Sunday, August 24, 2014

Day Seven-Forty-Seven: The rest of the gang

“We get captured too often. That seems to be our thing.”

“Yeah.” Logan ruffled his hair, sighing. “Yeah, and what a thing it is.”

He was leaning against the wall of his cell, speaking through the bars. Across from him, in a cell just as small, lay Nagi. She was curled on a moth-eaten cot, tail beneath her, looking fairly comfortable. Logan envied her extra support - his legs were full of cramps.

They were stewing in a sizeable dungeon, somewhere in the Imperium. Logan recognized the stonework from his previous stay in an Imperium cell, though he could also tell that he was not in Rodentia. Nor were he and Nagi alone in this, as the entirety of the Dauphine’s crew had been taken prisoner, forced into bondage by a massive squadron of dragons. There’s just no negotiating with dragons.

“You sure you don’t have a lock pick?” Logan asked.

Nagi rolled her eyes. Freeing her tail, she pulled a flap of scales partially free. The small pocket of tough skin inside bore no occupants. “How many times are you gonna disappoint yourself?”

He shrugged. “As many as it takes.”

“I have no idea what that means.” Nagi cradled her head in her hands. “I knew you idiots were bad news, I just knew it.”

“Pffft. As if that wasn’t obvious the moment ya met us.” 

Logan peered around the corner of his cell as best he could, trying to see the next cell over. All he saw of its occupant was a pair of brown gloves, tightly clenching the bars. “You’re such a pessimist, Libby.”

“Shut it, brat.” Logan could practically hear her scowl. “How’s my son doin’? He’s been quiet for a while.”

“Not sure. Lemme check.” Logan moved from one side of the cell to the other, noting, not for the first time, how sadly empty it was. “Fynn? You in there?”

A mournful little sigh floated back. Fynn had not taken to imprisonment lightly. Last time, at least, he’d had company in his cell; now he was sitting alone, arms and legs cuffed to prevent him from using his magic. It probably didn’t help matters that Fynn was rapidly growing too big to even sit comfortably in his cramped cell. Logan wondered how tall the boy would be when they finally let him stand.

“Sad but hearty, I think, Libby.” Logan injected false cheer into his voice. “Don’t worry, eh? Dragomir’ll get us outta this, I bet. He’s good at shit like that.”

Libby grunted but didn’t answer. A few voices down the corridor - Morris, Logan thought, and maybe dad - added their agreement. Logan smiled at the glow of camaraderie, even in the most dire of circumstances, though the yells of guards silenced everyone. Nobody wanted to get beaten for a stupid reason.

They sat in silence a while, listening for the subtle clink of the guards’ armour. Eventually it receded into the distance, and a door far down the corridor clicked shut.

“Ready to play?” Logan asked, though he kept his voice low.

“Fuck off,” Libby said. She shuffled away from Logan’s side of her cell, perhaps to talk with someone else.

“Fine.” He turned to Nagi. “You?”

She shook her head. “It’s a stupid game. Dunno why you came up with it.”

“Boredom. That’s why and how. C’mon, it can’t hurt. You’re bored too.”

Nagi lifted her tail in a sign that Logan knew was offensive to at least snake people. He persisted, though, and eventually she gave in. She always gave in.

“Traveller,” Logan began.

Nagi snorted a derisive laugh. She usually did when Traveller was a subject of conversation. “Probably tryin’ to jump into some farm girl’s pants back in the Indy Plains. No success, either. Won’t even try and guess how he got there.”

Logan nodded. “Well… I’ll bet he’s off lookin’ for boots. Always with the boots. Maybe… I dunno… south of here. Yeah, south.”

“Why south?”

“‘cause it’s random, and so’s he.” Logan folded his arms and grinned a little.

“He’s sure as shit that,” Nagi agreed. “Next?”

Logan pursed his lips. “Plato?”

“Chasin’ Traveller. What else?” 

That was always her answer, and, a little sadly, Logan agreed with her. He didn’t bother to provide his own guess. She knew what it was anyway.

“Kay.” Nagi took the lead. “Your mom.”

Logan coughed lightly, bowing his head. He hadn’t seen it firsthand, but he knew enough from outside accounts. His mother, released from her years-long captivity in the tree by the rats upon their capture of the Dauphine, had immediately and uncontrollably dashed off into the desert. The dragons had failed to capture her, so great was her speed, and no one had seen her since. The thought of his mother sprinting across open terrain without food or water made Logan’s mouth dry.

“Probably steered herself through a market ’n picked up some cold cuts,” Logan mumbled. “Bet she’s having a hell of a time. Totally healthy. Let’s leave it there.”

Nagi nodded, clearly taking the hint. “Right. Well… uh… next…”

“Dragomir.” Logan finished for her. They always ended the game with the same name, and at this point, the game was definitely over. Mention of his mom had soured Logan’s mood. “How about Dragomir?”

Nagi could only shrug. “That’s a great question, right there.”

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