Information


Right has a minion!

Checkers the Mischievous Rat




Right


The Custom Steamwork Neela
Owner: Payne

Age: 1 year, 9 months, 2 weeks

Born: September 13th, 2020

Adopted: 1 year, 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Adopted: September 13th, 2020


Pet Spotlight Winner
June 22nd

Statistics


  • Level: 1
     
  • Strength: 10
     
  • Defense: 10
     
  • Speed: 10
     
  • Health: 10
     
  • HP: 10/10
     
  • Intelligence: 0
     
  • Books Read: 0
  • Food Eaten: 0
  • Job: Unemployed


information

Right


the genderless custom steamwork neela
owned by Payne

all custom content is by Payne

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The one holding them is named Niks, and at that time he looked like a particularly tall elf.

Curled in the crook of his arm, Right had been awake for a while but liked the feeling too much to act like it. Their ears twitched every time he ruffled through a new set of papers, one-handed, but otherwise they were enjoying the quiet and the still. They got so little of that in their day-to-day.

It was always run here, steal that, listen to this, break in there. Don't get caught, no one will save you.

They pushed their face into his shoulder, finally opening their eyes, just to make sure it was him. Thinking about the sorts of messes they got into on the regular always made them a bit paranoid.

But it was him. They could always tell, no matter what he looked like. He had a certain tilt to the mouth, a posture, a glint in the eye. It was easy. Right was always confused when people couldn't tell it was him, but that kept him employed, so they weren't going to argue much.

In a way, that kept them employed too.

"You can't sleep the whole night away," he said. They made a small, grumpy noise in return. No words, often they hated words. People used too many. People expected them to do the same.

He never did.

That's why they liked him. >

Right stood at the end of the table, looking over the myriad maps and documents in front of them. They didn't care much for those. Maybe the maps.

"Listen, this is the one, and this is the only chance we'll have to get them on our turf."

Right was still looking down, but their ears tilted towards the people sat arguing around the table. They hated when they were called in before the final agreements were made but, at the same time, it sometimes gave them a little extra information.

"So do we want 'em or just their little toy."

If it was a kidnapping, Right didn't need to be here. They didn't do those kinds of jobs. Not really out of an ethical objection, but simply because they were too small to be muscling anyone besides mice.

The group in charge of this argued back and forth. Right caught that this person was likely well-armed, and they would likely put up a fight. Nothing too out of the ordinary. Though the bosses spoke in vague warnings about the possibility of this person having friends in high places that would come after them, and after a little mulling over that point, the group decided on what the job would be.

Get the little toy. Right could do that.

A sheaf of paper was pushed towards them, and the top page showed something Right only had a passing familiarity with. Had only seen these on the guards of the most powerful people Right had set eyes on, some fancy new tech that hadn't trickled into the masses.

"That's what we want, that gun right there." The pages were flipped, this time to a drawing of a gilded trunk. "It'll be in something like this."

"Get that open for us, yeah?" >

Kahuali was an old, old city. Newer masonry always looked out of place, next to the water-weathered look of buildings older than anyone could remember. And, gods, the water. There was always water.

It was raining.

Right tugged their hood further forward, hoping to keep most of it out of their face, but the large horns on their forehead kept that a hope. At least their hair would be mostly dry, not that it would look any neater for it.

It was midmorning, and the streets were full despite the weather. Good for blending in: no one would think to give them a second glance as they skulked into the nicer part of town. They'd been told to head to the Fiendish Bedfellow, one of the premier inns in the city, and make their way up to the top floor. Fancy, they thought.

Instead they found a ladder up to the roof of a neighboring building and, after a few moments of judgement, hucked themselves across to one of the balconies that wrapped around the building. Large, with intricately carved braces and columns, these offered a sheltered way to get to and from each of the outward-facing inn rooms. They just needed to find the right floor and room. One thing at a time.

They at least knew that each of the rooms was marked with a different symbol, and each of the floors was a different category of symbols. They were looking for birds, and then the white crane. They lowered their hood, brushed as much of the rain off as they could, and started walking. This floor was flowers, and they'd been told birds would be above that.

Easy.

Most of the guests were out for the day, doing whatever it is that tourists do, so they rarely crossed paths with anyone heading down the long balconied hallways. They kept their eyes forward, smiled politely at the few passers-by, and eventually found the white crane door. Alright, just a few moments of pretending to look off over the city until the balcony was clear, and they could get to work.

So they did. The door's lock was easy enough, giving way under their tools' delicate touch. They slunk into the room, quickly and quietly closing the door behind them. Listening. Waiting. Nothing. Perfect.

The room itself was large, a parlor with a bath off to one side and a bedroom to the other. The furniture was some of the nicest Right had seen, purples and blues all plush and velvet. The ornate carpets underfoot softened the hard taps of their hooves, and they were stopped by the large gilded mirror. They saw themselves often enough in puddles, sometimes Niks mimicked them well enough, but it was never as clear as that mirror. They blinked their huge, glowing eyes. They tilted their head experimentally, before a thud overhead reminded them that they were on the clock.

A quicker scan of the parlor showed no such trunk, but moving into the next, equally ornate room Right needed to look no further. At the foot of the bed, perfectly placed, sat a large chest that looked perfectly at home on top of an intricately detailed rug.

And still no sign of anyone.

Right, kneeling in front of it, got their tools in place and set to work. Or at least, they tried to. Their brow quickly furrowed, and they tried to force it a few times before realizing this lock was very different from what they were expecting. Something about it just felt wrong. Complicated. Hard to pick.

Specifically, very hard to pick.

So they slowed down, thinking through each tick of their movement, quietly and patiently trying their hand at it. It was almost soothing, once they started to understand it. It was a puzzle but not an impossible one, just difficult and requiring their concentration. It was almost fun. >

"If you are able to get that open, I will be too impressed to charge you for the damages."

Right froze. They had completely lost track of how long they'd been working at the lock.

The voice behind them was delicate, a strong Wehnan accent, and it had the tone of a mother catching a child in the cookie jar rather than someone who'd just caught a burglar in their room.

The only exit available was a shuttered window, and they weren't confident they could get out that way before being grabbed. The old warnings about no one coming to save you if you were caught rattled deep in their sinking stomach.

They heard footsteps coming up behind them, which finally made them turn around. And look up.

This person absolutely towered over them. At first glance, the willowy figure would have seemed easily overtaken, but they seemed so confident in the face of an intruder. Confident, calm, in a way that made Right sure they were dangerous. Right shrunk, tensed, unsure whether to prepare to bolt or pull their dagger or-

"Oh, my, you actually did make some progress." They seemed almost pleasantly surprised. Right assumed they were looking past them at the trunk, but it was hard to tell with those solid black eyes.

"Would you mind telling me what you think you are doing with my things?" >

Right's urge to bolt had barely been tempered but their fear of this person, Glee, kept them in place. It was now midafternoon, and they hadn't been able to leave the inn room.

Right knew their name because they had politely, formally introduced themselves. They had said they were sure no one could get through that lock, it was half their own invention and half a very good friend's, but that Right had been able to make it that far was interesting. That was the word they'd used. Interesting.

At this point Right was sat across from them at the parlor table, looking quizzically at the tea and lunch that had been ordered for the both of them. This, they'd said, was supposed to help while they decided what to do about their newfound burglar.

Right, in any other situation, would have assumed this was some rich noble who had far too big an idea of themselves. But there was something about this, a hint of threat that could be carried through. They didn't want to risk running. >

Niks, looking like a human of average build, was checking Right over.

"They offered you lunch? Tomorrow?"

Right nodded.

Niks looked as confused as Right felt. They felt some relief that someone else was now thinking through the problem with them, but his troubled expression didn't let them completely out of the woods.

"And they were... nice about it?"

Right made a face. Nice wasn't really the word they'd use, but they supposed there wasn't really a nice way to navigate that situation. At least the guards weren't called. And they were let go without a problem, though with the offer to come back and chat should they decide to. They were pretty firmly in the camp that they wouldn't decide to.

"I think you should go."

Right made another face, but surprised disbelief this time.

"No, really, I think you should."

He must be joking. Right leaned in, studying his face. The worried tilt of the eyebrows, the gentle pleading in his eyes, the small appeasing smile. No, not joking, completely sincere. Concerned, but sincere. Hopeful. They were not sure for what.

"Okay," Right said. "I'll see them tomorrow." >

It was good to get away. Having not come back with the weapon was a scar on their record, and it was good to not be underfoot while the higher-ups were still angry about it. They would turn their sights to other targets soon enough, but for now, Right would keep their head down.

It was raining again.

They'd been told to meet at a little café in a part of town they rarely visited. Without the urgency and purpose of a job, they were able to feel out of place among the nicely dressed crowds. They remembered looking in the mirror, at the wide-eyed young person who stared back, the messy hair and dingy clothing. They tugged their hood forward, again. Best to just get there.

Their... friend? Their friend was easy to spot, bright teal skin and golden horns, with a high-collared, well-tailored outfit. Right thought again of their own reflection, and wondered momentarily if they'd be able to see something similar in the well-polished horns.

"Ah, good, you came." Glee had already gotten a small table, set outside the establishment but under the protective awning. The table was covered in books and papers and selections of food, and they cleared a spot for Right as they took a seat. Right stared out from under their hood, still unsure what to make of this whole thing. But they were confident in reading people, and they at least understood that this person's demeanor had changed entirely since the encounter in the inn room. No more threat, never any malice, just a friendly interest.

"I apologize for forcing your stay yesterday, but you understand you also forced mine," Glee said, pouring the two of them a drink from a painted teapot. This was perhaps more tea in two days than Right had had in a lifetime.

"But I think it would be good to become acquainted. Anyone who could get that far with that lock has a talent being wasted on thievery, I am sure." Still staring out from under their hood, Right was happy to let Glee talk.

"I should explain, I have an interest in all these mechanisms, and was not expecting to be nearly bested by someone so... You are how old, if I may ask?"

Right stared for a moment. "Twenty-six."

"Ah, yes, someone so young. I am teaching at a workshop while I am here, and I would love to see what you think. I believe it would be of interest to you."

"Why are you so sure I'll care?"

"Oh I am not sure," Glee laughed. "But what is the harm in trying?" >

Right sat on their bed, such as it was, and was concentrated on a little thing settled in their lap. They had their tools stuck in it, and didn't look up when the door opened.

"Hi Niks," they said, still staring down.

"Hi love," he answered, and they felt him sit down on the bed next to them. A few moments of silent watching before Niks leaned in. "What do you have there?"

"A thing," Right replied.

"Well, I can see that."

Right finally looked up, staring at his face for a moment. He looked like an elf again. They looked back down.

"Glee gave it to me." They said. Niks waited for more, knowing words came slow for them. "It's a practice lock."

"They're having you practice opening locks?"

"And a bunch of other stuff." There was a satisfying click that punctuated the statement. Right looked back to their partner with a small smile on their face, for once. They held up the mechanism, now in two parts. The innards were a complicated series of pins and tumblers, and a mess of subsidiary parts that looked like engraved clockwork to Niks.

"Seems complicated," he said.

"It is. But I like it." >

Glee rolled up the large schematic that was on the desk in front of them. The small gaggle of people who attended their lessons were filing out of the room, but Right stayed behind. Like usual.

It had become a routine. For lack of jobs right after their failure, Right had quite a bit of free time, and they spent it coming to Glee's lessons. Then they'd have lunch. Sometimes Glee would talk, sometimes they wouldn't. Right liked it either way.

"Good to see you, come along, come along," Glee ushered them into the afternoon sun. Right followed along, like usual.

They walked through the city crowds, eventually settling down in a park with a few baked goods picked up from a market along the way. It was a rare afternoon, without the rain, and Glee was determined to make the most of it. Sea air floated on the wind from the north, and the warm sun felt like a blanket in winter.

Right sat in silence for a while, nibbling on a croissant, thinking this would be a day where Glee wouldn't talk. Sometimes they were busy writing or reading, other times they were content to just sit. Right was content too.

"I will be leaving soon," Glee said.

Right swallowed. It was harder than they expected. They had gotten used to this over the past few months. They had forgotten Glee was only visiting Kahuali.

"I wanted to offer to you, if you wanted, to come back with me," Glee sounded ever so slightly nervous. Right felt nervous. "I've been wondering these years if an apprentice would be a good idea, and I think now it would be."

Right tilted their head towards them, but couldn't bring themselves to look at them. They stared at the ground, thinking.

Here, here in Kahuali, was their life. They had been raised here. They knew all the back alleys, all the doors they shouldn't open but could, all the little tricks and quirks of a place that they called home. Niks was here.

It had only been a few months. Breaking one routine to return to the older, it wouldn't kill them. Even if they didn't like it.

"I can't," Right said.

"That's alright, Right," Glee said, quietly. Right finally looked up at them. They had a small, warm, understanding smile. "If you change your mind, you know how to find me."

They finished the rest of their lunch in silence. >

"They offered you a way out of here?" Niks said, later that night.

"I don't know why," Right added. Niks was quiet for a while, like he was thinking. Right was confused.

"Because you deserve to get out of here, Right. You should have."

Right was even more confused. A swelling of panic and regret was rising in their chest. They hadn't expected him to be upset.

"These people, they'll eventually kill you. You understand that? No one gets out of this without consequences."

Niks no longer looked like an elf, or a human, or any of his usual faces. He'd dropped each and every one. The black-eyed, white-skinned changeling was at his barest. Right looked him over. That tilt of the mouth, that posture, that glint in his eye. It was all there, plain as day, but it was twisted in worry and desperation. The sharp, alien features looked so vulnerable.

Right made a small, nervous noise. The words came slow and hard.

"Wh... what about you?" They asked, ventured, pleaded.

"I'll have to find my own way, love. I will. You should have gone." He looked away. >

Right woke up to a commotion outside. Screaming and angry yelling, some ways away through the criminal hive they called home. Distant, but enough to jolt them awake. They were sensitive to that sort of thing.

They grabbed their knife, and cautiously peered into the mess of hallways that connected everything. Their ears were pressed forward. People were still shouting, things like 'catch them' and 'he's dead.' Right stared.

A shadow coming down the hall, with the sharp, quick footsteps of someone running for their life. Right rounded the corner.

They had the fascinated feeling they had felt looking in the mirror. They noticed their crossbow was in Right's hands. The mechanism had been fired recently, now unset.

Right grabbed Right's hand. The Rights ran. Even in the now firmly-set panic in their chest they noticed the tilt of the mouth, now twisted in terror and purpose.

The face melted, Right's skin dissolving into pure white. Their yellow eyes turning to his black ones. How could anyone ever be confused about his faces? How could anyone ever-

More shouts behind them, arrows bouncing off stone floors and walls, Niks' hand gripping Right's like a vice. They turned another corner, bursting into the early evening's rain. The grip released, Right was pushed into the alley, and Niks turned around. He was gone back through the door.

He was gone. >

Right skid to a stop at the docks, breathing hard. Their hair, wet from rain and sweat, clung messily to the sides of their face. They prayed, something they never did. They prayed they weren't too late.

They scanned the loose crowd, looking over the tops for anyone tall, towering, blue, gold. Please, please, please.

If you were caught, no one would save you. They had had that drilled into their head. No one would save you. Please please please.

Finally, finally, over the top of the crowd they caught sight of their friend. Glee was busy directing a few dockworkers, turned away and making sure their belongings were being treated fairly. Right ran up to them, pushing through the crowd, fear in their stomach. Please don't have changed your mind, Right thought. Please don't turn me away now.

They tugged on Glee's sleeve, tears on their face blending with the rain.

"I can't stay here," Right said plainly. "I need to go now."

The next few minutes were spent being fretted over in an almost maternal worry, before things were understood. Right was still breathing hard when they crossed the gangplank, Glee's hand gently on their shoulder as the ship pulled away from Kahuali.

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