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A little scroll work never hurt

Tepic had thought very carefully about how to let Beryl and Sir Sir Emerson know they were no longer Adult Liaisons to the urchins. It was something that had to be done officially after the vote, it had to be done …. right.

He went and had a look round some of the Embassies in town, carefully avoiding Falun (in case the warrant was still out) and Bump (for obvious reasons). Several of them were happy to show a reasonably clean urchin the wonders of their homes, including magnificent and impressive scrolls describing treaties and passports. That was what was needed, a scroll for them each, showing they were valued and admired!

Most of them were written not on paper, but on something called vellum, made from calf skin. Well, he wasn’t going near any of Mr Tenk’s coos, but since the accident with the voles and that scientist’s formula, he was sure he could rustle up a couple of decent sized skins.

By the end of the week he had trapped a couple of voles the size of small dogs, though it was a bit worrying that another of the traps had been squashed flat by a rather larger foot. For a skilled urchin, it was quick work to prepare the skins to use as a writing surface, especially with access to some old bottles of Mr Footman’s cure-all. Tepic was only slightly dismayed when he had to beat the skins down several times after applying the liquid, possibly the type of curing wasn’t like curing leather…

Eventually he had the skins ready, not realising he was supposed to remove the fur and trim them down to a rectangle, which gave quite a unique scroll, looking more like a furry sausage than an important document. To Tepic he thought it just made them and feel even more impressive, more so when tied with a couple of purple ribbons liberated from the haberdashers.

It was good that Mr Tetchre had left his back door open when he vanished, as Tepic remembered the ink and pens the man had in his home. He was able to slip in and use the materials without fear of being interrupted.

The wording was the most important part, and he thought hard before beginning.

“The Urchins of New Babbage herby inform you, Beryl/Sir Sir Emerson, that after years of valuable service, the post of Adult Liaison to the Urchins has been voted as surplice to requirements and henceforth dissolved, rescinding all orders, instructions and requests given to the incumbent.

The Urchins acknowledge and appreciate the work and effort that has been put into this post.”

He included Beryl’s name on one of the scrolls and Sir Sir Emerson’s on the other, and remembering what he had seen, used f to replace all the s’s, which made reading it a little more difficult but made them look much more official. That should do it, he thought, though the urchins having argued against including a vote of thanks made it a little harder to write. He finished up by drawing some squiggly lines around the edges, with a few dots of gold and red paint in the corners, then signed each one with his name and the words “On behalf of the Urchins of New Babbage”.

Now all he had to do was deliver them.

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  1. Beryl Strifeclaw Beryl Strifeclaw November 30, 2019

    Tepic was returning to camp after a long day of checking his vole traps and other rounds. Wondering idly if he had created the first V.O.U.S, (Vole of unusual size), he did not notice his visitor waiting in the shadows. Beryl was leaning against the Palisade wall, looking down at him with a smile that showed her teeth. The kind that a fox knew was a threat from canines and felines alike. It seemed the vote alone hadn’t been enough to make her less nuts.

    “Ello!” He greeted her pleasantly as his hand started to rest near the edge of his jacket.

    “I heard your little rumor,” she asked quietly as her tail darted about as if ready to pounce. “Figured it all out on your own, did you?”

    “Figured which rumor out?” He wanted to be sure they were talking about the same thing.

    “Where you told everyone I saved Cyan by getting Kasa to poison him, clearly,” She responded as she leaned forward, a hint of purple in her gaze that he tried to ignore.

    “Yeah! It were really sumfin! Brilliant how yer come up with these things!” Tepic’s enthusiastic reply provoked a laugh that didn’t sound right to Tepic’s ears. She rose from the wall and closed the gap between them, her smile only got broader. Why was she coming into his home to threaten him over a good thing like this? He reached deeper into his pocket and placed his hand on his secret weapon.

    “Your praise is misplaced. But then it always has been,” She leaned down to look him in the eyes, and he was about to bring out the letter, but what she said next gave him pause, “I was no hero in this case, or any other for that matter, and especially at this time. I was originally planning how to kill the lad peacefully, it is true. However, and this part is most important, the poison that was eventually used was meant to murder Cyan, not save him.”

    Tepic stared at her confused as his jaw dropped and he let go of the letter. What she said didn’t make any sense. Why was she confessing to him, after he spread word helping set her off the hook. And why was she threatening him over it, that made even less sense! Finally he cried out indignantly, “Why would yer want ter kill Cyan?! Yer was goin in an readin to him!”

    “To prevent her from devouring his light.” Beryl explained quietly. Seeing his confusion she continued, “If it had been me, I would have gone through his aunt Alabaster to make the deed official. I was on my way to see her that night in fact. I would never have used Kasa.”

    “So… yer was plannin on knockin ‘im off an bringing ‘im back like happened….” Tepic puzzled out as he stared at her, “But someone got there first?”

    “Now, you know I could be lying, what proof do I have after all.” Beryl teased coyly as she watched him trying to puzzle out the real events that took place, “But yes, someone got there first. Someone who used Kasa as a murder weapon.”

    “Cor!” Tepic yelled excitedly at the new revelations. “That’s better’n one of them murder mysteries Mr. Doyle writes fer the papers!”

    “But why do you believe me? I was going to kill him, after all.” Beryl started to pace about, her tail and smile said danger, but she didn’t seem to be a threat. If she wanted to watch his head spin trying to reason it out then she must be having a grand time of it. There were other issues that needed to be addressed, “Still… why did Kasa remember yer visitin?”

    “That is what I cannot figure out. I don’t recall going there at all.” She put a finger to her lower jaw and taped in deep thought. “Did I go and don’t remember? I doubt it. Or am lying to myself too, who knows?”

    “Did yer get duplicated in that adventure over the summer?” Tepic ventured as he realized that could be the key. “Could it have been yer duplicate?”

    “She was with Dr. Maddox, I already checked,” Beryl replied which cut that theory down if she was being honest. “And she’s a clockwork just like all the others, not like me.”

    “An…. yer should knows if yers lyin….” Tepic said quietly. He was confused enough to admit she might be good at telling a few now. But he wasn’t sure she was crazy enough to pull one over on herself.

    “It would be easy for me to lie. It’s up to you to decide if I am,” Beryl purred in an enigmatic way as she walked out of his camp heading back to the city.

    “Blimey, yer gettin very inter being a cat, ain’t yer!” Tepic thought about it and tried to get some clarification before she left, “So…. yer don’t know who visited Kasa, an yer didn’t get her to poison Cyan ter save him?’

    “And the problem now is the hospital called it a treatment to help Kasa save face, and words spreading the poison was intended to save them thanks to you. We may ruin that if we change the story ‘now’.”

    “Darn… it were a brilliant idea, shame it wern’t you that got it done first….but…. the real murderer will think they got away with it, so won’t be on their guard, an they’s bound ter try again!” Tepic grinned as plans began to form in his mind.

    “Keep an eye on Cyan. I can’t rule out…her, but this doesn’t seem like them. She doesn’t like to kill.”

    Tepic nodded in agreement, “Everyone knows Cyan’s uncle is out ter get him.”

    “Yes, but he lacks the ability to make Kasa do it for him. Even an ordinary hypnotist couldn’t do that. You’d need something like…well me.”

    “Oh yes…..” Tepic had heard you could not hypnotize someone to kill themselves or do something so daft they would never do it consciously. Speaking of which, “How’d yer make him drink all that stuff down the Bucket?”

    Beryl did not respond, instead she looked thoughtful, “Perhaps Kasa made it up…and she blamed me. I don’t think so, but I haven’t confronted her yet. It just seems unlikely unless she was messing with things she didn’t understand herself..”

    The smile had grown, and the purple her eyes covered half her iris. Tepic ventured “I heard she remembered yer visitin, and nuffin after, that ain’t blamin yer…”

    “You were not at the hospital. Somethings did not get relayed in that report no doubt. I shall have to pay her…a visit.” Beryl left in a hurry, leaving Tepic far behind, the lad needed to get the word out for Kasa to become scarce. As he was rushing off he realized he had forgotten to give her the letter.

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