Monday, 29 April 2013

Getting Adjusted

I’m still alive. Always good, and often a surprise.
I woke up and everything was freezing, like I gone to sleep in the room where they make the liquid nitrogen. That’s probably why I woke up, come to think of it. The fire had died down to dark coal, not even embers. I carefully poked at it, in the hope of getting it rekindled. While the coals were still a little warm, blowing on them did nothing to reignite them. Time to move on, then. I took a sheet and placed the coals in a sort of tied bag I made out of it, before hanging it around my neck so that the skin could get some of the leftover warmth. Then I extracted stolen clothes and blankets from the pile and tried to wear as much as humanly possible. I look absolutely ridiculous, and there’s no gloves, so my fingers and toes are blue and red and possibly in danger of frostbite, but on the other hand, I don’t think I’m at the ‘freezing to death’ stage so that’s good.

I think I’m getting the knack of navigating the place. The trick is not to have a specific location in mind, since the architecture will conspire to see you never get there. You just keep moving with no particular destination until you come to a place that happens to have the objects you want in it. It’s a tricky mental balancing act; putting something out of mind isn’t exactly easy, but do it too far and you’ll forget what you came for. It also looks like the Loop has to work with what’s in it; rooms can be distorted or duplicated or have their layout in relation to each other changed, but they all are recognizably from the hospital. I haven’t seen any palmy beaches in here yet, for example.

Using this technique, in fits and starts I managed to check all the exits. By this point the amount of items I had collected like a one woman katamari was getting beyond carrying capacity, so I tied it all in a bundle with one of the blankets and used a wheelchair as a pushcart. Each exit exhibited exactly the same behaviour as the lobby had. In the spirit of curiosity I threw something, I think it might have been a paperweight, through one of them. It bounced into the room beyond, and when I turned it was also lying innocently behind me as if it had always been there, despite the fact that I’d seen no movement on this side. I took a plaster from a first aid kit and stuck it on the side of the doorframe facing me. Then I stepped through and turned around. There was the plaster, and when I felt around on the other side of the doorway it was there as well.

Deciding that I liked this new glitch of reality and its possibility for duplicating objects, I dropped a chocolate bar just on the other side of the door and then turned around, before quickly looking back. Sure enough, there was a mirror image. I tried to pick both bars up.

I think I might have blacked out for a bit, since I woke up on the floor shivering with a massive headache. Still, I tried again. No luck. Now, whenever I placed and item on the other side, as soon as I observed the duplicate the original disappeared with no fanfare. Disappointed, I moved on again.

On Tilde’s advice, I smashed one of the windows. Nothing out of the unexpected happened, no alarms blaring, no sudden rush of vacuum. I cleared the rest of the glass from the frame and stuck my head out. I looked up, down and around at the endless blackness, dropped a shard of glass to watch it dwindle into nothing, and decided I wanted none of that.

There was a particularly disturbing incident that occurred during all this exploration. I opened a door to find, well, myself. It was definitely me, expect a little more hollow cheekboned, having messier hair and with trenches under her eyes. She was holding a bleeding upper arm as well as a bloodied fire axe, had several cuts and gashes, her ears were ragged and torn, and blood was running down her face, with one of her eyes screwed shut. The open one widened in surprise. We stood there just looking at each other for a second. She opened her mouth, closed it, shrugged, and then said “Risperidone. Five right, three down, start slow.”

I was framing the first syllable of “What?” when there was a yell and a thunk as something hit a wall I couldn’t see next to the other me.

“Shit!” She half turned a little, then paused. “Oh, so that’s what that was. Gotta go!” Then she unceremoniously slammed the door in my face. I just stared at it for quite a length of time. When I’d worked myself up enough to open it again, there was nothing but an ordinary room on the other side.

So that happened. I'm now holed up in a similar 'base', this time in a room without windows.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Well, damn

Here’s an update on my situation. I am still in the hospital.

I’d never read any of the blogs involving it, but being a Runner you do tend to pick up a little about other Fears. When Fracture mentioned the Cold Boy, my brain quickly ran through all the information I had on it, engaged nope factor nine, and then jumped ship, cheerfully flipping me the bird as it sailed away.

Okay, that’s an exaggeration. I really shouldn’t joke about sanity loss, when it’s a real hazard in this occupation.

On Mr. Incognito’s advice I levered, or perhaps crowbarred my way out of bed, slinging the laptop bag over my shoulder. Travel was a difficult and slow affair, using the wall as a crutch. My destination was the lobby.

Well, you know Loops. Hallways curved in ways they shouldn’t. Doors opened onto rooms they shouldn’t have, or didn’t open at all. Walking a meter took as long as travelling a hundred. Somehow I managed to get on the ceiling at some point, trying not to smash the fluorescent lights with my cast. After a while I just gave up and wandered randomly.

By this point I could see my breath. Stop shivering, I told my muscles. You used to jump in and out of snowdrifts in a T shirt and shorts! This should be nothing! But alas, they didn’t listen.

(It’s true. I used to bury myself in the snow and pretend I was a polar bear, then leap out on people, Hobbes “It’s that moment of dawning realization I live for” style. I also would grab their ankles and pull. They’d usually scream, and I’d run away laughing, often chased or being pelted by snowballs.

Ah, memories~)

At this point I realized the room I was in was the Lobby. Murphy’s Law. I opened the exit doors to reveal… the Lobby.

Well, I thought with preternatural calm. Nat was right. I am fucked.

Having nothing else to do, I decided to do something about the itch that was rapidly taking up an increasing amount of mental run time. I kept moving, occasionally attacking the plaster with anything sharp I could find. Scissors, scalpels, a fire axe, teeth, where I could reach. I even ran it under water in the hope of softening it up. I got a little carried away. It felt sooo goooood to get the casts off, but I was covered in cuts and scratches as a result of my… enthusiasm. Fortunately, this was a hospital. Antiseptic and dressings were not difficult to find, if sometimes a little tricky to self apply. There were taps to wash the blood off.

Walking was easier after that, as was thinking. My muscles felt weak, but that was to be expected, and there was only the slightest twinge of pain when I put my weight on the bad leg. Six weeks is long enough to heal, right? It’s been six weeks, I think. How long’s it been out there?

Next item on the list, getting and staying warm. I reappropriated hospital blankets, especially the electric ones. Pillows as well. Anything that looked portable and flammable. I even found, joy of joys, a little space heater. Into my makeshift inventory it went. I stopped in a hallway, and went to town on a couple of vending machines, pocketing as much as I could. Then I kept going until I found a room with a lot of power points. This turned out to be the waiting room. Potted plants in the corners, cushioned chairs, low wood coffee table complete with thumbed through magazines, a long window that would have let the sun warm the room if the place hadn’t stuck on ‘night’ three ‘days’ ago. Nice. I trashed it.

Once the table was in splinters, I ripped the magazines to shreds, then ripped up a section of carpet to reveal the hard floor beneath. Then I got the dirt from the potted plants and ringed the exposed spot with it. I piled up the wood into a pyramid there, then stuffed the strips of paper into the middle of it. Then I lit them with the lighter I’d found. It was in a stash hidden under one bed’s pillows, along with a carton of cigarettes and a small bottle of Jack Daniels, the kind you get in hotel fridges. Sadly, I couldn’t drink it, as it would have only made the situation worse. Instead, it became accelerant.

Did I mention I used to be a Girl Guide? If only there were marshmallows.

Once I was reasonably sure the fire could keep going without my supervision, I set about plugging the electric blankets and space heater into the outlets and turned them on. I wedged chairs under the door handles. It occurs to me I should have done that first. Oh well. I chopped up the pot plants and a few of the extant chairs and pulled the stock of papers from behind the receptionist’s desk. That was about enough to last me through the ‘night’, I estimated.

So now we come to me writing this. I’m in a sort of pile of pillows and blankets of both kinds surrounded by a sort of chair fort and it is very, very toasty. It’s almost like camping. Almost. Spyre’s sent me a picture and wow I look badass. :D Also, in lieu of marshmallows, my experiment to see if toasted Mars bars are an acceptable substitute is going very well, albeit stickily. If I don’t think about it, I can forget why I’m here and ignore the voices. Those haven’t gone away. Still, I haven’t been this happy for a while.

Aaaaand, as soon as I type that the lights go out. Great. Wonderful. The firelight’s good enough to see by, though. Flicking the light switch up and down does nothing. The little space heater’s stopped whirring. The electric blankets are still warm, although I’m sure that’s residual heat. I’m moving them to the center of the pile to retain as much of it as possible. Possibly, one of the fuses has blown.


Just had a look outside the window. Don’t want to again. Not that there’s anything there, in fact, that’s the problem. There’s nothing there. Not even ‘night’. There’s no stars, no streetlamps, just… black. Like a huge sucking rectangular void. I’m going to stop looking at it now.

Oddly enough, despite the lack of power and otherwise seeming complete disconnection from the outside world, I am still receiving wifi. Thinking about it, this seems to be a common trait of all Loops, and doesn’t appear to be voluntary on the part of the proxies or entity creating them. (I mean the point is to let the victim go mad with isolation. Cutting off wifi completely would completely separate them from the outside world. But proxies must employ perception filters instead, which implies they can’t do this.)

The only explanation I can think of for this is that the Internet is in itself a manmade dimension that overlays our current one like a sheet. In a Loop the walls between dimensions are so thin and the Internet is so fundamentally ‘close’ to our own that it can be accessed even without the cables or towers usually required by any device able to do so. This theory also implies it might be possible to physically enter a ‘cyberspace’ of sorts, but the sheer incompatibility of human physiology and network code most likely would have disastrous side effects. In effect, no John, you are the eldritch abominations.

This theory really stretches my sense of reality a little but on the other hand I am being stalked by a tree Shoggoth and am in a hospital that does not obey Euclidean laws. Reality was out to lunch six hours ago and is now halfway through the main course of dinner.

Now I am going to try and get some sleep. I know a lot of  you will probably be shouting at me in the comments not to, but this looks to be the only chance I’ll get in the foreseeable future, and I think I’ll need every advantage I can get. Since my laptop’s only running off battery power, I’ll post only if it’s important and go through the comments quickly every ‘day’ or so. I think that’s everything.


Saturday, 27 April 2013

Odd Occurences

I think things have gone on to the point where I can no longer pretend everything is fine. First, the people around me started to ignore me. They must have known I was there on some level, since food was still brought etc, but they wouldn’t respond to anything I said. Even when I grabbed a nurse’s arm, she just stood there until I let go and then walked away. Then, they started to disappear. Less and less traffic, inside the room and out, until at one point I pulled the curtains away to find my neighbours were likewise gone, with the bedding neatly folded. Well, I suppose they could have left while I was asleep.


Then it started getting colder. Not much, but notably. The temperature changed from ‘autumn’ to ‘winter’, and the sunlight dulled a little. Again, someone could have forgot to turn the heaters on.

Unlikely. I was starting to feel like I was radioactive and people were discreetly evacuating so as not to hurt my feelings and would eventually build a sarcophagus over my head. I could no longer hear the rushing of cars outside, or anything outside, for that matter.

Speaking of the sun, as I told Jack, it rose and set in the space of three hours. The night that followed it lasted for one. Fourteen. Twenty. Then down to five again. It did not seem to make any sense at all.

I have a suspicion I’m in a Loop, but I until I can check the spatial warping typical of them, I can’t know for sure. Either way, I’m moderately prepared for whatever’s coming.

Oh, and the voices haven't stopped. At all. If anything, they might be getting louder. It's driving me nuts.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

In Detail

It’s dark. As the eyes adjust, some light comes through the window from streetlamps and stars. It’s open, letting the sounds of distant cars and dogs in, and a pleasant breeze that gently pushes the curtains. It is otherwise silent. This is not anywhere I know. The view is that of typical suburbia, but the buildings are too white and regular and the air smells wrong.

There are two bodies on the floor. They are dispassionately examined. One male, one female. Adult. They smell strongly of fear and sweat and blood; still fluid, a stream of it flows across the wooden floor and down the stairs. The male’s arm is idly lifted by the wrist, then dropped. It falls on the man’s face. There is no pulse. Their bodies are covered in cuts, some clean and economical, carefully exposing layers of muscle and organs, others messy and ragged, as if they have been savaged by an animal. The bed denotes this as a bedroom, and the position of the bodies implies the male tried to defend the female.

There’s nothing more to learn. Bored, the blood trail is followed downstairs, bare feet splashing in it. Downstairs there is a kitchen connected to a dining room. The blood crosses the linoleum and leads to the front door. The refrigerator is walked over to, leaving a trail of bloody footprints. A small iron disc is tied foursquare by rough string around the neck; it is pressed to the appliance and falls onto the floor with a clatter. Dream confirmed.

The cupboards have clear glass in their doors. It is easy to locate a glass. The tap is recoiled from when it spits out a stream of blood instead of water and the glass shatters when it is dropped. It cannot be turned off. After a while the sink starts to over flow and the blood winds its way to join the stream heading under the door. It’s followed.

Outside the door, things have changed. The sky is black with white stars as if someone was given an accurate depiction of the night sky with which to recreate it but had never seen it themselves. The smell of blood is even stronger, and leads off in the direction the river travels. The earth is bare. The house is gone. It feels like there should be a sound, but there is nothing.

More streams join the one followed. The river steadily gets larger and harder to wade through, and develops a current. It cuts into the earth like water, forming noticeable banks on either side. Lining them are bodies.

They do not smell of decay, as if even microorganisms are not welcome here, but they are clearly dead. This one is a seventeen year old boy with glazed eyes and slightly open mouth. His chest is caved in. This one is a man in his thirties; his neck has been snapped. Here is half of a girl. And from all of them blood drips in rivulets down the sides of the banks, adding to the flow. They get more numerous over distance until they are piled several deep.

There is now no way out of the river, with the current pushing and the blood up to the waist and the banks now unclimbable. The only way is forward. The sharp metallic smell of fresh blood is now overpowering and headache inducing. Ahead the sky glows a dim red.

The bottom half of a shirt is ripped off and tied around the eyes. The top half is pulled up over the nose.

And suddenly it is there ahead, and even through the blindfold its presence cannot be ignored. Its outline is burnt onto the retinas, black surrounded by red. It arrests movement. I realize the river is its shadow.

Then I wake up.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Catching Up

Decided to put this in a separate post, since the other was already getting a little long. Time to get up to date on current events before they get any less current…

Sweet Lord, when things happen, they happen all at once.

So in the week I happen to be incommunicado, several things have occurred. Roy killed someone who turned out not to be who she seemed. Creepy McCreeperson has apparently been photographing Spyre in her sleep. Apparently an astral battle also took place. I noticed a commenter called Vikady and I remember deciding to compare them to Arkady. And then Arkady commented. What. He’s still alive!?

I shouldn’t be talking, being Miss False Alarm, but come on.

Anyway, Morningstar still hasn’t suffered a fatal stabbing accident yet, a fairy called Jack took over Carter’s blog and Echo is still alive and has uncovered the smidgen of a sliver of a possibility of a contagion that can kill supernatural creatures, which I am incredibly interested in. Incredibly.

I think that’s most of everything, at least from the blogs that I follow. I wouldn’t be surprised if similar things have been occurring elsewhere. There’s probably a pattern behind these bursts of lull and activity.

Also apparently I’ve been appellated a Sage, in what has to be the most hilariously backhanded manner possible. However offhandly given and fallen into disrepute the title though, I’ll keep it for what it represents, if only out of greed or spite. It means I scare people in general and a veteran proxy in particular. That I’m actually a threat, and what I’m doing is having an impact. That I have, if not the ability, then at least the potential to do so by the reckoning of someone who has just made a very big mistake in admitting it.

So thank you, Fracture.

>: D