“I think it’s a pathetic midlife crisis where a grown man tries to use his underage girlfriend as a dress-up doll!” Garth said. “Can you believe she said that? She was so sweet and innocent eight hundred years ago…”
Alicia was below him, still naked, still strapped to the table, a gag in her mouth muffling her shouting. She was glaring at him for some reason.
“I’m sitting here, baring my feelings, and you’re glaring at me,” Garth said, pulling up the interrogator’s chair and putting his feet up on the torture table. “You have any idea how difficult it was to distract all three Inquisitors so we could have this talk?”
They had established a rotation system, and never left her with one person unless there was an emergency. Luckily a living shadow terrorizing the precinct counted as an emergency, so Garth only had to deal with one of them.
That particular young man was sleeping off some rhino level tranqs.
“I just think it’s not fair for her to assume this is some kind of unhinged compensation for something. I’m the most stablest guy she knows, ya know?”
Alicia glanced down at the heavy steel straps holding her in place and growled something muffled.
“Yeah, I was upset about it too.”
She growled louder.
Okay, that’s probably enough teasing.
“It had the kernel of truth though.” Garth said, staring at the ceiling. So many kernels. He glanced back down at his restrained protégé.
“So on that note, I, out of respect for you as a person, have brought a set of your clothes from the lair.”
Garth stood and took Alicia’s shirt, pants, and undies out of his Status Band and placed them neatly on the chair beside her.
“And…” Garth produced a tiny adamantium file with a flourish.
“I brought you a tiny escape file so you can cut through your bonds on your own and feel pride in your personal accomplishments. Nothing builds confidence like persevering through adversity.”
Okay, maybe now it’s enough teasing.
With wave of his hand, Garth grew strong weeds in the joints of Alicia’s steel straps, shearing them apart.
“Or I could just take you home now.”
Amid the clanging of metal falling to the ground, Alicia jumped to her feet and threw her arms around his neck.
“Oh, okay.” Garth said, patting her back. Once again, he had to marvel how small and dainty she felt compared to his new height. He also had to stop his hands from roaming lower. Taking his mind off the perfect buns he could see jutting out behind her as he peered over her shoulder, Garth decided to put his hands to better use unfastening her gag.
He thumbed the strap on the back of her head, feeling her hair brush against his skin. He fed the strap through the loop and unhooked it before pulling the gag itself out of her mouth. She looked up at him as the leather-bound steel slipped between her crimson lips, her eyes wide and imploring, a perfect moment that seemed to hang in the air…
“Bastard!” she punched him in the liver, before recoiling and cradling her hand.
“Oh yeah, I got shot there earlier this morning.” Garth said. “Should flake off in a day or two. Spunk is a good sign though. Get dressed while we talk. As tempting as it is to harass you fresh off a torture slab, I’m desperately trying to prove to myself that this is not a midlife crisis, so I’m going to try to behave like we’re not in a Gor novel.”
Garth turned around and listened to the distinctive sound of ass squeezing into leather pants.
Senses at one hundred and twenty-five, baby.
“So, you get a class, and a patron?” he asked, facing the wall.
“What were they?” Garth asked. “I’m curious.”
“How did you know to ask?” she shot back.
“Oh, the amulet with the eye on it is a great way of getting attention from the gods. Put it on, do something stupid, and be judged. Anyway, I’m burning with curiosity. What didja get?”
“I’m not telling you. It’s extremely rude to ask someone their class, you know?”
“Oh. How about your deity?”
God of storms. That’s not a bad choice. Should be good for flying and nuking people with lightning. I mean, it’s not as versatile and rewarding as plant magic and drugs, but it’s a decent choice. I wonder if her class is lightning based for a double-specialization. If I’m anything to go on, those pay hefty dividends.
Garth turned around as Alicia finished shrugging her shoulders and tugging the bottom of her shirt. She seemed a little flushed for some reason.
A gigantic, amorphous black blob with tentacles that grew mouths whispering horrible secrets oozed through the wall and shrank down to a dog before Alicia could even yelp.
“Did you have fun scaring the bad guys?” Garth said, petting Shadow, who was panting with delight, and possibly exhaustion. “Okay, take a break.” Shadow sank back into the floor, nestling up against Garth’s shadow, until the two became one.
“Probably don’t have long until the Inquisitors show up.” Garth said. “You good to fly?”
“Okay. No matter what happens, don’t come back for me. I know you’re besotted, but you’ve gotta stick to the-hey I’m not done!” Alicia was already leaving by the time he was halfway through his prepared speech.
Garth darted out into the hall, stepping on the Inquisitor on the way out.
Another problem with being six foot six? Dodging was less practical.
Garth was used to dodging, but when the hallway was only a few feet wide, and there was a girl in it already, it made things complicated.
On one side of the hall were two Inquisitors, and on the other side was the half-nosed one who could make a Lantern.
Wonder if I could take all three of them? Garth thought to himself. His need to keep his plant magic under wraps was going to be thoroughly blown when Maggie’s contingency letter was read, anyway.
“You’re surrounded.” The half-nosed one said, forming a Lantern, forcing Garth to do the same as Alicia looked on in interest. “Please…don’t go bitching out on us again.”
Garth felt the dimensional lock spells form above them, causing his skin to prickle.
“I wouldn’t dream of it.”
“You’re surrounded.” One of the cheeky younger Inquisitors said. “Cooperate and we’ll be lenient.”
“Al,” Garth said, snagging the back of her pants and drawing her close. “How’s your condition?”
“Honestly? I feel like miles and miles of ass.”
“More for me, then.” Garth said, spinning a sphere of telekinetic energy around them.
First things first. I don’t like being penned in.
As the Inquisitors were charging forward, casting their spells, Garth unleashed every ounce of pent up energy in his Lantern, expanding it in every direction.
The Inquisitor’s reflexively cut through the spell with blades of mana, but the walls and ceiling didn’t really have that option.
The Precinct exploded around them, sending chunks of the building violently in every direction.
The light of the afternoon sun broke through the dust in a matter of seconds, but Garth was far too busy to admire it.
The three enemies hadn’t even been slowed down by his spell. The High Inquisitor, aware of Garth’s superior Lantern-work, hung back and worked support, shooting chains and bolts of steel at them.
Garth whipped his hand forward and caught the ranged attacks on a shield of ironwood, while sending branches shooting out of the ground to attack the other two.
“Stand on my foot.” Garth said, holding his foot out. Alicia did so.
“Be free!” He said, kicking upwards, sending her sailing upward, out of the range of his dense, mana-stripping Lantern.
Alicia squawked for a moment, arms waving in midair, before she caught herself, and began limping toward the west. Garth called it limping because it was far slower than she should be able to fly.
Doy. He almost smacked his forehead. Last time he’d overused a Mythic core in a similar way, he’d been far worse off than Alicia looked right now. She was probably just using her inborne female ability to hide discomfort. Is that sexist?
Probably a good thing I didn’t act like a total creep. Thank you Mrs. Banyan.
Garth waited until she’d gone some thirty feet away and pushed off the ground, flying straight up into the air.
Garth conjured thousands of tiny, self-propelled ironwood rockets, and aimed them at the men standing below him.
Half-nose’s eyes widened as the cloud of ash resolved into a storm of arrows pelting down towards him.
While they were busy hunkering under their Force shields, Garth took a moment to assess Alicia’s situation. Still limping along.
“I’m gonna give you a booster!” he shouted.
Garth created a bicycle-sized rocket that strapped itself to her back by thin wooden tendrils, then lit it. A pure blue flame came out of the back of the rocket, and Garth saw Alicia’s eyes widen a second before the thrust truly started in earnest.
Alicia’s screaming form disappeared into the distance, toward L.A.
Mrs. Banyan can catch her. Or maybe Alicia can catch herself. Idunno. I’m sure she’ll be fine.
Garth briefly considered doing the same for himself, but dismissed it. He wanted to give these inquisitors a reason to call the big guns, or none of him blowing his cover and acting like an idiot would pay any dividends. He needed them to come, and he needed them on time.
He ducked beneath a conjured steel bolt, then flew back down to the ground, surveying the wreckage of the police station. Thankfully, having shadow run amok as a nightmare-beast had caused both the precinct, and the block to be abandoned, allowing for minimal casualties.
Except for the woman’s hand sticking out from underneath the rubble over there, Garth thought with a pang of guilt.
He swooped down to see Gloria Pendleton lying under the rubble, in surprisingly good condition for being directly exposed to that much power. It was her inhuman Endurance that had kept her mostly lucid as a drop of blood crawled down her temple.
“Edward…” She breathed, her eyes focusing on him and a smile forming on her lips. “I knew you’d come for me.” She bore obvious signs of torture. A few missing fingernails, some cuts, lots of blood and salted wounds.
Garth resisted the urge to suck in a breath through his teeth.
Ah shit, I forgot about Gloria.
“That’s right, babe,” Garth said. “I couldn’t leave you here by yourself.”
“Are we running away together?” she asked, her eyes unfocusing again.
Damn, she’s out of it. Garth was responsible for getting this woman caught up in his schemes, and that gave him a tiny pang of guilt in the pit of his stomach.
No reason I can’t help her out here.
“In a manner of speaking. Lemme just-“
A bolt took Garth in the back and sent him tumbling end over end, then its hooks flared out and sank into his flesh, dragging him through the destroyed police station by a conjured chain.
“Gimme a sec,” Garth groaned as Gloria watched him get dragged past her, her brows furrowed in concussed confusion.
Garth pushed himself off the ground, whipped around and channeled mana to create a burst of wood to tear open one of the chain’s links, arresting his road-haul.
“Alright,” Garth said, pushing the barbed bolt the rest of the way through his body and tossing it aside clean as the Inquisitors watched in disbelief. “You guys done pissed me off.”
Alicia clawed at the air that had become a force so strong she couldn’t open her eyes or breathe, slamming against it with more speed than she’d ever thought possible.
I’m gonna die. This is how my life ends.
Alicia muscled past that fatalistic thought and tried to tug the wooden tendrils off her shoulders and chest, where they held her securely to Garth’s phallic…speed…thing.
Unfortunately, the damn things had the same sturdiness of all of the ancient wizard’s creations, and wouldn’t budge at her insistent tugging. She shielded her mouth long enough to take a breath and got back to work.
In the course of bringing her clothes, he’d never thought to bring her a weapon, so she was stuck using her bare hands to try and saw the roots stronger than iron away from her body.
This isn’t working, she thought with a tight-lipped scowl.
Let’s try mana. Flying had been painful and difficult, but the only way she was going to free herself from the bonds was with magic.
Alicia shielded her mouth, took a deep breath, and focused on drawing mana in.
Weather Mana seemed to be the only mana that paid any heed to her in her weakened state, so she pulled in everything she could, concentrating it into her fingertips.
Over the howling of the wind, she heard the crackling of lightning, and felt it dancing on her fingertips.
Her fingers began to ache deliciously, reminding her of the very specific pain in her mouth when she was really hungry and smelled something so good that it made her drool. Tingles spread, raising the hair on her forearms. It was an odd sort of pain.
Alicia ignored it, pressing her crackling fingertips to the wood. After a few seconds, the roots fell free, then she did the other shoulder.
Once both shoulders were free, Alicia began burning through the root wrapped around her waist, keeping her spine as straight as possible so the sheer weight of the air rushing past her didn’t fold her in half.
A few seconds later, she felt a jolt and a wash of heat blow past her as she tumbled free of the flying penis. I’m pretty sure that’s what it is. Why not make something normal, like a bird?
With a grunt, Alicia stabilized herself in midair, then opened her eyes.
She was about five hundred feet above Garth’s city. She glanced over her shoulder and spotted a trail in the sky marking where the penis had passed only a hundred feet or so above the steep mountains surrounding his land. In the distance, the phallus crashed into the ocean violently, sending up a spray of salt water.
What is wrong with that man? By the gods, I need a nap.
Apostle of Gorn
Non-citizen of the Inner Spheres
Blessings: Quickening, Lightning resistance, Enhanced Weather Magic
Class: Tempest Temptress
Skills: Fencing, Close Quarters Combat, First Aid, Etiquette, Mana Channel, Mana Wielding, Spell Theory
Spells: Aiding Wind, Force Armor, Fly, Force Shield, Lightning, Control Weather
Evolutions: Mana Sight, Conduit, Feedback Channeling.