Chapter Seventy-Nine

As Namid started to explain what she meant, two figures appeared behind her.

“Sister, let us in.  We all need to talk.”

Ouray and Musashi entered, followed by Hariel and Thor.

Musashi started.  “Namid brings tidings, but I think we needed a few more ears to hear them.”  He seated himself in the floor.  “For once, we humans are going to tell you what to do, and you are going to do it.  No arguments.”  He reached into his robe and pulled out another gourd similar to the one he had shared with Ouray.  “Now that I’ve gone and said that, Ouray can tell you what we’re going on about.  I’m getting too old for this.  I should be sitting in the temple doorway drawing calligraphy, not running around with children a third my age and some.”  He uncapped the gourd and drank.  “Go on, we haven’t got all day.”

Ouray smiled at him.  It was easy to forget he was nearly seventy, and had well earned his retirement.  “Before you tell them your news, Namid, tell Irian his news.”

“His news?”

“You know what I speak of.  He will need it while they work on his limbs.”

Namid flushed.  “I had not thought to mention it for a while yet. We have need of my skills.”

“Yes, as a translator in my place.  I will go for that part.  Now tell him, so we can share this knowledge.”

She straightened.  Namid walked over to Irian, knelt in front of his chair and took his hand.  Straightening, she placed his hand on her stomach.  “Irian, you’ll need your new leg, at least.  I’ll need the help chasing your child around.”

The room erupted.  Irian was nearly knocked from his chair by the pats on the back he received most enthusiastically from the assembled group.  He said nothing, but the smile on his face made it clear he had no need to.

“Now that we’re all properly happy, I’m here to tell you what else is going on.”  Musashi rose from the floor.  “Namid, you are now relieved of combat duty.  You are restationed to translator in place of Ouray, who is going on active duty.  Elanor, I’m going to strap you down if you don’t stay in bed.  If you must get up, use a chair, we’ve told you this.”  He reached inside his robe again, but this time drew out a datapad.  Tapping it a few times, it flickered to life and displayed a map.  “We have activity again, and we’re nowhere near one hundred percent on people.  I have sent out a call to some old friends, and I hope they respond.  But seeing as to the fact that Irian is out of commission for now, I will take his place in the field.”

Irian made as if to comment.  Swift as lightning, a bokken shot out of Musashi’s sleeve, its butt end striking him between the eyes.  He sat there, blinking.

“I’m cutting off any argument before it starts.  I’m not as strong as you, but don’t think I’m useless yet.”

“Yes, Sensei.”

Musashi continued.  “Hariel, Thor, James, you are all active as of now.  Find your weapons, find your armor, and get ready to leave.  Irian, you’re going into surgery.  We need you back on your feet as fast as we can get you there.  Safely or not.”

Elanor interrupted.  “I know you won’t try that trick with me.  Irian’s not ready for surgery-if nothing else, we have to sober him up.  Besides, we haven’t agreed on how to fix him yet-this is a delicate process, you know!”

Musashi stared at Elanor.  “I know full well.  And I know full well too that you’re capable of doing the work here while we save lives out there.  Your actions took from us one of our best minds.  I know you have no intention of ever repeating that mistake, but now you must step in where he would have.  Now our best mind needs a body.  When will he go in for surgery?”

Elanor paused for a moment.  A single tear ran down her left cheek.  “Tomorrow at the earliest.”  She took Irian’s cup from him.  “No more of that now.  Your blood type isn’t aether, it’s ethanol.  You’d bleed out on the table.”  She handed it to Thor.  He took a sniff and recoiled.  “I need an assembler.  James, I know you have one left.”

He started visibly.  “I have three.  What for, though?  They don’t work with aether.”

“Well, I have some new ideas.  But if we want to attach these like Irian theorized, it’s going to take at least one to do it.”

“You’ll have all you need.  Anything else?”

Irian rose unsteadily, supporting himself on Namid.  “Yes, there is.  I’ll need a new sword.”

 

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Published in: on June 28, 2011 at 8:56 pm  Leave a Comment  

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