Night Terrors: 17B “Moonlight Sonata”
Act 2/3 | Subcutaneous |
Ivalien awakens in a room while strapped thoroughly into an examination chair, his ally bound the same across the room, a doctor prepped from surgery notices him wake and walks to a table in the room with a giant scarab. The sight of the massive insect fills all forms of his ethic with an utmost fear of the unknown, the surgeon takes his middle finger and strokes the center of the bug’s back shell, a trickling squeal voices from the insect and fear becomes the element.
Ivalien: “Ah, fuck me running, why couldn’t it be an undisclosed location?”
He writhes and violently jostles while strapped to the device, unsuccessfully escaping and retracing his journey in his mind when he takes a breath and pauses, exhaling and gyrating furiously to no luck. Another surgeon awaits orders next to the other captive.
Malek: “Calm down. Would you like to be unconscious for this?”
Ivalien: “Is it going to hurt?”
Malek: “Oh yes, you might not even survive.”
The words drive them to attempt shaking from their bonds.
Ivalien: “What the hell are you doing?”
Malek: “Well, my name is Malek, and I am your harvester of sorrow.”
Mark: “Like hell you are, get us the fuck out of here!”
Malek: “I’m going cut you open, and put the head of that live creature into your chest so it can eat your heart and take over your body.”
Ivalien: “Wait, what, no, I’m on your side, let me help you.”
Mark: “Yeah, fuck yeah, we’re the good guys!”
Malek: “You wouldn’t be helping me, I am one of them.”
Malek points to the insect with one hand and pulls down his collar with the other to reveal his scar. Ivalien hears only adrenaline and sees the silence of his futility.
Malek: “Your friend you know as Timothy, is one of our highest leaders, he suggested your death, for your successful advances in improving infantry biology. These facilities have been using our biology to enhance and repair injuries, that technology that helps ‘people’ who have lost limbs, via their nerve endings communicate much better with far more advance, because you have helped us bring your demise.”
Ivalien: “You’re going to feed me to that thing?”
Malek: “I am, so say goodbye to your soul.”
Malek places his hand on Ivalien’s shoulder and begins to make an incision in his chest, the other surgeon the same with his friend. They begin to scream in agony, still writhing in pain it walks from him to the scarab and with some effort rips the head from the insect, entrails and poisonous veins hang from cephalic carnage, the victims scream again as the mandibles gnaw into casualties, as Malek injects him with an antibiotic. In moments, they faint from terror and trauma, the doctors walk to the dead carapaces and flip them on their backs to cut them open and casually cut then eat small pieces of entrails and smile in merriment.
In minutes, they attach devices to monitor host health, in an hour Ivalien’s friend rejects symbiosis then dies, killing the parasite with him. Ivalien has dreams of falling through a volcano of blood, imagining what the creature must think as he passes from prevalence, assimilating a language both similar and different.
Syngenta: “His conditions are stabilizing, he will be strong enough.”
Malek: “Yes, I cannot hear his thoughts, give him another sedative, we won’t know certainly until he wakes.”
More dreams of illusion and thoughts of reality another hour passes unto Ivalien wakes to silence the echoes of his thoughts. Malek feeds alone with Ivalien on pieces of his dead ally’s body.
Ivalien: “Where am I?”
Malek: “You are in your nest, new born, in new light.”
Ivalien: “I cannot move, release me.”
Malek: “[Please, speak to me with your thoughts.]”
Ivalien: “I can barely speak at all. I could use a whiskey. [I will now escape.]”
Malek: “[Wait, stop untying him! Poison him! Do it now!]”
Syngenta has already untied one arm and several straps that crossed his body, but too late for restraint, Ivalien breaks free stronger than he has ever been, he reaches for Syngenta’s throat and tears it open, while grabbing Malek by the arm and holding him against the wall by his throat.
Ivalien: “Why can I hear your thoughts and you mine?”
Malek: “Why are you still alive?”
Ivalien: “Minds, why!”
Malek: “We are the hive; the modifications of man gave us this mind… [Guards come in here.].”
Ivalien snaps Malek’s neck whose head falls lifelessly, as he throws the surgeon’s body to the floor the limbs crawl with head hanging, the body still with life although pitiful and acephalous, he checks his clothes for blood before closing his shirt, grabbing his jacket, and leaving the room. In the hallway, two guards confront him.
Migo: “[Here comes a breather, say something.]”
Ghroth: “Stop, show us your hands, how did you get down here?”
Migo: “What is your name?”
Ivalien: “Ivalien, I am going to the surface. Is there a problem?”
Ghroth: “[What kind of stupid name is that?]”
Migo: “You don’t have clearance, stand still.”
Ivalien: “Look at my scar, I have arrived.”
Ghroth: “[O, relax Migo, more we are hive.]”
Migo: “[Welcome newborn, but you mustn’t speak, thinking is safer. Where is your surgeon?]”
Ivalien strikes one guard in the face and twists the rifle from the other. He kicks a knee to lower the second and tries to break the neck of the first. When this does not work he struggles to obtain the other’s rifle, he wraps the strap of it around the first’s neck and strangles him over his shoulder while firing the rifle at the second, burning him with from head to toe. Ivalien turns with choking cord ahold and fires into the first, burning across the spine to the base of the skull. It is not an end for the surgeon Malek whose broken neck is healing by cellular regeneration.
Ivalien runs swift thru the white hallway by spirited step, the electric rifle in his hands readily, to the foyer where he had arrived, wares and fares of special treatment for the clandestine elite now conquering his all but conquered humanity. His thoughts quick of consciousness, agility and empathic ability empowered to his advantage, he aims and thinks of distraction, the closest drones to him sense him close and hear him as he comes round the corner with only an open hall for defilade. This thought of peril makes his own ears hear a slightly high-pitched note, as many look to the wrong direction imparted by his falsely messaged telepathic integration. He begins to fire on them all, the closest guards open laser fire on him but die by his siege, which the beam burns across one face of two, surging deep into crowding others maiming few, and powerfully burning with a surge of shortened beam length into the other.
Ivalien disregards the perils of firing the weapon at full power risking overload, for he slides feet first as the rifle continues blasting and nearing failure or reset, to catch a rifle of the falling dead opponents, lifting himself upward with reflexive shin and firing again, steady to hide behind a counter normally used for mingling dilettantes. Unable to stay behind the small wall soon razed by several concentrated fire, he lasers the bar and sets a fire while running to a vehicle, his head turns and runs blindly while shooting at his pursuers whom include Cmdr. Ryu with an angry face and a hole burnt thru his arm. He fires over his shoulder as the ATV speeds from conflagration, careful to watch the sensor on his weapon in the corner of his eye so that it does not explode aside his head, speeding into the long tunnel that leads toward the surface of the night jungle. He shifts his fire from them in pursuit to the fuel cells of the sidelined vehicles he passes, causing explosions to slow or halt his chasers, midst a blast of fire and smoke he locks his rifle in ignition aimed behind him and backflips from the shuttle into the catwalks overhead, escaping into the maintenance ductwork.
Back at the commons of echelon ranks Malek has looked over his digital terminal and watched chaos, frustrated he punches the view screen of his Air Deck terminal and rejoins Cmdr. Ryu. The bodies not burned thru their cortex are slowly crawling to consciousness like the unholy undead, the commander surveys the fire and destruction upon it climbs and lifts his hand to view chaos thru the hole in it.
Malek: “How bad is it?”
Ryu: “If you don’t find him, you will soon know!”
Guard: “His tracker isn’t showing in the system.”
Malek: “We took out his tracker!”
Malek rips the guard’s throat open and throws him to the floor.
Ryu: “Clean this mess and dismember this fool before he heals! [Malek, what did you say that upset the newborn into heterodoxy?]”
Malek: “[Commander he is not one of us, he is immune.]”
Ryu: “…he is an anomaly?”
Malek: “[He is, sir.]”
Ryu: “To my quarters, generals, we’re going hunting!”
Ryu walks with determination and the posture of a young gladiator, his minions slowly allow him to lead trace and follow, Malek strong and stoic to his shadow trying to see how badly is the wound. It indeed has a scorched hole, but the commander flexes his arm, opening and closing his hand, the burnt flesh recoils.
They enter into an elevator, large for cargo it almost silently flies to the top of the building and opens to a room with a fireplace, and mounted picture of card-playing felines. The cold inactive fire faces a wall of glass windows that overlook paradise, in the room’s center rests a shiny black desk three cubic length. He plummets into his chair, with his wounded arm bent at the elbow holding his burnt hand to his chest. He slaps his other hand to the security scanner built within it. Pressing a digital button on the computer desk and a drawer opens with a thick red alcoholic blood. He ignores the glasses in the opened drawer, drinks from the bottle, and even slushes some on his wound, a cleansing painful rinse. With the bottle in his hand, he ushers Malek to take a glass from the drawer then drinks pours for him and drinks again.
Ivalien runs thru a service tunnel, an occasional worker sees him but goes generally unalarmed, he changes his clothes and looks to his phone for the girl secretary’s information, committing the useful information to memory he drops his comlink into a fuel processing vacuum chute to destroy it. He takes a pen, writes down what he needs, and moves again, this time at any of the numbering security stations. His troop gathers weapons and tactical armor as it awaits orders from the commander, he watches his desk computer as a medic applies drops of a liquid to his wound. The attendant wraps a sleeve around the wound as Ryu notices an indicator in the factory 12 zone indicating where Ivalien had opened the furnace chute, he slams his good arm on the table jostling his bandaging.
Ryu: “There – he is on level 3 of factory 12, first to capture him gets their own island, let’s move!”
Malek: “Huzzah, let’s do this!”
Ryu: “[Not you Malek, you stay here, make sure nothing leaves atmo, keep me informed.]”
Malek: “[Yes, lord.]”
Malek bows closing his eyes, opening them to rise and sit at Ryu’s desk.
Ivalien approaches the nearest security station, listening with his mind for evidence that they are the insects or if they have any thought, when he cannot discern of such things he calls into their office door as if menially routine, as they acknowledge he turns into their room, grabbing the first rifle he can he aims at them. They halt movement with hands in air, Ivalien orders out their comlinks and destroys the devices, takes weapons and grenades, then welds the door shut sealing within the sounds of lasers He slips into the obscurity provided by the maze of underground energy facilities manufacturing, passing rooms with engineers making lead into gold for further purposes.
Small shuttle pods carry the commander through tunnels, slowing unto slowly for the turns in the corridors, looking for any signs of irregularity, the transporter screen displaying what is behind him, the mapping program showing where they are and plan to go, and thru Ryu’s eyes forms of vision ungifted to nascent humanity.
Ivalien carries his bag of bombs and a rifle soon partially hidden beneath a taken lab coat, thru the factory to the shopping mall, thru there to the commons, thru there to the tunnel avenues with old restaurants beneath the young park, thru there to the dormitories for facilities 1100-1150. Calm he is trying to be with mental trauma and an affliction of fear that causes him to clench the collar of his stolen construction lab coat to hide the scars on his heart. The color of the halls in theme scrawled with a symbol thruout the building for residents to avoid disorientation between buildings by keeping mental note of it, a wave-like logo periodically on the black wall line that all dorms have. He inconspicuously slips into the stairwell and descends as Ryu attends the alarm triggered by the sabotaged door of the sublevel security office, unpleased he kills both officers and raids the last of their weapons then continues his hunt for Ivalien.
The refugee descends to the level he desires and enters the general social area filled with children and matrons, movies and card games by off duty scientists.
He approaches a domicile as intended, wary and weary of any surveillance, he knocks on the smoked glass door of the apartment. The secretary Lara he had met earlier answers the glass by pressing her finger to it, so that only a narrow portion of it becomes clear. Inside her quarters, she is readying for shower and puts on a robe before saying hello.
Lara: “Hey stranger, welcome, I have to get ready, but you can wait in here if you want? [Finally, some company.]”
Ivalien: “Yeah, that’d be good idea, great even.”
The sound of his voice is clear when the glass is, it muffles again as the glass digital door becomes smoky once more, yet it slides open silently allowing him to enter as she goes to her shower room.
Ivalien: “Nice digs.”
Lara: “I try. [I hope he is not too eager about the dance, what is in the bag.]
Ivalien: “[No…]…I’m really eager to see the band at the gala.”
An awkward deafening silence the sort of performance and slumber when dreams become reality, had he heard her thoughts, had she heard his, had she become one of him, thoughts of haste indistinguishable to dangerous context.
Lara: “[Did he just…nah….] hey, have a beer, drop the bag, I’ll be a few minutes.”
Peeking her head around the water closet door and smiling she ducks back and begins beautifully bathing, a scar on her chest. The stasis-fridge doors slide open to a contents of a meticulous supply for a vegetarian, taking the brown beer bottle he notices the common network interface in her lounge room.
Ivalien: “Hey, can I use your program terminal?”
Lara: “As sure is certain.”
Ivalien: “How do you say your last name?”
Lara: “Like reddish!”
Ivalien: “You’re kidding …a red head named radish.”
Lara: “It’s reddish.”
He snaps his fingers once in surprise of the name he had forgotten until now, his sentence mumbles closed as he uses her terminal to look for her car in the parking compound, the map opens to its location then swallows the radiant blinking beacon of it to show the pathway to it. He examines the route carefully looking for what dangers await between it and him. He begins to sense that she is trying to screen his thoughts now filled with worry of capture, he goes to the shower room where the water still runs and steam still fills, she awaits him with a charger pistol pointed at his head.
Ivalien: “Show me your chest.”
Lara: “That’s no way to start a date.”
Ivalien: “Are you one of them?”
Lara: “Did you say, one of them…?”
His thoughts become invaded and divided, his vision becomes split like two mirrors back to back between his eyesight shifting and slicing the world, her robe falls, and she puts down the pistol to begin seducing him.
Ivalien: “This is great, but I need your help.”
Lara: “With anything you need.”
Ivalien: “I need to use your car.”
With her hand in his, they walk thru the dormitory, his fear an ocean of thought that floats a vessel of escape motive.
Ivalien: “[Are you in control of your actions?]”
Lara: “You mustn’t think, speak to me with your voice.”
Ivalien: “Why are you helping me?”
Lara: “The, thing, in you is angry, that will help you hide among us, but not until you can control your thoughts better.”
She pulls her comlink from her pocket, it causes him some worry, her first emotive is to give him solace.
Lara: “[You must trust me, you are salvation.] – John, the liberty bells rings, it’s time for the turnaround, I have the one we’ve been awaiting.”
John: “What, how, where are you, what do I do?”
Lara: “We’re heading to the Section V Gala now; we need to get thru atmo.”
John: “Get into the gala, we’ll get you out.”
Ivalien: “Who was that?”
Lara: “Let’s try to meet him safely first.”
| Moonlight Sonata | 3/3