The Return

When: Just after arriving home.
Where: A BD cargo bay.
Who: People.

Alex picked up his bag which someone had kindly brought along with them. How long ago it had seemed that he’d packed it, hoping to rescue Bedge. He wondered if his ‘privileges’ were still partly revoked, still stopping him from doing so. Probably. He swivelled his narrowed eyes sidelong, to take in Cass. She was barking something or other.
“So f*ckin’ aggressive” he mumbled in distaste, not referring to the current panic. A disapproving brother.
He shouldered the pack - which leant him a fairly bizarre appearance, dressed as he was Twalex’s silly party garb - and said another silent thanks to Jaxx for rescuing it from the amusment park realm.
The sensible, skilled, ones (the women) were charging off to help their Jay; They could probably do without the assistance of a doofus in a loincloth, but he couldn’t not ask.
“If there’s anything I can do, please let me…” but they didn’t hear, they’d – understandably - already rushed off at high speed. “… know.”

A peevish voice spoke up. “Erm, what’s going on? What was all that-" the speaker gestured to where the ‘gate’ had been “… about?”
It was strange to see Seymour again, felt like he’d not been around him in ages. For once Alex was too wiped out to care if anyone noticed his slight soft-spot for the pompous twit. He walked past, not bothering to explain a thing, and gave the astonished wheelchair-bound man’s head a little pat.

He didn't particularly feel like being friendly, but everyone looked so bedraggled and it sent a pang of empathy through him, they'd been through a lot, so he gave Jamie and White Wolf a tight lipped smile, Plisken’s shoulder a quick squeeze, and Artemis a nod, before exiting the bay.
Light glinted from one oiled buttock as he strode off.


His mental periphery registered how nice it was to be back within the womb of Bluey’s familiar corridors. A segment of his psyche, though, felt dimly saddened to be back, and to not have to kiss Jade, or hold her hand any more. He sighed with a little ache of regret – it was nice while it lasted. Safer for the both of them that it was only an act, anyway.
The middle of his mind trailed back to the Roo outpost and the dark, earthy tunnels… the weaponry… the fighting... his own machine gun fire.
He shuddered, suddenly nauseated. The desert-world adventure, and the task of assuming Two’s identity, over, his mind had nothing to stay taut for and was loose again, free to think, to reel back over what had been released.
He'd been through tons of smeg since the Hinterlands but the Roo Outpost had somehow awakened something. Something never properly dealt with.
As he strode, the anguish washed through him again.
He ignored Janine the sex machine’s greeting as he passed, she felt and sounded a long way off, like he was hearing her through static. He pushed on, not noticing the sheen of sweat which now coated his brow, but feeling like shit all the same.
Eventually he stood outside his own door.



He kneeled, sending a desperate prayer to the Gods that Jay would be okay. Then he got up and scowled at his ridiculous reflection, quickly stripping off and trying to wipe the kohl from his eyes. He scruffed his hair out of its stupid arrangement, and put his blessed grey jogging pants on, at last, comfortable.

He eyed his locker...


He sat scrunched in the corner, as small as he could make himself, a bottle of Jack next to him, Jacob’s dogtags wrapped around its neck.
The seemingly inescapable distress and agony made their cruel presence physical, wrenching at his chest and gut, and sending a stream of tears flowing down his face as he sobbed, shamefully, into his hand.


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