Alternative History - An alternative Job-Offer - RPLOG
As Fenris wakes from sleep, he finds that he is not, in fact, Fenris. Once again, he finds himself in the guise of Bohmer, locked in a cell of sorts, with a single feline in a guard-uniform keeping tabs on the various cells. It doesn't seem to be a particularly -bad- cell, though, as Bohmer's been provided not one, but two extra blankets, and a decently comfy pillow.
Fenris. . . well. . . Bohmer blinks and looks around, the not-tiger feeling slow and stupid. It takes him a moment to adjust, though he feels a thrill when he realized where he is. "Could have at least warned me," he mutters, only a little startled to hear Bohmer's slow, rumbling bass instead of his own voice.
The immense Hippo drags himself to his feet to take stock of his situation, moving to rattle the bars of his cell. "You can't keep me here!" he bellows! Just because it seems like the sort of ill informed thing Bohmer might say.
"Whoa, whoa. We've no intention of holding you here. But we can't have you tearing up the city either, or risk you getting stabbed out there. You ticked off a lot of folk back there," the feline offers, holding up his hands in what he hopes is a disarming fashion. "Wait here, and I'll fetch the commander. He wanted to talk to you before we let you back out again. Just, uh... Wait here. Please, um, don't tear up the wall or disturb any of the other beings we've got in the other holding cells," he offers, looking particularly fresh and unexperienced as he waits for a response, before dashing off.
Fortunately, the big guy has had a little time to cool off, and he is still more Fenris than Bohmer as the tiger within aligns himself to the "Game" again, reminding himself what happened last time. He looks down at his huge, moderately flabby body and sighs, scratching at the curling hairs on his bare chest and slapping his large gut with a thick hand. "Huh," he murmurs in a slow bass, "Probably shoulda grabbed somethin' to wear before stompin' off." He looks up to see the young guard still standing there. "Well?" he snorts, "You just gonna stand there or do I gotta smash down a wall and find you commander myself? I didn't do nothin' they didn't do first!"
"O-of course," the cat offers, right before dashing off. It takes a little while, but eventually, he returns, followed a rather stately, tall and well-decorated hawk. One that should be oddly familiar to Fenris, yet without the mask.
The cat fumbles with the key for a while, as the hawk gestures for Bohmer to follow after him, before turning to the feline. "Good lad. Would you be so kind to fetch some clothes for our guest, before we head up to the office? And after that. bring us a meal, too. Standard rations will be fine. Makers know we don't have a lot of manpower right now, lets keep it simple, shall we?"
It doesn't take particularly long for the feline to return with -something-. It's not particularly fetching, but at least it'll keep Bohmer relatively decent for the time being."
The office itself is high up in the tower, a good overlook of the smouldering city below. Most of the fires seem to have petered out by now, though there are still some fires going up, and other still going.
Bohmer sneers at the mismatched bits of guard uniforms, too small, though they are probably the biggest the little errand runner could find on short notice. He stuffs himself into the stiff trousers, leaving the button undone on top and pulls on the old shirt that stops halfway down his belly before grumbling and following the hawk officer. The Hippo, now well settled into his role, gives his captor a surly look as he heaves himself up the tower. Stairs are in no way his friends and he makes a mental promise to start exercising more, since his cushy government job had no doubt gone up in smoke along with his home.
"Didn't do nothing wrong," he wheezes, leaning his hands on his knees, causing his undersized trousers to creak rather alarmingly, "They messed up my house. I messed up theirs."
"You attacked four guards and seriously injured three rioting beings, Mister Heavybottom. You caused at least one shop to collapse, and there is currently a large crack in the ground on the main concourse. By our reckoning, you did more than a bit."
"However. We also understand that this is a trying time. For everyone. And you seem like a most... Reasonable sort, now that you've calmed down a little," he offers, as he looks out of the window, and gestures for Bohmer to look for himself.
"Damn right. . . HUFF. . . I'm reasonable," Bohmer grunts, finally starting to get his air back. Also about as sharp as a bag of wet mice, but that is its own problem. The huge Hippo waddles up to look at the scene of destruction, frowning. "Yeah," he grunts, "I seen it. Some dumb Nob set the city on fire. Burned down my house. I got nothing now!" The blood starts to rise in Bohmer's face as he looks out at the smoldering city.
"Plenty of beings have lost more than their houses. Family, their own lives. But, as much as I wish that weren't the case, it is neither here nor there. As for the nob who set this whole thing off, as you called her. My cousin, Angie Brightfeather is rather... Ambitious. And we had her in our... Care. That is, until she escaped, along with a certain Lady Sleekfur."
"Yeah?" Bohmer grunts, folding his thick arms over his expansive belly, "So you let her go and let her go and ruin everything for everybody? What're you telling me for?"
"I would like her back in our custody. Both of them, for that matter," the hawk offers, as he turns around, and gestures for Bohmer to take a seat, once the feline comes in with two rather basic looking meals. Well, at least it's food.
"As it stands, we have yet to decide to do with you, mister Heavybottom. Under normal circumstances, you'd have been awaiting your trial in the dungeons. However, these are not normal circumstances, are they?"
"Please. Eat something."
Bohmer does not need to be asked twice, easing into a chair and tucking in with gusto. Simple though the fare might be, it is no doubt as good or better than what has been available in the markets lately. He gives the hawk a suspicious glance as he eats. "So what?" he asks, "You tellin' me you expect ME to go and find them? You want something knocked over? I can do that. You wanna know the lay of the land? Gotcha covered. But I ain't no guard detective or tracker."
"For one, we need order restored in this city. Until such time that the Great are no longer capable of rule, they are in charge. We need riots to be quelled, and new, or at least temporary houses constructed. We need eyes on the ground, and right now, we need as many beings as we can reasonably find."
"And, given the ongoing war with the Shades, capable mages are in short supply."
"Alternatively, we could allow you to leave the city, find your own path. You would, of course, no longer be welcome to return. And there is the looming threat of the Shades to deal with. Or, if you'd prefer awaiting a trial... It would take a while, unfortunately. During which you'd be stuck in the dungeons," the hawk offers, as he looks out of the window again.
"You do, of course, understand that you will not be working for pay, but rather, as a form of, shall we say... Community service? Food will be provided, of course, three rations a day."
"What?" Bohmer grunts pushing away his empty plate, "You want me to go back to scraping by, working in the dirt for you for nothing?" The hippo makes a rude gesture. "That's what I think of that noise," he rumbles, a sly, shrewd look crosses the pachyderm's face, gets uncomfortable, then leaves his normal, surly look. "Nah. I think you got something else in mind. If you wanted me breakin' rocks you wouldn't have me up here. You'd just throw me in the quarry. Or toss me out of the city. What's your angle?"
"Would you rather starve, mister Heavybottom? I'd rather not see the city, or worse, the country erupt into a full-blown civil war. Our coffers are not exactly full, given the war-effort, and neither Water's Fall nor the Jewel of the Jungle are capable, or willing, of helping us with either problem. We are facing a war of self-preservation, both within, and without. And right now, we are losing."
"My foremost alegiance is to the stability of this city, and this country. It is my belief that the Great are still our best bet towards this purpose."
"AFTER we've dealt with this threat, we can talk of proper compensation. I am sure the new King or Queen would like to reward those whom ensured their rule secure, no? A new, luxury house, perhaps? Or even a new House, should their service be... Exceptional. 'tis hard to tell."
Bohmer considers the hawk and the now empty plate in front of him. "Fine," he says, "But I'm done diggin' ditches for peanuts." The huge hippo flexes his meaty hands. "Ain't never got the chance to really open up with earthshakin' before," he admits, "And it felt good. You put me where I can break stuff, and I'm your Hippo." He considers for a second, "And I could maybe build a thing or two if I gotta," the idea of a reward is certainly appealing to the pachyderm's baser instincts, "Who knows, maybe I'll even get my hands on that cousin of yours."
"Exellent. We will be putting up barricades around the castle district, first and foremost. Once we get to the academy and the maritime district, we will likely need your assistance in... Subduing the riots. I'd rather as few people die as possible, however. And of course, any buildings in disrepair should be supported, to avoid any serious... Incidents," the hawk offers, giving Bohmer the first smile he's seen from the being.
You understand that our forces are spread thin, so I cannot provide much of an escort, at any time. Of course, the sooner we control the other guard-towers again, the more men I... We will have at our disposal."
Bohmer grunts his assent. "Fine," he mutters, "But clothes first. I'm not going out there in these." He waves at the ill fitting clothes he was given. "You just tell me what you want and I'll get it done. But you remember that you promised me a good word with your higher ups, right?"
"Of course, of course. Speak with timothy. You've already met him. He'll see to it that you get a change of clothes that fits properly. And certainly. I will personally ensure that the next ruler hears of your assistance in ensuring the security of this city."
"Any further questions, mister Heavybottom?"
"Yeah," Bohmer frowns, "Why? You bashed me over the head in the castle district, and now you're tellin me you need me. How am I supposed to know that this isn't some kind of trick just to screw me over again?"
"Like I said, mister Heavybottom. Decent mages are in short supply. And earth-magic, in particular, will be a useful skill to have in the days to come. I feel we can be of... Assistance to eachother, is all," he offers with a smile on his lips.
"Although I can assure you, it wasn't me who knocked you out."
"Fine," Bohmer says, "You get me kitted out and make sure I got what I need and I'll do what I gotta do." He looks around at the office, "Now where's the kid? I need somethin' that fits."
"Downstairs, at the holding cells," the hawk offers, as he gets back to work. Once Bohmer actually exits the office, however, he finds himself back in the guise of Fenris, or perhaps more accurately, Bellamy Foxglove, who's just finished a meeting with the guard-captain currently on call in the castle district.
Bellamy staggers to a stop, looking back at the barracks. "Well, bother," he puffs through his mustache, "Might give me a bit of warning next time!" The grizzled old fox strokes his mustaches and considers the city before him, and the very different city he had just explored. "Still," he murmurs, "Fascinating."