Blunderbuss is a funny word, but being shot by one steals a lot of the humour from it. What possesses someone to give something a name like that, hm? It doesn’t tell you a single thing about it. I mean, if you didn’t know what one was already – you do know what one is, right? – what would you think about it? Blunderbuss. Blunder. Buss. Where does that even come from?
First line writing exercise. I’m given a first line and then keep on going, to see what crops up. It doesn’t always make a great deal of sense.
I never really thought about it, myself. Not until the pith-helmeted dude turned up in that alleyway and took me down with a storm of shot from something that looked like a militant ear trumpet. I always knew the job could get dangerous – I’ve seen my share. But I resent the very thought that I might’ve been checked out by some imperialist anachronism with a weapon I still don’t believe anyone in this world seriously ever used.
Just damned lucky he missed with most of the shot; and luckier still that he decided I wasn’t the dweeb he was looking for, and moved along rather than reloading and finishing the job. Although, now that I think, how long would it even take to reload a weapon like that?
But he was past me and out of the alleyway while I was on the wet pavement, trying to cover the dozen or so holes in my legs with just two hands, and once he was out in the open he was away. It probably wasn’t an hour before the support team arrived and picked me up, but my gods it felt like it.
Freaking blunderbuss, I ask you.
And now I lie here, in the comfort of my hospital bed, being fed grapes and cake and generally waited on for my every passing whim, and wishing any of that was true. But the long periods of being completely ignored do give me plenty of time to think. The guy didn’t want me; wasn’t after me. He even looked quite apologetic as he legged it past my floored self. But he wanted someone, or something. He seemed to know where he was and where he was going. Had he been here before? I’ve asked Taniel to check the records but not much is coming up for the mien. A single episode in Maine about twenty years back involved a similar aspect, but Tan’s found nothing that would solidly link that guy with mine, nor any reason why the mien would be particularly live again now.
Silvia’s technically stamped me off on this one. She’s put three teams out into the city with instructions to stay out until the guy’s found, but she says the doctors want to keep me off the active list for another three weeks. I think I might use the time to do a little research, though. Make a few enquiries here and there. There’ve been no more sightings reported since, but if this dude’s still in the world, and prone to shoot before he looks, it’s probably best we find him.