#InTransitMonsters is a #firstdraft #novel about Technology as Messiah. Humanity is about to fall, and is forced to create monsters to save itself. Can these monsters succeed, or will humanity's old ambitions damn the species to extinction?
Ghale (H-Day minus two days)
"Sometimes I wonder why anything comes out of my mouth at all." Charlie told me. She floated
My heart pounded at the familiar thought.
"Life is hard like that. Not everyone can know what you are thinking." I said. "I'm sorry. Charlie, I should- I didn't know that Miri had-"
My head spun to one end of the catwalk. The dark metal at one end lurched. My gaze locked onto a blue and white shape. The long form wrapped itself around the catwalk. The tranparent glass on the sides of the catwalk kept it from entering the catwalk. A snout and a pair of jaws snapped at the cables holding the catwalk aloft.
Another crunch. Then there was a snap.
"I need to get to the door." I moved backward, stumbling. Time slowed as I watched the blue and white creature finish off the last cable holding the end up.
Then one end of the catwalk dropped. I slid downward. My fingers tried to find some sort of purchase. Something to hold onto. My fingers strained as I found something to hang off of.
Above me, cables dangled the catwalk. I winced in pain from my meager hold. Only three cables held one end of the catwalk.
Startled, the blue and white creature fell off the end of the catwalk that had dropped. It landed in the water. My eyes widened. A ferret the size of a human splashed into the water below. It looked surprised and then swam off.
"What?!" I shrieked. "What and why was that?"
"Kyra!" Charlie called. "Ghale! Are you ok?"
The girl monster looked up at me from the water below. So much closer that I had been before. The distance to the water below made me wince. The fall could certainly hurt me.
Unlike in vids or the net, I found I couldn't hold myself there. My clutch felt tight. I looked up at the other end of the catwalk. Thirty meters of tiny grated carbon fibers. I couldn't climb that.
"I can't hold on too much longer." I felt my fingers flash with pain. "Death by ferret. That's kind of ironic for me, I think."
"Ghale, let go." Charlie said.
"I can't. The fall will definitely hurt me. Maybe the water will break my fall, but I don't know if this is too high or not."
"Ghale. I'll catch you."
I looked down at the grey and black metallic hands below me. Charlie's too long arms were bent and ready to catch me. Her too small head for her body looked worried. She seemed closer than I thought she could be. I pursed my lips. Some part of me clutched tighter to the catwalk.
Why did she scare me? Her face looked like Morgan's. I could see myself in it. But wrong. Monstrous. Then her eyes had that concern only a human could have. I'd seen it in Miri and Martin and Moira. That urge to help no matter the cost.
"Mom. C'mon." Charlie said. "I know what I look. Let me help."
I closed my eyes and let go of the catwalk. I floated in the air. I held my breath.
Cold, strong arms caught me. I let out my breath. I opened them. Charlie's face looked red. She blushed. She held me in her arms for a moment.
Then I looked around. "A ferret."
"Sorry." Charlie winced. "Whiskey made Kyra, and sometimes she bites off more than she can chew."
"Are you- did I say something funny?" Charlie looked concerned.
"No, no..." I shook my head. "Just kind of cute. Despite being a big, giant robot-girl thing, you still managed to sound cute. A monster girl talking about her pet ferret seems too cute to not laugh at."
"Ferrets always get into trouble." I told her. "I have a pair of my own, albeit less gigantic. If Molly and Folly were that big, I don't know how I'd be able to fed them."
"Oh." Charlie tilted her head. She held me carefully, trying to keep my body above the water. I climbed onto her shoulder.
"Charlie, I guess we should start over." I told her.
@Nasr_Mustaqim: @Charlie, @Ghale_Putnam, are you ok?
@Ghale_Putnam: Everything is fine. @Miri_Putnam, you might need to send in a crew or something. Kyra just chewed off a catwalk.
"Start over before or after the interruptions?" Charlie asked.
"Hi." I put a hand on my chest. "I'm your mother."
Charlie blinked. Her voice grew quiet. "I'm, uh... Charlie?"
"Yes you are."
"I'm sorry I'm... like this." Charlie gestured at her misproportioned body. "I didn't choose it. I mean... I knew you were afraid of me or maybe I did something to scare you."
"No." I shook my head. "You didn't do anything."
"I- I saw that nightmare. I thought that was why you never came before. To see me."
"I..." Words escaped me. She knew I was her mother. Of course she knew. Maybe she'd known longer than me. I avoided seeing her even after I'd learned about her. "It was never your fault, Charlie. I failed you. I shouldn't have waited this long."
"You didn't know about me, did you?" Charlie asked. "For the last ten years?"
"I made a choice a long time ago. Your father and I. I- We didn't want to bring a child into a dying world. It seemed cruel to be born to die. So, I... We... had an abortion." Tears streaked down my face as I spoke. "But her corpse and they used her genome to create you. Something about it made the process work. I don't understand it, but that's how your Aunt explained it."
"I was born for war." Charlie's voice sounded full of remorse. "That's the purpose of me. I look wrong. I have steel grown in flesh. Organic and technology meshed together into something different. I'm the abomination the old stories were so scared of, I guess. I don't feel like a weapon or some evolutionary next step. I don't know what being a giant robot girl monster thing is supposed to feel like. But I want to help. That's what being human feels like, isn't it?"
Hugged the glowing blue and odd-sized head of my daughter. "If that isn't the definition of human, we can rewrite the dictionary, I think."
Part of the pain of writing this thing is sometimes I feel discouraged. Finding some sort of muse or urge to press on, that kinda takes up a part of my mind. I have a story to finish at least.
I'm not sure if this was the best way for these two characters to meet seriously for the first time. I might be making things too easy for everyone, maybe I need to try and press harder for new thoughts on it.
Or maybe it's working out great. Who knows. I'm doing this one bit at a time. It'll get done if I press onward hard enough I think.
Thanks for reading! :D Please feel free to share if you are enjoying any part of this. Always glad for more eyeballs, especially to figure better and new ideas for it.