Sometime close to dawn, Sculler was snoring away in his bunk, half of his right leg slung over the side. He was snoring twice as loudly as a person who’d just come off a double shift of guard duty should. Some of the other troops had taken bets on whether he had, on purpose, cast a spell on himself to amplify the volume of his snores; simply his move in the latest round of the little chess game of pranks and practical jokes that he, as youngest, was frequently subject to.
The fact that he outranked them didn’t matter much — off duty (and sometimes on), Park’s motley little family would revert to a blissful state of anarchy. Impromptu parties and bizarre sporting events were frequent on Pippoo, and as the noise of them grew the city elders of Eule had quietly and subtly increased the distance between the little one with his raucous inhabitants, and the rest of the city’s beasts. It was said, however, that on a breezy night, one could still gear the sound of a trepkila (a kind of local trumpet that Captain Roseweaver had picked up) blaring away even in the farthest reaches of the city.
Lieutenant Drainpipes (who had the dubious record of having punched every single new soldier transferred into the squad, only because all Savants think alike and every one of them asked, “Can I take a look at your pipes sometime?” seconds after meeting her) groggily raised her head from her pillow as Sculler let rip a particularly loud one. She scowled at him in the dark and lay down again, stuffing the pillow over her ears. As she drifted back to sleep she also regretted betting against the magical amplification theory.
“Funny,” she mumbled, “It’s almost getting softer…”
She was right, but that was only because two shadowy figures had snuck in and abducted Sculler in his sleep.