Fandom: Rain World: Downpour

  • No Significant Harassment & Seven Red Suns
  • (you could read it as / though)
  • Hunter is also there in a sense
  • totally unnecessary worldbuilding and headcanon rambling
  • Angst
  • Chatlogs
  • Downer Ending

Length: 2.8k, Oneshot

Date Posted: 2023-07-09

Part 1 of speaking into the voidNext Work »

194 Unread Message(s)


NSH: It's funny. We used to have this problem in reverse.
NSH: I would turn my back, and you would beg me not to leave.
NSH: Even funnier, I'm having almost the same sort of problem you did, back then.
NSH: The messenger I sent to Moon...
NSH: It...
NSH: I made a mistake.


i had a totally different fic i was trying to write but instead brain said 'time to vomit up 2500 words of nsh talking into the void' so. here we are writing fic for yet another game i havent actually properly played lol.

also the use of the term "cascade death" is borrowed from Assembly by spontaneite which is a very good fic i highly recommend haha

[LIVE BROADCAST] PRIVATE No Significant Harassment, Seven Red Suns

NSH: Hey, Suns.

NSH: It's been a while since we last spoke, hasn't it?

NSH: I know you're not receiving any of these, nowadays.

NSH: I still find myself sending them anyway.

NSH: It's funny. We used to have this problem in reverse.

NSH: I would turn my back, and you would beg me not to leave.

NSH: Now it's you, me, and the four empty recipients in the local chat. I'm talking to nobody no matter who I choose.

NSH: Pebbles trashes everything. I don't think Moon even can recieve these.

NSH: Grey Wind has been unreachable for ages now, and Innocence... hasn't been online since the incident.

NSH: Now, with the long-distance network rotting away, even you're gone, too.

NSH: ...

NSH: Even funnier, I'm having almost the same sort of problem you did, back then, when you asked me not to leave.

NSH: The messenger I sent to Moon...

NSH: It...

NSH: I made a mistake.

NSH: No, I take it back. That's not correct. It's misleading.

NSH: This was more than just a miscalculation.

NSH: I may not have desired or intended this outcome, but I was never unaware of the possibility.

NSH: I accepted this risk when I began modifications. I knew what I was doing.

NSH: I knew I was putting its life in my hands.

NSH: I just didn't care.

NSH: I don't know what to do. I feel awful for it now.

NSH: I hadn't anticipated how quickly the side effects would progress.

NSH: A shortened lifespan, yes, and a high likelihood of rapid deterioration past a certain threshold, but...

NSH: It's one thing to know that.

NSH: It's another to watch it happen.

NSH: Do your overseers still travel this far?

NSH: With how attached you were to Pebbles, I wouldn't have put it past you to keep hanging around at his gates, waiting to see if he would let you back in.

NSH: My overseers can't sync directly over this distance anymore, so all I see is the highlights they pass back, with some delay.

NSH: If they saw one of yours without interfacing directly, I might not even know.

NSH: ... Of course, realistically, sighting one of your overseers would count as a highlight. I'm sure they would tell me if that happened.

NSH: But there's no way I can know for sure.

NSH: Anyway, once the courier passes the wall, my ability to monitor it will be drastically reduced.

NSH: I have a tracking mark on it, and it reports back vital signs as well. If they're still alive and functioning, Moon's overseers may also be able to relay some data over their own network, albeit slowly.

NSH: And... that's it.

NSH: If I'm lucky, maybe I'll find out if Moon is revived. If I'm really lucky, maybe she'll push her seniority to force communications open again.

NSH: Maybe I'll get to yell at Pebbles properly this time~

NSH: For now, though, all I can do is sit and worry.

NSH: It's getting worse.

NSH: I can see when it starts to shake, sometimes, in the shelters. Occasionally it seizes in its sleep. I can see the brain activity when it happens.

NSH: The cysts seem to be spreading further, too.

NSH: I have an estimate of how long it must have, but...

NSH: At this point, there's no way to know for sure.

NSH: My initial estimates for the time of symptomatic onset were less accurate than I expected.

NSH: At this point, I can only hope it has time to reach Moon without dropping dead in front of her.

NSH: She would hate that. She always was so fond of the little creatures.

NSH: ...

NSH: She would probably hate me for this, too, if she knew.

NSH: I think...

NSH: I don't...

NSH: I don't know why I'm sending you these, especially when you're not reading them. I'm not even sure it would be better if you were.

NSH: To watch helplessly, unable to reply, unable to act...

NSH: That's why we made these creatures, but now here I am with the exact same problem as before.

NSH: It reached Pebbles.

NSH: I don't know why it went to visit him first. Maybe I spoke too strongly of him in its presence, and it got the wrong idea.

NSH: I never did figure out how best to speak to them, in the end.

NSH: The only reason I know it reached him because the tracking mark shows its location inside his facility.

NSH: It made it all the way to the puppet chamber. The vital signs went haywire for a moment, and then it left.

NSH: Ironically, it seems more stable now than it was before entering.

NSH: I have no idea what happened in there. Maybe he's finally starting to come to his senses, but I'm not optimistic.

NSH: The lockdown is still in effect, after all.

NSH: I still don't really know why I'm directing all of these messages to you, in particular.

NSH: I suppose I just need something to do.

NSH: Someone to talk to.

NSH: And on the off chance anyone is somehow reading these... I wouldn't send these to Wind, or Innocence. And the last thing Moon needs is to hear me whining about the trouble I'm taking to rescue her.

NSH: And I already have other words for Pebbles - which he blocks, because of course he does.

NSH: Which leaves you. The only person I used to talk to like this.

NSH: ... I mean, not the only person, I suppose.

NSH: But the others were always much more distant. Even when they were friendly... maybe it was just the groups I spoke to, but it often felt superficial. Even the anonymous chats got frustrating after a while.

NSH: You were a sad, unhelpful cynic at the best of times, but at least you were earnest.

NSH: You appreciated me. You tolerated my irreverence, even when you didn't understand it.

NSH: I'd like to think there was something there between us, you know~?

NSH: ...

NSH: I miss that.

NSH: I miss that a lot.

NSH: I keep finding myself with the urge to message you, but there's not much to report.

NSH: The courier's progress seems to be quick and steady from Pebbles to Moon.

NSH: Deterioration is... ongoing.

NSH: Obviously it's still healthy enough to handle itself, but...

NSH: If these ever do reach you, I guess I may as well give you updates on the local group.

NSH: ... to the extent I still know anything about what's happening, that is.

NSH: Grey Wind has been offline for at least 100 cycles now, though it's difficult to say when they first went quiet.

NSH: Overseer reports indicate their communications tower was destroyed. Forensic options are limited, since it wasn't discovered until at least several cycles had passed, but we think it was an offshore storm that took it down.

NSH: They were built before the warming extended the range of those phenomena, so their facility was never fully reinforced against them. It was a common issue back when the city was inhabited, but with Mass Ascension on the horizon, nobody cared enough to seek a long-term solution.

NSH: I would have offered help to rebuild, but as you can imagine, I've been a little busy~

NSH: ...

NSH: Unparalleled Innocence went quiet about the time Moon and Pebbles' facility entered lockdown.

NSH: Wind thought they shared those pictures to be mean, but I think this is more telling. They seemed overwhelmed by all the attention it got them, and his reaction was just the final straw.

NSH: I don't know if they thought the rest of the group was angry with them, or if they're just stewing in regrets right now, but either way nobody is getting any answers.

NSH: They were far more likely to talk to Wind or Moon than to me, and as you can imagine, that's not exactly an option.

NSH: As for Moon and Pebbles...

NSH: There's not much I would know that you don't already. I relayed you her final message when she sent it, and that's the last anyone has heard from either of them.

NSH: She lasted surprisingly long before the collapse. Outpaced her own predictions, even.

NSH: For a while I even hoped that maybe, if I accelerated the courier's development enough, I would be able to...

NSH: Well.

NSH: It didn't work out that way, in the end.

NSH: Pebbles is still blocking everyone, as far as I know.

NSH: Once or twice, before the lockdown, my overseers could detect activity from the broadcast buds on their facility grounds - audio chatter between them.

NSH: Moon was still trying to force communications, I think, but obviously he ignored her.

NSH: The scraps I got...

NSH: I don't think I can ever forgive him for this.

NSH: Even if he turned around, right now - reversed the lockdown, rerouted his resources, even cured my little courier, I don't think I could talk to him the same way. Not anymore.

NSH: I could hear her, Suns.

NSH: Most of the words didn't get through, but she was dying. Pleading with him.

NSH: I have no doubt he could hear her, too.

NSH: And he has done nothing to change his actions.

NSH: It reached Moon.

NSH: Suns. I...

NSH: She...

NSH: I got back a picture. Just the one.

NSH: It's incredibly poor quality, and it had to be sent back by cross-overseer relay, which means it's at least a full cycle behind, but...

NSH: ...

NSH: It's...

NSH: It's not the worst it could be, I suppose.

NSH: She does look to be alive, in some capacity.

NSH: I sent her a large number of slag reset keys in hopes that her pumps could still be revived, but her umbilical is severed, and the chamber seems to be completely without power, so that's a lot of work gone nowhere.

NSH: But the reset process still flushed the slag from the puppet, and revived the neurons still in her chamber.

NSH: The puppet's local backup seems to have preserved some core data, at least, and she seems to have retained some very basic mental functions.

NSH: She's sitting up, in the image, reading the pearl I sent her.

NSH: Beyond that, there's no way for me to tell how much of her is left.

NSH: If she's truly disconnected, though, and the rest of her is dead... that's five neurons, including the one I gave her.

NSH: Five neurons for her entire consciousness.

NSH: I can't imagine trying to think in something so small. Can you?

NSH: For all I know, she's not even reading the pearl, just sitting there and staring at it. Or she might be able to read it, but not remember who it's from.

NSH: ...

NSH: There's no use in thinking in circles like this, but I can't seem to make myself stop anymore.

NSH: Five neurons.

NSH: Do you think she even remembers her own name?

NSH: Is it mean of me, to hope you do read some of these after all?

NSH: That you might be reminded to feel some shame for what you've contributed to?

NSH: I know your inability to respond is beyond your control. In that regard, it's probably for the best this connection is nonfunctional.

NSH: Besides, my own feelings on that matter are irrational and unhelpful. And it's not like I am exempt from some guilt myself.

NSH: The courier...

NSH: ...

NSH: It came back to visit her again.

NSH: It has so little time left. I can tell by the vitals. Its heartbeat turns arrhythmic in fights now, and it has spasms every time the rain starts.

NSH: Sometimes when it rests, it stops breathing, just for a few moments at a time.

NSH: But it still comes back to her.

NSH: I don't know what it's going to do.

NSH: I didn't plan for it to make a return trip, but I never thought to equip it with any knowledge of ascension.

NSH: In hindsight, that was another cruelty on my part.

NSH: I was only thinking of Moon. Anything else was secondary.

NSH: Unless Moon or Pebbles told it something, I don't think it will be leaving the cycle any time soon.

NSH: ... At least a cascade death in its sleep might be a mercy for it.

NSH: It had a close call, this cycle.

NSH: It was in some kind of fight, on the edge of Moon's facility, and the brain activity just about exploded. Another seizure, obviously.

NSH: Its heart rate was irregular and slowed for a while, and there was signs of organ trauma, probably from a fight, but it seems to have escaped, and the damage has... rebounded.

NSH: It hasn't left the general area, though. I'm a little worried it might miss the shelter before the rain starts...

NSH: ...

NSH: It hasn't moved.

NSH: It's been two cycles now.

NSH: It hasn't come back to Moon, and it hasn't retreated to a shelter, either.

NSH: I would have assumed that the body had finally given out, but vital signs are still active.

NSH: Its heart is still beating. Its lungs are still breathing.

NSH: I don't know. Maybe the tracker is malfunctioning. It's not like I can get my own overseers in there to check up on it.

NSH: Another equipment failure would be well within expected parameters, at this point.

NSH: ...

NSH: And here I am, still talking about it like equipment.

NSH: I feel like I used to be better than that. Was I?

NSH: I just...

NSH: ...

NSH: Maybe Moon has a shelter I don't know about.

NSH: I only have her old blueprint maps to go by, after all.

NSH: Maybe...

NSH: ...

NSH: I don't know.

NSH: Good news: it's moving again!

NSH: I didn't think it would last this long, with the apparent trajectory of deterioration, but it seems to have improved, at least for now.

NSH: It's headed out of Moon's grounds, and I think it might be trying to go back the way it came.

NSH: It's obviously having some trouble with navigation, though. The poor thing keeps going in circles.

NSH: I think I might try finding and interfacing with one of Moon's overseers and see if I can't put in a request for navigational assistance or something.

NSH: Maybe I'll get a better look at it, if any of hers are in good enough shape to record.

NSH: It'll take a while to get anything back, but that's not really the important part.

NSH: I doubt Moon's in any condition to be giving directions. And it's not like it's going to head back to Pebbles for a map!

NSH: I spent enough time telling you about responsibilities and all that - the least I can do is try not to be a total hypocrite.

NSH: Maybe I'll find a way to make up for this one, at least a little.

NSH: Still moving. It's getting close to the retaining walls, but it doesn't seem to have a strong sense of where the gate is.

NSH: I managed to find one of Moon's overseers outside the wall, though, and was able to make a request when it interfaced with mine, using the cross-network waypoint sharing system to mark the little courier as an entity of interest.

NSH: Ideally, it should help guide it back to Pebbles' farm arrays, but only time will tell if that actually does anything.

NSH: It's been four cycles since then, and I haven't heard back, or seen anything from outside the wall.

NSH: In the meantime, I've been considering using something like this to try and kludge a communications relay with Moon.

NSH: Unfortunately, her centralized overseer network seems to be dead, and the waypoint system isn't advanced enough for complex instructions.

NSH: Even if I was able to encode something in the travel data, the message would be inaccessible on her end if she couldn't read the data directly to decipher it.

NSH: If I can hack it to add something on, though...

NSH: Some newer versions of the system had options for custom writable waypoint data. It probably wouldn't be very difficult to exploit that to write into other parts of memory.

NSH: The problem with that is that Moon's overseers were a legacy model, and her technicians maintained their own firmware independently, so compatibility is still in question.

NSH: If the feature was incorporated, they probably use the same code, though, so if an equivalent vulnerability is still unpatched on her system...

NSH: Of course, this is all just speculation~

NSH: I would need an overseer from her facility for reference, and she doesn't exactly have many to spare. Not to mention the waypoint system is not nearly advanced enough to query and copy that kind of data.

NSH: I'll have to look into jailbreaking one of my own overseers first to allow for

NSH: Oh. I'm getting an incoming signal from the overseer chain in the arrays.

NSH: Just a moment~

NSH: ...

NSH: Oh no.

Part 1 of speaking into the voidNext Work »