Thursday, June 4, 2015
May 23, part 1
It was the worst yet. I was the It again, fully armored and back on Barin, hunting and killing the Barinem. This time it was just me and one other monstrosity doing the attacking. I think the other It was the thing that is now taking over Candy.
Even though it was just the two of us, we could not be stopped by the small village we attacked. Dear prophets, we killed and we killed and we killed ... the bloodshed felt neverending. The Barinem weapons, crude things that they were, didn’t faze us. When they stopped fighting and started running, we followed them. We hunted them down and kept killing ... hand to hand when possible. Elder, adult, or child, it made no matter. We were there to cleanse the planet of lesser creatures.
In the dream, I was once more invigorated by my murderous rampage. At least I was to a certain point. This time a bit of the real Shalia was separate, watching the horror and screaming in my head. That part of me tried to wake up. I fought to escape the carnage. I failed. I was forced to not just watch but to feel every emotion as I broke bones, ripped out hearts, and eagerly slaughtered.
I woke sobbing. The monitors had already alerted Feru, and the psychologist was at my bedside seconds after my eyes opened. It was good to see a kind, caring face, particularly after what I’d dreamed I’d done.
“I’m dreaming the Its memories again,” I wept as he blotted my tears with a soft cloth. “It takes so much pleasure in killing others. It’s almost like a religious ecstasy. How can any thinking, feeling creature get joy out of doing these things?”
“Tep is pretty sure it was created in a lab,” Feru said. “It’s makers programmed it to be a certain way, to be a weapon of no conscience. There may be a silver lining to this, however.”
I gave him a disbelieving look. “You must be joking.”
“Not at all. Based on what you’re telling me, I’m wondering if this creature sleeps when you do. If it is dreaming because you dream.”
I saw a problem with his theory. “It didn’t sleep when I was sedated.”
Feru considered. “It knew it was in danger. It has some control over your brain, so it activated what it could ... or just what it needed ... in the attempt to defend itself. We’re supposing that as long as the It doesn’t feel threatened, it lets your body heed all its natural functions.” He glanced at the guards that stood at my room’s door and lowered his voice. “Monitors show Matara Candy’s brain is having some spikes of activity. She’s experiencing brief periods during which she is close to waking up.”
My eyes widened. “So the It was right. She can get past the full stasis.”
“Maybe. Right now, it’s the sedation that she’s overcoming. However, it does bode badly for keeping the organisms contained. These things are nothing like we’ve ever seen before. Staying ahead of them is going to take tremendous effort.”
“You still haven’t explained how my dreams of this thing’s probable past have a silver lining.”
Feru’s eyes filled with optimism. “I know security is checking into your story about the destruction of a Barinem village from those first nightmares you reported. Once it has been confirmed that such a thing happened, we’ll know for sure the nightmares are this organism’s memories. We can gather information about its weaknesses through your dreams.”
The little bit of hope I’d felt died. “It has no weaknesses, Dr. Feru. None. It is the perfect killing machine.”
“Maybe not. You remember it as a fully armored creature, which tells me it took over another person at some point. Something happened to make it revert to what you saw as a bracelet, probably the state it takes on when not in use ... perhaps that is a form of stasis or hibernation when it has no host.”
I saw what he was getting at. “What made it give up its host then? Was it defeated or damaged somehow?”
Feru nodded. “My questions exactly. This thing doesn’t seem to me to be a weapon that quietly waits to be used if it has a choice. Not if it’s as enthralled by killing as you say.”
I frowned. “You know the It hears everything I do. It knows your theory now. If you’re right, what’s to keep it from blocking me from sleeping and dreaming?”
“It doesn’t have control of all your brain. The overwhelming majority of you is still Shalia.” I could see Feru was excited about his theory. “You as a human require sleep. Tep says the part of your brain that governs normal sleep, as well as the part that controls dreaming, are not yet invaded. We think the It can’t control that part of you yet.”
It was a bit of hope, all right – but only a small mote of it. “I have to hope it shows me that part of its background in order to discover what could destroy it. Or at least get it off of me.”
“Fortunately, this thing is like a computer program despite its organic nature. It has its steps that it takes in order, a start to an end. It could be that it will continue to dream a sequence of events as they happened.”
“Dreams are almost never so literal though,” I groused. “It hasn’t shown me itself running around naked in front of an assembly or showing up to class unprepared for the final exam yet. That’s usually the way dreams go.”
Feru had an answer for that too. “It’s biological, but it’s still a machine. This is not something that possesses creativity. It exists to fulfill a mission, nothing more. I have hopes it will keep giving you factual data.”
Feru’s theory is pretty slim shit to hang hopes on, if you ask me. Outside of Tep’s tests yielding answers, playing spy to this thing’s dreams is pretty much all I have. I pray he’s got this right.