Sunday, November 21, 2004


Day 60

The nights are getting longer, the winds are getting sharper... winter is definitely not that far away. It took a while for us to get out of our nice warm bed, though we weren't as late as on the previous morning, so breakfast was not a problem. After that Memree and I dressed a bit more warmly than usual, and headed out into the city, determined to see more of it than we had so far, to experience the bustle of the docks, the hustle of the markets, see the ceremonial guards at their drill, and generally store away a few more memories of the place.

It does make Redwall seem like a sleepy backwater. The market we spent most time at must have been ten times the size of Redwall's, and it was only one of a number in various parts of the city. We bought fur-lined coats with fur-lined hoods, sturdy winter boots that come up almost to the knee, heavy winter trousers, and various other stuff, not all of it by any means as practical.

We had a noon meal at The Treasure Hunter - the same fish soup, and the same dumplings floating in it. It seemed strange not to have Cleve with us this time. Nothing had come of our notice on the wall there, and we asked the landlord to remove it... seeing that we were one person down, he didn't ask any questions, and that meant we had to appear more solemn than we were feeling, which was simpler than explaining what had actually happened.

The slave market here is big, too - as there aren't any big wars going on, it was mainly slavegirls in their flimsy, tiny costumes, all trying to look their best. The more you cost to buy, the better the conditions you can hope for, is the theory. Of course, the injections they get, the "All Virtue Preserv'd" treatment, ensures that they look pretty darn good, it adds a lot to their cuteness. It's a bit of a devil's bargain, of course - returned youth, an extra-long life, increased attractiveness, weighed against, well, the libido boost, the slavery bit, and the chance, low though it is, that the treatment won't work, but slam into reverse so hard that it kills. The older the subject, the higher the risk. That's probably why the ladies of society haven't gone in for it, though when you see the results, it must be a temptation. I'm approaching my prime, I suppose - it would be nice to stay this way!

But, as you can tell, we didn't really do much today. And we must very soon make our decision, whether to go straight back to Redwall, or find some adventure elsewhere before winter comes. Despite taking our names off that wall at The Treasure Hunter, our options are still very much open.

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