Archive for the 'Met a stranger' Category
I’d silently tracked her since the day of my ruin. I knew she lay inside, in mortal danger.
There was little hope she’d survive for much longer – her files were so corrupted from the attack by the Digital Sect that she was nearly beyond repair. The doctor knew that – why did he pursue a cure? And why in this place?
There was little hope of my reinstatement with Leviathan. But there was too much at stake to leave matters to them – they didn’t understand her. Not like I did.
Without the right data, Myg would certainly die. But with it, she’d be the ruin of us all.
It all came down to the doctor now. I had to know what he knew about her.
I had to get him to talk.
And of course, I would.
Ed. Notes – credits:
Location: Toxian City, Toxia 12, 193, 23 SLURLÂ Owned and created by Miss Wright.3 comments
If there were answers — to her questions and mine — I knew I would find them in the library. I IM’d my old professor, Dr. Phresia. “It’s filed under ‘religion,’ in the stacks with the other works on offensive liturgy and practice,” she said. “But once you start digging, don’t stop.” I asked for clarification but there was no response.
Sanator Daemonicon Vertebratus was right where she said it would be. As one might surmise from the title, it describes chiropractic techniques for healing the possessed.
There is also a very interesting section in it describing that none of the techniques are permanent, unless performed by a Catalyst — a being with demon code in its blood. I wanted to read it all, but it was important that I get into the lab to find a way to stabilize Ms. March. Further tests show that her condition is indeed Code-Hb — source code and updates will not bind in her blood.
Her condition improved but did not resolve after 48 hours. “I need samples of your original source code, Ms. March. From your parents. Without it, eventually the injections will lose efficacy and your regenerative source code will degrade beyond repair; you will no longer be able to upgrade and the universe will evolve beyond your ability to adapt.”
“I’ve also determined why you were victorious in your confrontation with the demon Millenia Moody. You used an ancient exorcistic chiropractic technique and your blood shows characteristics of demonic origin. Who were your parents, Ms. March?”
Ed. Notes. – credits:
Location: Toxian City, Toxia 12, 193, 23 SLURLÂ Owned and created by Miss Wright.3 comments
I’d been slipping in and out of it. Some days I was almost alright — felt like I could stand up and fly right out of that depressing hospital bed. But as soon as I’d get a little energy, I felt like my circuits overloaded or something. I’d get confused, start spewing random stuff out and then I’d just crash and not want to move for hours and hours and hours.
“I need to transfer you, Miss March.” I could hear Dr. Altamura’s concern, even through my half-comatose state. “You’re going to need a specialist.” So he brought me to Toxia, where he said he’d done his residency.
“They’ve got the best medical reference library on the grid,” he went on. “I think I’ll be able to get to the bottom of this here.”
Whatever. That’s pretty much where I was with this whole death struggle illness thing. It wasn’t just sick. It wasn’t just tired. It was like my whole personality was fading. I wasn’t who I was anymore. Just a collection of pixels, slowly losing connection with one another. I was fragmented. I could feel it.
Not sure how he got me there, but I remember him wheeling me into intake. I felt lighter and lighter as my disintegration continued. It wouldn’t be long now, I thought. I’d be less than a memory.
“Don’t give up Myg,” he bent down and whispered. “Please…” I couldn’t understand why it mattered to him then. But something in his voice gave me courage.
Then out of nowhere came another surge. White heat started to fill my head, soaking into my brain like rum into cake. I bolted upright, moaning and clutching at myself. The doc didn’t seem in the least bit surprised.
“I think I can remember now…” I told him.
“Quick — tell me about the words you heard from the ghosts — Sanator Daemonicon Verterbratus, what does that mean to you? Anything?” He was totally hot for information.
“Yes. I think it’s about a book I was looking for.”
“A book? Why were you looking for that book?”
I started to feel sick to my stomach and all of a sudden I felt the dire urge to flee. But I didn’t have the strength.
“I healed a demon.” I almost choked as I said it.
“And they’re after you now, right?” he said.
I nodded. “It sure as hell seems like it.”
Ed. Notes. – Belated credits:
Location: Toxian City, Toxia 12, 193, 23 SLURLÂ Owned and created by Miss Wright. Thanks to JellyBean Madison for great location scouting.
Got a recommendation for a great Met a Stranger location? IM Mygdala March or leave a comment here!
Prim tear (Myg’s left cheek, last photo): made specially for Met a Stranger by Dinee Ghia. “I could see where the story was headed,” she said. “Thought this might come in handy…”2 comments
“I’m going to need this loft here, it’s got a good crawlspace that’s not obvious,” said JB. “And I want two of my nekos on staff at Clockwork for cover.”
We were touring the renovations in Section 8, right under the looming towers of Leviathan Unltd. I was not happy about letting guerrillas set up operations on my property, but I was in no position to refuse.
“JB–” I pleaded. “Are you sure you want to stash orbiters and high-damage materiel this close to Leviathan? How come you can’t just keep it all in inventory? What are you up to anyway?”
“Yes. It has to be here. Those dragons have all kinds of personnel scanners — you can’t even hide your stomach contents from them.”
I was about to protest; if Leviathan could scan inventory, wouldn’t they be able to spot a pile of weapons prims under a brick loft? She held up her hand.
“We have camouflage tech that will keep it hidden long enough. But the less you know the better.”
We walked through Topgol’s Philly trying to look like just another couple out shopping. But JB, who apparently did this sort of thing all the time, seemed tense. I was too, but for different reasons. I could see she had his name tattooed on her stomach.
“Let’s get off the street,” she said. “You can’t see it, but they have cam bots and scanners all through here. I’m gonna have my crew scan your club. If we find anything, which we will, we’ll set up some foilers–kind of like jamming or scrambling, but it replaces the signal with similar but innocuous data.”
Talking about Leviathan like this seemed to give them even more power. I know it was all in my head, but it was almost as if the touchstone in my pocket grew warmer and heavier the more I thought about Topgol’s new corporate residents.
JB turned down an alleyway and ran up a wall. I didn’t feel less exposed up on the roof of the barbershop, but JB was right at home off the ground. It had been years since I’d had to climb like this, and JB could find a finger hold on a marble wall. “You don’t know much about Leviathan, do you?” she said.
“Oh come on, I know at least as much as anyone else. They’ve been here for months and though they like to throw their weight around, they seem like most other multinational development companies. They’re just trying to rejuvenate urban spaces.”
” ‘Rejuvenate?’ ” she spat. “Cleanse is more like it. Why do you think the nekos have been disappearing from the cities?”
I was confused. She was always hotheaded — it was that fire that attracted me in the first place — but I sensed real hatred. “It goes far deeper than you think,” she continued. “They’ve got their tentacles into everything. You think that demon’s presence here was some kind of fluke? You need to wake up and figure out why your girl is so interesting to them.” For a moment, she looked concerned.
I said nothing and the look turned to disgust.
“You’re such an asshole. You leave us right when it all went to hell, after everything my family did for you. Right when we could have used your help. You think it’s easy leading this thing on my own?”12 comments
I was startled from sleep when I heard arguing outside my room. It took him long enough, but Agent Paine finally caught up with me.
“It’s official Interpol business. I have to see her,” he barked on the other side of the door.
“Nobody can see her. She’s at extremely high risk.” Dr. Altamura was damn near tyrannical with this “no visitors” thing.
“Risk? You’ve no idea the number of souls at risk here. March is implicated in a serious breach of international security.”
“She’s my patient right now and under my orders. Nobody gets in until she stabilizes.”
“There are serious questions she needs to answer Dr. Altamura. You know what I’m talking about here.”
Paine glared at me through the window. On Altamura’s orders I’d set busy mode – no IMs were getting through now. I can only imagine what the detective wanted to ask me.
Problem was, I still had no answers.4 comments
I was laid up in that crusty stankhole of a hospital for a couple of days at least before I was able to even sit up in bed. I was so weak I could hardly scratch my neck.
I practiced lifting my eyelids for a few seconds, just to check if I could still do it. Every time I woke up he was there.
Nobody was allowed in to see me and Dr. Altamura made sure that nobody did. It was the first time in a long time I felt at all safe.
Of course, it was a drag that Alex and Sable couldn’t get in–I know Alex was pretty upset. So upset in fact he decided it was finally time to move in together. I didn’t know how to tell him I wasn’t sure I’d ever be moving out of the hospital.
I’d been corrupted, Altamura thought, in the attack by the digital ghosts. He just didn’t know if I could be repaired. And I felt so exhausted I almost didn’t have the energy to care.
“Dr. Altamura, what do you think happens when we die?” I asked him one night. I wondered if it hurt. I wondered if I’d miss myself after I was gone, or if there’d be any trace or imprint of me anywhere on the grid. He didn’t want to talk philosophyction though. Just facts.
“Can you tell me exactly what happened to you that night Miss March?” I hated when he called me that.
“Not exactly. I can’t remember too much of anything right now doc.”
“I know it’s hard – it’s part of the syndrome. But try. It’s important.”
I thought for a minute, then was flooded with pain. “I got off the subway and was being attacked, but I couldn’t see anything.” I winced with the memory of being blindsided. I could feel the assault all over again.
“Did you hear anything?”
“Wind,” I said. “But it didn’t sound much like normal wind. It sounded like funny words.”
“Words? What words?” he scribbled on his pad. I tried to remember. Then it began to come back to me. The book – the words – the attack.
“Um, something, sanatorium, daemonicious, something, vertegratis? I could see them when the nekos came.”
“Yeah, the nekos. They scared them off. Were those ghosts some kind of memory fragment?”
“The words – did they mean anything to you?” He seemed real interested now.
“Well sort of…” I thought of the book – the book I’d probably never find now. The title had been on that paper the nekos snagged from me. I’d been warned not to tell anyone about it, but he was my doctor. Surely he had to keep things in confidence? I hesitated.
“Do you want to live Mygdala?”
“Yeah, pretty much.”
“Then you’ve got to let me help you.”9 comments
“I’m sorry Alex…” Myg had come through in IM.
“Don’t be.” I wanted to let her know it was all going to be alright. But there’d been enough lies between us.
When I arrived at the hospital, she’d already been admitted and quarantined. That doctor Altamura wouldn’t let anybody in to see her.
“What’s the prognosis?” I asked. He shook his head.
“I can’t give that information out. Privacy laws,” he said.
I turned to the window and caught her chewing on her hair nervously. It kills me when she does that.
“I’m moving in,” I IM’d her.
“…?” she said.
“And we’re moving out of Section 8. It’s not safe for you anymore.” I didn’t want to let her know the deal I’d made with the nekos–not yet, anyway. But with the way things were headed, nowhere in Topgol was likely to be safe for any of us.1 comment
Millenia is summoned back to the main office to report. No spin was possible, she had failed in her mission.
Simultaneously, Pauly’s presence is requested by his higher authority. He returns to the Old Country to give an update.
“Sit down Paolino,” Mother Marvelosa says. This is never a good sign.
Millenia is offered no such invitation.
Her fate is uncertain, but demons are not known for their supportive corrective action policies for underperforming employees.
In the Old Country, Mother Marvelosa takes a long drag on her cigar and lets out a noisy breath. She says nothing.
The silence is far worse than the abuse Pauly had expected to take from Mother’s lieutenant.
“You failed!” Melchiorre roars the obvious, his deep voice shaking the glass panels. Millenia’s stomach turns over. Still, she holds her ground.
“What would you have me do?” Millenia asks. “Mygdala has powers that can render us all impotent.”
“The Digital Sect attacked her in Downtown the other day,” he spits. “She may not be as formidable as you suspect.”
“You’re wrong,” says Millenia. “I know what she’s capable of.”
Mother’s disappointment is colder than any Pauly has ever known. “You failed, Paolino.”
~Episode 2.12 Credits~
Panel 1: SCDA “Edgecrow” main table, desk lamp and chair by Scope Cleaver SLURL
Panels 2, 4, 6 location: “Old World” shot at the Ubuntu Welcome Center – Developed by Sue Stonebender with Baron Grayson