It’s the first weekend in several weeks my husband is taking a day off, and I’m outa here.
Leaving you a picture to play with.
The Dragonoid companion said “Boss, I know it’s a nice day but don’t act like you’re going play with yourself”.
“Puff, you’re no fun at all”.
“If a young maiden should kiss me,” said the scarlet drakeling, “it will remove the curse the witch cast upon me and I will return to my true form. Do this, and I will see you justly rewarded.”
Hearing this, Lyssa was excited and she kissed the drakeling, eager to lift the curse from this poor, helpless wretch. Was he handsome? Was he a prince? The moment their lips met, the scarlet drakeling began to grow, swelling into a full size firedrake that towered over the maiden.
Lyssa screamed. “But, but, you said . . . ”
“I told you what you yearned to hear,” said the firedrake, smiling a draconic smile. “Young maidens should know better than to trust strange dragons.”
Fire filled his mouth.
And so, shortly after, did she….
Hmmm — and what is a just reward for unleashing a horrible dragon on the land?
c4c…enjoy your day off.
“Fishing”? Is that what you kids call it these days?
I will hence forth eschew puns about roods, poles, bait, tackle boxes and related equipment.
I will hence forth eschew puns about roods, poles, bait, tackle boxes and related equipment.
If you had, you would definitely be getting a great catch of carp…
I wondered who would be the first to take the bait.
Not RES! He knows we’re just waiting to tackle him – with carp…
“Just once, ” the drakling sighed to himself, “Just once I’d like to get an evil witch who spent less time in front of the mirror than she spent with her books and curses. Sheesh!”
ENJOY it while you can, O Beautiful; but Evil Space Princess!
It had worked!
Years of searching and fortunes spent! The pursuit had stretched her powers to the limit and beyond. But the things she’d learned paled in comparison to what she’d accomplished.
Young again! The centuries of longevity had almost been her downfall. Years could be transferred to other creatures, but only in totality, not piecemeal.
The firedrake had not just been willing, but eager to absorb the years from the ancient enchantress. Her skin had smoothed and hair gained luster as the drake gained in size, colors rippling across its scales.
The trade had been equitable, but now came the most dangerous part: Avoiding the teeth of the now much deadlier firedrake.
i find that there is a very small chance that you are fishing.
Well she certainly has a surfeit of carp, but I’m given to understand that there is a critical shortage of salt cod in the greater Denver area. And salt cod is the primary ingredient in a Portuguese dish near and dear to both boys.
Um… the boys have threatened to kill me if I ever make it again, Uncle Lar
well, we went to the botanic gardens and sat near the koi pond plotting. Does that count.
so, you were collecting carp.
When plotting near any koi pond, one should always be aware that a) koi have excellent hearing, and b) koi are, of course, telepathic, with teep connection range of right around 14,000 miles.
Oh, were you playing koi then?
Maybe she’s seized the day to refresh the carp supply – you know, carpy diem and all that.
I’ve been off for a few days too. This weekend I’ll be with family.
As soon as Toni saw the dracwing, she knew something was wrong. Acid-spitting monsters weren’t supposed to appear until much later in the game, when the players’ characters were at least up to eighth level and ready to handle the challenge. Someone had screwed up the distribution matrix and the game was generating monsters out of place.
Which is why you playtest at every stage of development. Toni sent a call through her implant to the playtest console to lock out the dracwing and flag the error for correction.
Except the dracwing didn’t wink out of existence. Instead it kept coming, spitting acid straight at her avatar’s face.
Something’s wrong. Toni sent a flurry of system calls to the debugger, even as her growing fear made her avatar produce all the appropriate physical responses.
Sure, the safety protocols would block any feedback before it caused psychosomatic damage to her meatbody. But it was small comfort when you were in a full-immersion VR storyscape that felt real on all sensory channels.
And then she was not alone. Beside her magic-user avatar stood a fighter in full armor.
A longsword flashed. Two pieces of reptilian flesh fluttered to the ground, the wings still extended.
The fighter pulled up the visor of his helmet to reveal deep-set brown eyes under brows so thick and heavy they made his whole face look top-heavy. But right now the most welcome face in cyberspace, however strange in fantasy-game armor instead of a hunter’s gear or his NASA blue flight suit.
“Roger.” Toni threw her arms around his shoulders, not caring that the armor would damage the sleeves of her fancy dress. “Thanks.” She paused, a bit of dread coming back. “Are you sure it was safe?”
Roger Chaffee smile to her, the same warm expression that had captivated her when she saw it on that video in her grandfather’s attic. “I used the playtest account you gave me to check your latest updates on the NPC’s for Mighty Mekong Fighters. There shouldn’t be any problems–”
“Unless someone noticed how quickly you put together your character and realized there’s no way a bio could’ve done it that fast. We still haven’t worked out the legalities of your status as a post-biological human being, and someone could make a COMPUTE Act argument that you’re an illegal AI.” Toni cast an uneasy look around the storyscape, a reflexive action when it made more sense to make system calls with her implant. “I think it’d be best if you get back to the LAN and stay in the storyscape there for a while.”
No, Roger didn’t like being sent home. He was a man of his era, after all, and even as an informorph he’d dislike seeing her in danger, however virtual. But he also understood that the legal landscape was still not safe for someone who’d been digitally resurrected. With a quick system call he dissolved his avatar and closed the link to this game’s computers.
Alone, Toni returned to the task of playtesting the other development team’s game. At least she hadn’t needed to hit the kill switch and drop herself back into meatspace, so they wouldn’t be spending the next week or so ribbing her for chickening out. And now that she’d just been tabbed to head the development team for the NPC’s in Digital Dreams’ new Lovecraft game, she couldn’t afford to lose their respect.
Not to mention that she’d need them willing to reciprocate and playtest Mythos and Madness
Nina thought, on the balcony, that perhaps they still thought she had been taken in by their story. That the red gown and the red paint for her mouth were signs of celebration. Not blood and fire.
At least, she thought, it did not mean scarlet woman. She looked down at the bejeweled betrothal ring on her left hand.
The dragonling flew up. Its body was black, though its wings flamed scarlet when the sunlight shone through them.
She tilted her head up, and her black hair fell straight down. After a moment, she put up her hand to her throat, to hold her head steady. As if she truly expected it to kiss her. She kept her eyes firmly shut.
The brush of a scaly snout on her lips was a surprise. So were the lips that followed.
Artemise studied the artwork firmly. She took in the scarlet-clad woman with black hair, and the scarlet-winged dragon with a black body, quickly enough. It was the ragged edge and the way you could not tell what was intended branches and what a mess of cracks that catch her attention most.
“You call this a clue? Back in the order, I would have reminded them I did retrievals, not locations, for good reasons.”
Have fun storming the castle!
Busy couple of days, forgot to remind y’all to donate to Hoyt for the month when the calender told me to.
Dunno if I’ve duplicated another notice, or if it is no longer necessary, because in theory I haven’t been following the blog.
A scarlet woman, and a scarlet drake,
Did mystical magic one day make.
The auburn leaves, hung from trees,
Reflected like blood in a stagnant lake.
The dragon’s breathe, her kiss of death,
Drove men to madness like Macbeth.
Her dark tresses, and red dresses,
Faded, gone, and now bereft.
50 on the nose!
Are there any marks on my neck? I have to go work, and I don’t have anything with a collar. Do I have a scarf? I better go see.
“It’s not a book,” he said, firmly.
“No, it’s not,” she said. “Portals do not have to be.” And she did not have to admit that hopping through a picture one that had obviously been torn from its frame made her uneasy. Especially since he would take her unease to be the fruit of the dragon in it. A small one, with a black body, and red wings, but he knew enough to fear dragons.
He would not have to be much older to realize that the woman, dressed in scarlet, with straight black hair and snow white skin, could be as much of a danger. And the scene behind them held water and branches, she thought, but could be a danger greater than either.
Said the wee reptile: “I’m majoring in Oppression Studies, and we’re going to occupy the dean’s office until we get class credit for our neuroses! What are you studying?”
“Computer science,” said the maiden, and with that, she flicked the lizard away.
A Few Good Men
Prometheus-Award Winner Darkship Thieves
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