Sometimes You Bet On Red



Scene Title Sometimes You Bet on Red
Synopsis And it comes up black.
Date August 14, 2019

Somewhere halfway to Providence…

Fingertip hits phone screen. Phone hits passenger seat.

"Hey, Jitters."

A pause, of several seconds.

"Isis, or… Joanne — whatever your name is, honestly."

On a road remote enough for it to be cast in complete darkness at this time of night, a hearse's headlights cut harsh cones across their paths. Inside the car, the pause in speech is softened only by the continuous noise of the car in motion, tires working past grit.

"Remember how we met? At a hospital? With you laughing at me, when I'd just lost my eye. Still groggy, still reeling."

Another pause. Zachery, with one hand on the steering wheel, glances at the phone screen, as if to check that it's still recording.

"Funny, then," he continues, tone of voice dragged lower, humourless, "that I should leave you in a sick bed."

Silence overtakes again, and this time it drags on. There's nothing on the road to warrant it, but still easily 30 seconds pass before he says, "Things could have been easy. You could have simply died. Or, slightly less dramatically, you could have gone to see someone other than me for help. Evidently, you had others. You knew others. So — why didn't you."

The hum of the car picks up.

"I'm recording this because whatever happens next - if you live - this whole thing is going to be a difficult thing to process. For you, I mean. Though for me… well."

"The very fact that I'm recording this tells me that some part of me would be… disappointed if you died. Call it personal failure, call it a lesson, call it weakness. I'm not sending this out to you, or anything, and I'm not sure you'll ever hear this, but just in case it ever comes up - well. I guess I'll have recorded proof, with a date on it, that I didn't just…"

He trails off, attention ahead of him, fingers tight around the steering wheel.

"… I didn't just go. I don't know how the higher ups at Raytech do things, but having poked around there for a while now, I suspect there's no better people to leave you with. That I know of. I couldn't risk staying, not with how I…"

Again, an unfinished sentence, and he sounds more annoyed for it. "'Project Hydra'. I guess that teaches me something. So… thank you for that. Thank you for trusting me - and, if you live,"

Now, this sentence, he knows the end to, and it's delivered in cheerful sing-song, as he swipes the phone up from the adjacent seat again:

"Don't ever do that again, alright?"

End recording.

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