Unedited and rough as always. It’s a bit past 40k words.
“Lee’s learning to speak so pretty and tactfully,” Gordon said, amused. “I’m sure the message was more like, “If you think you can cross me on this I’ll have Gordon skin you out and make a hand puppet out of you.”
Lee didn’t dignify that with a response, but there was no embarrassing silence to cover, because the Mothers were all laughing.
“Don’t look so serious and offended, Dear,” the first Mum said. “We have Garrett easing into his role as Champion, and I think he’s going to be a fine one, but if I wanted to scare the Fargoers spitless I’d threaten them with Gordon myself. You shouldn’t need to, if only they knew you better, but it’s not a kindness to threaten people with something they might ignore to their peril.
“Know me better?” Lee asked.
“Yes, the Badgers didn’t see you sit there and tell the First Mother she was flat out wrong, and offer shoot it out with her with hypervelocity pistols,” she said making a menacing gun with her true hand. “As much as I’m glad you are both alive and well, there’s still the occasional thought that creeps in when I remember it, that we missed a major spectacle. You were ready to DO it. Little thing you were,” the Mother said, acknowledging her growth spurt, “you scared the snot out of half the clan that day.”
“I can get carried away when I’m indignant,” Lee admitted. “I’ll be sixteen in a few days. I’m aware I have to work on some maturity and dignity.”
“That’s good. You can keep working on those qualities when you go represent us to the Lunar governments,” the first Mother said. The other two nodded like this was already expected, though they hadn’t had any privacy to discuss it among themselves.
“I what?” Lee protested, mouth hanging open.
“Well, it was your idea. You said we need to go there or send an emissary. Didn’t you?”
“Yes, but I wasn’t volunteering,” Lee said, looking stricken.
“No need. That’s how we Mothers are. If a fellow comes up to us and says, “We really need a new drainage ditch running out of the east pasture.” We hand him a shovel. Who better than the guy with mud on his boots? He knows where to dig, and has an interest in doing it right. Your clan can call on your services. Consider yourself called.”