Chapter Eighty-Two: Aes Sidhe, Aes Sidhe…

Somewhere in the fog of drugs, Irian saw sunlight.

Unfortunately, he may as well have been hung over when he opened his eyes-the painkillers were as rough as the usqueba he kept on hand for these headaches.  He stumbled out of bed, found the door to the privy, and did his business, then wandered back outside in the same fog.  It was only when he wiped his eyes and realized that one hand felt different than the other that he realized that he had two arms and two legs again.  He also realized that they hurt like fire, and set himself to looking for the jug of poitin he had been working through.

After ten minutes of searching, he decided to wake Namid to ask her where it was.  The headache was getting worse.  He shook her gently.

“Not now you idiot, I’m trying to sleep.”

“Namid, where’s my alcohol?”

“Irian’s gonna kill you if you drink it all, Thor.”

“That explains that.  So is it all gone then, love?”

“Who are you calling ‘love’ anyway?”

“My wife.  Open your eyes, Namid.”

Irian sat beside her on the bed, stroking her hair with his natural arm.  He looked like he’d gone a few rounds with the basilisk again.  But there he was, able to move on his own.

“You’re finally awake!”

“Well, exactly how long was I out?  Long enough to be out of alcohol, I see.”

“You’ve slept long enough that we didn’t think you would wake up.  We finally started feeding you through a tube.”

“I don’t see any tube.”

“It interfaces with your back now.  Interesting little thing.”

“So how long was that, exactly?”

“Long enough that Elanor had a girl.  We think the stress of running the assemblers did it.”

“Bet Hariel’s proud.”

“He had to be dissuaded from toting her around the ship showing her off.”

“And everyone else?”

“Ouray has handled my duties.  Musashi locked himself in his quarters, and we’ve smelled incense, which is prohibited on Ship, but you know him.  James continues to examine the course of the ship, and to try and figure out our next course of attack.  And Thor has taken up with a strange person talking strategy and battle.”

“Strange?”

“Her skin is black as coal, and she has no hair!”

“Ah, they took my advice then.”

“Your advice?”

“Africa has been cut off from the rest of the problems of the world.  It’s a fresh viewpoint on our problems.  Plus, aether touched there just like everywhere else.”

“Forgive me, I’ve just never seen anyone like her.”

“Few have.  I don’t know her, I just know of her people.  There’s talk they were close to computers when the Harvest arrived.  Certainly, they’re more than able to work our machines-and improve them as well.  I was afraid they’d withdraw into their borders and leave us to our fate.”

“So what now?”

“I’m starving.  And where’s Cairbre?”

“I’ll call for food, and I don’t know.  He moped for days when they brought you back.  I hope he’s all right.”

“We’d better find him.  He’s trouble.”

“You’re telling me, I had to chase him for more than a month!”

And, true to form, Cairbre was off getting into trouble.  The TALLREDONE was hurt, and he wouldn’t wake up, no matter how hard he purred.  The TALLBROWNONE wasn’t leaving him, so someone could watch him if he went looking for help.  The fact that Cairbre was a kittychicken, and not a doctor, was completely lost on him.  He knew what would wake the TALLREDONE up-a crunchywarmfood!  It always got him out of the sunbeam and nosing through the cabinets!

Cairbre, following that train of thought, was currently banging around inside the pantry.  Every time he thought he had it, it found a new place to hide.  Just as he caught it, a familiar set of hands reached in the cabinets and grabbed him.  He was covered in flour from ears to stump of talk, but he caught the crunchywarmfood for TALLREDONE.  As if the universe nodded agreement, the set of hands deposited him into the room he shared with them.  He exploded in a cloud of flour, fur, feathers and squawk when he saw Irian awake.  He shed flour everywhere as he flapped over to Irian’s shoulder and perched there.  He dropped the crunchywarmfood into his lap and looked at him as if to say, “I KNEW this would wake you up!”

Irian scratched the strange creature under the chin.  “Well, old friend, are you trying to fatten me up?  How about you take the mouse, and I’ll order us some tea?  Much has changed, and we need to discuss it all.  Yes, yes, I know, I have to get your report first.  What can you tell me that I’ve missed?”

“Squawk!”

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Published in: on July 28, 2011 at 4:52 am  Leave a Comment  

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