Back to Yakutsk

Doc grabs his I-Browse and runs out the cabin door. Dmitri rants and screams at him as he leaves.

"Don't come back you demented pervert!" is the last thing Doc hears him yell.

Doc hops into the van and throws the door shut behind him.

"So, how'd it go?" Mark asks sarcastically.

Doc answers honestly, massaging the bruise on his forehead. "Not so good." He climbs into the drivers seat and orders the van back to Yakutsk. The autodriver politely obeys.

The little car zips back along the old, broken road.

Doc pulls out the medkit, pops some painkillers and slaps an iodized bandage on his now bleeding head. A quick check in the mirror reveals that stitches will not be required, but some rest would do him some good. It's now almost 10 am here, but to them it's 9 o'clock at night. It's been an incredibly long day, especially considering it was 1835 when they woke up this morning.

Doc calls up Dr. Ritenrong. His image comes up at low angle, his watch looking up at him from the desk. He's staring at a screen with his hands on a keyboard. His face is lit only by the array of monitors he sits in front of.

"Hey," says Steve, obviously distracted by whatever he's working on. "How's it going?"

"We came up snake-eyes. What do you want us to do?"

"Did you talk to Dmitri?"

"Yes. He was somewhat beligerant."

"Did you get anything?"

"Not much, just a brief family history. Nothing really about his personal life. He said he never went to college, but he's read a lot about star drives and technical stuff. He said he tried to sell his stuff to VelociTech, but that they threw him out and stole his designs. Now he's a paranoid schitzophrenic worried about people stealing his ideas with mind rays."

"Yeah, he's probably right. Didn't go to college, eh? What did he say about his family history?"

"That the Valia's were a noble family up until the end of the 19th century when they sided with the Marxists and became Revolutionaries. They've been poor laborers in Siberia since World War 2."

"How'd they end up in Siberia?"

"An ancestor of his, Sergi Valia, I think, tried to defect to the west to get away from Stalin, but was captured."

"Hmm. This might be enough. Send me what you've got- no, nevermind, I can get it from here." Steve picks up his watch. The perspective changes to his full, grey bearded face. He manipulates some controls on the device. Doc feels like he's on the other side of a GameBoy. His conversation with Dmitri begins to play back at Steve's end. "Okay. I'll analyze this and see what we come up with. You just get back here and pick me up."

"How about the Pear? Any word on it?"

"I've got a lead, I'm processing it now. I should know by the time you get back."

"Okay, see you soon." Doc ends the transmission.

Thunderhorse is staring blankly at his satchel.

Mark is smacking his lips. "Hey, there, is it party time yet?"

Doc tosses them the bottle of vodka. Thunderhorse snatches it up greedily.

By the time they get back to Yakutsk, Mark and Thunderhorse are competing to see who can sing the loudest. It's quite a cacophony of atonal shouting and arythmic knee slapping.

They pull up to the parking lot where the Python sits.

It has a twin.

It's parked right beside the Python on the opposite side from them. Same black arrowhead shape. A thin whisp of smoke rises from between them. From beneath the Python, Doc can see a pair of legs supporting a body leaning agaist the aft section of the other ship. The legs are wearing black slacks.


ERR said...

Doc spot check 15(12+3) vs 15 Success, XP+15

Doc said...


"Sober up boneheads! We've got company!"

Is there any way we can sneak on board the ship? If not, then call the cops and report the MiB as spies or drug smugglers, something that would get them arrested. Tell the cops that their id's are fake. It's about time we got the fuzz to work for us instead of against us.

I'd like to do this without a fight. I've spent too much time in jail as of late.