Judging from the position of the Moon and the Sun, it was most certainly not time for Buggy to get up. He could tell because the Moon was still out, and the Sun was nowhere to be seen. Yet, whoever was knocking on his door obviously hadn’t noticed this very important detail.
Speaking through his very comfortable pillow, he mustered up every ounce of volume he could so whoever was at the door could hear him clearly.
“The only excuse you should have for knocking on my door this late is that you’ve been fatally wounded and need my help to not die. If that is the case, I’m afraid you’ve only sealed your fate.” The knocking stopped momentarily as he spoke before immediately picking up again.
“mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmggrrahhhhhh!!!! Okay. Okay! I’m up! I’m up and I’m walking towards the doooor!” He swung the door open, revealing a very out of breath Lilith, “Hello! What can I do for you now that couldn’t wait another nine hours?”
Completely oblivious, Lilith takes the false cheer in his voice at face value. “Oh, good, so you don’t mind if we talk for a while?” She leaned in a little. “I had another one of those dreams…”
It didn’t take long for her to recount everything she experienced. And judging by the look on his face, her earlier assumption had been right. Buggy would figure out what she should do about these horrible nightly occurrences.
“I don’t think you can do anything about them. In fact, I don’t think there is anything you or anyone else can do about them.” Or maybe he wouldn’t.
“I think…these are more than just simple nightmares. There’s a very real chance that you’re having visions of events that haven’t happened yet.” He spoke quickly, trying to get his reasoning out before she immediately rebuffed them.
“Just think about it. You said they’re vivid enough to be felt long after you’ve woken up, nobody’s saying anything about either island facing any catastrophe in any of the newspapers we subscribe to, and there’s a person whose face you can’t recognize that is slowly developing features each time you see them.”
Lilith nodded, considering the possibility.
“That means that you probably won’t know who they are until you have a few more of these visions. All of these are the tell-tale signs of having a vision! The frequency, associated tragedy, random occurrences, and the mysterious person who you can’t recognize? It’s something straight out of a children’s storybook.”
Visions. Of the future. Lilith didn’t even bother to restrain the sigh that escaped her. Well, she certainly didn’t expect that. But…it did make more sense than anything she’d previously come up with.
“You know…with you being a psychic, Solomon from a different species, and Devlin being the shortest person alive,” Devlin, several doors down from Buggy, would wake up the next morning with the need to plant her fist directly into Buggy’s face. “I’m collecting quite the diverse group of individuals.”
They both shared a quiet laugh. “So…what are we going to do when we get to Flevance? I mean, we don’t want to catch whatever they may or may not have. Do you think gloves and clothes that cover any exposed skin might be oaky?”
Lilith wanted to say yes but wasn’t sure. The people from her dre-vision had those patches of white going towards areas of the skin covered by clothing. “Maybe? It might be in the air or it might just be from some local patient zero. Who knows?”
“If it’s airborne, then I think the gasmasks we have on board should suffice until we can see Flevance for ourselves. As for ‘patient zero’, I think clothes that completely cover our body should also keep us in the clear. All we gotta do then is to make sure we don’t touch anything.”
Conveniently, Buggy was prepared for this kind of situation. He didn’t plan to contract any diseases but was prepared to handle a situation that might give him one nonetheless. He’d become somewhat of a germaphobe after finding out about Roger.
Up until that point, it wasn’t even a thought in his mind that the many islands they’d visited also had many diseases of varying lethality. And to drive the point home, it was his Captain that had gotten sick. The strongest man he knew was suddenly given a death sentence from seemingly nowhere.
As a result, Buggy made sure to be prepared for anything poisonous or contagious in nature. Which meant Outcast suddenly found itself short of several gas masks, gloves, combat boots, and several other protective articles of clothing. Several of which were specially ordered for persons of…unusual size.
Lilith nodded, her shoulders sagging in relief at the prospect of being even somewhat prepared. Dealing with her visions on her own would probably have driven her crazy had Buggy not been there to help.
Buggy clapped his hands together. “Okay!” The false cheeriness, still not apparent to Lilith, returned. “We’ve made a plan, talked it out, and gained some very crucial knowledge about both yourself and Flevance. Now it’s time for bed!”
He got up from the bed, grabbing Lilith by the arm and walking her down the hall to her room. “Goodnight and I’ll see you in the morning!” She smiled at him, wishing him a goodnight in return.
Buggy tiredly laid down in his bed, pulled the covers over his head, and peacefully fell asleep. As far as he was concerned they had a solid plan and that was enough to warrant a good night’s sleep.
Of course, this ‘good night’s sleep’ lasted all of five seconds before his thrice-damned brain started worrying about the smaller details and contingencies that had yet to become actual issues they needed to deal with.
‘If there is an outbreak of some kind, the only hope Rouge and the baby’ll have will be that old hag Kureha. Can’t risk having some infection getting anywhere near those two.’ Though he shuddered to think of what that woman would do to poor, unsuspecting Rouge.
While she was a great doctor, second only to Crocus, her bedside manner was complete shit. Something that would only endanger an already delicate situation. Would he need to threaten her with violence? Could he do something like that?
Most definitely. The old bat would either try to threaten him with violence to leave her alone or…no no. Threatening him to leave her alone was exactly what she would do.
‘I’ll…deal with her when we get there. For now, Flevance is the problem we have to deal with first and foremost.’ After settling that and a few more minor issues, he felt as though he had some room to breathe.
And with a mind free of immediate worries, he drifted off into a peaceful sleep until the morning Sun came and greeted the world…just two hours later.
“Morning, Buggy.” Devlin yawned as she walked back to her room to sleep. She figured some rest would do her good after sending half the night on sentry duty. Every night had a different combination of two people taking turns being on watch. Last night was Solomon and Devlin.
He responded with a grunt of acknowledgement. “Meeting. Five minutes. Dining Hall.” Then left without a word. What Devlin just experienced was Buggy operating on very little sleep. A Buggy that lacked well-rested Buggy’s patience and restraint.
And a Buggy that the others would soon find they didn’t very much like to be around when angered.
“O…kay” But he was already down the hall by the time she responded. ‘What was that about?’ she wondered.
“Hey.” He knocked on Lilith’s door. Solomon was already in the dining hall already since, so Buggy wouldn’t bother getting him. He spent most mornings in there, relaxing until he was needed for something.
“We’re about to have a meeting in the dining hall. It’s about Flevance.” The door opened, revealing an on-edge Lilith. She wasn’t sure if telling the others was a good idea since she was barely able to fully wrap her head around it.
Her head dropped, unsure of how to go about bringing it up. Should she tell them outright? Hint at it until someone gets it? Wait for it to blow up in her face? And what happened if she did tell them?
Lilith could see it already. Rejection. Disdain. Ridicule. Who knows how they might act should she decide to tell them. Or not tell them. Oh, damn it! Why was deciding what to do so hard?
Buggy tapped his hand on her arm, prompting her to look up at him. His perpetual scowl visibly lessened. “We don’t have to tell them if you don’t feel comfortable with it. As far as they’ll be concerned, my friend was the one who told me about the rumor of a sickness spreading across Flevance.”
She smiled. “Thank you, Buggy. You’re a really good friend.” He froze as she wrapped her arms around him, not expecting it. ‘She’s usually not so…touchy-feely.’ It was understandable considering the circumstances of her life thus far.
When she didn’t let go after a few seconds, he brought his own arm up and placed it on her back. “Yeah~ yeah~. Just…try not to get so worked up about this kind of stuff anymore.” He ruffled her hair before pulling away.
“And if you do, just remember that you'll always have us to help you through it." With that, he turned and began walking towards the dining hall.