Friday, September 20, 2013

Day Five-Thirty-Five: Farewell to Legion

We've ditched the thing that was living in our recovery room.

Gods. I… I came so close.

When we began construction of the Dauphine, Libby and I planned on building a cabin for ourselves. Until tonight, though, neither one of us had actually slept in it: Libby's too fat right now to fit in the thing, and I'm content sleeping on a cot at the foot of her hammock. Best way to attend to any night-time needs or cravings she might have. But the baby kicked her butt last night with constant thrashing, and she wanted uninterrupted sleep tonight. That meant having her pregnancy quarters to herself.

I snore sometimes. Sue me.

Our cabin is a nice little thing. It's basically the same as the other cabins in the Dauphine, though with one fun caveat: it's the only cabin built on the Command deck. It's also right overtop of the Neo Beefiary, so if I'm feeling peckish I can get in touch with Bora via a sound tube and order some food. There's a dumb waiter built into the wall that she uses to send the chow up to me.
(I've given her late night orders a few times. I bet they annoy her. I hope they annoy her.)
It's been a long while since I last slept on my own, and I gotta admit that I found it rather daunting at first. I'm used to SOMEBODY sleeping beside me, whether they're a wife, a faux daughter, a freakish son, a rat, a ghost, or… anything else I've slept beside. (Barrel, once. He singed my facial hair with his flame breath. Last time we ever did that, lemme tell you.) There's a feeling of comfort when you can hear another person's bed farts, even if they are kinda gross.
After an hour of fidgeting, though, I began to relax. I quickly realized that my bed, which would normally be just big enough for two people, is quite large for ONE person. I spread out of my cramped corner and stretched my arms and legs, and soon I was very much enjoying the extra space. No stolen blankets, no filched pillows, no bed farting, no interruptions. Just blissful sleep.
Which may explain how I failed to hear the dumbwaiter creak to life.
I remember the moment quite vividly. I was stuck in the middle of a dream. It started off with a normal day of guarding 'round the castle. That quickly turned to a parade in my honour, wherein a large, floating hamster nearly chewed my head off. I managed to escape it, after which I found myself in a card game with a group of mice. Not rats, mice. I was doing quite well, winning pot after pot, but their squeaking kept throwing me off my game, and eventually it was so incessant and annoying that I threw down my cards, tore off my clothes, and started to accuse the mouse across from me of cheating.
Apparently I'd sat up in bed at that point and was gesticulating into the night air, because when I woke up I was vertical, not horizontal. And I only woke up because I sensed the touch of cold steel on my throat, pressed against my adam's apple.

"It's better this way, better, better, so much better," Kara whispered into my ear, shaking from nerves or excitement. "It wants out. What's black and white and red all over? You, you, only and always you, just without the -"
A lot of things happened very quickly at this point.
As Kara continued to whisper into my ear, the knife perilously close to biting into my skin, the door to my cabin slammed open. A small form with long hair slid into the room, accompanied by three larger figures. There was a blur of motion, a flash of moonlight off something incredibly fast, a squeal, pressure, oh gods, pressure -
- and, when I regained my senses, a little dead girl flopped onto my lap.
My scream woke up most of the Dauphine.
It turns out that Kara had broken out of the recovery room in the night, using a kerosene lamp to put a massive bruise on Morris' head while he watched over her. Sneaking into the Neo Beefiary, she'd grabbed a steak knife, noticed the dumbwaiter, and climbed into it. Somehow she'd reeled herself up to my room, which was locked, and prepared to cut my throat.
My saviour? Celine. One of her ninjas had spotted Kara out of her room. Breaking into my cabin, Celine disarmed Kara with an extremely-precise knife throw… and then slit a throat of her own.
We've agreed not to tell her mother that Celine's okay with killing. I don't think Daena would be happy to hear that.
So that's that. Kara is gone. Dead. No more disturbing girl, 'least beyond the one we already had. Somebody dumped her burning body out the back of the Dauphine, and we've left it far behind… but not before getting a good look at her. Not before checking over her corpse, in particular her head, and discovering a small web of purple veins in the roots of her hair.
I've seen purple veins before. A certain three-headed former colleague has purple veins. These lead me to some definite conclusions as to who's behind Kara's freakish behaviour.
I feel bad for not digging a grave for Kara. She was probably a lovely little girl before the Non came to Vacia. But we can't take any chances, because shortly after Kara died… as her cold, twitching body lay on the floor of my cabin… I swear I saw something shoot out of her. Shoot out, and flee to the wall, and disappear into the woodwork.
Today was a long day, though nothing of note happened. I've spent most of my time shivering over the events of last night. They were… too… similar. Too similar by far to something… gah… nevermind.
I'm not going to sleep alone again, I can tell you that much.

Dragomir the Wanderer