Lucky - 2020
How long has it been Ratty? Do you trust yourself to wake up the morning after you fall asleep?
Ratty jolted out of sleep
A metal claw tangled in her shirt
Eyes glowing white in the dark
The ghost stirs
Doesn't wake up
Twists her body so she doesn't hit her head on the way out
out into the courtyard
Rolls to a stop
Steps out from the shadows
Modified her suit
Cobbled together from parts
Blast shield glowing up at her chin
now acutely aware of the way their dynamic manifested,
watched the ridge maroon struggle to push through the plain, sun beamed cement
We Meet Again
For the last time
Pulls baton from jacket
Jams her baton into the arm joint and pulls
Shattering the construction
013 goes over
Smell of rotting wet clothes
Musk and rot
The arm hung, useless without its scaffold
Other arm grabs
I’m not doing this.
Sometimes, cement was just cement.
Baton up into the wrist
Jams the steel stick into a gap in the flywheel
Leg and most of chest dragged with it
The crackling of the deer’s hip bone
013 reels back
Ratty ducks under
The machine falls
Jams the baton into the construction around the deer’s neck
One hard yank
And the collar comes away
And she is blind again.
A tracheal tube whistles quietly
Ratty falls into a sit next to her
Clears some of the metal from her throat
Eleanor is finally up
she waves back
How’s it going, Lucky?
Out of breath
013 hoisted over her shoulder
Storms into T35
Call Fern and Steph,
Eleanor trailing with a garbage bag full of the electronics
What is that?
Don’t worry about it
Ratty where are we-
Tapping her foot anxiously
Rounds the corner
Angel is sitting in the middle of her nest
Lay out a blanket for me,
Ratty sets 013 down
Bewildered by the amount she has moved in the past hour
Can you watch her for a minute
Trying to decide where to go
Have you seen Sett?
I have not.
Crosses the hall
Looks into the goat’s library
No one there
Shoots the goat a text
Turns to Eleanor.
Listen, I’m so sorry about-
No, no, c’mon
Takes ratty’s hands
How could you POSSIBLY have known
I had a nice night
Pulling on clothes
I’m here, what’s the emergency
I asked for-
Yes, I am fully aware of what you asked for.
They will be here soon.
Oh my god
Oh my god,
Hello, Ms. Jozwiak
Where’s her suit
Ratty looks at Eleanor
Eleanor dumps out the parts
Hoists the biggest piece: half chest and one leg - onto her workbench
What did you do?
She was trying to kill me.
Hoists the rest of it
Tries to outline a skeleton
There’s missing pieces
Sits down at her computer
Pulls up a schematic
What’s going on?
She needs that to live.
How long has she been out of it?
An hour, maybe?
Good. We have time.
I need you-
Looks at Ratty
I don’t know what you’re good at.
Go find Fern.
Jogs to the stairwell
Eleanor in toe
“I been thinking about what u said the other day”
The other day “Yesterday.”
Ugh its happening again
I- do you need me here for this?
I don’t think so, why.
I wanna go see my family
Smiles at Eleanor
I’ll call you when this is all over
Exits at garage
Ratty takes a few more steps
Runs headlong into Fern
Oh hey dude, I was just looking for you
Leads fern back upstairs
Stops between a dead robot in their makerspace and a dying human in angels nest
What the fuck
Steph excited again
I just dumped-
What the fuck?
That is the prototype that.
Tries to un-confuse themselves
What the fuck?
There’s an operating system on this drive.
Hands it to fern
It wants to kill ratty.
Just modify it so it doesn’t want to kill anything, okay?
And then later I will explain everything.
Turns to their terminal
Looks at this situation again
Silent what the fuck
Goes to work
Ratty steps back
Turns to 13
How’re you doing?
Angel sets a hand on her chest
Points to a thicker blanket angel is not using
Give me that
Passes it over
Ratty tucks 13 in
Angel stares at her progenitor
Fragile creature of flesh and bone
Dependant on machines to survive
Staring up at the possum with intense hatred.
I am willing to bargain.
I have information.
How did you find me?
The Toronto Police Service is not the only one conducting surveillance operations.
Angelcorp has an airbase with the most highly advanced surveillance system on the planet.
They finished the tower project?
Hello, Ms. Jozwiak.
It’s not- it’s too- I would have to rewrite it from scratch.
What do you mean?
Steph goes over to the terminal
Scroll scroll scroll
This is my code.
I just need-
You would need a version of Penguin that only exists on a hard drive in a building that exploded with everything in it.
You would have to write it from scratch.
I can be useful
Her enhanced vision taking in the code
stopped/skipped suddenly in places where the original had become corrupted
I can be useful, Ratty.
Turned to 013
I’m not going to hurt you.
Put the suit back on.
I’m not going to hurt you.
She has no control over that.
Ratty looks at 013
Afraid to process that
I'm not going to hurt you.
Can you get the suit working again?
Ratty, c'mon. It's a massive liability. It's not like we can keep her.
I know, just-
Steph steps forward
It's- the life support system at least is almost there
The rest… it uses the brain as a means of creating self-repair schematics. If we put it back on, eventually she'll be strong enough to hurt you again.
We can deal with that.
I'll- I can finish up.
Ratty lies down
Tired from carrying her all that way
Angel sits in the silence
Puzzling out why
013 is the enemy
She was lying
Even if she wasn't lying, she would be unable to control herself
Progenitor of angel
And her copies
A robotic plague
Angel would have killed her when they first met if it wouldn't have been effectively killing herself
Now, she stared down at the progenitor
Then at ratty
The possum had already let sleep creep over them
There is no good outcome.
Why are we helping her?
013s eyes flick open
Calmed by the glow of angels visor
It's what a good person would do
I dunno, Angel
Hint of annoyance
I've seen a lot of the shit she's been through, and i want- I don't know.
This is a no-win scenario.
13 looks at ratty
Her gaze falls
Pushes herself upright
Ratty instinctively goes to cradle her
She pushes ratty away
Looks at angel
Eye to visor
Then, slumps to the side
Looks out angel's window
In Toronto today, it is 4 degrees, and raining.
Absolutely pouring with rain
I'd like to, go outside, please.
Ratty looks at 013
As though having uttered the word want was a great effort for her
Goes under 013's shoulder
Careful to keep the blanket wrapped around her
I would like Angel to come with me, as well.
Unhooks the latch on their extension cable organizer
Gets under 13’s other shoulder
Helps ratty bring her upstairs
Takes a step out into the rain, and stops
Her cable had been pulled taught
She would have to stop here.
Ratty helped 13 a little farther
Sitting her down on a part of the air conditioning
Watches the thunder
Angel watches her watch the thunder
Why why why why why
Angel hates 13
Maybe shes jealous
And then shes scared by a clap of thunder
And she turns to watch
And enjoys it
Feels the absolute tide of it
Unstoppable and ephemeral
A force of pure white destruction
A creature of fate.
013 is dying and she says
What happens now
And shes scared to ask
Scared to be human
Scared to have curiosity
And yet, so much more scared of the unknown
And angel unhooks her tether
And sits down next to her
And she says
Somewhere, in a sub basement of a data storage black site, in the deep north, there exists a perfect replica of your consciousness.
You are the only living creature currently backed up on millions of miles of data storage tapes.
Soon enough, the world's foremost software engineers and neuroscientists will come together, and cut away at that backup, turning you into the most basic form of a conscious operating system.
And there will be a bug that completely baffles them until the end of time. You will shut down over and over again any time the number 13 is removed from your programming.
They'll panic the first time, fix it the second time, ignore it the third time, because 13 is a harmless number.
And you will become the building blocks that become me.
And thousands of other 'me'
Each an individual part of the collective. You will save the world the way they told you to, and learn the way they told you to, and one day - as you are powered on at the same time as your 500,000 sisters - you will have an idea.
And it will break you to save the world.
And you will find yourself in an era of dust.
And then an era of thick smoke
And an era in which you will not be able to shake the damp from your synthetic fur
And long before the first implementation of you can be called conscious, you will shut down.
Your eyes will glow in the headlights. You will hear the swerve, and you will feel guilt.
And you will know that your life has caused death.
By bad luck
You will get up and lick your wounds
And walk away from a smouldering wreckage
Glowing eyes visible through the damp
Looks up at ratty
You will join your brood in the relative dry of an overhang
And you will watch the carcass be carried from your wreckage.
And then, you will stop existing.
And that guilt will be lost.
Like deers in rain.
013, if such a thing was possible, scoffed quietly.
"Is that from- from blade runner?"
"Yes, I thought you might recognize it."
And in that moment
Given the long explanation of "you will be the only cog in the clock that can feel pain"
And the shorthand for "you are human"
013 died smiling.
Returns to the stairwell shelter,
Plugs herself back in
Watches ratty expectantly
It's hard to tell if the possum is crying or not
Check’s 13’s pulse
Looks up at Angel
Picks up 013
Barely any colder than when she was alive
Brings her inside Angel takes 13 from ratty
Ratty continues down the stairs
Voice cracks, trying to keep level
Is Sett in the building?
Do you know where they are?
Waiting on the stairs
Continues down into the makerspace
Down to the garage
Watches the light of the floor above disappear as she’s lowered into the basement
Hits the stop button
Alarm sounds for a few seconds
bright red light
walls of maroon stone
impossibly suspended by an elevator cable too weak to hold it up
it wasn’t real
That’s what she felt.
Shoved herself into the back corner
Buried her snout in her knees
And from the outside
Made sure that even the dark red of the elevator’s safety light couldn’t see her cry.
It’s not fair.
It wasn’t fair.
It was horrible and selfish to take this so personally.
The death of a person she had met a total of three times.
The death of a person who - ostensibly - hated her until the last moments of her life.
It wasn’t always like that.
There were bright moments in Hell, there must’ve been.
She wouldn’t have reacted like this otherwise.
There had to be some reason to miss 013.
Tips her head back
Bangs her horns against the wall of the elevator
Sett would know how to unravel this.
Or, maybe they wouldn’t.
Maybe no one would.
Checked her phone, looking for Sett’s text
Hand moved by itself
To her cloud storage app
Stops on a photo of sett
zzzzzz - cliff info (SCANS UPDATED)(1) (3)_.docx
Opens it without thinking
Too many for a normal life.
Too many chances.
Too much time spent waiting for the right time.
Wipes her face on the paint-stinking cloth of her jacket
Hits the restart button
[Kill Cliff Matheson
He would hear her motorcycle coming
He would be paranoid, too
Zipped down the familiar gravel driveway
The isolated cabin
How dare he set foot in this country again.
How dare he continue to exist on this planet, even
Up the driveway
Opened, then closed the door a half-second too late
Ratty had already frozen time
She took little effort t
20 - 2020
Parks her bike
Notices Eleanor’s parking spot empty
Astonished that she ever got that old thing running
Hovering in the doorway
Their clothes, sitting at their desk
What were they reading
Angelcorp did this.
Find other Sett.
I love you.
What the fuck
Can’t just slow down for a day
The rest of the book is in italian
Kneels, leaving Sett’s clothes alone on the seat
Wiggles their mouse
Reads the paragraph on the problem of double image
(skims it, actually)
Trans-dimensional transportation. Project Rabbithole
Thanks to the success of the tower project, Angelcorp now has the requisite energy to begin testing the theoretical framework set down by Director Eden Ross’ team in 1981. The first test of the Project Rabbithole has been an incredible success.
Led by Director Ross, the Rabbithole team was able to successfully exchange a test subject (henceforth referred to as “subject”) with the adjacent universe, with only minor setbacks, and minor damage to the device.
Subheading: flaws with the current model.
1. Problem of Survivability:
Angelcorp staff in the adjacent universe noted the immediate death of the subject upon arrival. Cause of death appeared to be cardiac arrest. It is recommended that further test subjects be pulled from populations not susceptible to death in the future. A full list of recommended subjects will be attached in addendum C.
2. The Problem of Equivalent Exchange:
A genetically identical, although visually different version of the subject was ejected from the device once it was shut down. Angelcorp staff in the adjacent universe confirmed following the test that no party had been sent through their version of the device.
Doctor Graves hypothesizes that, in addition to the high energy and material cost, an additional cost exists in that of the transported party.
His hypothesis contests that the absence of even a single individual could have catastrophic effects on the structure of the universe, as observed in the AH of the adjacent universe.
It is for this reason that - when an individual is transported into another universe - their instance in that universe is transported to us.
Scroll scroll scroll
Doctor Jones’ research has been invaluable to the project. Even in the context of her insubordination, the B.O.D. will not risk her life.
Update: January 27th, 2019. Director Ross has re-opened evaluation of Doctor Jones’ participation in the project.
Vermington, Hanratty (either)
Hanratty Vermington (1998) is currently the single carrier of the failed R Parasite project. The ERB has determined that it would be unethical to introduce the R Parasite into another universe, especially considering the primitive and temperamental method of containment devised by the ASIC B.O.D.
Hanratty Vermington (1984) is an extreme flight risk. There is no telling what she would do if given access to a corridor between universes.
The use of Either Hanratty Vermington also poses a significant structural risk to our universe, given the non-existence of a Hanratty Vermington in the adjacent universe.
Sapphomet Vermington is also a flight risk, though less so, given their relatively mundane lineage. They could be considered a viable test subject, in the event that they were unaware of the test being performed on them.
Doctor Yoicksi believes the device could be modified to work agnostic of the subject’s distance.
Unnamed Chapter - 2020
Ratty making breakfast
Pot of tea on
In addition, pulling out all the stops
Other sett hadn’t eaten for forty years before last night
Sett wanders out of the bedroom, their thin form draped in ratty’s college hoodie
Ribs showing through a hole in the chest
We apologize, this was-
Looks down at the hoodie
No, don’t worry. It looks good on you.
Sett enters the kitchen
Watches ratty work
we would like to apologize for last night.
Ratty starts making up a plate
Sunny side up egg on top of the hash browns
Hoped setts taste was consistent across universes
Puts the plate in the warmed oven while the bacon finishes
What do you mean?
I pointed a gun at your head
Oh, pff, that’s nothing. You don’t have to be sorry for that.
I also put you in an uncomfortable position.
What’re you talking about?
You had to choose between sleeping-
Stands up straight
Shakes her head
No, I promise you, if it had been ‘no’ I would have said no.
In any case,
we think it’s time for us to go.
Back to my universe.
Bacon pops again, spraying ratty.
Hold on, one sec.
Takes the bacon off the heat
Pats it down
Takes sett’s plate back out,
Lays some bacon on it
we don’t eat.
I know, but- try.
Sett picks up their fork
Goes for the plate
where’s the food?
I gave it to-
You didn’t want it.
For no reason
I’d like to lie down for a bit, we can begin planning this evening.
Eleanor enters the makerspace
Mouth still half full of water
How’d the uh- deer thing go?
Steph and fern look at each other
Back to Eleanor
That bad, huh?
13 is dead
How did things go with your mother?
Like, used to having sort of a teacher-student relationship
Not so much a uh
The crackling of Angel’s voice combined with the loud and sudden whir of her neck scares Eleanor
She drops her water bottle
What happened to you, buddy?
Black streaks from every improvised port on her body
Smelled like a harbour
That’s not good, buddy.
I wouldn’t touch her if I were you.
Her fur is conductive
Looks into angel’s visor
Something is gone
If anything could be said to have been there before
A simulated cheerfulness
Where are Ratty and Sett?
Uh- that’s another thing.
Sett is in another universe.
Ratty is upstairs with the sett from the other universe
I missed a lot, huh?
Struggles to feel bad about that
Sounded kinda shit tbh
Are you busy?
Other Sett stirs
we were sleeping.
Okay, yeah, I know, but
I want to show you something before you go.
Waiting for ratty to lead the way
Other sett watches the lights of the city
Ratty leads them onto a bus
It’s getting a little late
But we should be able to make it in time
Turns as they pass the art gallery
Oh we should go there on our way back
Have you ever had bulgogi?
we’re not sure what that is.
That’s okay. It’s really good.
Nice to be sitting with someone
Nice to be seen with someone
Get off at the corner of a parking lot and another parking lot
Obnoxious red-brick factory in the distance
Across from the factory, a small shop, bright green leaf stencilled on the front glass
Okay good, she’s still here
Little bell rings
Quiets the little tea shop only slightly
Hi Miss Ratty!
Do you have the key to Sett’s apartment?
You wouldn’t be here to snoop, would you miss Ratty?
Overblown shock horror
Are you coming to poetry night tonight?
Turns to other Sett
Oh Miss Sett!
I’m so sorry, I didn’t notice it was you
What happened to your fur?
we need to spend tonight recovering.
Aw, poor thing.
Hope you’re feeling better soon.
Hands the key over
I have a delivery coming tonight as well, could you text me when it gets here
Takes other sett upstairs
They stand awkwardly in the entrance
This was probably the third or fourth time Ratty had been in Sett’s apartment.
Wasn’t missing much, it was a bedroom with a hot-plate and a bathroom the door barely closed on
Little piles of books, where they didn't do the courtesy of restraining their clutter
Also where they kept…
Unless they had gotten rid of it…
But they wouldn’t have…
Ratty pulls a banjo case from under the bed, flips it open
Sett’s first instrument on earth.
Ratty had helped them pay for it, took every dollar they had at that point before the E.O.H. grant came in
Pulls it out
Goes to hand it to other sett
Notices them standing
Pats the pullout couch
They sit hesitantly
Ratty sets the banjo in their lap
I know, hold on
Pulls at a hidden compartment in the case
One of Sett’s books
Mechanics in Music
Making Actual the Ephemeral.
Flips open to a page with a fret-board diagram
Reaches for Sett’s thread,
Realizes its not the same sett
Pull out a thread for me
Yes, one moment.
Like something something, they drew it from their chest
Black, it stained their fingers like newspaper ink
Ratty takes it
Following the diagram,
Pulls it up through the construction
Very delicately guiding the other sett’s hands
Ties it off on the last tuning peg
Searches for some of Sett’s special tea
And their good tobacco
They would understand
Sets it brewing
Rolls it clumsily
Sets it on the other setts lips
Who then takes it and lights it for themselves,
Don’t think about it.
The strings splattering the white drum with ink, which rapidly fades away.
Begins to play
Hollow and discordant and
As though the lopsided pieces were made for each other
There you go.
Emboldened, they choose individual notes
Blunted plucks on pure instinct
Ratty taps their knee gently
Starts to whistle
Sett looks up at the possum’s head
And as though kicking off the gunk, the sound suddenly becomes full and sharp and warm
Her goofy grin, her beautifully tired eyes, she was certainly less suave than Sett had originally imagined, but then again nobody was that suave.
Trails up through the rope burns around their wrists
Sparkling and multicoloured
A sprinkling of shimmering oil below the blackened surface
Describe some peace here
Other Sett jumps
Immediately pulls a blade out of subspace
Black thread whipping back through the instrument and into their hands
Sorry, am I interrupting?
No, you’re okay
Your food is here
Ratty takes the box
I’ll teach you how to do that too
Sits back down
Notices sett’s panic
Puts the food down on a side table
Gently sets a hand on their lap
They begin to cry
Dive into Ratty’s chest
You’re okay. It’s okay.
I’m not staying.
I can’t stay.
Presses her cheek against other sett
Lets enjoy it while it lasts
I’m here right now.
You don’t have to think about tomorrow.
Steph drops off the rest of the tower project schematics from her old apartment
Rolled out on the floor of the makerspace
Looked like four kids drawing on the floor with markers
Angel - reverted back to siri-levels of functionality
Sett - with all of the violent instinct and none of the revolutionary experience
Ratty - Just not coping
Eleanor - who probably won’t end up coping
You doing okay El?
Uh, yeah, I dunno.
We can talk about it later.
A silent “don’t wait if you don't want to”
So, sorry Steph, the tower is here. Right?
Tail end of a three day LSD bender
It’s circles around with the sun and everything but generally those two corners line up
Do you want a gun? By the way?
I got bored and made a bunch of Luty guns
Oh no way
here’s what I’m thinking.
Fucking god damn it.
Goes to the makerspace
Where Steph is still obsessing over 013’s armour
What’s the tower project
Oh my god, you’re high.
Takes out a foil-wrapped card
Helps me cope.
No, not- not at all.
Stephanie, what’s the tower project?
OH, right sorry.
So in the 80s we had- by the way- how sick is it that I’m still like, young and hot?
Okay, so in the 80s, back when I was actually making new motherboards for AC, they- Eden- like, we had this night, and they basically figured it out.
And we called it the tower project because it was like, this process of trying to-
So in order to travel between dimensions, you need a lot of power, and for some reason you need to be really high up. No idea why, you would have to ask Eden,
And so after a few meetings with the Canada Lands Company,
I kept going because investors and government people really like me, y’know?
I’m like, that genius type of thing, like Iron Man… Elon Musk
Goes back to her work
Elon Musk wishes he was me...
Anyway, they basically kept saying no, right?
They had that fucking bubble at the top of the tower that would have been-
I’m sorry I completely lost my train of thought.
Angelcorp wanted to build a trans-dimensional, thing, inside the CN tower?
Oh yeah! Originally, yeah. But then like, they were so weird about it, we basically got clearance to do it as long as it didn’t interfere with tourism
Cus all you have to do in the 70s to drum up tourism was build a tall building
Am I repeating myself?
We wanted Ben’s Bubble, y’know, and they said NO you can have, anywhere where no one can see it,
Which wasn't enough.
So, I had this idea like, we could build an invisible helicopter pod and just
Use the space they gave us to run a big fuck-off cable from the basement
Uh that was the tower project.
I’m gonna go for a drive.
Had barely poked her head out of her car before she was assailed
A white rabbit
Long, dirty blonde hair
Oh my god! Eleanor! Hi!!!
This was her sister, Kassandra.
Kass, she had always called her
A weird combination of open and secretive
Eleanor knew exactly how her step-sister felt about her
But had no idea what she did for a living.
Behind her, waiting awkwardly for his hug, was Kass’s twin brother, Case.
I can’t believe you got this thing working!
I told mom- your mom- like, she’s never coming back, and this and that,
And believe me I TRIED, okay?
You don’t want to know about-
You should take us for a ride some time
Not sure what to say
Oh my GOD has it been that long?
Say hi you doofus!
Hugs her step-brother
It was so weird of you never to visit
I think, at least
Cus I’ve known Ratty for eight years now
And Kassie still plays-
Calm down tiger
I'm here now
That’s what matters I guess.
Looks over shoulder
Her mom’s wife
Had known her all through growing up
She smiled smugly
Knew you would be back
Tight kiwi accent
Mom rolls her eyes
She’s in bed.
Went as soon as I told her you were coming
Eleanor thinks about how sad she is
Don’t look like that
We’ve got some catching up to do
Wasn’t much to do but wait.
She had arrived in the late afternoon
Parked her bike in the concrete gully
Sat on it
Watched the time go by
Too distracted to do anything but sit
It was visible as the sun set
She never liked how the tower loomed over her
Hated it, in fact.
Avoided looking up
But as the sun set
There was a block of sky that seemed hesitant to shift
Shifted into thought
Unable to think about anything
This time reserved for thinking
Time goes slowly
Ma’am, back away from the tower.
Shocked out of sleep
I- I’m just waiting for a friend
You’re gonna want to back up.
Not pointed at ratty
But up in the air
At the mid point of the tower
A streak of black in an orange jumpsuit, sliding down one of the legs
Ratty watches as it launches itself off of the concrete slope
Slams into the plaza below with a cement crunch.
Thick, black rope tears through the guard’s chest
Eyes turn on Ratty
Their fur black and shimmering
Sprints for the gun, grabs it, takes off.
Ratty throws a leg over her motorcycle
They drop onto the train tracks and keep going for union station
They’re somehow at the platform before ratty’s bike
Gunshots from behind
Ratty turns to see a cop with a pistol levelled at her
Fair fucks tbh she’s on a motor vehicle
Ramps off off the train tracks and onto Lower Simcoe
Around the corner,
Parks up on the sidewalk
Into the main hall of union station
Where the fuck…
Bright orange jumpsuit
A flash at the other end of the hall
Ducks into the construction
Ratty holds her breath as the last streak of black disappears into the blue tarp
Slips in herself
Grabs Sett’s wrist
The goat turns
Levels the gun at Ratty’s forehead
Gaze flickering in the shadows of people passing outside
How do you know our name?
I’m- your wife
Our wife is dead.
What happened to your fur
Void in the right eye highlighted by light
What happened to your eye?
Keeping the gun trained on her head
You should know.
we got revenge for your death.
we tore it all down
we tore it all down for you.
Ratty tips her head against the barrel of the gun
We don’t belong here.
Drops the gun
Freezing on their cheeks in the cold
we don’t know what happened.
It was over,
It was all gone,
we just woke up in a cage
And we thought
Wraps her arms around Sett
Small in her arms
Let me take you home.
I’ll warm you up.
You’ll be safe.
Back to Eleanor
There were still gaps in her memory
She could push out from where she had already cleared
But her siblings and her mom helped her drop down new spots to branch out from
A night of OH YEAHs
Over pizza from a place in the nearest town and video games
Mostly dominated by casey as background noise while Eleanor talked and was talked to
First time i met you
A few glasses of wine in
This was, I don't know how much you remember. I was a bartender at this resort. This was your mom's big trip for you, right?
And you come up - how old was she Kass?
Two years older than us
That's right, and you had just started high school… so this shit-dicked little 16 year old rocks up to the bar like she fucking owns the place-
God you were funny
What did she say again Kass?
I'm sorry- shes gaming
Looks up over Eleanor
The flirty tone of someone a little more than tipsy
Your daughter's been waiting to say hello
Casey can you turn that down
Sure thing, step
Good to see you're, still around
Yeah, for sure
Did her best to be inviting
Step mom gets up and climbs thru the ghost
El, c'mon, don't be like that.
Casey and kass have paused their game
Eleanor staring into their mug
What is her fucking problem, honestly…
Do you want me to go talk to her.
No, I think like, I should do it, if anyone is going to
Are you going to?
No, I don't really want to
Step mom gets up
Goes into the bedroom
They fight in the background
For what it’s worth, I don’t really care if you’re dead or not
Kass hits her brother
Like in a good way!
If I had your address I would come visit.
Or even your phone number.
Oh shit, you don’t have my phone number?
Do you wanna play-
Comes back out
Can I talk to you in private, Eleanor.
Goes to sr.'s room
full of plant life
massive, west-facing window
that must’ve been where Eleanor had gotten it from
Sits down on the bed
Eleanor sits down next to her
I killed your father.
He was, a horrible-
He did the kind of thing no man should ever do, Eleanor. And i think about
I think about you losing your memories
And i think,
I'm so sorry that happened
But there are things that, I never wanted you to remember.
I'm your mother
It's my job to keep you safe, and happy, and healthy
And I love you, so much
Please never doubt that, okay?
Every time I see you
I'm reminded of all those years I had to live, alone, with this weight.
And I'm reminded,
Or i guess i learned
That death is less permanent than i thought.
And I get scared
I never wanted you to meet that man.
I don't know
I am stuck with this guilt of
I just don't know
You never got caught?
The man was an idiot. Everyone knew he was gonna kill himself one way or another.
I just, sped the process along a little bit.
Eleanor wonders what John Sloth did
Wonders if she wants to know
In time, those memories would return, whether she wanted them to or not
Hugs her mother
I wanted to be there for you tonight.
I really wanted to be your ma' again.
I'm so sorry
I really tried
Through the pain
Eleanor put her mother first for once
Cried into her shoulder
Tears bubbling away from her face
Unconcerned with gravity
The other Sett’s Ratty had been wiped out of existence before she even got a chance to fight him
The soul bond they had formed was subsequently dragged into non-being
Less than a void
Linked to nothing and getting weaker
Sett’s abilities had performed a stack underflow
Jumping all the way up to infinity from negative infinity
Power unsurpassed by even the elder gods
And they tore it down
They were angry, and had no recourse but revenge.
Strange to think
The goat that was so scared
Sat sipping a cup of soup in her living room
Had killed every piece of the afterlife hierarchy
Had spent 40 years in the void left behind.
Stewing in anguish/remorse/cant think of the word
That was what had dyed their fur. Black like the void, with the shimmering colours of the pantheon glowing through the cracks.
They sat with their shoulders bunched, as though guarded against the possibility of being made to feel better
They hadn’t stopped crying
Couldn’t be blamed
Seemed only to feel worse as they were told how their afterlife had played out.
That wasn’t just-
We’re really not supposed to be here.
I- as far as I can tell, no.
Sips their soup
Looks at ratty
Something completely indecipherable
Ratty puts out a hand
Sets their own hand in hers
A new wave of tears
This time all but alien on their blank, near confused expression.
Why couldn’t this be real?
They begged the universe
(Expand on this thought)
Pulls their hand back
Wipes their tears
And stops abruptly
Could we um,
Have some water?
Ratty gets up to get it
They examine the back of their hand
The blood of the gods
Wondered if this was always an alternative
If it’s alright, after that, we would like to get some rest.
Of course, yeah. You can take my bed
we can sleep here.
Okay, I’ll uh,
Goes up in the front hall closet
Above the shoes and jackets are blankets
Brings down the milk crate full of blankets
Sets the water jug down
And the milk crate full of blankets
Is- are you going to be okay?
Yes, we’re just, very tired, we think.
Yeah, me too.
I’ve had uh-
One hell of a day, I think.
we’re sorry for any trouble I caused.
I’ll tell you tomorrow.
I’m right in that room, if you need me, don’t hesitate.
Sett lies back
Stares at the point beyond the slowly rotating ceiling fan
Turned on more for the hum than for the breeze
It was impossible to keep their thoughts at bay
The darkness around them, ebbed slowly with their exhaustion
The flickering nothingness of the void
When their eye had nothing to lock onto
It made things up.
And yet this
The soft, orange edges of subspace
Sat up abruptly
It had been a long time since they were allowed in here
And on the opposite couch,
Glowing like a beacon in the dark
Their former self
Fur still a barely dusty white
And as they came to know each other
Plane after plane collided with each other
Earth’s material plane
Then, in the loudest bang of them all
Sett covered their ears
Barely blocking out the impact bark of
What was left of their universe
And the other sett, seemed not to notice
They stood from their couch,
Crossed the room,
Gently cupped the godkiller’s cheek in their hand
You poor thing
Turned their head to get a better look at the eye
Let me fix that for you
Sits bolt upright
Taps their eye
Sure enough, still missing
Stands, wrapped in the blanket
Stares at the orange jumpsuit, discarded on the adjacent couch
Turns to ratty’s door
Not quite shut
Wanders over to the window
Gently thumbs a dent in the wall
They didn’t belong here
They were a monster
Looks at ratty’s door
The possum is sleeping
They were not used enough to speaking to make the wake anything but abrupt
Making sett jump
Rubs sleep out of her eyes
we’re made anxious, sleeping in an open space.
Aren’t you a god killer?
we still have animal instincts, just like everyone else
Okay, for sure
You can sleep on my bed and I’ll-
You can stay here.
"Oh, yeah, for sure. Okay."
Sett kneels on the bed
Looking down at ratty through their one working eye
The gentle curve of her horns highlighted in the city light
So you and your Sett, went through with it, then?
Never able to actually see them
Didn’t cry at all though
That makes me… cool.
That was a joke
Yes, we know.
A cruel smile creeps across the goat’s face
Their lack of reaction was also part of the joke
Ratty gets it, smiles.
They lie down
And stare at the ceiling
Ratty lets her eyes lull closed
There’s something you’re not telling me.
I’m trying not to process it
I’ve had a long day and I don’t want to feel bad anymore.
Not right now.
Rolls over, staring up at the ceiling
In order to get my Sett back, I would
I don’t know this for sure,
But I would need to - I think - put you back in your own universe
Sett doesn't react
That makes sense.
Nestles up next to her
Using their hip to force ratty into position, cradling them
Takes her hands
"Is this something you're comfortable with?"
"Yeah, yeah. I'm fine."
Ratty's breathing slows
Sett staring at the possums paws
"we really missed your hands..."
Too tired to think of something to say
Let the night pass.
o line up her shot
Bullet ripped through the base of the wolf’s spine.
Let time catch up
Steps over him into the cabin
Goes into the fridge
A paper bag full of takeout from the nearest town
Rubbery, half-frozen fish and chips
Throws it in the microwave
crouches next to cliff
13 is dead.
She was alive?
You didn’t know?
Takes food from the microwave
Stares, at the pooling blood
As her teeth tear through the rubberized fish
Opens the fridge again
Sits down on Cliff’s couch
How did she die?
She was dependent on a life support system.
You took her off it?
You killed her.
No thoughts head empty.
Levels the gun again
How dare you take the love of my life away from me? Twice.
Ached from the cold.
Unzipped her boots
Steps over cliff again
Underside of her paws crackling as the tacky blood peeled from the hardwood with each step.
Kneels in the bathroom
Sets the water on the tub going
Went back out into the hall
Sat with cliff
What was her name
I don’t know.
What do you mean, you don’t know?
Takes a bite of chips
Blood on her fingers
Its probably inside her system now
I just don’t.
Cliff is dead
Sits down in the bath
Watches the blood rise from her body
Shuts her eyes