metempsychonaut



The subject stopped wriggling. They remained utterly still for more than a week. The crystals embedded in the exoskeletal vacuum suit gradually lost their glow, eventually attaining a darkness of such greasy and spreading opacity that several of the younger medics had to be rotated off the ward. 

As anticipated by professor Yarrow and other key members of the investigative committee, the preliminary scans yielded negligible results. Many more were scheduled to follow in due course, but the committee thought it prudent to be slow and methodical in the completion of such a demanding and potentially dangerous task. This case had no precedent in Terran science. Everybody involved was extremely nervous.

In spite of the committee's concerns, the ministerial official in attendance urged for invasive surgery to be immediately undertaken. It seemed he and his council colleagues were anxious that the subject should be opened up and examined as soon as possible. The politician’s exophthalmic eyes bulged and beads of sweat decorated his bald head; the saline induced brands of rank glistening pondish in the blue-green of the holomap projection as he delivered his purring appeal. He sickened me. I mumbled some feeble excuse and left.

Back out in the street a particularly potent acid rain was falling and the hissing pavements were practically deserted. Those few who had braved the corrosive downpour wore expensive bio-mail cloaks and ink-eyed ex-military re-breathers, most of which still bore the scars and regimental markings of the war.

By the time the committee had reluctantly agreed to invasive procedures and attempted to laser through the subject’s carapace, I was racing north in my lover’s chrome-plated landspeeder.

Not everybody in the city had died in the explosion. In fact many had survived, at least in terms of their hearts continuing to beat and their brains continuing to flash with intermittent neural activity. On clear nights, the psi-net that stretched over the city became visible; a pearlescent mesh that disappeared under direct scrutiny. It had been erected by the French and their IPCST allies almost as soon as they became aware of the strange abilities to be found amongst London’s survivors. In reality most of these 'abilities' extended no further than an individual having grown a lazy subcutaneous eyeball, or their being able to grow coarse hair all over their faces (even growing inside the mouth and under the eyelids, up the nose and back down into the throat. Thick, bristling hair that blinds and stifles and chokes.), but then a few, very few, were endowed with extraordinary gifts. 
Mutants weren't the only troubling survivors of the blast. The subject's mask was found by an IPCST sweep team, sitting practically unscathed in the belly of the yawning crater that had been a ¥16bn Mi8 research facility
Subsequent study, conducted in secret by a hurriedly convened team of specialists, revealed a number of data storage banks incorporated into the mask's design, most of them irrecoverably damaged. Technicans were able to salvage a total of 8 files intact, comprising 6 images and two brief texts, of which this is the first. The mask was found to be made of an alloy of titanium and another metal hitherto unknown to humankind. It also exhibited signs of severe lagging, having endured great extremes of temperature, and was soaked in iridescent ectoplasmic residue; all of which are signs consistent with an object having undergone a retro-temporal leap of between 5000 and 7000 years.
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Produced in collaboration with Scott Lockhart




Produced in collaboration with Billy 'Broadmoor' AB




Produced in collaboration with Ying Wei Yip