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Frontier Town Drungfield's Remedies

Lucien's mask sloughed away once again, although only after he'd taken a minute to fully absorb what had been said. It may have helped that Drungfield slipped him a persim berry on the sly while she spoke up first...

"I'll look into the guards on the grounds that Shadow corruption is a medical matter, and a civil concern," she said, adjusting her spectacles again. "I'll see to it that anything that can be done, is done. I only hope that whoever is elected mayor is up to the task of handling these matters."

Lucien nodded, and ejected a sharp sound that may have been an abrupt, awkward laugh. "I could not be less interested in holding public office. Not after spending a lifetime dreading the responsibility of it. No, I am content to be a civil servant if anything of the sort."

He nodded at the Wayfarers who'd offered words of comfort, and gave a slight bow. "...Thank you, for your kind words. I will be alright. I only ask that you are careful as you pursue these dark matters further. The more we learn, the more trepidation I feel..."
Steven offered Lucien a nod of his own. "We will be. Though if I may ask about another subject that's been brought up."

It seemed most present were happy to move on from the subject that brought them to the good doctor's office in the first place...

He eyed Lucien with curiosity. "I know you're not running for the mayoral office, but do you know who is?"
Lucien sighed, and wiped his brow with a wingtip.

"Not many names I'd expect you'd know. Well-to-do gentle 'mon from the east side, for the most part. And that one fellow with the propensity for great alarm..."

"Dayle," provided Drungfield, sounding like she was announcing a patient's time of death. "Machoke Dayle. That conspiracy nut."
"Is there, uh, going to be any means of actually getting to know them?" Nova tilted his head. Maybe the papers ran spotlights on them? "I don't read the papers, so I'm out of the loop." He glanced back and his dirty black and white pelt.
Dayle? Who the hell was Dayle? Wes supposed that didn’t matter, since all he needed to hear was “conspiracy nut” to know that the guy was not who receive the title. Sands below, he sure hoped they’d have better candidates to pick from than that.

He nodded at Drungfield’s response—it was reassuring to see her regain her composure and dive back into her businesslike manner, even if her and Lucien’s expressions remained grave. “Thank you—both of you. We’ll extend your offer of hospitality to the fugitive Lycanroc and hope he takes it. Please keep us updated if you get any new information from those prison guards.”

He stretched, then padded to the door. He wasn’t terribly interested in staying for the discussion on mayoral candidates, but most of all, he was eager to leave the sight of Fein’s body behind for good and never lay eyes on it again. He bid his farewell to Lucien and Drungfield, then slipped out the door.

Ch04: Odette & Ghaspius - Squad Ghouls
In the dimly lit room, shelves filled with dusty tomes and vials of mysterious substances cast long shadows against the wooden walls. Several bottles lightly clinked against one another as a certain scatterbrained Misdreavus trying and failing not to disrupt the inventory while performing counts of it. He winced, expecting the shelves to fall again, but let out a sigh of relief as they remained in place.

"Right, that's medications noted, now onto equipment..." Ghaspius muttered to himself with a hint of light resentment. His ghostly form swayed from side-to-side in place as he gathered up every loose scalpel, pair of tweezers, and various metallic tools he could and to sort them in their proper trays.

The faint aroma of freshly brewed coffee intermingled with the scent of fresh herbs and aged tonics as he continued, though it was more than apparent from his wandering gaze that he had long since reached the point of boredom. Trying not to lose too much of himself, he began to lightly hum a tune from his world as he worked.
Odette sauntered into Drungfield's like she usually did on the days when she came in for some more gun training. Even knowing she wasn't showing up for any sort of medical procedure, her skin never ceased to crawl every time she walked through the door of the establishment. She grit her teeth to ignore it, knowing they'd be heading outside shortly anyway.

"Drungfield?" she called, walking toward the back of the office. When she didn't get an answer, instead the sound of glasses clinking together and things being shuffled around, she furrowed her brow. She followed the chorus of noises to a cracked door, and poked her head in to see a misdreavus tinkering with some stuff on the shelves. Oh, she recognized him...

"Uh, hey," she said. "Sorry to bother you, was looking for Drungfield."
Ghaspius's voice hitched as he quickly said, "Yup working hard yes ma'am absolutely just checkin' out the... the..." He trailed off as he slowly turned around, realizing it was not, in fact, his boss coming in for a sudden inspection. "Oh! You're the gal in our group that runs the bar, right?"

Even putting his misremembered detail aside, he brightened up at the familiar face. "She's not in right now, but I can put in a message for ya if you'd like. If not, well," he paused, glancing at the tedious work to be done, "I wouldn't mind the company, if you got the time. Whatcha comin' in for, anyhow? Upset stomach? Hangover? Broken heart?"
Odette scratched her cheek sheepishly. "Run the bar is a bit of a stretch," she said. "I guess I run the entertainment side of things, but that's neither here nor there."

She deflated upon hearing Drungfield wasn't in. She must've had to run out for something relatively important. It wasn't the first time. "Oh," she said. "No, no need. We usually have shooting practice around this time, but I know she's busy."

Looking around at the room, she pursed her lips, slightly impressed at the sheer amount of crap in it. "I have nothing else to do right now, so I wouldn't mind lingering until she--" She cut her gaze back to the misdreavus, brows lowered. "Broken heart, huh?"
Ghaspius's brows furrowed as he tried to mentally file the correction, but he quickly bounced back as his expression brightened. "Well, ya still know what goes into those brews though, right?"

He let out a hum as he inspected one of the scalpels. "Needs a second wash," he mumbled to himself before acknowledging Odette. "That's for one of them 'firey arm' things, right? Been wantin' to try to deconstruct that miracle powder myself if I'm bein' honest!"

The Misdreavus gently placed the tool down before turning upside down to directly face Odette. "You'd be surprised just how many folks come in sayin' that their heart aches and they need medicine, when really they just need somebody to talk to." He spun right back around again. "Too bad that ain't no cure for a bad romance. Am I right?"
She bobbed her head in a non-committal gesture. "I've picked up on a few things, but I'm definitely more of a singer than a mixologist. I could recommend what's good, though."

Giving Ghaspius a decently wide berth to allow him to do his work, she found a sturdy footstool to sit on while she watched him file through more miscellaneous vials and items. She stifled a chuckle at his question. "You mean firearm?" she offered. She reached under her skirt and pulled the derringer out to show it to the ghost. It wasn't loaded right now, so she saw no issue with it. "Yeah, I'd never held one of these dated species of guns previously, and Drungfield's been helping me get the hang of it." As what he'd said registered with her, she quirked a brow. "Miracle power as in gunpowder? What do you need to deconstruct gunpowder for?"

Shaking her head, she decided she probably didn't want to know the answer. She had to laugh at his sentiment instead. "Isn't that the fucking truth," she chuckled scornfully. "I think the only cure is just not trying, but I'm too stupid for that."
"Yes, please!" The Misdreavus replied without any hesitation. "Oh, to decompose those concoctions and isolate the flavor humor...!" He let out a sigh as the flights of fantasy that came from his passion took him on a ride beyond the conversation.

Ghaspius slowly blinked as he realized he dropped one books he was holding with a loud thud. Its pages flew open as a random chapter about the dangers of curare unfolded. With a meek smile, he slowly leaned down to pick it up and place it on its proper shelf — trying his best not to crease the pages or damage the cover.

"Y-yeah, that firearm," he said, finally acknowledging Odette's words as he floated over to inspect the revolver. "From my understanding, they create miniature explosions in order to propel a projectile across a distance a breakneck speed, with a reaction as a result of—"

He paused as her words fully sunk in. "Hang on, did you say dated?" The Misdreavus leaned close. Real close. "You mean to say these are commonplace in your world? And more advanced?"
Oh, that all sounded like STEM. Historically, a lot of STEM subjects and her didn't mix very well, but she nodded along politely. So far, she was keeping up. She let a small grin play on her lips while she listened to him babble, but quickly shot back to full, alert attention as he leaned in close to her. She leaned backward, her back nearly falling against another shelf, to keep their noses from touching.

“Y-yeah,” she said in a daze. “This thing,” she waved the little gun around, “is practically ancient compared to what I use at home,” she said. “Mine’s a little bigger. Holds more bullets. In fact, it doesn’t even fire on traditional gunpowder.”
Thankfully, the ghost gave her a proper amount of space as she answered. His eyes quickly darted to the shelf, and he let out a sigh of relief. "Sorry 'bout that; just got my attention there. Drungfield will cut my cloth if she saw me mess things up again," Ghaspius joked with a low chuckle. Still, the twinkle in his eye was as bright as the night sky.

"Still, that's really somethin' else; I've been tryin' to figure out miracle powder back home myself," he briefly shared as he reminisced about his old world, "I ain't one for weapons, but you've seen some of the explode-y light shows that can come from those things, right? I'm sure ya have from the way ya talk!"

The Misdreavus fluttered towards one of loose articles as he continued. "Truth be told, I've just been wantin' to see if that miracle powder stuff could alchemize into a solvent or material. You know how many engineering hard-hats could use that sorta thing?"

He dipped his head out of habit of tipping his own hat, but frowned when he realized he hadn't evolved yet.

"Ah, look at me ramble like I'm a new grad again," Ghaspius waved a tassel to dismiss his own musings, "Never even said hi properly. Odette, right? I'm Misdreavus Ghaspius of— er, just Ghaspius. Guessin' your world was a whoooole lot more advanced than this one then?"
"Oh, sorry." She scrambled back up into a sitting position, also giving the shelf a once-over herself. "I don't wanna come in here and fuck up your flow," she said. But still, personal space was a thing, and she was glad the ghost figured that out.

"Yeah, those would be fireworks," she said, nodding. "They're a big spectacle where I'm from, indeed."

She tried not to let any sort of dumb look play on her face, but one managed to poke through anyway. "Pardon me, most earthly sciences and I don't mix well, so that kind of talk will fly right over my heads," she said. "I know in its raw form it was game-changing in my world, so I can imagine no matter what you do with it, it could be helpful. And probably pretty dangerous if you're not careful."

She smiled again at his greeting. "Yeah, that's me. I remember you from the train platform, actually. Hard to forget a misdreavus; I'm quite the ghost-type fanatic." Nonetheless, she returned his greeting with a lazy wave. "It's a pleasure, though. And, uh, yes. That might be an understatement," she said. "My world has gas and electric-powered vehicles, and small handheld computers that can communicate with people across the world, and giant flat screens that produce moving pictures, and these fancy things called skincare routines. It's quite nice."
"Fireworks, that's what the name was," Ghaspius replied with an 'aha' beneath his breath, as though it were on the tip of his tongue earlier. "Well, I know a thing or two about bad recipes. Long as we keep it good things and don't do bad, it should be alright, right?" The last statement, despite its simplicity, was stated with incredible haste. Was he trying to avoid thinking about something?

"Really now? Can't say I know what a 'computer' is, but all of that stuff sounds just nifty!" He trilled as he spun one of the books in grip before slotting it into place. "I won't bother ya on the details about how it all works since it sounds like that's not your thing, but oh the things I would do to see even a glimpse of that kinda world..."

He let out a dreamy sigh and shook his head. "Skincare? So I take it you're one of them humans then?" The Misdreavus's brow furrowed as his gems dimmed a bit. "And uh, thanks for bein' transparent about your typing preferences, but I'm not into girls. Sorry!"
There was a haste in Ghaspius's tone that felt out of place for the conversation at hand, one that left Odette narrowing her eyes for a second. It sounded like he had some experience with dangerous mixtures, which...could go either way. Was it accidental, or purposeful? It was evident he was trying not to broach the subject, which led her to ultimately file it away in her mental notes cabinet for the time being.

She was more concerned with the way he visibly deflated upon catching the hint that she was human. Her hands shot up in a lazy defensive stance. "Well, yeah, but I'm not a--huh?"

The comment left her sputtering dumbly over her own tongue, which suddenly felt very thick inside her mouth. "N-no! No," she said as she waved her hands frantically. "No, that's not--I train ghost types where I'm from. Some of my best friends are ghost types. I've studied them, but I would never--" She was shaking her head incessantly. "No. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to give you that idea."
Despite the escalating awkwardness of the situation, his gemstones brightened back up once more. "Good, good; didn't want to be the cause of a broken heart 'fore we treated another one," Ghaspius remarked as his smile returned. "Sounds like you're some kinda coach for ghosts then? Like a specialist dojo master or tribe leader then?"

An eerie chuckle escaped his lips. "Ouch, though, you really would never date a ghost-type? That's cold even for us."
Exhaling in relief, she settled her hand over her heart. "Yeah. Yeah," she said breathlessly. "I specialize in magical types but my primary focus is ghosts. My mum was an occult scientist and I kinda followed behind her in terms of training rather than the actual numerical research. It's purely platonic, I swear..."

She laughed again, albeit with more of a nervous flair. "No, unfortunately I have a specific attraction, and it's not specter," she said, rubbing her forehead. She paused, her lips curling into something of a mischievous grin. "Look, it's an eye for an eye. You strike me down, I strike you down. It's only fair."
"Magical?" It was a though a light bulb activated. Perhaps literally, given the glimmering glow of his gems. "Could ya tell me a bit more 'bout what y'all consider magic? I'd almost call everythin' you've been talkin' about magic, buuuut if there's some untapped research or technique that could be used..." Ghaspius's wide eyes practically sparkled.

He sputtered at her last remark. "Oh, you got me then," he said as he grinned and shook his head. "Guess neither of us stood a ghost of a chance, eh?"

Despite the conversation's potential to be distracting, the Misdreavus seemed to be working faster than ever. Maybe he just needed something interesting to cut through the tedium.

"Grim as it sounds, I'm hopin' neither of us find a fella in Forlas that gives us the lovey-doveys. Everythin' would get all turvy and complicated, and not in a fun way," he said as his eyes moved to the ceiling. "Still, I mean, maybe Betel would pull through for us somehow if it did come to that...?"
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