Mark Adder



Tall and gaunt, Mark Adder hides his white, pupil-less, eyes with a pair of thick goggles.

Growing up looking like a corpse hasn’t been easy, but it’s had it’s perks. My earliest memories all stretch back to the caravan. Foolishly, my parents had got it in them that Utopia actually existed. Even put a “UtopiaChip” in my head when I was born. My dad made it himself. Said they would have to let us in once they saw it. Thing is, Utopia doesn’t exist. My parents spent half their lives on a caravan searching for a fuckin’ fairytale.

You see, one day we’re set upon by a gang of bandits. I must have been about five or six. Now these bandits weren’t the friendly kind – the kind that just ruff you up and take your stuff. They weren’t even the unfriendly kind – the kind that ruff you up, take your stuff, and rape your women. No, these were the take your stuff and kill everybody because they can kind. All I had to do was lay still on the ground with a little blood. They were stupid enough to not realize that no freshly slain body would look as dead as I do.

Hours after they left, I chose a direction and walked. I can’t recall how many days it was before I found Nil, but the people were kind enough to take me in. “By the looks of him, he’ll probably figured I’d be dead within a few hours,” I vaguely remember someone saying. Joke was on them though. I mostly kept to myself growing up. James was kind enough to take me in. Made sure I was always on the up and up. I work in the quarry now. The dark is nice. Harder for people to stare.

For a while, things seemed normal; but, if there’s one thing I’ve learned in my twenty-five years, it’s that whenever things feel normal, something comes along and fucks it all up. A few months ago something real strange happened. I, I had this urge to build something. I ended up in the dump, half out of my mind, salvaging scraps while Rubbish stared dumbfounded. All I remember is waking up in the quarry, and there’s this robot – this one right here – looking right at me. My head starts aching something awful, and well, next thing I know I can control the damn thing. I think, it moves.

I don’t need this thing, and I don’t want it. People are antsy enough around me already. I tried to destroy it once. Pushed a stone; crushed the robot into almost nothing. Right as the rock landed, a sharp pain crashed through my head and my hand wretched forward. Where I pointed to, the robot’s parts flung. And there it materialized. Good as new. For a moment I saw myself as if I was lookin’ with the robot’s eyes. Blood was streamin’ from my ears. The robot would have to stay.

I was never this irritable before – so quick to anger. It’s like I’m no longer myself. Sometimes I feel like Kip – it’s name is Kip, don’t ask me how I know – is punishing me for trying to hurt it. I swear sometimes there is malice in its eyes. I don’t know what my father put in my head, but I am not happy.

Mark Adder

Rapture & Ruin Khobra