You can read all the previous episodes HERE, or from the ‘IDENTICAL’ page above, or select ‘Identical’ from the ‘Categories’ widget over there to the right. (they’re in the order I posted them so for the story to make sense you’ll have to start with the first entry at the bottom of the page)
What Has Gone Before:
In the Nicola Valley, British Columbia, Ciska, a ‘pentiment switcher’, Meg, who is from another pentiment, (a parallel reality) and Tamsin, a cop, gather to discuss what to do about the pentiments colliding.
Jane, a shadowy figure from Ciska’s past, and Silv, her tattooed minion crash the party, only to be interrupted by Mary Connelly, whose long held suspicions about Jane Lightsmith force her to act.
All the players are in town, but the rules don’t make sense. Just exactly what is going on
A Sequence of Events:
Mary … stepped further into the room and thumbed the safety off the device aimed squarely at Jane Lightsmith’s heart. If she had one.
Whatever Jane intended to do, and Mary knew it wasn’t a social call, Jane would need to make a quick exit. Mary’s device would neutralize her most obvious choice, to switch to another pentiment.
Tamsin … stared at Mary, momentarily stunned that she’d magically appeared at Ciska’s command, but like a true professional she focused on the strange object in Mary’s hand.
She lunged out of her chair and grappled with the weapon aimed at her mother who, for all their disagreements, she’d give her life to protect.
Jane Lightsmith …. recognized Mary’s device and knew she’d picked the right armor to wear. I’ll switch if and when I damn-well please, and no washed-up mis-bred reject is going to stop me with one of my own inventions.
Jane learned very early on never to travel unprepared or unarmed and always have a ‘plan B’.
She kicked Silv’s chair hard enough to propel her toward Mary, betting the distraction would give her time to activate the sound wave generator strapped under her armor.
Ciska … recognized the device from her sketches of a wave nullifier she’d tinkered with a few pentiments back. She wished her ‘sideways-seeing’ability focused a teensiest bit more on the details than the usual wide-screen ‘big picture’. She would’ve known about the device sooner, not when it was too late to do anything except duck and run for cover.
While Mary held everyone’s attention Ciska grabbed Meg’s arm and dragged them both down below table level. It offered little enough protection, but at least they were momentarily out of sight.
Silv … groaned, inward, where no-one would hear. The room held so much tension that despite or perhaps because of the buzz from her last toke, she felt as though a horde of spiders were trying to claw their way inside her skin.
Tamsin … dove across the edge of the kitchen table and tackled a woman Silv hardly recognized. She knew who it was of course, they saw each other almost every day at the cafe. Here in Meg’s house, Mary seemed to be surrounded by sharp-edged shards of light. Silv felt fairly sure she was tripping. Her teeth snapped together as something hit the back of her chair and kicked her into the mêlée.
Meg … landed on the floor with a thud and gasped for breath as Ciska fell on top of her. A blinding white light bounced off the back of her eyeballs. Ciska slid off her as sounds of fighting filtered into her seared brain.
Mary … saw Tamsin lunge at her from one direction just as Silv staggered against her from another. Her thumb jolted off the safety switch of the nullifier, and nudged another switch, a far more deadlier one, on.
Oh dear. I didn’t want to hurt anyone, I just wanted to give Ciska a fighting chance, and now no-one is going to get what they wanted.
The device ignited.
Tamsin … grabbed the weapon in Mary’s hands and forced them up into the air. For a moment their eyes met and she wondered why Mary looked so sad.
A blinding force of energy snapped through her like a barbed-wire whiplash.
Jane … raised her arm to shield her eyes from the silent blast of light. Someone snatched at ankles and dragged her from her chair. She kicked out, heard a satisfyingly pained expletive, and rolled toward a more strategic location. So much for electro-tech. Let’s try the old fashioned chemical kind.
Silv … screamed and danced around as though she were on fire. She burned all over. Her eyes stung. She breathed fire. She had to get away.
Suddenly everything went quiet, dark. All her pain stopped. She hunkered down on the floor, fearing more pain, waiting for instructions.
Ciska … swore in several long-dead languages as Jane’s very expensive boot-heel smacked into the side of her face. I should’ve grabbed her around the neck!
Her sideways-seeing ability swung into high gear as it often did when she’d been injured. She scuttled back under the table, flipped it on its edge and hoped the solid oak would be enough turn aside Jane’s intentions.
The Sum of All Parts
Meg blinked away the spots before her eyes caused by the strange pulse of light that left her tingling all over, and peered over the edge of her great-great grandmothers table.
Her kitchen was in shambles. Chairs, and table, overturned. Tamsin and Mary lying still on the floor, Jane swinging what looked like an old-fashioned six-gun, and Silv, a gibbering heap between them.
She ducked back just as Ciska grabbed her. “Don’t think for a moment that Jane won’t kill you,” Ciska whispered. “Let me handle this.”
Meg shrugged her off. “Not in my house.” She stood up, drawing Jane’s attention. “Not in my house,” she said.
Jane nodded. “If you stay where you are, I won’t,” she agreed. “Get up Ciska. You look ridiculous crouching down like that. A bullet isn’t going to kill you. It will however, incapacitate and hurt you, a lot.”
Ciska stood looked at Meg. “But it’ll kill her.”
“I doubt it,” Jane speculated. “If she were killable, she would’ve died in that car crash. Which brings us back to our present anomalous predicament, doesn’t it? If you’ll excuse me I have to see what’s happened to Tamsin. Stay there,” she cautioned as Meg started forward. “Both of you.”
Jane walked to Silv and nudged her with her boot. “Get up. You’re not hurt, and you’re still in this pentiment. That’s what all that expensive ink was for. Help me with Tamsin.”
Ciska caught Meg as she started toward Tamsin. “Have you ever been shot?” she asked, “It really does hurt, a lot. I can ‘see’ that Tam’s still breathing.” Ciska released her. “We wait.”
Meg waited as Jane roughly rolled Mary’s body out of the way and examined her daughter. She stood still, as Silv picked Tamsin up, and groaning and cussing, carried her outside to her truck.
She watched as Jane contemplated Mary’s still body and kicked her once, very hard. “That’s for defying me, and,” she added as she walked out of the room, “For hurting my daughter.”
Stay tuned for Season 2, Episode 5 of …