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Psychonauts - Ford!Raz

Love and Nihilism - Chapter 4 - TravisLand

Posted on 2008.07.01 at 19:18
Tags: , ,
Fandom: Psychonauts
Title: Love and Nihilism
Chapter: 4/9
Word Count: 2234
Synopsis: Raz explores the mind of Yolanda Vert.

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

Love and Nihilism
Chapter 4: TravisLand

Yolanda was in a solitary ward of Albion Hospital now. She was lying in a hospital bed. She was more than a little concerned. After she’d blacked out in the coffee shop and woke up amongst all those bodies, psychonaut agents had come and picked her up and took her off to this hospital, apparently for her own protection. They hadn’t really provided her with a clear explanation of what was going on but it seemed from the fuss and confusion that they didn’t have a clear idea of what was going on themselves.
She’d blacked out again on the ward and when she’d come to she’d been in a solitary ward. She’d been told not to worry, as she hadn’t hurt anyone.
They’d placed a little door, which they’d referred to as a psycho-portal, on her forehead and an agent had, she was informed, entered her mind. He was now lying on the next bed. There were a couple of agents standing guard. Yolanda wasn’t sure if they were supposed to be there to guard her from something or to just guard her.
Yolanda just kept thinking back to that moment when she’d woken up in the coffee shop with the bodies and the rubble and the certain knowledge that she’d somehow caused it. She wondered where Travis was.

Raz, Travis and Sasha were making their way through the hospital to the ward where Yolanda was being held. Travis was delighting in holding out his Psychonaut badge and saying “official psychonauts business” to anyone who would listen. They made their way into the ward to be greeted by a woman who exuded the colour grey. She had grey hair and grey eyes, she was wearing grey clothes and had it been possible she would probably have had grey skin. She was incredibly thin, but not thin in an attractive way. Thin in a sharp angles and almost anorexic looking way.
“What’s happening?” she demanded. “Why is he,” she pointed a finger at Travis, “not being questioned?”
“There’s no connection between Yolanda and Quentin, Alyx.” said Sasha. “He should be here helping us figure out what has happened to Yolanda.”
“And what is the kid doing here?” she demanded.
“Razputin is a talented agent and a powerful psychic and without him Travis wouldn’t even be out of Quentin’s mind.” said Sasha.
“He’s not authorised.” said the grey woman.
“Raz, meet Alyxandyr.” said Travis. “Alyxandyr is head of personnel. Which I’ve not researched but I think it means she specialises in making people fill out forms and just general making things awkward.”
“Hi.” said Raz feebly.
“Look Alyx.” said Sasha. “Travis, Raz and I will be far more use to you with Yolanda finding out what has gone on here than off interviewing one another about things which aren’t relevant.”
“I already have an agent inside Yolanda’s mind.” said Alyxandyr. “You should be carrying out the task I assigned you, and I venture that you,” she gestured towards Raz, “should be at school. Not to mention whom have you got watching Quentin Void? I sincerely hope for your sake that you didn’t leave him under Ford Cruller’s supervision.”
“Agent Cruller is a perfectly capable agent!” Raz insisted. “As long as he stays near a large supply of psitanium he’s one of the finest you have. And if you really insist on questioning Travis I’ll be happy to do so while the three of us are fixing whatever is wrong with Yolanda, and we’ll still fix it faster than whoever is in there at the moment. And if you have a problem with that call Truman Zanotto and tell him.” Alyxandyr stood in silence for a couple of seconds.
“Okay fine.” she said. “But if it all goes wrong don’t come crying to me.” She paced off past them and Raz instantly forgot her. They walked into the next ward.
“Hey!” said Travis realising something. “You know what’s a fun game? Who were we just talking to Raz?”
“What?” asked Raz confused.
“We were just talking to someone. She was dressed all in grey. Who was that person?” asked Travis.
“It’s not that good a game you know Travis.” said Sasha. “It’s not Raz’s fault that he can’t remember her.”
“Who?” asked Raz baffled.
“Alyxandyr, head of Personnel.” said Travis. “You’ll get used to it eventually.” Travis walked over to one of the maps on the walls, giggling to himself. After a second he turned and walked off down a seemingly random corridor.
“He always leaves me to explain.” said Sasha. “You’ve just met Alyxandyr. Unfortunately she has an innate ability that she can’t control. Once she leaves your line of sight you instantly forget her. She’s developed a really ferocious personality in order to compensate. We remember her because we’ve got used to it. By the way you stood up to her and she backed down. Which is quite impressive, so well done.”
“If she has a power as useful as that what’s she doing as head of personnel?” asked Raz.
“She used to be a spy. She was really good at it. She could walk right into the enemies base without being noticed, and she could even ask directions or passwords to files and immediately afterwards nobody would remember.” said Sasha. “However she got retired from field work for some reason which probably sounded reasonable at the time but which everyone has forgotten since.”
“That sounds like a useful ability to have.” said Raz.
“Probably.” said Sasha, “But only if you could turn it off when you wanted. Anyway let’s go and find Travis and Yolanda.”

Travis was in the ward where Yolanda was being held. He was sat at her bedside talking to her. Raz and Sasha walked up to them.
“You know Sasha.” said Travis to Yolanda. “And this is Raz. He’s the youngest psychonaut since ever. And we’re going to fix whatever’s wrong.”
“Don’t leave me yet.” said Yolanda.
“Okay.” said Travis. “Sasha, Raz. You go and sort out the problem. I’ll stay with Yol. Give me a shout if you need me.”
“Come on Razputin.” said Sasha, taking a seat next to the bed and focusing on the psycho-portal on the back of Yolanda’s head.
“Nice to meet you.” said Raz before doing the same.

There was an alarm going off and the lighting was red and was pulsing. The air was hot and humid and there seemed to be a lot of activity going on around them. They were in a large open room with platforms raised above a floor of lava. There appeared to be a gunfight between two groups. One of them all appeared to be generic looking people in generic looking uniforms. They had the look of stereotypical generic bad guy henchmen in a spy film. The other group appeared to be made up entirely of Travis. The Travis’s were shooting laser beams out of their hands at the generic evil henchmen.
“This will probably be how she feels about Travis then.” said Raz.
“That he’s some kind of clone?” asked Sasha. “A laser-beam shooting clone?”
“No.” said Raz. “That he goes around fighting bad guys and that he’s a hero.”
“Why couldn’t she think that he sits in a field and nothing exciting happens to him?” asked Sasha. “As high an opinion of Travis as this clearly is it does make things a little difficult for us.”
“That’s true enough.” said Raz. “What are we looking for?”
“Anything that seems unusual or out of place.” said Sasha. “It will likely be buried deep in her psyche.”
“Which means past all these generic evil henchmen?” asked Raz. Sasha nodded. Raz pulled the laserpsight from his pocket and placed it over his eye. He zoomed in on the nearest evil henchman, one that happened to be crouching behind a box, occasionally popping out and firing at the group of Travis’s, and fired a psi blast at him. Raz and Sasha started making their way over to the group of Travis’s.
“Greetings citizens.” said the Travis’s in unison as they approached. “Do not fear. I will protect you.” Raz picked off another couple of henchmen and he and Sasha made their way up the steps to the higher platform. Sasha blasted one henchman that was coming at them from down a corridor. They made their way through a labyrinth of identical looking corridors and open rooms. The only difference between the rooms is that some of them had a massive missile with a countdown timer on them and some of them didn’t.
“Doesn’t Yolanda think about anything but Travis?” asked Raz while they ducked into another identical corridor.
“It appears not.” said Sasha, blasting another identical henchman. “And she watches too many spy films. I’ve never seen a single villain with hordes of generic henchmen and an evil volcano base.”
“I’m not sure the volcano itself is necessarily evil.” said Raz making his way out into another seemingly identical room. This one was one of the ones with a rocket in the middle. Raz looked quickly around the room. He noticed that there was an unfamiliar looking man who had sat down at the entrance to one of the corridors.
“There’s someone over there.” said Raz, gesturing towards the corridor.
“It might be the other agent that Alyx mentioned.” said Sasha. They made their way over to the man. It was only upon approaching him that they noticed that there was a henchman that had stopped in mid run just beyond him in the corridor. The man was wearing shiny black armour, which had various rods coming out of the back along his spine. He was also wearing a mask, which continued the rod theme right up to the top of the head. As Sasha and Raz approached the mask split in half and opened up.
“Sebastian Juke.” said the man. “But just call me Juke. A ghost that goes to wash itself at a laundrette.” Before Raz could remark about how peculiar an introduction that was he remembered the protocol of demonstrating that you have an imagination.
“Sasha Nein.” said Sasha. “I can’t imagine you seriously think that Yolanda is creating hostile figments but ‘A tree covered in light bulbs deriving energy from ideas’.”
“Razputin Aquato.” said Raz. “A cat wearing a medal strolling through a funfair.”
“It’s true I haven’t found any signs of open hostility towards us.” said Juke. “But this place is beginning to seem like a deliberate labyrinth.”
“A labyrinth is a mental construct designed to make any intruders go around in circles and prevent them from accessing the true mindscape of the individual.” explained Sasha. “I agree.”
“What’s happening to that henchman?” asked Raz, who thought it too pertinent a point to not mention it.
“I have the ability to psychically distort time.” said Juke. “It comes in handy when you need to take a break in places like this.” He paused. “You’re Razputin then?”
“So it seems.” said Raz. “Call me Raz and tell me how we get out of this ‘labyrinth’.”
“Well essentially the way through any labyrinth is to find the backdoor and thus push deeper into the subject’s mind.” said Juke. “But if I knew where it was located I would have gone through already.”
“So let me get this right.” said Raz. “It’s like there is two layers to Yolanda’s mind and we’re stuck on the first and we need to find a way to force ourselves onto the second deeper level.”
“If you want to simplify it as much as possible, yeah.” said Juke irritably. Raz focused and the corridor around them seemed to flap away as through blown away in the wind replaced with a house in a suburb somewhere. The scene looked positively idyllic, that was if you discounted the large and unnatural pieces of machinery sticking out of things. The large chunk of machinery coming out of the house was the most prominent. The walls along the right side of the house were cracked and slivers of metal were emerging from them. They joined up to form some complicated looking apparatus in the centre of which was a large clear glass sphere. Large chunks of machinery were also emerging from the ground, neighbouring houses, even from delicate looking flowers in the garden. Each piece was connected to a similar glass sphere although smaller.
“How did you do that Razputin?” asked Sasha urgently
“I just forced us in a little deeper.” said Raz. “Through the ‘labyrinth’ and out the other side.”
“Handy.” said Juke getting up. “I think we can eliminate the idea that Yolanda is working deliberately against us.”
“What then?” asked Raz looking around at all the machinery and spheres.
“This machinery is not natural. Someone has implanted all this in her mind.” said Sasha. “It looks like a control matrix. There’s probably a trigger word that turns her violent. Whoever did this likely implanted psychic abilities as well.” Sasha turned and started to walk towards the house as he did so numerous doors opened in the air around them and censors started pouring out. Even the censors had occasional bits of machinery sticking out of them. The glass spheres were now glowing red. The sheer number of censors was unnatural. It looked like some kind of biblical plague.
“I think she’s been activated.” said Juke.

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