Carpathia III: Episode 138: Pet Jaze
The villager holding Jaze's camera twisted his head from side to side, examining the device, as though he were a caveman suddenly expected to drive a car. With everyone getting antsy, awaiting their photo, Jaze sprinted from his position with the rest of them to the confused operator.
Jaze: Okay, one more time. All you have to do is make sure everyone is in this screen. Then, touch that button.
The villager hesitated before nodding his head and letting out a confused squeak. Hoping that was good enough, Jaze rejoined the others and waited. Mercifully, after a few seconds and a deep sigh from the photographer, the picture was finally taken and the group began to stir.
Jaze: Wait just a minute!
Jaze sprinted to the villager again, who eagerly handed over the camera, clearly glad to be rid of it. Jaze tapped a few buttons and found the photo, which was reasonable crisp and clean. Now certain, he waved to the others with a smile.
Jaze: It's fine!
Right away, the murmuring of the crowd began as everyone stood and stretched after holding their pose. Some came to see the picture, which Jaze happily showed on his camera screen. The last to come for a peek was Blue, freshly washed and shiny for the occasion.
Jaze: Hey, Blue. If I had a printer, I would make a copy for everyone to keep.
Blue tilted his head forward so that he could more easily bring his eye close to the screen. After a few moments, he turned away from the camera and back to Jaze.
Blue: A dragon's memory is as good as any photograph. Perhaps I shall learn to paint so that everyone can remember as well as I can.
Little by little, melancholy was beginning to overcome Jaze and the more time went on, the more difficult he found it to fight back tears.
Jaze: You're sure you won't come with us?
Blue slowly lowered himself to the ground until he was at a level where he could look Jaze in the eye without towering over him.
Blue: I am sure. The people here will benefit from my presence.
Jaze sniffled as a tear rolled down his cheek.
Jaze: We'll come back for you if we can.
Blue: I know you will. Jaze, I want you to know that in all of history, you are the first non-dragon known to take the full force of a demigod's mental intrusion and emerge victorious. Regardless of whatever setbacks you faced on that path, you should be proud of yourself.
Jaze sniffled again and did his best to force a smile.
Jaze: I had a lot of help, including yours.
Blue: As all heroes must. This does not negate your accomplishment, little one. It only strengthens it.
Blue slowly reached up with his massive claws and Jaze, trusting Blue implicitly, neither flinched nor tensed. Blue then gently applied his claws behind Jaze's ears and scratched. Jaze's ears fluttered mirthfully as his sniffles suddenly turned to giggles.
Jaze: Hee hee!
Seeming to delight in Jaze's giggles, Blue scratched more robustly, which cheered Jaze up even more.
Blue: A group of such ordinary people accomplishing something so very extraordinary. I'd have scarcely have believed it if it hadn't been shown to me from Ryuu's own mind.
Blue finished by mussing Jaze's hair playfully and then put his paw back on the ground. Jaze, overcome with both delight and sadness, plopped himself on Blue's nose and wrapped his arms around his head as well as he could.
Jaze: I'll miss you!
Jaze slid off Blue's nose and was then surprised by an arm that suddenly wrapped around his shoulder.
Toma: We should gather our stuff.
Jaze turned and saw not only Toma but his other friends gathered around.
Blue: All of you, take care of each other.
Jaze, however, wasn't quite ready to leave yet. There was still one more person he wanted to talk to first.
Jacob soon emerged and threw his arms around Jaze.
Jacob: Seems like ages ago that I carried you into the village. I never guessed things would turn out like this.
Jacob pulled back, still gripping Jaze's shoulders, and scoped him out from top to bottom.
Jacob: You're a lot stronger now.
Jaze: Thanks, Jaocb. You take care of yourself.
Jacob patted Jaze's shoulders heartily.
Jacob: That's what we do here.
Jaze took a deep breath, surveying the landscape before him, wondering if he'd ever see it again.
Jaze: Like you said, Toma, time to gather our stuff.
Once again, Jaze was interrupted, this time the nearby landing of a familiar face.
Keast: What's this about an adventure? Without me? Sacrilege!
Ryuu: We've been looking for you!
Keast sat on the ground and scratched his neck with his foot.
Keast: Oh, I know. I thought I'd play a little hide and seek, but then you stopped looking! That's no fun at all. I had to come find you!
Keast suddenly froze in mid scratch as though he had an epiphany.
Keast: I suppose that means you win, making me come find you. Good show.
Losing didn't seem to faze Keast, as he grinned mischievously.
Artemis: We're going to the big keyhole far to the south of here. Do you know it?
Keast's eyes widened.
Keast: I know enough not to go near it. Flying too close gets you sucked up into the big sky swirly. But hey, if you lot are crazy enough to go, then I'm in. When do we leave?
Adell: I'd say pack your stuff, but I guess you don't have any. We're leaving now.
Keast: That's the best time!
All city pictures from SimCity 4