04 - Ebb and Flow

  • 04 - Ebb and Flow

    08 – Movement

    ‘Usually,’ Jonathan said, tilting his head to look up at Vincent, ‘there’s just-’ ‘Dodge!’ Vincent called out as his sunglasses slipped from his jacket pocket, along with his phone and the little Agent Mulder leather ID folder with his recently reinstated ID. Jonathan neatly stepped aside, the casualness of the reflex making Vincent wonder exactly how much of Jonathan’s walking-into-furniture pratfalling had been willingly participating in the prank and how much he’d- The suction cup on his knee popped loudly as he adjusted his position, crawled further along the ceiling, and considered his options. Right now, he was extremely safe, as this section of the multipurpose room was only about…

  • 04 - Ebb and Flow

    07 – Future Proofing

    Phoenix Agency 19th November It was astonishing how well requirements helped with setting up pranks. It wasn’t just a matter of being able to place objects where you couldn’t easily reach, it was that required objects would – to a reasonable degree – balance themselves and automatically decide optimal placement. Vincent had tried climbing a stepladder to place a bucket of water, once, then after that, had left it all up to a single requirement. It could handle a heavier bucket than he could easily hoist, and didn’t spill any drops that would alert any half-decent recruit who was wary that something might be up. And it was mostly recruits…

  • 04 - Ebb and Flow

    06 – Carving out the Self

    Phoenix Agency November 4th A piece of buttered toast. A piece of toast with jam. An attempt to make his mornings different from how they had been things had been with Victor. He still woke afraid, woke expecting another day of pain, of being used and treated like an object. He ate the buttered toast, and the pigeons arrived. He ate the jam toast, and non-bird company arrived.  Agent Jake, flanked by two security officers who seemed to be almost in grayscale compared to the aide-agent. Twin agents – the first twins he’d ever encountered, as there were none within the Phoenix network – with silver hair, not the graying…

  • 04 - Ebb and Flow

    05 – The Self and the Certainty

    Phoenix Agency 3rd November Vincent looked through the sliding doors of the infirmary. He could just see that Honeycutt was talking to someone without seeing who the other party was. Not unusual, over the past few days, there had been a lot of conversations about him that hadn’t included him. With Honeycutt in conversation outside and the guard recruit in the bathroom, it was the first time he’d been alone since he’d awoken and throttled the doctor. He suspected – with good reason – that there was likely someone watching the security feeds of the infirmary, just in case his fight-or-well-actually-just-fight instincts kicked in again. With no further incidents, everyone was relaxing more and…

  • 04 - Ebb and Flow

    04 – Fight, Flight and Flop

    Phoenix AgencyHalloween Tap. Tap. Tap. It was a small sound. A fingernail against plastic. A hand touched his arm, and- Injection. Potential attack. He yanked his left arm back, away from whoever was trying to attack him, thrust out his right arm, and aimed for – based on the position the attacker had to be in – the position of his opponent’s throat. Contact. He wrapped his hand around the throat and held firm, not tight. He had no actionable intelligence yet. No knowing if this was an enemy or ally or- Shouts. His opponent struggled. Hands grabbing at him on his right side, trying to pull his hand away.…

  • 04 - Ebb and Flow

    03 – A Softened Blow

    Phoenix Agency November 3rd Jonathan opened his eyes, and immediately looked for Victor. He’d slept without permission, and so he should expect- The room was empty, and he was alone. And if any god listened to any prayer, he’d never see Victor again, or at least…never be subject to his whims ever again. Never be in his control again.  He sat up, pushed the thin comforter aside, pressed his back against the wall, and looked across his room and the few items it held. His space, but in name only. It barely contained the necessities for people to recognize it as a living space.  It was two rooms, as most…

  • 04 - Ebb and Flow

    02 – The Bloody and The Broken Man

    Phoenix Agency, Arizona, USA Halloween If he was human, he’d be vomiting from stress. Someone – multiple someones – called his name, but he couldn’t see, couldn’t hear, couldn’t focus. Someone grabbed his arm, and he screamed, the drying blood around his mouth cracking and pulling on his skin as his face distended. If he screamed long enough, hard enough, maybe it would all rewind, go back to how it had been before- ‘Jonathan!’ The someone hadn’t let go of his arm and now had a hand on his shoulder. No. No contact. No touch. He had to be- Needed space. Needed to scream until he woke Chaos, and the…

  • 04 - Ebb and Flow

    01 – The Veil

    Queen St Agency, Brisbane, Australia Halloween ‘I hate this.’ ‘Newbie, you have to understand, on the scale of things, this isn’t so bad.’ Stef rummaged again through the decorated pillowcase to look at the goodies he’d brought back. Halloween, trick or treating through the Tech Department, Tech Treating, and she was too Top Secret to attend, even in disguise. At first, when Curt had told her about Tech Treating, she’d imagined people handing out the kind of thing you’d expect – or what a basic amalgam of real and assumed knowledge had told her to expect. When she’d been a little kid, Halloween wasn’t something people did in Brisbane –…

  • 04 - Ebb and Flow

    00 – Ebb and Flow – Cover, Warnings and Notes

    Welcome to Ebb and Flow, Book #4 of Ash and Blue. For Stef, it’s time for her first proper steps as an agent – and her first assignment brings her face to face with the undead mermaids that inhabit the river…and the long-ignored reality that they represent. For Curt, he’s juggling Stef as well as Brisbane’s newest newbie, an international transfer that Ryan has taken in as a favour to be called in later. And for Vincent, it’s time to figure out how many of Australia’s animals can kill you, and what happens when you get swooped by a magpie. Ebb and Flow will introduce us to the Phoenix Agency,…

  • 04 - Ebb and Flow,  News and Stuff

    An Introduction to Ebb and Flow

    Stormy So back in…2012? Back in the 2.0 days, Wraith had a friend visit him in Colorado and in that time, fully indoctrinated said friend to Cookie. This is how I met Shade. After reading 2.0 Shade…fully became a fanboy, and did what any good fanboy does and immediately write fic starring an OC. (More people should do this. Or at least volunteer for cameos) And he wanted to get the details right, or had questions about how some mechanic worked, or something. So Wraith made a Skype group for the three of us (remember that? remember when Skype was good???) and I clarified whatever he was asking about and…