Aramhethe

Plinker's Not Here To Make Friends

"Plinker” the Kenku can't communicate except through mimicry. But if he could tell the tale of his recent adventures, it might go something like this.

“Punchy! You're safe!” “Oh Punchy, we missed you so!” “I was ever so worried, Punchy!” “Let's make hatchlings together, Punchy!”

Vomiting.

Okay, not that last one. Not literally, anyway. But there were some definite hatchling aspirations going on behind Twanger's eyes when Punchy was vloomphed out by Strangebrain, along with a pile of pulsating brain snot. Hey, you know who else was recently eaten by a brambly, owlesque construct? Let's revisit how that scene played out.

“Oh, it's you, Plinker.” “Were you gone, Plinker?” “Having a little rest, eh, you lazy crow?” “I'm gonna take that dulcimer and knock the goddamn beak to the other side of your head if you don't get back to massaging my bunions THIS INSTANT!”

Truth, bruv.

Whatever. It doesn't matter, it doesn't hurt, I'm done with them. I'll just concentrate on myself from now on. The road to musical excellence is littered with jerks, or something. Nah, I'll be better than excellent even. I'll be something straight out of a story, all flashing blade and piercing eyes and “hahaha!” and “have at you!” With a joke and a song for all the pretty ladies. Twanger excluded. Then they'll see how much I don't need them. Friends, tch. Relic of an outmoded paradigm is what that is.

F U PUNCHY!!

Violent strumming punctuated by the flailing of a teenager at his drum kit, if the drums were made of the clashes and screams of battle. Gradually trails off.

You're right, Flowerfinger. I still have you, and you're all I need. You'll show me the way.

But anyway, we were still in these tunnels, which I guess were mines? This thing with a mouth instead of a head wanted purple stones to eat, so everyone was like, “Of course! Anything for you, Mr. Mouth-For-A-Head! We live to serve you, Mr. Mouth-Headed-Thing-We-Just-Met!” So on our way back to the statue which had purple stones in it, presumably, that's when Strangebrain eyesneezed Punchy and a pile of goo onto the floor, and Punchy was all like, “Mom!” to the pile of goo… which was kinda funny, to be honest, but I looked around and it didn't seem like anyone else was seeing the humour of the situation so I kept my beak shut. Then Strangebrain was all like, “whoops, faux pas, excusez-moi,” and vwrrszht! vanished. Didn't know he could do that. Kinda cool.

Whatsisface, the dude of formerly nebulous sex until he grew naked out of the ground (as one does) with his manhood fully on display, you know, the one with the shadowy unicorn thing going on… Nudicorn? Almost certainly not his real name. Anyway, he went down and pried some gems out of the statue and we gave them to Mr. So-What-If-I-Have-A-Mouth-For-A-Head-Take-A-Look-In-The-Mirror-Pal-Nobody's-Perfect and he gave us… a couple chalcedonies? And that's a good trade? I mean, I'm not a gem guy but even I know that amethysts are worth at least twice as much as chalcedonies. But whatever, none of my business, I'm not here to make friends.

Then, Wilhelm scream! Boulder trap! I thought Nudicorn was out front looking for traps and such but I guess he missed that one. Crkchh! Scaly got… hmm, that's not right cuz Sparky is scaly too and, to be honest, Sparky's scales are more impressive than Scaly's. Groveller, cuz of how he dealt with the big laughing lava balloon? Sure, that works. Anyway, Nudicorn nimbly dodged out of the way of the boulder but crkchh! Groveller got smooshed. Tough little guy though, bounced right back up. Kindred spirit.

Then we crossed a bridge over a pool and there was a watery looking lady in the pool looking all distressed because two of those little imp guys were playing catch with her shawl and everyone was like, “dum dee dum, none of our business, doop dee doo,” and kept right on trucking, and I was like, why am I even with you people?! First of all, obvious damsel in distress situation, and second, watery or not, she's still mostly naked! The only thing better than Badgeruboob is Nymphboob! Eventually they grew a communal heart and helped her out, when they realized that all they had to do was bash a couple wimpy imps. Slow clap. Real heroes. Real human beings.

She mentioned that some guy named, uh, Finnegan had a crush on her (understandable) and that we'd have to get through him to get out of the mines. So when we got into the next chamber Sparky started shouting, “Finnegan! Get yo' ass out here!” more or less, and holy crap it worked: a little dude with cloven hooves and cool dreads popped his face out of the wall. He seemed pretty chill so he and Sparky had a bit of a chinwag, the upshot of which was that Sparky gave him back this little purple-eyed statuette thing which, no idea how he got that, I guess I must've been smoking 'leaf at the time (the pouch is looking pretty bare… gotta get out of the Kneld, man), and they became besties. I did not mention how friendship is a relic of an outmoded paradigm, so as not to kill the mutually advantageous vibe.

But this little Finnegan dude's hair! It was luxuriant! I held Flowerfinger up so that it could get a shufti and it was like, “do you want hair like that?” and I was like, “do I?!” by which I meant, hells yeah! And then, lo, the Flowerfinger provideth, for out of the white patch of feathers at the back of my head (which I've always been kinda self-conscious of) bloomed a trailing mane of rainbow plumage the likes of which has ne'er been seen before. Dazzling the eye, charming the heart, and bewitching the mind. I gave my head a few shakes so I could get a better look at its glamorous grandeur – and to maybe attract some attention, if I'm being honest – but did anybody notice and say, “Wow, tempestuous feline passion, cool 'do!”? Hells no!

I swear, I could burst into flames and they'd be like, “Is it hot in here or is it just me?”

They got into a fight with the imp dude from before, the fiery one, while I was shaking my beautiful plumage and watching the reflected light dance on the walls, and then a boulder dude showed up and also didn't notice my scintillating mane, which was when I gave up and remembered, oh yeah, I've evolved beyond the need for friendship and admiration. Doesn't matter, I have Flowerfinger and Rainbowmane, and together we're gonna make me the best me I can be.

I was a bit slow to twig to the screams coming from behind us, so by the time I got back to the pool area, everyone else was already fighting the greeny-silvery metal dude, the one who didn't have a head before. He had a head now, and his fist made a HWOOO! noise as it pulverized the face of one of the little gnomey diggers. Punchy was acting pretty manic, dashing all over the place and dancing around the walking statue, even giving it a pimp slap which, respect. Hard to hold a grudge against Punchy for too long. Although probably best to maintain some distance, as he's been looking a little wild around the eyes ever since he got ah-aah-aCHOOOed.

I was like, I'll show these losers what I can do, not that I care what they think of me, I'm doing this for myself… and I shook my Rainbowmane as I dashed into a battle, summoning a cloud of daggers out of the ether to bedevil the metal fiend while simultaneously thrusting with my rapier, and it, at least, noticed me, for its eldritch hum fell silent as the point of my blade connected, and the life bled from its unnatural frame.

Rainbowmane flared behind me to form two hands which applauded my victory. There's no way the others could have failed to notice that, but they just ignored it. Sparky grabbed some mining tools and started bashing the thing's head off without even glancing in my direction. I was like, “SERIOUSLY?!” Must feel threatened cuz my feathers are as cool as his scales now. So petty.

Then we headed for the exit and turned a big slave wheel dealie (I only pretended to put my back into it cuz… you know) and a big gate opened and on the other side of it was a giant, like a GIANT, all hunched over in the tunnel and looking cranky. He seemed surprised to see us. “Who the fuck are you?” were his exact words.

I'm not gonna tell you who I am, giant guy, because you'll only get it wrong or call me Plinker anyway. All you need to know is that I am beautiful… but you don't even need to know that because who cares what you think.

High fives Rainbowmane, and Rainbowmane does one of those Z snappy things.

Team Amazing away!

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