• 02 - Mirrorheart

    50 – The Ways Forward

    There were little tricks all over the Agency, some far more subtle than others.   One of those little pieces of subtlety was the elevators, where the main, obviously accessible set of buttons listed a selection of floors – the “occupied” floors of the Agency. In contrast, if you needed to go to a storage floor, the roof or the basement, you needed to use the smaller panel to type in the floor number.   Curt slid his ID against the reader and typed in the number of the unoccupied floor. One, judging by the logo that appeared on the little information panel, belonged to Tech.   Tech. He’d expected…

  • 02 - Mirrorheart

    49 – Doubts and Answers

    ‘I like you,’ Mags said.   Curt ran the sentence through his head a few times, then propped himself on an arm to look over at the still-naked Mags. ‘Obviously,’ he said. ‘You don’t kick me out as soon as we’re done. I know that’s a rare privilege.’   She required a pillow, slipped it behind herself, tossed a towel aside, retrieved her phone and stared at it for a moment before looking back to him.   ‘You don’t think the afterglow is sacred. I hate when people insist on silence after fucking. If you’re in love, it’s different, but when it’s just sex, I don’t need some stupid countdown…

  • 02 - Mirrorheart

    33 – Domestic Bliss

    Picard launched into a speech, and around mouthfuls of pizza, Curt heard himself mumbling along.   Dinner and Trek had become a nightly ritual. Most episodes were familiar enough to fade into white noise when he needed to pick up a file and work, but comforting enough when his attention strayed from the Agency.   The unofficial aide position was still as fraught with difficulty as it had been in the first few days – stepping on Ryan’s toes with some bits of processing, becoming even more of an outsider amongst his peers.   But just like his early days as a recruit, he was finding a routine, despite the…

  • 02 - Mirrorheart

    30 – Discontent

    Curt stared at the inbox, then slid his chair a little to the right, and went back to picking at his breakfast.   He’d never had an ordinary work life – after school and after graduation, he’d worked for his dad’s stores, hauling cartons of fruit and veg for a pay cheque inflated by nepotism.   There’d never really been anything to work out there – there was always some experienced manager ready to yell instructions about what truck to pack or unpack.   Even learning the register had taken all of five minutes to understand.   Then there’d been his time with the Solstice – both the closest and…

  • 02 - Mirrorheart

    24 – Ground State

    As strange as the thought was, he felt like he was going unarmed to an execution.   Not bringing a knife to a gun fight, not bringing words to a brawl, but…going naked to a place where it was almost certain someone meant him harm.   Curt looked down at himself – the choice of dress was deliberate: uniform pants, shirt and tie. Enough to show that he was still toeing the line, without being stifled by the entire uniform.   And if another fight broke out – well, it was easier to fight like this without stopping to shrug off a coat, or worry that Ryan would be able…

  • 02 - Mirrorheart

    23 – Trespasser

    It wasn’t trespassing, but it felt like it.   The dead didn’t have personal space, not really, but it still felt wrong to be standing there.   Curt stared at the apartment door, at the worn wood, and stuffed his right hand into his pocket to stop himself from knocking on the door. It was something…someone had once told him, maybe his dad, maybe his grandmother, that it was bad luck to knock on the door of an empty house.   As if maybe knocking would arouse an angry spirit. Like a knock could make an unoccupied house into an occupied one.   Feeling stupid with every inch of movement,…

  • 02 - Mirrorheart

    20 – An Attempt to Rise

    Stef was bleeding. One arm was cuffed to the bars of her cell. Blood gushed down her head like her head had been smacked against the metal a dozen times.   There was a hammer in his hand.   He swung the hammer at the bars, and she screamed. He swung it again, and blood gushed to the floor, her throat slit.   She grabbed at her throat, coughing and gasping for breath, her eyes wide.   The floor turned to blood, but her uniform shirt remained white.   She continued to bleed, her fists pounding the bloody floor and-   Curt opened his eyes.   His heart pounded in…

  • 02 - Mirrorheart

    13 – Running from the Mask

    Curt stared at the ceiling, his bloody hand cradled in his lap.   At least here he could breathe properly – it was always so hard to breathe in the Agency. Anywhere outside of those four walls still seemed…safer.   The first months had been the worst – expecting Petersen to appear at any moment and finally finish the job. To kill him one more time without calling on Agency medical technology to bring him back from the brink.   As time went on though, the odds of that happening anywhere outside of his nightmares dropped further and further. A tiny bit of safety, even if he only had the…

  • 02 - Mirrorheart

    11 – Cruel World

    He couldn’t breathe.   Every breath felt mechanical. Felt artificial. Felt unreal.   Curt stared at the footpath, at the dirt, at the worn patches in the concrete, touched by thousands or millions of shoes, and did his best not to think.   And as much as he tried to clear his mind, every breath brought screaming static. Every breath brought up memories, made assumptions and inferences about what would happen to a recruit in the hands of a sadistic Solstice.   There was a scream in his chest, and he wished it would crush his heart.   He squeezed the Genie phone in his hand and watched his knuckles…

  • 02 - Mirrorheart

    09 – Come Crashing Down

    Curt wasn’t even sure he was breathing as he sprinted down the hall.   It was easy to ignore the looks his fellow recruits gave him as he ran – they were always giving him weird looks for one reason or another. Well. One reason. The defining reason. The only thing about him that mattered anymore. Solstice. Ex-Solstice. Monster.   The same kind of monsters likely responsible for Newbie being MIA.   He pounded his fist against the door of Ryan’s office – this wasn’t the polite and cautious knock of “Recruit Curt”. This wasn’t the knock he gave when he secretly hoped that Ryan wouldn’t open the door.  …