Monday, November 2, 2015

Day Nine-Thirty-One: She's going home

I’m going to stop asking politely soon. Give it back.

I’m so sick of this dream. Get it over with.

Okay. Om nom nom!

Dragomir was devoured. Then, inexplicably, he woke up.

Dragomir was laying in a bed. It was not an especially comfortable bed, but it was still a bed, and he liked that. As a general rule he preferred beds to rocky terrain. Blinking as much of the sleep out of his eyes as he could, he looked around the room, and he was confused when the first thing he noticed was a set of prison bars. He was even more confused when he noticed that he was on the bad side of those bars.

Dragomir's groaning earned him some attention, and he noticed that he was sharing a cell with his wife. Libby was sitting on a cot on the other side of a room, a technical manual in her hands, and she set it down when she heard her husband. She rushed to his side and gave him a sharp - but gentle - swat to the arm.

“Fuck, that took long enough,” she hissed. “Sorry. But you’ve been out for two weeks, and I’m bored in this shithole. You had it coming.”

Libby helped Dragomir into a sitting position. He noticed that she’d outfitted him with a wobbly prosthetic leg, built out of some low-quality wood. It didn’t seem to hold up very well when he planted his normal foot on the ground, but he could, at least, hobble around the cell. He thanked her, because he knew only Libby would be up to making something like this.

“Ugh… where are we?” Dragomir peered through the bars of the cell, focusing on a torch on the wall. There didn’t appear to be anyone outside. “Where… what are we doing in a cell?”

“Being prisoners, I guess,” Libby said. She snorted. “We’re in Pubton. That little fuck Logan shoved us in here. He took over, y’know. I wondered if he would, ’n he did. Gods-be-damned ungrateful brat.”

“But… why?” Dragomir staggered against the bars, trying to look through. “Hey! What the hell? Get us outta here! We didn’t do anything!”

“Don’t bother.” Libby dropped onto Dragomir’s bed with a growl. “They only show up at feeding time, ’n then it’s some fuckin’ guy I’ve never met before. Guess they have a new rotation of guards here, now that Evangelina’s not in charge of ‘em anymore. Bet Logan had that planned out in advance.”

Sighing, Dragomir joined her on the bed. He stared at his stump of a left arm. There was nothing left from his shoulder down, but the wound, at least, looked clean. “Tell me everything. Don’t leave anything out.”

Libby’s words were limited, as she’d been locked up here for a week, but there was still plenty to tell. After the battle in Rodentia Logan had immediately declared the war over, and set himself up as the leader of Pubton. This news took Dragomir by surprise, as he’d never pegged Logan for wanting to be a ruler, but it seemed to be a fact regardless. Forming an alliance with the battle-battered Imperium, Logan had set about forming a sort of concentration camp for the Non prisoners they’d taken before Kierkegaard went on his rampage. The Non hadn’t resisted, though there was word of Plato and Titan Blue arguing against their incarceration. They had a perfectly good, perfectly empty homeland in the far east, and should be sent there instead.

Not that arguing meant a whole lot. Not with a new, much more immediate threat.

“Eve,” Dragomir said, knowing Libby had deliberately skirted around the topic. “What happened to Eve?”

Libby swallowed. “You sure you want to know?”

Dragomir nodded.

One of Logan’s first acts as king of Pubton was to declare Eve a ‘natural disaster’, as she’d promptly gone on a rampage. Taking the fight to Rodentia, she’d slaughtered almost every soldier defending the battered city, demolishing the final remnants of the Imperium’s once-great army. Then she’d turned on the city, still a ruin from the sloth attack the year before, and spent half a day hunting down every living being she could find. Given Eve’s keen senses, few were spared her onslaught. She’d apparently grown bored of that after a while, though, and turned to the east, carving a senseless, ceaseless path of destruction across the countryside. 

As Eve’s parents, Dragomir and Libby had been promptly arrested when they arrived in Pubton on the Imperium’s sole remaining battle platform. Fynn had been spared the same fate, but only because he was already Logan’s right-hand-man in most matters. Dragomir felt a little betrayed at that fact, but he assumed Fynn wasn’t too happy with their imprisonment either, and he tried to reserve judgement.

“Okay,” Dragomir said, taking a moment to digest all of Libby’s information. “Okay. And… where’s she going? Or is it random?”

“No,” Libby admitted. She bit her lip and looked at their cell’s only window. It looked out on a tree, and thus provided very little by way of entertainment. “Not random at all. She’s going in a straight line. Straight home.”

“Straight home?” Dragomir sat up in bed. “You mean here? Then shouldn’t we be getting the hell out of here - “

“No,” a voice cut in. “Not here.”

Dragomir and Libby turned to the room beyond the bars. Standing there was a tall young man with neatly-trimmed brown hair, a cluster of stubble around his frowning mouth, and burgundy clothes that appeared both regal and functional. A bronze crown sat upon the man’s head, much less opulent than Dragomir might have expected of a king, yet despite that Dragomir thought for one fleeting moment that he was staring at King Jeffrey again, and he wondered if Eve’s mighty throw had sent him spiralling through time.

Libby launched herself at the bars, spitting at the man. He sidestepped the projectile. “You fucking twat. Get us out of here!

King Logan shook his head. “Nope. You’re safer in there, trust me. I thought the manuals would keep you busy for a while, Libby?”

“They’re for fuckin’ babies!” Libby grabbed one of the technical manuals from the cot - Dragomir noticed there was a small stack of the things - and hurled it through the bars. It was no more successful at hitting Logan than her spit. “After all we’ve been through, you stick a fucking knife in our backs - “

Dragomir thought Logan would do his best to keep away from Libby, but he was wrong. Surprising them both, Logan stepped towards the bars, well within reach of Libby’s grasp, and though she fumbled at first it didn’t take long for her strong hands to grab Logan by the throat. She began to throttle him, cursing him… and he stared back at her with measured, almost friendly defiance. He’d only just began to choke when Libby let him go and pushed him away.

Logan rubbed his neck, wincing. “F… fuck, lady, you’re stronger ’n I thought. That… that was probably a dumb idea… on my part…”

“Some king you are,” Libby snorted. She dropped onto the bed beside Dragomir again. “You here to say something, or you just spying on us, you weird pervert?”

Logan rolled his eyes and seated himself on the floor outside the cell, mindless of the dirt. He continued to soothe his neck, coughing up a bit of blood. His voice sounded hoarse for the rest of the conversation. “I’m… ach… I’m here to answer Dragomir’s question. That… that okay, or should I go?”

Libby snorted again. Dragomir nodded.

“Okay.” Logan took a breath. “She’s goin’ home, Dragomir. She’s going back to our old castle.”

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