2015.12.01 "This has gotten ridiculous."

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"This has gotten ridiculous."

He's right. I sniff my Volcanic™, and decide not to drink it. Might as well learn one lesson. "Maybe we're trapped."

That got my Orbodun partner's attention. "Trapped?" His big fluffy head pivots to take in all the salient tactical aspects of the bar. A look back at me, and maybe he's trying to decide if I'm joking or if it's something else.

It's something else.

The Orbodun inspects his huge mug of ale, and draws off a long taste while regarding me with his shiny little eyes. "Well, your talons aren't flexing, so I'm guessing that we don't need to kill anybody imminently. Must be another one of your 'meta' moods."

I don't like where this is going. "I just mean tha-" Gah! Accidentally bit my tongue. I dab at my mouth with the heel of my hand and it comes away bloody. "Zark."

"You've got to wonder if those fangs are really worth the trouble."

"I'm not really made for talking."

He is an expression of giant fuzzy mirth. "You're really not." He's not just referring to the fangs.

"They're good for biting." I show him my fangs. Jerk acts like I'm smiling.

"Sure, but what use is biting, really? Your talons are better-suited for inflicting piercing damage, disregarding the very effective force blades you carry."

"I like biting things." I hope that sounds as ominous out loud as it did in my head.

"You do indeed. And how many chunks of your tongue have you accidentally lost as a result of your enthusiasm?"

Quite a lot, actually...

"Say, is that why your voice is all fucked up? Is it because your tongue is a tattered mess?"

Ah. He's trying to leverage more information out of me. Any simple physical damage could have been regenerated in the time we've been together, so he's fishing for the reason why I leave my vocal chords only partially functional. I smile at him. "No."

He shivers, a little cascade of rippling fur. "Your real smile is genuinely disturbing in a way that your poorly-veiled threats are not."

I nod.

"So, this trap we're in. Is it all in our heads, or is there something more going on that you're worried about?" One of his big paws drifts over to his huge assault laser and makes a momentary connection. So he knows, just as I do with casual contact with my own mini-Mizzie blaster, that there are no significant Missionaries nearby.

"I think they have us contained."

Another swallow from the ale, and the Orbodun considers what I might mean. "You don't think that we're just a little too problematic to deal with, so they're avoiding us?"

"Well, there's probably a bit of that. It's not like we're a real threat to them, strictly speaking. We're just massively annoying due to our risk of allowing parts of themselves to escape."

"Right."

"But, on the other hand, by making ourselves able to be a slight risk to them, we also basically eliminate all of our potential for earning experience - thereby never becoming a real threat to them either."

The Orbodun has to think about that one a bit.

I push on. "Like you were saying, having basically everybody interesting clear out of our way everywhere we go means all we ever interact with are the dipshits too ignorant to notice anything." I swivel my head and look directly at the Human practicing acquiring on me. "Like you."

"Too late, asshole, I finished acquiring. Your fat friend hands over the giant gun or you die!"

The Orbodun looks at me sadly. "I'm going to miss you, buddy."

"I'm not zarking around!"

I shrug. "Give him the gun, fatso."

The Orbodun's eyes twinkle. "That's not funny."

I smile.

"OK, fine. Be that way. Here you go, monkey boy." He smoothly unholsters the huge assault laser and holds it out butt-first.

The Human beams with holy-shit-it-worked-ness, and intently maintains his assassination acquire on me while he glides forward and receives the priceless assault weapon. Which promptly eats his hand and starts working its way up his arm. His screaming reflects the general mood in the bar now.

We step over, and the Orbodun pulls the evil Thing off of the Human. I bite his head off. Well, I bite through is neck such that his head isn't properly attached any more. It would take gnawing to get through all those corded neck tendons and I don't have that kind of patience.

We sit back down.

The Orbodun re-holsters his weapon. "I see your point."

"Which one?"

He looks at me with a hint of annoyance. "Stop smiling at me with those ridiculous tongue-shredding fangs. Let's equip ourselves more modestly and go someplace with better drinks."