Wednesday, May 12, 2010

American Apocalypse IV - Heartland Chapter 4f

She dropped her day pack and met me halfway. I caught as she leaped and wrapped her legs around me. A few minutes or years or whatever she broke lip contact to look over my shoulder. I didn't have to ask or turn around to know who had come into view.She unclamped,then dropped off me like I was a horse and she had reached her destination. I turned around and saw that she had already covered half the distance to Carol and wasn't slowing down either.

Carol to her credit didn't cower or even look nervous. She stood there and waited. She didn't have to wait long. Night was in her face in a couple blinks of the eye. I tensed up and got ready to move. I wasn't going to let Night cut her down. Give her hell, yes. Cut her throat? No. I had noticed she was carrying her fillet knife.Not a good sign. Night stood there for a couple beats. Then she said quietly and in a steel core monotone "Hello Carol."

"Total ice was Carols reply "Hello Night. Long time no see."

If this had been me and someone else going to head to head I would have been stripping the body by now. I was never going to understand women. This I knew without a doubt.

Night broke off the staring contest by telling Carol slowly, like she was addressing a retard or a child, "Gardener will go look for your child. You will come with us. If he isn't back in a month I will kill you. If he comes back within a month -- with or without your child -- You will live but not amongst the people of Freya. Do you understand an accept?

Carol swallowed, the first sign that Night had gotten to her, and said quietly "Yes."

Night didn't say another word. She turned, and marched up to me, stopping only long enough to hook her arm around my waist, and say "Let's go." We stopped so she could pick up her day pack and then kept going. I had an idea, actually a rapidly growing hope, that I knew what was coming next. I was right.

About two hours later we caught up with the team working drag security for the Horde. Ninja was with them. He greeted Night who walked past him smiling. When she had covered enough distance he waved the rest of the team on to escort her in while he waited.

He looked at me, shook her his head, and said "Damn Bro. She's smiling. All is well?"

"I suppose."

He continued "I asked Max if I could go with you. He said it was your call."

I thought "Thanks Max." I looked at him, and thought "Jeebus we had come a long way together." I almost said yes, Then I changed my mind and said "It wouldn't be right Ninj. They need you. Me and you go -- that's two thirds of the real warriors missing." I saw the disappointment in his eyes "Plus I need you to keep Night alive for me" and grinned.

"Yeah... Be careful Bro." Then he was gone. I watched him move at a trot until I lost him and then I went and found a log to sit down on. I was suddenly tired and I felt more than a little empty, maybe even stupid, and very alone.


  1. Gardner on a solo mission. I think I understand why, but damn, it's risky not to have anyone covering your back.

    But then again, he did ask for Woof and the pack...

    Yes, very good stuff.

  2. Oooh, how's Max gonna take Night's ultimatum to his would-be girlfriend?

  3. Night has argued with Max before. Night won.

  4. Aloha Chile,
    Maybe you are kidding, but Carol made her choice a long time ago. Max won't care. Nova is the storyboss but, I would suspect, Pragmatist that Max is, she is very,very lucky with what she got. Gardener is far more valuable for many reasons with 'Family' being at the top! Check out the archives-you'll see!
    Good stuff Nova!
    The Colonel, hmmmm. You weren't joking about the E location. I actually expect twists from you but ya got me good there.

  5. Yeah. The fictional Carol can't die because, well because I can't do it.

    Sometimes I feel like I am writing "As the Post Apocalypse World Turns."

    He has to go solo. It can't be any other way. It would weaken the rest too much for too little for him to take anyone else.

    I don't think G realizes how others see him yet. I don't think he even realizes who he is yet either. Or who he is becoming.