Yada Yada Yada

I have to admit the wooden bowl was nice, but the gruel looked a bit iffy; I'd once been served something similar after a heated disagreement with a Mimian waiter and his buddies.
You see he'd been disrespectful to my, er, date, suggesting she was a 'trashy working girl' (when, actually, it was me who was working) and I'd reminded him of his manners. She was in fact just a lovely lady – wife of some rich guy - who enjoyed a little leather on her days off. I always liked taking her out.
She had her pride, so we stayed. The food took stupid-long to arrive - mine was only some posh kind of cheese on toast for smeg's sake - and when it did it was half covered in something that looked suspiciously like this Ssala Semolina.
Coque Monsieur, my lady friend had called it.

So I didn't particularly want to eat the breakfast gunk – unsure of its origin as I was - but my empty stomach was arguing, and there was a Ssala beaming at me, leaning too close and repeatedly nudging his face towards the bowl, apparently very keen for me to taste it.

The chief person had told Seymour this enthusiastic guy was 'their own village idiot' and that he thought he would get along with me. Not sure what that was supposed to mean but Seymour definitely enjoyed telling me, as he ate his own gruel without a second thought.

A confused looking Jamie reassured me the food definitely wasn't a bodily fluid, so eventually I gave it a go.
It was surprisingly good. Lemony.
When I put down the bowl, my 'friend' clapped in delight.
I didn't want to interact with anyone (sweet as he seemed I had a headache and just wanted to be left alone) but as it was the polite thing to do I forced a smile over me chops for a second.

“You also need to return the clap” instructed Jamie, friendly of voice, furry of face.
“Smeg that.”
“He's telling you he's pleased with you. If you don't return the compliment he'll be offended.”
I shrugged.
“Oh well.”

Jaxx looked at me funny. “Sometimes you don't act very nice, bro” he said.
“Who said I was nice?”
He thought about it but didn't answer.

“Uhm. You might want to clap now...” Jamie prodded.
The Ssala was rocking.
Now, Jamie might have an impressive beard and stylish wild hair but I wasn't about to do something embarrassing just because he looked cool and could talk another language.
The Ssala started wailing quietly. He did look quite sad, perhaps I co-.
“Oh don't be so bloody mean, Alex” snapped Phi. “Clap.”
I clapped... a bit.
The Ssala stopped whimpering, interested for a moment, but as soon as I finished my stupid clapping he rocked and whined again.

Jamie sighed.
“Look, you're going to have to give him an enthusiastic clap with a big wide smile. No teeth, though.”
“Not likely.”
“Why not?”
“I dunno. I don't... do things like that.”
Jamie raised his eyebrows, but politely said nothing.
Jaxx scratched his head. “Not meaning to cause any offence here, truly, but you do worse things than that. You wanted to pull my Speedos off the other day...”
Jamie's eyebrows raised further.
“Yeah, well. I wasn't feeling myself.”
“Dude, I think you were trying to feel me...”
I would have told him to shut the smeg up but he was really cut up about Davie. We all were.

The Ssala suddenly flopped onto my shoulder, whimpering again.
“All right.” I pushed him off and began clapping and smiling like a goon.
Jacky and Molly looked at me like I'd lost the plot. The new doctor lady looked over as well. I felt my cheeks getting warm and hoped nobody else could tell how stupid I felt.
“Can I stop now, please?” I said, still smiling.
Phi put a hand to her mouth and tried – not very successfully - to hide her amusement.
Jamie was either hypnotised or disturbed.
“Oh, uh, yeah.”
I quit the dumbarsery and the Ssala raised his head in what I reckon was happy approval. He stood up and stooped to put his chin on my head.
“What... the hell... is he doing?”
Phil – who'd had five servings of the Ssala gruel - looked over and belched.
“Hey, that's not fair, I want a Ssala head-friend.”
I don't!”
Gentle as I could, I removed the strange being, gave him a pat on the shoulder and moved over to Seymour where I pretended to be doing something helpful.
Really though I was just pulling at my blanket, which was stuffed behind him for comfort. He squawked at me like an angry seagull but I didn't care, it was preferable to the Ssala affection - you know where you are with a grumpy Seymour.

Ten minutes later and the friendly tribesman had lost interest in me and become involved in a three way hug-off with Efof and the Ssala he'd been making googly eyes at the night before.
Seymour slapped at my hands - without realising what I was doing I'd let some of the blanket flop over his head. He looked like a nun.

Jay and the new doctor lady, Jade, were talking. Mid-conversation they came over to Seymour and started discussing options to get to the city and recover Cass.

“We can use our captured Haruk to bluff our way into the city as slaves. It's a great plan!” Jay seemed excited.
“Or” Jade smiled “we could join with the friendly rebels...”
Seymour let out a groan then turned to me with a strange light in his eye.
“Hm. What do you think, Mr Solvay?”
Don't ask me.
“You're the boss.” I looked between him and Jay “...es”.
As long as they decided something soon I didn't really care what we did, I just wanted to make sure Cass was all right.
“I thought you might have had a bright idea.”
“M'yes... I did think it was a slim chance.”
Decisions, responsibility for others, leadership – none of those are my thing. Ain't going into all that now, though. Don't wanna think about it.

Where was I? Oh yeah, I'd told Jay and Seymour about the map before breakfast, and they'd examined it for a while but hadn't really said much afterwards. They'd agreed that the 'central hub' was probably the city, though. Worried about Bedge I'd asked Seymour about trying to disable the generators, thinking he'd be keen, but he'd just looked all distracted and told me to "find that hairbrush again, could you?"
Now, I respect Seymour (sometimes)... as a superior, and a book-smart kinda guy, but I do occasionally wonder if he has all his marbles.

Seymour and Jay began having a bit of an argument. I took the opportunity to slip off, hoping to find the river some of the others had mentioned washing in. I wondered if it flowed down from the wide river I'd seen near the dinosaurs.

As I was walking away I heard someone yelling, eugh, which made me pine for my quarters. And lockable doors.

"Oh for Goodness's sake! So what are we going to do, then!?"


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