Three Months Before Impact Day
Being cut out of solid concrete was just about the second least fun thing to ever happen to me. The first was spending a month trapped in a block of concrete.
It was impossible to keep track of the time, of course, but my captive wasn’t the brightest. He wore a watch with the date on it. His attempts to keep me in the dark weren’t entirely successful.
Three months, I’ve been waiting. How much longer does Rachel need?
An entire month of not being able to move, not being able to breathe, not being able to see. The entire first week was basically one extended panic attack, and after that, it was just crushingly, despairingly dull, and very, very uncomfortable.
They weren’t gentle when they cut me out. It wasn’t like they needed to be. I was going to be fine, regardless of what they did.
When they finally did have me completely freed, and I was sitting back down in that bloody interrogation room, there was just a hint of fear in my captor’s eyes. He tried to mask it with smugness, but the fact that I’d made it through what he’d done unscathed had gotten to him.
You ain’t seen nothing, yet, arsehole.
“Ready to resume your narrative?” he asked.
“I think I’d rather just take another concrete nap,” I said.
“Don’t tempt me.”
“Fine, where did I leave off?”
“Your girlfriend’s mum locked you out,” he said dryly.
“Right. Turns out my adoptive father was very supportive, approved of the relationship, gave me a phone, Rachel taught me to shoot, and then we came out to her mum, who took it very badly.”
“That was… blessedly brief,” he said, raising an eyebrow. “Maybe the concrete did you good after all.”
“Oh, and I took down a safehouse,” I said.
“Ah, yes. I recall.” He leaned across the table, and it would have been so easy to headbutt him. I tried hard to resist the temptation. “So tell me, did it ever occur to you to research the origins of your power?” he asked, leaning back slightly, relaxed and casual.
“No,” I answered with a completely straight face.
Seriously? You weren’t the least bit curi- oh. Sarcasm.”
“You’re very perceptive,” I mocked him.
“Did you ever learn anything about yourself?” he asked, ignoring the taunt.
“Have your scientists learned anything?” I asked, already knowing the answer.
“I’m impossible,” I told him.
“Evidently not,” he replied, raising an eyebrow.
“I did find something. Or rather, someone.”
“Colour me intrigued,” he said, suddenly interested. His attitude towards me had become almost friendly, and I did all I could to encourage that. I’d managed to strike the right balance of sarcastic and standoffish, and honesty and implied trust.
“I can’t tell you who they are,” I said.
“I can be very persuasive,” he said, and it almost sounded like a threat.
“I was wondering how long it would take before you started threatening me.”
He held his hands up in a show of surrender. I didn’t buy it, but it meant he was playing along just like I was. That was all I needed from him.
“Fine. Tell me as much as you can, and I’ll decide what the rest of the information is worth,” he said. Good enough for me.
“Okay.” I took a deep breath, more for dramatic effect than anything else. I wanted to have his attention. “I’m not the only supernatural in this city.”
“You said there wasn’t anyone like you,” he said, a dangerous glint in his eye.
“She’s not like me.”
“It’s a woman, then?” he asked, just like I knew he would. Better he focus on that than the fact that I lied.
“Either that or I’m lying to make it harder for you,” I said. He shrugged.
“Okay. Tell me about this woman.”
“Imagine a person who could lift a car,” I said. “Or move fast enough to punch you in the back of the head before you realised they weren’t standing in front of you anymore.”
“Sounds like something out of a comic book.”
“So does a lot of my life,” I pointed out.
“Point taken. So, you can’t tell me who it is, but you found this person?” he asked, desperate for any scrap of information I would give him. It was obvious just from looking at him.
“I did. And she knows what I am,” I added.
“She wouldn’t tell me,” I said, which was only half true. “She wouldn’t help me.”
“Why not?” he asked, sounding almost personally slighted.
“I don’t know,” I said.
“So you just gave up?”
“Gave up? Not a chance. I decided to twist her arm,” I said, enjoying the intense curiosity on his face.
“And how did you do that?”
“I’m getting there,” I told him.
Next Week: You Are Genuinely Afraid Of Me