Monday, January 19, 2015

Day Eight-Hundred-Nine: Family Meeting

Thanks to a not-too-steep approach vector, the Sky Bitch hit the ground at a skid rather than a full-on plummet. This did not make the crash any less painful for its inhabitants, but it did ensure their survival.

Those who were not already laying on the ground and praying for their lives were swiftly thrown to the deck as the Sky Bitch skidded over a hill and hopped back up into the air by about twelve feet. The motion hurled two sky dwarves into the gears of engineering, crushing their bodies to a pulp. Jeffrey and Cedric, still quite concentrated on their quarry, used the opportunity to dash about engineering and dispatch the few remaining dwarves. Their reckless bravery earned them both a painful trip into a wall, leaving Jeffrey unconscious and Cedric annoyed.

Up on the bridge, watching snow flood onto the deck, Logan clung to a bannister as the Sky Bitch went down. His insane reflexes saved him from any injury whatsoever, but the thundering roar of complaining engines and whooshing wind stung his ears. He wondered if his sister’s last moments had been anything like this, in the final seconds before millions of tonnes of metal crushed the life from her body.

If I get out of this, Logan thought, leaping nimbly upward to avoid a command console that had flown loose of its nails, I’m gonna have to put getting her back higher on my to-do list. Somewhere ‘round the same place as asking Dragomir why he’s a Non. Those are top-of-the-list entries, doods.

It took a minute and a half - a proper eternity to anyone on board - for the Sky Bitch to shudder to a complete stop. It listed to one side, threatening to flop to port, but by some miracle it managed to inch up beside a fairly substantial cliff edge. That fact, along with the sheer amount of snow now decorating the ground, provided the Sky Bitch with a nice, furrowed cradle, and it moved no longer.

Logan didn’t open his eyes for several seconds. When he did he found himself staring across the ruined command deck at Eve and Fynn, the latter of which was standing perfectly upright with the former held limp under one arm. Despite a nasty gash on her forehead from one of Kierkegaard’s attacks, Eve looked relatively unconcerned by it all. The massive boy she was holding did not seem to share her apathy, and his face sported more than a few tears.

The siblings both had shining green eyes, though Fynn’s were fading. Yet neither looked quite so demonic as their father.

Though fading back to normal at a rate of roughly one inch a second, Dragomir looked as Non as he had moments before. His legs were clad in baggy pants, but his arms, stomach, pectorals, and head still consisted of thin, black tissue, as deeply black as a starless sky. With Libby clutched in a tight hug he turned to look around the command deck, and though a pair of very human eyes eventually fell on Logan, they were tinted a faint green - and framed from above by a fringe of oozing black hair.

“Well,” Dragomir said eventually, releasing his wife. “This is… this is something.”

Libby stumbled away from Dragomir, seeming to instinctively fall to Logan’s side. Her gaze flicked from her husband, to her son, and to the rat on her shoulder, ever suspicious and comprehending. Logan followed her flicks of attention, because he, too, was probably just as thoroughly confused as her - though, for once, the anger was not on Libby’s face, but his own.

“You’re a spy,” Logan concluded, fists tightening. “You’re not Dragomir. He’s dead after all, isn’t he? Eve killed him - “

“No, it’s me.” Dragomir sighed, shrugging. “Or, uh, it’s kinda me. It’s… it’s a long story.”

Struggling free of his sister, Fynn stood tall over everyone else. He paused to check his eyes in the remains of the glass canopy. “Start talking, dad.”

Now more or less back to normal, Dragomir opened his mouth - but he was interrupted by the pound of footsteps trudging up the stairs to the command deck. Evangelina appeared at the top in short order, and Pagan stomped up behind her, breathing hard. Both looked shaken and bruised, but not badly hurt.

“What the hell happened?” Evangelina asked. She appeared to be half-clad in bits of protective wood, no doubt pulled magically from the Sky Bitch’s furniture. “Is… are there any more sky dwarves?”

“Yes, let’s hear a report,” Pagan asked, shaking his head. Both of his cheeks were forming bruises. “Ugh. I haven’t gone through that much of a tumble in a long time.”

Libby grabbed at Dragomir’s hand. He looked at her, surprised, but didn’t pull away. “Is Kierkegaard still aboard?”

Of all people, it was Eve who ultimately shook her head. “His remains are splattered across the landscape. Yours shall follow.”

“Fuck you, too, kiddo,” Libby countered. “And I doubt he’s dead. Probably got shoved out by the fuckin’ snow. Anyway, if he ain’t here, ’n if we ain’t in trouble, we need to have a family chat. C’mon, Dragomir, Fynn, yes, even the bitchface. You, too, Logan. You’re practically family.”

Libby pointed towards the captain’s cabin, the door of which seemed intact. Resigned, Dragomir began to march. Eve quietly fell in behind him, and Fynn awkwardly joined. Evangelina protested, and Pagan demanded to be privy to the conversation, but Libby’s icy chill silenced their objections. Logan didn’t have to be told twice to get his butt into the cabin.

“Check the ship for, uh… damage,” Libby said before closing and bolting the door. She plucked the rat that was clinging to her shoulder away, gave it an odd look, and handed it to Pagan. “Put this thing somewhere. And send out scouts to make sure there ain’t any Non hereabouts. And make sure everyone’s alright, I guess, before… sending… the scouts. They need to be conscious to do scouting shit. And, um, try to… fuckin’… well, just stay outta our hair, right? Okay. Have fun.”

Logan suspected the conversation to come would be anything but fun. He was right.

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