Part 20: Interview 10 BonusDudecon 10 - Between the Frames
It is a strange feeling for Commander, watching the my dudes gathered on the sofas. Fifteen talkative figures, plus himself, all looking oddly alike and getting on surprisingly well. As the movie begins, Commander finishes handing out slices of cake and settles onto the rightmost sofa between Professor and Celestrian. The film is loud, but Commander can still hear the whispers of my dudes having quiet conversations amongst themselves. He smiles, takes a bite of cake, and sighs in bliss.
Muttering something about a drink partway through, Professor gets up and makes his way to the kitchen, followed by Celestrian. The pair meet Dudette and Joker in the kitchen, having a chat over some glasses of special brew.
“Oh, hello there.” Professor says. He goes to get a glass.
“Hey.” Joker replies. “Come for a drink yourself, huh?”
“Oh, I’m just here for the conversation.” Celestrian replies. “Knowing what’s in the special brew, I personally don’t drink very much of it.”
“Wait, you know what’s in the special brew?” asks Dudette. “Commander wouldn’t tell me.”
Celestrian laughs. “I’m not surprised. He’s pretty embarrassed about it.”
“Come on, tell us.” Professor says, looking at Celestrian over his drink.
However, the angelic figure shakes his head. “Sorry, that’s pretty private. He’d kill me if I told you.”
Joker sighs. “Fine. You know, I might finish this later, actually.”
He goes to fridge and puts his drink inside. It sits amongst several other drinks on the top shelf. One is a glass of special brew labelled ‘Hell’, whilst there are three flagons of the brew, all with ‘Dragonborn’ on. Joker’s eyebrows raise as he looks at the other drinks.
“Dragonborn likes this stuff, huh?”
“Yeah, he’s a big fan.” replies Dudette. “Almost drank the sub-dimension dry last year.”
“Anyway,” Professor says, looking at the others. “Should we get back to the film?”
“Eh, if it’s still that blue-haired guy yelling about drills, and heavens, and the piercing thereof, I don’t think we’re missing much.” Dudette says, shrugging.
“If I’m honest I could really do with a nap.” Joker replies.
Celestrian nods. “Well, hey, the bedrooms are free for use. I’m already well-rested so I’m just gonna go for it. Commander’s taste in films isn’t too bad, you know.”
“Eh, to each their own.” Dudette says as Celestrian re-enters the dark living room. She turns to the other two.
“Well, shall we?”
“Dibs on the bedroom closest to the bathroom!” yelps Joker, who sprints across the room, leaving Dudette to chase after him and Professor to walk behind at a leisurely pace, sighing to himself. The my dudes on the sofas are momentarily disturbed by the sounds of running feet, but they soon pass.
Meanwhile, Summoner, watching the film, leans forward to pour himself a glass of champagne. With a jerk, he stops himself, then checks his watch.
Half nine. Fuck. I gotta stop drinking if I want to win that bet, but midnight is still so far away…
Grumbling quietly to himself, he sits back and continues watching the film. He turns to see the other my dudes and notices Scout and Breed slipping away into the kitchen, talking quietly amongst themselves as they disappear.
Dudette enters the room closest to the bathroom on the right, whilst Joker takes the one on the left. She walks in and finds the room empty. The bedspread is a little ruffled, presumably from somebody else napping there, and there’s some bits of powder on the desk left from an unknown source. The pillows are satin, however, and look inviting, so Dudette wastes no time in hopping on the bed and wriggling under the covers.
She closes her eyes and allows sleep to overtake her, whilst in two of the other bedrooms, Professor and Joker do the same thing.
Barracks 10 - Love in Blue Moon's Barracks
In the kitchen area of the barracks, several of the soldiers are relaxing after their difficult battle. Ludmilla, Diana and Zlata are talking to one another over some cups of tea, whilst Mark and Anton are sat together but not speaking. Peter walks into the room, tugging at his collar.
“Hm, Dimitri just stormed out of the barracks room in a huff. I wonder what they were talking about in there?” he says.
“Not worth considering.” Diana replies, going back to her tea.
“Do you know him?” asks Ludmilla. Diana’s eyes flash, and she shakes her head.
“No! Of course not, I just met him in that last battle. Any more stupid questions?”
“Aw.” Zlata replies, her face falling. “I wanted to introduce myself to him, but I was too nervous again!”
She takes a nearby seat and blows on her tea. Taking a sip, she jerks back as she realises that it is still too hot. The others decide to sit with her, Peter included.
“Oh?” Ludmilla says, a smile on her lips.
Zlata blushes. “We actually went to military academy together. But I ended up being too awkward to talk to him throughout it all, and even now, I can’t… he’s so stoic and cool. I really respect his confident attitude!”
“Respect, or like? Sounds like a flower of love has bloomed deep within your chest.” Peter grins.
“Well, yeah… I guess.” Zlata murmurs. She gives an awkward grin.
Diana grits her teeth. “Ugh, fine. As it happens, me and Dimitri are… let’s say old friends. I was part of his mercenary group. I can... introduce you two if you want.”
“Oh, you will?!” gasps Zlata, almost spilling her tea in her excitement. Diana nods curtly.
“Yeah; not tonight, though. I need to get some air.”
“Oh, that reminds me! Ludmilla, your APC is all banged up, isn’t it?” Zlata says, turning to the woman as Diana exits the room. Ludmilla nods. “Right! I’ll go fix that up.”
“Fix it up? You?” Ludmilla asks, and Zlata nods.
“My pops was a mechanic. I’ve grown up around vehicles all my life, and I know my way around most of them now. Quicker than waiting for the official army mechs to fix it tomorrow, right?”
“I suppose so, yes.” Ludmilla says, nodding. “Thanks, Zlata. Please don’t strain yourself for me, though; it is getting quite late.”
Zlata heads for the door, giving Ludmilla a thumbs-up. “No problem! Won’t take me long.”
As she leaves, Ludmilla turns to Peter. “Well, that leaves two of us. Would you like to head back to my room, Peter? Cup of tea?”
Peter blushes and plays with his fingers. “Um… sure. I’m… new to this.”
“Don’t worry,” Ludmilla replies with a whisper. “I’ll teach you everything you need to know.”
She exits the room, leaving a giddy Peter to follow her almost immediately. Anton chuckles, and Mark turns to him.
“Heh! Seems like Pete’s getting lucky tonight.”
“Wait, they’re going to-”
“Absolutely.” says Anton. “You’ve heard about Ludmilla, right?”
“Can’t say that I have.” replies Mark. “I don’t pay attention to women in the army.”
Anton decides to ignore the sexist comment and continues.
“She likes sex, so she invites guys around our age back to her room. Usually once a week, sometimes more. You didn’t know?”
“No!” says Mark, sitting up violently. “What sort of slu-”
“Hey now.” Anton says, interrupting him. “It’s not hurting anyone. She’s allowed to do what she likes, and if that’s what makes her happy, then that’s what she’ll do.”
Mark’s eyebrows lower thunderously and he shakes with fury.
“Disgusting. Absolutely disgusting. I can’t get a girlfriend because of who I am, but that bitch just gets whoever she likes by asking? And everyone’s OK with this? Fucking disgusting.”
Anton stands up.
“Alright, I’ve had enough. You obviously have some stuff to work out, so I’m just going to let you simmer here. Let me know when you’re ready to join us in the real world.”
He walks away, leaving Mark to sit in his seat, staring at the table intently.