(2016-08-25) Upon a Midnight Clear
Upon a Midnight Clear
Summary: The mix of peyote and boredom is giving Mon nightmares. One of them might be useful.
Date: 2016.08.25
Related: None

Monica spends 1 luck points on +50 boost on alien tech roll for the breakthrough so hotwiring can happen..
<FS3> Monica rolls Alien Tech +50: Good Success.

Monica is sleeping in her hospital bed, dreaming. Her third night in a row using peyote for pain, and its more legendary effects as a hallucinogen might just be coming to the forefront. Her nightmares usually follow a familiar path. Killing, always killing. Her brother screaming, blood running from his eyes. Aim. Squeeze the trigger. Screaming. Blood spraying from the head wound, pulsing slower, and slower, until it stops. The screaming goes on and on. Wires slither through the walls of his bedroom and she squints at them, wiping her tears away so she can see. “Alien wiring,” she murmurs. “Where'd that come from?” The screaming doesn't stop. It never stops.

She opens the door to the cosy bedroom her parents once shared, and her mother is sobbing, her blood vessels engorged and pressing out at her skin in sharp relief. “Kill me,” her mother says. “Kill me…” Mon raises her pistol, close to her mother's forehead and stares down the sights. Squeezes the trigger. Her mother drops, and Mon closes her eyes, warm blood soaking her feet, spreading into trails that become more alien wires. Monica can feel the shocks from them as she tries to get her feet out of the puddle, wiping the blood off, but she can see it forming patterns on her feet, feel the current in it.

The house begins to collapse under the crush of alien circuits. Mon runs to the door, feeling the slither of wires up her body. When she opens the door, it opens onto a hornet's nest, and they see her. The aliens see her. She fires until her '58 Remington runs dry. They see her, and the wires plunge into her eyes. She screams, but in the back of her mind, she also thinks, “This isn't how this goes… I know how this goes. This isn't how it goes!”

Now she's inside the nest, and it touches her. She can feel the magnetic field crawling all over it, slithering over her skin. Alien hornets slowly seal her into one of the cells of the thing, curled uncomfortably, and she can feel the eggs inside her as they begin to hatch…

Mon wakes up screaming. It's a good thing Piper's probably out with the same pain drugs. Mon opens her eyes, staring into the darkness, but the dream of the hive doesn't vanish. It hangs there, just out of sight, vivid and sharp. "That's gotta be the peyote," she whispers. She can still see, if she looks for them, the faint outlines of the hive, its octagonal cells, wires and magnetic field slithering through it.

Monica rubs her eyes, thinking about it. She gets up and hobbles over to the window, hauls it up to look out at the world, to get some fresh air, see the starlight and the faint glow of lights at the clubhouse. Wires. Cells. Planes. Magnetic field. Trapped in the matrix of the hive. She turns the persistent vision over and picks at it. Something familiar…something…

<FS3> Monica rolls Physics: Failure.
Monica spends 1 luck points on re-roll a physics roll.
<FS3> Monica rolls Physics: Success.

You say, "Wait…" she says to herself. "Wait a second. Bussard… polywell… No, it's not that, it's…" She gets her notebook and flips past the pages on the design for a simple lever action shotgun, no matter how elegant the design and how lose its tolerances can be… something for another day. In a shakey hand she sketches what she sees, writes down some figures. "Magnetic field. The electricity is the side effect. Electro-MAGNETISM. Ionization. Magnetic confinement…"

She writes faster and faster as the idea unspools in her head like a coil of wire unrolling onto the floor, kinks and snarles, confusion. She's not in a position to think clearly, so she writes and sketches and hopes she can sort it out in the morning.

When she thinks she's done, she hobbles back with the notebook to sit on the bed and re-read what she's written. "Maybe…I'm just high." She looks for the vision of the hive again, but it's begun to recede, as dreams do. She can't see it anymore. It's faded.

Mon lies down again, adds a few more notes to the notebook, and tosses it onto the table next to her bed. In minutes, she's back asleep.

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