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PMDU Geoda Tasks - Team Selective Memory, Pt.2/2

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Part 2: The Princess

“Excuse me, miss,” the Mienshao said in a smooth baritone, “but it seems to me that you are extremely perturbed – unless you are tearing spikes off that cactus for your own good.”

Gail paused in her yanking of the cactus’ spikes, giving the Mienshao a sideways glance. “I would step back if I were you, ‘sir’ – before I’m tempted to tear more than just spikes.”

The mustached weasel smirked. “Charming, though I sense your mean-spiritedness doesn’t quite reach your heart… Is there something I can do to help?”

“Not unless you can get us to Geoda City… or perhaps replace those fool leaders of ours that dragged us out here to the middle of nowhere without a plan.”

“Alas, I can do neither” – his mouth twisted further – “and I’m afraid I have my own problems to deal with.”

“Shame. Wish I could help.”

“Oh, but you can!” The Mienshao flourished an arm as he crossed it over his chest, bowing slightly to Gail. “My name is Reuben. I am sure you have heard of me; I am quite wealthy and possess much power in Andalusst.”

“I’m sure you do,” Gail replied with an eye roll. But she fully stopped messing with the cactus, instead giving her full attention to Reuben. “How exactly could I help you with your problem?”

“Well, I must confess, I too am annoyed by how these so-called ‘leaders’ run their guilds. To think that I, a business-‘mon of affluence and prestige, would be forced to slumber in a tent, lying on the cold ground while that Researcher couple gets the grand suite in the saloon!”

The Floette arched a brow. “What’s your point?”

“I deserve niceties!” Reuben sucked in a deep breath, calming himself. “What I mean to say is, I would like to get what I want – and that is the room at the top of this unnaturally-tall cactus building. Would you be interested in assisting me?”

Reuben edged closer to Gail, their gazes locking. “I can understand if you feel a bit… reluctant… but I assure you that you will be handsomely rewarded. And truly, I can see that you, like me, are used to the finer things in life… So, miss, do we have a deal?”

She stared hard at Reuben, thinking… then reached a hand towards him. “Sure. And the name’s–”


“Gail?!” Spades gasped. “What you doing to that book?!”

“I’m going to write some notes in the margins,” Gail said. “They’re Researchers, right? Researchers do that. Mind getting me a pen? Must’ve dropped it on my way through the window.”

The Aerodactyl didn’t move an inch. “That’s mean! Why you do this?”

“Reuben’s rich. He deserves to live in style, unlike those nerdy lovebirds.” She huffed, rising from the book and bobbing towards a nearby end table. “Fine, I’ll get the pen my – hey!”

Spades suddenly lunged, snagging the stem of her flower in his jaws. “No! Reuben a jerk!”

Gail took a hard breath, trying to unclench her heart. “Let go, servant–”

You no jerk!” he whimpered.

“I’m warning you–” she growled.

“Don’t act like one!”

“But I AM, Spades!! And I DESERVE to be HAPPY!!”

Silence filled the empty air. Spades slowly released Gail’s flower, pulling away from her wide-eyed. “You no happy?” he echoed sympathetically.

“He,” Gail said softly. “He deserves to be happy, not… me.”

Without noticing, the fairy fell to the ground, sitting limply on the tiled floor, her flower lying at her side. Spades scooted as close as he dared, looking at her with sad curiosity, waiting for her to break the quiet.

Confident that his leader was not the jerk she claimed she was.

“I’m sorry,” Gail abruptly said, head lowered enough to hide her tears. “I d-don’t know what came over me.”

“You hide things. When you hide, it can hurt your heart.” Spades dropped his head to be even with Gail’s, nudging her forehead gently. “No more hiding. Show me.”

The Floette laughed bitterly, rubbing an upper arm across her face. “You can be pretty smart when you want to be, serv – I mean, Spades… Alright, I guess you deserve an explanation. Truth is, I’m not a famous bounty hunter.”

Spades tilted his head in wonder. “You tell fish-king the truth. You are a princess.”

“I have more in common with Reuben than I care to admit… Yeah, I’m a princess of a kingdom of fairies, like I told Wussy.” Gail squared her shoulders, folding her flower onto her lap. “I was the heir to the throne, on top of the world – until I was banished by the queen and replaced by one of my sisters.”

“Your mom,” Spades gasped. “What happened?”

The Floette squirmed, gaze averting to the petals on her flower. “Something bad. Horrible, actually… Let’s just say I made some mistakes and I paid for them with my inheritance.”

Spades nodded; better to not pressure her until she was ready. “When can you go back?”

“I can’t – that’s how banishment works,” snorted Gail. “Mom’s last words to me were, ‘You’ll never be a leader like me’… and I aim to prove her wrong.”

Understanding dawned in Spades’ mind. “That’s why you want me to join guild with you – to be a leader!”

“And rub it in my mother’s smug face, yes.” Gail winced, mouth straightening nervously. “That sounds jerky, doesn’t it?”

Spades shrugged aimlessly. “She no sound nice. Maybe she deserve it a little?”

“Yeah, maybe…” Gail sighed, kneading the corners of her eyes tiredly. “Listen, I probably don’t need to say this, but you can’t say anything about this to anyone. Don’t need the leaders breathing down my neck about my royal lineage.”

He pressed a claw against his lips, “zipping them.”

“Alright, good. Gosh, I’m exhausted and feeling really stupid for listening to that dumb weasel; can we just go?”

“Not until puppet ghost gets back.”

“Okay, then let’s… wait outside, I guess.”

Spades waited until Gail settled on her position atop his head before leaving the room and locking the door behind him. He and Gail waited outside the door, making small talk as if everything was as it should be: but Spades could sense the unspoken between them, a new feeling of anxious trust that could snap at the slightest hint of betrayal.

Good thing he had no intention of doing that to her.

“How goes it, Mr. Spades?” came Robin’s voice down the hall as he floated towards them. “Any intruders?”

“No one,” Spades said without hesitation. “Look, my leader joined me!”

“I see that.” The Banette hovered close, eyeing Gail intently. “Glad you could assist in our protection detail. I hear that you are famous all across Parai; apologies if the work is ‘below’ a bounty hunter of your caliber.”

To her credit, Gail held her poise in front of the Hunter’s Guild leader. “Work is work, sir. I will do all that I can to benefit our guild, you can be sure of that – right, servant?”

Spades nodded enthusiastically, and Robin’s posture loosened fractionally. “Well, that is reassuring. Take this reward and go; you’ve earned a rest before the trip tomorrow.”

He pressed a shiny red coin into Spades’ claw, and the Aerodactyl passed it to Gail who inspected the winking Furret face gracing the sides of the coin. A rush of power surged through her from the coin, bolstering her ego, and a sly grin attached to her mouth. What did she care if Spades knew she was a princess? He didn’t know everything – she was still in control – and damned if she were to give up now!

Underneath her, Spades ambled down the hall, taking the steps down to the ground floor. As they traveled, he lifted his gaze and whispered, “See? I keep promise. No one ever know.”

“That’s good,” she said under her breath. “Your loyalty does not go unnoticed, servant.”

“And no worry – I help you get home again, princess.”

Gail paused, fighting to keep her jaw from going slack. “T-Thank you,” she finally stammered. “Not sure you can help… but it’s the thought that counts.”

Spades smiled, tail swinging behind him. Oh, he was sure he could help – by being the best teammate he could be! After all, it was what she deserved.

END GEODA TASKS
For :iconpmdunity:

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Team Selective Memory (Hunters) completes Hunter Task #1 for Reuben completes the Hunter Task #2 for Robin, earning the Swindler's Coin.

Reuben and Robin © by PMDUnity

NOTE: Well, well, the truth -  most of it anyway - comes out. Gail is really Gail of the Western Wind, rightful heir to a kingdom that's been banished by her own mother! Someday we'll get to see this kingdom (as well as learn the full story of what happened), but that won't happen until we get to a setting that makes sense. In the meantime, onward to Geoda City!
Published:
© 2015 - 2020 Post-Lit
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