March 23, 2006 at 5:50 pm #1922LurkerParticipant
When Minnow woke up in the morning, something wasn?t right.
Several things weren?t right, in fact, and as he became more aware after his time asleep, that became more and more readily apparent.
The first thing that wasn?t right, was that he clearly wasn?t where he?d gone to sleep in the Baron?s estate, and, for that matter, he was now alone, which certainly hadn?t been the case when he?d fallen asleep. Fox?s ears strained, trying to hear anything, but unlike usual, he couldn?t catch the sound of anything ? at least certainly not anything he recognized. Slowly, he reached for his coat, for his sword, and that?s when he discovered something else that wasn?t right.
No coat, no sword. He sat up quickly in bed, what appeared to be an old, Napoleonic-era army cot, and glanced about the room. The place was a mess. Dirty dishes and a hodgepodge of men?s clothing were strewn about, clearly left wherever any of it fell. Boxes, workbenches, walls, blackboards ? everything was covered in what looked to him to be mathematic equations, and he could feel a headache coming on even just looking at them all. Math. Math always made his head hurt.
He raised a hand to his head, and suddenly yet something else seemed very, very wrong, too.
His hair. He had what felt like dreadlocks. And his hand?instead of his usual skin tone, the Asian man now appeared to be black. He stared at his hand, turning it this way and that, as though he couldn?t quite believe what his eyes were telling him. Both hands now rose to his face, to his head, pulling his hair, trying to get a sense of his features; none of it seemed right. He looked down at the rest of his body, and it remained foreign to him. He pushed to his feet, stumbling around the suite of rooms. All of it was a mess, all of it, and the situation was just making his headache worse and worse, and his hands started to feel twitchy, and right about now he really wanted his sword if for no other reason than to just start cutting into anyone and anything that got too close right now. It was turning out to be that kind of morning. Y'know. Of the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day variety.
In addition to all the notes, equations, dishes, clothes, and other junk that continued to be found all over the floors and walls and other available surfaces, he saw things that looked like machines of various types, some completed, some in the process of being worked upon. Some of them looked to be quite complicated, while others seemed much more simple. He made his way over to something that looked harmless enough ? it appeared to be just some sort of metallic box with a few knobs and levers on it. He started fiddling with it, trying to figure out what it was, when he discovered the inherent danger of playing with strange toys in unknown labs as he got a face-full of minor explosion. Coughing up some soot, and putting out the fire in his hair, he put the remnants of the box back down, and picked up the cleanest bit of discarded clothing he could find and wiped his face off.
It looked like the suite he was in was in a basement, and he eventually came upon a staircase. He stared up it for a long time, not really wanting to climb it without some sort of weapon, but he needed answers, needed to figure out what the hell was going on here.
Taking a deep breath, he made his way up the stairs, and soon recognized the building he was in as the Crimson Petal. How had he gotten here? Why was he here? And why wasn?t he, well, he? As he wandered the halls of the bordello, he poked his head into one of the rooms, searching the walls for a mirror, and, finding one, staring at his reflection.
Recognition came to his eyes at the same moment that the naked woman inside the room ? a customer left over from the night before still with her ? shrieked, ?Roland! What are you doing?! Get out!?
He withdrew from the room even as a shoe went sailing towards him, clonking him in the center of the forehead. ?Nice shot,? he grumbled, and sank down to the floor against the opposite wall. Roland. He was Roland. He still didn?t know how or why, but he was Roland. He sat there where he was for a minute, and then his eyes snapped open again. ?Jillian?? He jumped to his feet, and, running out of the Petal, set off towards the Baron?s estate once more.
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