My father’s first words to me were ‘You shall be our salvation.’
The Ford Thunderbird was deceptively roomy. Not so roomy that Ku could fit in the front with me. Just roomy enough that, sprawled out, her hair acting like an impromptu blanket, she could stretch out across the leather interior of the back seat, hair preventing her rough skin from slashing open the seats. The car didn’t even ride low with her there, a testament to the fine engineering, and the fact that the damn thing was built out of two tons of stainless steel. That would mean that paying for gas would be a bitch. Here I’d been complaining about SUVs for most of my adult life, and this thing would probably make them look sensible and affordable by comparison.
“Are you anything more than human?”
“-Military has stated that the unprecedented operation was in response to a major terror threat by the known cult, the Church of the Survivor, to detonate a low-yield nuclear device in Central Park. They attribute their victory to the quick actions of Dane Larson in tracking down the cultists, and the device has been safely dismantled-”
My body was aching, wracked with feverish chills. The knife had hurt badly. And it kept hurting. Being in the warmth of Horace’s home wasn’t helping. I was becoming disconnected. I could feel the world flowing like wax around me. It was becoming difficult to concentrate on what was happening. Memories were echoing in my head. I heard a crack, and shook free of a vision of people who had been dead for millenia.
I was always the black sheep. My brother was kind-hearted, smarter than me, more athletic. All I had was my anger, and my ambition. But he didn’t mind that. In fact, I think that was part of what he liked about me. I had the passion to get things done when he would have let bygones be bygones. He never said it, but when we wound up in a fight, there was glee in his expression. I gave him an excuse to not be a good person. He needed that. And in exchange… He cared about me. He believed in me. He told me that I would do great things.
I can’t say that I am prone to self-examination. I have lived a very long time, which is itself proof of my skill. I am First, and I am Cat, and these things are sufficient to overcome almost any obstacle in my way. The handful of times when I have found myself defeated, I returned to my human, settled down to receive affection and grow stronger, and then proceeded to murder whatever had embarrassed me. It was very difficult to kill me, so long as I had a human. But Horace had a rather frustrating lack of confidence in me. “You know what your job is, Horace. Why are you going through this? How can you even trust this man?”