Chapter 118:

Group Meeting

The Nonpareil of Resh (Act 1)

Hal was the first to make it back to the inn. He quickly found his way to the room Odell booked. The Hobusian prince was gleefully lying on one of the beds while jotting notes in a book.

“So, if I route power from the engine, I can do it, but the vehakul will slow to a crawl… hmm,” Odell was muttering to himself and didn’t notice the green-haired Netzian walk in. Hal paid no mind to him and laid on a bed, leaving Odell in his thoughts.

Harlan was the next to come in and silently made her way across the room and sat on the bed furthest in the back.

Rheba followed shortly after. As she ducked under the doorway, she let out a sigh that got the attention of the others.

“I’m sorry to say, I have bad news,” the Bentulousian warrior solemnly stated. “It seems they are not selling ferry tickets. All passage from here to Nun is cut off for the moment.”

“Wait, really? Why?” Odell said as he suddenly turned his attention away from his notes.

Before Rheba could answer, Fiona and Gwyn followed her into the room.

“I can’t believe it! A Japhinth and we came all this way!” Fiona was griping. She hadn’t bothered to change out of her white swimsuit and simply threw her yellow jacket over top and her yellow shoes on her feet.

Gwyn didn’t answer the princess but looked at the group in the room.

“Seems there’s a sea monster in the water or something,” he explained. However, the rest of the group was well aware of what a Japhinth being in the water meant.

Rheba nodded.

“I heard they asked for a force from Quenth to drive it out, but it will be a couple of days before they arrive,” The Bentulousian warrior confirmed.

“Do we really have to go by sea? Don’t you have planes or helicopters?” Gwyn asked as he sat down on a bed. He got blank stares from the others in the room. “Uh, vehicles… er… vehakuls that fly….”

“You have vehakuls that fly?” Odell sounded like a child as he exclaimed.

Hal sat up and rubbed his chin as he thought about the possibilities.

“Why would you have that on your world?” Harlan softly asked.

“Don’t people want to fly?” Gwyn asked.

“Anyone who wished to would have simply found a Needaimus that granted it,” Rheba explained.

“Hmm,” Gwyn pondered for a moment, “Say, where does the word vehakul come from?” he asked as well. It seemed random to the others, but it had weighed in his mind as soon as he said vehakul and vehicle side by side.

“It comes from an old, popular sci-fi novel,” Odell explained. “Written by some Nakthosi person, I think,” he added.

“Enough of that! What are we supposed to do if that Japhinth is in the water?” Fiona interrupted.

“If we could procure a vessel, we could meet the beast in the sea,” Rheba thought aloud.

“You want to fight that monster?” Gwyn said in shock.

Rheba shook her long head to indicate ‘yes.’

“We can’t aggravate it from the shore, however,” she explained.

“I meant, what are we supposed to do about swimming!” Fiona shouted, but her cries were not addressed.

Hal shook his head.

“Let the warriors come to fight; we shall stay and rest,” he said before laying down on his bed. He fell asleep in almost an instant.

“He’s probably right; without the right equipment, we can’t hope to defeat such a beast. Still, we should consider what we can do,” Rheba said.

“Well, if we’re waiting longer, I can do some more upgr– maintenance on the Ali!” Odell said happily.

“Maybe there’s a pool in this town; I’ll settle for that,” Fiona said with a sigh.

“I’d like to see more of the town!” Mem said from atop Gwyn’s shoulder.

“That might not be so bad,” Gwyn agreed.

Rheba shook her head.

“All of you seem to be forgetting we are meant to be on a mission,” she lamented. Her words were unnoticed by the others, who began to think up what they would do with the additional free time they had obtained.

Rheba sat down and took a deep breath while she rubbed her stomach. She was starting to feel some hunger pangs.

“Wow, it’s getting late, huh?” Fiona said as she eyed the time on the clock within the room.

“Perhaps we should get something to eat; I heard about a pub while in town today,” Rheba quickly added after Fiona’s statement. She figured they could argue more about what they would do once they were fed.

“Sounds good to me!” Odell said. The others nodded in agreement, save for Hal, who was out cold.

They quickly tried to wake him, but the Netzian would not budge from his sleep.

“Let’s just get something to bring back to him,” Gwyn finally said.

“He’s too young to drink at a pub anyway!” Fiona added.

The others quickly agreed and left to find the pub Rheba had mentioned.