[identity profile] m-danson.livejournal.com
"Sir! The 5th Elite has abandoned their posts and joined with the Traitor," the bearer of bad news stood at attention in the Regent Calenture's dinning room. The immaculate angel Captain's bad timing only made things worse for him. "They are rallying others against you."

"You interrupted my dinner for that?" Calenture snapped at his Captain.

"Sir, the soldiers are rebelling."

"Only the 5th. Make an example of them."

"Sir?"

"Have you found her?"

"No sir... the rebellion..." the Captain took a step further into the room. Just as he was about to speak further a voice boomed through the room. From over the communications system the Traitor's voice rang out its challenge.

"I, Inquisitor of Thermidor-Advisor to Thermidor-Traitor of Calenture-General of Calenture-Commander of the 5th Elite, hereby challenge Regent Calenture for control of Calenture as is our custom. Regent Calenture has failed and brought our noble race ruin. His weakness ruins Calenture and makes us weak before our enemies. He brings us death for his pleasure. This is NOT what we are. We are ANGELS. We are more than servants to his whim. We are not breed animals producing our children for his slaughter. He seeks the Oblivion of the Depths but we will not follow him there. We are WARRIORS. WE ARE ANGELs. He has forgotten what that means and no longer deserves Calenture. Come forth coward and face your judgment."

Karenth's challenge hung in the silence between Captain and Regent as the Regent considered Kanenth's challenge carefully.

"We can blast him out of the sky Sir," the Captain blurted out anxiously.

"Are you saying that I shouldn't take this challenge?" asked the Regent Calenture.

"No Sir! You shouldn't sir! The Traitor is dangerous..." responded the Captain a bit too quickly.

Calenture's temper flared. "Dangerous? DANGEROUS? I AM DANGEROUS!"

The Captain cringed, "Yes Sir. Absolutely sir... but the things they say about this Karenth..."

Calenture's fist caught the Captain square in the temple knocking the younger angel almost unconscious with its force. "I AM REGENT AND NO MERE SOLDIER WILL DICTATE TERMS TO ME."

The Captain staggered to one knee in front of his Regent and begged for forgiveness. Satisfied that his underling had been properly chastised Regent Calenture declared his intent.

"I will kill this Traitor. When I return I expect to find this little problem dealt with and you returning to the task I assigned you. Is that clear?"

"Absolutely, Sir." The Captain remained on his knees until he was certain that the Regent was gone then he painfully stood up. He was still a bit unsteady on his feet as he contacted General Karenth.

"Private Radio... He is on his way and he's angry," was the message.

"Good work... Private Radio out," came the reply.

On his way down to the command center the Captain shook out his feathers and adjusted his uniform so that he wasn't such a mess when he met his partner in this coup. Calenture's Security Chief was waiting for him in the command center.

"The anti-aircraft guns are secure. I have initiated a lockdown immediately following the Regent's exit. We are in control here." She smiled at him, "You played your part well. I was watching on the cameras."

"Good. All we have to do is wait," he replied. Everything was going according to plan.

She turned to her co-conspirator and asked, "And if the General fails?"

"Then we blast our beloved Regent out of the sky and appeal to Thermidor for help in putting down this unexpected coup," he replied in a neutral voice.

"That would waste a perfect opportunity for a young officer to advance far," she watched him closely as she spoke.

He didn't rise to the bait. That seemed to satisfy her and the two settled in to watch the battle.
[identity profile] m-danson.livejournal.com
One Minute to Midnight

Overall it wasn't a bad way to break a vow of chastity. Looking over the tangle of white skin and feathers in the bed beside him Allan wondered why he had waited until the end to break that particular vow. It reduced distractions he supposed but, like all things, when its usefulness had reached an end it was discarded.

He brushed purple hair from Vex's face. She had almost been his match and that was what had made her so very lovely in his eyes. The Regina Thermidore, while amazingly flexible, still shared the weakness of her race. While the Angels could manipulate others and remake the world, they could not recreate themselves. They were what they were and could not conceive of changing that. It made them predictable. It was their blind spot and her one weakness. A weakness that he would breed out of earth's other children.

"Of course you would be a voyeur," Alan spoke aloud to the shadows.

"I gain no pleasure from you activities," came the soft reply.

Alan slowly unwound himself from the sheets, "That's a pity. It's always better if one enjoys one's work. I gain a great deal of satisfaction from mine."

Silence was Alan's only answer.

He winced as the scratches on his back left bloody streaks on the sheets. Vex had been jubilant upon her return. She won her gamble with the Devil faster than expected and returned home in a predatory mood. He finally gave in to her advances. It bought him the time he needed for his people to clear Thermidore's territory with the weapon. Drugging Vex's favourite wine bought him the remaining time he needed to betray her. It wasn't personal. He knew she'd understand that, just as he knew she'd kill him in the most painful fashion she could devise if she caught him. That was just the way it worked.

He pulled the remains of his undershirt off revealing a small tattoo over his heart, three concentric circles with flame rising from their center. He hadn't been a Watcher in decades. He'd traded watching and remembering for analyzing and acting long ago when he'd become a Controller. He'd been one of many then. Now he was one of two. The others were dead and the newest Controller did not have enough time to become a serious threat.

Alan donned simple blacks and collar. Even after all this time they were still the clothes that he was most comfortable in. They reflected his calling.

"It is time. Take me where I need to go."

"As you wish."

The shadows folded around the priest and turned into the void.
[identity profile] m-danson.livejournal.com
The sound of the rain against the window almost drowned out the sound of his vomitting. There was blood on the toilet seat and blood on Kevin's mouth which he wiped away.

"You are dying," came the soft voice in his mind.

"Thank you Florence Fucking Nightngale," he spat back at the god casually watching him from the bathroom counter. "I am aware of that fact."

"You will be dead by morning," Jasper continued as if he was discussing when the rain would end.

Kevin went cold then another spasm hit him.

"Your insides have started to hemorage. Soon your organs will begin shutting down. Your kidneys and liver will go first, your drinking has speeded that process, then jandice will start to set in and your lungs will fill and you will drown in your own poisoned blood. It will be..." Jasper paused to look closer at the man on the floor, "...is a very painful process but you are stubborn and will remain concious for most of it."

"Fuck you and all of your kind."

"I recall you enjoying ..."

Kevin managed to growl.

"This is becoming difficult. We have important matters to discuss. Let me ease you."

"If it is such a *gasp* inconvience to you why don't just snap your fucking fingers and make me do what ...", Kevin's words trailed off into a stream of growled curses as a new wave of pain overtook him.

"It isn't my choice to make."

Kevin rested his burning head against the porcillin. "What do you mean, isn't your choice?"

"A master can not be equals with a slave no matter how well the slave is treated. Even when the slave is freed the past may never be truely scrubbed away. The best there may be is separation. We have learned our lesson and pay for it even now. We will not make the same mistake twice even if it means that we will be lonely once more. That which we gave away returns and we shall not force it on you though it may save you. You are free to commit suicide if that is what you choose."

"What the fuck are you?"

"You already know that answer Watcher."

"I won't..." He began to cough blood.

"Would you have me ease you?"

The coughing continued until finally Kevin nodded his agreement, blood dripped through the yellowed skin of his fingers. Jasper touched him with the toe of his foot and his breathing eased.

"What do you want me to do?"

"Advocate."

"For what?"

"For your choice."

"And if I refuse?"

"That is a choice. You will die tonight and your voice will not be heard. Silence is an answer and it is one that others have chosen."

"And if I accept? Wait.. others?"

"Yes. Other advocates have stepped foreward. They will speak when the time comes just as you may."

"Is he..."

"Yes. He is one."

Kevin launched into a stream of obsenities about Jasper's parentage that would have been physically impossible for anyone not of Jasper's lineage.

"What the FUCK were you thinking?"

"We did not chose him. He was chosen by your kind and his own desire. He speaks for the purpose he represents as you may speak for yours if you so choose."

"I'm not going to live long enough to speak for anything. I'm going to die in the morning you said."

"I could be wrong."

Kevin glared.

"Do it."

"As you wish."

Kevin screamed for a long time.

No one heard him.

In the morning Brodie found Kevin unconcious on the bathroom floor in a pool of his own blood. Drawn on the mirror in that same blood was a clock, its hands pointing out three minutes to midnight.
[identity profile] m-danson.livejournal.com
At home in Switzerland

Watching and remembering was good and necessary. He was good at that. He could do that well. But someone had to analyze and act or all those memories meant nothing. Someone had to do something with all that knowledge. Someone had to make choices. He'd always trusted that those above him would do the right thing. That they knew what they were doing. When he was a boy he'd questioned Andre about them and Andre had always reassured him by saying, "we are their eyes and ears, they are the brain, as long as we do our job right they will be able to do theirs". He had always done his job well.

Until now.

His pacing threatened to wear a hole through the floor of his lab. Too much was happening too fast. He didn't know what to do. He had to figure out what to do before... Too late. He could hear her footsteps coming down the stairs.

"When were you going to tell me?"

"Eventually... soon... when I knew..." his voice trailed off.

"You are poor liar, husband."

Ettienne slumped against the wall and slid to the floor, the stubs of his amputated wings digging into his back.

"I'm sorry."

"Ja, you should be." She crossed her arms and glared at the repentant man slumped on the floor at her feet. "Did you inform on us hunting?"

Alarmed Ettienne's head snapped to attention, "NO. No, I didn't... wouldn't... do that.. wasn't then... didn't.."

She softened slightly, "Heir Professeur?"

"yes", he answered so softly she could barely hear him before she launched into a stream of explitatives that hung in the air between them even after she stopped swearing.

"He said he was helping you," Ettienne whispered miserably.

She growled deep in her throat.

"They want me to go to the Oracle. To be initatied as a Controller."

"And what does that mean husband?"

"I don't know. They just said... It will be your decision." Ettienne shrugged helplessly, "Andre said the controllers analyse and act. They use the information we Watchers give them."

"All information?" Her tone changed but Ettienne didn't notice.

"I think so. That's what Andre said. I've never met one." Ettienne looked up into his wife's eyes, "I will refuse if you want me to. I'll even quit. Anything. I'm sorry."

"Shush." She kissed her husband's head and ran her fingers through his curls. "I forgive you. We will deal with this."

"What should I do?"

"Whatever is necessary to make a good world for our children. I will help you." She paused and looked him straight in the eyes, "but if you lie to me again I will gut you and make sausages from your entrails. Ja?"

----------

Hotel Room - After the initiation (alone)

He felt different somehow. Like something small was missing. Staring blankly at the ceiling of his hotel room he couldn't remember what it might be. His initiation had gone well, or so he had been assured. It hadn't been what he had been expecting. It had been stranger.

He pushed himself up onto his elbows. He never had to report again. He never had to do anything again. There were no rules anymore. He was on his own. For now and ever. His to analyse and act. His to use and choose.

And he remembered things that he had never known.

He pulled himself to his feet. The world blurred in and out. Between dry heaves he saw the equations again. Leaning against the patio door frame he watched children in the park across the street. He didn't even notice that he hadn't put on his shirt. He didn't remember to care that all his secrets were on display as he watched the children play. Without even considering it he calculated the chance that they would be alive this time next year. Low probablility, large error bar, the worst case scenerio was not zero. That made him smile.

What had she said? What had his wife said? His job was to protect the children. To give them a good world to grow up in. That was his job. To protect them and be the father they had lost. In his mind his step sons' faces blurred with those of the boys outside his window. They were his responsibility. He couldn't fail them. With that thought consuming his mind he turned away from the window, drew the blinds, and settled himself into lotus postion in the half light. Time to start work.

By the time he finished his meditation he had examined and discarded a dozen simulations in favour of two. The first ensured at least partial success at low risk but that success would be fragile in the long term. The second was high risk which, if it succeeded, would result in a high degree of success that would be stable in the long term. But if it failed, there wouldn't be a future.

Ettienne made his decision and opened his eyes.

Picking up the hotel phone he dialed the first of many numbers.

A male voice answered, "Luigi's dry cleaning."

"I am looking for Antonio Micallinas," Ettienne responded.

"You found him."

"I speak for the Oracle."

"I'm all ears... I mean, I watch and remember."

Ettienne gave the man a few quick orders then hung up and dialled the next number.

It took him all night to finish his calls and by the next morning he had never been there.
[identity profile] m-danson.livejournal.com
The phone rang twice before a voice answered in Greek.

"Delphi Mediation Center."

The reply was also in Greek.

"I watch and remember."

"We are listening."

"I have a message for the Oracle."

"We understand."

"I know what the items are and what they were intended for."

The caller explained.

"I have convinced them to take two of the items to Madiera. They left today."

"This information will be given to the Oracle."

"Does this information change the timeline?"

"No."

"Are you sure?"

"Patience, Watcher. Small steps travel far."

*click*

The caller hung up and walked away from the pay phone.
[identity profile] m-danson.livejournal.com
...not just us and them, there is more. Those who are caught in the middle, life is more than black and white, there are shades of grey," the blue feathered one insisted, ruffling his feathers unconciously. "I will not be a butcher. I will not kill the innocent or the helpless..."

"Fine." The motled and marked feathered one cut him off abruptly. "You don't have to kill them but don't get in our way. Remember, you aren't with Daddy any more. Things are different down here." He slammed the door shut.

If the arguement continued in the vehicle she couldn't hear it. Not that it really mattered to her. She had what she had come for. The pigeon pecked happily at the bread until it was all gone and the vehicle was long gone. Satisfied, she fluttered up to the window sill and hopped inside the newly vacated room. Unfortuneatly there room was devoid of bread and only a few crumbs remained on the small desk. She finished them off.

Then she shifted.

A slightly pudgy young woman in a canvas coat and blue jeans stood in the middle of the room. She brushed grey hair out of her eyes and wished again for a dye that would make it any other color. Her most successful attempts at covering the grey had turned her shaggy hair a deep shade of granny blue. She had almost shaved her head after that attempt. Bringing her thoughts back to the present, she pulled a pair of laytex gloves and a tiny camera from on of her many pockets. Methodically she tossed the room without disturbing it. Finding nothing she picked up the hotel phone and dialed an outside number. Her call was answered on the tenth ring. She delivered her report in short clipped sentences then waited.

"Deadtown, sir."

"No, sir."

"I don't know, sir."

"Do you want me to interfere?"

"Yes, sir. I understand, sir."

She hung up the phone.

Perhaps she should have left then but a bit of colour caught her eye. She bent down and picked up a blue pin feather from the carpet. She rolled it between her gloved fingers thoughtfully. Perhaps blue wasn't such a bad colour after all. She carefully placed the feather in an inside pocket, stripped off her gloves, and shifted.

The pigeon flapped off towards town in search of breakfast.
[identity profile] m-danson.livejournal.com
"You scare me sometimes," he said to the girl curled up in his arms.

She snuggled closer to him. "I know," she replied.

He shifted her weight off his arm and winced as the blood rushed back into his numb limb. "How long will you be with us this time?"

"I don't know." She paused then continued, "Things have gotten complicated. I'm not sure who is reliable."

He cleared his throat and she laughed at him, "I know you are reliable. I own you."

They fell silent as they heard a burst of gun fire in the distance.

"I'll let you go if you want. You've paid your debt and more already," she said without looking up. "You could go to back to Portugal. They would welcome you."

"No. I'm yours. As long as you can use me I won't leave. I love you girl." He spoke quietly into her hair, "I can't think of a better cause to die for than that."

She slept then. He watched the sun rise with the girl on one side and his gun on the other.
[identity profile] m-danson.livejournal.com
The spells that maintained her strength had long since worn off. She no longer had enough energy to renew them so she had to fall back on a cop's best friend... strong black coffee. She was on her sixth cup when they came for her.

She was the restaurant's lone customer amidst the sea of upturned chairs. One petite unarmed woman should not have been threatening. She sat at the bar, sipping coffee and eating sushi with her fingers. The uniformed police officers approached her carefully, as if approaching a particularly venomous snake. She ignored them and popped another piece of sashami into her mouth. The officers hesitated then looked to their commanding officer. He straightened his vest then stepped forward.

"Ms. Danson?"

She acknowledged his question with a half-glance over her shoulder.

"Ms. Danson. We are here..."

The door to the kitchen swung open. Startled, the cops brought their guns to bear on a middle-aged Japanese man carrying a steaming bowl of miso soup. Both sides stared at each other uncertain until Ms. Danson spoke into the tense silence,

"You came here to arrest me."

The officer in charge stumbled over his reply.

"Yes director... mame... I mean... You are..."

Danson smiled to herself.

"Don't worry. I will come peacefully."

They relaxed.

"After I finish eating."

She signaled for the chef to bring the soup and bowed slightly to him as he set the bowl in front of her. He withdrew behind the bar. The officers exchanged confused glances as they were ordered to stand down and wait. Shielded from view by the bulk of her body her hands shook in thier attempts to bring soup to her mouth. When it became clear that spoon was not going to cooperate she carefully set it aside and lifted the bowl to her lips. Both elbows rested on the bar bracing her arms and holding the bowl steady. Deliberate and natural. No signs of weakness.

An officer coughed.

Another fidgeted as the chef polished his knives.

Danson savoured her soup.

With a contented sigh she set the bowl down and rose to her feet. The police snapped to attention behind her. She reached behind her. They tensed. She pulled out her wallet. They relaxed. She dumped a wad of bills onto the bar in front of the japanese man. For just a moment before she turned they shared a glance. A shared good-bye full of sadness and understanding.

"Let's get this show on the road then," she said as she presented her wrists to the officer in charge.

Cuffed and guarded she was lead out to the waiting patrol car.

He waited until the flashing lights were a memory and the echos of the siren could no longer be heard before he pulled the card out from under the pile of cash. Carefully he put it in the pocket of his coat. He locked the front door behind him. Two streets over he found an unoccupied pay phone and called the number on the card. A few brief words was all that was needed. Three blocks further down he found a second pay phone. This time he dialed from memory, an international number. This call took longer. As he made his report a tear rolled down his face. Absently he reached up to wipe it away. For just a second his sleeve fell open exposing the small tattoo on the inside of his wrist. A stylized flame growing from the center of three concentric circles.

May 2013

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