=> Be LL.
Are you sure you want to do that?
[Yes] [OH MY SWEET SCREAMS1RIVU4gS1RIVU4gS1RIVU4=ING FUCK NEVERMIND]
You are now LL.
If you thought the last time this happened was fucked up, that was a trip to Troll Antigua Island compared to what this gnarly thing is like up close.
Your head is full of unspeakable noise, so much that your vision tunnels every time it screams anew. It hurts like something running its claws over your naked brain, it fills you up entirely until all you know is thousands of shrieking screaming voices yammering at once.
There is the highly disconcerting notion that this should have slammed you straight back into unconsciousness, you should be brain dead, you should be straight up cadaverous, but no, somehow it holds you separate and aloft and you can feel it wrapped tight around your pan stem as it ramps up your terror past any unit of measurement imaginable.
From thousands of miles away, you are dimly aware that you are cursing and flailing among your complete disaster area of a respite block. The air is freezing. Your fingers are twitching all by themselves and your hair feels all drifty and crackly and weird, like it would if Galley were to play with it using his psionics that way like he does sometimes. Your ears are bleeding and you are drooling black stuff.
You make yourself move. It’s hard to tell which way is forward. You can’t tell if the floor feels all tilty and weird because it actually is or if it’s some side effect of your shattered pan. You claw your way up and up and out, and then it screams again and you curl up on your side in the passageway and scream too, and your voice sounds like its voice, raw and furious and alien.
Clutching at the railing, you pull yourself up the steps and poke your head above deck—and there it is, heaving and pulsing and clinging to YOUR. GODDAMN. BOAT—
“GAS SHA NUSHA’RIATK URR NX FTUAS XUIA GUTGIATSUNG LUATHA UR THUS.”
BC: ok yeah she’s broodfesterxng all over the place.
BC: x thxnk we can declare operatxon roofxe the captaxn and book it a wash, our buddy outstrxps conventxonal speeds and has creepy graboxd tentacles only for my moxraxl.
BC: K’THUN WILL BE FED
BC: god that xs annoyxng, x’m done with it, come here LL.
You snare her less gently than you’d like (you can’t see for shit through the interference on the cameras) and yank her up into your proper line of sight. She comes up screaming and frothing in headwarpanese, and you grumble and launch her at the Binsense, following close behind.
BC: alternatxve approaches anyone?
BC: x can’t blast xt dxrectly, what about hxttxng xt wxth somethxng more tangxble?
BC: wow that fucker xs quxck, xt’s already leavxng the carla.
BC: eat shxt guy x can keep her up here all nxght. can you fly?
BC: sorry x asked, xt mxght be able to.
BC: K’THUN WILL BE FED
BC: great thanks now my ear xs bleedxng.
Seeing Galley unharmed and airborne is remarkably encouraging. Watching Elusca puke tar in midair, not so much. You’re ready to deal with Pancho getting distracted by her matesprit’s plight, but she’s tight-focused on driving; the forest of flailing tangles is trailing after Elusca, and Pancho’s clearly determined not to let it use the Binsense for a yo-yo like it did the Carla.
As Galley comes in for a landing, you consider your options for ‘alternative approaches’. The harpoon gun is pretty serious business, if you could just find a damn target, but the sea is too dark and churned; you can’t make out anything like a body to fire into.
With a wince, and a mental apology to the Binsense, you decide.
“I can’t see a target, I need more elevation,” you tell Galley. “You can pull the harpoon mounting off the deck without shredding the boat, can’t you? And fly it and me up to where I can see through this chop.”
The deck creaks horribly and makes a godawful splintering noise, but eventually it surrenders the harpoon gun, plus a small patch of deck that it was originally mounted to (ok, it’s not so small, but it’ll be fine, lots of people have holes in their ships, the Carla has tons of holes and it’s only slightly awful to try and walk around on). You send it up with Bel and watch the last of the monstrosity across the span of black water slip from the deck of the Carla and back into the sea, vanishing completely.
You think about the first technique a psionic learns during training: the Generic Ball of Self-Sustaining Light In Your Blood Color. You’ve never tried to make one underwater before, but why not? If you make the sky too bright it’ll just reflect off the water and fuck up Bel’s visual fix.
The ball you make is frankly vulgar in size, a marysu-grade extravagance straight out of an anime, but it shines like a motherfucker.
You fire it down into the water meteor-style, and it explodes like a flare, dissipating all the energy in a sustained flash, lighting everything up around it for a hundred meters for a few seconds before it fades.
Was that a swirl of seaweed at the edge of the lighted field? You prepare more balls and chuck them into the sea at odd angles.
This is really going to take it out of you.