Richard Pierce

Life, Writing

Day 176

I spent a long time yesterday wondering whether or not to blog for the rest of the holiday, and sort of came to the conclusion I wouldn’t. Slept a lot better for it, and have felt a lot better for it today, too – it’s almost 17:00 local time here now. I’ve read a book and a half today, done abs crunches that left me qith a serious burn for the first time in a long time, and had a hug with S, the head waitress, because she got very upset about another hotel guest (older than me even) taking a tumble on the road outside (he’s ok, btw).

So why am I here, blogging? Short updates, maybe. Nothing too philosophical. Just being. At least that way the day count stays true. And Aggie isn’t really someone who puts words in my head at night that stop me from sleeping. She’s just being, too. I think that’s her whole raison d’être.


AGGIE’S ART OF HAPPINESS – CHAPTER 130

The car rolls over the cobbles silently, and they head towards the road that will take them northwards. The don’t speak, and Aggie focuses her eyes on the dark road lit up by the headlights, an internal eye of the route map and the bleeping dot the car has become for her. She keeps within ten percent over the speed limit, wary of any late or early (depending on how she looks at it) patrol cars that would make an easy picking of her and Lilibet on the deserted motorway.

Over an hour into the drive, Lilibet tuens to Aggie to break the comfortable silence. ‘Do you ever talk about your past?’

‘Not really.’ Aggie resists her temptation, her urge to tell Lilibet everything she can remember. ‘I can’t remember much, and Anna has made me doubt a lot about it.’

‘You knew her before now then?’

Aggie nods in the glow of the dashboard lights.

‘What are you afraid of?’ Lilibet says, still caressing the gun in her hand.

Aggie risks a quick glance at the woman next to her. ‘Everything. How does that sound?’

Lilibet breathes out softly, breathes in just the same way. ‘I can understand that.’ she looks out of her window into the zooming dark. ‘Although you seem like someone who’s not scared of anything. Like the way you tackled Martin when he was going to kill me.’

‘Instinct,’ Aggie says.

‘You didn’t have to, though.’

‘I made you a promise. … And my instinct is to defend the innocent.’

Lilibet says. ‘Most people wouldn’t say I was innocent.’

The miles slide by, and Aggie says nothing.

‘Least of all Marit.’ Lilibet tries to start the conversation again.

Aggie shakes her head. ‘She doesn’t understand what her mother has got us into. She shouldn’t have asked that poor boy to come and see her. Not when we suspected there were more Valentine robots still out there.’

‘I’m sorry.’ Lilibet frowns audibly.

‘What’s the matter?’

‘Just wondering about residual memory,’ Lilibet says.

Aggie’s sensor flashes. ‘What about residual memory?’

‘Do you think it’s possible that the device they put in me would leave memories in my brain that I could retain?’

‘I hadn’t thought about it. I haven’t managed to fathom how they really work. It’s something I need to do when I get back.’

Lilibet scratches her head. ‘So if I remember something it could be real or not?’

‘That’s about it,’ Aggie says. She still has that alarm feeling in her stomach. ‘Where’s this going?’

Lilibet sighs. ‘Just don’t make fun of me. Or get angry.’

‘I won’t.’ Aggie’s stomach clenches even harder.

‘The thing is that I have a memory that’s telling me that the dead boy is who I was sent to kill.’

‘What?’ Aggie nearly loses control of the car, swerves into the wrong lane, drags it back again.

‘It’s only a shadow of a memory, and another one is that he was meant to get us in the bouse but changed his mind and was going to spill the beans.’

‘That’s crazy.’

‘Sorry. No, I mean that’s careless, more careless than Valentine would ever be.’

‘And if it wasn’t Valentine?’

‘But who?’

‘Martin. Robert told him everything, so he’d have known about Marir and the boy. He was getting careless. He was pissed off that you weren’t giving up. Maybe he even gave her the idea.’

‘He didn’t seem particularly bothered about the kid dying,’ Aggie says. ‘And when I brought you down all he wanted was for us to finish you.’

Silence.

Aggie’s brain is ticking. ‘Where does that leave us?’ She shakes her head, not looking for an answer. ‘So Martin lost control of what he thought was an asset, what had probably been an asset for a long time, even before Robert told him about the boy…’

‘And Martin knew he could manipulate the whole situation easier once Robert had told him.’

‘Exactly.’

‘You don’t think I’m making this up just to make myself feel better?’

‘I don’t think you could make anything up.’ And this time Aggie risks a longer look at the woman she’s taking home.

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