**The Sickness of Hydia: Eureka

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Joined: 19 Mar 2020, 11:39

**The Sickness of Hydia: Eureka

Post by Indon » 21 Jul 2021, 23:23

Who: Indon
What: Training, revelation
How: Indon, journeying the dreamplane, examines the countless dreams of Hydia and subconsciously collects data from it. He comes across his lab partner Alizia's dream, and intrudes to his own peril.

[CHAT] (100%) Indon flew through the storm-that-was-no-storm, seeking someone he knew and finding nobody he could recognize.

[CHAT] (100%) Indon learned a few things very quickly, exploring the Dreamplane - First, it was easier to reach out to those closer to him, than those further away. He could easily sense the dreams of Rose City, but beyond that the minds grew greater and ever-greater in number, and the noise grew too thick to meaningfully sort out from signal. What Indon found instead, in the noise, was a roiling storm of nightmares. Reaching out to other minds, the minds that reached back, unconsciously, with the desperation of fear.

[CHAT] (100%) Indon steeled his will, preparing to pull away, but some voyeuristic, curious part of him - possibly simply his scientific instincts - pulled him towards those dreams. What chance might he ever have again to literally see people's dreams? To search and catalogue the subconscious processes of the minds of... thousands, in such a short time. What scientist across the galaxy, among all time, has ever had such supernatural data collection power? The ethical questions of spying on the dreams of unconsenting strangers scarcely even entered his mind.

[CHAT] (100%) Indon started to touch, to feel out, those dreams, spying upon the minds of strangers. And he was struck immediately by the sheer... pettiness... of so many of the thoughts of Rose City. A nightmare of being chased in the night by creatures unknown induced just as much terror as being caught dressed casual at the formal ball. A dream of pitched, violent combat weighed just as heavily as a dream of breaking up with a boyfriend. A short person unable to reach the top shelf as others laugh. At school without pants. Can't find your favorite flavor of ice cream in the market. Flubbed presentation at work. Drowning in a bathtub. To Indon's waking mind, such concerns mostly seemed absurd, trivial.

[CHAT] (100%) Indon nonetheless couldn't help but reflect upon their purpose. The minds of every dreaming race were, on some level, ill-suited to civilization. Every percieved threat was to be evaluated with the same systems that had originally adapted for fighting or fleeing from the most hazardous monsters of Hydia's deep swamps. Those systems were powerful, diligent, and cared not at all that those monsters were not in the lives of most people. If the most threatening thing in someone's life was a passive-aggressive boss, then it was time to have boss nightmares.

[CHAT] (100%) Indon could nonetheless not avoid feeling like that pettiness was so profoundly wasteful. He could watch the minds of these people, racing, constantly constructing scenarios both fanciful and absurd, and practical and reasonable, building and destroying towers of ideas like children with a set of toy blocks, and with such speed! It lacked the precision of the conscious mind, certainly, but its power was phenomenal, undeniable, like Rose City was home to a hundred thousand supercomputers and most of them were devoted to finding the optimal fashion pairing. So much mind power just spent trying to predict what other minds would do to this, and to that, to every little thing. Then it came to Indon.
"Oh." he felt slip from his concept of a mouth.

[CHAT] (100%) Indon was like that, too, wasn't he? He had one of those supercomputer minds, squandered every night, every dreaming moment. All the power he needed, undirected because it was not one with the part of his mind that directed. If he wasn't aware of his thought, who was it that thought? In that moment Indon first became cognizant of the structure of his own mind, everything he told himself, everything he once thought he knew he was, merely the top of an immense iceberg, the vast bulk of which lurched beneath his awareness, dark and unknown in the depths of his unconscious. That's where he would find the capacity to
Overclock himself. That's where that capability always had been.

[CHAT] (100%) Indon was pulled from his self-absorbed thoughts when he finally felt a familiar mind in the infinite madness of minds. Drawing close to it, he knew the dreamer -
Alizia, the Hydian who worked with him. The Hydian who found out something her research funders didn't like, who declared it untrue and gaslit her. Whose previous assistants all abandoned her, for reasons unknown... or unelaborated upon, perhaps. Wondering if he could perhaps find answers, Indon delved deeper towards/into her dream, becoming more than just a distant observer.

[CHAT] (100%) Indon: -- 'In it, Alizia was working in a laboratory, but not the Liz that Indon knew - this Liz was small, light of frame, soft of body and demeanor, a model Hydian citizen, beautiful as she was intelligent, without even the slightest blemish on her bright orange face. A beautiful
prince in red - perhaps Yuzu? He looked close to what Indon remembered of the Hydian noble, but was hard to recognize. Perhaps Indon was misremembering him, or perhaps Liz was, if it was the same man. But he watched, from afar, as that man whisked her away from the lab, whirling and twirling through his world, leading her deeper into it, with her never noticing that all about her was a web of evil and lies, and with each step more of that web stuck to her, dragging her down, slowing her, binding her and stripping her of her freedom and power with those lies.'

[CHAT] (100%) Indon watched as it seemed that the beautiful world of Hydia slowly ground Alizia down within her dream, until she could no longer move, and only then, finally, started to notice and question. The prince, in a manner like a lover, spoke with words of loving velvet, calling her stupid and ugly, incompetent and worthless, and Indon could see the Hydian scientist's eyes grow wide, then tear up, as the beauty of the world around her, of her enemy, of his very words, served to strip her of defenses as they tore at her on the inside. And eventually, perhaps inevitably, that sadness turned to rage. Her tears dried, and her ugly, rasping sobs gave way to snarls of anger, then an animalistic roar. Her small, beautiful form ripped away as she grew to her monstrous, true size and power, and screaming with rage, she ripped herself free, then tore a massive claw through the head of the man who might have been Yuzu, and was definitely her lover.

[CHAT] (100%) Indon could feel, despite the violence, that this dream was no longer a nightmare, but a source of relief. Alizia ripped at the webs that bound her, and tore into the beauty of Hydia about her, stripping it of its lies and revealing a truer, deeper ugliness all about that world. This dream was an expression of what Alizia truly wanted to do, an expression of her frustration and rage at a world whose beauty was false and whose ugliness was true, and her soul had embraced ugliness because she had made herself an enemy of that beautiful world. There was something amazing about that catharsis. Something fascinating. Something... important.

[CHAT] (100%) Indon stepped towards Alizia in that dream, until she saw him, and when she saw him, she took him to be part of that world - a pawn of that crimson devil whose face she wanted to rip apart. She lunged, and her dream became instantly real to Indon as he narrowly dodged her strike, awkward but driven by rage and fantasies of empowerment through violence and ugliness.
"Oh shit!" he exclaimed as he stumbled away, struggling to get into a mindset to fight after having spent so much time studying and learning.

[CHAT] (100%) Indon 's body - his subconscious? - picked up the slack, starting to carefully parry and give ground to Alizia's assault.
"I think I understand your anger," he tried to say, but his words were too smooth, too beautiful, and Alizia ripped them apart in the air between them as she continued to attack. Her claw slashed at his arm, drawing deep cuts into his bicep, spilling pretty blood. Indon grunted in very real pain - he was too deep into Alizia's dream. She was setting too many of the rules. He was in very real danger here.

[CHAT] (100%) Indon focused his own power, bringing himself fully into the battle, starting to dodge and slap away at Alizia's powerful strikes, engaging her rage with his combat expertise, using his focus against the wild power of her subconscious mind. But his efficient, graceful moves were beautiful, and each of them increased her power, her savagery, strengthened the ugliness of the Lycanrot that her mind was using as a shield. Indon might have been, if not stronger than Alizia in the waking world, then at least more skilled, but here? Here, the top of his iceberg was fighting against the unfathomable depths of hers, and the weight of her ego grinded at him, wore him down with each strike. Could he bring her to lucidity before she ripped him in two?

[CHAT] (100%) Indon dashed backwards, then took to flight, and Alizia flew, in unthinking rage and power, right after him. She would give him no quarter, no rest, no time to collect his thoughts. Just like the fight against Syhiver's nemesis, and the fight to research his time machine, things were going too quickly, had become too dangerous, but this time when he was overwhelmed there was no escape, there was no help coming to save him. He would die, at last, of his mental deficiencies, his inability to overcome himself.

[CHAT:OOC] (90%) Indon has decreased their RP Energy by 10.

[CHAT] (90%) Indon 's heart pounded in his chest as Alizia's dream turned into a deeper and deeper nightmare for him, as her wild strikes, barely avoided, nicked and scraped him, drawing more and more blood. His words were weak, ineffective attacks against Alizia, her claws ripping all sense from them before they could reach her, irrelevant, pointless. But something about it didn't make sense. If Alizia was working to cure Lycanrot, why had her heart of hearts, that deep iceberg within her, so completely embrace that ugliness, and the power it brought her? Why was it the source of her power, when she could wield science as Indon wielded it?

[CHAT:OOC] (80%) Indon has decreased their RP Energy by 10.

[CHAT] (80%) Indon already knew that answer - he felt it. He knew he knew that answer. But he couldn't speak it. It was too deep - his own iceberg had figured it out already, but he couldn't reach it in the numbing waters of his soul. And the thought of dying having reached the truth, but unable to speak it... that touched Indon in a way that no nightmare he had seen touched him. It was a nightmare, just for Indon.

[CHAT:OOC] (70%) Indon has decreased their RP Energy by 10.

[CHAT] (70%) Indon: -- 'And in that moment, his rational mind weakened, his dream-thought surging, and his deep mind reached up to desperately stop that nightmare... and the part of Indon that could speak reached down to clasp it, and bring the parts

[CHAT:OOC] (20%) Indon has decreased their RP Energy by 50.

[CHAT] (20%) Indon: -- 'The whole of Indon's mind slammed together with itself with a force like two spaceships colliding. A wall of will crushed against Alizia, staggering her back a step, before she lunged again, but this time, Indon's fingers wove between hers, catching her swiping hand by holding it. His normally dark eyes blazed like fireworks in a lightning storm, as he imagined the neurochemical processes in his mind pushed to supernatural levels, luminosity conveyed literally from his brain through the light-conductivity of his optic nerve. The whole of his mind now worked in focus, in conscious control. To end his nightmare, he spoke, words of dull, ugly, scientific truth.'

[CHAT] (20%) Indon said, "I understand now, Alizia. Lycanrot is a sickness... but it is not a disease. I think I concur with your research, Liz... there is no cure for Lycanrot. Humans have a similar illness, as far as you can compare two radically different species as ours. One with no cure, only treatment. Only acceptance. We call ours 'anxiety'."

[CHAT] (20%) Indon had already figured it out from seeing the dreams of Hydia. Stresses clutched so many of them so tightly, and in retrospect, it seemed obvious that stressors seemed on average stronger in those dreams that reached out more firmly, implying a degree of meta energies, which often but not always in Hydians correlated with Lycanrot. There was no clear causation, of course, because minds were deep, and complicated, and few things within them are triggered simply - least of all some ancient, vestigial instincts for surviving the dangers of Hydia's deep wilderness.

[CHAT] (20%) Indon seeing Alizia's dreams, the dreams of someone who had accepted Lycanrot into herself as a part of her, because perhaps she was the only person in all of Rose City right now that knew that Lycanrot was natural and normal... except Kiruvi, come to think of it... that made his subconscious certain. And when he spoke those words, that she'd been told were an ugly truth... her dream shuddered, and her eyes focused. She was starting to wake up, and in the meantime, she looked at Indon with lucidity in her eyes, her rage abated. Alizia said, her words soft, even in that grinding snarl of hers,
"I think it's more complicated than what you say, but... I'm happy that you agree."

[CHAT] (20%) Indon said, "If we're right, I have a treatment suggestion. My martial art is built on meditation and breathing exercises, good tools for stress regulation - and it's very friendly with recreational drugs, which I hear help as well. I propose that if I teach you The Breath That Takes No Air, you may be able to better treat your condition. Also, if you study a martial art, you might destroy less furniture."

[CHAT] (20%) Indon: -- 'Alizia laughed, for once her laughter tinted with a hint of genuine joy, rather than ironic bitterness at a world that shamed her for seeking the truth. "I'll hold you to that. You'll need to wake up from that coma. And you understand... Yuzu won't let you publish that. Just like he didn't let me publish it."'

[CHAT] (20%) Indon nodded, and stepped back, his hand finally disentangled from Alizia's bloody claw, as she and her dream faded away to wakefulness. "We can figure something out," he said as parting words. Once Alizia was gone from dreams, he 'flew' back to where he started - he could now pick his own vessel out easily from among the countless minds of the dreamscape, with the full computational power of his mind available to navigate - and he plunged back into his own meat-brain at last, exhausted but alive.

[CHAT] (20%) Indon opened his eyes, laying upon a bed in the medbay, and
sparks flickered from within them.

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