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26 September 2017 @ 11:36 am
_Girl Trip_ 4  

:: Surely Bogra had a hospital. It's just, what ten kilometers north. So . . . oh, he's walking south to sell the Bag in Kolkatta, right? ::

:: Right. Those aren't new injuries, they're healing poorly, probably because of malnutrition. Poor sod. Well, that Bag will buy him all the medical treatments he wants, with enough left over for a very comfortable retirement. ::

:: Neat! :: Ryol closed her eyes, then sat up, eyes very wide open. "Aunt Rael!" Swallow. :: There's two people in the Bag. ::

:: Alive or dead? ::

Rael suppressed a giggle at the girl's look of horror.

She firmed her mouth and shut her eyes. Slumped in relief. :: Alive. Sleeping. Want me to get them out? ::

:: Not in the car! :: Rael frowned. :: Let's get to a hospital first. They may need more care than this guy. ::

:: Because they haven't come out? Aunt Ra . . . I mean . . . Mom . . . Umm . . . Who is that guy in the back seat? ::

:: He's not of the One. There no connection at the deepest level. But he's got a bit of a glow, so he's a Halfer. ::

:: That's more glow than most of the Halfers I know have. :: Some uncertainty in her mental voice.

Poor kid! Only Halfers she knows are the servants.

:: Some Halfers have a lot of insertions, and I'll bet this guys is one of them. ::

:: How does that happen? ::

:: Umm . . . ::

:: Yes, I do know where babies come from. So some Halfer or Multitude woman wants a powerful child, so she seduces a Oner. ::

Rael nodded. :: The strongest one she can find. So Halfer boys don't get the Oner X chromosome—unless the Halfer Mother has one, and then it's a fifty-fifty chance—but even the child of a Multitude might have one complete set of insertions. ::

:: Wow. I hadn't thought about it that way. :: She eyed Rael. :: What about Comet Fall genetic engineering? Can they put the power genes in? ::

:: Yes. If it ever becomes legal here . . . it'll be the next social revolution. Even Comet Fall isn't all magicians. ::

:: Yeah, that's what Master Xen says. Umm, so does this count as him kidnapping a couple of Warriors? ::

:: Oh, let's just call it rescuing, and we'll just make sure the bag doesn't wind up in a museum somewhere, unopened. :: Rael started grinning. :: Hey! Unless those are this guy's buddies that he's trying to help, you've done it. Saved some . . . umm not necessarily Warriors. But if there are soldiers in there, I hope they're from the Islamic Army. The Chinese Imperial troops had a bad reputation. ::

"I am going to absolutely ace Social Studies and History."

Chapter Seven

Lucky Dave woke to the smell of charcoal and curry.

The car wasn't moving, the windows were down.

He propped himself up. A roadside stand, strip of stands. The roofs of a more substantial town beyond. No doubt bypassed when this nice smooth highway was built. Enough traffic for a few entrepenuers, not enough to have attracted a lot of businesses.

The two redheads were hustling back from behind the stands, and brightened when they spotted him sitting up.

Damn. This is where I get dropped off.

The girl bounced up, curly red hair bobbing.

"Hey are you hungry? And there's umm, umm . . . "

"Facilities." The mother put in. "Do you need help?"

"Yes." And you'll be gone by the time I get back, but maybe I can catch another ride.

It took a bit of maneuvering to get him out of the car, but he felt stronger, just for whatever that was he'd drunk. Hobbling was still . . . The mother handed the crutch to the daughter.

"Bring this." Then she pulled his left arm around her shoulders, and wrapped her arm around his ribcage. Lean as hard as you need." And she half carried him around the end of the strip to well, something better than he'd expected. Solid walls he could lean on.

At which point she thankfully abandoned him.

Actual paper towels. He wet a couple down, shifted his grip and hopped over to take care of the basics and then apply the paper towel to a portion of his anatomy in desperate need of cleaning.

Made it back to his feet. Hopped to the sink and took off his shirt. A quick glance, then he pulled the handles out and opened them enough to grab the hygiene kit. Tiny nub of soap left. He washed head to waistline.

He looked down at his leg. More staining and dampness. No odor of gangrene but I must see a doctor. Very soon. Oh God . . . I probably will be able to see a doctor soon. So I won't unwrap it now.

Dried off with his old army shirt. Native shirt back on, and handles back in the narrow inside pocket he'd sewn. Ha! All those preps I made, while moaning about my stupid optimism. They're paying off now, aren't they?

He grabbed the crutch and hopped very carefully around the end stand.

Damn. No money for food. I'll have to chew goat jerky while I figure out how to hitch another ride.

Two more hops . . . the women were still there. Laughing at their own attempts to order food, with a rather perplexed rasoiya.

They spotted him and trotted over to help.

"Excellent! A translator." The Mother grabbed him again—Damn she's strong—and hauled him up to the booth.

Three chicken curries with fresh peas, and naan, hot from the grill.

It was to die for, especially when the spices hit on the third bite.

Then back to the car and off.

Luck indeed. I will be in Calcutta by nightfall. Then we'll see what has happened in the last thousand years.

The girl was looking at him, worried. "Sir? We have some, umm, magic medicine, but it can harm you if you're too weak."

Dave eyed her. Kidding me or potions, because they can't do magic themselves? Have they enslaved the magicians, to make medicines for them? He had a brief flash of imagination, Heroic Dave freeing the slaves! Something to live for, in a conquered world. Couldn't help but snicker. Sorry, not in shape to be a hero this week. Maybe next.

"Well I certainly need healing, but I suspect your medicine is for colds and influenza."

Giggles from both of them. The car pulled over and stopped.

"I'll get it out of the trunk. More boost as well."

He craned his neck but couldn't see what she was doing.

She came back into sight with an open bottle of boost. Pink colored.

"I only put a little in. As injured as you are the main side effect ought to be brief, but you may feel quite drunk."

He took the bottle, and tried a tiny sip.

It tasted like a rather good red wine, which was quite odd if this was really boo . . . then a tidal wave of spells hit him like an electric shock. He threw a glance from mother to daughter uncertain which of them to grab . . . then the flush of heat ebbed and settled in his shoulder and shin . . . "I don't hurt!"

"Good stuff, eh? Let it work for a bit, and make sure it's not depleting your energy too badly."

Dave screwed the cap back on the bottle and placed it in the holder. "I feel good. I . . . " he paused to try and get his Hindi accent back. "I feel good."

The redheads got back into the car. "We ought to be in Kolkatta in another five hours, give or take traffic once we get closer." The Mother started the car again, waited for a truck to pass, and pulled out onto the road.

Lucky Dave leaned back . . . wiggled his shoulder a little . . . a faint pain. He reached for the bottle and took a bigger swallow. Deep breaths through that lust . . . side effect? Ha! Bet there's a black market for it. Capped the bottle and set it down.

He leaned back and closed his eyes.

I should stay awake, maybe they'll start discussing history and just happen to mention the date.

But his luck didn't seem to influence these two. Or else I'm just too weak.

After a few minutes silence, the woman spoke. "Actually I ought to call . . . someone about how much I can spend buying something."

The girl snickered. "I guess spending government money means you need permission. But you're a trusted Agent. Surely they . . . Director Urfa?" The girl's voice squeaked a bit at that last. "Trusts you."

"He does. But he prefers to not be surprised."

Oh. Shit. Mom's a government agent.

I can't let them have the Commander.

His guts clenched and his heart chilled. I will do whatever I need to do to keep him safe.

Or out of enemy hands. God help me.

muirecan: Withersmuirecan on September 27th, 2017 01:54 am (UTC)
This is going to be so "fun" when he attempts to take the ditzy red heads.