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   Chapter 33 Shipyard

Bactine By Paul Kater Characters: 11598

Updated: 2018-02-11 12:03

The next day started in a highly unusual way. Daniel had never had problems with any of his 'neighbours' in the hall where his apartment was, but this day was intent on making that change, it seemed. A lot of screaming and what sounded like fighting woke him up. It was still dark.

For a moment Daniel hoped that the noise had been in a dream, but when something seemed to crash into the front door of his place, that bubble burst. He dragged himself to his feet and went to the door. After listening to the noise that did not relent, and making sure his door was out of the line of combat, he peeked outside. Two men were fighting in the hall, rolling left and right, attempting to punch each others' lights out. From several other apartments, sleepy faces were staring at the scene.

"I hate this, " Daniel muttered. He stepped into the hall and grabbed the man who was on top at that moment in the collar and dragged him away from the other one. "What the hell are you doing here, you idiots?" he barked at the two men. The one on the floor was someone who lived in the building, on this floor. His name was Crissom or something like that.

Instead of supplying him with an answer, the man on the floor scrambled to his feet and launched a blow at the surprised man hanging from Daniel's hand. Daniel grabbed the attacker by the shirt and pressed him against the wall.

"Folks, some assistance would be good, " he suggested to the people who were looking and not acting. That helped: one of the men in the hall came out and took one of Daniel's captives in some kind of wrench grip. Daniel knew this man only by his nickname, the Bull. He lived up to it.

"Now what's this fight about?" Daniel asked.

"Yeah, we all want to know, bunch of imbeciles." Several voices now dared to express their feelings.

The man who was pressed against the wall pointed at the man in the wrench grip. "He started it. He lost the game and now he doesn't want to come true!"

"Okay... what's the game and what's the problem?" The Bull, who had come to help Daniel shook his victim slightly.

The two men held under control explained that the loser had promised, when losing the game of cards they had been playing, to work at the other man's workplace for a day. It was quite a strange deal they had cut, but things were the way they were. The loser claimed that he had not known up front that the ante would be working a day at the shipyard, working on building new boats and ships. "I am not cut out for that kind of work!" he raised to his defence.

"No, you're cut out to take other people's wages, " the winner growled, "and running off as soon as there's trouble!" He tried to struggle himself free, but Daniel's grip on him was beyond his might.

"I'll give you all your money back, " the loser attempted, "just let me go..." The man's words ended in a whimper.

The man in Daniel's grip growled again. "The money is mine to start with, that won't buy you off, you scum. You'll hold your end of the deal, or I'll-" He attempted another go at the man, in vain.

"Hey, calm down, " Daniel said, holding the man back again. "I agree that the loser has to pay up for whatever it was the deal was." He suddenly had a crazy idea. "Bull, can you keep these guys stay put here for a moment? I'm going with them to see to things."

"You're crazy, man, but sure, hand 'm over."

"I'm awake now anyway, " Daniel shrugged.

The Bull kept the two men where he wanted t

owed to stay in and skip this ordeal..."

"Stop your whining, Warlem, " Clelem said in a harsh voice. "You are taking over some day and I want you to toughen up for that. All your poetry and art and what not is making me nauseous, and ashamed that you are in anyway in this family!" The man did not seem to care who could hear him. "This is the Pricosine 2, and it will be better than... just a lot better."

The three people passed the stack that Daniel was hiding on. "It's just another big boat, father, and it's cold and windy here."

"It's a ship. When will you ever learn? Even your sister knows the difference." Clelem started to sound ticked off at his son. "I sometimes seriously wonder if I am insane for thinking you will take over one day, Warlem."

"My sister... my sister... it's not as if you like her any better, father. The way you yelled at her yesterday when she-"

"She has no business showing up so muddy and bedraggled every time she has been away for that stupid game! And now I want you to be silent and pay attention." The man's voice had gone subzero.

Daniel frowned. Clelem had clearly been performing a great act when they had met. This was clearly the real man speaking now. Slowly the family was moving away to another part of the ship. Daniel raised himself up a bit and waited until they were far away, so he could get off the stack of material. Quickly he found his way back to the cargo bay, and from there he left the ship the way he had gotten on it.

Getting off this shipyard was close to impossible, Daniel noticed. There were two men at the gate who checked every last fly that tried to come in. As he made his way back to the fence where he had climbed over, he remembered the clipboard. It was still on the stack of material on the new Pricosine. For several long moments he stood still, debating with himself if he should go back for it. The dark clouds that had been overhead for a while convinced him to leave it there. The clouds then donated a sudden wash of rain that made everyone run for cover. Daniel took that opportunity to quickly go over the fence and run along with people. Many of them were on their way to one of the large sheds that were meant to keep special material safe. Daniel ran towards the other gate that was wide open and unguarded.

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