Thursday, December 5, 2013

Day Five-Eighty-Nine: Questionable hypotheses

I don't often give 'orders'. I'm not an 'ordery' kinda guy. I will ask people politely to do something, and most of the time they'll do it. Guess that's a leftover from my political days. So when I 'ordered' everyone out of the rear of Engineering for two hours, they looked understandably bewildered.

(I did it when Libby was taking a nap. I don't 'order' her to do anything. She'd kick my ass. Especially after my two-week, er, sabbatical. Whatever you wanna call being kidnapped by your deranged son and his weirdo companions.)

Only two people were allowed in attendance. One I was happy to have; the other I'm still rather leery about.

"I'm not sure what you wanna accomplish with this," Jeffrey commented, the nerves standing out in his voice. "It seems... dangerous. Why don't you just wait until you're talking to the person who knows...?"

Plato nodded, though without vigour. He seems antsy about contradicting me after the whole fleeing-across-the-Imperium-border-without-anyone's-permission thing.

I paced from one end of the bay to the other, occasionally pausing to wave at the rhino on the giant hamster wheel nearby. It snorted happily at me each time as it strived to gulp down a dangling sock. "I can't wait," I murmured as I passed by Jeffrey.

"That the final word, then?" Jeffrey asked, glancing down at Plato. The platypus shrugged in response.

I stared at my hands, flailing them around as if I expected a response. "Yep."

"Ooookay. So next question: why us? What can we do?"

I inhaled. "First, some full disclosure. Show 'im what you are, Plato."

Plato quacked out a small, derisive complaint as Jeffrey eyed him curiously.

"No buts! Just show 'im."

His expression changing to moody irritation as his skin flushed black, Plato transformed into his oil slick Non self.

Jeffrey jumped backward several feet. "WHOA! What in the hells -"

I grabbed his arm. "Shhhhh. S'okay, he's on our side. I think. Don't wanna let everyone else know, though, or they're liable to lynch him. Still need Plato as a navigator."

Glaring at the platypus as he turned back to 'normal', Jeffrey pulled himself together. "I can understand the compulsion to lynch, in this case. Those things crushed my castle."

"You let 'em loose, bud."

"Well... I didn't think that hole -"

"Forget it." I patted them both on the shoulder. "Point is, you two have both seen my... uh... hand. Thing. Whatever you wanna call it. I'd like to keep it a secret, too, but I need people to help me with... something. Something dangerous."

They waited, silent. I explained.

The thing in my hands - which we've dubbed 'The Scarlet Catastrophe', because I think it sounds pretty - only seems to manifest in moments of high emotion. Specifically, it comes out when I'm pissed. My theory, though, is that it can potentially pop out to play whenever I want. Why would Iko have claimed that he'd teach me how to use it, if I couldn't bring it out consciously? 

I can't bring it out consciously. Not yet. And I don't wanna fly into a rage to use the Scarlet Catastrophe. I'll rip the Dauphine apart, like as not. So... I figured I'd create a moment of need. Need... to... defend... myself.

All this is a way of prefacing the idiotic situation we set up next. After some twenty minutes of convincing, Plato revealed to us a weapon of his own which I've suspected existed for a while: a wicked, Non-green scythe that bristles with odd energy. Ten further minutes of convincing later Jeffrey had me pinned in place, his arms looped through mine and clasped against the back of my head. I would run away screaming if I didn't take this, uh, 'precaution'.

Plato held his scythe to my stomach. Tiny bursts of unnatural lightning danced off of the tip of the scythe and tickled my breastplate, sending gross shivers down my legs.

"This seems like a really bad idea," Jeffrey grunted, his grip faltering a little.

I agreed with him. Internally. Plato's much more intimidating with a scythe in his stubby hands. "It's... it'll work. Trust me. G... go on... Plato... take another swing."

Gulping, the platypus leaned back, pulled the scythe over his shoulder for a brief second, then flashed it forward. Towards my belly.

The theory percolating in my brain demanded that I defend myself. The only way I could do that, in this situation, would be to pull out the Crimson Catastrophe and block the incoming attack. I assumed it could block stuff. It looks kinda like a sword.

Unfortunately, all I pulled out was a copious amount of urine. And, uh, a rather terrible smell. 

Try though we might, the Crimson Catastrophe remained locked in my hands. After half an hour of careful practice shots I fumbled my way back to my room to clean up. My nerves were thoroughly shot, and my pants... the less said, the better. More than urine dwelt in those breeches.

We'll, uh, try again tomorrow, I guess. Or try something else. I don't know.

Maybe I should wait after all. Trying to force this issue may get me gutted. Especially if Plato pulls one of his infamous accidental fumbles.


Dragomir the Poopy-Pants

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