FindingaSignal_fbcover

Chapter 48

12 pm, Thursday, Hyde
10pm, Thursday, Brisbane

‘I can see why they sent you here,’ Milla said as she walked along the edge of the railing of the Hyde Agency roof, teetering unsteadily dozens of meters above the ground.

Stef stared at the girl, at the absolute lack of fear she had, and tried to calm down. She wasn’t going to fall. She wasn’t going to die. If she fell, the safety net around the building would catch her.

All the logic in the world hadn’t stopped her from prepping three emergency shifts – all locked on Milla and keyed to different velocities and angles; ensuring she’d be shifted to safety if it even appeared as though she was going to fall.

Stef put her hands back in her pockets, feeling the small red ball there, and shifted it from hand to hand – which covered Ryan’s need for her to work on being comfortable with finer shift controls; and assured her that she was still in system territory.

The second that changed, she’d just grab the recruit and pull her back to safety.

‘Why?’ she asked the recruit.

‘Well, we’re the weirdo Agency, so they send us all of the weirdos.’

‘I’m-’

Where are you going with that sentence, Spyder?

‘Oh yeah you are,’ Milla said, doing a clumsy, amateur pirouette, ‘so just admit it.’

‘I am.’

‘S’ok,’ Milla said, ‘you’re far from the wierdest that has come through. I mean, we’ve had some of those statics come through-’

‘Some of those what?’

Milla finally jumped back onto the roof, and Stef felt herself relax. She required a huge, plush couch and sat, her back leaning against the left arm; and invited Milla to sit with a wave of her arm.

‘Billy generally calls them “the best of us” with the “us” part being agents, not the everybody kind of “us”, agents who are agents but forgot to be people.’ Milla turned a few times, then sat, pressing her feet to Stef’s feet.

‘Oh yeah, them,’ Stef said, then sipped her shake, ‘not sure I’d want to meet one of them.’

‘Because they wouldn’t approve of you?’

‘Something like that.’

‘You’re lucky your Ryan’s a Billy and not a static. If he was a static, you’d still be a corpse. And probably gross.’

Stef shuffled awkwardly. ‘Billy, he’s your dad isn’t he? Ryan told me that he offered cause they’re in the same Agency reddit for narcs who pick up strays.’

Milla nodded. ‘Your another agenty adoptee like me. He…he’s my dad in every way that counts, but he’s better. He’s not my dad, he’s my Billy. I had a dad, and I loved him, so it’s weird to- To call him the same cause I don’t want him thinking he’s a replacement. I’m his daughter and he’s my Billy. And when I find the woman of my dreams, he’s gonna walk me down the aisle, unless she’s fae, then he’ll sit in the admin office with me, then dance when we have the party.’

Stef smiled. ‘I…have a father, but he’s a bag of dicks, he was never my dad. Ryan is…Ryan’s like out of a storybook, I feel like I have a family, I feel like someone gives a shit.’

Milla grabbed forward and made grabby motions. Stef lifted her shake. ‘This?’

‘No, Agent, your hand.’

Stef leaned forward and gave Milla her hand.

‘That’s what family and friends are for,’ the recruit said.

Stef stared at the hand for a moment. ‘Friends?’

Friends don’t come this easily. She doesn’t even know everything she needs to hate about me yet. She’s-

Milla nodded. ‘I mean, you haven’t run away yet, or made fun of me cause I’m weird-’

Stef felt her eyebrows raise. ‘I, um, hadn’t noticed, actually,’ she said, looking away.

Milla squeezed her hand, then leaned back against the end of the couch. ‘Sure you have. Just like I’ve noticed your weirdness. It’s okies though, I think that just gets us past a couple of the first litmus tests. You’re weird, and I like you. I’m weird, and you like me. And maybe by the end of this conversation, I can sub in “crazy” for weird, and we’ll both know it’s okay, cause we both know what we are.’

Stef let go of a long breath, and dismissed her shake. ‘Even- Even acknowledging- I’ve always had to hide it- Cause- Cause I was afraid if anyone knew that- That they’d make me stop being me, and I’d rather be broken than not me, as messed up as that is.’

‘I’ll ask again, do you know where you are?’

‘Huh?’

‘Madchester,’ Milla said, ‘is where the mad come. Come willingly. No one is brought kicking and screaming here. No one is forced into a rubber room or given drugs to kill their mind. If you’re that violent that you’re a threat to others, there are ways to deal with you…but you’d know like I do, it’s the least of us that are a threat to others.’ Milla stood, a sad look in her eyes, and walked over to the railing.

Stef followed and stood beside the recruit.

Milla gripped the railing. ‘Me? I’d never hurt anyone, but I’m pretty sure that suicide’s an inevitability for me. That’s why I like coming up here. It’s why I- I can jump here and it’s safe, and if only for a bit, it makes my brain calm down.’

Stef laid her hand over Milla’s. ‘But you’ve got-’

‘Billy’s why I haven’t yet,’ she said, ‘and he knows- I don’t want to…I just kind of accept that it’s probably going to happen one day. Until then, I’m here.’

Stef held Milla’s hand as tightly as she could as her own hand shook. ‘Do it- No I don’t mean do it. Have a- Have a failsafe.’ She turned away as tears ran down her face. She tripped a /serious, and refreshed her face, then turned back. ‘If you intend- Or- Or when you intend- You need to-’

Fuck, why isn’t /serious working?

‘You never know that you don’t want to, until you do it. So you have to have a way to stop. Jumping doesn’t give you a chance for backsies.’

Milla hugged her. ‘I’ve never had an agent know what I was talking about.’

Stef held the recruit for a moment. ‘I don’t- I don’t talk about it. But- But maybe with a friend?’

Milla pulled away and nodded. ‘One day, not today. We’ve got too much other stuff to do.’

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  13 comments for “Chapter 48

  1. TimeKitt
    May 28, 2016 at 3:40 am

    Not reminding me of my own… but in school… the aids epidimic was just coming off it’s peak, and a great deal of my friends had hiv. Life was short term to them. They couldnt care about grades or what happened to them. They had the invulnerability of already being dead on their minds. Suicide as a descrete action wasnt as much a thing as total reclessness. Milly’s attitude reminds me of that time.

    • Jay
      May 30, 2016 at 6:43 pm

      Yeah… this really hits home for me, I struggle with thinking like Milla.

    • Stormy
      Stormy
      June 4, 2016 at 10:37 am

      @Kitt 🙁

    • Stormy
      Stormy
      June 4, 2016 at 10:39 am

      @Jay – Do you have any kind of support?

    • Jay
      June 10, 2016 at 11:08 am

      Not particularly. I dont open up about it although its not really a secret. Everyone close to me knows i struggle with it but i’m more or less in a stable state of mine. I’ve just known since i was about 10 that suicide was going to be my most likely cause of death.

    • Wraith
      Wraith
      June 10, 2016 at 11:52 am

      @Jay – I know that feeling. Even now I have a hard time taking recommendations about my diet/exercise/other lifestyle choices that aren’t the healthiest because I’m convinced that I won’t live long enough for any of those things to be what kills me.
      That said, suicide is a horrific thing that affects everyone around you in ways that are hard to comprehend, even for me, even after my sister’s suicide. If you ever need someone to talk to, Stormy and I have been there and we’re willing to listen, to offer an ear, advice, whatever you need. I tend to forget to check the site all too often, but if you have skype, you can hit me up at wraith_drenar and I will do whatever I can to help you. And this offer is open to all of the readers here. I don’t care if we’ve never talked before, I will take the time for you.

      Sometimes a stranger can be more help than a friend.

    • Jay
      June 13, 2016 at 11:57 am

      Thanks Wraith =]

    • Jay
      June 13, 2016 at 12:15 pm

      My lifestyle choices tend to be self-destructive bc i know the suicide option is there even with the horible effects it has on those around me… plus i often struggle with a general disdain for life, the world, and other people. Its like i’m hyper aware of the fact that life doesnt mean anything so there is no real reason to struggle hard to live when i can struggle all i want and still not be happy

    • Stormy
      Stormy
      June 15, 2016 at 4:31 pm

      Finding meaning can be nigh-impossible – finding small things that bring you moments of comfort or solace can be easier. 🙂

  2. Stormy
    Stormy
    June 12, 2016 at 8:11 pm

    @Jay

    It can be hard – or nigh impossible – to talk to people in real life about the brain awfuls. How do the people around you treat you – is there judgement or anything negative that could be contributing, or do they generally leave you to it, being a neutral influence, more than anything?

    Talking to people online, however…can be easier. You don’t have to deal with body language, tripping over your words, or feeling worse for having tried to speak.

    And I can prove that. You can see Wraith’s comment above. Wraith is someone I met online – he was just a random commenter, but we slowly became friends – and now he’s family to me. He even came and lived with me for a few months. IE. He came from the US to Australia, and moved into my spare room.

    Talk to us, we know that feel, bro.

    • Jay
      June 13, 2016 at 12:10 pm

      Its hard to talk about when i’m not going through a bad period. My friends are amazing. I just have a ton of social anxiety, which is a completely seperate thing from my other issue. The depression issues i guess would be best described as getting overwhelmed by the repetitive monotony of life.

  3. June 22, 2016 at 6:23 am

    I’m so sorry to read your comments and know how many of you struggle with suicide. I lost my Goddaughter to suicide several years ago so from the perspective of those who are left to grieve, I pray you’ll get the support you need to get through the difficult days. I can selfishly ask you to think of those who do care about you, even if you aren’t aware of them. Your lives matter … What you do with your lives matter. You matter! Hang on to that and share amongst yourselves; communication is an important element to keeping yourselves strong.

    • Stormy
      Stormy
      June 25, 2016 at 8:58 pm

      <3 *hugs*

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