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15 October 2009 @ 07:15 pm
Nemesis progress  
I am well over half way, and things are moving really quickly now for the rewrite. I'm finally to a place where some things can stay...but most scenes still have to be rewritten, regardless of that.

For example, I posted this snippet of the original draft, way back when.

And in the rewrite, it's the same...but not.  You know, in case you were curious about things like that.

By the time she reached the flight deck, her anger had reached a low, constant simmer, just waiting for another kick of heat to boil over. So many things had sent her reeling in the past two days. So many shocks, that finally having something to focus all of that intense emotion on came as a relief.

Reaper was with Ghost, the two of them conferring beneath the shadow of a Titan’s top wing. She swept onto the deck, and stopped, struck by how large it was.  She had to look back and forth twice before she spotted them, and started marching in that direction.  It was a lot of ground to cover, more than she was accustomed to.  Technically a station, not a ship, Rescue One was ringed by several small hangars, rather than one or two larger ones.  On the Typhus, the flight deck was large.  On the Nemesis, it was enormous.

It gave people plenty of time to notice her.  She wondered how long she had until some of Cannon’s security came to escort her off the deck.  She noted the distinct lack of uniforms among personnel, but it hardly mattered. She could identify techs by the smudged and stained overalls most of them wore, and pilots in general had a bearing she could spot from a hundred paces away. It seemed all of them stopped what they were doing to track her progress across the hangar. She did her best to ignore it.

Right up until someone stepped into her path.

He had to be the largest man she’d ever seen, most of it muscle.  More than two meters tall, with broad shoulders and arms bigger around than her thigh, each heavily corded with well defined muscle.  A carefully groomed black beard hid his expression, and paired with heavy black brows over equally dark eyes, he had a menacing air that stopped her dead.  Hand on her weapon, she even backed up a step. 

Just one.  He wouldn’t hurt her in front of all these people.  She hoped.

As she watched, he crossed his arms over his massive chest.  His fingers were bruised, marked with the telltale cuts and blood blisters of a man who worked with his hands on heavy equipment.  A tech, then. 

He scowled at her.

“No trouble on my deck,” he said, his voice a deep rumble of menace.  His deck?

“No trouble,” she agreed, relaxing slightly, although still reluctant to release her grip on her new sidearm.

He grunted, his scowl unchanging.

“You look like trouble.  I like my deck to run smooth.”

“I’m just here to speak with Reaper.”

Both of his brows lifted, his eyes sharpening as he studied her.

“With Reaper, eh?”  He shook his head.  “I don’t think so.”

“What?”  Was he actually refusing to let her past?  “Look, obviously you’re the deck chief around here,” she said, assigning him the equivalent navy rank.  She kept her voice even and respectful, trying to view him as she would any deck chief.  “I’m not going to interfere in any of your operations, but I am going to talk to Reaper.”

“Not if I say you won’t,” he said placidly.  The easy assumption hit her already riled emotions and stirred up a new surge of fury.

“Look, whoever you are, I’ve had just about enough of being told what I am and am not going to do on this ship—”

One of his huge hands grabbed her shoulder, fingers digging in painfully.  Adrenaline and fear mixed with her anger.  Without thinking, she hit him, an open palmed slap across the face that stung her hand, and rocked his head to the side.  Mostly, she suspected, because he turned away from the blow. 

She spared a second to be grateful she hadn’t tried to gut punch him; he looked solid enough, she’d probably only succeed in hurting herself. 

The hand on her shoulder loosened enough for her to stumble back, out of range, heart thudding in her chest, legs and arms shaking from the intensity of her emotions.

“Don’t touch me,” she said, more shaken than she wanted to be.

He turned back to her, scowling even more ferociously.

“I was only going to walk you off the deck,” he said, voice low. 

“That’s not what it felt like.”

He spread his hands, in what looked like an attempt to appear harmless.  Not an easy feat, for a man of his size and demeanor.

“It wasn’t my intention to frighten you, or hurt you.  My grip is hard because I spend my days handling heavy machinery.  I forget, sometimes.”  He nodded his head toward the lift.  “Now, if you don’t mind…”

He took a step forward, and her hold on her sidearm tightened.  Before she could draw it free of the holster, a hard, unyielding hand encircled her arm.

The voice was icy cool and collected.  Reaper.

She let go of the gun and yanked away from him.

“Get off me!”

“Lower your voice, and calm down.”

She took a breath, slow and deliberate.  If she didn’t, she wouldn’t be responsible for her actions.  She was suddenly aware again, of the unnatural silence that enveloped the flight deck, of all the eyes on them. Watching.  Waiting to see what she’d do next.  She met those pale blue eyes of his without flinching.

“Oh,” she said, her voice low and controlled, “I am so calm, you have no idea.”

The deck chief snorted his disbelief, but Mercy ignored him.  She did feel calm.   Coldly furious, but calm.  The corner of Reaper’s mouth twitched, and she thought, if he laughs, I really will shoot him.

“Yes,” he said dryly.  “Your screaming at me comes across as completely composed.”

“Screaming?” she asked.  She leaned closer, dropping her voice even further.  “If you think this is screaming, you—”

“No, Mercy.  Not verbal screaming.”  Very deliberately, Reaper tapped a finger against her temple.

Comprehension rooted her feet to the deck.  She felt her eyes widen as she went first hot, then cold. 


Her stomach dropped as she quickly thought through everything she’d been angry about. 

“I’m…yelling at you telepathically?”

“Trouble,” said the deck chief with a slow nod.

She whipped her head around to glare at him, but couldn’t stop her face from flushing warm.  She turned back to Reaper.

“Does everyone know—”  She stopped, swallowing mortification, unable to finish the sentence.

“Precisely why you’re angry with me?”  Reaper finished for her.  “I’m afraid you weren’t bothering to censure.”

Mercy didn't embarrass easily.  But being on a ship full of telepaths was playing havoc with her ego.  She closed her eyes.  Maybe if she thought about it hard enough, she could make the deck beneath her feet open up and swallow her.

“Now.”  Reaper didn’t touch her again, but he might as well have as he brushed past, his voice and body language pulling at her to follow. “I think it best if we take this conversation off the flight deck, at the very least."
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