CHAPTER 3 THERE’S NOTHING BETTER THAN YOUR OWN SHOWER

Agent Brzko and Ferocity don’t return to the palace on Ploosnar, at least not the main palace. Emperor Bartala has been kind enough to provide Ferocity with quarters in the west wing of the palace. There is a hangar for his ship and a few private rooms. Ferocity doesn’t technically live in hiding, but he does keep a very low profile. Most beings think that Dragons are mythical, or ancient and extinct. His rooms are three stories tall – not quite large enough for Ferocity to fly but he can at least fully spread his wings. There is a private garden patio on the backside, behind a very high wall. Ferocity has even been assigned his own Ploosnarian butler, Whotov, who is too old to keep up with the day to day demands of the palace but not at all interested in retirement.

They arrived in the living room and are greeted by Whotov, who has become accustomed to Brzko’s method of travel. “Master Ferocity, you have returned, good evening Agent Brzko. Oh my you look as though you were fighting fires. Would you like me to start the water in the bathing room for you?”

“Yes, thank you Whotov.”

“Agent Brzko, will you be staying with us?”

“No Whotov, I’m on my way out. I’m going home to clean up. Ferocity. I’ll contact you later, call me if you need anything.”

Ferocity nods and heads toward his bathing room, a long hot shower sounds very appealing.

“Where? Where would you like to go?” The Muse of Mischief and Agent Brzko are freshly showered and sitting on their deck overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Lincoln City, on Earth. Agent Brzko has just made a surprising suggestion.

“I’m not sure that I want to go anywhere, I don’t want to give this up. This is where we met, and I love it here. We could keep this place as a private getaway. But after our recent encounter with the VReoria I’m starting to think that whoever hid us here on Earth won’t be back. But if they do want to find us it’s not that hard. We’re known throughout the Universe. Beings that need help manage to reach out to us all the time. And, I think there’s one other thing we should consider.” He pauses to let this all sink in.

“Go on…”

“For some reason the VReoria attempted to capture us on Trella. The Dragons think they were successful in eliminating them, but they thought that once before too. If the VReoria find us here on Earth, we won’t be able to save the planet and there’s no way Earthlings can defend themselves. I don’t want to see Earth enslaved by the VReoria.  I think we should consider setting up a main residence where the inhabitants know they are not alone in the Universe and have the infrastructure to defend themselves from interstellar attacks.  And if we live on a planet like that then Lelelu, Ferocity, Zri, and even Bartala can actually visit. We might be able to work more efficiently. Well, not with Bartala. When he’s around we don’t always get a lot done.”

This makes M laugh. “I see your point and I can’t disagree. I like having a place to stay in the palace on Ploosnar but it’s not the same as home and sometimes I worry that our presence is an inconvenience to the Empress.”

“Not the Emperor too?” Brzko teases.

“Nah, he deserves the inconvenience for some of the stunts he’s pulled. I think your reasons are completely logical, and I’ve been considering the same thing. So far we’ve managed not to attract undue attention to Earth but I’m sure it’s just a matter of time. Do you have a place in mind?”

“Three possibilities, yes. I think we should consider a private residence on Ploosnar, Gaznzul, or the Planet of Portals. They are all reasonably safe and well situated to be convenient for the others.”

“I like all of those places. Ferocity would have more freedom on Gaznzul or the Planet of Portals than he does on Ploosnar. What about an island? If we had an island on the Planet of Portals  we could have several different structures. How would you feel about having an island?”

“I can see that.” A grin spreading across Brzko’s face as he considered having an island all to themselves. “Ferocity could have his own place, Lelelu probably wouldn’t want to give up her home, I know she loves her place it’s been in  her family for a long time. But she could have a second place on the island. I think that could work M.”

“So I guess we need to go island shopping.”

“Shopping? I’m not sure it’s called shopping when you’re looking for an island M.”

They sit quietly for a while, listening to the waves, watching the sun drop below the horizon.

Brzko breaks the silence, “Are we going back to Ploosnar to see G’saar tomorrow?”

“I don’t think the Empress would ever forgive me if we weren’t there to help them deal with it. I have to distract her, try to keep her from laughing. Although I’m sure when we see G’saar in person he won’t look as shocking as his pictures.”

“There’s something else I want to mention.” Brzko said. M just looks at him, waiting for him to continue. “I think we should go back to Trella. It bothers me that we don’t fully understand that place, and it seems like it was created for us.”

“I agree. When do you want to go?”

“Soon, if we can get away, let me talk to Ferocity first. He lived there alone for a long time. I’m sure he’ll have some suggestions about how to explore Trella.”

M nods in agreement.

They sit in silence, enjoying the breeze as it comes in off the Pacific Ocean. M feels her tablet vibrate and takes it out of her pocket and unrolls it. Brzko’s tablet is on his side table, he also looks at his. They’ve received a message from Lelelu:

I know you two are enjoying a quiet evening at home, I think this can wait until tomorrow but I wanted you to see this message that I just received from someone named Nyeeq’r. Evidently he’s the official concierge to the King and Queen of  Utkrora. It’s a small planet in the Cosliuq Galaxy, mostly covered in water. There are two species on the planet – the Spubfurnia who are completely aquatic and the Blenia who are terrestrial. The Spubfurnia are the ruling, or noble, species and it seems the Blenia evolved to ‘care’ for them. I’ll do some more research tonight and hopefully have more details for you tomorrow. Nyeeq’r is a Blenia, and his family has been in service to the royal family for many generations. His message is attached, I’ll see you tomorrow at the palace.

They both open the first of Lelelu’s attachments.

I am initiating contact on behalf of the King and Queen of Utkrora, as the reputation of the Muse of Mischief and Agent Brzko finding the lost, and helping those in need is well known to them.  Princess Cluthea has been missing for several rotations now. The noble inhabitants of Utkrora are Spubfurnia - completely aquatic, they breathe through gills. So you see, the Princess could not simply be misplaced. There are some Blenia that are resentful of the Utkrora and the expectation that they will devote their lives to serve them. With each passing rotation, the King and Queen’s fear increases. They fear that Princess Cluthea may have been taken hostage or harmed. Please, on behalf of King Plyke and Queen Eyjdra, I implore you to send the Muse of Mischief and Agent Brzko to assist in the search for Princess Cluthea.

Nyeeq’r Vupromia Flivus
Concierge to the King and Queen of Utkrora
Thirty-second Generation Vupromia to the Nobles

“Hmm, this sounds interesting. Are you up for getting wet Brzko, maybe a little scuba diving?”

“Hell yeah, I’d love to check out Utkrora. Did you see the images she sent?”

“I’m just looking at them now. Ummmmm…. The Spubfurnia look a lot like, well salamanders!”

Brzko chuckles, “You’re right, they look like those pink walking fish from the caves in Mexico… um, I think they’re called axolotl.”

“This is going to be interesting. I guess Trella can wait, we’ll go right after we meet G’saar tomorrow?”

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