“How long has Risa known about the exams?” William asked, breaking the several long moments of silence that followed the demon’s explanation that, yes, the Overcurrent really was using medical exams to murder children.
So far he’d told them nothing but the truth. The more he’d thought about it, the less benefit he saw in not doing so. They already knew that the ulterior motive behind the exams existed, that children not killed at birth were caught later, and that the Angels knew about the exams (he had clarified that last point to make it clear that only three of the Angels knew: Risa, Aubrey, and Chrys). If he tried to lie or misdirect them, they’d be suspicious and would be less likely to believe anything he told them, even when he told them the truth.
Well, at least William would. He had been proving to have an annoyingly good understanding of Zane’s behavior these days.
There were several things Zane hated about that broadcast. Well, he hated everything about that broadcast, but there were some parts about it that particularly irked him. Specifically, that he was now going to be expected to explain on Risa’s behalf, that only some of the individuals who’d be asking for an explanation would completely believe him, and that he’d have to give the explanation multiple times to different people. That last was the one he hated most.
Just thinking about having to repeat himself caused a growl to escape him. Which was unfortunate, since it made Liam and Elaine nervous. He sighed and shook his head. “Perhaps we should go somewhere else?”
“Not until you explain what that broadcast was about,” Liam’s response came quick and just a tad too loud. Other humans nearby broke out of their trances to look.
(Note: Oops. Apparently the downside to writing on a netbook that’s currently refusing to connect to the internet is that, after transferring the finished file to a flash drive so that I could use my desktop to post it later on, my brain immediately crossed this second part of the update off my to-do list. I, uh, kind of forgot that it wasn’t posted yet. My bad. :< )
It had been almost a week since the stable fire. Zane spent the second night he stayed in Liam’s home moving furniture around in the guest room that Liam practically begged him to stay in instead of watching him sleep again. He also gave it a good, thorough cleaning for the first time in he wasn’t sure how long. The next night, he gave similar attention to all the rooms on the ground floor. Humans, especially those of the Overcurrent, really had no sense of how a room should flow.
The satisfaction he got from standing back when he was done and feeling the positive changes in room atmosphere was almost as enjoyable as the look of bewilderment on Liam’s face the next morning. That look was so enjoyable, in fact, that he went ahead and gave the rest of the rooms the same treatment the next night. All except Liam’s room. There wasn’t much to be done with a room that small.
(Note: Due to time management failure, I’m not completely done with the second half of this week’s update yet. Since the unfinished half is going to be shifting the focus back to the Overcurrent, I didn’t see any reason not to post the first half now. Second half will be up by Friday, stay tuned!)
Risa found it immensely satisfying to take Crow out of his comfort zone. Literally and figuratively in this case. She once again fought back the satisfied smirk that had been threatening to make an appearance ever since she’d seen the thinly veiled glower on Crow’s face as he took the seat across from her at the bakery café. The same café that Peri had met her and Ami at before taking them to see Six.
Speaking of Peri, she’d emailed recently to say that she was back in NY for a short trip to pack up her apartment. Apparently, she was being reassigned to the office under Crow for the foreseeable future. Risa figured it was because the humans saw her as successful for getting Risa to come back. A promotion kinda? It was kind of annoying to think that Peri had harassed Ami and William in order to earn a promotion.
There was a time in Risa’s life when the phrase “Saturday morning” was equivalent with “cartoons” to her. As she’d gotten older (and, more importantly, the cartoon offerings had gotten lame), Saturday mornings became mornings where she could freely sleep in without being expected to do otherwise. Then, she’d gotten into college and could dictate her own schedule so that she could sleep in every morning. Saturdays were still special, though, because her friends also were able to sleep in and that meant that they’d stay up late with her on Fridays.
Now, she hadn’t even realized that it was a Saturday morning. When she’d seen the day of the week on Bigfoot while checking her email over breakfast, it filled her with a sense of significant loss. The same feeling she’d had as a kid when she’d sat down to continue the epic adventures of her toys and suddenly realized that holding them didn’t fill her with the sense of magic and wonder that she’d come to depend on as an escape from the reality of being alone so often.
It was part of a distressing pattern of time getting increasingly fuzzier in her mind. On some level, she’d recognized it happening, but was able to push thinking about it aside because of all the other things going on. Ami scolding her over going so long without talking to them had brought it into sharp focus. Being back in the Mid-grounds just made it even harder to ignore. Time was just such a big deal in the Mid-grounds. Every person and thing had a schedule to keep to. Except her.
Normally, after calling someone three times without answer, a person would accept that that someone is busy and go do something else for a while. Risa continued trying to call Zephyr instead. She justified it by reminding herself that crystals don’t have voicemail or caller id functions, so how was he supposed to know that she wanted to speak to him unless she called him every thirty seconds until he picked up? Clearly, the best solution was to keep trying.
Not that it was a very good solution, though, since every attempt to connect ate up a little more of her energy. It got to a point where she had no choice but to stop. She flopped back onto the rug in her living room and started rolling around.
“Are you alright?”
Risa stopped flat on her back and wiggled around until she could see Aubrey. “FML.”
Negotiating with the Mid-grounds was a very different experience from negotiating with the Overcurrent. When she tried to get the Overcurrent to do things, she could usually expect it to take a while (except for that last time with Aubrey, that had been an exception). There would be a lot of talking amongst themselves, then talking with her, then some back and worth and trying to threaten them. Negotiating with Crow made her wonder if there was actually anyone higher in the organization than him. It all seemed too fast for a government organization.
Risa and her bros had been lounging in the conference room Peri led them to for only a couple hours before being summoned back to Crow’s office. Where she was handed a written contract that was several pages long, front and back. Risa couldn’t help but wonder if that meant the contract had already been written up ahead of time. Maybe he’d had a document on his computer that he’d just made a few quick adjustments to after speaking to his boss? Or had he even done that? Had he just sent her out of the room to give the impression that he was talking to other people about her proposal when really he had the authority to make these decisions all on his own?
That was probably her just being paranoid, though. Did he really have anything to gain from doing something like that? Probably not. Unless it was just a thing to make them appear to be a larger, more powerful organization than they actually were?