Saturday, November 24, 2007
The reaction to the news that nothing awful had happened to explain my disappearance such as death, becoming the foot massage slave to an Orc, or being lost at sea was positive among my friends. To my great dismay my slight fame in my home city of San d’Oria put me in a position to be ridiculed over being pregnant. I wouldn’t say I’m considered a hero of the people or anything but anyone who doesn’t know my name is most likely comatose and near death. Sneaking around West Ronfaure one late afternoon I overheard two gossipy chocobo walkers out exercising adolescent birds.
“Oh did you hear about Alison? She popped up after being unseen for over a month.” The woman in blue started.
“No, I didn’t hear. I’m sure she needed some time to mourn. Poor dear thing.” The white haired woman said as she lowered her eyes and shook her head sympathetically.
“It’s not that. You won’t believe it. She’s pregnant and pretty far along too. I hear she could bear a child any day now!”
“How scandalous! She married that short hume for Bastok. Who’s the father?”
“Well I hear it’s an Elvaan from Windurst. He’s a fisherman and a respectable mid-level red mage.”
“Well that’s better than a hume but wow, so much for Elvaan pride. I never took her for such a dishonorable woman. She seemed so nice and always so helpful.”
“My question is: What if one of them is responsible for the death of the hume? Could it be something sinister was planned?”
“Oh goodness me, I hope not. That is not the kind of story we need going out about our people.”
I sat still as the tree I was leaning against as I listened and cried out of sight of the two yappy women as they carried on. I know I was too quick to tears with all these crazy hormones but it did all sound awful. I knew it must have gotten back to my mother but I certainly didn’t have the nerve to go into the city and talk to her yet. What if I had made a huge mistake making such a mockery of Brodie and my love? Stories like this would forever define how we would be remembered and honored and how our child Hope would be respected.
Gurok was, to put it lightly, a little miffed that I had kept him out of the loop and gone into hiding without a word to him and no excuse I could come up with would satisfy him. I even told the great beast the truth in a fit of frustration over all his questions. Crazy thing is I think he was the only one who actually believed me and finding out the truth just made him angrier that he was left out. He had taken to sleeping outside of Kjarbo and Jenjen’s cottage like an enormous guard galka reluctant to let even those with ThumbMonkey linkpearls inside without questioning.
Near the Kibubu Lighthouse I was sitting at the top of the cliffs with the water crashing below me watching the tall dhalmel chew contentedly on tuffs of grass. “I wonder what it would be like to tame and ride one.” I thought to myself. I bet they are faster and more exciting than a chocobo.
That’s when I would get the call that would crumble my peaceful plans. My linkpearl buzzed briefly as it turned on to get his call. “So Alison, we had a visitor come looking for you at the linkshell lobby.” Garness’ distinct voice reported.
I laughed. “We don’t have visitors. Either you know where the location is because you are a pearl carrying ThumbMonkey or you don’t and you can’t be transported there. Funny funny Galka.”
“Ah well I forgot to check for a linkpearl before I broke his arm.”
I stopped to think before responding. It was not like Garness to harm new linkshell members. Usually that was Beldin’s doing. I missed that crazy corsair’s mischief. If Garness had broken someone there must have been a good reason. “And why did his arm need braking?” I asked him reluctantly. “I do trust your judgment but I like to know.”
“Ah well it was kind of a spur of the moment decision. See, he said he was coming in to arrest you for crimes against your country and I said I would break his legs first. I feel kind of bad about being dishonest but his arms were simply easier to reach than his legs. As I said, it was kind of spur of the moment.”
“Now it’s both arms? Garness, dear man, I think you should tell me the whole story. Who was he?”
“I already said that. He was coming to arrest you on behalf of San d’Oria. He is a Royal Knight.”
“So what crime am I being arrested for?”
“Didn’t think to ask. He got pushy and I had to break him. I promised him I would and I am nothing if not a man of my word. I feel bad about the mix up on limbs. Think I should go find him and break his legs too?”
“Yes.” I said dryly. I’m not sure if I was kidding or not. I knew he wasn’t. I was frustrated that my plan seemed to be a failure.
“Yes Boss.” He responded dutifully. I thought I could almost hear him smiling.
“But Garness, be careful. I think I might need you in one piece and not in prison soon.”
He cut the transmission and all was quiet but the sea and the munching dhalmel. I looked over at Gurok and Jenjen sitting a good distance away but watching me. I felt bad about yelling at them earlier to let me have some space. I guess I could get a little moody lately. I smiled. Jenjen was sitting on his broad shoulder weaving little flowers into his thick white hair. He seemed completely oblivious of her. It was so cute.
I stood up and waved my arms to signal him as I called Gurok’s name over the roar of the ocean.
He leapt up as quickly as an enormous galka can, sending Jenjen tumbling off his shoulder and looking a bit surprised. Catching her in one of his great arms he lumbered over towards me carrying an angry looking Jenjen like a pack. It was time for a new plan and I figured this time I should enlist the brain power of my friends simply because I didn’t know what to do.