The Fallowing – The Fourth, Part XIII

by Steppen Sawicki

Novel: Occult Adventure

Sam scoffed, but kept silent.  I suppose he had voiced his displeasure at needing the help and could now accept it, or by my accepting it the matter was taken off his shoulders.  “Who told you about me?”

She pointed to the ceiling.  “Angels, Mr. Sam.”

“Preposterous.  What would they care?”

“There are some big bets going on around about your little job.  I suppose not everyone is being scrupulous about it.”

“Angels gamble?” I broke in.

“Who wouldn’t, over something like this?  Who are you in all this anyway?”

“Faye Fatima Assad.”  I saluted her slightly with my gun.  “I’m here to see these monsters brought to justice.”

“Monsters?”  Gin looked genuinely puzzled.  She turned to Sam.  “Justice?”

“Don’t mind her,” he said.  “She lives in her own world.”

“Well whatever you guys are doing, I can hel– er, provide you with something that will gain you an advantage.”

“What’s that?” I asked as I shrugged on a sweater.

“As you know, Atsel’s perception of time is corrected by the watch he has.  But he’s not the only one who can benefit by being synced with a watch.  Anyone can be synced.”

“To move as he does,” Sam breathed.

“To change their perception of time,” she corrected.  “The movement is the same.  It’s only dependent on your view of the world, of the world’s view of you.  Everyone is moving time faster or slower for themselves all the time, and dialing it backwards and forwards in their minds.  They just aren’t able to control it.”

“And you can give us a watch to control it?”

“Of course.  It won’t work as Atsel’s does, with just anyone.  It will only effect Sam, with Sam’s emotional connections.”

“Still, that’s fantastic,” I said.  “How do you know how to do that?”

She smiled wider at my praise.  “My master made Atsel’s watch.  So naturally I can do it.”

“And what do you get out of this?” Sam said.  “Your type don’t work for free.”

“Of course I don’t work for free.  This is a highly specialized profession I’m in.”

I frowned.  “I don’t think we have much of anything you’d want.”

“You certainly do.  I propose I make two watches, one for you to use and one I’ll keep on me.  Both tuned to you, Sam”

Sam’s eyes widened.  Mine probably did too.  “No,” he said, his lips a thin line.

Gin held up her hands.  “That’s my offer.  Take it or leave it.”

“What would you use it for?” I asked.  I suddenly didn’t trust her anymore.

“Nothing,” she said blithely.  “I’m just a collector.  Collectors don’t use their collections.”

Sam’s voice was a growl.  “I’m just supposed to put myself at your mercy on your good word?”

“That or die,” she said.

At her words Sam sucked in air sharply and broke his gaze with her.  He looked at the window, likely imagining Atsel out there in the streets, just waiting for him to leave the safety of the hotel room.

We had no other options.  And Sam knew it.

Gin put her chin in her hand, looking expectantly at Sam.

Sam’s eyes turned to lock on me, as if he wanted me to say something, or read something in them.  But before I could speak he looked to the window again.

“Do it,” he said.