One, I was right when I suspected Jimmy’s uncle won’t be much of an ally to him. Two, I think Jimmy is being just a little to much of a dick here, given his circumstances, but, then again, he doesn’t have much to lose.
Had to pause yesterday to do some research about the layout of Montreal. That plus a busy week at DayJob might limit my writing output. I hope not; this is getting good.
Enjoy my content? Buy me a beer!
Halfway there, they stopped at Truro for a bathroom break and to pick up some takeaway food. Never had someone watch me piss before. I want to say something but Ypres seems to know what’s up. Wonder how many of his relatives spent time in jail? Back on the road, Jimmy managed to doze off until abrupt breaking had him look up and out to see they were almost through Burnside and crossing the MacKay Bridge into Halifax. Off that, they turned southeast toward the old city center.
I wonder where they’re sticking me. Be ironic if it’s in the old citadel, but that’s just a museum now.
Across the street from the Old City Hall, Jimmy looked up at a brutalist building with the name Duke Tower out front. They went into a parking garage and down several levels. Out of the car, into an elevator with no indications of floors. Maybe up two? Pushed out into a barely illuminated hallway, he was ordered into a room to the left. A conference room about the size he’d been in the Canso hospital nearly a week ago. With no one else there and nothing to drink, he sat down. After some minutes, Jimmy closed his eyes.
The door opened.
“Uncle Rick!” he said, standing and smiling.
“Do you, nevvy,” the white-haired bear of a man growled, “have any idea of the barrel of flaming shit you are in right now?”
“I’m a now-and-then rocket tech. More often a lobsterman and crabber. As you once said to your sister, my mother, I’ll never amount to anything,” he said, sitting back down.
Richard Pickford, rumpled black suit and all, dropped into the chair across the table from his nephew and put his face into his hands.
“I’ve read the report. Reports are bullshit. Tell me what happened.” He lowered his hands, his eyes looking as if he’d not slept in days. “You let someone who, let’s not sugarcoat this, could be considered an Enemy of the State, wander around Nova Scotia for days. That’s treason.”
The large flatscreen on the wall immediately behind the angry man flickered a little.
“I’ve been on the road four hours. Water would be nice, Uncle.” Jimmy asked, not about to back down.
Pickford rose and left without a word, the door open. Hoping beyond hope, he let his eyes back up…
Their Walls are ludicrous, he read. Admit nothing. Be patient. Help comes in time.
The screen was dark and blank when his uncle returned with a bottle of water.
“There. Drink it then talk,” he ordered. “And what about this is worth smiling over?”
Because I’ve already won, you old fool.
“I was drinking at a tavern in Canso a few nights ago,” I will not involve anyone else if I can, “when a couple of women wandered in. Backpackers, they said…”
He admitted taking them home and sleeping with one. Didn’t sleep. Then the drive to the base and the pirates. Hospital. Revelation as to who the girl was. Jimmy stopped there.
“The UFO? I’ve seen the pictures.”
Crap. He explained that, too. Omitting their pledge to one another. Colour said Aurie must marry this year.
Pickford leaned back until Burns thought the chair would break. “The word they used is ‘regent,’ a placeholder until the empress gets back from wherever. Ottawa, which is pissed about all this, says one of the imperial armies is a day’s march from Montreal. That’s one. They were negotiating with the Northern Feds, who up until now had been quiet under our wing. That’s two. And finally, worse, we are face-to-face with them across the Ohio River.”
He threw his pen onto the table.
“And then you go and fuck this girl. Are you trying to start a war?” his uncle demanded again.
“She was amazing, Uncle Rich, and I’ll do it again,” he smiled.
“You won’t do bugger-all if you’re in prison! Or worse!”
“Uncle?” Jimmy tried very hard to take a neutral tone. Imagining Aurie’s demon-form helped. “You have mentioned treason. You just said I could be shot. What, exactly, do you think will happen here if Regent Princess Aurelia finds out what the government did? To me.”
“That,” the man finally seemed to deflate a little, “is what I am trying to prevent. The Premier wants all this to go away. But that means shipping you out tomorrow…”
“Send me to a work camp in Manitoba. The Russian Empire, their allies, can rescue me.”
“This is not fucking funny!” Pickford shouted, slamming his hand down onto the table. “Thousand could die!”
“And mostly Canadians. I hear the legionaries are pretty good.”
His uncle stood.
“You are already on their side. How long have we lived on this land? And you throw it all away for one night? You disgust me.” He walked to the door and whistled to someone. “Enjoy your night in the lockup.”