From a sci fi noir thing I'm doing down the road.
The BS5723AC Inquiry, Session 187
Excerpted from the Inquiry
Q: And you hadn’t used the substance prior to receiving your wounds?
A: The drug wasn’t in common use then.
Q: When you say drug…
A: I mean BS5723AC, yes.
Q: Could you describe the circumstances under which you first used the substance?
Q: Yes, Ms. Campbell?
A: You asked if I could. I can.
Q: Would you please describe the circumstances?
A: My unit was stationed in REDACTED, basic guard duty. Fucking around and trying to not get shot, basically. I’d taken off my gloves to light a cigarette when I saw the rat. Yes, I know that removing my suit’s gloves was a violation of protocol, okay. I know it everyday. I didn’t realize about plague rats then. If somebody had told us people on the ground that –
Q: You were told to wear a complete REACT suit, were you not?
Q: Could we get back to the inquiry?
A: Sure. Okay. The rat started coming towards when I realized that rats shouldn’t act like that.
Q: You realized it was one of the so called “Plague Rats”?
A: Yeah, well, the exploding was a pretty good clue. I got my face plate down before it went off.
A: It should have hurt.
Q: It didn’t?
A: Not at first. The rats don’t explode like a hand grenade or anything. It’s just sort of wet. Like a balloon popping. If my hands hadn’t been exposed, I’d have been fine.
Q: The quills hit your hands.
A: Quills. Right. They’re just hairs. You wouldn’t even see them in the normal world. I thought for a second that I was okay. And then it started itching. It felt like….have you ever had poison oak?
Q: I’m immune.
A: How about you?
A: It was like that. The necrotization doesn’t hurt all that much. Not like it should. I rubbed the stuff off in the snow, and then I saw the quills. The skin around them was already turning black.
Q: Your team arrived shortly, didn’t they?
A: Obviously. My hands were numb by the time they got there. They heard me screaming. I didn’t hear me screaming, but I was, I guess. The guys hit my decon tabs, which was an experience all its own. Nothing helps mind numbing fear like being set on fire. Invigorating. I was clean after the flash, but my hands…
Q: Ms. Campbell?
A: By the time Sgt. Franklin gave the shot-
Q: This was BS5723AC?
Q: Could you please say that out loud for the audio record?
A: Yes. Franklin had been part of the test program after his last tour. Sunshine…
Q: Ms. Campbell
A: BS5723AC was being tested as a treatment for PTSD then, but Franklin had already realized it could have…other uses. He injected me with the BS5723AC.
Q: Why wasn’t a medic present?
A: That’s a great fucking question.
A: I know. The medic was not present. I had maybe ten minutes before the rot reached my torso, so Franklin did the best he could. He sent Jackson for the ax. The BS5723AC was what we had.
Q: BS5723AC doesn’t have anesthetic qualities.
A: No it doesn’t.
Q: What did it feel like?
A: Jesus Christ.
A: I didn’t feel like anything. That was the point of Black Sunshine. It was like watching a movie of my own life. It was like…. It wasn’t like anything. When Franklin picked up the ax I wasn’t scared. When my arms came off, it was interesting. It hurt, but there was no connection.
Q: The pain?
A: I felt it, but I didn’t care. The closest thing was a kind of interest. Seeing if Franklin was going to get the angle right, wondering whether he could do it in one swing. I can’t describe it. It’s not like anything. Do you remember pain?
Q: No. Not really.
A: It’s like that. When you use it, you can’t remember what feelings were like. When you don’t…you don’t remember what it was like.
Q: You remember the …treatment of your wounds.
A: You mean when Franklin chopped off my arms with an ax? Yes. I remember. I remember red on snow. I remember pain so hot that it had a taste like metal. I remember not caring.
Q: You began using BS5723AC regularly after that.
A: It was better than the alternative.
Q: Which was?
A: Living with it.