the alien

Sep. 5th, 2013 11:32 am
instar: (g ~ shark)
[personal profile] instar
There are no more five-person meetings at the Swan household. They're a circle: Bella-Andi-Robin-Ethan-Trouble-Bella again. They meet in twos, threes, pass around information, get it all down in Bella's cipher in Bella's notebooks. They have a list of members of the Sharing, mostly procured by Ethan and to a lesser extent Trouble, but no safe way to learn if these people's behavior has changed; they have seen no more aliens, observed no more disintegrations, caught no one ducking into anything that is an alien hideout.

The twins try to behave normally with their father or his pod person, whichever the person who calls them is, for a value of "normally" that involves adamantly continuing to want nothing to do with the Sharing.

And sometimes crying and refusing to tell Renée what's wrong.

School proceeds. No one's grades see more than a minor downturn as a result of all the alien business.

Andi and Robin play music. Andi's getting pretty good on the drums, although her teacher moves away and she has to hunt up another one, who she sticks with for four lessons before deciding to go self-taught.

Bella tightens up her cipher. It began as a letter substitution and since then has evolved to include plenty of personal shorthand - she turns the ratio of shorthand to straightforward letters up as far as she can and still read the thing herself. She abbreviates, she leaves out spaces, she names things in roundabout ways, she refers to things many notebooks ago that she can find easily that anyone else could spend hours hunting for, if she has to record names she finds ways to describe the spelling without ever placing all of the characters in sequence. Maybe the aliens have super-cryptanalysis and super-OCR and can eat her notebooks in one bite and know everything they know; but maybe not, and maybe if she's careful enough she'll look like she's writing her paranoid diary and not like she's taking notes on the quiet invasion.

Trouble comes over a lot. He stays over a lot. Renée has a quiet conversation about him with Bella, in which Bella is vague, pretends ignorance, suggests that maybe he just likes it here, maybe his folks are allergic to gluten and won't eat his baked goods? Renée leaves it alone.

May begins.

Date: 2013-09-05 07:37 pm (UTC)
aeskhyne: (⑦ i'll make you see)
From: [personal profile] aeskhyne
Trouble decides one day that everybody should go swimming together. He names the following Saturday and orchestrates all the arrangements; they meet; fun is had.

After everyone is out of the pool, he volunteers the location of a nearby hole-in-the-wall that serves exquisite jalapeno poppers. It's only a fifteen-minute walk. Ethan vouches that the place is divine, and Trouble leads them there, across a few streets and down a few more and through a desolate architectural graveyard where the rusting skeletons of never-finished buildings throw ominous spiky shadows along the dusty gravel.

By the time they're finished eating, the sun has set and the shadows are considerably more ominous. But they're going to have to cross if they want to catch the next bus; it's a big lot, and going around would more than double their travel time.

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Isabella Marie Swan ӝ "Butterfly"

October 2013

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