Presque
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Operative Disease Mouse

7:39 AM

"Get a move on, Lucille!"

Gloria Tyler squeezed her legs against the thick reptilian neck, pulling on the feathers like reins. The large doors at the other end of the corridor did not get any larger. Instead, Lucille slammed into the left wall with a reverberation even greater than her footsteps or the shouting coming from behind.

"The exit is right fucking there!"

Nothing blocked the way, and yet the animal refused to move any further or listen.

In another domain perception, a flaming abjection tried to break through the writhing barrier while radiant, angry figures ran towards them with sticks. These sticks were actually guns, and the radiant figures were a security team and D-7273.

The security team seemed pretty sure they could kill it with guns; that was important.

Lucilles' mostly vacuous autonomy registered the fact that it just became trapped in a small space.

The ceiling was the next improvisational drum for Lucille to throw itself against, along with the orange-clothed figure on top of it. The latter broke in several places, never given the chance to realize that it was also feeding off of the anger and fear of the security team and was no longer able to be controlled. Another boom, another squish under the foot of a newborn monster.

One more light died.

The fresh entrails in Lucilles' stomach had already begun to slip to the floor in the seconds it had before being brought down.

"Shooting solves a lot of problems", indeed.

3:23 AM

A yellow badger with another head instead of a rear end burrowed through the concrete floor without leaving a scratch. Was that supposed to be about groundhog day? Someone else that was also still awake threw contraband in the form of an empty Pepsi can at the thing, and it just passed right through.

It was an accomplishment when things stopped being normal. Anyone would have expected all the alarms to start flashing or the guards when shit like this happened, but no one was talking about the sometimes literal elephant in the cell block.

The guards didn't even seem to care.

"Too contaminated from previous experiments, my ass."

Some of the other inmates were just ignoring them too. They seemed to stare for hours if you made the mistake of staring too long at them first. No one had had their faces eaten yet, even though they were more pretty damn creepy than anything. How were they still completely visible in the dark, color and all? D-7462 didn't think ghosts and shit like Casper could even do that.

It was…just stupid. Maybe she wouldn't be so certain of that if it could spirit them out of here or something.
But the person who thought they could get that kind of miracle by just asking would have even less smarts.

Being unable to sleep because of the reality you might soon die horribly from some paranormal shit or with an injection scheduled to be in the same day was stupid. The whole cell block of living dead was stupid.

3:28 AM

An owl stared back. D-7462 wasn't impressed with the cheap plastic crown.

"What are you looking at?"

The owl stared.

"Go back to whatever freak show you escaped from."

The owl stared. Its eyes were practically human.

D-7462 kicked it off the ladder, expecting it to be just as much a ghost as the rest of them. "-Holy shit!"

Above, her cellmate sat up with a near echo of the sentiment as the owl burst against the wall.

Tiny blobs of nothing spread through the air like a spray in slow motion from the source, and immediately turned a dirty yellow hue. The ones that drifted nearest to the ceiling and top bunk became an exception to this almost as quickly.

~3:47 AM

Yvonne Palmer, known as D-7462 whenever anyone but the other inmates asked, quietly rubbed her eyes as D-7273 was having a mental breakdown. She didn't really know their whole claim to being infamous, but it had been gang-related and also involved embezzlement. She sometimes talked about it. The name, "Lucille", was also vaguely familiar- Gloria mentioned it at least once.

Whatever that had in common with the present didn't interest Yvonne, except for the fact that it was part of the reason she wasn't going to be sleeping for the last one and a half hours she had before the wake-up call.

To be fair, she had yelled first. She decided it wasn't worth trying to get involved. She kept her eyes closed with some determination.

"You're dead! Twenty one years! My sleep ain't enough for you?! How are you here? HOW?" D-7273 screamed at the mutilated figure, ignoring the intermittent chain reaction it was beginning to cause down the cell block. Nearby, someone yelled a racial slur that didn't really make sense at all.

The phantom looked back at Gloria with eyes that had been shriveled away by the unforgiving sun. Even though it could be seen in complete darkness, any security feed would not be able to show it being there.

D-7273 thought she saw the ghost make a hint of a smile. With those all but nonexistent eyes, it was clearly anticipatory to her.

"Is it because I finally replaced you? Did you forget you stabbed me in the back first, you bitch?
D-7273 began to assault the figure. Surprisingly, it was affected by this: it was like watching a recreation of an old film reel, burns and all.

~4:21 AM

D-7462 finally looked at the spirit of her grandfather. His head was messed up from being punched repeatedly. Even though his eyes were asymmetrical to everything, they were still filled with disappointment also reflected in an extremely distended frown. And she came to a conclusion.

"It's not real, jesus. Calm down. Something is just-"

Something hard struck her the top of her skull, and she literally bit her tongue. D-7273 screamed at her while she tried to assure herself that her tongue was still whole.

"Shut the fuck up! You probably put Lucille up to this! You had it out for me the whole damn time too!"

Yvonne instinctively recoiled, caught off guard in the dark and the strength behind a fist that had previously been "inferior". The one time it had come to this, the first, last, and previously singular time, had involved a hoard of candy bars left inside a pillow case. Yvonne had at least forty pounds and muscle from manual labor when Gloria had been transferred to this block and specific cell. Do the math.

D-7462 stood up.

At the same time the blind fistfight was beginning, a lecture was being given from one immaterial thing to another. The former was assumed by the latter as wiser. This was not discouraged by the one perceived as such, even if the other was currently questioning its judgement. This discussion lasted an uncertain amount of time, due to being coupled with many variations of opinion from both sides, both similar and dissimilar variations and peppered with semi-related observations.

Theirs was a history just as cut to the bone with designation, that could not be scrubbed or hidden away like the epithets written in scars and bruises. You do not understand yet, you are new from old. You should not try to understand yet.

But we hear. We are concerned. Are they not capable of hope? We are concerned. It still ripples through we here that do not have keep.

Then contain yourself. You are also capable.

This thought wasn't heard by anyone who had ears- except perhaps for a mouse who was also over fifty other mice, at least three scientists, a dentist, a photographer, and a non-conventional transceiver.

~ 4:40 AM

"You fucks can choke on the sticks up all your asses! I'm not going to play any of your mind games, not with that bitch! You can all go to hell!"

D-7273 pounded against the bars with fists covered in blood, now partially her own. The guards pulled her away again, the fabric having become slick. D-7462 was trying to stem the bleeding from her own nose and cut lip. It could have been worse, if not for the ceiling. She had no idea what had set Gloria off because she hadn't seen the same thing. The outside of the bars glittered in a sickly way when the flashlight swept back to the cell and over that side of the hall.

Her grandfather had left before the guards came; just after Gloria started accusing her of things that didn't make sense.

In the context of everything, she could believe them even though they weren't true. There were a whole lot of things that shouldn't exist in here, anyway.

She had only accidentally started a house fire in California after stealing a few cars. That wasn't enough to be turned inside out, turned into some other horrible disfigurement, or exposed to something that would make something just as weird happen, right?

Her grandfathers' head came back to shake itself at her for just one more moment, echoing her own strongly troubled mind.

The shapeless masses of nothing tended to reflect such things in their current lack of self-autonomy. They didn't really have a sense of discrimination or limits either.

5:43 AM

The zenith of Glorias' otherwise unsettling behavior was prolonged due to the charged mass being pulled away from its direct proximity to the outburst by other thought-forms. Unfortunately, she had made things worse by calling it Lucille with such vehemence.

It happened in the Mens' Restroom of Hallway B, possibly in response to the otherwise unrelated verbal conversation that was happening at this time. It was about getting alcohol after work, at a nearby bar. "Getting lucky" may or may not have been mentioned, as not all were married.

Maybe add conversation here, or come back to it in following pages?

The manifestation occurred in seconds, just as Glorias' reaction to seeing the limbless phantom had been. Humor was not an effective defense mechanism to this shallow imagery. An angry tyrannosaur with at least three mammary glands and the mission statement to make everyone "end up in hell".

It could definitely start to do so with the amount of energy it was given, albeit for a short time without at least binding perception. This, of course, happened when Kenny Hopkins, Shashi Chaudhry, and Jackson Rawlings saw the fucking T-Rex.

The largeness of the restroom, while a sign of good funding, did not help to inhibit the dinosaurs ability to move at all. It turned around and knocked over the stalls with its tail. They broke and toppled like a handful of dropped dominoes. That kind of noise caused more concern than people screaming, if for being an abnormal noise instead of indicating that something dangerous was escaping.

Chaudhry took cover under the restroom sinks. The wall shared by Hallway B and the restroom began to bow outward in a curving fashion, especially where the door allowing access to the restroom was located. Then it burst in a shower of concrete and plaster, not reinforced like the actual containment rooms that were necessary to be so.

Good news: It turned on the sink.

Bad news: This wasn't another prank.

It bit a chunk out of the sink trough and the whole upper torso of another man. The rest was kneeling on top of his back after being thrown there. That was only amazing if one did not know Chaudhry was pressing himself against the wall and farthest sub-corner from the dinosaur.

He waited under there for five minutes just in case the ceiling wanted to collapse too- if the sink didn't shatter after that, it was safer than anything else. The water began the process of mixing with all the debris and splattering on the floor.

Something he wasn't looking for, and therefore could not "hear", "spoke" as he was leaving to tell someone about the monster that appeared in the bathroom. He didn't hear its rambled apology, agitation, or attempt at an explanation and the repeated request.

We wonder what taste is. The thrall does not want to convene with us about such matters. The thrall wishes that we would go home. We agree. We are currently unsure where that is. We are still retrieving such important memories for further autonomy.

Lucille is not held as implicitly constructive. We share your distress and confusion in this matter. We still hold concern about your objective and progression as resembling what little we currently remember. We still hope to be welcomed back in.

But a majority do not accept the idea of eating physical flesh. We are too many, and too little to support this. You are aware of this. You fear to lose secrecy. You tried to use strange things. They do not think. They do not live. They do not dream. They cannot see us.

We are starving. We are experiencing other complications from this. Lucille is one of them. You seem to call this "irony".

~5:50AM

Lucille met two people along the way of what seemed to be a direct, blind progression. These two people ran and couldn't run fast enough, respectively. The former hid inside a room and started yelling about an undetermined containment breach, not that Lucille was trying to be stealthy. It was also around this time that its footsteps started making vibrations. Whether this was because of indirect association or having to logically be really, really heavy would become irrelevant, even though where it was became more obvious to the people that wanted to find and kill it.

A dotted trail of human blood also marked the places the thought-form had been, with a fair amount leaking out from the lowest part of its pubis. This was obviously from the effects of gravity, and perhaps less obviously because of the rapid transition from an undeveloped shape to something much more complicated.

~4:55 AM


D-7273 was put into solitary confinement, and yelled for around half an hour with much colorful language.

Where before it had been a "clever enough" temptation, according to the number that had become completely distrustful, it was now that Gloria and anyone else having a problem with coping the reality of testing schedules were completely avoided.

Informing D-Class that were next, when the investigation concerned something known to be possibly lethal, was customary as long as telling them didn't affect the experiment. This was for moral reasons, as well as a higher rate of compliance.

Whether or not they were able to come to terms only changed how much work the psychiatric doctors would have.

Gloria wouldn't see the doctor today.

~6:10 AM


A few other things that would have reasonably come out of a B-movie were in the way. All of them were torn apart by a raging metaphysical being in the form of a generic, heavy theropod.

Lucille still charged forward, not bothering to cannibalize even the immaterial pieces left behind from the confrontations to replace lost energy; it was losing pieces with everything it broke, regardless of the hatred and the mental breakdown still adding more to the former.

It broke into the cell block and ate the prison guard as he was going through the routine of checking names off. His own logic said that one handgun wasn't enough to kill something bigger than an elephant.

It used his spike of terror and agony to ram through the metal bars of three cells and do the same to the people inside; "kill" and "feed" had been recognized as interchangeable. Some stalked in the corners, still tempted to scavenge by and on the emotions that could still be lingering in parts of the limbic system.

That entire hallway and half of the building would be cleansed of living spirits even long after these specific, related events happened. Whether or not anyone realized they were connected in that way was not of great concern to them in their ongoing dilemma.

They were cautious of going outside because that would mean leaving the thrall behind, if nothing else; now they were afraid of what would happen if they stayed. And splitting apart would certainly mean a higher chance of fading away again.

They from far, far away may have been right to say trust shouldn't be given, even if earned.

Exact details were uncertain in the record and the record was what mattered, if only for the sake of simplicity. It was easier to continue doing something if the test subjects were put in boxed cages. That was one loose thought that had been eaten.

It was plausible in theory, at least.




They were unsure of the ease and number with which death and plans of death, and lesser pains were let free.

And now they, a renewed collection, had seen it.

Of course it wasn't really Lucille. Lucille was dead. Lucille was never a dinosaur. This was just the culmination of memories and anger and possibly a little more, given from a person who was going to die at the end of the month or in two days. Whichever came first.

Death was part of the faerie tale, whether as the means to a lesson or the end.




More things to address/go further with in this.

  1. Yvonne Palmer (Voluntarily(??) contracted a parasite(?).)
  2. The psychiatrist(s) (Need a raise.)
  3. Shashi Chaudry (IT department. No, it's not ethnically homogeneous. Needs a raise. Needs a therapist.)
  4. Jackson Rawlings (Got groped by a cnidalopod(?) Needs medical attention for crush injury and possible related complications including but not limited to acidosis, low blood pressure, shock from internal toxins, and infection [of exposure to contaminated water]. )
  5. Kenny Hopkins (Killed in action. Previously in human resources; training, development, and coordination.)
  6. Prison security officer (Killed in action via dismemberment. Name in casualty report.)
  7. D-Class fatalities. (Dismemberment. Name in casualty report.)
  8. The possibility of "we" feeding off of (other) sentient non-people.
  9. Continue to dance around what exactly "we" is eating. That will take the magic away. It's neuron and axon pulses though.
  10. Elaborate on the need to be careful when describing these things. They're starting to get desperate for attention.
  11. Elaborate on general group dynamic, and how they might fight to the death with something else(and even each other, if it escalates to that) to protect their "keep" status. Because [him/her/it/???] is basically food and an incubator [of more ideas]. And if the latter isn't torn apart, they could come back.
  12. Elaborate on the current group dynamic, and how they're feeding each other on scraps and slowly starving. They're not that smart individually, although they're getting smarter/more numerous in their scavenging.
  13. Elaborate on the dangers of "gluttony" with these things, that are more than just the happening of an automatic, not prespecified manifestation appropriate to what was given.
  14. Elaborate on the difference between "keep" and "not keep".
  15. Possibly elaborate on how and what they see, and how it's sometimes distinct from what they physically are or become.
  16. Elaborate on how they respond to thoughts they pick up on that are even vaguely about them, when they're starving. It's chaotic. "Someone read the file. Five minutes later, there were twenty ghostly horses with narwhal horns in random places, surrounding them. Attention-seeking "horned equines" eventually filled the entire floor. It was worse than when they mimicked the computer monitor that the file was previously uploaded on. The file was amended again to avoid concrete imagery."
  17. Elaborate on the difference between the "shapeless blobs" and "distinct form", besides the obvious lack of discernment and self-reasoning in the former.
  18. Eventually get to who "we from far, far away" is.
  19. Focus on the mouse too.
  20. Explain the shadows?

Post-Mortem Interview #1