You Hate to Travel
Robert McAfee; October 15, 2007
Robert will take sempre at the Sebau (giving him Awareness x5) and begin looking across the Madness Network for the man in the suit and sunglasses from his dreams. Robert will also look for anyone who recognizes the man from his dreams. The visions he sends out will have the hissing of snakes and the whimpering of animals in the background, and a crushing feeling of inevitability.
You plunge your consciousness into the dark, moist depths of the madness network. Your thoughts are scattered about you, each a glowing spherical object which echoes with the vision you are attempting to send. Grabbing one, you hurl it into the distance, watching it speed off into the darkness as a shining point of light. Nothing happens. You experiment with different sized-orbs - the four-square ball leaves a distinct boing in the distance, as if the fabric of the network warped as the ball collided with something.
You move to where the ball hit and see a statue of a young child reaching up at you with cold upturned hands. His face is stoic and unmoving, and there's a feeling of palpable coldness as you approach him. In his left hand he holds a miniaturized version of the ball that you threw, which glows and hums malevolently as if something alive lay beneath it's rubbery surface. In his right hand is coiled the black serpent.
It starts toward you as if to strike, and you fall backwards, losing sight of the child and falling back into the field of glowing thought-spheres.
You decide to try again.
The koosh-ball you throw yields no result - it simply falls to the floor after traveling horizontally for a distance, in accordance with Aristotlean mechanics. It shatters, leaving invisible waves which reverberate with imprints of your vision. The glass banana you fling ricochets with a clang before coming back to you.
You pick up the last orb - this one is a marble - and hurl it off into the distance. You hear the marble collide with something - no, rather, you hear it bounce off of something, you think, as the marble comes racing back and strikes you squarely in the forehead and shatters, leaving glass shards which are [painfully] stuck in your forehead. Suddenly, you feel as if an electric current is running through your entire body... you shudder and twist as you awake to find yourself in an institutional gray hotel room, and with a sickening sense of deja vu recall that it is exactly like the last seventeen you have been in. You remember that "you" hate to travel.
You move groggily to the bathroom to wash your face, and in a Quantum-Leap-esque fashion look at your reflection to see that it belongs to the man you saw in the suit. You can hear a woman's voice speaking a trail of harsh but indescribably sweet words you don't understand, beckoning you to the next room. You wish that you could hate her, but feel only a sense of shame... perhaps even protective fear.
As you start to walk towards her you realize that the door is farther and farther away with every step that you take, and turning back you can see your face hasn't moved an inch from the mirror. Your reflection also is starting to look worse for the wear, as a series of most disconcerting black tendrils, barbed with thorns have started to painlessly sink their way into your skin.
Annoyed, you take out a gun and shoot the mirror six times, each bullet drawing a trail of blood from the image of your face.
And as the mirror starts to fall apart you find yourself back where you began: You're Robert McAfee again and you realize that you're out of magic missiles to cast at the darkness... or rather, that your temporary awareness has faded.