“Sir, you forget yourself!” I bellowed, slapping Thor across the face. “I have dutifully studied the works of Marco Polo; my knowledge of the Orient exceeds yours thusly!
I thrust my hand up in the air, indicating the length by which my expertise surpassed his. It wasn’t a true measure of my brilliance, as he was three feet taller than myself. But as a subject of His Majesty the King of Aragon, it had long been expected
that I maintain an understanding of languages for future visits to the Orient. And like a moth in a paper mill, I had learned all I could of both Hebrew and Latin, the womb from which all languages sprang. Greek is for fishermen.
Gambit slunk up the ramp, hauling a suitcase behind him. For now, he was an uncivilized lump of clay. But after opening trade with the lands of Cipango and Cathay, monarchs throughout Europe would shower us with trinkets and sweet promises of titles of nobility (I would preserve the latter for myself, giving Gambit only some
of the former). I would sculpt him into the very model of excellence, then toss him into a blast furnace until he was completely glazed. Then I’d put him on display at my personal library, to be constructed ten years from now.
“We’re all stocked up on supplies,” he winced, centering the baggage over the large bull’s eye painted on top of the rainbow blacktop. AMOK whizzed up the ramp quickly, unburdened by our material needs. Oh, to be a mechanical man, with no want of food, nor of sleep.
“Very well. Goði Thor, I bid you transport us immediately!” I reached for my bear mace, but he was too quick this time.
His reflexes had sharpened since last I sprayed his eyes with mace, and before the can was even out of its holster, we were standing a thousand miles away, in a nation I’d read about only in my dreams.Cipango.