Home, Death and Other Abstract Ideas Part 1

Plisken sat on the wagon, watching the other Dwarfers. The male Dwarfers were arguing about… something. It was nice that such different people from such different places had become friends of the Dwarf. Plisken felt his stomach leap as he thought of Garth. Perhaps he wasn’t taking his absence as well as he thought. Or maybe it was just being in a woman’s body that was doing it.

Plisken sighed: A woman’s body.

Jay and Katrina were being, well, together. Plisken thought back to his own life, his own marriages. In his long life he’d married only 3 times. Even Garnet had died. It was only thanks to Garth that she was brought back to life. But she was never the same. They divorced several months after her un-death.

Plisken tried to put that out his mind. He swung his eyes over to Cass and Jade, the lazy sun forcing him to screw up his eyes for protection. They were talking about plans for when they got home.

Plisken laughed a single time: Home. Home is where the heart is. But where was his heart?
The old man had lost his home so very long ago. And lost it would be for the rest of time.

The wagon jolted as it passed over a rock, everybody being thrown up slightly.
“Sorry,” called Jay from his perch at the front of the wagon. His apology was met with a few grumbles but everyone seemed fairly content with being out in the English country side on such a nice day.
Cass seemed… different than Plisken remembered. The fluid motion of her attack back in the tavern had been spectacular. But that Nano-Suit seemed to be compensating for mistakes. But still, to be able to have done that was beyond the skill of what Cass should have been able to do. Well, from where Plisken had come from they could do that in their teens but to see it outside was amazing.


“So...” Jay looked between their faces “What do you reckon?”


Plisken snapped his mind from his day dreams and looked up at Jay who seemed to be checking his pistol for ammunition. The old man opened the breach of his rifle, inserting the remaining cartridges he had into the weapon. He closed the breach and snapped the bolt down. That was what he liked about the Semi-Plasma guns- it required work to use them. There was something that happened inside it. Not like these new fangled laser weapons and what not that merely needed a button press.


Artemis raised his hand.
"Does anyone have an idea?" Jay asked again.
Artemis kept himself in sight ask Jay looked around. "Anybody?" He asked again.
"For fucks sake man I'm not suggesting we Quke England!" Artemis shouted.
"Okay, what's your idea" Jay asked warily.

"Let's indeed split up, but I have an idea for camouflage" Artemis dragged Jacky to the front of the group. "Mr. Kong is recognized as a host because of the lingering spider DNA in his body and for the mark on his skull. If we were to stick close to him we could mask our own identities, but only if we were careful. Now..."
Artemis pulled the ziplocked parasite from his bag. "If one of you in the other group were to carry this on your person, it should have the same effect"
"Should?" asked a Dwarfer. "Look man, I'm doing my best" Artie replied. Jay mulled it over. "Alright, good plan Artemis. I'll take the bug and lead team one. Plisken, you take team two."


Plisken stepped forward, the nature of leading missions coming flooding back to him. He looked a bit silly with his rifle swung over his shoulder and dressed in several dresses and skirts but no-one dared to laugh. He scanned the crowd of people. It could be that he was picking people to die. Like last time…
“Eh, Jacky,” said Plisken as he tried to focus on the task at hand, “And Alex (His experiences in the Hinterlands made him a better soldier than anyone else there. Except Plisken. And maybe Jay. And probably Katrina. And now Cass. But apart from that, he was the best), Jamie (his knowledge of survival should make him useful, although 18th Century England was slightly different than an alien jungle), Artie (obvious technical expertise) and Boyd (because it was an odd number).”
"Wait..." Artemis pulled syringes from his bag. "Just in case you get cornered, each of you take a vial of catrantuala venom. And yes, that means you too Mr. Solvay. One quick jab anywhere in the body and BOOM, down for the foreseeable future. Be it host or civilian" Everyone took a vial, and the groups went their separate ways.

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