Safety of the Hearth
“Seems like I’ve got a name now.”
Mem sat up from the couch, robotic joints immediately angling her to her full height, as the nameless cyborg slid into their apartment through the door. Closing it and locking it behind him, he tossed his keys into the empty candle holder nearby, and then walked over to her.
“I am not surprised by this development. Eleanor and Aiyn have agreed on what to call you for some time now. I did not consider it my place to assign you a name, but now that a consensus has been reached, I can do so.”
“Yeah. You can call me C,” he said, walking into their tiny kitchenette. He never had any trouble remembering where the coffee grounds were, or the coffee maker, even after he lost his memories. Although, luckily for him, that hadn’t happened today. He spared a passing thought for the fact most people might be embarrassed if the girls all got together and picked a name for him without knowing.
“I assume by your posture and physical health that your mission went well.” Mem entered the kitchen, eyes swivelling to view him at different angles.
C pulled out the dirtiest mug in the cupboard, one he’d convinced Mem never to wash. It was caked brown with the remnants of previous drinks of coffee, and that’s the way he liked it. “Eleanor made things really easy. It didn’t go quite the way we planned, but that’s okay with me.”
“I would estimate a 60% chance, on average, of Eleanor changing one’s plans, coming up with a different idea, or forcing an on-the-fly change, should you work with her,” said Mem. “What did she do?”
C chuckled. “Well, we needed to move the demon somewhere it wouldn’t be a problem for the townsfolk. Originally, I planned on taking them to the shrine, see where Mimir thinks they should be. But Eleanor decided to send them right back home.”
“That method has a number of large risks, but the likelihood of them occurring with Eleanor in charge is not very high.”
“That’s what I thought.” C set everything up, pressed a button on the coffee maker, and put his mug at the bottom. “So I went with it, especially since I didn’t feel like arguing with her after all the smokes she lit for me.”
“Please tell me the number of smokes you had today,” Mem said. “It is important that I keep track of the effects that excessive smoking might have on your health.”
“A full pack,” C said. “Six, you know, after they passed the law saying you can only sell so much tobacco at once.”
“Although that law was not passed because of health risks, but because it is necessary to ration tobacco when we do not have much land that can grow it, it is still beneficial to both of us that it was.”
While waiting for his coffee, C poured himself a glass of water, and then coughed partway through. “Yeah, you’re probably right about that.”
Mem swept up what little water spilled with a towelette, finished pouring the glass of water, and placed it in C’s hand. “However, it is clear to me that smoking by itself is a greater danger to you than your missions. I am happy that you have returned to safety.”
“Me too,” C said. “Always am. Eleanor wants to meet up at the Woodmark tonight. I’m paying. Do you want to come?”
“You are asking despite knowing that the answer is yes. I appreciate your consideration, as it is possible that another task may be higher priority for myself than leisure at any given time. However, that is not the case right now. Tell me when you would like to get ready.”
“After I’ve had my coffee,” C told her, “we need to go back through my closet for clothes that Eleanor won’t joke about.”