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The Gap Into Vision: Forbidden Knowledge 29 - Chapter 20

 
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PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2019 6:02 pm    Post subject: The Gap Into Vision: Forbidden Knowledge 29 - Chapter 20 Reply with quote

Freed from the influence of the zone Implant, Morn struggles to come to terms with her situation, and perhaps more importantly, the situation that Davies was now in.

Forcing herself to her feet, she takes advantage of the fact that her own intercom is still working (Davies' having been disconnected), and pleads with the bridge crew to somehow stop Nick.

Playing on a combination of what she hopes is their visceral dislike of giving people to the Amnion, and Nick's own unpredictability which, she says, might see any of them being given to the Amnion at some point, she cajoles and argues at them, unaware that Nick is already in their presence to counteract any argument she might make.

Discovering that he was there, that his confidence was strong enough to let her make her plea to the crew unopposed, she snaps, and begins screaming until, her intercom shut down, her very voice gives in.

(It's this kind of thing that often makes me view Morn somewhat unsympathetically. These mindless breakdowns that make me think of Linden for some reason. Sometimes I just want to tell herself to pull herself together.)

Still, screaming done, she calms down and starts to think. She knows that she has time. The Amnion won't be close enough for nearly 12 hours, so she has that amount of time to come up with, and execute, a plan.

Quote:
A lot could happen in 12 hours. Entire lives might be won or lost. Hope and ruin could be as quick as gap-sickness.


Without knowing why, she moves to where she can see the intercom indicator lights, and settles in to wait. (Again...why didn't she know? Seems a bit deus ex)

Regardless, by the time the intercom light comes on, revealing that Nick is trying to listen in on her, it seems she knows what she is going to do. Whimpering and mewling until the light goes back off, she jump up and gathers all the loose items she can find, then returns to waiting in front of the intercom, taking comfort in the knowledge that this waiting was the best she could possibly do for Davies right now.

The next time the intercom comes on, she begins sobbing, hurling the onjects around the room, and panting Nick's name, battering the walls with a chair when she runs out of things to throw.

The intercom switches off again, and again she takes action. Gathering clothing and bedding, she blocks the toilet and the drains in the shower and basin, turns on all the taps, and wedges the flush button down, causing water to begin flooding the floor, and alarms to begin going off.

By doing so, she's made it necessary for Nick to come and stop her, lest she think up something really damaging to do, like set fire to things.

Nick duly appears, and in the face of the rage she brings to bear against him, uses the zone implant control to make her catatonic. Not knowing, of course, that she has disabled this particular function.

Leaving the control in the cabin with her, to ensure it's signal remains close enough to affect her, he leaves again, giving Morn what she was after all along.

For all the good it does her.

She uses the control to ameliorate the effects of her injuries, her tiredness, her fear. She uses it to ease the pangs of her zone implant addiction. And then she looks at herself in the mirror, and is appalled.

Quote:
Her zone implant didn't free her from her limitations. It merely gave her the capacity to push herself past the boundaries of her own survival.


But she had the control box now. No matter what else. Her next step was to find a way out of the cabin.

Using the implant to boost her adrenaline and strength, she tries to force open the door enough to kick the over-ride in. But even trying to slide the door with enough force to tear the skin off her hands, it doesn't work.

She is still stuck.

Devastated, she eventually comes up with the idea of killing Nick. Arming herself with the nail file hitherto jamming down the flush button, she tunes her reactions to a fever pitch, but now finds herself unable to wait patiently.

She can't wait while she's all jacked up, but she can't dial it down otherwise she won't be able to take Nick by surprise when he comes back.

Quote:
There was no way out. The gap between what she needed and what she could do was impassable/


She collapsed sobbing. The only thing she could think of doing was to turn off the zone implant, and hope to regain the cold cunning state in which she had known what to do. And she couldn't do it.

Quote:
Only her zone implant was keeping her alive. Nothing but its emissions protected her from the consequences of rape and gap-sickness, treason and bereavement...If she turned off her black box, she would be left defenceless in the face of what she had become.

But she had to do it. There was no other way across the gap.

In silent grief, as if she had come to the end of herself, she began to cancel the functions of her black box one at a time.


Finally, unaware of what she could do, bereft of the balm of her zone implant, she simply sits, playing with her hair while the time slips away. Ignorant of any hope or plan even when her door opens, and Sib Mackern slips into the room, closing it behind him...

--A
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 8:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Morn's speech to Nick's crew of illegals is great, and it has me believing that she can somehow persuade a few of them to cross Nick, extremely dangerous though that is.

Quote:
Unsteady and thick headed, blind to herself, she lurched to the wall and snap-punched the intercom toggle as if she could make the equipment function by force.

Indicators lit: a channel opened.

A background murmur came from the speaker, a sense of depth or ambience too great for the constricted space of the bridge. Somehow she'd reached--or been given--a general channel to the rest of the ship.

Someone wanted her to be heard.

"Listen to me," she croaked, hoarse with acid and need. "He's going to give them my son."

Why should they care? Most of them--maybe all of them--already knew what Nick was doing. And she was a cop: she was the enemy. What did she hope to gain?

Who wanted to grant her this chance?

She took it without trying to understand. Frantic and clear, she put everything she had left into her voice.

"I know why you're here--some of you. I know why you do this. For some of you, it's just freedom, license. Being illegal gives you more choices, fewer hindrances. You've lost too much, missed too much. Now you can take what you want."

She didn't know what to say. She was too weak--and had no eloquence. To steady herself, she imagined her voice reaching all the rooms and cabins of the ship, echoing inescapably in the corridors. She imagined herself being heeded.

"Is this what you want? Do you want to turn human beings over to the Amnion? Have you thought about what that means? It means you could be next. This time it's all right to give them my son. Next time it could be all right to give them you. Isn't that right, Alba? Pastille? Do you think Nick considers you worth keeping? Are you sure? What if he finds somebody on Thanatos Minor who can do your job better--or fucks better--or worships him more?

"Is that what you want?"

Spasms of coughing rose from her damaged throat and esophagus. But she couldn't afford to stop. She had no time: Nick would silence her as soon as he gained the bridge. In her mind, she could see him running to put an end to her appeal.

Weeping at the effort, she continued.

"But some of you have other reasons. You're here because the cops are corrupt--the whole damn UMCP is corrupt--and this is the only way you can oppose them. Vector? Sib? Mikka? Can you hear me? The cops are corrupt. I didn't know that, but I know it now. I don't like it any more than you do. I became a cop because pirates killed my mother, and I wanted to fight. I wanted to fight anything that threatened human life and liberty and security. The things I've learned make me sick.

"But that's no reason to give my son to the Amnion! It doesn't hurt the cops, because they don't care anyway. It just betrays humanity, all humanity, you and me and every man or woman or child who's still alive.

"You've all got families. You all came from somewhere--you must have had mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, relatives and friends. How about them? What would you sell them for? How would you look at yourself in the mirror afterward?"

"Don't let him do this." Until she'd said it, she didn't realize she was urging mutiny. "Find some other answer. There's got to be some other answer."

She had no idea what that might be. In an important sense, Nick was not just the captain of his ship: he was the ship itself. His codes ruled every function; he made all the decisions; his skills kept his people alive. Every one who heard her was dependent on him.

Anyone who challenged him might end up where Davies was now.

Abruptly, the intercom picked up her antagonist.

"I told you she wasn't taking it well," Nick drawled. He sounded perfectly sure of himself; impervious to her threats. "You've heard enough to know what I mean. You can cut her off now, Mikka."

He'd been on the bridge the whole time. He'd been allowing Morn to speak; allowing the ship to hear her in order to prove himself. He was that secure.

She abandoned language and started screaming.

Raw with acid and strain, her visceral howl rang throughout Captain's Fancy until the indicators on her intercom went dead.


Next time it could be all right to give them you. Isn't that right, Alba? Pastille? Do you think Nick considers you worth keeping? Are you sure?
Alba thinks with her crotch, according to Nick, and Pastille has had the audacity to openly question Nick's orders. These two probably would be the most vulnerable to being sold off if Nick decides to do such a thing to any of his crew.

"But that's no reason to give my son to the Amnion! It doesn't hurt the cops, because they don't care anyway. It just betrays humanity, all humanity, you and me and every man or woman or child who's still alive.
"You've all got families. You all came from somewhere--you must have had mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, relatives and friends. How about them? What would you sell them for? How would you look at yourself in the mirror afterward?"
I think that's the crux of Morn's argument, that Nick's crew will be surrendering a vital part of their own humanity by letting Nick give Davies to the Amnion. Her argument sounds compelling to me.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The revelation that Nick was on the bridge the whole time ... speaks volumes about his posture. He truly doesnt care what his crew think ... he knows Morn speaks the truth .. but hes so arrogant he doesnt consider it relevant. He would sell them all to the Amnion if he did not need them.

He uses people and circumstances for his benefit. When there is no more benefit, advantage or use of any of them .. he would cast them aside to profit. 😔
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2019 1:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Skyweir wrote:
The revelation that Nick was on the bridge the whole time ... speaks volumes about his posture. He truly doesnt care what his crew think ... he knows Morn speaks the truth .. but hes so arrogant he doesnt consider it relevant. He would sell them all to the Amnion if he did not need them.

He uses people and circumstances for his benefit. When there is no more benefit, advantage or use of any of them .. he would cast them aside to profit. 😔


I don't doubt any of this, Sky. I also think that he is confident none of them would cross him, out of admiration for him and fear of him. He just isn't worried about that.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2019 1:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It must not have been easy for Morn to hold still with water running into her mouth, and having Nick suddenly kick her foot. But clearly she was ready for Nick to test her catatonia. This may be Morn's best acting moment.

Quote:
"I've been enjoying this," he said tightly. "I like listening to you lose your mind." The dead pallor of his scars contradicted him. "But it's gone on long enough. You're disturbing my concentration."

In response, she picked up a depilatory dispenser and hurled it at his head.

He batted it away with one hand. The other plunged into his pocket and came out holding her zone implant control.

"I didn't want to do this, but I guess I'll have to turn you off. Before you wreck the plumbing."

Try me.

Deliberately Morn raised her hands and began clawing at the skin of her cheeks.

Try me, you sonofabitch.

In a hurry to prevent her from maiming herself, he pointed her black box at her and thumbed the buttons.

Off balance, she sprawled backward into the stream from the san.

For some reason, he kicked her bare foot. He may have wondered if she would react to the blow. But she didn't. Instead she lay as limp as a woman with a broken neck. Water trickled into the corner of her open mouth.

"I thought you were done hurting me," he whispered because he knew she couldn't hear him. "It looks like I was wrong."

In disgust, he tossed her control into one of the lockers and strode out of the cabin.


Even with her intense emotional outbursts, she remains cunning and thus tricks Nick into letting her have access to her zone implant control box. Her behavior seems shrill and crazy, but I'm forced to admire her resourcefulness.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2019 1:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Avatar wrote:
But she had the control box now. No matter what else. Her next step was to find a way out of the cabin.

Using the implant to boost her adrenaline and strength, she tries to force open the door enough to kick the over-ride in. But even trying to slide the door with enough force to tear the skin off her hands, it doesn't work.

She is still stuck.

Devastated, she eventually comes up with the idea of killing Nick. Arming herself with the nail file hitherto jamming down the flush button, she tunes her reactions to a fever pitch, but now finds herself unable to wait patiently.

She can't wait while she's all jacked up, but she can't dial it down otherwise she won't be able to take Nick by surprise when he comes back.


All her resourcefulness and cunning has gotten her a lot farther than I would have expected, especially given that she's outnumbered 20-to-1 on the ship. But she's still getting nowhere, so I don't blame her for nearly falling into despair. Turning off her zone implant to tap into her subconscious planning is her last resort, so it seems the best she can do is take that route.


Quote:
She got up, went to the san, and unwedged the file from the head.

Her hands were sticky with blood, but they didn't hurt; her bruised head didn't hurt. Her zone implant stifled those pains. Gripping the nail file, she returned to the door and tried to compose herself for more waiting.

To kill Nick. To exact at least that one little piece of retribution for her long anguish.

But she couldn't wait; not when she was primed with so much energy. Her muscles and her mind were incapable of stillness. She needed decisions, action; bloodshed.

Like her door, that was a conundrum she couldn't shove aside. She could wait: of course she could. All she had to do was reset the functions of her black box, put herself into a state of rest. Yet if she did that she wouldn't be able to react when Nick came. For him, she needed this harsh, compulsory keenness--and she didn't know when he would come. She meant to kill him: therefore she had to wait for him. But she couldn't wait without imposing an unnatural calm which would make killing him impossible.

There was no way out. The gap between what she needed and what she could do was impassable.


There's that metaphor again about what Morn requires and what she's actually got to work with representing an un-crossable distance! It gives the personal journey that Morn must go through the feeling of having a scale as vast as the dimensions of galactic space. The inner space of Morn's desires and the outer space of the Milky Way keep being tied together.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2019 1:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Morn's apparent mental breakdown in this chapter is fascinating to me, in some kind of voyeuristic way. I keep wanting to know how she'll successfully protect Davies from the Amnion when Nick has her locked up.

Quote:
Right now--waiting as if she's been left null by a stun-prod--she was doing everything she could for her son.

Try me, she cackled in the silence of her skull. Try to beat me. I dare you.

What you keep forgetting is that Angus beat me long ago. There's nothing left for you.

He taught me everything I know.

When the intercom came on again, she burst into sobs and began flinging her pile of objects around the cabin, hailing the pickup with dispensers and brushes. Between sobs, she panted, "Nick! Nick!" as if she'd ruptured her lungs. As soon as she ran out of things to throw, she stood up, grabbed the chair, and used it to batter the walls.

"Nick!"

By the time the intercom switched off, she was sobbing with exertion, as well as with mad, unexplained cunning,


Certainly Morn's behavior, embarrassing though it is, proves effective enough that Nick just HAS to visit her and take the zone implant control box with him. She resorts to crazy tactics, and yet those tactics trick him into leaving the control box within her reach. And that continues to pull my interest along, wanting to see how she plans to use the control box to her advantage.
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