Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Twenty Seventh Entry: Kiss and Make-Up

December 7th

I've been able to confirm another disappearance in the last week, another one of Tara's neighbors. She didn't know what side of the whole Kaur/Sigler conflict the guy fell on, or even what his name was, but last Friday the door to his apartment was found open, and he was gone. No sign of struggle this time, but there was a small amount of blood found on his living room floor.

There are clear divisions forming in the people of the 'Ville now. Some people are becoming openly supportive of Hashmir as a leader while others, the majority it seems, are becoming quiet and withdrawn around these loud boisterous super-patriots. That's what it has become here, you either support Kaur or you want Mallville to fail. I guess some things don't change.

There was a near riot on Saturday morning when a woman was caught defacing Kaur's posters. Rumor has it she was friends with the man who was killed a few weeks back after we all went with Alex to mess with Kaur's mind. I don't know if there's any truth to the rumor that she knew the guy who fell off the second level, but it is the rumor.

What I do know is that the woman was scrawling things like “MURDERER” and “HEIL KAUR” on the posters with a red Sharpie. She was also drawing red eyes on all of the people in the posters as well as little swastikas on their uniform shirts. Pretty funny stuff actually, or it would be is she hadn't been arrested for it.

I don't know what has or will happen to her, but I expect the best she can hope for is being expelled from Mallville, and the worst would be execution. Actually I'm not sure which would be worse, I mean at least with exile she would have a fighting chance. What would be worse, to be shot in the head or eaten alive? Both of those choices suck.

In better news, I've not had anymore bad dreams. I think writing it down helped this time. Actually, I don't remember having any dreams at all. I know that I supposedly dream every night even if I don't remember it, and that's fine, as long as I don't have to see that scene ever again.

In EVEN better new; Sharon and I had a talk a couple of days ago. I was sitting on the couch reading “7th Son: Deceit”, one of the books I grabbed at the book store, and savoring a cup of the coffee I nearly lost my life for when Sharon came into the apartment.

“Hey,” I said, not looking up from the book. I expected her to go to the bedroom, but instead she came over to the couch.

“Can I sit down?” she asked.

I moved my feet off the couch, and sat up, putting my book down on the coffee table, “What's up?” I asked.

“I wanted to have a talk.”

Sensing a trap, I said, “About what?”

“About you, and me, and Tara.”

If things had been better between us recently, I would have made a threesome joke, but as it stood I was afraid she was baiting me, “Sharon, no. we've been getting along well again for awhile now, I don't want to have a fight with you.”

“That's what I wanted to talk about,” Sharon explained, “I want to apologize to you.”

“What?”

Sharon's not generally a big apologizer, so I was definitely surprised.

“I've talked to Alex about you, and me, and her, and him, and he made me realize I was being an asshole. He told me that you and I have been friends for too long to let something like this come between us, especially since we are each with someone who makes us happy.”

“Alex said this? Our Alex? Bald guy, borderline psychopath, keeps guns in his office; that Alex?”

Sharon punched me playfully in the shoulder and laughed, “Yes, our Alex; my Alex. You don't give him enough credit. He pointed out to me that he loves her, but not the way he loves me. He loves her like a sister; as an ally and a friend, but not as a lover. He didn't know she had those kinds of feelings for him.”

“He doesn't seem to be all that observant,” I quipped.

“Yeah, look who's talking there, but you're right. He didn't even realize what was going on between all of us, but now that he does, he wants us to knock it off. We have enough of an opponent in Kaur and his followers that we don't need to help them with infighting, and he's right.”

“So what do we do?”

“We go back to the way things were,” Sharon explained, “You are my best friend, and I do love you, and I don't want anything to get in the way of that; especially not when any of us could die any day. So if you really love Tara as much as I love Alex, I will stop making fun of her.”

“And stop picking fights with her?”

“Yes, but you have to stop making fun of Alex. No more Nosferatu jokes!”

I inhaled with a hiss, “I don't know, that could be hard.”

Sharon's eyes shot daggers at me, but the smile never left her face.

“Oh, alright,” I relented, “So were you going to have a heart to heart with Tara then?”

“No, you are. You should tell her what I told you, except maybe for the parts about Alex having no feelings for her... and maybe the part about me loving you.”

I nodded, “Sounds reasonable.”

“Good,” Sharon said happily, “and to give us all a chance to put this truce to good use, I am throwing a party.”

“A party?”

“Yes, It is Alex's birthday today, and I've planned a surprise party for him, and I want you and Tara to be there.”

“Not short notice or anything,” I replied.

“Like you didn't know it was Alex's birthday.'

“No, Tara mentioned it... a few times, but she didn't want to provoke you by giving him anything,”

“Well, if she has something, now she can give it to him, and, as long as it's not her, I promise not to get mad. So will you come?”

“I'm sure we'll be there.”

“Great!” Sharon squee'd, and threw her arms around me. She kissed me on the cheek and said, “I'm so sorry for everything I've said to you. You are my best friend in the whole world, this one and the last one, and I don't know what I'd do without you.”

I held Sharon tight to me, ”I'm sorry too, and I would be lost without you.”

Sharon pulled back and looked me in the eyes, smiling, but her eyes were watery, “Don't apologize to me. Tara was right; I knew how you felt about, but wanted to force you to come out and say it. It was stupid, and it almost cost me your friendship as well,” she sighed deeply, “but maybe it is for the best. We've both found other people, and we've managed to keep our friendship intact. Maybe if we had gone to the next step together, we would have ruined things, you know?”

“The idea had crossed my mind, yes.”

Sharon dug into her jeans pocket, and pulled out a folded yellow post-it note. She handed the note to me and said, “This is where the party will be, but keep it quiet, I've only invited a few people, and there will be alcohol there, so this is not exactly a Hashmir Kaur sanctioned party.”

Sharon rose from the couch, and headed to the bedroom, “So I'll see the two of you tonight,” she squee'd again, “This is going to be so much fun!”

She wasn't wrong, and even though things didn't really end all that well, it was no fault of hers.

It took a bit of talking to convince Tara to go; she was clearly torn by her desire to spend some of Alex's birthday with him and her desire to not get into another fight with Sharon, “I don't like myself when I let her get me that angry. I'm more mature than that.” she explained to me.

“I've talked to Sharon, and she's promised to be on her best behavior,” I reassured her, “We'll go, you can give Alex his present, and if you feel uncomfortable, we can leave. Does that sound okay?”

“Yeah, okay. I've never been much of a party person though.”

“Me neither, I've been dragged to a few by Sharon before, and I usually end up drinking by myself in a corner while she mingles. If nothing else, we can stand in the corner and drink together.” I smiled at her.

We showed up to the party around seven; Sharon had it going in an office that was not rented at the time everything changed and had set up a large boombox that was playing some techno-pop song I did not recognize as well as a folding table for food and drinks. It was a pretty small group. Mike, Benny, and Rosa were there, as were a lot of the scavengers including Erik, Maria, Gerry, Grant, Wally, Rachael, as well as a few people I recognize, but don't actually know the names of.

There were also two uniformed security officers in attendance, O'Hara and Perry; Sharon explained to me that they were sort of running interference for her, and if they got wind that Kaur had any idea about this party they would warn us so we could clear out. That idea makes me think of those scenes in street racing movies where the cops show up and everybody scatters to try and get away.

I suppose the person I was most surprised to see there was Jimmy Chen. He wasn't in the wheelchair anymore, but was walking with a cane gripped in his right hand. He didn't look well; he was pale and had a full scruffy beard, but he was socializing, and seemed to be having a good time. When he saw me and Tara, he waved and came over to where we were standing by drinks table.

“Hey guys!” Jimmy said jovially.

“Jimmy, “ I said, feeling kind of awkward, “How are you doing, man?”

“Well, as you can see, I don't need the chair anymore, but the docs say that I'm not going to be running any marathons any time soon.”

“Oh, I'm sorry, Jimmy,” said Tara.

“No, it's okay,, it's hardly the biggest thing I've lost this year.”

We stood there and just let the music and other people's conversations wash over us for a minute before Jimmy spoke again.

“So I had heard you guys had hooked up,” Jimmy said and patted me on the shoulder with his left hand, “good for you, and here I thought you had a thing going with Sharon.” Jimmy laughed, and Tara stiffened a little next to me.

“So what are you doing these days?” asked Tara in an even voice.

“Well, I obviously can't go out on runs anymore, but Kaur has me in a supervisory position over his runs.”

Now it was my turn to stiffen, “You're working for Kaur?” I asked, afraid that Sharon had invited a fox into our little party henhouse.

“Yeah, I help coordinate, try to figure out what places would give us the best chance of successful acquisition. It's mostly been about fuel acquisition for the vehicles, but there has been some other specialty stuff too.”

I guess he could tell from the look on my face that I found one of Kaur's toadies at Sharon's secret party somewhat distressing, “Oh, but don't worry. He thinks he has me wrapped around his finger, but I know who the good guys are,” he nodded as he spoke, then looked off to the side as if someone had called his name, “Well, I gotta go. You guys have fun, it's good to see you all again.” With that he hobbled away at a quick, if awkward, gait.

Sharon came over to greet us as soon as Jimmy walked away,” You made it!” she cried happily, and gave me a hug. Then, to my surprise, she went and threw her arms around Tara. Tara's eyes went wide, and I think she almost dropped the very obviously bottle shaped present she was carrying from sheer surprise.

When Sharon let her go, it took Tara a couple of seconds to find her voice, “ Hello, Sharon. It's, uh, good to see you too,”

Sharon tipped me a wink, and pretended not to notice the discomfort in Tara's voice, “I saw you were talking to Jimmy. Isn't it amazing that he came?”

“Yeah,” I agreed, “Did you knew he's working for Hashmir now?”

“I did, but I don't think he's very loyal to Kaur. I mean, come on, I invited Beth and Rupert too, “ she bounced a little on the balls of her feet as she spoke, “'cause, you know, it's not a party until the cops show up.”

The party was fun. We gave Alex his present which was a bottle of Jack Daniels. Alex refused to admit to how old he actually is now, but Tara said she would tell me later. We danced a little, we drank a bit, we ate chips (some of which are starting to be a bit stale, but it's not like we can get fresh ones), and ate from cans and jars of dip. Fun was had.

It was about a quarter to eleven, right before events broke the party up, that the most amazing thing of the night happened. A lot of drinking had gone on, and it was certainly the most inebriated I have ever seen Tara. As it turns out, Tara is of the I-love-you-man variety of drunk.

Sharon and Tara were standing a short ways away from us, and even though I was talking to Alex, I could still hear snatches of their conversation. The overall tone was apologetic and emotional from both of them (Sharon was quite tipsy as well), but what I was hearing from them was considerably more interesting than mine and Alex's conversation.

Alex and I were talking about what we missed most from our old lives. I said I missed having a variety of fresh foods, and new mangas to read (Now Hellsing really will never be finished). Alex missed football, and wanted to talk about it with me in great detail. I don't know if he thought I was into football or something, but he was a little in his cups and was rambling. It took me a few seconds to realize when he had stopped talking.

I noticed his eyes were suddenly wide open in shock, and turned to see the object of his fascination. It was the girls; Tara and Sharon were kissing. I am pretty sure my jaw hit the floor. They were really going at it.

“Holy shit!” commented Alex quietly.

“Should we stop them?” I asked.

“Hell no! What's wrong with you.”

I don't think I have the words to describe the scene properly. “Sexy” would be an understatement, that's for sure. Not to sound like a completely pathetic perv, but seeing my girlfriend making out with the female best friend that I have been lusting after for years is pretty hot.

“I guess Sharon really was serious about making up with Tara, but I didn't think she meant like this,” I said.

“Does she do stuff like this often?” asked Alex, his alcohol sodden mind clearly working hard.

“Umm, I've seen her kiss other women a couple of times when she's boozy, yeah.”

“Wow!”

Before we could say anything else, alarms started sounding. The sound had a bit of a sobering effect on everyone; Sharon and Tara jumped apart as if someone had jabbed them both with cattle prods.. I know the thoughts running through my mind ranged from another zombie incursion to Kaur sending a troop of security officers to arrest us all.

O'Hara and Perry were both listening to their radios to find out what the situation was, and the rest of us were watching them. I did not see who did it, but someone had shut off the music.

“There's been an explosion,” announced Officer Perry, “in the commander's office.”

Of course everyone's first thought was that somehow someone had planted a bomb, but that turned out to be wrong. We found out the next morning that, according to one of the roof guards on duty it was a projectile fired from beyond the edge of the parking lot.

Now I don't really know anything about rocket launchers aside from how they work in games like “Call of Duty”, but my understanding was that they are not all that accurate over long distances. Then again, most of these games are set in World War II, so maybe they're more accurate now? I do know that Kaur wasn't in his office (and why would he be at that time of night?), and no one was actually injured.

This makes me suspicious. I mean the most obvious choice is that the Hell's Postmen did this, what with that jackass using an office with a huge window in it, he may as well have just painted a bullseye on it for them. Then again, why do it in the middle of the night when he almost certainly wouldn't be there? Are they trying to provoke him, and by him I mean the forces of Mallville? Maybe they want to cause us to do something stupid so that they can come take over? Maybe Kaur is orchestrating all of it.

I know I'm being paranoid here; the Halloween attack almost certainly has to have been the Postmen; I think someone would notice if Kaur were rounding up a hundred or so ghouls, but this? If it were a bomb, I would be certain he was using it as an excuse to round up people like Alex, but he hasn't even made any announcement about it. He's been seen around, which is how I know he's okay, but he's been quiet about it all.

Could Hashmir Kaur be afraid? Could this incident have frightened him?

Why am I always so surprised to find out I'm not the only one scared by all of this crap going on? How many times have I been surprised by this? I need to stop feeling sorry for myself, and realize everyone is just as bad off as I am.

Anyway, if Kaur is frightened by this, how will he react? If this is legit there is no way this can just stand. If the Postmen keep blowing holes in the building, it will cease to be secure at some point.

If it's not legit, Hashmir still cannot let it go; in fact it's even more certain that he will do something. Why cause that kind of damage if you don't have a plan?

2 comments:

Viktim said...

Good stuff. I like that zombies don't enter into this one at all. They're the over-arching cause of things, but life & it's politics continue on regardless.

VoltRabbit said...

yeah, and the gamer chicks making out was pretty HAWT imho.