Starlight Casino Shuttle Service

The Big Yoink: A Smol Detective Story, Chapter 13

Standard Disclaimer: I do not take credit for the setting, this story is set in the They Are Smol universe, written by our very own u/tinyprancinghorse.
TPH has a Website, a Patreon, and also a Discord if you need more smol shenanigans.
The first Smol Detective story can be read starting Here.
There will be some spoilers/references of the first SD story in this one, so consider yourself duly warned.
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First Chapter
Previous Chapter
Next Chapter
In the previous chapter:
Bgrarh gets some Contraband.
Oscar has a Nice Suit.
Two words: Conga Line.
In this chapter:
Resh'skk does some Acting.
Sssnnathor serves up some Snacks.
The Silken Feather does a Clever Girl.
___________
The shuttle was due to depart in [six hours], which should give Bgrarh-of-Arhraz plenty of time. He checked for the hundredth time that his lab door was securely locked, then pulled out the unassigned terminal he'd managed to snag for this. The latter was just in case anyone tried to check the logs on his own 'official' machine. What he was doing was not strictly forbidden by the Inquisition, but it would be considered impolite and cause for censure.
If he got caught, Bgrarh figured he could spin a story of finding the media 'somewhere' and examining it merely to see if he could determine its origin. They wouldn't believe him, but they'd probably let his possession slide...especially if he let the hypothetical Inquisitor watch over his shoulder.
He took a steadying breath and popped in the first chip, then selected "Doctor No". Within a few scenes he'd gotten the gist of this [James Bond] character in spite of the poor quality and terrible dubbing. The Dorarizin had a similar fictional character, namely one Inquisitor Hrnarah. She traveled the galaxy with a blaster at her hip, ready to mete out justice and bed any comely males she came across.
But Hrnarah was also, well, a she. This [Sean Connery] person was as adorable as any [human], but he was also quite clearly male. And even though [Connery] walked with the standard wobbly, about-to-fall-over gait of a [human], there was a relentlessness to the way he moved that drew the eye.
The movie ended, and Bgrarh chose another at random. This had a different actor playing Bond, one who was less imposing but more debonair. The movie followed much the same formula as the first, which was something that [Bond] also had in common with Inquisitor Hrnarah.
As the movie played on, Bgrarh began to pick up on why [Oscar] suggested [Bond]. Whenever the man entered a room, whether it be a casino, a denpile, or a prison cell, [Bond] acted as if he owned that room.
Bgrarh stood and began walking about, picturing himself as a well-dressed secret agent who'd entered a dance competition as cover for some covert assignment...which honestly wasn't that far from the truth. As he did so, his nervousness about the upcoming performance began to fade and he knew he'd found the right personality to emulate.
Of course, there were certain things that Bgrarh was not going to emulate. He wasn't an expert on [human] mating customs, but he was pretty sure it wasn't proper to kiss [human] women without their consent.
Bgrarh chuckled. If he tried kissing the Captain without permission she'd bite his head off. Although now that he thought about it, the idea of kissing her with permission was very appealing. She was quite a handsome woman, after all. Yes, she was the pack leader and thus couldn't play favorites...but she was also a Dorarizin with needs.
Besides, Bgrarh knew his time of 'season' was approaching. Maybe this what the [humans] called a golden opportunity?
___________
In one corner of the hangar deck, two long and sinewy bodies coiled about each other. Each of them held a long needle-like sword in one hand, with the other clamped to their opponent's weapon-arm. There was much pained grunting as each strained to be the first to stab. Finally one of them managed to wrest her sword-arm free with a triumphant shout.
""
With that line Hrathra'sstah lunged forward as her prop sword did its job and buried its holographic blade deep into Resh'skk's chest. The ex-soldier clutched at the sword-hilt sticking out of his chest (which kept it from falling off), then groaned and toppled backward. His own weapon fell to the deck with a clatter.
"" he gasped in mock agony. ""
With a wordless scream, Hrathra leaped onto him and pushed with both her hands at the pommel of the fake sword hilt, acting as if she was driving the nonexistent blade deeper into his chest. At that cue Resh'skk bit down on the capsule hidden in his cheek, then let a little emerald-hued stage blood trickle out of the corner of his mouth.
He gave another groan of pain. "" he said in a stage whisper. Then Resh'skk slumped flat on the deck, staring off sightlessly into space.
After a beat, there was the sound of two small pairs of hands slapping together. It was a gesture of appreciation that Jornissians performed as well, and the sound made Resh'skk feel better about this whole nonsense.
"[Bravo!]" called [Maria].
"[Yeah, that was awesome!]" added [Oscar].
Resh'skk stopped playing dead and picked his hood up off of the deck. ""
"" said Hrathra'sstah. She still lay sprawled on top of him in a position that he would have enjoyed in other circumstances.
""
Hrathra'sstah pressed a finger to his lips. ""
"[And the villain always has to give a big monologue when they die!]" said [Maria]. "[It's a tradition even in [human] drama.]"
"" Resh'skk made as if to get up, but Hrathra didn't budge from her perch on top of him. He felt her tail-tip coil about his own. Ordinarily, Jornissians were a little less fussy about touching tails; it was just a consequence of their body type. But this was a more familiar gesture, one that close friends engaged in.
He glanced over and saw the two humans bumbling off. [Maria] had her hand on [Oscar's] arm as she steered him away from the Jornissians. His [human] friend had clearly picked up on the opportunity and was giving him the private space.
Resh'skk turned his head back to look up into Hrathra's red, gleaming eyes. His old fears returned. How could someone so smart and capable find anything of value in a broken down ex-thug like himself? But he had to try. He'd faced down pirates trying to carve out his intestines, he could face down this.
""
She raised one corner of her hood. "" But she did pick herself up off of him. Resh'skk rose, coiling his lower half below him in the Jornissian version of parade rest. He clasped his hands before him, while Hrathra'sstah folded her arms.
"" she asked.
""
Her arms dropped to her sides as she stared at him in shock. ""
Resh'ssk nodded. ""
Her next words struck him to the heart, an icy feeling far crueler than any stab.
""
Not a trace of his inner pain showed on his face as his clasped hands clenched ever so slightly tighter. ""
Hrathra cut him off with waving hands. "" She slithered back and forth in front of him as her gesticulating grew ever more dramatic. ""
Now it was his turn to interrupt her with a gentle finger to her lips. ""
There was one long moment of mutual staring, then she lunged for him again in an attack that he accepted with literal open arms.
What with their long and muscled bodies, Jornissians are the gold-medal winners of the four Senate species when it comes to dealing out hugs. With these two Jornissians doing their very best to embrace each other, and on top of that doing their very best to kiss each other into oblivion, the resulting tangle was something that would make even Escher throw up his hands.
In the middle of Resh'ssk's bliss, he heard again the sound of a human applauding. He peered to the side and saw [Maria's] grinning face. The [human] stood just out of easy tail-slap range.
After a little bit of complicated tongue-de-tangling, Hrathra'sstah turned her head as well to regard her protege. "<[Maria]?>"
"[Yeah, boss?]"
""
"[You got it, boss.]" [Maria] gave a wink to Resh'skk before strolling away. At any other time he would have found the little alien's cockiness infuriating, but right now he was too happy to be angry. He clasped Hrathra anew to himself and kissed her snout.
"" he asked.
Hrathra'sstah rubbed her hood against his neck. "" She grinned up at him. ""
___________
The sunlight fell like a velvet hammer onto Oscar as he stepped down from the shuttle. He felt sweat begin to pop out on his forehead, and wondered if his furred crewmates would suffer even more. He supposed that the heat made sense, given that a Jornissian owned this planet.
In front of the shuttle was a wedge-shaped formation of Dorarizin wearing full armor. Oscar had seen the pictures during the one time any Dorarizin set foot on Earth. Princess Gwe-Zgranzre-of-Ngrul's honor guard had been almost as armored-up as these guys. But where their armor had been brightly colored and ornate, this armor was sleek and functional.
The armor's visual effect was to turn the already-impressive figure of your average Dorarizin into what looked like a walking tank. The sleek, ovoid, and featureless chrome helmets of the retinue tilted down as one while they regarded Oscar. After a moment, the lead Dorarizin's helmet hinged up to reveal a white-furred face with deep purple eyes. He looked at Oscar for a few seconds, then over at the sphere of Junior which hovered next to the human's shoulder.
Oscar heard the noise behind him as the rest of the crew disembarked from the shuttle. He smiled as he tried his best to keep his heartrate down. Myyreh was at his back, but asking her to take out a werewolf in power armor would be too much even for her.
"Howdy, folks!" Oscar pointed at the lead Dorarizin's armored chest. "Um, are you expecting trouble?"
The lead Dorarizin smiled in response, showing a lot more teeth. "[Not at all. I know it looks like [overkill], but we have certain security protocols that have to be followed for all visitors. I'm Nerlharg-of-Aergh.]"
Oscar settled for a bow in lieu of shaking hands. "Oliver Ward, pleased to meetcha."
"[Likewise.]" Nerlharg looked up at the others. "[I bid you all welcome. Please, follow me. His Excellency was very insistent that he meet your group right away.]"
Oscar slung his bag over his shoulder. The concrete of the landing pad let to a loose gravel pathway lined with tall greenery which was nothing like trees. There was a clear lack of bark, plus the leaves had an odd earth-brown tinge to them. The plants did provide a good amount of shade, however, which gave Oscar some relief from the heat. Further inspection revealed a few tall rod-like structures scattered here and there among the growth; these rods emitted a fine mist of water which drifted over the pathway and provided further cooling.
Nerlharg noticed Oscar's inspection. "[His Excellency's species is better built to withstand heat, but he provides for his subjects.]"
"He sure does," replied Oscar. "I already get enough grief from my non-human comrades about my water usage, so I don't want to be sweating more than I need to."
Nerlharg gave his species' bone-buzzsaw version of a chuckle, but didn't otherwise comment.
The procession crested a rise, and Oscar saw a few buildings ahead. The architecture gave the impression of a high-tech Aztec city, with multiple stepped pyramids situated along either side of the central promenade. A profusion of more greenery overhung each 'step' on the buildings. Oscar wondered if this was proper Jornissian architecture or if Sssnnathor just had a thing for pyramids.
The prominade led forward to the largest pyramid by far, a huge building that rivaled that of any Egyptian tomb. A sloping ramp led up to an entrance that one could sling a starship through. The scale was such that even the giants around him looked small as they passed underneath that over-sized arch.
Oscar wondered about the point of such overkill. Was it to show off Ssssnnathor's wealth and power? The entire planet was proof of that. Perhaps it was more of a subtle warning to any who entered, a way to say 'however big you think you are, you're in the house of someone far more important'.
Whatever the reason for the grand entryway, the pyramid's interior space was even more grand. The walls were clad in white marble with gold trim; they followed the slope of the exterior, with a spiral ramp leading up towards the apex far above. More green vines hung from the edges of the ramp, giving the whole space the air of a slightly less tacky Las Vegas casino. Three large snake-like figures waited in the center of the space in front of a long table piled high with various dishes.
The middle Jornissian could only be Sssnnathor. Oscar half expected him to be clad in some sort of outrageous Ming-The-Merciless getup, but instead he wore a sober-looking 'suit' the hue of sun-bleached bone. The white color contrasted well with his black-and-blue scale pattern.
Sssnnathor's face was split in a wide smile, and he had his arms outstretched in welcome. The guards on either side, however, looked much less friendly, what with their armor. A normal Jornissian 'exo-suit' made them look like a long dakimakura-style pillow. But these guys were all hard edges and armor plating, fitting well with the look of the crew's Dorarizin escort.
Each Jornissian bodyguard cradled a massive rifle casually in one hand; Oscar figured he just might be able to pick one of them up if he used both hands and all his strength.
Sssnnathor's purr-hiss boomed over them all. "[Welcome! You are a pleasant surprise.]" He slithered forward, his silver eyes fixed on Oscar. The tyrant glanced over at Junior as he approached, and stopped at a respectful distance as he lowered himself to look the human in the eye.
"[I apologize for staring, but this is my first time seeing one of your kind,]" said Sssnnathor.
"No problem, Mr. Snape. I'm Oliver Ward." There was no way in hell Oscar was going to get anywhere near the strangled hiss-purr of Sssnnathor's true name. He hoped that the translator matrix was doing its job.
After another moment of fascinated staring, Sssnnathor nodded and rose higher. He gestured towards the table behind him. "[Please, eat and be welcome.]"
___________
After the (fake-name) introductions and hand-shaking, Captain Rgrarshok found herself munching on a bit of grilled glrnada while inside she wondered if this had been the right course of action. Her unease wasn't helped by the fact that Sssnnathor was parked at her right elbow with a calculating smile.
"[It's always nice to have new entertainment, Captain Rgratz,]" said the tyrant. "[But I can't help but wonder why you chose to bless us with your presence. With two [humans] in your company you would have the pick of engagements, yet you come to an out-of-Senate-space backwater like this.]"
Rgrarshok swallowed her mouthful as she prepped the cover story they'd cooked up. "{This is hardly a backwater, but it's true we could name our price. If I'm honest, Excellency, we're not exactly welcome in Senate space at the moment. And it has to do with the [humans].}"
Sssnnathor tilted his hood in curiosity. "[Oh, really?]" He turned to regard the two [humans], who naturally tended to stick together and now conversed in low tones while getting covertly studied by every other person in the pyramid. "[You didn't kidnap them, I hope?]"
Rgrarshok laughed. "{Far from it. Their placement on our crew was done through legal channels...except for the fact that we submitted two applications, under two different names. My XO cooked up the scheme, and I agreed. We thought it would give us a better chance of success.}"
Sssnnathor hissed a laugh of his own. "[I suppose it makes sense from a mathematical viewpoint. After all, the odds of getting a [human] are astronomical enough as it is. Let me guess...both applications were awarded?]"
The Captain gave a weary nod and a sigh. "{The first one was a moment of utter joy for us. [Oliver] was a wonderful addition to our crew, we were so happy...and then we got word of [Masie] coming to join us. I can't tell you how much dancing we had to do so that the auditors never caught the scent that we already had another [human] on board. But we managed it, somehow. Only then to realize we were faced with quite a conundrum.}"
"[Namely, if you performed in Senate space the odds were good that the placement program auditors would find out about your [double-dipping]. Hmm, well I suppose your embarrassment of riches is also our good fortune. Otherwise it might have been centuries before my poor little planet was able to host a [human].]"
Rgrarshok performed a slight bow. "{With your kind permission, we plan to perform many times on your planet. Of course, we'll also provide you with a free private performance if desired.}"
Sssnnathor tapped a finger against his chin. "[Hmm, I don't think a private performance is necessary. I do have a gala planned in three [days] time, one where I will show off my latest acquisition. Would you do me the honor of performing there?]"
"{We'd be happy to.}"
___________
Ngralh-of-Arzgar strolled through the sunlit bazaar. He had his paws clasped behind his back in a casual manner, but his eyes never stopped moving. Ngralh was enough of a student of history to know of the primitive conditions his species had once lived under, that era far back in the mists of time when they'd been bound to one planet.
His surroundings were not that primitive, but this was about as 'squalid' as one could get in a star-spanning civlization. The booths around him were formed of cheap and flimsy plastic, tinted with a hodgepodge of colors that stated louder than words that they'd been formed from castoff pieces. The wares emphasized hand-made tools and clothing, things that were just a little nicer than what one could get while on the dole.
The air was filled with the scent of grilling meat, something else that one couldn't get while on basic income. While the smell made his mouth water a little, he was going to have to give the food-sellers a pass. Dorarizin had pretty hardy metabolisms, but there was no need to risk food poisoning.
Due to the meeting with Sssnnathor, their investigation was now two-fold. First was the hunt for the 'Silken Feather', as they'd planned. But second was an attempt to find out exactly what the tyrant's 'latest acquisition' really was. Had the thief gone ahead and sold the Claw to him?
Either way, his job was to work towards the former goal. To that end, he was looking for someone to press ever-so-gently for information.
"[A pretty scarf for your lady friend, good sir?]" The chirping voice came from a hunched-over Karnakian who presided over a rainbow-colored waterfall of fabric. Ngralh gave her a cordial nod as he stopped strolling to look over her selection. Hmmm, that purple number might look good on Egwreh.
"{How much for this one?}" In the haggling that followed he allowed the seller to get a better deal than usual, figuring that this would put her in a better frame of mind for questioning.
"[Would there be anything else, sir?]" asked the Karnakian after he'd bought two.
"{Is this the only market around? I have some colleagues who might be interested in larger items.}"
"[This is the largest market in the capital, sir.]" She leaned forward as her crest rose. "[You're with the entertainers who just arrived, yes? The ones with the [humans]?]"
"{That's right. I'm surprised word's spread this fast.}"
"[There's always interest when [humans] are involved, good sir.]"
"{I understand. Do you get many off-world visitors? We're trying to determine how much new audience turnover we can expect.}"
"[A few every [month] or so. This planet is very welcoming to all, no matter their past.]"
Ngralh gave an embarrassed click. "{How, er, segregated is it around here? I only ask because some multi-species colonies can be rough; the locals can take it the wrong way if one goes walking through another species' section of town.}"
The seller waved one casual wing-arm. "[Oh, there's no such problems around here but I would be careful, since do have some minor criminals wandering about. The various races tend to cluster together to take advantage of any species-specific infrastructure such as plumbing requirements.]"
He smiled at her and gave a bob of his head to simulate a Karnakian farewell. "[Thanks, you've been very kind.]"
Thanks to a few more generous purchases and pointed questions, Ngralh found the Karnakian portion of town. If the "Silken Feather" was in civilization, chances are it was somewhere around here. It would be far easier for her to keep track of incoming and outgoing ships, plus she'd have a handy population of raptors to get lost in.
For sure she'd be wearing a disguise. Instead of scanning each individual Karnakian that passed, Ngralh set his implant to ping him if it detected anyone matching the body proportions of their quarry.
He spent another hour walking among the Karnakians, trying to look like nothing more than a ship-bound crew member anxious to stretch his legs. His scans of the crowd turned up empty, and after a while he started to wish somebody would try to mug him. At least it would break up the monotony.
Ngralh turned down a narrow and deserted alley with walls formed of the same cheap plastic sheeting used for the market booths. He'd made it halfway down when two feathered forms suddenly blocked the far end. He stopped and glanced over his shoulder...sure enough, two more blocked the way he'd came.
The front and rear pairs of Karnakians began to close in with slow menace towards him.
"[Four against one, furball,]" said one of them. "[Not good odds. Now why don't you just hand over everything in your pockets and we'll call it good, eh?]"
Ngralh shifted his weight so that he was balanced on his toes, then extended his claws. While he might not be death-on-foot like Myyreh, he was still an experienced peace officer. That fact evened the odds more than they realized. Once he'd given these guys a good thrashing, he could lean on them for some more detailed information. His ears swiveled back as he tracked the sounds of the two behind him. They'd probably rush him first, and so he kept his back invitingly open...
A strangled chirp-roar sounded from behind him. He spun himself sideways, careful to keep the front two in his peripheral vision. Both of the Karnakians behind him sprawled twitching on the ground, each wreathed in blue electric sparks. As he took in the sight there was a blur of motion behind to the other two...
They didn't even manage a sound before they too were down and out of any possible fight. Ngralh turned carefully back to face his would-be rescuer, a green-feathered Karnakian with a yellow band around her neck.
The Silken Feather.
She stood just out of easy leaping range. The thief had never laid eyes on Ngralh during her call to the Furious Call of Inquiry, so he figured he'd play ignorant and try to lure her closer. "{You have my thanks, friend. I don't have any money on me, but if you'll follow me back to my ship I'm sure my Captain would be happy to reward you.}"
The thief snorted. "[No games, friend. You know who I am and I know who you are. A mixed-race crew who also happen to have [humans] on board, showing up in a conveniently quick manner after I placed that call? The odds of that are astronomical. I guess you tracked me after all.]"
Ngralh took in a deep, irritated breath and then relaxed. "{All right.}" He glanced again at the sprawled, shuddering bodies around him. "{You still have my thanks.}"
"[Oh, it's my pleasure I assure you. I can't allow any of our brave Senate investigators to get hurt in the line of duty, now can I?]"
The XO chuckled. "{I wasn't in that much danger. So. How easy do you want to make this? I can tell you right now the Captain is not going to allow any sale.]"
"[I would reply that it's not up to her, is it? I think the Matriarchs' opinions would carry greater weight in this case. In any case, just know that I know that you're here and that I'm watching you. I'll be in contact soon to set up the sale. Do you still have that Galnet node of mine?]"
"{Of course. It's evidence.}"
She grinned wide. "[Of course. You police must always play by the rules, eh? I'm rather surprised you don't try to tackle me right here and now.]"
Ngralh tapped the side of his nose. "{It wouldn't do any good. I smell nothing but these four bozos, which tells me I'm talking to a hard-light hologram.}"
The Silken Feather bowed her head. "[Excellent, it's always a pleasure to deal with competent adversaries. I bid you a good day, sir.]"
The green-and-yellow Karnakian vanished, leaving a small metal sphere hovering in the alleyway. The drone fizzed while its internals fried, then fell to the ground with a small thud.
Ngralh blew out a breath that any onlooker would have taken as one of frustration. But then he smiled and touched his ear. "{Egwreh, Myyreh, you're up.}"
___________
The Silken Feather maneuvered down a neighboring alley, looking behind her constantly. It had been a risk to expose herself, but the chance to show these silly police that she was on top of things was too delicious to pass up. The following negotiations would have to be done with great delicacy; she had to conceal the fact that she no longer had the Claw, while keeping in reserve her knowledge of Sssnnathor's covert activities. The latter should act as insurance in the case that she wasn't able to retrieve the Claw.
And she would retrieve that which she'd rightfully stolen. Sssnnathor was not omnipotent, and her audacity would act as a shield. The aged fool would never imagine that she'd be bold enough to try breaking into his main palace. As her mind whirled, she peered around the corner and scanned her surroundings on instinct. She saw nothing, and so she continued on her way.
The Silken Feather trotted along while plotting and was still feeling quite pleased with herself when Myrreh-of-Relgreh's fist came out of thin air and connected solidly with her jaw.
___________
The Silken Feather came to and almost on reflex reached out mentally with her implant to trigger the protective mode of her clothing. All she received was the lurch of an unsuccessful connection, which then made her realize she wasn't wearing her own clothes anymore. All she had was a simple shift made of plain fabric to protect her modesty. Locked tight around her feathered body was a cage of hard-light which allowed her to breathe comfortably...and that was about it for any movement she could perform.
As the Silken Feather blinked and shook her snout, a warbling voice intruded into her aching head.
"[Ah, you're finally awake! Sorry about taking liberties with your person, but you had way too many little goodies hidden in your clothes. We couldn't let you keep them.]"
The voice came from a small figure standing in front of her. Behind that alien was a much bigger form that she recognized as Captain Rgrarshok. The huge Dorarizin stood with folded arms and a steady, unblinking expression that was somehow more fearsome than a snarl.
The Silken Feather focused all four eyes on the small alien in front of her. It was the first time she'd laid eyes on a [human], and for a moment she stared in wonder. As all the reports said, the little-needs-protecting had a soul filled with starlight, almost like a hatchling's but much more complex.
Then her discipline reasserted itself as she took quick stock of her surroundings. She was pinned in the middle of what looked like a hangar deck of some sort. That meant she was in space and surrounded by enemies. Not to mention tied up and completely unarmed. It was a bad situation, but she'd been in worse. The most important thing for now was to appear as if she'd given up.
The Silken Feather smiled ruefully. "|I congratulate you on your plan. It was masterfully done.|"
The [human] shrugged. "[We got lucky. We didn't know if you'd realize that we were the Senate team, but we had [Ngralh] followed just in case you followed him. You didn't just follow, you actually made contact. [Ngralh] sends his regards, by the way, and thanks you again for your help.]"
The thief slumped in her bonds. "|It was my pleasure.|" She stared up at the Captain. "|Shall we make a deal, or are you just going to skip right to the torturing?|"
Rgrarshok grinned. "[Your interrogation will begin now. Go ahead, [Oscar].]"
The computer-generated cage around The Silken Feather shifted, moving her arms apart and exposing more of her keeled chest. She felt a moment of panic as the [human] wobbled towards her. Was he going to pull out a knife and start cutting on her?
The Silken Feather's shift didn't quite cover the front fluff of her chest, and as he reached her [Oscar] pushed aside some of the fabric to expose more feathers. The somewhat intimate act shocked her. She'd heard that [humans] would mate with just about anything, but surely he wouldn't resort to...that against her will?
Without a word, [Oscar] smashed himself face-first into her fluff like a nestling seeking warmth. The sensation created an automatic maternal response in The Silken Feather, causing her feathers to expand out.
"[Where's the Claw?]" asked Rgrarshok.
The thief tried to focus, but it was hard with a soft and warm little sapient doing his best to make a bed out of her chest fluff. "|Eh? Oh, that old thing? Who knows? Maybe I know, maybe I don't. You'll have to...oh...make it worth my while to...care...|"
"[Ah, you're expecting to make a deal with us?]"
The Silken Feather tried to focus, but [Oscar] was still squirming around against her chest. Her bound arms twitched...she wanted to hold the little alien in the worst way...
"|Wouldn't you, in my situation?|" she responded. "|After all, the [Claw's] location is the only bargaining chip I have right now. You must be mad if you think I'll give that up without at least an offer of amnesty.|"
{Oscar] let out a little warbling hum and reached out with both tiny hands to get a good grip on her chest fluff.
The act almost made The Silken Feather miss the Captain's next statement. "[And you must be mad if you think we'll let you go without having the Claw safe in our possession.]"
Any further strategy fled right out of her head. What was wrong with her? She was a ghost, a free soul, she was afraid of no one and wanted nothing more than lots of covert bank accounts stuffed full of credits. Now all that she could think of was the need to grasp this little being close to her, to build a nest and keep him safe and warm. The feeling was worse than any pain or injury.
"|I...well, that is...|" She shook herself and glared up at Rgrarshok. "|I have rights under Senate law! This treatment can't be legal!|"
Rgrarshok unsheathed a claw and held it up to her face. She inspected it closely as she spoke. "[What would you have to complain about? True, we have you bound at the moment but that is merely for our protection. Are we mistreating you in any way?]"
"|You know damn well what I mean...erg...can you tell him to stop squirming?|"
"[Tell him yourself.]"
The Silken Feather looked down at the little creature moving against her. "|I know what you're trying to do. It won't work.|"
"[What do you mean?]" asked [Oscar]. "[I'm tired and need a nap.]"
"|I just...please...|"
Rgrarshok chuckled. "[You know, if you wish to claim rights as a Senate citizen you'll need to tell us who you really are. It seems you've done quite an admirable job in throwing us off of your true scent.]"
The Silken Feather gritted her teeth. "|I will never tell you!|"
Rgrarshok waved her hand in a 'there it is' gesture. "[Then I guess you'll have to put up with [human] interaction. [Oscar], give me a call when you wake up and we'll continue.]" She started to lope away, only to be stopped by the Silken Feather's plea.
"|Please, no. I'll propose a deal. You release me and then I'll tell you where the Claw is.|"
"[You tell us where the Claw is and then we'll release you,]" replied the Captain.
The Silken Feather shook her crest. "|No. You can put an implant in me to track me if you like, but I won't tell you a thing until I'm out of your custody.|" She knew she was technically savvy enough to defeat any possible tracking they'd put in her, since they'd certainly try to capture her again after finding out the Claw was now in Sssnnathor's possession. After her release, she could then steal the Claw back from Sssnnathor as she'd planned. True, having the Senate team breathing on her tail would put a bit of a time constraint on things, but she was capable enough to pull it off.
[Oscar] abruptly let go of her floof and wobbled away back towards the Captain. "[She doesn't have the Claw. Not anymore.]"
Rgrarshok stroked a thoughtful claw along her chin. "[Agreed. She gave in far too easily.]"
"|What nonsense is this? Of course I have it! Not on me, obviously, but I have it stashed in a very safe location! One that you'll never discover unless I tell you. Release me and you can go get it yourself.|"
The pair of peace officers stared back at The Silken Feather for a moment.
"[If she'd sold it to [Sssnnathor], she would've been long gone with her money,]" said [Oscar].
"[True,]" replied Rgrarshok. "[So he must have found out somehow that she was here. The fact that she's alive means that he didn't get his claws on her directly. However he found out, the Claw is now in his custody.]" Her purple eyes stared steadily at The Silken Feather. [Isn't that right?]"
"|I'm not saying anything further,|" replied The Silken Feather. "|You may as well go ahead and torture me. Or whatever that was your [human] was doing.|"
[Oscar] gasped in mock horror. "[Me? Torture? No, I wouldn't dream of harming a single feather on your crest. But there are a few [Karnakians] on board whom you've wronged either directly or indirectly. I'm sure they'd be eager to...discuss...their grievances with you at great length.]"
"[Or we could just leave her tied up somewhere on the planet,]" said Rgarshok. "[Perhaps we should drop an anonymous note to [Sssnnathor] telling her where she is? Only in the interest of making sure she doesn't come to harm, of course.]"
"[Of course!]" said [Oscar].
The Silken Feather sagged once more, this time in real defeat. She had but one bit of leverage left to play. "|We can still make a deal for my release,|" she said.
"[With what information?]" asked Rgrarshok. "[If [Sssnnathor] has the Claw I'm sure you have no idea where he's hidden it. That's something we'll have to figure out.]" The Captain sighed. "[I'll bet this party of his is for showing off the Claw.]"
"[I'm not taking that bet,]" said [Oscar].
The thief shook her crest. "|I'm not talking about the Claw's location. I'm talking about [Sssnnathor] himself. He's up to something. Whatever it is involving cloning.|"
Rgrarshok placed a paw over her eyes. "[Of course he is. By the First Pack, I need a vacation.]"
submitted by Frank_Leroux to HFY [link] [comments]

Vancouver Abraham vortex group meets on the dance floor to a live band!

we stopped attending the Vancouver law of attraction Abraham Hicks Meetup group after hearing Abraham's words saying that, words don't teach. Now just following the Abraham tenet to just hang out with fun fun fun people who are loud. Yes, those are the exact words of Esther in one of the YouTube videos, I think the one that is titled, be irresponsible, on YouTube. So, we've evolved our high flying disc vortex group to get happy at the starlite casino's redbar lounge's live band dance floor in New Westminster, BC, metro Vancouver, Canada. It's free to attend that dance venue. how to find us? You'll see that we are dancing with lots of energy, and lots of fun, in the middle or on the right side of the dance floor, usually. Very easy to spot the group, because we're the ones who are the most energetic, have the biggest smiles, and you'll see that we are the happiest people there. So this is usually on Friday and or Saturday nights. Alternatively, we may be at the Grand Villa casino or the hard Rock casino in Coquitlam. The grand villa casino is in Burnaby, metro Vancouver. Should be stressed that we do not gamble. None of us gamble, except for 1 person who still it's aligned with the slot machines, LOL. In my opinion, smart people don't gamble. I go there only because the best cover bands play at starlight. The redbar lounge has no cover charge. There are free shuttle buses from Vancouver SkyTrain stations.
submitted by robertjose_ireadit to AbrahamHicks [link] [comments]

Ideas for zones and bosses

South Valley - This area is Green Hill Zone and Wood Zone merged with the outskirts of a nearby city. It references Knothole from SatAM and the Archie Comics.
Knothole Acres - This zone would be a mix between Green Hill Zone, Wood Zone and City Escape. The zone would have waterfalls, a lake filled with trees, and buildings in the background. It's basically a part of Green Hill Zone that fused with Wood Zone that's practically empty turned into a small city. Act 1 would have Sonic be able to jump on cars, bounce on power lines, zipline across buildings and go into the sewers which would look like Act 2 from the 8 bit version of Green Hill. The Act Two or later half would take influence from Emerald Coast from Sonic Adventure, Neo Green Hill from Sonic Advance and Bridge Zone from the Master System version of Sonic 1 as it would add a lake setting as it goes into a lake area with both tropical and mountainous themes as there are lots of sand with falling bridges, trees that were in the water as platforms, and an area where you get chased by a giant Chopper that destroys parts the bridge through jumping through it. Enemies for example would be Jumping and flight based variations of the motobug, a version of the slicer enemies that just walk around with an arm cannon, and bike riding turtloids. The name is an obvious reference to Knothole from Sonic SatAM. A theme for this could be Classic Sonic’s part of Green Hill from Sonic Forces in the style of Green Hill Act 1 in Mania
Boss - Egg Dragon - The Egg Dragon would go around the stage shooting out fire. It would be best to attack after it's done breathing fire. After being hit 6 times it will dive underwater and then rise charging a giant fire attack. It will have to cool off leaving it open to attack. It takes 8 hits to kill.
Woodland Resort - This stage takes place near a hotel that’s under a bunch of giant trees. It first starts off in a part of the resort with chairs and umbrellas for guests to relax in and then goes into the parts of the resort that are under the trees. You can destroy chairs, umbrellas, and tables just like in Emerald Coast from Sonic Adventure. There would also be tree’s that like the ones in Great Turquoise would have springs inside which usually can bounce the player. Enemies here would be Mantis that flutter jump, Orbinauts that throw their spikeballs in an arc, velociraptor like robots that jump randomly. The second act would take place on the rooftops of the hotel starting with Sonic and Tails going into an elevator with Knuckles going into a separate elevator. You would traverse trees and buildings as you fight badniks that consist of a rhinoceros beetle that jumps and then charges to where it saw you, newtrons that lunge at you, Woodrows, Owl variants of the vultron enemies from Mirage Saloon, and Poh-Bees that blast you similar to the Buzz Bomber.
Boss - Heavy King - The Heavy King has returns as he has his staff do some elements attacks, fire balls that bounce across the ground, a leaf that acts as a slow moving dart, water pillars that slow you down so you have a harder time dodging his attacks, electric blasts and even chunks of dirt that act as platforms. He takes 8 hits to defeat him as he escapes.
Crystal Highway - This zone takes place on an underground highway filled with crystals. The zone has two routes. A lower route that is a mine that is used to dig up crystals and upper part being the highway itself. Some crystals act like spikes in the lower part and you have the trouble of dealing with vehicular based baddies on the upper part and miner based enemies on the lower part. The first act would put an emphasis on the highway part while the second act would have more emphasis on the underground parts. The second half would have both lava and water as you would have to pull switches to dump water on the lava so you can progress. The enemies in this stage would be a robot cat bus, a robot biker that looks like a mix between a demon and angel, Egg Robo's that text while driving little karts, mine carts that throw rocks, miners that throw pickaxes like Hammer Bros, and fake diamonds that chase you. There would also be drawbridges that can act as a ramp to jump over, sewage pipes that dump waste into lava that have to be dodged. The highway itself goes second fiddle for a while until a bossfight that would be a nod to Sonic Advance 2's boss battles.
Boss - Egg Mobile D 2.0 - The now once useless invention has returned with a vengeance. As Eggman has added a missle launcher that shoots homing missles similar to the Heavy Gunner Fight in Sonic Mania. After taking 6 hits the Egg Mobile D puts up a shield that can only be broken after being hit by a few missles that you can send back at him. It takes 4 hits to break the shield with the missles which after each hit Eggman releases a bunch of missles that you can't send back and have to be dodged. After breaking the shield you finish off the now vulberable ride and move on to the next zone.
New Mobotropolis - A mostly city themed area. It was named this way because the old Mobotropolis was destroyed by Eggman's forces in Sonic 2 off screen which the Metropolis Zone in that game was built over. The name is from the area from the Archie comics.
Sandy Sewers - This dry canyon has a sewer system in it as it houses an open sewer where you must deal with the returning enemies from Mirage Saloon, Mystic Cave and Sandopolis. Consisting of Roller mk.11, Rattlekillers, Running variants of Splats, Cactula, Skorp, and Crawltons that act similar to the Piranha Plant enemies from Mario. In the sewerwater for both zones there are Mashers that jump from the sewer water, Sandworms, and swimming variants of the scrapped Gator enemy from Sonic 2. After traversing through the canyon, Sonic and friends enter an underground part of the sewer thus going into the second act of the zone. It is the typical sewer level as you must traverse through the stinky sewer. You must deal with Bat Brains, Grabbers, variants of the Grabbers that dispense bombs, Spinies, Spiders that move around on the ceiling and floor jumping onto each, rats that increase speed upon sight of you, and Egg Robos dressed as plumbers that jump around. A possible theme for this zone would be a remix of Labrynth zone from the Master System version of Sonic 1.
Boss - Egg Mutant - This invention of Eggman takes the form of a rat and alligator fusion. Each hit brings out a bubble as the fight is underwater. It would attack by charging at you from above as hitting the floor causes debris to fall out. It takes 8 hits to beat.
Production Playground - This zone as a whole would be an amalgamation of Carnival Night Zone, Casino Night Zone, Studiopolis, and Twinkle Park. The first act would be mixing some elements of Carnival Night and Casino Night Zone. It would have the slot machines, pinball flippers and bumpers. The barrels from Carnival Night will return albeit with some being used to go down to another part similar to the barrels in Mirage Saloon, others being already moving platforms that spin you around, and the ones you manually control being better explained. It would also feature slot machine sets from Casinopolis in Sonic Adventure that when jumped on will dispense rings. There would be a section that's a callback to Sonic 1's special stages. The second half that mixes Twinkle Park and Studiopolis would feature roller coasters that you can jump off of, teacup rides that would launch Sonic across, UFO platforms, parts of an animitronic dragon, water slides, bouncy boomboxes and rings of fire. Enemies would be robot clowns, roller coaster like snakes, camera's with arms and legs that shock you when they snap a photo of you, small mini UFO's, a robot cartoon bear with a hat for examples.
Boss - Heavy Magician - The Hard Boiled Heavies return as Heavy Magician goes after you first. She now has a slot machine in the background as the machine she's linked up to determines who she'll become. She takes 8 hits to defeat her
Starry Streets - Similar to Starlight Zone and Stardust Speedway this zone takes place during the night. In this zone, Sonic must deal with cars from the background that will hurt him if he touches the sides. The upper routes are on the roof top of buildings. Like Starlight Zone the top is on the upper level of the act in the first Act. In the Second act, you must go through a closed off portion of a highway that has been damaged by Eggman and his forces. It takes influence from Speed Highway from Sonic Adventure. The higher part is the closed off highway while the lower part is an abandoned ghetto that was home to many mobsters who were driven out by Eggman. The lower part has an influence from Spring Yard as the destruction of the mafia’s hood has created holes as Sonic can gain momentum in by rolling, tunnels that were most likely made by mobsters to escape. The upper part contains corkscrew loops and shuttle loops that go down. Enemies include Mini Helecopters, Small Silver Sonics from 8 bit Sonic 2, bus variants of Catakillers, Mobster variants of Shellcrackers that shoot at the player.
Boss - Heavy Mobster - This black clad Egg Robo summons forth badniks to attack the player. The player goes through 2 waves. The first wave consists of 4 Egg Robos and 2 Silver Sonics. Wave 2 has you deal with 3 of the Mobster Shellcrackers and 3 mini helecopters, Wave 3 has you deal with Heavy Mobster himself as he shoots you with a rifile, shotgun, or pistol all while riding the Marvelous Queen, apparently stealing it from Fang. The mobster takes 6 hits to get him to retreat. When you empty the Animal Capsule, Fang himself exits alongside the animals trapped in there.
Westside Outskirts - Basically the half of Westside Island. It has some areas that Sonic and Tails never explored in Sonic 2. Though what remains of Scrap Brain is located there.
Volcanic Tundra - A mix between the ice and volcano level. It takes place in a forest near a volcano with lava flowing by that has been frozen over by Eggman and many other ice badniks. The first act would take place in a forest with you having to deal with ice physics and the lava. Lava will rise up and down in a pillar like fashion similar to Lava Reef zone. Enemies include hockey playing badniks that throw giant pucks, snow shoveling robots that can use their shovel to burn you with lava, ice variations of the bomb badnik from Sonic 1 that freeze you. The second act is in the frozen insides of the volcano. There would be icicles that act as temporary platforms as they melt in the lava, there will be variations of the Chopper enemies that rise out of the lava and shoot fire balls, Motobugs that leave behind fire when they explode, and ice variations of the Rexons from Hill Top Zone.
Boss - Egg Lava Plow - A modified snow plow made to also go in lava. It starts plowing through snow as it shoots an ice attack. It will sometimes throw the snow at Sonic and friends to bury them as to hinder them. After 4 hits it suddenly starts to slam into the ground causing it and Sonic to fall down into a pit of lava filled with slow melting ice platforms. It will now shoot another ice attack that is similar to the blasts seen in the final boss of Sonic 1. The player must jump between ice platforms as so not to fall in the lava. This boss takes 12 hits to do it in.
Artillery Isle - This level is a beach level and has mix of a fortress theme. Eggman has taken over the beach as he as put up a fortress fill with badniks and many other traps. The first part would have rising water, bridges that fall off, palm tree’s you must knock over to break walls, laser turrets, underwater sections and platforms that are in the form of water spouts. The badniks in this zone consist of a jetski variant of the Motobugs, underwater dwelling Crabmeats that jump high into the water shooting a blast at you, Octus that jump from the ceiling to floor, Aquis that instead of shooting at you charge towards you, and robot sharks that jump out of the water to shoot at you. The second part involves you storming the fortress as you encounter the long scrapped enemy gator as it drools gasses that drain your rings, Asterons that leave behind toxic bubbles which take away 10 rings, Plezzies, a plesiosaur enemy similar to the Rexons that can electrocute you when they activate their electric defense systems, and Blastinuts a monkey badnik that is a version of coconuts with a laser pistol.
Boss - Heavy Rider and Heavy Gunner - The two members of the Hard Boiled Heavies have decided to do a tag team. Heavy Rider's Motobug, Jimmy has taken the form of a Jetski. You would have to defeat them with 6 hits as Heavy Gunner shoots missiles as you try to deflect the fat blue ones since Heavy Rider's mace prevents you from hitting them.
Scrap Brain Ruins - The long abandoned Scrap Brain Zone is now taken by nature as it is full of plants that have long since consumed the former dystopia. It would have forest elements due to the plants overtaking the zone. The traps Eggman set up for Sonic when Sonic 1 first happened would be barely able to work with some exceptions. The ground, encased in plants and metal can have the plant bridges be burn by the Flame Shield. There are rusty sawblades that create new routes after falling onto a not so sturdy plant bridge. There's also a lower route that's based on Act 3 that has been buried in the piles of scrap. The second half would be be in the ruins of the lab as you can swing from vine to vine. Enemies in this stage would be hastily repaired versons of badniks with Motobugs with buzzbomber cannons, Slicers with the extendable arm of the Shellcracker, and Coconuts that throw caterkiller parts before lunging at you. A possible theme for this stage would be a remix of Scrap Brain Zone's theme from the Master System Sonic 1
Boss - Heavy Colossus - This new addition to the Hard Boiled Heavies is influenced by Donkey Kong, Juggernaut, and King Kong. It would go around the arena throwing big barrels, sawblades, badnik or a spike ball. Every two hits he does a stomp into the ground to make the arena smaller leaving out spikes for the player to land in. He also can grab you can either, slam you into the ground, swing you into the walls, or throw you into the bramble filled ceiling. This guy takes 10 hits to defeat.
What ideas do you have for zones?
submitted by MisterZygarde64 to SonicTheHedgehog [link] [comments]

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