Archive for October, 2008

Rammer

Posted in Two Minutes Less a Third on October 31, 2008 by jeereg

“Lock it down.”

She does.  The air cracks and pops, the lights go out, and there’s nothing but the glow of the portal filling the warehouse.

Rammer clicks the safety off his thrower.  He watches the portal writhe.  He tries to forget his itchy nose.

“Anything?” Reagans voice floats from behind cover.

“Not yet.  You sure the coordinates are right?”

“They’re the ones you – wait, I’ve got something.”

The portal stretches, pulls, membranous and translucent, and Rammer doesn’t like what’s on the other side.  “Reagan,” he yells, over the keening, “you sure they’re right?”

“Yes.  Wait.  Except for this one.”

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Malech

Posted in Two Minutes Less a Third on October 30, 2008 by jeereg

Malech was set to die by combat, but his captors realized too late that the tigers were a poor choice of first wave.  It took Malech five minutes of talk to forge a bond stronger than the whip.

It was a similarly unwise decision to send slowly increasing numbers into the ring – those that Malech’s silver tongue didn’t ensnare were raised by dark magics, the practice of which had led to his sentencing.

Now, a seething horde of jungle cats, rebellious gladiators and moaning zombies broke the walls.  Cromnan turned to the Judiciar.  “Had to stick by tradition, did you?”

Dreamt

Posted in Bastion on October 29, 2008 by jeereg

Despite the catchers at every window a few always manage to sneak in, and tonight a dream slips by the curtains and finds Shook fitful.

He’s in a wide, low place, ringed by windows; his stomach lurches with the distance.  Light tubes glow a brackish pink in the ceiling.  False walls make half-boxes, housing glowing glass.

“Listen,” says Jergesen, his boss.  Something dark steams in the ceramic bowl in his hand.  “I’m going to need those reports on my desk by five.  You think you can handle that?”

Shook goes for his weapon, but all he finds are pens.

Courage/Cribbage

Posted in Two Minutes Less a Third on October 28, 2008 by jeereg

“Grandad?”  The boy swings his feet, lays his hand, moves his pegs.  “What happens when you gotta do something, but it’s scary and you wanna play cards?”

“You can’t do both?”

“Not really.”

“Sometimes, I guess, you do things because they’ve gotta get done.  And there’ll always be more time for cards.”

The boy thinks about this, and sighs.  “Ok.”

“You skunked me again.”

“I know.”

Then he takes the bag he’s already packed, grabs Mister Quibbles by the patched arm, and creaks into the basement.  The door yawns wide; there is a deep, distant chuckling.

He goes in skipping.

Cold

Posted in Two Minutes Less a Third on October 27, 2008 by jeereg

Kr’Thakk is a terror with a sabre from dawn to about an hour after dusk, but he’s never been much for the night missions.  Relf finds him on a rock near the fire, blinking slowly.

“Thakk, you coming with?  Dwarves this time.  I’ve got 20 scullions says I come back with more beards than you.”

“No.  Thanksssss.”  Thakk shifts, swishes his tail, picks at a scale.

“C’mon.  You can wear my coat.”

“Coats.  Don’t help.”

They stare at each other.  Thakk licks at the air.

“We’ve gotta come up with a solution for this cold-blooded thing.”

“Runs.  In.  The.  Fam.”

Choose

Posted in Two Minutes Less a Third on October 26, 2008 by jeereg

There’s a rime of frost over everything, and a soft blue glow, and the effect is calming, serene, meditative.  He steps in with his sword out, and it gleams in the strange light.  The pool is still and smooth as glass.  When he bends, hands cupped, to take a drink, a tentacle bursts from the depths and rips his head from his shoulders.

Except it doesn’t, because he still had his finger back on page 53, so really, I mean, it’s not like he’d settled or anything.  And he would’ve chosen to go pick flowers on page 90 over the cave, anyway.

Multiples

Posted in The Old School on October 25, 2008 by jeereg

James is top of the class in Mathemagics, which doesn’t impress Shakti at all.

“It’s numbers,” she tells him over ice cream on the Roving Tower.  “That’s it.”

“That’s not it.  It’s the underlying principles that govern-”

“Bullshit.  It’s a license for me to beat you up.”

“Really?”  The tower turns so he’s backlit by the sunset.  “Wanna try?”

“Anytime, anywhere.  I could outduel a Mathemagician eyes closed.  This is what I do.”

They find a spot in the gym, and she tells him not to conjure himself into a locker.  Then he beats her three matches in a row.