I was writing away, thinking the characters were finally minding their own business and letting me work when Avon entered. Half an hour later. This is the result. Argh. Don't you hate it when the characters are right? Especially when they're smug and right?
Writer is busy working at the computer, engrossed in a scene.
Avon enters her mind: What do we have here?
Writer looks at the screen, looks at Avon. Quickly puts hand up to inadequately cover the screen: Uh, nothing.
Bad move since Avon apparently thinks it's an invitation to lean forward to take a closer look.
Avon (straightens up and looks at writer pointedly, clearly not pleased): I thought we had agreed. No more torture for this story. Only angst. That applies to memories of torture as well.
Writer (prevaricates): I know how it looks but…it just slipped in there. I wasn't planning it but it seemed to fit. You were in the chamber, unable to move. I just couldn't think of it not happening this way. Can you?
Avon (accusingly): That's not an excuse. You made a promise.
Writer (very apologetic): I did. But…
Avon (musing, applying his mind to this problem): You can't think of a way to avoid this from happening, given the current state of my mind in the story and the function of the machine you've created?
Avon (head tilts slightly and a smile just touches his lips): Change the nature of the chamber.
Writer: What do you mean? It's supposed to map your genetic profile. How could I change that?
Avon: Not the function. How it functions.
Writer (confused): What does that mean?
Avon: This is supposed to be a matriarchy. Correct?
Writer (hesitantly, wondering where this is going): Yes.
Avon: You've noticed in other shows the impersonal nature of medical machines. The coldness and functionality. They are not designed to reassure the patient or make them feel comfortable. At times, they seem to be designed by a sadist. At least the way they are shown to operate on television.
Writer (finally getting it): Oh. You mean, you want me to consider whether a matriarchy that develops the same machines would take other things into account in addition to functionality? You're a genius, Avon!
Avon: Was there ever any doubt?
The original scene:
Avon was suspended by invisible forces in the medical examination chamber.
It was silent. Peaceful. Nothing to disturb him.
Faint stirrings of fear. An involuntary shiver passed through his nearly naked body as a memory surfaced to capture his mind.
Darkness. The sense of being buried alive.
Suffocating nothingness. Unable to move, to hear, to feel. Nothing except…the feeling of fear. Fed by drugs. Hour after hour. Day after day. Mind numbing fear of a consciousness trapped inside a helpless body. Nothing but silence and the horror of his mind steadily slipping out of his control. Sometimes he would imagine himself screaming just to fool himself that he was still alive.
Closing his eyes to these memories was useless; they came out of the darkness.
* Avon. * Cally's presence brushed his mind gently, banishing the horrors as he focused his attentions on her.
As the memories faded back into the darkness, Avon forced his mental response to be cool and impassive; an echo of the man he had once been, even though they were both aware that it was an illusion. * Cally. Are they ready? *