Fantasies and Realities: Episode 22

Sedel takes a deep breath of the warm spring air, ~~ appreciative ~~ of the fact that there is not a muddy patch anywhere in sight and the daffodils are dancing happily in the breeze.

Sylma: It's a nice change from six feet of snow, isn't it?

Sedel is also happy to see new green on the trees. Shen, he's happy to see trees. This assignment would be cake if he didn't know that it came with invisible teeth and claws.

Sedel: Huh, oh yeah. Really nice. ~~ distracted ~~

Sylma: Civilization. What a concept. I expect that you could get a good cup of tea and enough food to feed even a hungry Gen in at least a dozen places within two blocks of here.

Sedel: Yeah, sure could. ~dragging himself back to the present~ I wonder if we shouldn't just take a look around before we make our official entrance. Wanna sneak, kid?

Sylma: Sure. There's no one watching that I can zlin. We can go over the wall near that tree over there, so we can't be seen from the windows.

Sylma is referring to a standard Dar approach to security jobs: proving first to the client that their security is vulnerable. As part of their 'repentance' they are assisting the business wing of Dar in their 'spare time' from Sime Center work.

Sedel: Sounds like a plan. How about a boost? That's a bit high for me.

Sylma: Poor Gen.

Sedel could use the tree but isn't that what Simes are for, after all?

Sylma holds out her hands and entwines tentacles to form a step.

Sedel plants a foot in the offered place and braces for the boost.

Sylma tosses her big brother lightly up to the top of the fence.

Sedel: By the way, not too hard.

Sedel catches himself on the edge and drops silently over on the other side, laughing to himself that he never manages to get his warning out before a certain little Sime throws him around.

Sedel: Come on, slow-poke. Get over here.

Sylma springs easily to the top of the fence, swings her leg over, and drops gracefully down beside Sedel.

Sedel: I think we should check the west perimeter where the property meets the woods. What do you want to bet the staff has a little something hidden back there?

Sylma: What do you think we'll find? A still? A pen for chickens? A stash of pornography?

Sedel sniffs. There is a faint whiff of something yeasty in the air.

Sedel: One never knows, do one?

Sedel loves to drag out the moldy oldies.

Sylma: What's Gen pornography like, anyway, I wonder?

Sedel: Can't be too wild -- no Simes.

Sylma: Yeah. It's no wonder they get a little wild when they have a chance. Or did you see those pictures of our new client in the Tattler? Snuggled up close with a cute Sime girl?

Sedel assumes a mock hauteur.

Sedel: I wouldn't know. I never read such things.

Sedel breaks into an irrepressible grin.

Sylma: What do you think? Is she a professional, or just a cutie he met while he was out strolling in the park? And does the wife know?

Sedel: I don't know. But did you notice that she sort of favors him?

Sedel, being Gen, is more visual than the average Sime.

Sylma: Well, aren't Gen men famous for wanting a woman just like their mothers? I mean, look at you and Rurtha.

Sedel ~~ shudders at the thought ~~.

Sedel: Hey! Ru isn't anything at all like mom! Besides, she isn't even Dar.

Sylma: Really? Similar hair and eyes, and she has that Look she gives you when you say something you shouldn't.

Sedel comes up short over "the Look". Nah, couldn't be.

Sylma: Well, the same wisdom says that men rarely find a woman who's an exact match. At least not in a healthy fashion.

Sedel: So I guess that means you're looking for a dad clone?

Sylma: Nah. But we both know girls are smarter than fellows, right?

Sedel: Maybe Gen girls are...

Sedel crouches down behind a convenient outbuilding.

Sylma sneaks into place beside her brother, then carefully extends her arms around the corner, low down, to zlin.

Sedel loves to play it to the hilt even though there isn't anyone within Syl's zlinning range, but one shouldn't depend too much on that.

Sylma: Hmm. There's some structure in the clearing there. Metallic.

Sedel smiles. Got 'em!

Sedel: Lead on.

Sedel steps back to trade places with Sylma.

Sylma slips around the structure and sneaks closer, using a handy bush or two as cover.

Sedel sticks to her like flypaper. This is an exercise they've done often enough for it to become instinct.

Sylma finally gets a clear view of the structure and shakes her head in ~~ confusion ~~.

Sylma: It's just a shed with gardening tools. So where the shen is that smell coming from?

Sedel can't pinpoint it either.

Sedel: The wind shifted. I can't nail the direction.

Sedel is slightly ~~ embarrassed ~~ to have stalked a shed full of garden tools.

Sedel: Hold on... Wind just shifted again. Over there.

Sedel points to a faint path into the woods.

Sylma: It's gotta be close. It wasn't all that strong, so it won't have carried far.

Sylma investigates the path.

Sylma: No, it's over here somewhere, but not down the path. The smell stops there.

Sylma starts circling, sniffing all the while.

Sedel sticks close, basically making them a nageric null point.

Sylma is so busy looking around that she fails to watch where she puts her feet, until one sinks into a very ~~ unpleasant ~~ mush.

Sylma: Yuck! What's that?

Sedel nearly lands on her.

Sylma pulls her foot up, and discovers a tannish ooze smeared on her shoe.

Sedel: Hey, what the shen?! Ugh! What is that smell? No way! Is that..?

Sylma reaches down and picks some ooze off her shoe.

Sedel backs up quick, fast and in a hurry.

Sylma pinches it, and discovers bubbles. She squeezes it a couple of times, and sniffs, then breaks out into giggles.

Sylma: Shen, Sedel. Do you know what this is?

Sedel knows what he thinks it could be, but it can't be that or Syl wouldn't be playing with it.

Sedel: No, what is it?

Sylma: It's

Sedel approaches cautiously and sniffs.

Sylma is giggling too hard to get the word out.

Sylma: Bread dough! Someone made a bad batch and tried to bury it!

Sedel stands staring at Sylma and the dough and wondering how not to zlin like a complete idiot.

Sylma: I think we've discovered the criminal activities of some hapless kitchen maid.

Sedel tries in vain to suppress the laugh that is slowly taking over his embarrassment.

Sylma can zlin it anyway, of course. She is, of course, giggling too hard herself to help him.

Sedel: ~~laughter~~ Okay, some security detail we are. We just solved the mystery of the unbaked bread.

Sylma: Well, if that's the worst that's going on here, we should have a very pleasant stay.

Sedel: Yes indeedy. But I still want to get a good look at the perimeter and the blind spots before we go meet the current "security" we are replacing. They should have been all over us by now.

Sylma: Yeah. I mean, we didn't take more that a moment to find a place to jump the fence.

Sedel: Not to mention us practically screaming and falling into bread holes.

Sylma: And our trick doesn't block all the zlinnable disruption of the ambient.

Sedel: No wonder the press has been having a field day with this mystery woman business. We may have a bigger job on our hands than we think, Syl.

Sylma: Yeah. It's gonna take some work to get this crew working up to standard.

Sedel just found the first worm in the apple cake.

Sylma: Well, at least we aren't responsible for policing waste among the kitchen staff. So whatever crime was committed here, it doesn't involve us.

Sylma considers for a moment.

Sedel: I should hope not, but that stuff has to be cleaned up and that hole filled in. What if some Gen steps in it and breaks a leg? I don't want that happening around here -- there are Simes nearby.

Sylma: It's a little off the path, so people are less likely to step in it if they're not trying to be sneaky. A few shovels of dirt should do the trick.

Sedel: That's what worries me. Sneaky turning into dead.

Sedel has to look at the worst case scenarios to make sure that they cover the possibles. He would rather not be that negative but then Sylma is always so positive. Balance. Yeah, right!

Sylma: Well, we'll see the full situation soon enough I have to admit, I think it'll be an interesting assignment. I've never met a Gen ambassador.

Sedel: Yeah, especially one that says he doesn't like Simes. That should be an interesting meeting.

Sylma: For a guy who doesn't like Simes, he seems to make an exception for at least one.

Sedel grins.

Sylma: Which implies that this situation may be a little more complicated than it seems.

Sedel: Yeah, can't wait to see what that's all about. As long as he's at least partially sane I can live with this.

Sedel has had enough of insane people with life and death authority over him.

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