Friday, August 17, 2012

ICP4: S1.E01.2



She awoke to an aching pain that sweltered and rippled through her skull, her neck; a fire flicking about the nerves in her spine; to the taste of steel in her mouth, blurred vision and slow thoughts. As she squinted and lifted her head off the cracked tile and became slowly aware of still-warm blood pooled about the glassy crater her head had made in the floor when she fell, she became very cold, and then very warm, and a rush of goosebumps over her body left her feeling naked. Weakly she rose, laboriously, slowly, all the while muttering broken and confused words under her breath. She reached a sitting position and let her head hang between her legs, waited for her eyes to focus as she watched red drops trickle down the sticky strands of her long-hanging black hair. Breathing slowly, steadily, waiting out the waves of pain and panic, trying to will her mind to work, a thought finally took form.

What happened?

One heavy hand extended to the sink above and took hold, and the muscles in her arm went taught. The battle to stand was one of attrition, and no thoughts were permitted in the time of conflict. She shifted her weight slowly until she was on her side, rolling from a sitting position to a kneeling one; pieces of glass cut into her legs, but the sensation wasn't one of hurt. All pain except for the dehydrated feeling in her head and the aching of her joints and limbs, as though she hadn't slept in days, seemed to have been turned off. She'd lost the ability to balance well, her head constantly lilting to one side or another, refusing to be at home. She was trapped in vertigo, and what might be the chains of some torpor.

She leaned heavily on the sink, both hands braced, knees locked and shaking. Her righted posture allowed her eyes to focus, and she gathered an image of what had happened. Her head had hit the mirror and broken it, then she'd fallen on the sink, now red with tendrils of her dried blood, and slid to the floor. Why she had hit the mirror, she couldn't guess. She didn't remember anything the might have caused it, didn't remember the actual occurrence. And the only clue she could see as to the “Why,” of the whole scenario was a post-it note on the mirror with the words, “Should've been mine,” in another woman's handwriting. So, someone had done this to her?

Lightning flashed in her retinas and everything turned brilliant white, then suddenly black. Thunder shook in her head and she was buckled by the sensation of fire erupting in her brain; the pain shot down her spine and reached every nerve in her body, and her legs went suddenly numb and limp. She fell, catching herself on the sink with her arms to keep from hitting the tile floor again, and she fastened herself there in a desperate grip as though the world were trying to shake her loose. The lightning struck again and again, and the pain struck each of her muscles in alternating shocks as though her body were being randomly worked over by a multiplicity of tazers. She held herself on the sink, just trying to keep her head upright, unsure what else she could do.

The fit lasted no more than a few minutes, and when it was over she felt even more exhausted than she had before it. She breathed raggedly and hung off the sink, closed her eyes and let her head lay on her crossed arms, and waited in silent, not quite realized terror to see if she was okay yet, or if something else would happen to her. The aching in her body was giving way to a simple weariness, like her limbs had become too tired to even complain anymore. She hoped her head had stopped bleeding; the pressure in it at least seemed to be contained. Her eyes were working again, hopefully better after she gave them some rest. Her mind was slowly beginning to run, and she was beginning to think about the night, and wonder where Marduk and Eveline had gone.

She started, and whipped her head up painfully. The fiery hurt went down her back the same as all the other pain had; all the hurt was starting in her head and working its way down. Her brain hadn't taken well to being slammed against the floor, and she'd just had some kind of fit – was that a seizure? - and now she was trying to fall asleep. No, she couldn't just lay here; something was very wrong, she was in trouble, and yet her survival instincts hadn't triggered.

But even as she thought that, she realized that as her wounds scabbed she would be able to hold in her blood and maybe garner a bit of adrenaline into her system. Shaking herself as much as she dared, not wanting to cause herself any more pain, she once again tried her legs and found them to be more or less useable. They didn't have the strength to stand on their own, not at that moment, but forcing her unwilling arms to cooperate with them she was able to once more stand. She looked into the broken mirror again and saw both her reflection – a haggard woman, pale skin, brown eyes seeming recessed, naked except for undergarments that were stuck to her skin by sweat and blood – and that post-it note.

The note had been placed on the mirror after it had been broken but before the blood had dried – it had soaked up some wet blood - likely right after she had taken her face-first dive into the glass. The words, “Shoulda been mine,” could mean anything, depending on who had written it and whether or not they were the same person that had hurt her; she hoped the writer and the attacker were different people. It would complicate things, yes, but the handwriting was Eveline's. There was no doubt that it was Eveline's.

She needed to find Marduk.


When the first hot drop hit his face, he flinched in surprise as it burned him and brushed it from his cheek before it had the chance to run down it at all. He then ventured a brief glance up at the clouds, so heavy with snow that they sagged below the tops of the massive factory cranes to either side. The second drop hit his nose and he brushed it off just as quickly, turning his face down and lowering the brim of his hat. He pulled his weathered gloves a bit farther onto his wrists, the greyish cards dangling from his coat sleeves – three each – clattered together like cardboard wind-chimes. Then the drops fell a bit faster, and the men around him began to shuffle and close up their own clothes to keep the scalding raindrops from working their way in.

The policemen-soldiers had moved concrete partitions - Unexpected file termination, unable to render further.

Running search for missing data ... Data not found. ... Repeating search. ... Data not found. ... Repeating search. ... Data not found. ... Repeating search. ... Data not found. ... Repeating search. ... Data not found. ... Repeating search. ... Data not found. ... Search timeout ... Search unsuccessful.

File S1.E01.3 does not exist.

Sending request to Fiction Machine:
DIRECTORY: |pRoj<Ec>T_</fo>uR|
file: S1.E01.3

Status: pending

... ...

Status: request recieved
File name: S1.E01.3 under construction
Input: plot-to-date -- foundation/firmament -- famine -- tiamat -- elder

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