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[personal profile] wonder_city
They Tell Me That I'll Move Forward for the Good of Us All

Nereid crept guiltily into Sophie's laboratory at the heart of the Young Cosmics' headquarters. She knew Sophie was going to be upset. She knew she shouldn't have done it. She knew, she knew, she knew.

"Hey, you," Sophie said, glancing up from the tiny mechanism she was working on today. Then she paused and flipped the microscopic-view lens out from in front of her glasses so she could see Nereid more clearly. "What's wrong, Pacifica?"

"Nothing," Nereid lied. She knew she lied badly, especially to Sophie.

"You went out," Sophie said, her voice flattening and her face locking down over any expression.

"I just needed a new hairbrush," Nereid said defensively. She wilted under Sophie's silent scrutiny after only a few seconds. "I'm going stir-crazy in here, all day every day, Sophie!"

Sophie sighed and put her tools down. After a moment of staring at the desktop, she rose and put her arms around Nereid. "I'm sorry. I know you're going stir-crazy. Everyone is, but particularly you."

"Because you let them go out," Nereid said, the sulkiness slipping out before she could stop it. She saw that she'd hit Sophie where it hurt and immediately regretted it. "I'm sorry, I know you've said that it's extra dangerous for me, but I just don't understand. I mean, I'm a Class 10 para..."

"Class 10 paras can be taken by surprise and clubbed down," Sophie said. "But it's not that kind of danger I'm worried about though."

"The riot last month really shook you up," Nereid said, frowning. "That's when you said I couldn't go out at all."

"Yeah," Sophie said in a tone that Nereid knew meant she wasn't going to explain. Sophie leaned her forehead against Nereid's and closed her eyes.

"I wish you would tell me why," Nereid said, and it came out more pathetic than she'd meant.

"It's a feeling," Sophie said, as she had before. "I don't have any data to back it up."

Nereid didn't believe her -- there was something a little too polished about the lines. Sophie was too good at lying sometimes. But she didn't say that, just bit her lip.

Sophie said, after a moment, "Did the Men in Black find you again?"

Nereid gave her a worried look and said, "You shouldn't call them that, it's disrespectful."

"You didn't like my other nickname for them either." Sophie sighed and opened her eyes. "What did they give you?"

"They didn't...!" Nereid clenched her hand to try to hide the pretty little steel promise ring. "They just... talked. And read to me."

Sophie stepped back after feeling around Nereid's neck for a chain, and gently took each of her hands. Nereid relented and let her take the ring, though she felt a sharp pang of regret as it left her finger.

Sophie didn't even examine it, she just threw it into what Nereid knew was a small disposal unit. Nereid winced at the sound of something grinding up the metal of the ring.

"Come on," Sophie said, her eyes terribly sad in a way that made Nereid want to apologize repeatedly. "Come on, it's late, let's go to bed." She took Nereid's hand and drew her out of the laboratory.

A terrible stab of guilt flashed through Nereid, but she didn’t say anything.


Author's Note:

Oh, Nereid. Oh, Sophie.

Thanks for the linking and such to Madame's readings offer! I've got a full reading and 5-card reading to do up for folks. :)

Don't forget to vote for Wonder City Stories at Top Webfiction!

Date: 2012-06-20 03:51 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Well, there's a thing. How do you respect someone's agency, when their agency already has a third party's grubby mind control fingerprints all over it?

Although, from the way Nereid is acting toward Sophie, it sounds like what the MIBs might be doing is heightening people's tendency to be authoritarian followers, rather than outright mind control.

"Because you let them go out," Nereid said...

Who's "them"? The other Young Cosmics?

(--interleaper, not being let past the captcha)

Date: 2012-06-21 01:54 am (UTC)
heavenscalyx: (Default)
From: [personal profile] heavenscalyx
Well, Nereid isn't exactly Miss Dominant Personality in the first place.

And yes, the other Young Cosmics. I should've made that clearer, so thanks for pointing it out!

Date: 2012-06-20 05:01 pm (UTC)
the_rck: (Default)
From: [personal profile] the_rck
You're really building the tension. I almost dread finding out what's going on.

Thanks for writing!

Date: 2012-06-21 01:54 am (UTC)
heavenscalyx: (Default)
From: [personal profile] heavenscalyx
Hee. Thanks!

Date: 2012-06-20 07:28 pm (UTC)
kore: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kore
Promise ring??

There will be SCREAMS next week, including mine, I bet!

Date: 2012-06-21 01:54 am (UTC)
heavenscalyx: (Default)
From: [personal profile] heavenscalyx
Hooopefully there will be screams. Hooooopefully.

Date: 2012-06-20 07:55 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Oh, my. This is sounding like one of those insidious things that's going to be awfully hard to overcome, even once it's identified ...

- Kriz

Date: 2012-06-21 01:55 am (UTC)
heavenscalyx: (Default)
From: [personal profile] heavenscalyx

Date: 2012-06-21 02:17 am (UTC)
kyleri: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kyleri

Date: 2012-06-21 02:27 pm (UTC)
heavenscalyx: (Default)
From: [personal profile] heavenscalyx
Yay flail!

Date: 2012-06-27 05:11 pm (UTC)
sixolet: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sixolet

I just started reading WCS earlier this week, and basically mainlined the whole thing. Now I don't have instant gratification anymore, and I want to know what's neeeeext! Different!Megan is so terrifying!

Date: 2012-06-27 06:06 pm (UTC)
sixolet: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sixolet
I just realized that sounded demanding, and I forgot to say a heartfelt THANKS for all the writing you've done :)

Date: 2012-06-27 07:49 pm (UTC)
heavenscalyx: (Default)
From: [personal profile] heavenscalyx
Thank YOU for reading! Welcome! I'm so glad to hear that you've been enjoying the stories!

Date: 2012-08-10 06:48 pm (UTC)
the_leaky_pen: (Default)
From: [personal profile] the_leaky_pen

Seriously, I'm dying here. *reads on*

Poor Nereid

Date: 2013-02-27 05:36 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I seem to remember that Aloysius stole a ring that she ended up having to buy when she tried to return it. Is that the ring that Sophie just destroyed?



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