Mid-Day in the Bazaar
The sun is out, clouds drift by, but hardly ever obscure the glow of that golden orb as it shines down on a section of the city which is on the border between beauty and squalor. It's the Bazaar, located in a section of town officially designated "for future expansion", but as long as the bribes go to the right places and nothing gets out of hand, vendors are tolerated to set up their booths and hawk wares from parts near and far. Street musicians and other performers earn a few shekels here and there and provide welcome distractions for those who stroll along, taking in the carnival atmosphere. The well-to-do and the not-so-well-to-do can be seen here, more of a mix than one will find anywhere else in Rephidim. In light of this, one should watch one's pouch, and there are occasional Templar patrols of Jupani and zelaks to keep the peace.
Off to one corner of the bazaar at the stall of a kavi merchant (dealing in items like party favors and little "magic" tricks) is a raccoon in a tattered blueish-purplish robe. He haggles rather loudly at the poor kavi, who stands quietly with his arms folded across his chest.
A mongoose, easily mistaken for a kavi, finds himself amongst the throng. It was not long ago that he was at the Temple, being ushered out, given directions to find an apartment he has been set up with to stay in, and urged to keep where he can be contacted easily later. Other than that … it seems he is free to wander about the city and countryside as he pleases.
Fenter says, "I tell you, the last deck of trick cards I bought from you were defective!" The raccoon yells. "I kept pulling twos out of the thing!""
"Sir." The kavi replies, "That's what the deck was SUPPOSED to do."
Chiaroscuro hmmms, acclimating himself to the bazaar. .o(I can see why I've been mistaken for a Kavi, they do have the same basic shape. Though anyone who cared could tell the difference, but no one cares.)
Fenter says, "Well I want a refund! I lost ten shekels last night because of that rotted deck! Which is three times as much as I paid for it!"
The merchant sighs. "How about I trade you the deck for this nice little squirting flower? Or maybe a rubber Creen? Very popular at parties, those are."
Chiaroscuro heads over in the arguing raccoon and kavi's direction, though more to get away from an overeager Salsa salesman than any other reason.
Fenter says, "A rubber… ? Now what on the First ones name would I do with a… oh… nevermind!"
Fenter spins around and prepares to storm off, and crashes right into Chiaroscuro. Little playing cards (all of them twos) go flying about the bazaar as the raccoon tumbles down.
Chiaroscuro ooofs! as he's almost bowled over by a raccoon. "Uhm, pardon me."
"Aaaaaaugggh! No!" The raccoon squeals. "I spent the professor's lunch money on those!"
A poodle carrying a cage with a colorful Creen in it is knocked over as well. The cage pops open and the Creen goes fluttering away. "AUGH!" cries the poodle, and he dashes off, chasing the winged lizard in vain, the cage being kicked aside in the process.
Chiaroscuro says, "I'll help you pick them up… "
Chiaroscuro scoops and steps nimbly between passers-by, gathering as many of the cards as he can before they are lost.
Fenter wrestles with his hat (which has fallen down over his eyes), "You'd better!" He grumbles in Chiaroscuro's general direction.
Fenter says, "Darn *tug* Kavis. Always *pull* getting under *yank* foot!"
With an audible #POP!# Fenter's hat finally relinquishes its grip on his head. Which sends a half eaten apple (probably swiped from the fruit merchant down the way) tumbling across the street.
Chiaroscuro gets as many cards as he reasonably can, having stayed luckily out of earshot of Fenter's grumbling. "There you are."
Fenter stares dumbly at the cards in the mongoose' hands for a few moments, then he holds out his hat to him as he gestures for Chiaroscuro to place the cards inside.
Chiaroscuro flips the cards inside. *flippppppa*
Fenter YANKS his hat back down upon his head. He blinks at Chiaroscuro and begins to study his hands. "Goodness! I hope the cards weren't too sharp… you seem to be missing a thumb or two."
( Hope I don't get blamed for it. ) O o . The raccoon thinks to himself.
Chiaroscuro smirks, showing his hand with four main fingers and one thumb very clearly to Fenter, before sliding it back in his pocket. "Nope, all there, just as many as I was born with." He grins conspiratorally.
Fenter brushes the dirt from his robe. "Ahh… you must be another of those victims of the quantum probability thingamigigee that seems to be floating about. I can recognise it anywhere, I'm a great wizard you know."
Chiaroscuro smirks a bit. "You have been blessed with perception, obviously."
By a nearby booth, a black foxtaur is thoroughly scrutinizing a chitin pickaxe with justified suspicion, from time to time glancing at other available items.
Fenter straightens out his dress… er… his wizardly robes that is. "Yes… yes… a natural ability." He points towards the foxtaur, "Like the ability to recognise a distant cousin to the great and rare, furred vulpine zelak over there."
Chiaroscuro turns to look. "Vulpine Zela… Pawtuxet!"
( Six legs… it MUST be some kind of bug. ) O o . The raccoon muses.
Fenter says, "Paw took what?"
Fenter checks his pockets.
Chiaroscuro leaves the raccoon behind, swiftly moving through the bazaar towards the fox'taur. "Pawtuxet!" he calls out.
This seems to be a fairly large, female fox 'taur, descriptively thetorso of an anthromoporphic vixen, mounted upon the lowerbody of a quadroped fox of appropriate size, and entirely covered in black fur.Or so is to be assumed, as she's wearing a white, short-sleeved loose-fittinggarment underneath a darkgreen waistcoat. Also, around her upper left arm,she's wearing a bracelet, shining dimly in a silvery, green hue. The rest ofher, however, is uncovered and entirely black. So are her claws, whichoccasionally gives her a heck of a time, when arising the need of theirtrimming.
Standing on four sturdy, digitigrade legs, her lower body appears much moremuscular than her torso, though not disproportional. She seems to be around 25years old, perhaps younger, and she's got green eyes.
Around her waist, she's wearing a belt onto which two pouches are attached.
Pawtuxet perks up her ears at the familiar shout. Familiar in both voice and content, she decides, and puts down the pickaxe to look around. "Chiaroscuro!" she grins and waves to the mongoose as she recognizes him.
Fenter boggles at the "kavi" and the vulpine bug thingy.
Someone shouts, "Free " and then the end of the message gets cut off as soon as a crowd of bargain-seekers stampedes by.
"Good to see you again, Pawtuxet! How have you been?" speaks Chiaroscuro, in a only slightly accented Rephidim Standard. Gone are his stuttering 'Me Mongoose' phrases.
Fenter spots an errant card (another two) and goes chasing after it… disappearing into the crowd.
Pawtuxet smiles as she slows down from her initial pace towards Chiaroscuro, "Happy to see a familiar face, for sure! How're you doing yourself?" Stopping in front of the mongoose, she gets an expression of slight surprise, "Hey, you're different, somehow… the way you speak." She looks mildly puzzled.
Chiaroscuro grins. "Well, I'm doing well… still trying to figure out what shall happen to me next." He nods, and drops his voice a bit. "I do not think you or any of the crew realized… I am an Exile, and was given knowledge of the language by a most remarkable apparatus… "
Pawtuxet snaps her fingers, "Of course!" She drops her voice likewise, as there's no reason to include the people around them, in their conversation, "The inquisitor… So that's where you went, after the ship landed." She looks over Chiaroscuro and nods, "I wouldn't have guessed you weren't a Kavi, but now that you mention it, I do notice some differences."
Chiaroscuro nods. "My species is known as 'mongoose'… I do not think there are any of them here. Just the Kavi, who are quite unrelated to me."
Chiaroscuro says, "In any case, I'm looking around the city… hoping to find a job someplace."
Pawtuxet nodnods and repeats the name to herself, "Mongoose… nope, definitely never heard that before." She looks around the Bazaar, "Well, welcome to Rephidim! I usually don't spend alot of time here, myself. As you probably noticed, as we met, I'm an explorer."
Chiaroscuro perks his ears. "An Explorer, you say?"
Pawtuxet grins and nods acknowledgingly, "Or should I say archaeologist. I'm always on the search for old ruins and temples, preferrably untouched and very old. One of the reasons I come here, is that pick up rumors that might lead to somewhere useful."
Chiaroscuro ponders… .o( Now this seems interesting… there certainly seem to be enough things on this word to be curious about… but the buzzing in my skull is lower here. I'm sure exploring would mean I'd need leave this Island in the Sky… ) "And this provides you with a comfortable living, it does?"
Pawtuxet twitches her tail speculatively, "Well, comfortable living is a matter of preference, I believe." She smiles and goes on, "At least, I'm very content with the way I live, which from a viewpoint of Rephidim standards, I live fairly good. A regular income would be nice, of course, but it varies with the success of my expeditions."
A colorful Creen flutters overhead, chirruping gleefully!
Chiaroscuro hmmms. "Well, if you think any of your expeditions might be helped with a mongoose on board, I'm over… " He launches into an address-giving mode that's fairly complex, since he doesn't really know the names of streets. "… and then the third door on the left."
A harried poodle goes running by. "Come BACK!" he shouts, waving his hat around. "I PAID for you! You can't ESCAPE!" With that, he disappears into the crowds again, in pursuit of that elusive Creen.
Pawtuxet scritches her chin pensively, immediately getting lost in the complex description, "Actually, I could use some help… " .o( If I'll be able to find you again ) "… and you'd better get my address, while we're at it." She opens a pouch and retrieves a piece of paper and a pencil. After writing for a moment, she rips of a small part of the paper and hands it to Chiaroscuro, "Just in case I forget yours."
Chiaroscuro noddles, tucking the paper away after noting the address. "Thanks, Pawtuxet. Rik' bless.
Chiaroscuro smiles. "Well, in the meantime, I have exploring of my own to do… figuring my way about this city. Farewell for now, Pawtuxet, and may Rik'Tik'Tav watch over you."
Pawtuxet smiles and nods, "Thank you! Oh, and before you leave. Give me a visit, one of these days. Rumor has it, there has been a discovery up inthe tundra of the northern wastelands. If you're interested, that is."
Pawtuxet continues, "I don't know much about it, as of now, but what I've heard so far seems worthy of investigation."
Chiaroscuro noddles. "Shall do." He wanders off into the baazar…
Pawtuxet waves, "Great! Farewell, then." She grins and turns back to the booth to resume her shopping.