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Oh Rats

Posted on Fri Sep 22nd, 2023 @ 7:52 by Shane Gooseman & Rebecca McMillen

Chapter: All Hallow's Eve
Location: New Cresthill
Timeline: Nov 6th
1446 words - 2.9 OF Standard Post Measure

Shane was shopping. Not a usual pass time for him and something he was not terribly good at. As a career soldier most, not everything had been provided for him and Shane had not often shopped for 'civy' clothes. The small village did not have much in the way of shops. It was a rural community and did not really provide much in the way of shopping. Inverness, a city approximately 1.5 hours away by car, was of course an option and he had thought about going into the city to get a present for his daughter. However he did not want to stray from his new place of work. He also had more pressing things to purchase on his shopping list. A shirt and tie....and probably some smart-ish trousers. He had arrived at the academy with little to nothing, and he felt his wholly jeans, faded t-shirts and flanal shirts would probably not cut it. He was deep in thought and was more than surprised when he literately bumped into a new acquaintance and fellow teacher.

Rebecca was lost in thought herself as she came around the corner. Working on lesson plans, munching on a slice of cheese she took from the kitchen when a figure came around the corner and bumped into her. That's when it happened. A surprised 'eep', still a little jumpy from the previous night, and that was that. Rebecca had vanished. Literally just vanished. No smoke, no mirrors, no rush of air or puff or sound. Just gone.

"Ummmm, careful. Sorry about that." it was Rebecca's voice, but softer. Further. Smaller. Certainly less. There, on the floor next to her folder and few pages of paperwork, was Rebecca. Tiny, as small as a mouse. Two inches tall (As Shane would recognize, measuring the diminutive woman in Freedom Units rather than the Metric System), she gathered herself up and stood on her own two feet. Didn't help.

"Sorry, still a bit jumpy. Ummm, gimme a sec, once I calm down a bit I can control it."

"Hey no worries. My fault" he responded politely, hands up in surrender. This was certainly up their in his most odd things to happen to Shane this week scale. "

Once the moment had calmed, Rebecca started the process of literally willing herself to return to her normal size. It was odd to watch from an outside perspective, but soon enough Rebecca had returned. "Sorry about that." she offered, reclaiming her folder and teacher-work.

Shane leant down and helped with picking up the strewn collection of binders and such. "No no my fault. I was not paying attention to what i was doing or where i was going. To much going on in the old brain matter if your know what i mean." he paused for a moment given her a quizzical appraisal "are you ok?"

Once her papers were back in her possession she gave a nod, "Thank you." she started. "And, neither of us were really watching where we were going, so it's a draw." she offered with a soft smile. After a moment to check out all the important things which consisted of the latest medical techniques: Taking a moment to see if she was about to feel pain, or taking a moment to sway her tail to make sure it was attached...

"Everything *seems* intact, so I'm alright, thank you. When I'm small, I'm practically weightless. I can take a fall MUCH better than I can now. So, there's that." a pause, "I'm okay, thank you. So, ummm.... what's on your mind that you're bumping into folks?" she asked with a dig, a playful one though. No harm.

Shane grinned "I was trying to find somewhere i could get some smart clothes for the job." He shrugged "for the fitness stuff i have my track suite and things, but if i ever have to give a lesson or anything. These dilapidated threads are not going to cut it. At least not without a tie.

She gave him a once over, "Yeah, definitely a tie is all that needs." she teased with a smile, "No I'm just kidding, yeah there's a bit of a town or so just down the way. Not like, closeish but not terribly far. I mean, I'm used to walking, been doing it my whole life. If you're good for a walk we can go together to get you something appropriate for the class. Oh, and the tie too." she smiled.

"So, hey real quick, before any of that. Last time you thought I'd make a good fencer. Were you serious?" she asked. Seemed confidence is something she sometimes lacked.

Shane chuckled and scratched his beard. "Yeah most definitely. With your natural dexterity and tail for balance, I believe you would be very good. Not count of monte cristo good. But still very good. I think start with foil and you would rock epee and sabre in no time."

Rebecca gave a giggle, "Well, I'd be more a Countess of Monte Cristo, but... I mean in time sure. You really think?" she offered, and then struck a pose, as though holding a foil. "You know..." she pretended, and then went through the classic fencing motions that most folks who had seen any number of movies had seen. She looked like she was having fun, wide smile on her features.

"Right, okay later. Later. First off you wanted to head out and go shopping. Trust me, I could USE a shopping day." she offered, "Just, ummm, I don't have a driver's license, so.."

Shane gave a belly chuckle to. Laughing with Rebecca , but nodding approvingly and giving a genuine thumbs up. Shane was confident that given a little practice Rebecca would have excellent swordsmanship, and if she so choose could use it as a sport for exercises and fun or as a means to defend herself. Shane then realised something to. He scratched his beard and said "well now that you mention it. I do not have a UK driving licence either."

"Well then it looks like we'll have to walk. Keep our eyes open, and stick to open places." she offered. "I'm... I'm used to walking everywhere I had to go. Walked here from London. Well, walked, trained, bussed. Sneaking onto the train is easy for me." she offered. "Just, never had the chance or the need for a driver's license. I have an ID, but that's not enough. Also, paws are hard to use on the pedals." she covered. Truth was, the closest she ever got to being behind the wheel of a car was a toy car. And that hardly would count on the test.

"Fair" said Shane nodding in agreement. He clapped his hands together gregariously and smiled "well It's been a while since i had a long walk." He looked up at the white clouds in the sky "yeah we should be ok, shouldn't rain." He looked around thoughtfully "urrrmmmm what way do we go?"

Rebecca pointed off down the yard. Along the extensive driveway over the bridge to the mainland. "Well, for starters, unless you'd rather swim we could take the bridge over." she joked, but was a little nervous still about walking the grounds. The area was still disturbed here and there, if you knew where to look. Burn marks, patches of overwatered ground, subtle signs of a massive powered action. A conflict, maybe.

"I know the way pretty well. If worst comes to worst I can ask for directions from the field mice, or once we're close enough to civilization, I can actually ask the rats." she mentioned, like it was nothing. "You know they outnumber people in some places." she smirked, amused by her affinity. It was the first time in a long time that she actually felt *pride* in her mutation.

"I can believe that" said Shane with a fond smile, but a shiver was going up his spine from the last time he was in a jungle and the rats would get into the food and body bags. He shook it off and smiled again, getting back into the now. He politely signalled with a small bow and sweeping arm gesture that she should lead the way "please lead the way. After you"

With that Rebecca took the lead. What an odd phrase for her to say in her head, but it felt good. She offered a nod of thanks in return as she took the first few steps in the front. As they pair crossed the grounds the devastation worried her, but in a few more steps the pair was in good shape, with a well guided navigator.


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