Monday, June 16, 2008

Birthright, Part 1

(I wrote this yesterday, just didn't have time to type it up. Sorry guys~)

The scent of summer grass, earthy and humid, hung in the air. Its very presence signified the sheer reality of where Curio was; Outside of the cities, and most importantly, far from any form of complicated technology other than the railroad he was walking upon, the stout mechanic was both exhilarated and frightened. Beneath the rough, permanently soot-stained mask of his face, his mind was abuzz with excitement; his eyes showed it. Sullen from the outset of his journey, his attitude had changed from stoic outcast to gregarious tourist in seconds, much to the chagrin of his tall companion.

“Arh, d’ye smell that? Jest ae wiff o’ de stuff gits yer victuals a-stirred!” Curio said, beaming up at the tow-headed man, and taking in yet another long gulp of air as if he had never breathed in his life. “Hoi kinnae be knaowin’ what keeps ye so glum in such a wonderful place. I’d’ve thought ye yeomanry a damn sight cheerier thin’ those arist’crits! Tis a sad sight, iffen ye ask me.” The grimy old man guffawed at this jest and slapped Zander on the back heartily.

“Then you’ll forgive me, sir…” Zander began, rolling his shoulder to relieve the ache of the pack he wore. “If I inform you that I did not, indeed, ask you.” This served only to make the short begoggled man to laugh louder and clutch his gut as he walked along the path. Glancing back out of the corner of his eye, Zander could not help but smirk slightly at the sight of Curio in such good humor.

In a split second, Curio quit laughing and perked up, tilting his head to the side slightly. One large, gnarled ear poked up from the side of his bald head as he stood and listened, once more becoming a laughable sight to the yeoman. However, instead of expressing his entertainment, Zander watched Curio, one eyebrow raised as if posing a question. Within a few minutes of listening, the short man dropped to the ground and pressed his ear to the railroad. Realizing something, Curio nodded, jumped up from his place on the ground, and began to move a good distance away from the train tracks. Zander followed likewise.

“Hoi be thinkin’ there’ll be a train here in a few minutes… Iffen ye dinnae wan’ ter be oan foot fer the next week or two, Hoi suggest ye be getting’ ready to do as Hoi say.” Curio said, peering down the length of the railroad, judging the distance down it. Zander nodded in agreement, and dropped his pack onto the grass to the side of the railroad. Curio did likewise, his large pack full of trinkets and tools clattering heavily to the ground. Immediately he began sifting through its contents, searching for a certain tool. With a grunt approval, the mechanic pulled out a long length of rope and a grappling hook, set the two items to the side, and continued to rummage through the pack. A loud “Aha!” belt up from him as he reached deep inside and pulled out a large, heavy object. Riveted metal plates and a large rubber muzzle gleamed in the day’s sun.

“This here be me favorite hook launcher. Ye jest place the grappling hook here…” Curio began, shoving the end of the hooked metal piece into the muzzle, and turning the huge instrument over. “An’ then ye wrap de rope around this here spool, sorter like one o’ dem fishin’ rods ye yeoman folks use fer yer eatin’.” Zander nodded, mostly ignoring what the little engineer said, but seeming enthusiastic nonetheless. Curio sighed, looking up at Zander’s blank face, and let out a loud “Bah!” before standing up, now heavily armed with the large grappling hook launcher.

“Works like a gun. Ye jest aim..” Curio shifted the device up, looking through a scope built along the side, and pointed it at one of the thick branches of the overhead trees, on the left side of the train tracks. “An’ fire.” A loud sound, somewhere between a cannon firing and a cat being gutted, broke through the peaceful silence of the forest. Zander dropped to the ground first, thinking the device had malfunctioned. However, looking up to see the stout mechanic grinning down at him, he realized this was not the case. Following the line of the rope from the muzzle of the gun, Zander’s gaze went to where there was a small hole in the tree branch. Moving to the side to get a better view, Zander realized the grappling hook had not only gone into the branch, it had shot straight through the tree and latched onto the other side.

“I haete ter be losin’ sooch a fayne grapplin’ hook, but toime is maoney, as they say.” Curio said, helping the awed man up and pulling out a large strap and buckle from his pack.

“Er… so… how are we supposed to get into the train this way?” Zander asked, almost immediately regretting his question as it left his mouth at the sight of Curio’s ever-widening grin.

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