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Of Socks and Sandals, Part 1
When I met the dwarven engineer, Cerran, my first impression was that I didn’t know you could have a little people dwarf but then I realized it was age. He had folded in upon himself as if the weight of years had crushed him. I had thought dwarves aged like stone but he was more like a man and simply shriveled. But still, he had a ginger beard and eyes as bright and active as any spring-born youth could wish for. Behind him floated the innovation for which he was famous, a sphere filled with a soft blue light.
I stood on the gangplank and shook the dwarf’s hand. “Welcome to the Resilience, Cennan Mass, I appreciate the aid.”
“Aye lad, we’ll solve this demonic infestation. It does sound unique, you say it’s built some form of threads?”
He nodded gravely. “It’s an evil thing to steal a man’s socks. We’ll rid you of this foul beast.”
I grinned. Zane knew not what was coming for him. “So, this is your companion?” I looked to the orb.
The orb floated before me and bobbed slightly. A voice emitted not directly from its centre but the wooden bands around it. “I am LEROY – Lumen Exacinating Robotic Oppressed Yeomen.”
The dwarf went red, his face matching his beard and exploded, “Ya damn machine, it’s OPERATING NOT OPPRESSED!”
“I apologize, sir, I will remember that I am not allowed the most basic self-identification.”
Cennan sighed. “Sixty years, it’s been sixty years.”
I looked at the men who were loading the crates from the other boat. “So, what are in those boxes?”
The corners of the dwarf’s mouth turned up. “Supplies me lad, supplies. This will be my seventh finest invention of the last century and glorious! And the probability that the ship won’t even get a hole in it is 67% and sinking nearly zero!”
I looked around and put my arm around Cennan’s shoulder. “Let’s talk about this downstairs, the socks have ears.”
“Aye, I got you, that’s why I…” He pulled up his pants legs to show that he wore no socks in his shoes.
“I knew I hired the right dwarf.”
Leto Armitage, TBC