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Psychonauts - Ford!Raz

Love and Nihilism - Chapter 3 - Mania

Posted on 2008.02.08 at 21:36
Current Music:: Amy Winehouse - Back To Black
Tags: , ,
Fandom: Psychonauts
Title: Love and Nihilism
Chapter: 3/9
Word Count: 1632
Synopsis: Raz meets Agent Travis Vert and explores part of Quentin Void's mind.

For more information, previous or later chapters see the preface.

Love and Nihilism
Chapter 3: Mania

Raz and Travis were stood back on the rooftop of the building that Raz had been exploring. Travis looked just like he had when Raz had seen his body at Sasha’s Laboratory but there was one difference. In front of his right eye there was a small mechanical device that glowed orange. It looked like it was some kind of replacement for sight lost in his eye.
“So you must be Razputin.” said Travis. “I’ve heard a lot about you. Nice things of course.”
“Call me Raz.” said Raz. “What was that thing?”
“That blood and bones thing?” asked Travis. “That was a fury. They’re deeply hateful things present in those that truly hate. Quentin’s mind is practically populated by them.”
“Are they what have been causing him to attack all those people?” asked Raz.
“No.” said Travis. “They’re more a symptom of a diseased mind than a cause of it. I may have found the problem though. I’ll show you.” Travis took a small round device from his pocket. He walked up to the edge of the roof. “I should come close if I were you.” Raz walked right up to Travis and stood right next to him. “Brace yourself.” Travis continued. He focused on a building a few blocks away and gripped the device tightly. There was a crack of lightning and the world blurred. A second later when it unblurred they were stood on the roof of another building. The building itself was practically identical but the view had substantially altered.
“What was that?” asked Raz.
“Psyport.” said Travis. “My own invention. It’s still in development. It’s very accurate when you’re in someone’s mind but it requires loads of mental energy, hence the lightning.”
“What about in the real world?” asked Raz.
“It’s somewhat less accurate out there.” said Travis. “Plus when used in the real world it needs a source of mental energy. You feel mentally drained after using it. Psylag I call it.” Travis walked to the edge of the roof again, sliding the psyport back into his pocket. He was looking up at one of the larger skyscrapers. It was almost directly adjacent to the largest one, which vanished into the clouds.
“That was where I was going to go.” said Raz. “It seems to be the most prominent feature in Quentin’s mindscape.”
“Good job I showed up then.” said Travis. “Ever seen a mania?”
“A mania?” asked Raz.
“Ooh! I love it when I get to show people things.” said Travis. “Here take my laserpsight.”
“Lasersight?” asked Raz.
“Laserpsight. With a p.” said Travis. The device that was floating in front of his eye floated to Raz. “Try it. It’s fun.” Raz hesitantly put it up to his eye. It hovered immediately in front of his eye.
“Focus up there.” said Travis, gesturing to the large skyscraper. Raz looked up to the skyscraper and found that the laserpsight focused for him like a telescopic sight zooming in from a great distance. “It’s good isn’t it?” asked Travis. “The best thing about it though is when you use it with a psi blast. It not only lets you aim more precisely but also increases the power of the blast. It takes more mental energy, obviously but it’s very useful. It’s because of Manias that I made the laserpsight.”
“You invented this as well?” asked Raz.
“Yes.” said Travis. “I’m more the research and development side of the psychonauts than a field agent. Usually that is. Found it yet?”
“I’m not sure what I’m looking for.” said Raz.
“It’s on the roof of the tallest building that, well, that you can see the roof of.” said Travis. “If you want to zoom back out just think it. The laserpsight is very sensitive.” Raz zoomed out to the actual range and looked up at the roof of the indicated skyscraper. On the top of the skyscraper appeared to be a cloud of black smoke. He zoomed in further, as far as the laserpsight could go and it started to look less like smoke and more like a crowd of extremely organised flies.
“That’s a mania?” asked Raz.
“Yep.” said Travis. “They’re one of the worst things you can have to deal with in someone’s mind. It’s like a mass of flesh eating flies… well except not flesh eating more mind eating. They tend to all swarm an enemy and eat their mental form alive. They leave you mindless, an empty husk. And once they have someone in their sights they never give up. They just keep coming until they’re dead or you are. The best thing is to get out of whoever’s mind you’re in and never come back. Oh and they’re always screaming. All of the flies are constantly screaming. It’s deafening. At least it means you don’t often bump into one by accident.”
“How do you deal with them?” asked Raz.
“There used to be no way to deal with them.” said Travis. “That’s why I made the laserpsight. See the centre of the mania? It’s core? It just looks like a black sphere.”
“I don’t think so.” said Raz looking at the crowd of flies.
“Nevermind.” said Travis. “If you manage to psi blast the core of the mania then it is destroyed. And hopefully Quentin’s mind gets fixed.”
“Fixed?” asked Raz.
“That’s what we do.” said Travis. “Fix whatever mental problems he’s having and hopefully he’ll calm down. Stop killing people and start being one of the good guys. He’s talented. If we were able to rid him of this mania then we’d gladly accept him as an agent.”
“But what about the things he’s done?” asked Raz.
“You knew Oleander didn’t you?” asked Travis.
“He didn’t kill anyone though.” said Raz.
“He could have done.” said Travis. “But it was all because of mental problems he was having. He can’t really be held responsible.”
“I suppose.” said Raz. He removed the laserpsight from his eye and offered it back to Travis.
“You keep it Raz.” said Travis. “I‘ve tons.” Travis plucked another one from his pocket as if to prove that he had more and placed it in front of his eye. “I’m assuming you didn’t just drop in for a chat?”
“That’s right.” said Raz remembering why he was there. “There’s been a bit of a crisis with your wife, Yolanda.”
“Is she okay?” asked Travis.
“That depends on your definition of okay.” said Raz. “She killed seven people in a coffee shop using psychic powers that she shouldn’t have.”
“How long ago was this?” asked Travis.
“Just today.” said Raz.
“Just today?” said Travis. “This actual day today?”
“Erm… yeah.” said Raz.
“You must be even more talented than I thought.” said Travis. “It took me a few days to get into Quentin’s mind you know.”
“I didn’t.” said Raz a little blindsided by this. “It was tougher than usual, but I managed to get in within about five minutes.” Travis reached into his pocket and pulled out some smelling salts. Raz did the same.

Sasha and Ford were still in Sasha’s Lab. Sasha was sat at in front of his computer searching through piles of data on Yolanda Vert. Occasionally he would get impatient and start pacing back and forth in front of the beds. Ford was happily playing with a toy horse. Travis and Raz woke up.
“I should have guessed they’d shipped me off to you Sash.” said Travis, standing up and stretching his legs.
“There you go.” said Raz. “One rescued Psychonaut.”
“I can see.” said Sasha.
“I think rescued might be going a little far.” said Travis. “It’s not like I was in danger. I was just unreachable.”
“Retrieved then?” asked Raz.
“Like I’m a piece of luggage?” asked Travis. “Sasha, tell him I’m not a piece of luggage.”
“Sometimes he is.” said Sasha, Travis turned and glared at him. “But only very occasionally.” he corrected himself.
“You’re friends?” asked Raz.
“Are we friends? Well I could tell you a story or two and no mistake.” Sasha glared at Travis. “The glare is essentially an indication that I’m not being serious enough.” Travis continued. “So we’ll gossip another time. We should get down to business, obviously.”
“Alyx has been breathing down my neck for the last hour.” said Sasha. “Yolanda attacked more people. This time she was under surveillance at the hospital. Suddenly she just starts attacking people. She had to be psychically restrained.”
“But we did a background check on her.” said Travis. “No psychic background at all.”
“Alyx wants me to dig deeper.” said Sasha. “I’ve got swathes of information about her. Right down to what she got for Christmas when she was five.”
“Anything?” asked Travis.
“A miniature drum kit.” said Sasha. “No evidence of psychic abilities though.”
“Where is she?” asked Travis. “I’ve got to see her.”
“You know I can’t let you.” said Sasha. “Officially I have to question you about any potential connection between Yolanda and Quentin Void.”
“Come on Sasha.” said Travis. “You know Yol. Do your really think she could have anything to do with a psycho-terrorist like Quentin?” There was a pause.
“She’s at Albion Hospital.” said Sasha. “We’ll go in the jet.”
“Awesome.” said Travis. “Can I drive?”
“No.” said Sasha carefully. “I want to get there in one piece. Ford, do you mind staying here and making sure everything’s under control?”
“No problem.” said Ford. “Go, have your adventure. I’ll hold the fort.”
“You can hold it from down in your sanctuary if it would help.” said Sasha. Raz, Sasha and Travis made their way up the stairs out of Sasha’s Lab.
“I’m a really good driver really.” muttered Travis as they left.
“Oh I believe you.” said Raz.

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