Another Fine Day in the Bazaar
Wagons, booths and tents line the streets and fill the vacant lots in the portion of town that has been taken over by the phenomenon known as the Bazaar, under the shadow of decrepit buildings and a long-since-nonfunctional clock tower.
Zoltan meanders through the various carts and booths, looking for any item that might look good in the shop or just something to bring home to the cubs for dinner.
There are more bats here than in many parts of the Bazaar. That is because 'Little Babel' is nearby … an unofficial cluster of booths and tents catering to Eeee tastes literally and figuratively including wares sold on the street level as well as up on any available balcony or ledge. After all, their intended customers have wings…
Zoltan looks at the Eees in the crowd, curious if any of the crewmen from the Bell are around.
There are a few familiar bat faces. While to some people, 'all Eeee look alike', Zoltan has certainly spent enough time on that ship to get to know quite a few of those faces.
Likewise, Zoltan gets some recognition. "Ho there!" "ZOLTAN!" More heads turn, and several sailors wave in Zoltan's direction.
Two Eeee's seems to be discussing something a little firther away on the street. Nothing in particular with two Eees's around here, if it wasn't for the unusual stiff atmosphere radiating from at least one of them. They talk silently and in the Eeee tongue, wich makes it difficult for others to hear the higest pitched vocals, making evesdropping a little more difficult. One of the Eeee's nod to the other and turns around, continuing down the street. The other Eeee walks up along an alley, disappearing from sight.
Suddenly the stiff Eeee seems to relax, and meld into the crowd, his eyes and ears scanning the area.
The black Vartan grins and waves to the Eee. "Haloo!"
"*WACHOO*!" Something flies by Zoltan, then lands beside him. Something bat-shaped, white, with gray hair. "Heddo, Dodtan! *HONK!*"
"Hello Wynona." Zoltan scrawks, grinning. "How you been?"
Wynona sniffles. "Better."
The Vartan nods. "You allergies no seem much better. Is city botherings them?"
An Eeee, which have just started haggling about the price of a small clay pot, keeps one eye and one ear on the Vartan and the female Eeee talking very discretely.
Roho stands a little distance away, haggling with another merchant, "No, I don't care about the color, I just need the right shape!"
Wynona's ears perk up at the familiar voice of the Zerda, and she looks … then giggles at the exchange.
Zoltan grins and walks up to Roho, he squawks loudly as he approaches just in case the Zerda doesn't smell him.
Roho turns at the squawk, "Oh, hi! How's business been, Zoltan?"
Pointing at another piece the haggling Eeee movies himself in a position so he can still overview the discussion, his ear carefully twitching to listen in on the conversation, past the irritating merchant, as he idly discusses the price of a ceramic bowl this time.
Wynona squeaks, "Yes! How have you been faring?"
"Still in planning for new shop. I just taking a break from it all for awhiles." Zoltan scrawks. "Wanted to apologise for disturbance yesterday… must have seem very rude."
Wynona says, "A new shop? Ohhh! So when he wanted to know how BUSINESS was going, he really meant it? What sort of shop?"
Roho lowers his voice a little, "Is the problem settled, in that area?" He turns back to the impatient merchant, "Yes, I know we were talking about a price!"
Wynona sticks her tongue out at the merchant. "I'm swiping the Zerda for now, so you just wait your turn! … He has the CUTEST ears, you know… "
Zoltan grins at Wynona. "My master runs Shiny Shoppe in Merchant's quarter, I invested Paradys money in it and now we going to open a second one. Maybe in Faraon's dome where other Vartans live."
Flailing his arms in the air the other Eeee shouts something to the merchant, points over to the stand which is occupied by the Vartan, female Eeee and the Fennec, and says "I can get the same things over there for about half the price and twice as nice service!" and he steps over to the other merchant.
Looking over the merchants wares, the sneaky Eeee starts examining yet another bowl.
A dot of shadow appears above Zoltan, slowly growing to cover him.
Roho's ears turn pink at Wynona's comment, "Um, yes… right. What am I being swiped for, then?"
Zoltan whispers to Roho, in answer to his earlier question, "Not sure… for some reason I no think so." He turns around to face the 'shadow'.
Taliamelle zooms down over Zoltan's head, then flips, wings fluttering rapidly, before she lands neatly before him. She covers her mouth with her hand and giggles. "Fool ya', huh?"
Wynona shrugs and giggles, "So you can TALK, of course, silly! EEK!" She squeaks at the suddenly-appearing half-Vartan child. "Don't scare me like that! Hmph!"
Zoltan lets his breath out explosively. "Yah… you scare me good." And she did too!
Said child cocks her head slightly at the bat. "You who?"
Roho grins at Wynona, "Talk, yeah, I can do that. How've you been? I guess you're still a little plugged up, by the sound of things… actually, what I'm doing here might be able to help you with that!"
The Eeee holds up a bowl and says to the merchant "Do you know what that scoundrel over there took for such a thing as this." pointing one finger to the merchant's stand he was coming from "6 schekel. If I wanted to be robbed I could as well have gone to Darkside, and there they are more pleasant. No, I do not doubt, my good man, that you have an honest face and could not sell these for anything but two schekels. Am I not right?"
"Well, actually." the merchant begins "I do take eight schekels for that articular item, but you see it has… "
The Eeee looks at the merchant and says "Surely you are mistaken, not this bowl."
Zoltan looks over his shoulder at the haggling and then focuses his attention back on his two companions.
Wynona looks back to Taliamelle. "It's ME, silly! Wynona. Oh yes. You're one of those who don't like magic. Ah well. Don't worry. If you're good, I won't cast any spells on you."
Taliamelle's eyes go wide at that comment. She shuffles herself a bit behind Zoltan.
Taliamelle peers out at Wynona.
Zoltan pats Taliamelle's head and frowns a little at Wynona. "That not something you joke with most Vartans abouts."
The Eeee holds the bowl high over his head as he talks angrily with the merchant, flailing it in the air. Suddenly his fingers slip and it flies through the air in an arc and hits Zoltan in the back of his head accidentally. It bounces off and lands on the ground between him and the haggling Eeee.
Roho blinks at the thump, "What was that?"
The Vartan SCRAWKS as the bowl smacks him, he turns around and glares in the direction it came from.
Wynona hmphs. "Well! Some people. No sense of humor… "
Looking up at the Vartan the poor Eeee smiles at him and says "Oh, Iamterriblysorry, sir." He bends down carefully, still looking at the Vartan and says "It, it just slipped my fingers when I was, eh, talking with this merchant."
Zoltan rubs his head and growls something to himself. "Better have been accident."
Taliamelle lets out a small eep, and runs out of the way. "Zol'an, you okay?" She blinks.
The Eeee nods to the Vartan and says "Again my pardons. Is there anyway I can repay you for your inconvenience. Perhaps a glass of some sort?" he asks, looking up.
Wynona sniffles. "Okay? Okay? Why doesn't anybody ask about ME? Why, I feel positively … Oh, nevermind. Are you okay, Zoltan?"
The Vartan sighs and shakes his head. "No… it alrights. Should be thankful I gots think head I suppose." He manages to crack a small smile.
Putting the bowl away to the merchant he waves a hand in a way that shows that he is no linger interested in the bowl. He says to Zoltan "Please, my apologies sir. It would feel better for me if I could repay you somehow."
Zoltan looks to Taliamelle, then to the Eee, then to a nearby merchant. "Tell you whats, you get my cub a purple necklace and we consider matter closed." He points to a booth selling little glass beaded necklaces, cheap costume jewelry but something that would make a Vartan cub very happy.
Wynona giggles. "Your cub? So you've adopted her, too! You must have quite a family now!"
Zoltan looks forlornly at Wynona and nods, pointing to his bedraggled tail.
The unfortunate Eeee smiles and says "Agreed." then, just before he is about to leave for his he turns back to the Vartan and asks "By the way, what is your name?"
The Vartan scrawks, "Zoltan Cambino… and you?"
The Eeee puts his heels together and bows stiffly answering, "Skrill Mantibo, sir." With just one slightly worried look to Wynona, he adds, "And do not worry, that necklace is as good as yours." He quickly makes his way to the merchant selling them.
Taliamelle bounces slightly. "Yay!" She looks up at Wynona and nodnods. "I wit' him's family. Pouncer and Enos!!" Her eyes twinkle at the thought of showing the necklace to the cubs as she mentions them.
Wynona can't help but smile at Taliamelle's enthusiasm. "Well … I think you'll do well by him."
Roho turns to Wynona, shaking his head at the exchange, "Well, that was interesting… "
Zoltan folds his hands behind his back. "I beginning to see why most Vartans only have one egg at time. Dagh try and be merciful to us."
Haggling with yet another merchant Skrill tries to get a fair price for a necklace of colored glass. "… that Vartan is going to skin me alive, and I cannot afford such a price… " "… it is true pinomun beads it is, very valuable… " "… how come that one is broken then… " "… robbers and thugs always terrorize me, and I have nine mouths to feed, not counting my own that is… " and so on. After a while he succeeds in acquiring the necklace.
Wynona looks amused, following the exchange. There's not much privacy in Little Babel, after all.
The Eeee puts the necklace into his pocket and waves to Zoltan that he has got it, as he walks back to the little group.
Zoltan smiles at Skrill. "You make cub very happy, I thank you."
The Vartan glances over his shoulder, curious as to what Roho is buying.
Taliamelle runs up, paws held out eager to receive the necklace. She stops a she reaches it, and considers a moment, before turning to hug Zoltan, "Than' you."
Suddenly someone walks past Skrill, bumping into him slightly, a small shiny object glints to as it changes owner. Skrill pats his pocket, turns around to the person passing behind him and shouts "Stop, thief!" spinning and taking a flying start to follow him.
Zoltan blinks? He jumps up into the air after Skrill, eyes following the ground in search of the thief.
The Eeee flies farther away from the group than the pickpocket is, forcing him closer to them.
Wynona squeaks, "How curious."
Zoltan tries to land on the ground ahead of the thief, hoping to meet him as he runs by.
Continuing his pursuing of the pickpocket, Skrill tries to lead him close to Zoltan, hoping that the thief hasn't spent too much time observing before he made his snatch.
The Vartan pounces on the culprit and tackles him to the ground, then lifts him up by his ankles and shakes him violently up and down… causing the contents of his pockets (including the necklace) to tumble from his pockets.
The hairless Skreek shrieks, "Lemme go! Lemme go! I'm INNOCENT!"
Zoltan bends down and picks up the trinket, and then chunks the rat towards a pile of garbage nearby.
Trying to land in an open space the Eeee touches ground, crouching. Skrill rises and walks over to the Vartan and the thief. When he reaches the spot he bends down and picks scoops up the necklace, turns it in his hand and takes one step backwards.
The Eeee lets go of his half of the necklace.
"AaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAA*SPLAT*" the rat lands in a pile of organic waste. Garbage collection leaves something to be desired in this part of town.
Nodding to the Vartan, Skrill says "It is yours, with my compliments." smiling as he takes one last glance to the poor rat, a smile playing at his lips.
The Vartan puts the necklace around his wrist, nods to the bat and then rushes back to Join Roho, Taliamelle, and Wynona.
Wynona claps. "I never knew you had a talent for Skreek-tossing!"
Roho looks confused, as he often is in the bustling bazaar, "Skreek-tossing?"
Skrill follows Zoltan back to the others, looking very impressed, many times measuring the distance the Skreek was thrown.
Taliamelle smiles and claps, also, bouncing softly. She runs up to Zoltan.
Zoltan bends down and places the necklace in Taliamelle's hands. "For you." he squawks.
Wynona says, "Oh, didn't you s… Urgh! I always fall for that. Anyway, Zoltan just flung this little wormy Skreek clear over there … ah … really far away. Can you smell the stink from that garbage pile from here? That far."
Roho chuckles, "I guess you mean the really big garbage pile? Well, good for him, a little exercise never hurt anyone."
Taliamelle smiles, and rocks softly back and forth with the beads in her hand. "Wow! Beau'iful"
Wynona smiles. "Ah. I think purple is your color." She winks.
Zoltan straightens himself back up. "So Wynona, you gots you tuition paid up now? What you going to do now?"
Wynona nods, smiling. "I'm out of debt! I just … am broke now. Well, not ENTIRELY, or I couldn't go shopping, but … just for justifiable expenses, that is." She lets her wings droop. "Ah well! Once I *WACHOO!* … Ugh. I need to do something about that, or I'll NEVER get a real job."
Skrill looks at the assembled persons as he politely asks "Have you had lunch yet? I know this very good place not far from here we could dine at otherwise." as he points further down the road.
Zoltan coughs a bit. "Eee food?"
With a smile the Eeee assures him "They serve other lunches as well."
Roho grins, "I think Eeee lunches are delicious, Zoltan!"
Wynona smiles. "I DO think that sounds like a lovely idea… "
Taliamelle grins. "Do the' have bugs? Wanna try one"
The Vartan makes a face, he looks down at Taliamelle. "Bugs."
Wynona rubs her tummy, making "Mmmmm" noises for Taliamelle's benefit.
Taliamelle giggles up to Zoltan and Wynona, then places her new prize around her neck. "Le's go eat!"
Zoltan rolls his eyes and walks along. "… bugs." he mutters.