Start | Previous | Next | Index#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 giant monsters succeed, or will humanity's old ambitions damn the species to extinction?
Nasr (H Day)
The window looked down over the Miri's monsters, all amassed. The transit chamber's fluids had been drained. The massive caverns looked emptied. Even filled with the three-meter tall giants, it looked vast.
They all stood there. They had lined up. Monsters born to die. The last ditch effort of genetic damnation and cybernetic engineering.
"They're scared." Miri said.
"All we're doing is sending to them to their deaths." I replied.
Project Hecate Transit T- One Minute.
The hologram of Hecate knitted. Her wrinkled translucent fingers spun glowing yarn together. She concentrated on it. But I'd been in the facility long enough to recognize when Hecate had been listening.
Miri cringed. "You've never given a damn either way, have you?"
"All of this is damned." I said.
"I've never understood your reasons for being here. You think of them as monsters. You've none nothing but claim you're sending them to their deaths. Your morbidity makes no sense to me."
I shrugged. "But we are."
Miri crossed her arms. "Major. Every day you've sat here between sessions uttering your constant distaste at all this. From the statues in the foyer, to Hecate. You don't think I've noticed?"
I pointed through the window. "You had this facility half-filled with fluids. Saline. Saltwater. Why was that?"
"To help them."
"For their early development. My BrainSys processed all their specifications. For their first four or five years, you didn't know if their bodies could support their own weight. The saline kept them buoyant." I paused. "But they didn't need that. Their bones are combinations of neo-steel and carbon fiber. Hecate programmed that into their DNA."
"i haD SAid as mUCH." Hecate added. She didn't even move her head from her knitting.
"We all have our doubts." Miri said. "I've always been concerned with their safety."
"You made weapons." I said. "Monsters. They didn't know that was what they were. You put the Gorgons in your foyer. I'm not greek. But choosing the image of a woman raped by one god, then cursed by a goddess of war as your project's symbol... That explains exactly what you've done here, I think."
Miri looked at them below. "Pessimist. You and everyone else has given up already."
Miri turned her head at me. A incredulous glare.
Project Hecate Transit T- 30 seconds.
"Doctor." I didn't look at her. I tried to focus my eyes on the twenty giants waiting for transit. "I haven't given up on humanity surviving. We aren't going to survive. Everything we've ever created has failed against the enemy. We can't quite couch them in terms we can comprehend."
"So we created people who can."
"Maybe. Or maybe this is the last desperate gesture of a mad species." My voice grew colder as I remembered Dom. "I've already lost the best part of my humanity. He didn't- they didn't survive. The rest of this feels like denial on a grand scale."
"You and the rest of this damned planet." Miri retorted. "There were three Gorgons, Major. Do recall that?"
"Probably." I shrugged. "Most of that was something my BrainSys drudged up."
"You pray each day?"
"The ritual helps." I looked at Miri's monsters. Charlie's hands balled in fists. "Faith is irrational enough to make me think sometimes the monsters could save us. At least, until someone slays the monsters."
"Medusa's sisters were immortal."
I blinked at Miri. She was smiling. "What?"
"Medusa had two sisters, Major. Both were immortal. Medusa died because she wasn't. Hecate and I were thinking of all three when we started this."
I nodded. "One sister may die. But two will remain."
"'To guard the gates to hell.'" Miri recited. "You think I was too soft on them?"
[BrainSys] Project Hecate Transit T- 10 seconds.
A memory of Dom strangled by alien tentacles flashed in my mind. Could Charlie prove me wrong? I didn't know. I wanted to believe that. I wanted to believe that this could work. "No. Everyone needs a mother."
Hecate chuckled. "THE womB NOw empTIES. CUt the CORd. leT THE Babe scREAM. timE FOR Life tO BEGIn."
"I'm the monster. How do you raise lambs for the slaughter?" Miri whispered. "I wish there was no other choice. I wish... IDK. This is out of my hands now.
"This can't work. But I want to believe there is at least one miracle left to be done."
Thunder boomed. The first squad of monsters disappeared as the transit point opened and then closed. Miri was right. Our first twenty monsters, sent to Mars. Everyone understood the numbers game. We couldn't make or train enough of them to send into the field as a proper army.
After all, how many do you send? How many is enough? We couldn't outnumber the enemy. Charlie and the rest had to prove an old axiom of war. It wasn't just numbers. It was how you used those few numbers.
But most likely they would die. Then we would send in more of Hecate's giants as they finished training. This was madness. At the end of days, though, you don't get to choose how you deny it. We decided at a gambit that could never work.
Charlie (H day)
The transit made my stomach retch. I kept the vomit from coming out. The thunderous boom of the transit signaled our arrival. We didn't move. The space around us had been moved. Even then, it still made part of my head feel nauseous.
My helmet flickered on. Oxygen filters whirled on. My BrainSys told me my current remaining oxygen.
We each held our breaths. That left each of us with the better part of an hour. I gestured at Whiskey.
The red, rocky landscape around us clashed with our appearance. Our dark grey skin looked like raw steel. Our helmets removed the pinkish parts of our flesh. They were as dark grey. Our goggles and visors made us look like robots. War machines.
Whiskey opened her palms. Glowing motes of her goetia went to work. Rocks around us melted. They flowed as Whiskey knelt. Minerals flowed as my friend crafted tanks of oxygen for us. Each looked tiny. Twenty canisters that grew from the ground.
@Foxtrot: @Charlie. This is the red planet. Doesn't look like training at all.
@Uniform: We have oxygen... do you have telemetry for our first move?
I shivered. Mars. Time for us to get to work.