..........~~Time Waits for No One~~............
Dag and Mucklebones sat in a booth in the corner furthest from the Swamp entrance. The droid tending bar had been instructed to watch for their hand
signals rather than listen for spoken requests. For now, they had a pint of the rich brown Carbiox whiskey and a lemon, which lay on a cutting board
with a very sharp paring knife.
Dag was holding the knife, gazing at the blade, and was about to run the tip of her finger over it to check just how sharp it was. Or, how fragile
she was, depending on how she decided to look at it.
"I don't even know if I bleed, Mucklebones," she said, her voice indicating disheartening. "I don't know much at all
about myself, except that
I appear to have had some luck from time to time with helping Adam. And I can assert my independence pretty well and step up when needed. … but all
this stuff in Vandalia was bewildering. I mean, all the shooting, and the blood, and the tearing of flesh, and the sweat. Reminds me of the zombie
massacre here before we went off-ship. "
"Ah'm sure," said Muckles. She looked at the knife in Dag's hand as it flickered in the dim light. "Go ahead, touch the blade, and let's find out."
Dag looked at her suspiciously, but the ancient Gray Witch just smiled. "Even if ye do, it won't kill ye," she nodded. "Who knows, mebbe won't even
hurt! Ah'm told if the blade's sharp enough ain't much pain at all. Do ye recall bein' in pain afore?"
Dag's brow furrowed. "Well, when I thought Adam had died, my heart ached...and my tears---" She broke off. "So, at least I can hurt within, and
"'At don't mean ye kin bleed, though," said Mucklebones. "Depends on what yer creator chose to include. And Ah'm thinkin' ye weren't in privy chambers
when that decision was made."
Dag looked at her, still hesitant. "Then how do you know it won't hurt, or won't kill me?"
"Ah don't," said the Alien. "But Ah been 'round for a while...and seen lots o' stuff that surprised me. Not much does anymore. Speakin' of
which....most women...U-manoids anyway, have a .... well there's this...ye've never
noticed, erm, blood, then?"
"Well yes, of course, this -- erm -- line of work seems to provide plenty of exposure to blood, guts, all that," she shuddered.
Muckles shook her head at the misunderstaning. "No, Ah mean, ye ain't seen yer own
blood, comin' from... well..in yer drawers? From time to
"No," said Dag.
"And ye ain't been harmed, with bullets a-flyin', swords a-swingin', deities a-cursin'," the witch pointed out.
Dag's face slowly broke into a grin. "No," she said. "No, I haven't!"
Muckles grinned and motioned for her to make the cut with a flutter of her fingers, leaning foward to watch. "Go ahead then, go ahead...at least we
know ye ain't a breeder," she said but ignored Dag's puzzled look at the use of the term.
Dag took a deep breath and lowered the blade of the knife to her finger and drew it towards her. The porcelain skin parted to reveal more porcelain
tissue. She looked up at Mucklebones and shrugged, the corners of her mouth drawing drown with a 'well-whadda-ya-know?" expression as her eyebrows
raised. She held the sliced fingertip up.
Muckles moved her head closer and inspected it, squinting her enormous obsidian eyes..."Hmmm," she muttered. "Well, try squeezin' it, then."
Dag grasped the knife tighter. "Nono, squeeze the cut," Muckles said and reached across to take Dag's hand. She squeezed, peering at the spot.
Nothing happened. Dag again shrugged. "Try pourin' some lemon juice on it," said Muckles. She lifted the fruit and squeezed out one
drop...two...three drops onto the cut carefully, then looked up at Dag expectantly, who simply shook her head 'no.'
Muckles smiled then, let go her hand, and flounced back in her seat. She opened her mouth and laughed. "Well Ah'll be a jiggered ol' hag!" she
exclaimed. "See that? Ye don't!"
Dag was studying her fingertip and then her eyes grew wide. "Look!" she said, "The cut's gone!"
Muckles squealed; a peculiar sound that only Tibbs had heard before..but in her delight at their new discovery she didn't think to suppress it and
forgot the grating effect -- like fingernails on slate. Dag flinched in distaste.
"Ah, sorry," said the witch. "Ah fergit U-manoid ears are bothered by that..."
Just then they heard a voice muttering, "Oh dear, oh bother, oh my my, oh bother," and Tibbs came across the room waving his handset agitatedly.
"Sorry, love, did ye think I was callin' ya?" asked Muckles when she saw him. "Guess what we---"
"No, no," he said, nervous, "no guessing, and not about your 'squeech,' but you both need to come with me right now." He waved his arms as though
trying to sweep them from the room. When they stood he returned his attention to the handset. "Oh my, come along, no lolligagging, don't dawdle...come
!" He said. Muckles and Dag exchanged a look that spoke volumes about 'men'...just between the two of them.
As they hurried down the hallway toward their quarters, with Dag walking briskly behind them Tibbs kept muttering "Oh no, oh dear, oh my, oh bother,"
while peering into his handset. "Oh boy, where's Neno? Do we know?" He glanced up frantically at Muckles, who shook her head no, then at Dag, who also
shook her head.
"Oh boy, we gotta find him...and do it now," said Tibbs. "The Splitter....well, the Splitter.....just....and the Vithian inspectors...oh no! Not the
As they moved through the swishing doorway into their chamber, Dag looked at her fingertip and squeezed once again.
And again. The surface was smooth, the cut now gone, and she smiled, having no idea yet what other changes had just taken place in her physical
Soon enough, she would discover they had been several, but at the moment having failed to do the Splitter's bidding for him back on Carbiox completely
slipped her mind.
edit on 12-4-2012 by wildtimes because: (no reason given)