Paid for by patrons
Narrow Escape

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11 - 12 - 13 - 14 - 15 - 16 - 17 - 18 - 19 - 20 - 21 - 22 - 23 - 24 - 25 - 26 - 27 - 28 - 29 - 30 - 31 - 32  - 33

If you'd told me that the way to enjoying this nonsense would be to get surrounded by rich humans wanting to ask me questions, I'd have kicked you off my front step, but here we were.

I guess you might say I was neglecting my duty, though whether you'd be right about that, well, we might have to talk it out. Sure, I wasn't actively pumping the nobs for information or anything—actually, that'd be a better description of what they were doing to me. But I was telling them outrageous lies, and that should be considered a public service, even if it wasn't exactly the reason we'd come here to begin with.

I'd also noticed a couple of 'em who were very interested in how I, or really the actual lighting engineer, got hired for this job in the first place, filed that away for future reference. But I picked up on that early on. I know what I'm about. After that it was just for fun, and because I couldn't figure out a way to get them all to leave me alone. They just kept pulling in more people with more questions.

Unfortunately some of the recent ones actually knew the first thing about engineering, which I don't. I was starting to have some trouble.

"Tell me," said one of them, when they'd all finished laughing at a complete bullshit story about the elevators in Corthes. "Are you the one who designed these marvelous lights?"

This again. I don't understand why they were all so concerned about the damn lights. They're balls that glow. The finer details don't really matter unless you build the things.

"No," I said, and they all looked shocked. Some people don't know how anything works. "See, this style of lamp is pretty common these days—" I didn't exactly know that was true, but I'd seen them out in Benediction, and that town barely had three things in it, so it made sense to me. "—and while these aren't quite the same as the original designs, they aren't really new, you know? Just variations on a theme."

"But you said they couldn't be left unattended." This was one of the first two. I couldn't remember their names, mostly because I didn't care. "If they're so widespread—"

I was losing my crowd. "Hey, now, widespread don't exactly mean the same as safe," I cut in. "Magic's pretty widespread and I wouldn't go sticking my bare hands in it. I'm just saying, someone like me doesn't get to design the lights, only to guard them, you see?"

There were some nods, and some muttering. One of them said, "I don't care about the lights. Tell us that story about the wild dogs again, Eire here missed that one."

I didn't remember the story about the wild dogs. "Sure, sure. Just give me one minute, okay? I gotta go check on some things." I nodded toward the lights, and the humans parted away from me like I was covered in poison, which I took for the opportunity it was. I maintained smug composure until I was sure they weren't watching me anymore, and then I ran.