PMDU Team Crystal Paladins - Errand #1

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Literature Text


A One-Step Guide to Cleaning Up

Garret had never fancied himself an artist, but he truly wasn’t that bad.

The Kecleon dipped his tail into the bucket of blue paint beside him. Pausing to tap the tip on the side of the bucket, he lifted the makeshift brush and laid it on the wall in front of him. One curl, two curl, and he’d drawn a doggy bone.

“There, that is quite the improvement!” Garret said, stepping back to admire his handiwork.

Jasper sat behind him on an overturned trash can, leaning against the wall. “Oh yeah, nice job,” he grunted, eyeing the doodle of a cylinder with two pairs of spheres on either end. “No one will ever be able to tell what that used to be.”

“That is the point, yes?” The Kecleon picked up the paint bucket and moved towards the end of the alley. “Come on, Mr. Jasper, there is much more graffiti to clean.”

The Cacturne grumbled under his breath, taking his time rising to his feet before following his teammate into the street. He still couldn’t believe the kid had talked him into doing this; it wasn’t even for the leader of his guild! Yet here they were, busting their asses for that hat-wearing mud fish who ran the Explorers, scrubbing out graffiti and replacing it with something nice.

Well, Garret was busting: Jasper was… supervising.

As far as Jasper was concerned, the kid needed someone to keep an eye – hell, two eyes! – on him. Fool lizard had no head on his shoulders, just rushed from place to place without any sense of direction. He took one look at the errand board, saw the client was Luke, and was hooked, line and sinker, merrily heading off to help his fellow ‘mon.

The Explorers would really benefit from his enthusiasm.

Tough Poffins, he’s a Researcher,” thought Jasper gruffly, “and a Researcher he’ll stay until I’m through with ‘im!

Which would be… whenever he got what he was looking for.

“Ooh, here’s one!” Garret suddenly chirped, darting down another side street towards graffiti that boasted ARCHIE SMELLS. “Should I complete this one, Mr. Jasper?”

“Knock yourself out, kid,” Jasper replied, crossing his arms with a huff.

The silver lizard gave him a funny look. “I would not dream of doing such a thing…” He covered his tail in paint again, scrawling a blocky GREAT underneath the sentence. “Ah, a completed remark regarding the odor of Archimedes’ person; the original artist must have been interrupted before he could finish.”

Jasper honestly couldn’t reply to that. “Let’s go, Garret,” he snapped, swinging his arm in a windmill. “There’s more profanity for you to erase, and my knees are startin’ to lock up on me.”

Not waiting for Garret to catch up, Jasper made his way back towards the city center. Other Pokémon gave him a wide berth – perhaps his reputation preceded him – but the living cactus didn’t mind having plenty of space to trudge. He stubbornly plodded along, shoving one foot in front of the other, barely feeling the cheery sun’s warmth on his spiky skin as darkened thoughts overtook his concentration.

“Are you not feeling well, Mr. Jasper?”

He glanced sideways; Garret was at his side, peering up at him curiously. “What makes ya say that?”

Garret swung the paint bucket slightly, making a drop fly out and plop on the broken cobblestones under their feet. “You appear… occupied,” he said thoughtfully. “I wonder if it is something that I did to annoy you – or, maybe, you miss your family?”

Jasper froze. “H-How did ya–?!”

“I merely assumed.” The Kecleon’s tail curled tight as he frowned. “That was who you were going to visit when the fog took you, yes? Was it your children? Cousins?”

“Tread careful, Jasper; don’t tell him everything!” Out loud, Jasper cleared his throat and replied, “My wife.”

“Oh? You are separated?”

“For many years.”

“I am sorry to hear that… but you still meet?”

“Sure do. Go to see her almost every week.”

“That is very considerate of you! I hope to meet her as well, if you would not mind.”

Jasper took a deep, steadying breath, grinning as best as he could. “’Course ya can, kid: whenever we find a way to go home.”

The Kecleon gave a pleasant whistle, spotting another colorful sentence splattered on the side of a half-crushed home. “I will hold you to that, Mr. Jasper,” he hummed, preparing to paint over the words. “And I hope there are no hard feelings about my figuring out the source of your woe: I meant no disrespect.”

“None taken… but if you pry like that again, I will knock your block off.”

“What did you say?”

“Nothing, kid, nothing at all.” Jasper poked a hand into the paint can, slathering a bunch of the stuff over the artist’s signature. “Just thinking I should give ya a hand so we can finish this errand up quick.”

The Kecleon paused in his stroking, gazing at the name disappearing underneath blue paint. “Speaking of this errand, Mr. Jasper, I have been wondering what goes through these ‘mons’ minds when they create such works.”

Snickering, Jasper replied, “Nothing much, I promise ya. This guy was apparently thinking that – and I quote – ‘my girl is a dirty hoe’.”

“But I do not understand: why would he compare his ‘girl’ to a gardening tool?”

A beat passed. Then: “You don’t get out much, do ya kid?”
For :iconpmdunity:

A nice, short story covering my Researchers attempt to clean up Andalusst. I used it as a character study, kinda, sorta, and we've now officially figured out that Jasper is hiding something. And that Garret is insanely naive; wonder how long THAT will last? XD

Client: Luke
Errand no: #1
Date Issued: 14th April 2014
Date Due: 17th April 2014

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