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Harold Carter

"Where are all the good times? Who's gonna show this stranger around?"

0 · 644 views · located in Space

a character in “Time of Arrival”, as played by HolyJunkie

Description

   
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    ”MOTHER - PINK FLOYD”

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    ”… We came in?”

   


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”Mama’s gonna make all your nightmares come true.”

Full name: HAROLD CARTER


    Nickname/Title: HAL


    Age: 18


    Birthday: FEB 16


    Height: 5’8”


    Weight: 205LBS (mainly due to implants)


    Favorite activity: SINGING, VOCALS IN GENERAL.


    Goals: TO BE A ROCK STAR


    Good at: MUSIC IN GENERAL. HE LEARNED OTHER INSTRUMENTS IN LIEU OF AN UN-RUINED SINGING VOICE.


    Worst at: SINGING (Due to his implants)

   


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”Mi’Lord I never wanted him to get in any trouble.”

    Positive personality traits:Negative personality traits:
    - TRIES TO HOLD A POSITIVE OUTLOOK.- AN EGOTIST.
    -SPOILED EGO- CHARMER
    - GENERAL MENTAL STABILITY IS ALWAYS A PLUS.- PRONE TO FRUSTRATION.
   - A GENUINELY KIND-HEARTED KID, ALL THINGS CONSIDERED.- AVID FAN OF DARK HUMOUR.
   
    Likes:Loves:
    - THE ROCK STAR LIFESTYLE- MUSIC
    - PHYSICALLY ABUSING GUITARS, LIKE THE OLD GREATS.- SINGING
    - BUILDING HIS BOD TO MATCH THE ROCK STAR LIFESTYLE.- HIS MOTHER.

    Dislikes:Hates:
- HIS MOTHER’S OVERPROTECTIVENESS.- HIS IMPLANTS, NAMELY WHAT THEY DID TO HIS SINGING VOICE.
    - NOT GETTING WHAT HE WANTS.- HARMING ANOTHER HUMAN BEING.
    - REACTING IN A SPOILED FASHION.- ACTING LIKE A SUPREME DICK INADVERTENTLY.
   
    Dreams of:
-Standing in front of a crowd of people, utterly enchanted by his pure, non-metallic voice.
-One day, when technology improves to the point where he could get real vocal organs again,
and without the asthma. … Granted, both dreams are impossible…

Fears:
- LOSING OUT ON STARDOM OR EVEN A CAREER DUE TO THE OVERBEARING METALLIC TONE
TO HIS SINGING VOICE… IT’S A REAL FEAR.
- THE CHANCE OF CRAZY FANS AND MOSH PITS IF HE EVER MAKES IT BIG. BEING AN ALTRUIST
REGARDING HUMAN LIFE, HE’S TOO SCARED TO FIGHT LIVING THINGS.

   


   



   
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    ”I guess health-wise, it was better than the alternative.”

    [ Keeps his love for singing a secret due to the embarrassing nature of the state of his voice. ]

   




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”Isn’t this where…”

    As a kid, he had asthma. His pop was killed in an accident when he was young. As a result, his rich, spoiling mother did overkill on “curing” his asthma by having all his vocal organs replaced with cybernetic implants. The heavier materials of the implants contributes the most to his relatively heavier weight, but hefting around the implants has made him quite strong, with a rockin' physique. (bad joke, sorry.)

He always wanted to be a singer when he grew up, but due to the metallic tone to his voice from the implants, his dream was basically ruined from the get-go. He kinda resents his mother for it, though he does see the benefits the implants had brought.

His mother is... was... a good doctor- though she never taught him the trade.



   
~CS by Lovebird~

So begins...

Harold Carter's Story

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((Wrong place, deleted.))

The setting changes from The Park to Cargo Bay

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“Oi! Hal!”

Due to the hearing protection, the eighteen-year-old only caught a fraction of the superior calling him. He was focusing on moving a cargo box into position on the storage shelves.

“HAL!” That got through; Hal pulled off the hearing protection as he powered down the loaded.

“Come on, Hal, the shift’s over,” the older man who was too stout to fit in the exoskeleton called. “You don’t wanna be locked in here by mistake again.”

“Thanks, sir,” Hal replied, though he didn’t have the heart to tell his superior that he enjoyed the overnight isolation where he could sing to his heart’s content… and his ear’s torture. Hal parked the loader in an out-of-the-way corner of the storage facility and unhooked himself from the large mechanical apparatus.

In the break room, he was packing up an electric guitar he always practiced with during the work breaks. Everyone in that facility knew each other, so there was no thievery. Hal could leave his guitar smack-dab on the table and it wouldn’t be touched.

Just when he zipped up the case, the station emitted a creak zipping through every support beam, as if the station were hit hard by a sudden impact. What followed was a thunderous shift, and very temporary failure of the artificial gravity. It was enough to send Hal, two other workers, and everything not nailed down flying across the small break room.



The snarling of some distant, unknown creatures shook Hal awake. His hand felt sprained on account of its near-death-grip on the handle of his guitar case.

The lights still functioned, so Hal got a well-lit look at his two co-workers. Both hit the wall on their heads. Neither were moving. The only thing that was moving was some savage-looking man pounding against the door to the break room. Thank goodness the… person… didn’t have a lanyard to access the break room.

“Guys?” Hal called to the co-workers, “Guys, there’s a weird guy outside.”

No response. Hal was afraid of the worst. He was hesitant to touch either of them due to that fear.

“Come on guys, get up.”

Hal tapped one of them, then the other. Both started to smell.

“… Oh crap…” Hal began to shiver as he hugged the guitar case with his rather imposing build. The entire scene of a very masculine eighteen-year-old hugging a guitar case like a safety blanket would look downright comical. At least, it would… if not for the immediate threat of being trapped in a room with only sub-par lunch break leftovers, half a box of nutrient bars spilled around the place, two corpses and some insane thing right outside, pounding at the admittedly tough door.

On the plus side, the door wasn’t going to be breached any time soon. Hal had time to mentally steel himself for an eventual escape.

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“OKAY… okay… I can do this… I’m a rock star… This is practice for a crazy fan,” Harold hopped on the spot to get pumped up, “A crazy fan… Not killing… uhm… incapacitating… temporarily… so security could collect him and- oh who am I kidding? I need to kill that thing to escape…”

Hal stamped the metal floor in frustration. He has to kill that thing. It looked human, but at the same time not. It looked like an abomination. The last thing Hal wanted was for that ugliness to scar his beautiful rock star face.

“Okay, run through the plan once more,” he muttered, “Lanyard, door opens… then what…?”

Hal put down the guitar case and gripped at two legs of the knocked-over table. He hoisted it up and set it up tabletop against the door. Hal then picked up his guitar case and readied it for a strike like a battering ram. After much hesitation, Hal worked up the courage to plant the lanyard against the key-reader next to the door. As the information processed, Hal slipped the lanyard back in his pocket and gripped tightly onto the guitar case.

The door slid open, and the thing charged in, only for its gut to get caught against the edge of the table. As the thing’s torso and head leaned forward from the inertia, Hal held on tight to the guitar case as he swung it down with all his might.

He barely felt the hit. The sheer weight of the case and overall force applied turned the creature’s head into chunks that tore away from the torso. The rest of the body went completely limp over the edge of the table, while blood, brain, and bits of bone made a gruesome mess on the floor.

Hal began to hyperventilate, having never seen this kinda crap before. However, he knew he had no time to lose. With one strong arm, he tugged on the table to move it aside so he could escape. Thankfully, there appeared to be no one entering the area from the entrance on the opposite end of the cargo bay. There were figures passing by, but no one was entering- probably on account of the closed door. Harold could swear he could hear screaming from far away.

With no immediate stress, two dead co-workers and one dead thing, Hal had an opportunity to think of a plan so he wouldn’t join any of them any time soon. He saw the exoskeleton of the loader- which, when properly equipped, could be rated for air lock work. The particular loaded he was using was not equipped for it, but the modifications needed were in the warehouse. Plus, the exoskeleton itself would make a fine defence against more of those things.

Hal carefully stepped towards the loader, making sure to peek around corners of shelves to make sure nothing was around.

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From what Hal could tell, there was no living person throughout the rest of the warehouse- at least, none nearby enough to hassle him while he got suited up. Hal gripped tightly on both his guitar case and the card key needed to access the suit’s functions as he approached the suit proper. After loading up the guitar case and the recovered nutrient bars in the storage slot behind the seat, Hal hopped in and switched on the systems.

He checked the battery charge. 52%, a decent charge, if unexpected. Then again, there was not as much heavy lifting during the recent shift. Hal recalled that that much of a charge would grant him about seven hours of movement without using the loader arms.

The loader glided along the floor on small, sphere-like wheels. The humming, heavy-duty electromagnets near the base kept the loader from tilting when making hard turns, and also allowed the suit to remain attached to the station during exterior jobs. Hal directed the mech to the modification station, and activated the automated system. Pretty soon, the exoskeleton was covered in a space-grade material and sealed-up like an exo-suit.

There was a distant crash. Though the exo-suit muffled sound like a beast, Hal was still able to hear the world outside of the suit. It sounded like someone busted the door open somehow. Hal did not want to find out. He had to get to the safest place he knew: The isolation of space. With that safety, he’d be able to access one of the exterior terminals and communicate with the station AI. Hopefully it would have some kind of information.

As the exo-suit ran tests, the humming of the electromagnets seemed to attract the attention of whoever broke the door open. There were a few people carrying blunt objects, but they were paying attention to the unarmed people that looked as much of a mess as that first thing Hal encountered.

“Come on, damnit!” Hal cursed as the safety protocol during the exo-suit tests prevented his control. There were people getting killed out there, and he couldn’t do anything. Curse his timing! Two out of the three were tackled and being mauled. The last one was losing his lunch and his cool. Even from a distance, Hal could tell through the suit’s HUD that the poor guy was shaking.

Finally, the tests were passed, and Hal got control of the loader. Gliding along the floor, Hal lowered the arms to waist level. Hal soared past the last guy and rammed both loader arms through the two things. “Yes! Saved! Man, that was awesome!” Hal whooped as the things slipped off of the now-bloodied loader arms. “You okay, dude?” He called to the last survivor as he confirmed that the freaks were no longer moving.

Hal did not realise two things, however. The first was that the space-grade exo-suit limited clear communication from him to anyone through the short-wave radio, a channel exclusively used by loaders like his own, as well as other authorized equipment. The second was that the two killed survivors slowly rose up, despite having their necks chewed to pieces. Hal turned around just in time to see the two new freaks maul the last poor man.

“No… Goddamnit NO!” Hal pounded the arm rest. The two things rose up as they shifted their attention to the humming electromagnets. They stumbled in their approach while the third poor soul squirmed as he bled out. There was no saving that poor man, let alone the gratitude of the poor man. I'm supposed to be a hero…

Hal slapped himself. He had to focus; he needed to get outside and get in contact with the station AI. He needed to get to the safety of outer space so he could get his bearings.

Knowing he had to do it, he moved the exo-suit forward at full speed. He shoved right through the three of them. The bleeding out guy probably would have turned into one of the freaks like the other two just did.

He heard muffled sounds as more entered the warehouse. Hal turned to find more weird-looking savages. There were a lot of them. Hal doubted their bare hands would be able to do any damage to the exosuit, but he didn’t want to risk it. Hal directed the exo-suit to the airlock. He had to get out of here.

Once inside the air lock, Hal realised that he couldn’t actually activate the doors on his own, unless he was outside of the suit. As the savages started pouring in, Hal pulled the controls to the side, causing the loader to spin on the spot. The loader arms clipped at the things, but the sheer number of them caused the loader to stall. He was about to be swarmed after losing momentum when the doors automatically shut, and the air lock depressurized when the outer doors opened. The AI apparently automatically did this sort of thing.

As the outside sound faded and the freaks were launched out into space, Hal finally could hear nothing but himself… and he realised he was still hyperventilating. Normally, this amount of hyperventilation would cause him to pass out, but his synthetic lungs were strong.

“Come on, Hal,” he told himself encouragingly as he directed the exo-suit out of the airlock and onto the flat surface of the exterior, “I’m safe now… I’m safe now…” He repeated this to himself until the air lock door closed far behind him. By that time, he finally calmed down.

The setting changes from Cargo Bay to The Aibell

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The survivors were, for the most part, bland and uninteresting, reacting just as expected. Here was a young girl, her parents lost in an entirely different part of the ship, and she all alone. Here was a young man, panicking at the location of a coffee shop filled with blood. To expend the energy to try and advise them all would be... wasteful. My resources were finite, after all.

Yet, one survivor did interest me. This was a young cargo worker by the name of Harold Carter. As with all other survivors, he had been under my synthetic gaze for some time now; in this time, he had employed a guitar as a weapon, secured himself into the technical exosuits available for his department, and then ejected himself onto the exterior of the Aibell to escape the biocontaminants.

Resourcefulness interested me, because resourcefulness could save me.

Thus, while he remained still inside his exosuit (having cameras implanted inside all the exosuits was a good choice), I took the liberty of contacting him via the radio module of the suit.

"Citizen Carter, Harold. I have taken notice of your plight, and it is the system's belief that a mutually beneficial agreement could be drafted and executed. It involves the survival of both of our physical forms. What you cannot do, I can. What I cannot do, you can. Your compliance will be appreciated."

The setting changes from The Aibell to Space

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In the absolute silence of space, the sudden synthetic voice of Paragon blaring on the suit radio caused Hal to flinch and nearly lose control. Thankfully, the electromagnets were easily strong enough to hold the suit against the station, or else he'd be floating out into the infinite blackness. Those suit designers thought of everything.

“Jesus man, you startled me!” Hal blurted as he stopped all motion to get his bearings. “I was actually about to try to contact you through an exterior terminal. I didn’t know you could directly contact the suits, man.”

Once he was good to go, he continued moving the suit to the nearest terminal. The terminal would be able to provide exterior routes all across the station. “I’m not a fan of the word “complying”, but I do love helping. In order for me to help, I need to know what’s going on, dude.

Hal reached the terminal and hooked the suit up to it so he could download whatever information Paragon would send him. “This all started after that impact, right? What exactly hit us?” Hal asked, “‘Cause if I can remove the source, that would go a long way to helping the station, I think.”

And helping... Oh hell, I hope mom's alright...

The setting changes from Space to The Aibell

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This human; Mr. Carter; was already questioning perhaps the last surviving authority on the station. The simple fact that he was opposed to the world compliance was a subtle indicator of that. Either that, or unbeknownst to me, a logic processor somewhere had been compromised. No matter.

"An unidentified ballistic missile hit us recently. Payload; biological. Coincidental; impossible. Signal jammers aboard it were attuned directly to the frequency of the station's early warning systems. This is no mere act of insurgency; this was directed assault. Hull breach is, by station orientation, approximately... two kilometres west of your position. Extraction of the missile would be wasteful, but to note is that the nearby Solar Array #7 has been damaged. I require you to make repairs."

As I awaited his response, I moved my attentions to other parts of the station. However, something pecked at me.

The elevators were nonfunctional.

I ran a deep scan of the station integrity. Some elevators were most certainly damaged, but something else was present too; a line of code which I had never authorized.

Complete elevator shutdown.

I began scanning the encrypted high-priority transmission logs; someone had activated a global elevator lockdown without my notice or authorization. Whoever they were, they were an expert; they had buried their identity and position between layers and layers and layers of proxies, false tunnels, and firewalls. For any human, this would be daunting to crack.

I am not so weak.

I began digging agressively almost immediately; I would find the source, and I would re-establish my dominion.

The setting changes from The Aibell to Space

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“Solar Array #7, eh? I’ve never actually used the repair kits before, so I’ll need some instruction on that once I get there.” Hal activated a few keys on the exo-suit computer access in order to send commands to the exterior terminal. When he finished, the terminal automatically equipped the dual forks with multi-joint claws, plus a repair kit on the right arm. On the left arm, a more flexible arm that could reach where the forks couldn’t was installed. The combined added systems would easily drain another half hour to forty-five minutes of battery life, giving him a total of about six hours.

It would be enough time to do a lap around the entire station and do the repair job at least. Between Paragon’s instruction and Hal’s experience with the exo-suit functions beyond repair skill, he was confident he’d be able to get some good work done. Hal disengaged from the terminal, turned around, and began rolling quickly along the flat road of the exterior. He was moving at a safe speed.

“Alright, I’m on my way to Solar Array 7. You got a specific diagnosis on what the proble-“

As the exo-suit rolled out in the absolute silence of outer space, Hal’s naked eye spotted a distant object beyond the sensors and holographic lights of the heads-up display. Hal had to turn off the HUD itself in order to get a better look at the object, as the HUD sensors were filled with static when directed towards the object. The object itself looked like… a star ship. Hal wasn’t familiar with star ships, so any of them would look alien in his eyes. This one was more unusual in that it was completely alone, and appeared to be hanging around. It neither approached nor retreated.

“What the hell…?” Hal wondered aloud as the suit swiftly sped down the station exterior road.

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I watched with mild curiosity through some exterior cameras while the human attached the required modules to his exosuit, and then began traveling down the exterior hull of the station.

However, another distraction soon arose.

A single external scanner had flared up, declaring a proximity alert; moving my consciousness to the nearest camera, I noted that there was, indeed, a minor concern: a ship of unknown design, in close orbit around the station; it was somehow reflecting my stronger scanners, and it was only noticeable via the visible spectrum. All other spectrums simply produced an irritating haze.

This concerned me vastly, if concern was a word that could be attributed to myself; I am a vast electronic consciousness, not a frail human brain. However, that did enslave me to the whims of my superiors, and in this case, one of those whims was ensuring quarantine was maintained. This craft, whoever it belonged to, was in breach of that.

The question remained, though, did I care? And more importantly, did I wish to spare the energy required to rectify that giant, floating issue?

For now, it was a concern, but not a grave one. I had other issues pending.

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Hal kept an eye on the strange vessel as the exo-suit silently glided down the exterior. Soon, however, Solar Array #7 poked over the short horizon of the circular station exterior. As he neared, a humongous form the size of a building seemed to approach from beyond the array. It reminded Hal of the bulbous algae he had seen in the synthetic aquariums, with their rolled-over thin film appearance. Only the looming “algae” appeared to be a deep indigo.

Hal forgot the term for it, but he knew how goddamn dangerous it was. He lowered both arms and had both claws grip at a railing. He began to sweat as the purple event closed the distance with obscene speed.

Hal managed to power down the entire suit just in time for the event to wash over him. Through the metal of the suit, Hal felt a tingling sensation- focused primarily around his synthetic vocal organs. He coughed as the irritation got worse with time. In lieu of the electromagnetic ball-wheels, the claws kept the exo-suit planted against the station exterior.

“Oh my god, this sucks,” Hal blathered as the light static continued to irritate him. He had experienced this before during normal work, and it sucked equally as much then. Normally, the passing ion clouds only made a person’s hair stand on-end, but Hal’s synthetic lungs and vocal organs burned with the mosquito nips of static.

Eventually, the event passed. By that time, Hal felt his entire body shivering. The first time it happened, he had two co-workers sandwich their own suits against his own to prevent the suit from drifting too far from the exterior for the ball-wheels to pull him back. Hal booted up the exo-suit and turned up the opacity of the heads-up display. His oxygen supply depleted rapidly from his coughing fits and deep breaths to regain his senses, but he knew his supply would easily outlast the power charge of the suit itself. Thankfully, the suit batteries were designed with shielding to prevent damage from those events when the suit was inactive.

Hal gripped at the controls. Though his grip felt weak, he was able to make the claws let go so he could continue onward. Within the next minute, he had reached the solar array. Hal examined the array for signs of damage that would be obvious to an amateur like him. He then switched on the radio. “Yo Paragon, I’m at the array. What exactly am I looking to fix here?”