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18+ Language Violence

Delta - 11.1

by LordWolf

Warning: This work has been rated 18+ for language and violence.

December 21, 4140

2:00 pm

Glenn looked across his cup of tea to where Harry was sitting. The silence fell between them for a few minutes as they studied each other, and Glenn put his thoughts back to the last time he saw her. And thinking of that last time made him think about how it might have been a mistake to seek her out.

But what other choice did I have?

Glenn cut his thoughts off quickly as he started to remember things about Harry.

“I woke up three weeks ago in somebody’s basement and I was surrounded by a bunch of guys in super tacky lab coats. You know the type I’m talking about, the bleached white kind that barely have name tags, not even trying to look like a government research facility. Like these fuckers would never have passed back home on Earth.”

As Glenn started to explain the scene he woke up to, Harry walked around the office and looked in on her colleagues were tucked away into one of the private offices. He laughed again to himself about the way she referred to them as “colleagues”. From the way that he read the situation, they seemed more like family members than anything else, especially the one introduced as Will.

Harry did her loop around the room until she came to the cabinet in the corner, opened the bottom doors and put a record on the machine.

“So, you’re still holding on to that piece of shit?”

“You’re the one who gave me that record.”

“Yeah, that’s how I know.”

Glenn quietly sang out the opening lyrics to the song it was set on, matching pace with the record.

Just got home from Illinois, lock the front door, oh boy

Got to sit down, take a rest on the porch

Imagination sets in, soon I'm singing

“Do you remember where we met, Harry?”

“Yes but don’t you think we should be talking about why a death squad wants you, well…dead.”

“But you remember. You remember how Galveston was and how funny it was that I was from the original Galveston, Texas. No matter how many thousands of years ago that was.”

“It was only two thousand.”

He laughed as she said “only” and Harry could hear the comments popping up inside of his mind. It was weird to be able hear her trying to listen to his thoughts, one telepath in a five-hundred-year coma, wasn’t enough to block her. There were some quite narrations as their pathways crossed.

He didn’t always notice when she was reading through his thoughts, and she could tell he thought he was strong enough to block any intrusion.

Far from the case.

“Now the lab. You’ve given me plenty of commentary on their shitty taste in fashion but I’m assuming you did something while you were there.”

Glenn took out a cigarette, fumbled to find his lighter and then created a spark in his hand.

“So, I woke up and I was completely naked. Like not a single fucking towel in sight and this gray dude was standing over me with a needle, so I kicked him in the head. I stole the tacky coat off his body and really hoped he was alone in that lab. But – “

“Let me guess, he wasn’t, and you killed the rest of them.”

“Yes but the Horridus assassins weren’t guards there. They were imprisoned there, and I saw them being tested in this federal site, meaning our lovely government has stopped giving a shit about peace contracts.”

“Did they ever?”

He looked down at the scars peeking out under his sleeve for a moment and his mind started clicking again. Glenn was filtering and censoring information, deciding how much Harry really needed to know, thinking about what she would want to know after all these years.

“Probably not. So, you know how that species is like super genderless and telepathic?” He didn’t wait for answer and continued, “They’re exploiting their society design and abilities for application to modern warfare. It’s like trying to adapt a goldfish as a way of poisoning wine.”

Harry took a glance over towards the office and Glenn assumed she was trying to quickly read the minds of the inhabitants. He could hear them too, but his mind crept along a lower pathway than Harry or Cati. Glenn heard the buzz that silently happened when their pathways clashed together, meaning everyone was aware that everyone was listening now.

“Glenn, please choose a different metaphor.”

“You saw what the tactics were like when that one out in the street attacked us. They must work in a group or else they go down with one hit. I read some of the research while I was waiting for a guard of my size to come along and the plan is trying to make it, so they can act alone. The Feds are convinced that enough genetic manipulation will make sole missions a reality.”

“And what do you think?”

“I don’t know but they’ve been testing this since before Lariat. Meaning that wherever they put us on ice, was not originally on Galveston and that complicates it a lot more for your case.”

Glenn had hung around in that underground office for a while, looking for some hint in the files about Harry. The pain that struck his heart when he first woke up was a sort of worry for her and he had hoped she would still be alive, after all this time. He took the bag off his shoulder and took out a small file that expanded when making contact with the table.

“See the big fat one? That’s your Federation file from last year. I assume you know that they’ve been keeping track of some of your, uh, interactions.”

“Considering they were the ones who hired me to work for the Fiacre family, yes, I know that they keep watching me. They can never nail me down for anything though.”

“Why? From the evidence here, I don’t see why you’re not in prison.”

“I’m still working on my old contract. Immunity from anything as long as I give them enough stats each year. And also, that they know if they tried to stop me, I would kill every agent in this sector and beyond.”

He looked back down to rummage through his bag. The necessary file was sitting towards the top, but Glenn needed a minute to keep his head down and think about what she had said. And to think about how much she had changed since Galveston.

She was cynical then. She was a killer then.

But now she was worse. Maybe it was working for the Feds or maybe it was working for the crime families, but there was something about Harry that set him off. Glenn felt his hand come to the knife at the bottom of the pouch and he considered pulling it up in defense. Looking across the couch, his mind was changed by seeing how one of Harry’s pistols was still hanging from her thigh.

“Here we go. Now, this is my file about what I did at Lariat and it isn’t pretty.”

“Like I’m going to judge you after what you must have read in mine. I’m sure you’re worried about me Glenn. Not as much worrying about my wellbeing as you probably are about your own safety.”

She lifted a cigarette back to her mouth, took a drag and another drink of tea, and then set back to the conversation.

“If I had wanted to kill you, you’d be lying on the slab in the basement next to that so-called assassin right now. Instead, you’re sitting here in my office drinking tea and smoking with me, so let’s just say I’m only going to kill you if you screw with me. And you wouldn’t do that, would you?”

Glenn tried to keep his thoughts blocked as he answered her with a quiet, “No.”

He didn’t have a plan and he was sure that she did have some sort of way to reach a certain outcome. If it came down to the worst, all he could do was light the curtains on fire and hope she couldn’t draw the water out of the tap line before he got away.

“You know our relationship was a bit of a cliché, Harry.”

“Which part?”

“The fire and water part.”

“Oh, I thought your mind would have jumped the to purple skinned alien girl getting it on with the human boy. Not that little conflicting elements issue.”

“You know, I honestly can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic or not.”

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1063 Reviews

Points: 112290
Reviews: 1063

Sun Sep 30, 2018 7:00 pm
Mea wrote a review...

Alright, I'm back again and I'm very hungry but can't go get food for a couple hours so yeah sorry if my coherency suffers.

I don't like Glenn that much, but I'd say it has more to do with my personal preferences than with whether or not he's a good character as written, because he is definitely a well-defined character so far.

Glenn cut his thoughts off quickly as he started to remember things about Harry.

Like what? Leaving it vague like that just made it read oddly.

I also really thought the undercurrent of mind-reading to the conversation added a lot of interest. That being said, it also made the chapter more confusing - I think you could streamline the balance between the mental stuff and the dialogue better. For example:

It was weird to be able hear her trying to listen to his thoughts, one telepath in a five-hundred-year coma, wasn’t enough to block her.

Yeah, I just couldn't figure out who the telepath was that you were referring to. Since Glenn is the only one in a five-hundred-year coma, I'm assuming he's just referring to himself in the third person to make a point. This should really be two sentences, and the second comma isn't necessary, which is part of what made this sentence hard to parse.

More importantly, I felt like nothing much came of the attempted mind-reading - it didn't seem to affect the outcome of the conversation very much. You talk about Glenn trying to block information from Harry - what information? Does it work? Does she know he's hiding something? Does Harry react to anything she's able to read from any of the participants' minds? Basically, the mind-reading creates a cool dynamic, but if it doesn't actually affect anything, then it feels rather pointless.

I'm still not very clear on why Glenn was in a coma, or why he woke up about to be tested on when it seems like the facility he was in is testing stuff on the Horridus, not on humans.

And I think that's about all I've got, so on to the next. :)

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1690 Reviews

Points: 114377
Reviews: 1690

Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:48 pm
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BlueAfrica wrote a review...

So you already basically know this because we were in that pad together, but OH WELL that's what I get for working on reviews in WFP.

Anyway, right from the beginning I already love Glenn's viewpoint. It was probably the description of the lab coat, honestly. Appparently I am a sucker for people who love Harry, because like the minute it's mentioned that Glenn woke up worried about her and looked for information about her like asap and wasn't even sure if she was alive and is relieved she is, I was like "my child" just like I was with Will.

I really like this chapter because I love how we have the top layer of the conversation and then their attempts to read each other's minds and circumvent each other's mind-reading. It's really interesting because to some extent we see the things they're talking about and how what they're physically talking about contrasts somewhat with what they're thinking, and we see what Glenn, at least, is specifically avoiding talking about. On that note, I love the part at the end where Glenn says he won't screw with her but conceals his thoughts at the same time. Admittedly he might be thinking of innocently screwing with her like pulling practical jokes or some junk but it definitely has a more serious feel at the moment.

“Yes but the Horridus assassins weren’t guards there. They were imprisoned there, and I saw them being tested in this federal site, meaning our lovely government has stopped giving a shit about peace contracts.”

“Did they ever?”



Okay, so actually you do get some new notes in this review, because although I still have a headache I'm at least somewhat rested and hydrated and fed-ish (it was a protein shake), so I can actually focus better on the government bits I didn't understand at all last night. I think partly what confused me is that there's talk of what the government was doing to the Horridus assassions and then there's talk of "them" weaponizing the Horridus' genderlessness and telepathic abilities, and I'm not 100% sure if the "them" in question is the government trying to weaponize a species they have a peace treaty with or the Horridus people weaponizing themselves and now the government's trying to see how they did it or something.

Although on that note I'm not actually 100% sure it even matters, because this is Glenn talking about when he woke up somewhere x number of years ago. So unless this later ties into the plot I guess I don't actually need to know.

I have my books and my poetry to protect me.
— Paul Simon