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02 May 2017 @ 09:00 pm
_Scrambled_ part 11  
 

"Yeah. Now Tracie caught on fast and hid the rifles and ammo Nick brought us. So while you gaze at your navel and do some thinking, some of us are going to go hunting." Harrison stomped off.

Lou groaned. "I'm an idiot!"

A snort from Paulette Hill. "Perhaps just a bit naïve. But your basic idea—that they're our troops, and we're their people needs to be made apparent. Today, these troops . . . well . . . they're from all over, and that particular group . . . company? Well, they looked oriental. They looked at us and saw foreigners. We need to speak to whoever is in command over there, ask how we civilians can help, and so forth. We need to assist them in identifying with us."

Lou groaned. "You're a sociology major or something, aren't you?"

"Yes, but I'm not stupid about it. If they keep looking at us and seeing easy pickings . . . we're going to have to leave."

"Uh . . . "

"Yes, even though there are dinosaurs out there. In any case, we would like you to escort a number of us out to scavenge for edible nuts, and fruit. Maybe even some greens, if we can identify them."

Mr. Ferguson rolled his wheel chair closer. "And keep your eyes open for usable anything. Clay would be nice, not that I've done pottery since grade school, but plates and bowls would be real handy."

"More firewood."

"Grass for mats. And baskets. Things that might work for fiber."

"Animals we could domesticate. Well, okay, maybe a bit soon for that, but . . . "

As suggestions flew, Lou levered himself to his feet. "Right. Where's my rifle? Let's get going."

He wiggled his jaw around, and probed at his aching teeth. They gave a little.

No dentists. No doctors. No shit, we are in big trouble.

He drove the electric runabout, the berry pickers or whatever packed them selves into the flat open back and he attempted, with poor success, to not bounce any of them off as they headed for the tree-lined creek. There were plenty of acorns. A very little to carry them in. Half the women cut the long grasses and produced some really pathetic baskets, but they worked.

More baskets with bulbs. Lou eyed them dubiously.

"Wild Onions." The blonde beamed at him. "You're Lou, right?"

"Lou Valenti."

"I'm Gala Mallory. About time we stopped just saying 'That cute light guard' and 'the dark guard' don't you think?"

Since Lou was noticeably lighter than Harrison he nodded enthusiastically.

"So, c'mon and help me hunt for more. Let's try way over there."

Far away from everyone else . . . surely she didn't mean . . . oh . . . dammit.

"I . . . really need to stay near everyone, and not get . . . distracted."

She grinned. "Don't worry. I'll get you alone real soon."



Chapter Eighteen

Day 6

Ra'd eyed the pile of sheet metal and braces. "Leave it all here. Let's get more from Versalle and use that for a shelter at the water hole. It's only two or three kilometers away. As soon as we start farming or catch more animals and start some serious fences, we'll be that far and still going."

Kirk nodded. "We'll have to figure out some way to survey land and grant title to it in . . . oh say square miles . . . call it two kilometers by two kilometers for metric types. If all those city folk come down from their towers and start farming, We'll spread out a hundred kilometers each way."

Ra'd nodded. "Pioneers . . . We should try to keep up as much of our modern tech as possible. I wish we had electrical power." A memory of gazing across the crowns of trees at Main Accounting. Those black squares . . . solar power? I'll go back and ask. It would be nice to be able to charge batteries, even though it can probably barely power its own building.

 
 
 
(Anonymous) on May 4th, 2017 04:40 am (UTC)
Name slip Ra'd/Nick.

Without the earlier Ra'd and Nick scene where Ra'd renames his little twin, how's the name change go?
(Anonymous) on May 4th, 2017 04:41 am (UTC)
And that was Holly. Forgetting again to sign my name, of course.
matapampamuphoff on May 4th, 2017 02:13 pm (UTC)

It was easy enough to shed the team that was after him.

Pathetic. Their spell net was weak, their blocking shields obvious, with plenty of gaps. No real Speed, limited range of magic, no counterspells. Apart from the one fellow. He had serious depth behind good solid shields. Even I nearly took him for an ordinary high Oner.
Ra'd. He knew my old name.

Could he really be from a different One World?

A Wild Card that will break, for better or worse, this fugitive existence we live in?

Nick touched the little vial in his pocket. He could feel the spells. Healing, among other things. Dare I use it? Of course I do. I have nothing to lose.

He veered into a grocery store, picked up a few staples, a gallon jug of red wine. Dilute it enough for the healing spells to still work and the other spells, whatever they are, to hopefully not be deadly.

The cash card he'd picked up from the table in front of the agent worked, and showed an impressive balance. He hustled out the door and took a twisted path around to where he could see the grocer . . . all quiet.

So . . . no tracer on the card? Or are they stringing me along?
Or was he telling the truth? He knew my name. Knew those names.
He shoved those thoughts away and took a new route home. They'd been here longer than he felt comfortable with. But . . . he stepped into the back room. Gamer's face was flushed with fever, her eyes half closed and not focusing. He tried to ignore the odors. Failed. Feces and gangrene.

"Oh Gamer. I should kidnap another doctor." It's too late for even a top hospital to save you. You'll be gone in hours. My little sister. Qamar ibn Nicholas ibn Victor. You should be a queen, not a criminal, in this hideous future we've landed in.