MEMORIES OF RETROCITY (Part 04)
Updated: Feb 8
I am working on a roleplaying game based on my graphic novel Memories of Retrocity (Published in French in 2011), I decided to make the original texts available for you, revised translated in English.
I will drop them here while I go through the translation process.
Those are "pre-translations". They need to be proofread and modified before any official release. Hopefully you can enjoy the raw material!
Welcome to Retrocity.
Jan 02, 2004
HOVER, Hoover, Hover... Over
Makes it simple, really!
To be fair, Retro-Citizens have a lot to worry about... so whatever makes their life a bit easier.
I remember wondering about this logo when I arrived in town. On the train, on the car's steering wheel, adorning my typewriter, or on my damn socks!
Believe me, I got it now!
Want some toothpaste? Hover!
A car? Hover!
A living-room lamp? Hover...
Whisky? Cigarettes? A H in a capital O...
I walk into a bar, ask for a good old Islay... and they pour me some Hover! Yet it tastes like an Islay.
I rolled myself a Hover, which I lit with my Hover... then I made Hover smoke rings... big O's.
Then I poured myself a dirty glass of Hover.
No competition. All the money goes to Hover, the commercial branch of the Corporation. Stable prices. Monopoly. No possible boycott, no consumer responsibility, and no room for options and personal preferences.
When you look at it from this angle, it also means that all these guys who fusion with the objects around them become some kind of Human/Hover hybrids…
At least, if I ever need to change a part on the machine, I know where to find the supplier!
Jan 08, 2004
That's what I thought: I had a neighbor.
I didn't think it was a rat.
I heard a hellish noise from behind the wall.
Quite the impression in the silent evening.
Like that, without warning, an explosion of ... crystal?
I was so absorbed by the emptiness of the building that I had forgotten to go and greet this maybe-neighbor, whose existence I had suspected once or twice.
I'm not really the "sociable" type, and by forgetting him, I assumed he would forget me too.
But at this instant, the maybe-neighbor (who was probably not a rat could) needed help, and I felt the instinct reappear in me like an old migraine... the professional instinct. To serve and protect.
After knocking a few times, I entered his apartment like a cop would. Chill, with the palm of my hand resting on the grip of my gun. The attack came from where I didn't expect it: the smell! I don't know how to describe it other than "dusty shit". Yeah, a strange mix, all bathed in a stifling musty atmosphere. But not a sound. I stood in the dark, motionless, waiting for my eyes to adjust to the obscurity.
She landed in front of me, like a veil of shadow silhouetted against the pale window. Against the dusk. Her long wings folding slowly around her body. She stared at me for a moment with her two round silver eyes. And then her wing crackled. Blinding sparks. A mechanical owl. Injured.
At my feet, I saw the reason for the noise I had heard earlier.
The chandelier had shattered on the floor.
And among the debris, human bones.
My fusioned chandelier-neighbor had hit the ground too hard, for a second death. His mechanical animal probably hit him in flight.
In a flap of wings, the bird escaped through the window.
Landing on a lamppost in the street below...
I called the elevator, which had yet to arrive, and ran down the stairs.
The owl seemed to have waited for me. She turned her head in my direction and flew to the next perch.
I followed her sparkly wings in the evening mist. Without meeting a living soul. Deep, deeper, in the dead quarters.
She landed on the sign of an old vinyl store around the corner, and waited for me there.
I approached slowly, out of breath. And at the end of the street, the horizon opened up. The cold wind seeped under my clothes, and the view hit me.
I was standing on the edge of a gaping hole. Gigantic. A crater. Surrounded by carcasses of black buildings. An open wound in the heart of the city. I don't know what could have caused this. I don't know if it was there "before" Retrocity. I don't know if there is a connection between this hole and what is happening in town. But I understand what use the city makes of it nowadays.
It's a cemetery.
A graveyard. For machines.
I followed the white owl. Descending the steep slopes of the crater. Clinging to inert metal limbs. Trying not to step on half-buried faces.
The bird perched on a rusted prosthesis.
I just stared at her. Straight in the eyes.
She stared back.
Playing "who's going to let go first".
Then I understood that I was going to lose. That my opponent's gaze would never change. My eyes captive to the look of death.
I sat there for quite a while.
Do they all have this reflex? At the time of death, do they all know the route to reach the crater? An instinct engraved in their circuits? Programmed?
I felt shivers down my spine just imagining what the technicians of the Corporation can embed in your cortex.