Chapter Seven: Ravished (Or a hot, steamy, gratuitous sex orgy with all of the main characters)
“WHAT!?” There was a moment of collectively stunned silence before all hell broke loose. There was a general mad dash towards the room where they had left, hindered somewhat as basic clothing items were discarded and characters found themselves looking at their comrades in ways they never had even imagined before. Especially embarrassing was poor Feiskar’s situation as he was suddenly transformed from a squirrel into a handsome man with very few clothes on and a distinct attraction to Saeti. Cin and Parry were also upset as they found themselves getting closer and closer together with less and less on. Absin and Dirwe found their hands brushing against one another’s in the most inappropriate manner, and Cratty and Tsidu had fallen out of step with the company entirely, having been the weakest and therefore most influenced by the new narrator’s whims. The others continued on at a relatively good clip until they came to the last hallways before the room in which they had placed their new author would appear.
Then the first of the traps sprung, traps that they themselves had set, and they were all pinned to the walls by a band of steel, just narrowly avoiding being impaled by the spikes that stuck out from that band. As they were forced to touch and caress one another Parry started to cry.
“I am sorry!” She called out to what seemed like no one. “We did not mean for things to turn out like this. We really made a mistake here, and now unless you come and help us, the entire story is going to be ruined. Everything we worked for, everything you worked for is going to be wasted! No decent person is going to want to read this (not that they would anyways) and we the characters are all going to hate ourselves and each other. Please, I know that you are angry at us, and you have every right to be, but come and help us, please!”
“Yes,” called Feiskar, “I would do anything for you if you do not make me do this!”
“Please, you have to help us!” Dirwe cried as Absin started to kiss her neck.
For a moment they all waited, but the temple was silent. Parry was crying harder now; no help was coming. Then it happened, a brilliant flash of light illuminated the normally gloomy temple hallway, and when the party regained their sight, a red headed girl was standing among them, trying to pry them from the wall. She stepped back and looked at the fine mess they were in and decided that this called for audacious action. Pulling out a pen and a notebook she wrote herself a description of a sword sharp enough to cut through stone and strong enough that nothing could break it. There was another flash of light as the made to order sword appeared before her.
“NO ONE MESSES WITH MY STORY!” And with that the ex-author freed her recalcitrant characters, much to their relief. They moved away from one another as fast as they could, though it looked like it caused them physical pain. She ignored them as she turned to survey the rest of the hallway before her. She could see several rather obvious traps with trip wires, sinking stone triggers, and one looked like a coin on a string (pick up the coin and trigger the trap.) Those traps were not what worried her. What worried her was that these traps were far too obvious. There had to be a second layer of traps hidden somewhere. The only question was, where? Well, there was only really one way to find that out, was there not? To everyone’s horror she started down the corridor.
She had not taken more than three steps into the passageway before Cin tackled her, shielding her body with his own, just barely saving them both from the gout of flame that swept over their heads with frightening intensity.
“My lady,” he said quietly as he gently helped her up, “You should probably let one of the rest of us go ahead of you.”
“Whatever for? And what kind of trigger did that trap use? I did not see anything that even resembled one of the triggers I normally see.”
“That is because we are using infa – red sensors.” He paused to rub the back of his head nervously.
She blinked, “Infrared sensors?! How the heck do you have those? This is a fantasy story, not a James Bond novel! You cannot just insert technology where it does not previously exist! That makes a horrible novel.” She groaned, “And do not even bother to tell me that it is not really technology, but a spell of a similar name. Let me guess. It is a spell that detects the color red, and no matter how small, if you have red anywhere on your body then it will be tripped. And since my hair is red then they will always be tripped. Am I right?” She asked, looking back at the group who just nodded speechlessly. “Lovely, simply lovely.”
“You know, though,” Feiskar said slowly, looking up from where he was cuddled with Saeti, “There is a way that you could not only diffuse the traps as they are now, but also every other one in this entire universe. Cin, I believe that you can do the honors on this one.”
“I do not think that I understand,” Parry said, shaking her head in confusion, “What is Cin going to do?”
“He is going to explain how the spell works,” the ex-author replied, grinning. “Because if you ever explain how a certain type of magic works, it will never work again. Or at least not in the context of this novel.”
“Okay, so all I need to do is figure out the specifics of the spell, correct?” Cin asked. When he received a nodded answer he sat down to contemplate; Parry ended up in his lap somehow, but he did not appear to notice as he thought deeply on very unromantic topic. Finally his head, which had bowed as he started to try to reason it all out, snapped up. “I have got it. Okay, so the spells are set up to catch reflected light, which is what we see. They catch red light because red is the widest wavelength in the spectrum and therefore the most wide spread and the easiest to capture. The captured light is then converted into energy which travels along at the speed of light and almost instantaneously triggers the trap.”
Down the hallway there were several simultaneous fizzles and little red pieces of paper that had until them been invisible peeled off of the wall and fell to the floor.
(At the Wizard’s Council Office some four hundred miles away)
“What the hell happened?” An old man with a white beard demanded, his rotten breath severely offending the sensibilities of the subordinate he happened to be yelling at.
“We are not entirely sure as of yet, sir, but it appears that some idiot just explained how the infra – red sensors spell works, or should I say worked, as it appears that they were correct in their explanation.”
“Argh!” The rather crusty old man leaned back to rubbed his temples, “I thought those idiots had learned their lesson after that moron Gandalf (with all apologies to Tolkien) explained how the stork brought babies and forced us to reproduce normally. Alright, out with it, what is the damage report this time?”
“Well, sir, it appears that the better half of our nation’s security systems depended on the infra – red sensor spell in one form or another.” He sighed in despare, “In affect, whatever doofus explained that spell has just opened our country up to attack from anywhere. At this rate we might not even know about an invasion until it was well over the border.”
“And that self styling evil overlord? What is he doing during this crisis?” The old wizard asked, shaking his balding head.
The wizard intern sighed, turning his head away to try and escape his superior’s halitosis, “It appears that he (and his daughter) have yet to notice our current weakness, or, if they have noticed, they are pointedly ignoring it to throw us off guard. There have been a large number of suspicious activities going on in their evil layer as of late, and security was already on high alert, expecting them to make their move any day. This latest disaster probably will give them just the opportunity they need.” He sighed again.
“And what about Cotton?” The old wizard demanded angrily, “He is supposed to be keeping this guy in check for us, is he not?”
“He is still in that enchanted sleep.” The intern replied, rolling his eyes at the fact that he knew and the old man did not.
“What? Still?! It has been more than a month (two days more, but that is still more than a month), what in the world has that Nieru been up to all this time? Why has he not found someone to rescue the heros?”
“Actually, sir,” the intern replied, “Wizard Master Nieru reported back two days after he had been sent out that he had found some adventurers who were willing and eager to take the rescue mission, and that they would be starting out the next morning. We have yet to hear from him since then.”
“Blast that Nieru,” The old wizard grumbled sourly, “We are going to hell in a hand basket and he is out gallivanting around the country side.” He shook his head, “Alright, pass the word along, we need watchmen in every tower, round the clock shifts, and preperations made for any and all militias to move out.” He shook his shaggy white hair again, “And call an emergency council of every single wizard, witch, mage and or otherwise magical being that is a member of the council, there are NO exceptions, even for quests!”
“Sir?” The intern looked rather surprised. Not once in his three years of helping this old man had he ever witnessed him call such a meeting. There were always exceptions, even at emergency meetings. Or at least, there always had been in the past.
“Son, we are no longer preparing for war.” The old man said in a quiet, but dangerous voice, “We are preparing for total annihilation.”
The bug eyed intern watched in a state of shock as the old man turned and hobbled back towards the war room, probably to prepare things before the first of the wizards arrived. A few moments later the intern’s stupor broke and he hurried off to prepare the spells needed to carry out the old man’s wishes.
(Back with our oblivious group)
The group cheered, or tried to as many of them were hindered by the fact that they were making out, and the ex-author made a mad dash for the doorway at the end of the hall, dodging swinging blades, jumping through a closing section of door and sliding baseball style under a large quantity of arrows that were fired overhead. Finally she reached the door. Jerking it open she found her archenemies waiting for her in the shadows of the room, the eerie glow of a computer screen lighting up her face in a way that could only be described as evil. The ex-author stared at her for a long moment, then said the only thing she knew that could get her room mate to run back to the room in a hurry. “Hey, you are late for your date!”
With a screech of pure horror the room mate jumped up and raced as fast as she could back towards the wormhole. The ex-author, now author again, picked up the laptop her room mate had dropped and made her way towards said worm holes at a much more leisurely pace. Her character (once again) cheered as she walked past, then went back to trying to disentangle themselves. With a last salute to them she jumped into the still spiraling wormhole and disappeared.
The Real Chapter Seven: Fast Food (Or why sporks should be classified as a deadly weapon.)
About fifteen minutes later almost everyone had reappeared outside, dressed (or in Feiskar’s case transformed back into his original form.) Everyone except for Cratty and Tsidu that is. They were behind a bush, and from the grunting going on, everyone knew what was happening. Giving the bush a wide birth, they continued on, getting things ready to go until Cratty made his way out from behind the bush, fastening his pants as he went. Tsidu followed close behind, her clothing similarly rumpled.
“Man did that feel good!” Cratty exclaimed, stretching, a broad grin plastered across his face.
“Cratty!” Tsidu smacked him hard, “That is disgusting!”
“Heh, sorry,” He rubbed the back of his head, “But you seemed happy about it.”
“Of course, I was,” She replied in a slightly annoyed fashion, “It was harder than I expected, though.”
“Hey, if it had not been for those Bran muffins-“
“There was magic in those!” She exclaimed, “Those are the only Bran muffins I have EVER had that made me do that!”
He grinned, “Of course there was, this is the Temple of Rare and Magical Objects after all. And boy did those muffins work, I do not think I have ever-“
“Shut up about the Bran muffins already!” Tsidu exploded.
“But they really worked…” Cratty said sullenly, “And they cleaned you out.”
“They made me use the bathroom!”
“And stopped the spell.”
“Fine, whatever, they worked. If you ever say anthing about this again I will gouge your eyes out with a plastic spork.”
“Sporks..that reminds me,” He turned to the group, “Is it just me or is anyone else hungry?”
There was a general consensus, as jumping into wormholes is bound to make anyone hungry, and it was soon agreed upon that they would go into the nearest town and find something to eat. They all mounted and started off, and into the dark and spooky forest, made all the more dark and spooky because of the darkness that night time usually brings.
“Wait a minute,” Parry said in an annoyed voice, “I am not going in there, it is the perfect place for the enemy to ambush us, and besides, dark and spooky forests a SO overused in fantasy. Come one, lets go for a little originality here, please?”
Fine. So the company turned around at Parry’s insistence and headed off down the well lit and relatively cheery side road. Up ahead several bandits had a long, cold and lonely night ahead of them until they realized that their intended quarry was not coming.
Our band of adventurers, on the other hand, were having a grand time, having actually stopped and asked for directions at the lay station that was not too far from the Temple (too many knights in search of the Temple were getting lost, so a lay station was set up to help them to the temple and keep them out of everyone else’s hair, at least for a little while.)
There was evidently a local restaurant of some acclaim by the name of Black Hovel, and supposedly Black Hovel Burgers were some of the biggest and the best in the world. That was the claim at least. The company really could have cared less, all they wanted was something decent to eat. While it was doubtful that they would actually find something decent at a place with a name like Black Hovel, they were all hopeful that they would at least find something edible there. If they could not even find that, then they were all out of luck. They did not, however, want to think about that, and so they were all in relatively good spirits as they road along. Blind luck had been smiling upon them this far, after all.
It was when they reached the heavily fortified black walls of a place that definitely looked more like a palace than a hovel that they started to wonder whether or not they had been given bad directions. Parry’s rabbit (who’s name happened to be Gioran) swore up and down, though, that he smelled food inside.
“Well of course you smell food!” Aitys replied from Parry’s shoulder, “Whoever lives here has to eat too, do they not?” She snorted delicately and then started preening her coat.
“But why would they be cooking at almost midnight?” Feiskar asked thoughtfully, “Really, there can only be two explanations. First, it really is the place we are looking for or second, it is the castle of some evil lord or another who is celebrating something.”
“This could not possible be the evil lair of that new warlord, could it?” Cratty asked with raised eyebrows.
“Not a chance,” Cin replied, “Their layer is much closer to the ocean.”
“And how do you know that?” Cratty, I thought those sorts of things were supposed to be kept secret.”
“They are,” Parry replied, “But Wennariss is a plant that only grows near the ocean. It needs the high concentration of salt found in the soil there for some special process of photo synthesis that it proforms.”
“Hey, I said that like, two and a half chapters ago!” Feiskar exclaimed indignantly.
“No you did not,” Cin replied, frowning.
“Oh,” The squirrel looked embarrassed for a moment before waving it off like it was nothing. “Well if I did not, then I meant to, and that is just as good. Anyways, I think that we should-“ He paused suddenly as a ripple of blue went through his fur. “Oh dear.” He hopped off of Absin’s shoulder (where he had been ridding), and moved off to a portion of the road a ways away and started drawing blue symbols rapidly in the dirt.
“What is wrong?” Parry asked, pulling Gioran down so that she could talk with the squirrel more easily.
“Been summoned, to appear by midnight. And it is a no exceptions summon, I cannot claim quest.” He shook his head, “Something dire must have happened, because there has not been a summons like this in the past twenty years.
“I do not know what is happening, but I will be back by sunrise, they always let questing mages go early, even if it is an emergency meeting (they do realize exactly how dangerous it is to pull away an adventuring group’s mage, which is why we can normally claim quest and do not have to go to the meeting. It is the only good thing about questing, I say.) Anyways, I am trusting you all to stay here until I get back, because otherwise I am going to have one heck of a time finding you.” He shook his fuzzy head, “Try not to get into too much trouble.” With that he stamped his foot, activating the spell he had been drawing while he was talking, and just like that he was gone in a flash of blue.
“Well, I guess that means we go in,” Cin said with a shrug. He stepped through the imposing gates, followed closely by the rest of the questing group. Pushing open the glass doors he stroad through confidently, his coat floating out behind him, creating the image of a cool, confident man who could, would, and often did take on the rest of the world. His image was ruined, however, as the rest of the group edged in together, trying hard (but failing miserably) not to look nervous.
They approached the counter of the empty restaurant and Cin stood there expectantly for several minutes before realizing that the sign over the register said to ring the bell for assistance. There was a bell rope next to the sign and Cin reached out to pull it. Before he had the chance, however, Aitys scampered up his arm and gave it a yank using strength no rabbit should be able to posses. A loud gonging announced that she had succeeded in moving what should be a very heavy bell.
Instantly there was movement as the entire place seemed to come to life of its own accord. They were so busy watching burgers flip themselves and fries jumping into and out of their deep fry bath, ketchup squirting itself on anything that would hold still long enough to get hit and chicken nuggets ordering themselves in groups of six that they almost missed the cashier’s entrance as he slid down from the ceiling on a pole.
“Welcome, welcome, this is Black Hovel, I am Shosel and I will be taking your order this evening. Also, I know this is a lot to ask, but would you please leave all weapons here at the register? They tend to poke into tables and chairs and are a general pain, so if you would just put them on this rack, that would be wonderful,” He indicated a weapons rack next to the cash register and smiled at them winningly. Saeti growled at him in a low voice. “I am sorry, young lady,” The man said with dignity, “But if you are going to growl, you will have to wait outside, we do not allow dogs in the restaurant.” The wolf-were stopped growling and everyone else silently sighed a mental sigh of relief that he had not said anything about wolves. So as not to cause more trouble they did as asked, and the rack was soon full. “Now, may I please take your order?” Shosel asked in a sweet voice, “I am going to take a stab in the dark here and guess that the young lady,” he said, indicated Saeti, “Will want the kid’s meal?”
“I am not a kid!” Saeti said in an outraged voice.
“Of course you are not,” The man replied soothingly, “But I thought that you might like a toy with your meal.”
“A toy?” Suddenly Saeti was all ears, “Well why did you not say that it came with a toy?” She grinned, “Of course I will have one of those, toys are one of my most favorite things in the world!”
“I would like a double bacon, egg, sausage, and cheese burger,” Parry said before Saeti could tell exactly how she liked to play with toys in her wolf form. Her order had the desired effect of stunning Saeti into silence. It also had the same effect on the rest of the company, though, as they all just stared at her. “What? I am hungry.” She said with dignity, “Can a girl not eat the way she wants to once in a while?”
Shaking off their stupor the rest of the party ordered then went to wait as their meals were cooked. They sat for a while speaking of innocuous things. One member of the group was not listening, however. Saeti stared hard at the strange paintings that adorned the walls. She could swear that they moved ever so slightly if one stared at them for long enough. Then one of them winked at her. “Did you see that?” She whispered to Aitys.
The little bunny nodded. “There is definitely something strange going on here,” She whispered back.
Before they could figure out exactly what that strangeness was their orders were ready. Cin and Abby (as Tsidu had started to call Absin) went up and came back with the rather large order. As a group the chatter stilled then as the bags were opened and food was inserted into faces. Saeti, as was to be expected, was much more interested in the toy she had gotten with her kids meal than with the actual meal. Suddenly she screeched. Everyone looked up to see her holding onto the arm of a child that seemed to be coming out of the picture behind her. She snarled and pulled the child all the way out, throwing him across the room. The child did a flip and landed neatly on one of the other tables, still holding the toy it had stolen from Saeti. Not to be outdone by a kid, she jumped up on their own table, spilling everything that was not grabbed. She launched herself at the same time the child did.
Cin stuffed the rest of his burger into his mouth and ran for his sword, only to see a cage come down around it. He jumped back and banged into the stand that held all of the condiments, straws and other eating necessities. Desperately he searched through everything, trying to find anything that might be able to save them. He was coming up empty as the maniacal laughter started.
“Yet another group of unwary adventurers I have caught!” Shosel crowed. “You all shall be my 990 group that I have captured. So close to 1000, but we will save that for another time.” He nodded. “Now, you all shall become my mind slaves, just like everyone else here.” He laughed again as Cin turned to see that all of his companions had already been captured, even Saeti, though she still seemed to be struggling. Actually, he could see several knitting needles in various attackers. He shook his head, it looked like it was up to him to save them. Grabbing a packet he tore it open and tossed its contents at Shosel. “ARGH!! Pepper!” Cin took the opportunity to grab the plastic silverware and toss it at their opponents like throwing knives.
“I knew they made these things out of high density, impact resistant plastic for a reason,” he muttered. There was a noise behind him and he turned just in time to roll out of the way as Shosel slashed at him with a spatula.
“You cannot resist!” the crazed cook cried, “You have eaten my food, my cheese, and now you must become a slave to its goodness! You want more of it, admit it, you are a slave to your stomach already.” He slashed again.
Cin blocked with a spork. “You flatter yourself.” He chuckled, “Actually, that burger I had was really not all that special. And actually, I do not like cheese, so I took that off. You have nothing on me!” He blocked again, then went on the offensive, slashing with a spork in both hands.
“No! This cannot be happening!” Shosel wailed as strike after strike hit him. He fell, his spatula knocked away.
“But it is.” Cin grinned. “Any last words?” He paused briefly. “Too late.”
“So the mind control drug was in the cheese?” Parry asked skeptically, a single eyebrow raised.
“Yeah, I mean look at the menu. Every single item has cheese of some sort in it. Even the chicken nuggets come with a cheese biscut.” Cin shrugged, “I was not affected, though, because I did not eat the cheese on my burger.”
Parry shook her head. “That does not explain what happened to Shosel, though, or how he got a spork through the heart.”
“Oh, well, that was me,” Cin said, rubbing the back of his head. “It seemed to be the only way to break the mind control, and besides you know the saying, “Stick a fork in this turkey, he’s done!”, well, it seemed like the right thing, or at least just about.”
“But it is a spork, not a fork!” Parry exclaimed, shaking her head.
“Hey, I did not have a fork handy,” Cin replied defensively, “I had to improvise so give me a break, alright?”
Parry giggled and wrapped her arms around his neck, much to Cin’s embarrassment, “Alright, you are right, you did save us after all,” She gave him a quick peck on the cheek, “That is my thank you.” She giggled again as she noticed Cin’s cheeks burning. Together they went outside to see what everyone else was doing just as the horizon turned pink with the coming dawn.