Since it seems everyone was so disappointed when the plot showed up, let’s try something else: cute girls in once-pieces and hot guys in Speedos. As my eye doc said to me yesterday afternoon: “Better? Worse?”
From chapter 13, physical page 140, of The Fourth Law:
Lily sat on a couch. On the metallic disk. Their place.
“I feel awful,” she said to no one in particular.
“Understandable,” Thaad said as he sat onto that uncomfortable backless chair of his. “Dying can be like that, I hear.”
Lily was shocked. “What do mean dying? I…”
Thaad inclined his head just a little. “What do you recall just prior to your arrival in our home?”
She thought about that for a moment. Things were usually a little mixed up whenever she ‘dropped in.’ But… it was… nighttime? Dinner was over… and…
“Some woman shot me!” Lily yelled as she jumped up. “I’ve got to…! Got to…”
“Please sit back down. Here,” he indicated the two coffee mugs on the low table, “try my coffee. I changed the blend.”
Her panic receded as quickly as it had overtaken her. She sat.
“But… Ai… and that woman…!”
Thaad took his mug and took a sip. “Mmm. Needs work. We have many strengths and many weaknesses that you humans do not. In dealing with you people, perhaps our greatest strength is how quickly we think. We are not biologics, and as such, think just below light speed. Your chemical-based brains average around the speed of sound.”
Another sip. Lily wanted him to get to his point, so she said nothing.
“Thus, in a crisis such as this, in the time it took for your heart to beat once, Ai is now a fully-trained medic and nurse. As you sit here – try the coffee, do – she is trying to save your life.”
She tried the coffee. “Okay, but too weak for me. Why am I here?”
“Weak, is it? Hmmm.”
She didn’t know if he was too wrapped up in his coffee to have heard her question.
“My apologies; it took a moment to find out your answer, and I shan’t bother Ai again. It seems she’s rather busy. You were slipping into shock. It was better, for the moment, for you to be here. If you’re needed back at your home, you’ll go.”
“Okay. And what about that woman?”
Those careful eyes took on a peculiar cast. Lily could not suppress a shiver.
“Ai physically incapacitated her. I look forward to her making me older about that and the First Law. For now, we brought that woman here. Fausta is seeing to it.”
Brought her here. Lily’s working mental model was that somehow her consciousness, mind, whatever, could be moved to wherever they claimed their ‘home’ to be. It only made sense that if they could do it to her, they could do it to anyone.
Fausta. Who had, how had Thaad put it? An ‘enthusiastic’ interest in her, and a predilection for violence. Was that First Law just more of a suggestion?
“Uhhh… how’s that turning out? Do you know why she shot me?”
He looked sharply at her. “I know the implication in your question, and, no, we are not torturing her. This woman was some kind of teacher and minor functionary at a college. When your father’s organization closed all non-technical divisions at all state-funded schools, she lost her job. Since that event, it seems she’s been working as a maid or waitress. Poorly.” Another slight incline of his head. “It seems that she’s good at nothing.”
“But,” Lily asked, confused, “why in the world did she shoot me?”
“Quite simple: she blamed your father for her loss of status. She could not lash out at him, so it was you, by proxy.” He shifted in his chair slightly. “I’ve encountered much of that with you people.”
Lily considered for a moment. “Maybe she’s just crazy?”
He set his mug down. “No. By all objective measures, she is not insane. However, Fausta assures me that this woman is evil.” His eyes again took that peculiar cast. “We’ve never had that here before.”
He blinked, and it was gone. “Would you care for a snack while we wait?”
“S-sure. That’d be fine, I guess.”
That’s interesting: not a single ‘like’ for my last post. I wonder…
- Y’all hate plot,
- WordPress is shadowbanning me,
- It sucked.
Or, some combination thereof.
I’ve left plenty of lampshades hanging, time to turn on the lights. Should be no surprises for anyone following along; I don’t like surprising readers… I’d much rather have them get to the end of chapter (or entire book), put it down, and mutter, “never thought of it that way!”
Also: when Teresa stood and said, “mess me up!” I broke out laughing. I’ve no idea where that came from! Hilarious!
Some caffeine and alcohol in the afternoon helped me to lay down the rest of their dinner. I’ve over 1k words beyond that, but it’s another day and back to political stuff with Teresa. I hope to wrap it up tomorrow and then wait and see what comes next. I think there will be one more installment with Mac, followed by the POP back to ‘present’ of Nichole with the Nation on the move…
They really are. You can learn a lot from reading my stories.
Tired from DayJob but wanted to jot down the rest of the dinner scene before it leads into Mackenzie’s history. The only problem is: they’ve not shown me anything of her history! I think the rest of her family is dead, but I’ve no real idea. I got to the last line of the tiny entry of what’s below, walked away from the computer, loaded the dishwasher, made sure my clothes were ready for the morning… and: nothing.
Tomorrow, depending on when my family returns, will be chaos. I hope we can learn the name of Mackenzie’s brother, soon.
Enough politics. The second section of this book is supposed to highlight Mac, so let’s get the camera back where it belongs. Hopefully my RealLife family is back in two days, so I might be busy cleaning up tomorrow. It’s good to be writing again; we’ll see.
Taking to Americans, especially White Americans, about any form of government different than what we have now is a huge exercise in futility. Europeans at least have a couple of thousand years playing about with nations and states. Northeast Asia has had some clever mixes of despotism. But here, it’s always “1776!” and “muh Constitution!”
It’s not just because I know history so well. There are plenty of folks who know history better than I do but flinch as if shot when I suggest that our federal republic has outlived its usefulness. I really think it has to do with family: that fact that mine is so old and predates the Republic helps, but is not the only factor. Still, having ancestors is a tremendous psychological cushion, as it were, when looking at our day to day crises.
Trying to keep some momentum up. After Mass this morning came home to at least mow the front yard. Haven’t done that in two years – what are kids for? – and managed to not have a heart attack. Did some cleaning about he house for fam’s return this week. While I miss them all, I’m really missing my wife, if you receive my meaning. Still, have managed to lay down some more words about what leads up to Nichole’s mission to the Nation: the Huns living in the badlands far east of Portland. Sneakers gotta sneak.
Typed a little during the week. Spent most of my off-work time drunk. Beginning to wonder is that pain under my right ribcage is at all related to that? Dog still dead, fam still gone… one of those two should be back Wednesday or Thursday. Three weeks to Matsuricon.
WTF is going on in Nichole’s Part Two?