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15 May 2017 @ 07:21 am
_Scrambled_ part 22  
 

The PC turned to his body guards. "Stop them! Shoot the first one who tries to . . . "

As the two guards lifted their guns, Ra'd stalked forward, dropping his shields to show his diamond hard power.

"Don't even think of doing that." The guards backed off blinking, shaking their heads.

"Who the One Hell do you think you are?" The Prime Councilor glared.

"I am Ra'd ibn Nicholas ibn Emre. This," Ra'd held up a rusty double rod, "is my father's bag of the prophets, and you . . . " swoop "are in it."

He turned and faced the guards. "You want him back? Come with me."

***

"Well. That worked." Ebsa kicked back and popped a soda. Saluted Ra'd. "Now how are we going to get the Earthers to behave?"



Chapter Nick

Day 12

Nick eyed the delegation, and turned to look behind him. "Karima? Go find Enuf, tell him there are people here who want to buy gasoline. We'll be in the bar."

He looked back at the Guards. My enemies. Except . . . this batch always thought before they shot. And never shot at me. And then there's Dipper. "Come up, then, and we'll talk."

The black horses thought nothing of a mere meter's leap up to Rouge Street.

There were still ears laid back, but not pinned.

"The hormones must be wearing off."

Captain Ahco shot an exasperated look at the horses. "Sort of. Or maybe they've just learned to deal with it." They dismounted and tied the horses to the thin trees in front of the Red Zone Bar and Grill.

"Let's grab a table." Nick led the way inside. "And talk trade. Macy told us all about the coin making. A good idea, but someone or something has to guarantee its value or it is dead-on-arrival. So how are we going to do this?"

"Decide what we have that's needed by other groups?" Dipper was looking cautiously around.

Never been in a low class dive? "A reasonable place to start. I suspect you all know I'm Nick. Captain Ahco and Deip I've met."

"Princess Myyk and Lieutenant Ukhe. Ifki and Ojyc are out with the horses."

Nick caught the sound of motorcycles. Show offs.

Enuf, Yipper and Pits walked in. At least one of the others stayed outside, chatting with the guards out there. Approaching auras, childish voices. The kids have come to see what's going on. Must get some tables for the school and get that underway.

Ahco sat up and eyed the cans the Skinners were carrying.

Enuf didn't waste any time. "Twenty liters of gasoline. We want a horse."

Ahco blinked. "A . . . horse."

"Yep. Eventually we'll run out of gas and the bikes will be grounded forever." Enuf shrugged. "We want mobility, and that means we need horses. We'll start with one, see how it goes, how the prices . . . how the value of horses and gasoline vary."

"I . . . technically don't own those horses. The government does."

"I technically don't own the gasoline. I suppose if we get rescued, the value of the horses will drop like a rock, but I can get fuel for the bikes, so I won't want one any longer. Shall we start with twenty liters and one horse?"

Ahco sighed. "Right twenty liters for one horse."

Fuzzy stuck his head through the door. "We want the one they're calling Blotto."

Ahco raised his eyebrows. "Interesting choice. I wonder why?"

Pits laughed. "New View's out there looking at their auras. He must be the nicest one."

"Well, he was until he had some joy juice. Good reliable horse." Ahco put his elbows on the table. "Now let's talk about the value of a saddle and bridle . . . "

Once Enuf had departed to get another ten liters, Nick took the Guards across to the grasslands on the other side. They all cringed at the sight of the mare.

"She's healing." Nick hesitated, and didn't mention how very well she was healing, how much worse she'd been on the first day. "But she's still having trouble eating. The girls are chopping up grass and hand feeding her."

Half of those girls abandoned Blotto and climbed through the fence to hug Black Beauty. "She needs us!" "Don't take her away!" "We love her!" in a chorus.

Dipper looked at the girls petting the mare and shook her head. "I can't believe she survived that."

Ahco nodded. "Poor Zombie. Now she looks like her name."

Indignant denials from the girls, and repudiation of the name.

"You've got water pipes laid out to here?" Myyk turned on the faucet by the big bucket. "And good water pressure. How do you manage that?"

Nick grinned. "Oh, now there another thing to trade . . . I took a look at your water system . . . I can set you up with something much better that will use a whole lot less fuel . . . "

He loaded the truck with pipe—and Captain Ahco with his cans of gasoline—Marco and Abbas. Hakim and Zog were nowhere to be seen, but they were too young anyway.

By the time they had a well delivering water to the upper floors of all the apartment buildings, he ex-officially owned "Zombie" and was trying to figure out how to negotiate with the Ministry to supply water there.

"At the rate my relationship with Ijje is deteriorating, you really don't want me to help." Ahco shrugged. "The Minister is about healed, then we'll see if some sense has been knocked into his head."

"I won't hold my breath." Nick looked around. "I never ran the numbers. You have seventeen people to guard several thousand civilians?"

"I'm teaching them to hunt."

"Don't you have gardeners?" He looked up at the tall buildings. "Farm girls who moved to the big city? We need to share knowledge. And do you have a school? We've got a couple of hundred kids."

"Ninety-three. Mostly teenagers. Another thing I hadn't considered."

"We'll have to get a cross-grasslands school rivalry going. That I know of, the Earthers don't have any children."

"Do they have civilians?"

"Oh yes. Their Main Accounting building came through intact. Three hundred office workers, many old, a few in wheelchairs. Two security guards. Nice people actually. If your Minister trieds to attack them, I'll stop them."

On which threat, he climbed back into the truck and drove off.



 
 
 
mbarkermbarker on May 16th, 2017 02:05 am (UTC)
Minor fix for later...

If your Minister trieds to attack them, I'll stop them."

Too many them's in one place. If your Minister tries to attack them, I'll stop you? If your Minister tries to attack them, I'll stop him?