I'm awakened by a spray of water in my face. Normally this would bother me, but instead the droplets just evaporate as soon as they hit my fur.
"Wha?" I mumble. The ground beneath my feet is unsteady and hard. I feel a little seasick before I look around and see that we're just in a boat on the Lum. Insomniax is paddling upriver towards Edgeville. I yawn and stretch myself out, then pad up to him in the middle of the boat.
"Hey," I say. He glances down at me. I wave my tail in a cheerful manner. He shakes his head and keeps paddling. Once again: rude! I scratch at his leg until he puts down the paddle and turns towards me. I notice that instead of a real oar, he's using his air staff, which seems inefficient to me. Then again, I don't paddle boats too often, so maybe it's just a human thing.
"How long until we get there?" I ask. Insomniax doesn't answer at first. He looks behind him towards the front of the waka, then checks his map. Finally he puts it away and looks up at the sun as if trying to determine the time of day.
"It doesn't move," I remind him.
"What?" he asks.
"The sun. It doesn't move." Insomniax stares at me blankly. "Haven't you realized? The time of day depends on where you are."
"What are you talking about?" he asks, crossing his arms.
"Well, look around. What time do you reckon it is right now?"
"Uh..." Insomniax mutters. He looks around us, taking in the scenery, the shadows, the hustle and bustle of Lumbridge's population. "Around noon, maybe? Give or take an hour or two."
"Right," I say. Not that he's definitely correct, but it seems accurate enough, and it doesn't really matter as long as he gets the point. "Now, think about this: has it ever been anything but 'around noon' in Lumbridge?"
Insomniax scratches his head. "No..."
"But when we go to Draynor, what time is it?"
"Have you ever seen the sun in Draynor Village?"
The druid chooses this moment to pick up his staff and continue paddling. Feeling extremely satisfied, I lay down next to him.
"You never answered my question. When are we going to get there?"
Insomniax sighs. "I don't know. Another minute, maybe. There's some pretty heavy fog, I can't see a thing."
"The fog never changes either. There's always heavy fog, no matter where you are."
Just a few moments later, we begin to hear the shouts of merchants and gamblers from within the great stone walls of the Grand Exchange. "Hot/cold, twenty million max!" "Selling runes, say magic magic magic to buy!" "Anyone selling dragon claws?" The roar is near deafening, but Insomniax claps some earmuffs on me. I look up at him, grateful. The Grand Exchange is full of ridiculous offers and even more ridiculous people. I bet that once we get in there, we'll see at least seven wannabe assassins, a cat-person, and eighteen men and women in red helms, red leggings, and gray bodies. And most of them will be casting alchemy spells.
We hit land and hop off quickly, before the waka sinks to the bottom of the surprisingly-deep River Lum. There must be at least a thousand sunken canoes down there, and yet the water level doesn't change at all. Maybe it has something to do with the sun and the static weather. Or maybe all of the trees along the riverbank just dissolve when submerged in water? Speaking of dissolving, what happens to magic staffs when you put them in a dirty river?
Insomniax walks north to a small tunnel that runs underneath the northwestern most part of the wall. Gazing dumbly at the cobblestone bricks of the outside are several birds, wolves, otherworldly creatures, and even a cat or two. I shake my head disdainfully at them, feeling bad for those few felines that bring down our reputation. Disgraceful. Insomniax crouches and crawls through the small tunnel. Instead of blindly trying to follow him through the wall, I pace after him, shaking the dirt out of my fur when I get to the other side.
The druid walks up to the nearest banker and asks to access his bank. He whispers his PIN into her ear, then opens the small infinite chest that she brings out from under her desk. Come to think of it, the chest probably has a more powerful version of his backpack spell.
Insomniax pulls out a handful of swamp tar, which he puts in the front pocket of his bag. Definitely not thinking about it. It's going to stain everything. He also pulls out a few bags of runes and a wooden sled, which he sticks in the bag with everything else. He closes the chest and hands it back to the banker, then walks around the circular desk to a Grand Exchange clerk. Insomniax hands the man a purse of coins and asks to purchase a bucket of wax.
The clerk turns around and checks his list of items. He rapidly scans over it multiple times, then turns back to my human with a sad look on his face.
"I'm sorry," says the clerk. "No one's selling that."
"What? Why?" asks Insomniax. "It's a bucket of wax. It's not exactly a party hat or a half-full wine jug, is it? It's a bucket. Of wax. Why can't I buy one? I can buy buckets. I can buy wax. Why not a bucket of wax?"
"Actually, sir, you can't buy wax, either."
"That item is not available for sale on the Grand Exchange."
"Really? Why? What else isn't tradeable that's totally valueless?"
"For example, weeds, sir."
"Weeds?" Insomniax thinks about this for a moment. He bids the clerk adieu and returns to the banker, where he withdraws a note for some weeds he picked up earlier when farming. The druid puts it on the desk in front of the Grand Exchange clerk.
"Here," he says. "Take it. Sell these for one coin each for me."
The clerk ignores him.
"Hello?" Insomniax waves the note in front of the clerk's face. "Are you there?" He taps the man on the shoulder with his free hand. When he doesn't get a reaction, he exchanges the notes with the banker for a fistful of weeds. These he shoves in the clerk's direction.
"You don't like being ignored, either, do you?" I ask smugly. My human ignores me. As could be expected.
"But look," says Insomniax, turning to the nearest adventurer -- one of the wannabe assassins I mentioned. "I can give these to him, and he might pay me for it. So why can't I do that anonymously?" The clerk doesn't respond.
"Fine!" shouts Insomniax. "I'll get the wax myself!" He puts the weeds back in his bank, and pulls out a bucket and a bottle of insect repellent. Fussing to himself like a little child, he pulls a piece of chalk from his pocket and starts to draw a circle on the floor. I hop in before it closes. The teleport book appears in front of him, and he reads a spell that will take us to Catherby. With a burst of light and a strange noise, we leave the Grand Exchange and appear at the lodestone in the fishing village next to White Wolf Mountain.
"It's okay, Boss," I say, nuzzling his leg. He shakes his head and starts walking west, bucket in one hand, bottle in the other.
"I just don't understand," he says, voice cracking. I look up and see that his chin is shaking.
"Are you crying?" I ask. "I mean, it's not a big deal."
"What? No!" he says.
"Let it out, big guy," I say.
"No, really, it's not. The teleportation spell...affects me," he explains.
"What? Are you allergic?"
"No." Insomniax laughs. "Just a bit scared. No matter what you say, the image of PKLeet haunts me still. Thanks for that, by the way."
I shrug (or not, because -- oh, you know what I mean!).
We shortly arrive at the beehives. He sprays the remainder of the bottle of insect repellent at the nearest one with abandon. Once they've all left, Insomniax scoops a bucketful of wax into his...bucket.
"Right," he says. "Just need a cake tin."
"Where are we going to get one of those?"
"Arhein stocks them, on the docks back in Catherby." With that, my human turns and starts walking back, putting the empty bottle and bucket of wax into his pack. I tag along, at this point more out of pure interest than obligation to stay with him.
Say...I don't have to be with him all the time, do I? I could just leave, right now. I could just walk in the opposite direction and never see him again. I'm not really sure why I follow him anywhere without any explanation for what we're doing or why. If I turned around, he probably wouldn't even hear me.
Nah, I couldn't do that. Insomniax would be lost without me.
When we've purchased a cake tin from Arhein, the druid mixes the wax with the swamp tar and gets some very sticky wax. He brings out his sled and sits down to polish it and make it ready for riding down a snowy hill.
"Alright," he says. "Let's go ride a sled down a snowy hill past dangerous monsters to pick up a flower so that a troll can get the girl of his dreams." He shakes his head.
Arhein stops us before Insomniax can teleport to Burthorpe. "Hey, is that a hellcat?" he asks.
"Yes," says Insomniax. "Yeah."
"He looks really scary," says the merchant. "Are you sure that he's safe to be around?"
"He's fine," says Insomniax.
"She," I say. My human stares at me, dumbfounded.
"She?" he repeats.
"She," I confirm.
"Are you talking to your cat?" asks Arhein.
"Yes, he -- she just told me something very interesting."
"What, you didn't know I was a she?" I ask. This is gold. I've gotta tell this to the other cats when we go to the rat pits again. "Why do you think I told you to spell my name with a Y? Did 'Lyn' not give you any hints?"
"I thought it was just a stylistic thing," mutters Insomniax.