#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?
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Charlie (H +2 Days)
My BrainSys activated about eight hours later. Even though I had been unconscious, my Oneiros clicked on. It reached out.
My dream-avatar floated alone in darkness.
"What happened?" I paused. Then I answered my own question.
"That thing." Ugh.
"Talking to myself is a bad sign." It wasn't.
My dream-avatar gazed into the dark. What was this dream? Where was all the darkness coming from? I motioned to the darkness, turning my hand into a raw beam of sunlight.
It didn't illuminate the darkness.
"That's strange. What about the others, then..." My Oneiros felt around me, connecting to whatever minds it could touch.
My peripheral oneiros felt like this warming, white sensation. I could sense the vibrations of four minds around me. Whiskey's familiar presence. Beyond that, I could sense Uniform's nervous unconscious BrainSys. Last was Foxtrot's own darting, quick unconscious mind.
I blinked. There was a fourth mind. One I couldn't account for.
"The darkness." I turned to the dark my dream-avatar floated in.
The fourth consciousness manifested as the darkness around me. Around us. My oneiros could sense it all around us. Every direction.
I decided to break from my Oneiros. I opened my eyes. Darkness shifted into infrared light. The bright energies of me, Whiskey, Uniform and Foxtrot were shone. Something bigger, shifting with bright greens moved in the background.
It dragged us further down.
"No." I closed my eyes. It had overwhelmed us so fast.
We weren't ready for this. We couldn't fight things like this. Nasr had no idea there would be anything like this. The behemoth sliding around us, like some sort of living forest of tentacles.
Everyone was breathing. But only I had waken up. Great. We hadn't lucked out and died.
I closed my eyes.
I returned back to the darkness. I paused for a moment on what to do. Then something in me just started to burn. It burned hot.
My dream-avatar blazed with blue fire. I let my self image glow bright blue. Then I extended my dream to everyone else.
The darkness around us didn't seem to react to my fiery form. I reached out until Whiskey appeared in front of me. Her body was tiny. She blinked her eyes up at my burning body.
"Uh... C?" Whiskey blinked up at me. "Are we..."
"It knocked us unconscious." I told her.
"C... Why are you a really big fire-woman in this dream?"
I ignored Whiskey as I reached out for Uniform and Foxtrot. I needed all four of our minds. Whiskey's mind joining the combined dreamspace would amplify the computation creating it. I needed that computational strength.
Uniform materialized next to Whiskey. Unlike Whiskey, though, Uniform's dream-avatar didn't look like her realbody. Her gray hair wasn't short. Instead, it hung down to her waist. She also was wearing a dress. She blushed when she say me.
"She isn't explaining to me either." Whiskey said.
Foxtrot came next. Like Uniform, her dream-avatar wasn't the same as her realbody. She must've not expected to be using her dream-avatar, or at least not the one she had preset. Foxtrot's avatar wasn't female. It looked flat chested, her red hair still short. A bit of facial hair could be seen on her chin.
Foxtrot shot me an irritated look.
"Why not wake us up?" She asked.
"We can't just wake up." I told her. "It's all around us."
"We need to wake up to escape then." Foxtrot pointed out.
"We need to think before we act." Uniform chimed in. "Charlie probably wants a plan, Foxy."
"Plan, huh?" Whiskey squinted her dream-avatar's eyes. "C, you already got something in mind?"
"Not really." I admitted. "But I can sense... it... the mind of it around us. It's dragging us somewhere."
"You wanted a perimeter to see where the Enemy was." Foxtrot shrugged. "Guess you got that. We shouldn't have come this close to Fontana."
I tried not to grind my teeth. A part of me wanted to ask about her feelings for me. But I didn't want to even acknowledge that. I didn't want to acknowledge why Foxtrot preferred being androgynous in dreams either.
"It's all around us." I got back to the subject at hand. "I... it's unconscious."
"Okay." Foxtrot paused. "I don't understand. It's unconsciously dragging us?"
"No." Uniform nodded, her eyes widening as she realized what I had said. "It's all around us in the dreamspace, Foxy."
"Oooooh." Whiskey turned out to the darkness. "Can it hear us?"
"I don't know." I admitted. It hadn't done anything in reaction to my Oneiros yet. "I don't even know why my Oneiros put it here."
"An alien brain can't interface with dreams." Foxtrot said. "That seems kinda... not possible, right?"
Uniform shrugged. "My gnostic analysis relies on the body of a subject to work. It doesn't care, just so long as their is some sort of cellular material to start with."
"Everything has a quark in it." Whiskey agreed. "All matter is based on matter. Living matter just organizes in particular fashions. You can recreate that pretty easily. I guess, maybe there's a dream-equivalent of a quark or a molecule or something."
"A memetic transitive property?" I blinked. "Geez, that sounds absurd when I say it."
"You share dreams with Kyra all the time." Whiskey pointed out. "So, there is some sort of animal nerve cluster at work in the Enemy."
"It's just darkness." I waved a hand at it. My fiery form didn't trigger any sort of reaction. "It's done nothing to me."
"IDK, C." Whiskey looked pensive. "It could be a problem of programming, y'know?"
"That still doesn't sound like a plan." Foxtrot said.
"Well..." I looked at the darkness. "I hoped we could do more with combined dreamspace."
Uniform blinked. "Combined. Obviously. Foxtrot, what's the limit on your aetherskipping trick?"
"Where I do a transit and move my self from place to place?" Foxtrot furrowed her brow. "You already know that."
Uniform looked exasperated. "Ok. We all know you're embarrassed that Charlie knows you like her and that you like to wear boy's bodies in your dreams. I'm just trying to get you to help with the conversation."
"She can't go long distances and she can't move too much material." Whiskey chimed in. "Transit tech is very low energy. The costs in a transit are light, if it's opened and closed quick. We're big enough that our internal cybernetics can provide the right amount of power for it."
"But I lack the computational strength to move large volumes of people or move big distances." Foxtrot shook her head. "I got it. Enough about my failures, Uniform. How's this a plan?"
Uniform looked at me. I then understood.
"Like before, we provide the computation." I nodded. "And you then transit all four of us out of here."
Foxtrot's eyes widened. "I... don't think I can do that."
"Uh..." I looked around at the darkness. "I think we can. If I open our brains more. Several layers deep."
"Layers?" Foxtrot looked at me. Not her usual look of defiance. Something that made me want to impress her. Or was it him here? She looked at me like Ghale had. Like I had something amazing she'd never seen before.
"Yeah." I couldn't look straight at Foxtrot. It felt nerve wracking. "Before, I just acted like a messenger for our minds. But we could intermingle more. My Oneiros could reach down deeper in the brain, with more intensity. We could all become... I don't know the best way to put it."
"How do you know how to do that?" Whiskey asked.
"I just do." I said. "It's something with the Oneiros. I can feel it out, like another hand or an extra mind inside of me. I just know that I can reach out our minds together, fused."
"I..." Foxtrot shrugged. "It's either this or wait to see what happens at the end of the tentacle-monster-thing's rainbow, huh?"
We all gave her nods.
Foxtrot rubbed the back of her androgynous head. "Go ahead, Charlie. Let's get out of here then."