Chapter 9:

An Intelligent Goblin

A Tour of the World Between Worlds

Pythagoras was already at the base when Enas and I returned with what we had collected. I carried a few of the metal canisters, but the majority of what we had gathered was fitted neatly in the many pockets Enas had in his white clothing.

The small creature was eagerly shuffling through a large bag made up of shiny, white material. The bald man sighed and walked over to the yellow-orange form. With ease, Pythagoras was lifted into the air by the back of his loose clothes.

“What have I said about hoarding?” Enas asked.

“Don’t give me that; all this stuff is valuable!” the creature replied with a toothy grin.

Enas dropped Pythagoras and picked up the bag. He began to tie it shut.

“At least you had the decency to put it in a garbage bag,” the bald man muttered.

“Hey! Don’t you dare throw away all that!” Pythagoras shouted while pointing at the man at least three times as tall.

Enas sighed and looked in my direction. He dropped the bag and gestured that I should get closer.

I sighed and obliged. It might have been easier to go with Orrin; at least I had an idea of what I was getting into with him.

“Alright, you have to explain the items to our amnesiac friend here. If she can not comprehend how it is useful by your explanation, you have to throw it away,” Enas explained. What was he volunteering me to do?

“Ha, you underestimate intellect such as mine! This task is an easy one!” Pythagoras proudly huffed. He reached into the bag and pulled out the first item. It was metal, with smooth black handles that could pivot.

“Here, you see a can opener. Not only useful for any goods we come across, but I can make an ultimate weapon with it!” The orange-yellow creature happily exclaimed.

“What’s a can opener?” I asked.

Enas smirked and slid his arms behind his back.

“Well, do your best, Pythagoras. Kiko, I will do something to repay you later,” he said before walking off.

“Wait! She is clearly from a world with lower technology! Do you expect me to explain every detail!” Pythagoras shouted back.

Enas waved without turning back to look at us.

“Next time, you should only take what you can keep in your pockets and hold in your hands!” the bald man replied. For the first time, his gruff voice had a hint of laughter in it.

Considering how many pockets I had seen in his clothes, I think Enas had an unfair advantage with that rule. My jaw remained tight; it was probably best to remain quiet on that point.

“You know goblins don’t use pockets!” Pythagoras shouted back.

I was unfamiliar with the word ‘goblin,’ but it was easy enough to guess that Pythagoras was talking about his species. At least now, I didn’t have to go through awkwardly asking to find out.

Pythagoras huffed and pointed to the ‘can opener.’

“This object is made of metal with plastic handles. Plastic is… well, you probably don’t need that much detail. When using this object, we can open cans that contain food.” The orange-yellow goblin explained. I nodded to show I understood.

Pythagoras began to rummage around in the bag again and produced what looked similar to the objects Enas and I had collected before.

“This is a can,” he explained. He demonstrated how the can opener fit onto the can. “I won’t open it now, but you clamp down and turn. Simple, is it not?”

I nodded. He neglected to explain the ‘ultimate weapon’ part from earlier, but I just let that slide.

“I see the value,” I said to him.

His red eyes lit up with excitement as he put the can and can opener to the side.

“Great! I’m happy to see you have intelligence!”

His words sounded like an insult, but I said nothing since I thought he meant them to be a complement. Pythagoras began to rummage in the bag once again.

The next item he pulled out was a flat, square object. It was blue and had a white circle in the center.

“This here is a floppy disk, and with it, I can create the ultimate weapon… Moving on!” He placed the floppy disk aside next to the can opener and can.

The goblin began to rummage once more.

“Wait!” I shouted as I pointed to the apparent floppy object. Pythagoras sighed.

“It is an old data storage method that most worlds have obsoleted,” he said. My blank stare must have indicated to the goblin that he should keep speaking. “You see, many worlds have developed a device called a computer….”

Pythagoras went into great detail about the ‘computer’ and its development across several worlds. I listened attentively, but much of it quickly left my head.

“Do you see the value now?” Pythagoras asked after finishing. I nodded but wasn’t sure I completely understood.

He pulled the next item out of the bag. It was made of red fabric and shaped in a round dome. A bill sat on the end, making it look almost like a duck's head. The letters “QC” were printed in bold on the dome.

“This is what they call a baseball cap. It gets worn on the head and can keep the sun out of your eyes, and with it, I can create the ultimate weapon!” the goblin explained. I was starting to notice a pattern.

“Is there even a sun here?” I asked while pointing to the grey sky above.

“There may be suns on other worlds; in fact, our very own Casey comes from a world with two of them!” Pythagoras explained.

“Will she need the baseball cap on that world?” I asked.

“Well, no, but you might need a visor if you visit another world!” Pythagoras explained.

I rubbed my chin and thought. Even if I found the sun of another world overwhelming, I don’t think I would wear something so tacky-looking.

“I’ll pass,” I said. The goblin grumbled and placed the hat on the ground. He reached into the bag to grab another item. “Before moving on, what’s baseball?” I asked.

He had mentioned the word, and I at least wanted to give the item as much of a fair chance as I could.

Pythagoras made a grin with sharp teeth.

“It is a sport played on several worlds, and I am happy to say my home world has recently been introduced to it as well! You see, players form teams of nine…” the goblin went on to a lengthy explanation of the sport.

Once he was finished describing baseball, we moved on to the next item. With each successive item, he would explain more and more to me about things in other worlds. After a while, we stopped looking at the stuff in the bag, and the goblin happily shared with me everything he had learned about the many worlds.

We talked through the night until it was time to sleep. Pythagoras quickly gathered everything into his bag and made his way to his small house. As I walked to my own, it occurred to me we never threw anything away, much to Enas’ chagrin. I shrugged and turned in for the night.