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A Dark And Hungry God Arises 27 - Angus [5]

 
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 14, 2021 8:35 pm    Post subject: A Dark And Hungry God Arises 27 - Angus [5] Reply with quote

Seeing his son Davies so distressed as to be curled tightly in a fetal position causes Angus to fret that Davies is too damaged to be of value to the Amnion. Which in turn leads Angus to worry that Nick won't be willing to trade Morn for Davies. Angus talks Milos into taking Davies from Trumpet's lift up to Milos' g-seat on the bridge.

Once he has Davies seated, Angus checks the communications log. He then plays back a message from the Bill threatening him with trouble if he doesn't help in finding out how Billingate's security got breached. Milos expresses fear that the Bill knows they took Davies (I find it interesting that even though we have been conditioned to disdain Milos, he still manages to speak for us, and the questions we have, in chapters like this one) but Angus assures him the Bill's would be having Trumpet's airlocks cut open if that was the case. Angus remarks that it is important to not let the Bill know they're aboard until after they can give Davies to Nick.

Milos gets more nic, and starts smoking while pacing around the bridge. Ten minutes later, Nick activates the ship's intercom from the docks, and punches in the security code Angus had given him. Angus goes to get Nick while Milos waits on the bridge with Davies. Angus opens the airlock to let Nick aboard, while staying back from the entrance to avoid being detected by the Bill's bugeyes. Angus signals Nick to be silent. After the airlock shuts behind Nick and the two of them are off to the bridge, Angus informs Nick that Davies is aboard. But he warns Nick there's a price to be paid for concealing the fact that Davies is Angus' son.

On the bridge of Trumpet, Nick criticizes Angus for Davies' immobilized state, but Angus angrily returns that Nick caused this by not telling him the truth about Davies' parentage. Angus expresses concern the Amnion will not want Davies now, as he appears to be psychologically damaged merchandise. Laughing at that concern, Nick assures him that Davies is still valuable to the rulers of forbidden space. Nick offers Morn's id tag on a chain as collateral until he can bring them Morn, and insists he needs to take Davies with him until then.

Angus snatches the id tag with its chain from Nick, and tells Nick he must bring Morn to Trumpet before he can have Davies. He bluntly asserts that that is the price to be paid for not reporting that Davies is Angus' son.
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Cord Hurn
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2021 2:48 am    Post subject: ADAHGA 27 - Angus [5] Reply with quote

Nick says that Angus won't see Morn again, and tries to leave the bridge. Davies snaps out of his catatonic state, and grabs at Nick's legs.

Quote:
Nick staggered a step; recovered his balance. Angus assumed his son was strong; he'd been strong himself at that age. But the stress of slumping his body into a ball so tightly had left the boy weak. He couldn't pull Nick off his feet.

Nick wrenched himself around despite Davies' grasp. "Let go of me, you little shit."

Davies' mouth gaped open. A croak like a crippled howl came from his straining throat. Driving one leg under him, he managed to knock Nick back against the companionway.

As Nick hit the treads, he snap-punched Davies in the temple so hard that the boy slumped aside


But Davies didn't let go. He'd lost his hold on Nick's legs, so he clung to one of Nick's ankles. A constricted frenzy flamed on his face.

Quick as a piston, Nick kicked him in the solar plexus.

Davies must have seen the blow coming, however. He had Morn's training--and Angus' instincts. In spite of his weakness and pain, he released Nick's ankle; as Nick's boot slammed into him he flung his arms around that leg and heaved sideways, pulling Nick over him and down.

Milos was on his feet--not to intervene, just trying to put as much distance as possible between himself and the fight.

Angus sat where he was, gripping Morn's id tag so hard the metal cut into his palm; studying his enemy.

Once more he had the dislocated sense of being more than one person; of existing simultaneously in seperate realities. One part of him left his g-seat and jumped eagerly into the fray, savage for a chance to use his new resources--to make Succorso pay some of the cost for his long ordeal. Hell, with its welded force he could easily kill Succorso. And the strange pangs were growing stronger. Davies was his son--

A more vulnerable version of himself.

Weak with cramps and his mother's absolute chagrin.

Yet Angus didn't move. Pre-written instructions held him still, instructions which denied him the right to hurt anyone with any kind of UMCP connection--and which placed no value on Davies. He sat and watched the struggle as if it were purely of abstract interest, while inside his skull he howled like his son.
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Cord Hurn
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2021 6:33 am    Post subject: ADAHGA 27 - Angus [5] Reply with quote

Angus notes that Nick's a good fighter, and also notices that Davies won't give up clutching Nick's ankle. When Milos exclaims to Angus, "Nick's going to kill him!", Angus decides to head off Milos giving him a Joshua order in front of Nick by telling Nick to stop hurting Davies.

But Nick just flashes Angus a feral grin, and resumes beating Davies. Angus' programming reasons that Davies may be crucial to saving Morn, so it allows him to attack Nick. Angus slams Nick into a bulkhead, then hammers him right in the middle of his forehead. As Nick falls to his knees, Angus warns him he'll split his skull the next time he needs to be disciplined.

Davies openly laments the destruction of Starmaster, and Angus reminds him it was Morn that destroyed it, not her son. Then Angus asks Davies why he thinks Nick shouldn't leave the ship. Davies replies that the Bill told him Nick had already given Morn to the Amnion. Angus is angry at Nick upon hearing this, but is forbidden by his programming to further harm Nick at this time.

So Angus states they must get Morn back from the Amnion. Milos is dismayed at hearing this, and Nick tells Angus he's crazy. Milos declares he's going to sickbay to get some swabs and antiseptics, and leaves the bridge. Nick tells Angus his only hope is to give Davies to the Amnion.

Angus distractedly rejects that notion, and then Davies wants to know why Angus wants to rescue Morn. Nick reveals to Davies that Angus now works for the UMCP, and that Milos is there to report to the cops if Angus doesn't do what he's told. Angus adds, "'Report' is what Milos does best," and lets Nick know that Milos has been in touch with the Amnion warship Tranquil Hegemony. Nick is clearly dismayed, and Angus enjoys that dismay, momentarily. But Davies wants to know what Milos is doing. Angus answers that it's some kind of bugger game, but that he can handle it.

Angus demands Nick tell him right away if he's willing willing to help in the rescue of Morn. Angus admits to Nick that he could really use his help, but then says he'll let Nick leave the ship if the answer is "no." Davies warns Angus that Nick will tell the Amnion they're coming, but Angus says he'll take that chance. Nick says he won't help rescue Morn, and Angus tells him to leave the ship. Nick complies.

After Nick has left, Angus tells Davies that Nick won't warn the Amnion once he's had time to worry about what Milos is doing. He also tells Davies they need to move quickly if they want to recover Morn.

Davies wants to know if Morn really blew up her family's ship. Angus nods, and confesses her immobilized state of guilt enabled him to capture her. Angus declares that reactions like that make both Morn and Davies too vulnerable. Davies agrees.

Then Angus wonders aloud about the whereabouts of Milos, and realizes that Milos has left the ship.

A quote from Davies sums up this chapter well:

Quote:
"It's too much--" Davies murmured. "Too many plots. Too much to remember. I don't know who I can trust."


At this point in the story upon first read, I didn't know who he could trust, either. Question
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2021 7:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SRD's ability to have lots of balls in the air - juggling plot points and personalities - has always impressed me. There is a lot of anticipation in this chapter.
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Cord Hurn
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2021 11:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

StevieG wrote:
SRD's ability to have lots of balls in the air - juggling plot points and personalities - has always impressed me. There is a lot of anticipation in this chapter.


I feel the same way, StevieG. Well said! Cool Thumbs Up
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