The Gazelle Sets Sail
Alexander awoke abruptly, reaching for his revolver and pointing it into the blackness of his room. The only sound that came back was the squeak of Franklin moving from his nest perched above Alexander's bed as he plopped down next to him.
“What's wrong?” Franklin asked. “Was it the same dream?"
Alexander placed the revolver back in its spot and shook the thoughts out of his head.
"Yeah, it’s the third one this week, and it’s the same ship with burning sails, falling from the sky, people shouting, then a shuddering explosion that wakes me up," Alexander said with a slight pause.
"Maybe they're memories starting to surface,” Franklin suggested. “We should look for the wreck where Mom and Dad found us." He just wanted to shut his eyes and try to sleep.
"Maybe you're right. Uncle Oliver might know the location of it if it’s still there." Alexander gave a tired yawn and figured sleep wouldn't come easy for him, so he decided to walk around the Gazelle until exhaustion overcame him.
Alexander stalked around the Gazelle's deck, looking about at what had once been a medical ship during the war. During that time, it was used as a research ship for studying wildlife and plants of this world, the cages still remaining in the cargo hold, which had come in handy lately.
He walked past the engine room, thinking he should write down a list of parts he needed to keep the old girl running in the air. After wandering around the deck and a glass of whiskey later, he found his way back to his bed, trying not to wake Franklin.
Several hours late, Alexander awoke to the bustling sounds of Conwell as airships departed or arrived from pirating, smuggling, or running deliveries to other nations. He got dressed and headed into town to grab supplies for the trip to a Medical Research Facility near Gearford with a shipment of Skuttlekovy poison glands from an earlier case in the week. While in town, he also had to answer a message he received from an old family friend in Gearford about a bounty he would be perfect for.
Franklin squeaked as they walked past the Lands Edge Bar, saying, "Let’s see if there are any new bounties before we head out."
With the mooring cables off, gangplank up, and engines humming, the Gazelle gently pulled away from dock 7 and left Conwell for the time being. They were on their way to Gearford for jobs, and maybe answers for these persistent nightmares.
The trip was quick and the sights were all the same: desert, desert, and more desert. Franklin and Alexander argued over nothing to pass the time as they approached the capital city.
It was early in the morning as the Gazelle made its decent into a dock. They embarked looking for the dock hands and the crew the research facility sent to pick up the cargo. After that was taken care of and money was in hand, feeling a bit richer, Alexander and Franklin headed over to Uncle Oliver’s residence. Their uncle lived in a small shop in the Saks district that sold trinkets and odds and ends.
The city being crowded as usual made Franklin and Alexander squirm.
"I never liked how busy this place is,” Franklin squeaked into Alexander’s ear. “Too many people."
"I concur," Alexander replied as they approached the store. When they stepped through the door, the smell of incense and history wafted in the air. Uncle Oliver was walking around until he noticed Alexander out of the corner of his eye and yelled in excitement, not having seen his adopted nephew since Alexander’s last job took him into Gearford.
The night rolled on as they talked and told stories. It had been a while since he had heard stories about his parents, but at the end of the night, Uncle Oliver revealed the location of where they had found young Alexander. It was south of the Sand Sea, near a rock out-cropping that stuck straight out of the ground and looks like a knife.
The next morning, they bid farewell to Uncle Oliver and headed to the Rowe district to talk to their client. Upon entering the district, home of those who are wealthy and stuck up, Alexander found their client’s big house with the help of a few people. They knocked on the door and a rather snooty looking butler answered it. After announcing what they were here for, Alexander was led into the parlor where the owner of the house and his boy were sitting. Alexander walked in and shook hands with the client, beginning to negotiate the terms of the bounty. It seemed as though their slave, a Nakalo named Rilain Svain Mortador, had killed their dogs, knocked the boy unconscious, and escaped. He wanted Alexander to bring her back alive or dead.
During the conversation, the child kept trying to touch Franklin and demand his dad buy Franklin off of Alexander.
"You should shoot him," Franklin squeaked, but Alexander decided to resist the idea and took the bounty anyway.
A month later, the hunt came to a conclusion when he finally tracked down Rilain playing her flute for a pack of Chanka's, the bounty warrant clasped in one hand and his revolver pointed right at her. At this point, Franklin decided to say, "Let her go. That little kid was an ass, and look what she did to those Chanka’s. That'll save us on bullets."
With much thought and deliberation, Alexander crumpled up the warrant on the condition that Rilain would travel with Franklin and Alexander as a free Nakalo.
After all that was said and done, Alexander decided to head to where he was found in the belly of an airship wreckage as a boy. It took a few days to reach their destination, and most of it was covered in sand. They combed what little was left over after scavengers had cleaned through it, and after time had taken its toll. The only thing that was salvageable was a crest of a noble family. They were not sure which family, but it was a clue. Afterwards, they decided to return to Conwell. Upon returning to Conwell, Alexander decided to show Rilain the town.
"You just want a drink" Franklin squeaked "you may be right but it's part of the town of the town still" Alexander retorted, all the while Rilain watched her companion have a one sided argument with with the land octopus on his shoulder.
They left the Gazelle and headed to the Lands Edge Bar for there usual drinks after completing a job with their new companion. Upon entering the bar every one grew silent as they walked in their eyes glued to Rilain. As they walked towards their usual spot one man stopped them and said, "what are you doing in here with that thing."
Alexander pulled out his revolver and shot the man in the leg without a hesitation. As the man collapsed to the ground Alexander said, loud enough for everyone to hear, "This is my new companion if you ever insult her again I will end you" and with that he walked away to grab his table and have that long deserved drink, and to plan their next big adventure.