Wednesday, November 9, 2011
National Novel Writing Month part Niner
I'd just like to note that in doing research for this book, I have found some really amazing interweb sites. I'll probably publish a full bibliography of hilarious sources later, but even the most cursory glance at a google search for orgone, orgonite, deadly orgone radiation, and so forth turns up an entire world of people with fascinating beliefs and rituals.
At least it makes more sense than homeopathy. More story after the break.
“I call it Pax.” Gable ran a hand over the surface. “I'm too old to use such a thing well. I want you to have it.” He smiled at Charles. “You're one of the few students I have that listens to me.”
“But sir... I can't just accept a gift like this. You said you worked on it for years.”
“And if it doesn't get used, then that work goes to waste.” He smiled. “Don't worry. I can see the potential in you. This has to go to someone who knows and understands and respects my work, and you are that man. To many others, this would just be junk.” Gable picked it up and pushed it into Charles' hands. “Now take this and I'll show you how to use it properly.”
“Okay,” Charles said, with a sad smile. He could sense Gable's regret at not having been able to convert more people to his way of thinking. Before he could ask the professor just how to start, the room filled with blue light. He looked around. The orgonite in the room was releasing blue light, blobs of light the size of coins starting to come off of some of them and float in the air.
“Oh my!” Gable said, surprised. “This is amazing! I've never seen a reaction like this!” He walked over to a table where the reaction was strongest. “Why the orgonite has never given off energy like this! This is really astounding. Charles, can you get my orgoscope? I really need to get a reading on this phenomenon.”
“Is this...” he looked at the device in his hands. “Is it because of this thing?” Gable turned to look.
“Hm? No, no. Actually, what this most likely is is a reaction to a large amount of deadly orgone radiation. The orgonite is converting it back into normal orgone, you see, and releasing it as these streams of light and orbs of radiant energy.”
“Wait, deadly orgone radiation?”
“Oh yes. As I said, actually quite rare, in this day and age, which is why it took me some time to remember that orgonite could produce energy like this. I suppose Pax is really building up quite a charge now, with this amount of radiation in the area.”
“But what's causing it?” Charles looked around the lab. Nothing seemed out of place, though considering the mess he wouldn't know if a tornado had come through.
“That is an excellent question. You know, the only time I saw this much deadly orgone radiation in one place, at least as of late, was in the street where that attack occurred.” Gable was about to continue, but he paused as a shadow suddenly appeared at the window. There was no sense of movement to it. It was more like it faded into view. Gable and Charles turned to look.
With the sun at its back, it was hard to make out more than the general shape of the being blocking out the light. It was angled and bizarre-looking, like a giant bat made out of flat black plates. It spread huge wings, casting the lab into shadow, the only light provided by the blue glow silently pouring out of the loose chunks of orgonite around the lab.
“Oh my,” Gable said. The monster opened its triangular maw and screeched. Glass beakers exploded. Charles clutched his head, falling to his knees. Gable screamed. Everything erupted into flames.
“So if the others are here for revenge, what are you here for?” Tilda asked, raising an eyebrow. “After that story, I can't believe that you're just here to help everyone.”
“Of course not,” Arma agreed. “I've got my own plans. But they're for the benefit of humanity as a whole, instead of short-sighted trying to kill you all. That's pointless and wasteful. Earth is a nice place to live, after all. It has some problems, but humans and my kind have worked together in the past and it has been beneficial for both of us.”
“...So you want to be a friendly dictator,” Tilda said, sarcastically.
“If you want to put it like that. Humanity is better off with the guidance of my people. And besides, I think that you are ready for a more equal partnership-” she stopped. “Something is wrong.” Tilda could hear it too. Fire trucks. She had a feeling in her gut that this wasn't just some small kitchen fire.
“Yeah.” Tilda walked over to her window and opened it, looking around. The trucks were heading north. She looked that way. A plume of smoke was coming from the University. She could see the complex of buildings from here. From the size of the smoke cloud, it was something serious.
“It must be the next Verbesserte,” Arma said. “This is happening more quickly than I expected.” Tilda stood up, running a hand through her hair. She walked over to her grandfather's trunk, still sitting, now closed, in her living room. Krieg was lying on top of it. She picked it up, the weight still surprisingly heavy in her hands.
“I guess that means its up to me to stop it,” Tilda said. She looked at the eagle emblazoned on the front. “I don't know if I like using this thing. It makes me feel... strange.” She frowned.
“That's the energized orgone release. It's similar to the energy my body gives off when I change shape. The technology is based on that, actually. To be honest, it can be harmful to some humans.” She waved a hand. “You don't need to worry about it, though. You aren't susceptible to that. That's one reason I said you were suited to use this device.”
“Just one reason?” Tilda asked.
“Well there are others, of course. You are a natural warrior, after all.” She was obviously keeping something from Tilda, but considering there was a monster on the loose, she didn't have time to sit and argue with the... Tilda was even mentally reluctant to admit she was an alien, but it was impossible to deny what she had seen. She'd need time to get used to that thought.
“Fine. Don't tell me,” Tilda said. “Let's just get to the University.”
Mohan rode close on the tail of the fire truck as it roared towards the University, Yates in the passenger seat. The smoke rose up over the city like black cotton. People in the streets were standing and looking as they passed.
“Think it's the same perp?” Mohan asked. Yates shrugged.
“Could just be some lab accident,” Yates said. “You'd be surprised the kind of mess those professors can make with just a few beakers. I don't think we'll be that lucky though.” She shook her head. “This right after that mess last night? If it's not connected I'll be shocked.”
“Yeah,” Mohan nodded. “If it is the same guy, we'll need all the backup we can get.”
“We can keep our distance until we've confirmed it one way or another,” Yates replied. “We'll have to evacuate the University for their own safety.”
“That sounds like a good idea no matter what we find,” Mohan agreed. They passed onto the University grounds. He could see the smoking building now, one of the smaller buildings away from the main commons.
“Classes were canceled, so there won't be any students around,” Yates said. “We'll just need to get the teachers out of here!” The fire truck stopped in front of a shattered window, orange flames and dark smoke pouring out from within. “Go around to the other side. We'll go through the main entrance!”
Mohan sped around the ivy-covered building, screeching to a halt in front of the doors. Yates jumped out of the car the moment it stopped. Mohan followed a moment later. Just as they were reaching the doors, they were opened from the other side. A thin, balding man hobbled out, coughing.
“Sir!” Yates said, stopping him. “Are you alright? What happened?”
“It came from that damn Gable's lab!” The man coughed. “That insane bastard has really done it now! I'll have his tenure revoked for this! He'll never work again!”
“Gable's lab?” Mohan muttered. He looked at Yates, who shrugged.
“There are firefighters on the other side of the building, sir,” Yates said. “They'll have trained EMTs. Do you want me to escort you there?”
“No, no, I'm fine,” the man said. “Just go make sure none of the students were hurt by that maniac! He was probably trying to burn incense made out of thermite or some crazy thing like that!” He started walking to the other side of the building, his walk becoming more steady as he did.
“Should we wait for the firefighters?” Mohan asked.
“There's no time!” Yates opened the door and rushed in. Mohan followed her, looking around the dark and stately halls. The building mostly smelled like smoke now, but under it there was a pervasive musty odor of old books. Yates stopped at an intersection, looking left and right, then ran to the right.
“Do you know where you're going?” Mohan asked.
“Towards the smoke!” Yates replied. “If there's anyone who needs help, that's where they'll be!” A few grad students were standing in the hallway, confused. Yates ran past them. “Get out of the building!” She yelled as she passed them. After another moment of confusion, they complied.
“You'd think they'd know to get away from fire!”
“They're grad students, Mohan! They'll run right into the fire if they think it'll get them a better grade!” She stopped in front of a door that was halfway open and cracked vertically. Professor Gable's name was on the door, broken in half by the crack. She pulled it open, and immediately the amount of smoke doubled.
Mohan raised a hand to cover his face as they entered. The smoke was thick and choking. He couldn't see anything for a few moments. Then a blast of pure air raced past him, clearing the smoke. The room was filled with a deep blue light. Mohan blinked, clearing his eyes. Small files burned through the room, their ruddy light unable to compete with that azure radiance.
A man stood in the rubble, carrying something. As the blue glow died down, Mohan could see he was carrying the limp form of Professor Gable. And the man was about the strangest person he had ever seen. He was almost entirely dressed in white, with red and blue edging. A helmet obscured his face, ornate and birdlike. An ornate cape hung over his left shoulder, with a serrated edge that made it look feathered.
Mohan somehow felt at peace when he looked at him. The strange man walked over to them, putting Gable down carefully at their feet. He was extremely careful, but obviously strong. Mohan knew how difficult it was to carry a person, especially when they went limp, and this oddly-dressed man was managing it with no visible effort.
“I'm sorry,” the man said. “There was nothing I could do to save him. It all happened too quickly.” He sounded distraught.
“What happened here?” Yates demanded.
“There was an attack.” He looked up. “I have to go. That thing is still out there.” He stepped back towards the broken windows, glass crunching under his boots.
“Wait!” Yates said. “You can't just run! You're a witness! You need to come with us!”
“Sorry. There's no time. I need to make sure this doesn't happen again.” He looked down from the window. “Please take care of Professor Gable. He was a good man.”
“We at least need a name!”
“Pax.” Water blasted into the room as the tanker trucks outside unleashed a torrent of water into the room, putting out the small fires that remained. Mohan covered his eyes as a spray of water hit too close to him. When he looked back, the strange man was gone.