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The Gap Into Ruin: This Day All Gods Die, Angus[4]

 
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Do you consider this chapter to be the pivotal moment of the fifth Gap book?
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Cord Hurn
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2014 10:24 am    Post subject: The Gap Into Ruin: This Day All Gods Die, Angus[4] Reply with quote

On the bridge of Punisher, Angus is sneering at everyone around him--Morn, Davies, Vector, Mikka, Ciro, Dolph, Min, and several of Dolph's bridge crew--to hide his fear that Warden Dios is considering giving Angus freedom, which Angus interprets as Dios invoking an unknown fail-safe to coerce him into giving himself up to the Amnion.

Angus knows Morn wants him to help rescue Warden Warden Dios from being hostage aboard the Amnion ship Calm Horizons--but he's not going to surrender, and he feels relief that Morn won't surrender herself, either. He tells Morn to hail Dios and once-human Amnion Marc Vestabule to see if Davies and Vector are considered enough of a trade for Warden.

Quote:
"Do you think it's enough?" she countered as if she meant something else entirely. The stress in her voice implied outrage, loathing; desperation. "You've already refused. I'm going to refuse. Will the Amnion accept a deal like that?"

"Well, hell, they should." he replied out of the wilderness. "He's all they really want. The rest of us are just smoke." He snorted. "'Compensation for an act of war' is a load of crap. They're trying to hide the truth. Even Vector doesn't count. Davies is the whole point of this exercise."

"It can't hurt to try, Morn," Min put in quietly. "If we don't give them what they want--or at least keep the negotiations open--they might not leave us enough time for anything else."


Min Donner reminds Dolph Ubikwe they don't have a shuttle to deliver hostages, so Dolph tells the crew to be ready to separate the command module and have the auxiliary bridge take over operating the rest of the ship. Warden (with Marc Vestabule listening nearby) answers their communications hail, saying he wants to get action on a deal to get the Amnion ship out of there. Morn tells Warden that she and Angus aren't coming, but that Davies and Vector are coming to Calm Horizons by detached command module. Warden says the Amnion don't think that's good enough. Morns retorts the Amnion already had their turn with her, and soon the UMCP director reports the Amnion agree on that point. But they still want Angus to surrender, and Morn threatens to have Mikka open fire. Dios tells Hyland don't do anything stupid, and to let him talk to Angus.

Quote:
At once she turned away. "Go ahead, Director Dios," she said in a tight voice. "Angus can hear you."

Now Warden didn't delay. "Angus," he said through the static, "I'm with an Amnioni named Marc Vestabule. In effect, he's the captain here. He's been 'invested with decisiveness.' But he used to be human.
"He says he knows you."

That surprised Angus. He locked his arms across his chest; clamped his teeth together until the corners of his jaw ached. "He's probably lying," he snarled back, although he feared Vestabule might be telling the truth. "Even if he isn't, what makes him think I care?"

"He used to crew on a ship called Viable Dreams." Heavy with accusation, Warden's reply carried through the static. "He says you captured his ship, took him and twenty-seven other members of the crew captive. Then you hauled them off to Billingate and sold them to the Amnion.
"He hasn't told me what you were paid for that, but I think I can guess."

Oh, shit.


Morn and Davies already knew this before they agreed to remove his datacore and disable his priority codes. But it's news to everyone else on the bridge, and Angus can feel a wave of righteous indignation rising against him. So he begs Morn and Davies to defend him, but they reply he must justify himself. Angus faces Min, admits he sold those 28 humans out to gain the knowledge of editing datacores. He further admits it enabled him to avoid accumulating damning evidence against himself. But he makes sure to remind everybody he was able to save Trumpet's crew from Nick's sadism by this datacore editing trick, and additionally asserts Warden knew all this before ever giving him Trumpet. Morn tells him they can argue about this later.

So Angus walks to Morn's communications pickup to ask, "Are you listening, Dios? Do you like what you hear?" The Director states both he and Marc hear him, and the Amnion have even more reason for war if they don't get Angus, because he's betrayed one of their secrets. Warden wants to know if Angus told Morn about this, and Morn confirms she and Davies knew before they helped edit Angus' datacore. After a moment Warden says he'll trust Morn's judgement, and asks Angus if he's listening. Angus grates that he wishes he couldn't hear him, but has no choice. Director Dios declares he's been using Angus and Morn, and will keep on using them.

Quote:
"I've heard how you justify yourself, Angus," he pronounced harshly. "Now I want you to hear me.
"We're facing a total crisis here. An outright apotheosis."

Between one heartbeat and the next, Angus collapsed on the deck as if he'd been cut off at the knees. In the prison of his skull, a tidal wave of images and sensations broke over him. An inarticulate gargle of shock or surprise bubbled up from his chest. Spasms he couldn't control gripped his shoulders.

Davies gasped in dismay. Morn came half out of the command station, then froze.
Something Warden had said--

He was still talking. He might have been unaware of a reaction he couldn't see. "Are you listening, Angus?" he demanded. "Vestabule has his guns aimed at Suka Bator. If we don't do what he wants, he's going to give us a super-light proton vasectomy."


Warden Dios has just kept his promise to free Angus Thermopyle by saying apotheosis, giving Angus access to any defensive data known to the UMC and UMCP. He's also freed Angus from UMC/UMCP authority by saying the word, "vasectomy".

But Angus doesn't look happy to be liberated at the moment. He's too busy cowering on the floor in a fetal position, overwhelmed by a multitude of firing synapses.
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Cord Hurn
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2015 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lots of twists and turns in this chapter! And when I was reading it the first time, I just had no idea whatsoever what was going to happen next!
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