A Friend in Need is a Friend Indeed

The yelling, the whining!

“Coot! You never shut up!”

Coot really did not shut up, even at Vanco’s remark.

“Because I’m thinking out loud, because I can’t walk, and because I want a way out!”

Vanco should have restrained himself seeing as how Coot really could not walk – his legs were broken – but spit his retort anyway.

“Maybe if you hadn’t mouthed off to the damn miners, you’d still be walking!”

“Or maybe if you hadn’t taken an unsanctioned smoke break the damn miners wouldn’t have gotten into the damn building? When I get back to Verdanus I’m filing a formal complaint. What are you doing? Hey, Vanco, come on, I wasn’t serious, PLEASE!”

Vanco had been stripped of his weapons, but their improvised holding cell had a bed in it. He had grabbed the pillow and was now smothering Coot. He had not been sure if being chosen for Tertius duty was a punishment or a privilege, but after two years of being paired with Coot, he had had enough. He grinned.

“Shut up, would ya?”

Peace and quiet ran rampant .

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