Bite Me

Aug. 31st, 2008 08:15 pm
kiyakotari: (Default)
[personal profile] kiyakotari
Another snake crossover bit.

Drin, the man whom Benjamin Emberley – who, Wren gathers, is most often addressed by his surname – introduced as a system admin, looks up from the open cellphone in his hand. “Our friends at the house. These are the folks where we were expecting to take shelter during the storm. They said they’re sending somebody out as a guide, but they weren’t precisely sure where we are in relation to their landmarks, and I was to text back with a better fix on our position. They thought we might be near an old bridge abutment next to the road, but not sure how close.”

“I’ll check it out,” Jian answers, and turns to go.

Wren watches Jian disappear into the woods, MP5 in his hands, head up and scanning the trees around him. She loses sight of him before he actually reaches the trees themselves, blurring out and blending in with the background until she can no longer make out his shape, even moving as it is. She twists her neck, looks at the others. “You guys mentioned something earlier, about the bug venom causing seizures?”

She sees Dance, fuzzy around the edges in her deteriorating vision, turn toward her. He nods.

“My body is releasing adrenaline, too much of it. Usually when I pull out the stops, I can shut the flow back off again as soon as I’m done using it. Right now, it’s not looking like it’s going to slow down any time soon.” Her pulse is a constant rush of noise in her ears, individual beats no longer possible to distinguish. Her vision is blurring, clearing a bit, blurring more. It’s getting steadily worse. Her entire body feels like it’s vibrating.

Emberley makes an inarticulate noise, something not quite a moan and too long to be a grunt, and leans toward the woman, Emma. Wren thinks, distantly, that she seems to be a rather beautiful woman, and Wren wishes her vision wasn’t so muddled and she could see her better – or barring that, that Emma would come closer. Obviously, she’s having a bit of trouble tracking. That’s not a good sign.

“I think I might be about to go into cardiac arrest,” she says calmly.

The others have a discussion, a bit hurried and rather hazy to Wren’s ears. She can’t understand most of it. The sound of her heartbeat has become almost overwhelming. She blinks at them, watching these fuzzy shapes moving around, and then Emma is right in front of her face, saying firmly, “Wren, why don’t you sit down there on the seat of your car, and Dance can kneel down by you, and then there isn’t all that far to go if we all fall down, right? It’s a bit awkward with the door there, but we’ll make do.”

Wren isn’t sure if she nods or not, but she does know she gets over to the door, apparently under her own power, and when she collapses it’s more or less onto the passenger seat of the Chevy. The shape that approaches her is shorter than the others and must be Dance. When he kneels and comes close enough that his features gain some definition, she sees that the assumption is correct.

Emma’s voice, close to Wren’s ear, says, “Wren, love, if you go into seizures you don’t want your thumb on an unlocked trigger, right?”

Wren doesn’t bother looking at the gun – her hands know it intimately, and her thumb finds the safety on its own, engages it. She smiles just a bit, flips it around, and hands the weapon over to Emma butt-first – she can feel her lips stretch wider when the woman takes it awkwardly, grip on the handle all wrong, fingers staying almost nervously far away from the trigger guard and the curve of metal inside it. She turns and sets it in the dirt near her side.

“Drin and Ember are keeping an eye out for us, okay? Wren, love, if they yell, I’ll hand you the gun, like this, one-two-three.” Emma gestures as she speaks, hands illustrating the explanation. “Right?”

Wren is rather certain that much motion would be a bad thing, at this point. She’s dizzy, knows she’s sitting still but feels like she’s reeling. She decides not to try explaining that she suspects that, in the event of another bug attack, at this point the gun would probably do more good in the hands of someone – anyone – other than herself. “Yes.” She leans forward, offers the cuts on her hands for Dance’s inspection. She has no idea what he might be able to do for her, but she has no doubt that he’s going to manage something. She feels her lips twist, and wonders if the thing on her face can really be called a smile. “Hit me, baby.” She’s thinking of Rupali, drawling the same words in her thick London accent, years ago.

Dance says something, leaning forward over her hands, but she’s far enough gone that she can’t make it out anymore, can’t see him – even as close as he is – as anything more than a vague shape in front of her, darker than the background.

She doesn’t expect him to put his mouth on her hands. But she isn’t really startled by it, either. Then everything gets really hazy, disjointed, and she knows she’ll be able to review it later and try to figure it out but right now, in the moment, she has no idea what’s going on around her. Whatever it is, it’s noisy. She’s pretty sure she blacks out for a little while, at least a few seconds. Maybe longer.

When she comes to, or comes back to herself, or whatever, Dance’s mouth is around her forearm and his teeth are sunk deep into the muscle there and strangely, it doesn’t hurt any more than getting a blood draw from a particularly skilled phlebotomist. Even when he shakes his head a little.

Date: 2008-09-01 03:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh wow--yeah, baby!
I'm thinking that Emma, in that first sequence, actually knows the most about what happened, and *she* really thinks she knows the least, because she was simply and observer on the outside!
How cool is that??

Date: 2008-09-01 03:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm getting the feeling that Emma thinks less of herself than her abilities warrant. Possible this is one of the things built into her when her memory was re-arranged, to help prevent her from starting to explore anything too much?

Date: 2008-09-01 05:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Just ramp down the confidence, ramp up the introvert, presto!

Date: 2008-09-01 03:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Did I mention liking these two sequences a lot??

Date: 2008-09-01 04:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Whoof! Beautiful!

The stuff you wrote and the stuff Nagasvoice did are so closely temporally entwined that we're going to need crazy-long Dewey numbers to put it in "order."

The image that came, don't know why, is foam. The way foam builds.

Date: 2008-09-01 05:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
's fun!

Side note, some of the stress support in the bug parts is foamlike, too--I think it's one of the pertinent ongoing images.

Date: 2008-09-01 05:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I think the foamy structure might be one of the major tech innovations.

Drin's work?

Date: 2008-09-01 06:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Quite possibly. His lab group might have come up with ways of "maximal packing while still flexible folding" techniques, similar to the origami/math masters who get consulted by the NASA space program for folding and unfolding large objects like solar panels.
I think they came up with some new math techniques which allow for structures which can tolerate new chemical compositions instead of standard ones which are far too commonly detectable by chemical sniffers.
I think.
It's like listening to Emma talking about falling down through 5D matrices as indexes of data.


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