Saturday, 17 September 2011

Intermission: Of Pool Tables and Shrimp

[Disclaimer:  I do not own the PPC.  That is the property of Jay and Acacia.  I also do not own Elly and Nathan, who are the property of EllipsisFlood.  I do own Drew, Lucius, and The Shrimp.  Thanks to EllipsisFlood and FlareShard for beta-ing.]

Lucius burst through the doors of Response Centre 43042, highly out of breath.  “DRRRREEEEW!”
Drew looked up from the pool table that he was sitting on.  “I’m right here, dude.  What do you want?”
            “Oh.  I assumed you’d be causing trouble.  Anyways, I need some help.  We need to get an aquarium.”
            “Aren’t you going to ask about the pool table and the guitar?”
            Lucius blinked.  “No.  I’m pretty desensitised to your antics by this point.”
            Drew looked crestfallen.
            His partner sighed.  “Look, I’ll act all pissed off about it when we get back if it makes you feel any better, alright?”
            Drew grinned.  “That would help.”  He paused.  “How are we going to go about finding an aquarium?”
            Lucius shrugged.  “No idea.  Door-to-door, I suppose.”
            The grin widened.  “Well, what are we waiting for?”

            Several hours later, their search had resulted in nothing.  Lucius slumped against a wall.  “I say two more tries, then we head back.”
            Drew stared pointedly at a door.  “RC 7331?”  He cocked an eyebrow.  “This sounds promising.”  He spun around.  “LUCIUS.  KNOCK.  YOUR PARTNER COMMANDS IT.”
            Lucius shook his head.  “Drew, you’re closer.  You knock.”
            Drew stared pointedly at his partner.  “I will bite you.”
            “Fine, gods.”  Lucius knocked politely on the door.
            “You suck at this.”

It took a whole while until an agent opened the door. He was rather tall, wore a black longcoat and had incredibly fluffy-looking dark blue hair.
The man tilted his head. “Good whatever time of day it is.” He was clearly confused by the two agents standing in front of him.
Drew grinned.  “G’day!  We were wondering if you’d happen to have a tank of some sort?”
The agent in the door frowned. “ don’t mean the World of Warcraft sort of tank, right?”
“No, the other sort.”
Lucius stood in the background, looking mildly confused and moderately irritated.
The agent then turned around. “Hey, Elly, do we have a tank?”
“You mean...”
“Not the WoW sort.”
“Uh... to be honest, I don’t know.”
The agent turned back to Drew and Lucius. “My partner doesn’t know either.”
Lucius shoved Drew out of the way.  “Ignore Drew, he’s an idiot.  We were looking for an aquarium.”  He held up the talking shrimp.  “I don’t suppose you would know where we could find one?”
“Is that a shrimp?”
“Yes.”  The shrimp waved.  “I am indeed a member of the infraorder Caridea.  To be more specific, I am actually a Heterocarpus ensifer, a deep-sea shrimp native to many areas.”
Drew looked at the shrimp, pulled a bottle of soda out of his pocket, took a swig, and spat it back out.  “Lucius.  You got a talking shrimp and you neglected to tell me.  I’m afraid we can no longer be friends.”
The agent in the door raised his eyebrows at the more than eloquent shrimp. “So you need that aquarium for that guy here. Still, I’m not sure if we have one. Maybe, maybe not.” Again, he turned around. “They’re looking for an aquarium for their shrimp. We have one?”
“Dunno! We could look. This group is shitty anyways.”
The agent in the door nodded. “We could do that. My name’s Nathan, by the way. And you are?”
Lucius gestured at Drew.  “Drew you’ve already met.  I’m Lucius, and this is...”  He looked at the shrimp.  “Do you even have a name?”
“I am just The Shrimp.”
“Nice to meet you, Drew, Lucius and The Shrimp. Come in, but I dare you not to step onto the...” Nathan points at the floor which is almost completely covered with polystyrene balls. “Just don’t.”
Drew grimaced.  “Man, I hate polystyrene.  Gets everywhere, then doesn’t go away.”
“Is there a story behind this?  Because I would be interested to hear it.”  The Shrimp’s voice suggested that, should he have eyebrows, he would raise one.
Nathan looked behind himself again. “That’s Ellipsia’s doing.” He sounded slightly sour.
Ellipsia, who was just as tall as him, then stalked over to the group. “It comes with the figurines and I like it.” She pointed at the shelf next to the door which housed a huuuge amount of bleeprin pills. “Take if you want.”
Nathan immediately grabbed a handful and stuffed it into one of his pockets.
Lucius shrugged and did the same.
“Eh.  My brain’ll be melted before long, so it doesn’t make much difference.
“I do not appear to have appendages that function in a manner that would allow me to pick up the pills.”
Lucius grabbed another handful on behalf of The Shrimp.
Ellipsia looked at The Shrimp. “Talking shrimp? Okay, that’s new... so that aquarium is for you?”
“I suppose so.”  The Shrimp’s tone suggested that, were he able to shrug, he would.
“Then let me think... an aquarium...” Ellipsia started wandering around in the RC, not caring about the polystyrene any more.
Nathan flinched whenever she stepped onto one to the point of not returning to his normal facial expression.
Drew put his hand up.
Lucius sighed.  “Yes, Drew?”
“I wasn’t talking to you.”  He poked Nathan.  “We’ve been going door-to-door asking for one.”
Nathan’s eye twitched. “Well, I really don’t know if we have one.”
Meanwhile, Ellipsia continued to check in the bathroom. “I think I found one!... No, wait, that’s a... eww, there’s an intelligent civilization in the bathing tube.”
Drew shrugged.  “If we’re intruding, we could look elsewhere.”
Nathan shrugged too. “To be honest, it doesn’t look like we have one.”
Lucius sighed.  “Alright, then.  I guess we’ll go check somewhere else.”  He began to shuffle out.
Halfway to the door, Drew grabbed him by the collar, and took off at a run.  “You’re too slow!”

Several more hours later, Lucius and Drew were back at their response centre.  “Damn, this thing is heavy.”
Lucius grimaced.  “It’s a good thing it’s huge, considering what I went through to get it.”
Drew chuckled.  “The way you dodged that lava was impressive.”
The Shrimp made a noise suggestive of throat-clearing.  “You do realise that I have lungs, and, as such, do not require an aquatic-based storage unit?”
Lucius did a double-take.
“So, we could’ve used the terrarium in the corner?”
“I suppose so.”
Lucius sputtered.

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