Saturday, May 5, 2018

Page 1729

((Triple Saturday -- Page 2 of 3))
Hector supposed that would do. It would put Leo near enough to Warrenhold to be checked up on relatively easily--but not so near Warrenhold as to clash with the Rainlords.

Hector still had no clue how he was going to explain all of this to them yet--or for that matter, what the hell he was going to do with Leo in the long-term. It didn’t seem like a good idea to try to keep up this lie indefinitely, but he also wasn’t seeing much other choice than to do precisely that.


Soon enough, Hector saw the edge of the climate-controlled zone in the distance and decided to stop walking. “Alright,” he said, “we’ll part ways here.” He materialized a small iron plate with the numbers and letters of the address imprinted into it. After checking to make sure he’d gotten it right, he handed the plate off to Leo.

Leo squinted at it. “This is a little hard to read, dude.”

“Well, I don’t have pen and paper on me,” said Hector.

Leo just looked at him, not saying anything.

Hector almost preferred the more chatty Leo. These silences were unsettling. He figured he should just push on. “Get your reaper, and take him to that address,” said Hector. “I’ll meet you there in a couple weeks.”

“A couple weeks?” said Leo. “That long?”

Hector would’ve liked to have said a couple months. Or years. Or centuries. “...I want to give you plenty of time to get there. In case you... run into any trouble getting back to the surface on your own.”

“Ah... yeah, that could be tough, huh? A’ight, man. Couple weeks. And then you’ll gimme a proper job?”

“...If that’s what you want.”

Leo gave a nod. “Oh, it is, daddy-o. Felt like an unproductive lump o’ dooky, lately, so it’d be real nice to feel like I’m contributin’ to a good cause, y’know?”

“...Alright. I’ll see you in two weeks, then.” And Hector waited, but when Leo didn’t move, he added, “You head out first.”

Leo smirked. “Heh. Wantin’ to make sure I don’t try ‘n follow you, huh?”

“...Yes,” said Hector flatly. “But also... Sai-hee’s looking for you, not me. You should get out of the city as soon as possible.”

“Mighty thoughtful of ya.” Leo’s smirk grew into a full smile. “Got a good feelin’ about you. Somethin’ tells me you’ll make a good boss.”

Hector very much doubted that, but he hoped to the goddess Cocora that it would somehow be true.

He watched Leo go, ambling into a wall of people and then disappearing from view.

At length, Hector finally allowed himself a sigh of utter exhaustion. He found the nearest wall and leaned against it for support. His body was trembling all over. His stomach was so empty that each breath was a reminder of how long it had been since he’d eaten, and his muscles were so tired that he was considering just flopping onto the ground and not getting back up again.

And now, both of those feelings were accompanied by a lovely dose of existential dread. Somehow, the future looked simultaneously full of potential and also horrifying beyond words.

...How ya doin’ there, pal?’ came Garovel’s public voice.

Hector looked up to see Garovel and Voreese hovering there in front of him. “...I’ve been better.”

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