Saturday, July 25, 2009

Saturday Morning Breakfast Serial

When last we left our intrepid (possibly anti)heroine she was being brought back to visit "The Snake" by four of his henchmen by way of a portal. Shall we see what she's up to this week? Hmnnn? I think we shall.

Chapter 2 - Echoes From the Past

Strip searches are not fun. They are humiliating at best, and that's if everybody behaves.

They behaved.

I appreciated it. But I had to wonder if it was the Snake's orders, or Georgie's glowering (and heavily armed) presence that kept it that way. It wasn't fear. Not anymore. I'd been gone too long. Only a very few people who knew me when were still alive. The ones who were had mostly scattered, managing by hook or (mostly) by crook to get the hell out of "the cess pit."

I pulled back on my clothes without fuss. George handed me back the cell phone, but kept the ring. He'd probably give it back when I left . . . assuming I walked out. If they buried me, he'd keep it. I wouldn't have any more use for it.

They led me down a narrow hall of black painted brick. Two led. Two followed. The size was intentional. No one could fight well in such confined quarters, and it could be held by a single man long enough to hide the evidence, get the boss out, or both.

We'd almost arrived when the new kid couldn't stand it any more. "I don't believe it. She's nothing special. She can't have done everything they say."

"Shut up or I'll shut you up." Casper ordered. Luke just shook his head. He might hate me, but he didn't underestimate me. A shame really. Particularly if things went badly. Doing the math in my head, I realized they just might. Because it was almost time.

A little over nine years ago I killed Merv the Perv. It was self-defense. Not that it particularly mattered. The man needed to die. He'd tortured and murdered any number of kids my age and younger. I killed him. But he was connected. So unless I wanted to be at the mercy of the authorities, I needed protection. I came to The Snake. And I made him a deal. I'd use my talent to "see" things for him if he protected me. He got three questions. I got protection from the officials and my freedom---if the visions were true. If not, he'd slit my throat for me himself.

The first two were easy. Made him money. Made him happy.

For his third question he'd asked when and how he was going to die.

I told him the truth. He had less than ten years and he'd be killed by a traitor in his inner circle. Poisoned. He'd wanted more details, but I didn't have them. Not then. Not now. The talent only gives what it gives, and it's particularly stingy with "hard" information.

"Soft" information is the stuff you can change. The future's mostly mutable. People make choices every day that change their futures and by extension, those of the people in contact with them.

"Hard" events are predestined. They're GOING to happen: exactly when, and how, they're supposed to. You can try anything and everything you like to change them, and it won't matter a damn.

The Snake's death was as hard as it gets. I don't know why. Ask the Almighty. Maybe he'll answer you. I don't have that kind of pull. I just get glimpses of the future, no explanation is provided.

We were past the nine year mark. I'd gone off and gotten myself in the Academy where, ostensibly, they'd train me to have better control of my gift. He wanted me to look again. Give him details so he could cheat the reaper one more time. If I didn't give them to him, he was liable to get testy. And me, unarmed, in the heart of his stronghold.

I was so screwed.

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