Friday, December 19, 2008

The girl who couldn't cry: Chapter 2

The intuiting thing was a double curse for Ariadne. Her gift in knowing the feelings and mind of others could often cause her such grief that, at times, the pain behind her eyes threatened to explode her head. The need to weep in release of the guilt, pain and horror of what she saw and felt inside others, was denied her. He brain knew it as a response that was humanly natural but her genetically modified body did not. It could not produce the evidence to prove its existence. It was like there were two warring factions inside of her trying to make the other understand a concept the other could not conceive or imagine. She poured a few more drops of tears from the bottle into her eyes so that they streamed down her face, giving the illusion of crying.

As to why the Ariadne Modification was a tearless one, none of the mutants actually knew for sure. Ariadne’s, and particularly this Ariadne were regularly visited by the psych-docs, more so than other more obvious Human Genome Modification Projects. The fact that Ari’s body wanted to cry, and the fact that is was physically and biologically impossible for her to do so was a little bit mysterious. Most assumed that it was do with eye diseases and left it at that. Ariadne herself, intuited from the ongoing stream of psych-docs it was to do with eye diseases but she also felt it was something more too. Something to do with “Happiness” perhaps, although none of the psych-docs ever mentioned anything about that. They seemed rather more interested in her intuitive capabilities and her propensity for absorbing the emotions of others like a sponge. Not one of the doctors ever asked her if she were ‘Happy’. Most of them seemed as sad inside as any mutant to her anyway, so maybe on the subject of herself, she was simply a little off-target with her impressions. She learned to deal.

"What's the matter now Ari?" said the slightly blue skinned female opposite. Ariadne immediately felt the rush of annoyance emanating from the speaker. Critical judgment overlayed with concession for the humanitarian purpose of behaving "nicely" to others when really, you just wanted to punch their faces in so they'd wake up and get a grip and see things the way you saw them. Ari felt the pain behind her eyes get stronger. She looked at Margot, her sloe eyes streaming with the evidence of bottled tears.

"Shut up, Margot! I know what you're thinking,” she said simply.

"What am I thinking?" Margot veiled the question in a tone of, very nearly, pure sarcasm.

"That you think I'm an idiot to get so emo about the shit in other peoples heads. And, that I should just get a grip and get over it and stop being such a baby” Ariadne said the words as if they were clinical facts. In any other person, human or mutant, this statement, delivered so matter of fact, would have been a mere assumption. From Ariadne, it was always the truth. She had very few friends for this reason - because she could know someone’s mind - and heart - long before they knew it themselves. It's discomforting to be known before one can know oneself. Ariadne knew this too and it grieved her yet again that she was not able to turn off her abilities in this matter.

Margot snorted briefly and re-focused on the bread she'd been running around the edge of her pannikin, scraping up the remains of the gravy left behind from her meal. The blue tinge of Margot's skin told the world she was a genetic experiment in light refraction for the purposes of withstanding Ultra Violet light at extreme levels. One hundred years ago, humans had been dying in the thousands because they loved the sun too much. Now most humans couldn't be in the sun for more than a few minutes, and that was filtered sunlight too. Most normal human beings were so pale now; no sunscreen could protect them from the damaging effects of sunlight. Margot was the proposed answer to this conundrum. She could sit in the sun for hours and never burn. They were keeping her healthy and alive for as long as possible to watch for any evidence of cancerous lesions on her skin. Her skin was regularly removed in patches so that her genetic strengths could be analysed and replicated in future Margot experiments. She currently bore the evidence for a recent skin patch removal operation, in the form of a large dark bandage on her upper right arm. Margot regularly cried, privately as she could, to release her pain. Ariadne - along with their ever-present observers outside of their Perspex cage - always knew when Margot cried but never said anything. She felt Margot's pain as keenly as Margot herself.

…to be continued. (I hope)

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