Friday, January 17, 2014

Day Six-Hundred-Fifteen: The Great Escape

I had an idea. 

Two ideas, really. One was a backup plan. A backup plan I really didn't want to use. So desperately did I not want to use it that I won't even mention what it was, and by the end of this entry you'll have forgotten that I even brought it up. Just watch.

I've taken great pains to mask my face since Libby's 'departure' yesterday. I can take care of myself against horny retards, but there's no point flaunting your looks in a crisis. Only adds to your troubles. Consequently, I had no trouble procuring a bottle of beer from the Bushmaster and leaving unnoticed.

The setup of our antagonists was pretty simple: they'd shacked up in the living room of an abandoned house. They must have figured that their reputations and sheer numbers would keep them safer than any other precautions, and I suppose they were right. When I checked in on the situation, Dragomir, Edmund and Grylock were just as tied up as the day before.

And, uh, so was Libby. She looked... unhappy. But healthier! I'll give her that, she looked a lot healthier.

Doc was still there when I first arrived at the window, but he and his bodyguards left pretty quickly. I waited a short while, and, after a quick card game, the bounty hunters had a nap. The purple goblin stood watch awhile.

I waited. And waited. And waited. 

No one noticed me.

Except Grylock. 

His nose snuffling, he very discretely peered towards the window when he knew no one was looking. I offered him a reassuring thumbs-up, wondering why the other goblin couldn't smell me. Stuffed nose? Who knows.

An hour passed. The goblin kicked at the old man, who was nursing an empty bottle even in his sleep.

"Hey. Get up, Wilhelm. I wanna sleep."

Hobo Wilhelm II - a grand name for a man who wears a box on his head - grunted himself awake. "Let us sleep, Chewtoy, that's a lad. Got a drink?"

Chewtoy booted Wilhelm even harder. "It's your shift, idiot. I'm tired'a starin' at a doorway. You're up for two hours."

"Nooo!" Wilhelm mimed tears. "Can we have a fresh drink, eh? A snifter would do us just fine, lad, a snifter -"

Chewtoy grabbed the empty bottle from Wilhelm's hands and hurled it out the window, nearly beaning me. "No! Do your fuckin' job sober for once! By the gods and their holy pooters, why do we keep you around -"


Hobo and goblin alike peered around at Umbro, their leader. He was sprawled across an old, creaky bed, his angry eyes peering out at them from under the brim of his hat. They both nodded, and that was that.

I know drunks. I've spent a lot of time around drunks. A drunk without a drink is surly, antsy, and open to relief. So when Hobo Wilhelm II stepped out of the house half an hour later, fidgeting and staring in the direction of the Bushmaster, I stepped out of the alley beside him.

"Hey, mister." I flashed my best smile, whispering. "Care for a cold... er, lukewarm, one?"

Wilhelm spun around, quite clumsily, and gawked at me. "Missus! Pure, angelic missus! Is that a pint for us?"

I held my finger up again, urging quiet. "Not quite a pint, sir, but a fair chug the same. Don't talk too loudly, yes? Your boss won't like to hear you've been at it again."

Anyone else would've grown immediately suspicious. Fortunately, I'd long ago pegged this man for an alcohol-obsessed idiot. He nodded, whispered 'shhhhhhh', and shuffled forward to accept the beer. The last I saw of him he was flopped against a wall, sipping away at sweet relief. 

The guard out of the way, I stepped quietly into the house, scanning to make sure the bounty hunters were all asleep. I did not anticipate what I found.

In the short time I'd spent coaxing Hobo Wilhelm II away from the door, two other people had slipped into the house ahead of me. They were kneeling beside Dragomir and company, daggers out, cutting away ropes. I recognized one by sight, and the other... the other largely by inference and reputation.

The next bit is all my fault. I was an idiot. I couldn't help myself, because for some reason, I felt cheated. Planting hands on hips, I yelled "Hey, this is my rescue!"

Prince Logan, aka Mr. L, peered around at me with wide eyes. He looked much older than I'd heard, his rounded, boyish face now that of a young man and covered in stubble. He pressed a gloved finger to his lips, cursing me with a death glare.

Too late. The damage was done. Chewtoy, curled in a ball on the floor, stirred. "Wh... what the...?"

Celine, Logan's partner in all this, swept forward and stomped hard on Chewtoy's mouth. Rather than quelling his speech, though, this made him scream, awakening Umbro and the big orc. The fight was on.

The results of it were largely a blur to me. Chewtoy was out for the count, but Umbro seemingly made up for the deficit by hauling out a sword and flinging himself at Logan. Logan slid away, ripping the last of Grylock's bonds in the process. Freed, Grylock tumbled between Umbro's legs and scrambled up onto his back. At some point he'd grabbed his poisonheart sword from the junk in the room, and he tried to stab Umbro. The orc plucked Grylock off of Umbro before the fatal blow landed.

Then a ninja flew out of nowhere and kicked the orc in the face, and, uh, I figured it was time to go.

I ran from the house. Dragomir and Edmund followed. Libby lingered a moment more to deliver an uppercut to Umbro, then joined us. Celine slipped out in her wake, and Logan came last, a grinning goblin riding on his shoulders. They high-fived as we regrouped, and once we were all together we dashed towards the marketplace, two irate bounty hunters on our heels.

We ran. And, remarkably, most of us laughed. I howled as I dashed past Doc, his back to us, arguing with a vendor over... something. Who gives a shit what it was. His enforcers saw us; they did nothing. I love having enemies whose lackeys are disobedient.

I led the pack blindly through the streets, not knowing where I was going, not even particularly caring. That moment... it was so free. So fun. Sure, the glory may have been stolen away from me by a brother and sister combo, but so what? It was exhilarating. And it carried on that way until someone caught me by the arm and pulled me towards an alley.

Shrieking as I skidded to a halt, I stared stupidly into a face I only vaguely recognized from a wanted poster. "Zuh? Let go? No! Let go! That's a statement!"

The face - young, female, half-covered in purple hair - laughed. "Okay? Better slow down, White. The cavalry's here."

I paused as the rest of the group caught up behind me, nearly tumbling into my back. Dragomir was shouting at me to GO, GO, HURRY THE HELL UP, but instead I said "White? I'm brown, not white."

The woman giggled and pointed at my hair. "I like it. Sexy. Nicely cut, too. Kinda jealous."

"Bet there's a better time for this." I looked down at her feet. She didn't have any. "Oh, hey. You're half snake."

"Yeah, I noticed that a while ago."


The half-woman slithered out of the way and beckoned me into a building. "After you. I'll watch your back."

I'm pretty sure she was hitting on me. I think that was a thing.

So, yeah. Thanks to the indomitable Mr. & Ms. LN, we've escaped Trademore. They sped us through some hidden corridors, ones never found by the pursuing bounty hunters, and took us outside the walls of Trademore, to an outcropping of rocks that masked a door. Jeffrey was there waiting for us, because I guess Logan saving him was also a thing.

They shared a silent moment. It was filled with regret and loathing. You can guess which side covered which emotion. Nevertheless, they're both coming home with us, and Nagi is, too. Uninvited, but, hell, the more the merrier.

Friends. Yes, we have friends indeed.


Bora the Bartender


  1. Yo. I would like to say that as much as I love your work, if you need a break you probably shouldn't wait until you absolutely NEED a break. I, for one, will wait. I like reading it. And I would like you to like writing it.
    So, no need to be sorry.
    PS. New page looks good.
    PPS. Eve is so cool!

    1. Thanks. Hate to say it, but I have trouble not proceeding as such. I work until I 'splode. Or at least I do on things I love. (Things I dislike... procrastination rules...)

      I'll be okay now. The adjustments to the creative process have helped. I much prefer doing the pictures in black and white. Gives me more time to write, which I find more relaxing.