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PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2014 12:33 pm 
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Pulse of the Pendulum
by RuwinReborn
Status: Public :diamond:

Content Warning: Eye Horror



In the pitch blackness of a damp cave, something moved.



There was a sliding noise, the sibilant hiss of flesh slipping over stone. Briefly, almost inaudibly, the sound of incomprehensible muttering echoed off the unhewn stone walls, and through the cool, if moist, air of the cave. But still there was no light.



Light made it difficult for Pendulum to work.



For Pendulum, darkness was the natural state of affairs. So long had he existed in the sunless recesses of the deep ocean that anything brighter than a dull flame caused him to shy away. All four of his eyes, however, were perfectly suited to seeing - sensing - in the dark, and so he preferred the darkness when it came time for him to operate.



And it was indeed time for him to operate.



The subject of his operation - Subject 2-34 - was in a state of suspended animation, hovering horizontally a few feet away. Above 2-34, Pendulum’s namesake swung placidly, held in the air by some unseeable force. Surrounding 2-34 were a series of steel tables, with a variety of sharp and delicate… implements. They would be integral to his operation, but first, Pendulum needed to find something else.



Pendulum searched distractedly for a trinket. Two arms, thin and terminating in three long, delicate fingers, were clasped behind his back. Two more searched thoroughly through a series of metal boxes for - there it was.



Pendulum examined the tiny pyramid he had located, bringing it close to his smooth, noseless face. This one was yet unused. Most excellent. Swiftly, Pendulum slithered over to where 2-34 was suspended, and placed the pyramid upon the surrounding metal tables, being very careful of the instruments. He adjusted his height - rising up on the thick trunk of his tail - to tower over the unseeing creature. Then, he gave a small tap to the pointed tip of the pyramid, and covered his eyes.



There was a dull - brilliant, to him - flash of blue light, seen through his fingers, which presently faded. When pendulum uncovered his eyes, a hidden slot on the tiny pyramid had opened. Miniscule runes glowed with and, without looking directly at it, Pendulum floated the pyramid out of his line of sight so he would not be unduly distracted, but close enough that it would record his words.



Besides the occasional click of his pointed teeth, Pendulum’s speech began uninterrupted.



“Operation log for subject 2-34. Designation: Oppa Mason. Subject is human, female, twenty-four years of age by the local calendar. Subject is in adequate physical condition based upon this one’s initial analysis of local humans, resting firmly upon the upper quartile of physical capability amongst local humans. Qualifier: Local humans engage in daily manual labor. Adjust mean accordingly.” Pendulum paused in his dissertation to get a closer look at 2-34. As intended, the subject’s eyes were open, but unseeing. At least, it was unlikely that they were seeing anything. For one thing, it was still pitch black.



For another, 2-34 had been born blind.



Pendulum rubbed the top of his head, while reaching for 2-34’s face. Delicately, his thin fingers penetrated the surface of his stasis field to widen the subject’s eyelids. His third arm reached delicately for a scalpel, and his fourth prodded gently at the subject’s face.



“Subject’s bone strength… poor.” Pendulum continued. “Standard human female degeneration. Note: Skeletal structure fragile. This one will proceed with caution.” Using two hands, he exposed half the subject’s eyeball, and examined her closely. “As predicted, subject’s eyelids are obstructing operation. Status: Unfavorable. Eyelids will be removed in order to proceed with operation.”



Pendulum brought the scalpel up to the subject’s face, and bit into the fleshy area above her eyes with nearly impossible precision. Pendulum’s entire body had gone still as the scalpel traced the bare outside of the eyeball, separating the eyelid from the surrounding muscle. Then, he did the same with the bottom half of that first eye, and repeated the entire process for the second.



When he was finished, four fleshy flaps of skin hovered above the subject.



Pendulum examined the bared eyes of the subject closely.



“Note: Stasis field is effective. Subject has not yet begun to bleed. Note: Deficiency identified, and is as hypothesized…” Pendulum placed a slim finger over the subject’s pupil, sensing the impurities within. “...Connective tissue, deficient. Nerve systems rendered inert. Operation will proceed.”



With a wave of his hand and the memory of the still darkness of the ocean, he sterilized the scalpel and set it aside. Then, he placed two hands over the subject’s eyes, and with a bit of concentration and delicate spellwork, popped both of them out of their sockets simultaneously.



Pendulum inspected the connective tissue, pointing out the deficiencies for the pyramid floating behind him.



“Here. Here. Here… Here. Musculature atrophied around socket from disuse. Must rectify. Several cataracts. Must rectify. Estimated length of operation: Forty-eight seconds. Estimated recovery time: Three local months.” Pendulum paused. “...Inefficient. Must rectify. Beginning operation.”



Pendulum felt the darks of his eyes flexing, his gullet inflating, his (currently useless) gills fluttering. From deep within his gullet, a fleshy appendage extended from where his tongue would have been. It split open at the end, revealing several smaller, blood-red tendrils, that promptly lashed out and wrapped around the exposed nerve-stalks of the subject’s eyes.



The darkness around Pendulum pulsed, and he fell into the still rhythm of the subject’s life force. He could sense himself, leaning over the floating form of the subject - even though the subject was senseless. He could see the aura of life that he projected - the intense, pulsing glow that he would never be able to withstand within the limitations of his own body. Connected as he was to the subject’s biorhythmic essence, he could feel, like dark splotches of oil, the wrongness within her body.



Immediately, he set to work, augmenting and improving the subject’s natural ability to heal itself far beyond what the subject’s body would ever accomplish on its own. Soon, he could feel the rightness of her eyes restored. The whole process had taken only forty seconds. He used the remaining eight to strengthen her skeletal structure.



He hesitated for a moment before detaching himself from the subject, his tongue receding back into his gullet, which returned to its original size. It was… difficult to leave that form of pure thought and energy behind. Difficult to remove himself from the biorhythmic essence that pulsed in time with his pendulum. It was difficult. But necessary.



He continued his dissertation.



“...Subject’s eyesight, rectified.” Gently, he lowered her eyes back into her skull, then the eyelids atop those. With practiced, delicate movements, he ran his fingers briefly over the severed eyelids, reattaching them to the sinew and surrounding muscle. He made sure to remove any bruising as a result of the operation, and then, placed all four of his hands in different positions around the subject’s skull. “...Beginning process of acclimation…” A note of strain entered his voice, and suddenly, the pendulum above the subject began to swing more quickly. “...Now!”



Rapidly, he sent visions into the subject's mind.



Red. Blue. Yellow. Green. White. Light. Trees. Grass. Humans. Sun. Sky. Earth. Even as he sent image after image into the subject’s mind, he could see her eyes moving beneath her newly healed lids - then, all at once, the pendulum ceased.



And so, did he.



Pendulum slid away from the subject, gills aflutter, taking deep breaths.



“...Success of acclimation process pending subject’s input. No tangible obstructions to the acclimation were detected. Subject aged approximately three local months during operation. Stasis field…” He glanced at the pendulum. “...Intact. Subject should suffer few ill side-effects.”



He reached up to the pyramid floating behind him.



“Operation 2-34: Successful.”



He tapped the pyramid, and it fell into his palm. Gently, he set it upon one of the metal tables for examination later.



First, he needed to prepare the subject for transportation.



***


Hild Mason woke in the wee hours of the morning to a scream.



Swiftly, the elderly man’s eyes shot open, and he threw his bed covers off of himself. In only his nightgown, he slammed the door to his bedroom open and ran down the hall. He nearly wrenched the door to his daughter’s room off the hinges. Fear lanced through his stomach as he saw her kneeling on the ground, her face in her hands, weeping.



“Oppa!” He cried, rushing to her side. “Oppa, what’s wrong, wee thing?”



“Papa…” She choked, her hands shaking. “Papa -” Slowly, her head rose, and she looked her father in the eyes.



Eyes no longer blank and clouded.



“Papa, I can see.” She whispered.



Hild’s breath caught in his throat as he realized his daughter was seeing him for the first time. She reached out to his face, one hand shaking, and he quickly took it and pressed it to his cheek, then kissed it fervently. He felt tears streaming down his face - but he had no words. Instead, he could only grin, and weep, and look at his daughter, because he knew that she was looking at him.



As they fell into a teary embrace, he did not notice the tiny, floating pyramid that escaped through the open window.



***


Deep underground, in a damp, dark cave, Pendulum held out a single hand to catch his observation pyramid.



With curiosity, he watched the heartfelt scene play out in front of him, in muted blue and white, before nodding once



“Subject confirms that the acclimation was successful.” He murmured, and the pyramid became inert. “Transportation was difficult, but manageable. This one successfully evaded local authorities and returned the subject before her absence was noted. A successful operation.” Slowly, he slid over to the metal box he had searched through earlier that night. He placed the pyramid inside, and it slotted easily into place next to hundreds of others. “...Displays of affection… noted.”



Pendulum ran two hands over the smooth flesh of his scalp, and tented his other six fingers.



“Interesting knowledge of eyesight acquired.” Pendulum mused. “Perhaps this one’s vision can be… improved. Current oculars too sensitive to light. This one relies heavily upon aural detection in the presence of illumination. Secondary oculars may be adapted, perhaps…”



Muttering to himself, Pendulum set out in search of something raw and slimy to eat, musing over the girl’s tears, and her father’s embrace.



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