Dad was sitting in front of the TV. "These bloody idiots! Don't they have any sense at all! A mutual defense treaty with Stuttgart! And they're going to move a few hundred troops here! To "protect us" from the BudapestReborn troops."
Vlad shivered. "That's not good. In as much as we've only got about a hundred troops--the Fast Response Teams. And what, fifteen hundred police?"
"Including the clerks and the bureaucrats." Forty-one shook his head, and staggered a bit.
Dad's head whipped around and he lunged to his feet. " Danny? Look at me." He grabbed Forty-one's chin and turned his head to look at the skull plate. "Oh shit."
Vlad heard a sharply indrawn breath from his Mother.
"Yeah. The antibiotics aren't working but your boy thinks Dina's medicine might."
Reminded, Vlad turned to the kitchen and took the "special" bottle down from the high shelf.
Not much left, but that doesn't matter with this stuff.
He leaned and grabbed a bottle of red wine from the rack and his mother handed him a funnel.
Filled Dina's bottle, poured a bit back. Poured a glassful and took it out to Forty-one. "Danny, eh? I think I've known you all my life and you never let that slip."
"Don't get nosy, punk!" The old Cyborg took a sip. His eyes widened, and he took large swallow. Gasped for breath. "What is this stuff?"
"Axel says that so far, in analyzing it, they've found over three hundred separate operations, most of them antibiotic, anti-cancer, anti-parasite, general heath boosters . . . Ahem . . . and a strong aphrodisiac. And they're still trying to figure out what the rest do."
"Wow!" he staggered to the nearest chair and sat down, careful to not spill. "That's, that's dangerous . . . Wait." He pointed at the TV. "Did that guy just say they were going to beef up our police? Them? They don't know anything about us . . ."
Vlad swallowed. "They're going to take over. Those bloody stupid Councilmen are going to just let them walk in, get cozy, and then take over."
Mitty shook his head. "Vlad? Bring me a beer."
Vlad turned back to the kitchen. Mom had the bottles sealed and turned to the sink to wash the funnel. Licked her fingers and froze for a long moment.
Cleared her throat. "That's . . . quite an effect." She glanced at the staircase.
Dina had slipped down quietly, and was sitting on the stairs a quarter of the way up, arms around her knees.
"I can't believe we let little Dina drink this for a week!" She got herself under control . . . then shot a hungry look across the room at Dad.
Who yelled "Disidents! Who the hell are you to decide who's a disident? Already takiing action against would-be tyrannts? Who the ever fucking hell do you think you are going to arrest!"
"Red and Brown." Dina was wide-eyed and worried, on the steps. "They know Axel's dangerous. They know he's dangerous to them. He has to hide! I'll go pack his things!"
She slipped out the door, as Dad accepted a sip from Forty-one's glass. Then Mom plopped herself down in his lap . . .
Vlad set the beer down and turned back to the kitchen. A small clean jar to fill with that wine. And take them both with him as he grabbed Forty-one and steered him toward the door.
"I think they need some privacy. And I think you need to get back to the barracks and take a day off. See how you feel tomorrow. The jar has enough for two more days, if you dare. And I'll stash the wine bottle somewhere in the office."
"Die yam that's gooooood stuff."
"Maybe two days off. Or three."