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Mehitabel 2 -- Idle Claws

Discussion in 'Skyrim Articles' started by theoduck, Jan 9, 2013.

  1. theoduck

    theoduck If persimmons approach, Khajiit will smell them.

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    MEHITABEL 2 – IDLE CLAWS


    You'll make a fine rug, cat!” – a surprising number of people with identical taste in home-furnishings

    ***​

    The Vanishing Elf had a name beginning with an F. If Khajiit hadn't been making every attempt to remain as quiet as possible, she would have called out... what exactly? “Friend-elf?” “Fine-doll?” “Frog Legs?”

    Unwise.

    If the three former bandits back at the tower had any friends in this place, they remained unaware of the dispute that ended a moment ago. When the tower had come into sight, Fuddcrab had warned this one that such places, which had held Imperial guards in the recent past, were now more often than not home to packs of highwaymen – or sometimes those awful people who run around all over the place in robes, trying to ruin your life – so we had approached quietly, crouching low.

    As close as this one would have preferred to get to him, which is to say not at all, the Singing Orc looked like a giant. “Singing” might be a polite word for what he was doing, but it seemed that if he were aware of our presence, the performance would progress to an even less pleasant section of the song, which was already about someone who had to die.

    This is how it seemed...

    With the soldiers there had been no doubt. The friendly one who had suggested letting the cat go home had disappeared in the confusion, but the others made their intention to kill this one very clear when they saw her with her paws unbound. The cat should already be dead, but then the dragon showed up and she had to run.

    The dragon.

    Casually tossing a reference to “the dragon” into her speech feels wrong – not because there was no dragon, but because, until yesterday, nobody had ever seen one. This statement may or may not be true, but certainly nobody who was in Helgen that morning had ever seen one.

    What did you do yesterday?”

    This one had planned on visiting Helgen to have her head removed, but then the dragon showed up and she had to run.”

    Yes, you look like you have been running all day. You must be famished. Here, Gurgle made some lovely sweet rolls.”

    Sweet rolls? If Khajiit lives a worthy life, she hopes that her spirit will split into an infinite number of tiny spice-moths that will fly throughout the world, each finding its way into every sweet roll ever baked. Forever.”

    OK, then... um.. Here. Have two.”

    None of what appears to have been Khajiit's recent past may turn out to be genuine; any moment now this one expects she will wake up from her always-too-short nap and get back to work... because how can it be that the bow she carefully aims, remembering to breathe, feels so at home in her paws, though she never held one before? How did she see the gray wolf hiding behind the gray rock and place an arrow through its eye while it was wondering when the rabbit would come to bring him his lunch? Why did time slow down for Mehitabel, watching from a place somewhere outside of her own body, as the arrow she was carefully aiming lurched through space, through the throat of the Singing Orc, and triumphantly shook its feathers in the white dusk?

    This one had not been sure. Perhaps the Singing Orc would have let us pass. He might have had no knowledge of the stolen property we had come to retrieve. Fluffball had just shook his head no, so she made the careful shot that left the Singing Orc to twitch in the snow. It is one thing to imagine, but entirely something else when it happens in what appears to be one's real life. Aaagh! Horrible! Was he still alive?

    Sven is the name of a bard in Riverwood who is not very happy with Mehitabel today. Shortly after she arrived in his village, the woman he had been making every attempt to lure to his bed had, without warning, decided to stop speaking to him. Sven suspects that this one played a part in her abrupt decision. Mehitabel knows this because he called her “nothing but trouble” soon afterward. Khajiit is accustomed to being regarded as “nothing,” but “trouble” and only trouble?

    Nords have silly names, anyway. Sven. Do they hear a strange noise, such as the arrow rushing past this one's ear, and decide right then and there what to name the cub? “That sounds great! We will call her Sven, then... Oh... Really? A boy? Even better! Let's celebrate! You there – Boing... Bring us some more mead!”

    Mehitabel was told that she should go see the Jarl of Whiterun, a man with the unfortunate name of Ballgroof. From the sound of that name, this one will remember to give the local stew a thorough sniffing before she samples any. If Khajiit survives long enough, she is convinced that she will one day meet a Nord named Meowl or something equally silly.

    The only reason Mehitabel is still standing today is because she saw the Singing Orc's lady friend running and then stopping.

    The Lesson of the Running and Stopping is why Mehitabel wants to lick her leg all the time. The previous owner of the comfortable bow taught her the lesson: If they are running and then stopping before they are close enough to swing their weapon, it is then time for Khajiit to move, quickly, or she will hear a thunk in place of a...

    Sven!

    ...And a small gust of wind. Had she not the urge to lick her leg from learning the lesson yesterday, she would most likely now have another place to lick. Khajiit can easily lick places others cannot, but licking her own eyeball is unlikely. Another sven! and Flameball's arrow gave the Lady Friend a reason to take up leg-licking. This one was now advancing to The Lesson of the Walking and Pointing while supplying the Lady Friend with enough names for a litter of cubs. Sven! Eez! Whar! Ern! Nords do not have litters, do they?

    Fangnut was quick to point out that, even though my fifth shot hit its mark, it didn't really matter because the lady friend was already dead. The only fortunate thing about her death was that she had a full quiver of arrows to add to our very limited supply. This one decided to pick up every arrow she could find because running out would mean fighting up close. She couldn't be completely certain if she would survive even half of one blow from the terrible hammer lying in the snow beside the Singing Orc, who had thankfully stopped twitching.

    This one had to fight the Tower Coward face-to-face. She had told Feedcat to wait while she entered the tower to look for more arrows. The Tower Coward must have seen the end of the performance outside and hoped that the surviving performers would receive their applause elsewhere. When Mehitabel poked her nose inside, he leaped down the stairs at her, drawing his mace, then burst into flames, screaming.

    You'll make a fine rug, catAAAAAAGH!”

    She swiped a claw at the flaming coward; the blow must have been fatal because now he lay steaming and still at her feet. Looking down at her paw, she remembered finding the strange book about electricity in the cage beneath Helgen Keep. There had not been much time to think about it then, but she had managed to grasp its concept: with ample concentration, she could cause her paw to shock whatever stood in front of her. This fascinated, then thrilled her when she found she could ignite things as well, When she took too much time trying to re-light the svenned-out candle in the keep dungeon, her partner in escape had barked at her to keep moving.

    This one must have remembered these things without actually remembering them, because she does not know what had made her burn the Tower Coward. Back at the Sleeping Drunken Playboy Who Shouts At Mother Inn, a Nord named Orgnar... wherever this Khajiit goes, she must sniff the stew – or name cubs from hurt belly is what she will do... had mentioned a college where, if this one wished to blow herself into pieces, she could learn how to do so without bothering him because it was far, far away.

    Creeping through the white darkness, this one could not understand why the elf vanished. He had not been injured in the fight, but he was gone and Khajiit decided not to go looking for him.

    slide.jpg

    khajiit is a pick
    just like Lucan's golden claw
    to crack her locked box

    It would have happened that Mehitabel would be scouting the barrow alone had she not agreed to help make the woman, Camilla, angry. Why any man would want to make any woman angry is beyond this one's understanding; such foolishness often results in a fate worse than merely being killed. The angered woman will not allow you to die because obviously if you are dead, you are unable to think about what you did to make her angry. Men will never, ever understand this – particularly not this man – this pointy-headed little F-man. He actually thinks that she will be so much easier to woo when she is... what?

    The Painted Idiot's last shot went wide. As he nocked another, he had started to scream at this one that she would be much easier to woo when she became... something.

    For these two, Mehitabel's arrival outside the barrow had been a complete surprise. When she had seen the massive stone steps leading up to the entrance, this one had guessed that if the people currently in possession of the item she had come for were indeed here, they would likely use the ascent to greet gawkers. There was no way to tell how many were up there, so Khajiit had clawed her way up the steep slope to the right of the stairs instead. She had, in fact, resolved to climb to the very top of the barrow; the view from there would be better. At the tower, she had been caught unaware by one of these unpleasant folk and survived – but two? Four?

    Unlikely. Where was Fusstwat? Probably doing exactly that. Even with the drunk momma's-boy out of the way, the elf has built speaking to the Camilla into an epic quest; he regards this woman as the prize, the end of the hunt. To treat another as such is, ultimately, to treat them poorly. What does one do after the end? Why are there no books where the love happens at the beginning, then we get to read about what the lovers do with their love? No, they always find the love at the end, then... nothing.

    When she and her brother had hired Mehitabel to climb on top of a barrow and be screamed at by painted idiots, Camilla had spoken of the long journey she made to Skyrim from Cyrodiil. Two days of “journeys” in Skyrim has prompted this one to reconsider the meaning of the word journey. After being captured, nearly decapitated, then attacked by soldiers, spiders, wolves, singing orcs with their homicidal lady-friends and, this one almost forgot... the dragon, this one suspected that Camilla, having survived a much longer “journey,” is quite capable of handling herself and might find a better mate elsewhere... atop a barrow, perhaps.

    Getting on top of the barrow was not in this one's future, but she found a rough path close enough. From here she could observe that the archer's platform covering the steps was, at present, unmanned. She could now creep along the barrow's wall and peek around the corner. It would be a longer, more challenging shot than the one she had made to dispatch the Lurking Wolf; another great olive orc stood at the bottom of a stairway that led up to Mehitabel. Even if she missed, she could, from here, retreat quietly and, hopefully, undetected. Then she would go find the Vanishing Elf.

    To this day, Mehitabel is still proud of the long, arcing shot that caught the Less-Talented Orc in the shoulder, but she had not counted on him to remain on his feet and point her out to the Painted Idiot, who had been standing behind a nearby pillar and also had a bow.

    Khajiit's location could not have been better; all she had to do was back up, arrow ready, and they would have to come to her. Less-Talented was first, bleeding badly and very angry, but not for long. He probably never saw this one's face, as her waiting arrow quickly pierced his own. He took enough time going down to block the Painted Idiot's first shot. The second, made on the run, poked a hole in the helmet Mehitabel had taken from a soldier in Helgen, blurring her vision. She had been backing up, as was her plan, but she had done so in a straight line, which had been a grave mistake. With one eye bloody and closed, she nocked a dizzy arrow and pointed it in the direction of the archer's platform.

    The Painted Idiot saved Mehitabel's life with his wild third shot and his unfinished taunt:

    You'll be so much...”

    sven!

    ...easier to rob when you're...”

    thunk!

    Dead? This one had to descend the gawkers' ascent – after first assuaging the concerns of a third bandit who had missed the commotion because he had been speaking with his invisible father about his education – to see the beginning of the Painted Idiot's last word on Nirn. His mouth was locked on what appeared to be a “D;” his eyes were wild with the surprised expression he might have had if he had taken a large swig of skeever pee when he had expected mead. Khajiit had been thinking of “woo,” but she was now sure that the dead man had said “rob.”

    Woo. Rob. When it comes to men and their desire, there is rarely a difference between the two.

    She sat for a time with the dead man in the snow, remembering more things she would like to learn about, such as how to improve the healing spell that seemed to take hours to uncloud her vision and stop the pain in her head. Perhaps Khajiit would one day visit that college she had heard about back at the Forever Sleeping Bandit Inn.

    The snowstorm and the darkness were impossible to see through more than a few yards in any direction. She could walk down a bit, fall off of the cliff, wake up from her always-too-short nap, and get back to work...

    ... or she could walk up the stairs and through the gargantuan doors of Bleak Falls Barrow. The content of the future may be impossible to predict, but its location was certainly behind those doors – for better or for worse.

    ***​
     
    • Like x 14
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  2. Jei El

    Jei El We will be avenged.

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    2nd One > 1st One. Good job Theo and keep up the good work! I have high expectations for 3!!
     
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    theoduck: 6 Points (>^^<) May 22, 2013
  3. theoduck

    theoduck If persimmons approach, Khajiit will smell them.

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    SPOILER: There's a spider ;)
     
  4. Jei El

    Jei El We will be avenged.

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    Good. Now where did I put those spiders...
     
  5. Khaine

    Khaine Hector Ciril (Baal), The Imperial Vampire

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    Keep up the awesome. :)
     
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    theoduck: 6 Points (I had a silver hand around here, but I got hungry and I ate it *URP* >^^<) May 22, 2013
  6. Taxx

    Taxx Member

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    Awesome! cant wait to read 3!!
     
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    theoduck: 6 Points (Yay! 3 is out now! >^^<) May 22, 2013
  7. Caideus

    Caideus Member

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    Love it!
     

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