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[personal profile] wonder_city
This just gets harder and harder to write...

Only Got Four Minutes To Save The World

I'm pretty sure I was getting seasick, even though I'd never been on a damn boat in my life. Poor old Flori wasn't sure what to make of me—my scent had changed, I think, with Sophie driving, and all my body language was different. Poor baby kept trying to crawl into my lap to make things better, and when Sophie wouldn't let her, she settled for crawling to the chair behind me.

Allow me to remind you that Floribunda is not a small dog.

So there's my gloriously fatass body with a brainiac twenty-something running it, teetering on the edge of my seat with a giant coward of a pit bull squished in behind it.

And there's me, mashed into Jane Liberty's tempestuous head, going down for the fifth or sixth or hundredth time.

... I looked at the President and said, "Sir, it's time."

He blinked at me. "For what?"

"For the bunker at Fort Wilson," I said, looking as grave as I could manage.

"But if I..." he said. He ran his hand through his salt-and-pepper hair. "Can't you just wait another few months, until after the election…?"

"No, sir," I said. "I can feel myself slipping away, day by day. How long will it be before I slip in a way that kills people? No, sir, I would feel much safer if you gave the order." And maybe this would kill his party's chance in the next election…

I couldn't afford to be curious, because I'd get pulled in, but this woman kept a fuckton of shit in her head.

In the present: she'd destroyed six of 25 generators. "How many before you can bring her up here?" I asked Sophie.

"Another six or seven generators, I think," Sophie said, mentally gritting her teeth at me. "Hang…"

I could see the thing growing in Mama, I could see it growing, but I couldn't figure it out, I couldn't fix it. "Go to the doctor, Mama," I pleaded.

"There is no money," Mama always said.

"... I think the reason you're getting swamped so much is the power she's using," Sophie was saying. "There's a temporal element…"

I handed Mama a wad of cash and said, "Now you can go to the doctor."

She looked at me so gravely. "Where did you get this money, Jane?"

I looked at her, seeing the thing inside her staring back at me, and said, "Does it matter? You can go to the doctor!"

She exclaimed something I'd never heard her say in Spanish before and threw the money in my face. "It matters. If you don't think it matters, then you are not my daughter."

"... can feel it fucking with the telepathic link, can't you?" Sophie was saying.

"I can, but there ain't shit I can do about it," I said.

Dottie understood, Dottie always understood. I was legally too young—I'd told her that when she asked me, though I hadn't intended to—but she could see the potential. She brought me into the Gold Stars and gave me the advance on my pay I'd asked for.

I handed Mama my check, my check with its shiny gold foil star in the corner, and said, "Now will you go to the doctor?"

Mama gave me her most beautiful smile, the smile I knew had won my father's heart, and said, "Yes, now I will go."

"Get her back on course!" Sophie snapped.

I gently wrenched Jane's mind back on topic, and our stomach clenched painfully with shame, and stayed that way, agonizing, though I tried to soothe her embarrassment. I felt her punch through the next one in Africa.

"That's perfect, Jane," Sophie said. "Now I need you to cut across the south Atlantic…"

I made myself look at Bernie at the end, even though all I could see at that point was the thing that had taken her body from me. I could just see, through the thing, that she was smiling at me as I gently, so gently, held her hand. "It's okay, Jay," she growled in the voice the thing had given her, "it's really okay. I'm ready."

"You're leaving me alone, Bern," I said, and I couldn't stop the tears then.

"I know, I'm sorry," she whispered. "But you've got Hal now. He's kind of a shithead, though," she admitted.

"And he's not you. None of them are," I said. "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry I couldn't do anything."

"Jay, even you can't work miracles," Bernie said.

I managed to stop Jane from overshooting her destination in south Chile, and she came around in a sharp turn that made our stomach lurch. Jesus, had she always flown like this?

"Got it," Sophie said. "There are three more in the mountains up the coast, just run up the coastline, just like that…"

"Mama, please let me try to fix it," I said quietly.

"No, Jane," she said, just as quietly but firmly. "God put it there, and if He wills, He will help the doctors take it away."

"Mama, please," I tried again, wishing God would just fuck right on off.

"No, Jane," she said. "Healing is not your gift. You know that, I know that. The doctors will help me."

We were navigating the complicated coastal mountains of South and Central America all together, so that kept me from going under for a while.

"Why are you using this blinking ability?" I asked her at one point.

"Because I can't use Blitzkreig's full speed in atmosphere," Jane said. "Using Blinken's power lets me move nearly as fast without the atmospheric disruption. I'll drop it when I head to space." After a moment, she said, "I'm sorry it's making it harder for you."

"It's all right," I said, though we both knew it wasn't. Jane had been my first teacher in reining in my telepathy, and she knew what riding another's mind was like. She knew, possibly better than anyone else, what my history was with that.

I stripped Blitzkreig's powers from her as she ran past me. She had just killed the first American Dream, an earnest young man with beautiful blue eyes and a big voice who now had a hole where his chest used to be. (I'd copied his eyes whenever the Army wanted me blonde and blue-eyed for photos.) I tried not to hear her screams as she shattered her feet, but at least they didn't last long once she started sliding across the ground at just sub-sonic speed…

"All's fair for War," I said, not quite to Sophie, feeling a little glazed.

Floribunda's tail thumped against the arm of the chair, and we felt her shove her cold, wet nose against the skin of my back where my shirt had ridden up.

Date: 2014-06-03 04:40 pm (UTC)
kore: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kore

All that Doctor Who stuff about 'you turn people into soldiers &c &c,' but it's still glamorized on that show. This is so devastating in comparison, showing the real cost.

Date: 2014-06-04 01:20 am (UTC)
heavenscalyx: (Default)
From: [personal profile] heavenscalyx
Jane has had a long and violent life.

Date: 2014-06-03 04:45 pm (UTC)
akycha: (Default)
From: [personal profile] akycha
Oh my gods her mother.

All the things we keep in the backs of our minds that we don't want to think about. Telepathy is the worst. The worst.

Date: 2014-06-03 11:24 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I think it's worse because Jane can't keep this stuff in the back of her head. The Dementia's making it almost impossible for her to keep her mind on track.

Date: 2014-06-04 01:20 am (UTC)
heavenscalyx: (Default)
From: [personal profile] heavenscalyx
Yessss. Otherwise, she's got some experience in tamping down her brain.

Date: 2014-06-04 01:20 am (UTC)
heavenscalyx: (Default)
From: [personal profile] heavenscalyx
Renata would agree with you.

Great chapter

Date: 2014-06-05 04:33 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Thanks for the latest installment.

Re: Great chapter

Date: 2014-08-11 02:19 am (UTC)
heavenscalyx: (Default)
From: [personal profile] heavenscalyx
Thank you!


wonder_city: (Default)
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