“Psst!” Darcy looked up from where he was clandestinely spraying. Haig waved from the road where he’d ostensibly stopped to bring Darcy some water. The rolly-jug full of urine, was completely invisible from the settlement, in the ditch at his feet.
“Thank t' Page an' Pen!” Darcy left his equipment hidden in the grass and went to get his drink. “He hain’t figured it out t' I’m not slavin' away out here f'r 'ours 'n days?” The Immoderate had ordered him to clear the field so Darcy had taken to sneaking in and out of the settlement under cover of darkness, so that when... or if... the First Class bastard managed it, he was always dutifully visible doing the job he was ordered to do. He was able to do that because Haig and Palmer had jiggered a couple of the sensors around near where the dragon had messed up the garage, falling on it.
“Nope.” Haig laughed. “T' dragons 're fuckin’ persistent. 'E can’t puten 'is nose out of doors without havin' things flung on 'is 'ead. They’ve even started catchin' t' sheet critters an' 'stead of eatin' them t'ey’re bringin’ ‘em in fra the desert t' drop on 'is most high-nose. He’s shot 'is way outen three of 'em now.” Haig couldn’t stop laughing. Darcy was grinning and trying hard not to laugh as well, even smiling tended to crack the seal of his filter mask. “There’s pods that crack open an' stink, we found out. Stink 'n stick. T'ere’s seeds t' blow up… that one nearly killed 'im… injured 'im sometin’ awful. He were down a full day whilst ye’r out here.”
“Really?” Darcy looked back at the enormous swath of grass he’d cleared of pit lizards, with the willing contributions of the other Illiterate men. The dust grass didn’t seem to like the piss much better than the pit lizards and was dying off, but Earthan grass liked it just fine and was sprouting up all over the place. “I thought he’d get both field guns n’ blow ‘em all away.”
“T’ heavies ‘r too slow f’r them dragons. They twick n’ fall ‘n flutter like bit ‘o char on hot… T’ guns cain’t lock on ‘em f’r summat reason.”
“Ye tol’ him not to shoot.”
“Yeah. I’ll be done today with what you brung me.”
“I ain’t sayin’ nuthin’. ‘E figures you’ll be outen here f’r days.”
“Maybe I kin fix t’ herdbot ‘stead ‘o this nonsense.”
“We’m really need it, even wi’ fuckin’ idiot shooty Eff Cee Bee hidin’ out not able t’ supervise. Gon' crazy bad, like we tol' y' last night. He kilt Simon jes after y’ left today.”
“Aw, shit on t’page, no!”
Simon had been the young pretty boy that the Immoderate had tapped to clean his quarters… and other things suspected. But he’d been well liked for all of that.
“Yeah. Word ‘o warning, Darc…”
That stopped Darcy in his tracks. “I’m not nowhere pretty ‘nough t’ please t’ eff cee bee.”
“He’s tryin’ t’ figure out how t’ get outen here… talk t’ y’.”
“Shitten on pages, fuck me wi’ a broken pen!” Darcy looked up at the distantly hovering flock of dragons. “Keep on ‘im, y’ lot!” He yelled up at them.
“I’ll be gettin’ back, now. Don’ let ‘im see y’ when y’ come back in.”