The second Blue Flame novel –
There is a wiki database to reference names, although you can certainly ask me questions as well.The Other Side of Life
Chapter Eleven: Part Two
Greg entered Peace simply to find out if anyone else had visited the fountain or found other rooms. Finding Labonchy in the main parlor speaking with a few others, one of which that he did not recognize, had him believe that something had been done. He thus moved to join the conversation.
The representation of feminine beauty did not appear human, although he found himself still recognizing her as she lifted a very flexible, almost plant-like, form to welcome him. “Greg, that fountain is fabulous! It is a representation of my aspect, so I really must admit a bias, but that means that there must be many others.”
He eyed the one that he did not recognize as he said, “Not to mention gardens and such.”
“Yes, oh, have you not met?” The man appeared as a tall type of fowl, and Greg shook his hand wondering if his wife’s race would have otherwise evolved along that path as Labonchy continued to speak. “This is Ninthralod. He is the essence of Comedy.”
“Ah, I was wondering about that. The picture that Anne brought to my wife is said to be an ancient persona of Comedy.”
Ninthralod commented, “I heard about the picture, but now I am interested in it.”
The man did not act funny at all. A lifting of the mouth at the edge of his beak did give the indication that he was smiling, but otherwise he seemed normal. Greg had to allow that everyone else seemed to be normal in Peace.
“You might not get to see it. Anne brought it to my wife, as the figure is of her race. They say that it is a historical person from about twenty-two hundred years ago. My wife’s home world is sending an expert to check the painting, and there is talk that they may want to claim it.”
“Can they? I mean, wouldn’t it belong to Peace?”
“I don’t believe that there is any ownership. I am pleased that the Jubridors don’t simply throw things away.” Ninthralod spoke his agreement along with others, but Greg kept talking. “I however don’t believe that the painting will be kept, as it cannot be verified to be old. Things don’t age here in Peace. While the image might be considered of worth, I actually feel that the painting itself not to gain any value.”
The persona of Comedy seemed really interested as he asked, “Well, what could we learn by studying the paintings?”
Labonchy interjected the fact that there were an extreme number of paintings before Greg answered, “Well, race and possible age. I doubt that we could place most names, and maybe not even what persona was represented. It is however possible that the Jubridors have a system of putting things in storage.”
One of the small rotund girlish figures was called from its place around the wall. Greg had never heard the creatures say much. Most of what they said was very soft, and what little he understood of them was only simple requests. They were mostly spoken to with their replies simply in how they performed. It listened to the questions with the usual thin-lipped smile, although did not provide any answer until Prastus took a number of glasses and asked the creature to stack them in order. Seeing the Jubridor set down one layer, then another, had all groaning with the knowledge that each stack of paintings possibly held images from a multitude of ages.
Jethredair, the persona of literature, seemed hopeful as he asked, “But that is good, right? I mean, if we can date two pictures on top of each other, we can use that information to actually date Peace.”
Shetaile added the information, “We could also look at the pictures on the bottom to learn about the first inhabitants of this place.”
Everyone became interested in the conversation about how the paintings could answer a number of questions about Peace. Even the simple fact of where the paintings were made. When it was mentioned that one picture had a picture of Eddie, some spoke of hopefully getting paintings that showed the gardens, fountains, or other rooms presently unknown by those present. Greg listened wondering if the answers to some questions would actually become easy to find, and maybe just as easily lost should those present be exchanged with a couple of groups who were not so interested in the past.
He suddenly thought about something, and excused himself, but Labonchy stated some awareness of his features. “What are you going to do, Greg?”
“Look at my plants.”
Greg turned back to the group, and honestly related what he had conceived. “We cannot bring living things here. I thus wondered if I could take the plants to my wife.”
Ninthralod exclaimed, “That is a wonderful idea.” When Labonchy and a couple of others stated their confusion, he spoke further to explain. “If he can take them away from Peace then they were brought here, so there is a way to bring living things here. If he cannot then they are from here, so there is a room, or rooms, here where they were taken from.”
Greg ended up with everyone in the room following him. He moved a chair to gain a hanger while admitting that he had never watered them, but assumed the Jubridors took care of them. Not only did the flowering ferns look healthy, but the soil appeared good. No one could find any fault with the lace of thick threads that held the circular clay container. Of course, none could mention even finding dust gathering in their rooms, although Greg did find it unusual that no one else spoke of having anything living, even a simple container of plants, in their rooms.
Moving into the large semi-spherical misty chamber where one entered or left Peace, Greg quickly sensed that the plants could not be taken. That answered the question about where the plants came from, and hoping to find the gardens some left the room. Greg however moved to one of the benches to look at his plants.
The voice of Labonchy asked, “Wondering if there is a world that actually has such plants?”
“No.” He turned to the lady to ask, “What have you done to your room?”
“You mean to redecorate?”
“Nothing, really. I do have some pictures. I really did not consider the room worth changing. I mean, I never planned on living in Peace.”
“No, me either. Still, Labonchy, do you realize what this means?”
She just looked at him. He smiled realizing that he thought of her as being partially plant-like. She silently waited, and Greg put his mind back on track to supply an answer to his own question.
“These plants, the birds, and Eddie, have been in my room the entire time.”
“You mean since the first?”
“Yes, since way back. I don’t know why the others didn’t, but whoever was Life way back in the early days, he or she thought to fill the room with examples of life.”
“I can understand why War would not…”
Greg suddenly stood as he remembered something, “Vabrey said that he had a mount, and others that rode with him.”
“Well, yes, but they aren’t real. Some cultures just have an image of War going with his army. They are no more real than our forms. I mean, my form when I appeared before you in your apartment was not really me.”
“Maybe, but I remember him speaking as if his mount was real enough.”
“I can tell you that he does not have access to any stables or anything.”
Greg found himself accepting that fact. He however never found the man dressed in clothes for riding an animal, but usually in armor of some kind. Also, while Greg had a dragon in his room, Vabrey was one to mention that how strange it was to have a pet in Peace. Greg thus stood dejected that while a truth had been learned, no real answer had actually been gained.
Labonchy patted him on the back as she said, “Thank you, Greg. I might have thought of doing this, but it was best if done with your permission.”
“Oh, you’re welcome. I guess that even this short walk was however more than these plants had been put through for a long time. I guess that I need to put them back.”
The lady moved to walk with him as she said, “It is proper that you should have them. One advantage I guess of being Life.”
“I guess… oh!” Labonchy turned to him, and seeing them alone in the room he spoke what had come to his mind. “You knew that you had large boobs.”
Greg moved to set the plants down on a bench, then moved back to the lady while cupping his hands in front of his chest. “When you visited me, you knew that you had large boobs. You then offered to make Vefillaya’s larger.”
“It was part of her feminine traits.”
“Yes, but… you knew. You don’t have boobs.”
Labonchy changed her form to that of a human female. He watched as she toyed with the size of her chest. She saw him watching, then simply made a comment.
“This is just part of who I am.”
“No. I mean, how do you do that?” It took some concentration, but he had now been the Blue Flame long enough to manage changing his form that of the local inhabitants, so managed to show himself as that of Labonchy’s race. “Now, can you tell me how to become more masculine?”
“You have to focus on the body part, and think of what type of change to make. I actually find myself noting things about ladies, so able to think about how to enhance parts of my body. I don’t think that you have such a mind.”
In a way, Greg thought she just complimented him, but he tried to reply to her. “Maybe, but I might try. I deal with a number of races in my job back with the Suderling Union. It might help to toy with my appearance.”
“I doubt it, as you have an honest mentality. My personality is rather shallow, and the people I often deal with just as shallow.” She moved up to pat him again as she said, “You stay who you are.”
He knew that was a compliment, so told her thanks. He then moved to regain his plants as he told her that his room would also tend to stay more as it was. Greg then left with her asking about her boy-toys, and she asked him about his wife.