Tattoo: The Books of Glory

a webserial about people who are not like us

Tattoo Book 7 part 1.22

Posted by harmony0stars on April 11, 2011

Steiner looked perplexed as Glory stalked from the room. For her part, she didn’t know why it was so important that she prove she’d been at the museum alone… aside from the fact that Steiner didn’t seem to have a high opinion of her. Considering he’d been through two divorces, maybe that was just how he felt about women in general, but that didn’t mean she had to put up with being disrespected in her own home.

Glory was back in a matter of seconds, not that Steiner noticed. He looked through her as he glanced up from his writing, then returned to it, scribbling line after line as if trying to get his thoughts out before she returned. The hole in the cloak was nearly unmanageable even held closed, but she sidled up behind Steiner, careful to keep that side turned away from him. Steiner looked up again with a frown, his eyes moving back and forth as if he had heard some tiny whisper of sound as she approached.

She stepped closer as he set his pen back to the paper and said, “That’s not very nice,” as she saw what he had written about her.

In hindsight, his reaction was to be expected. With a yelp, he jumped up, knocking over his chair and swinging his arm in the direction of her voice. She wasn’t quite fast enough to get out his way either. He slammed her into the wall and held her there, keeping all his weight across her shoulders so she couldn’t even squirm.

“Alright!” she shouted. “I give! Uncle!”

“Son of a bitch!” he snarled, releasing her. “You’re lucky I didn’t go for my gun.”

“You have a gun?” she asked, sweeping the cloak off and laying it over the back of her chair. “Can the people he’s… changed be shot?”

He eyed the cloak suspiciously as he righted his chair and sat. “Some of them, but they’re not the only ones we have to worry about… What is that?”

“A little something I picked up under the city when Professor Scott wasn’t looking.” She grinned, feeling smug. She’d got the drop on special agent Steiner. The sore shoulder was totally worth it, considering the pain hadn‘t lasted more than a few seconds.

“But what is it?” he demanded, not even looking at her. He only had eyes for the tarnkappe.

With a sigh, she scooped it back up and spread it out on the table in front of him. “It’s a tarnkappe, a cloak of invisibility. I took it from a draug.”

“You fought a draug and not only managed to walk away but took a piece of its hoard with you?”

Glory tugged the cloak out from under his hand before he could touch it. She was really getting tired of his tone. “So you know about draugs but not invisibility cloaks?”

“The most you can do about a draug is throw some explosives into its lair and hope you injure it enough that it can’t pull itself together enough to get back to the surface,” he said matter-of-factly before his frustration got the better of him. “Half the time some greedy SOB goes in after we leave and starts the whole process over again by trying to get at its hoard.” He set his pen down and stretched out both hands, rubbing the fabric between his fingers. “How does it work?”

“It won’t for much longer.” Glory spread the cloak over her arm and stuck her hand through the gaping hole. “It’s dying.”

“You mean it’s alive?” he said with distaste, dropping the cloak as if it were greasy.

Glory shrugged. “No, maybe? But this hole is getting bigger, and I think eventually it will just evaporate. ”

“The guys in our tech department would love to take a poke at it,” he said wistfully. No doubt a cloak of invisibility would have come in handy on more than one occasion.

She regarded him thoughtfully for a moment, then got up. Opening a nearby drawer, Glory rooted through it. “Call it a show of good faith,” she said, slipping a pair of shears through the hole and cutting a large swatch. Even if she could stop it from deteriorating,  she probably wouldn’t be able to seal the hole. It was functionally useless no matter what she did. She handed the piece to Steiner who looked as if he wished he had a tweezers and a sample bag. “Tell them not to take too long. At the rate it‘s going, that size piece might last maybe a month.”

He must have realized he was acting like a big baby and hurriedly dropped the piece of fabric in his briefcase with a scowl. “Thanks.”

“So, it looks like this… thing is trying to find the Black Stone,” Glory said, bringing the conversation back to the topic of interest. “I don’t have any real evidence of it, but I think my sister is too, and well, I wouldn‘t discount how dangerous she could be. I’ve told Professor Scott at MU about the museum hits too, not that I trust him. I do think he’s trying in his own way to stop this, but I also think he’s a manipulative sociopath.” She sat back in her chair. “So make me trust you, Steiner, and I don’t mean by playing with my head. Why should I throw in with your lot.”

His brow wrinkled. “I’m not really the best person to talk to…”

“Why? Because you can’t just twist me around your little finger like everyone else to get me to comply?”

“It doesn’t always work,” he said, flushing a little. “No one ever physically noticed me doing it before, but it’s just… suggestion. Dr A says I make most people hyper-suggestible. And.. I haven’t misused my gift since I became aware I had one. I mean, I talked my way out of trouble when I was kid, but that was before I knew I had an unfair advantage.”

to Book 7, part 1, page 23

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3 Responses to “Tattoo Book 7 part 1.22”

  1. Fiona said

    Ha, now I want to know what he wrote (that wasn’t very nice!)

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