Medianoche: How are you feeling today Marcus?
Marcus: We shipped things, awful bladders that we’ll never zip back up. Tomato sauce on the kitchen flat. Nothing to be done. Time only unspins.
Medianoche: Last we spoke, you said you got shipwrecked. And it was just the crew, a barren world, and your evil clones, correct? Tell me about that.
Marcus: Aye. Fact is after six weeks on dead rock with nothing but us, we started dancing with our shadows. Lofting sorry cubes at the spiderworld. Nothing but static here. Whispers in the doors.
But when we found out that the dupe-machine that cap pressed back on death city, it made clones of all us, but wrong, and they’d been skulking the ship. We started to crack.
Medianoche: So you left? You fixed the ship?
Marcus: Cap didn’t waste a cat’s plaster on the jump, not with the sick boy, Ithaca, after the FTL shutter fly, got all radded up. And the shadows took his meds. We made jumps for outersuck, and hit some space station. Peto’s Depot. Fucking Hog Raper, Peto was there, shit for brains slime bucket. And we bought some rad meds what for the boy. So we docked, and that’s when the shadows made their move.
First, there was Allen’s dopp. He found the med bay, spottin’ easy targets, going for the nads. Frithrik was there. She saw it happen. Yahwayverly only knows what she saw, but she skipped house, made for the bridge, while dopping Allen took shots at fish.
Medianoche: Do you think Frithrik knew it was a duplicate, when she saw the other Allen?
Marcus: Jury’s still at Jerry’s on that huckleberry. But I’ve got doubts.
Medianoche: And you think she just walked away, when shadow Allen opened fire on the doctor and his patient?
Marcus: Up is down, cracks in the shaft. I dunno.
Medianoche: What happened next?
Marcus: Venting, smart side Allen got his timmies in the mix and it was Allen v. Allen for the rumble in the jumble. But these chess masters, they went head to head, switching strategies, dodging shots. It was mind to mind, spine to spine.
Meanwise, up top, bridge side, Frithrik found fake cap, and double drottr tryin to find a star path to the Bright Ones. And once again, none but the ghosts know what she make but she didn’t say a thing. Cap and Sledge came in, plus the ink jockey, back from the war bulb, Mickey. Sledge made horse of his name-sake and he took to smashin. Mickey got all her gasses in the mix and the evil clones went down. Cap, hit the med bay to throw hollars in the hickory. She tossed an illusion, which was just her mom shouting “I object!”
Should be mentioning, that Kira helped. She stabilized the weakling, but could do nothing for Ithaca, long since expired. Luck be a second fiddle to cruising blinders, Drottr got just in the hilt, and brought Ithaca from the other side.
Oh, and I had a shadow and he had my eyes, and Light took him apart, piece by piece while I screamed in my mind.
Medianoche: There was a clone of you?
Marcus: Aye. (prolonged weeping)
Medianoche: That must have been hard on you.
Medianoche: It’s OK Marcus, you’re here, in my office. You’re not in a war. It’s safe here. Look around. Count the books.
Marcus: …five… six…
Medianoche: Good. Why don’t you tell me what happened next and remember, it’s not happening now. It already happened. Try to remember but not experience.
Marcus: Aye lass… Well, Sledge put shadow cap and shadow drottr in the pod and smashed ‘em into a Trox ship. Bats to betsy it was quite a kerfuffle. In the end, Frithrik got the spark of justice in her, snapped out of what betrayal she had cooked and shot shadow Allen down, right in the kinder choir of Peto’s Depot.
In the end, all the shadows got dead, but Allen, who’s an ottoman now. There was some business with Frithrik, what she knew, what she saw. Lots a red on the ledge now and I know shifty eyes when I see them…
But the madness to leave. Cap made the call that we’ve gotta move this ship in the light. So we took to Har and ar, on New Bigsby, get some lucky strikes to make the belchin belt.
Lookin forward to the sun.
Medianoche: That sounds good. You deserve a vacation.
Marcus: Did I make mention the fridge?
Medianoche: No, what fridge?
Marcus: It’s back.