Tattoo: The Books of Glory

a webserial about people who are not like us

Tattoo Book 7 part 1.27

Posted by harmony0stars on April 22, 2011

“Steiner, why don’t you escort our guest to the cafeteria,” Bitman said already patting his jacket for his phone. “I’ll meet you both back here in an hour.” He was at the door in a few strides and gone without waiting for an affirmative from Steiner. Not that he needed one, but it was still rude.

The agent ushered Glory to the door with one outstretched arm. “The cafeteria’s not bad… just don’t get the egg salad. No one eats the eggs salad,” he said in an ominous tone.

“Wow… five star. I can hardly wait.” Glory avoided his arm, escaping to the hall where there was more room for them to walk. He didn’t reply, and she wondered if he was upset with her for not cooperating enough. “Your boss isn’t very good at interrogation.”

Steiner blinked. “We need to look at this from every angle, and that means asking the same things in a slightly different way each time to see if it jars something loose.” It was a very diplomatic answer, and she couldn’t tell if he actually believed it.

A man and woman passed in professional dress, smiling at Steiner. He waved and gave a slight nod at Glory. Getting the hint, they kept walking, and Steiner pressed the button for the elevator. It opened almost immediately, and they stepped inside. He pressed the button for the 2nd floor.

“If he would have just let me do it my way, I was going to tell him everything. More than just my grandmother and the asylum. Then he could have asked all his stupid questions.” Glory was irritated, and Steiner, unfortunately, was her captive audience. “Now I don’t know if I even want to tell you anything else.”

“Very mature,” he said with a slight curl of his lip.

“Well, I feel like I’m being badgered. If that’s how it’s going to be, I don’t need anyone’s help. I’ll just handle this all myself,” she replied, unable to keep the petulance from her voice.

“This? What’s this?” Steiner asked. He sounded amused, which only irritated her more.

“You know you guys don’t have the patent on insane paranormal events,” she said, sounding more childish by the moment. “Just because you’ve been dealing with those shadows or revenants or whatever longer than me, doesn’t mean that I don’t know anything. I know stuff. You keep treating me like an idiot, and I‘ll go to Islay alone.”

Steiner struggled to control his smirk as the doors opened. “I’m sure you know lots of stuff,” he emphasized the word, making her blush with embarrassment and fury. If she’d had a way of getting home, she would have left right then and there. When she did not respond to his dig, his expression sobered. “I’m sorry. Really, but it was funny. You know stuff.” He snorted. “We should call you Layla Miller.”


“Um… comic book reference, never mind.” He pushed open one half of a set of swinging doors for her and followed her into the cafeteria.

They joined the short line, Steiner nodding or waving to some of the other diners in passing. He eyed the yogurt and water she chose, loading up his own tray with two sandwiches, three bags of chips, and an apple.

“I got it.” He pulled out his wallet as she reached for hers. “You’re not on a diet or something stupid like that, are you?” he asked as they walked towards an empty table near a window. “My first wife was constantly dieting. It made her nasty as hell whenever her blood sugar got low.”

“Are… you saying I’m bad tempered or fat?” Glory asked.

“What? No! Now you’re just… ugh.” He gritted his teeth a moment and seemed to be counting to ten. “I just meant because you got so little. I would have paid for more.”

Glory shrugged. “I’m not really hungry.” She peeled the top off her yogurt, stirring as she stared at the blown up photos lining the walls.

“That’s Building 26 in Ohio,” Steiner said with a hint of pride. “If not for them, the Company probably wouldn’t exist today.”

She racked her brain for the reference. “The Bombe project?”

“Yeah!” He seemed delighted that she knew anything about it. “A lot of the code-breakers were some of the first agents in the Company. You’d be surprised by how many of the Nazi codes were occult related.” He pointed out various pictures between bites of food, falling silent after a few minutes.


“What’s in Islay?” he finally asked when the silence became too much for him.

“Are you sure you want to know? I‘m sure your boss will get around to asking about the Black Stone… around Thanksgiving.” She took a swig of water.

Steiner rolled his eyes. “Do you have to dig at him all the time? He has nothing but good things to say about you.”

“Seriously?” Glory set her water bottle down to stare at the agent. “Because I had the impression I annoyed the hell out of him.”

“Oh, you do,” Steiner grinned. “But that’s why he likes you. You’re not falling all over yourself trying to please him like a lot of people. He respects you for it. You don‘t think he takes the time to question everyone personally, do you? Usually he leaves that kind of grunt work to agents.”

“Huh.” She shook her head in disbelief.

“So, Islay?” he prompted.

“That’s where the last piece of the Black Stone is, and I’d really like to go find it before my sister catches wind of it,” she said. “Not that she can do anything without all seven pieces, but one less in her possession is one more in mine.”

Steiner lowered the chip he’d been about to eat. “I’ll have a talk with the Colonel when we get back from lunch,” he said, glancing at the clock.


Building 26

US Navy Bombe


to Book 7, part 1, page 28


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