Author Topic: Catnips Odd Trip  (Read 1171 times)

0 Members and 0 Guests are viewing this topic.

saltmummy626

  • SPAM Connoisseur
  • POST LORD
  • *
  • Posts: 2,428
  • 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: 2,428
  • 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: 2,428
  • 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: 2,428
  • 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: 2,428
  • 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: 2,428
  • 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: 2,428
  • 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: 2,428
  • 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: 2,428
  • 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: 2,428
  • 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: 2,428
  • 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

saltmummy626

  • SPAM Connoisseur
  • POST LORD
  • *
  • Posts: 2,428
  • Dapperness +20/-7
  • Lord of Gulgatha
    • View Profile
Re: Catnips Odd Trip
« Reply #86 on: April 30, 2019, 01:30:14 am »
"We stick with our original plan and climb." Catnip said, "Well no. You and these guys climb. George and I can stay down here to keep the towers power output stable and prepare it to lock with the dish. We need the dish going at the same speed as the main rotor down here so they can lock together on the move. I need you to take the generator we have up to the top of the tower and hook it into the main breaker box. You might have to do some prying and unplugging and fuse swapping though, but I know you can do it. Just make sure the tower isn't still connected to the facility up there before you connect it all up or your fry yourself, okay?"

"Okay!" L said with a new determination. While she and the three workers gathered up the generator and tools they'd need, Catnip turned to George and they got to talking again. He still didn't believe, but that wasn't important. It was the look of suspicion he gave her that was. He leaned against the rail that ran around the edge of the walkway and watched L and the others go.

"So." He said, "What happens now? You show your true form and attack me now that we are alone?"

Catnip tensed and hissed back, "I could say the same for you. Remember, I fixed the tower and started it going..."

"And blew out the power." George asserted.

"Even if I had done it, it also took out the security wall. People are probably leaving already." Catnip pushed.

"Which was probably the plan." He pushed back. Catnip threw up her hands, quite sure now that she was growing to deeply dislike the man. Catnip had never been treated so much like an untrustworthy villain before.

"Whatever. If that's the plan, then why are you still here? You could probably leave too, but you aren't. So why are you still here then?" She asked. George cocked his head at her. He didn't think Tenny was in on it, but he wasn't really certain Catnip was either. He wanted to believe that it was all some massive mistake they were making and that neither Tenny nor Catnip was a doppleganger. The stress of the last few days was now plain to see, he couldn't hide it and keep calm at the same time. Instead, he simply asked a question.

"What if one of us is the doppleganger?"

"Even if we were, I don't think either of us is in any condition to do anything about it." She said, feeling very tired.

"So I'll ask again," George insisted, "what happens now?"

"Why don't we just... Wait awhile and see?"


L looked out over the vista that was the great American desert with a renewed enthusiasm. The sun was just clearing the horizon in the west and shining it's crisp winter light across the vast pine forests and desert scrubland of Arizona. The climb up the tower was worth it if only for this view, but she had a job at hand and the view served simply to gild a risky endeavor. Closer at hand, she could see the security barrier. Sure enough, the guns were down, but the pylons providing the barrier were still up and going strong. People pushed against it in panicky little groups, trying to find something they could grab onto and jump over or just trying to force their way through. It just made them look more like harried mice than before.

"Excellent!" She shouted, going back to the task at hand. The climb had been tough on them all, and once everything was in it's place, she'd given the workers leave to go and join those down below. They had offered to stay, not really meaning the offer but giving it none the less. Too eager to be off. L told them she'd be fine, that they could stay if they wanted, and readied her tools.

The first panel had been simple enough, with the lock cut and the switches revealed, she could start chewing some wires, metaphorically speaking. First, she pulled the fuses one by one, taking each out in turn and examining them like Catnip had showed her. Each one had a little filament inside, and if the glass or plastic was burnt or damaged, it could be thrown away and replaced. She wasn't going to do that though. Instead the fuses, good and bad, were yanked out and dropped into a bag which disconnected uneeded systems from the facility. Then the panel was closed up and L moved onto the next until she came to the main switch. Just a single small breaker and a series of lights. L stared at it for what seemed like minutes, before checking the rest of the box over. The one breakers importance had hit her hard for a moment. The whole thing hinged on this switch. Above one of the lights was a faded sticker that read "main power" and that one was black, but the other two were not. Two more LED bulbs, red and green. Currently, the red one was on. This one's label, a more durable raised metal sticker, read "do not activate if light is red! Personnel failing to follow this instruction will be marked for immediate termination and prosecution!!" L knew what to do. The dish above, it's pinkish metal glinting pleasingly in the morning sun and casting it's strange shadow over Pricetown, had to start spinning. All L had to do was unhook this box from the facility, a task she accomplished with a pair of bolt cutters and a wire stripper, and hook the generator up. When the light turned green, meaning the dish had reached synchronicity with the drive shaft below, all she had to do was flip the breaker and engage the link. Easy.

She gave one more appreciative look out over the desert before turning the generator on. There was a moment where her reverie at the sight turned to confusion at the smell and sound that came out of the generator as it turned over, in the moment before the it suddenly exploded.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2019, 01:34:10 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: 2,428
  • Dapperness +20/-7
  • Lord of Gulgatha
    • View Profile
Re: Catnips Odd Trip
« Reply #87 on: May 02, 2019, 06:30:25 am »
Catnip didn't hear the sound of the electric generator belching electric fire as it's innards fried and circuits fused, as the sabotaged starter did it's hellish task. What she heard instead, was George shouting over the roaring driveshaft and howling wind as he explained how to set up the remaining terminals to automatically manage the system after everything was in it's place and squared away. They'd discovered the miraculously intact and operable terminal around the same time L was dismissing the men who helped her get the generator where it needed to be.

"You know," Catnip shouted back, "If this thing is able to maintain itself, we could probably set it up to manage it's own coupling procedure. My friend Dee was really good at that sort of thing. You think we could do it?"

"Oh yes, certainly." George responded over the noise, "just input the command here and hit this key here." He jabbed at the screen with one well kept finger, then down at the enter key. "It's risky though if the dish above isn't up to speed and active. If the shaft tries to couple with a dish that isn't in sync with it, or even stopped entirely, it could damage the structure."

"It would rip the top of the tower off." Catnip said too low to hear. She could see it in her mind, her mechanical acumen taking over and simulating it for her brain to work out. The coupling would try to engage, the entire edifice would begin to rattle as the spokes slipped and stripped themselves against one another, and then the shaft would catch. When it did, it would simply twist the top off the tower and fling it away in so many useless pieces.

"I'm going to check the other terminals, maybe our luck will hold out and we can get this place a little more stable. Stay right there, and don't fiddle with anything." George shouted, putting a little emphasis on that last. Whatever trust there had been was gone, and Catnip didn't miss the way he glanced back at her as he crossed the walkway. How he never let her out of his sight. She watched him carefully, keeping a likewise careful eye on the man, and tucked her hands in her pockets. It wasn't until then that she felt the vibration of her radio receiving a transmission. It was so hard to hear it, the sound was being drowned out by the wind chamber, and so Catnip cranked the volume as high as it would go and held it up to her ear.

"-DESTROYED! ITS ON FIRE! CATNIP PLEASE ANSWER, PLEASE ANSWER!" The radio shrieked. It sounded like L, and her message...

"L?! What happened? What's going on?!" She shouted into the radio. Catnip had gone cold, seeing the ghost of an image floating up into the murky dark of her darkest fears. One of the workers dropped the generator and broke it, or maybe one of them had done it intentionally. Maybe all of them. Or... Or maybe it wasn't that bad, maybe L was just having trouble getting it started or-

"THE GENERATOR IS ON FIRE! CATNIP, IT JUST..." There was a long pause, and Catnip could imagine L suddenly stopping to get ahold of herself. Then, "God Nip, it just exploded..."

"Are you hurt L? What happened?" Catnip asked, going cold now. If the generator was down, then they were sunk.

"No... Er... Yeah, my arms all burnt and I... I can't stop twitching. My body feels all tight and..."

"Alright," Catnip said, trying to sound reassuring. Catnip knew the feeling L was describing. She had electrocuted herself more times than she could remember, but probably not nearly as bad as L had. While L had been speaking, Catnip had happened to glance around to where she'd been working the night before and spotted the empty wind cell. In an instant, she had an idea. A dangerous, stupid idea. "I'm coming up L, George and I are going to set the thing down here to couple automatically, but we've gotta be quick. George just go through explaining to me why this is gonna be risky, but it should work. Getting that dish moving is going to be the hard part I think." She said. Catnip didn't hear what L asked next. The radio was already back in it's cradle on her belt and the empty cell tucked under one arm.

"George, somethings gone wrong up top, we need to... George?" Catnip began, then looked around silently and with a rising uneasiness. She'd only been on the radio for a moment but in that time, George had gone.

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: 2,428
  • Dapperness +20/-7
  • Lord of Gulgatha
    • View Profile
Re: Catnips Odd Trip
« Reply #88 on: May 21, 2019, 08:09:28 am »
Her eyes were drawn instinctively towards the tunnel near the end of the row of consoles, near where George had been, and recalled the night before. More than half asleep, something had come out of that tunnel. There wasn't anything down there though, Catnip had seen the floor plan of the facility, the old tunnel had been sealed off. Collapsed at the other end and filled in with concrete. There were rooms back there though, the work crews had stored numerous building supplies in the accessible side rooms. There was no reason for George to go down there, but Catnip felt strongly that he had. The dark opening seemed to breath, or perhaps she fancied it did. There came the faint smell of rotting wood and a touch of the taste of turpentine. She tapped a few of the keys on the console just as George showed her, and then hesitated with her finger over the enter key.

"George?" She called.

If there was a response, she didn't hear it. There was an almost imperceptible shift in the dark of the tunnel though. Something like a pile of rags just beyond the arc of dim light cast from the rooms sole source. 'Of course,' she thought absently in a moment of the kind of clarity brought on by fear, 'she got to the generator when I ran from her. She wouldn't stop it from running, but that doesn't mean Tenny couldn't break the starter.' As if reading her mind, the shape moved into the light and all Catnip saw before tapping the enter key, snatching the empty cell, and bolting from the rotunda was the general shape of something that her terrified mind could only identify as a pile of shifting clothes. The screech of the creature that Had been Tenny Partridge followed after her, then was drowned out by the din of the towers lower half preparing to automatically engage.


She fled, and the mycus horror followed. There wasn't much time to waste, but if Catnip couldn't make some distance between herself and Tenny, she wouldn't have time to follow through with her plan. Not that any of that was on her mind. At the moment, most of her attention was just focused on trying to avoid the changling's attempts to cut her off. Now that she was outside the maelstrom of the howling towers wind chamber, the mechanics instincts took over. Her whiskers twitched at a bend in the hall and she dipped to the side just as some previously hidden horror came at her in an attack that was more flop than lunge. Not Tenny, it looked to Catnip's harried imagination like one of the missing workers. There was no time to wonder where they'd been hiding, only time to run. She hit a pair of access doors believing she'd bounce off, but instead barreled through it at full speed and almost threw herself to the ground. The early morning sunlight blinded her for a moment, and she nearly flipped over the rail opposite the door. Somewhere below, she heard someone screaming but didn't bother letting her eyes adjust. Her whiskers told her she was still being pursued. It was her one chance, she spun and for a moment saw it. The thing had resumed it's shape as the electrician, only in place of Tenny's clothes, she seemed to be covered in loose hanging rags that hung in folds and puffed small clouds of grey dust as she moved. Her eyes had shifted to the deep blue purple Catnip had seen in nightmares where she'd fled through the lab beneath Pricetown in the oppressive dark and grey fog of the Grey Queen. Catnip kicked the door shut, and slid her prybar through the handles. There was no telling exactly how strong Tenny was, but the way the door bowed and the bar creaked told her that it would only hold for a little while.

By the time Catnip reached the first of the Howling towers landings, the smell of electric smoke hit her. The generator was burning, just as L had said it was. Since there was time now, Catnip fumbled the empty wind cell open and slipped the intact vortex stone into it and twisted the slots closed. Instantly the cell took on a strange weight and tension that was obvious through the super alloy sleeve. A crash from somewhere below scared her into motion again, Tenny would catch up quickly if she stayed where she was. Up and up, taking the steps two at a time until it felt like her lungs were on fire and her side felt like someone had inserted a steel pin there.

"There is a pin there..." She thought madly, her life flashing before her crazily for a moment, "They put it in when the RV exploded, when I broke my back..." Terror had brought clarity and it seemed the only thing that clarity wanted to remind her of was all that she'd been through. There was a rod in her leg, a series of pins in her back and side, a plate in her shoulder. So many scars, so many injuries. She had made Kathrine worry so much with the things she did to herself, and was that right? "Kathrine!" Catnip cried out hoarsely.

From lower down, Catnip heard a cry in response. Below, Tenny had begun her own ascent.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2019, 09:14:53 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: 2,428
  • Dapperness +20/-7
  • Lord of Gulgatha
    • View Profile
Re: Catnips Odd Trip
« Reply #89 on: May 25, 2019, 08:14:53 am »
L was nowhere to be seen, instead what greeted Catnip when she reached the top of the tower was an electric generator burning merrily to itself while the tower shook under it. Catnip took hold of the wind cell and prayed to Agmen. With every step up the tower, the cell had become more and more like a bomb, active and ready to blow at the slightest provocation, or given enough time. She gave it an experimental turn and felt the uncharacteristic grind of super alloy on steel. She could open it, but it was dangerous. There was also the risk to the dish. She had no idea exactly what would happen when she opened the canister or how powerful it would be. All Catnip could do was pray and hope she was doing the right thing. She gave the dish an appreciative look, perhaps a longer look than was safe. Three pink parabolas dotted with fist sized holes arranged irregularly about their surfaces. No dish was the same as the ones it sat between, and no hole seemed exactly the same as the others. To Catnip, the natural breeze atop The tower seemed not to blow, but to breath through those holes. She stared long at the dishes and with one hand, reached out and touched it knowing fully that she didn't have time for the reverie but helpless to stop. The feel of it sent a ecstatic jolt down her spine that made her shiver. It was like touching something divine. Like bone and metal made one. It was...

There was no time. Her whiskers caught movement a moment before her eyes did and she flinched away from the reaching hand made claw.

"Stupid rats!" The Tenny thing hissed, "Stupid rats and shriekers and triffids and... And stupid stupid rats! Not much time now, you can't start it now rat, can't stop the Grey Queen."

Catnip backed away, hissing a little herself and suddenly feeling outright pissed at the interruption rather than afraid of the creature advancing on her. Beneath her arm, she gave the canister a single half turn and heard the pressure within push the top half up the channel to the next turn with a loud "snap." Behind her, she caught more movement, someone or something dropping off the dish. If it was some new enemy coming at her from behind, she'd at least make them pay for profaning an object she already viewed as sacred. With her free hand, she held up something that glittered and glinted brilliantly in the cold dawn, it's little bells jingling unheard in the growl of the towers turbine.

"You evil thing!" Tenny hissed warrily, "You wicked evil thing, give it back, it's mine! Give it back or Rita will make you suffer!" Catnip didn't understand why Tenny had invoked the name of the Grey Queen, but the mimic's seeming inability to threaten Catnip with her own wrath gave the Mechanic more than enough confidence to do what came next.

"If you want it so bad, then you can go get it." Catnip hissed. With a flick of her wrist, the bracelet arced out and away into the blue yonder. Except, it didn't. With a move just as quick Tenny lashed out with one tendril and caught it, snagging the charm bracelet with a boney barbed claw like appendage. It wasn't much, but it would be all Catnip would get for a distraction. If anything had been gained from the attempt, it was that Tenny's minor display of flexibility meant that Catnip didn't have nearly enough space between them. She spun on her heel, saw L standing behind her with a look of pure terror writ large in her eyes, and then gave the canister the last half turn. The lid flew off with a deafening bang, giving Catnip no time to move her hand clear of it. The half she'd been holding, the handle, rocketed away from her and smashed one of the faulty circuit boards with the power of a cannon ball while the half Catnip held fired into her guts with matching force. She felt the railing, behind her. Then beneath her. Her back screamed a familiar agonizing protest, and then she was over and falling. Above, the dishes were spinning under the force of the gale released. Everything seemed to be moving very slowly now, the tower speeding by at a snail's pace. Then she was brought back around by a fresh gust as cold as a winter storm blowing across her face, and she realized she landed on something. Breath came hard, and she was coughing and felt like she was going to hock up her guts. Catnip wanted to vomit, but there was nothing. The retching only made her more aware of her condition, and only brought up thick gobs of bloody phlegm. For all intents and purposes Catnip was down and out, but not dead.


As soon as Catnip opened the canister, Tenny charged. The monster hadn't expected the explosion of air that had suddenly swept the mechanic off the walkway and down to her obvious death. She also hadn't expected the dish to begin it's terrible spin and it's even more terrible song. A loud dull groan that passed through the structure and passed through Tenny like a lemon on an open sore. She screamed and that was when L hit her.

The wrench had been in Catnip's bag, but L had been given the tool along with some others for the task she'd come up the tower to accomplish. She hadn't needed it of course, but perhaps it was better that she had it. Without it, she would have had nothing to hit the mycus horror with. The Misling was torn momentarily between watching her friend fall and fleeing before the anger came to her. A white hot anger. It wasn't for Catnip, it was for herself. The writhing thing howling it's agony to the sky. It was a wretched thing to behold, and L hated it. In the open light and without any focus on it's appearance, Tenny had let the disguise slip. The rags were now revealed to be what they were, gills like those on the underside of a mushroom unevenly grown all over the woman's wasted body, and the tendrils. Long gray this tipped with a little barbed claw. Only L knew they weren't claws. They were stingers. Stingers that stung and injected spores by the millions into people. Into people's husband's and children. L was here, but she was down in that cellar still. L would always be down in that cellar, and she could keep going despite that. She could still live despite the pain, and she could certainly make the shrieking monstrosity pay for what it had done.

The first blow crushed Tenny's skull, The second bent the wrench, and the third sent her tumbling over the side of the tower, bouncing noisily off the railing of the walkway Catnip had miraculously landed on and was even then 'expressing her dissatisfaction' with what had just happened to her. L had the insane urge to heave the electric generator down after Tenny. She would have done it, only the tower chose the following moment to shudder and shout it's own issues to anyone who would hear. It went from shuddering, to violent shaking all the while accompanied by a steadily rising "kachunk kachunk kachunk." The towers gears were stripping again one another, the rotors we're turning but not engaging. L stood stunned, staring at the flashing green light in the towers only good fuse box. Then, with a casualness that belied the adrenaline running through her, she pulled the switch. The noise increased tenfold and L thought for a very brief second that everything was going to come down regardless and that all their efforts were for nothing. The tower soon settled though, and left L standing alone in the smell of burning electronics, the beautiful blue of an Arizona early morning, and the voice of the howling tower.
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