Chapter 24:

Exploring the City of Quenth 3

The Nonpareil of Resh (Act 1)

Gwyn yawned. He shook his head to try to keep himself awake. He was standing next to Odell as they looked at a vehakul. It was a small vessel that could fit up to four people and hovered slightly above the ground. At this show, s sat out, and the engine, or what was equivalent, was shown in full view for visitors.

"This is just a car show!" Gwyn had exclaimed after the duo had entered, but Odell was either not listening or didn't care enough to respond as they began to walk by and look at everything on display. The whole process moved at a snail's pace.

Now, he was almost falling asleep as he stood in place while Odell spouted off some incredible fact about how the block in the cycle let it travel across a league in a matter of seconds. Gwyn zoned out for most of what Odell said.

When he finished explaining, Odell waved to indicate to Gwyn that they were moving to the next display. They ignored the confused and angry glances from some Aqueenians at the show and continued on their way.

Odell was so happy he walked with a visible spring in his step. Meanwhile, Gwyn was slumped over and struggled to keep up.

They walked past a few more of the alien vehicles while Gwyn yawned behind him. He briefly considered slipping away but had no idea how to navigate the city alone.

Odell commented on a couple more of the cars before stopping to admire a huge one. Gwyn stopped and looked as well. It resembled something like a 15-passenger van, but also something like a tank. Though it hovered over the ground, it was armored and looked like some kind of weapon could be mounted to the top. The vehakul's paint job was a desert-like camouflage texture, and the windows were a cool, tinted blue.

"Incredible!" Odell said with glee, "that is the Ali-442! It is the latest model of Aqueenian troop transport, which is capable of carrying a small unit and supplies across the continent with ease!"

Odell continued to go on about the Ali's top speed, armor capabilities, weapon attachments, and other technical things that Gwyn didn't care to hear. He stared off into space as he looked around the venue. In the distance, something caught his eye.

A series of vehakuls had been into a separate section to the side of the venue. Each brightly showed wild paint colors, and Gwyn was drawn in close like a bee looking at a flower. As he got closer, what the cars had on them became apparent.

Cartroony forms of Aqueeninas decorated the sides of the vehakuls along with several other species. The forms had been stylized and the characters dressed in manners very different from any of the citizens Gwyn had seen around the town.

A hand grabbed Gwyn's shoulder; he turned to see Odell.

"What's that over there?" Gwyn asked.

"Oh that, some people like to show off paint jobs of their favorite characters. The vehakuls sadly don't have any special specs like the others on display here," Odell explained, "Now come on, I heard there are some ones with custom parts that way!" Odell happily led Gwyn through the rest of the show.

It wasn't until many hours later when they emerged from the show back onto the city's streets. Gwyn was very tired but tried his best not to let it show. There was one thing he was sure about; he could not let Odell choose the next location.

"Hey, Odell, is there anything more historical around the city? After all, I am new to the planet."

"Hmm, well, there is a museum not too far from here...."

"Really? Lead the way then!" Gwyn finally had something that sounded interesting and did not want to let the chance pass. Odell crossed his arms and furrowed his brow for a moment while he thought.

"All right, let's go check it out!" He became less stiff once he made his decision and happily led Gwyn.

They reached the museum without much incident. There were a couple of strange looks from some of the Aqueenian citizens, but no one bothered to say anything to them.

The museum was a long and wide building with a matching long, wide staircase leading up to the front door. The structure of the building had the same swirling Aqueenian architecture, which more suggested the building might hold art over historical artifacts.

In the front was a statue on a pedestal. It appeared to be a creature Gwyn did not recognize; it stood about half a meter taller than any of the Aqueenian he had seen and had two large wings coming out of the back. The face was hard to view but appeared to have a profile different from either of the two species he had seen on the planet. The statue looked as if it had been carved in an angry pose. One fist was held to the sky as if the figure was shaking it and the other hand held a drawn sword tightly in its fist.

"What is that?" Gwyn asked while pointing to the statue.

"Hmm, oh, that is a depiction of Crenussal, one of the ancients. He was the superior, or that is how the myth goes," Odell explained without much enthusiasm in his voice. He stepped on the first of the stairs to make his way up.

Gwyn nodded and followed behind. He rubbed his hands together with excitement.

Something you are happy about, partner? Mem asked.

"I'm interested to see some history! It was my major back on earth," Gwyn explained.

"What was that?" Odell asked. He stopped and turned around.

"Oh, sorry, I was talking to Mem," Gwyn explained as he tried to point at his fused arm with his damaged hand. When he couldn't shape his fingers to point, he just waved it to gesture.

"I see... keep in mind no one else can hear what it says when it talks."

Gwyn just nodded to confirm that he followed. Odell shrugged and waved to indicate he wanted Gwyn to follow him into the museum.

Before they could make any progress up the stairs, someone called out to them.