Carpathia III: Episode 3 - Prepare the Hippo

Rune Lake, New Berengaria, Adell's House

The sun shone down brightly as Adell carried a large cooler filled with ice and drinks from the front door of the townhouse towards a blue truck. The passenger door on the truck was open and the ambient noise of the car's stereo could be heard on the street.

Car radio: ...and that was "Not Strong Enough" by Apocalyptica. We'll be back with more classic metal hits in a moment, but first, we're going to head over to Linda for today's headlines. Thank you, Tom. Today is the 10th anniversary of the disappearance of Lord Lynx's two sons, Rhoskel Leonar, age 6 at the time, and Kagurain Leonar, age 4. No trace was ever found of either of the two boys after a massive, months-long search. The family issued no statement other than to say they would be spending the day with with their two daughters and 7-year-old son as a family. In other news, Equilibria Technologies announced development of their new Vulcan engine line for use in Carpathia's ambitious city ship project...

Artemis: Who's the idiot who bought this thing anyway?

Adell dropped the cooler he was carrying, spilling ice and soda cans all over the sidewalk.

Adell: Jeez, Artemis. Don't sneak up on me like that.

Adell knelt on the ground, scooping ice and soda cans back into the cooler. He was relieved that none of the cans burst, though he was going to have to add ice again, since many of the cubes skittered onto the street and were already being run over by passing cars.

Adell: What "thing" are you talking about?

Artemis pointed at the large, blue truck parked on the sidewalk.

Artemis: That thing!

Adell looked over at the blue truck.

Adell: That? That's my stepmom's Hippobrontohummer. She took the bus to work so that we could use it today.

Artemis looked utterly scandalized at the thought.

Artemis: We're going in... that horrible thing?

Adell raised an eyebrow in puzzlement at Artemis.

Adell: What's wrong with it?

Artemis: It's so... so... inefficient! It uses too much energy! It has an internal combustion engine! It's an insult to engineering! Why not just go all out and get a horse and buggy?

Adell rolled his eyes as he put the last soda can in the cooler.

Adell: Mom's car is too small and it's the only thing between any of us that will hold all six of us, so get over it. Seven, even, if Kaoru happens to have yet another dingy girlfriend.

As though on cue, Kaoru came down the sidewalk towards them, waving and carrying a large paper bag.

Kaoru: Hi! I brought chips to take with us.

Adell: Hi Kaoru. No dingy girlfriend this time?

Kaoru: Hi Adell. No bondage slave boyfriend this time?

Adell: Touchè.

Adell looked at Artemis and just noticed his seemingly overstuffed backpack.

Adell: You both can toss your bags in the Hippo, if you want. Thanks for the chips, by the way.

Kaoru: No problem. My parents are gone, again, to another resort. I figured I ought to just go ahead and pillage the snack cabinet.

Adell: Again? I've lost count of how many times they've left you by yourself.

Kaoru: Eh, screw them. I don't need them anymore. I'm going to college soon and I won't have to worry about that anymore.

Kaoru tossed his bag into the truck, but Artemis suddenly clutched his tightly as though someone might steal it at any moment.

Artemis: I don't think so. This has sensitive work I'm showing to the Robotics Department!

Adell: Alright, alright. Do what you want then. No reason to get your thong in a twist.

Artemis gasped and nearly dropped his bag.

Artemis: How did you know about that?!?

Adell: You might want to hike your pants up.

Artemis suddenly twisted around, trying to see his own backside. Failing at that, he grabbed the back of his pants and yanked them up.

The three of them turned their attention to the roof of the truck when they heard a thud coming from that direction. They turned just in time to see Ryuu folding his wings along his back.

Ryuu: Howdy!

Artemis looked at Ryuu in disbelief.

Artemis: Wait, that thing is going with us?

Ryuu: Who are you calling "thing?"

Kaoru: Why shouldn't he? He can get himself a degree like anyone else.

Adell: Good way for him to get to know the culture too. He only immigrated a few months ago. Besides, I thought you liked him.

Artemis: Hmph. I did, but he won't let me run experiments on him.

Adell: That only proves he's smart.

Ryuu: So, when are we leaving?

Adell: Just as soon as...

Adell saw Jaze and Toma coming towards them before he had a chance to finish his sentence.

Kaoru: And there they are.

As they approached, Jaze held up his camera with one hand while drinking from a Carpathia's Best coffee cup with the other.

Jaze: Ryuu, you're just too cute!

Ryuu leapt into the air and flew towards Jaze as he stuffed his camera into his sock. He landed on Jaze's shoulder and curled up around his neck.

Ryuu: Hi Jaze!

Kaoru: Honestly, Ryuu... Why do you let him treat you like a dog?

Ryuu nuzzled the underside of Jaze's chin as Jaze scratched his back.

Ryuu: Hey, if this is a dog's life, then I'll take it!

Adell: Can't argue with that, Kaoru.

Artemis: Considering your chain and collar-loving boyfriends recently, neither can they.

Toma: Chains and collars? Reminds me of home.

Jaze: Don't get any ideas, Toma. I'm in deep enough as it is.

Adell: What does that mean?

Jaze: Er... nothing. Let's just go.

Adell shrugged and motioned for them to get into the truck.

To be continued...

Commissioned art in this episode from:
Atomic Clover

All city pictures from SimCity 4

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