The Tavern is lively as the heroes of the Fableverse gather in communion, celebrating the safe return of Dr. Wolf, Captain Crimson, as well as the Rocket and his inquisitive stow-aways. The party has gone late and the deep cool darkness of night loiters around the tavern windows, but the warm glow of the tavern’s candles keep the darkness outside and the merriment and mirth inside.
The Hero had a pair of barmaids sitting at the end of the bar and he is weaving a dubious account of his adventure with the Rocket. “The Martians were fierce but luckily I pointed out the heat from a nearby cluster of comets would mask our heat signature,” says the Hero with an air of bravado.
“It’s the cold from the comets,” whispers Rocket to the Hero, leaning back from an adjacent bar stool. The Hero notices the barmaids’ gaze drifting to Rocket. “Yes, I meant the cold,” says the Hero quickly, attempting to cover his folly, “You know because the low temperature masks the heat signature of our ship.”
“Heat signature?” coos one of the barmaids.
“Well yeah, the heat coming off the ship… you know future stuff,” stammers the Hero, seeing that it had been revealed he had no idea what he was talking about.
“Actually,” interjects the Rocket, turning around and walking up to the Hero and the barmaids, “the thermonuclear core that powers my ship puts out remarkably hot exhaust that can be highly visible when running in its normal travel configuration.”
“Your ship?” purs the other barmaid.
“Yes, the Phoenix Dawn,” replies Rocket smoothly, “Would you like to see it?” The barmaids giggle as they link arms with Rocket and walk towards the door, leaving the Hero sitting, staring into his flagon.
That now makes only three attendees who seem less than lively. Dr. Wolf sits at a table with Captain Crimson, the Wizard, and the Distiller.
"I'm glad that you could come see us for a while," says the Wizard to the Distiller.
"Well it's been good to be back at the Distillery, but I miss seeing my friends. Fortunately, it has gotten better since I brought on the Brewmaster. He is a master at craft and is almost as ingenious as me," said the Distiller laughing.
The Distiller raises a glass as a toast. “To our dear friend, Dr. Wolf. I’m so glad that you’re back with us.” Everyone at the table raises their glass except for Dr. Wolf.
“Yes but for how much longer? When will someone else decide to kidnap my worse half and I become some monster again?,” says Dr. Wolf miserably.
“It was a very powerful enchantment,” says the Wizard gently, but he knew Dr. Wolf’s worry.
“But nothing that we hadn’t seen before,” counters Dr. Wolf, confirming the Wizard’s thought, “If the Enchantress had wanted she could have had me cowering at her feet.” The table sits silently for a few moments.
Dr. Wolf breaks the silence, “I need some time to think, to be away from it all. I want to go home.”
“I know the comfort of home and how important that is, but weren’t you wanted the last time we were in Cremouth,” asks Crimson.
“Indeed I was,” replies Dr. Wolf, “but I still have some friends on the coasts. I can stay with them for a bit, being outside the hustle and bustle of town may be best for me anyways.”
“I don’t know if this is a good idea,” says the Wizard thoughtfully.
“So what am I supposed to do,” asks Dr. Wolf sarcastically, “Do you want me to curl up on your doormat for the rest of my life. Or would you have me thrown in a dungeon somewhere.”
“You should know better than that,” replies the Wizard sadly.
“I could take him,” interjects Captain Crimson, “He’ll be needin’ a boat ride and I’ll be headin’ that way anyways. It’ll be a party barge you won’t be forgetting”
“Party barge?” slurs the Hero stumbling over, “Count me in!”
“I don’t want a chaperone,” growls Dr. Wolf.
“Well I won’t be stayin’ with ye, just getting you there,” says Crimson.
“But the Hero will,” says the Wizard, “for your protection.”
Dr. Wolf scowls at the Wizard but finally rolls his eyes and nods his head in agreement.
Narrated by Brandon Warner