Tattoo: The Books of Glory

a webserial about people who are not like us

Tattoo Book 7 part 2.4

Posted by harmony0stars on May 6, 2011

A short drive in which the silence was enforced by a muffler that was clearly on its last legs, and they pulled up in front of a row of postindustrial homes on the outskirts of the city. Black discoloration like sweat stains decorated the drab stone walls, but it was isolated and insulated by its park like surroundings. Trees clustered around the buildings, far enough away that they weren’t a security risk, but close enough that passing motorists and the few neighbors would be clueless, if there were any neighbors at all. The few buildings they passed as they got closer to the place looked to be derelict.

Maria’s companion once again attempted to touch her as they piled out of the car, opening the door for her and offering her his hand, but she was having none of it. She hardly needed the slight tug on her sleeve from Steiner to know she should follow him out the other side of the car. He stood grimly between her and White, as Glory had taken to thinking of the man.

Maria gave him a hard look, and scowling, White stalked across the lawn to the building as if insulted. It quickly became apparent that whatever the structure might look like on the outside, it was completely different behind closed doors. At least one wall had been knocked out to make the reception area larger. Despite the fact that only a secretary was in residence to note their arrival, Glory had the sense that there were a lot more people just out of sight, waiting for one of them to step out of line.

“Room 11 is available,” the elderly woman behind the desk informed White without waiting for him to say a word or even looking up from her screen.

He nodded briskly and led the way up the double wide staircase. “Alright, sweetie,” Maria said as they filed into a comfortable, if spare, room. “I’ll be back in just a bit. Make yourselves comfortable… I’ll see about some food for you lot.”

“So…” Glory said, dropping onto a drab taupe sofa. The entire room was decorated in dull colors and resembled a living room more than a waiting room. This was reinforced by a bathroom at the far end of the room and the fact that Maria had left the door open, as if unafraid that they would try to get away. Not that there was much chance of that. It was clean at least, so a step up from the guest house. “I take it this was not entirely unexpected. Anyone feel like cluing the Noob in on what’s going on?”

“They’re MI5, occult division,” Steiner said glumly.

“And you couldn’t have warned me about this? I mean, I could have come up with a contingency plan,” she said.

“Charring Cross was the contingency plan,” he snarled, throwing himself into a lumpy looking armchair, while Redfield took a seat at the far end of the sofa.

“Yeah,’ she drawled.  “Seems they know you too well. If you had bothered to warn me, I could have taken steps.” Redfield and Steiner looked at one another and burst out laughing. “Yuck it up, wonder twins.” Glory glared at the two of them. “You may be big shot super secret agents, but I haven’t survived as long as I have by being helpless. If I hadn’t been following your lead, or if I hadn’t included you at all, I’d probably already be halfway to my goal.”

“Your goal being?” Maria asked sweetly as she stepped into the open door. She carried a tray piled high with sandwiches, a pitcher of ice water, and a stack of cups. “Don’t stop talking on my account.”

“Ask Trevor,” Glory said. She crossed her arms and looked straight ahead, tired of being treated like a child. The fact that she was now acting like one was not lost on her. “If he trusts you enough to tell you, fine. I don’t know you from Swiss cheese, lady, and I like your white-haired friend even less.”

Maria was not put out in the least. She pulled a face at Redfield, batting her eyes and pouting. “Oh, dear god,” he muttered, running his hands over his face and through his hair.

With a little laugh, Maria placed her burden on the coffee table and sat down between Glory and Redfield. “You don’t mind if I join you, do I? I haven’t eaten since early this morning.” She poured herself a large cup of water and took a sandwich, settling herself against Redfield’s side. “Well, dig in,” she said, taking a long swallow from her cup and a bite of her sandwich. No one reached for the food, and she rolled her eyes. “It’s not poisoned.”

Steiner sighed and grabbed a sandwich and a cup, and Redfield followed suit. Glory ignored them all. “So what’s your gift,” Maria asked after a moment. “We can’t make any headway with your code name.”

Steiner choked on his drink and nearly sprayed water everywhere.

“That is her name, Maria,” Redfield explained, hiding a smile behind his sandwich. “The old man hasn’t managed to recruit her yet.”

Maria grinned like a cat who ate the canary. “Oisin’s going to be so peeved. Here we’ve been cross referencing since we found her name on the tickets. Never thought to check if it was her real name at all.”

“You’re very informal spies,” Glory said, irritated that no one seemed to care that she was irritated or even that they’d been collected by a government agency.

“We’re not the spies, dear,” Maria said with another little chuckle. “You are.”

“I’m not a spy. I’m a private citizen on vacation with my two newly discovered cousins, and they really should have told me they were likely to get this much attention if they came here,” Glory said, slumping back into the sofa. “When can I have my computer back?”

“Never, if you stick with that story.” Maria laughed lightly, taking another dainty bite of her sandwich.

to Book 7, part 2, page 5

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2 Responses to “Tattoo Book 7 part 2.4”

  1. here2read said

    time for Glory to ‘flex’ on this bossy chick.
    hehehehe

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