70 I am George and these are my associates

“What are you going to do about all of those threats?” Anh asked, after a silence. She looked at Michel, who was petting Kima again, and wondered why, when George said she was his mate, he wasn’t the one touching her.

“The biggest problem is a local problem, so I’m coming up with local solutions. I can’t talk about all of them since many of the people I’m negotiating with are far richer than I am, and much more shy.”

“Could you at least give me a rough idea of your strategy?” Sparrow asked. “I’m the one who has to stay here, whatever you have planned. The rest of you are settlers.”

George sighed. “Rich people aren’t very nice,” he said. “But they consistently focus on three things: fondling the levers of power so as to acquire or spend other people’s money, protecting their children from harm, and finding ever more esoteric way to cheat on their taxes. So my solution to the local problem is to come up with a way to grease people who are already rich so they don’t bother me or my …”

“Retainers,” Jesse said.

“Minions,” said Avtar.

“Enablers,” said Sparrow.

“Are we playing a game now? Staff,” Anh said.

“Chums,” said Michel.

“Associates,” said Kima.

“These and more besides, but I’m going to say associates since it doesn’t automatically imply a hierarchical relationship,” George said.

And Kima said it, everyone else in the room thought, eyeing each other.

“I’d feel better,” Avtar said, “If your style didn’t peg out between anarchic trope-smasher and secretive plot-hatching supervillain.”

George acknowledged the hit, throwing up his hands. “Me too. It’s a shame that my birthright of spaceflight is being held up by my sentimental desire to prevent Vancouver from becoming an ongoing mass casualty event. After all, if I went to NASA and told them I’d make all their rockets fall over unless they sent me into space, I’d get my wish, but I’d also be condemning my children to either making peace on my behalf, at the cost of many lives, or deciding that human beings are feedstock for whatever plans  they make for themselves.  I want to leave a legacy of some form of legal way of dealing with disputes between humans and Sixers.” Michel wrapped his arm several times around his neck and and mimed hanging himself.

“Summary justice aside, another sapient species on this planet is going to cause all kinds of problems. If I can’t make one major city safe for Sixers, there will be no way to convince them that it’s safe to live with humans anywhere.”

“I thought humans couldn’t kill you,” Sparrow said, confused.

“If we’re sick, asleep, tricked or trapped, humans can kill us, and have killed us. We don’t kill you because there appears to be a species wide lockout. Which I’ve broken.”


“I’ve killed human beings.” George spoke flatly.

All the humans looked at each other.

“So have I,” Michel said.

“I ate a dead human child once,” Kima said.

“Holy shit,” Sparrow said blankly.

“Yeah,” Jesse said. “Not shit you want on your resumé. Who did you kill?”

“I killed two concentration camp guards, during the Second World War,” George said.  “I was very, very angry, and I’ll never do it again. Michel, you probably shouldn’t talk about it.”

“What? This is the fun part. I was a hit man for the Mafia, in Montréal, back in the sixties and early seventies.”

“Oh my god,” Anh said. “You can’t spin that.”

“I’m a reformed character,” Michel said primly. “I don’t even eat meat anymore.”

“Did you eat the men you killed?” Anh cried in horror. “Please tell me you didn’t eat them.”

“No, it was bury and dump,” Michel said, frowning.

“And Kima!” Anh said, clearly horrified.

“It was before I got my brain,” Kima said.

“What, just picked it up at Save-On?” Avtar said.

“It is an expression,” Kima said. The rise in volume indicated annoyance. “I was swimming in the ocean and found the body of a drowned child. I dragged it to the bottom and ate her over time. I would never kill a sentient child, although I probably would kill an orca calf if I had to.”

“We hate orcas.”

“That’s an inconvenient loathing, here in Vancouver,” Avtar said.  Kima had already shared that tidbit with him.

More work news

I had the funny feeling that my compass card (transit) was getting low.  LOL I wouldn’t have been able to get home today! I stuck a hundred dollars on it.  I love how much money you have to spend on a job before you actually get a paycheque!  Nukable lunches were on sale so I picked up some on the way home last night. Days are extremely busy, (20 calls in 20 minutes yesterday between 2 and 2:30 – it was INSANE), afternoons (I hear) less so, midnights even less so. A coworker was in a major car accident; car was totalled and she is off work indefinitely so I’m going to be full time.  To try and expedite my training so I can fly solo next week on midnights bossman says I’m working tomorrow which means I get a stat in my first week of employment. Also means I’ll be having to not drink anything for my birthday supper with Mike next week which is alternately amusing and annoying. Travelling by transit that early in the morning means that I’m with the real working people, none of whom have time for cologne or perfume, so I’m not getting gassed by selfish assholes, and even if I was I’m only on the train for 8 minutes and only on the bus for 10 (the rest is walking and waiting). If I leave the house by 20 after 6 I’m at work on time and with enough time to get a coffee if I feel like it. The transit is pooched for Sundays and statutory holidays and so Jeff has kindly agreed to drive me in. The person training me is eighteen years old.  I feel very strange; I could have sworn she was older than that. Had a lovely conversation with two other middle aged women on the bus on the way home last night. Dinner was steak and onions over fresh greens. Thanks Jeff I forgot to put it away but you looked after it.  Now to see if I can grind out a thousand words in the next hour!