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Title: All Quiet on the Liminal Fringe (7/?)
Author: MustInvestigate
Disclaimer: I only own action figures
Rating: PG – eventual NC17
Character(s)/Pairing: OT3
Warning(s): Pretentiousness; abuse of noir tropes
Summary: Because [livejournal.com profile] tuff_ghost sez it can’t be done…an endless Watchmen / William Gibson-verse crossover, existing via the kink meme. Dreiberg, Kovacs, and Laurie Isham are vigilante cowboys dedicated to making life difficult for the cybercriminals and megacorps that keep a stranglehold on a dystopian world’s 11 billion lives.



Dreiberg paused across the street from the Gunga Diner, watching the two most important people in his life fight over the last samosa. It wasn’t often he had the chance to just look at either of them. Kovacs got fidgety after three seconds of Dreiberg making eye contact with his reflection. Laurie just hated to be still. If she had already worn herself out exercising and didn’t have a project to work on, she’d rather clean the cluttered and dusty basement where they worked than put her feet up. That always ended with Kovacs throwing a tantrum that she’d ruined his organisation and stomping off to wherever he stayed when Dreiberg’s basement got too comfortable for his liking.

Actually, that was probably why she cleaned their den in the first place, to get a break from their permanently irascible partner. She was always happy enough to relax with a cup of coffee when she was alone with Dreiberg, safe to talk about her life without the other’s harsh criticism.

For instance, Kovacs was probably lecturing her right now on the wasteful frivolity of the fashionable sunglasses she was wearing indoors, at night.

Which did not explain why she laughed, soundless through the glass, and let him have the last deep-fried chunk of gristle the Gunga passed off as a side dish.

They weren’t sunglasses, Dreiberg realised, when two heads turned and gave him three reflections. Those things were sunk right into her skin, probably into the bones of her skull.

“Oh,” he said, sitting down next to Kovacs and staring at the table until the nausea passed. “Those are, uh, new.”

“Yep! Barely itch at all, now. They can go to infrared or – hey, fingerprints!” She smacked his hand away with an irritated grunt. “Why do they always want to touch?”

Kovacs slumped in the booth, tugging his hat further over his visor. Probably a nervous twitch – the good thing about the Gunga was that everyone eating was a twitchy gearhead or razorgirl, so neither of his partners warranted a second glance. “Shiny,” he grumbled. “Attracts magpies.”

Laurie leaned over and sniffed. “You smell fruity. Like fruit, I mean. Did Veidt have real fruit?”

Dreiberg decided not to point out that it was shower gel, or perhaps moisturiser, or even the aftershave. Kovacs would just give him that look. “Nope, no fruit. Real eggs, though, and chicken. Man…actual chicken, that once clucked, and made eggs, and, uh...chickens were the ones that went 'cluck,' right, not 'hoot'?”

He looked at the remnants of their meal sadly. Pressed krill chemically addled to taste vaguely meat-like, petroleum byproducts stabilising the synthetically spiced sauce…it was never easy to go back to normal food after visiting Veidt.

Kovacs sat up and shoved the plate aside. “Stupid,” he muttered. “Obvious, really. Should have seen from the beginning.”

“You’d better be talking about yourself, K.”

Kovacs peeked around the diner before producing the Russian death trap for Dreiberg’s inspection. “Found this at the Mystic’s. Left by Blake – recording and raw data, but fatally booby-trapped. Only meant to be accessed by one who could disarm.”

“It lowered K’s IQ by at least 30 points,” Laurie piped up.

Kovacs ignored her, a miracle in itself. “Have been analysing the virus’ remains. Recalled, when I ran 16-bit decryption on this, triggering defensive barrage, that same underlying pattern emerged from Blake’s data.”

He projected onto the table, cupping his hands around the image for privacy.

“What the – smiley emoticons?”

Laurie snorted as Kovacs quickly snapped the image off. “So you’re saying a 12-year-old girl tried to kill Veidt?” She squirmed in her seat until she had both feet tucked under her rear, suddenly looking much younger.

“Russian hardware damaged memory. Forgot signature hidden in raw data until seen again.”

Dreiberg whistled. “You’re saying Blake designed that thing? I know he’s run some effective assaults in his time, but that…”

Kovacs shook his head, huffing in frustration. “No, it’s him, but not him. Like wallpaper, not code. There’s…no life in it.”

Laurie tapped her fingers, obviously craving a cigarette. “So he’s a zombie?”

Kovacs growled and crossed his arms.

“Laurie…”

“He was my sperm donor – I can say what I want!”

But to Kovacs he’d been a living idol, miraculously stepped down from his ivory pedestal to mentor him, Dreiberg wanted to say, but he didn’t think Kovacs would appreciate it. To the other white hats in their loose confederation, Blake had simply singled out an unstable young man for special abuse, but Kovacs had gratefully soaked up the attention and learned by unpicking Blake’s escalating damage. Dreiberg supposed that had made the old bastard Kovacs’ only other friend in the world.

“I only meant, like Hollis. It would have been just like him to have a back-up plan in place. Hey, maybe Veidt killed him, and Blake’s getting revenge from beyond the grave!”

Dreiberg felt his mouth drop open. “Laurie, I don’t even know where to start. Firstly, Hollis is not a zombie…”

“Start with tracing strike’s origin,” Kovacs broke in. “Should confront the Mystic with Blake’s message – perhaps it contains coordinates.”

“Don’t tell me you believe Veidt could ever, ever – ”

“Miss Isham’s hypothesis corresponds with current evidence. Merits investigation.”

Was Laurie actually preening under Kovacs’ tacit approval? “I’ll take on the Mystic. No offence, but he’ll tell a good customer more than you’ll ever get out of him.”

“Mystic’s apartment under surveillance. Not safe.”

Laurie flicked her razors out and admired the way they gleamed in the diner’s greasy fluorescents. “Not for them, no.”

“I agree with Kovacs – at the very least, you aren’t going in there without back-up.”

“K isn’t on very good terms with the Mystic after yesterday – by the way, that controlled Semtex you’re working on is great stuff – and I don’t think the two of you have ever even spoken. It’s me by my lonesome or nothing.”

Kovacs shook his head. “Not safe,” he insisted again.

“Fine,” she snapped. “That connection, thingie, you did between us – can you cross a few extra filaments with some chewing gum and make it remote?”

“Connection?” Dreiberg asked.

“Possibly,” Kovacs replied thoughtfully. “Would need to install secure broadcaster.”

“I’m sorry, go back to this connection?”

“Install where, exactly?”

“Neckjack, obviously.”

“Oh, no, mister – you’re not putting anything that close to my brain.”

Kovacs heaved a put-upon sigh. “Could use wrist again. Less efficient, more lag in transmitting.”

“I’m sure we can afford a couple of milliseconds’ delay.”

“Excuse me! Both of you – stop jabbering and explain this ‘connection.’”

Laurie shrugged. “I used him as hardware to keep looking for you while K caught a few Z’s. So I’m thinking it can work in reverse, too, with my gear. That’s all. Look, K, what kind of upgrade are we talking about here?”

“TXC-380 chip. Removable, not hardwired.”

“Didn’t those things lobotomise their test subjects?”

“That was 300-model. 380 lacks defect.”

“Fine, but we’re using a dampener.”

“For best quality…”

“Trust me on the dampener.”

“You used him, as hardware? How does that even…”

“K, can you check the balance on this thing?”

Kovacs slotted a credit chip into the back of his skull and nodded. “Enough. Will also cover temporary base of operation. Should search for hotel on independent connection, in case diner’s wireless is being monitored.”

Their fingers touched, passing the credit chip, and Kovacs hadn't wiped them off on his shirt. Dreiberg wondered if he’d been driven through any looking-glasses on the way over. Laurie was dodging a subject for the first time since he’d met her, and he tried not to think that the only people he’d ever heard of hooking in together were stupid, horny kids experimenting with biofeedback, or that it would be illegal if the law didn’t lag a century behind technology. Some remote part of his id gibbered that his partners were carrying on a hasty affair behind his back, but mercifully balked at picturing the seduction…until he suddenly realised it would have spiralled out from comparing modifications, shirts discarded to contrast spliced spines, hers seamlessly integrated by Holowood’s best technicians, his left chunky and raw by the drunken ministrations of back-alley machinists, both monochromatic in the bleaching light of monitors – it would be a dirty version of Veidt’s office, all exposed wires and rows of raised buttons that did nothing but appeal to Kovacs’ retro-aesthetic sensibilities – only natural to jack in together to explore the similarities in-depth…

“Daniel?”

“Hmmm?” Dreiberg knew he should be grateful to be dragged away from his thoughts.

“Not listening. Going now.” Kovacs nudged him out of the booth, staring past his shoulder in a way Dreiberg usually interpreted as avoiding eye contact.

“Wouldn’t you usually go to the Mystic for something like this?” Laurie asked. “That kinda negates the element of sneakiness we're aiming for.”

“Have an alternative. Will introduce you. Both of you.”

Drebierg wasn’t sure if he should feel touched or terrified at his partner’s sudden openness, and split the difference. “Kovacs, why…” he began with trepidation.

“May need in future. Mystic unreliable at best of times.”

Laurie grabbed both of their elbows as they cut through the crowded sidewalks toward a nearby alley. She must have expected Kovacs to pull himself free, but looked at Dreiberg in concern when he made a pained noise and shivered. They followed Kovacs up a fire escape to the relative privacy of a tenement roof.

“What’s wrong? Jeez, everyone’s grossed out by my touch tonight.”

Kovacs stiffened and set about establishing a wireless connection with exaggerated care.

“No, no – it’s just that my skin’s still convinced it was ripped off and put back on inside out, since that thing stripped my armor. Psychosomatic, but nevertheless stings like hell.”

“Ouch,” Laurie replied sympathetically. “And my mother wondered why I never wanted to spend my life fighting imaginary monsters.”

“No armor?” Kovacs asked sharply, fingers moving over an invisible keypad.

“No, it’s gone. I’m as free and easy out there as you, now. It’ll be a few weeks before I can work up a new set, assuming our own personalised strike viruses aren’t en route as I speak, freeing me from the bother of forward planning.”

Kovacs shook his head. “Nothing on horizon. Have reserved hotel room. Come on.”

He took them to his back-up supplier first. Dreiberg recognised him by the geometric tattoos on the back of his neck.

“Chess? Thought you were still in jail.”

Chess watched nervously as Kovacs pawed through his wares. “Got out in May.”

“Any stims?” Kovacs grunted.

“No, you cleaned me out last week,” Chess replied quickly. “Said I’d let you know when I got more in.”

Kovacs frowned, but spat out, “Good. Need TXC-380 chip. In stock?”

“Just one,” Chess said, and fished the small box out from a locked drawer. “Here.”

Kovacs examined it carefully, slotting it into his skull with a thoughtful hurm.

“You still dealing KT?” Dreiberg asked quietly. He was surprised Kovacs would work with Chess, given his incarceration, and vice versa, since Kovacs had put him there.

Chess snorted, eyes locked on Kovacs. “Only stims, and only to him. Knowing the little bastard could pop in at any time keeps me straighter than my parole officer.”

Kovacs popped the chip out. “Will take. Also need unlocked armor set.”

“That’s not cheap, even for you,” Chess warned, carefully.

Kovacs pulled a leatherman from his pocket and opened the synthskin on his left palm. He isolated the circuit and pried out a two-centimetre square. Dreiberg recognised it as a highly specialised storage unit, meant to keep custom viruses from infecting the system that carried them. “Trade.”

Chess wiped the blood off the component and examined it critically. “This has seen a lot of use…”

“Broken in,” Kovacs growled, trying to tuck the synthskin closed. It dangled limply away from his hand, refusing to connect, so he ripped the swatch off with an impatient mumble about foreign-made goods. Laurie handed him a filthy microcloth without a word, and he wrapped it around the wound.

“Kovacs, I can’t accept – you need that.”

“Have spare drive.” He held up his other hand, flexing it so Dreiberg could see the outline of another embedded in the palm. “Do not have spare partner.”

His head tilted fractionally toward Laurie. “Don’t have useful spare,” he amended. She smiled and poked his wounded palm, hard.

“I’ll take it,” Chess interrupted, shoving a different chip toward Dreiberg. “But only if you take your girlfriends and get out now, you creepy son of a bitch.”

His voice shook like an autumn leaf, betraying his bravado. Kovacs dropped the credit chip on the counter, casually dragging a sparking fingertip along an exposed data strip.

“Interesting business strategy,” he said, nodding toward a grill over Chess’s head. “Mounted fletcher, pointed at customers. Military-grade, and unregistered.”

“Hey, you know how often I get shot at in this job?” When Kovacs didn’t answer, Chess slowly moved both hands to the top of the counter, away from the triggering mechanism Kovacs had found. “I got that at a government surplus auction – completely legitimate!”

“And neurotoxin darts inside fletcher?”

Chess flinched. “Same auction,” he insisted weakly.

Dreiberg and Laurie sidled toward the door, out of range.

“No record of any such auction since your release.”

“A, uh, a friend got it for me. He, uh, aw, shit. Look, I’m getting some real primo gear in at the end of the week – you can have first pick, on the house, okay?”

“Attempting bribery?”

Chess deflated. He yanked the grill from the wall and handed him the fletcher. Kovacs removed the dart clip and returned the emptied fletcher to the surprised man.

“Expect to see registration certificate next time,” he growled, and palmed the darts into the nearest compactor outside, ignoring his partners’ curious stares.

The hotel wasn’t as bad as expected. There were no windows, and the carpet squished under their feet, but there were two beds and, Laurie was surprisingly enthusiastic to discover, a bathroom. Dreiberg settled on one of the beds to tinker with his new armor while the other two argued over installation matrixes and settled on a compromise that neither was happy with. The armor was reassuringly thick, but felt wrong – too tight across the shoulders, somehow. He laid the first of dozens of anti-viral cryptographs over the standard programming, remembering Hollis’s early lessons. Hollis…he should check in with Hollis, like he’d promised to do more often, but there wasn’t any time. He’d make it up to him.

“Okay,” Laurie chirped, pulling her sleeve lower to cover the new cradle installed in her wristjack. “Let’s fire this puppy up!”

She shivered as it activated. “Uck. Oh, that doesn’t…I’m gonna be sick, clear a path! Wait…wait…deep breathing is my friend…no, okay. Okay. Hey, it’s asking me if I want to install an essential patch. Yes?”

“No!” the two men chorused.

“Patch deactivates chip,” Kovacs insisted.

“That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.”

“Fine, install patch. See result.”

“Only if it’s been previously owned,” Dreiberg broke in. “It’s meant to stave off a secondhand market. Most of our gear is the same – you’ve just got to go in and clean that out of the rootkit. I’ll show you how sometime.”

“Oh,” she said, staring at her wrist like someone else’s hand had been sewn on it. “So this is, what, some dead guy’s?”

“Perfectly safe,” K grunted, rubbing his temples underneath the laminate. “Wouldn’t risk system integrity with dirty hardware. Activating receiver now.”

“I’m touched you care so much,” she grumbled and bounced on the balls of her feet. “God, I could use a jog. Is this working, or what?”

Kovacs swayed and carefully lowered himself onto the other bed. “Enk…standing still and jumping simultaneously. Things…shifting…not natural.”

“Now do you believe the dampener was a good idea? I was…my system was designed to project every possible sensation, literally kilobytes per second.” She stretched to touch her toes, her spine popping.

Kovacs swayed forward. “Perhaps,” he allowed.

“This feels so weird. Not tingly. More like just after you’ve stopped being tingly.” She rubbed her neck and fluffed out her lank hair. “Ew. Add a shower to the list of things I need, like, thirty-five minutes ago.”

Kovacs gurgled something that might have been “…soft…” and cleared his throat harshly. “Must calibrate, lower output.”

Dreiberg tuned them out again as that set off another argument. Their bickering faded into familiar white noise as he set his armor aside for the moment and focused on the Russian death trap, impersonating an innocuous hard drive on the threadbare duvet in front of him. It might contain the answers to all their questions, or even just an intriguing bastard’s last will and testimony. Dreiberg would settle for either. It would be so easy to pop in a connection while the other two were distracted, take a quick peek…after all, he’d just smoked the monster that terrified Veidt’s entire security force – how difficult could this little box be?

Only his partner’s grey pallor convinced him to return to Veidt’s comparatively dull assignment. He carefully hacked into Pyramid’s central data hub and made a silent run through their main programming cycle before slipping back out unnoticed. There were similarities between their templates and what he remembered from the beast’s outer matrix. But the material Veidt had handed him lacked Pyramid identifiers, as if they’d only been on the surface. Like camouflage…

“No, K, that’s as low as it goes. You’ll just have to deal with it.”

“Is hogging bandwidth. Sending even single-digit reply like punching through concrete. Must reduce output.”

“A single digit is exactly as much as I ever want to hear from you, buddy. You are not sabotaging me.”

“Is it working?” Dreiberg asked.

“Only too well.” Laurie flopped onto the bed next to Kovacs, who scooted to the opposite edge and teetered. She hauled him back by the elbow. “God, do I smell? Actually, don’t answer that. You two really know how to make a girl feel like an international sex symbol.”

Kovacs shuddered but kept his mouth shut, tucking knees to his chest and crossing his arms over them. Conserving warmth, Dreiberg thought, counting the hours since Kovacs had last disappeared from the basement for a few moments to jab a stim needle anywhere Dreiberg wouldn’t see the mark. Withdrawal would be setting in soon, the exact time depending on how much sugar he’d managed to get into his stomach while they were separated.

“Hey, that reminds me,” Laurie chirped, elbowing Kovacs. “We figured you’d know – what’s normal-people sex like?”

Dreiberg had had a background program running in his head since the moment Laurie showed up on his doorstep looking for shelter from her too-visible life, attempting to generate the perfect opening line that would make a goddess forget it came from the Stay-Puff Marshmallow Man. It chugged away even after it was clear she was less goddess than the world’s oldest living spoiled teenager, once driving him to say I love the way you cause trouble, earning him a brilliant peal of laughter and a sisterly kiss on the cheek. Now it let loose with a quick halleluiah chorus and offered up the command: That…requires a demonstration *cheeky smile*

His lips were already opening when the tattered shreds of his common sense slammed on the brakes (”we,” she said “we”) and Laurie bumped shoulders with Kovacs, her wicked grin pointed at his freakish surly 98-pound-weakling bastard partner, whose mouth, Dreiberg suddenly realised, was the tight miserable crescent of a toddler about to be spanked for refusing to share his most precious toy.

For once, he was glad the laminate covered most of Kovacs’ expression, and wished for a mask of his own. The shift from transcendent joy to preemptive rejection had left his jaw charley-horsed.

“I’m sure I wouldn’t know,” he sighed and turned away, re-setting his rig to his temples. “Kovacs, can you keep an eye on her and my vitals at the same time? I need to go deeper into Pyramid.”

“Of course!” Was there a note of relief under the outrage at Dreiberg doubting his ability to multitask?

Kovacs scrambled over to the bed Daniel had claimed, setting up the electrodes with his head ducked low, either watching one of them from the corner of his eye or determinately ignoring them both. Dreiberg, on a hunch, extended his awareness into the hotel’s wireless network and felt the ripples as Kovacs punched another post through to the super-secret cyberlog he’d never particularly tried to hide from Dreiberg. He could find it easily, probably even break in with enough persistence (and a few minutes away from his partner’s ever-present surveillance), but he’d never been tempted to violate that privacy. Much.

Laurie fidgeted on the other bed, watching Dreiberg attach electrodes to his chest. After a few minutes of awkward silence, she stood and stuffed her long hair under her cap. “Since this has gotten very boys-only all of a sudden, I’ll…I’ll be on my way.”

Dreiberg nodded without removing his visor.

“Careful,” Kovacs mumbled.

She slammed the door behind her.

Kovacs swallowed hard and leaned, carefully, against the wall. He dug his nails into his palms, breathing through his nose.

“If you’re not up to this…”

Kovacs shook his head. “Will become accustomed to…movement…talking… Enk.”

“Let’s go then.” Dreiberg reminded himself Kovacs hadn’t actually done anything wrong, probably, and sighed. “Have a theory this thing only used Pyramid as an entrance, originating outside the V-A system. I’ll need you to keep a weather eye out for anything like Blake’s work or…well…Blake. If he’s in here somewhere, which I really really doubt, you might be able to draw him out.”

And then we can put him in a jar with Hollis and officially have more dead than living friends. Hell and damnation…

* * *
Parts: one - two - three - four - five - six - seven - eight

Date: 2009-09-13 11:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] brancher.livejournal.com
WHY DID YOU HIDE THIS FROM MEEEEEE

this is the best chapter yet. I don't know what the hell you mean dull. I see what you meant about Laurie, the world's oldest spoiled teenager, and you did a fantastic job of having her be not nice and thoughtless and even hurtful and at the same time awesome. I love watching her sync up with Rorschach in any incarnation. And Dan, so insecure and so perverse. DANNNNNN.

he suddenly realised it would have spiralled out from comparing modifications, shirts discarded to contrast spliced spines,

I LOL'd.

Can't wait for the next bit.

Date: 2009-09-14 05:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mustinvestigate.livejournal.com
The really not-thoughtful Laurie is still to come...bwah hah hah. This bit was actually written a couple of weeks ago and had expanded from an envisioned 1 - 2 pages to way more than that to encompass plotty things I didn't want to stop action for later. And I was totally going to sweeten the talky plotty with porn, but porn is slowly getting rewritten, and urg. By which I mean, this is hiding here until I finish porn :)

But thanks for the kind words - it perks me up that you like this half!

Date: 2009-09-20 11:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] acidicfog.livejournal.com
This was awesome, except for the part where I read it all, realized reading the summary may very well have helped, read said summary, and still didn't understand. xD

Date: 2009-09-21 09:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mustinvestigate.livejournal.com
Oh dear, have you tried reading from Part 1? It was ages ago that I posted the first six parts on [livejournal.com profile] watchmen_slash, and this really would not make sense out of context. Or in context, really :)

heh..."Musty"...

Date: 2009-10-09 08:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mustinvestigate.livejournal.com
THIS IS EASILY THE COOLEST THING I'VE EVER SEEN. The tighty whities...and the eyes...the owl shirt...and the expressions are PERFECT!

Do you mind if I put this up with the next update, with credit a course?

I'll be over here, dying of squee.

Re: heh..."Musty"...

Date: 2009-10-09 08:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] brancher.livejournal.com
next update

next update

next update

Yes of course by all means. I MAY DRAW MORE. Depending on when that next update appears. And what happens in it. /SUBTLE ATTEMPT AT STRONGARM PERSUASION

Re: heh..."Musty"...

Date: 2009-10-09 09:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mustinvestigate.livejournal.com
Strongarm persuasion is probably needed. Here's the beginning of the current next part:

Laurie rubbed her arms, getting chilly now that she wasn’t running or fighting. “I’m not bringing this up for my own benefit, you know. I just see something broken that doesn’t need to be.”

D.

“Yeah, yeah, you’re exactly where you want to be in life, I get that. You’re just, you know, missing out. No one should have to miss out. Especially not when it’d be a snap to fix, just get you laid – ”

D.

“ – and you’ll be all, hey, there’s no blood and guts at all – ”

D.

“ – just good groiny fun. Yay.”

D.

!.

Laurie shrugged. “Okay, so it wouldn’t be an instant fix, but a damn good start. The hard part is finding a willing vict- a partner. Since I’m assuming a pro is out of the question – ”

!.

“ – and, as I’d assume you’re aware, your personality does not exactly overcome the social handicap of rocking that over-plugged power strip look. You’ve got even less chance of attracting a fuckbuddy than I seem to have.”

She hummed thoughtfully. “You’d think the solutions to our very different problems would dovetail rather neatly there, but no. No offence taken, I’m sure. Plus, I get the impression we both need someone who knows what he’s doing.”

D.

!.

“An exclamation point is not code for ‘shut up, shut up, shut up,’ by the way. It actually stands for: ‘Thank you for your concern, Laurie dear, please do go on.’”

The cursor blinked furiously.

Laurie crossed her arms, realising a moment later she was dragging the flat of one nailblade along her exposed collarbone. It felt good, dammit. She peeked around the corner and hopefully scanned for criminals.

Nothing.

Even the noise of civi-cop pacification faded, the cut off abruptly with a slammed door and the poot-poot-pootle of the wagon’s anti-gravs pushing their human load into the sky.

Laurie fished through her calf pocket, finding her nail sharpener, a broken knuckle-guard, a coupon for Harga’s House of Ribs on the East side, and a small rubber ball the size of a doll’s eyeball. She bounced it off the opposite wall, catching it on the rebound as the toy’s antistatic self-cleaning system shucked off pocket lint. She could almost hear the fuzz land in the hushed alley, as if she were the last person alive in the entire Sprawl. Just her and her silent, watchful passenger.

“I’ve just had the most brilliant idea ever,” she whispered, touching the ball’s seam. It split in two, forming soft, half-melted crescents that glommed onto her index and middle fingertips. “Secondhand experience fucked you up…maybe it’s the solution, too. Sorta poetical.”

She tapped the crescents together, shivering as they began to buzz on their lowest setting.

* * *

There's more already written, but there's also a separate bit with Adrian and Byron (non-porny, but a hot tub's involved), and I'm a bit stuck with how the bits fit together. (Which, I have been informed, is what she said.) So, yeah, bribery with awesome art very very very good.

Re: heh..."Musty"...

Date: 2009-10-09 09:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] brancher.livejournal.com
OH MY FUCKING CHRIST she's gonna -- and K is still back there in the sdfjkajkl;sdaajkl; HOTEL ROOM with DAN -- Jesus FUCK.

er, I mean, I like where this is going.

fanarts forthcoming. Also happy to beta if beta needed.

Re: heh..."Musty"...

Date: 2009-10-10 09:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mustinvestigate.livejournal.com
Yeah, Laurie's got an idea :)

I would be hugely appreciating if you'd be willing to beta - I've been out of my writing groove for ages, and it would be great to have someone who would tell me where things are non-working and need moar drafts. I've got a tin ear for that right now.

Re: heh..."Musty"...

Date: 2009-10-11 01:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] brancher.livejournal.com
hit me up via pm. I'm here for you babe.

Re: heh..."Musty"...

Date: 2009-10-14 04:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mustinvestigate.livejournal.com
Have been bashing away at it - will drop you a line when I've got a decent chunk ready to offend your brain :)

Re: heh..."Musty"...

Date: 2009-10-16 08:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] steals-thyme.livejournal.com
asflkd
You can has bribes




Curious, does Rorschach/Comedian artbribes also work for the corresponding fic? ;D

Re: heh..."Musty"...

Date: 2009-10-17 12:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mustinvestigate.livejournal.com
Eeeeee....I was going to babble on and on about everything I love about this, (the reflections of neon, the expression, the sexybeastEYES!) but is maybe more concise to say that it's become my new desktop so I can happily stare at it every time I turn the computer on.

Heh, Comedian/Rorschach fic would certainly be good bribery :) I am working on that again, but at the moment they're stuck in an epic mug-shattering battle.

Re: heh..."Musty"...

Date: 2009-10-17 09:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] steals-thyme.livejournal.com
an epic mug-shattering battle

I must be tired, because my brain supplied a quite magnificent mental image of Rorschach and Comedian throwing coffee mugs at each other (Eddie's says 'Worlds Greatest Dad', naturally)

I'm pretty sure that'd be unhelpful as far as bribery goes, though XD

MOAR ART

Date: 2009-10-10 03:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] etherati.livejournal.com
HEY I HAVE ART FOR YOU TOO D:

It's the new thing, all the kids are doin it. Or something.

Just K:

Re: MOAR ART

Date: 2009-10-10 09:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mustinvestigate.livejournal.com
I love the way this pulls the two looks together, the noir and cyber aspects. And the data reflections looking like ink blots, exactly what I had in my head. And the downturned mouth and nose! This is brilliant and it's just unfair you've got yet another talent you've been hiding! :D

Re: MOAR ART

Date: 2009-10-11 11:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] etherati.livejournal.com
Haha and here I thought making the data look like that was just some bizarre thing I picked up that wasn't really there.

And not hiding, just not much I draw is any good, but I am pretty proud of this one. Thank you though <3

(Here's a colored version: http://pics.livejournal.com/etherati/pic/0000dxa8 )

Re: MOAR ART

Date: 2009-10-14 06:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mustinvestigate.livejournal.com
Ooo, even shinier this way - would you mind if I put this in the next section I post (whenever that may be!)?

Re: MOAR ART

Date: 2009-10-14 07:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] etherati.livejournal.com
Nah go right ahead, I'm just glad you like it :3

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