8FOLD: Darkhorse # 7, "Your Pride In Danger"

Drew Perron pwerdna at gmail.com
Mon Jul 4 19:51:19 PDT 2016

On 6/19/2016 1:48 PM, Tom Russell wrote:
>    "Insect respiration," says Melody between big honking gulps of air,
> "no lungs. Spiracles. Puts a limit on their body size. Giant ants
> should not even be a thing."
>    "Yeah, well, tell that to the giant ants."

Heeheehee. I mean, if the oxygen content is different... (I mean, I think they'd 
be able to tell *that* pretty quick, due to oxygen intoxication...

>    "First of all, no, 'Mel' is not going to be a thing."
>    "Mel and Cal! Cal and Mel!"


>    "Nope."


> "The last few Earths, you have been incrementally
> slower. You were also pretty sloppy on Murder Clown Earth and Tree
> Person Earth, for example.

Oh my. XD

>    "Part of my super-speed is that I have an incredibly high
> metabolism, which means I have to consume twenty thousand calories
> daily."

Oh wow.

> Things that are
> fine on our Earth might be toxic here. You take a bite, you might keel
> right over and die."
>    "But, what, your super-speed makes you immune?"
>    "No," says Melody. "But my system will work through it faster than
> it will kill me. Or it should, anyway."


>    "You've been uncharacteristically quiet, Cal."
>    "Yeah, I should be shouting about something right about now, right?
> Because I'm angry all the time."


> You know what my name was, what my parents
> named me, what my, what my mother named me? When I was born?"
>    "Kate told me," says Melody.
>    "Princess," says Cal with disgust.


> She did the same thing with Simon."
>    "Simon?"
>    "Aw, come on. Look at him. He's a hundred percent a Simon. He's so
> Simon it hurts."


> And Kate? Kate, she's definitely a Kate. It fits her.
> Strong, dependable name. And everything she does, it just fits. I
> mean, Jesus. Mom used to use her as an ashtray when she wasn't beating
> her. And she still kept being Kate!


> I didn't go through anywhere near
> as much as Kate did, but it's like I'm the one that's broken. Like
> I've been broken from birth. Like I got the wrong body, the wrong
> brain, the wrong family, the wrong life, the wrong name.

ohhhhhhhhhh :<

>    "So I flail around trying to fix it. 'Oh, she changed her name
> again, I wonder what it's going to be next week, isn't this so
> hilarious?' And Kate and Simon, and you, everyone, you see me and you
> don't understand there's something that needs to be fixed. Because you
> didn't need to fix it yourself. Because you've always been who you
> wanted to be. And, yeah, I still don't know who I am, but I know who
> I'm not, you know? And right now, because oops, Cal got hit with a
> shrink-ray, I have to be that thing. I have like zero agency. I don't
> even get to decide if I can eat when I'm hungry. So, yeah. Yeah, I'm
> pretty pissed about the whole thing."

aaaaaaaaaa jeez ;.;

(I can see what you mean about her being a secret main character.)

>    "Here," says Melody. She breaks off a flaky bite of fish and hands
> it to Cal. "I think it's okay. But it's really your choice, and I
> don't want to take it away from you."


>    "You think I'm happy," says Melody. "But if I'm honest, I'm the one
> that's angry all the time. Because there's stuff that's been put on
> me. Stuff that wasn't fair. Stuff that defines who I am, that puts a
> limit on what I can be, and how long I can be it. And I'm angry about
> it. Angry every single day."

*nodnods* Yeah. :/

>    "You don't give off that vibe."

Heeheeheehee vibe

>    "Thanks," says Cal. Then, quietly: "Calvin."
>    "What?"
>    "It's not short for Calliope anymore," she says. "It's short for
> Calvin. I haven't, I haven't told anyone. So if you could not...?"

awwwwwwwwww <3 <3 <3 Awesome.

>    "Can do. Cal, there's something else I need to tell you. I don't
> want you to wig out or anything, but it's not right for me to keep it
> from you. It's..."
>    ZAP!


> But Gareth's innate connection to the pulse of
> the universe-- even if that connection has been dulled by the
> inhibitors The Company has injected into his skin-- lets him know that
> he's been out for nearly an hour. Which means he knows that the sun
> just came up.
>    "Good morning," he says.

See, this is an appropriate time to be a confrontational asshole.

>    "What the hell?"
>    "I'm rescuing you. I think," she says. "You're Gareth Roberts?"

Oh hey, I really liked the Shada novelization. I kinda feel like Closing Time 
was a big step down from The Lodger, tho.

>    "I lost 'em. Which has happened exactly never and scares me half to death."
>    Kate swears under her breath. "Well, that's great, a dead end.
> Let's get you out of here."
>    "What, you're still going to help me?"
>    "It's kinda our thing."

Hell yeah >:D

>    "First, we need to get the two of you out of this alive," says
> Rainshade. "Metronome, someone's put a neuro-mystical bomb in your
> head. You better let me disarm it, or we won't get very far."
>    "Oh, okay, yes, let's do that." Rainshade places her fingertips on
> Metronome's forehead. In an instant, she's slumped to the ground. Then
> she waves her umbrella at Gareth dismissively: the restraints
> re-fasten themselves.
>    "Oh, this is bullocks."

Dangit Rainshade. >:| Everybody has their own reasons FOR BEING AN ASSHOLE

>    Well, that's not going to do me any good, thinks Cal. She scrambles
> her way out of his shoelaces, tumbling to the floor. The ceramic
> tiling is cool against her skin. A quick scan around the room reveals
> that there's at least a couple other jet-pack dudes. Before she's seen
> (or worse, squished), Cal decides to make a beeline for a nearby
> table. She catches her breath behind the polished wood leg. Okay.
>    Okay. How do we do this?


>    "Dang it. These are not the kind of questions I'm supposed to have
> to answer." She thumps her fist against the table leg, momentarily
> forgetting that Tiny Cal's strength is equal to that of Regular Cal.
> The table moves a quarter-inch with a nearly-deafening squeak;
> everything sounds louder when you're teeny-weeny.


>    ...But he forgot to pull his head back first, which means he smacks
> his noggin right against the wood with an audible THWACK.
>    His compatriot finds this to be hilarious, apparently, and head-guy
> finds him finding it hilarious to be resolutely not hilarious, which
> the second guy in turn finds to be even more hilarious.


  An argument
> ensues in whatever language jet-pack people use, and Cal takes that
> moment to make a run for the door.
>    "Okay," she says. "I got this."


Drew "aaaaaaaaaa SHE'S SO COOL" Perron

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