An Excerpt, Pt 3.
This one comes from Ziggy’s interview with Cobbwocket brothers for a job as a Swarzrok, which was a gnomish word that he didn’t understand.
“So you want me to fly this thing?” I asked, still trying to wrap my head around how essentially a boat tied to a large balloon would work.
“Yes- we’ve had… problems,” Lumbert said, answering before his brother could. “It’s difficult to convince potential clients that our method of travel is safe and secure. There’s a bit of a stigma attached with being a gnome. Humans simply don’t trust our inventions. Sure, some occasionally blow up, but there is no conceivable way this thing could blow up a second time. It’s perfectly safe.”
“The real problem is they don’t trust our flying skills,” Nerrick interjected, trying to shy away from pointing out technical problems, “So nobody trusts us with their goods. Gnomish eyes are good for seeing things underground or up close, but we tend to get blurry at long distances. That’s why we need someone like you. Most of the merchants in this city are human, and if they see a human behind the wheel, they’ll be more likely to trust that our invention is mechanically sound.”
“Fire!” Pimmel shouted from across the room. Apparently their water cooler had burst into flames. Nerrick and Lumbert wasted no time, darting over to the wall and unravelling a large hose. They dragged the hose over next to the watercooler and clamped it in place while Pimmel hurriedly filled a cup of water from the jug and tossed it on the growing fire on the back side of the cooler. I jogged over to see if I could help and was almost bowled over when both gnomes darted back to the wall where the hose connected. The climbed into a large wheel attached to the wall, maybe seven feet in diameter. After some disagreement about which way to go, they both turned to the left and started running in place. Before long the hose ballooned up taunt and water gushed out from the end of the hose, sending both the watercooler and Pimmel sprawling across the hanger floor. Lumbert and Nerrick saw the fire was out and slowed the turning of the wheel. The flow of water eventually stopped and the hose went limp.
Pimmel picked herself off, tilted the watercooler upright, and began to inspect the damage. “Musta been a bad valve,” she yelled across the room as they slowed to a stop.
“See, I told you that brace would earn it’s keep,” Nerrick told Lumbert, seemingly rubbing the statement in Lumbert’s face.
“Alright, alright, but we can at least both agree that the wheel was much better than the pump.” Lumbert shot back defensively. Both nodded their heads in agreement as they walked back towards me.
“Sorry about that,” Lumbert apologized. “We just added a new Intake valve on it last month and still don’t have the bugs out. It’s been doing that on and off for a few weeks now.”
That wasn’t exactly comforting.