Details, and the Devil therein.
Previous - this entry written on February 01, 2006 at 4:09 pm - Next
So I'm going to write a little bit. There are two entries before this; this one's just free-flowing thought. Memories, or dreams, or whatever, bits of things I want out of my head.
Imagine a school, not too big, sort of a small-town-high-school sized school. There's a baseball field out back, and some semi-sandy steep hills leading up into evergreen forests. It's a coastal town, so there's salt in the air and greenery everywhere. The road that passes the front of the school is the Main Road that runs through not one but three little towns within the span of a few miles. It's only a standard one-lane-per-side road, kept up more-or-less, clean because there's a lot of rain.
The school building is painted an interesting shade, somewhere between green and teal but very, very light. Hospital colors, institution colors, school building colors, you know the shades I'm talking about. Where there are accents they're in brown, teal, green, and white. The whole thing is... muted.
It's been more or less gutted. Empty, abandoned for a long time. Now there's cast-iron potbellied stoves set up in some of the classrooms, holes carefully drilled in the walls to let the chimneys out. From a distance - not that you can get much distance before trees and landscape and curves in the road block your view - it's as if the school is some odd factory, ringed with little chimneys that spill out smoke in the evening air.
The gym is, as most gyms are, big. The floor is starting to crumble a bit, no more polished wood, instead scores of braided rag rugs have been piled up to form an insulating layer, keeping the cold from seeping up, keeping the warmth inside. The walls are decorated in braiding and cloth as well, although they're in a bit better repair. The old benches and bleachers have been made over, their plain wood and plastic replaced, each bench carved and painted in such a way that as you walk up each step of the bleachers, a different picture is visible on them as a whole. It's obvious someone devoted a lot of time and love to this; equally obvious that it's been around for a while now, as the wood has the polish only achieved by hundreds of hands and bottoms touching it month after month.
Everything is cold. That's the part I remember clearest about this. You know those comets that pass by us every so often? Well, one didn't. Didn't pass, that is, at least not entirely. There was enough dust and ash and such kicked up into the air that while it didn't bring a new ice age exactly, it DID make everywhere colder, rather suddenly. A lot of species died. Humans were almost among them; unprepared, much of our technology focused on solar power, the end result was clans and tight-knit family groups living where they could find the best shelter and where the most edible plants and animals survived. Yeah, vegetarianism? Not an option any more, not unless you lived in one of the few cities that still had some form of power, usually windpower or turbines set up in a dam. Even those were rare.
It's cold everywhere, and in this little coastal town the school has become a haven, where the clan meets every new moon to socialize, keep warm, and generally to ensure no one has to be alone in the dark. See, some animals did manage to survive. There are packs of wild dogs and wild cats - the dogs hunt during the day and at night the cats hunt. The dogs... they're dangerous, but you can deal with them. Not the cats, not so much.
The cats got smart.
The cats use weapons, traps, plans.
Just sharpened sticks, rocks, holes dug and covered... simple things. But still, on the darkest night of the month it's good to be safe and warm and secure. The classrooms are all converted to individual apartments; about half of the people live here all the time, so they don't have to trek in each month, but for those who do come for the meetings (and usually arrive a day or two early, leave a day or two after) there is space, with doors that lock and stoves in each room and windows shuttered and barred and painted over. The paint is there for just one reason, really. The cats, again.
Their eyes are bright, and somehow terrifying, unnatural. Vicious. Cruel. Even knowing that they are safe indoors, no one wants to have to look out and see those eyes looking back at them. In this area, you don't travel at night unless you have several people and several weapons. The cats are deadly.
The centaurs rocked. Did I mention that? They were in many ways the typical centaurs from the old legends and stories. Wise, strong, skilled with bows (and with guns). Instead of developing cars, the first such transportation was something closer to a flatbed truck. Humans... there were some, apparently, as there were also some horses. But both were regarded about the way we regard monkeys now; considered lesser cousins, pets or creatures or wild animals.
The centaurs weren't actually half horse. It would be more accurate to say they were a mix of human with a fairly broad assortment of other animals. In what we think of as china, the horse portions were pot-bellied and often pale shades of grey and white, the human portions slant-eyed and willowy. In North America, it would be more accurate to describe them as half-buffalo or half-moose (the moose 'breed more to the north) with the upper half often having hair-mane-coat starting on the head and trailing all the way back to the tail, a mowhawk of fox-red or crow-black strands. England and scotland brought forth delicate deer-like creatures, elf-eared, violet eyes, and when you would occasionally find a deer-bodied, purple-eyed, black-maned and white-coated centaur let me tell you, it would turn anyone into a furre. *wry grin*
They were incredibly intelligent... and that's damned good because, at least as well as I recall, it was the centaurs who managed to process the most of the explanation of 'how', and to pass it on to the rest of us in an easier-to-understand format. Not that it's particularly easy to understand. Or to talk about. Gods, trying to explain it is like trying to eat jello with chopsticks. There just aren't words.
- - - - -
The one who started it. Wow. She... she is what I have always wanted to be, always known I could be, she is/was one of the best of us all. Not cute, not pretty, but beautiful. Intense. Her hair... they had something, she didn't know (or care, which is why she didn't know) how it worked, but you shoved it into your hair like hairpins or a hairpik and it staticked your hair until it was lifting and flowing around you, almost alive, moving like water and lightning. It was impressive.
The world she lived in was a world of fantasy. Magic, not science, ruled... though science kept pace somewhat, and the combination was hella impressive. If I ever get the chance, there are a few schematics seared into my memory that I'd like to attempt drawing and showing to someone who could actually figure out what the heck it WAS that I drew. I have a sneaking suspicion that it would be interesting.
She was researching something; think archeology, except instead of looking for old cultures, broken pottery, paintings on cave walls, what she was looking for was an ancient semi-science semi-magic machine. Sort of a doomsday thing. I think that she lived in what would have been called Atlantis, if it existed in our world. It existed in hers, and there was no sinking. Instead there were floods, frequent enough that the city developed like venice, with canals and flow-throughs and waterways, most of the transportation involving water. The city was old, VERY old, and there were things in it that had been around for centuries.
She... found out how to turn them on. And then her world found out what they summoned. It was in her search for a weapon to use against the Giants that she came across the trick to communing across alternate lives. She couldn't see any way to cross physically; I'm certainly not a scientist in this world so I'm unlikely to figure it out... but I know that there are versions of me that did choose a more scientific path and I think...
...that it would not surprise me if one of us figured it out, eventually.
- - - - - - -
I watched my father die. Quite a few times, actually, but the one that settled the deepest into me involved water, a world full of water, and everyone living on boats. No, not waterworld - there was still plenty of dry land, it was just in very small bits all over the place. Imagine something like hawaii... but everywhere. You learned to swim almost before you learned to walk. There was never any question as to the world being round... though it was at one point thought that we were all INSIDE a giant globe, that the sun and stars were nothing more than decoration of some sort. Spaceship Earth.
Maybe that's what it actually was; I don't know, because the 'me' that I saw through didn't know. It didn't matter. There was life, there were waves. There was danger, in the sea, from the Giants - this is one of the things that disturbed me, that in quite a few versions there were these Giants, the same in every version - and even on the land.
I was... mm, call it married... to that world's equivilent of tarzan, well-known and respected when he is in his element, considered something of a relic when he is out of it. And it was his shoulder I cried on when my father died... his, or in one version hers. Actually, that's another interesting thing.
- - - - - -
I was, about 90% of the time, female. The few times there was a male Self connecting to the odd matrix of lives that we were sharing, it was in a world where males took roles we would normally give to females here. I don't know if that is because the me-as-male lives were just further away, or because most of the male minds weren't wired the same as most of the female minds, or what... but more often than not I was female. I only have a few clear memories of males. I have hundres of females.
I'm going to go take a nap now that m'meds have kicked in. *yawn* I wonder what this'll read like when I wake up?
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