weekly (Another Night…) – 11

“That is an interesting point. Hm. The relationship of one observer to the next may well yield some effect upon their recollections. Hm. Not unlike the communal consciousness of most land and sea herd creatures, like the nakk, the hippocampus, and the southern gazelle.”

He reached up distractedly to scratch Hazhi’s head. “But not the northern ones. Interesting. Dhal Mhekai’s last work, Sahng-yi nye jong, conjectured the psychological variation as dependent upon the environmental differences of the two sub-species, noting the obvious lack of natural predators in that northern savannah, as contrasted against the more typical balance of hunter and hunted south of Agden’s Spines.”

“Unfortunately for us all, however, they are now extinct thanks to the unchecked fanatical religious idiocy of the Al-Haema, and Dhal Mhekai, himself supposedly gored to death, never did logically prove the source of said differentiation, which!” he said, snapping upright and continuing his walk with renewed purpose, “brings us back to the very problem at hand.”

This time, Gupti sighed loudly as he rolled his eyes.

“Now you’re simply being boorish.”

“Now I’m simply being bored.”

“Well then.” Manadan gave an exaggerated flourish, a moment before Gupti came to a stop on his own. “Perhaps our friend the armorer might be able to pique your interest with something less…complicated?”

Gupti, slightly ashamed at interrupting Manadan so blatantly, was only vaguely surprised that Manadan had kept precise track of where they were amidst all that rambling, down to the very last step.

In front of them, recessed within the stone walls, a gate of solid, pitted black iron stood imperviously. Almost three hundred years ago, the King’s Guards had this gate had commissioned the creation of the been sunk into the walls At chest height, a grid of steel bars had been set into the massive thickness, allowing an interrupted view of the barrack’s nearly empty weapons storehouse. Beneath the bars, a similar square had been cut, though the space was blocked by a scratched and gouged plate of steel on the far side.

It did not, however, allow a view of ornery and put upon young Jimsa, the Watch Armorer and Keeper of the Keys, and professional complainer, despite his meagre years.

Gupti rapped his knuckles upon the lip of the grated window. “Jimsa?”

“Eh.” A toneless sound, deadened by distance.

“Can we get our weapons?”

“Whassapoint?” Jimsa mumbled.

Gupti couldn’t resist. “Actually, that’s just it: we don’t have a point.”

Manadan groaned audibly and squeezed the bridge of his noise.

“Eh?” Confusion.

“Points,” Gupti prodded. “Get it? Points? Weapons?”

Jimsa leaned into view from around the side of a stout crate near the far end of the armory. Thin-limbed, pale-skinned and large-eyed, the Watch Armorer clearly hadn’t seen daylight since he’d been entombed in his current position, and his oil-stained leather jerkin was all that covered his ghost-like frame. Long, sparse hair hung in stringy lengths down away from his questioning face as he peered around the crate. “Whatchou sprekking, Gupti?”