Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Day Six-Ninety-Seven: His name is Doc

As I said yesterday, balls. I feel the need to repeat it today.

After our discovery of the effigy, we had a meeting in Command, encircling my mother's tree. Doc's note needed to be communicated to the rest of the crew, and I thought it prudent to hear everyone's opinion on rescuing Nagi. I figured it was a pretty open-and-shut case against her, and for the most part I wasn't wrong.

"Fuck 'er," Grylock said, quite simply. "What help was she ever to us? The short time she was here she bitched 'bout her quarters, complained when we asked her to do chores, 'n spent most of her days drinking our booze and hitting on a woman who turned out t'be some kinda monster. Why would we give Dragomir up for that?"

My sister nodded. "I agree. She left Logan and I to rot in Rodentia's dungeons. Had she let us out we may have avoided a great deal of trouble. I would only go to her rescue if I could plant a dagger in her heart myself."

"Amen, sister." Grylock fist-bumped Celine. Considering their disagreements over my father, goblin and girl get along really well these days.

Mom and dad looked at each other. Mom nodded first. "I... I'm afraid I agree. I'm sorry, Logan, I know you travelled with her, but we'd be rolling into a trap. I would rather call Doc's bluff and continue on our way."

And, then, dad nodded. "Yeah. Another vote for leaving her behind. Sorry, son."

Sighing, I scanned the rest of the crowd. Command's opinion seemed pretty much unanimous. Everyone either shook their heads, looked at me with sympathy dripping down their faces, or wouldn't look at me at all. Nagi hadn't made any effort to warm up to the Dauphine's crew.

Traveller was the only exception. He raised his hand. "Hi."

My mother, who seemed to be the informal leader of the meeting, looked to the hand warily. She likes Traveller well enough, but she doesn't trust him. "Traveller?"

The hand went down again. "Who are we talking about?"

Antonio slapped Traveller on the shoulder. "Ze girl vith ze purple hair und ze znake body. Zink of mother'z bottom half zlapped onto a pair of breaztz."

"Oh." Traveller scratched his head a moment, then his face brightened. "Oh! I think I remember! She was my girlfriend, wasn't she?"

"I do not believe zo, brozer." Another hearty pat. "You come on too ztrong."

"Yeah, mom told me that. I always figured she was lying. Or not telling the truth." Traveller paused. "I vote we go get her. I like women."

That seemed trigger enough. My mother, irrepressibly democratic since losing her crown, asked who would like to save Nagi versus leaving her to her fate. My hand went up to save her, though it was shaky and half-hearted; Traveller's joined it. Every other hand went up when asked if we should abandon Nagi, and Traveller's stayed up. He looked like he was having fun.

"That settles that," mom said. She offered me a sympathetic glance as she reached for her control scaffolding, intent on pedalling the Dauphine further west.

A hand pulled the scaffolding out of her grasp. A hand that, I realized, hadn't bothered to vote. Everyone turned to stare at the hand, and the brooding face to which it was faintly connected.

"We go," Libby announced. She was holding the note from Doc, reading it almost casually. "We go. No discussion. No vote."

People began to argue. Libby silenced them all with her glare. Traveller's hand shot up again, for some reason. Only my mother had the guts to confront Libby.

"We already decided, Libby." Mom strained to grab the scaffold, floating inches away from her fingertips. "Ngh. Give me that!"

"No." Libby turned, pointing towards her shared cabin with Dragomir on the other side of Command. "He needs to go. He needs that asshole. We're goin'."

"Why?" Dad sidled in beside mom. He's put on some muscle from boxing lessons, I must admit, but he still looked pretty puny compared to Libby. "You can't honestly want to trade Dragomir for Nagi. That's... that's..."

Libby barked out a laugh. It was cold and angry. "Trade? Fuck no. I wouldn't trust that little rat with a lump of stale bread, let alone Dragomir. We aren't gonna trade, we're gonna hunt 'im down and fuck 'im up."

Murmurs from the crowd. Some agreed with the idea; others wanted to avoid Doc entirely. The latter opinion seemed to win out, but Libby remained undeterred.

"He'll keep comin' after us if we don't deal with him. Fuck's sake, he's been on our asses all year, I bet. Why pussy-foot 'round this problem when we can charge in and blow him to hell?"

Dad huffed. "Because it's probably a trap - "

"Of course it's a fucking trap! I ain't stupid!" Libby threw her hands up. "Obviously! But so what? We've gotten through worse! Shit, we survived a sloth! You really think Doc can be any worse than a gods-damned-sloth?"

The murmurs began to move back in Libby's direction. She made a good point: take the offensive, wipe out Doc's little gang, and he can't bother us again. Nevertheless, I got the feeling that she wanted more out of the encounter, and I wasn't wrong.

Libby strode over to her cabin and slammed the door open. Inside, partially shadowed, I spied the slumbering figure of Dragomir. His leg twitched at the sound of the door, but he remained otherwise motionless. Pained snores floated out of the darkness.

"I shouldn't have to point it out," Libby snarled, "but we have to deal with this. We need him. I want my fucking husband back."

Confused glances bounced around Command. No one seemed to understand what she was getting at... no one, sadly, but Traveller. His face lit up. "Oh! Oh oh oh! I know whatcha mean, Libby! I get it! What was his name again? It's the name!"

Libby's snarl twisted into a satisfied, predatory grin. "Doc, numbnuts. His name is Doc."


Logan the Thief

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