Short Story #17: The Decision

Silas Damon was kicked out off the boat last night after E caught him rifling through her stuff. Frankly, he’s lucky that she didn’t shoot him right then and there: she’s killed for a lot less.

Instead, she marched him to his quarters, a tiny windowless cabin on Deck Three, where she had graciously allowed him to collect a few things.

One of our security officers had run downstairs and woken me as this was happening and I came down to find them all in the Damon’s cramped quarters. E was leaning against the steel framed door in combat pants and a dirty white tank top holding her favoured .44 and looking bored.

Alison was wearing a ratty pink dress, sitting on the bed that took up half the room. She had her face in her hands and was weeping. Silas was comforting her, trying to convince her to stay.

“I came back from the night sweep to find him going through my drawers,” E said. “He knows the rules. Told him to get his things and get off. Alison’s got the choice to go with him or stay here.”

I looked over at Silas. “This true?”

He looked at me, deflated, and shrugged.

“Alright then,” I said. “Sorry Silas.”

He went back to comforting Alison and I stepped out to leave them to it.

“You should have come and got me. You know the council won’t like this.” I whispered to E.

E looked at me with barely concealed contempt, then turned back to the couple.

“Alright,” she said. “Let’s get going.”

“She’s going to stay,” said Silas, standing up. Alison let out a huge sob and curled up on the bed, facing the wall. He leaned over once and kissed her head, then picked up a ragged black backpack and stepped out into the narrow corridor.

He led the way, with E behind him. Thankfully, she’d holstered her gun. Silas wasn’t likely to cause any trouble. Up on the main deck the night watch lowered the long gangplank that kept us separated from the Wasteland beyond.

“Thanks for everything,” Silas said to me.

“Take care out there,” I said. “Remember, don’t trust anyone. Aim for the head, and always shoot to kill.”

He nodded, then stepped off the boat.

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