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Chapter 1 Part 8 The Platypus point of view.

The Dinosaur Puncher October 28th 2021

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They all began talking at once.

Except for the Platypus. He helped Toad jr to a seat and gave his wounds a once over as the commotion reached ever growing heights. Toad jr (Toad) was also talking at the top of his lungs, but if it was relavent to the present time none could say.

The Platypus sat and watched as the Gargoyoles began to land and slop up the Gargoyole bait. Natan sprang into action and cleared a sizeable drafting table he had had hidden somewhere and started laying out the original blueprints for the Tavern as well as what must be ancient early drafts.

The Gargoyoles, about 30 in all, sat around in small groups conversing in their Gargoyole tounge and generally not doing any work between bites of Gargoyole bait. Natan waited in what he must of thought was a very patient manner. His teeth ground together so loudly the Platypus could feel the rasping sound of molar on molar. His grin was rictus, like someone had stayed his hand just before the apex of ‘Urge to Kill Rising’. A very popular song of the time.

A Swooshing sound announced the arrival of the Gargoyole Foreman. He was bigger and more musclular than the others with hands that could crush stone like a man crushes a paper cup of coffee. Instead of being menacing, his hands were full of protractors and rulers, meauring devices and marking instruments. He had solid red orbs behind thick eye lids that seemed to hate the world. They were the red eyes that sprang forth from nightmares of the color red, everywhere.

Gargoyoles were immune to time like ogres were immune to magic. If Ogres were older than the gods, then Gargoyoles where the master craftsman that forged the Ogre. Tucked behind the Gargoyale Foreman’s pointy ear, was the leftover nub of a well used pencil. That pencil behind the ear took away just a little bit of the menace. The rest of the menace was swept away by a genuine grin of enthusiasm that although it did not reach the hate of all life that is and are All Gargoyale eyes, it radiated from the bottom half of his face in a comforting waft so that a mortal might breathe.

The Platypus could tell that Natan hated The Foreman already.

Chauncey was gesticulating wildly toward the border, were a few of his tentacles cast a surprisingly good shadow puppet theater of armies of dinosaurs sweeping over all of the civilized world. There were airships and bombs and explosions and crying orphaned little girls left bereft on his imaginary and desolate battlefield.

The Colonel was busy angrily pointing at the moon were the fleet of airships lay mothballed. It had been a safe guard against their destruction after the war, since dinosaurs were confined to the border.

Toad sat vacant eyed with his accustomed thousand yard stare. He was lost in his own thoughts. The Gargoyoles kept looking at Toad as if he was some kind of oddity, but kept their distance. If Gargoyoles had hackles, they were up whenever they looked at Toad.

The Platypus turned back to Natan.

The Foreman paid absolutely no attention to Natan who was positively vibrating with fury at the disrespect. The argument between The Colonel and Chauncey was growing heated while the Dinosaur Puncher attempted to mediate. Mum had been watching Natan during the heated exchange and gave The Platypus a look and he immediately obliged. Mum’s powers were still depleted and she was on the mend from being thrown against the thousand year pint glass collection. The Platypus opened a private channel of air between Mum and Natan, and ‘forgot’ to not listen in.

The Platypus forgot nothing.

“Natan! Dearest, are you alright? Luv. Luv, can you hear me?”

Natan’s nostrils flared as his eyeballs watched the Foreman go and greet each and every Gargoyole that had awnsered the call of the Gargoyole bait. They guffawed and laughed sitting around, some fanning their wings, others licking their own…leg.

Still others sat amongst the rubble of the tavern turning stone into sand and back again over and over without end. They snorted it and seemed to gain a momentary excitement from it, before excreting it in a loud bang as their Gargoyole mates snorted pointed and laughed.


Still, still doing nothing. and Natan waited, and fumed the way any proper gentleman would do when he was about to lose ownership of his Tavern.
Gargoyoles are without time. Their hate for Life stems from the fact that all life keeps time. But only Gargoyoles can be the Masters of Time.

Natan was turning Red, his nearly bald chrome dome flexing as blood ran across his scalp feeding a hungry throbbing vein.

“You’re alright luv! Remember, what is time to us?”

Natan mumbled something between clenched teeth.

“what is that Luv?”

“Time is precious. Precious.”

Mum or ‘Precious’ as she was known to Natan exploded into a bunch of girlish giggles which The Platypus did not quite understand but he could read the pheromones in the channel.

Natan relaxed a bit and his rictus grin of death became more business casual, and ready to negotiate. The terms were pretty cheap. Gargoyoles would fix repair and protect the tavern for all time. For as long as Gargoyoles deemed time to exist that is.

All title and ownership would be given over To the Gargoyoles and that is what Natan did not like.

He would like to pass the tavern down in the family as it had been handed down to him and given him every bit of joy in his stoic and metered life. Accept except of course, for Precious.

The Foreman made a smirky smirk that pretended he didnt know exactly who he was looking for.

“Now Hi, guys so sorry to interupt, is there a NA-daniel here? did I get that right Na-daniel?”

His voice was the sound of primordial lava that oozed down the path paving rocks as they broke and hissed. It was deep rich and full of flavor like menthol.

“Natan.”

“OH! Natan! Guys! ice wine service!”

Three Gargoyoles broke off from turning sand into rocks and back again to make the ice wine. One Gargoyole created a stone frame and stone mugs that matched it. Another blew ice wind at the stone frame that chilled it down to subzero. The last Gargoyole parked his stout port belly over the chalice in the stone frame and slit his own belly open with a ceremonial knife. His guts poured out in a tangle releasing a putrid stink like someone had farted in the shower. Wet, dank decaying and old. The Platypus wretched. The Gargoyole then sliced a tube of his guts open and a neon blue bright liquid poured out and began to slosh around as if it was alive with culture and active lifestyles and wore sunglasses and looked cool in a hat and could totally pull off an ascot.

Within the next breath came the delicious aroma of Gargoyole Ambrosia known more colloquially as ice wine. As the Blue liquid reached the top of the chalice, the Gargoyole pinched the tube of his gut off, stuffed his guts back in his belly and zipped them up with a finger of fire.

“Brewgus is one of our most celebrated master brewers” said the Foreman with a smile. He then dipped both stone mugs in the blue liquid and pro-offered one to Natan.

Natan took it and drank deeply. The Platypus licked his bill, remembering the flavor. It tasted like the first plunge from a high rock into a river, full of excited fear and shocking release as the water closed over your head. It felt like a polar bear swim shivering with goose pebbled flesh before slipping into a natural hot spring and your nerves crackle back to life with fresh warmth. It tasted like catching a perfect wave at the end of summer, full of nostalgia as salt dries on your nipples in the waning afternoon sun. Above all, it tasted like the wonder of time, both fleeting and never ending.

It was all of that and when Natan opened his mouth to sigh in delight a cloud of frost swirled away and sent a chill across the room a short distance in front of him.

The whites of his eyes had changed to blue, and the Foremans red eyes were also blue. It would fade in a minute or two.

“Let us begin”, said the foreman. “How do you feel about skylights? I foresee lots of open spaces among cozy secluded corners”.

The momentary bliss on Natan’s face melted away as the blue drained from his eyes.

“Now see here, If we just stick to the plan here, we can rebuild the tavern as good as new!”

“Looks like lots of large timbers”.

The foreman snapped off a command and a small contingent of Gargoyoles stood up and took flight toward the forest, presumably to gather timber. The foreman and Natan then started looking over the blueprints and discussing the overall design. Mum had turned back to the discussion evaluating all the arguments with her shrewd mind.

The Platypus stared off idlly as Chauncy made another push for the border, tentacles flapping urgently across the table. The tavern overlooked a fitness path and he spied a Man running down it, his long white beard and hair flowing over his shoulder in the light fall breeze. The man suddenly put on a burst of speed his hand outstretched. The first leaf of fall was descending down to the ground and the man just missed catching it. He slowed back to his normal pace, a wistful gaze on his face. The Platypus smiled. This man just going about his daily routine was unaware the epic danger he had just avoided. He reached out a tendril and knocked a leaf free in the mans path. Once more the man put on a burst of speed and haphazardly zig zaggedy back and forth across the path, chasing the leaf as it fell. The mans hand closed succinctly around the leaf and he tossed back his head with a wild laugh, relishing this meaningless victory. The man then simply dropped the leaf and returned to his run, a satisfied look about him.

The Platypus turned back to Natan and The Gargoyole Foreman. Natan’s face and his whole head up to his shiny scalp was bright red with barely contained annoyance. He spoke with teeth together in a tight clipped cadence that chopped every word off with a vengeance.

“Now look here Sir! These are the plans for the Tavern. This is what we need built. Just this and nothing else!”

The Gargoyole Foreman shook his head back and forth as one massive claw cupped his chin.

“I have been doing this for a few millennia now and I have never, ever, done a job without putting in a water piece.”

“We do not need a water piece! Just some walls and ceilings as shown here!”

“Oh but every Tavern simply must have a fountain! Really creates the ambiance!”

The deep rich sound of rocks being crushed as they smoked and hissed did not fit the words that were coming from the Foreman’s mouth.

“The tavern already has ambience! It has the ambiance of being a bloody tavern!”

There was just a bit of spit at the corners of Natan’s mouth.

“Alright! But don’t say I didn’t warn ya.”

The Foreman began putting the Gargoyoles to work in earnest as the logging crew just came flying back in. They were hauling about 20 huge oak trunks that they dropped in a corner of the rubble. They began immediately hewing the wood into enormous timbers for the arched roof.

Precious had returned to the table having left for a bit to freshen up. Her hair was an avalanche of curls on top of curls that gently swayed and pulsed with her moods like a medusa. Only instead of turning mens hearts to stone, it filled them with unquenchable lust. He suspected some sort of witchcraft was at work. She was now in full battlegear. A skintight flex suit hugged her lithe body and tucked into knee high boots complete with metallic knee and shin guards. A large leather belt strapped around her waist dangled pouches with the ingredients of her craft. They collectively gave off an aroma of allspice and rosemary that was both alluring and intoxicating.

She leaned over the table and her ample bosom swelled as it compressed between table and breastplate.

“Excuse me darlings.”

No one payed her any mind as the arguments reached a fever pitch. Chauncey had done one of his circus tricks and contorted his octopus body into a mockery of the Colonel. One Colonel was more or less human colored, a tad red. The other Colonel changed colors at the speed of light. They were face to face shouting about what the correct order of events should be. Talk to the council about inspecting the border, or hauling off to the moon to gather the airship fleet.

“Yes Yes but we don’t know that it was an assault by the dinosaurs! There hasn’t been a raid in Londanta for going on 5 years!”

“To da Fukin MOOn mate! the bloody moon! dats it in itnit?! Itinit?! well, Itinit?!

The Colonol was fond of opening and closing his arguments with the conflagoration that is the conjunction, ‘Itinit’. It was an infallable tool in the barroom drunken debate. It managed to stymi Chauncey not because he was drunk but just because it was the nonsequitar of the idiot. He, not being an idiot was shocked and dismayed, but mostly shocked, when logic left the building.

“Exactly. Alright so we go round to my AAAAARRRGGGGGGHHHHH!-“

Chauncy had plunged a tenticle straight into The Colonel’s ear and suckered a soft tenticle onto the grey matter within his brain pan. The Colonel began to mimick the Colonel in the Colonels voice, but cheeseier and nerdier than The Colonel would ever like.

“umm I am the Colonel.. um my nipples. Ummmm.. touchy peekaboo. Blah blah spaceships from the moon will solve erverything when the enemy is 10,000 nautical miles south INnnut? Innut? Innut? Innutt?

The Colonel shook Chauncey from his brain and wretched just a little bit.

“Doan do dat! I warn you! These fuking dino sticks mate! we need the balloons of war!”

The Platypus, having been involved in a few feuds and and a very long war, was about to pipe up when a hand Smacked the table with a resounding Smack.

Precious Sunbeam Moonshine, 7th level witch, Aquanaut of the 37th battallion, Commander of the 52nd, Master of the Forge, Keeper of the Steel, On call Royal Assasian for the Leige-Da-Dur his excellency, (see Leige-Da-Dur History), Had had enough. Precious Sunbeam Mooonshine did what came naturally to her. She took command. They were a pretty powerful group to command and Precious simply layed out all the assignments for exactly who was gonna go were and do what. Noone argued with her. They mostly just said Yes Mum. The sounds of a busy construction site intruded on their meeting and Mum cast a spell raising translucent walls of silence around them. she used cinnamon and thyme and the electric lines of magic thrummed with spice.

The Platypus sneezed.

He turned inward as the details were once again disscussed. He did not like this idea that they may once again go traipsing across all of creation in service to an ideal. His life was perfectly ideal right now thank you very much! He did not like this. He didn’t like it and he was forced to admit, he was a little afraid. He had fought before. He had courage enough on the day, but the idea of going out there and looking for danger began to make him queasy. He began tugging at another tuft of his fur. He remembered hiding in the shadows next to a mangrove tree, magical bolts ruffling the fur on his cheeks they came so close. He shuddered and pulled harder at the hair.

Above all he abore the void that were his thoughts in war. Hollow. Empty. A loneliness that hung in the air and clouded his sight. It turned water to torture and food to ashes in his mouth. A bannana fudge whip would be so much sawdust, minus the flavor of even sawdust. He began to despair. He thought longingly back to what he used to think of as a rather hectic schedule. Morning lectures in building ‘A’, a leisurely stroll to building ‘B’ for labratory research. He remembered when that frisbee landed at his feet and he was so shocked it had finally happened, he missed his chance to sweep it up, do a backflip and send it flying like a fucking badass. Part of him had died that day. It was hope. It was hope that had died that day. The disc was swept up by some student who simply muttered, ‘professor’ and tossed it and his dreams lazily away.

He felt a sharp jab on his side and looked down. it was Chauncy’s ridiculous walking stick. The Platypus bristled and ruffled his fur as he glared at Chauncey. He was about to berate him with a rather clever insult when he felt another jab from his other side. He turned, but nothing was there. He looked up at the Dinosaur Puncher who merely looked at him with that crooked smile and winked, before turing back to listen to Mum go over the plan.

The Platypus Narrowed his eyes. His friends were taking the piss.

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