Title: The Pro-Human League
Author: Jos Mous
PAIRINGS: Lots. But mostly Sam/Brooke
DISCLAIMER: I own none of these characters, I'm not making any profit out of this, blahblahblah.
NOTE: I am again using poor Lord Sam to vent my own opinions. I'm only vaguely aware of the term 'political correctness', but if I am getting too political correct let me know and I'll do something about it.
Avin was a little man. He was little in every sense of the word. Well, except the literal sense. He wasn't little, in fact he was very average-height. But apart from that he was little. Little imagination, little intelligence, little talent and so on. He was also of little importance. He really wasn't happy with that. Because, like many people like him, he thought he was important. He should be important. He was convinced that he knew everything that was needed to know to be important. He hated his status of not mattering and Avin often hid in a dark corner to lament his unimportantness. He also spent that time trying to think of someone to blame for him not being important. Because, as I said before, he knew everything he needed to know, his skills and talents were enormous after all. There was no way that he could not be important. But he wasn't important, and he knew that there had to be someone or something other than himself that prevented him from taking his rightful place in importantness.
Then he realised it. It suddenly struck him like a lightning bolt. In all honestly it would have been better if it were a _real_ lightning bolt. But at least now Avin knew who was responsible for his lack of importance.
The way Avin had come to this conclusion more or less went like this: P'p'l'r was a country inhabited mostly by humans, right? And as we all know humans are superior, right? So why do us superior humans need dragons to rule us? Don't be fooled, it isn't Lord Sam who rules, he is just a puppet. It is really Julian who pulls all the strings behind the scenes. It has to be, why else would a superior being allow any lower life forms to build a lair next to the Palace? But apparently the dragons were not pleased by the situation. They wanted a permanent stranglehold on humanity. So, in all their cruelty, the dragons had kidnapped a few humans and used them to create a hybrid. After that, they had sent this hybrid to the Palace. The Puppet Sam, under the influence of Julian, had accepted this abomination into his court. Then this foul hybrid, carefully indoctrinated by its ruthless masters had seduced the Prince, ensuring that dragons would one day inhabit the throne of P'p'l'r. And now Avin understood why he was not important. It was because he knew the _truth_. The truth about the impending eradication of humanity. And people who know the truth cannot be important in a society ruled by dragons.
So Avin waited in his dark corner, watching the lands slowly fall into the steel grasp of the dragons. He even noted several people who proudly proclaimed themselves to be worshippers of the unholy hybrid who had infested the court.
But Avin also found people like himself. People who felt they were not in the right place. People who believed they should rule. And Avin talked to these people and convinced them of his ideas. Soon Avin had enough people around him so he founded the Pro-Human League, humanity's last hope against the tyranny of the dragons.
What Avin didn't know was that his days of being overlooked would soon be over.
"Well, this isn't very original."
"People like that never are."
"What are you saying!? It's beautiful!"
Lord Sam and Lady Brooke looked at court mage Cherry with a strange look on their faces.
"Beautiful?" Lord Sam repeated.
"This?" Lady Brooke asked.
"Why, see those lines, those curves, that splendid little dot in the bottom right corner!" Court mage Cherry said lyrical whilst pointing out the lines, the curves and the dot.
"Cherry, these are words." Lord Sam pointed out.
"Ah know that of course. But it's still beautiful." Court mage Cherry insisted.
"Well, we should probably clean them up. It just doesn't do to let graffiti all over the Palace." Lady Brooke said.
"Clean it up!" Court mage Cherry shouted hysterical. "How can you destroy such a precious work of art!?"
Lord Sam and Lady Brooke once again looked at the court mage who stood in front of the graffiti, protecting it with her very life.
"OK, fine." Lord Sam said. "It can stay."
Lady Brooke gave Lord Sam a look, but she merely smiled and started to walk away from the scene, indicating for Lady Brooke to follow her.
"Oh, and Cherry," Lord Sam said. "If Julian sees it, I trust you will point out to her why this is of such magnificent beauty."
Court mage Cherry suddenly realised something. She took out her wand and with a flourish managed to make the graffiti go away. Then, suddenly, a large white, winged horse shot down from the heavens. Court mage Cherry quickly mounted this beautiful creation of nature and dashed off into the sunrise.
"She does know how to make a dramatic exit." Lady Brooke said.
"Yep." Lord Sam agreed. "Coming?"
And so, as Lord Sam and Lady Brooke started to walk inside again there was still one comment that had to be made for a little further clarity. Those, however, who would like a little mystery in this otherwise un-mysterious story should look away now.
"Dragons not in." Lady Brooke said. "What kind of phrase is that?"
But as always, the day went on and soon the graffiti on the side of the Palace was already gone from Lord Sam's mind. Now she was working very hard on not hearing all the complaints. People in her realm liked to complain. It was sort of the national pastime. In fact, the commoners had organised an annual 'Complaint of the Year Award'. You might think that in a country where complaints are legion that things are going badly. Well, they're not. When things are going badly people are far too busy trying not to starve to be able to complain about it. No, the people of P'p'l'r liked to complain about things that weren't about life and death. Taxes, for example. Three years ago Lord Sam had raised income taxes with a full quarter of a percent and people were still complaining about it.
Then the complaints suddenly stopped as the doors to the throne room swung open. People bowed respectfully for the figure that entered. The woman strode forward, careful not to trip over her elegant white robes. She stopped in front of Lord Sam's throne and bowed.
"Hello Angelina." Lord Sam greeted her High Priestess. "How's the worship?"
"Smoothly." High Priestess Angelina didnít add a 'Oh, Great One' or something like that. Lord Sam had decided early on that she did not want people calling her that. "We have drawn up several basic rituals and Your flock seems to be growing."
"Really?" Lord Sam said. "Don't let it get to their heads now. As soon as someone mentions a Holy War I want you to excommunicate him. Or something along those lines."
"Iíll see to it." High Priestess Angelina promised. "And I would also like to extent the gratitude of one of Your worshippers to You."
"That's nice." Lord Sam said. "May I ask why?"
High Priestess Angelina shrugged. "He couldn't sleep. Prayed to You to do something about it. And during that eclipse two days ago he could sleep."
"There wasn't eclipse two days ago." Lord Sam said.
"There was one over his house, and that's what counted."
Two days ago. Lord Sam did remember feeling a little... odd... two days ago, but nothing too much out of the ordinary. But there was also something nagging at the back of Lord Sam's mind. Something screaming that if she would just think about it, it would explain everything. It had something to do with Gods and people who worship Them. Something about strength in numbers or something. Lord Sam's musing were interrupted when her revered High Priestess spoke again.
"However, I must also inform You of some less pleasant news." She said.
"And what would that be?"
"Someone has set the Temple of Cassandra in fire last night."
"WHAT!" Lord Sam shouted. "Why didn't you tell me that immediately! And why isn't Cassandra's High Priestess here?"
"My colleague is much too busy overseeing repairs. And besides, the damage wasn't too great. Cassandra's followers have made Her temple pretty fire-proof."
"Well, I suppose that's logical." Lord Sam said. "Do you know who did this?"
High Priestess Angelina raised her hands in a gesture of mild despair to emphasise the point she was about to make. "Not really. We just found the letters PHL smeared all over the walls."
"PHL? Pyromaniac Homicidal Lunatics?"
"Possibly." High Priestess Angelina said. "But I think it could be the Pro-Human League."
"Why do you think that?"
High Priestess Angelina handed over a small leaflet. "I found this on my doorstep this morning. You might want to read it."
Lord Sam briefly skimmed through it. It was a load of crap about the Grand Dragon Plot To Overthrow Mankind. Lord Sam folded it and managed to put it away somewhere inside her chain mail.
"How long has this been going on?" Lord Sam asked. Her voice was strangely calm. Just as calm as a sword sticking out of someone's chest.
"Not very long. But by the looks of it these actions might intensify. I suggest You look into it."
"I will." Lord Sam promised. "Was there anything else?"
"No. So, if it pleases You, I will return to my duties."
"Of course." Lord Sam looked at the disappearing figure of her High Priestess and waited until she was just about to leave when she felt she should say something. "Angelina!"
The High Priestess turned around and looked at her. "Yes?"
"Could you please talk a little less formal next time?"
A mischievous glint appeared in High Priestess Angelinaís eyes. "Oh no. It just wouldn't do to talk to my Goddess in normal language."
Lord Sam groaned as High Priestess Angelina briefly laughed and exited.
NOTE: Remember: when you're filled up with adrenaline it is not a good time to write. I just found that out, so that is why this part is a little shorter than the previous one.
A few days passed. It would be inaccurate to say that nothing happened during those few days. It would in fact be very inaccurate since a whole lot had happened those last few days. But they were mostly variations a theme. Dragon hate was on the rise for sure. There were lots of people walking around blaming dragons for everything. In the past it had been Lord Sam who took the blame for everything, but now it was dragons. This was worrying. If this kept festering people would certainly come to the Palace and demand for Julian to be kicked out of the country. But Julian was not one to be kicked period, that much was certain. But, as always, there were more problems than petty complaints. Lord Sam had heard rumours of people trying to overthrow her, claiming she was ruled by the dragons. Which was preposterous. OK, fair enough, her daughter was practically engaged to a half-dragon and she did tend to listen carefully to Julian's advice, but she wasn't _controlled_ by them. Not much anyway. And, since matters could always be worse, they were indeed worse. The dragons of the Rim Mountains had finally stopped fighting amongst themselves. Somehow the current Queen -a beautiful creature with crystal scales- had managed to put an all the fighting going on there. Lord Sam didn't know how dragons really looked at outsiders since they had been too busy fighting to really notice anything else. And if they found out what her people were talking about...
Yes, P'p'l'r faced something of a crisis. But Lord Sam knew a little something about ruling and she was already undertaking steps. Well, one step really. But it was an important step.
She just hoped Carmen wouldn't screw it up.
Carmen angrily plodded over one of the many roads in P'p'l'r. She was muttering to herself. She was muttering angry, of course, since she was, well, angry. For further clarity on the source of her anger it would be convenient to be able to hear what Carmen has to say. Fortunately that's possible.
"What the Hell was she thinking, sending me off to some town in the middle of nowhere?" Carmen grumbled. "I'm a messenger! I'm not supposed to 'investigate'. I mean, come on, my contract clearly states that I'm a messenger. Not a... an infiltrator of some sort." Carmen walked up stiffly and got this mock-smug look on her face. "I'm sorry Carmen, but you just don't seem to be delivering many messages lately. In fact, your proper title should probably not be Messenger Carmen but All-Out Smut Fest Carmen."
And that was what really bothered Carmen. She wasn't allowed to have sex. That was just so unfair. Yeah, she knew why Lord Sam wasn't going. It wasn't because she was too famous to be able to spy on anyone, it was because she wanted to have sex with Lady Brooke. And in order for her to have sex with Lady Brooke she couldn't be out searching for a bunch of lunatics. But Carmen was determined to do something about it. She would have solved this whole thing faster than Lady Brooke could scream 'Oh God Sam, Yesssss!!!' That'd teach them. And then she could go back to just have sex with her girlfriend. Then life would be good again.
Carmen looked up to see a figure at the side of the road. Carmen couldn't tell if it was a he or a she, since 'it' was wearing one of those sexless brown things monks wore. 'It' had also managed to cover its face so Carmen just assumed it was a monk and therefor most likely a he.
"Yeah?" Carmen asked.
"I was just wondering where you were going." The figure said. His voice sounded strange. Carmen had this vague unfocused feeling that this voice should be... bigger.
"I was just..." Carmen trailed off. She didn't even know where she was going. "I don't know really." Then a thought that might be plausible entered her mind. "I'm on a pilgrimage. You know, wandering from shrine to shrine."
"Really?" The person who could be a monk, but somehow wasn't said. "Could I join? I've always been a huge fan of a good pilgrimage."
Carmen shrugged. "Sure."
Carmen had the feeling that the person under the hood smiled. She didn't know why, she just did. She found the person to be rather unnerving, but she somehow felt as if she _knew_ him. And that was even more unnerving.
"Hello, Mr. Binxby."
The person who had been addressed as Mr. Binxby jumped up from what he was doing and looked into the smiling face of Lord Sam.
"G-Greetings, my Lord." Mr. Binxby said nervously.
"I see you're busy nailing something to my front gates." Lord Sam said.
Realising that he had a hammer in one hand and several nails in the other all Mr. Binxby could say was: "Well, I, err..."
"Well, let's see now." Lord Sam said as she looked at the pamphlet nailed onto the gates. "We of the Pro-Human League (PHL) hereby declare that this country is on the verge of disaster. Our ruler is nothing more than a dragon pawn and it is simply a matter of time before we are crushed by the heels of the ruthless dragons. We of the PHL hereby declare that we shall tolerate these circumstances no longer. We of the PHL hereby demand that Sam and all his minions, along with every single dragon or reptilian hybrid must leave the country at once. If this simple demand is not met we of the PHL shall march towards the Palace and do very unpleasant things to the inhabitants. Signed: We of the Pro-Human League." Lord Sam read. She stared at the pamphlet several moments longer. "Well, that isn't very friendly." She said. Then she looked at the, by now extremely nervous, Mr. Binxby. "Don't you agree Mr. Binxby?" She said nicely.
Mr. Binxby looked at Lord Sam, then at the pamphlet and back at Lord Sam again. In one swift movement he tore the pamphlet of the gate and shredded it into a thousand little pieces.
"This outrageous!" Mr. Binxby said. "I had absolutely no idea!" He continued.
"Really?" Lord Sam asked. "Haven't you read it before you decided to nail it up here?"
Mr. Binxby glanced around and carefully licked his lips before proceeding. "Well, you see, it isn't mine. Never was. Some guys paid me to nail up it here. Yeah, that's right."
"But still," Lord Sam said. "You should have read it."
"I... err... I can't read." Mr. Binxby said, hoping that would save his skin.
"Really?" Lord Sam pretended to look honestly surprised. "You're the first bookkeeper I have ever met that couldn't read."
"Well, you know." Mr. Binxby attempted with a nervous smile. "There's a first for everything, right?"
"Right." Lord Sam said. "Well, I suppose you should get going then. I'm sure you have still much more work to do."
"Oh yes." Mr. Binxby said hastily. "Lots and lots of work. The work just keeps piling up. So, I'll be going now."
"Oh, before you go." Lord Sam said. "How's your daughter?"
"Oh, she's fine my Lord. I shall tell her you asked about her."
"I take it she's visiting the temples a lot lately, isn't she?"
"Why, yes." Mr. Binxby said surprised. "How did you know?"
"Well, my daughter keeps receiving prayers and other assorted messages from your daughter."
Mr. Binxby coughed a bit uncomfortably. "Well, you see, the thing is, I think my daughter has a bit of a crush on your son, my Lord."
Lord Sam automatically ignored the denial that all her subjects seemed to be blessed with and moved briskly on. "That's what I thought." She said. "I bet she would be majorly disappointed when we suddenly fled the country, right?"
"Possibly." Mr. Binxby said.
"Well, you can assure her then that we are not going anywhere anytime soon."
"She will be most delighted to hear that, my Lord." Mr. Binxby carefully kept his voice as neutral as he could manage.
"Good man." Lord Sam said. "Now then, off you go. You still had lots and lots of piled up business to attend to."
Mr. Binxby didn't even bother to say anything else and quickly ran away. Of course, running away from your Lord is very impolite so he managed to make it look like he wasn't actually running, but simply in a hurry. Lord Sam watched him go with a smile on her face. That smile quickly disappeared when Mr. Binxby was out of sight. Lord Sam turned around and walked back inside.
'Carmen had better hurry.'
"The Golden Dao." Carmen said. "What kind of a name is that for an inn?"
"It isn't." Said the monk. "It's called 'The Golden Dragon', but the owner has removed the 'r', the 'g' and the 'n'."
Carmen looked at the sing a little more carefully. "You're right." She said. "You can still see the outline." Carmen looked at the monk, but quickly looked away. She had noticed that the monk wasn't all that bad, but that it was very unnerving to look at him and not be able to see his face. "Why do you think he has changed the name of his inn?" Carmen asked.
"Don't tell me you donít know that." The monk said.
"Well, maybe." Carmen said. "But in that case I would've erased that picture too."
The monk looked at the sign. Below the 'The' and above the 'Golden' there was a picture of a magnificent golden dragon.
"I see your point." The monk said.
"Come on," Carmen said, deciding that they had exhausted the subject of the mysterious sign. "Let's see if we can get something to eat here."
The inn was like what you would expect from any inn in semi-medieval times. The innkeeper was a rather, well, maybe not fat, but at the very least endowed with quite a lot of flesh on his bones. He looked at Carmen and the monk rather suspiciously from his position behind the bar.
"Hey there." Carmen greeted a little too cheerful. "What's on the menu?"
"Cabbage." The innkeeper answered.
"That's all?" Carmen asked.
"You can have meat if you want, but it's gonna cost extra."
"OK, fine." Carmen said. "I'll have some cabbage with meat. And a whole lot of beer if you please."
The innkeeper nodded. "How about you?" He asked the monk.
"I don't need anything." The monk said. "Just a room to spend the night."
"Oh, yeah!" Carmen exclaimed. "Me too. I need a room too."
"That can be arranged." Said the innkeeper. "Sure you don't want to eat something?" He asked the monk again.
"Very sure." The monk answered.
The innkeeper shrugged. "Have a seat. It'll be there in a couple of minutes."
Carmen and the monk made their way over to a vacant table and sat down. Carmen's chair faced the chair of the monk so now she was almost forced to look into his faceless face.
"You know, I don't think I even know your name." Carmen said.
"Yes, you do." The monk answered.
"No, I don't." Carmen said.
"Trust me." Said the monk.
"Oooookkaaayy then." Carmen said. Then she looked around. "Where's that cabbage? I really need that cabbage now."
"Why?" The monk asked. "I for one can't stand cabbage."
"Me neither." Carmen admitted. "But I have to have some substitute for sex."
The monk didn't respond in any way to that. Well, no way that was visible and/or hearable. The cabbage soon arrived. It was boiled until it was practically porridge and the small piece of lamb that got served with it didn't look very tasteful either. Needless to say, Carmen complained a lot about it. But that didn't prevent her from ordering seconds.
"So," Carmen said between two bites. "What's your opinion on dragons?"
The monk looked at her. "I'm not going to tell you that." The monk said. "Having an opinion is very dangerous these days."
"Why?" Carmen asked as she took a large gulp of beer. "I mean, we have Freedom of Opinion in this country, right?"
"Oh yes." The monk said. "But if I said that I like dragons the PHL is going to tear me apart. And if I say that I dislike dragons the Anti-PHL is going to bash my skull in. So, it would be healthier for me to just keep my opinion to myself."
"The Anti-PHL?" Carmen asked. "What's that?"
The monk shrugged. "The Anti-Pro-Human League. They're still pretty small since they came into existence yesterday. Maybe the day before that. To put it simply, they don't really like fanatics."
"That doesn't sound too bad." Carmen said.
"Maybe." The monk said. "But they are very fanatic in what they believe."
"Well," The monk said as he stood up. "It's been a long day. I think I'll just go to sleep."
"Alright then." Carmen said. "See you tomorrow."
The monk briefly bowed his head. "Oh and Carmen, since I more or less expect you to 'substitute' some more when you go to bed, I would like to ask you to be quiet." The monk sniggered, turned around and walked away.
Carmen blushed heavily and studied her cabbage intensely. She didn't even bother to wonder how the monk knew her name.
NOTE: OK, so other stories have not been put on hold while I try to finish this one. So sue me.
The following morning found Carmen and the monk on some unnamed road inside some unnamed forest to an equally unnamed town. They were walking in silence since they had nothing to talk about. The monk did, well, whatever it was that he did and Carmen was daydreaming about having sex with Misty. So, not much opportunity for conversation there. Still, the monk attempted to start one.
"What are we doing again?" He asked.
"We're on a pilgrimage." Carmen answered, remembering her lie.
"Isn't a pilgrimage usually a journey where you intend to visit shrines and other holy places in an effort to be forgiven for your sins?"
"Err..." Carmen answered smartly. "Yes?"
"Then why did we just pass that temple unheeded?"
"Err... well..." Carmen was sweating in an effort to think of something. She had always assumed it were only guys who had problems with blood not flooding to their brains, but now she found she had a very similar problem. "That... err... that temple was of the wrong religion."
"Really?" The monk asked surprised. "I thought it was one of those new Universal Temples. You know, 'We have a temple for any God, Goddess or Mystical Power all rolled into one nifty little temple!'"
"Oh." Carmen said. "Well..."
"We're not on a pilgrimage are we?" The monk said.
"Well... no." Carmen admitted. "Are you mad?"
"Of course not." The monk said. "In fact you are trying to get to know more of the PHL, right?"
"How did you know that!?" Carmen said before thinking. It seemed she had a problem with thinking right now and it just kept getting worse.
"I am here to help you." The monk said. "We just have to find one of their rallies."
"Hi there!" Someone suddenly shouted, interrupting the rather one-sided conversation. "I'm April Tuna and I'm here to tell you of the End of the World."
Carmen and the monk looked at the speaker. It was a slightly... strange... girl who wore clothes that marked her as a witch. Or someone who just liked to wear clothes that looked like those of witches. For some reason Carmen thought that second explanation explained it better.
"And when might the End of the World be coming exactly?" The monk asked. Religious figures were often very interested in the end of the world. It was worrying.
"Well, soon the Armageddon will break loose!" April Tuna said. "Man and Dragon will fight until they are both nearly wiped out!"
"Really?" Said the monk. He sounded only a little sceptical.
"Yes! But despair not! Before everything goes completely to Hell in a shopping bag the Great Fairies from Outer Space will arrive to bring peace to the world!"
"The Great Fairies from Outer Space." The monk repeated. "Are you sure?"
"Of course I'm sure!" April said. "I'm a witch! I know these things!"
"Naturally." Said the monk. "Well, it has been a pleasure talking to you, but I fear we must go now." The monk turned to Carmen. "Come along now."
"Live prosperous and long!" April said. It was probably some sort of goodbye, but both the monk and Carmen were in little too much of a hurry to really think about it.
Carmen and the monk were well away from the strange witch when they saw two drunks walking through the forest. Well, they weren't exactly walking, they were too drunk to be walking. They were, well, somehow managing to move while they did not use their legs all that much.
"Hey there!" One of the men shouted drunkenly. Which made sense, since he was completely drunk. "What do you think 'bout them dragons?"
"The same as you." Answered the monk before Carmen could say anything.
"Yeah, thass wha' I thought." Said the man. "Can't stand the bloody buggers either."
"Right you are." Said the monk. "Death to all to all bloody buggers."
Apparently the two men were too drunk to notice the sarcasm of the monk. That, or they were too stupid to notice the sarcasm of the monk. Either way, they didn't notice it.
"Hey!" Said the other drunk. "You ssshould come wit' us."
"Yeah." The drunk nodded vehemently. "We got a rally of people like us."
"People who don't like bloody buggers?" The monk ventured.
"Naw." Said the other drunk. "People who don't like dragons."
"Thass right." Said the drunk. "Nothing wrong with bloody buggers. Wrong with dragons, but not bloody buggers."
"Right." Said the monk.
So after a long walk that went in everything but a straight line Carmen, the monk and the two drunks arrived at a clearing in the forest. A small crowd was gathered there. On a small primitive podium stood someone shouting things at the crowd.
"What do we want!?" The man shouted.
"No dragons!" Shouted the crowd.
"When do we want it!?"
Silence. Several people in the crowd looked at each other.
"Next Tuesday?" Someone ventured. "That seems probable."
"No!" Shouted the man. "We want it now!"
"Now?" Said someone else in the crowd. "How are we going to get of them _now_?"
"Yeah." Said the other speaker in the crowd. "There's now way we can get rid of them _now_. We don't have enough time for that."
"P'p'l'rarians." The monk muttered. "Gotta love 'em."
"OK, OK." Said the man on the podium. "I realise that now is a bit early. How about soon?"
There were mutters of approval. "Yeah, we can settle for soon." Said one of them.
"OK!" Shouted the man. "So, what do we want!?"
"When do we want it!?"
"Oh, this is absurd." The monk muttered. Then he rose to full length. "Hey, you bunch of morons! Listen up!" He shouted.
Everyone turned to look at the monk. Including Carmen who slowly stepped away from the monk, not wanting to be associated with this person at this particular moment.
"Yeah, you heard me!" Shouted the monk. "I called you morons! Do you really think you stand a chance against the dragons!?"
"Well..." Someone started.
"I was talking rhetorically!" The monk shouted. The monk moved his sleeve up to his hood. Out of the sleeve did not appear the expected human hand, but something that was most definitely a claw. The monk soon got rid of the habit. Where had just been a faceless monk now stood a... yeah, a what really. It had the height of a gargoyle, but gargoyles had beaks. This had jaws. It also couldn't be a dragon since it wasn't tall enough.
That is, until it started growing. And growing. And growing some more. Soon there stood a fully sized dragon, its white scaled shining in the sunlight.
Julian roared and flamed and struck out with her claws. She was very careful not to hit anyone, mind you. The people were all running around in a panic. Talking about getting rid of dragons was one thing. Actually doing it, was quite another. Then Julian looked straight at Carmen.
"You!" She hissed.
"Me?" Carmen squeaked. "What have I done?"
"You have murdered my family!" Julian hissed. "Slaughtered my kin! You will pay for this!"
"What? I... how?"
Julian roared and lunged at Carmen. At that point Carmen's body decided that Carmen's mind was working way too slow and took over. Carmen reached for her dagger and waved it around. It was rather futile, but then again, Carmen's body wasn't as good at thinking as Carmen's mind was. Julian suddenly roared in pain and agony, jumped up and flew away.
The crowd calmed down, that is to say, stopped panicing and started cheering. Carmen looked at her dagger in wonder. The man who had been standing on the podium quickly made his way to Carmen.
"That was amazing! Who are you?"
"I... err..." Carmen put away her dagger and took a pose that was hopefully heroic. It wasn't, but it was a nice try all the same. "I'm Carmen. The Dragon Slayer."
The crowd cheered.
Meanwhile, high above the clouds, Julian was on her way back to her lair next to the Palace. She missed Lily terribly and tried to get home as quickly as she could. At first it had seemed a good idea. Go along with Carmen to make sure she would be accepted into the PHL. The only drawback had been that she had to go away. Well, now her mission was accomplished so she was going home. In a sudden fit of giddiness Julian somersaulted. Then she started flying in a straight line again. Wouldn't want anyone to think she was actually capable of feeling giddy.
NOTE: I have a feeling that I've created a situation which will be really difficult to resolve. If you want to know what I'm talking about, read on.
As we all know, or at least should know, the dragons lived inside the Rim Mountains. Their society was uncomplicated and violent. That is, until recently when a crystal dragon conquered the throne and managed to bring some semblance of peace to dragon society. Now the queen didn't do this out of purely pacifist reasons. She did it because she didn't like to see her own kind being killed. She had nothing against a good war just as long the casualties were all on the other side. But there is one thing about crystal dragons one should always remember. Some people might want to take a memo of this since it'd be really handy in case you ever meet a crystal dragon.
Crystal dragons are clairvoyant. They can see glimpses of the future. They can also tell if someone's telling the truth or not, but that's not really important since we humans never lie, right? But anyway, the Crystal Queen had seen a little bit of future. And boy was she upset about that future. It mainly consisted of humans and dragons dying, fighting amongst themselves and each other. It also contained something about fairies from outer space, but the Crystal Queen had dismissed that as a strange hallucination. Luckily for the dragons the Crystal Queen had already managed to prevent one part of the future she saw. But she was determined to prevent at least one more. She didn't particularly care if all humans were wiped out doing so just as long as her kin was safe. Don't get me wrong the Crystal Queen liked humans. She found them to be very quirky. But if she had to choose between their survival and her own survival the choice wasn't all that difficult.
There was, however, one strange variable in her vision. A strange brunette girl. She didn't seem very bright nor did she seem to have her hormones in check. But somehow this girl would determine the outcome of whatever was going to come. The Crystal Queen was mightily puzzled by this girl so she had sent a few gargoyles to spy on her.
Meanwhile, back in P'p'l'r, two gargoyles were sitting in a tree. They were invisible. It should be pretty clear what those two were doing there. They were observing what humans would call a 'rally of the PHL'. The gargoyles on the other hand simply called it a bunch of yelling freaks.
"So, care to tell me why the Queen is so upset about these humans?" One of the gargoyles asked his companion.
"She had this premonition. And she's the Queen. Thatís good enough for me."
"Yeah, well, I never trust those crystal guys. Clairvoyance is not proper magic in my opinion. Now turning invisible and unhearable. That's magic."
"And it just so happens that you know how to do that. What a coincidence."
"Yes, don't you think?"
"What do we want!?"
"Oh geez, here they go again."
"When do we want it!?"
"You'd think those guys could come up with something better."
"I'm telling you whoever writes those speeches has no imagination whatsoever."
"Oh look, the guy on stage is getting excited."
"Those guys are always excited."
"Yeah, yeah, but that's usual angry rants at our expense."
The two gargoyles watched from their tree as a girl with brown hair carefully climbed up onto the podium as the crowd started cheering.
"Hey, isn't that the girl they call the Dragon Slayer?"
"Yeah, you're right. I heard the Queen doesn't know what the real deal with her is, though."
"She calls herself the Dragon Slayer. I think it's pretty obvious what her deal is."
"I think we should kill her right here and now. What do you think?"
Before we go on with the determination if Carmen lives or dies we first have to explain something about Fate. You see, Fate does exist but we humans also determine our own Fate. You could describe Fate as a road-builder, building an entire network of roads that all start in point A, but can end up in points B, C, D and sometimes even backtracks to A. As it may be clear the two gargoyles in the tree are at a crossroads. Normally that isn't such a big deal since we almost continuously arrive at crossroads, but in this case the crossroad was pretty major. Whatever decision is about to be made would not only determine if Carmen lives or dies, but if everyone else lives or dies as well.
So, that being said, let's see what the other gargoyle is about to respond.
The other gargoyle shrugged.
"Was that a 'yes' or a 'no'?"
"It was neither." Said the other gargoyle.
"So, we let her live then?"
"That's not what I said."
"Then what did you say?"
Oh yes, one more thing you have to know about Fate is that sometimes you don't _have_ to follow the road. You could go left, you could go right, but sometimes you can also turn into a completely other direction. This happens pretty much never, but when it does Fate gets confused. And when Fate gets confused strange things are always about to follow.
Carmen was grumpy. She had been grumpy for quite some time now, but she just kept getting grumpier. It was no longer about the sex, she had managed to come to terms with the absence of sex. That is, until the absence of her girlfriend ended. But now she was grumpy because she was being dragged all over P'p'l'r to be at these stupid rallies. She always had to make some sort of speech. Speeching was very simple, she had found out. Simply say something bad about Lord Sam, the dragons and all that silly business and everyone was happy. But, in order to get a little revenge, she also told about her tales of fighting dragons. It were always tales of pain and torture and humiliation. She could talk on for hours about all the bad stuff that had supposedly happened to her. These stories were usually enough to let several people in the crowd suddenly remember that they were desperately needed elsewhere.
So, as Carmen climbed up the stage she had already thought up a new tale of horrors. She was about to open her mouth when she saw that the crowd was engulfed in shocked silence and were staring to a point close to her.
"She's dead." Someone whispered. "The Dragon Slayer is dead."
"What?" Said Carmen. "I'm not dead."
"What are we going to do now?" Someone else in the crowd said.
"Hello? I'm still alive!"
"There is only one thing we can do." Said yet someone else. He drew his sword and held it up into the air. "Death to the dragons!"
"DEATH TO THE DRAGONS!"
Someone tapped on Carmen's shoulder.
"Honourable Dragon Slayer?" Someone said quietly.
Carmen snapped out of the haze she was in. She looked around to see the crowd staring at her excitedly.
"Err... yes?" Carmen said confused.
"Do you want to say anything?" The guy on the podium next to her said.
"Oh, right, well..." Carmen put her mind on auto-pilot as she started reciting the same speech she had made countless times before once again.
Inside the largest mountain of the Rim Mountains the Crystal Queen roared. She had looked into the future again and it didn't make sense to her. It had also given her a massive headache, which is why she was roaring. She had seen the world destroyed and she had seen it saved. But what was most puzzling was that both the destroying and the saving happened at the same time, in the same way. The Crystal Queen blinked a few times until everything got into focus again.
"You," She growled at one of her gargoyle servants. "Assemble the Lords and Ladies."
The servant bowed and started to leave.
"And some aspirin." Said the Crystal Queen. "Get me some aspirin first. In fact, give me a whole lot of aspirin. And then assemble the Lords and Ladies."
NOTE: What the...? Is this angst? Is there angst in a Lord Sam story? I swear, I'm reading too much Aeryn.
Avin Littleman sat at his desk inside his office of the Pro-Human League Headquarters. Or at least, that's how he thought of it. In reality it was a musty little room inside the damp cellar of some shady inn, but thinking of it as a 'headquarters' made it sound like something greater and, more importantly, important. So, there Avin was, going over his notes, his speeches and the latest atrocities of the Lord Sam administration. That those atrocities were non-existent didn't bother Avin all that much.
Suddenly the door burst open.
"Damn." Said someone. "Sorry about that."
The newcomer carefully bent down, picked the door up and tried to put it back into the frame as best he could.
"You know, you really should get a couple of new hinges for this door." Said the newcomer.
"I know, I know." Said Avin, his voice betraying that he had no intention of doing so. "What is it?"
"Oh, nothing much." Said the newcomer with a satisfied smirk on his face. "Just that we have risen and the revolution has been set in pace."
"What?" Avin said, before realising that it was not exactly something someone of his enormous intelligence said. "I mean... what is this news?"
"Well, after Lord Sam sent some assassins to kill Carmen the Dragon Slayer we have risen and are currently marching towards the Palace."
"What!" Avin yelled outraged. Something big, something _important_ was going on and he wasn't part of it!? This was insufferable. "We're going." He said as he stood up, grabbed his sword and once again pulled the door out of the doorframe.
Avin Littleman and the newcomer hurried through the cellar towards the stairs. They didn't see the man in black who pushed himself against the wall to prevent from being pushed over. The man in black looked at the retreating figure of Avin, grumbled angrily and followed him.
Avin Littleman sat at his desk inside his office of the Pro-Human League Headquarters. Or at least, that's how he thought of it. In reality it was a musty little room inside the damp cellar of some shady inn, but thinking of it as a 'headquarters' made it sound like something greater and, more importantly, important. So, there Avin was, going over his notes, his speeches and the latest atrocities of the Lord Sam administration. That those atrocities were non-existent didn't bother Avin all that much.
The door gently swung open and a man wearing black entered.
"Avin Littleman?" The man asked.
The man in black smiled. "Perfect. I have an offer you just can't refuse."
Carmen was no longer grumpy. She was very proud of herself for that. She had left all her grumpiness, because that was just the kind of person she was. Yes, she was very proud of herself for not being grumpy. Now, if only she could get over seeing red with anger everything would be really perfect. You see, the frustrating thing was that Carmen had this nagging feeling something was not quite right. One second she was the celebrated Dragon Slayer, the next everyone ignored her. And to make matters even worse she still couldn't have sex. No, no, it was not about sex, she reminded herself. She had left sex behind her for now. Carmen was very sure she was not horny to the extreme.
Someone knocked on the door of the little shack Carmen was currently staying at.
"Yeah." Carmen growled.
"Err... could you... I mean... if it's not too much trouble... come outside?" The voice from the other side of the door asked.
Carmen sighed. "Just a sec."
The first thing Carmen noticed when she stepped outside was the glaring light blinding her. Which was really strange since it was night. After Carmen's eyes adjusted she could see that the light shone from the young crystal dragon standing in front of her. Carmen could tell he or she (she couldn't tell which one of those the dragon was) was young since the dragon was just twice her size. So 'it' was probably still an adolescent. 'It' was also very excited.
"Yes?" Asked Carmen.
"Oh gosh, itís really you!" Said the dragon, hopping up and down and causing a small mini-earthquake while doing it.
"Can I help you?" Carmen tried.
"Oh, right, yes, of course, sure, so you see, it's like this. I'm a crystal dragon, so I get these premonitions and stuff, right?" At this point Carmen decided that the dragon was most likely the dragon-equivalent of the dumb blonde from High School. "So, a couple of days ago I got this really important one. I mean, the fate of the world rests in my premonition. So, the Queen gave me permission to go tell you! Isn't that great!?"
Apparently premonitions weren't picky with who they appeared to.
"OK, so what was this premonition?" Carmen asked, trying to stay polite.
"Oh no, I can't just _tell_ you that. No, no, I got to be really mysterious and stuff about it. You know, talk in those strange sentences that appear to sound deep and meaningful, but simply just annoy the Hell out of people."
"Fine." Said Carmen. "Just hurry up."
"OK, OK, so," The dragon righted herself, cleared her throat and tried to look slightly menacing. "The World walks two paths and both lead to the end. One walks on neither path and in her lies destruction and salvation." The dragon grinned happily. "How'd I do?"
"It was very good." Said Carmen, knowing that it didn't cost much to please this dragon. "Very mysterious, very annoying."
"Really? You think so? Maybe I should try again."
"No, no." Said Carmen quickly. "It was already perfect the way it was."
"Thanks." The dragon said, bouncing some more. "Oh, before I forget, I have to give you something." The dragon reached down a pocket, took out a small amulet and was about to hand it over to Carmen before she realised something. "Aw, geez, I have to do this all mysterious too. Oh man, I haven't prepared for this."
"No need." Said Carmen. "You have already done an outstanding job on the whole premonition thing. No need to do that for this too."
"No, no, I think I almost got it." The dragon looked ponderously for a few moments. "OK, I got it." The dragon once again stood upright. "The bearer of this accompanies the One not walking on the paths."
"That's nice." Said Carmen. "Can I have it now?"
"Sure." The dragon said happily as she handed over the amulet. "Well, come on, you have to hurry to the Palace before all the bad stuff starts happening." Then the dragon slapped herself on the forehead. "Oh, that came out way too transparent. I should've vagued that up a bit more."
"Well, two out of three isn't bad." Said Carmen reassuringly.
"Really?" The dragon said hopefully.
"Really." Said Carmen. "I mean, I'm not clairvoyant, but I see great things in your future."
"Thanks." The dragon said. "That is, if the world isn't blown up by some evil guy in black, right?"
"I shouldn't have said that."
"Someone is going to destroy the world!"
"I didn't say that! I never said that!"
"Whatever, I have to go. Like, now." Carmen said before she hurried off.
The crystal dragon looked after Carmen dashing off into the darkness.
"Now, wait, there was one more thing, wasn't there?" The crystal dragon said to herself. Then she shrugged. "Oh well, it probably wasn't all that important anyway. I'm sure I would've remembered it if it was important."
Lord Sam sat on her throne in the aptly-named throne room, being very bored when all of the sudden replacement-messenger Josh hurried in. He seemed very upset, but his being upset was slightly softened by the fact that he was so very happy about making an appearance.
"Lord Sam, an enemy army is amassing in front of the gates!" He yelled.
"What!" Lord Sam yelled. She quickly got up from her throne and ran out of the throne room.
Replacement-messenger Josh wandered off to his room, exhausted from so much hard work.
Lord Sam quickly reached the battlements and met court mage Cherry looking out over the approaching army. The army wasn't all that large, but the regiments in the Palace weren't exactly in great shape either.
"Hello Cherry." Lord Sam greeted.
"Greetings oh Great Lord and Protector of All Things Rainbow-Coloured."
Understandably Lord Sam didn't respond to that. "So, what do you think about that army?" She asked, knowing that asking court mage Cherry for any military advice was probably not such a good idea, but doing so anyway.
"Well, Ah think we shouldn't worry too much." Cherry said confidently.
"And why is that?" Lord Sam asked.
"Because Ah have wielded mah magic to turn all their swords into flowers."
Lord Sam thought about that for a moment. "Practical, yet very you at the same time." Lord Sam said. "I think Hell has just frozen over."
"Why thank you mah Lord." Court mage Cherry said.
Suddenly a brief flash of pain flashed over the face of Lord Sam and her breathing became a little ragged.
"Did you change just the swords and nothing else?"
"Why yes, why do you ask?"
"Well..." What Lord Sam was about to say after that would remain unknown for all time since she slumped down unconscious with the feathery end of an arrow sticking out of her stomach.
NOTE: If you thought Lord Sam getting shot with an arrow was Samabuse, you haven't seen anything yet. So much suffering in a story that is supposed to be mildly funny. It's just not right.
The first thing Lord Sam noticed was the pain. She was in a lot of pain. Fortunately she knew what had caused the pain. Sometimes after nights... err... quietly spent with her wife she was unsure of why she was sore again. But getting shot with an arrow is not something you forget in a hurry. Not that she forgot other things in a hurry, but those things were... well... let's just not expand on that right now.
Lord Sam tried to sit upright, but soon found out that her body didn't think that was such a good idea. The door opened. Lord Sam briefly heard the sound of rushing feet before the face of her wife appeared above her own.
"Hey." Said Lady Brooke.
"Hey yourself." Said Lord Sam. "How are things?"
"Good." Lady Brooke answered. "There was an attack last night, but we managed to repel it thanks to Cherry."
"Really?" Lord Sam asked. She just found it a bit hard to believe.
"Yes, really." Said Lady Brooke. "She changed all the weaponry into bottles of perfume. And, well, attacking with perfume is a bit embarrassing."
"So we won, then?"
"No, when I say that Cherry turned all the weaponry into bottles of perfume I really mean ALL the weaponry."
Lord Sam sighed briefly. "I take it they set up camp and that we're now under siege?"
"More or less." Said Lady Brooke. "But not for long." She added smiling.
"Really? Why not?"
"Well, Julian left for the Rim Mountains as soon as those armies approached. I think we'll have quite a few dragons and gargoyles on our hands pretty soon."
Lord Sam smiled back.
Meanwhile a man on black stood on the battlements. He looked out over the tents and the campfires. He was not pleased. Inspiring dragon hatred had been a good idea, but this outcome was... well... not the one he had wished for.
He suddenly looked away from the camp and turned around. He could feel something far off, coming closer.
Then he smiled.
Lord Sam sat on her throne in her throne room. She was completely unaware of an enemy army or of a wound in her stomach. The main reason for that was that there was no enemy army and that she had not been shot. Now she was simply incredibly angry. She held a pamphlet in her hand and the more she read from it the angrier she got. It was another tirade against dragons and Lord Sam, as she had expected, but now it also proclaimed that equal rights for all sexes, colours and species were also unfair! The nerve of those people! If it weren't for the fact that Lord Sam had no idea where they were hiding was the only thing keeping them alive right now.
Suddenly a dark inter-dimensional portal opened in the throne room. Two people stepped out. One was a man who looked like he possessed a really big ego. And that was the only characteristic he apparently had. The other was a man dressed in black. Lord Sam instantly did not trust that guy in black. No man who dressed in black, hung out with people with big egos and smiled like _that_ could ever be trusted.
"Who the Hell are you people!?" She demanded.
"I'm Avin Littleman." Said the big ego confidently.
"Avin?" Said Lord Sam. "You're that little twit that inspired all this rubbish!" She shouted, waving the pamphlet around like a battleaxe.
"It's the truth!" Avin shouted. "You know it, I know it!"
"Hah!" Lord Sam scoffed. "It's nothing more than a steaming pile of b-"
"Yes, yes." Said the man in black hastily, interrupting the stream of insults Lord Sam had planned. "But frankly, I don't care much about an argument like that right now. The point is, however, that your reign is now over."
"Guess again." Said Lord Sam, drawing her sword.
"Oh please. Do you really have to be so dramatic?"
The man in black waved a hand and Lord Sam was lifted from the ground. She hung in the air for a moment when her eyes started bulging and she started gasping for air. Lord Sam flailed around with all the limbs she could, but she hit nothing with it. After several more moments she stopped resisting. The lifeless body was carelessly flung into a corner.
"Well done." Said Avin, stepping towards the throne.
"I'm just getting started." Said the man in black.
Carmen arrived at the Palace just in time to see it surrounded by a large army. She had practised a lot during the trip here. Mainly because it distracted her from thinking about sex, but now she found it might be useful. After a few moments the army disappeared and Carmen walked over the empty field towards the gates. As soon as she entered the Palace she felt that something wasn't right. Of course, she knew that a lot of things weren't right right now, but it seemed to be a lot less right.
Suddenly a pair of doors flung open. Some part of Carmen that knew a lot about survival quickly ducked into the shadows, taking the rest of Carmen with it. Two black things that Carmen could only describe as 'gross' and 'really gross' walked into the courtyard. They were dragging something between them that Carmen couldn't quite make out. The two really gross black things dumped whatever it was they were carrying -Carmen noted uncomfortably that it was rather body-shaped-, made a few sounds that could pass for laughing, turned around and left again.
Carmen quickly left her spot in the shadows and rushed over to the body. As she turned it around she could clearly see that it was Lord Sam. She could also see that it was very, very dead.
This was not good.
The man in black waited on top the battlements for a while longer. Then he saw it. That is to say, them. The large coloured shapes that indicated that the dragons were approaching. The man in black smiled again, carelessly jumped down the battlements and calmly walked over to the army.
Carmen ran through the Palace. It wasn't possible. It couldn't be possible. There was just no way that one Lord Sam could be shot and the other be dead. It was just, well, not possible. Carmen briefly wondered what God, Goddess or other powerful being could have such a grudge against Lord Sam that all of this happened. For some reason the name 'Aeryn' popped into Carmen's head. But she had no idea how the Goddess of Angst could be involved in this.
Carmen burst through the doors of the small hospital the Palace had. She quickly ran over to the room Lord Sam was in. Lady Brooke was there as well. Something that didn't surprise Carmen all that much.
"Carmen?" Said Lady Brooke. "What are you doing here?"
"I need to talk to Lord Sam." Said Carmen, only slightly out breath.
"The end of the world." Carmen answered. "Maybe two."
The man in black leaned against the throne. He was very much out of breath. Killing Lord Sam and summoning those demon guards had drained all the magic he had. But he would soon get a refill.
"Are you alright?" Avin asked.
The man in black righted himself and looked at Avin. He looked ridiculous. The crown was a bit too large for his head and his royal robes didn't look royal on him. He kinda looked like some guy who had just got out of the shower and was wearing a really stupid hat made of some yellow metal.
"I'm fine." Said the man in black. "Now then, if I'm not mistaken there was a certain hybrid here you wanted to see?"
"Ah yes." Said Avin. He then turned to one of the guards. "Bring me the demon Cassandra."
The man in black smiled. 'Demon'. Some people were indeed very stupid.
"So I'm dead?"
"And here I'm just shot?"
"So... what am I supposed to do again?"
Carmen sighed. She just wasn't cut out for this stuff. She had only a vague idea of what was going on and trying to explain vague ideas to others was pretty hard.
"I'm not sure." Carmen said. "But I think you should come with me."
The Carmen remembered. She took out the amulet that adolescent crystal dragon had given her.
"With this. You can travel with me as long as you have this."
"That's great Carmen." Said Lord Sam. "But I'm shot. If I move now I might start to bleed again. Or worse."
"If you don't move now we all die."
Lord Sam was silent for a very small moment. "Good point. Let's go."
Carmen and a limping Lord Sam were on the courtyard and about to go to the throne room when Lord Sam suddenly stopped.
"What?" Said Carmen irritated.
"Let's go the battlements." Lord Sam said.
"I dunno." Said Lord Sam. "I just have this feeling there is something important there."
"Fine." Carmen said.
Lord Sam and Carmen quickly made their way to the battlements. They could see the dragons being very close now.
"OK, you've seen it. Let's go."
"Hold on." Lord Sam said.
The dragons attacked, below them the vast ranks of gargoyles attacked as well. The dragons spiralled and circled in the air and soon lots of strange glowing stuff appeared.
From the human camp a man dressed in black calmly walked towards the dragons. He stopped somewhere halfway in between and spread his arms. The glowing things the dragons had created suddenly got sucked towards him.
Lord Sam's eyes grew wide.
"We have to go Carmen." She said quickly. "NOW!"
The world exploded.
"Ah, the hybrid Cassandra." Avin said as the dragon girl was shoved in front of him. He tried to let his tone of voice sound superior and smug. Instead he just sounded smug and pathetic.
"That's me." Said Cassandra, stepping back a little. Her hand were tied behind her back. Her tail was tied to her right leg. "You wanted to see me?"
"Not really." Avin said. "I simply wanted to kill you."
"Oh really?" Cassandra said. "May I ask why?"
"How about the destruction of humanity?"
Cassandra laughed. "Man, I've been accused of a lot things. But this... this is just priceless."
"You won't be laughing much longer!" Avin shouted. "I am the king now! And you won't be able to influence me with your foul tricks! Lord Sam is dead and you'll soon be joining him!"
"Think again." Cassandra hissed. Her eyes slowly started to glow.
The man in black smiled again.
"Stop!" A voice sounded through the court room.
Cassandra's eyes stopped glowing and the magic disappeared. The man in black stopped smiling.
Standing in the doorway, with Carmen next to her, stood Lord Sam. She had a sword in one hand and pressed the other against her bandage. Black liquids stuck to the sword.
"You!" Avin shouted. "You can't be here! You're dead!"
"So I've been told." Lord Sam said, walking slowly towards Avin, looking menacing.
"Well, maybe you'll learn your lesson when you die again." Avin said. "Kill him." He ordered.
"I'm sorry." The man in black said, hugely embarrassed with the whole thing. "But I fear I've depleted my magic supply."
"What?" Avin sounded very shocked indeed.
"What's the matter?" Lord Sam said. "I thought you were going to kill me."
"I... err... well... I mean... maybe I spoke too soon."
"Maybe." Lord Sam as she reached the throne. She pointed her sword towards Avin's neck. "So, you want to rule, huh?"
"Well, yes." Said Avin.
"Had any experience in ruling yet?"
"No." Said Avin. "Not really."
"Experience is very important in the ruling business." Lord Sam said. "I know that from experience."
"If you say so." Avin said. He was sweating now.
"So, how about it? Would you like a job in the government?"
"Well... I'm not really sure I could support an evil rule such as yours."
"This way you could destroy the system from within." Lord Sam smiled as she made a very accurate guess of the man's character. "And you'd be important."
"Important?" Avin asked hungrily.
"Very. How would you like to be governor of the Northern Province?"
"Governor?" Avin said excitedly.
"Governor." Lord Sam affirmed. "Well, how about it?"
"I'll take it!" Avin shouted. "But I still hate you and everything you stand for."
"Of course you do." Said Lord Sam. "Run along now."
Avin quickly scrambled out of the throne room and out of the story.
"Well, this is something I hadn't expected." The man in black said. "He ordered your death twice and you gave him a job?"
"It's not exactly a favour." Said Lord Sam. She smiled weakly. "Being governor is the worst thing that can happen to a person. You have no power, you're only allowed to do what I tell you to do, but the people will blame him for any problems even more than they blame me."
"Very clever." Said the man in black. "And now, if you'll excuse me. I have to get going."
"I don't think so." Lord Sam said.
"Who's going to stop me? You? You're in no condition to fight. Your pet nymphomaniac perhaps?" The man in black looked at Carmen and smiled that annoying smile of his again. "Well, maybe you can untie the hybrid before I'm completely out of range."
Lord Sam stepped in his way as the man in black tried to reach the doors. Lord Sam was panting heavily by now and was leaning on her sword instead of actually holding it. The man in black easily shoved Lord Sam out of the way.
"Please, spare me." He said. "True, I may not have won today, but you're dying and I remain as immortal as ever. One day there won't be anyone to stop me and when that happens..." He smiled one more time. "Well, let's just say 'kaboom'."
Lord Sam lay on the floor supported by Carmen. Everyone was looking at the man in black with pure hatred in their eyes. Hatred made even greater by the fact that they all knew he was right.
"Not so fast!"
The man in black swiftly turned around, looking for the source of the sound that appeared to have come out of nowhere. He looked rather upset.
Five women suddenly appeared in the throne room. They all appeared to be human, but there was something about them that told you they were not. They were all completely identical except for the colour of their hair.
"Power!" The one with red hair shouted.
"Widom!" The one with blue hair added.
"Courage!" The one with black hair exclaimed.
"Magic!" The one with yellow hair announced.
"Life!" The one with pink hair squealed.
"Together we are:"
"THE MIGHTY MAGIC POWER FAIRIES!!!"
They struck poses that were supposed to be heroic. Instead they were even more silly than Carmen's earlier attempts at heroic posing.
"NOOOO!" Exclaimed the man in black.
"This ends here!" The fairy with red hair shouted.
"You'll never catch me!" The man in black said.
Lord Sam, Cassandra and even Carmen looked at the exchange with something bordering on disbelief. This could not be happening. No one could ever be like _that_ and be serious about it.
The five fairies lunged at the man in black. The quickly knocked him down. Somehow the punches of the fairies caused explosions and the man in black stumbled back.
"Like I said, you'll never catch me!" The man in black shouted. He hunched together and suddenly erupted in flames. Nothing was left of him in a matter of seconds.
The five fairies struck poses again.
"Who _are_ you people?" Lord Sam managed to say.
"THE MIGHTY MAGIC POWER FAIRIES!!!"
"Yeah, I got that already, but..." Lord Sam sighed. "Never mind."
"Are you injured!?"
"Pretty much." Lord Sam said. "Dying, even."
"Life, do something about it!" The fairy with red hair ordered.
"Right!" Said the fairy with pink hair.
The pink fairy walked over to Lord Sam, glowing stuff happened and Lord Sam healed. Well, of course she healed. I mean, every Lord Sam story has got to have a happy ending, right? Destroying the world is one thing, but not having a happy ending just won't do.
Lord Sam stood up. "I'm... very grateful. Very disturbed, but grateful."
"It's just our job!" The red fairy announced. "And now, we have to get going."
The five fairies disappeared again.
Cassandra was the first to speak. "I don't want to sound ungrateful, but if those figures ever come here again I think _I_ will blow up the world."
"Not if I beat you to it." Lord Sam said. "Well anyway. Since I don't think I can go back and because the seat of Lord Sam here is currently vacant I suppose I'll have to fill it."
And so it came about that Lord Sam resumed the throne of P'p'l'r once again. Not that she had ever really lost it, but still. In a way she assumed it for the first time, but let's not be bothered with details. Carmen sure as Hell didn't bother. Because, at long last, after many hardships and trials, she got to have sex again. And when Carmen has sex it's the only thing on her mind. Of course, sex is always the only thing on Carmen's mind, but still. Now she didn't have to think about sex, since she could simply do it.
So, all was right again.
Especially for Carmen.
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