Should Have, Would Have, Could Have
Mission: Pet Peeves
Word Count: 2222!
Fahima lifted her paw to shield her eyes the from harsh rays of the sun. This gave her a much clearer view of the city up ahead. It was definitely Kareesh, the city specified on the mission board! The stranger from Oz'Ske had given her a map, a backpack, a canteen of water, and an apple for the road. He told her it would be a good opportunity for her to get a bit of experience under her belt before she took on her training as an exorcist apprentice. He still had not mentioned his name to her though...
With a sigh she dropped her pack on the ground with a soft thud and pulled out the canteen from inside. Wiping her brow she took a moment to catch her breath and guzzled back the contents greedily before wiping any excess from her lips. The walk from Oz'Ske to the city of Kareesh was pretty much double the length she had traveled from Seron'shai to Oz'ske from the previous week's trek. Unfortunately her feet were only just beginning to heal up . Not to mention she did not have the best endurance, having spent most of her childhood cooped up in her room. What a waste of youth.
Pushing her negative thoughts aside, she took one last look at her surroundings, and heaved her backpack up onto her shoulder, continuing on ahead. As she entered the main gates, she passed other travelers, coming and going from the city. It was becoming quite apparent that this was indeed the capital of learning, commerce and combat. There were students rushing about purchasing items they needed for their studies, and many impressive looking wizards who had obviously mastered their craft! She couldn't help but let a small smile cross her face at the thought of money being used for something as worth while as learning. Becoming a more knowledgeable individual is always a wonderful plan. She used to love surrounding herself with books as a child.
Pushing her way farther and farther through the bustling crowd, she was almost stopped in her tracks by the sight of the castle! The architecture here was jaw amazing as it was, but the castle was a sight to behold, extremely impressive! And furthermore from what she had heard from the inhabitants of Oz'Ske, it was where a lot of warriors trained for battle. This would also be where she would need to go if she ever reached the final levels of her exorcist training.
She hadn't felt many emotions besides anger, confusion or sadness in a long time, but the excitement within her was threatening to bubble up silently inside her. She clenched her fists in an attempt to contain it all before she squealed like a school girl.
"Hey you! Long ears!" Fahima's short moment of bliss was whisked away from her in a flare of agitation. Who was the one responsible for calling her out in such a manner?! She spun around to face the crowd "Yeah, I'm talking to you, fur face!" locking on to the one accountable, she marched over to him with a very unimpressed look on her face.
"What is it that you want with me, you impudent pawn!?" She spat, looking him up and down; he was just a child, a teenager! But It was clear she had caught him off guard with her snappy response. He had evidently never met a woman whom he could not subdue by shouting nd throwing his authority around. "I do not have all day to wait around for your spluttering response. I have somewhere to be. So if you'll excuse myself and my long ears, we will be leaving."
She was about to turn tail when a larger man placed his hand firmly on the soldier's shoulder "Jones, we do not tolerate racism here in Kareesh! So, please, hold your tongue!"
He looked over to Fahima with an apologetic expression "I must apologize for the actions of my men." He said, nodding at the one he had called Jones "We are training new recruits at the moment, and old habbits die hard for some. But I can assure you that they will soon learn the art of respect." He gave the boy one last look of disapproval before he continued. "If I may say so, it does not seem like you are here on magical business. Is it possible you have come to our fine City in order to help out the Pet & Mount Daycare?"
Fahima relaxed, this man seemed to be friendly at least. She also assumed he was some sort of captain. That or an instructor. Either way, since the man had put his recruit in his place, she meant him no ill will. So she complied and gave a quick nod.
"Marvelous!" He took her paw, and gently pointed her in the right direction "It's just over there. I wish you luck! I hear most of the more tame critters have been spoken for though. Do take care." With a quick nod of gratitude, Fahima made her way towards the daycare.
What the man had said seemed to be indeed true; there were very few beasts left. Hopefully she would not get stuck with something overly vicious. She loved animals, being very closely related to them, but she had never had a pet of her own. Her parents nevr bothered with a mount or any pets because it would simply be a waste of money to them. Hopefully the knowledge she had gained from books would be enough to get her through the day.
"Excuse me" She said politely as she approached the man who seemed to be assigning the volounteers to their animals "My name is Fahima, I am here to lend a paw with the daycare. The mission board back home said there was some sort of overflow going on?"
"Thanks for offering some help, Fahima! While working with us at the Pet & Mount daycare, you'll have to look after Sanson, an old postachi belonging to one of the adventurer's family. It's a temperamental little birdie, but I am sure you'll manage. We've got a Bestiary in our little library just in case you need more information on them. Have a good time!"
Fahima looked over the man's shoulder to see a bedraggled creature with the beak of a platypus and the body of what seemed to be... a chicken? She wracked her brain momentarily for any recollection of this creature but came up with very little. It seemed to be missing some feathers from the top of its head and the look on its face was less than satisfying. It was clearly not comfortable in these conditions, and definitely would not be one to cooperate.
Fahima stepped into the pen and closed the gate behind her. As she approached the Postachi she realized the side that was facing her was completely blind. The eye was a milky white and it was completely unresponsive as she waved a paw before him. It wasn't until she got closer, that it turned its large head to look at her with his good eye.
"It is okay, you are alright. I am just here to take care of you until your family returns to secure you." She began to walk towards him a little slower, a paw outstretched. "Let us say we get along for the time being, and then we can both go home unscathed hmm?" He seemed to understand what she was saying, either that or he didn't care, because he still had not moved.
She decided it was best to let him be, she didn't want to chance angering him and make her task more difficult. She would just give him food and water, keep an eye on him for the rest of the day and then be on her way. So with a shrug she turned her back to Sanson and began to prepare his water... Bad choice. Within seconds the creature had bolted towards her and headbutted her in the back, flipping her over and knocking her flat on her rump.
"Ugh" She groaned, shaking her head and getting to her feet, rubbing her behind.
"Are you okay there miss?!" Came the voice of the daycare man, looking concerned but also as if he were trying to hold back a bout of laughter at the scene before him. Fahima simply waved him away and continued her task. She would not show weakness in front of everyone, especially to a chicken duck!... Postachi!
She faced Sanson and cracked her knuckles, she would never harm an animal of course, but that didn't mean she couldn't try to intimidate it. "You have made your choice. It seems like you would like me to do this the hard way-" She stopped mid sentence, noticing that her tactics were not going to work; Sanson was mocking her, lying on his back and making odd noises as if he were laughing.
"Urrrr" She snarled in frustration, throwing her arms down to her sides in momentary defeat. She put her paw up to her forehead and massaged her temples to calm her nerves. Taking a deep breath she placed her paw on her chin, pondering another course of action that would prove more effective against this kind of beast.
"Aha!" She exclaimed quietly, picking up a lead rope. She then turned her back to Sanson as before, and continued to set up his things, keeping the rope hidden.
It seemed her plan was working, because only moments later she heard the scritch scratch of the bird's claws against the dirt as it readied itself for the charge. But Fahima would be ready this time! Her ears swiveled, homing in on every sound the beast was making, from his breathing to the rustling of his feathers. And when she heard the thump of its feet getting closer she quickly hopped straight up in the air, letting the rope hang below her, and like a lasso it closed around Sanson's bill. She then landed behind him, pulling it tight and tackling him softly to the ground in a flurry of feathers.
"Ah." She said breathlessly "I have won."
"Hey, you! Long ears!" As if she were made of liquid, Fahima rolled off the Postachi and up to the fence in one fluid movement. To her surprise, she came face to face with the man who had put the recruit, Jones, in his place earlier... So much for his rabble about the greatness of Kareesh.
Relaxing her stance, and raising an eyebrow, she folded her arms and met his gaze. "What?"
"We do not allow our workers to hog-tie the animals! Untie him at once!"
Fahima held his gaze a moment longer before walking back to the Postachi and releasing him, all the while shooting angered glances at the man. She then threw the rope over the fence, and raised both of her eyebrows, holding her arms out to either side as if to say "Happy now?" But Sanson had managed to right himself and charged Fahima once more, throwing her out into the crowd.
Rubbing her rump again, she got to her feet, glaring at the soldier, daring him to laugh. "How about you watch the beastie for a moment and we will see how well you fare on your own!" She spat venomously, walking into the daycare's library. This had gone far enough, she was going to brush up on Postachis like she should have done in the first place.
Pulling the beastiary off the shelf, she looked up the Postachi and opened the book to the appropriate page. She scanned through the text quickly, using her finger to follow the words, until she found the section that said "Tamable."
"ARE YOU SERIOUS!?" She shouted, startling everyone in the room.
"Shhhhhhhhhh, keep it down please miss." Fahima slammed the book shut and placed it back on the shelf. She then apologized quickly to the librarian for the outburst and stormed back to the Postachi's pen.
Leaping over the fence, she walked over to her bag, easily side-stepping the bird's fourth charge, and pulled out an apple. Turning to face Sanson as he made his fifth attempt, running towards her in a flurry of feathers and dust, she stood her ground, remaining expressionless. She held the apple out to one side, to allow his good eye to be ble to see it... He came to a screeching halt and stared, transfixed, by the fruit. "Good boy." She said, patting his bald head and giving him the food.
The passers-by who had accumulated for the spectacle broke out in a roar of cheering. Fahima was quite surprised by their sudden support and turned slowly to watch them. Even though they probably would have been just as entertained if she had failed, it was encouraging to hear such praise after a seemingly impossible task.
After a few minutes she was finally able to fill up Sanson's water trough and he gulped it down zestfully. All of that action must have been a lot for his old body. What a tough customer. Pulling out her own canteen, she helped herself to some water, then sat down beside him and the two of them had a much needed doze.