Chapter Eighty-Four

A few days later, Irian was perched on the rigging, enjoying the air.

“Get down, what if you fall!”  Namid’s voice rang out across the deck.  Even unmarried seamen knew the tone of voice she was using.  “We’re not replacing your arm again!”

Irian laughed and climbed down.  His confidence was coming back with the new limbs.  The ship was in sight of land, and they were getting ready to go hunt, since everyone was tired of fish.  With no major activity in their part of the world, everyone was less on guard.

Thor and Hariel were already on deck.  They were joined by a tall, thin woman with ebony skin and a shaved head.  In her right hand she carried a short but rather sharp-looking spear.

“Irian, this is-”

“My name is Ssanyu.  You are this Irian I hear about.  Lay about and drink and do genius things with computer.  We all hear about it.  I think you go soft.”

The crew was collectively holding their breaths.

“Well then, if you feel that way, the largest animal back to the ship wins.  Thor, Hariel, do you want in?”

They both shook their heads.  Clearly, this was between them.  Both seemed fine with the thought.

“I think they’re afraid.  I am not afraid of you, metal man.  We kill many of your kind, another is no problem.”

“I don’t know what you mean, I’m from this Earth.  Erinna, we call it-you would probably know it as Ireland.”

“You, from here?”  She made a noise of derision.  “Where the arm from, then?  Or the leg?”

“I was injured.  James had them built to help me.”

“Well, you look like the ones from somewhere else.  Where is your weapon?”

“The last I checked, under a hundred feet of water.  I have my hands, though.”

“Hands, hah.  And what of a beast?”

“They’ll do.  Mayhap I’ll find something along the way.  If not, I’ll make myself something.”

“I think you are a fool.  A brave fool, but a fool.  But I like you.  We will work well together.”

The crew released the breath they weren’t aware they were holding.

“I’m glad you think so.  The two behind you were getting nervous, though.  Did you beat them up?

Behind her, one shook his head while the other nodded.

“That answers that, then.  You two, as well.  We’ll hunt better as a team.  Even the deer are strange now.”

Published in: on September 15, 2011 at 5:11 am  Leave a Comment  

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