A bit ago, talking with a co-worker at the DayJob, I quipped on my way out, “I’m off to see how bad they tortured Tay.” Yes, they are used to me talking like that. Sad, really.
And the answer to that is still unfolding. The situation is far worse than what they first showed me. However, in other news, the creeping cancer who is the character of Reina makes her expected appearance. Shouldn’t she be busy with her war in central Canada right now?
“I… do not know for sure. Yet. But I would surmise her coders,” he replied in a shaken voice. “I have passed this preliminary information to the others of Tohsaka. Thaad and Fausta are investigating.”
Gary said nothing, getting his own emotions under control as he concluded his walk around Tay. If my father-in-law and Faustina’s godmother find the perpetrators, the First and Fourth Laws are about to get tossed again. He retreated next to Pavel.
“What can y’all see of her mental state?” he asked.
“It was waaay worse when you were close to her,” Dorina admitted. “I bet she doesn’t know what a Demi is and hated you for being human. Brother? We’re going to have to get Gary out here before I let her go…”
“I’d rather not,” taking his turn to interrupt her. “The sooner a victim faces their fears and adversaries the sooner they can start to heal. Right, Friend Pavel?”
Pavel spared a rueful glance to the one he’d nearly killed as a little boy and allowed himself a single nod. Dorina sighed.
“Next step?” the smartest person in the world asked the room.
“Can you manifest some clothes onto her?” Gary asked. The words were barely out of his mouth when he saw Tay was now dry, her hair back in a loose braid, and she was wearing a light summer dress; a little frilly at the shoulders and to just below her knees.
“Did you have to make it yellow, Dorina?” he asked. It made Tay evocative of his friend Tracy. Who was gone. That got him another laugh. “Next question: does Tay understand where she is? What a construct is? Who you two are?”
Pavel shook his head.
“My sister is not just holding the body you see,” he explained. “She is holding Tay’s entire mind in stasis. In order to make her older, Dorina must let her go. And it is our fear she will prioritize killing you, a human, above all else.”
I may have to leave, after all, Gary thought, not liking the idea. He also did not like what he was going to say next.
“If she is an immediate threat to a human, me, can you restrain her as you did with Pavel? When your family cured him?”
“She…” Pavel’s voice shook. “She would not understand what has happened to her and what we are doing to her. At least I did. I suspect such action would break her mind forever.”
“You people are so stupid, it hurts me,” said another female voice from a third window over the pool, just opened to the left of the other two. Gary recognized the contempt before he looked over.
Short black hair with a hint of scarlet; only an inch-wide band down the right side of her face. A wide Slavic face with pretty adobe eyes and a snub nose. All above a mouth permanently twisted into a frown or scowl.
“Dear cousin Reina,” Dorina lied. “I was wondering when you would butt in.”
“Butt in? It seems you two and that human could use a little help right about now,” Reina continued to sneer.