Aun and Chax stared at the scattered fragments, each lost in his own thoughts.
"Let's go," said Aun.
"We can't," said Chax.
"...You know who we're waiting for." Chax spat irritably.
Aun slowly tapped his frenting rod against the ground, harder and harder, until at last he slammed it down and stood straight up.
"That's it, I've had it. If he can't be bothered to drag his ass down here and get things moving, we've just got to go after him."
Chax smiled grimly. "I'm with you. Lead the way."
Upon the top of a high shelf they stood, Aun pacing anxiously nearby as Chax scouted with his superior vision at a figure huddled over a laptop at a computer desk.
"What's he doing?" muttered Aun.
Chax shook his great head, peered again for a time, then scowled. "He's writing fiction, Aun."
Aun sighed. "Why can't we move, then? He's gone to text mode before!"
Chax gritted his fanged teeth. "It's... It's not fiction about us, Aun."
Aun stopped pacing. "Whuh?"
"Near as I can make out, it's fanfic."
Aun flung his frenting rod down. "Fanfic! Botaram redeem us! What kind of fanfic?"
Chax growled. "It appears to be fanfic of a show about tiny polychromatic hippos."
The solemn pair gazed at each other.
"Nai, Nai..." said Aun at last. "That's the show that ruins everything, isn't it? It taints every creative mind it touches."
"I fear that you're right. It's like a candy-coated virus. Once it enters an artist's mind, the artist draws little else henceforth." Chax shuddered.
Aun slumped his shoulders. "Then... There's little to be done, isn't there. Botaram... We shall never reach Botaram." A great tear formed in his eye.
Chax reached out a gentle claw and lifted Aun's chin.
"There was a time, Aun, when I would have seized upon any means to stop a Strasmin from defiling that noble summit. But caught with you as I am on your mad journey, I shall not fail in my resolve. I shall see you to Botaram, or die in the attempt. No matter how thick the skull we must pierce to make it happen!"
Aun took up his frenting rod with renewed hope, as Chax flexed his jumping leg. He grinned a cocky little grin.
"Aun," he said, "grab my pointy-ear thing."
Aun leapt on Chax's back and seized hold as instructed.
Chax leapt strongly from the shelf, pouring his intensity and resolve into one dramatically extended claw as they flew through the air towards the back of the author's head...
Am I ready to resume? I'm not sure. But if I wait until I'm ready, I may never be.
New comic on Thursday.