Showing posts from February, 2017

Mongrel: Arriving at Zoo Hall

Tardi, still with victory in his heart at Shad’s escape, ignored Neil’s fury. The hoverole crossed over grass and parkland as Neil drove toward the back entrance of Zoo Hall with about as much care for lawns and plants as his passengers. 
“Take it easy,” Zebe said. “Have us fined by the garden-bots in a minute.”
She’s not crying now. I was right. All an act. But why? 
“The Tree-hair has been against me from the minute we met,” Neil said. “I’m making sure he gets the full treatment. Get you out from under him too.”
Zebe toggled the passenger’s rear vision mirror, angling it to glare at Tardi. 
Still mad with him. None of it boded well for his welcome. 
“Don’t even dream of you and me as a pair, Neil,” Zebe said. “Not going to happen.” 
Neil braked. “So why are you here?”
“I’m seeing that Tardi isn’t broken in the time it takes Security to get him to the apartments?”
“Why would they break me?” Tardi said. “I’m volunteering to come in, I thought.”
Neil laughed. “Too bad you didn’t come in that fir…

Mongrel: Concrete Proof for Zebe

In which Zebe herself, through her visit to Zoo Hall, organises proof that the monster sometimes exists in Tardi ...
Tardi and Shad softened down hard bread rolls by wetting them under the tap when they heard the individual sound of Neil’s customised hoverole swing through the intersection into the residential community.
“His air intake pipes have got to have been squeezed to make that screaming,” Tardi said. 
“I’ll get the door!” Zebe called.
There had been no communication between Tardi and Zebe since their upset. 
The hoverole squealed to a halt as Zebe reached the front of the house.  
Rumble rumble, said a male voice. Zebe’s voice was insistent about something. Finally Neil gave way, promising something. 
“Couldn’t understand a word,” Shad said. 
Neil followed Zebe into the open plan living space. 
“Gennelman wears his ‘gzitement right out,” Shad said in a broad version of the Stormy dialect.
Tardi nodded. Neil wore a fixed smile and a tense demeanour. His eyes glittered. He rubbed his han…

Mongrel: What the Old Time Stormies Figured

“Tell me again at the same time,” Zebe said. 

Tardi breathed. In. Out. Tell them one more time. Patiently. “I’m not after being feminised. Far from it.”

Zebe interrupted. “Yet that will be the result. The side effect of taking those drugs. There has got to be a really excellent line of reasoning in place to get the chemicals released. And no way can we get anything in that line released without the backing of an organisation.” 

“In other words, a fucking good story,” Tardi said. “I see that. I’ve been thinking on it, gribs and grabs because having to do it without alerting the puppeteer.” He waited for their acknowledgements. Shad nodded. “Also known to the Stormies as the Great Bastard,” he said for Zebe’s benefit. He cross-legged to the floor in the doorway. 

“Remember that I will want real evidence,” Zebe said. She sat on the bed. 

Tardi marshalled words. “Humanity hasn’t got any way of taming or stopping the Great Bastard that I can see,” he said. “Read tame as contain, because I don’t …

Mongrel: When 1 + 1 + 1 = 2

In which neither Shad nor Zebe understand the reasons for what must come to pass ... 
A hoverole that was probably a cab, since it didn’t come with the excruciating sound effects that Neil’s vehicle produced stopped at the front door and went off again after an interval long enough to let someone off. 

The someone negotiated the locks on the front door as if trying to enter without being heard. 

“It’s Zebe,” Shad said.

“Don’t say another word,” Tardi said. “I’m aware of every fucking danger courtesy of all my fucking nightmares.”  He soft-footed down the stairs and entered the kitchen.

Zebe stared into the open fridge.

“Hey there,” Tardi said to her back.

She jumped. “Looking for a snack. Neil scored a night shift he couldn’t wiggle out of. One of his mates dropped me off. Kitchen is pretty tidy for two blokes shut in for the day. Did you eat anything?” She closed the fridge and turned in a smooth move. 

Tardi quirked a smile. She had a rushed explanation that shifted into a judgmental commen…