The Nonpareil of Resh (Act 1)
The trio of Gwyn, Rheba, and Harlan began to walk down the colorful streets of Nun. Rheba kept her eyes focused forward while Harlan kept hers pointed to the ground. Gwyn looked all around at everything there was to see. Each Needaimus hung on their respective mortal’s shoulder. The trio found that walking through the city and driving through the city, as they had done prior, offered two very different experiences.
All around, coupled with the many lights and colors, there was an abundance of din. People walking and talking made sounds of merriment, anger, peace, and calm. Machines on the streets echoed their engines through the tall buildings, and assortments of buzzers, whistles, and instruments could be heard occasionally. All the sounds merged into a mess of noise around the trio.
“What’s that?” Gwyn tried asking a couple of times, and Harlan would answer him quietly, at least compared to the rest of the city. From her point of view, she had to be louder than ever just so the Nonpareil could hear her words.
Rheba rubbed her chin as she walked through the town. She had heard stories about Nun and how it was devoid of any plant life, and she had some inkling from broadcasts on the tablets. As they pressed on, she saw how true it was. Her own home had their cities and towns built into, and alongside, a dense jungle. She had often noticed how other nations would be considerate of having some plants: Aqueenians valued a ritual green space, Hobusians valued beautiful rock and plant combinations, and Netzians lined trees and flowers in rows next to their streets, but Nun was devoid of any.
The Bentulousian warrior did her best to focus her gaze forward to avoid getting too distracted. She wondered if she understood how Gwyn felt since, for the first time, she felt as if she had gone to another world.
Harlan did her best not to put both of her clawed hands over where her ‘ears’ would be. She found the city far too overwhelming and anxiety-inducing and wished she was back in the tiny, quiet Aqueenian village where the team had had their campout. After a moment of thought, she shook her head and instead wished to be back in her personal lab.
“Are we even finding anything out? Maybe we ought to take a break?” Gwyn asked after a while.
They had walked through the streets, but they had not made any progress on their mission other than taking in the sights.
Rheba was the only one who read the tablet provided by the Aqueenian government in full. Hal had skimmed it, and Harlan glanced at it for a moment, but the Bentulousian warrior was the only one who seemed to know the full extent of their mission.
After the regicide of King Whitlock, the Aqueenian investigation had found that Dia Mond had a strong connection to the Mayor of Nun; she had been seen going in and out of the Mayor’s estate by paparazzi on many occasions. The information eventually led the government of Aquia to contact Nun. The megacity brushed them off.
The group's task was to look throughout the city for signs that Nun was plotting some mass scaled invasion, conspiracy, or any other wrongdoings. It was very vague, which annoyed Rheba somewhat, but she let it go.
At least to the Bentulousian warrior, what was important was that they ought to engage with some of the events and citizens of the grand city to start finding leads. As she looked forward, she saw a building that would most certainly be an event for them to engage with.
One of the many beauideal stage-arena’s stood in front of them. It was a lesser arena known as ‘Sing n Brawl,’ which housed some of the beauideal events.
At a young age, Rheba discovered the profession known as a beauideal while watching a Bentulousian tablet program about the different sorts of cultures in other nations. The program had spun the event in a negative light, but the much smaller and impressionable Rheba had become instantly enamored with the idea of beautiful singing beauideals. She became a fan but had to keep the matter a secret.
As the giant warrior stared off into the first Stage-Arena she had seen in real life, she became uncertain if her desire to visit was for the mission or her long-time obsession. Nevertheless, she answered Gwyn.
“Your right Gwyn; perhaps we ought to stop somewhere for a while to rest,” she said.
Harlan looked up for a moment and off in the distance. She saw the same stage-arena and her green; slit eyes grew wide. She began to shake her head to indicate ‘no,’ but neither of the other two noticed.
“What do you have in mind?” Gwyn asked.
“There will be a beauideal show in that building up ahead; perhaps we should check it out?”
Gwyn made a soft ‘hmm’ to himself as he thought. He recalled Dia was also a beauideal, and if they engaged her again, it might benefit him to know more about what they were. He was also interested in the culture and planned to ask many questions about how such an event formed.
“I’m okay with that,” the Nonpareil finally answered.
Harlan let her head hang. She took a deep breath as she began to collect herself. Whatever happened, she did not want to get overwhelmed by the atmosphere of a live beauideal show. Unlike Rheba, whose love for the beauideals was well known, Harlan had a secret affection that she did not wish to get discovered.
“Are you okay with going, Harlan?” Gwyn asked as he turned to the Zenotote. She perked up in surprise at his concern for her opinion.
“Zenototes are too sophisticated to enjoy the simple art of beauideals,” Rheba said. Harlan glared at her.
“I find it surprising that a Bentulousian could even perceive what was going on,” the green-yellow lizard replied coolly.
The two glared at each other for a moment. Gwyn sighed, then he cleared his throat.
“Are we going?” he asked.
“Of course, the Zenotote may remain outside if she so chooses,” Rheba said as she began to walk to the stage-arena.
“I would ask you don’t decide things for me!” Harlan calmly replied as she followed the Bentulousian warrior. The Zenotote scientist had been swept up with a stronger desire not to lose in some way to Rheba and momentarily forgot her hesitancy to reveal her interests.
Gwyn shrugged and shook his head. He couldn’t tell if they were getting along now or not.