Major NoobOvomorphMember0 XPApr-20-2013 12:06 AM
The Dreadnought has orbited away from the sun of the Nameless Planet.
The Planet's surface lies black and ominous far below, roiled by dark storms. The sun's vanishing radiance still defines the vehicle and its fellows, curving away to the horizon, in stark edge light. Then even this is gone, and all is night.
Deep within the orbiting Dreadnought, in the center of a vast elliptical chamber, Shaw's eyes are once again shut. So overwhelmed is she by consciousness of her own body that she's sealed off the only input she can, the sight of her nightmarish surroundings, and her unbelievable host.
In her short life she has imagined a few fantastical things; Witches, Genies. God. She'd trekked the Earth, a vast, mysterious puzzle now tiny, remote and vulnerable. Unreachable. Much like her. And never, ever in her search for the Light did she imagine such an dark destination as this.
Dozens of black appendages have pulled her into a tight X, her limbs braided in Chinese finger puzzles of cold wet Whips, stretched to the point of dislocation like a tempting wishbone. The Whips arc in unison through a glittering blue matrix of luminous wireframe and present her bare and helpless to the SJ, like a delicacy it might consume.
She is stimulated beyond reason, the Wraith having injected some unknown serum into her spine. The former anonymity of her innards is now known in maddening detail, and thin branches of pure inquisition slowly penetrate the soft tissues of her mind. The injection site aches like a nail driven into her vertebrae. A powerful itch crawls over and through her body, spine, eyes, brain pan. The icy slitherings of the Whips elicit uncontrollable shudders.
Shaw is profoundly intimidated, but panic refuses to take hold. Terror is just another aspect of her unreal dilemma, all things being equal. Whatever this thing has done to her, her endurance has been amplified as well.
In all this, her amnesia serves her. She is disconnected from the ties that drive a mortal life. All there is is here and now, and the drive that brought her here, to the home of the Makers. Where she is unfortunately welcome like a sample, And, unbeknownst to her, becoming almost eternal.
Nothing says "property of the SJ" like a dose of immortality.
More Whips uncoil from the floor and ceiling with hypnotic grace, and snake down her arms, up her legs. Tasting. Suggesting more invasive violations.
The wireframe records every twitch, slither and slide in three dimensions.
Shaw crushes her eyelids together, but the sensation so disturbs her that she snaps them back open. Sees the SJ. Closes them again. Behind her, the Wraiths propel themselves like jellyfish through the incredible Sphincter, which irises massively shut with a merciless [i]SPLORTCH[/i].
If the Space Jockey could smile, it would do so now. It is relaxed as only a chairbound SJ can be. The great black marbles of its eyes take her in without expression. Spider eyes.
One Whip has found Shaws Crucifix. Two narrow tentilla emerge from pores on the ventral side, and it makes a sort of fist around the cross, pulling it from Shaws neck.
It arcs through space and places the Crucifix in the SJ's hand. It flashes gold in the molt. The SJ considers it for a time, and what is time to this thing? The prisoner could be made to wait, a century if the SJso desired. It is this prisoner's temporary good fortune that it's wanted elsewhere. That will do, soon it will be absorbed into a realm where all is infinite.
The SJ understands the Crucifix, but is not riled. Simple totems of a culture soon erased.[i]But[/i] , what is this?
Another Whip has found the rightmost of Shaw's abdominal staples.
The SJ becomes visibly excited. It arches and squirms. Flakes of yellow molt twirl about and some stick to Shaw, dissolving in the transparent Wraith saliva that coats her. The appendage works its way under the staple.
The Whips are narrow at the tip, and can narrow further. Possessed of such fine articulation, they could navigate a nervous system. Edged like glass, they could perform corneal surgery. 60,000 centuries of functional morphology. A marvel of utility. They are the SJ's fingers and tongues. There are 3000 of them lining the chamber in tight coils, counting the 60 that are tasting Shaw. And the entire surface of the chamber is now becoming restless.
Once the tincture has laid the Womb bare the SJ can enter its mind. Too, its regeneration will accelerate a thousandfold. But the SJ is impatient NOW. A quick dissection will yield some intimate data. ! There is time yes and its meat is a fascination.?? The quick recoil of clean sheared flesh!!as it shies from the slice. The color of its blood as it touches the air. The begging. !! A [i]Womb Human.[/i]
Shaw stares wide eyed, ribs flaring beneath the wet sheath of her skin as the Whip makes its own little fist and slowly pulls on the Staple, the stretched skin shining red at the punctures. She vomits, a phlegm colored mass that coagulates before her and floats away like a small cloud. A tentacle punctures the blob and samples it.
The SJ will give the Engineers this: they are much stronger than their pitiful offspring.
A drop of saliva slides up Shaws belly and collects around the Staple, defined in luminous wireframe. The tentacle yanks it out.
A line of blood droplets stretches away from the wound, and Shaw utters a squawk like a wounded crow. Tears and spittle orbit her head in a tragic halo. Another Whip makes a fist around her toe. Tightens. She spasms violently.
The SJ is becoming dangerously aroused.
!!Reports: The Synthetic one is near void of memory. ?? No matter, the SJ will purge it now and send a data packet to the surface. !. The Womb is the one they want, and the SJ sees that the Synthetic one is its Guardian. ?? The Womb should be well distressed to find its been delivered to the surface alone.
But what is this?? The synthetic is playing a sensory loop. And it's [i]good.[/i]
A hot wet Seed Human writhes on a crude bed barely shaded from cruel sunlight. An incredible odor frosts the distress of the Camera, being dragged from the scene by many hands. Barking voices. It is hotter than hot.
The Seed's eyes are solid red, and blood beads on its skin. It thrashes about as black tissue slides from its quaint rectum.
A virus has it. !.
Flying vermin sup at the bleeding, thick with viral bricks. Their little feet leave blood tracks. Panic flares in the Camera, and it tries to break free from the many hot hands. And the SJ comes to understand, the melting one is the Camera's [i]Parent Seed.[i]
This is a memory loop from the Womb Human.
The loop starts again, hotter than before.
The SJ will play this for the Womb. During its dissection. !Aand record its sensorium. !! For [i]pplayback[i].
A Wound parts in the floor far below and behind Shaw, a silver mouth with oyster lips, overflowing with a glittering orang.[i][/i]e roe of adhesive sensors the size of plums. They rise up in a constellation of sinister intent toward Shaws backside, trailing prismatic cilia. Next to this Wound, the orbs in the Wound containing David are still, and flickering near the head.
The loop starts again, hotter still.
Bbjutwhat is this??
Just underneath the stream gghntiThe Ssynthetic !s masking traff!c. ??
W!th the OS??
The Dreadnaught's propulsion ignites, and a deafening wail tears through the Chamber.
The Whips go rigid, pinning Shaw in space like a celestial butterfly. The lights go dim, and the Luminous Wireframe begins to disintegrate line by line.
The SJ, ghostly in the silver glow, is clearly out of control. Arching. Squirming. Its chair begins to sink back into the Cloaca, oily fluid running up from the lips, bathing it. A new and horrible odor permeates the Chamber.
The SJ frantically types on an array of jellied nipples, as clots of black matter erupt from sudden tears in its collapsing skin. They detach and float through the air like great black pumpkins, sizzling and spreading. Drifting towards Shaw.
The SJ seems to deflate, and more bulbs of matter are sheared off as it vanishes into the floor and the Cloaca closes over it with a *****l SMOP. Sizzling blobs approach Shaws horrified face.
The wail changes pitch and at once the clots drop out of sight and Shaw's guts drop to the floor of her torso.
Just as the sensation of being dragged to her death by a million tons of skin overwhelms her, the tentacles relax and Shaw falls 5 meters into them as they pile on the floor. She gets up on her hands and knees, and vomits clear bile onto the pile. The appendages from the ceiling dangle about her like a forest of dead epiglottis in an air raid.
Behind her, a gaudy orange tumor the size of a man surges up, faintly flickering at the top. It bends and expands in an odd display, hands emerging from the globs and tearing them away. David breaks free.
David is built much like a Ken doll, a ragged scar around his neck edged with bright sealant.
He jumps to Shaw, who startles violently, and takes her in his arms, like two survivors of some lurid disaster. Then she recoils from him.
"Sorry that took so long" he says, gently examining the injection site at the base of her spine, and then her wound. Her breath comes in gasps. Eyes like boiled eggs. He gently parts the cut, and seems momentarily transfixed by the blood that runs down her belly and into her groin. Then he remembers himself and darts across the chamber.
Shaw sits up on her knees. She covers her ears. Then covers her eyes. Her distraught mouth is visible throughout.
David returns with their suits, and extracts a small capsule from his belt. He sprays an antibiotic membrane over the wound, then gets the struggling Shaw into her suit, an amazing sight. Her voice in his comlink, barely audible in the din.
He sighs. Humans are all questions. "Simply put, it overheated. I boiled the insulation out of it. But we have to hurry, Doctor. It's not dead." He starts typing on a small touchpad on her forearm. "I've found what you're looking for. We're going there now. To the surface."
"David I can't. This is unbearable. It injected me with something.."
"Tactile Hyperesthesia. It sensitized you. So it could enter your mind. You'll grow accustomed to it, never fear.." He taps out another sequence, and sweeps his finger across the pad.
"Accustomed? Oh God please knock me out."
"Oh I can do better than that," An ascending whine emanates from Shaw's suit.
Shaw: "What are you doing?"
"Arming your Defib. The ship can locate your heartbeat. I have to induce SCA."
"SCA?? David NO.."
Shaw jerks away, but not before David taps the touchpad one last time, and a dull thump from the region of her chest kills her dead.