not just to his company, but to himself as well. Because he was Silte…and Silte was he. Bound together like the self is to its fleeting physical form, it occupied a space of his existence beyond the limitations of his organic body.
    Turning from the window, he put his back to a city now the color of smoldering embers: the sun’s final salute to another day. His office, dim with the main lights off, was a relic; wor kspace meant little to him anymore. The walls were windows on three sides, and they may as well be letting sunlight shine through without casting a shadow, as if piercing an empty space. Desks, chairs, production models of next-big-things, priceless trinkets of antiquity—nothing mattered. If the windows were opened to the dusk, the winds would blow through the other side carrying nothing, because things which had no use to him were as good as nothing.
    All that really mattered was his voice and the mind whose dreams it conveyed. That’s all he did now, turn his ideas into reality. Everything else was just the means to attaining this, and it was incredibly effective; he need only speak a command and his wishes would be fulfilled. He could utter a single phrase and the bothersome ants gathering on that shadowy corner dow ntown would be done, dead, no longer troubling him.
    And perhaps he would give that command.
    It was a drastic action, but was there a choice? No, of course not. But it was still a tough decision, and not one to make lightly. He had already spent long hours pondering the dilemma. In the end, after all the points and counterpoints, the silent internal struggles, the worthless advice from artificial beings confined to computers, he had condensed the predicament into one vital question: What did he really want? A dozen different times he had come up with a dozen different answers. But the time for uncertainty was over. Making decisions was his job, and it had been his resolute nature, not indecisiveness, which had carried him to the top. So, turning back to the luminous cityscape, he asked the question of himself again.
    This time there was only one answer.

    Dellia had tried—really tried—not to fall asleep, but the droning buzz of the late night news hadn’t been enough to counter the toll two nights of staying up waiting for something to happen had taken on her. She did not dream, though; a prolonged blink brought her from her sentry’s perch on the edge of the couch to a groggy, muss-haired state sprawled across the cushions and squinting at the head-splitting light of the television.
    She pushed herself up and sat there

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