Death to Martians 2/10

“Yeah.” William spits into the dust of the ruined city under his feet. “Fucking Martians.”


His face screws up at her, but then a lifetime of training kicks in and he only stares at the old woman, wheezing slightly.

“You, child, are a mess.” The grandmother’s voice is sharp, but her eyes smile as she leans forward. “But you still have fire in you. I can tell. You still want to fight.”

William nods, pulling his slouched shoulders straighter.

“That’s good.” The old woman’s voice is a whisper now, and William has to lean forward to hear her. “You know, in cases like yours. I find faith can help.”

William nods. He has finished the brownie and now he eyes and apple cobbler. “I pray all the time.”

“I’m sure you do.” And the grandmother reaches into her net bag and pulls out a folded sheet of paper. “But perhaps, in the right place, with the right company, your prayers might be answered.” Quickly, but without signs of nervousness, she picks up the apple cobbler in its stained aluminum tray, places it over the sheet of paper, and passes both to William. “Go on now,” she says, smiling, “and God bless.”

“We give him hope.” For a moment, the Professor’s harsh voice loses its menacing and reptilian cynicism. For a moment, it sounds as if he almost believes himself. “Hope that he can fix the world.”

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