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Challenge #01444-C349: Instruments of War

Bagpipe players. -- Anon Guest

They say that nobody ever sleeps well in hotel rooms. This is true even when one is forced to bring one's own bed. Rael, as a niche species still battling for independence from his creators, did not expect any hotel to have what he called a bed in stock.

Therefore, on the rare occasions that he travelled, he brought along his heated tank with life-monitoring equipment. It was a routine a part of his luggage as toiletries for humanoids or polishing equipment for reptiles.

But regardless of his own accommodations, he still suffered the curse of hotel rooms everywhere.

Though the sleeping accommodations were familiar, and comfortable, the sounds were different. He did not sense the familiar clank and whirr of 38 Gripley Lane. Nor the muted technobabble of other JOATs as they held their own erratic hours.

Instead there came the rattle of the service trolley. An argument down the hall between two loud and obnoxious beings who laughed at the words 'Do Not Disturb'. Someone playing something possibly pornographic at too loud a volume... and some lucky couple apparently re-enacting pornography in a neighbouring room.

He had thought that was the worst of it.

And then, at roughly 3AM... someone started playing the bagpipes.

Shayde had said they were the music of war, and Rael could agree. After five minutes of listening to them, Rael was certainly entertaining thoughts of homicide. He could still not see the merit of killing his enemies, however. He'd rather murder the piper.

Then again, humans were very strange. The ancient Scots, in their eternal war with their worst enemies, the Scots, used the pipes to rally their team to one point. If the piper died (which was another cause for the Scots' favourite occupation - war) another would pick up the pipes and keep playing.

Which made sense on a blasted and foggy moor, but made no sense and no happy feelings at three in the morning when every sane cogniscent should be asleep.

...but humans weren't sane...

Rael tried the usually ineffective 'mute' function of his tank. It never worked properly, and it didn't do it this time, either. But at least it muffled most of the unfamiliar noise.

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