Monday, November 23, 2015

In Transit Monsters 27 (A Story of the Hecate Project)

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Charlie (H minus Two Days)


I floated.  The ceiling of the facility felt comforting.  After the weeks of being in sand and heat, the
past two weeks back home felt welcoming.  The fear of being away had gone.

I just basked in it.  Things were going to get worse.  I didn't let myself fall into a dream.

"I wish I could capture this."  I told the icy-glass, giant ferret Whiskey had made.  Kyra scurried from down the wall and sniffed at me.  "Yeah.  I think you know what I'm talking about."

The weasel swam over to me.  It made the strange noise she always made.  I'd connected with her mind a few times.  Those had been the strangest of dreams.  Machine images, throbbing with the urges of an animal.

Kyra had become kind of useful.  Although tiny compared to my size, the goetic bot still was gigantic compared to most humans.  She could squeeze into spaces we couldn't.  Whiskey had given her a bunch of senses, most of which I think she didn't intend.  Intelligence too.

I scratched the wet, glassy goetic ferret under the chin.

"Don't know what I'm doing here."  I looked around the chamber.  Despite how cramped most of the facility was for us, I had this chamber to myself.  Foxtrot had avoided me ever since what had happened in training grounds.

"Hello?"  The small voice broke my reverie.  I shot up in the water.  I looked around.

Kyra tilted her head.  The glassy ferret wandered off.  I tried to identify where the voice came from.   One of the catwalks at the top of the chamber.  I looked at it.  Ghale Putnam.

I shrunk back into the water.  A part of me wanted to hide.  My gut just wanted to disappear into a dark, dark place.

"You..."  Ghale's voice shook a bit as she spoke.  "You do know I can see you down there, right?"

I tried to drift further to the bottom of the bouyant saltwater.  It had been created help us move easier.  We could walk and live in Earth's gravity, but having the chance to float still had reduced the pain we each felt.  I don't know if normal humans have that.

The pain in each joint.  The constant throbbing.  Cramps.  A dull background thrum.

"Just go away."  I whispered.

She didn't hear me.  I could still see Ghale standing on the catwalk above me.  I knew who she was.  I didn't want to see her.  The last thing I needed to do is speak with my mother.  She didn't know anything about that.  She thought her own daughter had been aborted ten years ago.

"Charlie, I should've done this... before."  Ghale's voice trembled.  "But I can leave... Can you even hear me from down there?"

I blinked my eyes.

"I saw your dreams."  I said.  I don't know why I said that.  It just crept out of my mouth.  I wish I could've kept the words from leaking out.  "Nightmare I mean.  Your memories of what happened."

"You mean what I did."  Ghale said.  "I made a choice a long time ago.  You weren't- you aren't supposed to exist.  Sorry, I don't know how to explain."

I lifted my head out of the water.  "Each night you see yourself strangling it's neck."

"Yes.  You've walked into my dreams haven't you?"

I looked up at the catwalk.  My Oneiros could see the tears streaming down her face.  My hands shook.  Nasr's training kicked in.  My Oneiros showed me the multitude of ways I could rip the catwalk off the ceiling.  Or crush it.  Pipes and lines above it could be twisted a part with a single kick.  That would turn the interior of the catwalk into a gas chamber.

A hundred ways I could slaughter this tiny woman.  I couldn't.  It just wouldn't be fair.

"Yes.  I did it two months ago."  I told her.  I unclenched my hands.  "I wanted to know how you knew Aunt Miri."

"You found out."  Ghale shrugged.  "I can't blame you.  If I had what you could do, I'd do that too.  I'm in no real position to give you any fault for that.  I've been avoiding this."

"I don't mind if you keep avoiding it."  I replied.

Ghale smiled.  "For a genetically designed weapon, you seem awfully afraid of confrontation."