Tuesday, January 24, 2012

J is for Jeopardy

(This is what I meant to post yesterday. Sort of. I wrote a short story in the Sylph world that I always liked, but I couldn't really sell it because it had spoilers for absolutely everything. Then I thought "Hey, I could chop it up and put some bits in here, cause I'm lazy that way". So I decided to do that, and discovered last night that I can't find the original file. I am pissed. I am also stubborn, so this is a rewrite, because there are parts of this I like.
  If people like my *cough* hero and I find some more letters of the alphabet that are appropriate for his story, I'll put more snippets about him. If not, I'll just pretend today never happened....
 All spoilers have been either removed or obscured to the point that I doubt anyone is really going to go 'hey!')

     The hive was destroyed.
     The walls had been breeched, the defenders slaughtered, the Queen broken out of her chamber and devoured. Fires from the battlers that tried to save it and her burned everywhere, billowing smoke that obscured the ruins and the monsters still scavenging through them.
     Deep in the egg chamber, one sphere that had been overlooked by the hunters rocked back and forth. It wobbled out of the bed that held it and across the floor, fetching up against a rock before a black tentacle burst through the side with a spray of birthing fluid. It stretched out, triumphant and sure, and then flopped down as the owner took a nap.
     While he slept, two more eggs near to it hatched, dropping an infant earth and water sylph to the ground. They lay there, peeping for someone to come and care for them. The only one that heard was the baby battler and with a furious struggle, he forced his way out of his egg and hovered over the two of them as if he hadn’t been sleeping on the job.
     They peeped at him in hopeful hunger. 
     He blew a raspberry back at them.
     Now what? The battler wasn’t sure, being only minutes old and a bit wobbly, but instinct said someone should be here. That obviously wasn’t working out so well and after a minute of staring around at the ruins, he reached the decision that if they just stayed where they were, someone would show up.
     His sisters peeped at him again and shifted hungrily, blinking at their surroundings in growing fear. They started to back away towards a corridor that was less smoke filled and he flailed his tentacles at them, garbling in fury. He was the battler, he was the fearsome one. They would stay where they were because he was in charge.
     Behind him, something reached in through the obscuring smoke and swept up a score of unhatched eggs, pulling them away to be devoured.
     The two elemental sylphs shrieked and turned, fleeing up the corridor.
     The battler blinked and started flailing in outrage. Didn’t they listen? They were staying here! 
     The roof fell in.
     He blinked and turned around, looking at the carnage. He glared at it for a moment, then flailed his tentacles, blew a raspberry, and ran after his sisters.
     He caught up to his sisters halfway up the corridor. Both of them were tiring already and he flailed at their backsides, driving them up the corridor despite their peeping protests. The corridor led to one of the breaches in the side of the hive and out into the flat croplands in front, now burning and destroyed.  The flames were spreading out there and the smoke obscured everything, including the massive hunters that had conspired to bring down the hive.
     The battler was starting to get the idea there was something wrong here. That made him feel afraid, and feeling afraid made him angry. So he flailed and squeaked and broadcast his absolute hatred in a circle a whole foot wide around himself as he chased his sisters across the fields. They peeped in protest and that just made him chase them harder, shrieking as loud as he could. They seemed to want to know where he was taking them.
     How was he supposed to know? Wait, they weren’t supposed to question. He was the battler! He was meant to protect. He wasn’t supposed to get hung up on minor trivialities such as the fact that he couldn’t see anything through all the smoke and flame  except for a glowing circular thing that had no colour he could name, not that he had words for anything.
     There! They would go there! The battler hounded and beat his sisters towards the gate, squeaking and blowing raspberries, his tentacles flapping everywhere so hard that he nearly landed himself in the dirt.
     The hunters heard. Still hungry, they turned towards the sound, feeling blind through the smoke to try and find the morsels, and all unknowing, the three baby sylphs fled for the gate, escaping through it before the closest could get to them. That monster felt through the gate for them, lashing on the other side, and yanked its tentacle back as a blast wave of pure destruction came through and the gate closed.
     In the Summoning Chamber of Sylph Valley, while the humans ran around in a panic at what had almost come through their gate, the baby battler hid underneath a bench in the shadows, lying on top of his sisters, who were already asleep. He looked at  the big battle sylph who’d just poured enough energy through the gate to turn the ground underneath it into glass and blew a raspberry.
     He could take him, he thought.
     Then he took another nap.


  1. LOVE IT! I smiled and laughed! I *think* the "Big Battler* is MACE!!!!!!!! YAY! :) I hope you can fit more in cuz I love it. :)

  2. I'm glad you like it. And the big battler can be whoever you think it is. I'm not telling who I think it is. :D

  3. That was awesome! When I read the first paragraph I was a bit shocked and so worried for the baby sylphs, (great concept btw).

    I love the baby battler, (so like human siblings), can't wait for any more snippets..."after he has taken another nap!"

  4. I want to take that baby battler and blow raspberries right back at him. OMG. So fierce yet so little is SO CUTE *squee!*

    That might be the pregnancy hormones, but seriously. *dies of cute*

  5. Thank you,

    I really enjoyed this snippet.

  6. Thanks for the comments. They're making my whole week. :)