“Welcome to Fort Temporary!” Emmit, the tankdriver held his arms aloft as they disembarked Jacques’ Catamaran.
“Is this it?” Kurga asked.
“Less than you were expecting?”
“More, actually,” Ch’Voga said.
“More?” Both Kurga and Emmet asked.
“Yes. More depressing.”
“Hey! Do I come into your home and insult the décor?”
“No you do not, messieurs,” Jacques quipped, “of course, maybe this is because I would not toss a blanket over my outhouse and call it a “home.””
“No, you just hang a blanket over a bathtub and call yourself a “captain.””
Jacques turned and appraised the owner of this new voice. He bowed deeply, “Mes excuses, dame commandant. I have insulted your hospitality and proven an ungrateful guest, I beg your forgiveness, Capitaine…?”
“Macomber. Sergeant Macomber.”
“Apologies again. I had naturally assumed from your air d'autorité you were the commander of this post.”
“When did I say I wasn’t? Relax, Prettyboy, this ain’t some palace and I ain’t no princess. You keep tripping over that silver tongue to apologize but I don’t hear any sorry’s for trespassing in my DMZ and putting my people at risk to save your skinny asses.”
“Um, sorry? We got lost on our…”
She held up her hand. “Save it for someone who cares. All I wanna know is what I got to do to get you the hell out? I got enough problems keeping me and my people alive without babysitting you.”
“A map and some water?”
“Done and done. Emmet, show them where they can bag some water. Silvertongue, come with me and I’ll show you the map.” Everyone split up then and Kurga and Ch’Voga found themselves alone.
“Well, Kurga, this is where following me has led. Are you sorry? Which are you hoping for: getting tossed into a hole in the sand or walking home.”
“Oh,” Kurga said, “I think I’d prefer to continue our journey East with the good captain.”
“Kurga, what have you done?”
“Nothing at all. It just so happens the good Captain and I speak the same language.”
Ch’Voga shook his head, “I think Sergeant Macomber is wrong.”
“The Captain may be charming but you are the one with the tongue of silver.”