This park lies within the less used parts of the Crafters' Quarters in the city proper as a walk goes, it's a considerable way from the College Esoterica in the Scholars' Quarter, but it's much easier to find. Within its cozy spaces trees shade people as they walk its maze-like paths. The only pond or indeed, any kind of body of water to be found within is the crickhen pond, where a few passing Kavis and Skeeks stop to give crusts of bread to the small birds with rainbow-colored bat-wings that float serenely on its surface. Statuary sprout up here and there, including a representation of the First Ship believed to have brought the first people to Sinai, and various monuments to once-prominent persons, now long-forgotten, their features (and the inscriptions on the bases) worn smooth.
Landing Day, 137th year of Cerbancos the Third. The morning finds a crowd gathered curiously into Freedom Park, where some Rath'ani matrons are tending tables groaning under victuals (covered with a cloth) and barrels of drink, and a Jupani foreman barks orders to volunteers next to piles of lumber and leather ties and stonewood nails, the latter to be used for places where tying timber to timber just wouldn't be good enough. In the months that Roho has spent on Rephidim, between trips to distant lands, he has won many friends; now they have come by to repay their debts and renew old acquaintances and incidentally, help build a new infirmary so that Roho won't have to call the sky the roof of his operating room.
Naomi follows Roho fretfully. "Where did all these people come from?" the Rath'ani assistant asks. "And how are we going to feed them all?"
Roho shrugs nervously, "I'm not sure… I think we have enough. I don't even know if anyone will come!"
The Rath'ani eeps. "Who put up that sign saying 'Free eats?!' I'm going to go take that down, Doctor!" She scurries off quickly, thick fluffy tail bobbing behind.
Roho leans forward and grabs Naomi by the collar, "Not so fast! I had the sign put up!"
"Ack! But they'll eat everything," the Rath'ani says to the fennec.
Roho shrugs, "And?" He grins, "Were you planning to eat it all? How many would you say are here so far?"
There's a sharp whistle as a pair of grizzled black ears pops up from the crowd, followed shortly by a weather-stained old broad-brimmed hat, and the milky eyes of an Eeee who may be older than his clothes. "Eh! I thought I heard a familiar voith." The old fellow chortles to himself as he hops up on a pile of wooden boards. "Roho!"
There are some volunteers here already, some of who are busying themselves with their tasks. One of them a regular worker at the docks, Lochinvar, is hefting some of the lumber over to other volunteers.
Galand strolls past, idly flipping a coin off his knuckles as he looks around him at the flurry of activity… spotting a sign that says "Free Eats!" he chuckles to himself, murmuring, "Don't mind if I do… "
Naomi starts counting. "One… Two… Three… Four, no wait. It's the same Kavi."
Roho smiles at the voice, "C'mon in, just bear a hand if you don't mind in return for the food!" His ears lift at the Eeee voice, "Roshan? Your wrinkled hide still around? I hope you brought some wine!"
The young Rath'ani maiden grumps. "They keep moving around! I guess we have about twenty people, Doctor."
Roho blinks, "Twenty? And I thought we'd be lucky to get anything done today at all!"
Galand pauses right before popping a snack into his mouth. "Lend a hand?" the Khatta mrrowls, "Why then, that's false advertising, me friend… After all, it isn't free if you have to work for it, now is it?"
Lochinvar pauses from his lumber-shuttling trips to hold up a beam for another volunteer while it is nailed in.
The wizened old bat mutters, spreading his wings, and floats over to land next to the Zerda. He straightens up a bit, wincing as he furls his wings, and brushes a few specks of imaginary dust from his cream-colored tunic. "Ah! Heh. I might have a little about. It'th good t'take the edge off my joinths."
Cuthbert, the Jupani foreman, nods approval to the unusual winged coyote. "Good er, what are you? Exile or maybe a Hekoye with a bit extra?" He instructs the other volunteer so that the two sections of wood can be settled in just right.
The gray, spotted feline smiles and winks however, chuckling, "However, unlike some of my childhood peers, I'm not above honest work for a good wage. Besides, I'm hungry, and my luck at the tables hasn't been so good lately." He looks around, then smiles again. "Name's Ashur Galand, but you can call me Ash. What's there for me to do around here?"
Roho chuckles, "I said if you don't mind… though I can't vouch for the actions of any hungry volunteers who see you get all the food first!" He grins at Roshan, "I told you not to do that! What happened to the leaves I gave you?"
Roho smiles, "Name's Roho… and I'd talk to the Jupani over there, name of Cuthbert. He's got a much better handle on things than I do!"
Lochinvar looks back at the foreman with a slight disapproving look. "You've never seen a Vartan before?" he says, then turns back to holding the beam at the call of the person he's helping.
A Rath'ani matron stands near the tables, turning a dim eye toward any would-be freeloader. Clearly she isn't going to be quite as understanding as Roho.
Galand unclasps his cape, folds it up carefully and sets it aside, then rolls up the sleeves of his shirt. He nods at Roho. "Will do… " He wanders over to the aforementioned Jupani.
Roshan winks a filmy eye. "And something a little thtronger for later." He sniffs, tilting his head a little so a withered old hand can scratch at an ear. "Leaveths? Oh! Oh yeth. Well, I theem to've fallen on older remedieth."
The foreman looks at Lochinvar quizzically. "Iffen ye're a Vartan, I'm the son of a Gallee," he mutters to himself, but decides there's no harm in the notion. He walks toward Roho and Galand and fans his open-lolling muzzle to cool off.
Galand gets about halfway to Cuthbert, then suddenly heads back to his cloak, unbuckling something from his belt and folding it inside his cloak. He then strolls over to the doctor and the foreman.
Roho's nose wrinkles at Roshan's breath, "So I see! What brings you here?" He edges closer to the work, despite the warnings of Cuthbert who threatened to tie him down if he got underfoot.
The beam that Lochinvar's holding is nailed enough into place, and the odd looking Heyoke heads back to the lumber pile again for another load.
The old bat casts a shockingly gap-toothed grin at Roho. Most of the teeth on the left side of his face are gone, as well as several on the right. Whatever his state of sobriety may be at the moment, his lisp was certainly not caused by his choice of beverages. Something that may be lost on the Zerda.
Cuthbert looks Galand up and down and grins. "Want to work up a little honest panting, eh? M'name's Cuthbert, I'm overseeing Roho's hospital, on account of he can't very well oversee it himself." He gestures toward his eyes and then motions for the spotty cat to follow him.
Roho calls out, grinning, "I heard that, Cuthbert!"
"And are ye denying 'tis true, Doctor?" Cuthbert laughs.
Galand follows the Jupani, tail swishing as he munches on a goodie he managed to palm before joining the workforce.
Roshen looks about for a moment, then settles down on a stool spattered with dried paint. "Well, I heard an old friend was in Rephidim, and dethided to pay him a vithit. And grathe hith new infirmary with a gift." The old fellow's face falls as he pats about at various pockets. "Which wath here a moment ago."
Roho laughs, "I guess I could say something about the fact that in my day, the young folk didn't make fun of the old folk! But I still consider this my day!"
Roho, still grinning, turns to Roshen, "You sure you didn't just drink it?"
The spotted Khatta chuckles, shaking his head. He half-turns and calls back to the Doctor, "Ah, but you old folks are so fun to pick on!" He turns back around and continues behind Cuthbert.
The Jupani foreman grins and shows Galand the lumber. "Thissen here, these're the planks we need fer siding the hospital. We've got the frame mostly up, but it takes good hard work to put all o' these up. Ye, help the 'Vartan' there… " He gestures to the winged coyote. "Bring them planks by an' others'll bind them in place."
Milky eyes widen slightly as the bat reaches up to pluck a shiny shard from his hat. He inspects it closely, holding it a few inches from his eyes, then hands the nail to Roho. "There!"
Roshen grins, crossing his arms. "I knew I'd not lotht it."
Galand nods, staring at the lumber for a moment, as if judging its weight versus his ability to carry it…
Roho grins at the gift, but his grin quickly fades, "Roshen… that's real metal! Where did you get this?"
Lochinvar is still by the pile, picking out the next load of beams to take over. He looks up at the spotted cat who has joined him. "It's not that heavy, really," he assures the Khatta.
The old bat winks. "There can't be a proper house-raising without at leatht one metal nail." He settles back a bit. "Indulge an old man hith cuthtoms."
Galand nods, flexing his arms to warm them up a bit. As they flex, they reveal more muscle on them than it appears at first. He squats down, grasps a beam in both paws, and stands straight with a slight grunt.
Cuthbert calls to Lochinvar, "'Ey, give the spotty fellow a hand, will you?" He grins and turns to oversee the construction of the roof frame, being worked on by more skilled carpenters.
The beam wobbles, teeters, and finally falls backward off the Khatta's shoulder, taking him mostly with it! The spotty cat falls back on his rump with a startled yowl, which turns to a breathless grunt as the beam catches him on the stomach!
Naomi frets, wringing her hands. "Oh no! Are you all right?" she calls. The doctor's assistant heads over from where she was helping her mom mind the table.
Galand groans, "Blasted… balance… "
"Of courth," Roshan comments, as an aside. "You'll want to put it in inthide. Wouldn't do to have some enterprithing thoul walk away with it."
Lochinvar helps Galand to his feet. "Careful. Wait until the hospital is finished before you need it, alright?"
Roho nods, clasping Roshan's shoulder, "Thank… thank you! I don't know what to say!"
Galand nods to the winged coyote, managing a wheezy noise of assent. He leans against a nearby tree, holding his stomach for a moment, then straightens up, managing to keep from wincing except the tiniest bit.
The Heyoke gives the Khatta a moment, and then offers him another beam. "Want to try that again?"
Naomi fusses over Galand for a moment, checking for broken ribs. She pokes his side. "Does this hurt?"
Nearby, two Titanians cheerfully carry a whole frame of timber cut so that the ends dovetail into each other, and pegged so they won't slide.
Galand gives Naomi a look that plainly says that it does. He wheezes for a moment, then clears his throat and says, "Of course it does, m'lady… most everything does after a hit like that. While I'm a bit busy at the moment, if you'd like to treat me later, I'd be more… amenable… "
Roshan grins toothlessly. "Oh, don't worry about thaying anything. Your thmile'th thankth enough." He wrinkles his nose slightly. "And thath'th a mouthful, tho don't make me thay it again."
Naomi frets. "Oh dear, I hope it's not broken. Doctor Roho hasn't taught me anything about how to set broken ribs yet. No one has had one yet."
Roho nods at Roshan, "I won't! Er, would you excuse me a moment?" He slips his way over towards Galand and Naomi…
Lochinvar decides to leave the Khatta for a moment, and picks up a few beams and heads towards the other end of the site with them.
The spotty cat gives the semi-Vartan an eager grin, then goes back over and hefts the beam, trying to ignore Naomi's concerned fretting.
The Rath'ani assistant, a somewhat plump young lady, calls to Roho. "The poor Khatta tried to pick up one of the planks and fell over! I think he hit himself with it. Do you think he's got broken ribs?" She observes Galand hefting the beam again, and starts to have doubts about this.
Roho walks up beside Galand, "You okay?"
Roshan looks over where Roho used to be. "No worrieth I." He calls out, "Don't go too far off! My eyeth aren't ath good ath they uthed to be!"
Galand smiles as he carefully balances the plank on his shoulder this time. "Yessir, I believe it just deflated my lungs a bit… not to mention my ego… I'll be fine. If I need any medical assistance at all, I'm sure you and your lovely young nurse there will be most helpful."
Roho grins and nods, "What she lacks in experience, she makes up for in enthusiasm!" He returns towards Roshan, out of the line of construction.
Naomi smiles. "Thank you, Doctor!" She flicks her tail and looks around to see if anyone else needs help.
While he's over the other side of the site, Lochinvar helps another Jupani by holding up a beam to be nailed again.
The withered old bat flutters his wings slightly, mumbling. "At leatht he'th uthed to not theein a dagh-blathted thing… " He squints as Roho returns. "Heh! Tho, I hear you're thettling down, mmm?"
Galand wanders over to where Lochinvar is, and asks, "So… where do I put this thing?"
Roho hms, "Settling down? I guess so… having this place'll tie me down for a while, probably stop my wandering for good… "
"Just on the pile with the rest, there," the winged-coyote notes, indicating the small pile with a nod of his head.
bang Ouch! The Jupani accidentally clips Lochinvar's hand with the mallet. "Oh no! Terribly sorry," he says, dropping the mallet and reaching to help the winged coyote.
Galand nods, setting the board down, then heading back for another…
Roshan slaps his knee, cackling. "Leave it to you to find a way to thettle down and keep moving!" He grows abruptly serious, "You know, I've thought about going back to Athdod. It'th home, not here."
The sayings about free food and free workers seem to be holding true yet again. A Khatta wandering down the street catches sight of the impromptu buffet and, consequently, the construction hubbub. She ponders the scene for a few moments, then looks around for anyone who looks 'in charge' of the operation.
Lochinvar winces, and pulls his hand away. He rubs it with his other a bit. "Okay just be a bit more careful, can you?"
The Jupani looks apologetic to Lochinvar, drooping his ears. "I'm really sorry. Really, really sorry. You sure you're okay?"
Galand pauses to grab another snack on his way for another plank, and spies the Khatta lady. A certain gleam enters his eye, and he smiles, wandering over and offering her a goodie. "Good day, m'lady… might I offer you something to eat, or perhaps some assistance or just good plain old companionship?"
The odd-looking Heyoke nods. "Really, it's fine. You only just clipped it after all."
The Jupani smiles. "Okay. What's your name? I'm Bob."
Roshan pushes the brim of his hat back a little, and watches as the younger folk maim themselves. "I've thtill got obligath'ns, though. Keeping an eye on a thithter'th thtore."
Cuthbert, the Jupani foreman, comes by to see the new Khatta. "'Ey! You here to lend a hand?" He grins widely, showing his teeth aren't in that great shape.
"Mine is Lochinvar." The coyote puts his hand back on the beam. "Do you think you can hit the nail this time, Bob?"
Bob nods his head rapidly, then scoops up the mallet and sticks his tongue out one side of his muzzle, taking aim.
Roho nods at Roshan, "We old folks must keep busy, after all. Maybe someday I can return to Ashdod… maybe."
The Khatta surveys Galand, raising an eyebrow. She accepts the goodie, then offers her right paw. "I'm Mira, captain of the Poodle Engaging In All Possible Vices with Simultaneous Satisfaction. Are you in charge here?"
Lochinvar thinks that he'll put his hand just a little lower this time, more out of the way.
Roho joins Galand and Cuthbert, "Welcome! Well, I don't think there's anyone really in charge here, though Cuthbert here is making sure folks put the right things in the right places. Care to lend a hand?"
The Jupani laughs. "Is that what you named your ship? That's a mouthful! I'm Cuthbert. I'm overseeing Roho's new hospital." He glances toward the fennec and this time does not point out Roho's inability to do it himself, just pointing at his eyes and turning his muzzle toward the healer.
Galand smiles, bows graciously and takes the paw, kissing the back of it. "My name is Ashur Galand, gambler and businessman extraordinaire… and I'm not in charge at the moment, but I couldn't resist assisting a lady who looked like she needed some direction.
bam! Bam bam bam. Bob manages to hit the stonewood nail, which is far denser than the lighter (but still sturdy) wood into which it is being hammered. He nails the beam into place, then goes with Lochinvar to do the other side likewise.
The spotty cat indicates Cuthbert and Roho. "The Jupani there is the foreman. He's the one you need to talk to. The elderly gentleman is the owner of this fine soon-to-be-establishment. Pleasant fellow, he is."
Milky eyes narrow slightly, and the old bat shrugs. "I heard about that." He looks at the ground for a moment. "Time changeth everything, though."
Mira gives Galand a look of … well, it's one of those 'what do YOU think you can offer ME?' looks. But she politely says, "Well met. It's a long name, isn't it? No, I usually call her The Glutton instead. It's easier to handle." She offers her paw in turn to the Jupani.
Roho turns back to Roshan, and looks like he might say something, then closes his mouth.
Galand notices Mira's look, and returns one of his patented 'How will you know if you never try?' looks, still smiling in a distinctly charming manner.
Cuthbert, the Jupani foreman, shakes hands with Mira. "That's a good name. Welcome to Roho's hospital, Captain, if you'll walk this way, we can get in some good work before we break for lunch. The eats are on Roho and his friends." He grins. "How are you on carpentering?"
Lochinvar heads around with the Jupani, noticing for the first time the new Khatta with Galand, and sighs to the fact that Galand saw her first.
Mira follows Cuthbert, sipping occasionally from a glass of water picked up from the buffet. Proudly, she says, "My crew and I, we pride ourselves on our repair skill. Why, I could tell you about the time one of those crazy Savanites crashed right through the rail! Thank the First Ones we were docked and he didn't get killed… " She continues on idly, warming to the topic.
A noticeably larger-than-average Savanite with a number of severe scars visible through his fur (the two most prominent forming an 'X' across his face) arrives. He walks up to the Jupani foreman, Cuthbert, bearing a written note, and bows respectfully.
Cuthbert laughs. "All right, you can take over hammering from Bob. Bob, you go and help those lot over there, the ones unloading the tiles for the roof."
Galand blinks as Mira just walks off, apparently unaffected by the charming smile and stare that has subdued so many others. "Uhh… " he stammers, then sighs, and goes back to hauling lumber.
The Jupani foreman blinks at the larger than usual Savanite. "What's this?"
Roshan mumbles to himself, then shrugs. "Eh. What matterth ith whath's now." The old bat grins toothlessly, "Too little time left to worry about whath's not going to change anytime thoon."
The Heyoke's ears perk up a bit as the Khatta airship captain heads his way, and he greets her with a warm smile. "Hello there are you a better aim?"
Mira sets about hammering stonewood nails neatly and precisely into planks, as instructed by the Jupani foreman.
The oversized cheetah points at the note to emphasize it. It reads,
"Dear Dr. Roho,
I have heard many great things about you and your work in Ashdod. As we both share the same profession, and you are just starting out in Rephidim much as I was, I thought it would only be proper that I extend my welcome and well wishes. My slave, X, will be more than happy to assist you with your building… He's quite strong, just a little slow with instructions sometimes. He should be adequate for your needs. Just send him home when you're done.
P.S… I hope you find it in your heart to remember my gift should you find your clinic is too full and must seek other offices in which to treat your patients; a Skreek must earn a living somehow after all."
Lochinvar sees that the Khatta is indeed a better aim, and nods approvingly.
Cuthbert scratches his ears, reading the note, and nods. "Oh, aye. Hey! Roho!" He waves the note at the fennec, then realizes that the doctor can't read it, and then explains the contents of the paper.
Roho listens to Cuthbert, then looks curious, "Do we know who sent this?"
Galand picks up another beam, balances it on his shoulder, and carries it over to where Mira is hammering away. He flashes her another smile and says, "Here you are, m'lady Captain… I'll hold it in place, you hammer?"
A piebald Lapi approaches the edges of the activity, and looks about for someone a bit less intimidating than the volunteer construction crew. He especially stays clear of the large Titanians and hulking Savanite…
X helpfully reaches over to point at what at first appears to be a dirty smudge at the bottom of the letter. Upon closer examination, it turns out to be a flourish of a signature, barely legible as "Chiria Naochi".
Cuthbert peers down at the note, trying to decipher the scrawl. "C… h… i… n… No, that's an r. i. a. Na-oooh-chi. Chiria Naochi."
Lochinvar looks over to Galand, "I'm quite alright holding her beam, I mean, the beam for the lady, actually."
Cuthbert grins. "Well, that's all right then. Your name is X then? You look pretty strong, why don't you help those two layabouts with the siding?"
Roho adds, "And don't forget to grab some food!" He turns towards the new arrival, "Hello!"
Mira nods her thanks to the spotted Khatta, lining up the plank carefully. "There. Straight as a hull-plank on launching-day. Hold 'er tight." She then enthusiastically starts driving nails into it. Bang! Bang! Bang!
X nods, bowing his head, then immediately heads over to the siding, grabbing a suitable load.
Galand smiles. "Must be tiring, standing here all day holding the same beam, friend. Why not go for a refreshing snack, or maybe a change of pace by doing some of the hauling yourself?" He keeps a firm hold on the plank.
"I've been carrying the beams for most of the day. It's a nice change to hold one up," Lochinvar replies.
Aaron smiles and bows to the Zerda before realizing he can't be seen, then clears his throat. "Ah! Yes… um, are you Dr. Roho by any chance?"
Roho nods, "I think so, yes! Who might you be?" He smiles.
Cuthbert saunters off to oversee the rest of the building process, missing the imminent donnybrook at the siding where Mira is working.
The Lapi introduces himself, "Aaron Lightfoot, of Lightfoot's Apothecary and Thaumaturgical Supplies, at your service."
The Khatta's smile gets slightly more toothy, and his voice develops a velvet-covered edge to it as he purrs, "I really think you ought to take a break… friend. You look like you could use a bit of refreshment."
Naomi mercilessly bandages a Kavi who got a thumb banged up! By the time the Rath'ani is done, his hands are bandaged together.
Roho smiles, "Well met! Care to join in the fun, or were you more interested in being a supplier?"
Lochinvar continues, "And besides, friend, you've almost only just started here."
Roshan's back creaks audibly, well, audibly to Roho at least as he stands. For a moment the old bat grows very fascinated with the ground at his feet, then he straightens up. "Oh." He coughs, covering his gasp up, then grins at Roho. "Tho, are you going to introduthe me to your athithtant?"
The Rath'ani covers her mouth. "Oh! I'm so sorry." She starts scissoring off some of the excess wrappings.
Roho chuckles, "I'll wait til she's done inflicting herself on our patients."
Aaron smiles, "Actually, yes… I was hoping to supply you with some of your herbal needs. Or perhaps carry some of your own remedies in my shop? I can offer you a good discount, as well as saving you the bother of having to prepare the more common medicines… "
Cuthbert calls out, "Straight lines, ye vermites! I want those planks to fit neatly, not like mismatched Zelaks on guard!" to the sawblade crew. He kicks aside some of the rather unevenly cut planks.
Mira drives one last nail into the plank. BANG! The plank is now firmly nailed into position. She looks up at Galand and Lochinvar. "By my reckoning, I just got here… is time flying again?" The two are greeted by a pair of raised eyebrows.
Roho smiles, "Well, we'll see, Mr. Lightfoot… perhaps I could stop by your 'pothecary sometime? It would be nice to not need to worry about growing and mixing every little thing… "
"These here'll be fit for nothing but shingles at the rate ye're going," the Jupani foreman complains, but chuckles.
"Thee thertainly theemth to have a way with her pathents," the old bat murmurs as he rubs his lower back.
Aaron says, "Why certainly! I have directions written down on this coupon I brought for you… "
Galand bows to Mira. "Then allow me to fetch you yet another piece for you to work your artistry upon, m'lady Captain… " he trots off to get another plank, giving Lochinvar a parting glance.
Roho smiles, "Oh, thank you!" He takes the proffered slip, "Feel free to stay for some refreshments, lend a paw if you like!"
A white-furred, platinum-grey-haired lady Eeee in airy blue robes and trousers flitters in, landing near the fennec doctor. She says, "Good morning, Doctor Roho!" She waves. Somehow, the act makes an audible sound. FWUP FWUP FWUP Perhaps it's an air mage.
Lochinvar grins back to the airship captain, "It certainly seems like it when you are working hard, yes."
Roho grins, "Wynona! Come to huff and puff and gust my home in?"
The Lapi nods fast enough for Roho to feel the breeze from his ears. "I did bring a small gift… a pack of sassbark tea, if you'd like to add it to your buffet. I'd be happy to prepare it."
Wynona squeaks in alarm. "Of course not, doctor! But I figured that maybe there was SOME way I could be of help. If nothing else, I could find a nice spot to set up my circle … and make sure you don't get rained on today!"
Down the street comes the first group of Landing Day carolers, getting a head start on the rest… And these look to be the best equipped as well; they're dressed up in odd costumes. The first, a group of very young Skeeks, wear flashy (but cheap) robes and their leader carries a glassy star upon a pole. Immediately following them are slightly older cubs dressed in strange shirts and pants of various colors, their shoulders decorated with pretty stripes and ribbons and bows.
Aaron turns and blinks in surprise to see Wynona! "Ah, Mage Windcaller! What a pleasant surprise!"
Roho smiles, "Glad to have you! I think we're in no real danger of rain, but we can always use some extra hands!" He smiles, "Oh, you two have met?"
The brown Khatta surveys her handiwork. "I don't do this kind of thing often. It's certainly different when there's no swaying deck beneath your feet."
The winged-coyote's ears prick up at the word 'mage', and he looks around to see the Eeee, frowning slightly.
Galand meanwhile picks up another plank, balances it on his shoulder, and heads over to Mira's position, swinging it up into place and ready for hammering. "There you go."
Aaron says, "Oh, yes Doctor! Mage Windcaller is one of my special preferred customers!"
Roho chuckles, "Let me guess… herbal cold medications?"
Wynona, her head turning this way and that, as she tries to keep up with her surroundings, at last responds to Aaron. "Oh! Hello there! Sorry I didn't notice you earlier. My, what a crowd you have here." At Roho's suggestion of her purchases, she snorts indignantly … then sniffles.
Aaron blinks, "Well, ah… magical supplies mostly."
Lochinvar ducks to avoid being hit by the beam as Galand swings it, and grabs the other end. "Careful!"
Following the uniformed cubs are three larger cubs in bizarre outfits including papiermache monster heads and long tails and tentacles sticking out their robes, and finally, there is a veritable crowd of other cubs, dressed in normal clothes or Temple Scout uniforms. The carollers look interested at the food on the table, but they are well enough mannered not to break formation. Instead, their leader, a pretty young gray wolf, smiles and waves to Roho and the others. "Good day! This is Troop 401, and we'd like to sing you some songs. Would you like to hear them?"
Galand looks over at Lochinvar, a twinkle in his eye. He purrs in an almost sugary voice, "Aww… did I do that? Ooopsie!"
Roshan hobbles over to stand next to Roho, grinning tooth or rather, toothlessly. "Aren't you going to introduthe me, or are you going to let an old friend thit around?" His wings spread slightly as he smiles at Wynona. "Roshan Zagren, at your thervith."
Mira soon has this plank fastened as well, despite the mishap. "Thank you!" she says to her helpers, politely if a bit belatedly. "You're both so kind." Perhaps she is used to the different rules of etiquette followed aboard ship.
Spotting Naomi, Aaron says, "If you'll excuse me a moment, I'll go talk to your nurse about preparing the tea for folks… " He hides a look of pique at the old Eeee behind a flopped over black ear.
Roho smiles, "We'd be delighted, madam!" He sits back to listen, then stands back up, "Oh, sakes, my manners! My longtime friend, Roshan Zagren. Roshan, my travelling companion Wynona Windcaller, and Aaron Lightfoot."
Wynona smiles humoredly and bows to Roshan. "Wynona Windcaller, Alumnus of the Collegia Esoterica, Specialist in the Sphere of Air." She holds her hand conspicuously to show off the ring that proves her claim.
Galand snaps off a smart salute, grinning at Mira. "Only too happy to serve, Cap'n." He heads off for another plank, tail swishing happily at the compliment.
Naomi oohs! "Singers! I love music." She wanders close to the Temple Scouts to listen as well.
Smiling back to the captain, Lochinvar replies, "No problem at all, Captain. Anytime. Especially should you need an extra hand on board at sometime. I do have airship experience… " He flashes a grin at Galand in a 'top that' attitude.
The troop's "den mother" smiles to Roho. "Thank you, sir!" She looks at her charges, who are starting to get anxious, and then whispers to Naomi's mother at the table. She whispers to the children, "Now, now. You'll all get a cookie and something to drink after you sing, all right? Good."
Mira's left ear, closer to the winged coyote, perks up. "Hmmmm."
Roshan grins, "Oho! An Air Mage." He loops an arm around Roho and pokes at him with his free hand. "You never told me you had thutch interethting friendth!" He smiles at Wynona, revealing that he does indeed have teeth, albeit only a few. "Thutch abthentmindedneth."
Galand's ears twitch dangerously at Lochinvar's comment and grin, but no other outward sign is given that he heard. As he brings the next plank over, he asks of Mira, "Captain, pardon my asking, but what sort of work does your fine ship do, usually?"
At the table, Aaron prepares the sassbark tea, glancing back every few moments at the elderly Eeee trying to charm Wynona, muttering quietly about 'old bats' or something.
Wynona giggles. "Well, really, Doctor Roho has quite a FEW interesting friends… " But, then, she looks thoughtful and lets it trail off at that, perhaps thinking it best to let Roho tell his own tales. "Now then … I'll just look for a good spot to set up and … Aha! That looks like a clear spot. I don't see too many people carrying lumber through where they're sawing boards. If you'll excuse me, I'll get to work now. Pleased to meet you!"
Careful Khatta hands help to guide this plank into position as well. "Just about anything," the captain replies proudly. "Did you want to hire her out?" Bang!
Some grumbling ensues, but the children do comply. The pretty gray wolf rings a crystal triangle and as the Temple Scouts line up, they sing, "They came upon a midnight clear, the Expedition of old,
from the heaven they came to earth to find an age of gold… "
The uniformed group steps forward leading this verse. The oldest one, a lion-colored Khatta wearing a fancy hat and carrying a costume sword and a carved wood "handgun" in his sash, solos the next verse. "Peace on the earth, friendship to all, teach us, we have much to learn,"
and the rest join in, "The Captain broadcast, waiting for the First Ones to return… "
It's a familiar melody to Rephidim denizens.
Other children look around at the strangely costumed monsters and stifle giggles.
Roshan casts a cheerful glance at Roho. "I couldn't thee much more than a blob. Ith thee pretty? Pfah! You wouldn't know." He grumps quietly, crossing his arms.
Galand arches an eyebrow. "Well, perhaps not personally, but I may have a number of business contacts that could be used to gain you some contracts for your vessel. And who knows? I may even be tempted to call upon you, should I ever need transport to some far corner of the world." He flashes another smile at the lady Khatta. "Does that sound appealing to you at all?" He flicks his eyes over at Lochinvar and returns the 'top that!' grin.
Roho winks at Roshan, "Now now, you used to be such a gentleman!"
At a brief lull in the music, the perhaps youngest Temple Scout chimes in with her solo. "GISH!" the spotted feline sing-squeals enthusiastically, squeezing a stuffed toy bug that is probably NOT part of a proper costume. She gets a few looks from a Jupani, Eeee and another Scout of indeterminate species next to her, but she makes no further inappropriate noise, smiling cheerily.
As the singing drifts by on the wind, Mira puts down her hammer and perks her ears in the direction of the Scout troop, listening. Her two suitors are forgotten, for the moment.
This time the 'First Ones' and those of the Star-holding group come forward, singing, "Down through the star-filled skies they came, their great banners unfurled;
the First Ones welcomed them openly to our beloved world… "
The First Ones bow and step back, tentacles bobbing in the air as the star-group sings, "Somewhere above our earthly things they'll wait 'til times are right;
somehow, someday we'll see them again, on a great and holy night… "
Roshan straightens up slightly. "Oh, the Firtht Oneth thertainly broke the mold with me."
One of the First Ones mutters to the inappropriately soloing Temple Scout, "No gishing me!"
Lochinvar looks at Galand and pauses for a moment. "I am conversant in several major languages for major trade routes. Such as Imperial and Khattan. I also am familiar with the Savanite silent tongue."
Naomi sighs happily and whispers to Roho, "I used to sing with the Temple Scouts!"
Aaron begins to fill various cups and mugs with tea for people.
Roho grins and whispers back, "Did you have the Gish part?"
X, midway along while carrying another load, spares a sidelong glance at the very young "soloist". He furrows his brow upon seeing what looks for all the world like a little Savanite cub … singing in the choir. He shakes his head and goes about his work. It wouldn't do for a slave to stop to listen to carols.
Now it is the normally dressed people who step forward and sing, "Yet with the woes of war and strife, Sinai hath suffered long since that graceful ark came, we've seen too many years of wrong… And friend at war with friend thinks not of our Temple's kind ways,"
and are joined by the rest of the Temple Scouts, "O hush the noise, silence your hate, and know peace all your days… "
Naomi shakes her head to Roho. "I don't remember a gish part… It must be new."
The Lapi keeps a wary eye on the giant Savanite. What with rumors of citizenship in the Nagai Empire, he's sure the Savanite Conspiracy is about to do something big…
Galand listens to the singers, and murmurs softly at the last line, "If it were only that easy… "
"But lo! The days keep hastening on;
the Temple has foretold,
that with the ever-passing years comes the new Age of Gold,"
warble the Temple Scouts. They join in all at once, "First Ones" stepping out to hold hands with the others, their voices rising. "Peace shall come to Sinai,
of peace and love we'll all sing,
as all the world delights once more,
by the light of the Worldly Ring… "
A high childish voice holds the last note and then their Den Mother starts clapping, starting off the workers on their own applause.
Naomi smiles, a tear forming at her eyes.
Wynona, having finished her ritual circle, begins chanting, surrounded partially by a protective shield of sawhorses. Unfortunately, it seems she's missing the music.
Galand claps approvingly, bracing the plank he was holding with an elbow and smiling widely.
Aaron applauds for the carolers.
Roho smiles and joins in the applause!
Mira applauds. "Wonderful!" More quietly, she adds, "And certainly more on key than my crew usually is."
Lochinvar takes advantage of Galand holding the beam up, and claps for the carolers also.
The Temple Scout carolers take their bows! Naomi's mother takes the covering cloth off of the cookies and starts pouring cups of Rughrat milk for the good singers, and the Den Mother hurries the cubs on, rather than try and stop them from rushing to their well-earned rewards.
The little spotted feline Scout holds her stuffed toy bug under one arm while she grabs a bug-filled cookie. She bites into it with enthusiasm … then squeals, again, "GIIISH!" She apparently hasn't been taught not to talk with her mouth full.
Roshan grins, applauding as well, then rubs at a milky eye. "Hmf. Maketh me think about my grandchildren." He nudges Roho. "The houthe hath gotten a lot more crowded over the yearth."
Galand chuckles at the little spotted kit. "Cute little one… wonder what all that 'gish' business is about though."
After a few minutes of loud chomping noises and more resting, the kids are ready to get back to work. They wave merrily at all the workers and head off to the next place to carol.
"I believe it's what happens when you squish a bug, friend," Lochinvar comments to Galand. "Something the Eeee take great pleasure in, too."
Roho chuckles at Roshan, "I envy you… Even the noise and chaos."
Galand hmms and nods. "True… though that last thought brings images to my mind that I do not wish to contemplate on a full stomach."
Lochinvar chuckles and nods, "Talking of full stomachs, perhaps now would be a good time to break. Captain, would you care to join me at the food table?"
As if on cue, Cuthbert yells, "All right, I hear those growling tummies! Go eat. An' don't forget, we'll be servin' dinner tonight too! A real Landing Day feast wif' a whole Rughrat!"
The old bat rocks back on his heels a little. "Oh, motht have gone their own wayth, now. To Babel, mothtly, though thome are thtill at Red Thtone." He furrows his brow, bushy eyebrows scrunching together, "And no one knows what happened to my youngetht grand-daughter."
Mira finishes hammering in the final nail on a plank bang! and straightens up, working a kink out of her back. "Aye. Real food sounds good. Why, you should've seen what we had on the Glutton last time. We were so full o' cargo we could barely stock the galley… " Once again, she launches into a sailor story.
Naomi takes a cup of tea from Aaron. "Why thank you… Have we been introduced?" The Rath'ani assistant smiles at the Lapi. "I'm Naomi, Doctor Roho's assistant."
Galand mutters to himself, glaring at Lochinvar, "And I'll wager he's full of something else, too… "
Aaron makes an exaggerated bow to Naomi, "Aaron Lightfoot, milady. Hopefully a future business associate of the good Doctor."
The Heyoke choses to ignore the Khatta, and offers to walk the lady captain to the table listening to her story instead.
"A future business associate?" Naomi looks puzzled. "Does that mean he pays you the money now and you give him whatever it is later? Or the other way around?"
Aaron blinks, then breaks out in a wide grin! "Oh no… I hope to supply him with some of his more common needs. I own an Apothecary."
Naomi's look of confusion fades. "oh! That must be an… um." She tries to figure out if being an apothecary can be described as exciting or not. "Interesting business," she compromises.
Galand follows alongside the lady Captain, interjecting comments and trying to strike up a conversation that is more than small talk.
Aaron waves a hand, "Well… not really. I used to go and collect the herbs and such for my uncle when he owned it. That was much more exciting!"
Lunch is a potluck-style banquet with cuisine from half a dozen lands, including Abu Dhabian drokkar curry and Ashdodian Rughrat, a kind of potato mash with bits of sausages mixed in, a whole Bromthen forest hog near which Naomi's mom stands ready to cut slices, and of course, fixings for sandwiches.
Upon reaching the table, Mira surveys the offerings and almost subconsciously tugs her uniform shirt down a bit.
A matronly Vartan near Roho stops by to tell him, "Do try my pine seed casserole, Doctor! We're so looking forward to having you in our neighborhood. You'll be a real pillar of the community."
Roho smiles, as he scoops some onto his plate, "I'm certainly flattered you think so! I'll do my best not to disappoint."
Naomi says, "Herb collecting? Does that ever get dangerous?" She looks unsure whether to take Aaron seriously or not, but gets in line for a wooden plate and some of the food.
Roshan follows along, chuckling quietly to himself. He leans over to Roho. "Pillar of the community, hmm? You've gone and become thuch a gentleman."
Roho nods at Roshan, as he takes his plate of food to a seat, "I've got them all fooled right proper!"
Aaron nods solemnly, "Oh, tramping around in the wilderness often is. Why, I could tell you tales of the Savan jungles that would curl your tail!"
The captain decides on forest hog, and politely waits in line to be served. It looks very tasty.
The matronly Vartan beak-grins at Roho. "You sure?" She pats him on the back and goes off to help tend the table.
As the line progresses, Naomi's mother, a plumper Rath'ani than Naomi herself, smiles at Mira. "Watch those two," she says gesturing with her cleaver to Lochinvar and Galand, then carves off a healthy section of ham for the captain.
The old bat slumps. "And here I thought it wath my turn to be the rogue. Oh well." He smiles at the Vartan, then helps himself to a few fried rockhoppers.
Lochinvar waits in line behind Mira for his turn, his eye on the casserole.
Aaron leans in towards Naomi and whispers, "I've heard Doctor Roho has had a few adventures of his own."
Galand waits his turn, selects some ham, and some potato mash to go with it, then makes sure to grab a seat next to Mira…
"Zsofi is not serving people. Zsofi is here to pick up the trash and she does not do that either." The Demoncat standing behind the table announces. "Zsofi will pull out your livers and use them for pillows if you do not put garbage in garbage pail when you done."
Naomi serves herself a good helping of the pine seed casserole, and looks curious at Aaron. "The Savan Jungle?" Her estimation of the Lapi rises a notch.
The Rath'ani jumps! at Zsofi's sudden exclamation.
Galand blinks at Zsofi's little speech, and turns to look at her. He says in a half-joking voice, "My… not violently inclined, are we?"
The old bat totters up to Zsofi, and sticks his plate out. "I'll be thure to clean up afthther mythelf, m'dear. Could you pleathe give me thome of the bromthen? Jutht a thmall thlithe."
Aaron cringes back from the psychotic Exile as well, almost spilling his plate.
Lochinvar also makes sure he gets a seat neat to the captain of the Glutton, sitting on the other side of her, and doing his best to ignore Galand.
Mira eyes Zsofi calmly as she might a wayward crewman as she settles in a clear, somewhat-clean spot to eat her plateful of fresh food and to drink the tasty juice.
The black almost-Khatta glares at the old bat. "Zsofi is not here for serving people, get it yourself."
Aaron mutters, "Exiles… "
Cuthbert balances two plates, having a little of everything. He grins. "Hearty appetite."
Galand shrugs at Aaron. "Different cultures, different habits… " He glances at Zsofi again, and adds, "And different table manners."
Zsofi glowers, and stands in the way of Naomi's Mom as she tries to help people.
Naomi's mom wap!s Zsofi's hand with a spatula. "Move please, sweetheart, there's a dear," she says, and serves Roshan a small slice of ham.
"She wouldn't last two days on the Glutton," is the brown Khatta's pronouncement."
Aaron clears his throat, and calls to Zsofi, "Why don't you help yourself to some tea. It's very… er… calming."
Roshan tilts his head slightly. Roho certainly has gathered some interesting friends. "Ah. Yeth. Trath, ath you thaid." He ruffles his wings faintly, then smiles at Naomi's mother. "Ah! Thank you, madam!"
"Zsofi does not want tea, Zsofi does not want to be beaten with spatulas. Zsofi does not want to be here." She growls, moving over a few feet to stand with her arms crossed.
Galand mutters, "Zsofi wants a major attitude adjustment."
"Spatulas?" the Lapi asks, his ears drooping.
Lochinvar swallows down a bit of casserole and comments back to Mira, "I doubt that she's for hire for airship crew anyway… unlike some people here." That said with a slight grin.
"Yes, dear," Naomi's mom says pleasantly to Aaron. "Would you like some of the pine seed casserole? It's very good, if you like seeds."
Mira swallows a bite of meat. "What can you do?" is her next question.
Galand leans over and smiles sweetly at Lochinvar. "Why, I believe he can be used as an auxiliary hot air storage facility."
Aaron smiles to the matronly Rath'ani, "I'd be delighted to try some, milady. Your little sister here seems to be enjoying it."
Galand continues, "Or perhaps a gasbag flammability tester?"
Roshan looks around vaguely. "Thpatul Oh, nevermind." He wanders off after Roho.
The winged coyote continues to blank Galand. "What do Vartans normally do on airships? Help with rigging, defense, that sort of thing."
"Oh! Naomi is my daughter," the Rath'ani says, blushing a bit at the misperception of age. She sections off a piece of the casserole and sticks the spatula under it, then lifts it onto Aaron's plate where the layers of pasta slump just a little, showing the pine seed, cheese, and chopped vegetable filling.
The captain sips some juice, ignoring Galand's comment for the moment. "If you've got something to add, please, wait your turn."
The Lapi smiles, "Oh, I crave your pardon then madam. But you must hear that sort of thing alot."
The motherly raccoon simpers. "You flatterer! Go on, have a little dessert to go with that." She serves up a slice of carrot cake to Aaron.
Aaron brushes back his lop-ear and thanks Naomi's mother.
Mira nods, and turns to Galand. "And you would like to sign on, too?"
Naomi grins at her mother. "I think you've got a new friend," she whispers to Aaron once they are safely out of range. "She spends a fortune on makeup so she can get told how young she looks."
Aaron winks to Naomi, and shares some of the carrot cake with her.
Roho grins and nudges Naomi, "Perhaps he was just thinking you're starting to look a little old?"
Naomi aaacks! She swats at Roho. "Doctor!"
Roshan finds a stool to perch upon, and grins at Roho. "Tho, looking to exthpand your practith?" He smiles at Naomi, then looks back at his old friend. "You're already gathering apprentitheth. It won't be long before you're a rethpected old phythithian, to whom otherth turn for thage advithe."
Aaron blinks at Roho! "Really Doctor… although, I must confess a curiousity about how you've managed to attain such a noble age. Special diet or exercises, perhaps?"
Naomi sulks a bit but smiles at Roho anyway, since she knows that he doesn't mean it. She eats with a healthy appetite.
Lochinvar looks over to Galand with amused interest, to hear what he can do.
All of the forest hog is gone from Mira's plate. Spotting Aaron walking by with a slice of carrot cake, she stands to fetch a piece for herself.
Roho grins, "Sorry, Naomi, the day's just put me in a festive mood." He tilts his head at Aaron, "I'm not rightly sure. I try to eat well, and I've certainly been getting a lot of exercise recently. Perhaps I'm just being kept around to make the young ladies' lives more difficult!"
Galand smiles at the lady Captain. "Well, I've got a good set of hands, and I'm certainly willing to learn any trade you put me to. Plus, there are those business contracts I mentioned. I'm quite a skilled negotiator. Not to mention that any funding I… shall we say, acquire, I would be more than willing to share with my benevolent Captain."
Aaron chuckles. Age hasn't done anything to dull the Zerda's wit, apparently.
Galand reaches over for his cloak, and removes from it a holster with what appears to be a folding 2-shot crossbow on it. "Oh, and did I mention I'm an expert marksman?"
Roshan chortles at Roho. "Thee? Ith happening already. Advithe."
Mira wanders over to the buffet, inquiring of the Vartan where the carrot cake may be found.
The older Vartan lady beak-grins. "Over there, dearie," she says, pointing to the covered dish by Naomi's mother. Evidently dessert gets served to everyone else who didn't have the wits to flatter her, after they've had lunch.
Roho nods at Roshan, "All joking aside, I think perhaps it is time to settle down, and start to leave some of my knowledge behind." He gestures at the building-in-progress, "Hence this." He smiles at Naomi, "You helped me decide this… I never had an assistant before, you know."
Naomi blushes in her ears. "Aww shucks, Doctor… I didn't know if I really wanted to be a healer, either." She grins.
Mira smiles. "Thank you." Having served herself a slice of cake, the Khatta wanders back toward her two admirers and seats herself once more.
Roho chews a mouthful of casserole, then asks genuinely curious, "Do you think you want to finish learning, and become one?"
"Ah-ah!" Naomi's mother pounces on Mira's plate and makes sure that she's had food already, then smiles. "Ah! What a good Khatta you are. Clean your plate, dear."
Galand realizes that Mira heard absolutely none of his earlier speech, and repeats himself…
Milky eyes glitter, "Well, you thertainly look happy." Roshan hmfs, and nudges the Zerda, "And perhapth you could help me." He leans forward a little, "I can't thee ath well ath I uthed to. Ith rather dithcontherting."
The winged-coyote blinks a little as Mira sits back down, slightly flushed that he didn't notice she got up.
Naomi nods to Roho seriously. "I like to sing… But I think there's something special about being a healer, too. Saving lives, helping people who're hurt, curing the sick… It just seems to mean so much!" She grins, "But you have to promise I can practice music in my spare time, at least what I have of it, all right, Doctor?"
Roho nods at Roshan, "I'd be glad to… consider yourself one of the first appointments."
Roho nods at Naomi, "Yes, of course, one must have a leisure pursuit!" He grins, "But you'll find your spare time will dwindle more and more as you learn."
Galand smiles at Mira as she retakes her seat. "You asked earlier what I might be able to do on the ship. Well… I've got a good set of hands, and those business contacts of mine could come in handy as well… plus, if I'm out, and I happen to do a bit of, shall we say, acquisition of funds, I'd be willing to share that with my benevolent Captain… "
The Rath'ani assistant grins and gives Roho a hug. "That's because you can't seem to relax, you're always looking around to see if someone else needs help. I'll try and do both, if I can, but I think healing is something where I can do more to help others."
Galand pats the holster with the folding 2-shot crossbow in it. "And I'm even willing to throw in my services as an expert marksman."
Roho chuckles, "Well, the other solution would be to slip tranquilizers in my tea. I think you'll manage to keep both up quite nicely."
Roshan settles back a bit, then picks at one of his fried grasshoppers. For the most part he hasn't seemed to've eaten much on his plate. "Well. Well. Thath good to hear."
Mira takes a bite of carrot cake, one eyebrow raising pleasantly at the taste. "Remind me to compliment the cook. A marksman, eh? Hmmm… well … I'm not sure if I need any of those at the moment, but if you'll be kind enough to let me know where I can find you -" the captain pauses to sip some juice "I might have a use for you in the future."
Aaron finishes his meal, and eyes the trashcan being guarded by the crazy hooved feline.
Naomi perks her ears up at Roho's suggestion. "Would that work, do you think, Doctor? Why didn't I think of that before?" She winks.
Roho chuckles, "Probably too busy slipping them to the noisy patients, I'd guess." He takes a sip of tea, to hide a grin.
Galand nods. "Most certainly, m'lady Captain… " he fishes in his shirt pocket and pulls out a small card, with an address written in flowing script. "This is the address where I may be found much of the time… and if I am not there, the landlord will surely be able to tell you where to find me." He flashes a sincere smile. "I await your call eagerly."
Lochinvar shrugs a little to Galand, in a friendly 'oh, bad luck' type gesture.
"It was only once!" the Rath'ani assistant protests.
The black almost-Khatta glares back at the Lapi, but doesn't say anything.
Roho nods at Naomi, "And it was a perfectly understandable mistake, the laxative looks very similar."
Naomi decides not to mention that it was intentional… She nods with Roho instead and changes the subject. "Now how are we going to get everyone to stop eating and get back to work, Doctor?"
The card disappears into a uniform pocket. "Thank you," Mira replies. "I'll be sure to remember your offer."
Roho chuckles, "I was thinking your mother would probably help them along… "
Galand smiles at Lochinvar. Just smiles. It's the kind of smile that, after a few moments, can become rather unnerving.
Roho rasps, "She seems awfully persuasive!"
Aaron grins, "She certainly does."
The Rath'ani nods, "But I think she's having too much fun with everyone telling her how young she looks so they can have some of the cake too." She pouts. "Mothers! I can't take them anywhere."
Roho smiles at his assistant, then sits back in his seat, stretching comfortably after the huge meal.
Lochinvar stares back at Galand, then looks to Mira. "Excuse me, captain? Could you perhaps use my services?"
Naomi hmfs! at Roho. "Oh sure, now it's all my fault if I don't think of something." She pouts but smiles and then goes for some dessert.
Aaron glances over the two trying to impress the air-captain… now, hasn't he seen her somewhere before? Maybe he can get them to carry the garbage past the demoncat.
Mira seems to not notice that unnerving smile. Instead, she addresses Lochinvar. "I'm always on the lookout for possible airmen."
The Lapi decides to take his chances with the Exile himself. If she was dangerous, surely they wouldn't let her work in public like this.
Zsofi isn't doing anything, except perhaps imagining interesting ways to kill people. She is standing with her arms crossed, and her usual unhappy expression, beside the garbage can.
The coyote simply nods in return with a semi-serious expression. "If you need me, you only need to ask down at the Docks for me. Most people seem to know who I am."
Roshan toys with his slice of bromthen absently, finally eating a small piece, then finishes the last of his rockhoppers before standing as well. He makes it to Zsofi about the same time Aaron does. "Oh! Terribly thorry there, thon." He weaves past the Lapi, and dumps what's left of his food in the trash.
Galand rebuckles the holster to his belt, then gets up to deposit his trash…
Aaron says, "Er, no problem sir."
Mira nods. "Lochinvar, isn't it?"
Aaron dumps his own trash quickly and heads back towards the others.
Lochinvar nods, "That's right, yes."
The withered old Eeee peers up at the demoncat. "Remember to destroy everyone if they leave trath at their tableth."
Cuthbert belches. "Mm! Good." He stands and saunters toward the trash can as well.
"Zsofi will," she replies.
Roho stands, and deposits his own trash, sneaking a slice of cake in the process.
The captain nods. "I won't forget."
Roshan nods. "Good!" He turns around and weaves his way back to his table. "Totally inthane," he mumbles.
As Cuthbert passes the trash can and dumps his plate, he nods to the demoncat with a smile. "Nice of ye to watch the can fer us, Zsofi." Then turning to the others, he calls, "Awright, finish 'em, if ye're still workin' on 'em! Let's get the roof done 'fore dinner!"
The captain stands, as lunch's coming to a close. She heads off toward the trash can, eyeing Zsofi warily.
Zsofi gives Cuthbert a glare, and another one to Mira; she's been quite generous with her angry looks so far today. The demoncat seems content to do nothing besides that and stand like some sort of dark gargoyle behind the bin, she remains motionless as people come and go.
The winged-Heyoke stands, and smiles at the captain. "If you will excuse me now, captain," he says, and heads towards the trashcan, giving the horned black cat an odd look, then deposits his trash without comment before heading off.
Mira heads off to get back to work, muttering "She'd never act like _that_ on _my_ ship… " Her voice fades off as the sounds of hammering start again.
Galand flashes a smile at Zsofi as he makes a point of putting his garbage in the can. "Good day to you too, m'lady psychotic one."
As Zsofi's glares get a workout, the crew filters back to work, some drifting off to tend to other errands, other visitors drifting in to lend their hands.
Roho gets back up, and prepares to continue flagging down passer-by interested in food…
The walls of the hospital are raised slowly, and then with the help of ladders and prodigious swearing, Cuthbert supervises the lifting and fastening of roof frames, and subsequent laying of shingles… He makes sure, furthermore, to keep Mira, Lochinvar, and Galand not too close to each other, having observed a bit of their 'social interactions'.
And so by the end of the day, Roho's Freedom Park Hospital is born, the as-yet unpainted wooden walls and windows looking blindly out onto the park, and some neighbors volunteering to come by in later days to help paint and furnish it, and one creative Vartan suggesting that a stone walk will look quite pretty… Dinner is tasty and memorable, and as the sun sets over the eastern horizon, making the ring a glowing sword in the sky, all those who gathered to help Roho build his new hospital can feel justifiably proud of their accomplishment.
Roho, with guidance from Cuthbert, gently taps the final nail in. This one, made of metal, holds up a simple sign. Painted in black lettering, the sign reads "All Welcome"