Libby left Doc to the not-so-tender mercies of Grylock overnight. I'm not sure what the goblin did to the Non, but by the time we got up this morning Doc had stopped talking. He cringed away from the bars of the cell Libby constructed when I approached, though he still had enough hostility to hiss at me from behind his gag.
"Don't mind 'im," Grylock said, coughing. "Ack. Can't do all-nighters anymore. Anyway. He's as tame as he's gonna get. He'll do his job."
I inspected Doc, circling his small cage. His tar-black body was good at hiding wounds, but I noticed a number of pronounced indentations in his skin. It looked puffy and painful. "What'd you do to him?"
"Best ye not know." Standing, dusting his legs and yawning, Grylock wandered off to bed. As far as I know he's still there.
Popping the cage open, I led Doc to Dragomir's cabin. He went meekly enough, not putting up a fuss, though he paused to glower at Plato as we passed the playtpus in the corridor leading to Command. Guess he figured out Plato's a traitor to the race, or something.
Antonio and Traveller were standing guard outside Dragomir's cabin, and Libby waited for us inside. Dragomir remained as unconscious as ever, though his breathing had devolved from a fitful snore to a worrying rasp. Libby was changing the bandage on Dragomir's head when we entered, I kicking Doc along from behind. Not hard when your captive is maybe three feet tall.
"Close the door," Libby ordered. I must have looked worried, because she smiled a little. "We can handle him if he tries anything. Don't wanna crowd the room up too much."
Nodding, I knelt behind Doc and removed the leather gag. He spat and cursed, but that was all. I noticed some rather vicious teeth marks in the gag, and I suspect he could've bitten all the way through if he'd really felt like it.
Libby didn't waste time. She pointed at Dragomir. "Fix him."
Doc's head slumped. His voice was slow and tired. "Don't even know what's wrong with him."
Libby glared at the wall. I suspect Traveller on the other side had a bad case of shivers. "He hit his head. He's in a coma. Fix him."
The Non chuckled, though he sounded quite defeated. "I'm a little tied up at the moment, yes?"
Libby nodded. Kneeling again, I carefully undid the length of wire holding Doc in place. Once free of it he stretched his arms, but made no attempt to escape.
"That's much nicer." Doc's spidery legs flexed and dipped. "You're taking me away from important work, you know. I have another patient in desperate need of replacement parts - "
Libby stepped across the room, grabbed Doc by the neck, lifted him easily into the air, and slammed him against the wall. The Non screamed and jibbered, his tongue apparently loosed again, though he shut up when Libby began to punch him in the face. Once, twice, three times. Speckles of dark brown blood dripped from his mouth and onto the floor.
Someone knocked on the door. "Everyzing okay in zere?"
I grimaced. "Yes, Libby's... just... venting."
Ignoring the row of pointy teeth that could've easily bitten her nose off, Libby shoved her face close to Doc's. "I'm not putting up with your shit. No commentary, no games, no nothing. FIX HIM."
Doc quivered, gnashing his teeth. He tried to choke out a few words - I heard "Don't", "want", "what" and "he is" - but Libby's tight grip forced him back into silence. Soon he was nodding vigorously, and she hurled him onto the floor.
That more or less did it. Requesting a few basic medical tools and supplies, Doc got to work on Dragomir. He lifted away Dragomir's bandage, inspected the wound, daubed it with a sticky salve, and mixed together a little potion for Dragomir to drink. Libby forced Doc to test it first, though it didn't appear to be poisonous.
"It might only be toxic to humans," I pointed out, eying the milky-orange concoction. "Maybe it doesn't hurt Non."
Doc laughed hoarsely. "Oh, good god, if only you knew how stupid - "
A backhanded slap shut Doc's mouth. He settled for quietly showing us each of the medicine's active ingredients, none of which were at all poisonous. Eventually Doc passed Libby's test, and she gently opened Dragomir's mouth and forced him to drink. We didn't breathe easy until, a few minutes later, Dragomir's rasping settled into a healthy snore.
"Good." Libby nodded, satisfied. "Bind him again."
Doc rolled his eyes and began to protest, but Libby stopped him with a glare. He allowed me to reapply gag and wiring alike. I guided him out of the room and back towards his cage in Engineering.
Libby stopped me, shaking her head. "No. Hey, Antonio?"
The big orc, still standing guard outside the door, looked at her. "Yes?"
"Grab him. Get his legs. Follow me."
Confused, I stepped back and allowed Antonio to pick up Doc and tie his legs with another length of wire, courtesy of Libby. The Non, perhaps sensing some ill fate in the near future, struggled uselessly against Antonio's muscles. Soon he was dangling over Antonio's shoulder, body writhing and distorting into a dozen different shapes as he tried to break free. None of them were terribly convincing, as he always kept his glowing green eyes and six insectile legs.
Waving away the curious, Libby ordered a dozen crewmembers to man the Dauphine's forward guns. She led us to the centermost emplacement, just beneath the Dauphine's massive sail... and told Antonio to stuff Doc into the cannon. This really put the Non out, and he screamed under his gag.
"You vizh to vire him vrom a cannon?" The orc chuckled. "Let me tell you, az a gypzy and a zircuz man, zis act doez not verk zo vell vith a real cannon. He zhall be ripped to piecez."
Libby's face didn't even twitch. "Oh, good. Stuff him in."
Antonio hesitated. I stepped in for him. "Uh... Libby...?"
Rolling her eyes, Libby grabbed the struggling Non from Antonio. She wheeled the cannon around with her free hand, headbutted Doc to stop his flailing, and shoved him headfirst into the cannon's mouth. The slat blocking out the outside world slid open, and soon Libby had the cannon pointed straight at the barracks where, we assume, Doc's goons were still hiding.
Libby grabbed the closest comm tube. "Daena?"
"Yes?" my mother's voice floated back.
"Order all front cannons to open fire on the barracks." Libby gritted her teeth. "Right. Now."
Antonio stepped away, leaving Libby to her execution. I wanted desperately to talk to her, to ask her why she was doing this, how she could justify such an abrupt and painful end, but the vicious look in her eye said it all. They've fucked with my family too many times, her voice said in my head. They've fucked with me. Time for some payback.
The last thing I heard from Doc before the report of the cannon was a single, shrieking, panicky sentence. He'd somehow managed to chew away the gag in his mouth. "SHE'S FOOLED YOU, YOU BITCH! SHE'S - "
I'll let Dragomir handle the rest. He woke up a few hours ago. I'm sure he'll want his diary back.
Been nice writing in you,
Logan the Thief