Track 5: Try a Little Scariness

When next I opened my eyes, I was in lying in my bunk. Immediately, I realized several things. The first was that there was a bandage pressing this gel-like substance into the hand I think I broke. The second was that, while the gel was doing wonders for me, my hand still hurt like hell. I groaned in pain.

“Oh good!” A woman with somewhat of a contralto voice excitedly said, “You’re awake!”

I turned my head around. The first thing I noticed about her was her face. Blond hair with purple tips in some areas fell randomly around her face. Despite how baggy and bloodshot her eyes were (the right was brown, the left green,) they still shone with childish excitement to match her ecstatic grin. However, the thing drew my eye the most was the network of scars on her face.

The largest one ran down from about an inch above her eye down to her jaw. A spiderweb of scars went from her nose to her ear. Strangely, the only scar that was on her cheek was the main scar.

She noticed me staring. “You like my scars?” she asked, pointing at her face, “or is it my heterochromia?” Before I could answer, she began to ramble on. As she did, I noticed she began to look less at me and more at random places. She also began to literally shake with excitement, bouncing up and down like a child who ate too much candy, all while making wild hand gestures. “I actually don’t have heterochromia. I got this eye the same way I got my scars. You see, when I was like five my dad was taking me and my sister to ballet practice (she’s my twin and goes here by the way) and I decided I was going to practice something in the car, so I took off my seatbelt and stood in the center, you know, between the two front seats, and dad turns to yell at me to put my seatbelt back on, and so he doesn’t see the car merging onto the highway so my sister tells him to watch out and he slams on the brakes and the next thing I know I’m awake in the hospital!”

She took a deep breath, then continued. “So, when I wake up in the hospital bed with my mom and dad and sister and, like, all the doctors and nurses ever looking down at me and they’re saying how they managed to get rid of some of my scars by sewing them from the inside and how I was the first person they ever did a full ocular transplant on and my mom just cried.” She paused, then said, “That’s when I decided I wanted to be a doctor. They get to do all this cool stuff.” She beamed even wider like this was some kind of an achievement.

Just a quick note: Whenever she talks, you should probably assume that there aren’t actually spaces between the words.

“So are you in the medic program…?” I asked hesitantly.

She shook her head. “Nah, too much hurting people, not enough helping people. Or research. Research is really fun! Did I ever tell you about the time I accidentally dissected a living HSR?”

She paused, waiting expectantly for me to answer. Her jitteriness appeared to have increased from anticipating my response. Patience was obviously not one of her virtues. However, her hand came to rest on her lap. “No…” I said slowly, “We’ve only just…”

“Oh yeah, right,” she said, then continued on, resuming her erratic hand gestures. “Anyway, I was doing this basic lab work, I think it was dissection, and he comes in and tells me that he thinks that there’s something moving in his stomach. One of the seniors at the time had told me he was, like, trying to biologically recreate a xenomorph from the film Alien, and I saw him give this oh crap look so I was totally like, ‘dude, we have to operate right the fuck now’ and he gets on the table without any prompting and says ‘do it here!’ I tell him I need to get some anesthetic, and he tells me that he’s a regenerator so it won’t work so I start cutting into him, desperately trying to find a baby xenomorph and he’s talking about where it’s going and for some reason he keeps calling me ‘mistress’ and flat-out begging me to keep cutting me and going on and on about how he deserves it and how pain is so wonderful, all while I keep having to deal with his tissue restitching itself and getting harder to cut. Then I realized that since he’s a regenerator, his immune system would probably be able to deal with a xenomorph egg.”

She paused, her head cocked to one side and her body perfectly still. “Also, now that I think about it, he… seemed way too happy about being cut up. Like, sexually happy.”

She shuddered, then continued in her normal motormouth way. “So I had been recording because what I was supposed to be doing was recording me dissecting a frog and I hadn’t stopped because saving regenerators from chestbursters was probably going to be interesting, so I post it on CampusNet. Next thing I know, it’s the most-watched video it CampusNet and there’s like all this fan art of me as a dominatrix floating around. Really creepy. Anyway, I guess the moral of the story is always, always, always… set your videos of surgery to private. Because people are fucking perverts.”

“Speaking of injuries…” I said slowly, “how am I doing?”

“Oh shit, I totally forgot about that!” the strange woman exclaimed. She pulled out a pen light and aimed it at my eyes. “I’m gonna need you to keep your eyes open. Standard procedure for any fight where you suffer a blow to the head. I don’t know if you remember, but you had a few during the fight. Plus, you kinda hit the back of your head on a rock when you collapsed. I know the point is to kill off a few of you but I really don’t like that.” I noticed that, for a moment, a very scary look crossed her face. It was very brief, but it still made my blood run cold.

Before she could start on another tangent, I spoke up. “So,” I said quickly, “my name’s Nathan. I’m sorry but I’m not sure I got your name.” I held my hand out for her to shake.

She grabbed (medium grip) and gave it a shake. “My name’s May Riley,” she said. Then she looked out into space. “You know,” she said, distractedly, “I don’t think I did tell you my name.” She then began to pick up speed. “I knew your name before, though. If I didn’t introduce myself, that would have been really rude and I don’t like rude people so that would make me a hypocrite which is really not good. By the way, you’re actually in pretty good shape because your hand is only slightly cracked and your arm is only dislocated which I was able to fix in two seconds with some of this cool tech we have here. Also, you actually don’t have a concussion which is really good because we can’t fix those or brain death. By the way your head seems to protect your brain well above average, so if you like, die or something, can I dissect you?”

“I don’t think my parents would like that,” I said. May looked like she was going to argue, then she covered her mouth. She seemed to realize how horrifying she sounded. Before she could apologize, however, a voice cut in.

“May, are you scaring the patients again?” a voice asked. The voice sounded exactly like May’s but with a different attitude. Instead of being a bubbly motor mouth, this person seemed to be much calmer and much, much less likely to take your shit. I looked over May’s head. There, standing behind May, was a woman who, I’m guessing, was her twin.

Her hair was not dyed blond and purple, but instead a natural brown. Her eyes were both brown and she wasn’t scarred, probably because she had kept her seat buckled during the car crash that had busted May up. She also seemed to take better care of herself, as her hair was much cleaner and her eyes were much less bloodshot.

May had also turned around. “Yeah… I kinda asked him if I could dissect him if he died. I’m pretty sure that’s not something normal people do,” she said sheepishly. “Sorry, Mary.”

“Well, we’ve got trouble,” Mary said. “The girl who beat this guy up is actually a feral.” For those of you who don’t know, (which I wouldn’t know how you wouldn’t, seeing as ferals are the most common type of parahuman) ferals are seemingly normal people with retractable bone claws, enhanced sense of smell, and a healing factor. They are also known as wolf-people, Lupine, or Homo Sapien Lupus. The power, from what I understand, messes with their head. I guess that might explain some things about Eliza.

May stood up. “Let me guess,” she said, suddenly all business, “someone found out the hard way.”

“Yeah,” Mary said. “Guy sees that she’s beaten the past fourteen people to a fine paste, so he pulls a knife and gets her in the eye. She pops her claws and rakes across his belly.”

“Only once? Seems remarkably restrained for a wolf girl. Why aren’t we running?”

“Just… just checking in,” Mary seemed concerned. “You look like shit. If I had to guess, I’d say you haven’t had any sleep in the past 24 hours.”

“Maybe,” May said in a completely unconvincing manner. “But it isn’t important. Come on, let’s go save some lives.” She hurried passed Mary, pretending not to notice her twin’s suspicious gaze.

I decided to open the shelf under my bed to do some writing in the diary. I was still feeling a bit under the weather, so it was kind of hard to write. Also, I was distracted by the sounds of people yelling outside. Being inside did a good job of muffling things.

A little while later, the twins came back in. Their uniforms were covered in blood. Judging by the expression on their faces, the guy didn’t make it.

“Hey,” I said, “you guys ok?”

“We are,” May said, “aside from the fact that we lost our first patient.” She brightened a bit. “Hey, you’re still talking to me. Usually people stop being polite to me around the five second mark during the first conversation. I actually did a study on it in fifth grade, and then I’d ask them all these follow up questions because I like to be scientific, but they usually didn’t answer and the best I could hope for was not to have apple juice dumped on my head in the bathroom. It actually got worse in High School, but I still don’t have any answers for that.”

She took a breath, which allowed me to say, “I don’t know, it might be helpful if you pause and let other people talk?” I tried to say it as gently as possible, but she still paused. I kicked myself. Bad phrasing. She might be overly sensitive to that.

“I’m not?” She asked. She looked bemused by this. Then her face lit up again. “Oh!” she said as she sat down on the bed opposite me, “I know what I can do! I can give you like a virtual…? Verbal…? Yeah, verbal tour of the island. You AMS and Shadowhaven guys don’t get out of this place until your second semester so I can only tell you about the main campus. Come to think of it, that might not be a favor. Anyway, any questions?”

“So, what’s up with the green sludge they’re feeding us?” I asked.

May’s eyes lit up. “You mean the Power Sludge? I made that.” she said proudly.

“Oh.” I said. I didn’t really want to tell her how awful it tasted, and I doubted I could lie convincingly if she asked whether or not I liked it.

“Yeah, I know, I know,” she said, a little sheepishly, “it looks like diarrhea and tastes like chemicals, believe me, I know. I pretty much survived most of last year on it. But that isn’t the cool part.”

She leaned in close. “The cool part, and the reason why the school is actually paying me lots of money instead of the other way around, is that it’s an exercise aid. You see, when you exercise, your body releases all these chemicals like lactic acids. That’s why you feel this burning sensation after running. What this does is it causes them to do their job faster, then sweep them away.” She made a sweeping motion to illustrate her point. “Also, it does several other things, which they advised me not to talk about to make sure no one steals the formula. Anyway, it lets you do the whole death march thing every day. If not for Power Sludge, a few of you guys would have dropped dead from over-exertion. Also, it gives you a full meal’s worth of vitamins and nutrients.”

She paused, then asked, “Was that too much information? I think I go on and on way too much and put out like this huge wall of information that scares people off unless they know exactly what I’m talking about and that’s why I got shoved into a locker every day in high school. That, and because I told Chelsea Lyons that there was a chance that the people she was living with might not be her real family. It wasn’t because she had one hair color and the rest of her family had another, no they were all white but she was the only one in her family for the past ten or so generations who didn’t have black hair. Turns out she bleaches and I may or may not be a horrible person who really shouldn’t be digging through other people’s genealogy. Anyway, what were we talking about?”

“Power Sludge,” I said, trying desperately to keep a bland, non-horrified look on my face.

“Oh yeah,” she said, “and then I got sidetracked and I kinda got talking about high school which never leads anywhere good.” She sighed. “Sorry, can’t tell you more about Power Sludge. At least, I don’t think I can. Five percent of the time I go off-topic is because I’m about to say something that’s supposed to be secret. The other ninety-five percent is because I saw a butterfly or something.”

“Ok,” I said, “what is there to do on campus?” I noticed that at this point her sister had wandered off.

May brightened. “Oh, that’s easy!” she said. “You see, freshmen have to get a campus job and either join a club or take an independent study. The independent study thing is how I got the Power Sludge and that gel stuff that’s healing your hand, but I had to also do duty in the cafeteria. Don’t worry, it isn’t slave labor or anything. They pay you enough to go out and enjoy all the various things that campus life has to offer. Well, not everything. You can only eat at Martinelli’s once or twice before you realize how expensive it is. I’ll admit, Italians make the best pizza, but Americans make the best budget pizza which is why you go to Uncle Sam’s. Problem is, I had eaten at this place called The Best Catch five times and Martinelli’s twice so I was all broke until the campus picked up Power Sludge. But by then, I had kinda forgotten all about the dining halls which are free if you have a meal plan so I was eating Power Sludge for breakfast, lunch and dinner.”

“What about clubs?” I asked. “Any theater groups, radio, TV?”

“I’ll have to check,” she said thoughtfully. “I really don’t know.”

“Another thing,” I asked, “How are the fights going?”

“Dunno,” she said. Then she remembered something. “Oh, I forgot to ask about you, like where you’re from and all that. Rude of me, anyway…”

She was interrupted by another medic calling in, “Everybody, come quick! We’ve got a curbstomper!”

After that, May would only have bits and pieces of times she could talk to me. It was weird how it worked. We would sort of take turns where on one visit, one of us would be asking the questions and the other would be doing most of the talking. I also noticed that May’s train of thought didn’t seem to have any form of tracks or steering mechanism. However, with a noticeable effort (i.e., saying something like “Bad May, don’t tell people that!”) she’d be able to change it to something not even tangentially related.

I did learn some things, though. While the student body seemed to hate her more here than they did in high school, the professors actually trusted her with research. There was even this one professor who had put her name on a patent for a cancer treatment. From what she told me, she only did a small part of the work. All this only made me more curious about what she was working on.

I also heard a bit about what was going on outside. Apparently, after gutting the poor guy, Eliza decided to end her streak and spectate. By that point, she had also knocked out twelve people including me and put two more in serious condition. Later in the night, one would die from her wounds, bringing her kill count up to two.

In the next group, the first curbstomper came up. Apparently, there are three types of people who go on winning streaks. There are people who only care about putting their opponent down, called brawlers. They tend to put people who don’t surrender in critical condition. Then there are people like Eliza who make it a point to do as little damage to their opponents as possible. These were called surgeons, to May’s vocal disapproval.

Then there was Ulfric Trollbjorn. Ulfric Trollbjorn was a curbstomper. Curbstompers are the opposite of surgeons in that they like to see how many kills they could rack up. He also appeared to be inhumanly strong and, when given the opportunity, would fight multiple opponents at once. Then he would get bored and return to spectate.

When May would come in after one of his rampages, she would tell me about the damage he’d wreak in a broken monotone using the coldest medical language possible, tears streaming down her eyes. The second time she had to deal with one of his rampages, I asked her if she was ok after she was done talking about him.

Her face hardened into a disturbingly calm look of pure rage. “I hate him,” she said, her voice calm, yet still conveying her complete loathing.

“I see,” I said, taken aback by the sheer anger emanating from her.

“Don’t worry,” she said, “As a doctor, I see it as my duty not to hurt people, but to help them. I don’t kill or torture, and” here she paused like what she was saying physically hurt her “if someone beats him, I will do my best to save him. I’m a doctor. That’s my job”

“However,” she said, “I won’t treat him first, and if he dies, I won’t shed any tears.” She didn’t continue the topic after that, and I didn’t press her.

However, as the night went on, she got better at listening. In fact, by the end she was getting more info out of me than I was getting out of her. I remember one time where I almost got my cover blown.

“So,” she said, “What’s it like where you’re from? I assume you’re American like me but I could be wrong and you might be Canadian because they talk like Americans.” She then looked up, as if considering the ceiling. “There are also getting to be a lot of foreign people who talk like Americans. Well, actually, here everyone’s foreign.” She then shook her head to focus herself. “Anyway, you. Talk about you.”

“Well,” I said, “I’m from Maynard, Massachusetts.”

“Really?” she said. “I don’t know much about Massachusetts. Partly because I’m from California, partly because I never really paid much attention to history class in school. Anyway, I should probably shut up and let you continue.” She then grabbed her mouth.

“Well, climate-wise, Mass is pretty… varied.” I said the word varied with a certain amount of disgust. “I mean, it’s nice, but there’s all these weird times in March and April where we’ll have snowstorms and we occasionally get the fifty-degree day in February. Then the next day we’ll have completely different weather.”

“Well, at least the weather there is interesting,” she said, dropping her hands from her mouth. “Where I am, it’s like sunny, sunny, sunny, sunny, oh wow it rained I didn’t know they could do that!” She then slapped herself. “Bad May, let him talk!”

“Actually,” I said, “that was about the right length for a comment of your own.”

“Really?” she said. “I never knew that…” She then did that thing where she stared at nothing for a while. Maybe it was her way of processing information: avoid stimuli to focus on whatever was in her mind.

“Don’t worry about it,” I said, “I used to have trouble with that and some other stuff, so I got sent to a speech therapist. It wasn’t as bad as yours but…” I stopped, worried I had offended her. A dark look quickly passed her face, then moved on to be replaced by a somewhat forced version of her normal cheer. I continued on. “… There were people who were way worse than either of us. Most did way better, but there was this one guy who thought he was a fucking train for a year or two.”

May laughed. “It isn’t funny!” I said. “I had to get called out of class for seven years just to help that guy learn it was a bad idea to throw markers at teachers! It made it even worse that he never learned.”

“Hey,” she said, “either I laugh at how nuts this guy sounds, or I fly into a rage that society tried to teach him to act like a normal human being, but totally ignored me.”

“Fair enough,” I said. “Anyway, I wasn’t given any crap for that because a lot of the ‘normal’ people also went to Special Education, and I was kind of smart. I was never the kind of person who took all honors and AP courses, but I was still grouped with the smart kids.

“Originally, I was going to go on to some school for game design after high school, but I took several summer camps for it, but while I like playing games and talking about them, I started to think that was something I didn’t really want to do.”

“So why did you join NIU?”

It was a perfectly reasonable question. However, it was one I didn’t really have an answer other than that stupid pun.

“Well,” I said, “I got a good deal on it. There was a scholarship I applied for that ended up being for this program, and I figured it was the best deal.”

“Yeah,” May said, beating a complex rhythm with her hands and feet, “but you knew what this program was. I’m sorry, I just can’t get into the whole mindset you guys have here. Every legal system in the world, at least the ones I know of, usually has murder as one of its biggest no-nos, higher than stealing or incest.”

She continued, now beginning to sound more confused, almost pleading for some understanding. “Yet you guys… some of you guys see it as a game. I can see sometimes having to kill because you need to eat, or someone’s trying to kill you. I’m a doctor. I get that sometimes you need that source of protein or those little microbes or cute wolves want you dead. That’s perfectly fine. But some of you seem like you kill just to test out which gun makes the bigger hole in a person or just to, you know, see them bleed out, and I just don’t get it!”

“I don’t know,” I said, “I’m not really one of them.”

“Then why do you go here? I mean, I doubt your parents would approve of this. God knows, sometimes parents can be stupid, but it sounds like your relation with your folks is better than most.”

“Maybe I’m worried that if I don’t do this, they won’t be there!” I’m not sure why I got angry. Maybe I was just stressed. Maybe it had something to do with the pain, or being tired. I instantly regretted it. “I’m sorry,” I said, “I didn’t mean…”

May ignored me, and leaned in close to continue, “So that’s interesting. You don’t really want to kill, but you believe you have to. But what if people believe differently from you? Shouldn’t you try talking it out instead?”

“Yes,” I said, “We should. And I will always do my best to listen when someone tries to talk to me. But there are people who will hurt the people I love, maybe because of irrational hatred, maybe because they think it will make a point or profit, or maybe because they’re the kind of sicko who enjoys it. And these people are falling less into the ‘impotent whackjob’ category and more into the ‘legit terrorist/supervillain’ category.

“Seriously, it feels like the world’s collapsing every time I look at world,” I said. “And I feel like I need to do something to stop it.”

May looked at me suspiciously. “So, have you done anything to start, recently?”

“Mmmaybe…” I said. Before I could ask anything more, Eric came walking in.

“You waiting for Robert?” Eric asked, in a nudge-nudge, wink-wink kind of way. “Gonna keep that bed warm for him?”

“Actually,” May said, “I didn’t know whose bed it is. Also, not interested in sex at the moment. I am looking for samples of crabs at the moment, though. You see, I’m kinda thinking that if you’re, like, hairy down there, you could spray some modified bug spray and voila, crab problem solved. Problem is, people tend not to want to talk about it, so I’m just gonna leave this here,” she pulled out a plastic jar with some paper and tweezers in it, “and he can follow the instructions. Also, another reason why I’m leaving it here is because I really don’t want to go probing around anyone’s genitals for a few years until that whole surgery video dies down so bye!”

With that, she set the jar on the bed and left, leaving Eric with a confused look on his face. He shot me a look as if to ask, “What was that?”

I shrugged. “May’s kind of weird. She’s pretty harmless, from what I can tell, so don’t give her a hard time.”

“Is she from the medical school?” he asked. “She seems too… flighty to really be one of the combat medics.”

“Yeah,” I said, “she’s from there. She’s got some sort of secret project that she’s been working on. I’m kind of wondering what it is.”

Eric gave me a serious look. “Trust me, my friend,” he said, “If one of these science people don’t want to talk about their stuff, it is a sign you shouldn’t ask questions.” He shuddered a bit.

“How do you know?” I asked.

“My crew and I took the campus tour,” he said, conversationally, “One of our guys, Doc, is taking the Combat Medicine program, which is a hybrid of the Med School stuff and the straight-up shooting stuff here. He got to meet with the research people, and they never would wait to tell him what they were working on. They might not tell him the details, but they would give him a general idea.”

“Yeah…” I said, “May doesn’t seem to be able to keep her mouth shut.”

“Are you sure,” Eric asked. “Or does she just know what to talk about to talk about to distract others? It sounds like the kind of skill you’d learn, killer.”

“Please don’t call me that,” I said. I still was feeling a little queasy about killing Amir.

“Trust me,” Eric said, “In this place, you want having someone like me calling you ‘Killer.’ Trust me, Amir’s friends are not pleased with you.”

“I wouldn’t call them friends, so much as minions,” I said.

Eric laughed. “In some cases, I suppose you are right. I know that your government would like you to think of him as some kind of supervillain. Trust me, I know the real supervillains.” He smiled for a bit. “You know,” he said, “even the worst of them are not so scary when you realize people like us can hurt them.”

“Really?” I asked. “This I’ve gotta hear.”

“No you don’t, Killer,” he said. “This is a story I will not tell you until I can trust you. Even the most pathetic of men can get lucky, and my enemies are not pathetic in the least.”

“Eighteen’s a little young to have an arch-nemesis,” I said, a little jokingly.

“Then making him pay for my college education at sixteen and enrolling at seventeen must make me a prodigy,” he said, a mischevious glint in his eye, and a satisfied grin on his face.

“You’re seventeen?” I asked. He nodded. “Damn. You are a prodigy.”

“No,” he said, “I may be ahead of the curve here, but where I grew up, you had to learn fast.”

“Understandable.” I looked to where Michael slept. “Wonder how Mike’s doing.”

“Who?” Eric asked, head cocked, a look of confusion on his face.

I pointed at the bed where Michael slept. “Guy who slept there. Tried to quit.”

“I do not…” Eric began, then paused. A look of horror passed his face. “Did May tell you about any of the big names out there?”

“Did Michael perchance meet Ulfric Trollbjorn?” I asked, my voice cracking. I already knew the answer.

Eric nodded. “He did. They fought right after you did.” A haunted look appeared in his eyes. “He also was Ulfric’s first victim that night.”

“What happened?” I asked.

Eric leaned in close, and I wondered if the haunted look had been faked, or if storytelling was how he coped with things. “You see,” he said, his voice a hushed whisper, “Ulfric is a giant. Biggest person in the program, he is.”

I nodded, remembering seeing a really big guy around when we formed up for runs or parades. I never was near enough him to get a good look, though.

“The thing is,” Eric said, “is that Ulfric is also insane. If you look in his eyes… there is humanity in them. The only problem is that it’s the worst, the part that makes us hurt small animals for no reason other than to see them die.

“Our friend Michael, on the other hand,” he said sadly, “seemed broken and small, especially compared to Ulfric. I had worked my way up to the front to get a good view, and by that time I was close enough to hear what he said. He looks at Ulfric and he says ‘Do it.’”

“What happened next?” I asked. It was like wondering what had happened when you see a car crash. You don’t want to know, but you just have to wonder.

“I’m sorry,” Eric said, “I need a bit of a minute.” He obviously didn’t. When he had paused long enough for effect, he continued. “So, Ulfric hears our boy say this, then he giggles and…”

“He giggled?”

Eric rolled his eyes. “I thought you spoke English, man. Yes, he made this high pitched laughter like a little girl.”

“I’m sorry,” I said, “I think I’ve seen this guy, and I don’t think I’d say he looks like the kind of guy who giggles.

“Well he does,” Eric said, as if I had just attacked him ad hominem in a political debate. It was also somewhat staged.

“Sorry,” I said grudgingly.

“It is fine, it is fine,” Eric said. “Anyway, Ulfric walks over to Michael, grabs his shoulder with one hand, and his jaw with the other and pulls, then Mike’s bloody head comes completely off!”

“You’re kidding me,” I said, “you are fucking kidding me.”

“I swear on my mother’s grave,” he said, “I am not lying in this. That bastard is insanely strong. I think he might even be a parahuman.”

“Fuck me,” I said, “I hope no one else I know goes up against him.” Eric raised an eyebrow. “Ok,” I said, “Maybe I won’t be too fussed if some Al-Qaeda guys lose their heads, but I do have some friends here. Maybe not as good as yours, but still, I don’t want them dead. Besides, I don’t know any of those guys anymore.”

I sighed. “I’m tired,” I said. “I’m also still in a bit of pain from… from you know, the thing with Amir and Eliza. I’m going to go to bed before things start getting too crazy.”

People were starting to come back in at this point. So far, Eric seemed to be in the best shape. I made a mental note to not piss him off as I pulled on the covers and closed my eyes. “Good night,” I said sleepily as I willingly passed out.

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11 thoughts on “Track 5: Try a Little Scariness

  1. I’m impressed with how much May’s opening scene was edited when I first saw it. That made it a lot easier to read. Around the time I got to the Xenomorph paragraph, though, the walls of text had me start losing my place, and since I figured she was mostly rambling about nothing, I started skimming. Then the infodump of the island came in and I really just skipped to Eric. It was too much at once. I won’t be keeping track of it.

    I like the idea of ferals, though! It’s the fact that there are enough people of a certain power that they can be considered a group. You might want to just pick a name for them when being discussed by the same person (Meg started with ‘feral’, then to ‘wolf girl’, when it would’ve made more sense to me to keep using the same term). Looking forward to meeting the other groups SLOWLY.


    • What I think I’m going to do, now that you’ve mentioned it to me, is sort of make it a tiered system. Calling them a Lupine would be like calling a gay person a homosexual. Calling them wolf-person would be like calling a gay person gay. Calling them a feral would in some ways be worse than calling a gay person the f-word.


  2. “For those of you who don’t know, (which I wouldn’t know how you wouldn’t, seeing as ferals are the most common type of parahuman) are seemingly normal people with retractable bone claws, enhanced sense of smell, and a healing factor.”

    You need to place the word “ferals” right after the parentheses.


    • That actually is kind of the point of her. Most of the characters in this story, including Nate, are/will become terrible, terrible people. The difference between them is how they choose to deal with the awful things they’ve done to others and the awful things others have done to them.


  3. the story gets only better and better
    i like may
    and loved the fightclub chapter+after
    first lets say semiprofessional story that i find is extremely good in a long time


  4. “Seriously, it feels like the world’s collapsing every time I look at world,” I said. “And I feel like I need to do something to stop it.”

    Every time I look at it is what you want.


  5. “Are you sure,” Eric asked. “Or does she just know what to talk about to talk about to distract others? It sounds like the kind of skill you’d learn, killer.”
    You repeated to talk about.


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