"That's whut he was talkin' 'bout, Often? That's why he was all bad-moody? B'cause yew bumped inter him?" It was the next morning, and Often was only half awake. After the bounty hunter left, the sheriff introduced herself as Chandra Indrani and told him to sleep off all the booze he had been drinking. He protested, but she reminded him of what her position was and that she could have him put in a jail cell for the night instead.
Begrudgingly consenting, Often had picked up his shoulder-sling rucksack and went upstairs to his room above the bar, which he acquired about three months ago. About. That night he dreamt of his crew and his current predicament, being stranded on a desert planet. The terraforming process had been sabotaged. It was a lifeless moon beforehand, but he knew that Thor had made great strides in the past several centuries.
He awoke in the middle of the night, having been gripped by the nightmare of how he wound up in this bar, so he went downstairs to have himself a drink. Chandra had found him, several hours later, face-down on the countertop in a puddle of his own drool. She rolled her eyes and dumped a bucket of water on him. He awoke with a start, jumping up, tripping over his stool and falling to the ground. After helping him up, she ordered him some coffee, thinking she could get a sober conversation in with this cute stranger before he left, either by drink or by train.
"Why hello, good sir," she brightly said with a curtsie. He grunted. Undeterred, she cleared her throat and continued.
"My name is Chandra. Chandra Indrani. I run this town," pointing to the badge on her vest as she spoke. "It's a quaint little township and I aim to keep it that way. What business did you have with that man? If'n y'all dun mind me askin', o' course." He gave her a sideways look and drank from his mug. "It's the least y'all could do fer me savin' yer life, you know."
He sighed and stared at her. Putting his hand to an item on a chain around his neck, he told her his story of meeting Olivia, the beautiful woman with the short brown hair and blonde highlights, of meeting the bounty hunter, and how there really was no bounty. The man was just psychotic.
"That's whut he was talkin' 'bout, Often? That's why he was all bad-moody? B'cause yew bumped inter him?"
"He's a dumb man, then." She would have continued berating the bounty hunter if someone had not shouted a very derogatory remark about Russians in incredibly poor English. Chandra saw Often twitch at the comment, and then he went right back to drinking whatever happened to be in his mug now. She didn't know, she had been too engrossed in his story.
"Whut! No reac'shun? Well, mebbe he's hidin' under th' petticoats of that no good whore pretendin' ter be a man!" He said words that even Often, being a full-grown man, couldn't bring himself to say. In anger, Often crushed his glass by squeezing too hard. He stood up and slunk over towards the window to see what was going on.
Looking through the blinds, he saw the gruff man with the gold teeth. What he also saw caused him to rub his eyes and drop his jaw.
"Fiona!" he gasped. She had her hands bound behind her, her ankles bound, and she had was wearing a collar with a leash going from her neck to his hands. Rolling her over so she was lying on her side, he put a foot on her hip and rested on it as she cried into the dirt. Her waist-long red hair was strewn about, gathering dirt and dust and general filth. He punched the wall next to the window.
"Fiona? What? Who's Fiona?" Chandra asked, confused.
"Weren't you paying attention? Fiona's part of my crew! She's the RA's medic--and my friend. Next to Tuesday, I've known her the longest. She means a lot to me, and if he hurts her...." he trailed off, letting Chandra imagine what he might do to the man with gold teeth.
"I have to get her to safety. Chandra, you go around behind him. I'll distract him until you get there, and when I give the signal, incapacitate him," he took her shoulders in his hands, "by any means neccesary. I will not let him hurt her." He thought of Olivia, and how he failed her. She loved him, trusted him, practically adored him, and he let her down. He was a colossal failure. Her safety was the one thing he guaranteed her. That's the reason why she spoke up to him in the first place. Even though his ship was named Reckless Abandon, he made her feel safe.
Almost getting lost in his memories, he snapped back to the here and now. Fiona was in danger. Resisting the urge to drink some more--he had recently read a book written by one of the waiters at his saloon who's main character drank whenever he was feeling blue, with dire consequences--he ran up to his room and got his holster, which housed his prize-winning revolvers, Huginn and Munin. He ran down the stairs, taking them three at a time.
Reaching Chandra again, he told her the signal and then they looked into each other's eyes just before they parted. His telling her how urgent this situation was, and hers wishing him the best of luck. She took her black helmet off and gave it to him.
"Here, you might need this."
"Now, go get him," he said, putting the helmet on.
"Good luck," she whispered, as she ran off.
Often kicked open the swinging doors and stepped out into the street. He stood at the bottom of the stairs onto the wooden sidewalk. Glaring at his opponent, Often cursed in Russian and then demanded to know what he wanted with Fiona.
"Jest a li'l lovin' is all. She's so pretty, see. Et's been f'rever since ah've been wit' a woman, ether way," he said, grinning his solid gold grin. "Once ah kill yeh, we'll go back to me hideout an' make us a baby!" While he was laughing, Fiona screamed and Often ran up to him, drew back a fist, and punched as hard as he could in a donward arc, knocking a couple golden teeth out as their mouth came into contact with both a fist inside a spiked glove and, a few seconds later, a stone on the ground.
"Пойдите в Хэль, ублюдок." <"Go to Hel, bastard."> Often bent down and picked up Fiona, spit on the bounty hunter's forehead, and just before he turned to walk away, was tripped, sending Fiona flying across the street and Often down into the dirt. Before the man with a few less gold teeth now could do anything with his gained advantage, Often was back on his feet and between both Fiona and her assailant.
Staring each other down, they both had their hands just above their guns at their waists, ready to draw at any second. Chandra entered Often's line of sight behind their opponent, and for a fraction of a second, he flinched. Глупый!
But it was too late, the man with the golden smile whipped out his pistol and fired at Often. It seemed to take forever for his bullet to reach Often; and when it did, it clanged harmlessly against Often's forehead, covered by Chandra's helmet, and ricocheted off into the sky.
It had caught Often off guard, having been expecting his chest to be riddled, and it knocked him right off his feet. He fell backwards into the dirt, but before he even reached the ground, the owner of the bullet had recieved a replacement, as well as three extra. Chandra decided to store them in his back, so he wouldn't lose them. Both Often and the man with the gold teeth hit the ground with dull thuds. The only difference is that while the man's back ached (to put it lightly) on the way down, Often was hearing a very loud ringing sound. He decided that he'd have to talk to Chandra about that.
When Often awoke, he wasn't in the street anymore. He wasn't wearing his coat anymore. Niether was he wearing the silly alarm bell ringing helmet, nor his holsters, boots or anything else that could be considered dirty. So in a freshly bought pair of underwear, he sat up and looked around. He noticed his clothes, neatly folded, on a chair across the room. And while he was focusing on the room, he saw a bureau, a closet, a mirror with loads of makeup cases and perfume bottles on the dresser beneath.
Looking down, he saw that he was sitting in a bed. A foreign bed. Then he realized that there were two women standing in the doorway, watching him inventory his new surroundings.
"So, how often do y'all find yerself in a foreign bedroom in th' mornin', anyhow?" said a voice with a distinguishable drawl. "Ah bet it's ev'ry night o' th' week," she went on with a giggle and a wink. "Now, ah'll let y'all catch up." And with that, Chandra left the room, closing the door behind her.
Fiona ran up to Often and they embraced each other for a long time. When they finally let each other go, Often told her to turn around so he could get dressed. They talked as he did.
"So cap'n. It's been quite some time. I've missed you so much," she gave him a tight hug from behind after he slid his shirt over his lithe body. "We've all missed you."
"I 'ave missed all of--vait, all? Who else vas vith you?" Often turned around as fast as he could, hoping against hope that she was there, alive and well. Odin knows he couldn't live if he knew she came to harm. He just could see no point in it. Her eyes brightened and she gave him a beaming smile.
"Cap'n, we're all there. All in the township of Deluxe 116. Marcus, Jones, Tuesday and Olivia. They're all alright. After what happened, the ship only broke into two piec--" and before she could continue, Often snapped on his pilot's goggles, buckled his boots up, adjusted his mantle to look just the right amount of adventurous, and started heading for the exit.
"Chandra!" He called, coming upon her by surprise in the living room. She looked at him quizzically after hearing her name. "Suit up. Ve're heading for D. 116."
"D. 116? What's there?"
"My friends. My family. My life. My crew. They all are still alive. You 'ave no idea 'ow 'appy that is making me," Often said, beaming.
Not even ten minutes later, the trio took off towards the township of Deluxe 116.
09 January, 2013
Rereading all of these old posts really is cringe-worthy for me. I'm rather embarrassed by exposing myself to such a degree, but then I realize that you can get a sneak peek on all the posts for both this and next week if you can find my nanowrimo livejournal (no hotlinks for you) from back in the day, which doesn't really help anything, but whatever. I'm not really feeling up to commentary today. Enjoy the third bit, "Shootout".