Friday, July 17, 2015

Day Eight-Eighty-Seven: Give it to me

“Man. You guys have it easy.”

Plato shot Dragomir an ugly look, though there was little malice in the expression. “Do you call being imprisoned for months ‘easy’, then?”

Dragomir flicked a hunk of debris off of the Sky Bitch’s small observation deck. It was a new addition, and construction was still underway, but he enjoyed the feel of the wind on his face. “Well, you didn’t have to think about a whole lot at the time, did ya? Just kinda went with the flow.”

Plato snorted. The rat snorted, too, perched atop Plato’s head. “Take our place ’n maybe you’d think otherwise. Your son was kind of, um, a jerk.”

Dragomir smiled sadly. “You can call him worse than that, if you want. I won’t take offence.”

“Okay.” Plato cleared his throat, tail slapping against the floorboards as he did. “He was a bit of a bastard.”

“Just a bit?”

“Well, maybe more than a bit.”

The rat nodded.

“Yeah, I know.” Dragomir sighed. “He was our bastard, though. Wish we’d, I dunno, worked it out of him. Or something. How do you work bastardry out of a person when they’re a child? I still don’t know. My kids don’t remain kids long enough for us to properly raise ‘em.”

Plato shrugged. “Non stay kids for a lot longer than humans. I was a child for, uh… twenty years, I think. So the rearing bits last a while. I’ve got a different perspective.”

“But…” Dragomir bit his lip, not sure if Plato knew or not. “I’m a Non, though, at least partly, ’n it sounds like I was never a kid. I don’t think.”

“Explains why you’re a bit of a bastard, then,” Plato quacked.

“I liked you more when you didn’t talk.”

A not-so-quiet footstep on the deck behind them cut off their brief repartee. Dragomir glanced over his shoulder to see his son, his younger son, staring at him. Dragomir quickly realized that Julius was not on Fynn’s shoulder, for once, which he found odd mainly because he hadn’t realized just how omnipresent the spider now was in Fynn’s life.

“Dad?” Fynn said softly, though not so softly that his voice was drowned out by the hum of the air flowing past the ship. “Logan wants to see you now.”

“Oh, gee, does he,” Dragomir muttered. “Glad I could fit into his majesty’s schedule.”

Plato shrugged, and his rat did, too. Dragomir vowed to ask, one day, just how the rat had avoided losing its sentience like the rest of its kin. And his diary, for that matter - the little thing was still dancing around his feet as vigorously as ever, and he knew it would skitter after him when he left the deck. “Fine. C’mon. Let’s go talk to Logan.”

Fynn quietly led his father through the ship and back to the meeting room, neither of them speaking. Dragomir watched his son’s hunched back as they walked, both a little annoyed and a little guilty at his son. Fynn had more or less become Logan’s right-hand man, the de facto commander of Logan’s werewolf troupe, and in doing so he seemed to have arrayed himself on the opposite side of a struggle Dragomir had only just realized existed. At the same time, though, Dragomir realized that Fynn was the neglected son, the guy in the family that drew less attention than his brother and sister, even when one of them was dead.

Dragomir felt bad for that. He felt really bad for that.

“How you holding up, kiddo?” Dragomir asked, partway along the trip.”

“I’m fine,” Fynn replied shortly.

“Uh… anything new?” Dragomir pressed. “Anything cool happen to you?”

Fynn’s back muscles stiffened visibly beneath his shirt, but he shook his shaggy head. “Not really.”

Dragomir sighed. Apparently Fynn realized that he was the neglected son these days, too.

Logan was waiting for Dragomir where he’d been sitting earlier, at the head of the ovular table in the captain’s quarters. There was no head, normally, but as Dragomir surveyed the room he gained the distinct impression that anywhere Logan sat was automatically the focal point of the discussion. Logan was reading over reports - reports that might normally have come to Dragomir, though he’d admittedly foisted off such responsibilities the last few days - and he cocked an eyebrow as Fynn entered.

“See ya,” Fynn said, and disappeared past Dragomir. He slid through the door with an oil agility that belied his size.

Dragomir waved his son away, then turned to Logan. “You wanted t’see me, boss man?”

Logan cringed, scratching his fuzzy chin. “Uh, yeah. Sorta. Have a seat.”

“I’ll stand.” Dragomir pushed the door shut and leaned on it. “Care to jump right to it ’n skip formalities?”

Logan pushed his papers aside and tried to sit up as straight as he could. Lacking proper legs, he seemed to find this rather difficult, and slid back to his previous semi-hunch. “Bah. Okay, fine. Yeah, I’m kinda moving into a leadership something-or-other. Don’t like it, but nobody else I trust wants it. That what you wanted to hear?”

The headache already roiling in Dragomir’s brain grew one size, then receded back to its usual ache. He always seemed to have a headache, these days. Made him quite irritable. “So you don’t trust me anymore, then.”

“Nope.” Logan steepled his fingers. “Sorry. But it’s true. And I know it ain’t your fault. That’s just the way things are.”

“Plato’s a Non. You don’t seem to distrust him.”

Logan took a breath. “It’s not just that you’re a Non. You’re also some kinda weapon. You’re meant to do work for them. And for the rats, apparently, wherever they are now. Plus you helped birth another, possibly more dangerous weapon. As well as a maniac who nearly destroyed the world. And there’s - “

“We don’t think Grayson was ever my kid,” Dragomir murmured darkly.

Logan waved the implications away. “And there’s the Catastrophe. Or Crimson Catastrophe. Or Green Catastrophe. Or whatever the hell you’re callin’ it these days. You still have that thing, right? It’s still in you?”

Dragomir winced at the mention of his weapon. By way of response he held out a hand, and a flurry of red-and-green, block sparks coalesced around his fingertips. They did not solidify as they used to, however, and instead swirled chaotically around his arm. One of the sparks flew so far from his body that it touched the edge of the table, tearing a chunk out of the wood. As Logan pulled away - though he was in no real danger - Dragomir deactivated the power as best he could, temples raging with pain.

“That’s… that’s about it, these days…” Dragomir gasped. “Whatever… augh… whatever happened… back there… kinda… fucked it up…”

“So I see,” Logan said, voice almost spiteful. “That’s… somehow even worse ’n what it was before. You didn’t look like you were much in control of that.”

Dragomir shook his head. “I… kinda wasn’t.”

“And what if you can’t control it during a fight?” Logan pounded one fist against the table. “What if you try ’n use it and our own guys pay the price? Hell, what if you do use it properly, but it puts you down for the count and we don’t have leadership? That isn’t gonna work, Dragomir. You’ve gotta let me take over. Even if it’s just behind the scenes.”

Pushing himself back into a standing position, Dragomir breathed hard until the agony raging in his skull abated a little. He forced Logan to wait just as long before responding. “I… hell, kid, when did you… when did you get so power-hungry?”

“I’m not,” Logan insisted. “Losing a sister changed my priorities a little. That, ’n… other things.”

Other things.

Dragomir turned away and popped open the door. “It’s still my army for now, kid. You do what you gotta do.”

“I will,” Logan promised behind him.

1 comment:

  1. Nope, no sir, I don't like it...not a bit...shit's going sideways and I'm quite nervous...