Presque(Currently for something 12+ chapters)v

If you design a living thing and don't have the care to give it a voice, ears, eyes, or a body plan that you have proof will work under physics, and make it flesh…how would it be different than a naturally aborted fetus that could only hope for the kindness of a painless death? If it can be called a fetus.

Even magic can not be that magical.

How many mistakes can you imagine might have happened before one successful species- how many genetic mutations?


How many versions does an inventor make before finding something that works?


What is the chance for a chimpanzee that does not know how to write, to write one coherent sentence, much less an entire masterpiece, unguided?

ODM = Original Design Manufacturer.
Operative Disease Mouse.
Operative- Denoting computers and programs, but also surgery and modification.
Disease - Denoting its apparent purpose as an offensive virulence toward some group (likely Oneiroi) as well as its symptoms (including "death" by physical erasure from existence, and possibly complete death if everyone is infected and subsequently "eaten".)
Mouse - Also denoting a computer/manmade program but also vermin, viruses, and how it appeared as a mouse in the first place.

It had some flaws- reanimating something(s) that had been (brain)dead (if ever alive or just "ever" at all) with the slurry of discarded victims minds floating around in a much less physical space, for one.

These something(s) couldn't stay alive in that without being maintained by outside awareness, or at least being fed. Thus, they were labeled as hallucinations- something there, but not really.

They could slip into predefined expectations, or become a mess of borrowed symbolisms and assumptions. The latter tended to be simplified over time, with the likening to something else being easier or easier to picture/recall than a mathematically/geometrically precise description.

Primal instincts and unwitting observation could also affect them gradually or immediately, and debase them and/or their minds.1

The described hallucinations are purposely given leeway with those descriptions because there was/is an apparently unconscious tendency to share/transfer stress and other basic but powerful moods if there are enough in one concentrated area and/or there long enough to leave that kind of "stain". Sort of like how a place that no one actually died in becomes haunted because everyone says it is, or how workplaces always seem stuffy and uncomfortable, except the outside influence here isn't exactly another person.

Although the wording is purposely uncertain to try to keep them "soft" and weak and therefore more containable; a balance between shattering something that's actually pretty fragile where it then matters and making it too sturdy (and perhaps too bold) to break down again. The set amount of staff and the necessity to make people forget/remain unaware, regardless of how important they are, are basically for the same reasons.

Due to the basic logic that inanimate objects cannot normally move on their own and that they are not human, the trend of non-human animals or humanoids with animal features was going to happen. It is referenced by the "goat" hallucination, which is also spattered with indirect mentions of attention seeking and/or annoying and inherently delictual behavior from them collectively. Silently breaching containment by moving through real objects when their grounding is especially wan and stealing things to gain attention and avoid said physical nonexistence being the two most common/obvious…although some (including casualties) seem to be making a game of the latter due to boredom, which can also be considered as referenced by the text depending on how it is understood.

Examples:

First person: "Its head kind of looked like a deer."
Fifth person: "It's like a deer."
Seventh person: "It is just a normal deer."


"I saw something in my periphereal vision, and the primate in me saw a snake. And so it was."


"It is just a piece of furniture- my brain instantly registers it as harmless, non-living, and immobile without me having to think about it."


The deal with the reassembled people isn't exactly the same, since they already have the baggage of memories, a grasp of identity and entitlement to how things should be, etc.




Basic timeline:

The ODM prototype arrived here somehow, causing havoc. It still caused havoc after containment, but another problem was quickly noticed.

Said new problem was studied, and said new problem's tendency toward being unpredictable and irrational becomes "exacerbated" (mostly from the feeling of surprise, bewilderment, etc, which was started to be realised only after they drifted over to where the d-class were and caused a varying range of mischief there). It also became obvious they're multiplying somehow, even though they started the annoying habit of switching appearances with each other to avoid starving and dissipation.

It quickly became obvious that the use of amnestics caused agitated behavior until it became a sort of pattern; you can imagine the increasingly palpable feeling of being watched and/or feeling of being unsafe that came after every termination regardless of whether it became expected or not. Also, vivid nightmares of executions that couldn't be escaped from until after the pain of/and dreamed death. Replaced by dreams (and sometimes waking visions) of a first-person view of eating babies alive (or seeing through the (possibly blurry and still-developing) eyes of a baby as they are eaten) after that second mistake- either a "why did you want this" or "we won't let you forget."2

Positive reinforcement was considered, but then they immediately started following people outside the whole property without being noticed; the lack of notice from machines/electronics made things even more difficult from the get-go. Depending on the situation and setting, there were different shades of appropriate panic trying to take/maintain control/order of said situation. The incarceration and use of civilians plagued by one or more of these things as D-Class may or may not have happened or begun to happen at this time due to necessity for immediate action and the noted resistance against leaving said civilians alone.

The first solution to this was to deny that they were anything more than hallucinations. This works somewhat, although the issue with them multiplying makes this only temporarily effective.

The site director was "eaten" by the ODM prototype and is unofficially replaced by the lead researcher after other scps are transferred out, due to increasingly obvious hazards by being even around the mouse and possible disruptions from the sudden loss of capable people.

And then while the foundation was still trying to figure out how they work, someone (a D-class, while in their quarters) punches a visual compromise between an owl and a bar stool and it explodes into a slow-motion cloud of what was assumed to be (and also more or less confirmed) "fetal" stages of these things. A thought bubble; a half baked idea?

Testing may or may not have made a living ball of wind for two minutes and thirty five seconds, a(n almost) horse that was asserted to one D-Class to be "faster than the speed of light" to see what would happen (it did not; the D-Class suffered brain death and it also "died",) a reptile with wings resembling those from the order Chiroptera(broken after testing, apparently too "weak" to set real objects on fire- tried to set staff members on fire,) a small wooden house with a chimney pipe in the shape of the head of a female Gallus gallus domesticus and one pair of lower limbs of the same species (immediately ran away, large enough to jump over the border wall meant to both symbolically and literally impede such attempts (but also was proving useful keeping things out,) seen torn apart less than a mile away by said unidentifiable entities- was also what stopped the testing.3

Things continue to get more and more tense, especially as the D-class needed to be transferred out and/or disposed of. Someone has the idea to corall them with inherited paranoia of the outside world. That "somehow manages" to work (if they had a reason to hide within there, how much worse was the rest of the world? It's like a dog that has become used to the pattern of abuse- not okay with it, but at least still alive and trying to avoid more- a new wall around the area also might have helped), which also helps lead to the most current revision of special containment procedures.

Just days before all the paperwork for that kind of change would have gone through, a "dinosaur" formed by a finally bursting swell of negative emotion and unstable "unborn" causes major structural damage and more than a few fatalities before it falls apart itself. Some D-class manage to escape, along with some of the "hallucinations".

While that structural damage is being repaired, the staff working there are overturned by/supplemented with people who were legitimately diagnosed with antisocial disorder, to further control [the] things and their unknown but certainly oversaturated numbers. Someone eventually links (confirms) this with how the mouse is "eating" people, as referenced in the line "putting them back together, but it is hard now" which is an intentionally manipulated/heavily spliced record of successful communication, which incidentally led to more questions and some confirmed speculations.

This leads to a false sense of regained control, and the mistake of killing multiple that were first given the comprehended idea of "eat baby" leads to another disaster that, while helping cut down the then-swarm of surreal things, also started a pandemic4 of human infants (and other things called "baby" a lot in the past or currently in the present) being eaten. Or maybe this happened along with the first explosion; the amnestics and need to not acknowledge unwanted behavior (including writing it down) makes the when of this unclear, as well as the sheer difficulty to identify and predict them with such an open (and gruesome) purpose.5




If things go "well" it (it being the resulting mistake, assuming it was a mistake) would just dissipate back into nonexistence, with possible temporary phenomena (that may or may not reflect previous instances) appearing due to contemporary superstition, or an even briefer and less common localized phenomenon of warped reality that may or may not be noticed.67

On a side note, their inability to be human-like seems to be at least partially from an awareness that they are not from both sides. Or maybe for another reason, like the assumption of it being because of "rules" (see below) likely becoming the reason (with time being uncertain, if even relevant.)8

Side-side note: Animals with more instinct than brain may attack or flee because they see something that is A: A threat or B: Something new/unnatural that probably is a threat. Things, like insects, don't notice at all or just see something that is bigger than them. There seem to be exceptions in ecological zones that do not have (many) predators, such as the Galapagos, and the more mundane examples of domesticated animals (which may include humans, if considering theories of self-domestication.)

Side-side-side note: While this might have started from what seems like failed revenge or weapons-testing, Inviv sounds like what you think a biotech or pharmaceutical company would have as a name, even though it is a design manufacturer. Maybe like anartists except with commercial function in mind?

That meant there were more things likely watching, listening, etc. which may or may not have been worse than two more developments: the misplaced people put back together as completely as possible and the constructs that had become "braindead" again- either slipping into predefined archetypal or otherwise supernatural cultural figures, and/or mindlessly doing what they were defined to be doing before their sentience was denied as being/disproved/etc.9

Side-side-side-side note: That the mouse is starting to appear in photographs is indicative of more than just the mouse; it may be possible that one might eventually become part of the everything, for lack of a better term to describe everything that "really exists". This fits the possibility of it being a tool to fix or replace some broken part of a world or something…if that wasn't so preposterous, right?

Probably more likely a tool for people who can't bend reality normally although that also fits the above. Huh….

Maybe a cheap all-in-one evolutionary or physiology model, compared to the hundreds of generations needed for genetic selection or thousands of years for a new species. (There might be a lot of liquid showers and screaming if you don't know what you're doing and it becomes real enough to have flesh and blood.)

Maybe a way to send information between two very distant points.

Or maybe it's to level the playing field with something that can become immune to being played with like clay by everyone that it isn't attached to.

Maybe it's a sadists wet dream.

Maybe it's a thought-eater (even though that could be like unhealthy junk food too) that can also (eventually) decipher/copy your memories, due to them being technically already inside your brain (like a (not literal) marker flag with a string tied to the pole unless/until you push/pull/ it out or forget/forget it's there, just like a meme or real object), and you(r consciousness) being electrical pulses which are also technically kinetic energy and energy/state changes.10

Or maybe it's all of the above and they're all invented reasons for how to use a resource that's actually very common but impossible really really hard to find and reach and pick up and process in a reasonable, safe way.11

You'd think there would be really heavy regulation, screening, and restriction there to keep the wrong people from having access to a product that probably won't care if you paid for it if it ends up hating you or liking someone else more.1213




Rat King: Phenomena of rats becoming entangled, general public divided on preserved examples being a natural occurrence or intentionally made by bored people. Eventually became a symbol of coming misfortune (at least in terms of possible origin(s) of this term/phenomena), most likely because of the [black] rats' (and other rodents') association with historical disease outbreaks, and disease in general.

This may be an appropriate term to describe what could be happening in the collective SCP 3242-2, or could happen to the mindless instances of the former by chance. While they wouldn't literally become tangled together through tails (not all have tails anyway), there's a chance they could become squished (perceived distance from each other not being a perfect indication) together (for lack of a better term) and lose individual cohesion as well as grounding/being tethered down/whatever.

If that happens when they're all still autonomous (less likely than the other), I would call that going mad. A bomb of empty, open probability that is inside instead of out there in the in between or void or nothing (however you picture it). And probably seizure-inducing as long as it has bits and pieces to lose.

If they're just mindless forces, well, that's one way to make your eyes hurt more because now it's one much bigger non-thing that can't be anything and is still just cycling through random shapes and concepts and (if you think humes are a thing- I don't) fucking up the surrounding reality even faster (than the above) because it would probably be in even deeper negatives as, again, one giant non-thing made of things that could be/ could have been/used to be (if you think there's something else other than dieing electrical pulses in the synapses and apoptosis in old age- or just the former if it's any other death. Or if you think the matter of souls should be addressed, in which case you may not agree with it being part of "cosmic recycling".)

This also would imply to any abnormally large "chaos garbage" or whatever that would get pulled back in by mistake, although it wouldn't leave behind any pieces of itself that could be picked up, etc. as much as change or add or damage something as proof of an impact.

If you think about it like a sudden genetic mutation, it's most likely something benign or inconsequential rather than positive or negative. Changing the color of an entire species of flower as they currently exist as a species, rather than the possibility of emergence through evolution or ecological shifts, is deliberate- only one turning purple is random. Maybe the flower can't attract pollinators or photosynthesize properly, but it's just that one random flower. Replace that with something on a larger or smaller scale, and it still makes the same sense. A bigger "rock" just has a bigger chance to hit something. Velocity and gravity might not apply in this though.

Also might be how the new replaces the old/dead "cells" or just continues to endlessly cycle(?)?
(I'd like to think that, somehow, the idea of endless universes could be endless in itself.)

(I might change my mind later on this not actually being a stupid idea, but I think it would be like a meteor impact (given the wording) in terms of damage to what is generally considered reality and/or the list of what is possible.)

Edit: The tyrannosaurus incident may be considered a rat king, with sudden stability that only lasted as long as it was doing what it was directed to do. Do not-really "fetal" stages of not-really people count as not-really people?

Edit #2: I hope the trend of referring to them collectively, as well as throwing them a figurative bone by mentioning specific "hallucinations" in order to make them a little more predictable is obvious enough in being linked to this (much newer) "rat king" idea. Maybe referring to an individual with a name/offhand adjective (apparently that sometimes counts- with context in mind, it can make sense) counteracts this by being symbolic, even though it also seems to slightly change how that individual responds to outside stimulus?


The brain takes up about twenty percent of the energy that a human body produces, but seems to take about twenty seven to thirty three percent of calories consumed daily (based on different sources that just seem to be parroting each other without citing the real source(s), and may even vary from that based on the amount of thought processes; being around these things could make that double?

It could be that even if someone didn't "let them in" willingly it was automatic, or they're starting to be able to "come in" anyway. It's probably the former if it becomes relevant and needs to be mentioned. The increased demand for nutrition could have also started to apparently lessen after the culling, perhaps due to it.


If you have a cupcake appear out of thin air, did you just tear a hole in the bubble of the universe or its guts to make it?

Is the library a cell that just has one giant mitochondria inside?

"Heaven"(equivalents of and singular concept, not just the singular concept)= Created by sheer belief and are somewhere in the betweens? (Not saying they actually are, here.)

"Pocket Dimensions" and other intentionally manipulated spaces= small "cysts" growing off the membrane of a universe/world/whatever?


Should I even go into detail about sight- their only apparent sense?

Unlike how listening for breathing isn't (usually) a conscious action but your brain registers that sound anyway, telling whether or not something can actually see by looking at it isn't that simple. Some of them have eyes because that's what a lot of multicellular animals naturally have. But just like the others that just have details that look like eyes, or don't have eyes at all, they can't really see. At least, not like us or the vast kingdom of animals.

Maybe an individual could, eventually, if they become that real and advanced. But they only know where they are if someone else does. That includes details such as small objects, which they can take advantage of.

This has lead to a lot of "shadow owls running through walls", as well as running /into/ walls when they're caught by the logic that they shouldn't be able to before they hit said obstacle. This has been omitted to avoid giving the current staff the idea that making them hurt themselves is an acceptable (even if technically viable) source of (cheap) amusement, not just for the chance that they'll try to follow said person outside but also to keep with the "Protect" part of the deal. Even though they've already fucked things up and can't fix that.

On a side note, this has also made a lot of half/quarter/third-(insert thing here) when one of them is occupying the same place as a solid object.

At least it's not as frequent, now that they're hiding except when they can't ignore their kind of "being hungry" any longer. Then, people have to watch out for sudden but usually harmless ambushes that are somewhat like guerrilla warfare tactics (even if most likely not intentional) when you think about it. Making it a requirement for everyone to read their version of scp 3242 made this slow down a little on some days, but didn't/doesn't really help on other days.

They're still trying to figure out how to keep some of them from making games out of this without dropping the figurative barrier.

If summarized in one sentence, it would be a concept being printed out into reality, but like a reverse (yet fundamentally same) process of spontaneous materialization, group-made thoughtforms, or reality change in some respects.


And don't forget the people that are, again, apparently not actually dead-dead (anymore).


Will talk about "far aways" here later- the one(s) that made the poem and the one(s) that jump-started this new local pile of waste (something had to have a hand in putting it together, or immediate coherence from junk is not actually an act of intent.) are not one in the same. Including differences in logic, of course.


Will talk about the reassembled people and how they're avoiding losing their sanity (if only still differentiated by retaining the knowledge of their lost identities and ability to language like a boss unlike 3242-2) here later, and how they affected and were affected by 3242-1. (Spirit/soul may fit here actually if someone is still wondering about that after reading all this stupid bullshit.)


Another note to me more than anything: Start on the direct history behind 3242-1, which would be the story of revenge/time bombs.


If I decide the UIU file is too stupid to exist outside of the sandbox, I'll put the really salty deer somewhere else.


Maybe if it isn't clear already, expand on how breaking one just makes smaller pieces, and even when it seems like they're gone it's actually still there. Just….broken down into the equivalent (excluding the matter of origin) of discarded thoughts? Like sea glass and plastic particles and dust? With the possibility to clump again or change something "randomly"? (I know I've been using the word random but even chaos and "luck" isn't random. As far as it matters to us, though, it usually is.)


Maybe reiterate how trying to make something you already know is impossible (or is impossible according to natural laws as they are known) happen tends to come back to you as instant brain death instead unless there's a enough "energy" already given to burn inside of it instead?

Some things not that extreme but still really demanding can lead to debilitating injuries (mostly around how it functions) in the brain or nervous system.

One of the most obvious loopholes to this is dragons and fire breathing, or anything that may include what has become believable. This is subject to change between individuals and age groups, of course.


Possible "trial" lock and key:
Work takes many hands
When it is time to take hold of the future


????


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Please note that I am still tweaking this for smoother wording and relevance.

Electronic copy below as per Federal Records Act

UIU File 2017-09: Codename Jersey Devil

Summary:

who am i

who am i

who am i

i think

you took our hands and arms

(Or, "The singularly unreliable but passively narrative, stream-of-consciousness-supplemented accounts of a troubled, perhaps mentally scarred adolescent who isn't thinking about someone reading what they write- just their boredom as they see the ten thousandth, eight hundred and ninety third cactus and the extremely dulled but still ever present desire to not get shot or lobotomized.")

WIP

Day: I don't know.
Time: I don't think it matters.
This day-planner still smells like rotten bamana banana
[Under this is what appears to be a crude sketch of a canine, likely an example of native fauna. It covers the space of the next two days.]

Day: //
Time:
Being on the run isnt much different from being back there. It just seems different at first. Now I just have different walls to stare at, and an alarm clock that sounds like gunfire in the distance. Because it is. Or something exploding. I haven't seen any things that look like they do explode on purpose out here.//


They were comfortably out of sight from the road C-1407-S113 had been following- they being a party of two. Or one and a half.

Aside from the clearly not-bird triangle shape consistently staying directly above them that she, at least, was deliberately ignoring, her mind was left to counting the cactuses they passed.

Nonexistent flashes of light drifted down C-1407's vision, supplementing the growing, then fading feeling of not-quite dizziness that would be expected longer-term from insomnia or anesthesia, neither of which the runaway had. It was more like a tiny pressure in the back of her mind, more awareness of being focused upon or paranoia than an actual force pressing down- combined with cheap beer, it seemed all the more noticeable.17 Or maybe it was because there was a giant hyena with eyes like spotlights, both on its face where eyes should be and dozens where there shouldn't. Or, the extra ones could still be shining. The shining thing was pretty new, but it was still hard to tell if they were open when it was on its slightly ridged back, drunkenly kicking the air with all sixteen legs.

The two big eyes in front flashed again, filling her own with another cascade of fading ethereal shapes. For the two seconds the light took to pass over her, she glimpsed its tongue briefly become smeared, duplicate itself, and then return to the one long pink imitation of flesh that did not, as far as she knew, actually lead to the imitation of animal guts.

She decided to throw the still-full can away and pretend her tongue didn't feel like barely damp sandpaper.

This was normal; this was the new old normal. And this wasn't what anyone should think of as normal. Even if they deserved it.

Somewhere in the desert, days behind here, there was a real truck just under the thin shade of a saguaro cactus- unless someone had followed the tire tracks going off the road and through the dried grass and sand. She was having a hard time hoping that someone did find him in time, assuming he had become trapped when it rolled over.1819 Was that a bad sign? Or was this numb feeling shock? Was she right to think she was losing her sanity or something?

These thoughts felt a little too deep to linger on even now, even though it felt like one of the only things she could do, and not get something else to wonder about for it.

If C-1407 didn't know any better, in fact, she would swear this was her body telling her it needed more of the same drug that had made her forget her real name. Or that was what was assumed to have happened, at least. What should have just wiped two entire weeks away ended up disconnecting seemingly unrelated parts of neural pathways in the hippocampus, despite amnestics being like an over the counter, one size fits all kind medicine for every human nervous system it was applied to. Not that she remembered much of the finer, less fundamental details about how her own brain worked- which would be expected from her situation, if not general age group and the fact that she may or may not have been feeling dehydrated.

If she didn't know any better, she would think the past years of being a prisoner had been her mind forming an extreme spotlight psychosis where, for whatever reason, a mental hospital became some secret government organization building disguised as an accounting firm. Unless she had gotten deep enough to fabricate an outside with consistent diurnal cycles, temperature changes, smells from things that wouldn't be in mental hospitals, and the taste of stolen food, then C-1407 was pretty sure she was leaning against a dumpster miles away from said building.

Being too young to drink was a moot point when you didn't know how old you were, or when the next time you would have anything to drink would be. By the way her current transportation2021 was reacting, however, she was starting to suspect she had overestimated what she could handle. To be fair, that thing had stopped her from forgetting anything after the first few doses of amnestic; that may have affected her judgement with drinking one can out of a box of what said transportation had managed to take out of the closed gas station. The idea of something only being able to see from the perspective of someone looking at it was still odd, but no longer in a way that made it more of a concern than trying to see around it while standing on the other side of locked doors and glass.

With only a few knocked over shelves and no broken glass panes this time, it was an improvement that meant she didn't have to keep walking tonight in the middle of Arizona.

Why wasn't she leaving something like that behind and looking for her family, or calling for help at the first sign of other people, instead of signaling for it to stop glowing and hide every time the echo of an engine could be heard on the horizon?

It wasn't so much a matter of feeling sorry for it as much as how it wouldn't go away. She…couldn't really deny being nervous about being trampled or dragged along or chewed up- although that might be a little unfair. Those kinds of nightmares had happened, but specifically not to her or her father…she hoped.

It hadn't really given indication of doing that or anything else you would expect from a monster yet, instead of running after and then beside her until she stopped. Considering what else it could probably do, though, she felt better listening to her gut, which was saying it would be bad to let her guard down completely. Whether that was from never really liking dogs or the otherwise irrelevant instincts about predators, it didn't matter. She wasn't getting closer than two feet to a mouth that was almost as wide as her arm was long, increasingly canine-like teeth or not.

It would also be hard to explain a hairy animal the length of a truck and the width and…doors…of a small car. That was a little less new than the lights, but still new. Part of her didn't really like the change, even though it was probably from the near-constant compulsion to keep moving and the fact that it seemed to not like the idea of being the only one walking or walking in different directions- sometimes even ignoring the courtesy of personal space for a while if the gap between them became too wide. For something that intimidating, it acted like it was vulnerable to some constant, unknown danger.

Maybe she should be scared too. Maybe it was eating her fear, and she shouldn't have been able last this far into nowhere.

C-1407 remembered what happened just before it had somehow jumped through a double-paned window that, in hindsight, probably wasn't as easy to break as the failed catbus made it look. But compared to the sound of bending metal and other kinds of shrieking that her own may or may not have joined in with as the ground rushed up to say hello.

She didn't want to think about it- maybe failed catbus would let her on instead of playing keep away with the partially filled plastic bags it was carrying. And maybe she would go back on staying away from the teeth, if she needed a can opener in the near future.

Whether she ended up walking in the morning or actually surprised it, she didn't have anywhere to go but ahead. It somehow knew when it was being followed or looked for, just like the rest…or maybe it was both of them now? She was pretty sure if it could have made noise, it would have already said a lot.

She didn't see sleep coming before it caught her; the prolonged absence of desert fauna and their sounds continued, even outside the slowly closing net of people trying to recapture things that automatically knew, at the very least, they were being hunted.


Day: Unknown.
Time: Too early. Uhhhh
I didn't know I forgot what cactus looked like until days yester
Maybe if when I run out of cheap pen ink and leave this behind at the side of the road, someone will read this. I hope so, it would serve them right for trying to keep so many terrible secrets.

My life would probably sound like a dream for someone else if they didn't see the fine print. No parents, no school, do almost anything you want. Sometimes they gave us movies and games that weren't charged or
^
politicalley

But you have something in your brain that they don't want to feed learning to. For a while I thought they would cut me open to look inside but after the first time of finding nothing it was pointless to keep doing it, or so I heard. I heard the guy who got cut open had a bad arm for his whole life, and then he didn't, even though he shouldn't have been able to use it. I heard he deserved it. I heard some of the things attacked him for no reason before his arm started working.

I still don't know what to trust.


Of all the things that she would have benefited from knowing about surviving in the desert, boredom wasn't one of them. She reminded herself not to touch the glasslike film that separated her from the outside blurs of brown and green and blue- even though it wasn't actually wet it had the texture and pressure resistance of, well, an peeled grape.

From far away, one could imagine bursts of gunfire to be fireworks or a long line of cars moving across a bridge. Today, at least the sun had come up before that kind of motivation got her out of "bed": a sleeping bag from a store apparently near enough to a national park to sell camping supplies.

In the desert, temperatures tend to fluctuate from one extreme to another. Between extremely limited survival skills and an unnatural shelter that didn't have a shadow2223 but still stayed warmer than the air at night, the sun and its heat was a constant and looming danger against which, unlike hunger, C-1407 would never feel comfortably prepared. Digging for water was something she knew about doing, even if the reality of not actually being able to find water anywhere you would dig for it did not occur to her.

The chance of finding water, and stealing water couldn't really bolster confidence against it all. Boredom in this situation, however, meant you were able to forget you had something to worry about…even if only for a short while.