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The early morning after the dance, Wolfgang was not as ill as before, and managed to put his gear together without too much supervision. He was still rattled enough by his transformation that he gave the barest of arguments when he was not allowed to pack his sampling kits. I honestly think it was a spinal reflex, but he knew the mountains about us. This was to be a trail trek, and he knew the drills from home. We would pack the barest minimum needed, for even if we were to be horseback, there could be the need for us to carry our own gear.

Yes, I am able to camp in the rough. I do not enjoy it - no one from home does, except perhaps Sparks and truly unbalanced people. The Wastelands are a dangerous place, where survival of the fittest includes things that escape from laboratories and rampaging mobs. No, it takes something very important to venture into the Wastelands, and it is usually done in large, very well-armed groups, or swift courier packs - never alone. I have trained with both, as have most of the group here. Captain Veles found me in the stable, checking the straps on the rifle scabbard and saddlebags. "Hyu going to be hokay?"

"I am not a fainting townie. You know that, even if I have not shown that here." I paused before turning to him. "I have to go. Griggs is not here. Amarantis has her hands full with school and the newcomer thinking he is Jeremiah. Mother and Augustus have their duties, and the other... it is too early to share that link. He needs a bloodline link with him." I shut my eyes, "...just in case."

He took me by the shoulders, "Hyu vill keep him zafe, hyu iz der mozt dangerouz creature in de forezt - a mother." His grin faded, and he continued, "Hy haff to tell hyu. Herr Baron, he told me to not zay ennyting. Vun zecret Hy keep, dun vorry - iz a nize surprize, bot de other hyu needz to know. There iz a verevolf hunter out there. Hy tink Hy got hiz scent, but not for schure. Only name Hy got vaz McGee. Ve ask der scheriff on der trail out, ja?"

"We?"

"Ho, ja - Herr Baron und Mazter Gil are packing now. Greegar, Maxim und Hy are on guard detail mit hyu."

I rubbed my eyes, tired from lack of sleep. "The Baron knows how to pack for the courier runs, the question is - did anyone tell him about the trails we would be following?"

"Hrm... no?"

I led the horse from the stable and spotted the wagon. I sighed, "Oh, ye cogs and flywheels, that man... if he does not have his camping gear separate on his horse, I do not think the sheriff will wait for him... and neither will I."

"Heh. Now, dot iz onfair. Herr Baron iz de Oldt Campaigner. Hyu knowz he vould chust haff hiz Scientifik Zuppliez un dot vagon, nut hiz bedrollz. Haz nut bin dot long zinze he traffelled mit der Mazterz."

Wolfgang brought his packs to the stable then. Keeping my voice low, for all the good it would do, I replied, "I know, I am just... nervous."

Veles helped Wolfgang with his packs, and continued, "Ja. Ja, notting wrong mit dot. Giffz hyu de etch." He watched Wolfgang mount up and head to the plaza. "Hyu iz nut alone, hey?"

I stopped fiddling with the buckles and climbed into the saddle. "I know, and thank you."
frau_lowey: (Default)
The news from Sheriff Ortegea was not entirely unexpected. He told me there was a possibility we might need to travel soon, but that Wolfgang might need to be restrained the night of the full moon. Despite my experience in dealing with out-of-control subjects, I have to admit, none of them were family. He has been evasive concerning what might happen, this full moon, and I had to restrain myself from using the stick on him. I have no idea if Lycans are as durable as Jägerkin when it comes to emphatic discussions.

It was a bit of a relief to discuss the situation with Captain Veles at last. "Of COURSE you should have told me, it is not as if I could not see something was WRONG, and FOR THE LOVE OF OFF-SET CAMS I OWE GENIE A DOZEN CHICKENS BUT SHE WILL NOT ACCEPT THEM!" At the last, the broom-handle shattered on Veles's shoulder.

Amarantis lighted on the ledge outside the window of my office just in time to see the end of the broom bounce off the casement. She waited to see if I was calm before opening the window, as Veles asked, "Hokay, hyu gotz dot out uf you zyztem, ja? Hyu going to be hokay for now?"

I nodded, "Yes, thank you." It is not often I lose my temper, and thankfully he understands when I do.

Amarantis checked my hands over for damage before saying, "Mama, it isn't as if we hid anything from you, it is just that we did not know for certain."

I scrubbed at my face, frustrated. "I know, but everyone being so careful not to say anything around me, and knowing the tales from home..."

"Ja, vaz to keep hyu from vorrying," Veles said as he picked the splinters out of his hair. "Not to mek hyu opzet. Zumtimez dhese tingz dun vork az vell az ve plan." He picked his beret up from the chair and dusted it off, and settled it on his head. "Der scheriff sayz he haz a plan, vun dot iz less draztic dhan der schtuff Dr Mason zuggested."

"Yes, Dr. Mason... I do wish we had more information on this new 'Jeremiah', though he is not at all like the other incarnations." I straightened my desk and picked up the stray bits of broken china.

"Ho, de antelope guy - he don't schmell like de schtuff Sawyer left, not to any uf der boyz. He alzo dun schmell like der ting dot kidnapped Koen eidder." Veles looked over to Amarantis as he used the broken broom to sweep up the rest of the detritus.

Amarantis shook her head, "I had a look over him while he was delirious, Papa. You and the boys are right - that is not Zaideh. He is not the Jeremiah the sheriff remembers either." She shrugged, "I don't know who he is, but he has been messing with some pretty strong stuff. I am going to need his cooperation to find anything of his past." The mantling of her wings must have been unconscious, as she seemed surprised she brushed the vase of roses. Steadying the vase, she added, "I will check in with the sheriff and let him know, and make another patrol before going to bed."

I nodded as Veles dumped the last of the broken bits and the broom-end in the dustbin, "You are still staying at the lab?"

"Safer than leaving the place empty, and the aetheric transmission antenna is there. If Father calls with anything else for Wolfie, I will let you know." With that she tumbled out the window and glided down to the city hall front doors.

I watched her enter the building and sensed Veles watching as well. "Sche vill be hokay, und zo vill Volfgang, vith der scheriff'z help," he said.

"From your lips to the Builder's ears," I murmured in response.

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frau_lowey

July 2012

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