literature

FW 3 Egg

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It was a little after midnight when Fahd saw the first lights of the port town. The storm still rocked the ship, and he feared the damage if they docked close by, so he anchored a distance away and sent a few men to shore in rowboats.

Denizen reached the shore first, leaped onto the beach before his boat had even touched the ground, and raced in search of a healer. He took the egg with him, and Fahd stayed behind to make arrangements for the two dying echidnas.

Whatever fortune had carried them out to port stayed with the iguana, for he met Kaly herself. "Kalyptos," Denizen said, holding the egg out for the platypus to see, "what is this?"

Kaly lifted one eyebrow. "It's an egg." She shook her head and walked back towards her hut.

"I can see that," he snarled. "But it can't be an egg—" But Kalyptos was getting farther away, and Denizen had to jog to catch up.

"You poor dear," she said, and laughed. "One of your ladies finally got fed up with you, didn't she? And left you to take care of her baby?"

Denizen shook his head. "It isn't mine. You know I don't dally around like that."

Kaly took one glance at his confused expression and stopped laughing. "You're serious? You really don't know what this is?"

"I thought we'd agreed it was an egg," he muttered. He sighed. "It came from a mammal."

"Ah, I see. And you're thinking mammals don't lay eggs?"

Denizen nodded.

They went inside the hut before Kaly turned to face the iguana. "Let me see that egg."

Denizen placed the egg in her arms and let her examine it.

"Echidna?" Kaly said after a few minutes.

Denizen blinked several times, then finally nodded. "How did you figure?"

"Because two kinds of mammals do lay eggs," she replied. "And this didn't come from a platypus." She set the egg down and stared at Denizen until he quavered. "Why don't you tell me how you got it?"

Denizen nodded. "In time."

"You'll not be leaving in this weather. We have time enough."

#

Denizen did not leave Kaly waiting long. He only stepped out to summon Fahd, then swiftly returned, the two dying echidnas towed on planks between them.

The sight had gained the interest of the town. Most waited outside in the weather; the wisest returned to the tavern to wait for the tale, but for a foolish few, their curiosity overcame their fear of the foreign healer, and under the pretense of helping, they followed the pirates inside her hut.

And, by unspoken agreement, Fahd and Denizen began to tell the healer a carefully edited tale about the event.

"And when the soldiers saw that they were losing, they turned on their own crew," Fahd finished the story. He did not mention the one merchant who had managed to surrender.

"My goodness!" one of the strangers, a female, olive-colored echidna exclaimed. "Did anyone survive?"

Denizen shook his head. "None but these two."

"And now the egg," Fahd added. He nodded towards the echidna male. "You have a similar look to you," he said to the olive female. "Is he your kinsman?"

She shook her head. "I am of Nocturnus blood, yes, but I've been traveling for some time. I don't know him." She continued to stare hard at the echidna male.

"Can you restore them?" Denizen asked the healer.

"Hard to say," she replied. "Their hearts beat, but their spirits have fled."

"But you can call them back," Denizen insisted. "You can tell us why he was so desperate to murder them."

"I am a healer," Kaly snapped, "not a necromancer. I cannot call the ghosts of the dead."

"Is it necromancy," Fahd asked, "if their hearts still beat?"

Kaly glanced at him and smiled.
The ship finally makes it through the worst of the storm and into (relatively) safe harbor.

Kaly's name (Kalyptos) is based on the word Eucalyptus. (Specifically, there is a species called Eucalyptus platypus. So try imagining her with that tree's colors.)
It probably would have worked better if she was a koala, but then she wouldn't have had nearly as much fun teasing Denizen about the egg. :D
Her name is not based on "Calypso" from Pirates of the Caribbean. A similarity which I recognized only after naming her. :roll:
Though apparently both names come from the same term.

That olive-furred female echidna looks suspiciously familiar.... :paranoid:

And maybe soon I'll stop having so many unnamed echidnas running around.
I thought I was done with that once the councilor offed the merchant captain, but my characters clearly have other ideas.

Anyway:
Kaly, Denizen, Fahd, the olive-furred female, and the egg, copyright to me.
Anonymous characters to the Powers That Be.
All others to Archie or Sega.

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