Tatter: Chapter 12

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Ryard led the woman, garbed only in thin medical wraps and his coat, into a gutted warehouse in the slums at the north-western outskirts of the city. His movements furtive as he scryed the sparse and ebbing crowd beyond the alleyway. When he determined they weren’t being followed, he shut the door, shivered, and returned his attention to his companion’s dichromatic eyes.

“Looks like we’re safe. For now.” He found a bolt lock on the inside of the portal and secured it with a sigh of relief. “We can rest here.”

“Is this your home?”

“No. Couldn’t go to my apartment. Someone will come knocking, sooner or later. I’d like to avoid another tete-a-tete with that psycho from the clinic.”

“Vangr.”

“That his name?”

She nodded.

“Why is he after you?”

“I do not know.”

“How do you know him?”

“That story would take a long time to tell.”

Ryard spread his hands as he eased down into a old gel-cushioned couch. “I’ve got nowhere to be.”

She said nothing and scanned the room.

Ryard watched her for a while and then sighed and leaned back against the cushions, starring up at the decaying ceiling, “It just occurred to me I’m probably gonna lose my job.” He shook his head and closed his eyes, “Suppose I should be thinking about Lanning. If it wasn’t for him, we wouldn’t have gotten out of there,” He heard a scuffling from the corner of the room and opened his eyes. The woman was digging through a stack of refuse. She fixated upon an antiquated chest and pried it open, revealing a cornucopia of clothing.

“Everything happened so fast I never got the chance to ask your name.”

“Father did not give me a name.”

“Father?”

“Eidos Kryos.”

“Kryos… made you?”

“Yes,” she replied flatly, pulling on a pair of baggy pants, “He told me, when the time was right, I was to pick a name which suited me. I couldn’t decide. I’ve had so few people to talk to, names were never an issue. ‘Daughter’ or ‘Miss’ always sufficed.” She slipped into a gray ribbed sweater and then plucked out two mismatching sock – one thick blue and white, one thin black and orange – and a pair of battered flight boots along with a flair-collared rain-jacket with a striped inner lining.

“So, ‘Miss,’ then?”

Brows furrowed in a judicious consideration of the question as she slipped on the colorful socks, boots and jacket. She brightened suddenly and straightened as rain began to sound upon the metallic roof of the old hovel.

“You should choose my name.”

“What? No. I couldn’t.”

“Why not?” She queried, placing a floppy, wide-brimmed hat upon her head.

“I’ll have to think on that. Hope you don’t take this the wrong way, but you’re looking pretty… tatterdemalion.”

Her bicolor eyes widened as she turned towards the man.

“That.”

“What?”

“I want that to be my name.”

A slight smile spread across her face.

“Tatter.”

He met her gaze, observing her garish outfit and her fully regrown arm.

“It suits you.”

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