Wolfe Bite Chapter 9
By Captain Gaul
The next week seemed a whirlwind to Moe, who had the feeling of being shanghaied from normal life as Chi dragged him to Truce, and an eternity to Chi, waiting for Lucca to declare the heavily modified Telepod safe for travel.
When Lucca did decide it was finished, neither of the two knew what to think. Despite a degree of combat training, and experience in battle, an adventure or quest was something a bit different. Despite Luccas repeated assurances that quests were actually pretty easy, that she had gone on an extensive one herself with almost no preparation, they did not feel totally comfortable with the idea.
But, the Telepod was finished, and Captain Gaul was still in a coma, so they listened to Lucca describe the various features of the latest Telepod with little enthusiasm. Eventually, Lucca realized that no matter how much what she said was going to help them, they werent going to listen to much more, so she hustled them onto the transport pads, kicked up the kinetic charger, and waved farewell as their various particles scattered and reformed in the purple Gate that led to the next world.
As the world came back into focus, the two had somewhat different thoughts.
Moe: Hey, the horizon seems a lot farther away here.
Chi: Do those things bite?
Moes attention quickly turned to Chis thoughts as some kind of mutant Doberman and what appeared to becould it be?three rabid heads of lettuce charged towards them. Moe fell back into a battle stance as he considered his choice of battlewrenchs, and Chi slipped a small knife from the sleeve of her dress and sighted one of the approaching heads of lettuce with it. A second later, the knife planted itself deep into the closest lettuce head, which vanished in a pop.
By now, the mutant Doberman, being fastest, reached them, and proceeded to knock Chi down. Chi screamednot the usual battlecry, but a scream of genuine terror and pain as the dog clawed into her. A second later, a thud, a pop, the dog vanished, and there was Moe, standing over her with a tire iron.
The other two lettuce heads leaped at Moe, who managed to smash both of them in mid-air with one swing of the tire iron. They also vanished.
Recovery from this first traumatic experience took a few minutes. After Chi finished applying the bandages to her shoulder, Moe pointed south and said Looks like a good-sized town down there. Definitely worth a look. As Chi gave no argument, they embarked in that direction, keeping a close ear out for any other vicious plants or animals.
Welcome to Kohlingen! As part of our annual Merchant Week, today is Arms Dealers Day! Thats right, men, women, and ex-Imperial officers from around the world come to our fair city today to display their wares! Finishing its message, the loudspeaker went on to play Muzak.
Couldnt have picked a better day to show up.
No doubt about at that.
And smuggled, at great risk to our men, from the heart of Vector, we bring you this fine suit of Magitek! Specially modified for ex-postal workers, this baby can level trees, small buildings, large buildings, anything! Now, before we start the bidding, lets see a little demonstration. Lenny, can you help me out here?
A scruffy-looking man climbed into the suit, made grunting noises as the engine came to life, then brought the arm down and
A streak of fire rushed from the arm and ignited the tent of a nearby rival merchant. Screams came forth.
Whoa, Lenny, better put that out.
Shards of icesome the size of large cowsflew through the air and smothered the flames.
And destroy the evidence.
A shock wave pulsed from the arm. The tent was blown out of town.
Can we start the bidding at a quarter mil?
Chi? Didnt Gaul say somethin about seeing armor that spat fire?
I think so. If the locals have stuff like this, why would they want pistols?
They paused and scanned the crowd. The bidding for the Magitek armor was almost frenzied, and definitely was the main event. Still, plenty of rough-looking merchants had a large variety of dangerous-looking items for sale. They approached one at random.
Howdy folks. What can I do ya for?
Moe drew the pistol and pointed it at the merchant. The merchant didnt even blink.
May I ask what that is?
You dont know what this is?
If I knew, I wouldnt ask.
Moe adjusted the aim of the pistol slightly. He pulled the trigger and watched the merchants reaction as a pot on the shelf behind him exploded.
Ho-ly--! .How much ya want for one of them?
Were not interested in selling. We want to know if anybody, anywhere in the world, makes these or deals in them.
Oddly shaped sticks that make pots explode?
Oddly shaped sticks that shoot little balls of metal at very high speeds.
The merchant shook his head. Nope. Itd be cool as a novelty item, but only the Empire, or maybe Figaro could afford them. I know Figaros not in the market for em, and the Empires got Magitek, so they wouldnt want em.
And youd know if these were being produced or traded?
Definitely. I am one of the principle traders of non-Magitek weapons all over the world, I know I dont deal in them, and I know my competitors dont either.
Off a nearby barge, men were loading a series of crates. A lot of them filled the market square, hustling back and forth with their loads. As Moe and Chi tried to move away from the merchants stall, they ended up tripping one of them. The mans crate fell to the ground and spilled open. Both Moe and Chi were silent for a second.
Moe picked up one the pistols from the ground and pointed it at the merchant, who was already starting to sputter. Very brief conversation confirmed that the merchant denied knowing of these things existence. They asked the dockworker one question:
Where was this crate headed?