Monday, July 20, 2015

In Transit Monsters 5 (A Story of the Hecate Project)

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Ghale Putnam (H minus One Month, 29 Days)


"They both blacked out?" I tried not to wince remember how fast the two giant monsters had been moving before one had headbutted the other.  "I thought these things were supposed to be designed for combat."

"Charlie and Foxtrot have never gotten along with one another."  Nicky supplied.  "At their size, they can cause one another serious harm."

I tried not to let out a annoyed sigh.  "How?  I mean, I'd understand if they were... smaller I guess."

"Ever go horse riding?"  Nicky asked, her dark skinned face looking up at me with bit of a grin.

"No, can't say that I have."  I remembered childhood memories outdoors with Miri, the two of us trying to outdo the other.  The two of us five seconds from trying to kill one another.

"Well," Nicky opened a nearby door, leading me down to the chamber where they'd moved the two monsters who hit one another. "Even after the advent of modern medical tech, horses can't sustain broken bones very well.  Used to be that a horse with a broken leg would die.  It wasn't a matter of lacking understanding; it was the size of the horse involved."

"And horses are closer to our size than their size.  So there is a fragility to them."  I shook my head.  "Yet we think they can go out into combat?"

"Their heads are sensitive areas."  Nicky paused to open a door to the chamber.  "We've designed helms to mitigate it."

"That's supposed to comfort the thought?"  I turned to her.  "We made these... these things and we expect them to do what exactly?  Why did Miri make them look human?"

Nicky crinkled her nose at me.  "Director, pardon me, but the monsters are human.  I'm sorry if you want to pretend they are something wrong, but they aren't.  Get to know them.  They might make you rethink you're opinion of them."

I shook my head in frustration.  That sounded more like Miri.  What had I allowed her to make by herself?  Nasr started to sound right.  Maybe we created something meant to fail.

We walked onto a carbon fiber catwalk into the chamber the two monsters had been brought into.  Both had been laid against the floor below.  It felt like a airplane hanger, with how open and how big it was.  It also felt so black.

"I expected better of you, Charlie."  I heard Miri say from below us.  Her voice echoed as Nicky and I looked down.

Miri stood next to the black-haired monster that had been grabbed by the redhead.  Charlie.  That was the name Miri used for it.  I made a note for my BrainSys about that.  Charlie.

The giant dark-haired hecate-designed monster opened her eyes slowly.  She- I guess she- winced at Miri's appearance.  She spoke softly, more softly than I thought one of the ten-meter things could.

"I know..."  Charlie tried to avoid looking directly at my sister.  She looked like a guilty child almost.  Almost.

"Miri what have you been doing?"  I thought aloud.

"You-"  Miri paused.  "We don't have time for this.  You have to get along with the others, even Foxtrot.  You understand what is going to happen, don't you?"

Charlie kept her mouth closed.  The dark-haired giant monster looked ashamed.  She opened her mouth to say something, then stopped herself.

Miri put a hand on Charlie.  Charlie probably couldn't even feel the touch.  Her body looked like it was layered in neosteel.  But I felt sorry for her.  I recognized the look of someone in trouble.  The kind that comes from a parent or adult one respects and loves.  And I knew what it felt like to be too shy, too uncertain to be able to explain what one really felt inside.

"I'm sorry, Aunt Miri."  Charlie said, her gaze still avoiding Miri.  "But we want to know who are... the new people."

"Of course you do, dear.  Its one of the Directors, and someone sent to start training you for..."  Miri's voice trailed off.

"I was born for war."  Charlie repeated.

I looked over at the redheaded giant.  Miri had called her Foxtrot.  She remained unconscious where she'd been placed.  Her nose looked ragged and demolished.  Charlie had hit her hard.

"You'll get to them in due time."  Miri told her.  "Foxtrot will make it.  You just... just try to help me prove to them you and the rest of you monsters were worth it?  Can you try to do that for me?"

Charlie obediently nodded.  "I can, Aunt Miri."

Miri nodded.  I kept a note of that.  Aunt.

"Miri?"  I called out from the catwalk.  Miri looked startled and looked up at us.

@MiriPutnam: @GhalePutnam I'll be up in a second.  Mind giving me a bit of privacy?

@GhalePutnam: @MiriPutnam They aren't your kids Miri.  We're sending them out to die.

@MiriPutnam: @GhalePutnam I'll be up there.  Just wait, ok?

"Alright, we'll see."  I waited for my younger sister to climb up to the catwalk.  After a five minutes, she climbed up the dark carbon fiber ladder.

"Ghale, you don't need to come down here.  I can handle things without needing someone to micromanage me."  Miri crossed her arms, her chin up at me.

"That one called you Aunt."  I sighed in frustration.  "Miri, these things are monsters we made for a war we are losing.  You can't get too attached like this!"

"And you avoided having anything to do with Project Hecate for the past decade."  Miri's dark brown face reddened with anger at me.  "You think you still get to boss me around and act like you know everything?  You know nothing about this project, about my charges, what I've gone through to get things to this point."

"Maybe if you listened to me for once, instead of acting like everything is... is..."  I wanted to scream in rage.
"Like what Ghale?"  Miri strode up closer to me.  "I shouldn't have said anything.  You never listen to me-"

"You still think you know everything."  Miri spat.  "How about you shut up and look at what I've created here for more than day before you start judging me, ok?"

"Miri..."  I closed my eyes.  "You know what?  I'm going to go take a walk.  We can talk about Nasr's schedule later."

I got out of my younger sister's sight before she could continue.  I slammed the steel door behind me.  She hadn't changed in ten years.  I'd been an idiot to think she'd even try to listen to me.  No, we had to do things her way or...

I tried to let my mind cool off.  I had to learn to work with Miri.  I had to.

Aftermath 5
#InTransitMonsters, part 5 of a continuing #ScienceFiction tale about technology as messiah, a new take on Frankenstein, giant robots and humans facing extinction from bizarre aliens.  It's a #FirstDraft, so I'm open to criticism, comments, suggestions and anything else people can throw at it.

Five.  I'm up to part five of this thing.  Oh-kay.  I've plotted it out over three acts, and have a series of leads and their arcs thought out.  I still don't know what it is going to be.  Part 5 is a wee bit smaller than other parts, but it came out kicking and screaming in its own way.

Going to try to punch out a bunch of these this week I think.  Give it a run for its money.

Thanks for reading, btw.  If you enjoyed this part, there are four previous parts if you want to check 'em out.  Please share it too, with anyone you think might like it.