Njal had passed out hours before alongside others resting against the side of the red dragon which appeared to exude the opium cloud in which they were lost. Arnold was resting against the cobbles, his bag, clover, nurse supplies, and hat laying on the ground and his urchin tie undone. The catnip was still in his paw, though he didn’t recall taking any. There didn’t seem to be any missing, but simply holding onto it seemed to be enough. It had been a rush at first and now he felt tired…peaceful. The cobbles were a little uncomfortable though, and the dragon they slept against looked warm and inviting as it breathed and created more fumes for it’s contented victims.
“Mon ami. You cannot intend to stay here…like this?” Dr. Maddox’s voice filled the air, soft and full of sympathy and restrained anger. He barely lifted his head from the cobbles and looked around for her, but if she was nearby she was hidden by the opium clouds. He could however see the string laying on the ground and leading in front of him. “Do you intend to leave me for this? This?!”
Arnold gave up looking for the voice and responded lethargically, “I’m not going to leave you…I’m just…resting.”
“If you go to that dragon right now you’ll be choosing to lose yourself. Choices and actions define you. If you go there and leave behind everything else,” he felt her gesture to his items thrown about the ground which were half hidden in the fog already. He had forgotten about them. “If you leave everything behind and become one who chases dragons or dreams all day…” Her tone was full of sorrow and pity, and to him disappointment. It hurt him to his core and made his fur stand on end to hear that disappointment.
He hadn’t gone through everything else he’d endured to be content laying here. He forced himself to roll over, and he picked up his hat, bag, and everything else including Maddox’s string which he held protectively.
He started to get on his unsteady legs when he noticed the catnip was still in his paw. He stared at it, remembering the euphoria that it had brought. Were you ever really happy when you weren’t using catnip?
He stared at it for a long time, and then crushed it in his paw and threw it away roughly.
The opium fog had barely lasted another twenty feet. He came out and breathed a sigh of relief as he could now see the Vernian and the docks. He had reached Port, and already he could hear the sounds of activity. The Port was busy and full of people despite the late hour as ships conducted their business.
This was the only place that seemed to reflect the other world except that ‘Cuffs was still standing. He would have stopped inside but his goal was just down the street. Except that Clockhaven was probably not the correct name anymore. If anything it looked to be Plankhaven. The entire subdivision of the city had become one giant bar, the Gangplank.
((So in this alternate universe, Emerson is the one who keeps succumbing to Tenk’s stare, and is rebuilding every few months? *grin*))
*Looks up from his crossword*
Of course, I am the hardest working man in New Babbage.
I wonder what my analog is up to in this dream universe. oO