Don't Get Too Attached
Don’t Get Too Attached
~//~ A Tale of the Reavers ~//~
- John Wesley
Guosim Camp: Mid Camp
The heart of the camp is relatively undeveloped, spared from shrew sprawl, and
it affords a broad panorama of the colony. Except for the intermittent stone or
patch of brave turf, the dirt is packed smooth by foot traffic. To the immediate
north is a dubiously lop-sided hovel, warped with age, function indeterminate.
The balmy glower of a communal fire pit sears the eastern vista, and the
nebulous olive edge of the forest looms to the west and south. Elevated on a
mound of well-packed earth, the only structure of nearby note is a tent. Its
thick posts indicate permanency, and the brilliant pigments that festoon its
exterior imply authority, perhaps sovereignty, if such exists in a bohemian
collective. While most of their ilk has been cleared, a clump of trees crowds
over the edifice, providing asylum from the broiling rays of summer sun.
The Guosim camp is how it has been for the last several days. The vermin squatters have made themselves somewhat at home, variously fixing up and burning down (and blowing up) the little huts left by the shrews. Most are elsewhere, as fate would have it, off trying to fence some more of the loot from the heist on Ferravale. Jaksor has remained with John Wesley to keep an eye on the campsite and to hold down the fort until the rest of the crew returns. The polecat himself is lounging under a piece of canvas while John Wesley fidgets about with his cleaver, practicing his moves on the Log-a-log's pulpit.
A day's relaxation on his belly in the shade has told Coaxoch more or less everything he needs to know about the beasts who live in the camp. Who knew that following that little cowardly rat back home would lead him to such a place? He'd expected soft beasts everywhere, weak things that can be killed and robbed, or at least used to bolster Coaxoch's rations. But instead, it seems that he lives amongst a band of raiders! The lizard was excited enough that he found it difficult to wait until a large group of them left to do something presumably interesting, but now that he has his chance, he stands from his hiding spot and walks towards the camp. Macuahuitl balanced on his shoulder, Coaxoch strides boldly into the camp, chin high, as if he owns the place.
Glancing up from his own spot in the shade, Jaksor sees none other than an imposing frilled lizard brandishing some sort of sharpened club. His remaining paw quickly slithers out to grab his scimitar, getting to his feet and eying the newcomer warily. "Where y' come fr'm then, y' big scaly-'ide?" The polecat doesn't have much experience with the.... scalier race, and nicknames nearly dessert him. "This is our camp, like as y' may've guessed." His hook gleams dully at his side.
John_Wesley doesn't contribute much to the conversation, too busy staring in awe at the lizard. It may be the first like it that the weasel has ever seen.
The lizard keeps his weapon on his shoulder, not lowering it into an actual fighting stance even as the polecat unsheaths his scimitar. Coming to a stop a distance enough away from Jaksor as to make hitting him require a full-out lunge, Coaxoch rests his free hand on his hip and stares fixedly with those reptile eyes. He speaks haltingly, as though there's a pause after every word, his accent naturally bearing the rasp of his species, though at the very least he seems to be able to form words correctly. "Coaxoch travel far. Ssseek new land, new people. Own back in land ruled by bird-on-ssstiltsss too cowardly. Ssstripe-weasssel'sss people bold?"
That scimitar hangs from a deft paw, not raised in any gesture of threat. "Bold enough," Jaksor grunts, standing his ground but relaxing somewhat. His tail's agitated movement behind him slows to a listless stirring. "Not sure as y'll fit in with this lot, though," he returns, spreading his paws to indicate the camp about him, and, indirectly, John Wesley. "Not nearly as scaly. Might not share y'r particular... sensibilities." You have to be realistic about these things.
At the very least there's not going to be any attempts to chop him up to get rid of him. That would have been just a little TOO bold for Coaxoch. There comes a shrug from the lizard at the assertion that he won't fit in. "Coaxoch not fit in with beassstsss of own kind." The more complicated word appears to be a bit of a snag for him. "Sssensssbiltiesss? What isss that?"
"Taste," Jaksor spits, by means of explanation. Preferences? Lifestyle? These are probably all foreign to the lizard as well, although taste is certainly open to misinterpretation as well. "You come alone, then? No band'a lizard warriors comin' over that rise behind you t' take us by storm?" The polecat's blade points vaguely the way the lizard came, haphazardly including most of Mossflower with his wave.
"John Wesley Weasel norra-'fraid of lizards," the weasel notes from the sidelines, chopping into the pulpit for emphasis. "John Wesley kill'em all!" His enthusiasm is dampened by a glare from Jaksor, however, and the smallest of the trio falls silent.
Oh! Taste! And here's where Coaxoch perhaps reveals more than he should. "Oh! Tassste! No, Coaxoch promissse not eat." His head flicks towards the direction that Jaksor is indicating with his scimitar, then gives a slower shake of his head. "No. Coaxoch alone. Lizards back home not warriorsss, not huntersss. Are food for bird-on-ssstiltsss. Are prey." John Wesley's sudden outburst attracts another flick of Coaxoch's head, and a narrowing of the lizard's eyes. He looks back to Jaksor and asks, "That one not for eating... yesss?"
Jaksor scratches his chin thoughtfully with the point of his hook, eyes staring distantly at the ground at Coaxoch's feet while he weighs the pros and cons of having a lizard around the camp. John Wesley menaces the distant lizard with his clever, but makes no effort to move closer, barking out "You norra eat John Wesley! John Wesley eats you!" before Jaksor's glare silences him again. The polecat nods slowly, his hook bracing against his hipbone. "Alrigh'. Y'c'n stay with us, lizard. But y' can't eat any of us," - goes without saying, really - "an' none of our prisoners 'less I say so."
A nod from Coaxoch almost immediately. It's more or less what he expected... though that one that keeps calling itself "John Wesley" would be rather tempting, if only to get the shrill thing to be quiet. "Deal. Coaxoch know not to eat own kind, and not eat prisssonersss unlesss sssay ssso. Eat own killsss though, if wisssh." Now that the deal is made, Coaxoch lets his eyes leave Jaksor for longer than a second or two and takes the opportunity to look around the camp, no doubt trying to pick out where he wants his new home to be.
"Don't get too attached," Jaksor notes, although it's not immediately clear whether he's referring to the camp or John Wesley.