A Stable Relationship

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A Stable Relationship

Postby Warrl » Fri Jan 01, 2016 1:41 am

June 26, 2016
Considering the state of the North Tower of the old Alexander house, and the slow progress of construction on the new house and even slower progress (or complete lack thereof) on repairs to the old, the family's 4th of July celebration would - of necessity - involve rather fewer houseguests than some recent gatherings. Still, it required some planning to host the local centaur community for a picnic and fireworks.

Daisy Alexander-Richer was in the kitchen discussing those plans with Edward and Rosalita, her butler and chef respectively, when the phone rang. Edward stepped into the dining room to answer it.

"Alexander residence, Edward speaking. How may I help you?"

"Just a moment..." He opened a drawer and took out a notepad and pen. "Your name again? Very well, please hold."

He pushed the appropriate button on the phone and returned to the kitchen with a folded piece of paper which he extended to his employer. "Madame, the caller wishes a private conversation with you. I recommend you indulge the request."

Daisy took the paper and unfolded it. Edward's elegantly plain script read Pauline Hazelton.

After a brief struggle with her memory, she went slightly pale. She had only met the young centaur once, when the Alexanders had gone to Vermont to attend a funeral - for Pauline's twin sister who had died in Rowdy Alexander's arms at the Pillsbury A-mill, the first victim of a massive assault by the city's criminal element.

"Ah, yes. Please get the caller's phone number; I will return the call in about ten minutes."

Edward took the proffered paper and went back into the dining room to comply with the mistress's instructions.

... ... ...

I wait anxiously, growing more and more nervous. Eventually I realize I have to distract myself or I'll soon be incoherent, so I pick up The Girl Who Tattooed Dragons and open it at my bookmark. Naturally, my phone rings a half-second later and I drop the bookmark.

The number on the display is not the same one I called a few minutes ago, but it has the same area code. And who else from Minnesota would be calling me on a Sunday afternoon? It has to be The Dam. Unless it's the butler, telling me She would be further delayed. Probably not: that whole family had politeness glued, clamped, and nailed during their brief visit.

"Come on, Dawn", I say to myself. "You've thought about this for weeks. You've started it. It's time to do it."

I almost drop the phone trying to answer it. "Hello? This is Pauline."

"Hello, Pauline. This is Rosalyn Alexander-Richer." says the voice on the other end. Richer, huh? That's new. I haven't seen it online - but then, I haven't been looking Her up. "I believe you wanted a private conversation with me?"

"Um... yeah." Oh gods, I'm sure She can tell how nervous I am. "I wanted to ask how you all are doing. Particularly your younger son, Franklin. He was in bad shape, and - " uh oh, I'm starting to babble. " - I hope everyone's getting over it?"

"Yes," She answers, "Rowdy did take it particularly hard. I think he might have been starting to fall in love with your sister, and then the circumstances... But he's better now, and so are the rest of us. Thank you for asking. And how are you and your family doing?"

"He blamed himself, didn't he? From what I learned in my college psychology classes, that's pretty common. But it wasn't his fault!"

"Yes he did, and it took a while for him to work through it, but I think he's done with that."

I lose my nerve. "Thank you. I suppose I should, let you go?"

"Pauline!" Her voice suddenly turns sharp. "I don't believe for a moment that that's all you called about. If you chicken out now, I will be quite disappointed."

Actually, after that I don't have the courage to end the call. I have to go on. How do moms do that? But I couldn't think of what to say next.

"Tell me whose fault it is that your sister died," The Dam demands.

That's safe. "The criminals. And whoever organized them. There are lots of bits and pieces of events that put Dusky there, but none of them involved anyone doing anything seriously wrong, and other bits and pieces could have had the same result. If she had been up-front with Mom about her intentions, she might have met Rowdy a week or two earlier and he might have invited her to the wedding as his date and she might have died in exactly the same way. Or if she hadn't been there, someone else probably would have died. The only sure thing is that if the attack had not happened, nobody would have died in it."

"Exactly correct, and without hesitation. You may be pleased to know that the person who organized them has been dealt with - extremely permanently. Now, what's the real reason you called?"

"I'm, um, starting medical school in the fall. There in Minneapolis. They have a great supernatural-medicine program."

"Yes, they do... keep going."

"If Franklin, er, Rowdy I guess, saw me, do you think he'd see me... or Dusky? Patricia?"

"Oh, that's what this is about. I can't say for sure. You hope to arrange to meet him."

"Yes... if you approve, and if it won't cause more pain. I'm moving next month so I have time to get settled in."

"Why?" I know she isn't asking about me moving.

"After you and your family left, after Rowdy told us how Dusky died, I got into her computer and looked at the browser history. She did a lot of research on him. I read the stuff she had found. It was interesting enough to get her to lie to Mom and go to Minneapolis in hopes of meeting him. I could see why. I haven't seen anything newer to change that. And I've looked - not as much as she did, but... that sounds stalkerish doesn't it?"

"Oh, pish. Public information. And stalkers don't often ask their target's mother for permission. Do you think you're in love with him?"

"How could I be in love with him? I've hardly even met him, and that was in horrible circumstances when neither of us was really ourselves! But I am... intrigued? I want to take a chance and see what happens."

"You're an impressive combination of romanticism and sensibility, young lady. You said you're moving here next month? Do you have an apartment lined up?"

"Yes, a quarter mile from the medical school; walking distance even in snow."

"Good choice. Then, call me again once you're here, sometime after the 4th, after you get things halfway organized. We can have lunch together and I'll arrange for Rowdy to pick me up afterward. That will give us a chance to see how he reacts to seeing you."

"Oh, thank you!"

"But from there on it will be up to you and him. I won't meddle." She laughs. "Well, not much - I am his mother, so meddling is part of my job."

I groan. "I think Mom thinks it's her only job."

Fortunately, She laughs again. "She didn't push you into calling me, did she?"

"No, she doesn't know about this. I think."

"Good for you. And if there's something else you need help with once you're here, don't be afraid to ask me."

"Thank you, Mrs. Alexander-Richer; I appreciate that."

"Oh, call me Daisy. Now I'm afraid I have things I need to be doing. But do call me, Pauline - after the 4th."

"I will call, Daisy. My paddock name's Dawn. Thank you again, and goodbye."

Whew. I hang up the phone and go outside to run my nerves off.

... ... ...

Durango heard his sister's bedroom door close, and then the back door. Going to the window, he saw her galloping through the trees at the edge of the woodlot, past the Hazelton Forest sign and up the road to the old sawmill. She made a fine sight for a teenage centaur stallion - not that he'd ever admit it, of course. Particularly not to her.

He shifted to human form and went into her room, careful to avoid disturbing anything. She had been on the phone with someone; he hadn't been able to make out the conversation. Picking up her phone, he checked the call history and saw that the last two calls - one outgoing, one incoming - had an area code he wasn't familiar with. He wrote them down, then gingerly returned the phone to the top of the bookshelf among the debris of femininity.

Returning to his room, he went to his computer and looked up the two phone numbers. The second returned no matches, and the exchange was assigned to cell phones in the Minneapolis area. That meant little, as his sister would be moving there in a couple weeks for medical school - and he would be following in two months when he could move into the freshman dorms. But the first, outgoing number was in a block belonging to...

He headed for the kitchen to get a snack, stopping at the parlor where his mother was watching one of the religious programs where she had found solace since the death of one of her daughters. "Hey, Mom!"

"Yes dear?" She paused the video.

"You were right."

"Thank you dear."

"You said you would leave it be."

"I said I'd try to leave it be."

"Suppose I don't tell you anything specific?"

"That's a good idea, dear. You're supposed to leave it be too."

"No problem." He continued into the kitchen.

"How's your project going?"

"What project? I'm done with high school." Bread landed on the counter. He opened the fridge and reached for the lettuce and onions.

"Researching the filly."

"What - huh - how did you know?"

"You're 18 and male. She's a gorgeous young centaur and not a cousin. Two days after you met her you applied to a college half across the country that you'd never mentioned before - close to her family."

"Um... yeah. Turns out she's in law school. Just finished her second year. Found that a couple months ago." He looked in the mayonnaise jar, then dropped it in the trash and added a checkmark to the list on the refrigerator door.

"And you'll be a freshman. That puts her at least... six years ahead of you." She sighed. "Well, a mother can hope."

"Mom, are you sure you aren't Jewish?"

"Be respectful, boy!" But he could tell she was trying not to laugh. "I suppose I deserved that. But I've left it be! That isn't easy! Make a sandwich for me too, please. Use the spicy plum sauce."
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Re: A Stable Relationship

Postby Warrl » Fri Jan 01, 2016 1:45 am

(Note: I welcome complications and twists, and am putting potential authors on notice that I have NO PLANS AT ALL for the 4th of July picnic - I just wanted to establish that there are other centaurs in the same general area - so feel free to have your way with that event. Aside from a note Al gave me that it isn't established whether or not the entire lakeshore is the property of the Alexanders or other supernatural-aware beings, so one should be careful setting feral scenes near it.)
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Re: A Stable Relationship

Postby jwhouk » Fri Jan 01, 2016 1:51 am

Lake Independence is a public lake with some private access. The Alexander clan live on the Northwest shore, where the Twin Cities YMCA has a campground.
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Re: A Stable Relationship

Postby GlytchMeister » Fri Jan 01, 2016 2:42 am

:shock:

4th of July?

The only party I know about is on Christmas 2016... As far as I know, the North Tower and New Castle Alexander will be complete by then... Although I may be supremely confused about that... I believe jwhouk, Al, and Sarge are probably your best bets regarding information on when's and where's.
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Re: A Stable Relationship

Postby Just Old Al » Fri Jan 01, 2016 10:10 am

GlytchMeister wrote::shock:

4th of July?

The only party I know about is on Christmas 2016... As far as I know, the North Tower and New Castle Alexander will be complete by then... Although I may be supremely confused about that... I believe jwhouk, Al, and Sarge are probably your best bets regarding information on when's and where's.


Warrl put this in between...so Summer 2016. New Alexander is a hole in the ground with stuff in it, and Old Alexander has a lot of doors nailed shut into sections in the North Tower. Al is in the process of trying to get Building 2 up and running (and poking thru AHI's scrapyard for machine tools), so there most of the time.

We're good - and this isn't a party Glytch would be going to...being out of his nut at the time, y'see.
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Re: A Stable Relationship

Postby lake_wrangler » Fri Jan 01, 2016 12:54 pm

Just Old Al wrote:We're good - and this isn't a party Glytch would be going to...being out of his nut at the time, y'see.
Out of his nut??? That's putting it mildly, to say the least... :roll: :lol:
I'm thinking we could see it as what Atsali went through, but worse, if I'm not mistaken...
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Re: A Stable Relationship

Postby Warrl » Sat Jan 09, 2016 2:35 pm

July 7, 2016

Dawn (aka Pauline Hazelton) took the keys from her new landlady. "My son was supposed to install the new door yesterday," Mrs. Johnstone said, "but his daughter slid into first base badly and sprained her ankle."

"Oh, will she be okay? It is just as well the door isn't done. I wanted a basement apartment, but concrete is not good for my feet. I plan to put some padding down and would need to trim the door myself - but not by seven inches! Who was that for?"

"Two dancers. They had some fancy arrangement of crisscrossed sticks and then plywood. It was easy on the feet, I'll give them that - but the sticks broke a lot, and they had to pull it all up a month before they moved out. The wood's all stacked up in the other apartment there, with the wrecked door - bunch of brats trashed it and left town two years ago, my son and I fixed most of it but cabinets cost a fortune."

"Broken cabinets - junk wood - mind if I take a look?"

"Go ahead."

Dawn stepped into the apartment that took most of the other half of the basement. Noting the stack of plywood, at least ten full sheets plus assorted cut pieces probably amounting to another three sheets, she inspected one of the "sticks" - two-by-two lumber. "No wonder this stuff broke. This is cheap brittle wood, and the nail holes are on about thirty-three-inch centers. And they were dancing on this? Should have been twelve to fifteen inches." Seeing the look of confusion on the landlady's face, she waved the broken lumber and added "If there were about three times as much of this stuff, it would still be a dance floor. With suitable wood they'd still need twice as much."

"You're an engineering student, Pauline? I thought the agent said you're going to med school."

"Yes, medical school. But my family has been in the wood business for over 250 years. When we get cut, we leak sawdust."

Throwing the broken board aside in disgust, she walked into the apartment's kitchen to look at the cabinets. "Did you get any bids on repair work in here?"

"Two contractors said it would be cheaper to replace it all. And wanted twelve thousand dollars for that."

Dawn ducked under the sink to inspect the cabinets' structure and the underside of the sagging counter. "Holy... Ma'am, please promise me you will never do business with those contractors. They could do the job for free, all new cabinetry included, and break even by selling these cabinets as they are. Now where did they put the maker's mark?... oh my..."

She took out her phone and snapped several pictures of both the upper and lower cabinet, including a few at macro range, and sent them off into the airwaves. Then she walked into the bathroom, where the severely damaged cabinetry drew only a sniff of disdain.

Her phone rang. "Hi, Uncle Jim... Yes, I believe so.. In the apartment next to mine, here in Minneapolis... No idea... Yes, it is vacant, contractors tried to rip off the owner on replacements... Bad tenants... Bathroom too, but those were pressboard trash... Yes, she is right here... I can do that... Talk to you this evening." She ended the call.

"Mrs. Johnstone, I have a small business proposition for you..."
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Re: A Stable Relationship

Postby lake_wrangler » Sat Jan 09, 2016 3:44 pm

I just read this second fic post, and found it interesting. Then, I re-read the original post, to situate myself a bit, as it was already a week since it was posted, and I was forgetting some, already. Then one line struck me, seeing as the second fic post establishes the Hazelton family as being into woodworking:
Dawn's inner thoughts, via Warrl wrote:that whole family [the Alexanders] had politeness glued, clamped, and nailed during their brief visit.
Nice one! :D


Meanwhile, it will be interesting to see Rowdy's reaction to seeing Dawn, and whether the events surrounding Dusk's demise will hinder their interaction or not.
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Re: A Stable Relationship

Postby Warrl » Sat Jan 09, 2016 4:08 pm

lake_wrangler wrote:I just read this second fic post, and found it interesting. Then, I re-read the original post, to situate myself a bit, as it was already a week since it was posted, and I was forgetting some, already. Then one line struck me, seeing as the second fic post establishes the Hazelton family as being into woodworking:
Dawn's inner thoughts, via Warrl wrote:that whole family [the Alexanders] had politeness glued, clamped, and nailed during their brief visit.
Nice one! :D


Oh yes, that was deliberate. 8-) Hazelton Forest, the company, has been part of this since very early in the thinking about the first segment. Its effects will show up again.
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Re: A Stable Relationship

Postby Warrl » Sat Jan 09, 2016 10:12 pm

Monday July 11, 2016

Daisy looked up from her dessert to see Rowdy entering the restaurant. She had had a delightful lunch with the Hazelton girl, finding her intelligent and thoughtful. Now it was acid-test time. She saw no reaction on her son's face as he approached their table; but he could be very controlled under normal circumstances.

"Afternoon, Mother. And is this who I think it is?"

"Yes, this is Pauline Hazelton. She'll be starting medical school at the University in a couple months."

"And in the meantime being a tourist?"

"A bit," Dawn answered. "Most of my time goes to building furniture, though; I chose not to bring much with me, but I did not realize just how much stuff I have that goes on or in it."

"And you build it yourself?" Rowdy was somewhat surprised.

"Yes; I find it rather relaxing. I have a bookshelf and the body of a dresser ready for staining, but I am busy today and it's supposed to rain tomorrow."

The waiter returned with Daisy's card and the slip; she swiftly added a generous tip and signed it, and the three of them headed for the door. "We have a meeting in an hour. Do you need a ride anywhere, Dawn?" She was wondering about the filly's last statement; there was something different about it, not quite the way she'd been speaking for the past two hours, but what it was... probably caused by nerves.

"No, I drove here. I need to go pick up my uncle at the airport in a couple hours. My landlady has some damaged cabinetry that seems to have a family connection, and he wants to look at it."

"Very well then. It was a delight meeting you again under more pleasant circumstances. And don't hesitate to call if you have a problem I can help with."

"Thank you again, Daisy. And it's also good to see you again, Mr. Alexander." Again Daisy felt a slight difference, but she still couldn't figure it out.

Rowdy replied "You too, Miss Hazelton." just as the valet delivered Dawn's Bronco with its obviously-custom paint job: a shiny reddish-brown with a broad, feathered-edge white stripe up the hood, a narrower white stripe down the back, and white spots above and behind the rear tires. In a moment she was gone.

Rowdy had told the valets that he was just picking up his mother, so his Land Rover was conveniently nearby. Soon they were also on their way.

"Okay, Mother, spill it."

Daisy had expected this, and already decided that complete honesty would be the best approach. "Really, there's nothing to spill. She wants to see if there's a chance of a relationship between the two of you, but doesn't want to risk causing any further pain, and does want to be sure that you see her and not her sister. I arranged for there to be a very short meeting so she and I - and you - could judge how you would handle seeing her. That's all the meddling I promised her and all I intend to give her."

"Did she come here just to high-tail me?"

"I thought of that and did some checking. To get into the medical school this fall she would have had to apply last summer or fall, months before the wedding. She also named a good reason for choosing this medical school: the supernatural-medicine program. And she really is enrolled for this fall. Also, she says she isn't committed to high-tailing you - just to attempting to get to know you well enough that she can decide if she wants to. So, no."

"Well, I suppose I owe her - "

"No! You owe her nothing except to either treat her as herself, or leave her alone. I can also tell you, she does not blame you at all for what happened. You owe yourself a chance with a suitable and attractive young lady, and she is that, but she's hardly the only one - you've left a long enough string of ex-girlfriends behind you to prove that."

"... You're right."

"Of course, dear. I'm your mother."

"Will you give me her phone number?"

"Not today - not after you talk of owing her. Maybe Wednesday or Thursday, if you ask me again."

"You're cruel sometimes."

"Of course, dear. I'm your mother."
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Re: A Stable Relationship

Postby Sgt. Howard » Sun Jan 10, 2016 2:00 am

Yup- that's Daisy alright. On the button
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Re: A Stable Relationship

Postby jwhouk » Sun Jan 10, 2016 8:46 am

Point of order: the Paranormal Medical program is based out of Rochester... Or, at least the one run by the Fae...


(OMG, I'm actually treating made up stuff as fact...)
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Re: A Stable Relationship

Postby GlytchMeister » Sun Jan 10, 2016 1:59 pm

jwhouk wrote:Point of order: the Paranormal Medical program is based out of Rochester... Or, at least the one run by the Fae...


(OMG, I'm actually treating made up stuff as fact...)


That's ok. You are the fanon continuity master, it's only natural. Besides, there's almost certainly a universe where what we made up is actually factual.

(I love the many worlds theory)
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Re: A Stable Relationship

Postby Sgt. Howard » Sun Jan 10, 2016 3:34 pm

GlytchMeister wrote:
jwhouk wrote:Point of order: the Paranormal Medical program is based out of Rochester... Or, at least the one run by the Fae...


(OMG, I'm actually treating made up stuff as fact...)


That's ok. You are the fanon continuity master, it's only natural. Besides, there's almost certainly a universe where what we made up is actually factual.

(I love the many worlds theory)


Do you have any clue how frightening that thought is?
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Re: A Stable Relationship

Postby GlytchMeister » Sun Jan 10, 2016 3:38 pm

Sgt. Howard wrote:
GlytchMeister wrote:
jwhouk wrote:Point of order: the Paranormal Medical program is based out of Rochester... Or, at least the one run by the Fae...


(OMG, I'm actually treating made up stuff as fact...)


That's ok. You are the fanon continuity master, it's only natural. Besides, there's almost certainly a universe where what we made up is actually factual.

(I love the many worlds theory)


Do you have any clue how frightening that thought is?


One of my dreams is to figure out a way to safely visit the other universes. Once all the kinks are worked out, it would make for some truly amazing theme parks. Pop through a portal and suddenly you're visiting your favorite "fictional" universe!
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Re: A Stable Relationship

Postby Warrl » Sun Jan 10, 2016 6:19 pm

jwhouk wrote:Point of order: the Paranormal Medical program is based out of Rochester... Or, at least the one run by the Fae...


(OMG, I'm actually treating made up stuff as fact...)


At some point in the past, perhaps someone decided there needed to be another med school teaching (and possibly researching) paranormal stuff, and made it happen. There are a lot of paranormals around the Twin Cities, and apparently the area has some major ley-line nodes (ref: Nodaki), so it's a logical place.

Besides, two or more entities vying to be the best can't be complacent - so, most of the time, they'll do better than a single entity that will be the best no matter how bad it gets.

Unknown wrote:My competitors sometimes do as much for me as do my friends.
My friends are too polite to point out my weaknesses, but my competitors go to great expense to advertise them.
My competitors are efficient, diligent, and attentive. They make me continually search for ways to improve my services.
My competitors would take my business away from me if they could. This keeps me alert to hold what I have, and to get and create even more.
My competitors prevent me from becoming lazy, incompetent, and careless. I need the discipline they enforce upon me.
My competitors deserve my highest praise. I salute them. They have been good to me.

(Two or more entities also allows for multiple, mutually incompatible definitions of "best".)
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Re: A Stable Relationship

Postby AmriloJim » Sun Jan 10, 2016 7:24 pm

I do not speak ill of my competitors; their actions speak volumes.
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Re: A Stable Relationship

Postby Warrl » Tue Jan 12, 2016 7:05 pm

The monthly meeting of the board of the Theodore Alexander Foundation was routine. A drug-addiction treatment program that failed to get its clients off drugs would lose the charity's support in spite of its popularity with the city's political leaders; another, smaller and less well-connected - but more effective - program would be examined for possible expansion; a last-minute proposal to help homeless and very-low-income people prepare for job interviews and the workplace looked promising but didn't include tracking procedures to measure its effectiveness, and a Foundation staff member would be assigned to work with the churches that originated the proposal in hopes of correcting this deficiency.

Since the organizers had been warned this outcome was likely and given a handbook of guidelines on what the Foundation looked for in a proposal - two days earlier when they showed up with it - this would not be a surprise to them.

The Board also noted that the charity's president, Rowdy Alexander, had been quite effective in persuading other charitable foundations and companies to join in funding many of the more effective and efficient client organizations and programs. And under his leadership the organization's general trend of improved efficiency, in both its own operations and in results from its clients, had accelerated slightly.

Thus the charity also served its secondary function: a proving ground for possible future executives of Alexander Harvester.
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Re: A Stable Relationship

Postby Warrl » Sat Jan 16, 2016 10:34 pm

July 14, 2016

"Sir, you look tired and troubled. You should take a nap, if you think it would help."

"No, George, it wouldn't, but thank you. I haven't slept well the last two nights."

"Then you should talk to someone about whatever is troubling you. You have only one appointment this afternoon, and I can reschedule it."

Rowdy considered George the sort of assistant every executive should have one of - but certainly not two. He was enthusiastic in pursuing the comfort and convenience of his boss, and could not see past it to what might be good for the Foundation.

Fortunately, Rowdy also had Delores at the next desk. She would gladly sacrifice him in pursuit of the Foundation's aims. The two made a great team, when he could keep them from bickering. They didn't realize he was aware of their private relationship and expecting a wedding announcement any time.

Delores looked up, studied his face a moment, and said "Unfortunately, George is right. You're slipping, missing details. You can't do your job properly in that condition. I strongly recommend you take the afternoon off, so we don't spend all of tomorrow fixing your mistakes. Which also gives you time to maybe fix what's bugging you."

Amused at finding his assistants openly in agreement, he decided to do as they suggested. But that left the question of whom to talk to. Even that took some thought.

He hadn't been to the Library in nearly ten years; it took him a moment to remember where some of the entrances are. Parking near one, he walked through the doorway into a long hallway which took rather less time to traverse than it should have. Suddenly his way was blocked by a pair of very large feline paws.

"Mortal, do you come here for knowledge or adventure?" The booming voice echoed off the many shelves of books.

"Wisdom, Phix."

"Oh - hello Rowdy." The sphinx's voice was now at a normal, conversational tone. "Sorry, you haven't been here for so long the doorbell didn't recognize you. I was expecting a human."

"No riddle, then?"

"You're exempt as a paranormal, and you've been here before."

"May I ask you a riddle?"

"Certainly."

"Look at a reflected flame, and see the reflection while ignoring the flame."

"People do that all the time - but they don't know it's a reflection. Obviously you do. Hm... sorry, I cannot give you your answer."

"If you can't answer it, may I speak with your husband?"

"Take the second corridor on the left. Before you return home try to answer this riddle: It is not enough that your riddle be answered; the answer must come from the right person."

"That's a strange riddle."

"You seek wisdom - that's a strange quest."

Phix stepped aside and watched the centaur proceed to the second corridor on the left and disappear from view. "And he seeks it from Neil - even stranger." She snickered. "It must be something about a girl."
Last edited by Warrl on Sat May 21, 2016 1:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A Stable Relationship

Postby Sgt. Howard » Sun Jan 17, 2016 10:41 pm

"Rowdy!" exclaimed Neil when he answered the door, "Well, what brings you here? Can I get you something?"
"Well, some of your wisdom might come in handy- I figure you might know something that can help me,"
"Depends on the issue- come on in and sit down, I'm not discussing anything in this doorway,"
Rowdy followed Neil to his den and found a comfortable chair opposite of Neil's grand recliner- "You remember that girl at the wedding?" he blurted out.
Neil froze, almost sitting in his own chair- "Yes... Patricia? That was her name? Damnedable shame that was... but you cannot blame yourself for what happened there, son,"
"That's not it... not totally, anyway... her twin sister Pauline is here in town now... going to medical school... and she... she was having lunch with my Mother were I was asked to pick up Mother and did not know she would be there,"
"Ambush,"
"Pretty much... normally I doubt I should mind, but ... well... I look at her and... and..."
"You see her sister," Neil finished the statement, "Rowdy, I'm going to brew up some coffee, would you care for a cup? I'm not putting you off, but this is a rather... unique... situation that to my knowledge I have not encountered before. I think I ought to ponder this just a bit before I try to resolve it... a rather tricky knot you have handed me,"
"Sorry,"
"No... don't apologize- you're seeking help, and you're trusting my judgment... which by the way is a helluva compliment... but I need to do this one justice if I am going to do this at all. I'll be right back,"
Neil got up and left the room, leaving Rowdy to his own thoughts.
Soon enough, Rowdy's thoughts became untenable- he sought relief by gazing about the room at the various artifacts encased around him. There were firearms of many nations and eras hanging on the walls, from Migulettes and wheel-locks to a belt-fed machinegun and everything in between. One section of wall had a huge selection of what looked like old cowboy and cavalry revolvers... two of them were MASSIVE... there was a brass barreled blunderbuss, no more than two feet long, hanging over what appeared to be a Thompson sub-machinegun. Several cases on pedestals adorned the room as well- one holding three large, rusted nails that had a wire re-enforced wooden block at the head. Then there was the rather common looking fired clay drinking cup, right next to a Tyrian purple robe. Odd. There was one case that had double layers of glass around it- inside was the rotted remains of a leather satchel and what looked like a small pile of blackened coins. He suddenly felt an odd desire to touch the glass... but thought better of it and went off to another wonder.
In the kitchen, Neil pondered Rowdy's situation- one twin is murdered, and the other seeks that which the deceased was pursuing... no, he had nothing to draw on here. Which is not to say it had never happened before, only that he had not seen it.
He prayed.
Rowdy was examining the contents of a carved oaken box- inside were two perfectly matched flintlock pistols along with powder flasks, Ramrods, screwdrivers, extra flint and six lead ball. He was marveling at the condition of the set when Neil walked in.
"Are these family pieces?" he asked.
"Those are... the name is unimportant, it was one of many aliases... but yes, those were mine in the day. 1740 Queen Annes, .50 caliber smoothbore, no sights, flint... perfectly acceptable to the Code Duello,"
"Dueling pistols?... did you... ever... use them as such?"
"Frequently... there was even one instance where they killed somebody... but that was due to infection, not the killing power of the gun itself,"
"HUH?!?"
Neil smiled- "I've own slingshots more powerful and accurate than these things... to say nothing of reliable... at twenty paces, you were likely to raise a welt with a bad bruise... assuming you hit the fool... 30 grains of powder behind a .490 round ball-phah! At twenty paces you were lucky to hit a target the size of a common door- and at that it would dent the surface. You were more likely to miss altogether... but that's not what your here for, is it? Sit down- cream and sugar? Bah! you're a Centaur- cream and sugar it is... now tell me, identical twins, right?"
"Yep- one could have been the other's shadow. Scary... first time I saw her, I wasn't sure... well, I really didn't... damn!..."
"You thought you were seeing a ghost?" Neil supplied.
"Yeah... silly, isn't it?"
"Not really- sometimes the mind can overload and jump to places we would never think of voluntarily- you didn't piss yourself, did you?"
"No- but it was a near thing," he chuckled.
Neil laughed with him- "Yes, I imagine it might have been- not a way to impress the ladies, eh? Rowdy... had you never met her sister, would there be an issue?"
"No... she's smart, she's pretty, Momma seems to like her... she talks kinda funny, but that only makes her more ... I dunno... interesting,"
"She's very much like her sister, then?"
Rowdy smiled, "Not entirely- she has these MASSIVE front teeth, I mean... I don't think I ever saw her lips come together completely over them the whole time we were at lunch,"
"Front teeth... she's 'bucktoothed'? Is that an issue?"
"Damn straight it's an issue! Kissing a girl like that is a level of heaven only a lucky few ever know! Patty had these puny human looking bits in the front of her mouth... not that it really matters that much, but.."
"Apparently it does! 'A level of heaven'? I honestly never knew... OK, you're equine... yeah, large front teeth means ..."
"She can eat enough to carry a foal! Without struggle! Oh my LANDS that was a major distraction! And yes, she's got the same golden eyes as Patty, the same full body and the same shock straw mane... uh, hair... but she seemed a bit more... aloof? I'm not sure that's the word I want... restrained? Yes... Patty snuck away from her parents to find me- Pauline contacted Mother and made arrangements... I mean, she's a real classy... what are you smiling about?"
"Young fellow," Neil chuckled, "it would seem you have solved your own dilemma without thinking about it,"
Last edited by Sgt. Howard on Mon Jan 18, 2016 11:20 am, edited 2 times in total.
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