Friday, September 27, 2013

Day Five-Hundred-Forty: Born unto the world

I missed the delivery.

Again.

But, in fairness, so did everyone else.

Libby sent me away. She said she wanted to be by herself for a little while. I can understand that, I guess - I'm pretty annoying when I'm nervous. And, well, I guess I went back to our cabin, and the whole day of running around, attending to Libby's needs, must've caught up with me…

And the bed, boy, it looked so comfy…

Yeah.

I woke up in my cabin. Sigh.

At first I wondered if it was all a dream. Libby had never been pregnant. An enormous, ungodsly belly? Laughable. Nobody's stomach gets that big unless they eat their way into extreme obesity, and Libby's too active a gal for obesity. Stout, yes, but obese? Hell no. Nope, no preggers, just another lazy day on an enormous rolling transport.

Then I left my room. And in the corridor, I caught sight of Morris. I raised a hand of greeting to him, and though he returned the gesture, he also skittered in the opposite direction. No mistaking it - he'd avoided me. Me, specifically. As though we were back in the castle and I'd suddenly turned into Cedric.

Reality crashed down hard. Libby had been pregnant. More, she'd been in mortal danger from a vastly oversized baby growing beyond the limits of her body. And, if Morris was any indication, she'd lost the battle.

Suddenly weak in the knees, I stumbled to Command's main deck. The Dauphine was back underway, apparently repaired in the night, though the deck was largely empty. Only Grylock stood vigil, apparently steering in Queen Daena's stead.

I staggered over to him. "G… Grylock… is she…?"

Turning away from the wheel Grylock squinted at me through his thick glasses. "Mornin', shit-for-breath. Do ye ever brush your teeth?"

I grasped him by the shoulders. "What fucking happened?"

The goblin pulled away, adjusting his glasses. "Peh! You're in a right mood. Best clean that attitude up if you're gonna be a daddy."

A daddy. I collapsed. "So… the baby…?"

Grylock raised his snout and grinned. "Gotcherself another baby boy. Congrats. Though, ah… he's a trifle… well, I'll letcha see him for yourself."

Possibilities whirled in my brain. He's got four arms. He's a mutant. He's a dog. Libby gave birth to a marmoset. The boy's a small, localized sun. He's a she and she's an it and they've got pimples for eyelids and top hats for teeth. He's a NON, for fucks' sake, he's probably a NON, all black and rubbery and shit. Oh gods, oh gods, it all went wrong, and Libby -

I grabbed Grylock's shoulders again. "LIBBY. IS LIBBY OKAY?"

Grylock opened his mouth, eyebrows raised angrily. Then, after a second of silence, he seemed to change his mind. He reached up to a communications tube dangling over his head. "Ma'am?"

"Yes?" Daena's voice floated back a few seconds later.

"Cut power for a few minutes. The proud papa's up 'n he's throwing a hissy fit. I'm gonna take him to see the missus."

Daena's pause was far too long. "Is… is that a good idea?"

To my horror, Grylock grinned wickedly. "Hey, he's gotta find out sometime. I wanna see his reaction."

The Dauphine rolled to a halt. Without another word, Grylock led me down to Engineering.

We passed through the Neo Beefiary. The majority of the Dauphine's crew sat at the tables, all wearing grim expressions. Those expressions deepened when they spotted me. Nowhere was this more evident than at the table closest to the stairs, where Edmund, Bora, and another chocolate fella named Jim lingered. As we approached the stairs, Ed got up from his seat and stood in my path.

"Dragomir," he said.

"Ed," I replied. "Couldya move, please? I'm… kinda… on the way…"

"I know." Edmund fiddled with his dreadlocks and stared at the floor. "Look, um, Dragomir -"

"No rhyming today, Ed?" Grylock piped in. His voice was far too gleeful. "Somethin' the matter?"

Ed whacked Grylock's nose and turned back to me. "L… l… look, Dragomir, we've known each other a while, now, 'n… well, I… I… um… I just wanted…"

I stared at him, at least momentarily distracted from my destination. "… why aren't you rhyming, Ed?"

He took a step back, almost rolling down the stairs. His whole body trembled as he gripped the banister.

"Why aren't you rhyming, Ed? What the hell is going on?" I grabbed the front of his tunic. "What the hell happened with my wife and my kid?"

That broke the moment, as well as Ed's nerves. He tore away from me and ran for his cabin. I almost followed him, wanting to demand an answer, but Grylock reminded me that actually seeing my child would answer my questions. I agreed, and pounded down the stairs to Engineering.

She's dead, I kept thinking. She's dead, and it's a monster, and it killed her, and now I have to kill it. I have to kill my son. Two boys, two evil, evil boys. Kill… kill my son…

But no.

I do NOT have to kill my son.

Nor did he kill Libby.

She's alive, he's alive, and everybody's healthy.

But…

Huh…

Huh.

Grylock led me to the rear of the Dauphine, where they'd been keeping Libby. She was asleep on a cot when I arrived, her chest rising and falling as healthfully as I could have hoped. Her massive belly was gone. I tried to wake her, but the wet nurse told me that she'd been asleep for almost twelve hours. She's since woken up, and has a massive scar on her stomach, but is otherwise perfectly fine.

The baby…

Fynn… named after Libby's father…

Fynn. My… not-so-little boy.

They had Fynn wrapped in a custom-made bassinette when I arrived. It's a damned big bassinette, I gotta admit, big enough to hold a seven-year-old. Fynn was swaddled in all manner of blankets as I approached, and he, too, was snoozing. Peaceful, calm Fynn, roughly the size of Captain Cedric's old dog. My angelic son.


My angelic son.

So…


… why's he look like Edmund?


This is one helluva head-scratcher.

10 comments:

  1. O.O If my jaw dropped any further it would break.

    Quick problem: "Libby led me to the rear of the Dauphine, where they'd been keeping Libby."

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  2. Poor Dragomir. Poor Libby! Hmm... I wonder if all this is just buggy code?

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  3. I just thought, when Grayson was conceived, Dragomir was (if i remember right,) was prolly thinking "It will be all right now," but the betrayal by the Baron was probably fresh in his mind. My memory's rather fuzzy, but if I'm not wrong about Dragomir, then it's kinda like Grayson's personality was rooted in Dragomir's hopes and fears.

    When Eve was conceived, Dragomir was feeling kicked around all the time.

    When this little one was conceived, Edmund was around a lot; he was in Dragomir's life. But then so were Evangelina and Harold. Hmm... I think Dragomir looks down on Harold a little bit. Evangelina's.. not ordinary, but not especially special. Edmund's success at rhyming in all but the most trying situations on the other hand not only creates but maintains a strong impression. I've got a reason for the size too: Dragomir was very impressed with the Dauphine's size, and they'd spent all that time planning it. None of this explains why the baby isn't a platypus. =)

    Refinements to this hypothesis welcome. ^_^;

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    1. Analysis makes me all tingly inside. Thumbs up.

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  4. I'm gonna go ahead and guess that there really is a very real possibility that Fynn is a Non. More specifically, a Litobora. If you remember the creatures 'natural' size from Mindless Walkabout and the talking spiders in the first Non invasion of Castle ________, they were huge. I'm also guessing that Dragomir and Bora's kiss was more than just a kiss and more of a seed of a tainted code. Which even if that weren't the case, the "Baby is Dragomir's Mindset" theory, could support this idea. However, I don't endorse that theory, but whatever help sell my point right? The two previous pregnancies were immaculate conceptions as they were, at least Eve's was for sure, while it could be argued that Grayson's conception was amidst the werewolf debacle, he clearly was a product of the Rats. Eve's code was probably seeded by the Baron himself.

    TL;DR version: Fynn is a Litobora, it stands to reason, get over it.

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  5. Agreed on the possible species. It certainly explains Bora's "All that I care about is here." I always had a feeling Bora's attraction to Drago wasn't enough to explain that. I don't think it supports my hypothesis, Dragomir didn't know Bora was going to be coming until after the conception.

    I was also about to say "I wouldn't be so sure Eve's conception was immaculate," but then I remembered Drago can't get drunk. ?.? Hm.. though Libby could have been pregnant before Dragomir arrived in town. Either way, I agree the Baron was probably responsible for Eve.

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  6. Reply seems to be a bit funky. Not sure it's not me though.

    Also, when selecting "comment as name/url," there's no background to the popup with the name and url fields. It's a bit hard to see what's what, and the publish and preview buttons show through right below the continue button.

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    1. Yeah, this appears to be a new system. At the very least a new interface. As soon as I saw it I wondered if it might cause trouble. Sigh, Blogger, sigh.

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