PLEASE NOTE: This is part three of a four-part story. Part 1 is online here http://www.republibot.com/content/original-fiction-bob-and-monastery-blo... and Part 2 is online here http://www.republibot.com/content/original-fiction-bob-and-monastery-blo...
“Storm’s a-comin,” one of the ranchers told me. Monsoon season was about to begin in the north, which meant more Kirby swarms. For the past couple days, we and Saint Salome’s had been taking in families to protect them.
I’d been at Saint Bakhita’s for seven months. I was working the loading docks when our monthly supply truck came in. Despite having done this God knows how many times before, the driver munged it up backing the truck in, and crushed the track on our garage door. We couldn’t get it open, so Brother Steve sent me out to tell the guy to pull forward for a few minutes so we could fix it. As usual, Dan stood by, growling at the truck for some reason.
I yelled at the cab, but the driver had the windows shut, and was playing music really loud, and couldn’t hear me. (I think it was “Vlad’s Ring” by CWA, from what I could hear bleeding through the glass. It‘s stuck in my head for some reason). Frustrated, I climbed up on the running board and knocked on the window. He turned, looked me straight at me. I felt fear wash through me, my bowels turned to water, the blood instantly left my face, my eyes went wide.
His eye went wide, too. He only had one. An eye patch covered the place where another should have been.
He threw open the door, knocking me off the running board, and simultaneously he switched on the hover-fan and gunned the engine. There was an eruption of dust as the truck tore away. I was rattled, horrified, and completely filthy, with dirt in my eyes, my nose, my ears, everywhere. Some of the brothers ran out to see what the commotion was. They asked me if I was ok.
“Crap!” I yelled, and ran to the cloister. I tore to my room, Dan at my heels. An advantage to being a Monk is I didn’t have a lot to pack. I ripped off my robes, and jumped into some jeans and a T-shirt. They felt uncomfortably odd and close, after months of clerical clothes. I threw my things in pillowcase - a stash of instaburgers, two bottles of water - did I need more food? No, Dan could hunt and kill stuff for me. Water was harder, but I’d figure something out. I was a smart guy, and I had to get out of here now. What about my wrist computer and the other stuff I’d had on me when I crashed in the desert? Guo had given me a recipt for them when I first arrived, I could get them back from him, no, no, no. No time. Screw it. I have to go. By this time a cluster of brothers had formed, all asking me what was the trouble. I forced my way through them and tore down the hall. I ran as hard as I could.
I was maybe a mile away when Mendayev pulled up alongside me on a motorcycle.
“What are you running from this time?” He shouted.
“Same as ever,” I shouted back, “Les trying to kill me.”
“Explain” he shouted. I just kept running. He hopped off the bike, executed some kind of sweeping scissor kick, and I was down. “Explain,” he said again.
“No, no, no, no” I said, pounding my fists into my head, “How the hell am I supposed to have a normal life if interesting things keep happening to me?” I was pretty incoherent, I guess. Mendayev did some kind of Wushu move, hitting me in three places at once, just enough to hurt really bad and snap me back to my senses. His foot was on my windpipe, “Explain,” he said yet again. I did.
“Ok, let’s think this through,” he said calmly afterwards. “They’re coming. They’re still going to come even if you’re gone. So running away will accomplish nothing, except getting you killed in the desert. There’ll be Kirby swarms in a day or two at the outside.”
Gah. I hadn’t thought about that. “I have to lead them away from you.”
“In that case, you’d need to wait until they came, so they’d know you were here, and then lead them off.”
I was about to rattle off something panicky and self-destructive when he said, “You know, that’s not a bad strategy, really.” He grabbed me by