Friday, August 28, 2015

In Transit Monsters 15 (A Story of the Hecate Project)

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Nasr (H minus One Month 22 Days)

People never name something without meaning the context of the namesake.  That's why no one ever
names something Icarus.  Icarus failed.  To name something after him is to damn something as failure.  That also goes for things like Eurydice or Maenad.

Names have power.  For human psychology.

"Why?!"  Ghale's voice announced her presence before her arrival.

Hecate, Miri, Nicky and I sat at the folding table in the middle of what served as the office for the facility.  My jaw thrummed with a toothache and irritation.  The last week had proved stagnant for the Monsters.  I tried to not let a grumble out as Ghale thundered into the room.  This had been long coming.

I'd hoped that only my tooth would be harassing me.

"Why?"  Ghale demanded.

"MAny woRLDs."  Hecate said.

"Not you.  Miri.  Why?"

Miri didn't look up from the screen she'd been reading.  "Why what?  Are you still obsessed with what happened ten years ago?"

"Obsessed?  You were the one who refused to not respect my choice!"

Nicky winced.  She gave me a forgiving look.  I ignored it.  I'd been waiting to see Ghale confront Miri about this.

Miri glared up at her.  "I have no idea what you're talking about."

"Liar.  Dammit Miri, this isn't like when we were kids.  You need to learn to grow up.  I put it together."

"Why do you care?"  Miri shot back at Ghale.  "You don't need to be here anymore.  You can just leave, if you don't like my methods."

"You collected an aborted fetus I buried in the ground, Miri."  Ghale glowered.  "I cried over her for the better part of a year.  I still have dreams about her.  You never got it.  You just thought you got to decide for me."

"You don't throw away a life because you're scared."

"You don't GET TO MAKE THAT CHOICE FOR ME, MIRI!"  Ghale shouted back.

"You don't get to exclude me from that discussion either.  At least I respected Mom's wishes."  Miri said.

"Don't bring the dead in on this, Miri.  Why?  Why did you do it?"

"You don't want a reason, you just want to be mad."  Miri said, her eyes returning to the screen on the table.

"You never understood me, Miri.  It's always your way or never."  Ghale said.  "Tell me why you decided to violate my rights?  To do this to me?"

"Pygmalion has the right to do whatever necessary to-"

Ghale cut Miri off.  "I know what Pygmalion can and can't do.  I help direct the damn program, Miri.  I'm not talking about legal rights.  I mean my personal ones.  The human rights.  Y'know, the part where you feel guilt and shame for doing something wrong?  Or has your chance to play Dr. Frankenstein outweighed everything else?"

Miri stood up from the table.  "I did it because you were irrational then, and still are now.  Because you were too scared to even dream of giving a new life a chance.  So I gave her a chance you never bothered to think of!  You're welcome."

Ghale kicked a nearby chair, slamming it against a wall.  "Miri!"

"You want to know, fine.  Alpha and Bravo failed.  I didn't have anything to lose, and just went for it.  I didn't think Charlie's original genome would've worked for Hecate's redesign.  I never thought she'd... I never could think of a way to explain it to you."

"What?"  Ghale looked at her sister for a moment, her rage subsiding.

"You got your explanation.  Go find someone else to terrorize."  Miri got up.  She took a nearby screen and left.

"I don't understand her.  Why do I have to be cursed with her for a sister?"

"Life is pain, get over it."  I told Ghale.  Then I winced.  This was none of my business.  I never had any siblings.

My last relationship had been such a clusterfuck.  Last thing I should do is try to solve someone else's problems.  None of my business.  It couldn't be helpful.  It didn't help Dom.

"She didn't violate your rights."

"Never mind."  I sighed.  "I've got enough of my own problems-"

"Sorry, I shouldn't snap at you, Major.  Miri just pushes my buttons.  We've never gotten along.  Not once."

Nicky shook her head and left.  Hecate watched her walk out.  Ghale did too, her face burning red with embarrassment and shame.  I just shook my head.

"Time to get back to work."  I told Hecate.  The ghostly hologram just blinked at me.

Aftermath 15
This one sort of took awhile to cook up, which bugged me.  It happens, and this was one of those scenes I knew had been coming.  And I'll be messing and working on it over and over again, I suspect, until I really have down the way I want it to be.

#InTransitMonsters is on one level, about family.  Miri and Ghale's relationship has been tattered and ruined by the time we get to them.  Ghale can't stand being around Miri for long periods; Miri things Ghale is all judgement and no understanding.  A reflection of my own relationships with my own sisters- I've been Ghale, too quick to attack and too slow to try to understand.

I'm getting a bit impatient with these.  This is the middle part of the first act I think: the Monsters learning and emerging as characters.  The humans dealing with the emotional stew they are in.  The lay of the land.  I'm going to try to give Charlie and Whiskey more focus, I think.  The next big moment is how Ghale and Charlie come to know one another.

I think.

Thanks for reading!  If you enjoyed this, please share it!  As always, I'm trying to give this #firstdraft all the attention and chances to be better.  Comments I've gotten so far have been great at that.  I don't always react to all the feedback, but I always look at it for ideas on how to frame things as I get to them.