In which certain things are found
The scene: Ace High.
Stop pads quietly in through the gates, and makes makes a bee line for the cake stand. He looks around the Outpost while stuffing cake in his mouth. Stop appears to peering around in search of something, and as he finishes his cake, he starts wandering around, now actively searching.
Stop completes a circle of the outpost, ending up back at the cake outlet. He frowns. "Excuse me Sir," he addresses the Joker handing out cake, "I'm looking for a, a, thing." He's forgotten what it's called. "For listening", he adds, clarifying. Stop gradually shrinks under the Joker's silent, stony stare. "I'll, umm, keep looking then. Over there, perhaps." He shuffles away from the cake shop. Stop roots through an alley, peering into bins and boxes. Nothing. He starts to make his way to the fountain, and his path takes him by a flower bed. There are terra-cotta flower pots in it.
Stop spots pots.
Pots stop Stop.
Stop detours towards the pots and lifts them up in turn, looking underneath, inside and around them. Plenty of snails. No listening devices. He sighs. Stop wanders over towards the Harp, still scanning the ground, on which there are a number of bottle tops, litter from the nearby revelery.
Stop spots tops.
Tops stop Stop.
Stop rattles through piles, large and small, of bottle tops. There are not even snails, and clearly no listening devices. Stop murmurs glumly: "The Quest! is harder than I thought. Stop jams his hands in his pockets and flumps down on the nearest bench.
The Quest! stands on a knife edge. Stray just a little ... wait, that's been done. Sorry J.R.R. Anyway...
Stop shakes his head, and is about to leave when he remembers! He marches back to the cake stand. "It's a stethsmoscope, Sir. The listening thing I'm looking for is a stethmoscope. Miss Shi said it might be here. Have you seen it?" he demands. Stop crumples again as the cake Joker shakes his head. Feeling an unfamiliar pang, the Joker slides another slice of cake over. Stop is mightily consoled.
Stop, revitalised, begins searching along the street again. Casting his eyes along the store fronts, he notices that the doors are wedged open. By door-stops. Here we go again!
Stop spots stops.
Stops stop Stop.
Stop mutters: "Pots, tops and stops. That's all I can find. The stethsomoscope isn't here." He picks up a stop, a pot and a top, and decides to head back to Central. Yup...
Stop opts to stop, with pots, tops and stops.