Almost to the halfway point. Well, realistically I think the halfway point will be happening slightly after 50k words, more like 55-60k.
Most of my favorite bits are spoilery. But since it's been awhile, have a whole snippet, that mostly isn't:
“Such a pleasure to have everyone together,” Vashti said aloud. “The family, and Nikolos, of course.” She gave Reaper a chastising shake of her head. “I keep telling you to visit me more, boy.”
And how many people, Mercy asked him in amazement, call you ‘boy’?
He gave her a flat look.
Interesting. Mercy studied her great-Aunt, making no attempt to hide the fact. A sparkle lit the old woman’s green eyes, and she seemed anything but worried or intimidated. Her hair was braided back, and some of the dark strands still untouched by time framed her face and wound through the braid like a black ribbon against the white.
“You aren’t afraid of him.” It wasn’t a question. Mercy recognized fear pretty easily, and Vashti displayed none. She sat easily, relaxed, with no tightness around her eyes, or stiffness to her lean frame.
“When you reach my age,” she said with a shrug, “you realize you have nothing left to fear from death.”
It wasn’t quite a lie, but somehow Mercy knew it wasn’t the whole truth, either.
She smiled at Vashti, eyeing her carefully. The old woman smiled back, for all the world looking like someone’s harmless, innocent grandmother. Sure. Mercy reached out to Reaper mentally.
She’s never been afraid of you.
No, he said. She hasn’t.
Why? Mercy had a feeling there was more to Vashti than what she appeared. If she wasn’t afraid of someone like Reaper, there would be a reason. A good one.
Reaper glanced at her.
When I was a child, Vashti was one of my teachers.
No. Most Killers train together. They grow up apart from the rest of the pirates, in their own colony, and they don’t mix with the rest of our population much. Accidents happen, otherwise. He paused, letting her absorb that. They get very specialized training in using their Talents. My childhood was different. My mother wasn’t a Killer. She was a telepath and telekinetic. I was raised with her, on Ardon, our primary colony world. My father wasn’t always around, but when he was, he provided the specialized training in using my Talent, and in physical and mental combat. Vashti provided the rest.
Interpreting what my Talent showed me. Understanding someone’s vulnerabilities, how to exploit them, and which method is best for which situation.
Mercy wrestled with that for a moment.
She taught you the intellectual part of assassination?
Yes.Mercy looked back at her great-Aunt. The easy smile hadn’t changed, but now it felt a lot more dangerous. An old children’s story surfaced in her memory, something about a wolf pretending to be a harmless old woman. What large teeth you have, grandmother.