Similar to the short battle through Burns’ eyes, here two we simply hear his internal reflection on what Aurelia and the doctor are saying to one another. That prevents the “wall of text” of exposition which I hate so much.
Missed an update yesterday as I had guest over after work. Given the four Manhattans I had, anything coherent like posting was out of the question. After today, tomorrow, and Wednesday, I’ll be at the end of the Nova Scotia arc. I’m going to pause as I’ve written 38,000 words with no plot. That needs fixing.
In the meantime, I’ll be working on a plastic model of U-292. If anything interesting happens, I’ll toss it onto the blog.
There were two taps on the door.
“I was going to ask how you are feeling, Miss Hardt, but Mister Burns’ proximity to you seems to be answering my question,” Doctor Crittenden said with a faint smile. “Just what kind of tours do you provide guests, Jimmy?”
“Only the best, Doc,” he replied, standing and turning about.
Rather than just the green scrubs he wore in the Trauma Room, the doctor now also had a lab coat. He took a few steps and this time offered his hand.
“To be expected,” Crittenden said. He looked down at Aurie. “We need to talk. Shall I ask these two to leave?”
“I trust them with my life, so, no,” she replied while pressing a button to elevate her torso to about forty-five degrees. Jimmy resumed his seat under the window.
“You didn’t say your father was a doctor…” he began. Jimmy listened.
So. Both her parents are this demi thing. Ah: the empress is her aunt and many of her kids are, too. A formal rival was? And one in Russia?
“…said that shot was mostly epinephrine but refused to tell me more.”
“Family secret, Doctor,” she smiled at him. “Do go on.”
“Your control of your nervous system…”
She can turn her nerves on and off? I wonder if all that howling in my bed…
“Was quite serious, Jimmy,” Aurie said, interrupting herself without looking at him. “You made me feel great and I hope to do it again soon!”
The moment the topic moved away from her body, she shook her head.
“I am just a guest, a tourist in your land,” she announced. “And shall be departing tomorrow. Calm down, Jimmy. Forgive me if I cannot address cultural or political concerns. Perhaps when I return in an official capacity? We shall see.”
“So you see yourself returning?” the doctor asked.
“I hope so. Jimmy is great in bed.”
She just blurts shit like that out! He felt himself blushing as Crittenden laughed.
“What time did you plan to leave tomorrow?” he asked.
“Right after you check on me. The sooner the better, please.”
“Then I’ll be here at oh-seven-hundred. Have a good evening,” he said, letting himself out the open door.
“I need you,” she turned to look at Jimmy the moment he was gone, “to drive back to the spaceport and find my rifle. I’ll be in trouble if I lost it. After that, get us all something for dinner. It’s been a long time since breakfast. Colour? Can you crash at his place, after? I want him again tonight.”
“With IV’s in your arm?” she laughed.
“We’ll find a way.” She looked at Jimmy. “You’re still here? Shoo!”
He paused at the doorway.
“Aurie? Aurelia?” he asked. “What was that you said? That prayer or something, right before you jabbed your leg.”
When she didn’t immediately answer, he turned to look at her.
“Some of us, depending on our jobs, have, well, preprogrammed, I guess you could say, reactions into our lines.” It was obvious she was picking a careful answer. “What I did to the pirates? That wasn’t just the drug. I literally changed how I thought. And, this is hard for me, and I suppressed my moral reactions.”
She moved her eyes from him to the wall ahead of her.
“It makes killing much easier. To be a demon.”
He sighed and walked back to her bed and kissed her. For some time.
“I’ll be back with your gun and some food,” he said, leaving. “You two rest.”
Back onto the base, Burns immediately noted a large number of cars and trucks. The Mountie sergeant, Grady, had the lights flashing on the top of his SUV. It looked as if volunteers from the town were arranging the bodies on the parking lot. Coming closer, he saw a pile of weapons closer to the Assembly Building.
“Oh, and here’s Jimmy Burns,” Alvis said to Grady with a wave to him. “He and the other took the wounded girl to the hospital.”
“Mister Burns,” Grady said walking over to shake his hand, “can you tell me what the hell happened here?”
“As I’m sure Ben has already told you, about thirty pirates came ashore. One of the guests I was taking on a short tour of the base, um, stopped them,” Jimmy tried.
“That would be the one from Texas? What was her name?” he asked, looking at his small notepad.
“Miss Aurie Hardt.” I just lied to my country’s law enforcement. What am I doing?
“She’s still in hospital? Well, then, I’ll have to talk to her tomorrow,” Grady said. “Ben did say she looked in a pretty bad way.”
“Judging from this mess,” he continued, surveying the dead, rifle rounds to their chests, pistol bullets to the face, or throats missing, “I bet she’ll be there for a while.”
She’s leaving tomorrow morning. Why don’t I say that?
“Is that pile their weapons,” Jimmy asked.
“Yep. Have to keep it all as evidence,” the Mountie replied. “Speaking of, where’s a good place to store these for a day or two? I bet Halifax, at least, will want in on this.”
“Hmm,” Alvis thought, “let’s check out Building Three. It should have some spare room.”
Jimmy waited until they walked off before ambling to the pile of guns. A mix of ARs and AKs and a few pistols. One, off to the right, didn’t look like any of the others. Without a word, he picked it up and returned to his truck, setting it into the bed. A couple of the others watched him.
Tampering with evidence. Maybe theft? I won’t just lose my job, I’ll go to jail.
He climbed in and turned the motor over and drove back to his place. Parked in front of his house, he began to sweat.
“What the hell am I doing?” I guess I’m making dinner.