The Fixers #8

"Hello, Sebastian."

The woman came forward, stepping to the front of the attorney's desk. There she stopped, leaning against the wooden surface. She flicked her eyes towards Gretchen. "Who's your new friend?"

"His new friend?" Gretchen snorted. "That's rich. Seb, who is this?"

The Englishman didn't answer. From the across the room, the woman chimed in. "Don't be rude, Sebastian. Introduce us."

Seb smiled sheepishly, scratching his head. "Gretchen, uh, meet Remedy Taylor." He motioned towards the redhead. "Rem, this is Gretchen Campbell."

"A pleasure," said the redhead, smiling. "And please, you can call me Remy. I much prefer it." Her eyes returned to Seb. "And you, Sebastian, how have you been, darling? Must I now threaten to kill someone just to get you to answer my calls?"

"You did kill someone Rem, that's why we're here."

"I didn't," she said, smiling. "Not really. Not now that you're here to fix things. Isn't that how it works?"

"Who is this Seb, seriously?" Gretchen turned to the woman. "Who are you?"

"You mean Sebastian hasn't mentioned me before?" She feigned pouting towards Seb. "I'm hurt, darling." Then she threw her head back and laughed.

After a moment, she brought her eyes back to Gretchen. "I used to be you, honey. Standing there next to Sebastian, making things all right again. Fixing time."

She moved her eyes to Seb. "Until I wised up and got the hell off that ship."

This woman had worked with Seb? Gretchen turned to the Englishman. "Is that true?"

Seb returned her look, but didn't answer.

Suddenly, the other part of what the Remy woman had just said made Gretchen snap her head back.

"Did you say, 'ship'?"

"You really didn't tell her anything, did you Sebastian?"

Seb remained quiet.

Remy began pulling on a pair of black, leather gloves. "Is she easier to control that way? When she has no idea what's going on?"

After both gloves were on, she glanced up at him. "Sebastian, you look terrible. You really should sit down."

Gretchen stepped forward. "Wait a minute. Are you telling me that the place I've been living for the last … however long it's been, is a ship? Like flying through space? That kind of ship?"

Remy smiled. "It's like a ship, yes. Flying through space, not so much. It's more complicated than that."

Gretchen tightened her hands into fists, but held her tongue. What the fuck was that supposed to mean? It's complicated. That was everyone's answer to her questions, lately.

She studied the other woman. "Who are you? You say you used to do this too—fixing time, living on the Pod or the ship or whatever the fuck it is—so how were you able to leave? How come you don't have one of these bracelets?" She held up her arm, showing off the metal band there.

"Oh, I did," Remy said, bringing her eyes back to Gretchen. "I wore that bracelet for … too long. But there are ways."

"Rem," Seb said.

"You don't want her know that she has choices? Just because you've thrown your lot in with the all-knowing computer, doesn't mean we all have."

"What choices?" asked Gretchen. "What are you talking about?"

"Don't let Sebastian or Leonard or that talking computer fool you. You're not fixing anything. Because there is nothing broken, which needs fixing. Stay on that ship, and you'll be told what to do for the rest of your life." She looked down at the watch she wore on her left wrist, then back up at Gretchen. "But there are other choices."

"What choices?"

Remy raised her eyebrows and grinned. Then, she reached into her small black purse and pulled out a pistol.

"Whoa!" Gretchen put her hands up and took a step back. This woman was crazy!

"Rem, what are you doing?" Seb held his hands out in front of him. "Put the gun away."

"What do you think of your job, Gretchen Campbell? Do you like fixing time?" Remy gave her a look. "Does re-writing history according to the orders of the all-powerful Hal do it for you?"

Seb took a step towards her. "We're re-writing history according to how it happened, Rem."

"So you admit you're re-writing history. Interesting."

"That's not what I meant."

She pointed the gun at him. "Well, here we are. It's 1979. We're in history right now." She cocked the pistol. "So tell me, Sebastian, according to history, do I shoot you?"

Keeping her gun aimed at the Englishman, Remy stepped closer to the door. Seb stood where he was.

After a moment, the door opened and a squat, black-haired man entered. This must be Thomas Burkhart, Gretchen realized. His eyes grew large as he saw her and Seb—two strangers standing in his office—and he froze.

An instant later, Remy had the barrel of the gun against his temple.

"Or do I shoot him?" she asked, grinning.


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