Hi! This is #InTransitMonsters, a serial/novel about technology as messiah, in a dark future where humanity faces extinction against a threat that it can't comprehend or understand. Frankenstein, but with more magical names for technologies and attempts to go away from conventional storytelling ahead. Click on Index for cast details or Start if you want to read from the beginning.
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Nicky (H minus One Month, 17 Days)
One doesn't choose their finest moments. They are presented to us when God is kind enough to show them to be open. Despite the regrets and feelings I had for them, I still had my duty to perform.
Apollyon must come. The seal must break. Our world needs it.
Thanks to the nanosheath I clung underneath the bottom of the carbon fiber catwalk. Above me I could hear Nasr's heavy footsteps. Despite his persistent lowered gaze, the Major had always carried himself with his head up high. I didn't fault him for not being of the one true faith.
He mourned. But he still walked like a warrior.
@LastKnight: @Nicky_ProjPygmalion, you've gone active?
@Nicky_ProjPygmalion: @LastKnight I was made. Activated my sheath. Trying to get to the reactor controls now.
Of course he'd decide to criticize me on this now. Years of complaining I'd gone native, now he participates in micromanaging me.
@LastKnight: I told you clinging to that devil's brood would end this way
@Nicky_ProjPygmalion: one of the girls tried to punch me, Steven. I don't think my hesitance had anything to do with it.
Nasr paused as I clutched tight. The hard part so far had been the lack of feeling in my body. The pitch black gunk covering me deadened pain.
My prayers to the holy mother kept me from losing control. Something drove me, instinctively to want to reach out and slice into Nasr. To cut up his body while making love to it.
Parts of my vision twinkled. I pushed down my attraction to Nasr. My urges. Nasr might be able to understand why Hecate had to fail.
But letting my sinning flesh decide that wouldn't be righteous. It would be wrong.
@LastKnight: the Daemon is reporting weird information. It says you should be dead.
@Nicky_ProjPygmalion: What? Daemons don't report false predictions like that. You must be misreading it.
@LastKnight: I'm not. Look at the Daemon's feed if you don't believe me
I tried to push down my irritation. While clinging to the underside of a catwalk in the dark, Steven decided now to start messing with our cell's Daemon. The artificial intelligence could predict our actions and decisions ahead of time. It was so accurate, Steven should know exactly what I was doing.
Our holy crusade followed the tenets described in the revelation of John. Babylon had led man to spread to far and vast across the galaxy. The Holy Mother would send angels and signs. But sometimes we could help the cause. Apollyon's legions, what most called the Enemy, they were critical. Apollyon needed to cleanse the earth and punish the doubters. Those who followed the antichrist needed to be ousted so Christ could return.
Even if I felt something for Miri's abominations, I couldn't shirk my duty. The holy mother needed me. Apollyon had to rise.
I opened a link to the Daemon's feed. It surprised me. Not by what it reported. The Daemon accessed my Nanosheath. It didn't turn it off. But the sheath fluctuated. I panicked, clutching tighter to the carbon fibers of the catwalk.
"Nicky? I can sense you in here." Nasr's voice echoed.
Shit. He heard me. In the Lord's Name. The stupid Daemon had betrayed me.
"Go away Nasr." I retorted back. My voice echoed off the walls. The nanosheath modulated it, causing the sound waves to sound as if I were at the opposite end of the catwalk. "I wasn't going to end us. We would've survived, Nasr."
"Opening a transit point with the sun isn't something you walk away from." He said.
"We need to help break the seal." I said. "These are the end times, Nasr. Apollyon's hoard of locusts are coming to take the sinners."
"You can't believe that bullshit."
"I've seen you pray, Nasr. You believe in God, don't you? You might be a Muslim, but we believe in the same being. She is coming, Nasr. We have to help her pave the way." I didn't want to kill him. I crawled closer to Nasr. I liked this man. He was a hero.
But he had been wrong to stop the alien locusts. The Enemy would cleanse humanity. He needed to see that.
"I- Nicky, I have to pray like that to keep from falling apart. I've never believed any of it." Nasr's voice sounded a bit raspy. "But if I don't have something to distract my beliefs, to keep me at bay, I'll fall apart. I've lost everything I loved."
"God will love you back if you let him in, Nasr."
"Or he's cruel enough to trick people like you to murder innocents." Nasr retorted. "You kept calling them girls, Nicky. I remember. You and Miri both love those-"
"You think they are monsters." I said. "They are Nasr. They are the creations of the Beast. Hecate? This all is the work of a pagan witch, Nasr. This technology can only end us humans."
"Technology?" Nasr asked. "You think they are just technology?"
"The kingdom of heaven isn't digital or electronic." I replied. "Apollyon is coming to punish us for playing god, and we respond by trying to recreate ourselves as giants and monsters? Someone must stand with the angels."
I stepped onto the catwalk behind Nasr. He couldn't see me. A pair of drones floated above his head, illuminating the path in front of him. My voice still came from in front of him. If I could keep him distracted-
But I could try to save him. We weren't just supposed to fight the forces of the antichrist. We had to save people. Nasr was a hero. He'd saved people. He'd lost love ones.
"Nicky, please. Come out and surrender." Nasr said. "I'll speak for you, do what I can to keep them from killing you for treason. You haven't done anything that bad yet."
"Nasr." My voice grew low and mournful. "I know you lost someone. She can bring them back. The Holy Mother can do that, Nasr. You can be saved from this place of horrors. I know what the beast wants you to say, please consider my words."
"At what point did you stop and the sheath start?" He asked. "I mean, it’s an addictive thing. We used in the field. Best way to kill a soldier was to assign her as a berserker. You believe this mumbo-jumbo? Then why are you about to slice my neck?"
I froze. "You can see me?!"
"My Daemon knew where you were from the moment I stepped onto the catwalk." He said. "You, Miri and Ghale- all of you have been part of her computations since I started here. Security measure."
"Daemon." The word rattled around in my head. Daemon. Demons. Spirits. Tempters.
I had been about to slice into Nasr. But was that me or the demons doing it? Our Daemon had tricked me into doing this. The demons were the machines. They were trying to use us. The antichrist used them to get me to use the nanosheath.
"Daemon." I started to shake violently. "Demons. The Demons... this sheath... they're controlling me. The devil and his seed are all over my body. My mind..."
I ignored Nasr as my nanosheathed claws dug into my flesh. Each was a ultrasharp, carbon fiber. Hard as diamond. I ripped at each piece of the demons in my flesh, in my body. I needed to be pure again. I needed to get the devil out of me.
Then everything went to black.
#InTransitMonsters continues, my #firstdraft serial thing about scifi and me pushing random directions with it as is my wont to do. Frankenstein retold, with the monsters being the last hope for a humanity that uses technology that feels more and more like magic.
I was going to write this one from Nasr's POV, but I realized that with Nicky's motivations, her POV could be more interesting. The idea of using this character sort of flowed out of my writing, but it's still within the bounds of the outline I have for the first third of the story. We are inching toward the field training stuff, which could be skipped or used to skip a bunch of time to H-day itself.
H-day is what all the H counts are for, unless you had figured it out. Not a big secret, but when the Hecate Project first enters the field to fight the enemy, that's H-day. Also probably the mark I'll use for the start of act two I guess. Yeah, I've got that far ahead plotted out.
Good ol' Gamemastering instincts for the win! Although, I never plotted this far ahead for a game I GM'd either. Weird.