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Tech and Sushi

 
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Kalamere
Devils Advocate
Legendary Adventurer
Legendary Adventurer


Joined: 31 Oct 2005
Posts: 1427
Locksmith, Gambler
Location: Dragon's Gate
109,029 Silver Nobles


PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 3:06 pm    Post subject: Tech and Sushi Reply with quote

There really is no good trick to fighting a half-orc hand to hand. Honestly, the best you can do is to try to keep your face out of range, hope that when this fails the punch isn't hard enough to turn off the lights and keep a good supply of healing materials back home. Upon that criteria, I'll chalk up the morning sparring session as a success. Jake hadn't put me out and I even managed a couple halfway decent counter punches on him. When all was said and done he sent me back to The Line with the 2 kegs of badsider I'd gone over there for originally, and maybe a cracked rib or two.

Now, you might wonder why Jake and I were fighting in the first place. I often wonder this myself when my head is clear enough to do so. The answer is two-fold. Firstly, he and Brandon talked me into signing on with the Badside Brawlers to fight in the Iron Fists League. Brandon claims the publicity will be good for business, though since he's running the league I find his opinion suspect and, let's be honest, I don't trust him to begin with. Still, the contract with Jake nets the business a twenty percent discount on Red Orc brew and B had him add a couple performance / post season incentives, so I went along with it. The downside is that when Jake says it's time for practice, I'm obliged to listen.

Secondly was ShadoWeaver, the black opal of the Outback. I know. I know that I should stay away from this thing. There's this little voice in my head that tells me so. Unlike Jake's call to practice, however, this is a voice I can ignore. It's just a sentient magical rock that's been calling my name for a couple years. I already have this ring sending alien magic through my system, so what's a little bit more? Before I could find that out though I was going to have to take on the a very hot Melanie Rostol. By which I mean her streak of wins, though she's not hard on the eyes either. Anyway, yeah, that meant more practicing.

"In the storage room", I told the pair of lads wheeling the kegs. Kegs are heavy, I wasn't doing that myself and besides, cracked ribs, remember? "Jerry will pay you on the way out."

Expertly concealing the injury, I bit back a grimace and gave Jerry a greeting smile as I walked casually across the room. "Morning Jerry, how's the book looking?" I slipped around to the serving side of the bar while his eyes were fixed on our numbers and made to reach for the bottle of healing draughts kept on the top shelf. It made sense when I put them there. Other than Rath, who I don't believe feels pain, I'm the only one that can reach them without a chair or a step ladder. They're a good thing to have in the bar in case of emergencies, but I wanted the bottle inconvenient to the patrons who might decide to try fighting a hangover with it.

"Jake still trying to teach you how to throw a punch, is he?" asked Jerry. The stretch to reach the bottle pulled a groan from my lips that gave me away. "You sound like a little girl who skinned her knee." he added. I assure you it was a very manly groan. I would have glared at him threateningly then, except that I was grinding my teeth against the pain and I was pretty sure it would take away from the desired effect.

"I'm fine," I assured him while taking shallow breathes, which seemed to help, "Just tell me about the day's collections before I relay his lessons." A warmth spread through my body as I swallowed the crimson liquid. Unlike the ring's magic which burns away poison and feels like someone sewed a hot iron up inside your body, this was a pleasant, soothing feeling that would have the ribs knitting themselves back together in no time.

"Sure thing, boss. Don't want you pulling my hair or anything," smirked Jerry. One day he will wake up in the river. "You had five collections slotted for the day, Rath's already taken care of three while you an his Orcness were having your slap fight."

"Which three?" I asked, ignoring the salvo for now. Jerry flipped back a couple pages in the book to find the latest accounts.

"Two grand off Drennen. Paid in full now, so we'll probably see him in over the weekend to bet the games. I'll need to move some tables around to make the place wheelchair friendly, but word is he's healing up well." He flipped to another page before continuing.

"Malloche put up three k against the seven and Rath brought back the painting you suggested. That'll cover another two once we sell it, so the old man is good on interest for a while.

"The last one was that hundred silver bet from Kenzi. She didn't have any of it on her, so Rath brought back what you told him to. Not that I have any idea why you would have wanted that."

"Aye? Lass' first time betting. Rath have any trouble with her? Where'd he put it?"

"Not that he mentioned, though you know I can only understand him about half the time." answered Jerry. He motioned toward the back in response to my last question, indicating the half-ogre had put things in my office. Once I'd corked the bottle of healing draughts and stowed it back on the top shelf, happily feeling no pain as I stretched to reach it, I slipped into the back to check on the spoils.

"Jerry?" I called back to him from the entrance to my office. "Why is there a fish tank on my desk?" It looked to be only about a ten gallon tank, but I'm pretty sure 5 of them had been splashed across the mahogany surface. My paper work was drenched.

"It's Kenzi's. Rath said you asked for it if she didn't have the silver."

"Why would I want a fish tank?"

"That was my question."

"No, no, no. He was supposed to come back with her computer." Because, really, what's more valuable to a blogger than her computer? It had seemed like a great way to get Kenzi to bring her losses over to settle up and, if she didn't, it was sure to bring at least that much. I'd have needed to fence it here in RhyDin, since no one in my usual circles even knows what electricity is, let alone what to do with a computer, but I have a number of contacts in Badside that could help me out. A ten gallon fish tank, on the other hand, I highly doubted would bring more than 10 to 20 silver.

"Boss," began Jerry, "what is it about a seven foot tall half-ogre who eats frogs and grew up in a swamp, makes you think he could identify a computer? He hasn't figured out the can opener yet. He's gone back to piercing soup cans with his fangs because smashing the can opener against the top just left big dents."

"I showed him an example. What am I going to do with a fish tank!? Brandon's staff wasn't in yet, so I marched him into the other office and pointed at the 'shiny box' that he needed to take if she didn't pay." I really did. I can't go all the way into the computer room without things exploding, but I could certainly get far enough in to point at the monitors.

"Boss, come here a second." beckoned Jerry with his infuriatingly patronizing tone. He's from the same low tech world I am, so I still don't understand why he's so much more comfortable with all that stuff than I. He had stepped into the computer room and was hovering over one of the techs as he waited for me to join him.

"Watch that one, " he told me as he pointed to the screen in the top right corner. There must be twenty or so monitors in this room, stacked three high and all running either some live event stream or a number crunching program. I turned my eyes to the corner of the room where a program was busy churning out graphs and shrugged at Jerry.

My attention where he wanted it, Jerry gave the tech seated in front of him a pat on the shoulder. "Ken, do us a favor and put 3G to sleep for a minute." Which Ken did. Smirking all the while. He does not seem to realize that he is in Brandon's employ rather than mine and I am not all that attached to him. Before I could wonder too much about what his replacement's name would be, however, the view of screen 3G drew old elvish curses from my lips.

First, the screen went completely black, took on a ripply sort of effect and gradually turned to blue. At the same time a tiny little treasure chest appeared, half lodged in the bed of sand that grew up from the bottom. The lid on the chest flopped up and down while bubbles escaped it and then... then the fish swam onto the screen.

"Nobody had touched the machines in hours when you two came in here," Jerry began to explain. "This would have been playing when you oh so wisely pointed and said something like 'Bring me back one of these.'"

"Put the rest of them to sleep." I told the tech. Surely I would have noticed a wall full of fish. Granted it was ungodly early and I hadn't had enough whiskey yet to be fully awake, but I'm sure I would have noticed that.

"Sir," complained Ken, "I can't do that. It'll interrupt the programs we're running."

He didn't seem to understand that it wasn't actually a request. "Ken, was it? Do you remember tech Jason?"

"Jason, Sir? I've never heard of a tech working this sector by that name."

"Exactly." Whether it was the flat tone or the dark glare creeping across my features as I said it, Ken got my point and quickly turned his eyes back to the screens. Smart lad. Maybe we'll let him stay on after all.

A couple of clicks later, every monitor on the wall went black and then slowly came to life with what Jerry later explained as a screen saver. Bouncing balls on one, squiggly lines spread across another. Dictionary terms; Headlines from the RhyDin Post; Album cover art; Famous quotes; Flying toasters. Really? Flying toasters?

Of all of them, only 3G had the aquarium display. Also though, it was the only picture of the bunch that Rath could see and think of food. This naturally made another question come to mind.

"Jerry, why is the tank empty?" asked as I looked out the door and back towards the fish tank sitting atop my water logged desk. I was fairly sure I didn't really want an answer to this.

"It wasn't. There were two little... oh." he paused, realization apparent in his eyes. "That would explain why his head was wet when he went back on his route."
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