“What took ya?” Roulette called over the beats of wind whipped up by ebony wings as the young Netherdrake came in for a landing. Dugpaku’s heft hit the ground with a ‘whump!’ and sent particles of purple-grey dust whirling away from his taloned feet.
“I told you I was going to see females at Celestial Ridge.” He tossed his head with a bit of bravado though the Goblin only smirked, unimpressed.
“You’re too young ta go aftah girls, Dougie.”
“I am not. I’m older than you.” He snorted, backing away a bit as she approached to climb up on his saddle.
“If you’re too young ta shapeshift that big shark butt inta something that can fit in the lab, then yer too young ta be fancyin yerself a lady’s man. Hey, what’s tha big idea? Lemme up pal!” She shifted the bag on her shoulder and squinted up at the drake.
“What is that smell? What are you covered with! I can’t carry you like that, you’re disgusting! You need a bath, Roulette.”
“Yeah, hon, I know it.” Rou sighed looking down at the lilac and white visceral fluid that was currently stinking up her robes. “But I can’t take a bath without a lift to tha Stormspiah first!”
“Eugh… Where’s Lumi? Have her do it.” Dugpaku shuddered and swung his neck from side to side looking for signs of the proto-drake.
“She’s at tha stables getting fed and looked aftah, remembah? She’s still adjustin to Outland, poor thing. C’mon, gimme a break Dougie. I gotta get back to tha lab asap! Look what I found!” She opened the bag and held it away from her hip to give him a better view. Still disturbed by the Goblin’s fragrant state he took a deep breath and held it as he brought his head close to take a look. He snorted and arched a scaled brow at his friend.
“…Is that a dead baby Beholder?”
“Yeah! I mean, no! It’s a baby Beholdah but it ain’t dead. Do you know anything about these things? Like, what do I feed em an stuff? I wanna keep tha little guy alive, raise em up ta do my bidding an things.”
“You’re the one who’s supposed to be the demon expert.” Dugpaku chided haughtily, sitting down on his hindquarters and flexing his wings. “The adults eat magic, don’t they? I would guess the offspring does the same?”
“Ya think? I wonder how they feed em exactly… like castin spells maybe? Most of mine’d prolly hurt tha lil suckah though. Or letting em chomp on em while castin spells? That don’t sound like fun… specially as it gets biggah! Take my freakin arm off! I’ll brew up some mana potions, that might woik.” Rou mused. The drake shrugged his shoulders and swatted his tail. There was a long pause before Rou looked up at him. “So, yeah! I already dismissed Brawny so I’m ready ta go.”
“Excellent! I’ll fetch Lumi for you.”
Fifteen minutes later, Roulette climbed up onto the proto-drake’s saddle while giving Dougie the finger. The Netherdrake returned the gesture with a claw, flapping backwards for a moment and chuckling before speeding ahead.
“Whatta princess. Humph. Well, least you’re dependable, Lumi… if not much for conversation!” She patted the tough sky-blue hide of a meaty wing and Lumi made a gutteral grunt as she ran-hopped a few steps and took off into the eerie electrically charged atmosphere of Netherstorm. It was admittedly a short flight but Roulette hated to summon her Dreadsteed if she didn’t have to… for a plethora of reasons. Not the least of which being that she was wearing robes and that spiky plated back chafed like hell.
Both the Goblin and proto-drake took a deep breath of crisp clean air as they passed from the arid purple wasteland into the eco-dome’s fragrant paradise. Even though the force field that separated the two had no tactile presence the difference as one passed through it was immediate and incredibly satisfying.
This was Roulette’s home away from home. The Stormspire was her getaway where she felt safe, relaxed, and in her element. Sure, her mini lab/apartment was overpriced as was pretty much everything else there, but it was worth every copper. The green scenic view, the oxygen rich air, the closeness to the Twisting Nether, the convenience of technology… She was still glad for her place back at Bilgewater Harbor – it was an awesome spot for when she needed more Goblin interaction and a taste of the good bits of the old days. But this? This was freakin heaven.
Course she still had to be careful about the whole Warlock situation… the Ethereals didn’t really care much except for the Voidwalker issues. Rou swore up and down that she didn’t use one or associate with them when she got her place. Poor Mistah Grim. But still, they were a lot more lax about the rest than Orcs were!
Lumi came to a landing just above the elevator was guided back to the high tech metallic stables. Rou tipped the keeper there and hurried back to her lab with the precious bag tucked under her arm. She knocked into an Ethereal in her distractedness, causing him to trip and spill the contents of a sizable box full of scrolls he was carrying. He made a strangled whimper and scrambled to catch them before the wind simulator made off with them.
“Sorry, pal!” Rou called over her shoulder but didn’t pause in her gait. She was a disgusting mess and was worried about her cargo waking up or dying at any minute, especially given Dougie’s prissy delay. When she reached her lab she quickly set up a little nest of sorts, made out of pillows and old fire damaged clothes. Gently, carefully, she lifted the creepy dazed infant up then lowered it into the little nest she made. It was still breathing and Rou considered the lump on its head.
“Poor lil Lumpy… wish I knew if ice’d help. A cage’d prolly be a good idea though… just in case… nothing personal, just… so ya don’t wander off or nothing and get yaself killed. Ugh! Wish I could summon Mistah Grim! I’d trust em best ta keep an eye on ya while I run an get some stuff… Well, first thing’s first I guess… potions!”
She grabbed some premade potions from her lab counter’s shelf and wondered if a creature that didn’t have a neck, per ce, could choke or had a wrong pipe for it to go down… she’d never paid much attention to the anatomy of a demon before; dissection wasn’t her kinda research. Careful about force feeding the rejuvenation potion she gave it just a little bit. A sheer handkerchief was draped over its head so maybe, like a bird, the Beholder would be too disoriented to move while she ran a quick errand.
She rushed past the scroll chasing Ethereal on her way to and from the Exotic Pets dealer and as soon as she figured out how to work the handy and, of course, overpriced energy cage Roulette finally felt like she could take that badly needed shower.