Part 96: Interview 48 BonusBarracks 48 - Later
The party is in full swing in the joint camp of Wars World, where soldiers from all four countries are joyously celebrating the defeat of Sturm. The whole world had been saved, and once more, drinks were thrust into my hands as my adoring subordinates glorified my success. As the man of the hour, it was quite difficult to slip away, but eventually I managed to do so, and made my way to the edge of the camp, where I spot a young woman with white hair and a suit standing still, looking up at the sky.
“You’re off, then?” I ask.
Ruin turns to me, and nods. “My work here is done. I’ve got plenty of paperwork on this case to do, and then I’ll have to begin my next case. No rest for the wicked.”
I nod back. “Makes sense, yeah…”
“Still, I am glad the case resolved itself the way it did. You were most useful.”
“Uh, thanks, I guess? Glad to be of use. And… I had fun.”
Ruin smiles. “I had fun too.”
“You know how to have fun?” I say, grinning. “In all seriousness, you’ve done the my dudes a great service. I think I speak for all of them when I say that you’re the goddamn best.”
Ruin can’t help but smile as she hears this.
“So… I’d like to give you something back.”
“What kind of something?” Ruin asks, tilting her head slightly.
I do an overly dramatic bow and clear my throat. “Ruin No-Last-Name-Given, for your services to the my dudes, I’d like to bestow on you the honour of making you an honorary my dude. I’ve already spoken with Celestrian about it - you’ll be invited to Dudecon in the future, every year, if you want to go.”
Ruin is quiet. Soon, however, she nods, and looks at me with a firm expression.
“That sounds excellent. Thank you, my dude. I shall be sure to attend… on one condition.”
“I know you said you wanted to focus on your life with Nell, which is why you’re no longer going to be organising Dudecon. But even if you’re not the organiser, you can still attend, right?”
The thought had occurred to me, too. I still wanted to attend Dudecon, and now that all the stress of organising it was in Celestrian’s hands… yeah, I guess I could afford one night away from Wars World. I wonder if I could bring Nell, too. It might blow her mind, but...
“Therefore,” Ruin says, extending a hand towards me. “I’ll attend, so long as I get to see you there.”
I take Ruin’s hand and shake it. “It’s a deal. I’ll see you in… six months, ish?”
“I’ll see about then. I’ll look forward to it, my dude.”
“Me too!” I say, grinning at her. “Now go on, you’d best vanish whilst everyone’s distracted with the party.”
“And you’d best get back to the party before people notice that you’ve vanished.” Ruin replies, a faint smile on her face. “Goodbye, my dude.”
“Oh, no, we almost got through the whole conversation without using that word.” I sigh, chuckling. “It’s not ‘goodbye’.
It’s ‘see you later’, or ‘toodle pip’ if you’re feeling particularly jaunty. See you later, Ruin.”
Ruin nods. “For once, you’ve made a salient point. Toodle pip, my dude.”
She turns and begins to walk away. As I watch, she draws one of her playing cards and flicks it, vanishing into thin air - gone from this universe. I remain there for a few moments longer, observing the quiet evening, but I know where I need to be.
Back to the party it is, then.