Tattoo: The Books of Glory

a webserial about people who are not like us

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Tattoo Book 3.7

Posted by harmony0stars on February 22, 2009

“P-professor! I- She couldn’t p-possibly be controlled now. She’s holding the star stone. She’s safe,” Gil stuttered, crawling from the open door and staggering to intercept his teacher’s wrath.

“You idiot,” he hissed, tossing the coffee and donuts into the street. One of the cups hit a parked car and splattered coffee over the windshield and hood. Oh, her neighbors would not be happy about that. “She may never have been controlled. Didn’t it occur to you that she might have been working with them voluntarily!”

“Um….” Gil gulped pathetically, hanging his head and practically shriveling under his teacher’s glare. The professor purposefully strode past him towards Glory.

The poor man was a wreck. Whatever this professor and his colleagues thought they were doing, they were clearly not concerned with the well being of the students they drafted to their cause. Glory couldn’t just stand there and say nothing. “You really are being too hard on him. He’s obviously exhausted. I don’t know how long you people have been on the road, but spending the entire night in a car at the tail end of winter can’t have helped.”

Without a word, he made a grab for the star stone, and she moved out of his reach. “Give me that!” he growled in frustration.

“You know… I never made it to a university or college. At the time, I didn’t have the money. I always thought professors would act with a bit more decorum than you’re currently showing. Kind of makes me glad I didn’t waste my time and meager savings to get into your school.” He made another grab, and she twisted out of the way. “You could at least pretend to be civilized.”

“What do you know about being civilized? Consorting with degenerate half breeds. Do you even care about your race, or what they would do to us if they gained the upper hand?”

“Pretend now, for a moment, that I don’t know what the heck you’re talking about. Step back and think about how you sound. Ever heard of the KKK?” She moved again as he made a third attempt on the stone. “Degenerate half breed? I’d hate to see what would happen if you addressed a Native American in those terms.”

“It’s not the same thing at all!” he all but growled, his fists clenched at his sides. Gil had come up to stand next to him, staring at her with wide eyes. She suspected he was relatively close to a nervous breakdown.

“Prove it,” she demanded angrily. “Did you even consider Gozala’s humanity when you were experimenting on her? Did you ask Mike about how she tried to prevent his friends from getting close enough to her father for him to hurt them? Are you in the habit of blaming a predator for doing what comes naturally? It seems to me that Gozala’s father is pretty much immobilized by his nature. If you hadn’t gone in, there’s very little evidence that he could have come out let alone ‘gained the upper hand’ and become a threat to humanity. All you’re doing is what humanity has always done- taken on the role of primitive monkeys telling each other scary stories and daring each other to poke the biggest animal with a stick. You make a lot of assumptions about the nature of your ‘enemy’ without ever considering whether it sees you in the same light.”

He took a step back and stared at her as if she had just sprouted another head. “It kills people,” he exclaimed in outrage. Gil’s expression had gone from shell-shocked to puzzled.

“So do we. We kill each other all the time. Wars, crime, abortion… and we kill other things which we consider beneath our moral notice… livestock, pets when we can no longer care for them, food crops, trees. Humanity is only just beginning to agree that some animals feel and think and suffer, and there are still those who don’t see it at all and couldn’t care less even if they could. Experiments have even been done with plants which indicate that they may also have an emotional sentience, but that doesn’t stop us from clear cutting forests. In light of all this, don’t you think that calling Gozala and her father monsters is just a bit hypocritical? Do you image that Mike was going to stick around and let you experiment on him when he got sick?”

He gaped at her incredulously. She grabbed him by the wrist, and slapped the stone into his hand. “You don’t have the moral high ground. Stop pretending that you do. Gozala’s father may have little respect for human life, but humans are no better where other species are concerned or even with our own kind. Instead of vilifying that little girl for a quirk of birth, you should have been asking her how to better stay out of her father’s way. It’s not like he was doing anything more than using the resources available to him in what he considers to be his home.”

“You’re insane,” he spluttered as she walked past him towards her home.

“No,” she countered. “I’m a pragmatist with a gift for seeing how things relate to one another. Unfortunately, I don’t see a lot of difference between Gozala’s father and you. Sorry. If I condemn him… it, I have to condemn humanity as well.”

While he sputtered and made irrational noises behind her, she made her way back to her house. The mist was beginning to thin as the rising sun and wind chased it away. She was relieved to see that Mike and Gozala were long gone. She doubted the professor had even noticed yet.

“Hey! Wait!” Gil came running up behind her, and she whipped around to face him, worried that he was going to attack her from behind. He stopped abruptly as he neared though, and seemed uncertain as to what his own intentions were.

“Gil! We have to go. Now! They could be anywhere!” His Professor yelled from the car.

For once, Gil ignored his petty tyrant of a teacher. “You said Mike was sick. What’s wrong with him?” Glory hesitated. “Look, I just want to know. When he took off with the kid, I didn’t know what to think! They told me his mind was being controlled so I went along with them, but… he’s… my best friend.”

“Gil!” the professor shouted as he leaned out the door of his car. “I will leave you.”

Gil looked back at the professor anxiously before returning his attention to Glory.

“You will flunk out of your classes Gil!”

“That… is so not mature.” Glory growled under her breath, glaring down the street. She sighed and looked Gill in the eyes. “Mike got some kind of infection from Gozala’s blood when they drugged her in the motel. He got scratched with the needle, and well, he’s in really bad shape. I mean, really bad shape. I don’t know if he’s going to make it.” Gil looked as if he might cry. He opened his mouth but couldn’t seem to get any words out. “I’m really sorry,” she added lamely.

“That is it Gil!” his demented teacher screamed from the car. “I am leaving.”

“So leave already before I call the cops, you crazy old creep!” screamed one of her neighbors from his bedroom window. It was too much to expect that they’d continue to suffer all the screaming.

Glory bit her lip as the professor went tearing down the street, giving her the hairy eyeball as he passed them. Gil didn’t move or even seem to notice that the professor had left without him.

“Come on then,” she said with a sigh, putting an arm around his shoulders. “You better come inside.” He didn’t even try to resist as she led him up the stairs to her home.

to Book 3, page 8

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7 Responses to “Tattoo Book 3.7”

  1. Darkthorn said

    Excellent, as always. I love the way you have been relating the mystical parts to more mundane things.

    “It kills people,” he exclaimed in outrage. Gil’s expression had gone from shell-shocked to puzzled.

    “So do we. We kill each other all the time. Wars, crime, abortion… and we kill other things which we consider beneath our moral notice… ”

    *sighs happily* It’s great!

    • harmony0stars said

      Thanks 🙂 I like the fact that I can make a philosophical point with fiction that people might not acknowledge in the real world, but for the sake of fiction, they’re forced to consider. I mean… who is the monster really? The slime mold alien zombie maker (lol) or the people who kidnapped and tortured a little girl because she’s related to the slime mold?

  2. LordCainn said

    in the end there both monsters, but the question you have to ask your self is which is the bigger monster. to me its “the people who kidnapped and tortured a little girl because she’s related to the slime mold”, for the some reasons that glory listed. still if it was me i still wade of kidnapped the girl, but i wouldn’t of tortured her. to me she just another person how has a disease what needs to be cured.

    • harmony0stars said

      Nietzsche says those who fight monsters should be careful not to become them. When battling against something so alien or so evil that it seems incomprehensible that you might succeed, it’s easy to be tempted into extreme measures. Look at terrorists. The reason they exist is because they feel backed into a corner, unable to choose a different tack. The same might be said for our erstwhile defenders at Miskatonic U. In attempting to “save the world,” they may be overlooking the dark path they are walking and the victims they themselves are creating.

  3. LordCainn said

    i can see ware your coming from, but i think it comes down to the fear of change is what scares terrorist. wall Miskatonic U fear the unknown more then anything. what will suck for glory if they ever find out what she is, right?… i got 5 bucks saying that Miskatonic U is going to become a recurring villain in this story aren’t they.

  4. Miladysa said

    Please don’t tell us anything – I LOVE the surprises 😀

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