Unattributed Conversation Extract from TD+22, 5 | loci.theduereturn.com
  








  









  
    

Unattributed Conversation Extract from TD+22, 5

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Crimean Peninsula, rather close to Svestapol
August 28, 1855
Afternoonish

a. Getting close, finally getting close. Feels pretty good, right?
b. I’ll tell you what - I’ll feel good when we’re on the ship and the ship is on something that ain’t land. That’s when I’ll feel pretty good.
a. I have got to say, brother o’ mine, you are one king hell downer sometimes. You know that?
b. Only reason why’s you are just so damned positive sometimes. Gets on my nerves, it does. And times like now’re always when things go bad - right at the ending. Happens that way in every story and no reason why life’d be much different.
a. I’m not that positive. This Haul has taken a lot out of me. What you’re looking at right now? Relief. Sheer, simple relief. We got what, another day of Hauling? Then it’s just a matter of sitting back and waiting for all the guns to lay off, so we can get into the city and down to the dock. And then, yeah, I have to get a vortex going, right. But that’s all easy, when you compare it to pulling a great godsdamned ship all over the godsdamned landscape.
b. Yeah. You think that. Think that for me and think that for the rest of us. And maybe thinking’ll make it true I hope.
c. Marcus, my friend. And the brother of Marcus, my also friend. You are doing well, da? And soon you will be at city and we can all rest, da?
a. Vasily.
b. Afternoon, Vasily.
c. You are so glum my not-English English friends. Be full of joy.
b. I’m glum. Canute? He just don’t like you much and he won’t tell why.
c. That saddens me, brother of Marcus. Have I not helped you in crazy task? Without complaint. Have we not shared vodka? Are we not brothers as you and Marcus?
a. I like you just fine Vasily. I just don’t want to know you, if that makes sense.
c. It does not, and I am still saddened.
b. Just bein’ incoherent is what you’re bein’, Canute.
a. Not too hard to explain. We’ve been on this Haul for what? Two months. Ish. And how many of you recruits’ve been killed? Twelve? Ish. Averages out to maybe a death every four days. Meaning that when I get up in the morning, there’s a like 25% chance that some guy’s going to get squashed by the ship or have a log fall on his head or get trampled by a horse like that poor fucker last week. And that’s not even taking into account the recruits who realize that what they’re engaged in is a) insane, b) stupid and c) dangerous as all hell. With none of you all sticking around for long, one way or another, it just works out easier not to know you, OK? Nothing personal.
c.My friend, if you do not object to being called friend, I understand, but I do not agree with words. In this long war I have many friends and I have known them and they have died and they have run away and I have run away. I will never see again, da?
a. Yeah, sure, da, whatever.
b. Stop bein’ a dick Canute.
a. Moshiwake arimasen.
b. Cocky bastard. Keep going wherever you’re going, Vasily. Don’t mind my idiot brother.
c. Do not apologize, my friend. It is the duty of eldest to be father to youngest. And it is duty of the youngest to be - how did you say? - cocky.
b. Hmmm.
a. . . .
c. What I am trying to say is I know many friends and I lose them all and I am happy I know them, da? Let me tell you about my friend who I do not remember name of. It was almost year ago. And you English, not you, were charging at us like idiots. We had guns and surrounded them and they were stupid, stupid English. No offense, friends.
a. Very much not English, Vasily. None taken.
c. My friend and I were at cannon, waiting for order to fire and then we fired and cut them to pieces and still they charged and we fired again and more fell and still they charged and again and then they were on us. We drew our sabers, my friend and me, and met them and cut them and some fell and some did not and one put sword through my friend’s throat.
a. . . .
b. . . .
a. If I’m supposed to say something at this point, I am not sure what it is.
c. And friend died. I don’t know name but know him and know life and know story. If not, would anyone remember him at all? If not know us, will any remember when we gone?
a. . . .
b. . . .
c. . . .
a. Probably a good point Vasily. Consider me admonished and/or corrected.
b. . . .
c. I thank you, friend.
a. . . .
d. Holy fucking shit! Look out!
c. . . .
a. Godsdamnit.
b. Vasily?
a. That is one hell of a mess.
b. . . .
a. Was all that ironic? I never know anymore.