^This artwork inspired by limepeaches.
Because her artwork is just so awesome.
//The Doctors' Laboratory//
You enter a dank and uninviting basement. The room is quite dark, lit only by dim flickerings of candlelight. The air is damp and musty, and your eyes dart quickly around this unkempt room. Walking down the stairs, you glance around nervously. Your eyes fix upon a Crokabek, siting high on a window sill. With a quick glare, the Crokabek shuffles uncomfortably, squawks, and then jumps through the broken window, taking flight and disappearing from view. Shrugging it off, you continue around the room. On the walls are clippings of newpapers, articles about some pharmacy company and the Meepit Oaks Sanitorium, as well as what seems to be letters of recommendation. You notice one article in particular and begin to read it. It is dated about six years ago.
Personnel File - Dr Charles Theorem began his illustrious medical career as an intern at the Neopian Central Hospital. There, for three years, he studied medicine and radiational therapy, developing a thesis involving the healing effects of combined radiation and electroshock treatment. However, when he submitted his thesis for review, the medical board rejected him, saying that his methods were too dangerous and inconclusive to begin proper testing on actual neopets.
Disheartened, he was then referred to the Meepit Oaks sanitorium and was employed as a medical scientist, where he not only administered proper treatments for the mentally ill patients, but continued to perfect his thesis on plantlife. Working alongside the likes of a promising young Dr. Valus, and under the supervision of Doctors Kirkblade and Heeler, This young Ixi seems to be a rising star in the development of medical technology, and rumors around Neovia suggest that Pharmedic Solutions, a well-known medicine company, is considering a grant to fund his research in hopes of creating a breakthrough in medical technology.
Curious, you look at some of the other articles pinned to the wall. Another in particular catches your eye, and it is dated several months after the previous article.
DANGEROUS NEOVIAN ON THE LOOSEYesterday evening Neovian police were unable to aprehend a dangerous criminal as he fled the scene of an assault. Police have been unable to find him and suspect that he has taken refuge amongst the streets of Neovia.
|At 8:30pm, Dr Valus of the Meepit Oaks Sanitorium visited the cell of mentally ill patient Ethan Gelert, to find that Dr Charles Theorem had undertaken, "Dangerous and cruel experimentation" on the poor inmate. Valus believed the assault was triggered by an act of vengeance upon that particular inmate.
."Charles had always been a good friend of mine. He would assist me in giving the inmates their daily medication, often injecting the solution into the patient's arm while I restrained them. Valus said. Last week, when giving Ethan Gelert his medication, Ethan broke free of my restraints and lunged at Charles, forcing him to the ground. Security took Ethan back to his cell, and I helped Charles up. He was a bit shaken, but apart from a few bruises, he seemed fine.".
Police stated that Theorem never filed an assault report for the inmate and assured his fellow doctors that the incident was all "Part of the job".
However, it seems that Theorem had been plotting some sort of revenge on this inmate since the incident last week. After Valus called the police yesterday, Theorem fled, leaving his medical equipment and papers behind in Ethan Gelert's cell. Amongst his strange equipment were plans, written documentation of when the patient would be left alone in his cell and a prescription to give the patient sedatives that day to make him calm and unable to withstand an attack. Police are sure this was a pre-meditated assault and are still on the lookout for the doctor.
."Theorem and I had always got along rather well. Valus stated. An attack like this seems so out of character for him, but I suppose he never really was the same since the attack last week. He had always treated his patients with such care and trust.".
Ethan Gelert was admitted to the sanitorium a year ago. Previously a thug arrested for burglary, assault and battery, as well as several other crimes, Police have admitted he has had a history of violence while at Meepit Oaks.
Gelert has been transferred to a medical hospital and nurses are monitoring his recovery. Police urge anyone with information about Theorem's whereabouts to come forward to the police. If he is sighted, it is most advisable to contact police immediately rather than make contact with him.
You are about to turn away, when a pink paper catches your eye.
Dear Mr Theorem,
Allow me to send my deepest regrets on your self termination from your medical residency at the Meepit Oaks Sanitorium, and conversely, my congratulations on your recent aquisition of a new address. I will see to it that what is left of the landlord is dealt with in a timely manner, and your posessions from your old apartment are moved to your new address without alerting the authorities.
I am also writing to extend an invitation to continue your research. I am aware of your theses, I have read your reports, and I beleive with some further study, it can be perfected.
With your recent departure from the Sanitorium, you now have the liberty of working solely on your own research, and should you need any funding or equipment, I am happy to offer them. You needn't worry about deadlines, feedback, or reports; as long as you are continuing your research, I shall provide you with the material resources you need without question. Enclosed with this letter is the address of a company that supplies medical equipment; If you talk solely with with the owner and mention my name, they shall provide whatever equipment you need. Also enclosed are the details of a National Neopian Bank Account, under a false name, for you to use for goods and services.
Of course, if you do not wish to continue the research you have spent most of your life on, I shall happily withdraw and destroy any evidence of this agreement.
You have the power to improve lives across Neopia, Mr Theorem. I simply want to help you.
Name: Dr. Charles Theorem (Thee-rem)
Age: late twenties/early thirties
Clothes:Torn medical vest with shirt. Brown winter scarf. small glasses. Red and black top hat. Pants.
Petpet: Archimedes, the Crokabek.
Owner: He lives in an apartment with Rose, but is financially supported by the mysterious Lady misty.
Personality: Pretentious, egotistic and cold.
Only leaves the apartment when devastatingly necessary.
Most of Neopia
Being proved wrong, or anything that suggests that someone is smarter/better than he is.
Nicking a major artery.
A green Ixi ran through the streets of Neovia one late afternoon, pushing through the crowds of people without hesitation. He did not have a destination in mind, but at the time he just needed to get away from it all. Dressed in a white doctors' coat, he did stand out from the otherwise sepia tones of the townsfolk, though most people were too busy to notice. His left hand held his top hat securely, while his right, as sweaty as the other, held steadfast to a crumpled letter.
Weaving through the people, at some point he collided with a plump skeith gentleman and fell to the ground. The other people standing by the skeith helped him up, and the Ixi too got to his feet. brushing himself off, the Ixi took a few dazed steps away from the pavement, towards the shop windows. Leaning against the window, he clenched the paper in his fist tighter still and took a few moments to catch his breath.Hey you!
came a voice, and a hand rested on his shoulder.
The Ixi nearly jumped out of his skin. spinning around and backing up against the window, he calmed himself when he realised it was only the skeith, who now wore a puzzled look on his face.I say there chap, are you alright? you took quite a fall there.
The green Ixi's eyes darted around to the several people who had stopped to watch him. Growing alarmed, he dismissed him. I-I'm fine.
he said, brushing the Skeiths' hand off quickly. Excuse me, I have to go.
Pushing through the crowds of people, he quickened his pace. walking down a few streets, the crowds began to lessen until he left the shops and there were only one or two people idling by. He was now in the outer streets, away from the main shops and marketplace. Turning into an alleyway, he leant up against the brick wall and slid down, breathing heavily. Sitting down, he uncrumpled the peice of paper and read over it again.
Dear Dr Theorem,
Here at Pharmedic solutions, we encourage new ideas and forward thinking in the field of medicine, but after reading your extremely documented thesis, we are disinclined to acquiesce your request for funding for your research.
After conversing with our medical residents, it was agreed that there appeared to be no proof in your data to suggest a correllation between using an apparatus such as your described 'ionisation ray' and the use of your created medicines. The data you have collected from plantlife seem to indicate unexpected results and appear to be more harmful than useful. We would not reccomend attempting such experiments on neopets as it would seem too dangerous.
Such methods would be unmarketable and as such, we will not be offering you the requested research grant at this time. We wish you all the best with your future endeavours.
He scowled and scrunched the paper up in his hand, throwing it several feet away. They didn't understand his research. They couldn't have. If they could just give him a chance to explain it, a chance to show
it! He almost had a breakthrough the other week until that unexpected explosion.
And for them to say that there was no proof of success! He had written several times that the biological structure of plantlife was too different from animals for him to garner any worthwhile results.
He rested his hand on his forehead. The accident at work today didn't help either. His back still ached something nasty, but he knew it was nothing but a bruise. Still, it was rare for patients to react so violently like that. Since the attack he had been rather jumpy all afternoon.
The Ixi sighed and rested his head in his arms, looking out down the alleyway. The graveyard was near here, which was probably why the streets were so deserted. In the distance he could see the wrought iron gates at it's border. Trash rolled casually down the dirt path, and in amongst some trash cans, he could see several Chezzooms looking for food. with a quick sqwawk, A crokabek flew down from one of the nearby trees and swooped down at them. The Chezzooms immediately ran in amongst the garbage and through some cracks on the wall, and the Crokabek shuffled his feathers uncomfortably, looking around for any stragglers.
Losing interest, the Crokabek noticed the scrunched paper lying nearby, and hopped over to that. After identifying it as inedible, he turned his head and noticed the Ixi watching him. The two stared at each other for some time.Go away.
the Ixi said. I don't have any food.
The Crokabek did nothing.Go back to eating vermin or something.
he said, waving his hands as if to shoo the bird away. The Crokabek took a few cautionary hops backwards, but remained.Leave me alone.
he said firmly.
The crokabek cawed again.
The Ixi frowned and looked away. He knew his research was valid. He hadn't wasted so many years of his life on nothing. He needed more chances, if he could just prove to them, to the medical board, to everyone, they would see what a genius he really was. Perhaps if no-one was going to help him, he would simply have to take some initiative and do it himself...
The clock struck somewhere in the distance, and he could see that the sun had already began to set. Standing up, the Crokabek flew over to a fencepost cautiously. With an idea in his head, he looked to the horizon, determined. He knew what he could do.
With a glance to the Crokabek, who sqwawked and flew back to the trees, he brushed himself off and strode down the alleyway.
He was going to show the world what he could do.
Nervously, you look around around. On a workbench are construction tools - hammers, spanners, screwdrivers.. as well as medical equipment such as scalpels and a stethoscope. Amongst the tools is a tattered leatherbound book, left open to a half-written page.
."After making some more adjustments to the machinery, the ionising ray seems to have started to work again. I only had one applicant approach me this week, I have prepped her and have begun testing. I need to discreetly distribute more of my advertisements amongst the lower-class.
Note; test the ioniser at a lower setting before full-strength implementation. The last explosion damaged too much of my laboratory, and attracted some attention from passers-by.".
Flicking through the pages, you find photos of what seem to be before and after photos of test subjects.
You hear a faint rustling coming from across the room and you nervously look up, fearing the worst. But your eyes rest upon an Aboogala, crawling slowly over some loose papers on a nearby desk. watching the petpetpet curiously, your eyes follow it as it crawls up the wall, in amongst some paintings. Portraits, perhaps? The subject is indeed a green Ixi, but his scowling demeanour and tattered clothes in no way resemble The kind-hearted Ixi from the newspapers.
Dr Charles Theorem
The brown Gelert looked up from his work, sliding his goggles onto his forehead. A small green Ixi boy was standing at his desk, his fingers resting on the edge of his desk as he looked up, peering eagerly over his paperwork. Only about five, the boy stood awkwardly, his shirt sticking out from under his vests, his sleeves just a little too long for his arms, making only his small fingers poke out. A small pair of spectacles rested on his face, save for when the boy would lean in closer, whereupon the glasses would slide down his nose.
Charles! The Gelert exclaimed happily. You finished reading your books outside then?
The Ixi boy smiled shyly. Papa, can I help you with your work?
The gelert smiled gently. Of course. I'm making some Honey Blossom Extract, want to help me?
The Ixi boy's eyes lit up and he nodded happily.
Okay, well, I'm about to start. The Gelert said, walking over to a large contraption. Kneeling down, he opened up a glass cabinet connected to the device and pulled out a potted plant.
These are Honey Blossoms, Charles. You remember I bought these last week at the plant nursery?
The ixi boy nodded, watching as his father gently placed the plant back into the glass cabinet, locking it tight.
Now, Honey Blossoms have a special enzyme in them. The gelert said. we can mix it up with some other ingredients, and we can make some medicine. You remember that Eyrie boy down the street who had Fuzzy Fungus? His feathers were starting to turn purple and he couldn't come out and play for a few weeks.
The Ixi boy nodded again. Are we making a cure for Fuzzy Fungus?
Yes, that's right. The Gelert replied. We'll be making another batch of Honey Blosssom Extract for the neohospital.
The gelert took a few steps back towards his desk, and picked up a peice of paper, scanning it and then checking different dials and levers on the contraption. Now, what do we do before we start making medicine?
The boy paused for a minute, and then his face lit up. Oh! we need to wear glasses and a coat. he said, hurrying over to a locker at the far end of the room. Opening it, he pulled out a pair of goggles and strapped them over his glasses, and grabbed a lab coat and shut the door. Running back to his father, he attempted to put on the coat, only to find that it was miles too big for him. Poking his arms through the extra-large sleeves, he hobbled over to the father, dragging the rest of the coat behind him. The brown gelert smiled.
Alrighty. he said. Goggles?
Uh, check. The Ixi said, nodding.
The Gelert handed him a clipboard. Data?
Alright. he said, gesturing over to the machine. You want to flip the switch?
The Ixi's eyes widened, and he nodded eagerly. The Brown Gelert lifted the small Ixi up, to motioned to a rather large brown lever. It's that one there. he said. Just pull it all the way down.
The Ixi rested his small hands on the lever, and with a great heave, pulled it down. As he did so, he could feel the machine warming up inside. some gears began turning, and one part of the machine just above the glass cabinet began to rotate, getting faster and faster.
Here. The brown gelert said, moving the Ixi over to the glass cabinet so he could see. There's going to be a bright flash, and all the nutrients from the Honey Blossom are going to go through there, and then into that beaker over there. he said, tracing with his finger. The green Ixi nodded, and looked back at the glass cabinet. The whole machine was making a rather large whirring sound, and suddenly there was a bright flash of light from the glass cabinet, The green Ixi turned away, and when the light had dissipated, he turned back. The brown gelert set him down and walked over to the machine, lifting the lever back up, and the machine slowly began to power down.
Walking over to the left of the machine, the Gelert opened up a panel, revealing thee glass beakers. One was orange, one was a pale purple, and the other was a murky brown. He unwound the orange beaker and affixed a lid, presenting it to the green Ixi.
There we go! What a sucess. he said proudly, showing the orange liquid. I'll have to run some tests to make sure that it's the right acidity and concentration, but I'd say it looks pretty good, wouldn't you?
The Green Ixi nodded, taking the orange beaker and holding it to the light. So, so this is the medicine?
Well, most of it. The gelert said. I need to add some things to it before we can send it down to the neohospital.
The Ixi nodded, handing back the beaker. And what are those other two things? he said, pointing to the remaining beakers still attached to the machine.
This one. The Gelert said, pointing to the purple vial, "is a chemical that comes from the Honey Blossom plant. I can't use it in this medicine, he said, holding up the orange vial, but we can use it in making some Sporkle Syrup medicine, so I'll keep it for later.
And this one. he said, pointing to the murky brown mixture. This vial is all the stuff left over from the Honey Blossom that we can't use. I'll throw this in the garden, it makes for some good compost.
The Ixi nodded. And do we keep the Honey Blossom plant for next time?
No. the brown Gelert said, walking over to the glass cabinet, removing the pot plant. He bent down to show the Ixi what had become of the plant - it was black and brown, as though it had been burnt from the inside.
We need a new Honey Blossom plant each time we make medicine like this. The machine destroys the plant and makes it un-usable.
The Ixi stared down at the pot plant. So.. so we made the plant die?
Well, yes. The Gelert said, standing back up and putting the plant aside. But for every plant we use, we can make medicine to save up to 100 pets. he said. We can make a lot of pets healthy again.
The green Ixi nodded slowly, but his face seemed somewhat troubled. He looked over at what was left of the plant. The Gelert brought him over to his desk and sat the Ixi on his lap, pulling the pot plant across the table so he could see.
Because we used this one plant, we can help a lot of pets get better. he said. It is a small sacrifice to improve the lives of many.
Do you understand, Charles?
The green Ixi paused for a moment in thought, and then nodded slowly.
Meeting Blue 1
Another morning was well on it's way. The grey clouds hid the sun away in the sky and painted the town a dull grey, which was all too common in Neovia. While most of the citizens were all still asleep, few had already awoken to greet the new day. Two Ixi were sitting in a run-down apartment, having breakfast composed of cereal.
Mr Theorem, a practical man, sat reading his newspaper, only pausing every so often to take a sip of his morning coffee. Engrossed in his paper he sat, promptly ignoring the Ixi girl across the table, who seemed to be deep in conversation with him.
So would that be alright, Mr Theorem? she asked.
The green Ixi said nothing, continuing to read his paper.
The green Ixi noticed the sound of silence and looked up. The tan Ixi looked back at him expectantly, with a nervous look. With a slightly irritated attitude, the Ixi took another sip of his coffee and set his paper aside.
I! Well. I was just telling you about this doll shop on Harrigan street that I heard people in the marketplace talk about. You see I was buying groceries and I heard this pink Bori lady--
Oh! And. Well, since I was going to go to that part of town today anyway, I was wondering if I could go visit the doll shop?
Theorem frowned. He didn't like Rose going to other places when she had jobs to do. Asides from the chances of her being noticed, she also had a tendency to get lost in new parts of town.
Rose could see the look on Theorem's face and tried to object. I-I walk straight past it on my way to the Bakery! It only opened up a few days ago! Please, Mr Theorem..
The green Ixi frowned. No, Rose. he said. Just go to the bakery and pharmacy and come straight back.
I said, No. The green Ixi said, a bit more forcefully. The tan Ixi leaned back nervously, but calmed down and stood up at the table, nodding obediently and taking the empty cereal bowls from the table.
Okay. I'm sorry. she said.
The green ixi scowled and took his newspaper under his arm. I'll be running some tests on the patient downstairs this morning. When you get back, come down and assist me.
Yes, Mr Theorem. The tan Ixi replied. Setting the bowls down in the sink, she listened to the sound of the floorboards as Mr Theorem disappeared down the hallway and headed downstairs. Alone in the kitchen, she rested her arms against the sink and sighed.
It had been several hours since Theorem had stopped his experiments for the day. Having written up his findings, he had taken a break and was reading through a book about Dr Chombasha's thesis on the mutation of neopox genes. In the distance, the clock chimed. It was four in the afternoon.
Flipping through the pages, Theorem was promptly interrupted by the sound of his stomach churning. Rose hadn't come down to give him lunch yet. In fact, he hadn't seen Rose apart from at breakfast. Frowning, he set a bookmark inside his book and headed upstairs.
Locking the basement door behind him, he walked over to the kitchen. It was bare. There were no traces of lunch ever having been started. He frowned.
Rose..? he called out in a rather authorative tone.
There was silence. Walking upstairs, he headed down the hallway and opened the door to her room. Spare the furniture and a large collection of plush toys, it was empty.
Theorem walked back downstairs. Looking over at the coat rack, he noted that Rose's shoes and purse were missing. She hadn't come back from shopping. Shaking his head and growing irritated, the green Ixi walked over to the kitchen and began to fix himself a sandwich.
It wasn't until the late evening when Theorem once again noticed that Rose had not returned home to make his dinner. Sighing, he opened a window and looked out onto the streets. Apart from the dim glow of the street lamps, the roads were bare. Some Barlows barked in the distance.
With another irritated sigh, he stepped back and grabbed his coat and hat. Rose probably got lost in the streets again. It was a pain having to go and find her, but it was better he find her than wait for Rose to ask someone for directions. The last thing he needed was some stranger being led right to his house.
Wrapping his brown winter scarf around his neck, Theorem stepped out into the dark streets. Locking the door behind him, he took two steps forward and then gave a sharp whistle. After a few moments, a black Crokabek appeared in the sky and swooped down, perching on his arm. Theorem produced a small chunk of sandwich from his pocket and fed it to the bird, who sqwawked happily and ate it.
Rose is lost. He said, rubbing the Crokabek's chin. At the sound of her name, the Crokabek gave an angry sqwawk and shuffled uncomfortably. Theorem smirked.
Yes, I don't like her either. he said. But I need you to find her.
The Crokabek gave another angry sqwawk, but hopped two steps forward and took flight once more. Theorem watched it disappear from view, and then headed down the steps.
Walking down a few sidestreets, Theorem looked around. The streets were deserted. At least finding Rose wouldn't be particularly difficult. He looked back up to the sky. Archimedes hadn't found her yet.
As he headed down the streets, he strained to think back to breakfast. Rose was going to the Bakery today, and after that, to the pharmacy for some basic medical supplies. He began to head in the direction of the bakery, walking past various clothes stores and bookshops. He had been walking a good five minutes or so when he came across a street intersection that seemed familiar; Harrigan street. Theorem was about to press on, but he paused. He had definitely told Rose not to go there, but if she had gotten lost, it was probably while she was taking a detour. Theorem frowned again. That meant she hadn't gone to the bakers' or the pharmacy. She'd have to do that tomorrow. Frowning again, he took a right turn and headed down Harrigan street.
Walking past more shops, Theorem glanced briefly in the shop windows as he passed them. Toys, Books, clothes, shoes, it was all the same. He was nearly at the end of the street when one of the last shop windows caught his eye.
There, displayed nicely in the window, were about a dozen or so dolls. Theorem stopped and walked up to the window, getting a closer look. The dolls had amazing detail. There were about seven or so ladies, all wearing large dresses. One was an acara, dressed in a sepia market dress, complete with a miniature sun hat and a basket of groceries. Another, an orange Kougra, was curtseying, her hair falling gently in front of her face. Behind her, an eyrie gentleman stood proudly with a cane, tipping his top hat, his pale blonde hair gently swept back behind him. Two children stood next to them, a girl in a large white hat and dress, and the boy in a dapper vest, holding a bag of sweets. Unlike most toys and dolls, these were all in proportion and had even the slightest parts of their outfits and faces detailled. They were almost lifelike.
Looking past the front window, Theorem looked into the shop. There were shelves and display tables inside, and a counter at the far end of the room; typical of a store. the shelves and tables were all lined with more of the dolls, seemingly of every shape and size; children, adults, and even a stray petpet or two. This was definitely the doll shop Rose must have been blabbering about. Looking around, he saw that the shop was empty, and frowned. Walking over to the door, he turned the handle. It was locked.
Theorem sighed and looked back the way he came. It wasn't too far from the main walkway on route to the Bakery, so Rose shouldn't have had too much trouble finding her way there. Shrugging it off, he began to walk back the way he came, taking one last look back at the shop -blocked- He was about to press on, when he paused, taking another look. Walking back up the window, he looked in to one of the far shelves. There, standing amongst several other dolls, was a tan Ixi. Complete with dark blue pigtails, and a black lacy dress, she was the very image of Rose. Though Theorem couldn't see much of the detail through the window, he was sure that it looked like her. How strange. As Theorem began to wonder, his thoughts were interrupted by the sound of the clocktower chiming some late hour. Taking a few steps back, he looked at the shop. If Rose was out on the streets, he was running out of time to find her. Once again his eyes searched the skies, but his Crokabek was nowhere to be found. Shrugging off his curiousity, he gave one last look at the strange doll and turned back, walking briskly down the street. Rose was probably not too far away.
Meeting Blue 2
Theorem rubbed his eyes and adjusted his glasses. It had been a long night of searching, and neither he nor Archimedes had found Rose. Since she wasn't roaming the streets, she had probably found a place to sleep for the night. His next move was to start asking if people had seen her.
walking to the door, Theorem grabbed his top hat and scarf. Reaching for the doorknob, he paused, reconsidering his next move. He had walked through that door casually most every day. But this was the first time in years he had to do so in broad daylight. The people would be swarming the streets. He could almost feel their presence just beyond the door. He would have to keep a low profile and stick to the backstreets in case someone recognised him.
Shaking his head, he turned the doorknob and scowled. When he found her, there'd be trouble.
The front door swung open, and Theorem stepped outside into the sunshine. Locking the door behind him, he walked down the front steps and headed down the street. As he got closer to the main streets, he found himself being surrounded by more and more neopians. They didn't seem to pay any attention to him, instead being absorbed by their own lives. Some of them even bumped into him as they brushed past. Theorem hardly had to be nonchalant to avoid attention.
After walking several streets of crowded people, Theorem was releived to see he was once again at the intersection of Harrigan street. Walking down, he began to smirk. He had rather successfully made his way there without any problems. The crowd around him began to thin, and soon he was once again standing outside of the doll shop. Walking over to the entrance, he took a deep breath and opened the front door. A small bell rang as the door opened.
The shop had the same tables and shelves from the night before, but the sunlight made the shop come alive with fresh colours. Bright peach and blue lace lined the tables and shelves, and the lights illuminated the dolls and gave them fresh, bright faces. In the far corner of the room were two ladies, an Ogrin and a Wocky, deep in conversation. They hadn't even noticed Theorem enter. Not too far from them, a little xweetok girl in a large lacy dress was joyously running about the tables, grabbing as many dolls as she could.
Ignoring them, Theorem walked over to the back shelf. Looking amongst the dolls in the fourth row, he frowned. The doll that resembled Rose wasn't there. Looking around, he quickly scanned the tables. It wasn't there either. Theorem took a step forward, when suddenly the xweetok girl hurried past him and he caught a glimpse of Rose's tan fur.
The xweetok girl had hurried over to a table to the right to inspect the dolls. Noticing a green aisha woman in a neovian dress, she gasped excitedly and dropped several of her dolls on the floor, picking up the aisha and admiring it. She spied another large frilly dress further along and grabbed it as well, knocking several of the other dolls off the table. Hearing a noise, she turned around and noticed Mr Theorem behind her, holding the doll looking like Rose. he had picked it up from her pile on the floor.
Hey, that's mine! she protested, dropping the two she was holding and reaching for it. Give it back!
No. he said coldly.
Mom! the xweetok girl wailed, pointing to the Ixi. Mom!
Yes, in a minute dear. the Wocky woman said, waving her hand dismissively and continuing her conversation.
The xweetok girl made a sour frown of frustration. But mom..!
Sara, behave yourself! the Wocky woman snapped.
Theorem had little sympathy nor patience for the girl. Hey, kid. Go away. he said. You've got more than enough.
The little xweetok girl put her hands on her hips. But I want that one!
I'm afraid that doll isn't for sale. came a calm voice. The two turned around to see a tall gentleman standing behind them. He wore a white lace jabot and a brilliant blue vest. His long fringe hung down the sides of his face, and he stood in a very refined manner. Theorem and the girl were stopped mid argument.
You see, there is a tag around her leg. he said with a subtle smile, lifting the doll up from Theorems' hands. Flipping the tag over for them to read, in small blue handwriting, were the words Not for Sale.
The xweetok girl was very unimpressed. Well, fine then! she said, grabbing the tangled pile of dolls on the floor and heading over to a different table. I'll have these ones instead.
They watched as she began to pick up more dolls across the room, attempting to read the tags. The gentleman in blue frowned at the tangled pile of dolls in her hands, but said nothing, instead taking the Rose doll from Theorems' hands and placing her gently back on the shelf.
That doll there.. Theorem began, walking back over to the shelf.
Ah, yes, I see you have an eye for detail. he said with a small warm smile. Her skin is a most unusual texture, and her outfit was just darling. he said with a smile. She's perfect- for a doll. he said, almost lost in his thoughts. Were you looking for a gift for someone?
Theorem looked offended. No.
Oh, I do apologise. I just didn't take you as much of a doll person. he said with a crafty smile. You do seem to be a bit old for dolls.
I could say the same about you. Theorem said, even more offended. A grown man with such a childish hobby, playing around with toys all day.
The blue gentleman closed his eyes and seemed about to reply with a nasty remark, but stopped himself and gave a quick smile, which soon faded. Ignoring the comment, he turned his attention back to the shelf.
Yes. Well, unfortunately, these dolls are not for sale. I couldn't bare to part with any of them.. he said, guiding his hand across the back walls. And if I could, I'm sure a common gentleman such as yourself couldn't afford them.
I don't care about the others. Theorem said, grabbing the Rose doll. Just this one.
Mm, yes, you've made that rather painfully obvious. the blue gentleman said. But as I said before, she's not for sale.
I know. Theorem said, almost snapping. But this one.. he said, holding it in his hands. I'm looking for someone who looks just like this. Did you see her yesterday?
The gentleman in blue gave a passive smile and shrugged. No.
Theorem looked back at the doll. She was wearing this exact outfit.
Again the gentleman in blue shrugged. well, that's quite a coincidence. I make all the dolls here; part of my childish hobby, you might say. he said. I might have seen her out in the streets and remembered her image when I was making dolls in the evening.
Theorem thought. It would explain things, but at the moment this doll was the only lead he had as to Rose's whereabouts. He needed more information.
So you might have seen her then...
A lot of people pass through on the streets out there. The gentleman in blue said, poiting out to the front -blocked- Business has been rather slow since I opened up here, so I don't get many customers come in to the store. But many of them pass by the -blocked- Your Ixi girl was probably off running errands.
Apart from the doll shop, she didn't have a reason to come down here. Theorem said. This shop was out of her way, so she must have come inside.
The wocky across the room cleared her throat, and both gentlemen turned to face her. The red xweetok girl had a huge grin on her face, and had placed a doll of a Lupe woman in a large dress on the counter. They were waiting to be served.
Do excuse me. the gentlemen in blue said, bowing slightly. It seems I cannot help you find your Ixi girl, so perhaps try somewhere else.
With that remark, her turned back to the wocky and the xweetok, his gentle salesman smile returning as he walked over to greet them. Theorem was left standing with the Rose doll in his hands.
He was running out of options. He looked back at the doll, flipping it over. She was wearing her purse and black polished shoes. Her fur markings were in exactly the right places. Even her miniature hat was positioned just perfectly over her left horn. Curious, he lifted it up and brushed her hair aside. The doll even had the same scars running across her head.
The doorbell rang as the Ogrin, Wocky and Xweetok left the shop. The gentleman in blue walked back over to Theorem and his smile faded.
Oh, you're still here. he said.
You said you saw this girl out on the streets and made a doll of her? he asked.
Probably. the gentleman said, shrugging. That's what happens most of the time.
Theorem held the Rose doll up, showing her hair. Then how did you know she had scars on her head?
The gentleman in blue seemed genuinely surprised. Oh? he said, taking the doll and inspecting it.
Another coincidence, perhaps. Theorem remarked sarcastically.
How ugly. Perhaps they are cracks in the porcelain. he frowned. I use.. a different material when making my dolls, but when I fire them..
No, they're sutures. Theorem protested. They have stitches every 0.5cm , with the cuts running across her Hippocampus.
You seem to know a lot about these scars. the gentleman said.
I put them there. Theorem said. Did you notice the ones on her legs?
The gentleman in blue raised his eyebrows curiously.
You know.. he said, brushing the dolls' hair back and placing her hat neatly back onto her head. I daresay you and I have a lot more in common than you might think.
I find that hard to beleive.
Yes, well. he said, smiling to himself. This Ixi girl you're looking for. How important is it that you find her?
She's my maid. Theorem said.
Oh, is that all. The gentleman in blue said, frowning. She can be replaced then.
Theorem did pause for a moment, considering this option. It would solve a lot of his problems. But then again, he would have to find someone as slow-witted and cut off from the outside world as Rose. And Rose already knew how to identify the tools and instruments he used, and the various vials and potions. That would mean extra effort.
No, I'd rather just find her. Theorem said. She doesn't ask questions and I need her to continue my work.
The gentleman in blue looked longingly back at the Rose doll. Well, it would be such a shame, but I suppose I can arrange to give you your precious maid back. he said. I take it you made her the way she is now?
You could say that.
Then I would hate to deprive a fellow artist of his tools. the gentleman said, putting the Rose doll safely back onto the shelf.
The front doorbell rang, and the two men turned to see a Scorchio lady enter the shop. A bit timid, she began to walk slowly around the store, smiling as she looked at all the dolls. Theorem turned back to the gentleman in blue, who was still watching her. His eyes almost seemed to be in a trance.
Oh, she's lovely. he murmured.
Sure, whatever. Theorem said, looking back to her.
Come back after hours tonight. The gentleman in blue said, his eyes still fixed on the Scorchio woman. Bring me something in exchange for your precious maid.
Theorem paused for a moment, before nodding, and turning to leave.
No. the gentleman said, still watching the Scorchio woman, who was oblivious to their attention. Someone.
Meeting Blue 3
Three large knocks came at the door of the doll shop later that evening. Grabbing a candle, the gentleman in blue casually walked into the front of the shop and over to the door. Unlocking it, he opened it up to find Mr Theorem standing on the front steps.
You didn't take the back door? He said. I feel insulted.
It's not like there's anyone on the streets this time of night anyway. Theorem said, stepping inside. Clock strikes 11 and you'll be hard pressed finding anyone in the streets.
The gentleman in blue looked him up and down. Unless you're hiding it in your coat pocket somewhere, I can see you don't have a commodity with you.
I have one. He said. I have a patient I've been working on for a couple of days now.
You know, I am a visual person. The gentleman in blue said, rather irritated. I was rather hoping to see them first. he said, sighing. Well, tell me about them.
Wocky, female, 28. he said. Pale blue fur with Navy hair. Frail build. I've been playing around with her memory.
Oh, Just like your Ixi girl? he said, curiously.
Not in the exact way. he said. But I can arrange something if that's what you're after.
The gentleman in blue paused for a moment, smiling to himself. I thought it might be nice to entertain the notion of having my own .. maid, you see. he said.
Similar to Rose?
In some ways. Is she obedient?
Mostly. Theorem said, recalling why he was in this situation.
She's not very bright though, is she?
Not at all, but it keeps her loyal.
Well then. The gentleman in blue said, smiling. I think that would be a nice trade. A maid for a maid, yes?
Fine. Theorem said. Give me a few days to work on her.
She's here. Unconscious though. She might be for several days.
Some quick adjustments and I can speed up the process. Theorem said. Does she have any injuries?
Hm, no. Not physical anyway. The gentleman in blue said. Though some of them do seem to suffer some paranoia, or mental breakdowns.
Theorem smirked. Good to know. So where is she?
Do you take me for a fool, good sir? The gentleman in blue asked, almost scoffing. I'll not be giving her back today.
If I had an assisstant, I could get your work done faster.
And with me left posessing nothing you desire, you'd have no reason to return here and uphold your part of the agreement. he said I'll be keeping her here until you're done.
And if I object?
You can object all you like. he said. But it won't change anything.
Theorem frowned. And If I chose to withdraw from our agreement and acquire her by another means?
You can try. The gentleman suggested. But I wouldn't reccomend it. I have a means of taking care of people who get in my way.
Theorem frowned. He could try, but at the moment it just seemed better to go along with the agreement. He sighed.
I'll need three days.
You have them.
Done. he said.
Excellent. The gentleman in blue said, smiling and holding his hand out. Reluctantly, Theorem took it. They shook.
I'll keep her safe until then. he said.
I can't see much danger keeping her in a doll shop anyway. Theorem said sarcastically.
With a soft murmuring laugh, the gentleman in blue walked over to the back shelf, where the Rose doll had been. Picking up a doll in a large ruffled dress, he turned it over, holding it up and showing it to the green Ixi. It was the Scorchio woman from earlier that day.
You know, you'd be surprised. he said with a smile.
As the Aboogala crawls through a crack in the ceiling, you look back at the leatherbound book and flip through the last few pages.
On the last page of the book are what seem to be adresses.
Suddenly a Crokabek sqwawks behind you and you turn around.
Who are you? How did you get in here?!
//You decide a hasty retreat is most wise.