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Feb 27, 2024

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Reinventing the Lightbulb - Part 16


Previous - Reinventing the Lightbulb Part 15


Zorro wakes up after a long night’s sleep. He mmphs, feeling the sun slip out from the window and lay on his fur, starting to warm it. He sits up slowly and rubs his eyes, stretching. He then nnghs as he tries to get up out of bed and ends up falling on his face. He didn’t expect his whole body to hurt, though he should have. Muscle soreness finally set in overnight.

Viktor is still asleep on his chair, snoring very lightly. Still asleep as well it seems. even being less tired than the others.

Zorro looks over at Akala, and blinks. His ears turn pink as he realizes he left a lady to sleep on the floor. He stumbles over toward her, seeing how she’s doing, and if she’s still sleeping.

Raziel doesn’t stir, or make any outward sign of waking, but he cracks a blue eye open, looking around the room. Well…maybe a few more minutes of sleep wouldn’t hurt.

The girl is still asleep, curled up on the floor and snoosing soundly, and, well, not much else. She’s sleeping. That’s it.

Zorro’s ear flits a little, and he tries to get back up into a stand and wobble. He didn’t eat last night, and his little tummy rumbles. ;-;

Raziel continues resting on his bed, half-asleep, half-awake… but all cat. He could get up, and converse with the others, but…beds are nice.

Aaand Viktor is still leaned up against the wall. It could be anyone’s guess as to whether he’s sleeping or not, he’s making no real noises, but it certainly looks like he’s sleeping.

Zorro grabs his bag, and shuffles through it, finding a few coins. Hungry… The fox pushes open the door and starts to make his way toward the food. There must be food around here somewhere.

Raziel cracks his eye open again as the door closes, and flicks an ear. Curiosity and the desire to remain comfortably in bed have a brief battle within the tiger’s mind; resulting in yet another win to add to curiosity’s flawless record. The tiger quietly stands up, stretches, and exits, closing the door behind him.

The tavern/inn/thing proper isn’t very busy, seeing as how it’s early in a small town, but there’s a fair amount of people, and all the coffees and teas are all freshly brewed, mixing with the cooking from the kitchen and giving the place a pleasant air.

Zorro salivates, padding over to the counter and ordering a breakfast steak and eggs. He wipes his muzzle, trying not to drool too much.

Raziel leisurely makes his way down the stairs, and takes a seat next to Zorro. The tiger is feeling…bacon, today. So that’s exactly what he orders. That done, he directs his attention to the fennec. “So, sleep well, Zorro? I believe I heard you fall out of bed this morning…”

Zorro mmphs, having a big mouthful of steak by the time Raziel gets to him. He swallows it down. “Y-yes. Yes I did.” He chuckles, “Yeah, I didn’t realize how much my body would ache from climbing all those stairs.”

Raziel snickers, and looks over as his own heaping plate of bacon arrives. “Well, that…and we hadn’t slept in two days.” The tiger takes a few strips, and devours them, adding, “But it should be all downhill from here.”

Zorro nods, “Yes, all downhill. Not downstairs.” He chuckles, but then places a paw on his abs. It hurts to laugh. He was literally climbing stairs for some of the time.

Raziel nods, chuckling back. “Yes, yes indeed.” The tiger takes a few more bites of bacon, then gives Zorro a quizzical look. “So, what do you intend to do when this is all over?”

Zorro takes a few bites of eggs, thinking it over, “Write a book. Maybe… tweak the story slightly so I don’t look like so much of a wuss.” The fennec smirks, “What about you?”

Viktor strolls down the stairs streching and yawning, padding his way over to the table. “Good mornink. How aahre yoo?”

Raziel shrugs. “I honestly don’t know what I’ll do. Hopefully, I’ll get one of the Illuminators, head back home, nod be bodily threatened for a while…then continue wandering aimlessly, tinkering as I go.” The tiger waves a greeting to Viktor.

Zorro hehs, “Yeah, an Illuminator would be pretty cool. But I’m not sure where I’d get electricity to use it myself. Wonder if Sovereign has some plan for that.” He yips to Viktor in greeting, “Hey, you. Sleep well?”

Viktor nods and takes a seat. “Yez, I zlept vell. Vaaht aah’re you taahlkink aahbout?”

Raziel (grudgingly) offers a strip of bacon to Viktor, then elaborates. “We’re just talking about what we’re going to do when this is all over. I suppose you’ll be rather happy yourself, with half of your debt taken care of.”

Viktor nibbles on his bacon strip. “Aahktuaahly…. I’m goink to taahke Zovereign’z originaahl over. Aai’ve reaahlized how big aahnd greaaht the vorld iz, aahnd how it’z not zo greaaht, but aai kaahnt experience it, aahnd aai’m certaahinly not goink aahnyvere vith my debt, no maahter how much aai vaahnt to paahy it ov myzelf…. debt vree aai kould go aahnyvere… go baahck to the Celaah…”

Zorro nods a little, “I think that’s the right choice.” He leans back, finishing his steak and patting his tummy, “There’s a lot out there to see, believe you me.”

Raziel chuckles, finishing his plate of bacon. No matter how much the plate starts off with, it’s never enough… Cured pork ruminations aside, the tiger says, “There certainly is. That’s the whole reason I travel like I do. I could probably make a far more reliable income, maybe actually set up a gunsmithing shop - but I’d much rather see the world, and do my work whenever I can.”

Viktor nods, smiling. “Kaahn’t vaahit to get baahck to Mezon. Thiz trip haaz been greaaht, but I’d like to be home vor aah kouple daahyz.”

Zorro nods, and streeeeetches, “Remind me, Viktor— are you from Meson?” Seems like a strange place for the fox to come from.

Viktor shakes his head. “No. Vrom Zomevere in the Aahlburz, but aai grew up in Celaahyaahntii.”

Raziel blinks down at the empty plate. “Home… I could walk to Serendipity from here, and be home in a couple of days.” He shakes his head. “But I’m not about to miss seeing this thing through. It’s a long way to Meson, gentlemen, but it will be well worth the trip.” Please…remind the tiger never to take up motivational speaking.

Zorro nods, “It is, and if we want to get there in a reasonable amount of time, we’d best get the girl up and fed, and start walking.”

Viktor nods. “Aai’m goink to go order vood. Zhe’z ztill aahzleep, aai put aah blaahnket aahround her.”

Raziel, of course, has just eaten, and now sits quietly. He’s terribly awkward when it comes to small talk, if you haven’t noticed.

Zorro might have picked up on this. He keeps eating, and looks up at Raziel, “Gonna be some tough new experiences that girls going to have. I imagine if she were plopped in the middle of Serendipity, she’d think she stepped into a magical wonderland.”

Viktor sits at the bar, waiting for his food. Looking pretty bored too.

Raziel snickers. “I imagine so. Sometimes it’s a strange place for people who live there…depends on the experiment of the day.” He slides his mug around the table, though it too is empty. “The sheer number of people in Acre may also present a bit of culture shock. And as much as I’d like to see her reaction to Serendipity, I doubt it would be worth the detour. Right now, anyway.”

Zorro nods a little, “Well, I wasn’t seriously suggesting detouring to Serendipity.” The fox finishes his food, and stands up, stretching, “But perhaps some day she’ll get to see it. Gilead should be interesting enough as is, I’ll bet.”

Viktor gathers up his food, and a second plate, and walks back to the room, returning to the table a minute or so later. “Zhe’z aahvaahke, aahnd eaahtink her vood aai think. Zhe’ll be out zoon.” He then starts to munch on his breakfast, bacon and eggs and a pancake.

Raziel stretches out, and digs around in his pocket a moment, pulling out the purple stone he took from the tribal, and inspecting it more closely. He hasn’t really had a chance to, so…might as well now. He replies to Zorro, “I didn’t think you were serious. I was just commenting.”

Zorro nods, and looks closer at the stone. “So, whatcha figure that is? Some sort of Amethyst?”

Viktor looks at it curiously as well, tilting his head for more angles on it. “Aai’ve never zeen aah ztone like thiz.”

Raziel shrugs. “I never knew much of geology…but I’d imagine so, yeah. I don’t know of any other purple stones, anyway. It must have taken a /very/ long time to get it so highly polished and round, no matter what it’s made of.” He rolls it around in his paw a little, then looks about quizzically. “Who has the statue, by the way? Do you have it, Viktor? Or does Akala?”

Viktor shakes his head. “Aai don’t haahve it. Zhe haahz it, in the room. Kurled up vith it, like aah teddy beaahr.”

Zorro blinks, “A… giant, metal teddy bear of religious ambiguity.” The fox chuckles, and listens to see if he can hear the girl on her way.

Raziel chuckles. “Well…you’ll have that. I guess. Can’t imagine it would be a very comfortable companion.” The tiger pointedly neglects to mention that he’s slept wrapped around his gun before. On multiple occasions…

Viktor shrugs, finishing off his food. “Iz pretty importaahnt to her. Yoo keep importaahnt ztuff kloze to youo.”

Zorro nods, and walks over to the stairs, leaning on the banister and waiting for the girl to make her way down. “What’s important to me is getting back to Meson.”

Raziel nods, gathering his coat and bag. “That is indeed high on the priority list. As soon as we’re back in Meson, and not in danger of horrible, unpredictable peril…I’ll be happy.”

Viktor looks at Raziel confusedly. “Yoo meaahn we aahrn’t zaahve here?”

Zorro keeps looking up the stairs for the source of plot advancement to come down, “I don’t think that’s what he meant, Viktor.”

Raziel blinks at Viktor few times. “Oh. I don’t honestly know. I was just covering my bases. Though, Quark isn’t the *safest* place in Loka, by my reckoning.” He mutters, “But it’s better than Muon…”

Viktor shrugs again. “Aai vouldn’t know vhaaht’s daahngerouz or not. “

Zorro starts walking up the stairs, to check on the jackaless. He heads into the room and sees what’s up.

Raziel paces around, humming a bit, waiting to see when Zorro gets back. The tiger belatedly realizes that under his coat, his shirt is /still/ missing a sleeve, from the bandage he made in Muon. He should probably get that fixed eventually…

Unfortunately, Zorro doesn’t find anything, the girl is gone, and the window is open, a draft fluttering the curtains.

Zorro looks around for the statue.

Raziel continues pacing around, idly tapping his claws on tables as he passes. What’s taking Zorro so long? The tiger decides to investigate.

And Raziel finds the same thing. An empty room and an open window, and Zorro is quickly finding that the statue isn’t in the room either.

Zorro grips his ears and tugs on them. He turns around, looking at Raziel, and giving a loud, frustrated scream!

Raziel’s blue eyes quickly scan the room, and he puts two and five together. “SON OF A #&$%*!” The tiger descends the stairs three at a time, gives Viktor a curt, “We’re leaving,” as he passes, and is out the door.

Zorro follows along Raziel, looking absolutely exasperated, and flicking his eyes around left and right to try to find the girl.

Viktor stands up and follows the pair out into the street, looking around with Zorro, trying to find the girl. Not long after they leave the tavern, a very loud ‘Help me!’ is heard through the small town, it’s accent very familiar, though where it originated from is a mystery still.

Zorro’s hyooj ears swivel around like giant radar dishes to find the source of the yelling.

Raziel growls, “Oh, you’ve got to be kidding me! Nothing is /EVER/ simple!” The tiger draws his rifle - but he can’t tell where it’s coming from. That’s…what the foxes are for. He looks to see the general direction that Zorro’s ears settle in, and heads off that way.

Viktor runs off in the direction of Zorro’s ears, following Raziel. Hopefully it’s the girl, and not some other person with a similar accent.

Zorro blinks, realizing that the two ran in the direction his ears were pointing to before he could even start running himself, and follows.

Raziel runs through the decidedly irregular streets of Quark; looking and listening for anything suspicious, his rifle at the ready. The tiger did not come all this way for some lowlife, witless, vagabond street urchin to ruin everything!!!

Viktor runs up close to Raziel, keeping pace running in the direction of the calls, now clearer and easier to find. “Aai think itz komink vrom aahround thaaht korner.” He points off to the next intersection, the calls coming from the blacksmith shop.

Zorro nods, “You’re right about that!” His ears swivel to the shop, honing in as he scurries to the shop.

Raziel can easily tell now as well, and rushes to the blacksmith shop without delay, stopping /just/ short of kicking in the door.

Viktor shakes his head and stops Raziel, moving over to the side of the shop and pointing down the ally next to the shop, to the street behind the shop. There the jackaless stands, surrounded by four wolves, except they’re laying on the ground, one of them groaning quietly while it seems the other three are out cold. The jackaless is frantically hopping, jumping to try and reach the statue, carelessly tossed on top of the awning shes in front of. It doesn’t seem that the shopkeeper is there, and for some reason everyone else is just minding their own business, paying no mind the the girls calls for help, which she does again.

Raziel takes in the scene, and chuckles mirthlessly. “I…don’t even know what to say.” The tiger walks over to the awning, and tries to reach the statue. He’s far taller than the girl, after all.

Zorro follows along, looking confused. He peers at one of the wolves, being careful not to get too close.

Viktor kneels down to take a look at the ruffians. Just your standard idiots who think they’re better and tougher than everyone else. This chick is crazy scary.

Raziel reaches up around the top of the awning for a moment, before his paw finally connects with the statue. The tiger takes it down, dusts it off, and hands it back to Akala. He’s not sure whether he’d rather know why she left, or how these wolves were taken down… Curiosity wins out, and he asks both. “Where did you go? Why? And…what happened here?!”

Zorro scratches his head, and looks at the jackal, then back at the passed out wolves. Okieeee… He walks back over toward Raziel, and tugs on his pant-leg a bit, whispering to him. Zorro whispers, “Raz, this chick is scary.” to you.

Raziel has to lean down for Zorro to get anywhere near his ear, but he nods at whatever the fennec says. “I…uh. Well. I think we’ve overstayed our welcome in Quark. Let’s leave before any lupine associates show up wondering why their buddies were beaten up by a young tribal jackal girl…” The feline finally puts his rifle away, and glances back towards the entrance to the alley.

Akala hugs the statue as soon as it’s given to her, smiling. “Thank you much. I was trapped in room. Door did not go out, I push on it and push on it, but door do not open. So I go to small see through door, it open up, but go down to ground. So I climb down and go to front of building, but these people take statue. I chase them long ways, and we come here when they toss statue on shade-cloth. They taunt and be mean, and we fight. They think they know fight, but they fight more bad than four paw wolves. But I no can reach statue, so I call for help, and you come. Thank you.

Zorro looks over at Raziel, “Ah, yes. Silly us, forgetting to teach her how door handles work.” He rubs his face a little, “I suspect we’re going to have a bit of a learning curve here.”

Raziel rubs the bridge of his muzzle. “Indeed.” He looks the jackaless over quizzically, stating, “I am impressed, though. Where did you learn to fight?”

Akala hands the statue down to Zorro, then kinda rocks on her feet. “On the long hunts, during winter. Fight four-paw wolves and bears with group, and sometimes horrible two-paw beasts at edge of empty lands.

Zorro looks over to Raziel, then back at Akala, “What sort of two paw beasts?” He chews his lip, wondering if she means the druj. “Anyway, we should probably get moving. Long journey ahead of us yet.”

Raziel looks not entirely unconcerned, but simply comments, “Druj are terrible things.” He looks down at the wolves…but doubt they have anything of value on them, and it’s not his style to loot people anyway. Usually. The tiger nods to Zorro, “Yes, let’s get moving. Viktor, do we need any supplies?”

Viktor shakes his head. “Juzt filled kaahnteenz aahnd zome light lunchez. Ohthervize, it’z ztill eaahrly enough thaaht ve kould get to Gileaahd vaahzter thaahn the virst time ve vent thiz vaahy.”

Zorro nods, “Ah, well, I’ll go run and fill the cantines.” He offers his paws for the cantines, “Should be a spicket next to the inn. I’ll be back shortly. You guys can get probably grab some of the pre-made travel meals from the general store here, and we can meet back at the edge of town after.”

Raziel blinks. “I think Viktor was saying we’re good to go, actually. I know I don’t need anything else.” The tiger casually starts walking, looking back to see if anyone follows.

Viktor hands over the canteens. “Aahktually, vell, ve aahre, but ve don’t haahve aahny vood exzept vhaaht yoo two ztill haahve.”

Zorro nods, and runs over to the inn to go take care of refilling the cantines.

Raziel looks terribly confused. “Oh. My mistake. I’ll go get the food then. I hope you like dry bread and jerky!” And with that, the tiger jogs off, leaving Viktor and Akala in the alley to go about their business.

Viktor says, “Hey vaahit! Ve’ll be aaht the edge ov town, on the roaahd to Helio aahnd Gileaahd!” He then motions to Akala to follow, then walks off towards the end of town.

Zorro nods, and waves to Viktor and Akala. He heads to the pumps and fills up the cantines before scurrying over to the edge of town where they agreed to meet.

Raziel heads to a few shops, quickly purchasing some preservable food. Despite what he said, he does get a /little/ more than meat and bread, such as cheese…but not much more. Probably not the best idea to let the tiger do the shopping. Regardless, one the purchases are made, he waits by the edge of town.

Viktor stands by the gate in, waiting for the others, Akala idly wandering about within sight, just looking about the signs.


Next - Reinventing the Lightbulb Part 17

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