Anu Foster picked at a smidge of lettuce from his fangs with his tongue. In doing so he cut his tongue lightly, to which eh instivevely suched on the blood. He swished a bit of saliva around his mouth to wash away the tangy aftertaste of iron and balsamic vinegar. It wasn’t quite the same.
Foster was taken well care of at Frankie’s. There were those who considered the man the godfather of the Demon Quarter, many had been called such over the years and several could lay claim to the title even at this hour, but it was not a label Foster would give himself. He was a man of a certain set of rules. He was not inclined to call them a moral authority–he mused to himself as he picked at his salad–but rather laws he had discovered of the eons of existence that seemed to allow him to survive where others of age had long vanished.
The first rule was to stay humble and find wisdom in all things. This was a constant struggle at his age, as the lessons of the universe were taught time and time again the rotation of the sun. He had seen his contemporaries all stare at the sun, when instead they should have been watching how the universe interacts to it. They should have seen how the trees grow, how the storms cycle across the skies, how the smallest creatures grow and wane like all living things.
For example, he had seen many of his ilk fall into the ecstasy of battle of the centuries. However, there was one human he did encounter back during the Great wear, a warlord of exceptional intelligence and strategy, to whom he held a level of admiration and respect. Not only was this human able to execute a heel turn to the opposing side, but he also was able to groom a victor to the war flawlessly and position himself as a shadow to the multi dimensional stage of politics.
Oftentimes he and Mister Riose would sit at Frankie’s and discuss the new relaquies that had collected. Once, Foster had presented to his human cohort the Emperor sword of the Dragon clan, one of the finest swords ever crafted. He in turn retired from his coat pocket the Wind Rune of Ticonderia which he kept in a small mint tin. Another time over tea and some cucumber sandwiches, the two debated the merits of the fourth dimensional beings they had in their ownerships–Riose’s massive reality removing robot versus his dimension devouring demigod. There was a level of finesse, Riose had argued, about being able to “delete” and “undo” planetoids with his Seraphim Typhon in comparison to the totalitarian of the abyssal maw Neo Gigark Z.
Oh, how he missed those pleasant conversations.
A uniformed staff member walked over to Foster’s table with a glass orb on a pedestal on a serving tray. A must seem to permeate from the orb that flowed off the sides of the try and down to the hardwood floors of the establishment.
Foster whipped his pale lips.
A murky vision of a puddle of black tar like apparition filled the inside of the glass orb. It was one of his embermen, one of several discarded elemental constructs repurposed into his employment. In his time in residence in Kupopolis, he had come to appreciate the skill set from diversity of the cityfolk.
“Curious… strangers… identified.”
“A Halberg… Teddy. Youngest. Two companions. ”
The would-be godfather always had to know who was encroaching on his territory, but the launch of the Space race, and especially the Auction, seemed to be bringing around the oddest of visitors. They raised a lot of false concerns that took up too many of his resources.
“Ah. Ignore them, they’re tourists. Please, thank you.”
The second rule to his longevity was to always remember to say please and thank you. It was a currency that spent little but rewarded plenty.
“Done. Also… potential disruption for tonight’s… barter”
Foster took a sip from his wine glass. He had been looking forward to the auction since Owser had announced it. The man had come from a wonderful lineage of humans with a good eye for reliquary.
“Be a dear and have your group take care of it please. Thank you.”
“Did you really think she’d go out with you? Also, why did you think it was even a good idea Mal? She’s the owner’s daughter!” cried of a moogle with sandy brown fur and a construction hat on. Next to him stood a tall, almost gangly young man, who adjusted with the settings to a radio that hung from the side of their company truck.
On the side of the dingy orange truck was the letters: KUPUBLIK KONSTRUCTION.
“I dunno man. I had some good luck lately and thought I’d ride it and see how far it would go. I have this mentor who told me to stop thinking small. Don’t tell myself no, let others do that for me, ya know?”
Mallory Kubrick was a Kupopolis mutt. His father was half neko, half moogle, and his mother was a half elf, quarter human, and quarter Hylian. The result was a humanoid appearing individual with hairy elvish ears, amber cat-like eyes, upturned nose, white hairy forearms and stubble, and vestigial wings that were removed when he turned twelve.
The two lined up next to each other as the music began, and each started to dance to a routine. A flow of rain splashed into the mixer, which began to churn as a small avalanche churned a mixing barrel around from the top, stirring the cement
“Well, I guess I don’t see anything wrong with that line of thinking. Maybe you should work your strengths anyway–you’re tall, you’re young, and you have a full set of teeth!” spoke the moogle as he grinned at the lad, exposing a partially toothless grin.
“You can get those fixed, you know Tommy,” spoke Mallory as he broke into a shimmy. As he got up from his dip, the two began to do the worm as the splurge of comments flowed out of the mixers and into the boxed out frame of the future sidewalk.
“Too expensive. I’d rather get my kid braces then fix mine, you know?”
The two hopped back up and began to dance the robot. With the flat sharp movements the comment began to flatten out and spread evenly. Mallory grinned when he noticed a tourist snap his photo–lately there had been a swarm of visitors, and the Kupopolis method of construction, using elemental dance magic to move heavy earthen materials, which went back from the early days of the city, had been popular with tourists. KK had received more contracts as of late just to have their “performances” on display.
His watch began to buzz mid macarena to wash out the mixer.
“Oh I have to take this call. Do you mind at all Timmy?”
“Kupo, we’re done here–go head?”
Mallory did a final hip thrust to pump the mixer back up into the truck before walking over behind the large vehicle. He tapped on the watch and saw a face on the screen.
“Yo,” he spoke. The man on the other end turned away from something off screen and looked at the camera. He was older then Mallory but the young man wasn’t sure by how much–he had met him only once and even then it was clear that he kept himself in peak physical shape.
“Hey,” the man spoke almost deadpan. “Got a job for you tonight if you’re free.”
Mallory peaked up. “Oh, uh, yeah I’m free! What’s up?”
“Cool. You’re probably aware, there’s an auction tonight. Just looking for the details on what trades hands to who. Take some visuals and the suit will do the rest. You know how it is, mostly a babysitting job.”
“The Owzer thing, right?” asked Mallory. He was trying to hide his excitement but his voice still cracked. Tonight he would get to rub elbows with Kupopolis high society.
“Yeah, got you an evite. Should get it later today. Washing it through some friends. I’m assuming you’re still building up that Knight persona?”
Mallory shrugged. “It seems to be what works best.”
Pretending to be someone confident succeeded at being confident, he thought.
“Whatever. I don’t really care as long as you keep a low profile. Just enjoy the ride I guess and don’t get into too much trouble. Remember, you don’t know me or my company.”
“Right. Oh, looks like Timmy is coming this way. Gotta go.”
“One last thing,” muttered the man on the other side of the screen, “word is it might get spicy tonight. Don’t stir the pot. The goal of our group is to reduce collateral damage. Uh, my boss had a rose garden analogy but it was stupid. Anyway, we can’t stop the wave but only shrink it. Lower the curve so to speak. Got it?”
“Oh no problems here. You know me!”
“Stay safe man.”