Teeth

The point of Turner is that he cannot be found.
Bennie, sitting in a truckstop outside of Hangrenade, OR, is scribbling sketches in his LRT. No one, no fucking one, has come sniffing his bait, and he’s just getting ready to decide to lay in a couple more bubbles in the texture of the lie, the one that’s sent Dance and Drin and Emma, who is holy shit the hottest woman Bennie has ever seen, to Vancouver for a lay-low.
Bennie gets a little bit cute with the hotel reservations, asks for a California King.
After that, he thinks about Turner.
He thinks about the Unabomber, that wacky CIA sketch that circulated,

looking nice and ominous, strangely fashion-conscious in those aviator frames, and that fucked-up crazy-beard bastard Kaczynski. Not gonna happen. Even if he cops a visual, even if somebody in Auren’s data chopping unit has a prophetic dream and gets him a visual, it’s background noise, there’s no there there, nothing that cannot be changed for the sake of a kill.
The waitress brings him a tureen-sized serving of chocolate pudding.
Bennie’s not even sure the guy is real. What if “Turner” is just a code name for a set of procedures?
He types a disgruntled couple sentences into the LRT. Almost immediately he gets an answer.
Turner is real guy. Teeth.
What the fuck? Teeth?
Check military dental records.
“Well, fuck me standing upside down,” Bennie mutters, and eats his pudding.

human teeth and roots intact in skull
Intact Collection

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24 thoughts on “Teeth”

  1. Hmm, interesting point here, and maybe I’m just dim.
    Does he mean that he’s set up the lay-low for the trio, to go to Vancouver, or that they already have gone there? ie., can they get out of the area around Pen’s place before the hurricane(s) hit, or is this expected to be afterward?

    RE: the audio, also very interesting stuff. I was struggling to pick up the wording (my speakers be cr**) until I looked at the lyrics. Interesting indeed.
    from this site,
    http://www.nomorelyrics.net/silversun_pickups-lyrics/389886-future_foe_scenarios-lyrics.html

    Future Foe Scenarios lyrics

    Artist: SILVERSUN PICKUPS
    Album: Carnavas (2006)
    Buy Carnavas (2006) CD
    Lyrics: Future Foe Scenarios

    The things we laid do not amount to much
    Made of abandoned wood loose stones and such

    This revolution baby
    Proves who you work for lately

    Release the castaways who run amok
    From self appointed winds which blow and such
    When present tense gets strangled in the mire
    Made of our cozy decomposing wires

    Who do you work for baby
    And does it work for you lately

    But when the night is over and the walls start burning
    When fire starts to matter and the clock is churning
    Cliches and other chatter keeps our minds from
    Learning

    It’s alright

    The things we laid do not amount to much
    Made up of thought balloons and cotton swabs
    When present tense gets strangled in the woes
    Made of our future foe scenarios

    This revolution baby
    Proves who you work for lately
    Who do you work for baby
    And does it work for you lately

    But when the night is over and the walls keep linking
    When fire starts to matter and the clock keeps sinking
    Cliches and other chatter keeps our minds from
    Thinking
    Our minds keep thinking

    It’s alright

    That’s when it turned on me
    A motorcade of ‘meant to be’s’
    Parades of beauty queens
    Where soft entwines make kindling
    These many detailed things
    Like broken nails and plastic rings
    Will win by keeping me
    From speaking to my new darling
    And there’s no way to know
    Our future foe scenarios
    That’s when it turned on me
    Where bobby pins hold angel wings

    It’s alright

  2. It’s going to be interesting to work out what her original cultural assumptions, underneath all the memory tampering, actually are. (World-building. Ouch.)

  3. I like the procedural idea, but use it for somebody/some other named thing.
    Somebody we’ve already heard about?
    Sounds like a trick Turner would use, doesn’t it?

  4. You know, the other interesting point to this is that, in current terms, she might come across (body language, timing, status ) as fairly masculine in a mental sense, like one of the more technical-type dykes, and she’s direct. I’m asking myself if she interacts with the guys far more as another queer guy than as a girly girl, in spite of her looks. She’s not a trans person, she doesn’t have the body dysphoria, she’s comfortable with enjoying female body parts and getting to wear the bright clothes and the lipstick. But she doesn’t want to be restricted to it, of course.
    Wren strikes me in a similar way.

    I’m thinking about how this suggests a very common assumption in current SF writing that women are just assumed to have shifted more and more “male”-centric in their mental habits.
    That gives me rather a large intellectual pain in the tum.
    For one thing, I don’t think it’s that simple.
    It’s a world-building question, where you’re asking yourself what being female, and pursuing female goals and values, would mean with different technology.
    Just as having a computer turns out not to mean that *I* spend my time tracking down arcane dorky computer parts all day. Oh no. I use it to talk to my friends with cool ideas.

  5. That’s something I like about Emma, in fact. She cries– after the battle is over– she is pissed off when her perfume is jettisoned, her comment about wanting to be “served little iced nothings and slurping down those manmeats until they give up,” is so feminine and so confident at the same time.

    But no, she does not interact here in a this-universe girly way, believe me! She is queer– a queer woman. It’s lovely.

  6. *bowing* thank you! I’m really glad it’s working!
    I think it’s more startling in Emma as a classically pretty woman, which might make her all the more stubborn about who she is, inside the pretty skin. She has to be pretty tough, in a resilient bounce-back sense, to have managed all of these accomplishments.

    I can identify folks who are similar to what we’ve described here, among people I know in the fannish community, and I probably get identified with it to some degree. (I try not to assume what other people might think.) I don’t think I’ve encountered descriptions of it.
    Not the same as being transgender, drag king, or dyke–but it does share the assertive, responsible, action-oriented aspects.

  7. Sociopath, yeah. I can see that, easily.

    At work, I meet all kinds of crazy. All over the place. I’ve dealt with paranoid schizophrenics by the boatload. But I’ve only once had to deal with a true sociopath.

    It was…disturbing. Very calm, very clear, very, very in control of themself. Trying to be in control of everyone else, too, but also apparently content to just let things happen, and deal with the situation that way. Very plainly didn’t give a damn about any of us (including the two people they’d just attacked, one of whom died from the stab wounds after about an hour in the trauma room).

    We kept him tied down but good, let me tell you.

  8. I find Emma a very recognizable and plausible female human being. But then, my mom is a very sharp cookie doing completely untraditional work (is a Buddhist “monk,” more or less).

  9. I read Emma as – amusingly enough – the classical young-ish librarian woman. Though perhaps my perception of that is different from the norm. She’s attractive, she can and will dress up, but she also doesn’t always take the time, and she feels that when she’s not dressed up, she’s not “hot.” This is not the case, something which is obvious to everyone around her, but she just can’t see the slightly frizzy hair in her face and the disheveled clothing as being appealing.

    Wren is quite female, yes. But she generally doesn’t like wearing cosmetics or stereotypically feminine clothes. Not so much because she’s opposed to them, but rather because she just doesn’t want to take the time. Also, when she has taken the time, it’s almost always been because she was undercover (in a situation where her gender and appearance was a tool being exploited to make an op more likely to succeed) or because she and Jian were being required to attend a formal function of some sort.

    Wren would never, for instance, put on a lacey underthing and surprise Jian with dinner and a foot massage. It wouldn’t occur to her to do so, or to purchase the lacey underthing in the first place. However, she often wears little-to-nothing around their apartment, and sometimes it means she wants to have sex and sometimes it just means it’s too hot out and she doesn’t want to have clothing on. She often gives Jian massages, and he does the same for her, but it’s more often because one (or both) of them is/are banged up and stiff and sore, and less often a lead-in to a sexual encounter. Both of them cook, though most often they just order take-out because they’re too busy to bother.

    Wren would wear lacey underthings while on a mission, and let targets see more of her than you might expect, to get them to drop their guard and view her as an object rather than as an individual capable of her own motivations and actions. She does use men’s and women’s own egos against them. She is aware she is an attractive woman, and she’s certainly not irritated by it, but neither does she particularly care about it. She (and Jian) both view their bodies as tools. They use them. They abuse them. They pay the bill, and later they do it again.

    As a side note, Jian has gone undercover a few times in situations where his appearance as a potential sex-object has been of use. More often when the sex issue is prominent in the mission parameters, though, he’s in the background keeping an eye on Wren as the dangling bait, or waiting for the word to move in and back her up in taking someone (or someones) down. And Jian loves it when Wren wears sexy, contemporary female clothes. I think this is largely because it is such a rare event. But he’s also very (undeniably, not that he bothers trying) attracted to her in a sports-bra and sweatpants, and in fatigues and a flak vest with dirt smeared across her nose and running down her neck in a trail of sweat.

  10. *bowing!* thank you! It’s helpful having the feedback. I get to chasing madly after the characters trying to hear things, and I’m not always tracking ahead fast enough to see what the entire large picture is.

  11. I love that last para–that’s very much the way the boys regard Emma, too.
    Wren is cute. (Yes, BTW, I love that picture of her shading her eyes, and how the jeans bring out the blue coloring.)

    I’m not entirely clear on how Lacey regards Emma, but it’s clearly based on real world contact, wearing simple clothes are plenty , she’s still going, “Ooooh, she’s so cute I could eat her with strawberries on top.’

  12. Jian would agree with you – Wren is cute. Though he’d probably have several other words to add on top of that, many of them not nearly as family-friendly. ^_~

    Wren is also, amusingly enough, the more sexually experimental of the pair, though this was all before she met him, back when she was experimenting with everything, trying to figure out what she did and did not like and wanting to experience everything she possibly could.

  13. Oh, I bet she’s a total smokin’ pistol, and it’s a job to keep up with her.
    She commits to things right away, and Jian appears more cautious about it.
    I just really like the way Jian talks to her as he’s bandaging her wrists. It hink it’s the looking away–things are getting little intense for him, and he’s trying to calm down.

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