04 - Ebb and Flow

  • 04 - Ebb and Flow

    11 – Deliverance

    If pressed, he wouldn’t even have been able to name the city he was in. The architecture and time of day allowed him the probable answer that he was somewhere in Fairyland, but beyond that…nothing. Just one more area of ignorance. One more subject in which he was deficient. The fairy woman shot over the last ring of suburbs approaching the city. Jonathan tried to apologize for bleeding on her, but rushing air ate his words, so he kept silent. She banked to the right, dipped a little, and their destination became obvious – a transit center – one set on the edge of a lake, both busses and watercraft…

  • 04 - Ebb and Flow

    10 – Messenger

    CW: SA/attempted SA It had been slow, but he was building a routine. One that was changing and evolving as the rest of the Agency came back to life; even while the Field floor stayed mostly quiet, but it was a start. Jonathan made his coffee the slow, human way, taking some pride and comfort in the small actions. Boiling the kettle, measuring the exact amount of instant granules, and deciding how much sugar to treat himself with that day. Choices he was allowed to make. Control he was allowed to have.  Sometimes, Vincent hid springloaded snakes and other simple pranks in the kitchen, and each was as much a…

  • 04 - Ebb and Flow

    09 – Punchline

    Vincent stared at the selection of soda from his seat on the convenience store floor. Colas of varying caffeinated strengths. Energy drinks with various additives. Drinks that claimed to be fruit flavors of a rainbow of artificial colors. Just pick a soda. It should have been an easy task, but like every meal, every beverage he’d had since waking up – the second time – in the infirmary, he waited for the universe to tell him something about himself.  He’d definitely been on Earth – and Faerie – long enough to develop a couple of preferences, but he wished there was something more than vibes he could rely on. But,…

  • 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…