Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Day Nine-Thirty-Two: And so am I

“You can’t possibly know that for sure,” Dragomir said. He rubbed his temple, feeling a headache coming on. “You… I mean, how could you know?

“We’ve been following her movements,” Logan replied. “I’ve had scouts watching her for a while, ever since she lost it. Look.”

Logan reached into a pocket and retrieved a parchment map, sliding it through the bars. Libby snatched it up, and Dragomir had a look. The map of the world was covered in scribbled notes, all of them arrayed along a single, straight line from Rodentia and bound for the east. The line was not complete, but it was plainly plotted towards a single destination, with virtually no deviations. Dragomir swallowed, recognizing the territory of his old home.

“That comes from two-dozen reports over the last two weeks,” Logan said. “She’s headed to the castle, no doubt about it. A bit slow, for some reason, but there you go. I originally brought you here as a countermeasure, to make sure she wouldn’t come after us, but Eve doesn’t seem to give two figs about Pubton. Can I have that back, please?”

“A countermeasure,” Dragomir mumbled, flipping the folded map through the bars. “What, you think my being here would save this city? Fat chance.”

“You’d think so, but you’re alive,” Logan said. He shrugged. “Only Cedric, Antonio, Plato, and yourself survived close contact with Eve the day she lost it, and from what I hear Eve tried to kill Cedric and Antonio. Cedric only lived ‘cause he’s already kinda dead, and Antonio’s arms… well, they’re fucked. Not sure if he’ll be a boxer again, but at least he’s alive. Plato’s fine, ‘cause Eve stopped to wreck up the Sky Bitch. Gave him time to run.”

“My poor ship,” Libby muttered. “Your daughter is a cunt, you know that? How many times do I have to fix the things I build?

Dragomir laid his hand on his wife’s shoulder, but she batted it away. “She’s yours too, you know.”

Libby sniffed. “Pfft, my evil kid was Grayson. Yours is Eve. Let’s not pretend that ain’t the case.”

Dragomir shrugged. She was quite right on that count. “Okay. Doesn’t mean my being here would save anybody.”

“Couldn’t hurt, either. Plus I needed to lock you up.” Logan stared at the floor. “Sorry. Didn’t have much choice. They made me do it. I figured I’d at least stow you away on my own terms.”

They?” Dragomir raised an eyebrow. “Who’s ‘they’?”

“The Imperium, obviously.” Logan traced loops in the dirt on the ground with a bright white glove. It was a very un-kingly thing to do. “Once they found out you were a Non they wanted your head. Figured you’d tricked ‘em. Might’ve been wiser to keep your identity a secret like you’d been doin’, boss. Now you’re a pariah, and everybody knows it. Public wants you gone, one way or another.”

“But I had to out myself,” Dragomir insisted. “If we wanted to avoid killing all of the Non - “

“And force me to put ‘em in a camp? Yeah, sure, that worked great.” Logan sneered. “They’re all being treated like dirt, Dragomir, and I don’t have any choice but to treat ‘em that way. Might’ve been better to let them die in a battle rather ’n trying to recruit the lot. What, did you think we could open relations with them or something? That’s pretty naive, considering what they’ve done.”

“Then let them go home,” Dragomir pressed. He clenched his fist. “They won’t do anything else. They’re tired. Probably scared, too. Make the whole eastern continent that reappeared their camp, if you want. Set up checkpoints, or - “

Logan waved a hand. “This is all beside the point, man. Don’t worry about the Non, I’ll keep them alive somehow. I’ve stopped blaming ‘em for what that fucking penguin did, ‘cause it’s pretty clear that Kierkegaard was responsible for a lot. Him dying was a good piece of news, at least, though I wish you guys had waited for me to show up and help out. My dad was itching to nail Kierkegaard with a cannonball or two. At any rate, I’ve been waiting for you to wake up so I could give you a little proposition, if you’re willing to talk.”

Dragomir narrowed his eyes. He wasn’t sure that Logan actually would have supported the attack on Kierkegaard, just as he was unsure that the prince-turned-thief-turned-king would abide by any proposition he made. The fact that Logan now apparently ruled a city he’d barely lived in, one that had already been the domain of a king, a king who was still alive, made Dragomir rather edgy about the whole situation. It was too complex, and he was getting pretty damned tired of complex. 

Dragomir coughed into his hand. He noticed a spatter of blood on his palm, and quickly moved to wipe it on his side. “Propose away. Don’t think I have much choice, being stuck in here.”

Logan smiled. It was so close to the grin of the mischievous boy Dragomir had long considered a friend that Dragomir’s heart almost broke. “Okay. W00t. Right to the point, then. I want you out of Pubton, and I want you out as soon as possible. I’ll make it happen. In exchange, you’re going to do something for me.”

“That doesn’t sound like a fair trade at all,” Libby snapped. “You locked us up in the first place.

“I don’t know if I’ve ever heard you speak without swearing,” Logan replied.

“Fuck your chubby cunt face, twat-boy.” Libby smiled sweetly, then dropped back into moody silence.

“Thaaaaat’s more like it.” Logan smiled.

“Enough squabbling.” Dragomir coughed again. More blood. He blinked, feeling very tired. “What do I have to do for you to get out of here, Logan?”

“Pretty simple, really.” Logan shrugged. “Go home. Check on your daughter. Stop her. That’s all.”

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