Swindling Resources

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Muldoon runs down the street, panting hard, tongue hanging out one side of his muzzle. From somewhere not so distant, cries of, 'Get back here!' echo down the boulevard. And, 'Stop, thief!'

Crista wanders slowly down the street, taking in the sights as she walks. She looks up at the sounds.

Muldoon ducks and dodges like a pro, flattening to scoot underneath a fruit cart, taking a shortcut through an open-air stand, and generally losing his pursuers. At least, up until he stops short, staring open-mouthed at you.

Crista looks down at the individual before her, wings fluttering a bit.

Muldoon blinkblinks, finding words, finally. "I.. I don' wanna die...don't take me!"

Crista raises an eyebrow.."Don't take you? I won't hurt you."

Muldoon closes his eyes, holding out a brown paper sack at arm's length, trying not to let his knees shake. "Hear.. take it!"

Crista takes a step back.."I don't think so."

Muldoon opens his eye, holding out the bag, still. "..yer.. yer not after me an' my stuff?" he asks, timidly.

Crista shakes her head.."No, I'm not. I don't even know who you are."

A pair of large guardsmen stumble into the road. They'd be a lot more menacing if they weren't out of breath, but the axes look menacing enough all by themselves. "There he is!"

Muldoon cocks his head to one side, confused. "Yer... not a Val-killy?"

Crista shakes her head.."No, I'm not. I don't even know what that is..but you'd better hide, quick..behind the stand..there are guards coming."

Muldoon looks around, spying the guards, but they've already seen the little fox. He elects to bolt for it...

Crista holds out her hand.."Come on. This way."

Muldoon skid-turns as a third guard shows up in front of him, running back towards you. "Which way?!"

Crista grabs the little fox by the shoulders.."Down here." She heads for an alley.

Muldoon doesn't need much encouragement, running ahead of you down the alley, which smells of old garbage and disuse.

The guards get tangled up at the far end of the alleyway, each of them trying to go first.

Crista follows quickly..She runs.."Come on..grab ahold of my arm."

Muldoon grabs your arm, having a sinking feeling he knows what you're about to do...

The guards single-file hustle down the alley towards the two of you. A fire-escape provides a way up to the rooftops, or the alley's far end is still clear..

Crista unfurls her wings and begins to flap, slowly rising.

Muldoon lets his jaw drop, grabbing onto your shoulder and arm tightly.. "Ah was afraid of this.. ah hate heights!"

Crista rises a bit more quickly.."It's that or those men."

The guards stop, seeing their quarry get away; one of them pulls out a silver whistle and blows on it...

Muldoon closes his eyes. "Just.. just don't fly to Olympus or nuttin'!"

Crista continues to rise, taking a course over the lowest rooftop. "Don't worry."

Muldoon pedals his feet in the air, making it hard to balance. "Tooo late..."

Crista vears a little.."Uh..please don't do that."

Muldoon starts panicking. "Aaaah! Yer gonna crash, aren't ya..."

Crista holds a little tighter.."If you keep struggling, I will. Stop."

Muldoon nearly slips, grabbing at your clothing and twisting his tail about his ankles. The bag he was carrying, however, slips out of the crook of his elbow and plummets to the rooftop below.

Crista sighs softly.."Sometimes, I should know better than to interfere." She takes a better hold of the little fox, and dives suddenly to the rooftop.

Muldoon, perversely enough, freezes completely at this point, hanging onto your arm and elbow with a death grip.

Crista says, "This bag is important to you, yes?"

Muldoon opens one eye a crack, and shuts it again. "Yeah.. very..."

Crista swoops and grabs at the bag with a free hand.."Thought so."

The bag doesn't seem to look terribly good for the wear- it's leaking.

Crista swoops over to a different rooftop, landing gently.

Muldoon lets go of your arm, sitting down on the rooftop, holding his head and shaking. "Ah.. hate heights.."

Crista hands the little fox the bag. "Here you go."

Muldoon takes the bag, looking at it, noting the dampness, and then looking inside. "Erf..."

Crista looks curious.."What's in there, anyway?"

Muldoon reaches in with a look of dismay, pulling out a shard of broken pottery that smells strongly of something acrid. "Er.. this -was- medicine."

Crista says, "Medicine? For who?"

Muldoon looks into the bag again, ascertaining that there's nothing salvageable. "My partner, Scilly. He's sick with the coughs.."

Crista says, "Oh..I'm sorry to hear that..you'll have to go back for more, won't you?"

Muldoon brushes his headfur back. "Hrrh. Looks like it. An' don' apologize. It's not yer fault I dropped it.."

Crista furls her wings.."Well, I could have left you to those guards."

Muldoon casts a furtive glance over the edge of the rooftop. "If they'd caught me, I'd not be able to get it to him anyways."

Crista nods.."True.."

Muldoon hmms softly, looking you over. "You sure yer not a Val-killy?"

Crista flicks an ear.."You keep saying that..what is it?"

Muldoon recites, "A Val-killy issa winged warrior from Olympia. They's supposed to show up fer heroes when they're about ta.. ta.. " He pauses, checking himself for fatal wounds. "..ta buy the farm. S'posed t'protect 'em from some things.."

Crista chuckles softly.."Well, I'm afraid that's not what I am, though it sounds nice."

Muldoon frowns. "Well, ya did save me, and ya do have the wings.. but aren't y'spose' t'have a winged horse or something?"

Crista shakes her head.."I'm just me, I'm afraid."

Right on cue, a dark shadow falls over the fox's head, and one of Tharhome's felitaurs wings in to a heavy stop on the rooftop. "What goes?"

Muldoon aacks and backpedals against the edge of the rooftop. "Ferget I asked!"

Crista makes a grab for the little fox.

Muldoon yelps as you grab his arm. "Okay, okay.. I'm okay..." He grins queasily at you. "I've been doing okay on m'own for over a year now... do I really need a guardian?"

The felitaur raises an eyebrow. "The local constable says someone matching your descriptions made off with some stolen goods. Is this true?" he asks.

Crista says, "I don't know anything about stolen goods.."

Crista says, "This little fox and I were just taking some medicine to his friend."

The felitaur crosses his arms. "Mmm. The local apothecary is the one who called in the guards. You know this fox, miss?"

Muldoon grins toothily. "She's a Val-killy, in disguise. You don't look like her horse, though."

Crista shakes her head.."to be honest, I don't. He was in trouble, seems to have mistaken me for some sort of hero. I will pay for the medicine, if that's the trouble."

The felitaur looks from one, to the other. "If you don't know him, you can't vouch for his honesty, I'm afraid..."

The felitaur says, "..and though you may bail him out this time, you can't assure he won't do it again.""

Crista raises an eyebrow.."What sort of a place is this, that medicine is only for the rich?"

The felitaur shakes his head. "I am only here as an assistance to the local law establishment. Orion's the name. It's a formality to promote good relations between my people and those of this planet."

Muldoon blinks. "You.. yer not from this *planet?*"

Orion nods politely. "That's right. We're from Tharhome, which is up in that direction." He points at the bright point of light shining in the dimming sky of evening.

Crista says, "My name is Crista."

Crista says, "I'm new here myself."

Orion smiles. "You're very welcome here, Ms. Crista. All lawful citizens are."

Muldoon looks up at Orion with a look of awe, much like the one he awarded Crista earlier. "You.. yer an Alienz?"

Crista smiles in return to Orion.

Orion chuckles at the little fox. "I suppose I am, thief. You going to come quietly?"

Crista says, "Wha'ts going to happen to him?"

Muldoon gets up, patting your hand. "Well, I guess yer not a Val-killy after all.. but thanks fer rescuing me..."

Crista says, "I'm sorry, little fox."

Muldoon grins softly. "S'okay. Not your fault. They can't do too much to me, since I'm just a kid, right?"

Crista looks at Orion.."what will happen to him?"

Orion hmms softly. "I really don't know. I was just going to take him back to the constable's office. They'll probably hold him for a few days until they find his parents."

Muldoon snorts. "Yeh, right. I've bin trying t'find me dad fer over a year."

Crista says, "I'll take responsiblity for him if no one else will."

Orion nods. "Where might I find you, if that's the case?" He gestures at the fox. "I still have to take him."

Crista says, "I'm staying at the inn around the corner. Room 4."

Orion nods. "Very well. Come on, fox."

Muldoon nods, pacing forwards somewhat reluctantly. "I s'pose I gotta turn over my stuff. But I wanna keep my hat."

Orion nods. "The hat you can keep. Here, climb aboard."

Crista says, "Good by, little fox..I'll see you soon."

Muldoon bites his lower lip. "More flying.. great.." He waves at Crista. "Hopefulla on the same side of a set of jail bars!"

Muldoon ums. "Which is to say, I hope I get out, not you get in."

Crista says, "I'm sure you'll get out, little fox. "

Crista says, "Sir Orion..please keep me informed, will you?"

Orion waves, and takes off, with a lurch that makes Muldoon hang on for dear life. "I shall!"