I hunched down over the poor fellow “So this is the pilot huh? Or was rather I guess. Huh, is he still a pilot after he’s dead? That’s like a philosophical question.”
Blue nodded, from seemingly a hundred feet above since I was crouched down and he’s giant “Pandelela said this guy was the pilot. Er, is the pilot.”
I gingerly touched the wood protruding from his skull “What’s that through his head, a spear?”
Blue peered down “I think it’s just a pointed stick.”
I frowned at him as I stood up “Isn’t a spear just a pointed stick? What are you busting my chops for?” I looked around “What about the co-pilot?”
Blue shook his lizard-head “No one seems to know what happened to the co-pilot. A few people saw him trying to fight with the hijackers when they landed so probably they killed him. Although I would have killed him in front of everyone if I was them.”
“I don’t suppose you know how to fly a commercial airliner do you?” Blue shook his head “Martialla can pilot a submarine, why can’t you fly a plane? You’re really not holding up your end of this deal here buddy.”
He huffed in his lizard way “You can’t fly a plane either, why are you on my case?”
I stretched a kink in my back “I’m a singer, I’m not supposed to know how to fly a plane. You’re a special forces operative slash organized crime heavy slash international mercenary. No wonder you’re broke if you can’t even fly a plane.”
He flicked his tongue at me “Oh, you’re a singer? Did you ever have a top forty hit?”
I reached up to get my finger in his muzzle “Watch it, big man.”
I glanced over at the clump of surprisingly poised air hostesses in sarong kebaya organizing the larger mass of confused and dazed passengers to clear away the bodies from the “village”. I think they were doing it just to give them something to do. A task is a good way to distract people. People who’ve been hijacked and tied to bamboo (or whatever) poles for a week on a stinking island in the middle of nowhere.
I blew out a long breath “So the plane is out huh?” I shook my head “Jesus Christ, it’s going to take us forever to ferry them all over to the city in that tiny sub. Could we drive along the surface of the water and have them sit on the deck or something?”
Blue flicked his tongue “Would you want to try hanging onto the slippery deck of a submarine like that?”
“I guess we can just go back and get a bigger ship?”
Before Blue could answer, Martialla walked into the clearing in the middle of the not-village, draped in a watery robe like she always is when she’s been swimming around “I wouldn’t worry about that, the sub is gone.”
I laughed bitterly “You mean it drifted away while no one was in it? I seem to remember someone worrying about that very thing happening and a certain someone else was mocking those concerns.”
Martialla flapped her gills childishly “No, it didn’t drift away Ela, it fucking sank.”
“What? How does a submarine sink? It’s already underwater, what does that even mean?”
Martialla goggled her fish-eyes grotesquely “It means there’s a giant hole in it Ela.” She crossed her arms sourly “I thought I saw that crazy Hawaiian (DELETED RACIAL SLUR) skulking around, I should have chased her off before we left.”
“Is this that Tiger Shark person that kicked your ass?”
Martialla shook her head “No, this was someone else.”
I sighed “How can you have more than one archnemesis? No one should care about you that much.”
“The same could be said about you Ela. And Tiger Shark did NOT kick my ass, that was . . .”
I admit there was a little hint of panic in my voice “Are you telling me we’re stuck here?! After all the fighting we did to rescue these people and we can’t even get ourselves out of here now?!”
Martialla snorted “What fighting did you do? You jumped in the well and hid once the shooting started.”
I gave her an arch look “You’re the one who said I was useless in a fight, I was just following your instructions.” I stretched my back again “I think I ended up the worst out of anyone, holding myself up in there really did a number on my back.
Martialla snorted and stuck her finger into one of the many bullet-holes in Blue’s scales.
“Okay fine, maybe second worse but . . . .
Martialla pointed to the corpse pile with a grim fish grimace.
“Okay, fine, maybe not even second worse but you know . . . my back is really tight. Those rocks or whatever that well is made of really did a number on my spine.”