Saturday, February 10, 2018

Page 1526

((Double Saturday -- Page 1 of 2))
“I intended to, anyway,” said Jercash, eyeing Germal. Zenia spoke the words that were on his mind.

“I didn’t know you had medical training, Mr. Germal,” she said. “Oh, or should I call you Dr. Germal?”

“Just Germal is fine,” he said.

“Do you have any other hidden skills?” said Jercash.

“Oh, a few. As I’m sure you do.”

Jercash thought he sensed reluctance. “You don’t wish to tell me about them?”

“This hardly seems like the time or the place, wouldn’t you agree?”

Jercash wasn’t so sure that he did. “As your superior, it would be quite helpful if I knew the full extent of your capabilities.”

Germal bobbed his head to the side a little. “That is understandable. Very understandable, indeed. But I am not sure Gohvis would appreciate me saying too much.”

“Oh, well, if he gets mad, you can just tell him I forced it out of you.”

Germal paused, that blank-yet-friendly expression still perfectly guarding his thoughts, as usual.

Jercash wondered if he was privately consulting Nerovoy.

“Hmm,” Germal eventually said. “If you insist, sir, then I suppose I cannot refuse. My fields of expertise are psychology, neurology, and medicine.”

“Mm. Anything else?”

“Oh, I’m also an expert deliveryman, if that counts.”

“Quite the curious skill set you’ve got.”

“Perhaps. But such is life, no? We go through the doors that open, wherever opportunity takes us.”

Jercash wanted to keep prodding, but he couldn’t think of any other relevant questions.

Would you mind if Germal and I took the girl somewhere to rest?’ said Nerovoy.

“You’re that concerned about her?” said Jercash.

A bit, yes. But I was also thinking Germal wouldn’t be much use to you here with his hands full.’

Jercash wanted to refuse for some reason he couldn’t articulate, but he caught himself and decided to cool it with all this irrational suspicion, for now. He knew only too well about the dangers of paranoia for servants his age. He wasn’t going to end up like his mentor. “Alright. Report back to me by midnight.”

Yes, sir.

He watched them go.

When Koh turned to join them, however, it tickled his distrust again.

“You,” said Jercash with force. “You stay with me, Koh. I’d still like to get to know you better.”

The dog looked at him, then at Germal’s shrinking back, then at him again. For a second, Jercash thought the dog might disobey him. But he stayed.

“Good boy,” said Jercash.

Koh had no reaction to that.

Jercash tilted his head at him. “Do you like being treated like a dog? Or does it annoy you?”

Koh just snorted.

“I don’t know what that means. Seriously, tell me if you don’t like it right now, or I’m just gonna keep doing it. I’m very much a dog person, you see.” His own words made him crack up. “I mean, not as much as you, obviously! But you get my point, right?”

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