CUNNING HEROICS AND DERRING-DO!
OR, A Tale of Two Kitties (and a midget, an engineer, a smooth-talker and a number of innocent1) bystanders)
Continuation from Of Cows, Outlaws, and Translating Toasters.
Exterior; Squat Hole.
A Cow wanders through, chewing. "Mooooo."
Slacker Cartographer Syd Lexic peeks out from behind a building, chains rattling. He whispers, "Hello? Cow? Did you bring help?"
A Cow turns slowly to face Syd. "Mmmmmnnnnnoooo. . . foooouuund ooooone. . . buuuut heee diiiidn't cooooome."
Slacker Cartographer Syd Lexic hrms and shakes his head. "Ok. . . well keep looking, alright? Please? I'll find a way to repay you."
A Cow nods slowly. "Mmmmmmmkaaayy. . ." He turns and ambles out.
Slacker Cartographer Syd Lexic watches his only hope of rescue venture off and sighs, getting back to his muck shoveling.
later. . .
Slacker Cartographer Syd Lexic groans from behind the Kebabs 'n' Shite. "What the hell is this supposed to accomplish, anyway?" "SHAADDUP AN' SHUVUL TH' MUK! I don' pay yer ta queschun m' motuvs in havin th' muk shuvul'd!" "WHAT? You don't pay me at all! You kidnapped me!"
Slacker Cartographer Syd Lexic grumbles and continues shoveling the muck. His captor calls from inside, "Juss gebback ter yer shuvulen!" Syd wonders how he got himself captured by a single midget.
calliaphone creepitycreeps in through the gates, keeping to the shadows and alleyways, and beckoning to Ari. "Psst, this way, but lookout there might be traps." creepitycreepitystumbletripCRASH "Oww!fuckit"
Cheif Outlaw Ari darts forward to rescue Callia from the 'trap' "I'm coming!"
calliaphone is trapped headfirst in a dustbin. Fortunately, Squat Hole being what it is, the stuff that oughta be in dustbins is all over the streets, so the dustbin itself isn't too bad. It is a bit dark and echoey though. She waves her feet in the air.
Cheif Outlaw Ari circles the bin with puzzlement, should she yank on Callia's feet or push the bin over?
Slacker Cartographer Syd Lexic looks up, but his captor has also heard the visitors! He pokes his head out and hisses at Syd, "Oi! Gebbak be'ind th' restrunt!" Syd winces and slowly makes his way back. He peers back over his shoulder. "Pssst! Guys! Over here!"
calliaphone fails to hear poor Syd's cry for help, 'cause she's so busy kicking her legs and yelling "halp halp i've been captured by The Law get away Ari while you still can!"
calliaphone is, if we're gonna be honest about this, a bit rubbish at covert ops.
Cheif Outlaw Ari looks around, he doesn't see no law except maybe that mean looking midget over there so she probably still has time to rescue! "I am gonna tip over the bin so don't kick me kay?" and dodging the legs she takes hold of the bin tight before pushing
calliaphone is not, however, down in the dumps about this fact. she's upbeat, y'see. or at least, upsidedown.
Slacker Cartographer Syd Lexic looks crestfallen as he disappears behind the Kebabs 'n' Shite. He's gotta remember to have a word with that cow about who he sends to help.
calliaphone is grabbed! Entirely failing to realise it is Ari, and not The Establishment after her kneecaps, she resorts to Playing Dead, and mimics rigor mortis. Fortunately for Ari.
calliaphone-in-the-bin teeters. topples. and tumbles right over. There are a few moments of dizzying rolling, and then a clattering halt and. . .silence. And then. . .
Cheif Outlaw Ari takes much care in lowering her comrade to the ground and steps back "Now just shimmy"
Cheif Outlaw Ari acks and chases the Calliaphone
calliaphone shimmies out of the bin, cross-eyed but still with kneecaps. Seeing Ari she staggers towards her, missing by several yards, and addressing a wall. "Ari Ari thank goodness you're here! I nearly fell in a trap but i think i got away with it."
Cheif Outlaw Ari nodnods "Now we gotta be careful and find Syd so we can all escape the kneecappers. Alertness and all that you know?"
Buddleia drives through on her kittybike - they had been going at quite a lick, rumbling down the mountain, roaring along the path, but now it's more a sort of squelchy ploughing, with low-gear revving, from the swamp.
calliaphone is a good outlaw, she salutes her chief and says "ayeaye cap'n" and "AVAST BEHIND!" and then, "how we gonna find him? d'you think he's left tracks like- oooh loookitthekittybike!" jaw drops open, drooool. . .
Buddleia stops to examine today's fun. Is this the usual midget fight, performance art, or typical GERMan lunacies? It can be hard to tell sometimes. She calls out a cheerful "Hello!" anyway.
Cheif Outlaw Ari waves "Hello Budd! Have you come to help us rescue a fellow outlaw from the kneecappers? Or are you on the other side?"
calliaphone gulps, and hastily puts her hands over her kneecaps in case.
Buddleia scratches her head, "Well, I'm not an outlaw, but I'm against kneecapping, in general. . ." She swings off Thunder, who, no longer moving, is starting to fidget in case his wheels get stuck. "Who's after you?"
calliaphone starts to reel off a list of county courts, truancy officers, sweetshop owners, local constables and park-keepers, and then stops, realising "ohh, you mean this time?"
Buddleia somewhat unsuccessfully muffles giggles, and rephrases, "Who is the other side and why are they threatening to kneecap you."
Cheif Outlaw Ari shrugs "Cause of the paperwork I think, dunno why they snatched Syd though, maybe it is a trap?" she looks nervously at Callia
calliaphone nods. she's got it all worked out (oh heaven help us). "it's the Estabullshitment. Daedalus said so. obviously they've gotten the midgets in their pay or sommat, and have captured Syd to make him fill in forms! He sent a cow to tell us."
Buddleia is seriously puzzled, and her expression shows it, "Paperwork? And what about Syd?" She looks around, frowning, "Come to think of it, I've not seen him lately."
calliaphone puts a finger to her lips. "sshhhhh" she says, earnestly. "they might hear, and move him! the cow said he was here, see? so we've come to liberate him!"
Buddleia is seriously puzzled, and her expression shows it. This explanation does not help her become less so. She seizes on the important-sounding part, "Syd . . . is captured? By midgets?" She ignores the cow and possible bullshit for now.
Cheif Outlaw Ari nodnods "That is what the toaster said"
Buddleia visibly restrains herself from asking about the toaster. For now. "Do we know where he is or any more info about who's got him or why?"
calliaphone, while Ari explains, has started tracking. That is to say, kicking about in the general muck'n'rubbish, to see what's there. "eurk gross, stinky. . . oooh!" a cider can is inspected hopefully, but it's clearly not one of those days.
Cheif Outlaw Ari tries to recall what was said "He just said short people in a squishy town I think"
calliaphone says, "this is quite squishy, look!" holding up something indescribable as evidence. "i think we're on the right tracks."
Slacker Cartographer Syd Lexic's captor has been listening, and is getting slightly nervous with all this kidnapping talk. "Erruhh. . . Oi! Wuss alliss nonsenz abou' kidnappen? Why nah jess 'av a snak? Cemmere an 'av a doner kebab! Firs un's. . . er. . . 4 perssen off!"
Buddleia nods. Squishy could be Pitts, but shorties is most likely here. "Right. I'll start by asking in the pub and so on, if anyone has seen him." She smiles, coldly, for once, "We'll find him." And there will be trouble for someone.
Cheif Outlaw Ari peers at the midget with suspicion, even she know a midget offering a discount is awfully fishy
calliaphone is torn. 'cause . . . rescue . . . but also "look, food! they're givin' it away!" she approaches eagerly. "can i have ketchup in mine?"
Buddleia turns, sharp, and flips open her req pouch (the one that she keeps visible, anyway). She plays with a shiny token. "Have you seen a normal-height kittymorph around? He has cream-and-brown fur, and glasses." Normal-height to midgets, anyway.
Cheif Outlaw Ari tugs on Callia to whisper "What if it is poisoned or something?" at the very least it is likely to upset one's stomach
calliaphone says "ohyeh. what she said. but also, don't forget the ketchup."
Slacker Cartographer Syd Lexic's captor grins and relaxes a bit. "Yeh, yer can 'av keshup. Eh. . . leas'. . . fink iss keshup. . ." He holds up a bottle of a watery red liquid. A voice from out back calls, "Where do you want the next muck pile?"
calliaphone wheels round. "poisoned ketchup?" she pales. "no-one'd do that would they? suuuuurely." her voice is pleading. she wants that ketchupkebab.
Cheif Outlaw Ari wrinkles her nose, she is picky about her food at the best of times but "I suppose they can't charge you again if they kill you or nothing"
Buddleia ignores the ketchup, planning to catch up later. She twirls the coin between her fingers. It does its best to shine in the sun, enticing for kitties, misers, and midgets alike. "Free drinks for anyone who finds him safe and sound."
Slacker Cartographer Syd Lexic's captor whitens, looks to Buddleia, then to the window. "SHADDUP! AHM WIF CUST'MURS!" Back to the girls. "Lazy git. . . gud 'elp iz harda fine, y'know? I dunno wha' yer talkin 'bout, kittymarfs."
Cheif Outlaw Ari turns her attention in the direction of the voice "Sounds like he is working"
calliaphone is doing some Quick Thinking. Anyone who would poison ketchup is clearly up to no good. And wants investigating. Luckily, the midget seems to have fixated on the others for a moment. She starts sidling towards the alleyway beside the restaruant.
Buddleia has an audience, now. Midgets are eyeing the req, eyeing each other. Does anyone see a kittymorph? Nope. Does she look muggable? Nope. Free drinks for a quick look-round? Hell yeah. One or two of them actually start to look around.
Slacker Cartographer Syd Lexic's captor looks about nervously. "Ah, yer wastin yer time, luv. He ain 'ere! My workers iz total legal, they iz."
Cheif Outlaw Ari tilts her head "How many you got?" best to keep eyes off Callia
calliaphone eyes the fence surrounding the backyard of Kebabs'n'Shite. It's not all that high, actually. Go figure. She reckons she could scramble it, after a fashion. Using a nearby midget (mesmerized by shiny) as a step-up, and she jumps for the fencetop
Buddleia nods. "Really." She heard that voice and she's seen where Callia went . . . she fishes out a random handful of more req tokens, "How much are you paying them? I could do with a good gardener for my place."
calliaphone makes it - after a fashion. Head and shoulders above the fence, clinging on for dear life. Boots thud against the wooden panels as she scrabbles to stay up there, but she can see into the yard.
Slacker Cartographer Syd Lexic's captor ehhhhs. "Jes a few. . . y'know. Ahm runnun a biznuz 'ere!"
Slacker Cartographer Syd Lexic looks up, eyes wide. He whispers, "Callia? What're you doing here?"
calliaphone says, "Syd! You are here! We've come to rescue you! Hangabout!" and she looks round frantically, trying to signal to the others without losing her grip on the fencetop.
calliaphone's signals are not hard to interpret. Lots of pointing, lots of thumbs ups.
Cheif Outlaw Ari eyes widen as she looks beyond the midget, Callia clearly has found something interesting over there!
Buddleia sets a coin on the counter and rolls it back and forth between her fingers, just too close to be snatched. Maybe she's just being a fine distraction; maybe bribery will work. "I'll buy 'em off you for double what you paid."
Cheif Outlaw Ari frowns "Budd, you know slavery isn't very nice"
Slacker Cartographer Syd Lexic's captor is panicking slightly by now. "Ah dint pay nuffink fer im. Got 'im mesel. . ." Realization slowly works its way across his face. "Uhhh. . . ah paid a gran' sum fer 'im! A hunnert fousen recker!"
calliaphone is boggling at Syd, "maaan, they got you chained up! we gotta get you outta there. here, i gottan idea!" still clinging on with one hand, she rummages in a pocket and locates . . . a small hammer. "it's the best i've got," she says apologetically.
Cheif Outlaw Ari's eyes widen "You got that much money?" rich and corrupt, hmmm. . .
calliaphone does not notice, as the hammer comes out of her pocket, a top trumps card flutter to the ground. On which is pictured a heavy-duty rock-hammer. She chucks the little hammer into the yard, to land beside Syd.
Slacker Cartographer Syd Lexic grins. "I'm sure that'll do well! Give it here, and I'll see if I can bust this chain."
calliaphone is a pretty terrible shot, but at least she manages not to brain Syd.
Buddleia turns to look at her req pouch again, turning so she can, unseen, mouth to Ari rescue while I keep him talking. "Hundred thou, eh? Pretty steep. Must been a damn good worker. Where'd you find one like that?"
Cheif Outlaw Ari blinks, isn't that what Callia is doing? She swallows and shimmies in that direction inconspicuously
Slacker Cartographer Syd Lexic grins and grabs the hammer, lining up a shot. The midget, meanwhile, is running out of story. "I, uhhhh. . . bot 'im frum. . . ehhh. . ." He tries to think of a good fake name. . . "Shamswerf! Uhhh, yeah, thassit!"
Cheif Outlaw Ari looks round at the wall Callia hangs from, no way in or out there. She sneaks into the shop
Slacker Cartographer Syd Lexic closes one eye and squares his shot. The hammer falls, with a KaClunk! Was. . . that sound couldn't have been right. Sounded like a jackhammer or something. The chain falls away, utterly destroyed.
calliaphone, hearing - or perhaps rather feeling the shock of a . . . jackhammer blow? is startled. and loses her grip on the fence. "WAAUUGHHH" she crashes down to land in a heap in the alleyway.
Cheif Outlaw Ari frees a moment and then spotting a bunch of keys on the wall, snatches them and darts for the back door, trying them all one at a time, come on! Come on!
Buddleia hefts her req pouch. Clink. Jingle. Distraction powers go go go! She nods, as if fascinated by his story, "Not heard of 'em. Whereabouts is it or whosit?" then nods at the 'food' beside him, "And how about a kebab meanwhile?"
Slacker Cartographer Syd Lexic blinkblinks. He hoists the remainder of the chain over his shoulder and heads toward the fence. . . but the gate is locked! "What are we gonna do?"
Cheif Outlaw Ari fails with key after key on the ring, one of them has to fit!
Cheif Outlaw Ari reaches the last key with no luck, her eyes dart back to the counter, hanging on it within reaching distance of the midget, is another key.
calliaphone, dazed and tottering, extricates herself from the muck in the alley. "whajus'happened? where'm i?"
Iron Chef Neo-Improbable Carter wanders into town with Sous trotting behind him. . . the plushy chef wrinkles his nose. "Yooouch. . . Smools like Croup Meet!" Albert sighs and nods. . ."Yeah, but it does have it's charms. . .bloody damned if I remember what they are. . .
Cheif Outlaw Ari chews on her lip and thinks hard, what would Robin Hood do?
calliaphone notices a top trumps card on the ground. "oooh, niiiice." she pockets it. how amazing that it matches her collection.
Iron Chef Neo-Improbable Carter looks around and debates whether or not to set up shop for a bit. . .when he spots Buddleia he waves to her, but doesn't interrupt her current business at hand.
Buddleia scrupulously ignores callia, trying to avoid drawing any attention to the rescue attempts, and turns to wave hello to Carter and Sous. "Hello! Come and have some food, he said there's a four percent discount!" Hopefully that'll get good reactions.
Slacker Cartographer Syd Lexic looks around. Gate is a no. . . door? Meanwhile, the midget grins at the sack of shiny shiny. . . "Eh, shur! Doner kebabs all round! Jes. . . uhh. . . wan' me ter. . . hold yer recker? Don' wan' it gettn loss."
Lord Elevated Badass of the Gods Wongo the Sane spots Carter. For a moment, he thinks he's heading towards. . . Kebabs 'n' Shite? That can't be right. . . Oh no. He's just waving to somebody inside.
Cheif Outlaw Ari can't think of a single time Robin Hood had to trick a midget out of a set of keys to rescue a captive. She does not think King Richard will come pardon Syd so she drops to her knees and crawls for the keys
Iron Chef Neo-Improbable Carter saunters over and smirks a bit. "What exactly are we having?" He asks, and Sous looks on wearily, occassionally looking up to the chef. "How are you, Buddleia?" Albert asks with a smile, but his face betrays a certain seriousness. "You need to talk?"
Lord Elevated Badass of the Gods Wongo the Sane looks shocked. Carter did just enter K&S. Something very strange must be occurring. He heads over himself.
Cheif Outlaw Ari pinches the keys and backs up, her eyes are closed tight so she won't be seen. When she feels far enough away she opens one eye and turns to face the key hole. The key is inserted and. . .CLICK
Slacker Cartographer Syd Lexic's captor inches forward, sweaty little mitts making grabby hands at the req bag.
Buddleia says, brightly, as if nothingatall was the matter, "I think I may have found a great deal here." She does her best to convey, through quick glances and expressions, talkaboutthatlater nowkeeptalking - it probably comes out as Iwentcrazy.
Lord Elevated Badass of the Gods Wongo the Sane raises an eyebrow. "A great deal of what?"
calliaphone ricochets off a wall and out of the alley into the street, chattering away to herself about jackhammers and compressors and excavators. . .someone may have bumped their head slightly, tumbling off a fence.
Iron Chef Neo-Improbable Carter's ears perk up as he reads body language and then he smiles. "Oooooooh! A GREAT deal? Tell me all about it!" He swishes his tail and puts a paw on her shoulder, he's unable to squeeze her shoulder, but he drums his 'toe-pads' slightly, nodding.
Slacker Cartographer Syd Lexic hears the click and whirls about to face the door. Salvation at last! Freedom!
Iron Chef Neo-Improbable Carter looks back to Buddleia, his smile fading. "That's a good question. . . what IS it a deal of?" Sous holds his nose and makes a slight gagging noise. "Oh, quiet, little friend," Carter scolds Sous lightly. "Try it and THEN make your judgment."
Cheif Outlaw Ari scrabbles to her feet and throws open the door "Run for your kneecaps!"
Lord Elevated Badass of the Gods Wongo the Sane turns to the midget behind the counter. "While I'm here, get me a Crimson Pitbull would you?"
Iron Chef Neo-Improbable Carter smiles to Wongo and walks over. "Good to see you again, Clan-Brother. . . for the second time." He nods. "Have you checked out The Cottage lately?" He nods proudly. "It's beginning to near full completion!"
Buddleia grins, shiny and insane as any Joker, "Potential." Damn, she's running out of inventiveness. Do not pay attention to Ari, do not notice her unlocking doors . . .
Slacker Cartographer Syd Lexic scrambles through the door, flashing a thumbs up to Ari, and plowing into the midget. "EVERYONE FINISHED OK LETS GO!" He grabs a kebab on the way out.
Lord Elevated Badass of the Gods Wongo the Sane shakes his head. "Not for a while, no. Dan's not sent me to Kittania in a while, alas. But I was looking for you - I have something for you before I go hunt down Mr Entwhistle."
calliaphone sees a Syd, fleeing from the restaurant. and gapes. "waitaminute, wasn't he . . . i've seen him b'fore. . . in yard . . ." confusion reigns.
Cheif Outlaw Ari flees herself, she however pinches some req as she does so. Out of the shop she speeds
Iron Chef Neo-Improbable Carter cocks his head, curious. "What do you have for me?" He asks, a bit curious.
Lord Elevated Badass of the Gods Wongo the Sane, at Syd's order, grabs his drink and runs. He doesn't know why, but everyone else is. He doubts they're robbing K&S. What's there worth stealing?
Buddleia lets out her breath in a yesssssss. She throws her bag of req in the air to confuse things, yells, "This guy uses soap!" ditto, gabbles apologies to the Bedlamites, and hustles Syd and Ari and Callia towards her kittybike.
Cheif Outlaw Ari shouts as she zooms by "He is rescued everyone!"
Lord Elevated Badass of the Gods Wongo the Sane is too busy running to answer Carter's question right now. He'll catch up with him once they're all 'safe'.
Slacker Cartographer Syd Lexic squishes into the streets and looks around. "Thank you so much you guys! I was getting worried that that cow was never gonna send anyone!"
Iron Chef Neo-Improbable Carter walks out to the village square to join the others.
Cheif Outlaw Ari divides the bag of req and holds most of it out for Syd "He probably owed you money for working and stuff"
calliaphone is mercifully hustled before she has any further chance to fall over, get confused or generally hamper the escape effort.
Iron Chef Neo-Improbable Carter shakes his head, a bit confused. "Okaaay."
Buddleia leaps back onto Thunder for a daring escape. You've got to ride off into the sunset after these things. Who else is coming? Pile on the kittybike!
calliaphone sees a Wongo however, and - head injury or no - launches a flying hugTackle in his general direction. amazingly, she doesn't miss.
Lord Elevated Badass of the Gods Wongo the Sane grabs Carter and pulls him into an alleyway. Around them, the darkness seems to descend like a shroud until they are completely gone from sight. . .
Slacker Cartographer Syd Lexic chuckles as he looks at the req. "Nah, I don't need any more req. I'm just glad to leave this cesspool!"
Lord Elevated Badass of the Gods Wongo the Sane drags a Callia with them, clamping a hand over her mouth so she is shushed. Right now, escape. He can figure out what they're escaping from later. . .
Cheif Outlaw Ari tucks it back in the bag, all for the poor then.
Cheif Outlaw Ari scrambles onto the kittybike.
Slacker Cartographer Syd Lexic looks at the group, then at Budd. "Can we hitch a ride?" He scrabbles up onto the kittybike, grinning madly.
Iron Chef Neo-Improbable Carter yelps as he gets pulled away by Wongo. "Whoa!! What's up, Wongo?"
Lord Elevated Badass of the Gods Wongo the Sane whispers "I have no idea. But I know a daring escape when I see one."
Lord Elevated Badass of the Gods Wongo the Sane was having some trouble recognising this one. But it bears. . . most of the hallmarks.
calliaphone did launch that hugtackle even if it doesn't look like she did. and may have to be returned to the outlaw camp by other means than a kittybike. but Wongo's a good bet.
Buddleia makes sure everyone is reasonably secure and vrooooooooms off out, wheels spinning and throwing up swamp in the faces of any pursuit. Freedom! And apologies to all the innocent bystanders and confused accomplices!
Iron Chef Neo-Improbable Carter peers on with his friend, but looks at the Sane One, completely confused. "Is that why you pulls me into the alley?" Sous suddenly utters a disgusted rasp. "Hooouggh! I steeped in soomting! Yoooouuuch!"
Slacker Cartographer Syd Lexic squeals with glee as he hangs on tight to the fleeing kittybike.