VERY rough draft/incomplete.

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VERY rough draft/incomplete.

Post by Guest on Thu 14 Feb 2008 - 10:00

This is a very rough draft of a semi-noir type fanfic that dropped almost fully written out of my subconscious on me by surprise, it's a first fic by someone who doesn't even "do" fic, so be merciful, please..

I tried to avoid or cut down slang because I know a lot of folks here don't have english as a first language, but the final cut will be more in-character for the viewpoint it's told from.

-F
EDIT: Working on the rest, some stuff piled in out of order in my head and I need to sort that out first, although book six seemed to rob the thunder from one story element, though I'll use it anyway.


Last edited by on Sat 16 Feb 2008 - 1:29; edited 1 time in total

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Re: VERY rough draft/incomplete.

Post by Guest on Thu 14 Feb 2008 - 10:02

Chap1 - THE BEST OF PLANS.
A chill wind gusted down the steps, like an ominous herald of the syndicate
underboss I was shadowing, and I pulled up the collar of my cheap workmans coat
against it, shivering a bit still from my last bout with illness.
I paused to light a smoke, letting my mark get plenty of lead, I knew where he
was going, no sense giving myself away by tailing too close, even if he was an
idiot, he might not be completely so.
I rounded the corner at the bottom of the stairs and bought a newspaper from the
machine at the cabstand, watching from the corner of my eye as the mark stepped
into the cafe for his morning roll and coffee, heavy on the cream.
He'd linger over that about ten minutes or so, chatting up the locals, and then
call for a car, and that was the moment I was waiting for, to slip back up those
steps and creep his place.
The safe was still going to have to wait a bit, it was one of those new
electronic ones, a whole different skill set than an old codger like me learned,
so this was just recon, maybe he was dope enough to have written it down
somewhere, he seemed the type.
I'd just ground out my smoke as the mark picked up the phone, when I heard from
behind me "Richard, I think you'd better come with us."
I sighed and waved goodbye to any thought of getting closer to that safe today,
the last person who even knew that name was an ex who dumped me maybe eight, ten
years ago, and the last one to actually use it was probably my mother, so the
owner of that voice had me at the end of a good long drop, and he knew it, I
could hear it in his tone.
I turned nice and slow, keeping my hands in plain sight, and tried the old
standby, just in case I was lucky, "Excuse me ?"
The voice came from a trim blond guy wearing shades, with this little girl next
to him with one hand on the front of her coat like some halfass wannabe muscle,
it was kinda cute in a way.
"I said that you had better come with us.", well, blondie wasn't buying what I
was trying to sell him, but maybe I could pull a fade.
I might not be so good over distance anymore, but if I could just get out of
sight, maybe, and I had it plotted in my head and had just tensed up to take off
when it hit me... the kid.
She was too still, too uncurious, watching me with those strange, flat, empty
eyes... syndicate cleaner eyes, patiently waiting for me to either come with
them, or get stupid.
I swallowed hard and froze, it seemed there might be some truth to a couple of
those wild rumors after all.
I looked up at blondie, and while his face was a mask and his eyes buried behind
those sunglasses, he was smirking at me inside, I could feel it, watching that
whole chain of thought run through my mind and come to a sudden screeching halt.
I blew out a long sigh, and said "Ok, where we to, then?"

Chap2 - SHOW ME THE HOOK.
And shortly I found myself sitting in an office, in front of a desk manned by a
guy who reminded me a bit of some police chiefs, but he was a little too sharp, a
little too hard looking, for that soft a job.
He reached into his desk and pulled out a file, my file, I assumed, and it was
very thick.
I knew right then they had me, whatever hook they dangled in front of me, I was
going to have to take a nice big bite on it and hope I got out of this one alive.
I must have winced when it hit the desk, cause the old guy kind of smirked at me,
checkmate, and naught to do but play the moves out.
"What do you want ?" I asked him.
"You're very direct Richard, are you feeling poorly today ?"
Oh crap, he KNEW, which meant he knew everything, check, mate and match.
"I'm ok, look, you've got me cold, allright, so whatever it is you have in mind,
let's hear it, I don't got time to dance no more."
"No, you don't, some day soon you're going to cough those bad lungs of yours
right out your nose, and that's only if your liver doesn't go belly up or your
kidneys finally choke on you."
"Hey!"
"You don't have long at all, Richard, it would be in your interests to listen to
our proposal, and perhaps atone for some of the life you've lead, or, you can
stand up and walk out that door right now, but if you choose to hear me out, you
don't get to leave."
"Of course, if you do leave, you won't live out the year anyway, so it's of no
concern to me, but what if we could buy you some time ?"
I looked at the door, knowing the fate that awaited me, one way or another, if I
walked through it, and noticed blondie and the kid were still quietly standing
there, waiting.
I turned back to the sharp old guy behind the desk.
"Okay, I'm all ears, but is this really an appropriate conversation to be having
in front of a kid ?"
"Rico isn't just a kid, Richard, she is a cyborg, one of our little pet projects,
and she does for us what the cleaners do for the syndicate, only better."
Oh CRAP!, glad I didn't run!
"So, the rumors are true, then ?"
"Yes, most probably they are."
"So what's in this for me ?"
"Our medical technology is very advanced, Richard, we can't save you, but we can
buy you some time, in exchange for your... services."
I thought that one over a bit.
"I hate to tell you this guy, but I ain't really up to the job no more, gettin
too old, too slow."
Old boy had other plans in mind, however.
"Not that, we need you as a trainer, a handler, for one of our cyborgs, you came
reccommended by Hilshire as potentially useful for that purpose, you haven't much
in the way of conscience or morals, but you do stay bought, and that's important
to us."
I knew I should have capped that creep Hilshire when I had the chance...
"How are you gonna trust me?"
"Because we'll be the one's keeping you alive."
Checkmate, damn.

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Re: VERY rough draft/incomplete.

Post by Guest on Thu 14 Feb 2008 - 10:02

Chap3 - PICKING FLOWERS.
*sigh*
"I'll take four-B, and let's call her Daisy, ok?"
So many tragedies, so many broken, tormented children, maybe I don't have much in
the way of feelings, but I do have a soft spot for kids, as that rat Hilshire no
doubt told em... and this had been a hellish, downright awful day, watching this
parade of human tragedy grind on that soft spot all day long.
4B was a Jane Doe, found lying in an alley, unconscious, half dead from exposure,
malnutrition and neglect, as unloved as a person could get, and as a result,
completely catatonic.
Maybe it wasn't love I was offering her, but it was life, and given a choice, we
choose life, even when it's ugly.
"So what now ?" I asked Jean, the tight, sparse blond I had met before.
He was ok, a bit stiff, but I wasn't in any mood for sympathy, and if I ran into
Hilshire without his borg with him, I'd have likely handed him his head on a
plate, so better to pair up with Jean for the moment, especially since I didn't
quite know what to feel about myself for getting involved in this right now, I
mostly just wanted to puke.
"Now they send her in for initial conditioning, and run you through the wringer
to see what they can do with what's left of you."
Oh I wasn't lookin forward to that....

Chap4 - RANGE DAY
I'll say this much for the agencies doctors, they're right good, but their
bedside manner leaves a lot to be desired.
I finished loading the Taurus .40 I had picked out for my little flower, I am
rather fond of the company and this little gem seemed to strike a good balance
between firepower, staying power, and size.
Never liked 9mm, just didn't ever care for the caliber, but fifteen rounds of
.40SW should ruin the day for our marks just fine.
I am not quite sure how I feel about my little flower just yet, this tiny dark
haired waif with enormous brown eyes you could drown in, all I really want to do
is pat her on the head, give her a lollipop and send her home to loving parents,
and here I am... about to make her a killer, god I hate myself for this
sometimes.
One thing I'll say about miss daisy, she sure doesn't say much.
I don't know if that is from the catatonia, the conditioning, or her nature, but
she rarely says anything at all and when she does it's in this tiny little voice
that just makes even my cold, black heart ache for her.
Am I really atoning for anything here, or just damning myself even further to
that final fiery destination ?
I've given her the manual and ten minutes to read it, before we start, the docs
say there's nothing physically wrong with her, and her information processing
should be very quick in comparison, so we'll see.
I've put up the targets at eight meters, should be good for a start, I don't want
her to get discouraged early on and lose that edge of enthusiasm that makes
learning easier.
She picks up the pistol, oh so huge in her tiny little hand, and gestures towards
the targets with it.
"Yes, go ahead, remember, it will make a very loud noise and jump back in your
hand when you fire it, so be ready for that and don't freak out or drop it, okay
?"
She nods, turns to the targets, BLAM.. BLAM, BLAM, BLAM.
The fifth shot clips the shoulder of the target, after four clean misses.
"Wow, you suck."
She turns to me, pulls in her bottom lip and those whirlpool eyes fill up, and I
cringe.
"No, no, don't turn on the waterworks, kiddo, I'm only joking, everyone sucks at
this when they first start, you'll get better, I promise!"
All the while those eyes threatening to turn at any moment into heart wrenching
waterfalls clawing at my already tattered soul.
I have opted for minimal conditioning, as this kid was so far gone when we got
her, I am ever fearful of pushing her over the edge, and painful though it is to
admit, I am not just afraid for her, but afraid of her, she will become a
powerful and dangerous entity through this conditioning and training, and you can
hurt yourself with powerful tools if you fail to operate them correctly.
They told me about Elsa, I will not make that mistake, but I worry for making
others.
She reloads now, her hands are quick, nimble, precise, as mine once were, I see
some potential here.
"Don't get used to those sights, little flower, I am going to file them off next
week, use the whole gun, like it's a part of your body, instead of a tool you are
holding."
She nods, instruction heard, acknowledged, it's almost creepy how this bond is
forming without either of us really wanting it.

Chap5 - PING-PONG
Jean said that the girls take time to adjust to the cybernetics, and we should
encourage activities that help them refine their control and precision.
I have selected the game of ping-pong, and I fully intend to kick her little
butt.
"Your serve, little flower" as I toss the ball to her.
CRACK-WHiffffff
Holy CRAP!
"Um, ok, your point."
CRACK-WHiffffff
"Geeze, kid, take it easy on an old man, will you?!"
She giggles, and serves me a soft one, and we bat it back and forth for a while.
I try to snake it to a corner and she slams another home on me, damn.
It appears I have stuck my head in the lions mouth here, but she's serving the
long way crosstable every time, maybe I can turn that on her.
CRACK-WHiff-POP-Pting-CRACK-WHifffff
Or maybe not.
"Don't get cocky, kid, you don't have me yet" I grumble, wheezing a little.
She sticks her tongue out at me and serves a softie, we bat it back and forth,
when I start to get the pains.
No, no, not here, not in front of the kid!
I start wheezing, then hacking, my vision dims and fills with little pinpricks as
I fall to my knees.
"NO, RICHARD!" I hear her shriek, as she grabs clingingly at me, doing my ability
to breathe no good at all, and I hear Triela on the house phone calling the Docs.
And it all goes black.

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Re: VERY rough draft/incomplete.

Post by Guest on Thu 14 Feb 2008 - 10:03

Chap6 - TRUTH AND CONSEQUENCES
My eyes drag open, slow, white ceiling tiles, oh boy... and now, right on cue.
"While your courage is indisputable, I call your intelligence into question."
Good ole Doc Bianichi, and not going to pull his punches today, nope.
"Whatever possessed you to try competing with your cyborg at a physical contest,
even a mild one ?"
"A few more attacks like that, and there won't be anything anyone could do for
you, I forbid you to play pingpong with the girls, or any other activity
requiring physical exertion, as I have told Triela when she dragged you in here,
and she will so inform the others."
"I'm afraid your table tennis days are over, Richard, and for once you might have
sense enough to admit it."
Nope, not pulling any punches at all.
"Okay, okay doc, have a little mercy!" I wheeze.
"I am being merciful Richard, I am trying to keep you alive, and without very
much help from you in that respect, I might add, you would do well to start
curbing your vices, at the very least."
"I've taken the liberty of confiscating your cigarettes, and your rum, you may of
course replace them, but you will have to do it yourself, when you are phsyically
capable of leaving the wheelchair on your own power."
I wonder if I could convince little flower to beat the crap out of this guy for
me...
Speaking of which, I turn my head... sure enough.
There she stands, red eyed, arms crossed, in full pout.
"Oh yes, I made sure she heard this, you have a responsibility as a handler, to
your fratello, and when your personal vices impact your health in a way that
affects that, expect to hear about it both from me and Lorenzo, who will, of
course, be reprimanding you for this incident."
Oh that's just GREAT.
"All right doc, I'll try, but you're dealing with the habits of a lifetime here,
cut me a little slack, will you ?"
"I did, initially, and look what you did with it, miss Daisy, help me put the old
fool in his wheelchair."
"HEY!"
Not that I am in much of a position to resist such manhandling, or girl handling,
as it is, but it's still embarrassing, which is no doubt what Doc intended.

Chap 7 - NEEDLEPOINT
Well, so much for ping-pong, although now that they have the table, the girls
play each other on occasion, makes me dizzy to even watch.
I had Jose pick up some needlepoint kits the last time he took Henrietta out for
a reward, since I am stuck in this chair for another day or so, this stuff is way
harder than it looks.
"Are... are you going to die ?" little flower asks me.
"Everybody does, eventually, but not today, no."
"Good, I would miss you."
Now where did THAT come from ?
How to say this, without freaking her out...
"Thing is kid, you can't worry about stuff like that, the job we do, or will be
doing, is dangerous, sure, but so is life itself."
"I mean, you could be hit by a car, have a building fall on you, or even
lightning strike you and boom, you're done, see ?"
"So it's not something you have control over, and it's not worth worrying about,
neither you nor I have very long left in comparison to normal people, so we must
make the best of every moment we do have, instead of worrying about things we
cannot change."
She nods, instruction heard, acknowledged.
"You could ease up on your vices."
Oh, I know where that one came from.
"Doc Bianichi told you to keep reminding me, didn't he ?"
She nods, staring at me with those whirlpool eyes.
I sigh.
"I'll try, kid... I will try, okay ?"
Was that, just a flash of a smile as she bent her head back to her needlework ?
I don't know, she weirds me sometimes, mostly she's closed off, almost robotic at
times, but once in a while there's this little flash of the person she was, or
might have been, in there, and that hurts the worst.
Because I don't know if I gave that back, or took it from her.

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Re: VERY rough draft/incomplete.

Post by Guest on Thu 14 Feb 2008 - 10:03

Chap 8 - SHORT HANDED.
"I am telling you Lorenzo, I need another fratello for backup on this!"
"And I am telling you, we don't have anyone to spare, all our people are out on
assignment!"
"Four rooms, ten guys, if our intel is correct, and I am not mobile enough to be
much help, can we maybe borrow some people from section one ?"
"Over my dead body, they know too much as it is."
"We could ask Claes." pipes in little flower, shocking us both because she mostly
never says anything at all.
"I don't know, kid..." glancing significantly at Lorenzo.
"Well, she did perform quite well on her own previously, do you think you are up
to the job of handling two of our girls in the field ?"
"I can try, but only if Claes agrees to it, I don't want to cross up with some
leftover instruction or conditioning and have a problem because of it."
"Agreed" Lorenzo grunts
"If she'll go with you, use Claes as backup."

Chap 9 - CLAES.
I knock softly on the door.
"Come in."
"Hello Claes, can we talk ?" I ask, seating myself at the table and wondering if
I am about to step on a landmine here.
"Sure, about what ?"
I explain the situation to her, in detail, making it clear this suggestion came
from Daisy herself, rather than us, in case her conditioning has bonded her to
the other girls in default of a handler.
She glances at little flower, and something passes between them in that look, but
I don't know what.
"Okay, I will help."
She takes her glasses off and puts them in the case, this has some meaning
between them, but it escapes me and I don't dare pry, not when attempting to
handle a girl I have no bond with.
"All right, let's go then."

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Re: VERY rough draft/incomplete.

Post by Guest on Thu 14 Feb 2008 - 10:04

Chap 10 - WOULD YOU LIKE FRIES WITH THAT
"Ok, here's how it goes, the place is mostly abandoned except our targets, and in
this neighborhood a few more gunshots won't draw too much attention, but be
discreet if you can."
Daisy nods, instruction heard, acknowledged.
She screws the silencer onto the tapped barrel of her pistol.
Claes seems not to have brought a gun, but at close quarters in a building, I am
not overly concerned, and I don't want to push any boundries with her.
"Daisy, you go in the front, up the steps, Claes, you take the fire escape, and
enter that way when Daisy takes out the door, so you can hit them from two
directions and keep them confused, okay ?"
"Okay" from Clase, Daisy just nods.
"Off you go then."
I wait in the car, feeling old and helpless.
We've found that on the job, the best I can really do is guard a static spot like
a door or stairwell, I can still shoot straight, but there's no way I can run,
dodge or chase someone, and for this one, we might need a discreet getaway driver
more than anything else.
The minutes tick by, a single shot rings out, then another, then silence.
Claes comes out the back window, and reaches back in, dragging something out.. oh
no... oh wait...
What the hell, her and Daisy are carrying one of the marks down the fire escape,
and it looks like they tied him up, is he still alive ?
They come around to the car.
"We thought you might like a prisoner, it was Claes's idea.", Daisy offers
tenatively.
I notice a large bruise on the marks forehead, he's going to be hating life for a
while when he comes to, that's for sure.
I recall that I did not explicitly order them to kill everyone.
"Good job, I think you've both earned yourselves some ice cream, load him in the
trunk so the people at the parlor don't freak out, okay ?"
"Okay!"
"We got him coming out of the bathroom, he didn't even have a gun, so Claes
clobbered him and I tied him up!" Daisy offers cheerfully, sounding quite proud
of herself.
"It was easy." from Claes, as she opens the case and puts her glasses back on,
perhaps she has a phobia about them being broken, I don't know.
"Okay kids, think about what flavors you like, because we'll have to have our ice
cream on the way back, I want to unload our baggage on the boss as soon as we
can."

Chap 11 SIDE ORDER
"You what ?!" Lorenzo barks, eyes bugging out at me.
"Took a prisoner, apparently they caught him unarmed and easy, and Claes
suggested we might want one, since they had him in hand."
"I only realized afterword that I did not specifically order them to kill
everyone, just 'clean the place out' and you know how literal these girls can be
sometimes."
"Yeah, I do, so what did you do with him ?"
"He's in the trunk of my car, tied up neat as you please and probably suffering
from a concussion besides."
"Heh, give me your keys, we'll have someone collect him and have a nice long talk
with him."
"Here, if you don't mind my asking, what happened to Claes's original handler ?"
"Same thing that's no doubt going to happen to you, his own stupidity got the
better of him."
"You're a real nice fellow, Lorenzo, let me know if you get anything useful out
of my luggage, right ?"
"Yeah."

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Re: VERY rough draft/incomplete.

Post by Guest on Thu 14 Feb 2008 - 10:05

Chap 12 WIN SOME, LOSE SOME
Sometimes, things just don't go according to the plan.
It didn't help that I was already thinking of how to reward my little flower for
the job when things went wrong, that's what I get for getting ahead of myself.
We came down the alley to cover the back door, when it opened before we got
there, maybe they needed to take a leak, or put out the trash, or something.
But they spotted us, just as we spotted them, and the one with the assault rifle
was too good with it for my liking.
He lit us up and Daisy threw herself in front of me, I know she took several
hits, and two of those slugs creased my side as well, but the third one coming
through her little body slammed into my chest with enough force for me to lose
footing and fall, and Daisy landed on me, face up, a moment later.
I scrabbled for my puny colt mustang, although with my vision dimmed to pinpricks
and my hearing reduced to a mild drone punctuated by the muzzle blasts of Daisys
pistol, what I was going to do with it I wasn't quite sure, but I wanted it in
hand anyway.
The muzzle blasts stopped, followed by some words from my little flower that she
could have only learned from Triela, or maybe Jean, very not nice words.
My vision had cleared enough for me to see her whole left arm just kind of
flopping about, damaged so badly I hardly recognized it, and I realized mine was
pinned under me when I fell, and in a sort of time stretched moment it occured to
me those words were because she could not reload, so I raised my pistol and tried
to twist my head to see.
She snatched it from my hand and began to fire again, and after a moment of
fumbling, I grabbed the Taurus and pushed it to my side where I could feel it,
then started fumbling at her belt for a magazine.
It took a moment before what she was saying sank into my desperate attempt to
reload her pistol for her.
"It's ok, they're dead" she was saying over and over, in a sort of breathless
mantra.
"Are you okay?" I managed to croak, or something that sounded a bit like it, I
was fading fast, that chest hit was bad, how bad I didn't even want to know.
"I...I can hardly breathe, and I can't move my arm." she wheezed.
"Ya.. did good... kid." as I faded out.

CHAP 13 - I'M OK, YOU'RE OK, IT's ALL OK.
Ungh, I know that ceiling, never thought I'd be happy to see it though.
"Glad to see you're still with us, Richard."
"The girl?"
"She's fine, better than you, actually, since a lot of her is replaceable."
"How bad is it."
"Not too bad, but you have a mildly fractured sternum, which combined with your
existing respiratory difficulties is going to limit you to a wheelchair for a
while."
"Took my smokes and rum too, didn't you ?"
Some days I hate you, Bianichi.
"Yes, I did, but I doubt you will miss them for a while, as I will have to
heavily medicate you just so that you can breathe normally."
"Oh that's just great, can I go see her ?"
"Actually, she came to see you."
I look over and there she is, looking none the worse for wear, holding the
handles of a wheelchair and making little engine noises.
"Kid, before we go out again, I am going to buy you a bulletproof coat."

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Re: VERY rough draft/incomplete.

Post by Guest on Sat 16 Feb 2008 - 8:31

CHAP 14 - FOOL ME ONCE.
Some days I wonder if our world would be better off if kids ran it, and other
days I ain't so sure they don't.
Finally ditched the smokes, thanks to the constant nagging of little flower and
the rest of the girls, they got this way of looking at you that just saps the
will right out of you, and every time I tried to put one in my mouth and light
it, I found myself staring down the twin barrels of that look from one of em.
I know who put em up to that, and I ain't exactly sure if I wanna thank him or
cap him for it, considering what I have to do with the time he's buying me.
I was worried that Daisy wouldn't get on with the others at first, but somehow
she does, even if she never does say much, maybe she's a good listener, and it's
not like you can get a word in edgewise on Rico anyway when she's on about
something.
Here she comes now, with Rico, Triela, and..urgh, Hilshire.
He's good, I give him that, always have, but he's got that reek of cop all over
him and it grinds my nerves, besides which, he got me into this.
The feeling appears to be entirely mutual as he gives me a hefty dose of the cop
eye from range, and I suppress the earnest desire to flip him the bird.
He veers off for administration and the girls come onto the range.
"Hmmph! you two need to take a chill pill, I swear!"
Oh joy, and now Trielas two pennies worth.
"Easy there Triela, I didn't say nothing, go down to the other end and practice,
cause I need to talk with Daisy and I'd like to do that without your brass
bouncing off the top of my head, okay ?"
She snorts and strides off in a bit of a huff, but what can you do ?
"You don't like Hilshire ?" little flower asks.
"Oh it's nothing like that, this goes back a long time, and we don't have to like
each other to work together, so it's not like it matters."
She nods, instruction heard, acknowledged.
"I brought you out here because we're going to upgrade your personal armament,
these goons we're dealing with play a lot rougher than I am used to, and we got
our butts kicked because of that, something I would rather not happen again."
She nods again.
I hand her the revolver.
"This is a .357 magnum backup gun, in the field it will be loaded with armor
piercing in case you need to shoot through something, or someone wearing armor."
I raise an eyebrow at her new coat, that and "Matilda" pretty much wiped our
expenses budget, but that isn't her concern, it's my job.
"You can use .38 special in that, too, if you have to, so make a note."
She nods and starts paging through the manual.

CHAP 15 - MATILDA AND MENACE.
I let her fire that a while, get a feel for it, while I practiced with the Vz61 I
picked up on the cheap, along with a Bersa thunder to back up my Colt mustang.
"Richard ?"
"Yes, little flower ?"
"Why do all your guns have such little bullets ?"
"Because I'm an old man with weak hands and they don't kick so much."
She nods, I pick up the viola case, groaning with the effort cause the damn thing
weighs twenty some pounds, and set it on the table.
"Kid, I want to introduce you to Matilda."
I flip open the case, admiring the work of art within, our armory guys really had
a lot of fun with this baby, even modified the case a little for me.
We took an M1928 Thompson, removed the stock completely, cut down the barrel a
bit and added a suppressor, then shimmed a ventilated barrel shroud over it to
act as a heat sink and keep the barrel from burning out.
"That's a big magazine."
"Yes it is, little flower, it holds a hundred bullets, but there's only room for
one in the case, so spend them wisely, and try to keep your bursts short, this
thing can run wild on you if you're not careful."
"Since it doesn't have a stock, it will take more effort and practice to use it
well, hold it low and let your arms soak up the recoil instead of fighting it, or
you'll just spray everywhere and not hit anything."
She nods, instruction heard, acknowledged.
For all that she doesn't talk, she's a quick learner, the weight of the piece
doesn't seem to matter to her like I thought, and she's picked up the trick of
walking the burst on without me telling her, before she emptied the first mag,
kind of gives me the willies sometimes, she does.
We reload the drum and when she pulls the cocking lever, I see the barest hint of
a smirk cross her little face.
"Like that, do you ?"
"Is it wrong... to like this ?"
"Some people might say so, but in the end, it's just a job, and I don't see
what's wrong with liking it, it helps you do a good job because you care, right
?"
I think on that a moment.
"Besides, it could be worse."
"Huh?"
"We could have a job cleaning sewers."
"Eeeewww!" and she giggles.
For some it bothers me so much more when she acts normal, than when she acts like
a machine, it becomes harder to do this when you have to see them as people.
I have to know.
"Does it ever bother you, little flower ?"
She turns, stares.
"That you never had a choice, that we never even asked you."
"No."
"But is that you answering me, or your conditioning, I wonder ?"
She pulls in her lower lip and makes to turn back to the range.
"Stop, I want an answer, Daisy, I think I deserve that."
She turns back and stares at me, flat eyed, this is the first time I have ever
seen that look from her, that empty, cold, bone freezing stare of death and I
wonder if I am about to end up like Lauro.
I swallow hard and stand my ground, I want to know, I NEED to know, or I just
can't keep doing this.
And then, that fast, it's gone, and her little eyes fill up with unshed tears.
"No, it doesn't bother me, please don't make me stop!"
"What ?!"
"I like it, I really do, I like the smell of gunpowder and the feel of metal and
people around me that actually care and that I am actually here, that I am alive,
and most of all I like looking at someone, anyone and knowing I can kill them if
you let me, it's... it's like being god."
"Please don't take it away from me."
And the tears start streaming down her face.
It's all I can do to keep my jaw from hitting the sand, if I was a single ounce
more frightened, I would be needing new underwear.
I try to keep my voice from cracking.
"It's ok, I understand, little flower, I just needed to hear it from you, is
all."
She nods, instruction heard, acknowledged.
Turns back to her shooting.
Oh. my. god.
I haven't victimized her, far from it, all the while I have been at the very
hearth of hell and stoking the devils fire for him!
I need a drink or six, to even try to make sense of what I just heard.
"Practice till dark, then pack up and clean them."
She nods.
I stagger off in a daze, meaning to drink myself senseless the moment I can lay
hand to enough booze to do it.

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Re: VERY rough draft/incomplete.

Post by Guest on Sat 16 Feb 2008 - 11:19

CHAP 16 - RUM AND REALIZATIONS
I hadn't really meant to start a fight, not consciously, at least.
I didn't want to chance driving while so shaky, and so I trudged stiff legged
down the block some to this little place where much of the SWA goes to drown
their plentiful sorrows, and mine were plentiful indeed.
For I have become a monster, and I have created another, as if it had been doctor
Jekyll, rather than Frankenstein, who created the Promethean man.
I told the bartender to set me up, and leave the bottle, and he didn't even
flinch, or bat an eyelash, just set me up and left me alone.
Given his usual clientele, I could see why, nobody asks questions because nobody
wants the answers, the truth is pure poison to these people.
What have I done, how did it ever come to this ?
I took a long, solid gulp of rum, letting it burn its way down, and my eyes
misted up on me, I've only ever cried twice in my life, over a puppy when I was
six, and over my mother when working too hard to keep us fed finally did her in.
And here I was, with the waterworks backing up over a kid who, all things
considered, might be better served with a wooden stake and an exorcist, just to
make sure.
She frightened me so deep it went past fear, left me stunned, in shock at the
pure evil of it, like a childs nightmare suddely come true and reaching out of
the closet for his red, beating heart, to firmly grasp it, rip it from his chest
and take a nice, juicy bite.
And I was responsible for that, in some part, because I helped create what she
became.
And while drowning in this fugue of misery and rum, the bottle mostly empty now
though damned if I remember drinking it, I heard some smartass from section one
behind me going on.
"One of those perverts from section two, you know, the.."
And before I realized it, that jerk was the sudden and much shocked recipient of
a thrown barstool.
And before it even landed, I realized somewhere in the back of my mind, that in
spite of all she was, in spite of the fact that some part of me considered her a
monster... that I loved Daisy as I had never loved anything in this life before,
not even my own.
I picked up another barstool, grinning.
I might be an old man, but I was doing this and worse before most of these
section one boys were puking on mommys shoulder, and school was in session.
Where that might have gone, if Jose and Hilshire hadn't shown and broke it up, I
don't think I would have minded too much, but those boys would have minded
plenty, I'm sure.
Class dismissed, you punks, but you might get your chance yet.

CHAP 17 - THE FRANKENSTEIN MOMENT.
"I'm sorry, were you enjoying yourself ?" Hilshire asked in that snarky cop talk
kind of way, as he more or less frogmarched me back towards base with Jose
walking drag in case any of the section one punks decided to make something of it
after all.
"No I wasn't, Hick.", reminding him we'd been less than friends even when he was
still a rookie cop and I was a street punk.
I was a little surprised when they stopped at a cafe and ordered coffee and some
pastry, apparently they wanted to talk, fine, let's talk.
And maybe, just maybe, I might find an excuse to feed YOU a barstool, Hick.
"We call it the frankenstein moment." offers Jose.
I glance sharply at him, offended that this softshoe knows what I was thinking.
I don't get on well with Henrietta, either, she's a sweet kid, but I made the
mistake of mocking Jose for his slackerhood in front of her, and came pretty
close to getting brained with a ping pong paddle before I had the sense to
apologise, and she kind of still holds a little grudge about it.
"What are you you talking about ?" I rebuff, just to rattle him, something about
Jose bothers me, always has, and Hilshire being here ain't helpin my nerves any.
Especially now that he lets out a little hiss and decides to play bad cop.
"What he's talking about, you mule stubborn reject from the goon squad, is the
moment when you realize that they are NOT really little girls at all, for all
that they seem to be."
"But they are, well, some part of them still is." counters Jose, no doubt playing
good cop to Hilshire here.
"But only part, and the rest of it can break a man when he comes face to face
with it."
Ah, that explains Claes, now doesn't it ?
"Yeah, I guess, but when that punk back there shot off his mouth, I realized I
still cared, well, enough to fight about it anyhow, so what am I gonna do now,
quit ? yeah right, cause you know, I seem to have gotten the idea that this
agency of yours is the kind of organisation you only leave feet first, besides,
where would I go ?"
Hilshire looks about to offer a few ideas of his own on that subject, but Jose
cuts him off before he hands me the kind of excuse I'm looking for.
"She's in there, Richard, somewhere, they all are, even with the conditioning and
everything else, they're still people, still human beings."
"You think so, then ?"
"I know so, look at Henrietta, or Triela, are they just robots ?"
I bite back a snicker at the look on Hilshires face, for I know Triela quite
well, always with her own mind on something and not at all shy about handing you
a piece of it.
"Allright, you've sold me, tell me, did you come to drink, or just to break up
the impending brawl before those section one punks got hurt ?"
Hilshire snorts, even Jose snickers, I feel a bit insulted here.
"Actually we came to get you, Lorenzo has called an all hands meeting as soon as
we can get everyone together."
I slug down the last dregs of coffee and pull my coat off the chair.
"Allright, let's go."

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Re: VERY rough draft/incomplete.

Post by Nachtsider on Sat 16 Feb 2008 - 15:23

Not bad thus far, my friend - apart from the onomatopoeia, which I don't really approve of. Even when I draw comics, I never insert sound effects. But that's just me.

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There may be no peace for the wicked, but the righteous can damn well get a piece whenever they feel like it.
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Re: VERY rough draft/incomplete.

Post by Guest on Sat 16 Feb 2008 - 18:57

Well, that's just pure lazyness, it doesn't fit so well, I know, but it's useful as a quick placeholder when you don't want to interrupt a train of thought you're trying to hold in place as stuff piles up behind it.
That and the lack of slang are things I mean to address in the final cut.

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Re: VERY rough draft/incomplete.

Post by Probit Return on Sun 17 Feb 2008 - 14:55

It's looking good. I'm looking forward to the final cut. Nothing I can really help you with, so I'd say you're good to go.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Did you say "Nerd"?

Fission Mailed

"What do you mean 'What the hell is a Funyarinpa?' You mean... you don't know?"
"How the hell would I know?"
"How could you not know?! That's... that's practically blasphemous! Say you're sorry! Apologize to the Funyarinpa! Goodness, you are such a rude woman..."
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Re: VERY rough draft/incomplete.

Post by Guest on Sun 17 Feb 2008 - 15:37

I have to do some research first, some geography relative to italy, and some of the capabilities and technology of the SWA, wouldn't mind some help with it, but to do so will likely spoilerize some of the story for you.

*definately* gonna need some help editing with proper line/paragraph breaks, and cleaning out what looks to me like way too many commas.

I've never done anything even remotely like this before, so bear with me here.

I you don't mind knowin how things are gonna go and want to help me with some of the research, PM me and I'll get to it when I ain't on the road, ok?

Oh, for them that might not catch it, a lot of the quasi-religious thinking from richard is because being raised italian in a poor family, his mother made him go to church so he would grow up a good catholic boy - which didn't work out, obviously, but it's part of his upbringing, and typical of the culture.

-F

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Re: VERY rough draft/incomplete.

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