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Charlie (H minus One Month 24 Days)
"See?" Whiskey held up the icy object to me. Intricate lines of energy throbbed from within it. Goetia traced from her fingers into the ice. Each line carried thousands of nanoscopic bots, each rearranging energy and matter.
Whiskey used them to take water from the facility. Then she froze it by having them suck out thermal energy. The energy still crackled from it.
"Ok. But what is it?"
Whiskey and I both had been experimenting in realspace, at Nasr's prompting. Whiskey had begun toying with the water in the facility. I laid back on one of our bunks that hung out of the water.
"Oh." Whiskey looked down at it. She smiled to herself. "Can't you tell?"
"This is payback for all those dreamspaces, isn't it?"
Whiskey giggled. "Give it a try, ace."
I rolled my eyes. It'd been hard to focus on things in realspace for me. At least in dreamspace I could pretend things in real life weren't real. I could pretend.
But here, where we were in our real bodies, it was harder. Once in a while I could see Aunt Miri or Ghale Putnam in one of the viewing catwalks. I still felt guilty looking at Ghale's dreams. They had scared me.
I didn't know who to talk about it. Burdening Whiskey with it didn't seem right to me.
I put one of my dark grey fingers on the ice. Energy stopped flowing through it. The icy thing cracked and popped. Four limbs suddenly slid out of the oblong shard. A small head with a pair of cute ears perked up at me. It then moved, lightning fast.
I moved back a little from the tiny thing. It crawled up one of Whiskey's arms, clambered up to the top of her head, and leaped at me. In midair the frozen ferret twisted and twirled as it flew at me.
"Ah!" I threw up my arms automatically, to keep it away.
Whiskey laughed at me, her face wide in a grin.
"Get it off! You- Whiskey!" I tried to grab the scurrying little thing.
Another dark grey hand reached over. It plucked up the ice-ferret by the head. The hand held it up to Foxtrot's face. The redhead rolled her eyes at it.
"What is this?" Foxtrot asked.
I closed my lips. Whiskey moved over to Foxtrot. "Give it back, you'll break it."
Foxtrot rolled her eyes. "Why? You can make another one."
"That's-" Whiskey narrowed her eyes. "Go away."
"I thought you wanted me to drop it." Foxtrot dangled the little struggling goetic construct in her hand. The meter long thing melted in her grasp.
"Don't you have better things to do?" I found myself asking her. I blinked at myself.
Foxtrot tossed the little ferret into the water. It floated, pieces of coming loose after it splashed. The redhead gave me a level look. "Yeah. I do I guess."
Whiskey rushed to her goetic creation. She lifted it up gently out of the water. The ice ferret flopped like a rag doll in her hands. Goetic lines glowed for a moment as Whiskey fixed it.
@Charlie: @Whiskey She's right. Just ice.
@Whiskey: @Charlie its mine. don't take HER side.
@Charlie: @Whiskey Sorry.
I looked away from Whiskey. I didn't know why Foxtrot liked to pick on us. But she just did.
"I care about her." Whiskey let the white-blue goetic ferret go. It scampered away from her. In a moment, it had started to climb up a nearby wall, its nose sniffing as it went. "I made her. You care about things you make."
"Yeah." I nodded. "I understand that."
Whiskey looked up at me. "I hope so. You ok?"
"Well..." I shrugged. "Foxtrot... I don't know why. Ever since I hit her, I just want to do it again. I wanted to... beat her tiny head to pulp."
"I want to do that." Whiskey sat down next to me on my bunk. "That isn't what's bugging you. You've been avoiding talking about something."
"I... I don't know what you're talking about."
"Charlie... people notice things. I know you want to pretend they don't, we do." Whiskey put a finger to her lips. She gave me a look of concern. Even though in realspace, our bodies were misporportioned to our bodies, I could see her concern. "And people who care about you, people who love you, we notice stuff. Even Foxtrot notices it."
"Oh." That I hadn't expected to hear.
"So." Whiskey put a long, dark grey-scaled arm around me. In realspace, it was far longer than it should've been. "You going to talk to me, C?"
"I..." I tried to think this out. The memory of Ghale's dream still rattled around in my mind. Her sitting there, crying over a puddle of blood. "I looked into someone's dreams with my Oneiros. It... was so very wrong."
"What? Aren't you the master of the dreamspace?"
"It wasn't my dreamspace, Whiskey." I shook my head.
"Does it matter? Couldn't you change-" Whiskey's eyes widened. "Wait. You went into someone else's dreamspace without permission? You can do that?"
I waved a hand. "My Oneiros can hack into that. Did you see how Nasr used our dreamspaces? That's what my Oneiros is like. Your nanosystems can build things and power them. Mine create connections."
"Isn't there software or things that should block that, though?"
"Hardware. I hack the hardware, Whiskey. I... er... sent my nanobots to connect into the heads of a few people. I made a network, entering their dreams as part of my dreamspace... it... well..." I let the last word hang in the air.
"It was just a dream." Whiskey told me. "I mean, you kinda just barged into someone's dreams-"
"I went into Ghale's mind."
"Ghale? Miri's sister? The new woman who argues with her all the time? Why would you do that?"
I didn't know. It still bugged me. I had no idea why I had done it. "I... It scared me. It was horrible."
I wished I could cry in realspace. No tear ducts. We didn't have those. I think it might have made me feel a bit better. But telling Whiskey so far had felt like taking in a breath of fresh air. Time to finish it. Time to tell her the rest of it.
So I told her.
"That's..." Whiskey shook her head. The image still hung in my mind after I had described it to her out loud.
"She just kept looking down at this dead baby." I shook my head. "I didn't want to know that. She felt so guilty for doing something horrible to it."
Whiskey shivered. "Have you talked to her about it?"
"Um..." That idea hadn't occurred to me at all. "I invaded her mind, C. I don't think they'd like to learn I could do that."
"Miri would protect you." Whiskey's ice ferret had crawled into her lap. It dropped the ceiling. It blinked icy-white eyes up at her. "She created you. She would do that."
I studied the little ferret made of ice. "Maybe. Maybe not."
"C, you can be the bravest person I know. Sometimes though, you are the most scared monster I've ever seen." Whiskey played with the ice ferret. The goetic critter made chittering noises. "You'll make a world of dreams, but be scared of what's real."
"Dreams are easy. Realspace is ugly and..." I tried to think of a good excuse. Something to get Whiskey to drop it.
"And you are braver than me. You just gotta let the crazy angry part of you to do the talking is all." Whiskey's warm smile reassured me. "Do it in a dream or something you can control. At least then she won't think it happened for real."
"I'll think about it..." I started to go over the idea in my head. Thoughts on what words to say came to mind.
Maybe if I said the right thing in the right way. Maybe brave, honest truth would work. Maybe Ghale would scream in fear of the ugly thing invading her thoughts.
"'Don't think, do.'" Whiskey intoned.
"Yeah, quoting Nasr is a great way to encourage me."
Whiskey wrapped me in her arms in a hug. The meter-long ice-ferret chattered. In a moment it had ascended up to the top of my head. I felt it curl up into a pile.
"I think I'll name her Kyra, after that girl in the Dark Crystal." Whiskey said, her eyes glittering. "What do you think?"
#InTransitMonsters continues as far as crazy #firstdrafts go.
Less character-specific things, this time I guess. Recently got back from Spokane, wherein I hiked from one end of the city to the other in one day. Or a good chunk of it anyway.
The idea was to absorb a bit about a town I'd never been to for a long period before. Yes, I'd visited it alot- I live in the Pacific Northwest, and Spokane Washington is sort of a hub for a good chunk of it. So, I learned and experience a nice place.
I could chunk out an essay on that, but I felt like this needed some love. I also have written a bunch of other things I might post up in the next few days as bonus posts one sort or another.
That's the thing about me getting a day or two of wandering in. Kinda helps clean out the cobwebs and make me better at stuff. Or less of an ass about it I suppose.
Thanks for reading! If you enjoy any of this, please share it! I always am looking for new eyeballs! :D