Ocular Haze
rating: +14+x

Ocular Haze

An IRONBAND Canon Series

On the icy plains of a sea frozen solid long ago below a sunless sky a young augmented thaumaturge runs from the band of underground cities around the equator. Picked up by a group of salvagers who scour the empty expanse for scrap metal, she aims to disappear completely into the smog. But the wastes are far from empty, and the scabs around her poorly-grafted augment hands call to a past she is desperate to forget.

But with the boundaries between what is right and what is wrong dissolving into mist the deeper she travels, the question is not a matter of survival. It is a matter of what of her survives. And who can she trust when her magic marks her as a tool?

Above it all the Ring turns, altering the planet’s spin to guide it to a new sun as it careers into the nullscape of space. It has turned for generations uncountable with the liar’s promise of progress, perpetually under construction, perpetually incomplete, and will keep turning until the last star snuffs out.

This is Ocular Haze. A story about body augmentation, guilt, and the right thing to do.

Part I: Scabs

Her name was Scabs, because where her hands had been grafted to her wrists the thaumic bonds to meet flesh with metal had been improperly applied and a ring of flaking, bleeding, weeping sores and scabs had formed that rubbed on the elastic cuffs of her thick, padded coat.

Part II: A Lighthouse Under a Sunless Sky

"I am the Olristaan of this outpost,” she said, indicating the concrete structure behind her with a sweeping gesture, “and these are my children.”

Part III: Eyes

The girl from the city had had nice eyes.

Part IV: Welcome to Wheelbarrow

Scabs wasn’t sure what she’d expected when the scavengers had told her that they were returning to their base, but it sure as fuck hadn’t been Wheelbarrow.

Part V: Smouldering in Pyerojen

The figure raised their arms in a broad gesture of welcome. “Welcome to our city!” they cried, their voice reverberating over the wind. “We hope that your stay in our wonderful city is prosperous and enjoyable! All are welcome in Pyerojen!”

Part VI: An Awakening in Parts

A shape loomed above her and cool metal implements touched the raw, hot flesh of her face, inspecting it. “Y’ were very, very sick when Elbows brought ya’ here,” he said. “I’m the closest this pile ‘a rustbuckets ‘as to a cyberthaum. Not that I’m a ‘thaum, just know enough about surgery and tech to get by. Call me Tinker.”

Part VII: Warmth in the Smog

“You need to speak to her.”

Part VIII: Crawling to the Dark

Scabs decided that if any more complex moral quandaries were presented to her she would simply take the most evil option and roll with it. Start eating children and sleeping on sheets stitched together from the organ bags of any who opposed her.



Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License