Friday, June 26, 2009

A Daimone-Haunted World: Awakening

Who am I?

Where am I?

Calm down, calm down - I must remember something -

Oh, right. I'm me.

Prathap Saravagi, experimental thaumaturgist, at your service. Graduate from the Berkeley School of Emergent Sciences; currently engaged in postdoctoral studies (in a somewhat laid-back way) on distant, scenic Io.

Well. Calling my activities of the last few months 'studies' is to stretch the meaning of the word unmercifully. But the life of a student in these times is a difficult one; who could begrudge me something of a sabbatical?

(I might, if it causes more episodes as alarming as this morning's... never had quite that hard a time waking up. Perhaps I should take up jogging.)

A quick morning stim-up clears me of that notion; jogging! How repulsively healthy! Still, once I finish my morning toiletries, I don my atmosphere suit (probably unecessary - I'm not planning on stepping outside the dome - but Meteorite Strikes Can Occur At Any Time!, as the signs helpfully remind me) and head into town. There was an interesting paper published recently that a friend informed me of, and I can't access it from my house connection; so, I'll walk to the official connection and see if I can get a hard-copy.

The walk is a short one; the dome is perhaps an hour's walk across its diameter, and the secure connection is rather closer than that. It's early in the morning, too early for many people to be out of bed, much less out and about; I wouldn't be most mornings, but I couldn't go back to sleep after that unpleasant wake-up call. (And the stims I took afterwards didn't help.) So I'm surprised when I see someone standing in the shadow of the dome's central administration building, and doubly surprised when I see they've, daringly, chosen to go sans-suit -

And those two surprises, combined with a lingering sense of uneasiness, prompts me to click my tongue just right, causing a pair of thin lenses to slip down over my eyes, and subvocalize five sharp syllables.

The metals embedded in the lenses flare, and then settle; a corona of light settles around the edges of my vision. Everything I see seems to glow slightly - the rather scrubby trees our perpetually over-optimisic governing authority has planted in front of the building, doubly so -

And the girl standing before the building burns like a torch, sheathed in yellow-red fire.

"Daimone", I hiss to myself. Who let her loose? Who was careless enough - criminally careless enough - to let a Minor Power loose on the streets? Was this one of Mark's experiments - or - no, speculation later. This could have been bad if I hadn't noticed her, but as it was, if I kept my wits about me, I shouldn't be in too much danger. With my right heel, I scuffed a symbol into the Ionian dirt; a white glow rose about me, and my fingers began to crackle with silver lightning. Curling my fingers, I stepped forward, ready for a fight -

But the daimone had vanished.

I am not stupid. I looked about myself; up, down, left, right - refreshed the Sight on my lenses, and then doubled its strength, just to be sure. But the daimone, wherever she had come from, whatever she had been doing, was gone.

This was not a good start to my day.

-

EDIT: It may be helpful to read this series. It's not required.

2 comments:

Calvacadeofcats said...

im so scared

Cavalcadeofcats said...

You should be. This tale will harrow you to your very core*!

*Maybe.