Chapter Seventy-Three

Irian was lost in plans.  To be more exact, he was lost in six datapanes, a sheaf of papers, a pile of small white and blue chips, and something he referred to as crather when he spoke to it, which was rather often.  Irian was also almost lost to his chair.  Half of the ship had passed his door to hear the songs he sang as he slipped deeper into his cups-increasingly bawdy as his mood soured and he sent a few parts flying into the bulkhead, where they were sticking out now.  Nobody had the courage to suggest he had possibly might need to slow down.  After he popped off James’ arms, everyone was afraid of what the crippled man would do to them.  While he wasn’t in any actual danger of hurting any of the crew, it did serve him to keep them away from him while he puzzled out the new compounds he had analyzed out of Hariel’s sword and made sense of what they meant.  He knew there was something important there.

Namid had heard of all his doings, but hadn’t been able to intervene-there was a lot of new information coming over the network, and with both her skills and Ouray’s, they were quick becoming a hub of information in the war against the Harvest, which was quickly ramping up.  She knew Irian could hold a lot, but she wasn’t too interested in seeing just how much that lot was.  He had been buried in work since popping James’ arms off in that contest of theirs-and he was admitting no visitors save her, and he wasn’t discussing any of it with her.  Something was taking shape under the cloths on his workbench though, and she knew that his intellect was such that it would be something of benefit to someone.

James was sitting in his cabin, adjusting the last wrist repairs he had made in the wake of the armwrestling contest.  It had been his fool idea, he reminded himself, and he had paid for it.  And the best mind in prosthetics on ship was ordered to bed rest and hadn’t had a chance to look them over.  Just his luck.

Hariel was above decks with Thor, both of them with weapons in hand and at the ready.  The crew kept a respectful distance as the two faced off again and again, sweat pouring from both men as they pushed themselves further and further.  Each man had his demons to fight, and they were fighting them even as they fought each other.  James knew that they all had to stay sharp, even as they skirted the coasts and attempted to stay one step ahead of their enemies.

Published in: on April 26, 2011 at 5:14 am  Leave a Comment  

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