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Another Day In Nowhere
Gil woke to the smell of stew cooking. His stomach grumbled with hunger, so much so he was compelled to get out of bed even though he still wished to get a few more extra winks of sleep. As he stumbled into the kitchen he found N'eela stirring the pot of stew. She turned and flicked the earlike frills on her head, her eyes lighting up and a small smile forming on her reptilian face at the sight of Gil.
"Morning." N'eela said as she grabbed a bowl from one of cupboards.
"Morning..." Gil said listlessly as he poured himself a cup of water. "What's cooking?"
"Stegosaurus." N'eela said.
"Isn't that like cannibalism for you, N'eela?"
"I am not a stegosaurus." N'eela smirked as she scooped out some stew and poured it into the bowl for Gil.
"Eat, master." N'eela said, cutting him off as she put the bowl in front of him.
"Not your master..." Gil said as he begrudgingly accepted the bowl.
"You need your strength, I'm sensing today will be an eventful day. The stones said as such when I performed my daily divination." N'eela said, taking a seat in front of Gil.
"Every day is eventful." Gil muttered as he ate the very delicious stego-stew.
"Wise words from my master, as always." N'eela beamed. Gil merely shook his head in frustration as he ate. "Jhonen wished to speak to you later today, I got a message over the cortex."
"What's he want? New arm still giving him problems?" Gil asked.
"No he wouldn't say, only that it was a matter of importance." N'eela said.
"Which means he's got a mission for us." Gil finished the stew. "Finally, some action. I've been going stir-crazy with nothing to do."
N'eela quickly took the empty bowl from him and proceeded to wash it.
"I can do my own dishes, N'eela." Gil said.
The lizard girl hissed at him when he attempted to take the bowl from her. "That is my job. You gather your things, the journey to the village will take us a while."
Gil knew she was speaking the truth, so he went upstairs to get dressed and gather his tools.
The village, known to many as The Cradle, was larger than a simple village. It was put together from repurposed old buildings that had suddenly appeared in the valley many years ago, as well as a few crashed ships and some old space colony prefab units. A hodge-podge of materials from across various times and places.
Jhonen Cross sat in his rather cozy office, he was cleaning his revolver and listening to the cortex at the same time. Things were getting restless. A village to the north had gone dark and Jhonen was certain it had something to do with the recent influx of neverweres.
Neverweres were one of the many odd things that called Nowhere home. Ghostly creatures that appeared during anomalous phases of time and attacked almost anything in the vicinity where they have manifested. They came in all sorts of shapes and sizes, some looking humanoid, others animal. Most were just a nuisance, and others were a genuine threat. Some believed they are echoes of lives that never got a chance to exist in an actual time, the lives that were never born, hence the name as they "never were."
Jhonen heard Matilda approaching, when she entered his office he saw she was wearing her hiking boots and a pair of black pants and a midriff exposing top. She smiled at him and rushed to give him a hug before sitting on his desk.
"What's going on, Father?" Matilda asked, noting the look of concern on his face.
"I've called Gil and the others to discuss the village that went quiet yesterday. We're gonna go check it out." Jhonen said.
"Can I come?" Matilda asked.
"If it's neverweres, I can certainly use all the help I can get."
Gil arrived at the ranger station in Cradle around the time the others had. Jhonen clearly had concerns if he called in everyone. The man certainly looked more dour than usual as he looked to the group.
"Thanks for coming so soon. We have a bit of a situation and you are the ones I trust to help me look into it. The village north of us, Haven, has gone dark. I sent a wave via the cortex and haven't gotten anything back. Either they have a broken transmitter, which I'm sure Gil can fix when he gets there..." He looked to Gil and Gil merely nodded. "Or something else has happened. In either case, we need to look into it. However, like usual, this is on a voluntary basis so any of you who want to join in simply speak now."