It's the last day of the spring solstice festival in Haven, and everyone is trying to get as much out of this last day as possible. Thankfully, it's a clear, sunny day, though a strong wind keeps blowing at long fur and hats. The marketplace has been expanded part way into some of the parks to let the various vendors set up their stalls and the city is alive with the smells of flowers, and cooking meat.
Jenora pads down one of the main walkways, looking around and keeping up an animated conversation with Chastity. "Did you see the meat that fellow back there had been selling? I'm not sure I want to know what sort of animal it came from..."
Chastity looks up into the sky, wincing a little as a particularly strong gust of wind wraps some of her hairfur around her muzzle. "Urrrff!" she mutters, untangling herself. "I wonder if this'll become a storm... It -smelled- all right, but I've never seen any meat that particular color before..."
Jenora hmmmms, and sniffs at the air, pausing in her walking for a couple of seconds, much to the consternation of parts of the crowd behind her. "No, no real storm. There's not quite the buildup that would be needed for that. Just a strong wind. Now _tomorrow_ there could be a storm."
Chastity blinks, pausing beside her and taking the chance to rest on her cane a bit. "I don't think I've seen a big storm hit here yet.
A great many crafts-furs have set up tents also, showing wood carving, gemstones, jewelry of many forms, toys, clothing, knives, tools of various types. Nearly all of the vendors are having a good day, though the clothing merchants are heard to occasionally grumble about the Chirpy'taurs walking around naked.
Jenora says, "Probably lucky with that. This is still a largely tropical region, the storms can get pretty bad when they've had weeks out at sea to build up."
Chimera pads along behind WolfSinger and Simtra, occasionally pointing out females in the crowd and asking, "What's wrong with that one?"
Chastity makes a bit of a face. "Wonderful.... that means hurricanes."
WolfSinger's ears flush bright red at Chimera's insistence.
Simtra chuckles, "Nothing, I just want to give WolfSinger a chance."
Chimera blinks at the fox. "Do you mean to imply that he couldn't compete with you in finding a mate?"
Jenora nods. "Haven't seen one around here, but as the weather gets warmer over the next few months, it's almost inevitable one will come up."
WolfSinger barks, "does this planet even have ant native form of wolves? "
As Chastity and Jenora walk along, the come upon a booth that has a large number of carved figurines from many types of stone and crystal, with a young feline shop keeper tending the place proudly.
Chimera says, "There are no known native sentient."
Simtra flips his ears back, "Well, I did not mean it in that way. I just noticed that seems to be having a hard time here.
Chastity pauses at the shop, looking at the carvings. "I seem to remember Sanctuary being rather mild in weather, though I can't for the life of me tell you why. Oh, these are rather pretty..."
Jenora smiles, looking over at the figurines. "Yes, they are rather."
"What should he do to have a less hard time?" Chimera asks Simtra. "I'm more alien than he is, and I haven't run into any difficulties yet."
The figurines are quite varied, including several foxes (both todds and vixens), stags and does, and a variety of other species. Including several in a beautiful amber colored crystal.
WolfSinger sighs a little. "that's okay... I've had a I'd time finding a prospective mate all my life....
Chimera blinks, then smiles. "Oh! You didn't mention you wanted a prospector. There are lots of those up in the mountains."
Simtra smiles, "Well just look at him. Every time you point a female at him he turns a shade of red. I am kinda surprised, some fems thinks that is cute.
Jenora smiles, looking them over. She folds her hands behind her, then snaps her fingers, sending out a brief EM pulse to the figurines to check if any of them react.
There are even a few dragons amongst the figurines, and at least a couple look an awful lot like Kainudy.
WolfSinger barks, "bah! I'm not cute! :o"
Chastity reaches over, her hand pausing above one, a shimmering gold-amber carving of a dragon, one of the ones that look almost, but not completely, like Kainudy. she glances up at the merchant. "May I...?"
The feline male grins broadly, "A lovely choice m'lady, in honor of the one dragon who has actually visited our fair city. Please, feel free to look at it."
Chimera nods and tries to look sympathetic to WolfSinger's plight, knowing full well that all modesty-exuding wolves are cute. And generally fluffy too.
Jenora smiles, relaxing a little and looking over the figurines with more interest.
WolfSinger barks, "as much as I'd like to settle down and have a nice family with lots of pups, fate never seems to let me."
Simtra shakes his head and sighs as the female walks past them.
"Perhaps you should act a bit more feral, WolfSinger," the remote suggests. "A lot of females prefer the challenge of domesticating their mates themselves, after all."
Chastity nods slowly, smiling and murmuring her thanks, She picks the figurine up gingerly. On closer inspection, it still appears not entirely unlike Kainudy, but as she holds it and looks at it, her gaze becomes a bit distant or fuzzy. She traces a ginger fingertip along one wing. "Fairon," she murmurs softly.
Jenora eyes Chastity oddly.
With a purr, the shopkeeper states, "Sadly, I used to be able to get some of the most glorious amber crystal with silvery traces inside, but my supplier has vanished. Though I've heard of a new source from Northern Reach. In a few months I should have some more. It makes the most beautiful dragons."
Simtra says, "Ya, it can't hurt WolfSinger."
Chimera says, "By behaving as you do, you may be giving out a signal that you are already taken."
The shopkeeper whispurrs to Jenora and Chastity, "And it was extremely popular with the stag nobles. They bought me out the day before I heard my supplier vanished."
WolfSinger barks, "me? feral? I'm a snuggler, not a fighter.... ::blushes fiercely!::"
Jenora raises an eyebrow? "Indeed? I would be most interested in hearing about this crystal. I got a figurine of it myself, but it got damaged not long ago."
Chastity seems to only behalf-hearing the merchant. "Yes, really... very beautiful... dragons...." What happens next is noteworthy more for it's abruptness than any violence. Chastity's eyes suddenly seem to come into focus, and she gasps. "Kaibanith sho'thaka, -no-...." Her hands start to shake, the figurine catching the light in flashes.
Chimera nods, "But how do you let them know you are a snuggler? You can't just smile and blush and wait for a female to come to you and drag you off to her lair. That only works 15% of the time."
Sensing some future business, the feline purrs, "Well, Raster Faerian used to bring me the crystal from Turning point, lovely stuff, it took a real trick to form it, and you had to keep it from getting too much sunlight or....is your friend ok?" he states in alarm.
Jenora's arms snatch out, one grabbing Chastity's wrist hard, and the other hand sticking out below the vixen's hands to catch the figurine in case it drops.
To his credit, the shopkeeper reaches to help Chastity, not his figurine.
Chimera says, "Perhaps you should begin ingratiating yourself with the mothers of suitable daughters then."
Simtra grins, "And luckily that, the 15% seem to go to the foxes. We have a hard time looking feral."
Chastity does indeed drop the figurine, as well as the cane tucked under her arm, Once it leaves her hands, she grasps her head, squeezing her eyes shut, making a faint, choked sound. "Let... me.. remember...!" she hisses to nobody. "Just this one thing, -please!-"
Jenora hands the figurine carefully to the shopkeeper, then holds Chastity's hands near her head.
The shopkeeper looks worriedly at Jenora, not sure what is happening, but keeps silent.
Jenora says, "She's been having flashbacks."
WolfSinger barks, "why would a vixen be interested in a wolf anyway?"
"Flashbacks? I'm not familiar with that word, she looks like she's in pain."
Chimera says, "Many females prefer males that are larger and less intelligent than themselves."
Jenora says, "She's remembering something that happened long ago, very vividly."
Simtra snickers and keeps his muzzle shut for his own good.
As suddenly as it began, her shoulder slump, and she drops her hands to her side, breathing hard and blinking, her cheeks faintly damp. "I'm... I'm all right," she says softly. Then, taking a deeper breath, she looks up at the shopkeeper, managing a smile and saying between breaths, "Th-thank you, no, I'm.. I'll be all right...."
Chimera says, "As a wolf, you are less likely to have a wandering eye than a male fox would, as well."
WolfSinger give Chimera a certain insulted look at the "less intelligent" comment.
Jenora nods, relaxing as well, stroking her hands down Chastity's arms. Once it's obvious she's calm, Jenora reaches down to pick up her cane.
The shopkeeper pulls out a cotton square and helps dry Chastity's tears. (He is a young male after all ;) He purrs, "I'm glad you'll be ok. I hate seeing someone as pretty as you in pain. You remind me a lot of one of my aunts."
Chastity gulps, still a little shaky, but regaining her composure. She looks over at the figurine, blinking at it a few times. She gets a faint, slightly unreadable expression, then asks the storekeeper. "How much is it?"
Chastity blinks, and then smiles shyly, her ear-tips pinkening with the attention the shopkeeper is giving her. "Oh! Th-thank you, sir..."
A little startled as he's brought back to his business and stammers, "2 silver rings m'lady."
Simtra says, "Are you saying that foxes tend to 'wander'?"
Chimera smiles to Simtra, "Not necessarily. Vixens can be very aggressive and competitive with each other."
Chastity gives the shopkeeper a warmer smile, and digs around in one of her pouches a bit, handing over to him two rings. She gently puts her hand on his arm. "Thank you. And also for your kindness, my friend."
Simtra ohs, "That they be. Luck for us single todds. Tho, I bet I would have a different idea if I get mated.
Several of the vixens in the crowd around the three give them cold stares, and a few then give some dark looks at their boyfriends, as if to say "You agree with that?"
Chimera smiles and bows to the vixens.
WolfSinger barks, "see? And you wonder why I can't find one..."
Simtra smiles back at the vixens and waves.
The shopkeeper smiles fangily at Chastity and purrs, "Would you like me to wrap that for you? And come by in another month or so, and I should have some more of that crystal from Northern Reach. Though the stag nobles have been trying to keep it from arriving here. They must want to control the sale themselves. Fiends."
Simtra says, "Just don't stop trying. If ya do you will never find anyone."
Jenora nods to the shopkeeper. "I'd be most interested in that."
Chastity tilts her head to the side. "Oh, wrapping would be wonderful, thank you!" She looks down at the amber statuettes. "Do you know why they like this particular crystal? It's very pretty, I will say that...."
WolfSinger barks, "I sure won't if you get them all mad at us like that!"
As the shopkeeper wraps up the statuette he purrs, "I'm not sure really. The one you have is normal amber, the one they bought up has silvery traces inside, looking like a gossamer spider web. They weren't buying many of them for a while, but they must have heard that we'd lose our source in Turning Point, cause they bought them all up in one day. I haven't even seen one since." Finally, he hands Chastity the statuette wrapped in a clean strip of old cloth. Paper is too precious in Haven to waste on wrapping.
Simtra says, "Me? Get them mad? I was not trying to. I was just being friendly. Besides, they were taken anyway."
Chastity smiles and bows to the shopkeeper. "Many thanks, again. I'll try to return to see more in a month's time. Good day!"
Jenora smiles, and bows. "Yes, good day."
Chastity steps from the tent with Jenora. A little ways away, she glances over her shoulder, smiling a bit, then looks forward; her smile, from close up, doesn't quite match her eyes. "I've remembered," she murmurs to Jenora.
Jenora looks at Chastity closely. "What did you remember?"
Simtra rubs WolfSinger's head fur to ruffle it up, "Well ya can at least look kinda feral. It can't hurt your luck."
WolfSinger barks, "bah... they probably all think I'm one of those invaders or something."
Chastity glances at the package. "Very, very little, it seems," she says. "Fairon Ward was my husband, and he was a dragon. A furred dragon." She looks up at Jenora, looking faintly anguished. "But I don't know what happened to him, why I remember nothing more, why he isn't here with me, or... or what happened to my wedding ring."
Chimera says, "Perhaps you should play up your exotic alien nature."
Jenora nods, and slips an arm around Chastity's shoulders, holding her close.
A tall, slim female skunk wanders by as WolfSinger says that, and nearly purrs as he ruffles his chin, "No, you're much too cute to be one of those." and gives him a small kiss on the nose, before walking away into the crowd.
Chastity sighs and quietly puts her free arm around Jenora's waist, holding the figurine closely. "It was this,, this statue. I know it's supposed to be Kainudy, but from the angle I saw it at, it was...." She shakes her head. "Jenora... there's something very, very wrong with my memory."
Simtra pokes the wuf in the side, "See you are cute and that is not hurting your luck at all."
Jenora says, "I think we've already established that much."
WolfSinger eeepppss!! at the unexpected kiss. His ears turn about 10 shades of red deeper as his tail swishes. =>
Samantha, meanwhile, is running her own errands in the festival, checking out a few of the lesser-known herbalist sites and some of the cooking tents to track down any last-minute arrivals.
Simtra shakes his head, "We have got to do something about the color change of yours WolfSinger."
Chastity gives a quiet laugh, regaining somewhat more of the humor she had earlier. "That was a bit obvious, wasn't it, dear? No, it's just.. not a 'normal' forgetting, this, it feels... wrong...." She shakes her head wryly. "Well... I just hope I don't get my memory back in bits and pieces like this. I'm most definitely -not- getting any younger!"
The crowd giggles a bit as WolfSinger blushes crimson, and they relax, figuring NO WAY could he be an invader. Off to the side, a stag is arguing with a merchant over some blue and amber rocks.
Chimera moves a little closer to the stag, to see the rocks. He has a natural affinity for amber, after all..
Jenora chuckles. "Such things often are like a watershed. Once you poke enough holes in the dam, it all comes tumbling down. On the other hand, when it _does_ come down, it can be a rather traumatic experience."
WolfSinger barks, "well, I guess I'm just shy around women.... "
Chastity glances wryly at Jenora, her smiling fading only a little. "Considering my age, I imagine there's an awful lot behind that dam. With luck, though, most of it will be fairly boring.
Jenora says, "One can always hope."
The rocks in question are crystalline, and have what look like spidery traces of silver woven inside them. The stag seems adamant about buying them, even though the otter doesn't want to sell them. A pair of beady little eyes watch the two argue with interest.
Simtra shakes his and and notices the arguing pair, "Do ya think see should take a look into it.
Chimera says, "I guess you didn't have any sisters then, WolfSinger?" over his shoulder.
Samantha continues her way back from nearer the docks, starting to check through some of the places that sell food in general as well.
WolfSinger rolls his eyes at Chimera. "yess, I had a sister.... and a mother... but I've never really dated, or courted, or whatever you call it around here. ::BLUSH!::
Chastity nods, snugging Jenora with her arm. "Anyway... I've been here long enough to realize I can't sit around waiting for my memory to come back!" She looks around, her nose twitching. "I think we're close to the herbalists...."
A quiet *poit* can be heard near the stag and otter.
Jenora sniffs, nodding. "Does smell like it."
WolfSinger looks over that the stag. "looks like trouble about to start.
Chimera turns an ear towards the *poit* sound, and moves closer to the otter and stag.
Chastity's ears flick a bit. "Do you think we'll see that person you mentioned the other day? Samantha?"
Simtra waves his paw at the pair, "Well lets go see. If anything we might get to see a good fight."
Jenora says, "It's certainly possible."
For anyone paying attention, you can now see four tiny feet and a fuzzy tail peeking out from the nobles robes on the ground. The stag can be heard to say something about the stones being dangerous, and that they should be destroyed, while the otter growls and says it's for his mate's birthday.
Chimera glances down and then back to the stones.
WolfSinger tilts his head curiously at the stag? "Something's not right."
Chastity nods slowly, looking around, hoping to spot the squirrel -- considering she never met Samantha before, she looks for -any- squirrel.
Chimera glances at WolfSinger. "The otter is left-handed, yes."
Simtra blinks, "What's so strange about that? I am left pawed."
Another *poit* and suddenly a three pound ferret is in the otter's hand, grabbing for the stones. Both parties are so startled they drop the rocks, and the ferret. For a moment the little thief is dazed as he lies amongst the stones on the ground.
WolfSinger barks, "ummmm.... actually *4* feet and a fluffy tail...."
Chimera smiles down at the ferret, and says, "Stuffit?"
Samantha is in fact in sight, a somewhat elderly squirrel who appears to be in an animated argument with one of the herbalists over the efficacy of a certain root after it's been out of storage for so long.
Simtra says, "Stuffit? It looks like a ferret to me?"
Stuffit blinks and gets to his feet, just as the stag and otter realize what's up and shout, "THIEF" and grab for the ferret, who, with the rocks, disappears with an inrush of air where he was standing, and the obvious *poit* sound.
Chastity blinks over at the sound of an argument. "I.. think that might be her, Jenora." Her ears flick at the words being exchanged, and the subject of their argument. "Considering what it's about, I imagine she is, at least."
Simtra says, "Where did he go?"
The astonished otter and stag whirl to look at Chimera, "Was that animal yours? You knew it's name! Guards!". In all this excitement, Simtra fails to notice the few extra pounds in his backpack.
Jenora looks over where Chastity is pointing. "I do believe you're right."
Chimera blinks at the stag, "Mine? I don't own any animals. Not even myself."
Chastity looks to Jenora. "I'm not really sure how to go about this. Somehow, handing her these... oh, where are they..." She digs around in a pouch, and finds a couple of the herbs. "AH, here we are... Handing her these and saying 'Pardon me, do you know what these are?' sounds a tad rude to me."
Two skunk guards rush up, especially when they see the stag noble. The stag turns to the guard, "A trained animal stole some items I was about to buy. And this creature called it by name!"
Jenora grins. "Don't worry about it. We can break the ice first." She pads up towards Samantha.
Samantha seems to have won her argument, as the shopkeeper ducks behind the counter to replace the root in question with something from a small sealed box.
Simtra keeps his muzzle shut, not wanting to say anything that could make things worse.
Chastity smiles quietly, following just behind Jenora. "Thanks, Jenora."
Chimera says, "I don't think the otter wanted to sell them to you, sir."
WolfSinger's ears droop a bit.
Jenora waits until the business transaction is done, then waves. "Samantha!"
WolfSinger barks, "Chimera? did you know that ferret?"
The otter is about to protest, then nods in agreement with Chimera. "They were mine for my mate. And that creature's pet stole them."
Samantha looks up at Jenora and the vixen with her. "Ah, hello. Enjoying the festival, I take it?"
Chimera nods to WolfSinger, "I've seen him before, but never really talked to him. Stuffit seems picky about who he confides in."
The guards look at Chimera, "Do you know who owns that ferret? And how did he get away?"
WolfSinger barks, "well, do you know where he can be found? I think the guards might be interested in having a talk with him about those stones...."
Jenora nods, smiling. "Very much so. All sorts of new and interesting things here."
"Nobody owns Stuffit," Chimera says. "And he teleported away. It's what he does."
Chastity stands quietly beside Jenora, leaning on her cane slightly.
Samantha asks, "And who is your friend here?"
The guards look nonplused, "An animal doing magic? Hardly. Did anyone see where the creature ran to?"
Simtra shakes his head now and shifts his pack to his other shoulder.
Jenora says, "Ah, yes. Samantha, this is Chastity, one of the more recent 'arrivals'. Chastity, this is Samantha, the herbalist I was telling you about."
Chimera says, "I don't know of any vegetable races that use magic."
Chastity's ears perk slightly, and she smiles, sheepishly to Samantha. "Pleased to meet you, Samantha."
The otter is looking outraged, and the stag...looks scared? The lead guard growls to Chimera, "Very funny. We need to search the area for the little creature. Check the crowd, see what they saw, and you three come over to the side with me."
Samantha nods, smiling back. "Pleased to meet you as well. There some reason you were talking about herbalists?"
WolfSinger barks, "what did I do? I don't know the ferret."
The guard hmmfs and points to Chimera, "He a friend of yours?"
Simtra sighs and stands next to the guard and says quietly, "Don't worry WolfSinger, We don't have the ferret and once they give up, we will be on our way again.
The guard nods, "Yeah, if you don't have the stuff on ya, we have to let you go."
Jenora nods to Samantha. "Yes, there is. Chastity got an interesting package the other day..."
Chimera says, "I doubt that either of my companions have met this ferret before. They are looking for mates."
"Do you have any unattached sisters or daughters?" Chimera asks the guard.
WolfSinger barks, "Chimera!!" His ears start to flush red again."
The younger guard frowns at the trio and growls, "Selling mates is against the law, so your friend has best mean looking for a date."
Simtra shifts his pack back to the other shoulder and feels something bump strangely on his back.
Chimera says, "Selling? They don't have any mates at all yet, so how could they sell them?"
Chastity bobs her head. "Oh, yes, actually..." She pulls out the two herbs, carefully holding the wrapped statuette as well. She gives a very brief, abbreviated explanation of her situation, how she arrived and seemed to remember herbalary best. "I'm still trying to become familiar with this world's herbs, and a few days ago, I found a package of these on my stoop." She profers them to Samantha. "I asked someone else about them, and he's seen them before but doesn't know what they are...."
Simtra turns his head to look at the pack better and pokes at the bump.
Jenora giggles, shaking her head.
The older guard sighs and shake his head, these spacers are so weird. He finally gets them off to the side and looks first at Chimera, "I can't figure out where you'd hide stuff. You got any pockets."
WolfSinger barks, "well, as you can probably tell, our friend here is quite unaccustomed to the terminology and customs of this land.""
The bump pokes back and chitters quietly to Simtra to shut up in some odd language.
Chimera shakes his head. "I don't need to carry anything, normally. And stuff falls out of pockets when I fly."
Samantha hmmmms, and takes the package, looking it over. "An interesting story... you say you just found these left there, with no note or mention of who left them?"
The guard nods and turns to WolfSinger, "So, what about you?"
Simtra's ears fold down for a sec and Simtra tries to raise them back up again.
Chastity nods quietly. "Yes, exactly. I.. well, presumed they were some sort of herb." She adds wryly, "I'd like to know it's not some esoteric way of making a threat."
WolfSinger replies, "Just a little coin bag." He holds it up for the guard.
Simtra backs up a bit and looks around slowly, trying to look for a way to make a break for it.
Chimera shakes his head, "You're supposed to hold it open for them, WolfSinger, so you don't look like you're trying to bribe them."
The guard shakes his head at Chimera, grinning in spite of himself, "It's ok, let me see, just some coins, no rocks. Looks like we'll have to let you go as soon as I check your friends pack."
Samantha shakes her head. "Odd. A couple of these I'm not sure about; dried like this, there are a few things some of them could be, hard to tell without a smell. But looking at the set as a whole..." She frowns. "Someone gave you a very expensive gift here."
Simtra sighs and give the pack a good bump with his arm as he takes it off his back and sets it on the ground to open it up.
Chastity blinks, a bit startled. "Oh, dear..."
The guard looks inside and hmms, "Nearly empty. A few stones, but none of these fit the description do they?" He holds them up and the otter and stag both shake their head no.
Chimera blinks in surprise. "I didn't know you collected rocks, Simtra. Do you give them names?"
Simtra sighs a sigh of relief a bit too loudly and puts it back over his shoulder.
The guard shrugs, "Ok, you're free to go. We'll just have to track that beast down. Third complaint this week about a thieving stretch rat."
Simtra says, "Well I don't quite collect them in that way. I try to sell the rare ones to make some money. And no, I do not name them."
Samantha says, "Well, a couple of these that I do recognize are quite rare." She points to one set of tightly curled up, blackened leaves. "These look to be a form of tea that's only grown in near arctic climes. It's a fairly potent stimulant, with some anti-aging effects. This much of it would probably buy a small store here in town."
Simtra bows slightly to the guard, "Well very good then. Lets go before anything else happens."
Chimera says, "Things are always happening, Simtra."
Chastity tries, very hard, to not let her jaw drop. "But.. but-but why would anyone just put them on my porch?
"We would need to relocate in less than Planck time in order to get somewhere before anything else happened," the remote explains.
Simtra shakes his head, "I know, but let 'go' before anything bad happens to 'us'"
Chimera says, "Oh. Why didn't you say so in the first place?"
WolfSinger snickers. "or before you say anything else to get us into trouble."
Samantha shrugs. "That, I don't know. I could check out some of these others, but enough of them are from the arctic regions that they're quite rare here. Very few ships go that far out." She hmms, rubbing her chin.
Chimera smiles to the wolf, "But we haven't been in trouble."
Simtra starts to walk away, "Because most would understand what I said."
WolfSinger barks, "Chimera.... you have much to learn."
As the trio walks away, a bit of fuzzy tail is sticking out from a seam in Simtra's backpack.
Chimera trots next to the fox. "Yes. That is a common fallacy which causes much of the social unrest in a civilization, I believe."
Chastity nods slowly, letting out a breath. "If it would help to hold on to them for a while...."
Simtra looks over his shoulder to see if anyone from the crowd is near by.
WolfSinger barks, "and why were you so nervous back there, Simtra? we didn't do anything wrong..."
Samantha says, "I could, if you'd prefer. If you want to come over to my place while I look them over you can, but it's a few hours' travel from town."
After a moment, the tail slips back inside the pack, and a pleased, but quiet, chittering can be heard from the pack.
WolfSinger's ears twitch. "what's that sound?
Simtra looks back forward guessing it's safe, "Because I know that guy is in my pack."
Chastity smiles quietly, "It'd be a pleasure! Though..." She holds up her cane. "It might take me a bit more than just a few hours...."
Simtra turns to a side street and places the pack on the ground. "I think that is our 'pet'"
WolfSinger barks, "oh oh...."
Samantha nods. "Well, I'm not exactly the fastest traveler anymore either."
Simtra opens up the pack and looks inside.
A rather upset looking stag brushes by Samantha, Jenora and Chastity, before being met by another, they start whispering animatedly to each other.
Stuffit waves up to Simtra and chitters happily amidst the pile of amber and blue crystals.
Chastity smiles quietly, and is about to say something, when the stag brushes past.
Simtra chuckles, "I don't know how you did it, but you almost got me in trouble."
Jenora blinks at the stag.
WolfSinger barks, "ummmmm.. do YOU know him?"
Samantha looks up at the stag, her eyes narrowing as she watches him closely.
Chimera plucks one of the crystals out of the pack and examines it. "Isn't this something that Jenora and Kainudy said to be on the look-out for?"
Simtra says, "Not well, I have seen him once when I first came into town here. I remember him being told not to steal thinks if I recall."
WolfSinger barks, "does it have those silver threads in it?"
Chastity glances between Jenora, the stag, and Samantha, a little confused.
Chimera nods to WolfSinger, and hands over the crystal.
Chimera says, "We should find that otter again and eat his brain to learn where he obtained these."
Stuffit scrambles out of the pack and chitters angrily at Chimera, trying to get it back. To Chimera, the chittering sounds like, "Profit mine. Get your own!"
Chimera blinks, then says, "Sorry, I meant 'question him', not eat his brains."
Jenora perks an ear up, trying to look like she's not watching the stag.
Samantha motions Jenora and Chastity to silence.
Chimera reaches into the bag and plucks out another crystal, and waves it at the ferret. "There, now I have gotten my own."
Chastity bites her lip, sensing an odd sort of tension but remaining silent.
Simtra scriches the ferret on the top of it's head, "You can have one of my big gems if you want for the other gems you took."
The two stags, assuming no one can hear them, are arguing, "What do you mean the crystals were stolen? I thought we were going to destroy that shipment before it got here from Northern Reach! It was just a sample, I don't know when the big shipment is coming in, but the stuff has to be destroyed. It seems even stranger than the stuff over in Turning Point....Fine, just keep it from being spread around."
Stuffit hmmmfs, though enjoys the scritching. His long whiskers flick out as he looks around for something to eat.
WolfSinger barks, "how do I always get into this kind of mess?"
A couple of guards are walking along the street, waving to folks they know, and heading towards our quartet of males. ;)
Simtra opens a outside pouch on the pack and pulls out an apple, "Are you hungry?
Stuffit blinks at the apple and chitters, *Prey food. Not hunter food!*
Simtra says, "Well hunter food goes bad quicker, and I had to 'hunt' for this apple."
Stuffit's long whiskers twitch along his pointed muzzle, then suddenly he grabs the crystals and DIVES into Simtra's bag, chittering in a barely understandable version of the local trade language, "Profit stealers!"
Simtra hmms, "Profit stealers? Who are the . . . Oh, the guards!"
Jenora hmmmms. "Interesting."
Simtra quickly closes the pack and places it over his shoulder again.
The guards, different ones from before, look down the side street, and amble on, seeing nothing new. They've been alerted to find the ferret thief.
Simtra talks to WolfSinger, "So do you think it is going to rain today?" as he waits for the guards to leave.
Chastity looks to Jenora, frowning slightly. "I know I haven't been here long, but... uhm, that didn't sound like normal business talk for Haven....
Jenora shakes her head. "No, it's not."
Having no pockets, Chimera swallows the crystal he was holding.
WolfSinger barks, "ummmm... yeah. Looks like a storm is brewing with all this wind."
Samantha looks at both Jenora and Chastity. "I take it you've been following some of these figurines?"
Simtra walks away from the guards, "Well we better find some place to say in case it starts."
Jenora nods to Samantha, and checks around to make sure nobody's in earshot. "Yes. I at least was up at the mine where they were being brought out, not too long ago."
WolfSinger barks, "we should probably head back to the Embassy."
Simtra nods, "Ya, it will be a good place to look closer at this with out getting in trouble."
Chastity blinks. "Er... I'm afraid I haven't been. I mean, I bought one not too long ago, but there didn't seem to be anything special about it. The shopkeeper mentioned something about the stag nobles buying up all of a certain material...
Chimera blinks. "What about your quest for babes?"
WolfSinger blushes! "Ummm... the quest can wait."
Simtra says, "It will have to wait. Besides, I think he have enough attention for today."
Simtra says, "Besides, we can't keep wufie from blushing."
Chimera nods. "All right. There's always the chance that Jenora or Chastity will be there, too."
Samantha hmmms, nodding. "They were the ones who helped introduce those things around the city in the first place. Not sure exactly why, but they all seemed to be connected."
Chastity frowns quietly. "They introduced them? And then they bought them all up?"
Jenora says, "They _were_ all connected. Sort of like all parts of one big brain."
The trio quickly runs along the back streets heading for Chastity's house. When they reach the house Simtra takes the knocker and knocks on the door.
Samantha frowns at Jenora, then nods. "Well, the ones they're buying up now weren't the ones they introduced before. By the sounds of it, they were mined at a different place. The first batch all disintegrated..." She turns, looking at Jenora again.
Chastity's eyes widen at this, an ear flicking in alarm as she listens.
Jenora smirks a little, nodding. "Myself and a couple of others took out the core; I'm not surprised the rest collapsed without it. It looked like it knew far more about us than we would have liked; we almost didn't make it after it led us into a trap."
There is, unfortunately, no answer to the knocking on Chastity's door.
Chimera asks the fox, "Do you have a genetic key?"
Simtra hmmms, "A genetic key? Oh you mean one that responds to who I am. I though I did but the door should have opened."
Samantha shakes her head. "That would explain a few things."
Simtra grabs the knocker and knocks again.
Chastity listens as Jenora's explanation goes slightly over her head.
WolfSinger tilts his head. "no one home?"
Jenora says, "We should probably discuss this in a less public area."
Simtra tries the door knob to see if the door is unlocked.
The door opens easily for Simtra, the lock disengaging when he touched the knocker.
Simtra hears the lock unlock, "I still don't know how this stuff works. Magic, I still say."
"Handy things, genes," Chimera remarks. "I should get some someday."
Jenora says, "Want to head back to Chastity's place for now?"
WolfSinger barks, "naw... not magic. Technology."
Samantha nods. "Sure. We can look things over there."
Simtra walks inside and lets the others in before shutting the door.
Chastity nods, "Fine by me. I.. think it's over.. yes, that way,,,,:
Stuffit chitters inside Simtra's backpack. Apparently he's adopted the young todd as a partner.
Jenora nods. "Let's go, then."
Simtra places the pack on the ground and lets Stuffit out.
Stuffit hmms as he looks around, inventorying the place.
Chimera goes into the kitchen and checks all of the cabinets for monsters.
Simtra says, "So you want meat? Come one lets see if Chastity has any."
Chastity somehow manages to find her home through the maze of the festival. It's quite a ways,but they eventually reach it in under half an hour (and three wrong turns on Chastity's part.)
WolfSinger barks, "what did you do with that stone you had, Chimera?"
Chimera turns back to WolfSinger. An eerie peristaltic ripple begins in his abdominal muscles, and migrates up his throat until he spits the stone out into his hand. It's dry.
Jenora has a much better sense of direction, but lets Chastity lead unless she's doing something obviously wrong, which doesn't happen much.
WolfSinger barks, "Chimera.... you never cease to amaze me...."
"Here it is," the remote says, holding out the crystal to WolfSinger.
Chastity pads up to the doorway, and reaches up to the knocker. She stops short when she sees the lock is off. "Odd... the door's unlocked....
Jenora says, "Looks like someone else is here. They obviously got through the lock, so..."
Samantha looks up at the house. "Something special about the lock?"
Chastity frowns slightly, then knocks the knocker once (just as it was explained to her, to unlock it) and opens the door. "Hello...?"
Simtra gathers up the ferret and wavies to Chastity, "Hio"
Jenora nods to Samantha. "It reads your fingerprints and a genetic code match before it unlocks. So it will only unlock for certain people."
Stuffit waves a little paw to Chastity, and recognizes Jenora.
Chimera says, "Hello Samantha, how are the girls?"
Chastity blinks at the three -- no, four people. "Oh! hello, guys." She turns around. "It's okay, we know them.. please, come in..."
WolfSinger wufs hello to Chastity and Jenora. :>
Jenora waves into the house.
Samantha nods, and steps in. "Nalae and Acera are both doing well."
Stuffit whoops mentally as he recognizes Samantha.
Simtra says, "I am sorry to barge in when you were out, but sticky paws here made it so that we had to hide for a bit."
Chastity blinks. "Sticky paws?" She blinks at what Simtra is holding, and blinks again, rubbing her eyes. "Him?"
WolfSinger barks, "don't look at me! I don't know him!"
Jenora says, "What did you guys get yourselves into now?"
Chastity looks back up to Simtra. "All right, what happened?"
Chimera peers at the ferret's feet. "Sticky? Did he get into the jam?"
Stuffit waves a paw and with a *poit* is on Chastity's shoulder and nuzzles her ear.
Simtra explains to the females what happened to them with the guards and the gems that Stuffit took.
Chastity SCREAMS. Not loud and long, just a short *yelp* as Stuffit suddenly appears on her shoulder.
Stuffit blinks? and with a *poit* is back into Simtra's backpack, hiding.
Chastity stares at the ferret -- at where the ferret was, half-grasping her chest and breathing heavily. "Good heavens!"
WolfSinger barks, "apparently, he's some sort of teleporting pick-pocket."
Simtra scriches the ferret trying to calm him.
Jenora says, "Yes, I remember _HIM_..."
Chimera's eyes go wide at Chastity's display.
Samantha folds her arms across her chest. "Ah, yes, you. So, where's that elf you've been traveling with?"
WolfSinger barks, "elf?"
"Delachiel," Chimera explains. Not that that's much of an explanation.
Stuffit pokes his nose out of the backpack and chitters something like, *Dark Lady broke partnership. Exploring opportunities."
WolfSinger barks, "oh.... the one you wanted to fix me up with. "
Chastity regains her breath, pulling over a chair and sitting down. "So.. he stole some stones and suddenly appeared in your pack....
Jenora says, "Sounds like his approach, yes."
Simtra nods, "Ya, I am glad he was not in there when the guard check my pack, but I think you might be interested in these stones.
Simtra holds his paw out to the ladies with one of the stones in it.
Jenora leans in to take a look.
Samantha leans in as well. "I see what you mean."
Chastity looks over at the stone, fretting slightly.
WolfSinger barks, "some stag was trying to buy them from an otter."
Jenora hmmms, and taps one lightly with a claw. She then taps two claws together, generating a spark in between them as an EM pulse.
Chimera watches Jenora closely. He even pays attention to what she's doing, too.
Chastity stands, and takes a quick look in the kitchen. "Oh, nuts, knew I forgot something...." She starts towards the door. "I'll be right back, just need to pick up dinner for us. Anyone want anything in particular?"
Simtra tilts his head watching what Jenora is doing to the stone in his paw.
WolfSinger barks, "You gotta teach me how to do that, Jenora. :>"
Jenora says absently, "Whatever you're making is fine."
These crystals do respond to the EM, absorbing it, and routing it through the silvery traces inside. This time however, the response is sluggish, and not incredibly organized."
Samantha watches rather curiously.
Jenora says, "Weird."
Chimera says, "You could try rubbing your fur very quickly, WolfSinger."
Chastity frowns slightly at the activity in the stone, then, reluctant to leave the demonstration, slips out quickly, hoping to grab the grocer before he closes for the day.
WolfSinger barks, "I don't think that's just static, Chimera."
Jenora hmmms. "It does react, but not quite as much as the others did. It's not as organized, nor as strong."
Stuffit hmms and *poits* into the kitchen to get something to eat while the tall ones gab.
Chimera says, "Is it more primitive, or more evolved then?"
Jenora says, "I'd say it's more primitive, likely. That or deranged."
The complexity of the fibers inside the crystal seems to have increased since Jenora's experiment.
Simtra says, "But it is like the others right?"
Jenora frowns. "Hang on a moment."
Jenora says, "Yes, in general, it is. It's absorbing energy, reacting to it as if it were alive."
Chimera says, "The other ones were connected to somebody's brain though, weren't they?"
WolfSinger blinks, tilting his head as he watches.
Jenora nods. "They were, yes."
Samantha has to sit down as she thinks about this.
Chimera says, "Perhaps it mimics structures it is exposed to?"
Jenora says, "Maybe. So what is this one exposed to?"
WolfSinger wanders off to find something to eat, too.
Chimera blinks. "Well, to you so far."
Chimera says, "You fed it, after all."
Simtra says, "What about me? I am holding it."
Chimera says, "You don't generate a strong enough energy field, Simtra."
Samantha hmms. "Makes you wonder why the stags were so interested in buying it all up."
Chimera ponders, then suggests, "Perhaps they wanted to use it to become immortal?"
Jenora says, "Perhaps."
Jenora nods to Samantha. "Because it wasn't good enough to do what they wanted it to, or because it had its own agenda?"
Samantha says, "I should go home and check on my own copies. When I found out I had some of the last remaining ones, my son was hired to steal them from me. He went back with fakes I had designed so I could track them. Perhaps if I use that connection with the fakes I could find out more of what they're up to."
Chimera blinks, "That would be very useful."
Jenora raises an eyebrow. "Yes, it would be."
Samantha nods. "All right. Perhaps we should meet in a couple of days out by my place to compare notes?"
Jenora says, "Sounds good to me. Anyone have any problems with that?"
WolfSinger barks, "I'm not going anywhere. "
Simtra shakes his head no. "Me either."
Stuffit chitters happily from the kitchen as he chows down on some cold sausage.
Chimera smiles, "In the meantime, Jenora could tell WolfSinger and Simtra how to attract mates."
Jenora says, "Sounds like a plan, then. See you in two days."
Samantha gathers her things together, and picks up Chastity's box as well. "When Chastity gets back, tell her I've got this, all right?"
Jenora nods. "Will do."
WolfSinger blushes! "Chimera!"
Samantha smirks, and shakes her head as she turns to head out. "See you later."
WolfSinger barks, "We already know I can't be picked by her mating group."
Simtra blushes slightly this time, "I don't think I need that much help"
Jenora waves to Samantha, then turns back to WolfSinger. "Has Chimera been going on about this all day?"
Chimera grins, "A little extra advice couldn't hurt though, Simtra."
WolfSinger barks, "of COURSE he has. ::snicker::"
Jenora grins, shaking her head. "I see you had an interesting enough day already, yes."
Jenora says, "What say we just relax and have something to eat, and worry about the rest later?"
Simtra grins, "Sounds like a plan. We better hurry before Stuffit eats it all."
Chimera settles down to watch the others eat.