“WHAT IN THE HELL ARE WE DOING HERE? WHERE IS HERE, ANYWAY?!”
The Baron clapped his manacled hands over his ears in a vain attempt to drown out Doc’s screeching voice. It didn’t work as well as he’d hoped, and the flop of his limp, pained fingers against his skull only reminded him of his injuries. They were an element of his already terrible life that he’d worked hard to ignore.
After two days of slow progress, Doc’s team of misfits had managed to carefully coax Eve out of the ashen remains of the valley. The Baron had awoken after the breaking of his fingers - all twenty of them - to find himself in a cliffside cave, staring out at a wildfire that licked dry brush and engulfed entire trees. He’d recognized the foliage at once, and he’d wept, despite Doc’s crazed demands that he shut up. Eve had remained in the forest almost the entire time, and when she’d finally found them in the superheated cave, boiling near to death in a far corner, she seemed utterly untouched by the fire.
“She’s a gem, that one,” the mystery man with the blonde hair commented. He reminded The Baron of Dragomir, but only a little. “Miracle of life. Fuzzy bastards make ‘em tough.”
Doc hadn’t been happy waiting for Eve, naturally - being a face plastered to the side of a peon hadn’t improved his disposition one bit - but he had waited, despite the dangers of the fire. The Baron suspected Kierkegaard had ordered Doc to retrieve her, as well, though as far as his mission parameters went Doc was unusually quiet. It nevertheless seemed a natural conclusion, given Eve’s power - and her importance to, say, attempts at world domination.
Once the fire had burned away, leaving a vast field of black-and-grey ash, Doc decided the terrain was stable enough to risk using a fast track. Using Titan Blue’s body to handle the tiny green orb, Doc initiated transport, and The Baron, along with everyone else, was whisked back to his former home.
At least, that’s where he expected to end up. Instead, though, as the mesmerizing effects of the fast track faded, The Baron realized that he was instead standing in an open field, presumably in the middle of nowhere. Freak stood on his left, holding The Baron’s manacles; Eve stood, unchained and apparently unconcerned, to his right.
The Baron grinned, despite the pain in his fingers. Oh, what a wonderful predicament this is.
Doc’s face wriggled and gnashed on Titan Blue’s midsection, shifting so much that his massive host squirmed in discontent. His green eyes blazed anger. “WHERE ARE WE, BLUE? WHERE THE FUCK ARE WE?”
The big Non shrugged. She’d been holding the fast track on the tip of one of her huge fingers, and it was fading fast. “Dunno. I guess you missed?”
“Guess… you… you guess… eh, ah, ha, ha ha ha… HA…” Doc snarled canine laughter. “You GUESS?! DO YOU KNOW HOW LONG WE’VE BEEN GONE? Kierkegaard… oh, Kierkegaard, he will… he… he will devour us, because… oh, oh, ah… because you missed…”
“I’ve never used one before! And anyway, you were the one controlling me!” Titan Blue crossed her arms, casting an enormous shadow over Doc’s face. “You always insisted - “
“SHUT UP!” Doc barked, silencing Titan Blue. “Shut up shut up shut UP, we need… oh… we need to… oh… oh, god, we are fucked…”
The blonde man, stepping out from behind Titan Blue and looking a little queasy - The Baron realized at once that this must have been his first time using a fast track - cut Doc off. “Urp… don’t worry ‘bout it none. I… agh… I have an idea where ‘bouts we are.”
Doc tried to turn to face the man, but he had to yell instructions to Titan Blue to get the job done. “Speak up! Answer! Tell me! Give me information! NOW!”
“You’re such a classy little creature.” Sighing, the man knelt and probed the browning grass at his feet. It took a moment before he found what he was looking for: a small plant with tiny, triangular leaves. “We’re not far from Goblinoster. What’s left of Goblinoster, anyway. I’d say… erm… a day and a half south. At most. Urp.”
Doc’s expression, already ferocious, grew positively frantic. “Gob… Gob… GoblinOSTER?! But… but we’re… we were… he told me to… to… to be back in a week, and… and - “
“… and it’ll take ‘bout three days to walk home from here. Maybe four,” the man concluded, smiling pleasantly. “Yep. Hope your leader ain’t hungry, Doc, ‘ol pal. He might gobble you right off Blue’s stomach for takin’ so long.”
Doc did not waste any time after this pronouncement. Moments later, they began to walk. For his part, constantly pushed along as he was by the vindictive Freak, The Baron hoped they would run into zombies and get eaten along the way. He knew they frequented these parts at this time of the year, and their civilized teeth were much preferable to whatever fate waited at the hands of Kierkegaard.
At least she still has my package, The Baron thought, casting a quick look back at Eve as she walked by herself. The package was tucked securely under one arm, and looked only a little singed by the time spent in the fire. It’s my only chance for forgiveness, however small.