21: Gnome Home
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When Kit logged on, she was very tired. She did seem pleased that they'd been waiting to discuss the guild hall tree with her though.

Since so many of them were logged on at once, they split into two teams to do guild quests. Danika wanted to go with Kit, but she didn't want to be pushy and insist on that when Kit looked so comfortable with the arrangement that put her with Shrubbery, Ryullusion and MatchlessMinion.

ZipZing's group was a little larger, since they had five instead of four, but they still took longer to finish their quest than the others did. Kit logged out to sleep before they finished, so Danika didn't get to spend more time with her that night.

Danika spent as much time shifted into her cat form as possible. She didn't really have to locate the King of Cats anymore, but she was still curious about what the merchant had hinted, that a cat might be able to call upon the King.

She thought maybe she'd unlock something like the restore prayer, only something that called upon the King of Cats instead. She could probably have asked her celestial dragon assistant or the merchant from her work account, but she still kind of wanted to play as an ordinary player.

Magna Silvam kept checking her menus, and after a bit Danika asked, "What are you looking at? You don't somehow have access to your work account do you?"

The busty blonde elf gave her a cheeky grin and replied questioningly, "Why? Would you tell on me if I could?"

"Of course not," Danika replied sweetly.

Aishin laughed and suggested quickly, before she could continue, "She'd just get you to install it on her account?"

Silvam laughed, when Danika agreed, "Maybe."

"I'm just looking at some of the server statistics and a few other things that are available through the forum section," Silvam explained. She forstalled Danika's next question with, "If you want, I'll show you what I'm really tracking with that information when we've got our standard work tools available. It'll be a lot easier to explain that way."


The week passed quickly. ZipZing and Aishin spent every moment logged in together that they could manage. Since her assistant could have ZipZing perform repetitive skill use and her assimilation worked best with skills that she could see being used, she spent her work hours in her garden practicing and Aishin joined her to demonstrate the skills he wanted as often as he could.

In the evenings they collected the familiar bonding components. When Kit found out, she offered the set they'd collected for her, but Danika immediately refused. Some bright interesting NPC like Sea Song Tione who could be bonded to her character for life sounded like maybe it could give Kit the stability she needed.

Danika still didn't get to see Kit much, because the druid was constantly in demand in the desert city. Lin Hao was cleared to return to work by Wednesday, but then he was extremely busy for awhile.

Josh was obviously relieved to have him back, and was almost bubbly about being assigned to rework the messenger animal settings with Danika and a few other people from the sixth and seventh divisions.

Danika thought it was pretty fun too, since it was kind of like being given permission to help plan a small game update.

Danika did ask Josh a little diffidently, "Did that guy actually ever get in trouble after Lin Hao got back?"

Josh winced, and gave her a firm nod. "I guess it might not seem that bad to anyone outside of our division, but it was pretty painful."

Danika decided to leave it at that. If she asked for more details and the punishment seemed insignificant, she'd just be even more upset.

After a bit, Josh added something else though. He said rather smugly, "Myles got stuck with heading the team that will be creating backup protocols for when the new servers come online."

"Heading a new team doesn't sound like a punishment," Danika complained a bit sourly. "New servers?"

"It will be though," Josh assured her. "Haven't you heard about the big translator project at least?" When she shook her head, he told her, "We weren't supposed to have access to any of the new systems, but I guess Lin Hao and Devon Yu pushed something through the first division."

"So now the game will have a backup copy?" Danika questioned with mixed feelings.

He shook his head and explained, "No, that's still not really going to be feasible. But the critical stuff will get off site backup, and more of the minor stuff will have local backup."


Endless Song gained four new members that week. Two friends of Icieth, SilentSky, and another person who was quite familiar. A small gnome. The kind of person who was going to be a very expensive investment for such a small guild.

Danika gazed at Logical Heart with a bemused expression when the guild's NPC led him to her. He met her stare with a sheepish expression.

Song Solvin chirped happily, "ZipZing, this Genius Enchanter has applied to our guild this morning! He has an excellent reputation that reaches far across the empire. I happily recommend his request for your approval!"

"Why?" she asked after a long moment.

Song Solvin replied cheerfully, "I think he would be a valuable addition to Endless Song. He has many skills and resources of his own."

Logical Heart coughed lightly and said, "I think that question was meant for me."

Danika nodded and Song Solvin apologized cheerilly, "Oh, excuse me then! I'll let the two of you discuss it!" She followed her words with actions and departed swiftly.

"Well, um, there was kind of a funny misunderstanding…" he said nervously, craning his head to look up at her.

Danika blinked and landed in front of him so that he didn't have to keep staring upward to where she was hovering. "It's not an interview, I mean, sure, you can join. I don't know if we can afford you, but you probably already know that," she said quickly.

"You don't have to afford me," he protested. "I won't charge you anything for joining?"

Danika blinked and then laughed. "That hadn't even occurred to me, I meant the supplies you need for complex enchantments?" Her expression sobered as she asked, "I don't understand why you'd leave a big established guild to join ours, or why you haven't said anything about planning to do it?"

Logical Heart winced. "Actually, I didn't plan it. It even took me awhile to realize that I wasn't in the guild anymore."

Danika gave him another puzzled look.

"One of the newer officers got a little enthusiastic about purging inactive players after the expansion," he explained.

"Surely they'd take you right back as soon as they realized?" Danika protested.

"Yeah, but it made me realize that most of my own guild had no idea who I am anymore. Quite a few of the older players have actually reincarnated since the update, and not all of them have returned to the guild afterward," he explained. "So I asked the merchant jokingly which guild had the most players who know me, and he said that everyone in Endless Song knows of Logical Heart."