2011 NANO Part 8
John looks befuddled. As first among equals he is rarely shouted down or questioned. His movements go unquestioned, his powers unexamined, and his mandates get followed. As he starts to make a generic hand motion to slowdown or even stop Jerimia he is cut off when Jerimia spying his intent throws a balled up pieces of paper at him, “Not now John I am on a roll, also I think different pain medications are kicking in. I’m totally not sure but holy crap I feel great. Look I know you are upset about last night. I am upset about last night. I lost my leg, now I have like this horrible cyberpunk nightmare thing attached to me and I am not thrilled about it. We do our things John. Sure we try our best and sometimes we fail and yeah last night is definitely one of the failures but hey you fixed the virgin, Rebecca’s horse is almost fixed…”
Rebecca sits up, “What do you mean almost?”
The fact that he said horse goes politely ignored. Alexander shuffles his feat nervously and looks away. Stephen being the last to drop his eyes gets himself a Rebecca all fixated on him. The thing about Rebecca isn’t just so much that she is beautiful but part of the way she is, is that she can get anything from anyone just by being herself extra hard. Most of the world shakers are immune but the young ones, Rebecca has realized, are far more vulnerable to her than the others. Stephen’s face reddens and he starts to shuffle his feet. Looking around for help he realizes quickly that everyone else is far to busy being thankful that they aren’t him. Rebecca smiles coyly and it is over. Sure Stephen manages to hold out for another three minutes. But thous three minutes are a history of utter defeat and the sort of demoralizing spirit crushing that would make Churchhill proud. It began to look like the way fish do when the flop at the bottom of the boat, still fighting, but its hopeless. There is no turning back. Stammering turns to sputtering until he finally collects himself and admits, “Well as Alex-”
“Shut up Alex. As me an Alexander we wrapping things up we noticed that reality is kinda fundamentally weakened around your house…” Stephen explains but one most of them stop listening. It starts when John leans forwards interested to hear more about the weakened reality. No one notices this except Wilson. Wilson’s attension fixates on John and he watches and wonders as John appears fascinated by what Stephen is saying. John is what he is. As far as Wilson can remember he has never particularly leaned forward and listened intently to anything anyone has said ever. Wilson’s atension remains focused. Jerimia whoes atension is normally in 7 different places at once somehow managed to notice Wilson noticing John. Jared who is only half interested in the nature of reality quickly notices the snowball effect, which is then joined by Deven and lastly Alexander. The whole thing doesn’t last more than five minutes but at the end just about all eyes are on both Wilson and John and then when Stephen finnishes, none the wiser, everyone immediately becomes incredibly interested in something else.
John not noticing any of this smiles, nods more to himself than anyone else and seems to say outloud to himself, “Will it be okay for the rest of the week?”
Stepehn and Alexander look at each other both at a loss. Alexander looks puzzed while he says, “I mean if something major doesn’t notice it, it should be fine. We aren’t sure how the weakness happened or where it leads to. Like if it is weak on the heaven side of things they will fix it for us. If it is weak on the star thing side of things, well some of them might fix it and some of them might break through, same with hell or any number of other places. I mean it is the fabric of stuff that is weak, no telling what is on the other side.”
Looking sheepish Stephen adds, “We were going to tell you Rebecca, we noticed it on the way out and we were going to go back tomorrow after we got some sleep and did some reading up on the subject to maybe get an idea of what we are dealing with you know? I mean it isn’t something we can just fix. It is like what happened with Jared’s soul only bigger and in a chunk of reality”
Jared looks slightly insulted, “Hey now my soul isn’t damaged it is just that I changed part of it into something else and things happened as a result of that”
Stephen waves him off, “Truth be told John it is going to have to wait for the rest of the week at least until we can figure out what exactly we can do with it, unless you can help us with it?”
All eyes on John. John is more of a panic button than anything else. They come to him when things really hit the fan, the man of last resorts, or the one who catches you when you go off the reservation and no one else knows it. John looks thoughtful for a moment, “Maybe I can help. I am not sure I am going to be enough though and I don’t think what I do and you two do get along very well. Rebecca with your premission I would like to swing by and check the area of the disturbance. I won’t come inside your house and I probably won’t tell you I’m there when I do it. Is that alright?”
Shocked she somehow manages to muster her forces enough to say, “Sure no problem. Stephen Alexander you both are welcome as well.
Alexander smiles, “We might have to go into the house, the whole weakness might be caused by the way you gather energy and the way the energy so if you could gear it up as if you were recruiting that would be great”
She hesitates nervously for a minute, “Erm sure that shouldn’t be to much of a problem”
John claps his hands suddenly, “Alright our time is coming to an end. Now keep in mind that our meeting is in two weeks and it light of yesterday’s events we are going to have to do something special. It is also our annual outing so be ready for it”
Everyone except Rebecca groans. John waves it off and strides out of the room and just like that it is like he was never there. Wilson may set it all up alone but they break it down together. Putting the chairs away, cleaning up the coffee, straightening things up the room becomes filled with an intensely idle chatter. On most of their minds there is one subject, John, but no one wants to be the one who brings it up. None of them knew very much about each other in terms of day to day existence. Put enough megalomaniacal people in a room with apocalyptic designs and topics like, “and this is what I did today” tend to not come up. Of all of them John is the biggest enigma. Room cleaned, chairs straightened, and with nothing left to do everyone stands there awkwardly until Deven throws his arms in the air, “Fuck this I am going to Dairy Queen WHO’S WITH ME!”
There is nothing quite like Dairy Queen the rally the troops.
The Dairy Queen in questioned is almost always abandoned on their meeting days which essentially gives them free run of the place. They all suspect one another of doing something to keep the wider, uglier world away. None of them can fathom the idea that they hold their meetings in an area that doesn’t like Dairy Queen very much. When they arrive the poor girl behind the counter takes a big breath and fights not to roll her eyes. She is a pretty girl going on that age where she is a little to old to be running a counter at Dairy Queen but a little to financially unstable to go somewhere else and while she is a spectacularly gorgeous person, her name is Emma. Deven is conviced that it her weak ass name holding her back. One time they caught him trying to build a time matchine so he could go back sit down, and have a long talk with her dad about the importance of naming children and how Emma, even if it is a family name, is a name that will damn your child to a river of mediocrity and sadness. Jerimia believes some pretty strange things and everyone in the group are happy that everyone else in the group keeps close tabs on him. It isn’t so much that he is evil but rather he just doesn’t know any better. Besides if they change her name from Emma then they will be stuck with some other girl who isn’t nearly as good and that would be tragic to say the least.
Emma knew that they weren’t the worst customers, after all she lives near crack heads. However, they are loud, weird, the hang around forever, and they always seem to make a huge mess even as they try to clean up their mess. Long suffering she stoicly sorts through the chaotic mass of words that were their orders and prepares to make their cones. Luckily for her just about everyone will always order one of two things so she only ever needs to listen to half of their orders before she knows exactly what to get them.
All of the world shakers love Emma and while they are more likely to commit genocide than help a girl out there pretty much isn’t anything that any of them wouldn’t do for her. They love her in the way annoying dog people love their dogs. Yes more than one of them have pictures of her in their wallet that they like to show to people who they force to be interested because they tied them up. Once one of Wilson’s light bringers went after Emma. Wilson still occationally wears the gloves he made out of his skin. See the new skin is always the softest, and when you cure new skin in just the right way, well nothing really compares. The best way to get the old skin off to allow the new skin to grow is a sander. Wilson claims that he spent two months making those gloves. After that the light bringers learned that messing with Emma is one of those things you do when you are tired of being comfortable and happy. Emma didn’t know any of that of course. All she knew is that the group of them irritates the crap out of her.
Once the cones, drinks, and other various foodstuffs of the utterly unhealthy variety are distrubted they flit about the place talking about this and that all the while knocking things over and moving things around, even if it isn’t entirely necessary.
Stephen finnishes his cone and contemplates getting another one before he notices Alexander in a similar situation, “Hey Alex, I was wondering. You think the virgin is damaged too?”
“You mean reality wise?
“Well yeah I mean we kinda broke the fabric of everything that keeps everything together. We are okay, but we are different if you know what I mean. She was right in the middle of it and lets face it the fact that she survived any of that at all is pretty far fetched and there is a pretty good possibility that some part of her drifted away or got snagged on something. You think we should go check on her?”
Alexander looks deep in thought. It is a good five minuts before he answers, “Well it is going to be tricky to do. I don’t know what sort of locks John put on her mind but I know that the scars we left will definitely run deep, if she sees us things might get pretty bad, spells will be cast and who knows we might end up right back where we started.”
Jared overhearing comes over, “Well still it might be worth checking up on her. I mean it is our fault that all that stuff happed to her, especially when we never meant to do it. See all those people I’ve hurt on purpose? I’ve never felt bad about those. You do it because you need/want to and the consiquences are easier to live with, but the people who I hurt by acident. I still feel those, despite it all.”
Alexander looks shocked, “You’ve hurt people on purpose? I can’t imagine you doing that”
Jared looks grim, “There are certain things that I don’t joke around with. Like my computer for instance. My computer is a holy place to me. It is where most of my power comes from and I was going to use it to shake the world. It is not a place where you look up cute cat pictures. It is not a place for weird henti, and it is most definitely not a place to look of memes. Some people learn that the hard way. Some people learn that there are certain computers that you just don’t hack. Those people learn that there are a lot of nerve endings in the human body. There my authority is absolute. I am the master of the ghosts in the matchine and I under no circumstances is to be fucked with”
Alexander could see it now. Before Jared was just a boy. Someone John found in an alley hugging a broken computer talking in binary and barking at things that weren’t there. It is amazing he’d lived that long. In all their time together since Alexander never really saw him as a world shaker. A powerful, intelligent young lad to be sure, but never a world shaker. He lacked the sort of basic meaneness necessary. He didn’t have the instinct to find some other kid and get him to pull the wings off a fly. Now Alexander realizes why. He’d been looking in the wrong spot, “Well Jared I mean why does it matter to you so much?”