I'm not complaining—well, maybe I am a little, because I want to get it out of the way and it's keeping me from other projects—but after all that time where writing even one word felt like pulling teeth, it's just... unexpected. I really hope I finish it before it gets to 20,000 words though.
After that... well, I'll probably put it where it was supposed to be in the list, then leave it for a while, give it a spot of editing and then use it to see if I can teach myself how to typeset pages for bookbinding.
I'm usually terrible about finishing projects (and computer games, and... most things, actually: I don't like endings), but I'm rather looking forward to this one. Not least because of how long it's bloody taken...
I won't threaten another section from G is for Gabrys, because I think one person being threatened with a fork was enough for this month! Instead, since it's the 26th August 2015 (26/08/2015), I'm going to add 2 + 6 = 8, then 8 + 8 = 16. 2 + 0 + 1 = 3, and 5 - 3 = 2... so 16 - 2 = 14 for 14 admittedly quite long paragraphs from The Rose Queen (as ever, sorry about that).
This one contains a profanity warning, because Fayth can be sweary as it is and now he's really panicking...
Fayth screeched to a halt, barely able to breathe. He’d assumed that they’d take him back home before they executed him. Dead bodies were a pain to transport, but they were infinitely more well behaved than the living. RQ might even now be slowly cooling against a plastic-wrapped mattress. Worse, it might be a bullet to the back of the head, a spray of red across the wall.
There was no fucking way he was letting that happen. Hope was all he had, weak and desperate and clawing and he was not going to let go of it. He took off at a sprint, hurtling down emergency access stairs three at a time rather than risk the slow, cramped confines of an elevator, and swarmed through corridors like a one-man plague.
He was, by his own admittedly somewhat shaky estimation, three floors from the danger zone, where prisoners were likely to go in and never come out again, when his pace slackened. Nothing to do with lack of will, or that he’d given up, but damn he was tired. Adrenaline could carry him so far but there was a limit, and Fayth was pretty sure he’d passed that several floors ago. His hand trembled around the gun’s grip. Not for the first time, he envied the bounty hunters and brawlers their body mods and enhanced systems. Taking his nanites for a tune-up was increasingly looking like a fantastic idea, because he couldn’t do this again. There was a reason he preferred to sneak in to steal things; he’d not had to do this in years, at least, not in such a sustained manner. Doing it again on the way back might well see him off entirely.
And still no alarms sounded. Kirik must really be keen on saving RQ.
Fayth leaned against the wall, desperate for the chance to gulp down air—and nearly pissed himself in terror as sirens screamed through the hall. Time was up; now or never. At least this time it didn’t involve red lighting, that stuff always made him feel ill. Pushing off from the wall, he broke into what he hoped wasn’t the last sprint of his life.
The four guards were lightly armed, built like brick walls and rendered RQ barely visible beyond their broad shoulders, and Fayth almost skidded round the corner into them. If the alarm hadn’t been blaring fit to burst his eardrums there would’ve been the element of surprise. As it was, they all spun gracefully in his direction, hands falling to their holsters. And paused, confused.
He couldn’t blame them really. They were probably expecting a second incursion from the Orenda, come to steal back their prize. It was a fair bet they weren’t expecting the man who’d just delivered that prize back to them. Not one drew their guns.
“You’ve gotta move,” Fayth bellowed to be heard over the shrieking alert, his mouth moving before his brain could direct it. “They’re coming for him.”
“We’re taking him to the containment block,” one wall rumbled uncertainly, his words almost drowned out by the siren. “He’ll be safe there.”
Safe? Lie of the year right there. “Nah, man, they’re expecting that. They need you upstairs, fight them off. I’ll hide him ’til it’s done.”
From beyond the shield of shoulders, he thought he saw RQ’s sceptical expression, a sentiment echoed by the guards. One—must be the leader—turned to the others, quickly ordering two to peel off and head back, before returning his attention to Fayth. His voice rumbled below the level of the alarm; Fayth could feel it roll through his stomach. “They’ll help deal with them, don’t worry. We’ll carry on here, so you can get back to your ship now.”
Shit damn crap, this wasn’t going how he wanted. “You don’t think you’re being a bit predictable? I knew where to find you, so they’re bound to.”
“This time, we’re prepared for them,” the leader said, turning away. “Run along.”
“Fine,” Fayth grumbled, and shot the man in the knee.