Ch4.12 Fatal Prophecy

As they depart Three Rats Guardia Station after leaving the intoxicated citizens in the care of Syro and the Doc, Aliyah hooks her thumbs in her belt and says, “Sooooo...Nate says it’s a new drug or somethin’. Guess we better go around knockin’ some heads, huh?” She grins at Cala.

Cala shakes her head. “Just remember to actually leave them conscious this time.”

“Hey! That was one time! And I only hit ‘im because he was tryin’ to run away!”

“You shouted and ran right at him! Of course he ran away! I would run away too!” Cala laughs at the memory.

Aliyah joins her. “Whaaaat? Are you sayin’ I’m scary when I’m mad? ‘Course I am. Anybody sellin’ drugs around the school had better run.”

“Let’s just focus on the job at hand, Allie. Isn’t this close to where Nate and Syro say they’ve found those two men?”

“Think so…” Aliyah spots a large figure and points excitedly. “Oh hey! Check it out! Ain’t that Brew? The god of, uh, brews?”

“Oh, yes! Maybe he knows what those two’ve been drinking,” Cala suggests.

Approaching him with a wave, Aliyah calls out, “Hello, uh, your…Brewiness?”

The bulky beer god, his long dirty-blond hair draped over his shoulders, hears the familiar voice of the Guardia corporal and turns guiltily. “Uuhh… Whatever it is, I didn’t do it!”

Cala, using her serious “Guardia voice,” asks, “And what didn’t you do?”

The deity shifts his eyes back and forth between the two mortal women. “That...thing I just said I didn’t do? I guess. Yeah, I definitely didn’t do that. And nobody saw me when I wasn’t doing it.”

Aliyah tries to suppress her grin and follow Cala’s lead. “Sir? Are you drunk?”

Brew snorts. “Well, yeah! What kind of a question’s that? I’m the god of beer! I’m always drunk! It’s kinda my thing.”

Aliyah shares a glance with Cala that says, Gods, huh? “Oh right...well, anyway...we found a couple of guys wanderin’ around in a state of whatchamacallit public intoxication. And we’re tryin’ to find out if they got some new kinda drug...or drink. Because, uh, our guy said that it was some kinda new dr–…intoxicant. Thing.”

Brew looks thoughtful and rubs his stubbly chin. “Were they babbling about crickets?”

Cala seizes on that. “Yeah! That’s right!”

“Maybe seeing other animals that weren’t there?” Brew continues.

Cala nods her head. “Yeah, they were!”

“And was there any mention of chocolate fountains?”

“Yeah! That’s it exactly! So you’ve seen it!”

Brew shakes his head. “Nope. Never heard of it.”

Aliyah throws her hands wide. “Nope?? Whaddya mean nope?! They were talkin’ about sex-crazed llamas!”

“Well, It’s not really my business what people do for fun, is it? It’s just that everyone seems to talk about strange visions that aren’t really there, these days. I mean, I’ve seen my fair share of hallucinations but I’m not sure I can drink enough to see llamas.” The god pauses. “Hey, what’s a llama, anyway?”

Aliyah tries to repeat what Syron told her. “It’s a cameloid with, uh, long ears and...I think it spits at high altitudes.”

Brew looks confused. “So, it spits at mountains?”

Aliyah looks very unsure, but says with as much confidence as she can muster, “...yes?”

Cala puts her hand over her face. “Look, forget the llamas. Do you have any idea where these people are getting…uuhh…intoxicated? Or what they’re getting intoxicated on?”

“Well, all I’ve got is this here flyer for the new church that everyone’s been visiting.” The beer god hands Aliyah a sheet of cheap paper, the ink smudged. “Here, you can have it.”

“A new church? Huh.” Aliyah looks at it. “The Esoteric Church of the Almighty Cuttlefish? Who what now?”

Reading over Aliyah’s shoulder, Cala says, “Seems like there’s a new god around.” To Brew she asks, “And you say you’ve seen all these intoxicated people hanging around there?”

Brew shrugs. “Well, I guess crazy people need to hang out somewhere too.”

Aliyah points. “Look, Cala...it has an address. Huh, I think I’ve been there.”

Cala murmurs, “Didn’t that use to be a steak joint?”

Brew nods. “Yeah! Drop-dead Al’s! Best steak in Three Rats! Almost 100% rat-free too! Now it just stinks of fish. I mean, come on! Fish? Have you got any idea how hard it is to find a beer that goes well with fish?”

Aliyah says, “Oh thaaaaat place… Yeah, well, thanks, your Brewtositude. You’ve been a big help.”

The god says magnanimously, “Brew’s fine.”

“Oh, thanks! Well, uh…” Aliyah puts her hands together, preparing to offer a prayer to him, while Cala looks somewhere between embarrassed and disapproving.

Brew waves his hands. “Wait, wait, WAIT!! What the Hell are you doin’?”

Aliyah gasps and turns pale. “You said the H word! You’re not supposed to say the H word!”

Brew looks confused. “The H word? What the Hell are you talkin’ about?”

Aliyah claps her hands to her mouth, as if afraid she might say it too. “Gah! You did it again!”

Cala grabs Aliyah’s arm. “Maybe it’s just best if we go and check this place out. Like, now!”

Brew says, “Sure! Hey, if they still have beer around, have one for me. I need to recharge, anyway.”

Aliyah immediately looks fascinated. “Oh wow, you mean you get power from people drinking beer? That’s awesome!”

Brew says, “Yeah, that’s really the best way for me. You know, people just prayin’ to me and all that… C’mon, that’s just stupid. That’s like praying to the god of poor decisions!” He looks off into the distance. “Now that I think about it, I might be the god of bad decisions. I should really read my charter some time and figure out what all is in my domain.”

Aliyah gives him a thumb’s-up. “Gotcha – me and Cala will…” She pauses at a glare from Cala. “I mean me will...I will drink a beer for you! Two of ‘em!”

Cala growls, “Yes, she will. Once she gets off duty. Like, hours from now.”

“Yeah. What she said,” Aliyah cheerfully agrees. “Well, nice seein’ ya!”

Cala pulling on Aliyah to get her to move, calls out, “Yes, we’ll be seeing you around. Thank you for your help!”

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