The word has such a different meaning than it did before 1998. It's hard to think of it without thinking about an emerging Nova awakening to the flow of quantum through their brain for the first time. But back then, it could mean something that would send residents of a city near a volcano running for their lives. It could mean the point of sexual release for the male of the species. It was sometimes used as a euphemism for blowing chunks after a hard night of drinking. For others, it was the pinnacle by which all arm-chair guitarists measured their prowess, following in the footsteps of the liquid-fingered Edward Van Halen.
But now, in the quantum age, it simply means the moment where stimuli is sufficient enough that a latent member of homo sapiens novus spontaneously generates M-R Node tissue in a burst of genetic baptism.
Enough Novas have detailed the memories of their eruptions that you can walk into a bookstore, buy a paperback, and learn what was going through the minds of any of about ninety-eight Novas when they made the transition from latent to active. Or at least as they, and their sometime ghostwriters, portray it. Words are fairly inadequate for such a task. If you can afford the money to pay a telepath to share the memory of his or her eruption, you're gonna get a much better picture of what happens. Off hand, I know that Hyuga Yoshiki will share the experience of his with others, but he charges more than a Rashoud Facility charges for latency testing, so it's become something akin to a status symbol among certain circles of the baseline wealthy to say you were Yoshiki'd. Having never done it, I can't comment on the authenticity of what he offers, but I've talked to enough Novas over the years now to know that if you pay the money to have him link with you, you're paying for an eruption; essentially, what eruption was like for him, not for what eruption would be like. It's a unique experience to each one of us. Were you to erupt, I bet it would be a completely different experience.
After three years of writing these columns, I'm finally gonna share with you how I came to be one of the thousands of Novas currently walking the planet. I don't know how many others erupted in a fashion similar to mine, but at least I'm not going to tell you another god-awful skydiving attempt story, or another car crash, or another being attacked by generic thug or abusive spouse tale. Not to belittle the situation of anyone who erupted in such a manner, but the media has overdramatized them to the point where the public assumes that eruptions pretty much all happen that way. You read about kids leaping off the proverbial building without a parachute in hopes of going boom at the last minute. I suppose that is the most common way (or at least the most common theme) it has happened, but honestly I don't know. I just think that's the most publicized means, and perhaps more people like me need to share the experience of our eruptions so that all of you idiots who try forcing an eruption without getting tested for latency won't kill yourself in the process.
I wasn't trying to erupt. That's something I should say up front, so you don't think this will automatically work for you. To be uncompromisingly honest, all I wanted to do was get laid. That's it. It helped that I was tripping on some serious acid.
I was in my early twenties at the time. I'd been reading some of my more racy poetry at open mike night, where I ran into an obscenely attractive man (whose name shall remain politely anonymous since I pretty much gave him a heart attack that night) with whom I ended up going home with. Mr. Obscenely Attractive Man was an amateur chemist, ergo, he knew how to create several recreational substances and often sold such substances for a profit. This becomes relevant because after about a half-hour of the requisite foreplay, he puts a sugarcube in my mouth and the two of us share quite a liplock. No problems, you realize. I'd had my share of acid already and wasn't really opposed to being turned on (pun intended, sorry) while under its influence.
Forget for a moment all the cracked-out stories you hear about people claiming to be oranges or a tall-drink of water. I say that having tripped numerous times and never believing that once myself, nor have I ever seen anyone in that state. My experiences have quite mellow, though some of my friends at the time said I could have those mind-blowing adventures if I upped the dosage of my hits, which I was always unwilling to do. This is important because I want you to know that no little alien men came out of a flying saucer, no posters of the grim reaper came to life and tried to attack me, and no hamburgers screamed at me not to eat them.
What did happen, though, was memorable. Mr. Obscenely Attractive Man had a fashioned one room in his home up like a starfield. I mean, this was one killer get-up. He'd put fluctuating white starlights under a darkened-plexiglass floor, and did the same thing on the walls and ceiling. I'd never, and still haven't, seen anything like it. It didn't mimick outerspace really, it just seemed like you were suspended somehow like you would be in space. Lights on all sides of you, but not enough to really illuminate the room since the plexiglass had been tinted enough to suppress most of the ambient light. He even had a nice sound system hidden within the walls somewhere, and Pink Floyd’s album Meddle was playing softly with an eerie echo that bounced off plexiglass quite nicely. It was actually very hypnotic. Especially to a woman who'd dosed herself previous to stepping in. Actually, since I promised to be uncompromisingly honest, I also have to admit to being naked and blindfolded upon entering.
Mr. Obscenely Attractive Man liked to tie girls up. I liked being tied up. So that worked out fine between us. The truly monumental thing about this was, though, he'd actually fashioned harnesses that kept you suspended in the middle of this room, like you were floating. When he'd dose alone, he would stay for hours in their just thinking and meditating. The amount of effort it must have taken to fashion this place was admirable for someone in a profession traditionally ascribed with lethargy.
He also had straps to restrain a lover's wrists and ankles from the four of the corners of the room. So when I opened my eyes, I was spread-eagled a few feet above the floor and centered in the room looking at all these stars surrounding me. Even though I was restrained, being in the harness gave me the illusion of weightlessness, particularly in the frame of mind I was in. Now, trying to describe what was going on in my mind, especially once he put his hands on my hips and went to work, is going to be problematic. Now, I want to also state that Mr. Obscenely Attractive was devoted practitioner of the tantric arts, and while it was good, I mean really good, I have no idea how long he actually went. The harness and the restraints had enough elasticity that I moved up and down through the air, and seemingly through stars for hours...
To the best of my memory, these were my thoughts (minus the yes's and the ohmigod's and the right-there!'s) as my fifth special moment was approaching.
I wonder what it's like to fuck in space. Not in a pressured cabin but actually in space. Floating. That's the intriguing thing. Gravity works on the planet. They say gravity works everywhere else, you just don't notice it. I wonder if astronauts ever do it. Just strip off the suit, give the finger to Houston and bounce each other. It's probably cramped though, inside a shuttle. Not like being in space. I bet gods fuck in space. I bet the semen of gods becomes comets and the secretions of goddesses become ice-meteorite fields. Reminds of something from that book on astrophysics I read after reading Carl Sagan's book Contact. Stuff about the big bang. Takes on a whole new meaning! That's all the big bang was. The orgasmic scream echoing throughout the cosmos as it escaped the lips of some tied up quantum goddess!
Right then, as the words quantum goddess hit my thoughts, I came, I screamed, I erupted.
As my muscles were suddenly embued with quantum, I ripped free of the restraints and the harness and went tumbling onto the plexiglass floor. (Sorry about breaking your set-up, Mr. Obscenely Attractive Man. I never did get to apologize for that.) The acid burned immediately out of my system, and I was shocked back into reality without any come down time. So I'm scrambling on this clear plexiglass when my hand shattered one of the support beams underneath the sheets. And then another. Pretty soon the floor is collapsing.
Understand, even though I was completely sober, I am freaking out. The floor is shattering underneath me, I've got these bungee-like restraints on my wrists and ankles which are getting tangled in the wiring of the now-exposed lighting, ripping the lighting to shreds as I'm struggling to get free. Sparks are going everywhere, bulbs are shorting and bursting. Poor Mr. Obscenely Attractive Man, who is still tripping, is crouching in the far corner in a fetal position as everything is seemingly coming apart around him. He's yelling. I'm wailing. He's terrified. I'm confused as all hell and feeling trapped. He's suddenly gone from tantric bliss to science-fiction nightmare.
Finally, and I have no idea how long it took, I managed to get out of the room, run through, literally through, everything between me and the door and then onto the street and I just kept running. Having left my purse and my clothing at Mr. Obscenely Attractive Man's home, I had no money to pay for a cab back, so I wandered, mostly naked, until I was picked up by the local authorities and driven home. They were kind enough to retrieve my personals from the ruins I'd left in my wake after I assured them that no, I hadn't been assaulted, and no, I did not want to press charges against the terrified man still mumbling incoherently in his home, and yes, there was a lot of damage there but it was mostly my fault, not his, and that I would pay for it all. Which, coincidently, I did, but I have no idea whether or not he ever repaired the room. That was the last time I ever saw him.
That night I broke my entire set of glassware trying to fix myself a drink, ripped two pairs of pajamas, pulled one door from its hinges, and smashed my alarm clock the next morning while trying to adjust to my new strength. What a day.
And that, minus the rather graphic description of what a string of orgasms given at the hands of a tantric follower would be like, is about as deep as I am going to go at putting what happened that night into words. Learning to use my powers and my transition from newly-ignorant Nova to reasonably confident one is a whole other story.
So, for me anyway, it was a combination of sex, drugs, and if you count Pink Floyd as rock, then rock n’ roll was there too. Since my eruption involved drugs, I was actually doing a study on documented eruptions that occurred while the latent Nova was under the influence of any type of intoxicant or narcotic, when I came across the name of Kathleen Miller.
Now, the esteemed Ms. Miller, whom everyone that follows failed Utopian interventions is aware of, now goes by the name of Fracture. Aside from the fact that the media found her story interesting for its required fifteen minutes and thus most of you will already be familiar with her, I wanted to bring her eruption as a parallel to mine as to why trying to force an eruption isn’t always the greatest idea. And I actually went to the trouble to track Fracture down (more to the point, letting people who could contact her know I was interested, and then begging her personally) to do this piece, so you better damn-well pay attention here.
And I’m writing my conclusion here, because after you read of Fracture’s eruption, anything I try to conclude with is going to seem trite and meaningless. Is there a point I’m trying to make? Well, only this: forget about the paperbacks I mentioned earlier. As harrowing I hope my words allow you to experience this, it’s nothing compared to having lived it.
Eruption can be a beautiful thing, as I consider mine to be. It can also lead to radical changes in perception the likes of which you never thought possible. It can turn your life on its end and grab you by the throat and never let go. So don’t dwell on what it would be like. Don’t read the glamorized versions and expect to understand. Because you can’t. Even if you are Yoshiki’d.
First off, we can forget about the sex and the rock n’ roll on Fracture’s part. She had only the drugs. Secondly, Fracture was one of those uber-kids you despise. She’s the one that would destroy the bell curve, or ace the exams and ruin the chances of the instructor giving a second chance exam. Before her eruption she had a mind for mathematics that Godel would have been envious of. The really weird thing is that she didn’t always use to be that way: average mathematical scores until she got into high-school and then something just clicked for her. She couldn’t tell me what it was, so don’t think I’m going to be able to. Somewhere between the SSS, the ASA, and SAS Postulates something just opened up in her head and mathematics made sense to her. Thirdly, you need to realize who Kathleen Miller was before she became smart.
A wannabe Goth girl (I say wannabe because I don’t know how Goth a fourteen-year old can be. Somehow, I think many of you readers will write in to tell me.). Looking at her now, at her style of dress and choice of cosmetics, you can see how that time still influences her though it doesn’t rule her, but because of it she knew some people who knew some people, etc, and some of those people were well-connected if you wanted to acquire some choice recreational substances.
Kathleen Miller had tripped once before she erupted. Unlike me, she’d used psilocybin to induce her adventures the first time. Apparently she did have one of those freaky-moments you hear about in all the stories: she just stared off into space for about 6 hours while her friends didn’t know what was happening. After 6 hours she came out of it, and said she’d watched the devil and god play chess for her soul, and she couldn’t look away from it until she knew the victor.
Now personally, had that happened to me, I don’t know how eager I would be to use said magic mushroom again, but she apparently enjoyed it, and decided she wanted to trip before heading off to M.I.T. to fill her head with all the wonderful stuff they’d try to cram into it. She called it a period of mental cleansing before having the new memories move in. While her parents were out, she consumed three very large caps.
She started connecting points in the air with her mind: mapping coordinates, measuring the distance via equations, you know, the stuff mathematically-minded people can do without the calculator the rest of us use. Then she’s doing it with objects, connecting the cup on the saucer on the table to the remote on the television to the chain hanging from the ceiling fan to the doorknob on the door leading to the kitchen to the candleholder attached to the far wall. A veritable pyramid that she’d already labeled, mapped out, and calculated before the psilocybin took effect. This is what she did to pass the time between taking the ‘shrooms and actually tripping.
She said she noticed she was tripping the moment she imagined the pyramid collapsing in upon itself, and then seeing the space actually conform to her wishes. First the apex descends into the base, then the far right corner to the center, then the left, etc, until the entire thing is nothing more than point of distortion.
Thinking she was only tripping, mind you, she reached out with her left hand to test the reality of her visuals, and imagine her surprise when her fingers closed around something she perceived to be physical. Pulling it close to her, she noted with some amazement how the room seemed to follow her hand like when you grip rubber and then release it. When she opened her hand to look at it….
I want you to think about this: suddenly your hand isn’t there anymore. Instead, what you have is the image of your hand if it were refracted in about seventeen glasses of water at once. Shocked, and tripping, you bring your right hand over to make certain your left hand is still there. Which it is, to your relief, but when you let go and look at your right hand, now it is doing the same freaky visuals as your left. Then refraction creeps up your arms, then your shoulders.
You panic. You try scraping it off, but your hands only spread the distortion quicker with everyplace you touch them on your body. With racing heart, soon your entire body is being refracted in multiple directions and angles. You look at yourself for a moment, and a brief period of calm ensues. This is some really good shit, you think, believing this all to be one big hallucination. After all, it’s only your second time tripping and it’s your first time doing it alone. Then you look up and see your reflection in the mirror set into the mantle above the fireplace, and you see what your face looks like when it’s fractured and angled in seventeen different places.
You scream like you’ve never screamed before. Again. A third time. You take a step forward, and the floor groans, cracks, sighs, and dissolves. The floor around you begins warping and bending. You hear the wood snapping and breaking, the carpet unraveling and disintegrating. You take a step back but it doesn’t seem to help. So you remain perfectly still.
At this point, you’re thinking, I’m having a bad fucking trip. This is what a bad fucking trip is like. You don’t realize that your body has already burned the psilocybin out of it. You have no reason to think you’re erupting. You just ate a sizeable dose of a hallucinogenic substance after all. Your friends told you there are two ways to end a mushroom trip: one is to throw up and empty your stomach, the other is to sleep it off. You were warned the latter won’t work when you trip acid, only when you eat ‘shrooms.
Problem is that you don’t feel sick. Your stomach is fine. You couldn’t throw up if your life depended on it. So you decide you need to sleep. You see the sofa only four feet away from you. You start walking towards it, and the floor again starts to break and warp. It’s already that way, it’s just in danger of opening up and swallowing you, thus dropping you into the basement. However, in moving towards the sofa, you moved towards the east wall. In doing that, the wall starts warping too. It warps enough that the upstairs starts to buckle and droop down.
At this point, you panic. You aren’t rational any longer. You run through the house, either warping or disintegrating everything you come in contact with. The house itself sounds like an ocean vessel about ready to go under. The ceiling in the kitchen buckles and crashes down, preventing you from leaving the house. You turn back, your return into the living room collapses more of the floor and ceiling.
Now you get an epiphany: you are not going to make it out of the house. It is going to fall and crush you if you move again. The front door is so close, but you’ll never make it. You don’t know that the very field destroying everything around you would also disintegrate anything that fell on top of you. You sit back into the chair that you were in when all of this started. The thought that it isn’t dissolving doesn’t even cross your mind: you are hallucinating after all, and you’ve no clue in the world that you attuned the chair to your quantum signature the moment you erupted and it’s the only item in the room that’s not in danger of being destroyed.
So you sit. You close your eyes. You try to sleep. You can’t. You can’t get up either. You’re trapped in this blasted chair. You want this trip to be over. Never again, you swear, never again will you touch another drug.
Hours pass. Your parents return home. You think you’re still tripping until your mother screams when she enters and sees the ruins of her home; when she sees her daughter looking like something no CGI artist has ever even attempted to create. Your father’s stomach can’t handle the sight of you, and he vomits on the spot. You get up from your chair. At this point you’re terrified that you’ve fried your brain and move to be with your parents. You need the comfort after all. They’ve always been there for you.
And in moving, you bring the ceiling down on top of them.
You whisper, Mommy? Daddy? You’re eighteen and you know you normally call them Mom and Dad but that’s what comes out of your mouth. You don’t hear anything from the rubble covering them. You say it again, louder, and nothing greets you but silence. You say it again, over and over and over, until you’re screaming and crying and your voice goes hoarse and then dies entirely. You find yourself unable to move again.
By this time, you hear sirens outside. Your neighbors have called the authorities. With what’s left of your voice, you warn them not to come in when they ask if everything is alright. You don’t want them getting hurt, but they of course assume something’s wrong and come in anyway. Seeing you, some faint, some vomit like your father, a few make the sign of the cross. They start asking questions as best they can, but you can tell they are terrified, and that only makes you even more terrified as a result. Maniacally, you demand that someone come in and save your family.
Eventually, by keeping their back to you the entire time, they manage to clear enough debris to pull your parents out. Your mother has a concussion and multiple lacerations. She’ll need approximately 100 stitches. Your father suffered a broken shoulder blade, a broken shoulder joint, and is unconscious.
Now, however, the Utopian intervention teams arrive. As soon as you see the PU emblem on their clothing you understand what is happening. What has happened to you. You aren’t hallucinating. This is real. You’re a Nova.
Then, you remember every little bit of rumor you’ve read about the Bahrain Rashoud Facility. How “dangerous” Novas are taken there for study. How Novas that go to Bahrain generally don’t come out, or so the rumors say. Some even whisper the ugly Novas get sent there.
You’re ugly and dangerous.
You scream at them instinctively, “I am not going to Bahrain!”
The intervention agent looks at you confused, shakes his head, and tries to explain that’s not why they are in your home.
It doesn’t matter. You know he’s lying. He’s just got to be. You say it again, “I am not going to Bahrain!”
They try getting close to you. They get hurt. Badly. You don’t even try to hurt them. It doesn’t take them long to realize that keeping distance from you is a very good thing.
When one of them pulls a dart gun loaded with Mox, you know it’s Bahrain for you.
The dart is let loose before you can react. The field around you disintegrates it before it can touch your skin. At this point, you’re enraged. You begin threatening them, and take a single step closer. The house groans, some debris falls, and they clear out of there.
They will remain outside from that point on until T2M arrives a few hours later.
In that time, you’ve managed to pull the field within yourself. You look human again. But containing the field is a different matter. It takes everything you have. You don’t think you can do it indefinitely.
When T2M arrives in the form of Lucious “The Good Stuff” Clay, Malu “Fury” Hekili, and Savannah “Aurifex” O’Shea, you’ve pretty much made up your mind that you aren’t going with them without a fight. Even though they are the most patient and understanding people you’ve dealt with since this ordeal begin, if you go with them, you’re gonna end up in Bahrain.
But, you soon learn, they are well-trained in the use of their abilities, and you’re just discovering yours. They do their best not to harm you, but they do their job: they subdue you, Mox you, and you’re taken to the nearest Rashoud Facility.
Not Bahrain, to your relief, but across the border from your native Canada, in New York. Soon, unknown to you, other Novas will hear of your plight and will come to liberate you. But finally, slipping into the sleep that has eluded you all day by means of some Mox and a few other substances, the ordeal that is your eruption is over.
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