Hurricane Nekoda is a sentient storm front, and one of the main antagonists in the Meshalutian Trilogy novel 90 Has No Secant. It is a minion to the ghost-witch Meshaluta, and shares her obsession with killing the Louisiana Rintel family.
The storm's existence is canon to Uber-Proto-Gerosha (Earth-G1,) Proto-Gerosha (Earth-G2,) Test Gerosha (Earth-G3.0,) Gerosha Prime (Earth-G3.1,) Despair Gerosha (Earth-G4,) Classic Gerosha (Earth-G5,) and Comprehensive Gerosha (Earth-G6.) Most Meshaluta-related mythos is not considered canon to Cataclysmic Gerosha (Earth-G7,) nor to any timeline of the Gerosha multiverse to come after it. Its canonicity to Hyper-Uber-Proto-Gerosha (Earth-G0) is unknown. This is because the events in the 2001 rough draft of what would later become The Gray Champion: Freedom's Apparition were proposed over a year before 90 Has No Secant was even inceived.
Beginning somewhere in the Atlantic, Nekoda rapidly grew to a category 5. It seemed to only every get stronger, wiping out the Bahamas and continuing its path through the Gulf of Mexico. The cruise ship Landana found itself right in its path when a magnetic storm kicked up. This magnetic storm was unlike any other, having repercussions and leading to paranormal activity across the planet. The Landana was soon taken out by a tsunami-style wave, after the ship's electronics began behaving erratically and its crew began suffering symptoms typical of severe illness.
Many predicted it would hit Texas going along its path - but it made a sudden and severe sharp turn, instead heading straight for Murian Twp. in Louisiana. While most residents of Murian were able to evacuate, the magnetic storm's activities forced many others to remain stranded on their peninsula. Houses far enough inland didn't worry as much about flooding, but the extreme winds that began to pick up forced many indoors - where they had to treat the storm like a tornado if they were to stand any chance at survival. The storm sent debris from the Landana all the way to Murian. This became a stark reminder that the storm had claimed victims long before finding land.
Nekoda's merger of a hurricane with a magnetic storm made it especially deadly. The storm's paranormal activity was determined to be strongest along the eyewall, in which the absolute eye was calm meteorologically and paranormally. It was in late August of 2011 that the storm finally touched down in Murian Twp. The Rintel family proved to be some of the only survivors of Nekoda who were still on the Murian peninsula, when a helicopter team flew over the storm and into the eye to perform a rescue. This rescue was funded by a rich family known as the Lumphars, per request of a stock broker named Eva Rintel - who was trapped with the Lumphars in the LaFoe Airport. The team managed to rescue Eva's family right before the eyewall touched their house a second time as it journeyed north, destroying whatever remained of the house after the first eyewall contact.
Nekoda traveled inward as far as the border between Louisiana and Arkansas, before it degraded to a category 4. By the time it reached southern Illinois, it was down to a category 2. It was down to a category 1 by the time it reached Chicago, and soon was reduced to tropical storm status by the time it reached Michigan City. It produced several violent thunderstorms across the state of Michigan, carrying rain and other weather patterns as far as New York before dissipating completely. Its magnetic storm ceased some time shortly before the eyewall made contact with Murian Twp.
Paranormal events associated with Nekoda
The following is a list of a few of the many strange events that have been associated with Nekoda throughout the story.
- Magnetic storm: This bizarre storm proves odd in and of itself, but becomes the catalyst of nearly every other bizarre event that afflicts the Rintels. It’s forewarned in Eva's dream with Meshaluta's phrase: “All the magnet, give sway!”
- Time travel: The space shuttle Pithius was on a routine mission, but nose-dived into the desert. A display of its on-deck calendar suggested it crashed some time in the past, up to 700 BC even. Tom Rintel witnesses the Pithius crashing to its doom when the oscilloscope turns itself on and opens time portals. Meanwhile, a ghostly creature believed to be Jack the Ripper crawls through another vortex and tries to kill Mandy. A viking crawls through another vortex at the LaFoe airport and attacks Cassie Manning while she is in the bathroom. She is able to fight back, forcing her attacker back to his time period before the vortex closes. Tom is able to fight off the Ripper Ghost and save Mandy.
- Profuse sweating and fatigue: Similar to in the movie Picnic at Hanging Rock, select victims experienced bouts of this.
- Deadly TV sets: Both in the airport and in the Rintel house, a TV set nearly becomes an instrument of death. Rick Rintel and Annabelle were the near-victims. More alarming yet was how Rick had cable TV, yet his signal often showed noise elements typical of bad analog airwave receptino.
- "Broken sound": Going along with Tom's question to Mandy: "If you scream into a secant, will anyone hear you?" Turning on certain instruments, including the transceiver, can mute someone's voice.
- Unexplained infestations: Consistent with the warnings Meshaluta gave to Eva about "puppy sandals and snail shoes and horrible day," the Rintels' master bedroom closet is suddenly and inexplicably infested with snails. Yet, a lone cockroach appears in their bathtub when Lenny Hidds tries to hide in there. Coincidentally, Lenny just so happens to be deathly afraid of snails. A caterpillar nearly falling off the ceiling and onto his hand creeps him out further.
- Sinking of the Landana as an omen: Dewey Reynolds' cousin was aboard the Landana when a tsunami took it out. Nekoda's winds send scrap metal from the Landana right through the Rintels' master bathroom window, and it nearly hits Lenny.
- Malfunctioning clocks: Clocks in the Rintels' home either work incorrectly, set themselves to wrong dates, or stop working. Meshaluta tells Eva to "give the hourly chime," when clocks don't work. This includes Mandy's digital watch suddenly stopping.
- "Hear the lamps, see the wind...": Thick debris in Nekoda's winds allows the Rintels to see wind direction. Lamps and other objects begin exploding. Thus, elements of touch, sound, and sight experience a betrayal of category.
- Hurricane eye symbolism everywhere: Secants are more than just trigonometric functions here. They are ill fates. The winds are secants. Broken sound is a secant. The increase and then sudden drop of magnetic disturbance in relation to time also shows a hurricane pattern, with the final quitting of the magnetic storm a signal that “the eye” has been reached. The green cloud in the dream has an empty eye. Rick sees a picture of a hurricane eye when he closes his eyes after zooming in on a picture of an eye showing on the TV. Eva sees Meshaluta's reflection in the ticket man’s eye. The space shuttle doesn’t have any danger of going through the time hole until it flies over Nekoda’s eye. Although there is only one Hurricane Nekoda, there appear to be many 90º points. This is also in the dream.
- Flying daggers: When the transceiver is first turned on, a dagger begins hovering in the air and launches itself at Mandy. She narrowly dodges.
Nekoda may be just a storm, but it appears to have a personality and will of its own. Either that, or it is a manifestation of Meshaluta's will. The story itself leaves it vague exactly which is which. Nekoda appears, like Dewey, to be disproportionately obsessed with harming Mandy. She is the "marked" Rintel according to Meshaluta. Its ultimately destroying Dewey rather than Mandy could be seen as either a quirk of fate brought on by Dewey's pride, or as the storm becoming jealous of Dewey about to beat it to the punch. Jim and Karen get perhaps the most barbaric example of the storm combinations lack of respect for human relationships. Jim appears to be dying. If he doesn’t die from severe magnetism, he will most certainly die passed out, as he and the house he’s in are blown away or flooded. Karen is fried by a sudden bolt to fly from a nearby electrical outlet. This also foreshadows the Rintels having to flee their utility room, lest they be fried by their house current.
Nekoda derives its name from the temple servant Nekoda mentioned in Nehemiah 7:50. He was one of the men who returned from Babylon to help restore the Temple in Jerusalem. He is mentioned very briefly in a few places in Ezekiel and Nehemiah. Otherwise, he is given little-to-no mention. Also, he is only mentioned in genealogies. Therefore, his name is meant to be a shock to a modern viewer, as it comes from seemingly out of nowhere. Little is ever said about Nekoda, just as little is ever said about the Temple servants. The storm also gets its strength from out of nowhere. Apart from what it does to Murian Twp., and all who are still in it, little else is said about the Hurricane Nekoda itself. Much of what seems to be the hurricane’s fault is actually the work of a magnetic storm that coincides with it.
Math and design theory inspirations
The Dozerfleet founder took Advanced Math with the Saxon method in high school. Trigonometry was a huge part of it, resulting in some fascination with secant and cosecant functions. When he entered IMAG 112 class in the fall of 2002, there was a discussion of how lines in an image convey different levels of energy depending on angle. The more vertical a line was, the more energy it conveyed in an image - unless that line were truly up-and-down. Then, it conveyed strength rather than energy. The Dozerfleet founder was immediately reminded of a secant graph - and of a hurricane. These ideas seemed random, and not at all like they'd go anywhere. However, his class on Thursday evenings after Design Theory and Photography was FILM 203, which was changed from "Topics in Animation" to "Topics in Foreign Cinema." The class that evening got to see Ringu, in celebration of the fact that The Ring was coming out in theaters one evening later.
Immediately inspired by a new exposure to the concept of Japanese horror, the Dozerfleet founder set to work creating a story that would incorporate J-horror themes and the other themes into a cohesive story plot. The idea of a "Hurricane Nekoda" as a central antagonist was considered for the plot even before Meshaluta was. In fact, Meshaluta didn't even have a name until 2004, when 90 was revised to give her that name so she could use it for Cursed is the Ground.
The magnetic storm though, supposedly only the second-most-deadly storm; sure enjoys hogging the spotlight. When the worst of Nekoda actually does strike, it does so quickly, and then is gone. Nobody would have expected a name like "Nekoda" for a storm either. Names like "Bernice" or "Dorian" would have been more likely the name for it in an average setting. Predictions of the 2011 hurricane season were very off in 90 Has No Secant, as it was written between 2002 and 2004. The closest name equivalent to Nekoda was 2011's Hurricane Nate, which hit Mexico rather than Louisiana. In terms of overall destruction, 2005's Hurricane Katrina is most noteworthy and comparable to Nekoda. Nekoda's predecessor was named Mahalia, another Biblical reference.
Über-Proto Gerosha Continuity
Alison Rintel • Cassie Manning • Debbie Rintel • Earl Rintel • Jared Rintel • Trisha Montoya • Meshaluta • Sanction Harlem • Tim Lorgan • Yenti Roy • Carla Rintel • Dewey Reynolds • Lenny Hidds • Rick Rintel • Eva Rintel • Mandy Rintel • Tom Rintel • Hurricane Nekoda
|90 Has No Secant • Cursed is the Ground • The Natural Logarithm|