A few weeks ago I brought up a few of my past works. Then, I revisited Krauner in the Battle Zone. With my focus on fantasy these days I wanted to do something different. Raymond Mayas was one my earliest substantial stories. Noir movies left a pretty cool impression on me and I instantly wanted a cool trenchcoat wearing character armed with razor sharp wit and a plethora of bad analogies.
Instead of just reviving the character like I did with Krauner, I decided to give him a fantasy spin. I hope you enjoy Spelljammer.
Also I want to remind you all that I did some hefty revisions to Chapter 1 of the novel and I’m pretty happy with how it’s looking. Remember if you haven’t gotten a chance to read the past fifteen stories they can be found in my Public Folder here. or Tinyurl.com/dimanagul
Thanks for reading and leave comments below!
“Too many runes,” I say, “This looks like more like a grounds map for a Trudixian battle camp in an eight week snowstorm.”
“Then what do we do?” Teeyi says. She’s an elvish dame that conned me into helping her out. She had officially went outside of her pay grade with this.
“Nothing.” I shake my head at the network of etchings on the devices smooth surface.
“Nothing?” Her eyes widened and her irises shrunk to pin points amongst a field of blood red and ivory. She looked like she had seen the pants less ghost of Pettagalas at a dwarven dancing feast.
“Nothing,” I say as I stand. I bring a hand to my neck and massage out a crick. “Guess we’ll just have to put it off.”
Magical energy crackled with threat in the air as the knife-eared dame kept up her impression of a fish taking a walk on a summer day in the Hellwind desert. I walk over to the chairs we had spent so much time with and scoop up the rope that bound us.
“Put it off?” Teeyi regains her composure. “That thing is going to explode any second.”
“How do you know?” I say as I lazily test the strength of the rope.
“I can sense the magic’s climax. It’s about to burst. When that happens…”
“Yeah, we go up like candle day in the fire oil vats of Valuum.” I say, “But it’s not going to, probably not at least.”
Teeyi glances back at the device. “Probably… I’m going to die in this cramped room with a complacent idiot.”
“Hey. That’s mister complacent idiot to you lady.” I say. The device is small, compact and heavy. Perfect for what I need it for. I start to wrap the rope around the device’s contours, it fits snugly and now it’s easier to heft.
Teeyi isn’t exactly the sharpest blade in the blacksmith. She’s glares at me as I heft the device over to the door and start swinging it back and forth like a pendulum.
“Why are you messing around with—“
The device slams into the door that cages us, it’s sturdy wood buckles and gives like a Nobleman’s willpower is a house full of chesty—
Teeyi screams. “What are you doing?!”
“Getting us out,” I say, “You have a better idea?”
“You’re going to blow us up doing that.” She walks over to me and tries to dissuade me with futile tugs at my arms.
“No. I’m not. Not yet anyway. We still have time,” I say. I heft up the device to show her, it is intact, the bomb doesn’t so much have a scuff on it.
“W…wait. That’s strange. You moved it but… I can’t feel its energy anymore.”
“Cause it’s taking a break.” I say as I bash the door again. This time it widens the gap enough for me to squeeze through. “Come on Tippy. We need to get out of this hole faster than a weasel chases a meatball in a grease bucket.”
“What? And it’s Teeyi by the way.”
“Whatever, Tilly,” I say reaching out to help her through the door.
“It’s… wait… why are we taking it with us?” She takes my hand.
“Cause I need to return it.” I say, “No one touches Maribell and gets away with it.”
“Oh… that’s surprising. I didn’t think someone like you would care about anyone.”
“Well she’s an exception,” I tug at the rope; the device makes my arm ache.
The hall we walk into looks like a castle. Likely the home of Baron Black, the rube that stuffed us in that room with the toy I have dangling at the end of this rope.
Teeyi looks at me with concern. She doesn’t know about my ace in the hole. No one does. I’m content to let them think I’m some turnip brained crack-shot. It works in my favor.
I glance over at Teeyi. She’s a nice girl, for a knife-ear anyway. She came to me with a sob story about how Baron Black had offed her old man, some important diplomat for the elven court. I don’t give two shits about the details, but the dame’s loaded. Coin will fall like rain when I pull this off.
“There.” I point. “That’ll take us to the courtyard.”
“Don’t we want to get out—“
I shoot her a glare. “Maybe you’re hard of hearing Teefa, I ain’t leaving until Maribell is safe in my arms.”
She pales. Rightly so. I can get pretty pissy when I think of some other guy thumbin’ Maribel’s slender curves. Just the idea burns me up.
“You think that they’re molesting her? How terrible!”
“Yeah,” I say, I tighten my fist around the rope, “If they so much as looked at her wrong…”
The trek down the stairs is rough lugging the device. It was bringing me down worse than a plague ridden minstrel face down in a birthday cake. The bottom of the stairs come as a relief, I catch my breath and peek around the corner. Two mooks are chatting it up next to the training dummies.
Then I see her. My Maribell, long and sleek perfectly balanced between looks and function. She was lashed on the back of the big one, seven feet of muscle. He must have some Ogre blood in him.
“Teeyi,” I say, “I need your help.”
“Hm?” She turns and listens, she seems eager.
“I need your help saving her.” I narrow my eyes.
“Her?” Teeyi squints. “I don’t see anyone but the Baron’s men.”
“Get out there and look cute,” I say.
“What? But I—”
She stumbles forward with my shove. The mooks turn towards us immediately but are too focused on the dish to see what I’m up to.
Teeyi panicked her hands went defensively to her shoulders.
“Hey…” The big mook started to approach. “How you get out you cage?”
Teeyi’s eyes dart back to the stairwell. I have to shimmy out of sight.
“I uh… the door broke,” she says, “I wanted company…”
“Hehehe…” The mook brought a massive hand to his chin. “Ungo get. Pretty elf want Ungo?”
“Uh…. What?” Her eyes widen.
“Ungo like pretty elf. Boss say. No touch elf if she stay in room. You not in room so Ungo touch. Hehehe.” He reaches out and grabs her by the waist like she is little more than a doll. Ungo wore a grin that looks like a dire wolf in bungalow full of baby sheep. He raises a hand towards the front of her dress.
Ungo stops dead in his tracks as the device lands hard on his head. I follow right after planting my boots on his shoulder as I reclaim Maribell. It’s euphoria to touch her again after being apart so long. With a hop I square off place by hand on Maribell’s string. The mook at the other end of the yard sneers; he has a crossbow at his hip and at the ready.
“Bang,” I say. A localized explosion rocks his face and tosses him against the far wall.
I sneer, they always look so surprised when I use my Maribell.
The air in my throat gets cut off as a massive hand closes around my neck. I gasp, but no air comes in. My body moves outside of its will. Ungo moves me so I’m facing him.
“Why you hit Ungo?” The man beast halved his eyes, the device was lodged into his skull, but he seemed no worse for wear.
“Ah…” I tap against his arm, struggling.
“Oh. You no can talk. Ungo fix.” He relaxes his hand.
I gasp for air, desperately. Any longer and I would have blacked out. “Ah… I just dropped my elf stripper on your head. I was trying to throw it down to you.”
“Elf stripper?” Ungo looks at Teeyi in her other hand as she struggles against his iron grip.
“Elf stripper…?” Teeyi eyes widen with clear alarm.
“Yeah… I was bringing it down here so we could see some elf boobies,” I say with a completely straight face, “I do love me some elf boobies.”
“H…hey!” Teeyi crosses her arms over her chest.
“Ungo like too!” The giant grins. “Ungo like silly man. But why you make Todek face asplode? That not nice.”
“C’mon Ungo. That’s obvious. She’s only got two right? I’m not about to have to share with anyone but my main man Ungo,” I wince even with being able to breathe it felt like teddy bear stuffed between the jaws of a golden gimlet shark covered in salted meat cakes.
“How it work?” I have him, good.
“Put me down and I’ll show it to you. I need Maribell’s help to turn it on though.”
“OK.” Ungo plops me down on the ground and reaches up to the device. He grunts with effort and a disgusting pop echoes through the air. The device falls roughly at his feet.
“Put her down too. It won’t work if you’re touching her,” I say rubbing my throat.
“But Ungo like to touch,” He says.
“After Ungo, after. You’ll thank me later.” I wag a finger at him.
Teeyi let out a whimper as Ungo set her down. She shot me a glare.
“Ok… magic words… what were they again?” I say raising Maribell to eye level. I focus my magic; I have to aim lower than I like, leaving the illusion that I’m doing anything to a volatile device like that.
“Strip this elf naked as the day she was born… let… uh… bare flesh be exposed to the cold air and let our eyes feast on the fruits of…” I roll my eyes and give Teeyi a look. “You might want to back up a little, if you’re too close I might take off some skin too.”
She sheepishly backs away.
“So uh…” Maribell began to glow faintly. “RUN!”
A blast of ice erupts on Ungo and engulfs the giant and the device. I tear into a run and scoop up Teeyi by her waist, just enough to face her in the correct direction. She stumbles when she touches the ground, but manages to catch pace with me.
“But… why Ungo is–”
“It’s not Ungo we’re running from! Time’s up.” I say, pushing myself to run faster.
She glances back, the device explodes just as we pass through the opened gates. A blast of blinding light fills the courtyard predating a massive blast. Splintered ice launches outward and pelts them like hail. The Soil below them was sundered and the stone is dislodged and causes the nearest walls to crack and crumble.
The second blast erupts and sent them flying, clearing the drawbridge and sent to a painful skid on the soil and grass that surrounded the Baron’s castle. It burst like a castle of toy blocks in a bully convention. Huge chunks of stone landed around them and threatened to crush them.
I cover Teeyi as well as I can. I take a few pelted stoned to my back as I clutch her and my darling Maribell close together. I feel each bruise form as splintered stone pebbles land on my coat. It stops. We’re safe.
“Ouch…” I say, flopping off of Teeyi and I let out a heavy sigh.
“Wow…” She sits up at admired the carnage. “…why would he put such a powerful thing in his castle to kill us?”
“He didn’t,” I say, “Dangers of procrastination. That’s my power, doll-face.”
“When you put off something bad, it gets worse. “ I smirk. “That’s the power of a Spell Jammer. I can’t do anything to stop magic. But I can put it off for a while.”
“I see. You’re an amazing guy Mardi Mayas.” She smirked. “But elf stripper, really?”
“Whatever Teeka. It worked,” I laugh and bring myself to a stand.
“It’s TEE YI,” she says.
“I know. I’m just being a jerk.” I right Maribell on my arm and coo at her. “Welcome home baby.”
“So…. Maribell is your bow?” She halves her eyes at me.
“She’s not a bow. She’s Maribell.” I frown pointedly and hold her out.
In a flash of light, Maribell takes her natural form. Beautiful as ever, long black hair like a waves of silky midnight, skin like chocolate melted to churned perfection, lips like two juicy slices of fruit red and ripe, breasts like—
She swats me across the back of my head. “You’re drooling Mardi.”
“Oh. So I am,” I say as I wipe my lip.
“A pleasure to meet you, Teeyi.” Maribell bowed politely.
“Why are you a bow sometimes?”
“I’m cursed. Thanks to my idiot of a husband,” she says, “It’s fine though, as long as we can work together. I’m happy.”
“Yeah…” I say, “We still have a job to do. Nice and all that we lived. But the job is to bring Baron Black to justice… But…”
“You’re not backing out are you?” Teeyi grabs my arm.
“No of course not,” Maribell said, she slips her arm in mine. “He means advanced hazard pay, twenty percent rate increase.”
I love it when Maribell talks money. She knows it too. She pokes a slender finger on the tip of my nose. I thank her with a grin and a kiss.
“Fine,” Teeyi says, “…greedy humans.”