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The Pen is Mightier than the Sword
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Patrick

Chiroq's Tale

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OOC: anyone is welcome to participate.

 

"Come on Chiroq you've been hiding in my rooms for more than a year and a half, you've got to move out!" Patham egged his wiggly cabbage on.

 

Chiroq just shook himself and made the same frightened expression that he had when faced with the prospect of becoming wiggly cabbage soup.

 

"Oh come on, I can take care of Wyvern. You had wanted to travel the world, see new places, why won't you at least come down to the Cabaret Room and move out. My quarters must be getting awfully boring for you, and you need some fresh earth. Maybe I could even take you down to see Gwaihir again and talk to your fellow wiggly cabbages."

 

<<We've been talking every day. Telepathy works between here and the elf's gardens.>>

 

"I see."

 

<<Oh all right...>> The telepathic thoughts carried the wiggly cabbage's annoyance. <<I'll go down to this Cabaret Room that you mention.>>

 

And so it was that after eighteen months of living hidden from Wyvern, Chiroq finally emerged from Patham's room and went down to the Cabaret Room. Luckily Wyvern wasn't there. Chiroq probed around, searching out who exactly was there.

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Blby sat under the table, eating the carrot he'd grabbed earlier and sniffed. It was a smell he'd never smelled before.

 

Sort of like a cabbage (makes me hungry)... But not. It also smelled a bit like fear. A scared cabbage??!

 

Blby stuck his nose out. Nothing on the ground. Not even feet. I swear I smell something that's afraid though! Could it be on the table? *sigh* This could be interesting.

 

Blby's plump body could be seen to leap grandly .... and futilely into the air. *Bounce, jump, hop!* But no, there is just no what that even a fit guinea pig can jump onto a chair. Huffing and puffing, Blby stopped and thought again.

So I can't get onto a chair, what ... WHAT the heck!

 

"Umm, hello, did someone just poke me in the brain?

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Chiroq would have sighed if he had lungs, but the little wiggly cabbage did not. He did not hear Blby scurry under the table either, but he sure did detect the guinea pig's frustration. Unfortunately the rodent had detected his mental touch as a "poke in the brain". Oh well, he'd have to just try again.

 

<<It was not a poke in the brain, I'm just trying to communicate with you. Maybe it is easier for you if you can see me, while I communicate with you.>> he directed at Blby, then looked at Patham, sending a stream of thoughts towards the shapeshifter.

 

A pair of hands reached down and picked up Blby, promptly lifting the guinea pig from the floor and placing him on the table about a foot from Chiroq.

 

<<You see, I'm just a wiggly cabbage. Nothing to be afraid of. The name's Chiroq. And you are?>> Chiroq asked of Blby.

 

Before Blby could reply, Patham had introduced the two of them to each other.

 

<<Ah, so you are the one called Blby. My companions down in the gardens have spoken of you and another guinea pig recently in hushed voices as if they feared the day that you found the gardens. You see we don't have many herbivores in the Pen keep and growing things are usually safe>> Chiroq stopped suddenly as he realised that he was facing one of the aforementioned herbivores. <<I hope that you're not hungry right now, I've heard wiggly cabbages taste awfully bad anyway>> he added quickly in an unsure voice, then directed his thoughts at Patham <<Please don't let him eat me!!>>

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"Oh! My! Umm! You really are a worried cabbage!" Perhaps Chiroq was less than amazed at this announcement, but Blby certainly did not notice. He stared in amazement, nose twitching in a way that sent shivers through Chiroq's leaves.

 

I should ask some of the Pen carnivores what they do about sentient dinners. Blby looked at himself. Or maybe not. Might be a bad topic considering that I'm a bit vulnerable. Blby looked at Chiroq, still a bit shocked that this cabbage had talked into his mind. "Poor vulnerable dinner" he muttered under his breath.

 

"Umm, hello! And no, I have a carrot under the table Really should teach people not to pick a guy up and leave his dinner behind under the table for any passer by to eat. It never talks to me, so I think I'll eat that instead.

 

I don't think Gwaihir would let me in his garden. He's a bit ... protective about his plants as far as I can tell.

 

I have GOT to tell the other guinea pig about THIS!" Blby's nose twitched with excitement and he rushed up to Chiroq and nosed him in a friendly fashion. "EEP!"

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Chiroq managed to not scream telepathically at the whole of the Pen keep as Blby touched him. He did scream towards Patham though.

 

<<HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEELLLLPPPPPPPPP! He's going to eat meeeeeeeeeeeee!>>

 

"No he's not, you silly cabbage. He's just being friendly."

 

<<Is he?>> Chiroq asked incredulously, but despite the guinea pig being mere inches away, all his leaves were still intact, even after a few seconds. <<Fetch him his carrot, so he has something else to chew on, just in case.>>

 

Patham grinned as he bent down under the table and retrieved the carrot.

 

"Here's your carrot Blby, sorry for missing it earlier."

 

<<You sure he doesn't want to eat me and just wants to be friendly?>>

 

"Yes."

 

<<As long as this other guinea pig wouldn't want to eat me either, I guess I could meet him>> Chiroq directed at Blby and Patham, very unsure of himself. He much preferred his herbivores when they were being taken care of by others higher placed in the food chain.

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A wolf who had been watching the little scene with curious interest grinned, sensing Chiroq's annoyance and Patham's amusement. She silently padded toward the table, and while Blby had his attention divided between two possible dinners (although she knew he had already discarded the Wriggly Cabbage as possible food) she poked him firmly on his back with her wet nose.

 

::Hello little friend... do you remember me?:: she sent in mindspeech, even not being sure he could listen her.

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"Did someone call?" Pig shouted as soon as he entered the Cabaret Room. "Oh, Blby, it was just you," he added, seeing the other guinea pig being lifted to the table by Patham.

 

And then he felt it. The most appetizing smell he had ever felt. The smell of tasty green leaves, begging to be eaten. Pig glanced around, but could not find the source of the smell. He could also feel the odors of a carrot mixing with the delicious smell, but he could not bring his thoughts away from whatever smelt so good. It did have a distinct smell of cabbage, but it smelt so much more delicious.

 

What could it be?

 

Pig tried jumping up to see, but as Blby had proved earlier, guinea pigs were simply too small to be able to jump to the top of the table.

 

He tried clawing his way up a foot of the table, but then had to accept the truth, that guinea pigs weren't meant for climbing. Yet that smell...

 

Pig jumped again, not ready to give such an appetizing meal up just yet.

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Not two minutes after Pig, The Researcher came into the Cabaret Room. He looked at the scene and his eyebrows shot up as he slowly took the scene in: something that looked exactly like a cabbage wriggling in the middle of a table, being nudged by a guinea pig. And his own guinea pig jumping up and down besides a chair while a wolf seemed to be appreciating the dinner qualities of either the cabbage or the guinea pig besides it.

 

Wolves don't eat cabbages, I believe. But guinea pigs...

 

He breathed out slowly, letting his analytical mind take over. He swept his hand under Pig as he jumped, having him landing onto his stretched palm. Meanwhile, he observed Chiroq in a most intense manner.

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<<EEEEEEEEEEEK!>> Chiroq shreaked. <<Another of them!>> It was only Patham's guardian presence that made Chiroq stay and not leave the Cabaret Room immediately.

 

And then he felt the weight of the eyes on him. He was scrutinized more than he had ever been.

 

<<Can I help you?>> he asked the man in the calmest manner possible while being merely feet away from two terrorising herbivores.

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"Ho Ho Hooo! Why, if it isn't a young cabbage worthy of Nutrition Magazine photo modeling."

 

All eyes turn towards the entrance of the Cabaret Room as a figure dressed in a dark brown overcoat steps into the room, raising his claw-shaped gloves in greeting. The suspicious stranger adjusts the extra-wide top hat on his head, the dark round eyeglasses on his face, and the jumbo mustache on the end of his snout before leaning in closer and striking a toothy grin. He weaves his way past the Researcher and Tanuchan and pauses once he gets to the table, scooting Blby and the Guinea Pig to the side with his gloves in the hopes of inspecting the wiggly cabbage in greater detail.

 

"Ohhh ho ho hooo yes, a fine cabbage modeling ssspecimen. Yes yes, very fine indeed. You'll make the cover, I'm sure." He extends a glove to Chiroq, who backs away instinctively. "Well, allow me to introduce myself. Weeven E. Cookwitgass. Professional cabbage modeler, part time cabbage barber, at your ssservice."

 

Weeven stares at the worried Chiroq for a moment, then squeezes his tail back under his overcoat and tilts his head in Patham's direction.

 

"I assssume that you're this wiggly cabbage's agent? Well, I'd like to ssstart modeling this cabbage as soon as possible. Private kitchen photoshootsss, the works. I'll make him a star amongst vegetablesss, you'll see. Why don't you take a look at thisss contract." Weeven hands Patham a long parchment loaded with tiny print. He then pulls out a huge pair of scissors from his overcoat. "If you'd like, I could give your client a little professional cabbage barber trimming right now while you read over that thing, free of charge."

 

Weeven snaps his scissors twice, then considers his final statement and hesitantly adds.

 

"Well, almossst free of charge.... There is a 5 geld fee asssociated with any of my services, of course. As well as a 1 geld fee associated with my time. Oh ho ho hoooo."

 

;-)

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Blby bounced up and down and did a quick circle of the table. "Isn't this exciting?!" he asked. Completely confused about Chiroq's terror. ... and then somoene poked him!

When he turned and saw a wolf, he jumped a foot before he realized there had been a mind greeting. "eep! You poke people in the brains too! I mean 'Hello!' And um, please don't eat me!"

Does the other pig know there's a wolf in the room?

Blby raised his small voice as loud as it went "Fellow pig, Fellow pig? There's a wolf and a cabbage here, and they both talk by brain-poking. Fellow pig? I smell you you and a faint whiff of tangerines!"

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Almost no one noticed a very soft, if somewhat long, ripping noise followed by a sudden "plop" in a corner of the room. The air in there seemed to ripple for a while,with something that looked like a balloon tumbling along the wavy unseen lines. After a few seconds, though, the balloon extended a couple of appendices that explored the space around tentatively. A pair of eyes opened, revealing curious, horizontally-split pupils, and then another six arms unwrapped carefully from under the round body.

 

He stretched his arms carefully, one after the other, testing his balance. Then turned graciously and silently swam towards the ceiling, letting his body blend with the shadows while studying the beings around. He could not properly recognize them, although most were in a way or other very similar to what he knew. He was confused about how he had come to be in this place; he remembered just a very forceful tugging, like the pull of the Serat, the storm whirlwind that very few could ride, and then there had been a change around him.

 

This was a new plane, at least that he could be sure of. There was the subtle change in air pressure and quality that was common in plane-traveling, and the initial disorientation that came in one he had never visited before.

 

As he adapted to his surroundings, he sensed communication going through, a bit surprised that he could understand most of it. His overall expression looked quite amused, and he tilted his body so that he could listen better.

 

He came slowly down, feeling safe enough in the warm atmosphere he could sense; there seemed to be no hostility around even if the smaller rat-like beings, and the leafy one, seemed to be afraid of predators. Still, he kept his body colors and transparency flickering, mimicking the light/shadow contrast to the best of his ability, while he was sliding down. Once around the people, though, it was harder to keep blended... but he tried, and also extended one of his arms towards the furry fellow on the hand of the human he had managed to approach unnoticed.

 

 

The result of an octopus-like arm sneaking around The Researcher to touch Pig's soft fur was somewhat of a ruckus.

 

"Hum... hello?"

 

Octy blinked slowly, his warbly, watery voice sounding uncertain between being cheerful, curious, or wary. The tip of the arm he had on Pig's back curled, stroking the fur and learning what sensations it would give, but his other seven arms were curled up under his mantle, ready to propel him upwards to safety if he had been wrong about the friendly atmosphere.

 

 

 

 

Note: you can consider Octy as an octopus, though swimming in the air currents instead of under the sea, and with the octopus bulbous "head" being at the front and not behind (giving the general impression of a big nose).

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When the floating octopus appeared out of thin air, Professor Hassium's brain finally decided that too much was too much. And so, he just stared at Octy, gaping. He lowered his hand without thinking, and if it were not for Octy's quick grasping reflex, Pig would have experienced a quite high drop to the floor.

 

Without noticing that Octy had now his prized talking guinea-pig securely in one arm, Hassium just let himself fall on the first available chair, shaking his head and passing fingers through his hair in utter disbelief. He looked at Patham, who at the moment looked pretty much like the only normal person around him.

 

Then he remembered that he had actually glimpsed Patham become an owl some time ago, at the same Cabaret Room, and groaned.

 

"Please, can someone tell me what is normal around here?" He whispered to no one in special. "I seem to be in need of some paradigm shifts..."

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