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Friday, April 27, 2012

R2-D2 in Adrilankha

I’m nobody.  I run a small restaurant in the Easterners’ section.  Okay, maybe nothing as grand as a restaurant, but I’ve got plans, you know?  Anyway, a strange thing happened to me yesterday.  See—

Yeah, fine, your wine’s a little sweet for my taste, but go on, pour me another.

Okay, here it is.  A man and woman walked in and ordered klava.  They chose a table in the back.  I plunked down two glasses, filled them with piping-hot klava (my special blend), and left them to enjoy the privacy they so obviously sought.  

I was working on the dinner menu when a strange contraption rolled in through the front door.  It looked like a large metal can on wheels.  Its dome-like top spun around.  A round light blinked at me, and this…thing… produced a series of whistles, clicks, beeps, and what resembled a series of musical notes played by a beginning instrumentalist.  Then the noisy container rolled into the darkness, heading for the couple enjoying their privacy and klava.

Okay, so I save money on candles in the afternoon.  You want to hear this or not?

Anyway, I was intrigued, so I followed after this…thing.  But I froze when it projected an image of a man about the height of my forearm.  Although I could see through him, and so I knew he wasn’t real, he still looked so lifelike, standing there on the table before the two glasses of klava.  Clutching a notebook and a pen in his hands, this tiny apparition said,

 “Steven Brust, years ago you served me purely as entertainment.
Now I beg you to aid me in my struggles against Writer’s Block.
This is my most desperate hour.
Help me, Steven Brust: you’re my only hope!”

Then the image of the man dissolved, the metal contraption turned around, and I stepped aside as it rolled past me, still emitting those curious whistles, beeps, clicks, and notes from a poorly tuned instrument.  From outside, I heard someone say, “There you are!  I’ve been looking all over for you.  You delivered a message?  What message were you carrying around in your blasted innards this time?”  When I turned back to my guests, I saw the man’s nose wrinkle as he set down his glass.  I hurried back to the bar, brought the couple two new glasses, and poured them some more klava.

No, I didn’t.  I could tell the man was dangerous.  I didn’t think it prudent to delve too deeply into his affairs.

So you tell me, what manner of sorcery moved that device?  And what should I make of the man’s plea?  No, I haven’t had too much of your overly sweet wine!  Really?  You honestly think I'd make up such a story?

I’ll agree with you there, friend.  It all seems a bit much to me, too.

R2-D2: Star Pilot extraordinaire

To book passage to Adrilankha, contact Star Tours.  (It’s not an official destination, but check with R2-D2.  Maybe he can arrange something).
For a review of this restaurant (or, as Vlad so generously describes it, a “klava hole”), read Chapter 5 of Teckla by Steven Brust.
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