28 Apr 2008

Dry Mist (part 3 of 4)

“They’re killing us by the handful,” Kaph says. “Disgracing the leftovers too.”

“But we got you, Kaph. They can’t touch you.”

“Maybe not, but I can’t touch them either. I crawl around on invisible legs but if I were to throw a punch I’d slip right through, you know what I mean? I can evade but I’m only as strong as that. No one ever won a war strictly on the defense.”

“You’d be surprised, Kaph.” Rip shuffles the molecular deck of cards in front of him and splays them across the table. He drops a finger on the king of spades. Kaph studies the card and realizes it’s animated; the spade lifts out of place and implants itself in the king’s heart. “We got a plan to foil Montée. Don’t know why we haven’t tried it before. You’re gonna dig into his body. Easier to burn down a fort from inside.”

“I know why we haven’t tried it before. Montée knows about me, Rip. He knows what I do. I’m sure he already suspects me for that stunt I pulled last night. I can’t just waltz into him. He’s gonna have his defenses, Rip, he’s the king. Come on, don’t drop me between a rock and a hard place.”

“Cough your way out, it’s what you do best. This is war, Kaph. We gotta do what we gotta do. You think you can walk on cake the whole time?”

“Not war so much as liberation.”

“Call it what you will.”

Kaph sighs. “You lose me, you lose the only agent you got. The Vide’ll clean you out of here with a hose.”

“We won’t lose you! It’s foolproof!”

“In what sense? You don’t know the King’s defenses.”

“Cuz there ain’t any to know, Kaph, I promise you. Just do it. Honestly, man, this is the best scheme we’ve hatched so far, and you’re down on it?”

“The boldest – not necessarily the best. My instincts are quivering here, Rip.”

“You’ll pull shit like that corpse stunt and you won’t do this?”

Kaph shakes his head. “Whatever. I’ll do it. Your loss.”


cocaine jesus said...

sci-fi wizardry explodes onto discharge. bring on part four!

TICTAC said...

i read you with full attention...now i can't wait for the final part. so involving and skillfully written.