Friday, May 8, 2015

Day Eight-Fifty-Seven: Select a Party

This feels a little deja vu, Dragomir thought. And I barely understand the meaning of the term.

Logan glowered at Dragomir. Jeffrey focused on his wife more than he focused on Dragomir. Eve blinked at Dragomir. The Baron pretended not to look at Dragomir. Fynn averted his eyes from Dragomir, though understandably so, as he was busy controlling a legion of werewolves far below. Cedric scratched his chin at Dragomir, and Antonio, though lacking stubble, did the same. Traveller, mind errant as ever, decided to watch the clouds flit by outside the Sky Bitch’s half-repaired canopy, ignoring Dragomir completely.

“At least I’ve got lots of people to pick from,” Dragomir grumbled. “Okay, guys. You heard the plan. Get in, recon, hopefully grab Libby, get out again. I need five people, ’n I’ve already got a goblin scout helpin’ us. Any volunteers for the other four?”

To Dragomir’s irritation, no one raised their hand. His eye twitched involuntarily.

“C’mon, guys, no one? Do I have to go picking?” Dragomir growled. “This is my wife, here. Your mom, Fynn. And, uh, Eve, I guess.”

Eve blinked again, but remained silent. Fynn filled the silence. “Sorry, dad, but I can’t. If I leave the werewolves’ll go nuts. Gotta stay here. But, um, please, get mom back…”

For some reason, despite the utter logic behind Fynn’s words, Dragomir felt a spasm of anger run from one temple to the other. He knew it was borne of emotion rather than reason, but it irked him anyway, and he gritted his teeth. “Fine. Whatever. Eve?”

Eve cocked her head to one side. “The world will not end should all of the bitches die. Let their blood flow freely.”

Dragomir started forward, despite the very real danger of getting violent with his daughter - again, emotion got the better of him, and he would later wonder how he could be violent with Eve anyway, given his incredible love for her - but Fynn quickly held him back. “Dad, she said yes. That was a yes. Uh, despite… despite how it sounded.”

“Really.” Dragomir drew back warily. “Eve?”

This time, his daughter simply nodded, eyes darting away from his. She looked as ashamed as she was ever apt to be, which was barely at all. Dragomir felt his heart warm the tiniest bit. “Okay. That’s one. Anybody else?”

The warmth faded substantially when Logan shook his head. “I’m stayin’ here. Somebody’s gotta keep an eye on everything. Figure it should be me.”

“You?” Dragomir cocked an eyebrow. “But you’re perfect for this sorta thing. Sneaking about, like. I need someone like that.”

“You have a goblin,” Logan replied, almost under his breath. “That’ll do.”

That’ll do. Dragomir felt insulted by those two words. That’ll do to rescue your wife. That’ll do to save the world from your freak of a child. That’ll do to keep your skin intact, ‘cause I have better things to do. The hell happened to you while you were away, Logan? When did keeping one ass cheek in the command chair become so important?

Dragomir wanted to argue, but he shrugged instead. Every moment spent arguing was a moment wasted. “Fine. Guess you wanna keep your daddy nearby, as well?”

Jeffrey bristled. “I can make my own decisions, thanks. I don’t think I’d be much help, so I’ll stay. I, uh, need more practice… boxing.”

Yeah, sure, has nothing to do with having your wife back, Dragomir thought. Be nice to get mine back too, ya fuckhead.

“We’ll go,” Cedric cut in. He clapped a hand on Antonio’s shoulder. “Both better ’n this pansy-ass at fighting, for sure.”

“Hey,” Jeffrey retorted, but he didn’t get any further than that. 

Cedric sneered at his former liege, then turned back to Dragomir. “Your Libby’s a douche, but I always kinda liked that ‘bout her. ‘sides, it’ll give me ’n excuse to get the fuck outta this tin can for a while. Makes my dead insides kinda queasy, like.”

“Who zaid I vuld go?” Antonio countered, though his imperceptible orcish smile never faltered. “I did not volunteer. You zhould not volunteer people for zuch thingz vithout askink.”

“You stay behind ’n you’re a big pansy,” Cedric countered. He squeezed Antonio’s shoulder a little more tightly. “C’mon. Be a man, or some shit.”

“I have read your poetry. I am already more ze man.”

“Wait, when the fuck - “

Enough,” Dragomir cut in. “We’re running out of time. You two’ll do, ’n… hell, The Baron, you’re comin’ ‘cause I say you’re comin’. It’s your fault I’m running off on this errand in the first place the way I am.”

The Baron paled, but he said nothing. His feet shuffled nervously beneath his robes. He seemed the least likely person to survive a recon mission into enemy territory… which, Dragomir reflected, was part of the point. He wondered what would happen to Eve if The Baron died, as the two seemed to share a connection the fat man still hadn’t explained. Would she be… normal, maybe?

That’ll be four, Dragomir thought. Thank gods. “Okay. That does it. You guys comin’ with me, follow me downstairs - “

“I’m coming too.”

Dragomir winced. He cupped one ear, almost comically, hoping he’d simply misinterpreted the words, or perhaps even the person who’d spoke. Traveller had been oddly quiet this entire trip, after all, not even participating in the battle. Dragomir found the silence quite refreshing, even if Traveller had proven utterly useless in keeping Libby safe. An oddity, that, considering his oft-professed affection for her body parts.

“Say that again?”

“I’m coming too,” Traveller repeated. He pointed out the canopy, at the dwindling sunlight. “See? Can anyone else see?”

Dragomir scowled deeply. “I’ve got enough people already. You’ll just fuck everything up, so I think you’re gonna stay right here - “

Dragomir just barely got through his sentiment before a metal canister crashed through the Sky Bitch’s canopy, or, rather, the boards that served as a poor patch job for the Sky Bitch. The canister hit the deck hard, bounced twice, and came to a rest in Eve’s quick hands. Wind whistled into the Sky Bitch, and one of the deck hands ran to patch the hole before it could expand.

Eyes wide, Dragomir peered around the wooden barricade, to the sky in front of the Sky Bitch. He wasn’t sure, but he thought he saw a vast, shadowy shape slipping into the clouds.

“See?” Traveller proclaimed, pointing at the canister. “I told you I saw somethin’.”

“You did not!” Dragomir fumed, jabbing a finger at the canister. “You did fucking not! You just said you were comin’ with us to get Libby! That’s all!”

Traveller tapped his chin thoughtfully. “Oh yeah? Did I?”

The assembled group nodded.

“Oh.” Traveller shrugged. “Well. I meant I saw something. But I’m comin’ with you, too, so that’s kinda convenient, right?”

Disgusted and irritated, Dragomir eventually got around to opening the canister, and reading the scrawl of parchment resting inside. It took several minutes for his irritation to subside sufficiently to process the message’s importance, however, and in that time Traveller managed to irritate him again by asking where he could find the lavatory. The message from the canister said many things, but it boiled down to one important concept:

“A truce?” Dragomir fumbled with the parchment, more than half disbelieving. “A freakin’ truce?

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