Zane was leaning against the wall in the Council chamber, half-listening to the humans’ conversation and half-thinking about Risa. About how she was handling her brother, specifically. It was a relief that Alistair chose to go to her. The Angel made him nervous on the best of days. This was not one of those days. An encounter with a furious Alistair was something he hoped to avoid.
Besides, Risa wasn’t doing anything else too important for interruptions at the moment. She’d already dealt with the situation with the Mid-grounds humans (he was still on the fence about using Chrys’ “Aviphiles” nickname; it seemed accurate enough, but she’d made a few irritating comments about his apartment that made him reluctant to agree with anything she came up with).
Liam was involved in a discussion with the Council about how to approach searching through personnel records and the staffing schedules of the demon compound, medical facilities, and record rooms. He was carrying himself and speaking with a confidence Zane had only seen from him a few times, mostly when dealing with the other guards in his unit.
Risa found herself increasingly jealous of Zane’s “one person only” communication crystal as the conversation with her brother continued. If it could even be called a conversation. She’d only managed to say two things so far: “Hello?” and “Oh, hey bro!”. Her brother, instead of answering with his usual level of concern over her well-being, had immediately launched into a rant about something that was apparently her fault. Maybe. She couldn’t really make out enough words to understand what was going on.
Not that he wasn’t being clear (he was always very articulate), but her brain had, upon recognizing that she was being yelled at, switched into “NOPE NOPE” mode and shut off all functions necessary for processing words. She took another lick of her ice cream and considered the sprinkles on the side she hadn’t touched yet as she let the assorted angry noises go in one ear and out the other.
“I don’t know why this makes me so angry,” Liam commented as he leaned against one of the windows in the waiting room outside the Council chamber. He sighed and let his head rest against the glass. “I knew that they would be busy scrambling to secure the broadcast channels and come up with a plan for how to address the public’s concerns.”
He was referring to the Council, of course. The two of them had been in that waiting room for the better part of an hour now. They had yet to see the Council themselves, but they’d had an excellent view of all the members of the Guard and other people who had been running back and forth between the stairs and the chamber. Zane only had to push his senses a little bit to hear the raised voices inside the room. It was the auditory equivalent of the phrase “running around like a chicken without a head”.
“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.