Making Friends

"Hey fella, you a regular? What's good?" he ask, turning to the patron next to him.

"Who you callin' fella, smooth-skin?" the ghoul said, looking up from his drink, foam still dripping from his grotesque lower lip.

"Name's Drakk," he said with a tip of his hat.


"Hmmm... well, I'm Addey. And no, I'm not a regular. First time here, same as you," the ghoul said, turning back to his drink. And just as Drakk was about to assume the conversation had reached its conclusion, "But I did see someone order a steaming meat pie earlier, that looked pretty good."

Two hours later...

"...And that's when I said, this IS the Great Filter!" Drakk concluded his story and downed yet another mug of alcohol.

"Is it just me, or does he make MORE sense the drunker he gets?" Addy asked with a raised eyebrow.

"You... would not be the first to say that," Penelope admitted.

"That's when I do all my best thinking," Drakk retorted.

"Of course, Master. But perhaps it's time we found accommodations for the night," Penelope suggested, helping her companion to his feet.

"It was nice meetin' ya, Addy. See ya around some time," Drakk said with a wave.

The ghoul nodded and waved in response, "Crazy kids..."

Back outside, the night air was crisp as Drakk stumbled about, his movements unsteady and his words slurred. Penelope walked beside him, her presence a steady anchor in the sea of drunken haze that enveloped him.

"Where to now, Master?" Penelope asked, her voice calm and patient as she guided Drakk through the crowded streets.

Drakk grinned lopsidedly, his gaze unfocused as he scanned the row of stalls lining the alleyway. He looked this way and then that... And went this way.

Penelope looked away for a moment to read a sign. When she looked back, he was gone!

"Master!" she called, a sudden knot of fear welling up inside of her.

Thankfully, he hadn't made it far and she was able to easily catch up with him.

"Look, Penelope," he exclaimed as she approached. "A map! This guy says its a map to a hidden Vault, can you believe it?"

Penelope's brow furrowed in concern as she glanced at the vendor he was referring to, his shifty eyes darting back and forth as he sized up the inebriated wanderer before him.

"Master, perhaps it would be wise to find lodgings first," Penelope suggested, her tone gentle but firm. "We can investigate this... map in the morning when you're feeling more... yourself."

But Drakk was already handing over a handful of caps to the grinning vendor, his drunken excitement overshadowing any sense of caution.

"Nonsense, Penelope," he slurred, his grin widening as he clutched the map in his trembling hands. "This is how I found your Vault!"

"And look where that got you," she said.

"Huh?" he stammered.

"Never mind. Anyway, I believe I've found lodging," she said, referring to the sign she'd read earlier.

"Lead on, then," he said with a dramatic gesture.

Despite the waste of caps, she took solace in the fact that he at least wouldn't remember most of what she was going to do with him that evening...

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