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Treetop Theory

Treetop Theory

A Torn World story by Deirdre M. Murphy

Mlamani straightened his brand-new scientist’s robes as he, Rilaru, and (most importantly) Oranaan climbed the slope outside the City of Lights. They’d been friends since second form, but this was important. He and Rilaru had examined the tree and found nothing to disprove their theory. Now they brought Oranaan to see it as well. If they could convince Oranaan, they’d have a chance to explain their theory to Emeroma.

Mlamani tried not to look at the ruined towers as they climbed; there were scientists and students clustered around, but no soldiers. The mystery had brought experts from various regions of the Empire to consult with Emeroma and her team; any Purist could get in just by donning a stolen robe. Mlamani and Rilaru were certain it was terribly shortsighted for the Empire not to have a big army presence, and monitors to check everyone’s licenses on every streetcorner. But no one listened to them—no one thought they were brilliant. That’s where Oranaan came in.

The tree in question stood on a high hill overlooking the beseiged City of Lights. It was tall and broad in the trunk, with sturdy limbs every two or three feet—a perfect climbing tree, right up to where the top of the tree had mysteriously vanished.

Oranaan was telling them about some little boy’s experiment with beer barrels, and they were letting him rattle on. Neither of them was paying much attention; they were organizing their arguments in their own heads, so they’d be ready to double-team him once he had the evidence in front of him. Those weren’t fair debate tactics, but this wasn’t a debate, it was real life, and if the problems besetting the City were of Purist origin, then it was only a matter of time before people on the ground got hurt or killed.

As soon as they got there, Rilaru scrambled up into the tree, as nimble as a boy half his age. “See? I told you this is a climbing tree.”

“What does that prove?” Oranaan looked up curiously. Mlanami reflected that Oranaan still looked very much like he had in second form.

“You could at least have taken your robes off first.” Mlanami frowned. They were here to impress Oranaan, not look like fools. “You’ll be a perfect sight if you have to head back into town with them all ripped up.” He hugged his own perfectly tailored robes around him.

Oranaan glared at him, obviously exasperated. “I hear enough from Emeroma when she’s actually present!”

“I’m not going to rip up my robes, Mlan.” Rilaru scrambled higher.

“I’m not—robes are—oh, never mind. Can we get started?” Mlanami pointedly ignored Oranaan’s comment.

“Aren’t you coming up?” Rilaru was almost to the place where the top of the huge old tree had been sheared off.

“No.” Mlanami sighed. “I don’t climb trees. I’ve never climbed trees. You know that.”

“Good, then you can hold my robe!” Oranaan smiled, shrugged out of his standard-issue robe, and tossed it at Mlanami, who backed up in alarm, letting the robe fall to the ground.

“I will not! You wiped the jelly from breakfast all over that thing.” He backed away, wrinkling his nose. “Who knows what else you’ve spilled on it? There could be acid, or time-crystal dust, or something even more deadly!” There was, of course, not likely to be anything deadly on the robes, but there might be something that could stain Mlanami’s own robes, and he didn’t have enough money to buy another any time soon.

“Don’t be ignorant, Mlan. You’re a scientist. Act like it!” Without looking at him, Oranaan started up the tree.

To Be Continued...


Thank you to Doris Hernandez, for prompting this story and sponsoring the first section. The rest of the story can be sponsored for a total of $17 in paypal donations or Torn World credits. Please, a minimum of $5 if you're making a Paypal sponsorship.

I'll post additional paragraphs as they are sponsored!

I really enjoy your comments, so I hope you'll take a moment to let me know you were here.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Doris Hernandez
Aug. 28th, 2011 04:39 am (UTC)
It does make one wonder what else could be on those robes... :P
And of course gives a curious kitty feeling of what exactly is going on... :)
Aug. 28th, 2011 05:08 am (UTC)
Re: :)
Oh, what a lovely icon!

Thanks for stopping by, and please let me know what you think of the whole story.
Doris Hernandez
Aug. 28th, 2011 10:08 pm (UTC)
Re: :)
Thanks! That's my Bianca Toon Kitty, she took me awhile to create. Quite the demanding cat. :)
I have my toons and more in albums on my Facebook Page-

I enjoyed the story; It did leave me wondering...
Sep. 7th, 2011 08:19 am (UTC)
I never thought about the things that could be found on scientist or even magician robes! I like the energy in this.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )


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