So, Tell Me About Your Day… (Cya’s Date Continues)

After Cya gets ready for a date and Almost Out the Door for a Date and Trying Again and Blind Dateand Catching Up and Getting to (re-)Know him
and Also Needs a Title
and More Cya Date
They ordered dinner. There was a moment where it looked like Manus expected Cya to order for him; then he coughed and ordered his own food. Something different than she’d have picked; she wondered if he did it out of some residual defiance.

She hoped not. She didn’t want defiant, because defiant meant he was still thinking of her as an authority figure. Domme, maybe. She could definitely get behind (ha) that. But not authority figure in the rest of his life.

“So,” she asked, over delicious white bread that tasted all the better for remembering years where white flour was hard to come by, with a dipping sauce of Cloverleaf-grown olives (one of her proudest accomplishments was that tiny greenhouse orchard). “Tell me more about being a judge-and-diplomat?”

“Well, like I said,” he smiled at her over his wine, “it’s something of just getting people to talk, nothing fancy.”

“Well, give me an example?” she coaxed. It was all in the tone of voice. She didn’t want him thinking anything like orders.

“Okay, so. Couple months ago, Neihart Mountain, it lost two trade caravans headed up to MinuteTown. You know, up in the mountains, that place nobody thought would survive.”

“I remember.” She’d pulled three kids from there the year they thought it would collapse, the three that were the right age to take to Doomsday. The city had stayed standing. The kids had chosen not to go back.

“So, every once in a while, they get it in their head that they need something some other city near them has. And when they do, well, they go attacking. They’re not much better than bandits with a decent home base at this point, and seems like they’re suffering some brain drain. The ones that can get out, the smart ones, tend to leave.”

Cya looked guiltily down at her plate. “We encourage that, on occasion.”

“Good. People that are smart enough to get out of there ought to. Something I figured out a long time ago, Cya. People aren’t required to go down with a ship just because it carried them for a while.” He tapped her nose lightly, then pulled his hand back. When she peeked up at him, he looked mildly worried.

She stuck her tongue out at him so he’d know she wasn’t offended. “So they were raiding Neihart?”

“Trying, at least. But let’s be honest, even if Neihart can take them down with one hand tied behind their collective back – and they can – it’s a drain on resources and it’s demoralizing. So I got myself together a collection of some very terrifying people, a couple former cy’Dougs and ah, couple people you might recognize their names, and had them arm and armor themselves to the teeth, and then they followed me… and I talked.

“I wasn’t just going to bully them, I knew that wouldn’t work. So I brought a wagon of flour and bread and sausage and some of that really good goat cheese, and three baskets of vegetables, and seeds. And Dory Antelevron, she’s a genius with anything planting and she can teach an idiot how to be a genius. She volunteered,” he added. “And I explained to them that what was going to happen was that Dory was going to visit them under guard, and teach them how to not be stupid with their own food stores. And they were, in payment for listening to Dory, going to get a wagon full of food and not get wiped off the map.

“The thing about a cy’Doug with a sword,” he added, with a bright and cheerful smile, “is that you don’t even think can she kill me? You’re mostly thinking how long ‘till my breathing irritates her? They agreed. They were in a damn hurry to agree. And Dory thinks some of what she taught them might even stick.”

“Brilliant.” Cya grinned at him. “Sounds like a fun job.”


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