Tattoo: The Books of Glory

a webserial about people who are not like us

Tattoo Book 6.23

Posted by harmony0stars on June 16, 2010

Glory followed them up and turned to the doors, staring out into the storm which raged over the campus. She understood that she’d been given the brush off and was a bit surprised. It would have been the perfect opportunity for Scott to explain his organization in more detail. Was he in charge or wasn’t he?

She stepped through the doors and stood under the overhang, gauging her chances of getting across campus without becoming completely drenched. It didn’t look good, but at least she wasn’t likely to suffer for it. Glory bolted down the stairs and ran across the campus to College Street, pausing at a sheltered bus stop. She could have kept running, but it was raining so heavily, she wanted to get her bearings first.

A bus stopped as she approached, but she shook her head at the driver. “Just getting out of the rain for a few seconds before I cross the street.”

“Good luck,” the man growled, peering through the sheeting rain and closing the doors. Stepping under the shelter, Glory stared across to the parking lot beside the Admin building. She was just about to finish her trek when she saw someone running towards the depot with a box under one arm and a newspaper folded over their head.

“Did I miss the bus?” Professor Murdock asked glumly. “I did, didn’t it? I’m sure I saw it pass the diner.

“I’m afraid so, Professor Murdock.”

“Do I know you?” The woman squinted at Glory as she took shelter from the rain.

“We haven’t formally met, but I was waiting outside Professor Scott’s office during your resignation.”

“Ah,” she said, looking out at the rain. “Well, then you know I’m not a professor any more. You can call me Ann.”

“It’s nice to meet you Ann. My name’s Glory Lewin.”

“Good god, stay away from this place,” Ann replied, recoiling as if she‘d been struck.

Glory snorted. “I see you’ve heard of me.”

“You’re Scott’s new golden child, and he’ll get you killed just like all the others he‘s ever taken a shine to, even his nephew.”

Glory smiled grimly. “I’m responsible for the death of his nephew, even if it was accidental. If I’d known who he was, I might have tried harder to capture him. He spoke to me in Old Norse, and then English. So I know the draug‘s spirit at least had access to his memories. Maybe he was still inside there somewhere.”

Ann shook her head. “You shouldn’t be talking to me about this. I quit, remember? I’m not part of Scott’s Antiquarian Society.”

“Is that what they call themselves? I haven’t even gotten that much out of him for all that he’s been trying to recruit me. He even showed me his little subterranean lair.”

Ann scowled. “Don’t come back here. Don’t take whatever he’s offering you to join. He’s a liar and worse. He‘ll flatter you and make you think you can make a difference, but you‘ll just be working towards his goals. He won‘t be happy until every creature that‘s different from us is destroyed.”

“My car’s across the street. I was just waiting here to catch my breath and warm up a bit. If you want a ride, you can fill me in on Scott and his xenophobic kill squad while I drive you home.”

For a moment Ann looked surprised. She stared out at the pouring rain and finally nodded.

“Okay, you stay here. No sense both of us freezing our butts off. I’ll bring the car around.” Glory looked up and down the street before dashing across to the parking lot. There were only a few cars left, and she imagined the few that remained belonged to people hiding in the nearby buildings, waiting for the rain to let up before making a dash for it. She turned the heat on high and pulled the car around, stopping in front of the Plexiglas shelter to let Ann in.

“Where are we going?” Glory asked after Ann had set her box on the backseat and pulled the door shut.

“You can take the West Street Bridge, or the Peabody. I have an apartment on N Peabody Avenue across the river.” She sat staring into the rain for a few seconds as Glory drove. “I… really didn’t expect you to- to agree with me so readily. I thought I would have to convince you.”

Glory shrugged. “The first time I met Scott, when he took me downstairs to show off his little dungeon, he said I’d have a lot in common with you. From his tone, I’m sure he meant it as an insult, but I’m glad I had the opportunity to meet you.” She glanced at the former professor, wondering if she could really trust her. Her resignation could have been some elaborate plot, but if so, she was one dedicated actress to risk hypothermia and pneumonia.

“Oh, I’m sure he did. He never made a secret of his contempt for me. He always said my bleeding heart would get someone killed and then it did. I only stayed on because I thought I could make a difference, make them treat the sentient creatures with more compassion. I‘m a cultural anthropologist. The way he‘s allowing some of these intelligent beings to be treated; it‘s just deplorable. Maybe if they were treated more humanely… but it was my fault a boy died.”

“Sean wasn’t your fault,” Glory said gently as more than rain dripped from Ann‘s eyes.

“He told you about that, huh?”

“No, he didn’t.” Glory said. Ann looked at her uneasily, her fingers straying to the door handle. “Look, I’d like to come clean with you; I’m not going to hurt you. I swear.”

You are an idiot, Phoenix hissed. You can’t trust this woman. She’s his pawn.

to Book 6, page 24

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2 Responses to “Tattoo Book 6.23”

  1. Fiona said

    oooh…

  2. here2read said

    double oooh!

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