Author Topic: Catnips Odd Trip  (Read 1118 times)

0 Members and 0 Guests are viewing this topic.

saltmummy626

  • SPAM Connoisseur
  • POST LORD
  • *
  • Posts: 2,412
  • Dapperness +20/-7
  • Lord of Gulgatha
    • View Profile
Re: Catnips Odd Trip
« Reply #75 on: September 11, 2018, 09:56:26 am »
The idea was very simple once it had been discussed. As it turned out, super alloy was fantastic for resisting heat, cold, bullets, energy discharge, explosions, and radiation but lousy when it came to abrasion. A hacksaw could do the job. It couldn't be done by hand though, and so the worker suggested something unorthodox. String and grit. "It might take awhile," He explained, "But it's totally doable. Run a thread or something around the base of the spindle, coated in something abrasive, and we could probably do it from a distance. Heck, we could even cut part way through that little peg to speed the process along."

With a little effort, Catnip rigged up a simple motor to move a loose thread coated in toothpaste around the weakened spindle and shut the broken door. If the idea worked and the spindle was cut like the worker said it would, they didn't need it flying out through the door and into the screamer filled abyss. Then, while they waited, they had a real meeting. Catnip volunteered to stay with the cell, along with a couple armed workers, to make sure no one interfered. The cell was a sign of hope, something they could use to get out, but whoever meant them harm probably wouldn't want that. It had to be protected. Besides, Catnip wanted to listen to it.

"I want to go home..." said one of the workers suddenly, "I don't mean, like, out of this place. I mean out of Pricetown. Out of Arizona. I want to go back to Wyoming, back before the Cataclysm..."

Catnip wanted to ask what it was like, she'd never seen the world before the cataclysm. Only it's remnants. Shambling not-people who stank and leaked a disgusting black goo and attacked on sight. Strange creatures that stalked the woods along with more mundane things, only they weren't strange. For Catnip, they'd always been there. She couldn't tell the alien from the native because for her, it was all native. In the end, she only listened. The workers who kept watch with her talked, and she listened. The world before sounded nice, but at the same time there was the feeling that it wasn't exactly fair or even pleasant. There was disparity between people. Whole groups of people fighting and hating each other because of one dumb sounding reason or another. Catnip couldn't imagine some of the reasons people from before fought and died, the ways they lived their lives. The mechanic didn't dare voice the opinion that, despite the decadence of the old world, the post cataclysm was better.

An hour went by, then two, three, four. Some of the workers keeping watch with her rotated out and new ones took their place. Catnip listened to their talk to pass the time. What would happen to them? What would happen to Pricetown? What would happen to the world? They didn't know, and after awhile Catnip began to doze. Then, just before midnight, a loud "ping" was heard and the racket of something crashing around the room. The door was hit and again blown off it's hinges. Catnip was awake instantly and leaping up to see what was going on, shining her flashlight into the room. At first, the workers couldn't find it. The cell had knocked down a shelf and stirred up all the other empty or damaged cells in the room but after a bit of digging around, they found it. One of the workers held up the cell and shook it to make sure it was the right one. It produced a rather heavy clunking noise.

"Fan-fucking-tastic boys and girls," He said, "We are one step closer to home."

That was when Catnip came up with another cell.

"Er... Where did that come from?" The worker asked.

"I think it was stuck behind the shelf..." Catnip said, examining the cell carefully. It's ports were open wider than those of the one that had until recently been bound to the spindle, and it's points of contact were badly worn. "It must have worn through it's pins and bounced back where we couldn't find it..." She added thoughtfully. "I suppose two is better than one, so long as the thing inside is still intact... I hope it's intact."
I'm really just a sexy skeleton in a suit.
Fingering techniques are very important
Quote from: Six
Using guns while sober? Sounds like you're a coward.
Yes, little hats for every noodle.
Everyone is forks it seems.
"Everything is fucked forever, and ever, and ever." -Forrest 2016

saltmummy626

  • SPAM Connoisseur
  • POST LORD
  • *
  • Posts: 2,412
  • Dapperness +20/-7
  • Lord of Gulgatha
    • View Profile
Re: Catnips Odd Trip
« Reply #76 on: September 25, 2018, 05:50:10 am »
It was, but once Catnip discovered that, there was no chance she was going to let on that it was intact. She was sitting somewhat away from the rest, working and listening to the chatter around the barrel fires. The cell was whole, but that was all it was  the one that had stayed on it's spindle had stayed clean and functional. The other one was gummed up with corrosion and so it's sleeves couldn't be adjusted. She labeled them "Cell one" and "Cell two" with the first being the better of the two. Cell one was given a fresh application of lubricant, sprayed through a straw from a can, and put away in Catnip's work bag. Cell two though was worked on diligently. From another can Catnip brought out another solution she had learned about since coming to Pricetown. "Rust cutter." It smelled like gasoline but could dissolve rust like no one's business while doubling as a lubricant. It wasn't much good for tools or knives, Catnip could polish those things by hand, but it was fantastic for small moving parts and it too had a small narrow straw for application in tight spaces. She squirted a little of the rust cutter onto the rim of the cells cap and jiggled the handle a little. There was a bit of give in it, and that was good. A little give meant the fluid was working. The more it worked, the deeper it could permeate into every crack of the corroded metal.

"How's it going over there Ma'am?" One of the workers asked. The conversation went quiet at the question, everyone listening.

"It's fine. Just a bit stiff." Catnip said. They waited for a bit, perhaps waiting for Catnip to elucidate on what exactly she was up to, but she didn't. She just continued tooling away, so one of the workers brought out a guitar and gave it a tentative strum. The mechanic shivered at the sound. Kathrine played the guitar, on occasion she'd even do it while Catnip was working. There was a soothing nostalgia about the sound. Something warm and lonely at the same time. The guitarist plunked at the strings and tuned up, then went into something low and slow. Catnip knew the song too. "The streets of Le Cordon Rouge." A downbeat meandering song that Kathrine played often but never sang. Catnip was suddenly sad. The song always made her feel a bit sad and her work slowed. Sadness turned to determination, she would escape. After all this business with the tower, Catnip would just leave. Just walk out at night and leave Pricetown. Leave the sand and the people, the Mycus and the screamers. Pricetown stupid money and... Catnip's hand touched the collar around her neck as she moved to scratch. She was so used to it now that Catnip often forgot she was wearing it, and the fact that she was used to it turned her determination back into dispair. It could let Pricetown's authority track her down. Make it easy to catch her too.

"Bah..." She spat. A little more rust cutter, and a bit more half hearted jiggling. There was definitely something in there. The cannisters just didn't want to give it up, so Catnip set it aside and let the rust cutter work. The guitar changed hands and the song changed while Catnip looked up into the night sky. There wasn't a single cloud up there but not a star could be seen. Catnip realized she'd never seen it so dark before. How long had it been since she'd seen the stars? Her arrival, she decided. Waking up in the back of a white truck, staring up at the wonder of the desert sky. Since then life had become complicated. Unbearably so. She slid the cannisters back into her lap and went back to work. The handle on the end slid stiffly this time, but at least it turned. A half turn to the right, then a tug, and another quarter turn. The sound the cannister made when it finally opened was a far cry from the grinding of rust on rust, a little "foomp" sound. She reached in and took out the source of the cells power.

"Oh." She said, almost whispered. Catnip had expected something interesting, but not quiet as interesting as the truth of the cells "core." A spiraling pink stone in the shape of the a tear drop and covered here and there in little spiraling divots. Catnip had seen one before, but only in a dream. As inexplicable and sudden as coming into ones own home and finding friends and family leaping out of the closet to surprise, Catnip found herself in possession of the stone she'd been seeking for most of her life outside the lab.
I'm really just a sexy skeleton in a suit.
Fingering techniques are very important
Quote from: Six
Using guns while sober? Sounds like you're a coward.
Yes, little hats for every noodle.
Everyone is forks it seems.
"Everything is fucked forever, and ever, and ever." -Forrest 2016

saltmummy626

  • SPAM Connoisseur
  • POST LORD
  • *
  • Posts: 2,412
  • Dapperness +20/-7
  • Lord of Gulgatha
    • View Profile
Re: Catnips Odd Trip
« Reply #77 on: October 05, 2018, 07:12:01 am »
"Oh? You get that thing foxed ma'am?" Asked someone from around the fire. In her sudden exaltation, she'd forgotten momentarily where she was. Catnip couldn't, wouldn't, put the stone back. She'd searched so long and had others searching so long. The fact of her displacement didn't matter, she had it. She finally had it in her grasp and now... She understood. The train would run off the stone as a wind cell. It would provide unlimited power to her Magnum opus. In her hands she held the solution to the world's power problems and also the key to total annihilation. A vortex stone. Catnip gulped hard and in one smooth unsuspicious movement, dropped the stone down her shirt where it sat cool between her breasts. She gave her shirt, and the bra under it a little tug to loosen them a little in the same motion. It wouldn't stay there long, Catnip would move the stone to her bag or a pocket very soon but she had to act natural first.

"It's empty..." She said with the practiced solemnity she saved for lying to Pricetown's merchants or to Pinkies enforcers when they came looking for swiped property.

"Ah? Oh. I thought you said there was something in it though?" Asked one of the people gathered around. Catnip turned, cannister in hand and as she did so, syrupticiously dropped a scrap of metal into it. The move was practically perfect and when she handed it over the people were not at all surprised when the chunk of twisted steel dropped out of it. "Huh, well. At least there's one, right?"

"Yeah... I just hope it works." On the outside, Catnip was cold and calm, but inside her heart was doing backflips and pull ups. She wanted to jump and shout in the primal way she and her siblings had in moments of extreme triumph, but held the compulsion in. It became harder to do that though when she realized she could use the stone to return home as well.

"What's that smile for? Even with one, we are still trapped in here. I hope to God we won't need the second."

Catnip hadn't felt the smile rising to her lips and as soon as it was mentioned, it dropped. Her tools were put away, the stone was slipped down the front of her shirt and into a pouch on the front of her belt, and she moved closer to the fire. The flames danced and sparked, flickering here and there, casting shadows like dancers on the sides of the sawn off oil drum. The guitar changed hands and the song changed again. Catnip began to doze, listening to the fire and the guitar and the long low wail of the wind. Strange, that last. Her eyes snapped open and the guitar came to a discordant jangle as the gathered people realized, someone was screaming. Catnip didn't see who said the last words she would remember from that night, but she would remember them long after she'd kicked the dust of Pricetown from her heels.

"Jesus fuck, she's burning..."
I'm really just a sexy skeleton in a suit.
Fingering techniques are very important
Quote from: Six
Using guns while sober? Sounds like you're a coward.
Yes, little hats for every noodle.
Everyone is forks it seems.
"Everything is fucked forever, and ever, and ever." -Forrest 2016

saltmummy626

  • SPAM Connoisseur
  • POST LORD
  • *
  • Posts: 2,412
  • Dapperness +20/-7
  • Lord of Gulgatha
    • View Profile
Re: Catnips Odd Trip
« Reply #78 on: October 21, 2018, 07:02:59 am »
Liela Kestrel burned, and it was difficult to imagine how. By the time extinguishers had been found and used, she was already gone. Felicia and a man representing the shattered helm met in the infirmary where Liela had been, against Felecia's order, alone. But that wasn't right, not exactly. She hadn't been alone. If she had been, there wouldn't be such a mess. It seemed obvious that the carnage was the result of a struggle. With who though? The table in the infermary had been toppled along with the pile of empty plastic bags that had been laying on it, those that hadn't melted that was. The room stank of burning flesh, burnt feathers, and chlorine. What worried Felecia most though was the cabinet. To the left of the infermaries voluminous sink was a tall medical cabinet which had been kept locked at all times save for the key kept by Leila and the spare kept by Felecia. It was locked. That was perfectly normal except that if it was locked, then what were all the bags doing out? They had contained the work crews supply of antifungal powder, grains of precious Mycus killing medicine, chalky yet sand like. The guard, Darby, had discovered where the powder had gone. A chalky residue had been left caked in thin streamers down to the drain.

"Why Darby? Why would she wash it all down the drain?" Felecia asked, certain that this new horror would send the workers over the edge if they found out.

"I don't know miss, but I'm willing to bet she had a very good reason. Something wrong with it maybe? Or..." Darby trailed off.

"Or what?"

"Or maybe... Someone else did it?"

Silence fell between them as the disaster that was the infermary suddenly took on a more grim implication. The table, broken as a woman and... Someone, tumbled onto it. The cracked mirror, as though it had been struck by the small globe lying broken on the floor along with the broken medical equipment swept from it's neat organization upon the countertop. Despite the signs of struggle though, it didn't make sense that Leila had been set on fire. Why do that when simply killing her almost any other way would have drawn less immediate attention? The question it turned out, would be answered from outside the security line and in short order.

"She didn't lend out the key did she? She knew better than that right?" Felecia asked. Darby shook his head, then frowned.

"Key wasn't on her body miss. I suppose she could have dropped it, or it was taken after, but I don't think so." He mumbled thoughtfully. His radio crackled, startling them both. "Aye, she's here. What? Jesus, alright I'll let her know." He put the radio away and looked the foreman dead in the eyes. "The shattered helm found Samson."


Catnip sat in the auditorium under watch along with everyone else by the improvised guards that had been assigned after the Leila's dramatic death. They were waiting now for news. The foreman had ordered everyone to the auditorium to await further instruction while she spoke with some men from the shattered helm and searing spear. In the meantime, she found herself seated with Tenny. The small woman was toying with a little chain on her wrist, fussing and worrying over it. The little bracelet was covered in all sorts of little objects and Catnip had a hard time telling herself that it did not tickle her fancy. In fact she thought it just the sort of thing Kathrine might enjoy.

"Hello uh... Tenny. Whatcha doin?" She asked freindily. Tenny started and stuffed her hand in her pocket before Catnip could get more than two words in and glanced wildly around the auditorium. Before Catnip had decided to try and open up, she'd seen something in Tenny. In the way the woman had examined her bracelet. Vacant, hollow, fear. The terror of recollection which the Misling woman on Catnip's other side had stared out the window of an old dealership with, reliving dark memories. Quinn would have told her that the look was a Hallmark of a little thing called "trauma." He himself could have told her all about the in's and outs of trauma, but he wasn't here. Quinn was in New England, far away from this terrible place.

"N-nothing. I don't want to..." She began, trailing off into unintelligible mumbling at the end. To Catnip, it sounded like she had a mouthful of cotton. L gave her a gentle nudge with her elbow and a small admonishion to leave the poor lady alone, but Catnip persisted.

"What's that? That chain thingy?" She pressed. Tenny shied away uncomfortably and Catnip began to lose hope that she would ever speak with her, when she did.

"It... It's a charm bracelet... You d-dont know what a charm bracelet is?" She withdrew her hand and showed it off tentatively, drawing back when Catnip reached out to touch it. Little dancing animals and tiny bells dangled from tiny loops on the chain, each one representative of a significant event in the wearers life or of some characteristic. Catnip later learned the general meaning of charm bracelets later when things had calmed down. For now, all she wanted to do was look at it. L gave it more than a passing glance, remembering one she'd kept as a child. Lost, that bracelet, for years now. She'd given it to her husband in leiu of a wedding ring when... L shuddered and pushed the memories away. As pleasant as they would be, they would only lead her back into the dark. She did more than shudder, L flinched. The bracelet was just too much for her. Memories of a basement in the countryside and the smell of rot and the sound of...

Tenny was staring at her. "You know too, don't you? What... What it's like?" L's lips became a thing frowning line on her elongated snout and she tensed visibly. "To lose them all... And not be able to do anything about it? To... To listen to their screams and-"

"Shut the fuck up..." L growled. Catnip was shocked. L often shifted between meek and brash, but never outright hostile. Not until now. She realized it too. "Sorry Nip, but I'm going to go sit over there... I don't need to hear anymore of this..." L finished before storming off. Catnip watched her go feeling confused and conflicted. L was hurting now and it was all so sudden, she wanted to go to her and see if she could make it better. At the same time though, L was partly responsible for Catnip being here and Catnip wanted her to hurt a bit. The vindictive feeling was strong, but unnecessary. Hurtful to herself even. Catnip felt tired, and decided she would go after L. Tenny seemed to have descended back into her own dark memory, and out of her reach for the time being.


"Alright everyone, have a seat, I've got news. A little good, a lot of bad, and I don't think we can afford to play our hands close to the vest anymore. A couple hours ago, just before Leila's death, the shattered helm went to check out our computer specialists home again to see if he'd come back. All I can really say is, they found him. Or something that looked like him..." Felecia let it sink in, the idea that who or what was found at Samson's home might not have been him at all but rather something pretending to be him. "They tell me it didn't take long to figure out, the real Samson had those ear plugs things and the... The copycat or whatever, didn't. When it thought it was alone, it tried to attack someone as well. Some kind of new Mycus monster... They shot him, it, and it started to change. Sprouting tendrils and spouting spores. So they burned it. Sounds bad, I know, but that isn't even the bad news. The bad news is that when we take all the evidence into consideration, Darby here and I believe there may be a similar creature among us."

That got them going, the auditorium exploded with shouted questions and exclamations. Somewhere in the back rows, someone had just passed out. Not just a murderer in their midst, but some shapeshifting Mycus horror, it could be any one of them. Felecia heard it, and immediatly went into damage control.

"No no! Calm down folks, calm down, panic can be more deadly than you think, just listen God damnit." She shouted into the din. It took a long few moments in which she thought the whole gathering would start stampeding for the doors, but it never happened and things calmed somewhat. That was good, but not perfect. Felecia waited for them to really settle down and noticed something she should have seen right away. There were less of them now. Less people in the auditorium now than there had been last time. Had they found a way out? If so, then why hadn't they come back to tell those trapped inside about it? If not, then where were they? A thin fog of unease dropped over her, with a touch of the paranoia she was beginning to develop tinting it. If one of them... No, if ALL of them were infected, how would she know? Administering antifungus would have done it, but there wasn't any left anymore. It had been washed down the infermary drain, and Felecia had an inkling that told her Leila hadn't been the one to do it. Leila had simply walked in on it happening. She could almost see it in her minds eye, she forgets her key to the cabinet or maybe loses it, goes back to the infermary alone to look for it and finds... Someone, dumping it into the sink. It was falling into place in her mind now, sure. She tries to stop whoever it is, realizes just what's she's up against, maybe gets bit or infected somehow. It made perfect sense, then...

"Whoever she's fighting with escapes and she sets herself on fire before she can succumb to the Mycus..." Felecia mumbled, "So she won't leave an infected body behind..."

"Um, ma'am?"

"Hm? Oh, yeah, sorry about that. Just thinking. What did you say?" She said hastily, realizing she'd spaced out for a moment there.

"I asked, should we pass out fungus medicine?"
I'm really just a sexy skeleton in a suit.
Fingering techniques are very important
Quote from: Six
Using guns while sober? Sounds like you're a coward.
Yes, little hats for every noodle.
Everyone is forks it seems.
"Everything is fucked forever, and ever, and ever." -Forrest 2016

saltmummy626

  • SPAM Connoisseur
  • POST LORD
  • *
  • Posts: 2,412
  • Dapperness +20/-7
  • Lord of Gulgatha
    • View Profile
Re: Catnips Odd Trip
« Reply #79 on: November 13, 2018, 10:49:51 am »
"There was no antifungal medicine." she explained. The gathered workers didn't like that, as was expected, but they didn't riot. They got rowdy for sure, but they didn't lose their minds over it and they calmed quickly. Somewhere in the front row, Catnip gripped L's arm gently but firmly. The tall Misling had gone stiff at the proclaimation that there was no medicine to be had. Felecia was going over why up on stage, giving the facts and some of her theories as to what was going on. "One thing I think we can be sure of folks; I don't think this Mycus thing is immitating us. Not all of us anyway. Look around you. I've been thinking on it, standing up here and looking out at y'all. You know what I see? I... I don't want to panic y'all... And maybe you've already noticed, but there are faces that should be in this crowd that just aren't anymore. There are less of us in here than there were yesterday. It doesn't rule out that more then one of us isn't exactly what they seem, but whoever it is isn't exactly going out of it's way to mimic everyone."

"So... What can we do about it?" Someone asked. Fortunately, Felecia had an answer.

"Same thing we been doing; working and sticking together. Except now I think everyone needs to group up. Harder to go after any one person if they are in a group I think, four or five per should be fine. Stick with your group, and don't separate from them unless you absolutely must. Mr. Bannerman and Ms. Walker are going to be working on getting the emergency generator and the tower moving. Ms. Partridge, make sure the wiring is up to snuff. We don't want any of it blowing if there's a short in the lines somewhere. As for myself, I'm going to look into Ms. Kestrels death a bit more. There's something about it I don't like, and I intend to find out what."
I'm really just a sexy skeleton in a suit.
Fingering techniques are very important
Quote from: Six
Using guns while sober? Sounds like you're a coward.
Yes, little hats for every noodle.
Everyone is forks it seems.
"Everything is fucked forever, and ever, and ever." -Forrest 2016

saltmummy626

  • SPAM Connoisseur
  • POST LORD
  • *
  • Posts: 2,412
  • Dapperness +20/-7
  • Lord of Gulgatha
    • View Profile
Re: Catnips Odd Trip
« Reply #80 on: December 10, 2018, 08:15:33 am »
They'd been told to keep in groups before, and it seemingly hadn't helped. Now the work was done in larger groups and while the safety such a plan provided was in question among some of them, the efficacy of it was undisputed. George and Catnip worked at a fever pitch, patching walls and tuning equipment. The electric generator brought up from the depths had suffered greatly from years spent submerged in standing water, and the coils of it's simple but effective motor had been corroded to uselessness. To that end, L was put on "winding duty." Catnip's term for the task of carefully unspooling the corroded copper wire and respooling a fresh length about the motors shaft. The generators starter was also an issue, but Catnip had that issue well in hand herself. It was more busywork for her than anything else. To the others though, it was something to watch. Catnip's crude improvised professionalism drew attention from the workers and assistants who came and went in there little groups.

After the big meeting, everyone had stayed in the auditorium and slept in shifts, keeping a close eye on each other. When the day came, and a cold but sunny sky with it, the fears of the night before burned away. Day also brought renewed vigor to the work crew and plans were laid out. Tenny would complete work on the wiring with prefab lines she herself had assembled over the course of the week while George would direct reinforcement of existing structures. Catnip would work on the electric generator, and Felecia would investigate into the strange death of the work crews only doctor.


"Could you cut the humming Miss?" Tenny asked tentatively from the railing across the large egg shaped chamber beneath the tower. Daylight streamed into the room in an oddly copious manner from the sole hole in the roof high above, and it warmed Catnip's bare scarred skin in a most pleasing manner. What she wouldn't give to have Kathrine rubbing that sunshine into her arms, and it was that thought that had Catnip humming. She had a vortex stone, safely tucked away in her tool pouch, and it seemed now that home was just a hop, a skip, and a longish jump away. And so, she hummed. Her singing was certainly something to wince at, but her humming... Kathrine had often found herself just sitting and listening to the steady lilting drone of Catnip's hum. Floyd had also done this on occasion, calling it Catnip's "inventors song" while her sister thought of it as Catnip's special magic song. It was calming, and it was probably this that brought the crews back to her while she worked throughout the day.

"Hm?" Catnip said groggily, the sun always did it to her. She could lay out under the sun for hours if she didn't have so much work to do. "Oh, humming. Humming?"

Another thing was that Catnip didn't know she was doing it. It just resonated out from the back of her throat most of the time, but she didn't really notice a note of it. She stopped for all of two minutes, and without knowing it she was off again. Deep in her work and humming the music of invention.

"Ugh..." Tenny groaned, "How inconsiderate. I can't stand that noise! Please, stop it. Some people's children, I swear..."

People were giving the electrician looks after that, little glances of distaste that Catnip felt the poor woman had done little to deserve. Instead of keeping silent and risking humming again, Catnip decided to talk instead and that didn't go over as well as she thought it would. The first thing that came to mind was a story about her knight in a modern time, Hector. Catnip got as far as, "My friend Hector is a knight and I helped him make his tank better." Before Tenny made a sound of irritable disgust and stormed out. Catnip watched her go, feeling confused but L only felt contempt.

"Go on Nip, I for one would like to hear more about New England and your family." L urged. She was unable to keep a little of the scorn out of it, and Catnip hesitated. Still, she talked a little hesitantly at first and then picked up the pace when she was sure no one else was going to storm out on her. She got part of the way through the rescue of her sister, when word came that the shattered helm was taking requests for supplies out by the barrier.
I'm really just a sexy skeleton in a suit.
Fingering techniques are very important
Quote from: Six
Using guns while sober? Sounds like you're a coward.
Yes, little hats for every noodle.
Everyone is forks it seems.
"Everything is fucked forever, and ever, and ever." -Forrest 2016

saltmummy626

  • SPAM Connoisseur
  • POST LORD
  • *
  • Posts: 2,412
  • Dapperness +20/-7
  • Lord of Gulgatha
    • View Profile
Re: Catnips Odd Trip
« Reply #81 on: April 04, 2019, 08:21:17 pm »
Catnip sent L for wire and continued her work. She didn't really need the wire, but she did want to get L out of the way for a bit. A bit of time to herself to think things over and plan. There was the instructions about not being alone to worry about, but Catnip wasn't worried. There were plenty of people coming in and out to run errands or get direction that she wasn't too concerned. The sun moved across the sky and cast it's semi circle of light into the egg shaped rotunda, moving the spotlight thus created slowly until it had changed to a dull orange and settled warmth onto her bare leg. Catnip closed her eyes and let her mind wander. Just a bit of comfort in her life, the warm early evening sun reminding her of Kathrine's tail draped over her lap like a bundle of divine fluff. It made Catnip's heart ache for home. With the stone in her bag though, she had a balm for that ache. A reminder that home was closer than ever, and that all she needed to do was make a move to get back.

A cold gust brought her back around. Somehow, time had passed faster than she thought. Was it possible that she'd dozed off? Of course it was, the sun always made her feel drowzy. How long? Not asleep, but alone. How long had she been alone? If someone had been by, they would have woken her and brought her around to her work. Silence. Too much silence. Not even the sound of wind over the main shaft hole in the ceiling. All at once, the mixed smells of rotten wood, filth, and the low sour aroma of mold seemed to fill the room. Catnip hopped to her feet and gave the emergency generator a once over. She and L had poured over it all day, and all the remained was to slide the alternator housing into place and snap the clips down. Somewhere across the chamber, something shifted horribly. To Catnip, it's movements sounded a bit like the rustling of old pages or the sound of dried dead skin rubbing against more dead skin. It had come for her, and if the breeze hadn't stirred her, it would have fallen upon her as she dozed. The housing clicked into place and Catnip slapped it's clips into place before spinning on her heels and bolting from the darkened room.

"L! George! Tenny!" She screamed, flying down the curved hall with all the speed she could muster. It was the same feeling, the feeling of being harried by something in the dark under Kings Court. Catnip was thankful that this time there was no voice pounding it's way into her consciousness and forcing it's way into her thoughts. Light ahead, spot lights and camp fires and the murmur of many voices. Catnip burst from the facility like a storm and bolted across the grounds towards the spotlights, towards the painted line marking the firing line.

Someone grabbed her by the arm while another caught her by the waist. Catnip shrieked and struggled, wanting desperately to get to the spotlights, get to safety. Then she realized who it was that grabbed her. L and another Misling. The turrets had already painted her with their little targeting lasers, little red points picking out points on her chest and midriff ready to put so many holes should she cross the line. L and young misling had snagged her inches from crossing over the point of no return.

"W-what's going on?" Catnip asked, "I thought you went to get wire?" L looked at her gravely and reached into her own bag for the wire she'd procured just before everything had gone wrong yet again. Catnip saw it on her face, was suddenly aware of some great uneasiness among those around her. "What happened?"

L worked her muzzle nervously, then said slowly, "Felecia's disappeared... Probably... Dead... They found her coveralls shredded up down near the pit..."

"Nobody heard a thing..." George said. He pushed his way through the crowd and said, "The screamers would have sounded off if she'd fallen in."

"So..." Catnip said tentatively, still shocked from her close encounter, her close shave, and now the latest in bleak news.

"So somebody has done a sloppy job of covering up." Someone finished, "Who's in charge now?"

"George, Catnip, and Ms. Parsons..." L explained, "What's left to do?"

George had finished the last of his fortification earlier that afternoon, he explained, and before she'd vanished Felicia had claimed that she thought she knew what had happened in the infirmary. He also had it from Tenny herself that the wiring work was basically finished. That only left Catnip's portion.

"It's done." She said, "Just prime it and start it and we can start pumping the water out. Then I can put the cell in and start the upper rotor." She didn't tell them about what she'd seen upon waking. That thing sliding around in the wind chamber, reaching out to infect and choke the life from her. The horror of it still stuck with her, but something else seemed to strike her as odd about the memory. Something important, a small but vital detail. It had moved around like a pile of rags, but there had been another detail she couldn't quite put her finger on. When Catnip tried to seek it out, her mind would shy away from it.

"We are set then. Hopefully Felecia turns up, but..." George said, trailing off at the end. He didn't have to say it. That if Felecia did turn up, there wasn't much hope of her being in any condition to lead them anymore.
I'm really just a sexy skeleton in a suit.
Fingering techniques are very important
Quote from: Six
Using guns while sober? Sounds like you're a coward.
Yes, little hats for every noodle.
Everyone is forks it seems.
"Everything is fucked forever, and ever, and ever." -Forrest 2016

saltmummy626

  • SPAM Connoisseur
  • POST LORD
  • *
  • Posts: 2,412
  • Dapperness +20/-7
  • Lord of Gulgatha
    • View Profile
Re: Catnips Odd Trip
« Reply #82 on: April 09, 2019, 09:24:52 am »
"Why were you screaming and carrying on?" Someone asked suddenly, Catnip saw that it was Tenny weaving through the workers. Catnip had somehow forgotten what had just happened to her. What she'd seen in the Howling towers rotunda. They were all looking at her now curiously and somewhat fearful. The mechanic saw something then, in her mind, an image of what things looked like to them. She, running and screaming from the rotunda like hell was at her heels all the while the foreman had just gone missing. If Catnip had been running, maybe she'd seen the foreman. If so though, then why act like she hadn't known Felicia was missing? As the idea came to her, it seemed that it was formulating in their minds as well.

"There was a monster in the wind room. Why did you leave me alone?" Catnip asked. Tenny frowned deeply.

"You were alone?" Tenny said suspiciously. Catnip realized her mistake but didn't know what to say about it. Yes she'd been alone, but that didn't mean...

"Yeah?" L said sharply. Catnip thought at first L was angry at her, but quickly came to understand that the tall misling was getting defensive of her. "I left her alone because she asked me to get wire from the people tossing supplies over the barrier. I thought she'd be fine since so many people were coming and going to see her. Everyone but you, Parsons. I know what your next insinuation is gonna be, and maybe we should ask where you were? You spend an awful lot of time alone yourself!"

"Everybody just calm the hell down!" George interrupted with a shout. It was plain to see that he was afraid, but there was something else. He didn't trust any of them, Catnip could see it. Everyone could see it. Then, no one could trust anyone. It was as it had been when Felicia had revealed to them the current situation and her fears. Tenny gave him a vile sideways look riddled with scorn and distrust.

"And what about you? I've seen how you hang around with these two... RATS!?" She hissed. L stepped forward and slapped her hard enough to send the woman sprawling and smashing the wire frames of her glasses out of shape. "You... You hit me?"

"Yeah, and I'll do it again too. I'd beat the heck out of you except we have bigger things to worry about than this bickering and your... ridiculous insinuations!" L growled at the prone woman. She had the appearance of a person who'd been caught assaulting someone, but didn't know they'd been seen yet, standing over her victim. "Catnip, will the generator run?"

"Y-yes... I just need to test it to make sure the power is steady and then we can-"

"Skip the tests, the pump isn't going to overload it. I'll stay with you, even if the rest of these people won't. We can watch it over night while it pumps off the water."

While L took charge, no one noticed Tenny pick herself up and crawl away. No one that was, but Catnip. After a little bit, everyone went off into their own groups for the night leaving Catnip and L all to themselves. They talked for a bit, L getting the details of what had happened and beginning to show real fear, now that the adrenaline of her actions was wearing off. Catnip's encounter frankly terrified her, but she owed Catnip a bit of trust. Before they left, Catnip stooped and picked something up.

"What's up nip?" L asked. Catnip didn't answer. Instead, she held up what she'd found. A small chain covered in little icons and bells with a broken clasp.

I'm really just a sexy skeleton in a suit.
Fingering techniques are very important
Quote from: Six
Using guns while sober? Sounds like you're a coward.
Yes, little hats for every noodle.
Everyone is forks it seems.
"Everything is fucked forever, and ever, and ever." -Forrest 2016

saltmummy626

  • SPAM Connoisseur
  • POST LORD
  • *
  • Posts: 2,412
  • Dapperness +20/-7
  • Lord of Gulgatha
    • View Profile
Re: Catnips Odd Trip
« Reply #83 on: April 16, 2019, 02:40:38 am »
The small generator chugged painfully, but worked the pump as fast as it would go as effectively as it should have. When day finally broke the two of them were exhausted, having spent the entire uneventful night watching over the equipment in shifts. Only, they didn't get any sleep. The night moved on and on, the silence of the facility deepening into something menacing. Even the sounds of the city beyond the pre-cataclysm defense network died down to a sleepy quietness. All the same, it was impossible to get more than a few minutes of sleep without bolting back into the world of the wakeful with a start. In the morning, Catnip and L were exhausted.

So they didn't notice at first when someone slipped in and stood around awkwardly waiting for them to see him. Catnip started violently when she finally did notice George looking over the railing.

"We've got a new problem Ms. Walker." He said solemnly, "The other generator is gone."

Catnip blinked blearily, rubbed her eyes, then tried to slap herself awake. It had been awhile since she'd heard the rumble of the other much louder generator. Catnip was so used to the background noise by now that it's absence should have struck her right away.

"Oh. Well, do you think we can fix it?" She asked, shaking L a little.

"It's gone Catnip." George reiterated, emphasizing the word 'gone.' It didn't seem to register. Couldn't register in Catnip's foggy brain. "We can't find Tenny either. How much longer is this going to take?" Catnip wandered over to the railing and looked down. The water level had dropped low enough that Catnip could now see the cradle and series of machines designed for accepting and utilizing the wind cells power of rotation. A simple mount like the one that had held the cell in the first place and a series of gears and motors. In a just a little bit, she estimated, she could get down there and start work on cleaning up the works and getting the cell in place. Then all that had to be done was to climb the tower and engage the drive shaft. An hour. An hour at least, two at most. Her bag found it's way onto her shoulder and when she looked, L was there looking haggard and worn out.

"We're in the home stretch now." Catnip said. She reached into her bag and wrapped a hand around the stone hidden there, grinning imperceptibly at the unintended double meaning. "An hour or two and this thing will be running again."
« Last Edit: April 16, 2019, 07:27:50 am by saltmummy626 »
I'm really just a sexy skeleton in a suit.
Fingering techniques are very important
Quote from: Six
Using guns while sober? Sounds like you're a coward.
Yes, little hats for every noodle.
Everyone is forks it seems.
"Everything is fucked forever, and ever, and ever." -Forrest 2016

saltmummy626

  • SPAM Connoisseur
  • POST LORD
  • *
  • Posts: 2,412
  • Dapperness +20/-7
  • Lord of Gulgatha
    • View Profile
Re: Catnips Odd Trip
« Reply #84 on: April 20, 2019, 04:46:54 am »
Time. Time was getting thin now, scarcer. Catnip had grabbed everything she needed and worked at a breakneck pace, cleaning and fixing. Loosening stuck gears and bolts, oiling the machine. The pump worked and over the hour she felt the water recede from thigh level to just below her knees. If there were shreikers lurking just beneath the waters surface, it was ages too late to worry about it now. From above, George and L watched over her patiently and with a growing tension. Besides the noise of the relatively quiet electric generator, they had marked the odd silence that had fallen over everything with trepidation. If it was down to the three of them, then it would be obvious to Catnip and L who the threat was. It wasn't though, and shortly before Catnip finished her repairs and slammed the wind cell into it's cradle, three other workers arrived looking for tasks. She heard George ask them where the others were at, but didn't catch the answer over the burst of air that erupted from the machine, and the thing that was rattled off the top of the debris shield above the bulk of the machinery.

At first, Catnip believed it to be a tiny screw. It wasn't though, in fact, it looked a bit like one of the charms from Tenny's bracelet. She pulled the chain of bells and icons from the pouch where it had been stashed, and yes there were a few small links on which there hung nothing. 'How...' Catnip mused, then shot a glance up. There was something odd about it, but there was a blank in her mind. How had it got here? Tenny hadn't been down into this part of the rotunda, and she certainly hadn't gone near the machinery. The hole in the ceiling then? That was a long shot, and Catnip had never seen Tenny so much as set foot on the stairs going up to the roof. So then...



"You did it Nip! You did it! What happens next!?" L cried, breaking her out of her thoughts and back into the real world. The workers who'd come in stepped back in awe of the machine. Already the drive shaft of the howling tower spun like a dervish out of control and rattled it's bearings back to life. The Gale within the room was entirely unexpected, but already it was slowing to a more gentle but still brisk cyclone. What little water was left was being whipped up out of the basin now and being thrown against the walls in sousing fans. Deep beneath, the shriekers that still remained gave a long ear piercing wail that went completely unnoticed.

"The-oh-It needs to wind up a bit," Catnip explained loudly shouting to be heard over the machine, "if we're lucky, it'll produce enough excess power to restart the facility and we can shut down the security grid." Catnip climbed back onto the walkway and rubbed at the grimy water clinging to her peach fuzz fur with a rough towel. "All we have to do is restart the buildings systems." She finished, and George added, "which we should be able to do from the console's here in this very room."

"Well what are we waiting for? How long does it take to warm up?" L asked or rather, demanded, furtively. Catnip stayed silent for a long moment listening. Her ears twitched attentively to the roll of the bearings in the driveshaft, the rough grind that evened out to a steady roaring hum as rust was worked out and lubricant spread itself out over moving parts.

"Now." She said. George took to one of the console's and set to work. In short order, the lights came back on around the facility and for a moment, the intercoms crackled to life.

Then, everything went dark.
I'm really just a sexy skeleton in a suit.
Fingering techniques are very important
Quote from: Six
Using guns while sober? Sounds like you're a coward.
Yes, little hats for every noodle.
Everyone is forks it seems.
"Everything is fucked forever, and ever, and ever." -Forrest 2016

saltmummy626

  • SPAM Connoisseur
  • POST LORD
  • *
  • Posts: 2,412
  • Dapperness +20/-7
  • Lord of Gulgatha
    • View Profile
Re: Catnips Odd Trip
« Reply #85 on: April 23, 2019, 12:37:45 am »
The entire facility simply shut down, save for the spinning shaft, and the air filled instantly with the smell of ozone and burning wire. A monitor blew and the cyclone in the chamber filled with flying glass, threatening to flay the rooms occupants until it had been ground out of existence by contact with the walls. George and L stumbled to the ground, throwing themselves haphazardly down to keep from being shredded while Catnip sprinted to the other side of the egg shaped room with one of the workers in tow. She'd need his help to pry the hatch and pull fuses.

"Overload! It's overloading!" She shouted. It was one of the first lessons she'd learned when working with automotive electronics. If there was too much stress on the system, a powerful motor would burn out everything it was connected to. The facility couldn't take it. Catnip knew that was absurd, it should be unlikely. The facility was built to take it's power from the tower itself. A doubt set in, but Catnip knew it had been there the whole time.

A short while later, George tapped away at one of the intact monitors and squinted at the screen while L dabbed at the blood welling up from a cut in his forehead. "I think it's stabilized, but Ms. Walker, I don't think it's going to be able to power the dish." He said, settling a bit on his feet. "The dish isn't routed into the tower itself to prevent a burn out, at least that's how it looks."

"So we'll have to climb the tower and restart it manually." Catnip said, connecting the dots.

"Nip," L said fearfully, "How are you going to do that? You heard him, the dish isn't routed to the tower."

"She's right." George put in, taking the small towel from L now that the blood flow had stopped, "The surge knocked out the security too. We could just-"

"NO!" Catnip shouted, more serious than she'd ever been before. "We can't do that. It's an option, but we can't do that. If we leave now, the tower will never restart. That thing trapped here with us will just leave. It'll get out into Pricetown and spread. Besides, I think I know who it is." L's eyes widened and she leaned in closer.

"You do?! Who Nip?"

"I've been thinking about it, and this short proves it I think." Catnip explained. She had an image in her head of Tobin plummeting to the ground, and the figure falling with him. They hit, but the other is made of sturdier stuff than the cyborg and simply rolls away and scuttles off into the dark. Despite appearances at the time, it had left a clue. The facility should have been able to take the power provided, even suffer a few blowouts in some areas, but such a wide spread blackout should not have been in the cards. Unless someone had tampered with the wiring. Catnip held up, in the palm of her hand, a tiny charm in the shape of a mouse.

"It came off her bracelet when Tenny landed on it after she fell off the tower with Tobin." Catnip said, "And it either got caught in her clothes or kicked or somehow ended up getting thrown into that hole up there. I found it when the rotor started and shook it off the debris shield."

"Catnip, if you'll pardon my language, that's bullshit." George said angrily. "How could you even... insinuate..."

"Because Tenny was the only one working on wiring, and she did it mostly alone. Think about it George. Moving around all alone, disliking humming and high pitched sounds."

"No. I refuse. Ms. Partridge has an atavism related to the loss of her husband to shriekers!" George insisted hotly. Catnip didn't understand. Not Georges refusal and not his anger. The evidence was there, enough of it anyway, and she just didn't get it.

"Refuse all you want," L said bitterly, "But she's right. Even if she didn't kill Tobin and the others, she's still the only one who could mess with the electrical systems in this place besides Catnip, and Catnip didn't leave anybodies sight once."

"You're just saying that because you hate her..." George pushed. L sneered unpleasantly, she wanted to shout at the man but instead crushed that desire back and tried reason.

"I don't hate her." L hissed, "I can empathize with her, but what she's done isn't an excuse."

"How could you possibly-"

"My husband is dead!" L shouted at him, exploding instnatly, "My children are dead! I want everyday to see them again, but I can't! If I hate Tenny, then it's only for what she's doing here. Sabotage! This tower is the best way to keep the mycus away from Pricetown and she's trying to keep it from being fixed. I... I can still hear them sometimes..." L's eyes had gone wide again, wide and haunted. Remembering what it had been like to sit in the cellar eating a handful of dogfood and being forced to listen as a monster used her childs voice to try and coax her out where it could get to her. The Mycus was tricky and evil. No vile tactic too low for the fungal invaders to use. What L was seeing now was such a thing happening again here in Pricetown. The Mycus horror spreading throughout the town and forcing people to starve while they listened to their former friends and family pounding on their doors or windows, making dark promises and dire threats. Begging to be let in. "We have to restart the tower... C-Catnip, what do we do?"
I'm really just a sexy skeleton in a suit.
Fingering techniques are very important
Quote from: Six
Using guns while sober? Sounds like you're a coward.
Yes, little hats for every noodle.
Everyone is forks it seems.
"Everything is fucked forever, and ever, and ever." -Forrest 2016

 

NOCTIFER IS A FAGGOT