\ Earlier | Pre-Rehab /
Yurts, broken down Winnebagos and storage containers transformed into living quarters threaten to be swallowed up by thousands of acres of pine trees.
A mixed group of physicists, yogis, monks, occultists, and mountaineers form this tiny group isolated from the rest of society. The location is intentional. An area of the forest floor with highly conductive soil allowing electricity to flow through and be stored like a massive battery.
Ria sits in a clearing with four ageless monks. Jerry the Monk passes her a joint. The instructor, known as Entity 1, continues their session of remote viewing.
Entity 1: Not for the faint of heart nor for the minds shuttered like condemned buildings this practice like all others here at the compound is for skillful mastery of our spiritual energy. As we manipulate our auras you will notice slight changes to your physical body over time. If done incorrectly such changes will not be slight but, on the contrary, quite extreme. Don’t be alarmed if you experience endless horrors roaming through the corridors within your body of flesh upon your return.
Ria: I’m feeling a little alarmed already. Maybe I shouldn’t—maybe I can help dissect the giant?
Entity 1: I assume you have credentials in fields such as biology, anatomy, anthropology, giantology, or any other type of ology that would be of assistance to the crew?
Ria: I dissected a frog with a cinderblock once.
Jerry the Monk: I like your style.
Entity 1: Ria, on your back. Eyes closed. Everyone else: Emit frequencies and focus.
The monks spread open their chests and chant. A silver wind blows in from the east cooling Ria’s soul to sub-zero temperatures. She cries, but tears don’t emerge. Her mind is a maze of memories and dreams. She can’t seem to distinguish if she’s awake and aware or asleep and aware.
My cheeks are numb, she thinks as she sways back and forth in a tree swing. She doesn’t remember her house burning down, but she stares at the charred remains as the goes back and forth.
Ria pokes around in a dark basement. Water drips from somewhere. Her heart sends tremors through her body. It stops and she thinks she’s dying.
I’ll be so agitated if these idiots let me die, she thinks. They probably won’t even try to bring me back to life. They’ll take one look at my hair and decide I’m better off dead. It looks like shit. Why do I always think bangs are a good idea? They’re never a good idea. They never do what they’re supposed to do. I bet there’s a special place in hell for people who die with —
Ria opens her eyes. A new set of eyes in her ethereal body. She sees the monks below her contorting their faces. Her ears hear no sounds. She sees Entity 1 tugging on a virtual lasso around Ria’s body. She cringes at the sight of her bangs but is brought back to the present when she realizes she’s floating on a river of radio waves. The river flows from the minds of the monks to an energy tower located on the border of the compound.
The river lets her off gently inside the tower. Treetops as far as her eyes can see. Barely she can make out the arms of Entity 1 waving to her from the clearing. Off to her right lab coats carry a giant’s heart into an old shed marked with a sign that reads: Miss Mystery an Institute for Studies Beyond Reality.
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