Tattoo: The Books of Glory

a webserial about people who are not like us

Tattoo Book 6.4

Posted by harmony0stars on May 3, 2010

What luck! Glory quickly stood. If she hadn’t noticed the cat in the monitor, she would have been halfway to the basement already. Thanks to him, she was in the perfect position to stop the thief before he could claim his prize. The cat squirmed to be free, but subsided as she walked towards the pair, as if he was also determined to stop the crime in progress.

The guard scanned the room, perhaps having heard some scuff of Glory’s shoe. With a grunt, he grabbed the woman by the arm and dragged her to her feet. Pulling her after him, he looked from case to case until he found the one he wanted. As he paused, the woman screwed up her face and kicked a nearby statue, perhaps hoping to set off an alarm. It barely wobbled before settling back into place.

He glanced at her dispassionately, putting his fist through the glass top of one of the cases without even wincing. Obviously he was not worried about the sound bringing any of the other guards. There were only four other people on the public levels of the museum, and none of them were within ear reach. “Nice try,” he said distractedly. Reaching into the case, he snatched up something small and black. “Is this authentic or a replica?” he demanded, shoving a stone at the woman. It was just small enough to hold in the palm of one hand, so Glory could not see much.

Glory walked as quietly as she could, knowing that she would have only one chance to surprise the guard, and given his indifference to a broken hand, surprise might be the only way she’d bring him down. She could feel Phoenix shifting around in her head, eager to enter into a situation which might allow him to restore some of his wasted energies. I need him alive for questioning, she reminded him but got no response.

“I -I’m not an Egyptologist,” the woman said fearfully. “You know that, Tom. I’m studying…”

With a snarl, he lifted her by the arm. The woman cried out, her shoulder dislocating with a loud pop. He negligently tossed her several feet across the room, her progress halted only by her collision with the statue of Bast Glory had so recently vacated. It tottered from the impact and fell over backwards, striking the wall behind it with a building shaking thud before rolling and sliding down with another massive boom that shook the floor. They were lucky the floor hadn’t cracked beneath them. Glory had had her share of falls lately. The statue looked none the worse for wear and had luckily not landed on the motionless woman.

Glory set the cat down on a nearby case. Though she’d momentarily considered then discarded the idea of throwing the cat at ’Tom,’ as soon as she released him, he bolted away from her and launched himself at the man. Tom shrieked as the cat appeared out of nowhere, a snarling, hissing demon that attached itself to his head. He dropped the black stone, and Glory quickly scooped it up as it skittered across the floor. Whatever it was, it would be safer in her vault than the museum; she shoved it in her pocket. If it was so important that it had to be ‘authentic,’ then Lori would not be able to proceed without it.

She hesitated, looking from the unconscious woman to the man desperately trying to dislodge the cat, before running towards the statue of Bast. No! hissed Phoenix, but she ignored him. The woman wasn’t moving as Glory leaned over her, and she feared the worst. There was a dribble of blood leaking from the corner of her mouth. Glory hoped she had simply bitten her tongue. She was afraid to move her, in case she had a broken neck. Just a little, she told Phoenix, just enough to make sure she‘s alright.

Glory felt Phoenix’s disgust and frustration as she put her hand on the woman’s shoulder and concentrated. He scrambled to prevent her, but there was little he could do to stop the transfer, no matter how he might covet their shared energies. It flowed out of her like a wave, and she was instantly exhausted much to Phoenix‘s smug satisfaction. He didn’t have to say ‘I told you so’ for her to admit that their energy very close to depletion.

Let me consume the man, he whispered in her mind. You have the stone. Whatever your sister has planned, she cannot proceed without it. She flinched away from his mental prodding as he echoed her own thoughts of only seconds ago. I need to question him, she replied with as much steel as she could muster.

“Can you hear me?” Glory picked up the woman’s identification. “Fiona?”

“Mmmhhmmm,” the woman mumbled sleepily, stirring without opening her eyes.

“Fiona,” Glory said, shaking the woman slightly by the shoulder. This was exactly the wrong thing to do, as it seemed her arm was still dislocated. The woman let out a shrill scream. Well… at least she won’t die, hopefully. “Can you walk?”

Fiona glanced around wild eyed for the source of the voice. “Oh my god, I’ve gone blind.”

“No,” Glory reassured her. “I’m just invisible.”

She shivered, gaping at the thin air in front of her. Finally she sighed with relief. “Oh good. I’m just having a nightmare.”

I can work with that, Glory thought. “OK, but you really need to get up now and look for help.”

The woman squeaked in fear as Glory helped her to her feet. She looked towards Tom and the cat. He had his back to them and was struggling to get a grip on his attacker. “I should have known that stupid cat would find its way into my dreams with as many times as I’ve had to chase it out of the museum the past few days.”

Glory flinched as Tom finally managed to get a good grip and flung the cat at an urn with terrible force. The urn shattered like an eggshell. “I think you’d better go get help before Tom notices you’re not dead.” Fiona nodded and half crouching, hurried from the room before Tom looked in their direction.

When the cat did not resume its attack, Tom turned and stumbled back towards the broken case. His face was a mess of scratches and blood. Only one of his eyes had survived the onslaught, and it bulged like an egg through rivulets of blood that dripped down his face and onto his shirt. At the very least he’d need plastic surgery, not that it was something he’d probably worry about, all things considered.

to Book 6, page 5

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6 Responses to “Tattoo Book 6.4”

  1. Fiona said

    Oh my, I hope the cat is OK.
    Glory keeps freaking ppl out by talking to them when invisible!

    • The cat has to be OK 🙂 The Chapter is somewhat named for him. heh

      Glory’s like an absent minded professor. It’s not so much that she forgets she’s wearing the cloak, but that she forgets people won’t realize when she talks to them while invisible that they’re not having a nervous breakdown. Whereas if she started hearing voices, she’d perform an exorcism.

      • Fiona said

        Fiona may well come to rationalize this experience as an example of the “third man” phenomenon. People in the middle of some life threatening situation, like being lost and injured on a mountain, or inside the tower during 9/11, sometimes report that they felt a presence telling them what to do; this enabled them to get out alive: http://thirdmanfactor.igloocommunities.com/

        • That is really cool. So do you suppose it’s a psychological phenomena as the blurb suggests, or is it divine intervention? I’d be inclined to think it was a case of a person in a high state of anxiety channeling their higher self, in other words, having a moment of clarity as their mind works at optimal efficiency. Maybe even using more than the typical “10%” of brain function. I mean, when the *S* hits the fan, you either panic or gain a myopic pipeline to self-preservation. What do you think?

          • Fiona said

            Probably something like that.

            I can’t believe in any paranormal things, because I’ve never experienced any. Because clearly, anything that is not part of my life, must not exist 😉
            If I’d experienced anything, I might feel differently.

          • I consider sentience supernatural, so you could say I experience the paranormal everyday. 😉

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