Log in

No account? Create an account
25 September 2017 @ 08:10 am
_Girl Trip_ 3  

The results felt all right, and didn't look hideous in the tiny mirror.

Then there was the native garb . . . and shoes. He had no shoes but his old army boots. Boot. The right one was probably somewhere in the bubble. The left one . . . perhaps it was sufficiently battered to not be identifiable. Loose pants, loose tunic shirt. It would have to do.

He bundled his ragged uniform back into the Bag and pulled out both the crutch and the cane.

Maybe if he used the crutch one the left side, and his right hand could manage the cane enough to help his balance . . . Little hops, just tiny . . . he put a bit too much weight on the cane and pain shot up his whole arm and exploded in his shoulder.

He managed to not fall down. He stood quietly until the pain died down. Weight on the crutch. Hop. Hop.

"Oh damn it all. Crawling is faster. Hell. Finger walking is faster."

Light from behind, lighting him briefly. A very quiet motor car passed him, left him in darkness. The red lights brightened as it stopped down the road.

Could I actually get a ride? Without being turned over to possibly hostile authorities? My Hindi isn't very good . . .

Chapter Four Hitchhiker

"Aunt Rael! That man has a bag!"

Rael hit the brakes. "The old cripple? Hmm, Bet he found it and is hoping to get filthy rich selling it. He could too. Let's go see—and not a word about Bags until we check him out."

She put the car in reverse. "Good thing we took a fleet car. Mine does have enough of a back seat to mention."

She stopped beside the . . . beggar?

She stepped out and eyed him in the dim light. Not as old as I thought. Injured, not crippled. Feels like a low Halfer, not much glow. "Do you need a ride? Umm, savaaree? Jarurat savaaree?"

"I speak English. Yes . . . I walk to find doctor. Hospital."

"Well." Getting a whiff of unwashed male, Rael almost wished she hadn't stopped . . . "Let me help you get in . . . "

Ryol bounced out to open the back door . . . and back off, one hand going to her face.

The man lurched awkwardly, a crude splint on the right leg, and a right arm obviously not right.

"Oh my, umm, back in, sit and I'll help you scoot the rest of the way in . . ."

Chapter Five

Thank God! Two ditzy redheads!

The older one was strong and knew how to help him. The younger one was quite young, once he got a look, and even on the cusp of adulthood strikingly beautiful, managed to help maneuver his splinted leg in as he scooted in, the mother with a solid grip on both sides of his ribcage lifting and pulling.

Then the young one was scampering to the back of the car for a blanket to use as a cushion as he leaned back against the door.

A cold bottle pressed into his hands., something labeled "boost." Slightly sweet, slightly salty. Electrolytes. Exactly what I need. Well, fruit and veggies maybe. Or this chocolately looking bottle . . . Milk and who knows what. If it's got vitamins added, it's all good.

The mother leaned in and popped out a tray with circular depressions. Placed another bottle of boost in one.

"Do you have a regular doctor?"

A shake of his head. "I need a hospital." Careful! Keep the accent and cadence right! I'm just a nice honest Hindu fellow, had an accident, having trouble getting to a doctor.

"Umm, yes. We're headed for Calcutta, umm, Kolkatta. Shall we take you there?"

"Yes. Dhanyavaad. Thank you. I feared I would not ever get there."

Then both redheads were in the car and it moved smoothly off. It was enough to make him cry. In a few minutes they covered as much ground as he'd hoped to cover today. In an hour, they'd cover a month or two's painful progress.

He leaned his head back and tried to relax. To think. Analyze . . . a heavy solid feel to the car. Rich, prosperous. A safe world where two women would give a ride to a ragged stranger.

The girl was talking now, all about the great pictures she'd gotten for some school project.

But the accents! Speaking English, but the faint Spanish flavor, and a few Spanish words, here and there added to the vocabulary. Damn it all! Greater Argentina must have waltzed in and beaten both the Union and the Chinese Imperium after we'd torn each other apart. Nick had said that was what he'd do, if he was one of them.

So . . . what will they do with an enemy soldier, a thousand years later?

Oh dear God. What will they do to Nick, if they get their hands on him!

And how long has it been, anyway?

Well, not going to ask, that's for sure.

Once I'm in Calcutta, I can check a newspaper for the date. Once I'm in a hospital . . . I'll have to pass out, so I'm not answering awkward questions about who I am and how I'm going to pay for my treatment . . .

He cracked an eye and pondered the short red hair of the driver. Damn it . . . could I persuade her to pay? Mental manipulation is . . . damn it. Beyond my capacity on a good day. But maybe I can do my subtle thing. My Luck. C'mon Lady, be exactly what I need, a charitable rich gal.

He closed his eyes and pretended to sleep . . . really I need to stay awake and not . . .

Chapter Six

"Wow. My pix turned out really well. Perfect for my report." :: Eww! He's disgusting! What are we going to do. ::

Rael grinned. "I think your teachers will be impressed." :: Drop him at a hospital. Hover solicitously, and when the matter of paying for treatment comes up, perhaps we can offer to buy the Bag. ::

"I hope so. I really want to get top grades. Maybe even beat Arno's." Ryol cast a dubious look backwards. "I think he's asleep."

"Good we'll stop for an early lunch and get some real food into him . . . I've got some stuff I can give him, but it's dangerous to give it to someone with seriously depleted resources."


:: Hush. No matter how isolated, he'll have heard about the joy juice. Salacious rumors travel at five times the speed of facts. ::

"Mind you, he was on his feet and stumping along. I suppose there's bus service . . . " Rael trailed off uncertainly. "Well, I don't really know, I've never been here before. But there are good modern hospitals in Kolkatta. We'll get him into the hands of some good doctors and then head home."

Ryol glanced back again. :: Get the car cleaned! ::

"We're less than five hundred kilometers from Kolkatta. We'll get there this evening, without even pushing the pace."

"Oh good. Because that guy really needs help. I can't believe he was walking to find a hospital."

(Anonymous) on September 25th, 2017 01:59 pm (UTC)
That wouldn't be Nicholas would it? IIRC, wasn't that the name of Ra'ad's father?

Also, with Ryol being able to "sense" what's inside the bags, shouldn't she be able to sense the people in this one?
matapampamuphoff on September 25th, 2017 03:00 pm (UTC)
Re: Nick
Yep, that's Nicholas.

And yes, Ryol's about to sneak a peek.
mbarkermbarker on September 26th, 2017 01:02 am (UTC)
Re: Nick
Dun...dahdahdun DUN!!!!