This month I want to bring up about mutation.
I want to talk about the little changes some of us undergo.
You know what I mean.
Ricardo's green skin. Pele's eyes. Antaeus's body. I'm using Utopians as examples since everyone knows T2M and they are some of the most recognizable physical differences out there. Yes, I know there's more extravagant and...intriguing...changes that have occurred. And no, I'm not going to put any pictures of prehensile tentacles in next month's issue, so please don't send me any.
I say this having just returned from Ibiza. And since I'm assuming most of my loyal readers have never been allowed inside the Amp Room, you probably haven't a clue what it's like. Trav made me promise to not to get too descriptive, but I'm gonna share what I can.
For starters, imagine the cantina scene from Star Wars IV: A New Hope. Got that? Good. Now, imagine being in that scene while tripping hardcore of 12 hits of LSD-25. For those readers out there who've never experienced the wonder of recreational hallucinogens, well, do your best. For the rest of you, that's a good start.
I swear that I watched these two guys (I didn't get their names, which is probably a good thing) literally twist their bodies around each other. Like taffy. It was something else. You've got blond Nova boy, completely shirtless, who starts undulated his hips at red-haired Nova boy. Red, wearing this sinister, Halloween orange EuFiber, starts moving in closer. Before you know it, there's this very slow glide between them. Almost like they're moonwalking except they aren't. Magnetic-like, just very slow. When blondie gets up to red, his spine uncouples itself. I know that sounds strange, but that's the only way I can describe it. It was just like watching a series of locks snap open one by one. Since he was sans-shirt, and I sitting nearby, I was given a first-hand look at this occurring. A ripple of flesh moving down his back, each snap making the next little bump in his spine vanish.
Once his spine was free, blondie bends over. Normally when someone makes their muscles taut like that you can clearly make out the spinal column, but it just plain wasn't there. Then, and then, his entire torso stretches and begins making a single helix shape around red. And he does it slowly, and in rhythm with the bass beat in the background, so he practically pulses. Inching around red, slowly, a little bit at a time.
Now, while this is happening, red starts glowing, and I mean really glowing. His skin and the EuFiber all start illuminating the dance floor with an orange aura. Think of those emergency lights that you snap and shake up, and they glow for about 12 hours? Red's glowing like an orange variation on that, as bright as they are right after snapping and shaking. So blondie becomes alternately a silhouette and a back lighted figure, letting those of us watching slack-jawed to see that blondie really is around red and this isn't some trick of the light. Once blondie is about half-way around red, the orange light from red starts pulsing with the bass beat too. So...you've got this strobe effect going, and blondie is inching his way around red between the pulses. Light's off, blondie's here. Light's off, you can't see what's happening. Light's on again, blondie has inched a bit more. When the beat starts picking up, blondie's inching faster, red's strobing more rapidly, and it hits me that this isn't spontaneous. They've choreographed this and have done it many many times. Doesn't matter, because it's no less hypnotic because of it.
Once blondie is up to red's head, red lights up like an orange star and we're given an up-close and personal of blondie shrinking to fit around red's body. I need to clarify something about that. It wasn't like seeing some Plastic Man twist tie. This is a living, breathing, and three-dimensional body, complete with bone and arteries and seeing that wrap itself around another being and then contract so it is form-fitting is pretty, for lack of a more appropriate phrase, disconcerting. I mean, I'm watching blondie breathe around red. The whole body moves in and out with the stretching of air being pulled into and expelled from the lungs. We're talking H.R. Geiger level of imagery made manifest, spotlighted in the soft, yet menacing glow, of red's biolighting.
After that...sufficed to say, once you see one Nova twist himself completely around the other, the fact that blondie positioned his body once contracted so that each of them could fellate each other...I'll just mention that red strobed the entire time after blondie's contraction and I'm assuming he only stopped once he had reached his particular happy moment.
What does this have to do with aberration? Well, honestly, I've got no clue whether or not blondie can just do that without having been altered by taint or not. As far as I know, it may have nothing at all do to with aberration except in the idea that's just really creepy to think about. I brought it up because you'd think that after I saw that, nothing in the Amp Room could have surprised me.
Okay, I should first say that I’d about three Ampwells at that point and was feeling pretty damn good. I’m sitting in that darkened corner, you know the one I’m talking about. In one chair, I’ve got some DeVries operative with an American southern accent that you’d have to hear to believe named Vile Bill, I think, trying to drink me under the table and succeeding nicely. I’m not quite under the table just yet but if I have too many more I’m gonna be. In the opposite chair, I’ve got some Nova boy who belched fire after his second Ampwell, and I’ve got no clue how he did it. It surprised him as much as anyone else, since he doesn’t have any fire-based abilities. In the chair across from me is an Indian woman calling herself Sin-Eater and she’s doing a good job of drinking all of us under the table.
After downing her fifth Ampwell, Sin-Eater looks up and says, “I am impressed. Raoul actually got her to show herself. She probably thinks she is slumming it with the rest of us here.” We all look at her, and she points us to the direction of the entrance, where the good Count himself is walking arm in arm with…
Okay. The first thing you notice is the white glow. It’s kinda hard not to notice it in the Amp Room, after all. It’s this delicate, porcelain white, and it’s something you’d expect to see coming from the skin of an angel. Nowhere near as bright as red’s display earlier, it’s more like her skin was just so white it couldn’t help but radiate light.
The next thing you notice are the eyes: these two pools of blue energy that look like the color was taken directly from a supercollider’s power supply. That kind of blue, and there are no white or pupils or irises to speak of. Just these big, and I mean big (we’re talking the size of grey-alien eyes in that head of hers) blue balls of electricity.
Following me so far? You got this female figure that is so white that she is luminescent with two electric blue spheres of light at the top of her head.
Oh yeah, and at the top of her head, she’s got EuFiber growing out of her scalp. No hair, but honest to god EuFiber. It’s bundled in strands just like electrical cabling, with little metal OpNet terminal leads at the tips. I don’t know if that’s natural or if she accessorized that way. The little diva even went so far as to have it braided.
While I’m on the subject of hair, let me point out that she didn’t have any. None. No eyelashes, no eyebrows, nothing on top, nothing beneath the arms, and nothing at all down below. And before you all ask me how I know that…it’s because she wasn’t wearing a damn thing. Completely nekkid.
Saying that she’s sans-clothing, you can see all of her, including the parts of her that she doesn’t have. And what she didn’t have was any genitalia to speak of. Nothing at all, just this smooth white orifice-less crotch that even Barbie would have been envious of. And like said Barbie-doll, she had breasts, but no nipples. Full-bosom, as Vile Bill put it, “Now that thar’s one helluva rack!”
At least until Sin-Eater mentions the lack of nipples in whisper to him, to which Bill squinted and looked harder, and followed up his comment with “Jesus H. Christ on a mother-fucking cross, what the hell happened to’em?”
Part of me is thinking, “How on earth does she go to the bathroom?” And, “How does someone menstruate like that?” And any number of frankly unrepeatable thoughts that my Ampwell-laden mind kept crafting.
I’ve heard of Novas that were so beautiful it was practically painful to gaze upon them, but I’d never imagined someone like this could qualify. Nonetheless, there one was in all her aberrated glory. hadn’t realized it while it was happening, but I didn’t stop watching her until after she and the Count had moved out of sight completely. There was something about her that, despite all those freaky mutations, was simply…
We all snap out of it (even Sin-Eater hadn’t been immune and she’d apparently known this Nova) after they’d moved up to the second floor.
“How the hell does that fine piece of ass take a piss?” Bill was apparently thinking the same thing.
“She does not,” Sin Eater shrugs, finishing her Ampwell. “She consumes electricity, and produces no waste as a result.”
I turn to Sin-Eater and ask, “You know who that was?”
“Of course,” she answers in that slightly belittling tone I’ve been told is normal for her. That is Dr. Allegra Ramsey.”
Her next words might have well been said in slow-motion. My memory of the event, complete with the Ampwell-induced haze I remember it in, seems to believe it was.
“My gawd,” Bill’s companion pipes up in an accent even more pronounced than Bill’s, “just one o’ the many ways taint’ll fuck yer’ass up.”
Now, maybe that’s true, maybe taint is responsible for the way that woman looks. Sin-Eater simply shook her head like the rest of us were clueless, but she didn’t bother explaining anything else.
It’s hard for me to classify that as “fucked up,” as Bill’s companion put so obtusely. You’d have had to seen her to understand what I mean, but trust me when I say, I might as well have been looking at a goddess. To put it another way, yeah, she looked leagues away from being baseline, but I got the feeling I would be out of line to judge that.
What if, just what if, that’s exactly what she was intended to become the moment her M-R Node decided to start pulling in the quantum? I say this because I’ve seldom seen a Nova so comfortable with looking that different. Ricardo’s skin is a minor alteration compared to Ramsey’s transformation. Even seeing the before and after of Ashnod’s metamorphosis didn’t prepare me for what I saw in the Amp Room, and Machina was simply the most beautiful of them.
You name it, I saw it. Well, that might be an exaggeration, but not by too much.
Myself, I have yet to aberrate in any fashion and quite honestly, I don’t want to. I happen to like the face and body I see in the mirror. We’ve got all the scientists telling us not to worry, that only Novas who acquire too much power too quickly, or have thoughts of transformation during eruption tend to physically change.
But what if, just if, it’s unavoidable?
It’s rather scary, isn’t it, to think somewhere down the line all of us might resemble Geryon? There are times I’ve been awake, staring at my ceiling, pondering this. On one hand, I’ve never thought much about the “pretty” mutations: the wings on that one Nippontai woman, Fury’s blue halo of light…you know what I’m talking about. The ones that are relatively “safe” by our esthetic perceptions. What if those changes are just the first stop?
Seeing Machina, I came to the conclusion that if I have to change, if physical evolution is unavoidable for Novas, it might not be so bad.
Perhaps in all of us, just waiting to emerge, is a god or monster.
Does it scare you? It does me. Think about it.
Maybe that’s all we are, really.
Gods and monsters.
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