Unattributed Conversation Extract from TD+22, 2
June 29, 1855
Sometime between 7:10 and 7:25 PM
a. Evenin’ chaplain. Lovely night, y’know?
b. Yes, yes it most certainly is. I find that the evening breezes bring a certain relief, most especially when days are so very warm. How do you find yourself?
a. Tired, that’s for sure. Been working hard, tryin’ to get that harness thing working right. Strikes me that the sad fucks - pardon my language - get stuck in that thing sure as hell ain’t going to be having any fun on this haul.
b. Hmm, yes. Perhaps that is so. But the Captain has plans, no doubt, for shifts to be taken, yes? Surely he would not expect the same poor souls to be in the harnesses for the entire journey.
a. ‘Course not. But I tell you who’s gonna be spending some serious time in those harnesses - me, Jeremiath, Elena - gotta have some of us crew to lead those recruits, right? Don’t tell me Cap’s gonna be making his own brother haul this thing - poor guy’s like 200 years old. But don’t get me wrong. We gotta get out of here, and if it takes me busting my arse to do it, then that’s just how it is.
b. I find that to be an admirable sentiment my friend. Would that your brother had your same sense of commitment to the group.
a. Shit chaplain - sorry - old J-man’s just as committed as me. Just’t he’s still a little raw about how we got ourselves in this fix in the first place, y’know? Tells me that, weren’t for St. James, we’d still be sitting pretty out with all those magnets, and wouldn’t be no one but ourselves decide where we end up. Says that St. James really did a number on us, he did.
b. I think it would be well for you to consider that your brother’s perspective on poor Francis is perhaps . . . limited.
a. Nah, don’t give me that - I know old J better’n I know anyone round here. And he’s got the thinking tools I don’t, if you get me, and he’s always watchin’ out for me, he is. Whatever he says ‘bout St. James well, I gotta believe he’s got something there, right?
b. You are most certainly welcome to believe your brother if you like. And you are correct - he does have your best interests at heart - I have been well aware of that since the day you came aboard. I am simply suggesting that he may not have all the facts pertaining to Francis.
a. Yeah, well, whatever. Never had nothing against the guy, me, even though he always had one of those faces that looked like he’d just stepped in a big ‘ol pile of shit - sorry.
b. Francis, I will reiterate, was subject to pressures that you could not begin to imagine. And his path was perhaps a little more . . . constrained than that trod by you or I. Just keep that in mind before you pass judgement upon him.
a. Hey whatever you say. Don’t matter much now, do it? We got more’n enough work to do round here to sit around talking ‘bout past.
b. You are, my friend, quite wise, after your own fashion. Would that some of your restraint rubbed off on your brother, that he could harness all his energy for more positive ends.
a. Sure sure . . . so speaking of harnesses, seriously, you gotta warm fuzzy feeling ‘bout this plan we gots going on here? Like hauling the fucking - sorry - ship to the sea? You really think the Captain’ll pull it off?
b. There is a certain . . . audacity to it that I cannot help but admire. And the Due Return is as much my home as it is yours - I cannot imagine leaving it behind. I think the Captain’s plan to be exactly as good as those upon whom he relies to carry it out . . . if all of us, myself included, pull our own weight - excuse the pun - then I believe we have every chance of making it to the sea, and leaving this . . . this place behind.
a. Shit - sorry - chaplain, you don’t like it here either, do you? Thought you were above all that.
b. Hmm . . . I’m as human as the rest of you, that you may be sure of.
a. Yeah, OK. Right then. I’m off for some food. See you round.
b. Yes, goodnight, my friend.