Welcome

Jan. 28th, 2011 04:46 pm
rowyn: (studious)
The department's a lot bigger than it used to be. Twenty Hole Monitors instead of ten, and a dozen researchers and assistants on hand to study the stuff we pull out. Most of the researchers had been here since midnight. They didn't want to miss it, whatever 'it' was. Just as well. I don't want to think about how many times I've gone over the angel story for different folks. Let 'em see it for themselves.

Boss was waiting for me by Hole after I'd suited up. So was Miguel. Half a dozen other HMs were gathered around, just in case of ... whatever. "You sure you're up for this, Ro?" boss asks me.

"Yeah, why not. You only die once." I glanced at Miguel. "Sure you don't want to be the one on intercept this time?"

"Heck no. Knock yourself out," Miguel told me.

"Please don't," bossman added, with a quick grin.

"I'll try not to." We ran through the equipment check one last time.

"Thick dazzle and mild drift in there today," Miguel warned me. "Watch yourself."

"Will do." Nothing left to stall on. I dove in.

The dazzle in the Hole was gorgeous, spots of falling multi-colored light with no substance to them. It was like falling through a storm where the raindrops were made of light. I didn't spend a lot of time gawking; I wanted to find the man and ... well, say hi. I oriented myself and jetted in the direction of the incursion, alternately checking my HPS and trying to see past the dense dazzle. The drift was no biggie but visibility wasn't, and I was almost on top of the guy before I saw him.

He was a tall skinny guy, dark skin, short black dreadlocks, no clothes. I thought he was unconscious at first, because he was falling limp. But then I saw his face.

He had a beatific expression, the kind people think angels should have but that angels really, really do not. Trust me. His brown eyes were open, features relaxed and at peace. When he saw me, he smiled.

"Hi," I said. We'd added speakers to the Hole suits since the angel came. And mikes. "Welcome to the Hole." Yes, I have had a year to think about what to say to him when he showed up, and I still hadn't come up with anything better than that. I've had lots of suggestions, believe me, but every long speech just seems pretentious or presumptious or both. "I'm Rowyn."

He spoke in reply.

He did not actually say, in English, "Hello, Rowyn. Does this Hole belong to you?" He spoke in tongues, by which I do not mean 'gobbledygook language that makes sense to no one because no one's ever heard before'. I mean real tongues, when someone speaks a language you've never heard before but you know exactly what he means. I had never heard the words he spoke before, never heard anything like them, can't even describe the way they sounded except that they were like all the nicest bits of every language you've ever heard put together elegantly into one. And I knew exactly what he meant.

"Ummmmmm," I said. And then "Uhhh" and "ahhh." And finally, "No, I'm just kinda one of the groundskeepers for it. Did you wanna stay here or come out with me? You're welcome to do either one, but I'm running out of tether here." I offered him my hand.

He took it. "Thank you. I would be glad to leave with you."

"Cool." This whole conversation was being recorded and broadcast back to the bunker crew. And they gave the footage to the media. I should've taken some speech lessons over the last 12 months. "So, what's your name?"

"Adam," he didn't say.

"Sorry, could you repeat that?"

I listened very closely this time. The syllables sounded like Nee-wyo-lell, near as I could tell. My brain told me 'Adam' again. I do not want to say on how many levels this bothered me. I tried to say, "Good to meet you, Neewyolell," but the name came out Adam.Neewyolell did not correct me. "So, uh, where're you from?"

"The First World. Where are you from?"

"Missouri. Um, that's a state. In the USA. On Earth. That's what we call the world."

"How interesting! What is it like?"

I started to explain, in kind of a rambling fashion because where do you even start with a question like that? I didn't get very far before we reached the edge of the Hole and emerged back at the bunker.

A pack of researchers and federal officials swooped in around Adam. Miguel had gotten a robe from supply and managed to give it to him before he was surrounded. Adam thanked him and then he was whisked away from us. Somewhere in between stepping out of the Hole and getting surrounded, Adam had lost his beatific expression and looked overwhelmed instead.

"This doesn't seem very ... y'know ... welcoming," I said to Miguel.

"No kidding."

"Let's at least get him a drink and offer him some food. Think they'll let us do that?"

One of the research assistants gave us a horrified look, as if we wered plotting to destroy the human race.

Bossman looked at us, looked at the researchers and the feds, and looked at Adam. Then he gave a piercing whistle. "Okay! NEW PLAN."

*

There was quite a bit of arguing over it, but in the end folks decided that Instructions From Angel trump pretty much everything. So Miguel and I got to smuggle Adam out at quitting time while the feds distracted the reporters and the rest of the crowd for us two hours earlier, by pretending to someone else out in a smoked-glass limo.

Miguel's family made a last-minute banner reading WELCOME ADAM for the party, and we took him to it.

We did ask Adam why he'd come. He told us he'd seen everything else in the First World and so was very curious about what could be found through the Hole.

I haven't asked if we should be expecting Eve. I'm not sure I want to know.

Showing Up

Jan. 27th, 2011 04:36 pm
rowyn: (Default)
Yes, I came to work today.

I didn't want to. I mean, reeeeeally did not want to. I almost quit a half-dozen times this last year. The boss said it was okay and I could have the day off if I wanted, under the circumstances. And the injunction wasn't really personal. Everyone figures it was for everyone and not a private message just for me and Miguel. It's not like we're so special G-d needs to gives us specific instructions. Anybody could do this job.

Still. An angel comes to me and tells me to welcome a new guy, it seems like the least I can do is show up. Right?

So I showed up.

It's a total circus outside. Every kind of media -- newspaper reporters, camera crews, bloggers, you name it, they're out there.
And they are way outnumbered by the spectators. Tens of thousands of them. Some of 'em are with mainstream churches and some of 'em are just lookie-loos and some of 'em are total whack jobs. We got signs ranging from "Welcome Jesus" to "The End is Now" to "Stop the Alien Invasion". "Circus" doesn't cover it. I don't know what could. Crowd started forming yesterday. I left for work at 4AM and it still took me three hours to get in.

There's a wall of cops around the facility, which is the only reason I even could get in.

That star is still in the bunker. It's been here the whole year, but it's like ten times brighter today. Miguel's family is having a "Yay you didn't get whacked by angels" party after work for us. I'm looking forward to it. Assuming I don't get whacked by angels. Or nutjobs. Or ambushed and eaten alive by reporters. I'm on intercept duty, so maybe if I'm lucky I'll just get lost in the Hole. Which really does not seem like the worst that could happen any more.

Aaaaaand there's the alarm. Wish me luck.

Heck, wish some for all of us.

Continued from last year.
rowyn: (studious)
Man, I just don't know where to start. What the heck was I writing earlier? I was telling you about the Hole. Right. I was going to explain about the exploration and shit.

Exploration work is mostly what I do, but it's not why I'm here. I'm here to monitor activity inside the Hole and look for ... stuff. Us exploring the Hole is like fire fighters doing drills and inspections and talking to schoolkids -- it's not really what we're needed for, but what they need us for doesn't come up that often and, hey, as long as you're there anyway why not keep you busy? Yeah.

There are ten of us Monitors here; we work two to a shift. I'm on second shift, Wednesday through Sunday, which is a crappy shift because I'm new. That's why I was having 'lunch' at 7 o'clock at night. The Hole doesn't keep convenient 9-5 hours Mon-Fri, though, so neither do we.

Stuff doesn't come through the Hole very often. It hardly ever comes out of the Hole, unless we pull it out. We've got a bunch of sensors and cameras and scrying sigils inside the Hole to look for stuff, most of which doesn't work worth crap 90% of the time. Interpreting the readings, what's an actual object and what's just weather artifacts or your equipment falling apart is more art form than anything else.

So last night, while I'm at lunch, Miguel was covering the monitors. You don't need two people for that. The monitor alarms went off. I don't mean a big Star-Trek red-alert thing with ooo-WEE-woop-WEE-ooo filling the bunker or anything. It actually just beeped at Miguel insistently because five different overlapping sensor systems were detecting anomalies, and then Miguel beeped me because it looked big to him and he wanted me to confirm.

Well, two mass detectors put it at 80 to 200kg, and the Sigil of the Ancients had gone blue-white. None of our cameras picked up anything but weather effects, but they usually don't. Whatever it was, it was falling at a good clip, so we had to make a decision fast on intercepting it. Which we figured, sure, give it a shot.

It was my turn on intercept, so I hopped in my suit, hooked on all the wires and the jetstream hose, ran through the check list with Miguel, and jumped in the Hole.

Inside the Hole is awesome.

Just like you can't see the Hole from the outside, you can't see the world from the inside. There is no obvious light source in the Hole, but you can still see. How far you can see depends on the weather. The weather in the Hole is pretty spectacular. It gets snow, sleet, rain, lightning, fog, yeah. Then there's the weird crap. Aurora, which looks like fog but contains no vapor and comes in colors: purples, blues, greens, yellows. Dazzle, which is like being surrounded by falling fireflies. Eddies, which are like slow-moving tornadoes, whirls in the wind several perceptual feet across. And the Heavy, which isn't visible, it's a kind of pressure change that makes everything feel thicker and harder to move, and makes your limbs feel weighed down.

And there's the wind.

There's always wind, and it's always driving down. There is no gravity in the Hole, just the wind pushing you and everything else down. Sometimes hurricane-fast, sometimes just a stiff breeze. So when an HM talks about falling, it's not really falling but being blown down by the wind. And it feels wrong, because the wind is hitting you from the opposite direction of the way you're moving -- not like really falling, where you'll perceive wind rushing past you from the direction of your fall. Instead, it's kinda like being in a river with a strong current. Our sensors are all mounted on tethered flying remotes to keep them stationary -- more or less -- against the wind. The tethers aren't so much to keep them from 'falling' out of explored range as to let us measure position.

Once in, I snapped out my suit wings and turned on the jetstream and pushed in, with Miguel feeding me my relative position via the open channel. There's nothing to orient by in the Hole except your own wires, and those only give direction, really -- you lose sight of the true end point on them by ten feet into the Hole. Meaning you always *look* like you're ten feet (or less) from the world, even when you're half a mile in and a mile down.

Miguel directed me towards the anomaly. The weather was sparse dazzle and fog coupled with a strong wind and intermittent eddies. The dazzle and fog were getting scooped into the eddies and making them visible, so I could mostly avoid 'em if I wanted to.

Which I didn't, to be honest. This is the best part of the job: diving in, jetting around, watching the dazzle rain down around you, feeling the wind push at your back. It's like flying, like flying in zero G. I wanted to slip into the eddies and let them whirl me dizzy, it's a blast and a half, best roller ride in the world. I didn't, mind you, because it can screw with your wires and much as I love the Hole I do not want to spend the rest of my life falling through it. Not that this was a real risk in these conditions, but best not to be sloppy. And conditions can change fast in the Hole. Also, Miguel would know if I were screwing around.

So I didn't screw around, just angled my jetstream to push me out and down faster than my target was moving. In a few minutes, I was in the right general area, but there was more dazzle and fog around and I couldn't see anything else. Miguel was having a hard time getting a clear fix, and after five minutes we were both wondering if it hadn't been a series of sensor glitches after all. Plus, I was running out of wire.

Then I got a glimpse of something through the fog. First thing I said to Miguel: "Holy cow, it's a Hole Monitor." Person, white suit, wings, free-falling in the wind.

We pull people out of the hole sometimes. Once a year, maybe. They're never from around here. And when I say "not from around here" I mean "Not from my planet", or at least not the version of my planet I know and tolerate. I didn't think about this as I jetted after the guy, double-quick because I didn't want to run out of wire before reaching him. I grabbed his arm. He was facing me.

With the face of a lion.

And then his wings moved. Two pairs of them.

Freakin' angel.

I didn't know what to do. I mean, what the heck? What is an angel doing in the Hole? Did G-d cast him out? Does the Hole lead straight to Hell just like the protesters say? Is this where G-d wants him for some other purpose?

Maybe I should've let him go, but I hung onto his arm anyway, while he stared at me with that lion head, his eagle and human faces in profile. Oh man. I don't know what I said to Miguel, but he started reeling the wires back in. I was staring back at the lion, panicked.

Then he said, "Be not afraid."

Bang! I wasn't afraid. I didn't know what the hell I was, but I wasn't scared. I turned around and pointed my jetstream against the flow, and dodged around the eddies and tried not to think about the fact that the angel was using the hands from beneath his wings to hold onto the wires of my suit. It took a lot longer to get out than it had to get in, what with fighting the wind instead of moving against it.

Miguel kept asking me for details. I said something like "You won't believe it."

"It's the Hole, Ro, what could you possibly pull out of it that would be unbelievable?"

"This."

Finally, the wires hauled me and the angel (freakin' angel!) out of the Hole.

The angel moved, and his human face was to Miguel. "Be not afraid," he says again. "For the Lord has smiled upon you. I bring you a sign."

He gestures with his flaming sword (where the heck did that come from? He wasn't holding it a second ago!) A star appears. Inside the bunker. Above the Hole. "In a year's time, will come a man. Welcome him," the angel tells us. And then he flies straight through the bunker wall.

Frak.

Angels.

I don't know what the heck I'm supposed to make of that.

Star's still there.

But I did come to work today. Lunch's over and then some. I guess I better get back to it. I got a year to decide whether or not I want to be here for what's coming down.
rowyn: (just me)
One of these decades, I'm gonna hold a job for more than a year or two.

Not that I really miss the muse factory, mind, and I'm sure glad to be out of the Emotional Tour Guide biz. But it'd be nice to have a bit of stability for a few years, yanno?

'Course, the Hole is pretty much the antithesis of 'stable'. Still, the work's kinda cool once you finally get out of training. I've been an actual Hole Monitor for a couple months now, and (don't tell the boss) I like it.

My official title is Extra-Dimensional Region Variance Examiner, but damn that's a mouthful and nobody uses it. Some of the other guys call us Ed-Re-Vees, but most people go with Hole Monitor. The Extra-Dimensional Region is the Hole, of course.

It's nowhere near as dangerous a job here in Kansas as it is, say, in Ukraine or Lhasa. Sealwarn-Cardinal has the Hole locked down pretty tight here; those Fey Signs have been doing a bang-up job keeping it pinned at Bunker 8. It hasn't changed relative position by more than a foot since the last octogram went down in '03. We're not like those poor bastards trying to track it across the landscape and issuing Hole warnings to evacuate the area.

Here at Bunker 8, we mostly do exploration, charting what passes for the interior of the Hole. The exterior of the Hole has already been well-documented. It's eleven feet tall, roughly cylindrical but tapering slightly at the bottom and widening slightly at the top, from about 5 feet wide at the top to 4.5 feet wide at the bottom.

You can't see it, or at least you can't see it now that we've excavated it fully. You used to be able to tell where it was by what wasn't there -- that big ol' hole in the ground. We've got tape all around it, in addition to the octograms and of course the big glass observation bubble that only qualified Hole Monitors are supposed to enter. Even we don't go into the Hole, most of the time. We send remotes in to take measurements and look around, and let me tell you, it is something else. We've dropped a remote almost two miles down inside that ten-foot-tall sucker, and the weather is --

-- Aaaand so much for lunch, alarm's going off, sounds like a live one in there. I'll finish this later.
rowyn: (tired)
[deep breath]

Okay, my day. Man, where do I start?

Last couple of weeks, I've been giving tours of our top seller for this time of year, the Happy Happy Joy Joy Special. Yeah, yeah, marketing calls it "The Celebration of the Spirit", but all the guides just use HHJJ. It's a good package, treats you to a half-dozen of the nicest emotions around: joy, ecstacy, accomplishment, satisfaction, excitement, etc., you get the idea. In a week or so, the Honeymoon Package will be outselling it, naturally, and the Schwarznegger Special gets a lot of buyers year-round. But a lot of people got the HHJJ for Christmas so we're still processing a ton of 'em.

Anyway, I got no problem with the HHJJ run. Some of the guides get burnt out on it, and I can see why, 'cause it does get repetitive to do day in and day out, and all of 'em start to blend together pretty quick. But I've only been doing this job eight months so I don't mind. Ask me again in eight years and you may get a different answer. Assuming I ain't given up and gone back to the muse factory. Oy.

But naturally, when folks're buying something as expensive as an Emotional Tour, some of them just need to get something "special" or "unique". For which you should read, "So bloody awful no one else wants it". Today we finally got enough takers together to run an Angst Express.

There was one guy, Kurt, who actually liked running the Angst Express, so normally he'd've taken them. Unfortunately, he was arrested a couple of days ago for on charges of cruelty to animals and can't make bond. Well, it's unfortunate for Kurt but just as well for any strays in the city, I'm sure.

And unfortunate for me because it meant I had to take his frickin' tour group instead. Why me? "'Cause you did so well at it in training, Ro." Ohyeah, so I can tell melancholia from depression and I managed to save the test dummy from the Furies, so now I'm stuck with it just because Kurt got caught with his hand in the .... whatever it was. Almost enough to make me miss him. Okay, no, not really, I hope they lock the little creep up life.

So who wants more angst in their lives? Lemme tell you about this lot.

-- Lolita: Creepy teenage Goth chick. Don't get me wrong, I like Goths, nothing wrong with black eyeliner, but this one was trying way too hard, or maybe not hard enough because 'creepy' seemed to come naturally to her. Thin, pale, black clothes and fishnet and a smile like Wednesday Addams. She looked like she should've been Kurt's girlfriend. You'd think she'd get enough angst hanging out with her friends or torturing kittens or whatever, but no, she had to come to Emotion Tours and get more.
-- Harriet: Plump, middle-aged, with her hair dyed blond and a quiet demeanor. I kinda felt sorry for her; she said her son had tried to kill himself and she wanted the tour so she could understand him better. I wanted to say that with a suicidal son I was pretty sure she had enough angst in her life but I didn't.
-- The Method Author: Now this one I didn't feel sorry for, she was just plain askin' for it. Young, tall, hair braided like a Valkyrie, geeky glasses, and painfully, painfully earnest. "I'm working on my novel and I've realized don't understand the depths of the human soul the way I need to. I really need this insight. My life simply doesn't have the kind of darkness that a great writer requires." Well, I guess an Emotion Tour is cheaper than spending years of your life as a dissipated hulk. Or something.
-- Thing One and Thing Two: A couple of clean-cut young male sadists. Who were those brothers that killed their parents so they could inherit their fortune? I think TO and TT took notes from that case. They looked perfectly normal as long as you didn't talk to them for more than five minutes. Brrr.

We start out with usual Angst Tour spiel, which is half a warning about the quality of the experience -- "Because of the nature of negative emotions and the difficulties involved in tapping them, you may find your experience less vivid than with our more conventional tours" -- and half a not-for-the-faint-of-heart caution. Harriet was the only one who looked worried by the spiel. By the time I finished the caution, the rest of the group was all excited. "Oh yes! Suffering! Bring it on!" Must be people like these that ensure a market for films like Legends of the Fall.

First thing in the question period, Lolita brings up the City of Despair. "Can we go there?"

No, you can't frickin' make a plan to go to the City of Despair. This isn't like HHJJ where you can get hand-tailored experiences for whichever emotion you like best. The angst mines are a goblin's labyrinth of shifting walls and paths. We go down, we get whatever we get for four hours, and then we all come out again in one piece if we're lucky. Yeah, the City of Despair is down there somewhere, but even Kurt only finds it one time in ten, and usually when he does it's to avoid the damn pit.

Naturally, now that Lolita's brought it up, everyone wants to go (except Harriet, bless her soul). Sigh. How does Kurt manage to convince these newbies it's a bad idea? I dunno. I couldn't talk 'em out of it, so all I did was tell 'em we probably wouldn't find it but we could go in if we did.

Everybody warned and ready, we dove in.

Did I ever tell you what the angst tour was like when I was in training? Lemme check ... nope. Oh yes. That's cause I didn't want to remember it. Oh man. In four hours, we got melancholia, misery, terror, dread, depression, more depression, yet more depression (we encountered most of the emotions more than once, but depression was way overrepresented this time), and grief. Grief ... man, grief was the worst. At least for me. How can I describe this? Imagine you're in a dark tunnel with five other people, and you hear this soft, gut-wrenching sobbing. Then you notice that your feet are wet. And then you realize that the water level is rising. Before you even have time to panic, your tunnel is full of nothing but salty grey water. The people you were with? Gone. You're alone, all alone in this drowning tide of grey that goes on forever, no beginning, no end. The water washes straight through you, there's no part of you it doesn't touch, and it washes all the you away. Until all that's left of you is the grey salty water, the sound of sobbing, the knowledge that you've lost everything, absolutely everything and everyone. All you have is grief.

Frak, I don't want to remember this crap this time, either.

We all got out in one piece, eventually. But Lolita and the Things were in tears, and the Method Author tore her notebook in half. I handed all of them off to the counselors when we were back. All except Harriet; she didn't want to see them. She sat, dry-eyed, in the lobby with me for a while though, holding my hand. We didn't say a word.

We never found the City of Despair.

Thank the Lord for small mercies.
rowyn: (tired)
I'm tellin' ya, some days I miss workin' at the muse factory. Oh, yeah, the place was never the same after the angels hit it. And I know, I know, I hated clean up and hose duty, and I complained about it all the time while I was there so I shouldn't complain about being gone.

But with muses, at least you knew where you stood from one day to the next. This whole Emotional Tour guide gig is a freakin' roller coaster ride. And not one of your smooth-as-silk metal ones that goes vip-vip-vip at 90 mph through a couple of loop-de-loops and is done a minute and a half later. No, this job is one of those old woodeen roller coasters that shakes and rattles at every turn and pauses at the top of the curves to convince you it's finally died and is about to drop you on your head onto the tracks 60 feet below. Then, when by some miracle you survive to reach the end of the line after half an eternity, boom, it goes into reverse and it's even worse, until you think its going to jar every vertabrae in your spine loose. At last it comes to a close, and you stagger off to make an appointment with your chiropractor, vowing all the while, "Screw it, I don't care if my friends think I'm a wuss, I'm never getting on that deathtrap again."

Except I obviously keep forgetting my vow each morning 'cause I keep comin' back. Euughh. Soooo ... drained.

I dunno. Ya wanna hear about my day?
rowyn: (tired)
So it's after lunch, and Dispatch has relented and put me into costuming for the rest of the day so I'm lookin' for something right for Ms. Silver Eyes, maybe a good steel-riveted corset'd suit her, when I hear a scream.

Now, I don't look up, 'cause I work in a muse factory and someone's always screaming about something. If it ain't a muse that's been on the shelf too long crying 'cause she's feels unloved and moreover, unneeded, then it's some poor schlub who just got a headful of ideas poured into him and doesn't know what to do next or how to handle it. I keep lookin' through corsets 'cause I know we just got in some good ones with rivets and LEDs in 'em. And then I hear more screams, and people start tearin' around through the racks like bedlam, and amongst the general confusion I hear folks callin' out and prayin'.

Prayin' ain't something you hear every day at my job, leastways not out loud, so this gets my attention an' I finally look up.

And there are ANGELS in my factory.

Real, live, Ezekial 1:10 angels. And yes, for those of you keepin' score at home, that's the third time this month that they've been in Emerald City. I am so glad these aren't Old Testament days or the Lord of Hosts would've smoked the whole city flat in the first round, I'm sure.

You know the type, with four faces on each side of their head -- human on one side, lion to the right, bull to the left, eagle on the opposite -- and four wings, and those freaky hands underneath their wings, man, you got to see this to believe it, I am tellin' ya. You can't tell which way they're facin', or rather, they're facin' every way at once. They never turn those heads of theirs, or their bodies; they just move straight in whichever direction they want to go, and whichever face is in front does the lookin', I guess. Fre-aky!

They are movin' through the factory like lightin' striking, with flaming swords in every hand, goin' after the ones they came to smite. All around, people have dropped to their knees to pray and plead and beg for their lives, while others are still runnin' or hidin'.

Me, I don't bother with either. It's not that I'm so sure they haven't come for me -- I've sure had more'n my fair share of transgessions, and hey, some folks claim just workin' with muses is idolatrous (to which I say: it's a muse, you moron, not a god, trust me, when you've got five of 'em in your house you can tell they sure ain't goddesses whatever the Greeks thought). But, you know, if bloody angels have come for me, then I can't run fast enough and the Good Lord sure ain't gonna be impressed by a little show of piety now.

So I'm just watchin' as one of 'em smites down poor Freddy, and I'm thinkin', Fraggit, I told you you shouldn't be cheatin' on your wife, you dumb sap. But maybe that wasn't it anyway, 'cause the angel leaves Jessica alone and that's who Freddy was bangin' on the sly. About then, Richard from Dispatch runs into costuming and dives into the racks behind me. He begs me to hide him, and says that they got his supervisor Paul while he was standing right next to him. Paul's the one who lectured me about timeliness this morning and dumped me into clean up, so I'm sorry to hear it, but maybe not as sorry as I could be, you know? I tell Richard, "Hey, if they were gonna do you they would've done it at the same time, two in one blow, right?" but he's already buried himself under a mass of greco-roman gowns.

The angels are still roamin' the factory, but they haven't smited that many people, actually, only Freddy and a couple of others I don't know, as far as the floor goes. 'Course, I can't see Paul or anyone else in Dispatch, so I don't know about them. Did I mention how glad I am not to be livin' in Old Testament days? Or dyin' in Old Testament days, I should say. I mean, three times in a month bites, don't get me wrong, but it still beats been nuked by fire from heaven, you know what I mean?

Anyways, I think for a minute about gettin' back to work, but drek, everything's still chaos and someone's let loose at least a gross of muses which ain't helpin' none, lemme tell you.

So I decide to call it a day, and before I leave I snarf the unicorn girl and Silver Eyes 'cause it'd be such a waste for them to get trampled. Elloen's wandered off and the bloody Ball is still down, fraggit all, so me and the muses caught a breeze home. Which took forever, but at least I'm home and unsmited, which is better than poor dumb Freddy can say, so I ain't complainin'.

Even if I still don't know what the frag I'm gonna do with two more muses.
rowyn: (scheming)
I went to take the Ball to work this morning, but the cursed thing is out again. What'm I paying my service fees for anyway?

So I hoofed it in on Elleon, who complained that she'd just dug into a good patch of clover and didn't want to leave off, but she took me for another glorious day at the muse factory, where we're still flogging those poor critters for all they're worth.

Got in half an hour late and Dispatch was furious, which means they put me on clean up. The miners must have hit a rich vein and been clocking in some serious overtime 'cause man, we are overrun with fresh ones, at least a thousand of 'em just this morning. And some of 'em are just plain freaky, even for muses. When I turned the hose on them in the wash-up chamber, instead of 'em all huddling back agaisnt the far wall like they're made out a sugar and gonna melt (and we haven't had one of those in years, and then I caught her before she went under the hose and that foot healed up just fine, thankyouverymuch) a good third of them were squabbling for position to be takin' it head on. I told 'em, "Calm down, girls, no one's gettin' outta here 'til you've all gotten good 'n soaked," but they didn't listen to me.

Some of them cleaned up just beautiful. Whoa! I tell you, this batch is wasted on the pleebs, but then again, aren't they all? I hate wrappin' up and shippin' them off; I just know they'll end up in the hands of some ignorant kid or overworked corporate exec who can't or won't take the time to treat 'em right. They think "Once I have ideas I'll be set for life" and never mind that that what they need to do is nurture those ideas an' develop some skills to showcase 'em. Neglected and abused and misused, those poor dumb muses, I pity 'em all.

But some of today's -- man, it breaks my heart to think of where they're going. One of them is a unicorn girl -- I thought she was a dapple at first, but no, she washed off to pearly white and with her mane brushed out she looks a treat, all blue-eyed innocence and purity, makes me think of [livejournal.com profile] jordangreywolf, but I can't ask him to take in another, he's got 'em sproutin' like weeds in his backyard already.

And another one that stood out -- total wild one, she was tearin' around the wash-up chamber like the devil himself was after her, not runnin' from the hose, just runnin' everywhere, in ten directions at once. Didn't respond to threats nor cajoling, but when I just yelled "Stand still!" she froze in place like a statue. Her eyes, I swear they're almost as big as her head, all glowing silver, set in a matte black face with a mouth like a tumbled ruby. Her hair is a mass of wavy optic-fiber strands, changing color from moment to moment through a rainbow cascades. I told Dispatch to get me a can of metal polish -- I think her arms and legs will shine up like mirrors with a little work.

Man, I'd snarf 'em and take 'em home myself, but I got five already at home and I can't take care of all of them, I got no more business takin' another than a CEO mom single-parenting five kids does. And who am I to judge? Some people manage to carve time even from the busiest schedules to feed their muses. I mean, look at [livejournal.com profile] howardtayler. Maybe they'll get good homes.

...

Yeah, right.

[Edit: Boy, that black-faced one looks incredible after a polish, and she can be as docile as you please if you know how to treat 'er. What a waste! Hey, [livejournal.com profile] postvixen, you don't have space for another, do you? I'll snarf her for you an' find some way to ship her in, if you want ....]

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