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After the commotion had subsided:
Mon Jun 1, 2015 19:09

"He's over there. You can spot the poor sod a mile off once you know what a powdered wig looks like. Come on."

Algie muttered something in what was probably Aramaic, if you heard things backwards from the other end of a bad phone line, as he was gently loaded onto a sack barrow and strapped in place. Normally a rather ruddily-complexioned man, his colour did not seem to be returning, and his eyes were glassy and unfocused.

"Algie? Algie, look at me." The woman in charge - and in a DIA uniform, though with an odd pentagonal flashpatch just above the department's own. "Have you been at it again?"


"Well, he's not conjuring pictures in the air with his breath any more. Right. You boys have a drink on me, I'll cart his Lordship back to the High Meggers." The two other agents, who'd been expecting more of a fight, put down their stun guns and the mop they'd really hoped not to have to use and grabbed a pint of something bubbly and intimidating.

"... Ghf? ghfnibbit?"

McCandless smiled a little as she wheeled him out of the bar. "Coming back to Earth, your Lordship? Or as good as makes no difference?"

"Yrrvl. Vlr. Ah."

"This is faster than normal. And we didn't have to clear anyone up! Makes a change for the lads, I tell you."

"Arrrh." The Earl's eyes finally seemed to focus, though he was still whiter than a sheet in a snowstorm. "Arhm. HMY... My lady? My lady..."

"Sorry, Algie," said the Commander with a sad smile, "bit late to be calling me a Lady."

"Rrr." He shook his head. "I... I was so sure... d-mn!" Algie slammed his head back against the sack barrow's handle. "D-mn it all, I've been an imbecile!"

"Nah. Only to one woman, anyway. You've got to stop chatting pretty girls up at dive bars, you know, 'cause most of 'em could snap you like a twig."

"I fear it is the only twiglike thing about me these days. I believe I am able to walk from here, Commander, if I may."

"Okay, cob." McCandless undid the straps and let him out. "Didn't spill much, either, usually it goes all over the shop when you get the dosage wrong."

"That would be because I did not! I am a fool!"

"Not disagreeing with you, your Lordship, but, well..." McCandless pointed at the sack barrow.

"Yes, well, that would normally be inarguable. But! I did not bid the barman use our normal testing glasses - I was so, I was so sure of my success that I bade him use the gold-rimmed ones, a gift from the Duke of Cambridge upon the occasion of my... my w-wife's birth. And they cannot have been properly sterilised. And, and so I went to the Live Specimens Division to tell Lilianna of my success. When I arrived I was told there was still a lecture going on, and upon ignoring this fact..."

Algie could go no further, and crumpled slightly, his hands clasped over his face as if in prayer. McCandless put her hand upon his shoulder.

"Thank you," he continued. "Still. I should have been more careful. While this has given us some valuable data about Bleeport's reactions to conventional alcohol, I fear we ought not to investigate further."

"D'you want to go back?"

"I think I ought. If nothing else, I must apologise to the poor souls I so embarrassed myself in front of. Now, let's see..." Algie thought for a moment. "Rina and... Zip? Zeb! Yes. Odd names, but this organization is a great tapestry of oddments."

"You're not wrong, cob. Don't stay out too late, now, you've got your magic show in the Nursery tomorrow."

"Well, if I might be permitted to ask your accompaniment...?"

"Why, my Lord Wymbourne, I would be delighted. Come on then, posho, you're buying."

"A gentleman would never dream of making a lady in his company pay when he has the means to avoid it." The two agents trotted along through the corridors, Algie trying gamely to match the Commander's easy, bouncing gait. "I must wash my mouth out with something, at any rate. Contaminated Bleeport is not the only thing which may leave a foul taste."

"Forensic fancy another chat with the departed?"

"Worse. Intelligence required me to scry a Word World whose occupants they intend to render unto Bad Slash. That poor little boy... dressing him such, inflicting a cavalcade of indignities upon his form, it is shameful-"

"Easy now, cob. Remember what happened the last time you got excitable after a Bleeport comedown?"

"And I apologised to the dwarfish gentleman in question, and he was most gracious to me. Mrs. Hunnicombe informed me later that blood is much easier to get out with modern washing aids. Truly these are enlightened times - ah! And we arrive." Algie held the door open. "Commander?"

"Thank you. Forgive me not curtseying."

"You're an officer and an army cove, Commander; society excuses you from some social graces."

"Oh, does it?" McCandless grinned as she dug him in the ribs. "See if I use the comfy barrow next time."

"A port, Sir, and a..." Algie looked to McCandless as they sat down. "I am to say something embarrassingly lewd in a short time. I can feel it in my water."

"Hmmm..." The muscular woman made a show of choosing something. "That one, I think."

Algie's face fell. "And a Screaming Orgasm for my partner."

"I thought you was a married man, Mister Wymbourne," said the barman with a smile that threatened to cut off the top of his head.

"Which is why you must deliver it to Commander McCandless, and not myself," Algie replied mildly as the drinks arrived. "To England, wherever she may be?"

"To England," replied Lola, clinking her glass. And then, meaning something else, "and to wherever she may be."

  • Rina muttered something rude.Iximaz, Mon Jun 1 16:10
    She took Zeb by the elbow and led him to an unoccupied table, making him sit down when he started to sway where he stood. "You shuuuure you're not regenerating?" Zeb said, peering at her. "Yes, Zeb,... more
    • After the commotion had subsided: — Scapegrace, Mon Jun 1 19:09
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