The Price of Demand (Dialogue Edit 1)

(Workman) “Oi, Sias, here we are!”

(Waldon Sias) “I want that southern wall built up by mid-day. You’ll double-time it today, and if I catch you sluggards lazing around you’ll wish you were in the army, I’ll come down on you so hard!”

(Altman Dolet) “Good morning, Sias. Your men are making good progress.”

(Waldon Sias) “Altman Dolet, a good morning t’yeh as well. Aye. They’ll ‘ave the rest of ‘er up by sun-fall, you can be sure of that.”

(Altman Dolet) “I’m glad to hear of it. I’ll need you to begin working on the foundry in three days’ time, and we still have the market—”

(Waldon Sias) “Oh— Medic! Man down, north-east tower! MEDIC!”

(Waldon Sias) “Of all the rotten, stinkin’ luck …”

(Altman Dolet) “The medics will be here in moments, Sias. I’ll look into the accident if you could assist them when they arrive?”

(Waldon Sias) “As sure as rain I will, Mr. Dolet. A’right men, back to it! And don’t let me catch any ‘o you bein’ as careless as Claver there! If he thinks a rest in the medics’ tent’s gonna save his sorry hide for long, he’s got a long, hard lesson ahead! You, get tha’ …”


(Altman Dolet) “Ridiculous! Nonsense superstition. Luck, indeed.”

(Kaylene Dolet) “Another accident, husband?”

(Altman Dolet) “Yes. Even Waldon’s starting to lose his nerve. We’re going to have to move forward faster than I’d like, I’m afraid.”

(Kaylene Dolet) “If we get a crew in to build the road now, the travel and trade it brings in will help to lift the men’s spirits, but what if someone learns of the electrite deposits? Once word gets out …”

(Altman Dolet) “I know, my love. But we can’t afford to let this place gain a bad reputation. The Holdswaine labor union’s already difficult enough to deal with. That insufferable Mitchell character they chose as their leader jumps all over every chance he can get to deny us workers.”

(Kaylene Dolet) “There’s people there need work, Altman, he can’t be denyin’ ‘em that.”

(Altman Dolet) “He can, if he can declare the area unsafe, and he doesn’t seem to need much provocation to do it. If he does, we’ll never be able to attract anyone trustworthy to mine the deposits, and I don’t intend to do it myself forever, I can tell you! We need the road in a hurry, we need forest cleared by the river, and we need the river-way cleared to allow water-borne shipping up to the coastal cities in the north.”

(Kaylene Dolet) “Why d’you think he has it in for us out here? We pay dear enough for their services. You’d think the man’d be the least bit grateful.”

(Altman Dolet) “Unless he has some personal stake in hindering us.”

(Kaylene Dolet) “The Conclave?”

(Altman Dolet) “Perhaps. They certainly haven’t been happy with me since I settled here instead of working for them.”

(Kaylene Dolet) “And if the Conclave gets wind of the electrite …”

(Altman Dolet) “They will, eventually at least. For now, we’ve done all we can on our own to protect it; the deposits we know of are all well-disguised with run down, ‘abandoned’ buildings. The work crews don’t get too close to them, except for one part of the road. Nobody should so much as spare the area a glance.”

(Kaylene Dolet) “With the luck we’ve had here lately, it’s just a matter of time before someone finds it.”

(Altman Dolet) “Not you too!” The tired smile playing at his lips kept the words from seeming harsh.

(Kaylene Dolet) “You may not believe in luck, my husband,” she said with an answering smile, “but can bet they do, an’ I wish you’d learn to understand that. If luck is a part of it, it’s bound to run out at some point. Even if it’s not involved, they’ll go an’ get spooked if things like this keep happening.”

(Kaylene Dolet) “How is he doing?” Kaylene’s voice was concerned, but betrayed no anxiousness.

(Medic Cranford) “He’s in rough shape, but he’ll live. That arm, though … I’ve got the bones set, but that was a right nasty piece of work. Muscles are all torn up. If I can keep infection at bay, he’ll keep the arm. Whether it’ll work right again, well it’s just too early to say.”

(Altman Dolet) “Can we see him?” Altman’s voice was a bit gruff; he couldn’t help feeling a guilty pang. It’d been many hours since the accident and his only thoughts of it so far had been of how it impacted him and his plans. When had he become so cold?

(Medic Cranford) “No point. I ‘ave him on the poppiate. He’ll be out till afternoon tomorrow if not later. I’ll let ‘im know you came by though; I’m sure he’ll appreciate it.”

(Altman Dolet) “I hope our luck turns soon.”

(Kaylene Dolet) “Apparently, anything can happen.”