No real spoilers, unless you haven't seen Theatre Vancoor yet.
The Bridge Above My House
I have come to the conclusion that Radiata is in desperate need of an amusement park.
And this conclusion was reached while I sat on the railing of my roof in the middle of the night. Why does my roof have a railing, you ask? Probably because it also doubles up as a bridge. Fancy and multi-purpose and grand, I must say. Does absolutely nothing for my privacy, though.
Which, brings me back to my conclusion.
Honestly, you'd think that if a boy's gotta have an epiphany, he'd have it somewhere more appropriate. But no, it had to be while I was trying to catch butterflies on my crummy roof in the middle of the night. Why butterflies? Well, how would I know? I was at Theatre Vancoor and they decided that catching butterflies was a mission well suited for me. At least they were killer butterflies, yeah? You know? Those types with spears for wings and razors for teeth?
But I digress.
Allow me to begin the chronicles of my woeful revelation by starting with a usual day in the life of Jack Russell.
Normal people wake up to the sound of a shrill alarm clock, or the smell of pancakes on the stove.
Jack Russell wakes up to the sound of heavy stomping on his roof.
Well, I can hear your mind reasoning, but you live below a bridge! Of course there'll be stomping. Hardly anything there to trigger an epiphany.
Yes, sir, Mr. Brain. I'll have you know that I thought the same thing you did during the first three weeks of my stay in that abode.
But when I realised that I could /memorise/ the stomping sounds because there was actually a /pattern/ to them... Ah. Now, if that wasn't my clue that these noises weren't so random after all, I don't know what is.
So I woke up earlier than usual one fine day and decided that if I was going to have to catch killer butterflies for money, I might as well catch the mysterious stomper and see if they have a valid excuse for stomping around my roof like a smilodon on crack. Or hey, maybe the killer butterfly was the one doing the stomping. That would have saved me a lot of trouble.
My first step out of the house before the crack of dawn for the first time ever since my days at Radiata...
...and I saw a girl I'd never seen before.
She's obviously seen me before if she thought we were friendly enough that she could sit on the railing of the stairs leading to my house as if she's my best buddy.
Oh well, we could always work on that. I went up to her and said, "Hi!"
She sniffled at me. "Hi," and said. "I'm not really interested in you. I'm just sitting here," she clarified, and immediately went back to staring at my door. Then, after I stood there gawking incredulously at her for a good three seconds, she sniffled again, did a back-flip, and plunged into the darkness beneath our previously suspended positions.
Whatever. I was out on a quest to weed out the Evil Stomper, and not suicidal ninja-girls who had fixations on doors. So I climbed my stairs and peeked out at the bridge above my house.
Nothing out of the usual. The members of the Skin-tight-clothing Club - sorry, Bandit Guild - were making their way back to wherever it was they usually hid in the day. They were fast, but not noisy. They were, thus, not the Evil Stomper I was looking for.
Some guys from Theatre Vancoor were toddling along like drunk men towards the guildhouse. Big heavy armour, big heavy stomping? As if they had planned to disgrace my expectations all along, all of them stubbed their clanky toes against the broken stonepath and either rolled off the bridge or rolled across it. Figures. We warriors really aren't morning people. The day one of them oafs get revealed as the Evil Stomper is the day I fly polka -dot kites from the roof of the castle with Ridley's neverending supply of hair ribbons. And the Chief wonders why we hardly get worthy missions.
I took the final step up from my stairwell and summarily gaped at what I then saw.
Fernando. That old monkey. Kicking and stomping out his martial arts on the bridge above my house. These Olacion Order priests should really stop thinking they're above the law just because they can cure us when we get snuff beaten out from our noses because of fighting monsters on our missions.
"Hi, could you stop stomping on my roof?" I approached his Oldness and asked. Very politely too, I might add.
He eyed me with a beady stare and grimaced. "Hello lad. An old man's got to have a place to excercise somewhere sometimes."
This time, I grimaced.
And Fernando, that old monkey, went right back to kicking and stomping out his martial arts on the bridge above my house.
At least I've found out who the Evil Stomper was.
I stumbled into Theatre Vancoor soon after, ready to rant and rave endlessly about the injustices I had suffered from staying in the not-really-house the Guild had furnished me with. Thanos, however, was more interested in how many killer butterflies I had caught. He kept muttering about how he wished there was somewhere worthwhile to actually GO to in Radiata when he was not busy chasing semi-zealous members of the Guild for their missions reports.
I snorted. If there was really such a place, Jack Russell wouldn't have to wake up every day to the Olacion Dancing Queen.
That was, in retrospect, the first step towards my epiphany.
I spent the rest of the morning chasing down Killer Butterflies.
At around lunchtime, I dropped the poofy-looking net somewhere near the Vareth rubbish dump and headed home. Ah. Lunch. Lunch was always a pleasant affair when I sat at home, stuffed my face with sandwiches, and listened to the soothing murmurs of the townspeople in the level below my bridge-house as they carried on in their daily, mundane lives.
Had I known that I was just about to run into Step Two of my Road to Epiphany - literally - I would have taken care to walk a lot slower. I rounded the corner of the street, and walked straight into the broad, hard back of Achilles.
My advice to all of you is to never try that at home.
To my consternation, the man didn't even notice me. Probably thought someone was flicking a pebble at him.
I sidestepped him, and rammed straight into Kain.
To HIS credit, he at least turned around and acknowledged me with a nod.
I straightened and quickly said hi. It would not do to get into the bad books of the High Priest before dinner.
"Young master Jack..." He said, while narrowing his eyes. He then turned dramatically to face the lower town from his vantage point atop the bridge above my house. "I can sense a great danger approaching, where your part to play is nothing but little. Can this town withstand the pressure, or vanish from its fire?" And so on so forth.
It figures that of all the people in this town who must bump into him on a daily basis, he chooses to give his Prophecy of Doom to me.
I beat a hasty retreat.
Just as I descended home to eat those sandwiches I bought two weeks ago, I heard the murmurings. The murmurings that I'd always thought belonged to the people in the lower town, was actually Kain, murmuring about, no doubt, more Prophecies of Doom, to himself.
I had a feeling the Olacion Order really, really hated me.
Either that, or all of them needed to Get A Life. Or A Space Of Their Own. Yeah. That'd get them out of my hair.
When I retrieved the poofy-net from the Vareth rubbish dump, the thing was blowing bubbles out of its net holes at the speed of sixty seven bubbles per minute. I thought I saw Aidan from the corner of my eyes, giggling away at what a wonderful prank he must have pulled this time.
I still hadn't quite forgiven him for that mirror trick, you know.
The Vareth mages needed to Get A Life, or A Space Of Their Own, too.
I could feel my epiphany rumbling within me, right then.
The bubbles did not help. I still couldn't catch the killer butterflies before nightfall and told Thanos so, but all he did was mutter about his desire for a Place Where He Could Escape To. I snorted again. As if Thanos ever ventured anywhere else other than his seat and the toilet five steps away. I stopped by the deck table to play some cards with the other Vancoor guys, and they grumbled and mumbled all the time about why I was getting more missions than they were.
I would have graciously given them the killer butterflies if they had asked. Really.
These warriors from Theatre Vancoor needed to Get A Life, or A Space Of Their Own, I realised.
Shrugging, I proceeded to make my way home. On the way, I saw yet more bandits coming out from the cloak of the night to patrol the streets for whatever it was they did in the night while the rest of us sunny folks are off dreaming about getting rich and famous in life.
Man, these people really need to Get A Life. Or A Space Of Their Own, yeah.
I should but I won't mention that I saw Clive, assuming his Pose Of Monkey Enlightenment on the bridge above my house. We've already established that the Olacion Order priests need to Get A Life or A Space Of Their Own. At least he wasn't stomping like a frenzied mammoth on my roof.
Someone else, however, did.
Late at night, or early the next morning - sleep deprivation could screw up your take on time totally, I should warn you - I heard it again.
Oh! Guild Unity be damned! Fernando's going down and he's going down now!
I grabbed the nearest thing to me that looked like a weapon - the poofy butterfly net, stormed out of my house, saw the suicidal-ninja girl again, who was still staring at my door, and got ready to confront the Archbishop of the Olacion Order.
Except, it was NOT Fernando doing his fancy footwork on my roof.
It was Paul. That blinking jobless, guildless felon.
"Hiya Jack!" He greeted me, as if it was bright as day and that he had every right to be stomping on my roof at - I finally checked the time - four thirty AM in the balloony morning. "I gotta keep in shape, ya know, in case you need me to go with you on a mission or something. Can't let the girls think I'm weak, can I now?" He snickered to himself, as if it was a very great speech he had just made.
He can count on it that I'll NEVER ask him to join me on my missions again.
I shooed him away from the bridge, and leaned against the railing, sighing for a long, long time. The killer butterfly suddenly made an appearance, but I just swiped at it feebly. It wasn't enough that the priests, the mages, the warriors and the bandits all needed to Get A Life or A Space Of Their Own. Now even the wandering, guildless people needed to Get A Life or A Space Of Their Own too!
Was my roof IT! Were they treating my roof as A Space Of Their Own!
Well, that certainly won't do.
And that, was when my epiphany bubbled forth to its final fruition. What was the perfect solution to all my privacy woes? What could simultaneously Give Those Mindless Drifters A Life, at the same time Provide Them With A Space Of Their Own!
The Interne--oh, wait.
Wrong world. Oops.
Let's try that again, shall we?
What was the perfect solution to all my privacy woes? What could simultaneously Give Those Mindless Drifters A Life, at the same time Provide Them With A Space Of Their Own!
Of course! An amusement park!
With my revelation descending upon me like the crashing weight of a titanic meteorite, I stood up from where I was leaning upon my rooftop railing at six in the morning and hooted: "I'M GONNA DO IT DAD! I'M GONNA MAKE YOU PROUD!"
Several lights came on and a broken frying pan whizzed dangerously past my right ear.
"Shut the blap up! Some of us are trying to sleep here!" Rasped the sleepy, angry voice.
If only you knew, my dear friend. If only you knew.
I returned to my bed for a brief nap, plotting and planning in my dreams how I would craft my ingenious plan into reality.
Tomorrow, Radiata... tomorrow, the world!
I /knew/ there was something wrong with that statement, okay? I knew that! -------------------------------------------------------------- just a random little ficlet describing the various activities that goes
on the bridge above jack's house. XD he's got a really popular rooftop,
doesn't he? XD oh, and if you stand at the bridge when the stars are
out and try to talk to the sky, he really DOES shout something about
doing his dad proud. looks like cairn isn't the only one high on the
coffee in take. XD
tougenkyou . net / xd
just a random little ficlet describing the various activities that goes on the bridge above jack's house. XD he's got a really popular rooftop, doesn't he? XD oh, and if you stand at the bridge when the stars are out and try to talk to the sky, he really DOES shout something about doing his dad proud. looks like cairn isn't the only one high on the coffee in take. XD