"If you can see it, chances are it doesn't exist."
—Kate Keogh, Grounds for Suicide

Five times we did it. Over five consecutive orbits we threw ourselves between the monster's jaws, let it chew at us with a trillion microscopic teeth until Theseus reeled us in and stitched us back together. We crept through Rorschach's belly in fits and starts, focusing as best we could on the tasks at hand, trying to ignore the ghosts that tickled our midbrains. Sometimes the walls flexed subtly around us. Sometimes we only thought they did. Sometimes we took refuge in our diving bell while waves of charge and magnetism spiraled languidly past, like boluses of ectoplasm coursing down the intestine of some poltergeist god.
Sometimes we got caught in the open. The Gang would squabble amongst itself, uncertain which persona was which. Once I fell into a kind of waking paralysis while alien hands dragged me away down the hall; fortunately other hands brought me home, and voices that claimed to be real told me I'd made the whole thing up. Twice Amanda Bates found God, saw the fucker right there in front of her, knew beyond any shadow of a doubt that the creator not only existed but spoke to her, and her alone. Both times she lost her faith once we got her into the bell, but it was touch and go for a while; her warrior drones, drunk on power but still under line-of-sight control, staggered from their perimeters and pointed their weapons along bearings too close for comfort.
The grunts died fast. Some barely lasted a single foray; a few died in minutes. The longest-lived were the slowest on the draw, half-blind, thick-witted, every command and response bottlenecked by raw high-frequency sound buzzing across their shielded eardrums. Sometimes we backed them up with others that spoke optically: faster but nervous, and even more vulnerable. Together they guarded against an opposition that had not yet shown its face.
It hardly had to. Our troops fell even in the absence of enemy fire....

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