The Wanderer's Home

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The Wanderer's Home Stories of Afternoon
RI Operator icon.png
Logistics Operator
HR Director
RI Corridor
Hibiscus and Lava return home with a wanderer and temporarily entrust her with Vulcan. Vulcan decides to name her Ceobe.
Now, it is up to Ceobe to judge for herself whether she wishes to join Rhodes Island.
<Background 1>
Rhodes Island Landship
Medical Examination Room 6
Hibiscus Open.
Say "aahh."
??? ........
Hibiscus Say "aahh."
??? Hmph.
Hibiscus Come on, open your mouth, please? I'm just checking your teeth. I promise I won't hurt you.
??? ........
Hibiscus Come on....
Don't make me pull out the big guns every time.
Hmph, I'll make you behave.
Look, Miss Perro, what do I have here?
??? ?
Hibiscus It's your favorite, isn't it?
If you're a good girl and help me finish my exam....
These honey biscuits are all yours.
??? (Sniffing)
Hibiscus That's weird. Why isn't she reacting to the honey biscuits?
Lava There's something wrong with your recipe, Hibiscus.
How many times have I told you not to put weird stuff in your food?
You never listen.
Here, little Perro, I'll give you this.
What? (Sniffing)
??? Awoo.
Lava But you have to be a good girl.
??? Mmmm—
Hibiscus It worked!
That's my little Lava. So reliable.
Lava Too bad you're not.
Hibiscus Okay, let's proceed with the oral exam.
Swallow the crumbs, okay, and open wide...
Lava Hey, Hibiscus?
Hibiscus Watch your tongue, Miss Perro—Hm, what?
Lava Why did we bring her back with us?
Hibiscus Because we felt bad for her. Her infection is very serious.
And the head of the Leithanian branch even said:
"It's a good thing you subdued her. There would have been no hope for her if the police or bounty hunters found her first."
"An Infected person as far gone as her, with the way the laws in Leithanien have changed, almost certainly would have been euthanized."
"If it's at all possible, please at least get her out of Leithanian territory. Thank you."
Lava Even if she wasn't Infected, the way she was just attacking people on the road would probably not have ended well for her.
At least twenty-four groups of travelers got attacked before us. She hurt nearly a hundred people.
And that's just in Leithanien. Who knows what she did anywhere else.
Not to mention her fighting skills. I don't think the five of us could've pulled off attacks like that.
Hibiscus But all she did was take some food. She was just hungry—Ow!
Lava She almost killed me!
If Kroos wasn't looking out for me and Beagle wasn't so quick with her shield, this Perro would've crushed your little sister with that rock-covered javelin.
Hibiscus Miss Perro, please don't bite my hand!
??? Waah.
Hibiscus Okay, okay.
Your teeth are almost finished. Just a little longer. Hang in there!
Yeah. Good girl.
Come on, Lava, don't be like that.
Lava Like what? I'm just stating facts.
Hibiscus What's with you all of a sudden? Getting pissy about every little thing.
I thought you loved Miss Perro?
Lava Yeah, she's great. She loves me too.
That's why she threw all kinds of rocks and flames and ice and pretty much everything at me.
How did she master so many different complex Arts anyway?
Hey, little Perro. Are you sure you've never studied Originium Arts?
??? Ooh?
Hibiscus Heyyy, I told you not to move—Lava, quit screwing around!
Lava I'm just asking...
Hibiscus LA—VA—!
Lava All right, all right. My bad. Whatever.
??? Mmm?
Hibiscus Ah, sorry, Miss Perro, just a little longer.
And now here, and here.
Lava ........
Hibiscus Whew. And that should be it.
Now, Miss Perro, we're pretty much done. Rinse your mouth with this glass of water, and be sure to spit it out. Don't swallow.
??? Mmm.
Hibiscus Little Lava.
Lava Huh?
Hibiscus Something's bothering you.
Lava None of your business.
Hibiscus You were the first one in the squad to give her something nice to eat.
Lava What's that got to do with anything?
Hibiscus After starving for that long, she shouldn't be consuming much sugar, from a nutritional standpoint. But she really needs to supplement pretty much everything at this point.
That's why...
Lava Wait....
Hibiscus You snuck off and bought a bunch of candy.
Only later realizing you'd spent all your money.
Lava That's enough...
Hibiscus Or when we were bringing Miss Perro back, everyone was worried she'd run off.
Only you were brave enough to try to communicate with her, building the trust we needed to take off her shackles.
Lava Ugh...
Hibiscus And once we learned she liked honey biscuits, it was you, among the five of us, who worked the hardest to make the best ones.
Lava Seriously, stop!
Hibiscus Your big sister is very proud of you.
Lava Come on, don't talk about this stuff in front of her!
I– I just did what I had to do.
Hibiscus But it's so sweet. No need to hide it. Hehe.
Lava Oh yeah!
Hibiscus What?
Lava So, um, the, like, oral exam, that's the last part, right?
Hibiscus Yes.
Lava And then, um, what happens to her?
Hibiscus Well...
That's not up to us.
The operators responsible for that are still talking over her case. Orchid said she'd have someone tell us in the afternoon.
Anyway, after a busy morning and all those examinations, it's time to find a place for Miss Perro to—
Beagle Hibiscus, Lava! Are you still not done checking out Miss Perro? If we don't leave now, we'll miss Dobermann's training! I'm going on ahead!
Lava & Hibiscus Huh?
Lava Hibiscus?
Hibiscus Oh, what?
Lava I thought you said got us out of Dobermann's class!
Hibiscus Huh? Uh, well....
I, er, I might have forgot...
Lava Why didn't you say so earlier?
Hibiscus All I could think about at the time was helping Miss Perro with her checkup...
Lava We're dead.
Let's go pick out a pair of coffins.
What are we gonna do?!
Okay, how about we take little Perro out now and give her to the first person who comes along? I just hope we can find them again after training.
Hibiscus That plan is a little...
Lava Let's see you come up with one!
I'm not running laps around the bridge again.
And I bet you don't want to memorize anatomy textbooks while doing jumping jacks either.
Hibiscus Who would?!
Okay, fine. We'll do it your way.
Lava I'll get her weapons. You deal with her.
Hibiscus B– but what about her mouthwash—
Lava She already swallowed it!
<Background fades out and in>
Rhodes Island Landship
Outside Medical Examination Room 6
Lava (There's someone!)
Vulcan Can I help you?
Lava Can you take care of this girl for a bit? We'll come get her right after training.
Vulcan What? Girl?
Hibiscus These honey biscuits are her favorite. If she gets cranky, just give Miss Perro one of these.
Vulcan Huh?
Lava And don't let her have her weapons just yet.
Lava & Hibiscus Thanks!
Lava C'mon, c'mon, c'mon!
??? Wait!
Lava I'm sorry, Miss Perro. We'll be right back!
Aahhh! Only three minutes! She's gonna kill us!
[Hibiscus and Lava rushes off, leaving the Perro girl with Vulcan.]
??? Wah...
Vulcan ???
So, what's your deal?
??? ......
Vulcan Just take the biscuits. Eat them whenever.
??? ......
Vulcan You want me to carry your weapons?
??? (shakes head)
Vulcan Good.
Come on. My workshop is this way.
<Background fades out and in>
Rhodes Island Landship
Vulcan's Workshop
Vulcan Come on in. Have a seat.
If the forge gets too hot, you can go behind the partition.
??? Thanks (quietly).
Vulcan Don't mention it.
??? ......
Are you... a blacksmith?
Vulcan I'm Rhodes Island's blacksmith. Codename Vulcan.
??? Vul... can...
Vulcan... is... Minoan?
Vulcan Yes.
??? Can Vulcan check my weapons for me?
Vulcan I am not authorized to perform maintenance on unregistered weapons.
??? Oh...
Vulcan (Although, the weapon she's holding...)
(It feels somewhat... familiar...)
But there's no harm in just taking a look.
Can I see that axe you're holding?
??? !
Here you go!
Vulcan Thanks.
(This is definitely Minoan craftsmanship. Brings back memories.)
(It's worn. It's been a while.)
(But it's been wiped down surprisingly clean. You're doing what little maintenance you can, at least.)
(The construction is solid. Doesn't look like it's too damaged. It would be like new after some basic touches.)
(Oddly, no chipping, no warping of the blade. Pretty low temperature steel.)
(The steel...)
(It's familiar... where have I seen smithing like this before...?)
??? Um, ma'am?
Vulcan (Ma'am?)
(Whatever. She can call me that if she wants.)
??? On the axe, near the grip,
There's a word.
It's my name!
In Minoan!
I wanted to go to Minos, but it's a long walk.
No one I met could tell me my name. They could only tell me it's Minoan.
Since Vulcan is a Minoan, you must know how to read it!
Can you read it to me?
Vulcan Let's see here.
(Good thing, it hasn't completely rubbed away.)
(These characters...)
(They're definitely Minoan.)
(In standard pronunciation, this would be...)
(Ce... O... Be...)
Should be Ceobe.
Ceobe Ce... O... Be...
Vulcan Ceobe.
Ceobe Ce... obe.
I'm Ceobe!
I've got a name!
Vulcan, ma'am?
Vulcan (Ma'am... again...?)
(Maybe I should give her a little nudge...)
Wh– what?
Ceobe People usually have two names, don't they?
Like Lava has a different name when her sister calls her.
She's "Little Lava," or something.
I want one of those.
Vulcan Sorry, I'm not very good at naming things...
Ceobe Vulcan is a blacksmith. Blacksmiths are good people. And good people are good at naming.
Vulcan (What is this logic?)
(Whatever. She's just a kid.)
Let me think for a moment.
Ceobe Yeah!
Vulcan (She wants a nickname?)
(But I only know how to name weapons. What should I do?)
(Ceobesius? Ceobenie? Ceobetia?)
(No, no, no. She's not a weapon. I need another scheme.)
(Think, Vulcan...)
Ceobe Vulcan?
Vulcan (She mentioned "Little Lava" before, didn't she?)
Ceobe Are you okay, Vulcan?
Vulcan (Well, there's a pretty easy way out of this... might as well take it.)
We'll call you "Kay."
Ceobe Kay?
Vulcan Yes.
(It kinda sucks...)
Ceobe Kay... Ceobe...
Thank you so much, Vulcan, ma'am!
Vulcan You're welcome.
[Someone knocks the door.]
Ceobe !
Vulcan ?!
Don't be scared, Kay, it's just someone looking for me. No bad guys here.
Put down the weapon, okay?
Ceobe No bad guys?
Vulcan No bad guys.
There's no bad guys at Rhodes Island.
If you're scared, you can go behind the partition.
Ceobe Ceobe isn't scared of anything.
Vulcan Good.
Logistics Operator Vulcan, are you in?
Vulcan Who is it?
Logistics Operator Hello, Vulcan, I'm an operator with the logistics department. I've come to relay the decision regarding the little Perro girl who was brought to Rhodes Island yesterday.
Operator Hibiscus said she entrusted the Perro girl to you. Is she still with you?
Vulcan Yes, come in.
Ceobe Vulcan!
Vulcan Don't worry, it's okay.
[The R.I. logistics operator enters the room.]
Logistics Operator Good day, operator Vulcan.
Good day, little Perro girl.
Ceobe Don't call me Perro girl. My name is Ceobe.
Logistics Operator Oh?
All right, Ceobe.
Now then, we have been over the details surrounding your rescue, our determination is as follows. Please listen carefully.
Due to the circumstances surrounding your arrival, your personal freedom had been temporarily restricted.
We apologize for that. But from this point on, you will enjoy the right to free movement, effective immediately.
Ceobe ???
Logistics Operator Am I not being sufficiently clear?
Vulcan I think she may not be getting some of the legalese here.
Just give me the documents. I'll make sure she gets it.
Logistics Operator That would be a big help.
Vulcan ........
Ceobe Hm?
Vulcan Why were you out on your own back there?
Ceobe I wanted to go to Minos.
But I think I went the wrong way.
Logistics Operator According to information provided by the Leithanian branch, she traveled from Bolívar all the way to the Trijunction of the East, where she then turned back.
At that point, she made a large arc across the north, until finally being rescued by our people in Leithanien.
This girl can walk.
But why do you ask?
Vulcan If you made it to Minos, what were you going to do?
Ceobe Ask my name. And then...
And then....
I haven't thought that far ahead yet.
Logistics Operator Operator Vulcan, please inform her of the situation and let her make her decision.
Vulcan So what would you want to do after that?
Ceobe I don't know....
Vulcan Think it through.
It's important.
Ceobe I... I want to eat until I'm full every day.
Logistics Operator Operator Vulcan, what are you—
Vulcan Shh! Quiet!
Logistics Operator ........
Ceobe I want to spend half the day in a hot bath, and then wrap myself in a warm blanket.
And lay there until I'm hungry again.
And... and...
And I want a big house where I can keep all my treasures.
Carrying them around all day is kind of hard.
Especially when I'm hungry.
And I guess that's it.
Vulcan Understood.
If there was a place where you could eat and drink and have a house to sleep in, would you want to stay there?
Ceobe Who wouldn't?
Vulcan But most of the time, you have to think a lot, and you have to fight a lot of bad guys, and sometimes you might not sleep for days. Even then, would you want to stay there?
Ceobe I'm not very good with thinking...
Vulcan, ma'am, are you talking about being a hero?
Vulcan A hero?
Logistics Operator Haha—Ah, um, ahem.
Vulcan Heh. Yes. I'm talking about being a hero.
Ceobe I want to go there.
I want to eat, and be a hero.
What more could I ever want?
Vulcan Good.
Logistics Operator Shouldn't you help her—
Vulcan She's made up her mind, please take care of her paperwork.
If she needs a sponsor, you can put down my name.
Logistics Operator But you're—
Vulcan Should I repeat myself?
Logistics Operator Uh...
If you insist, I have nothing more to say.
I'll prepare a follow-up test for Ceobe at once.
But please be aware that you will need to attach the appropriate guarantees—
—and an explanation.
Vulcan I will.
Logistics Operator Well, I'll take my leave then.
Vulcan See yourself out.
[The R.I. logistics operator leave.]
<Background fades out and in>
Ceobe Hmmm....
What's happening?
Vulcan Nothing.
You still have a lot to learn, a lot of fights to fight.
It'll be a lot of work.
Get some rest while you still can.
Ceobe Oh.
Vulcan Huh?
(We'll get used to that.)
Ceobe You want a honey biscuit? Lava baked them. They're good.
Vulcan May I?
Ceobe Here.
Vulcan Thanks.
(What's this flavor?)
(It's kind of...)
(The crust isn't crispy enough, and something's wrong with the honey seasoning.)
(Other than that, it tastes exactly like the ones in Minos.)
Ceobe Is it good?
Vulcan Very good.
Ceobe Right?
Vulcan But.
Ceobe Huh?
Vulcan A biscuit like this should be eaten fresh out of the oven.
Put some jam on it, and pair it with a cup of tea.
Ceobe Will it taste better?
Vulcan Yes.
I'll ask Matterhorn next door to make some for you, when I get a chance.
He's great at making these sorts of things.
Ceobe R– really?
Vulcan Yes.
Ceobe Thank you, ma'am!
Vulcan You're going to be subjected to a lot of testing over the next few days.
We'll have to fix you up a bit, and your weapons too.
How do you want them?
Ceobe Y– you'll fix them for me?
Vulcan It's a blacksmith's duty to make sure a weapon meets its wielder's needs.
Just tell me what you need.
Ceobe Um, I want all my treasures to look as good as the weapons here in your house.
And, um, I want the other weapons to be the same color as my axe.
Is that too much trouble?
Vulcan That won't take much time.
I might be done in time for you to surprise Hibiscus and Lava.
Ceobe Really?
Vulcan Yes.
Bring your weapons. Let's get started.
Ceobe Yeah!!!
<Background fades out and in>
Lava Phew. *Pant*. *Pant*. I'm exhausted.
Little Perro is gonna be okay, right Hibiscus?
Hibiscus She's so good at fighting, and Vulcan is so nice. What could go wrong?
Lava Huh? Vulcan? Nice?
Anyway, I know she won't do anything bad.
But I'm more worried about that logistics operator who showed up in the middle of training. He had a pretty big file with him.
Gave me a bad feeling.
Hibiscus Uh oh, not this again.
In my experience, your "bad feelings" usually signal good things.
Lava I hope you're right... oh, we're here.
[Lava knocks the door.]
Vulcan Who is it?
Lava It's Lava. We're here to see the little Pe—Miss Perro.
Vulcan It's unlocked. Come on in.
[Hibiscus and Lava enters the room.]
Ceobe Ah, Lava and Hibiscus! You're here!
Hibiscus Huh? Miss Perro?
Lava Wh– what happened to your weapons?
Ceobe Don't call me Miss Perro anymore. Call me Ceobe.
That's my name!
Lava & Hibiscus Huh—?!
<Background fades out and in>
(Several weeks later)
Rhodes Island Landship
Logistics Department, Small Conference Room
HR Director I think you know why I asked you here today.
Vulcan How did she do?
HR Director How do you think?
Fancy a guess?
She doesn't take orders. She just throws her weapons around and makes a scene.
How do you think she did?
Vulcan Just tell me her results.
HR Director Her results. Heh.
She passed.
Vulcan Oh.
HR Director She made a mess of herself and failed a bunch of tests. But her personal character and potential qualify her to be an operator.
And, taking into account the opinions of several of her proctors, the other details are less important.
Vulcan The Doctor is never wrong about anyone.
HR Director Neither are you.
Well then, it's time.
Can I get a reason now?
Normally, the operator assessment process is initiated by the individual herself.
We typically look poorly on situations where an individual has the decision made for her. Especially when there is no guardian or relative involved.
Vulcan Sorry.
HR Director That's all I get?
Ah well, it's not that big a deal. Rules were made to be broken.
Just give me a reason. I have to pass something upstairs.
Vulcan A girl who likes weapons can't be bad.
HR Director All right.
Hold on, uh, that's it?
Vulcan Yes.
HR Director I'm gonna need a little more than that. A few more sentences or there's no way I can finish this report.
Vulcan I have to?
HR Director It's important.
Vulcan Well....
I'm a blacksmith. I don't know people. But I do know weapons.
If you have someone with absolutely no knowledge of weapon maintenance and upkeep,
her weapons are going to get damaged after a long period of use.
Still, she did her best to keep her equipment in good shape, to the best of her abilities.
That was enough for me to affirm her talent and potential.
HR Director How can you be sure she doesn't know weapon maintenance?
Vulcan She can't use a whetstone, she doesn't know her oils. That's long before we start talking about any rules or scientific principles.
The only thing she knows how to do is polish her weapons. And she's good at that.
HR Director Okay. What else?
Vulcan That should be enough.
You know better than me what has to go on a resume.
HR Director I do.
She's a Bolívarian, traveled the whole world looking for Minos, and never quite found it.
Still don't get why.
All I can say is her spirit is commendable.
Vulcan It's always good to have faith.
HR Director That's what I'm curious about.
You usually don't pay much attention to people.
This Ceobe, is she that special?
What is it about her that caught your attention?
Vulcan Her weapons.
HR Director I'm serious, Vulcan.
Vulcan I'm serious too.
HR Director How so?
Vulcan Her name was carved into that axe.
Minos isn't Higashi. We don't just tape our names onto weapons in case we lose them.
If your name is on a weapon, it means something big.
I couldn't forge that axe.
But that technique, I know I've seen it somewhere...
I want to help her solve the mystery of that weapon.
Then, maybe someday, she'll come back and solve something for me.
I guess you could say I'm just a selfish blacksmith.
HR Director ?
You craftsmen have your secrets.
Well, whatever.
That's enough for me.
Sorry to bother you. Go get some rest.
Vulcan I'm sorry too.
HR Director No need. I'm just doing my job here.
Vulcan Thanks.
HR Director Don't thank me either. Next time you're up for a drink, come by while I'm on. I've got a new mix, I'm calling it "Kazimierz Fury." Give it a try sometime?
Vulcan Heh. Sure.
<Background fades out and in>
HR Director Ha....
That's why I say HR ain't easy.
Kids these days don't know how to write a proper CV.
It takes a good chat to dig up all the juicy stuff hidden down there.
It's all mysteries wrapped up in enigmas.
Damn it, I'm an HR director, not a detective!
(Short, but passionate words in a Victorian dialect)
Logistics Operator Director?
HR Director Oh, what is it?
Logistics Operator Director.... we're ready to interview the new operator. If you would.
HR Director I see. By the way, here's Ceobe's contract, all signed and notarized. File it for me and then send someone to inform the operator of her formal onboarding.
Logistics Operator Understood.
HR Director Just a moment. Be sure operator Vulcan is there for that. She may be needed to explain some of the formal terms and conditions.
Logistics Operator Understood.
HR Director Okay, enough chatter, back to work.
........(flipping through new operator files)
Sure enough.
Another one who can't write a CV worth a damn.
Looks like I'm in for another long evening.