The Lady Jesus people came through with the goods. Rather surprising that. Martialla had to trade them one of her rifles for the information, but the good news is that religious people with guns never do anything bad. According to them the guy that shot down our plane (Martialla’s note – that’s not what happened) is part of a secretive group for Invincible flyers that have a base somewhere to the south. It seems logical to assume that’s also where all their other stuff comes from. Makes sense that you’d keep your planes around to protect your main resource center doesn’t it?
Initially the Jesus and Mary Chain wouldn’t say where they got this information from but without much effort I got them to admit that King Water Guy fed them the information. I went to talk to King Triton in his palace of old shipping containers on the edge of town/start of the non-town junkhole. Water Man is not very ugly by apocalypse standards his but his legs are thick and round like those of an elephant. It’s really something to behold.
According to water guy the Invincible pilots do actually come into town to trade and for recreation they just don’t make a big deal about it. For instance they don’t fly into town in their planes, so nobody else knows that’s who they are because they’re all dummies. Unlike Water Guy, who told me at length how smart and awesome he is, which is why he’s ferreted out these Invincible pilots despite their crafty undercover moves.
As for his motivation for dishing out this information, his claim is that the Invincible know the source of the water he brings in and is simply trying to protect his monopoly and is concerned about them poisoning said water source in the event that they even decide to conquer garbagetown. Seems plausible to me. Also I don’t know how much I really care why he’s doing this. That’s one of the problems with dealing these post-apocalypse lowlifes, they probably have agendas and are trying to get over on me to some degree, but it’s hard to know if the it matters at all because the stakes are so low. Nothing they do matters.
Regardless (perhaps even irregardless) Aquaman says that next time on of the incognito pilots shows up in town he’ll give us the high sign so we can grab one of them and torture them until they give up the location of the secret Invincible base. Because torture is just a part of my life some days now.
So I got that going for me.
I guess we just live in his dump until then. As per usual everyone seems fine with this but me. I don’t understand why they’re always fine with everything. Nothing is fine. Remember that line in Office Space, “everyday things get a little worse, so every day you see me, that’s the worst day of my life”. That’s what it’s like being here. Every second things get worse. Paul and Lucien disappear doing God knows what all day leaving me with Martialla, and all she does is read books she finds in the shit pile. She didn’t even bother to look up from her most recent find to admonish me.
“If you’re going to pace could you do it behind me? You’re intermittently blocking the light getting in our hovel.”
I threw my arms up in annoyance “What are we doing?”
She did deign to glance out from behind her book at this point “Well I’m learning the Art of Third-Generation Site Design with David Siegel, the first eight pages are missing I think I’m getting most of it, what you’re doing is being a pill.”
I grabbed the stupid book out of her hands and hurled it into the street outside – and by street I mean path in the garbage maze. Martialla just raised an eyebrow at me.
“That was rude.” She reached into her stupid knapsack and pulled out another book.
“What the fuck is that?!”
She held up the coverless wad of brown-yellow paper “Dennis Rodman, Bad As I Wanna Be. I’ve been looking forward to this one for a while, I assume it’s going to be a deep philosophical look at human behavior. Most bad people are probably worse than they wanted to be, yet they couldn’t help being so bad, at least that’s what they tell themselves. I’m interested in how Dennis Rodman was able to be only as bad as he wanted to be. Should be illuminating.”
I started towards her to grab that one and dropkick it away as well but she gave me a look that stopped me in my tracks. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen her look at me that way before. I know she can kick my ass but somehow it never occurred to before that she might actually do it.
She pointed a warning at me “Settle your tea kettle Ela. It’s interesting how much paper has survived just sitting in piles. I saw a ‘wall’ the other day that was entirely made up of old phone books pasted together with some kind of slime. This must be a really dry area. I wonder how often it rains. That’s probably why the water guy is so powerful huh?”
“How can you just sit there?”
She raised an eyebrow at me “What else would you suggest that we do Ela? I’m going to tell you something as a friend Ela. Your little tantrums are starting to get old. You don’t like it here? It’s too hot? The air makes your throat scratchy? The humidity is making your hair frizzy? Everyone we meet tries to kill or rape us? News fucking flash, I’m dealing with the same shit. You stomping around and whining about how hard your life is isn’t as helpful as you seem to think. Knock it off. It’s annoying. How long do you think we’ll last if Paul and Lucien decide they’re sick of your bullshit and leave us here?”
I was too stunned to say anything but she guessed the dead question on my lips.
“How dare I talk to you like that? You think because we sat and had lunch in craft services together a couple times a week that you know me? Think again.”