|Equilibrium Fan Fiction
by Judas Austin
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"Write a diary, Preston" he
said. "Start recording history, Preston" he said. "Note down the key
events of New Libria and the relevant rehabilitation of its citizens,
paying particular attention to the Clerics on our side and the
so-called Second Resistance, Preston" he said. What does Jurgen think I
am, an automaton? I don't have time to write down everything I do; I'm
too busy doing it, to say nothing of the amount of time
Robbie and Lisa take up. I'm a Grammaton Cleric, not a damned
so maybe the Grammaton Cleric thing's a little out of date. I haven't
dared show my face anywhere outside without an escort. I don't know if
this Second Resistance exists (although it makes sense) but I'm not
taking the chance.
I supposed to call this when it's done, anyway? My Life As A Sense
Offender? The Underground Exposed? (hmm...actually, I quite
like that) The Secret Diary of John Preston the Grammaton Cleric
First Class Aged 32¼?
pretend I never even thought of that one.
How am I
supposed to write down history? I may have excelled at the physical
side of my training, but history was never my strong point.
own fault. I should never have made that comment about enjoying my free
time while Jurgen was in the room. Jeez, Preston, feeling is all very
well, but I can't help feeling (hah!) you traded some of your common
sense along with those little vials of Prozium.
'borrowed' a book from the Archives earlier. It was a short book about
a fat, four legged animal with stripes that seemed to do nothing but
eat, sleep and kick another four legged animal. It was strangely
humorous in places, and Lisa flatly refuses to put it down, but I was
looking for something that would give me some idea of what goes on in
these diaries. Three books later, I managed to find it. Some kid called
Adrian Mole had got this woman to publish his diaries in book form…at
least, I think that's how it worked back then. Richardson probably
knows more about it than I do.
the other thing; why couldn't Jurgen have got Richardson to do
this? The man's a Grammaton Cleric turned archaeologist, and he seems
to be a lot more enthusiastic about the second job than the first. He'd
probably enjoy writing crap like this.
finish here; Lisa's due back any second now and anyway, I'm about
written out for the minute. I might do a little more tonight.
Preston, Grammaton Cleric First Class
Preston shut the diary with a snap and crossed over to his mattress,
feeling around for the slit he'd made underneath it, then shoving the
book - not particularly delicately - inside it. It was hardly ideal, at
least from his point of view, but Jurgen had pointed out that the only
people who would risk even breaking into Preston's apartment - let
alone shoving their hand under him when he was asleep - were either
insane or spies with a somewhat terminal dedication to their job.
Either way, nobody in New Libria would miss them.
somewhat resented being used as a human booby trap, but he couldn't
deny that the other man had a point. Still, it got damn uncomfortable
at times, particularly when he had to turn the mattress.
opened and Lisa's input device came flying through the air, closely
followed by Lisa herself, who stamped in, slammed the door behind her
and threw herself onto the sofa with arms folded and a scowl on her
pause, Preston remarked, "I suppose it would be somewhat redundant of
me to ask if you had a good day."
glowered at him and didn't answer.
Preston suppressed a sigh. Damn. Would one day, one simple, normal
day, a day where there wasn't trouble of some kind, be too much
"You have to
finger something," Lisa told him. Normally, anyone taking that kind of
tone to Preston would be politely informed (usually at gunpoint) that
in fact, he didn't have to do anything he objected to, but
friends and immediate family tended to be exceptions to that rule.
her a startled glance.
caught sight of the mulish expression on her face and grimaced. "What
happened this time?"
abruptly lost the stubborn expression and sighed.
Norma Sands in maths today."
Preston said, then mentally kicked himself for asking such a stupid
question. How could you unintentionally slap someone?
me a Cleric-kid."
a 'Cleric-kid'," Preston said bluntly, if somewhat unsympathetically.
"I know, but
it sounded worse the way she said it." Lisa gave an exasperated
sigh. "Anyway, the instructor sent home a note that you have to
finger." She nodded towards her input device, which was still
miraculously in one piece and, Preston was relieved to note, unharmed.
Those things were expensive.
with a growing sense of dread, Preston retrieved it from the corner and
started it up, tapping a finger on the section of the touch screen
marked "Parent or Guardian" and reading aloud the brief
paragraph that appeared there.
parent or guardian of Lisa Preston. It is my sad duty to inform you
that your daughter has deliberately' - "
buzzer went, cutting him off.
Lisa volunteered, already on her feet.
right where you are!" Preston crossed over to the door and opened it.
"Now's not a
good time, is it," Jurgen said rhetorically.
again when I've read this communiqué," Preston said bluntly. "Come in,
if you want, and if you don't mind waiting."
did mind, he gave no outward sign. Instead he said, "Thanks," and
stepped inside, closing the door softly behind him. Looking at him,
Preston was struck with the same strange sensation he always got when
he saw Jurgen; that the man was just about to laugh or cry, or possibly
of waved Jurgen towards the sofa and returned to perusing Lisa's screen.
"'It is my
sad duty to inform you that your daughter has deliberately flaunted
numerous rules and social conventions. For this reason, I have had no
choice but to give her a week's suspension. Your fingerprint is
required at the bottom of this document. This rebelling against the
system will not be tolerated. Yours, M A Kirkley'." Preston
stared at Lisa. "Exactly how many 'rules and social conventions' have
shrugged, a gesture that could either be interpreted as "What's that to
do with you?" or "I've lost count." Neither sounded particularly good
suspension for 'rebelling against the system'," Preston said, rereading
the communiqué for the third time, while Jurgen privately reflected
that if Lisa didn't rebel against the system at least once, then in all
probability it either meant that she wasn't Preston's daughter or the
Cleric was drugging her water.
glanced over at him.
excuse me for just one minute?" he said, in a somewhat glassy tone.
means," Jurgen answered, while devoutly hoping that Preston hadn't
picked up on that last thought.
Preston walked into his room, his every move giving the impression of
iron control, then picked up the phone and dialled the number on Lisa's
about decided that no one was home and was on the verge of hanging up
when he heard a voice on the other end, a voice that sounded like the
owner had been running.
that's me." Kirkley coughed a few times, a harsh, racking sound that
set Preston's teeth on edge.
John Preston. I understand you sent a communiqué home with - "
daughter, yes, Mr Preston."
mind telling me exactly which of those rules you were referring
to?" Preston said, somewhat coldly.
the infractions against your daughter are too numerous to list here."
numerous to input on a device capable of storing up to two gigabytes
worth of data?" Preston said, not bothering to keep the sarcastic bite
out of his tones. "I didn't even know there were that many
rules and conventions."
"It is more
than possible to feel and to keep within the boundaries of
socially acceptable behaviour." Kirkley coughed again, causing Preston
to clench a fist in irritation. "Your daughter has yet to learn this,
Mr Preston. I expect to see a significant change in her behaviour when
she returns." Cough, cough.
gritted his teeth and counted to ten. The tension on his end didn't
seem to be filtering through to the other, judging from the way Kirkley
ploughed on, oblivious.
education official, I deserve respect. I worked long hours to earn my
qualifications, and incidents such as these may put a severe curtail on
my eligibility for promotion. Since you wanted more details of your
daughter's offences, Mr Preston, I will tell you; Lisa and two others
who will remain nameless not only welded my desk drawer shut but welded
my chair to the floor as well."
was now seriously regretting ever having picked up the phone, blinked.
"Did you say
Mr Preston. The intense heat also melted the casing around a
commemorative plaque that was awarded to me after fifty years as an
education official. The casing itself was exceedingly valuable, and the
award itself was one of a kind."
couldn't believe what he was hearing.
suspending my daughter because she broke your award?"
Mr Preston. The award itself was fortunately unharmed, although with no
protection, the question arises: where am I supposed to put it?"
really want me to tell you?" Preston grated.
"I beg your
pardon, Mr Preston?"
me. Oh, and Dr Kirkley?"
Preston," Preston told him, and hung up, the beginnings of a satisfied
smile faintly playing at the corners of his mouth.
"I think I
won that one," he said to himself. The smile vanished as he glanced
back towards the door leading to the living room.
the tricky part, he thought, grimacing.
Chapter 2 >>>