Friday, October 15, 2004

Interludes: On the voyage back to Baltimus

Boze sat down beside Delphino, who sat staring out torwards the Flotsam Sea.
"Sea Hags," Delphino muttered. "The answer is out there somewhere..."
"That was just like old times, eh?" Boze said, trying to see what Delphino was looking at. Delphino chewed absently on a tentacle and grunted.
"On the slave ship, just you and me, sneaking still make too much noise you know. Not like when I first met you, you walked like a grael in iron boots. But you learned...still, they almost caught us. It was fun though. Felt like we were finally pulling our weight again."
Delphino glanced sideways at his companion. He didn't often talk this much for no reason, so he was starting to wonder what was up. He spit out the tentacle he had been gnawing on and chose a fresh one to chew for a bit.
"I mean, these guys we're with," Boze continued, "Barilas is a better navigator than I've ever sailed with, and Lynn...well, I didn't like him at first. He still complains too much if you ask me. But he's a deadly shot with that rifle of his, and he's picking up gunnery very quickly. And the two visitors are amazing warriors as well as talented individuals. And Wainwright...well, I hate to say it but he's a better fire mage than you are."
Delphino spat his tentacle and turned to look at Boze, his eye membranes nictating slowly and meaningfully.
"No, I know you've got more talent overall than him, and I doubt he'll ever learn any other elements, but he does seem to have a particular talent with fire magic," Boze grinned.
"The visitors are very single-minded when it comes to elementalism, I have noticed," Delphino allowed.
"Anyway, I'm just saying it was refreshing to be of some actual use for once. Maybe we do have a place with these people after all," Boze sighed.
"You thought not?"
"I don't know, I..." Boze trailed off for a bit. "I think I did something stupid, Delphino."
"Ahh." Now Delphino believed the conversation was coming to it's actual point. "Are you referring to the Kehana you murdered last night?"
Boze regarded him coldly. "I'd give a rat more consideration before exterminating it, you know that. I consider ridding the ship of kehana to be a beautification project."
"Yes. But some of the others don't understand. In particular the earthers seem to think it was...ghrbjpialjkj...what is the word...immoral? To kill a helpless victim?"
"If the captain and Edmund have a problem with putting down vicious animals, then they and I are never going to see eye to eye, and I may have to rethink my alliances. I hope not, because I am wondering if one them might not be the prophecied one..."
"Pllkjuiuhflkjfkmnvcnoiwyyu. You mentioned something you had done," Delphino said.
"It ties in. I...mated...while we were in port last."
Delphino's eyes nictated rapidly and he returned a tentacle to his mouth.
"Yes, I was stupid. I met this doreen named Sayed, and a female named Kendra. She wanted to mate with him, to repopulate our people. But he wouldn't. He started talking about how everything was pointless, how we were all going to die anyway and we might as well just accept it. He said there was no reason to do anything but sit and drink and to hell with the world and the kehana and everything else too. And it just made me so angry, I wanted to do the opposite of whatever he was saying. I wanted to believe that there was a point and we could make a difference and change things.
"So, I acted rashly, and I mated with her. The thing is...what if he's right? He doesn't even know the half of it...the world really IS doomed. What if we can't defeat the Hags? What if I have brought more life into this world only to see them die again?"
Boze punched the ship's rail, his hand impacting the wood with a solid crunch. "I shouldn't have done it," he grimaced. "I didn't even know her, don't care about her. If she does bear a child...I may not ever have time to see it. And I may have just brought another life into this world just to have it ended."
Delphino considered his words, chewing thoughtfully on his tentacle. The Doreen must be upset indeed, he thought, to open up so. In the years they had known each other, companions and perhaps friends, the Doreen had very rarely discussed anything but business. He had never even offered his name. Delphino suspected there was no-one left alive who even knew it anymore.
Boze shook his head. "You have to admit, the odds seem pretty slim we'll win, eh?"


Locnar said...

Good stuff Brad.

Delphino said...

Agreed... more food for the background I am working on...