Unexpected Stories by Octavia E. Butler & Walter Mosley

Unexpected Stories by Octavia E. Butler & Walter Mosley

Author:Octavia E. Butler & Walter Mosley [Butler, Octavia E. & Mosley, Walter]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: kickass.to, ScreamQueen
Amazon: B00K04NWG0
Publisher: Open Road Media Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Published: 2014-06-24T05:00:00+00:00

Tahneh understood the situation at a glance—that glance being all the looking around she allowed herself in the presence of a desperate Hao. Diut had harmed no one, had permitted the nonfighters to shield the children.

The sight comforted her somehow, reassured her that she was not alone in her dangerous foolish sentimentality. The fact that he had taken hostages in his position showed that he had decided to die. The only thing hostages could buy him was death, but in order to buy him even that, some of them had to die. She should have found some of them dead when she came in—her coming, slow as it had been, should have triggered a few deaths. A corpse should have been flung at her as she entered. Diut should have done everything he could to make her and her fighters believe they needed vengeance more than they needed a successor Hao. But Diut had not been brutal enough. And now, it was too late. She kept her eyes on him but spoke to her nonfighters.

“Take the children and leave quickly.”

The nonfighters obeyed immediately, Choh’s foster mother leading the way. Diut moved as though to a group that was warily passing him. When he moved, Tahneh danced several quick steps toward him. He turned back to her barely in time to stop her rush.

She let him back away, now that he understood how well she would use his slightest inattention. He made no further effort to stop the nonfighters. They filed out slowly and when they were gone, Ehreh’s voice came through the doorway behind her.

“They’re all safe, Rohkohn Hao.”

“Close the door,” Tahneh ordered.

There was a period of silence during which Tahneh saw that she had surprised Diut and guessed that she had surprised Ehreh as well. She had come to take part in the capture on hearing that Diut held nonfighters and children hostage. Her only thought then had been to free the hostages safely. The Tehkohn Hao concerned her deeply and what was about to happen to him sickened her, but her own people came first. She could not have stood by and watched them destroyed by a foreigner, even though that foreigner was blue. Now that the hostages were safe, however, she found herself emotionally and physically unable to stand aside and permit her fighters to take Diut. She knew that she was only putting off the inevitable. Diut had to be taken; she could give him only minutes. But at least she could see that he got those.

Ehreh spoke very carefully. “We are ready for him, Rohkohn Hao. He cannot escape us again.”

“So,” agreed Tahneh. She stepped aside, away from the doorway so that Ehreh was not directly behind her. She saw Diut grow tense and knew he thought she was giving him to her fighters. But out of the corner of her eye, she also saw Ehreh become tense. The chief judge knew her far better than did Diut. He could read her tone of voice even when her coloring remained neutral.


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