Adventures in Friendship and Lightning, Part 21

Yuva was actually not nowhere to be found. She was actually off in a far corner of the room, guarded by the fairies and Bin. Ruby Lawks huddled next to them, thankful to be out of the way.

“Why couldn’t you just stay at the Circle?” Yuva asked.

“Pipe down!” Nutrose hissed. “Those golems might not be able to see us, but I don’t know if they can’t hear us.”

Bin, Yuva and Ruby looked at each other. They looked back at the fairies, confused.

“And just why can’t they see us?” Ruby asked.

“Because I’m bending the light around us,” Goldmight muttered. “And if you keep moving around, there’s not a thing I can do about it.”

He looked at the three behind him, then back to the room, and nodded. “We need to figure out how to get that door open, or none of us are leaving here alive.”

Ruby whimpered. “We’re going to die.”

“Hey!” Goldmight looked at the Hoppi, and pointed a finger. “Everyone else is out there, trying to survive. If we can’t figure this out, you’re letting them die for you.”

His gaze softened. When he spoke again, it was earnest and kind. “I believe you can do it, Ruby. You and Yuva are two of the smartest people I know. If you put your heads together, there’s nothing you cannot do.”

The elf and Hoppi looked at each other. Them? Figure out a trap that none had in centuries?

“You are our one hope,” Nutrose said. He moved away, towards the fight. “I’m going to help give the others cover.” The fairy disappeared in a haze of darkness, and someone cried out nearby.

Yuva closed her eyes. She couldn’t think, she could barely breathe. She took a deep breath, and tried to block out the noise. Block out the sound of sword clashing against magic. Remove the chants, and the panting footsteps. The clank of the golems. All that was left was the beat of the lights.

Yuva frowned. Lights shouldn’t be beating so…rhythmically. Thrum thrum thrum. Thrum thrum thrum. It was a pulsation that almost felt like…

“It’s a waltz,” She said. she looked at Ruby, and smiled. “This entire room is supposed to be a dance.”

The Hoppi looked at the golems with new eyes. Sure enough, their pattern of movement seemed almost…melodic. Step, bow, strike. Move left, swing step. Their lumbering movements disguised the rhythm.

“Suffrn was a recluse,” Goldmight protested. “He would never even leave the front door.”

“And those are the ones that look at society with the most longing,” Ruby muttered. She glanced down at Yuva’s lute. “Can you?”

Yuva nodded.

Ruby grimaced. “There’s just one problem,” she looked at Goldmight. “You’re…way too short to be a dance partner.”

“Can’t you just waltz alone?” he asked.

“Commit such a sin, to a dancing spell?” Yuva asked. “Do you want this done or not?”

“Well, the Archiwrecks aren’t exactly the best dance partners,” Goldmight muttered. “And everyone else is busy.”

Ruby sighed. She laid a hand out, and placed it on Bin’s shoulder.

“Bin?” She asked.

“May I have this dance?”

copyright 2018 Jack Holder

Adventures in Friendship and Lightning, Part 20

Fighting is unexpected.

Warriors are born in instants, and die the same way. Hilt showed two of the Archiwrecks just that. She was upon them in instants. In two strokes, their throats were slit. That was all she could get before the remaining sorcerers threw her back with their magic.

Book entered the fray then. Three more Archiwrecks fell, disintegrated to nothingness. The Master did not like death to be sloppy. Like his books, his spells were methodical, well-researched, and concise. When he obliterated his enemies, he did so with an intelligence that the Sarrofop sisters could only envy.

The Archiwrecks tried to hold on against the combined attack. But there was a great difference between hardened criminals and learned battle experts.

The leader grimaced, set himself, and howled. A wall of red force sprang up between them and the Circle mages.

Book frowned and looked at Hilt. The Archiwrecks were gathered, and prepared. His spell work was being blocked. Intricacy might eventually overwhelm force, but not before they were themselves consumed.

“Just kill them!”

And that’s when Zibnizik found himself inexplicably involved.

The gnome was never really a fighter. If it were up to Zib, he’d rather be cooking his potions. But when the rest of the Archiwrecks attacked, he had no choice. And when gnomes got in fights, they never played fair.

Three bandits attacked him. They brandished spell books, knives, and more anger than he had seen before.

He held two potions. Zib had palmed them since the Archiwrecks first appeared, suspecting this might happen.

“Are we sure this cannot be resolved peacefully through debate and rhetoric?” He asked.

They glared back at him.

“Fair enough.” The gnome slammed the first potion, filled with a swirling gray liquid, to the ground. A mist burst forth, billowing out in great clouds around them.

Zibnizik readied his hotfoot potion. The best he could come up with on short notice, nothing lethal. But the Archiwrecks looked at him in fear, their eyes trailing from his hand to the mist flowing in all directions.

“No!” One of them screamed. “Don’t let that touch the door!”

Too late. The mist billowed against the blue velvet door. With a screech, the golems crackled and sparked. The iron-clad copper bodies wreathed themselves in lightning, and looked around.  The two golems took in the room, and glowed in recognition.

“Don’t worry,” Pidelle said. “If we have a temporary ceasefire it is possible that victory can be achieved. We can fight them together!”

Pidelle did make sense. Until four more golems burst into the room in bolts of lightning.

“You were saying, sister?” Pidella asked.

One of the constructs rumbled towards the bandits. It slapped aside the red forcewall, dismantling it in a gesture.

“Circle, to me!” Hilt shouted. A golem threw its hand forward, lightning coursing toward Hilt. She caught it on her blade, and sent it towards the Archiwrecks.

“She might find a way to save us by just killing everyone, won’t she, Yuva?” Zibnizik asked.

Unfortunately, Yuva was nowhere to be found.

copyright 2018 Jack Holder