Eft arrived back at Mortis Operandi in the middle of the night. Appearing in the teleportation room, buried under miles of rock, he only knew it was late by how tired he was. The three customer service visits he had gone too, each had taken longer than he expected.
With a sigh, he waved at the goblin that teleported him. It was someone he didn’t recognize but was too tired to ask. The goblin replied with a yawn, which Eft laughed at as he walked towards his room. The tunnels were pretty vacant and Eft got to his room without running into anyone.
The older goblin had crawled into bed and covered the magical lamp before he realized Tobe was waiting in the room.
“What!” Eft said, suddenly sitting up and instinctively reaching for his cane.
“Welcome back,” Tobe said.
“How long have you been there?”
“A few hours, you said to update you first thing when you got back.”
“Most people wait outside or till morning.”
“I apologize, I did not realize that was needed. Next time I will delay.”
Eft sighed and took in a breath to calm down. Tobe was one of the few demons employed that didn’t have a contractual reward.
“How about, next time you leave a note or wait outside my door,” Eft said and then made himself a mental note to check if Tobe was getting paid. He definitely wasn’t like the other demons employed by Mortis Operandi.
“Garly Worm will return, but he has conditions that need approval. I have…” Tobe said and Eft interrupted him.
“Can this wait until morning?”
“Will four hours make that much of a difference?”
“Sorry, I mean can this wait until 9 am? I don’t have any appointments and it will give me time to rest.”
“It can wait, but Garly wants an answer in two days.”
“Alright, when Sandra is awake, invite her to the meeting as well,” Eft said and he laid back down on the bed. “Good night Tobe.”
“Night Eft,” Tobe said and the demon walked out of the room.
Eft’s mind wouldn’t stop running. He had a new idea for a trap, and the possible return of Garly kept running through his mind. After ten minutes of not falling asleep, Eft gave up.
Pulling in a little bit of power, Eft mentally prepared himself to not resist the spell he was casting. He then cast the spell of sleep. The enchantment took hold and the goblin’s mind finally shut-up.
THUMP! Thump! Thump! The pounding on the door matched the pounding in his head. Eft slowly opened his eyes and sat up. The pounding on the door had stopped but his head was still thumping. Slowly he worked his way towards the door. Another set of knocks had started when he opened it.
Sandra stood there in the middle of a knock. Briefly, her eyes widened and her muscled tensed then relaxed. Behind her stood a relaxed looking Tobe.
“If your going to make a meeting with me at 9, at least show up,” Sandra said. Eft suddenly felt utter sadness for disappointing the lady. An ache filled his heart and despite his headache, urged him to get on his knees and beg forgiveness.
Eft fought the enchantment and gritted his teeth. Using the pain in his head as something to focus on he said, “Sandra, turn it off.”
Sandra stagged backward and closed her eyes. Her enchantment released it’s hold on Eft and the Goblin returned to feeling normal.
“I’m sorry sir. I just…” Sandra bowed as she spoke.
“I understand, I apologize I did not mean to sleep in. Can we have the meeting here or do we need some paperwork?”
“I have all the required documentation,” Tobe said.
Eft beckoned Sandra and Tobe inside. After the demons were in and seated, Eft went over to a cabinet and pulled out a healing potion, carafe of water, and some glasses. The healing potion quickly fixed the headache, and Eft poured some cups of water for everyone.
“Alright, I wanted to discuss Garly’s terms,” Eft said.
Tobe reached in a stack of papers, pulled out two and passed a page to Eft and Sandra. Sandra scanned it quickly and looked at Eft.
“I’ve already reviewed the terms, and absolutely not,” Sandra said.
Eft reviewed the page, it was a partial plea from Garly and twelve goblins that traveled with him. Their village had been slaughtered, a group of adventurers had came in and killed everyone there. Even the children had been slaughtered, then their ears cut off. Forty-six villagers, fifteen children, thirty-two soldiers were killed. Along the ears, every armor, weapon, or belonging was taken as well.
Eft set the paper on his table along with his glass of water. Turning around he went back to the cabinet and pulled out a bottle of amber liquid. He then poured himself a full glass of it. Setting the amber bottle in the center, Eft drank his glass.
“We’ve had enough dealings with adventurers. Mortis Operandi is not at full strength to wage war.” Sandra said as Eft drank his glass.
“Does Garly know about Ventus’s demise?” Eft said once his glass was empty. He refilled it only halfway.
“Yes, and he wants the task to be completed before he rejoined. He understands it is not normal, but he plans on hunting the group down if we do not.” Tobe said. The demon took a polite sip of his glass of water.
“You can’t be…” Sandra said but a raised finger from Eft silenced her.
“I have an idea, and it may kill two birds with one stone. At least it can help with one. Can you guys reach Gretta and get her back here?” Eft said. He turned towards Sandra, “Can you tell Garly to meet to work out details?”
“I guess, but I don’t see,” Sandra said then sighed. “Are you sure you can do this?”
“Not really, but at this point, we have several outstanding contracts. Many that we cannot fulfill.” Eft said and Sandra nodded her head at the unable to fulfill part. “If we do not try, there won't be a company left or it will be just me and Tobe.”
The demons nodded in agreement and stood up to leave. Eft held up a hand to stop them.
“Tobe, do you have a way to contact that weapon supplier Elric found?” Eft said Tobe nodded his head. “Get me the info so I can make a visit.” The goblin then motioned for the demon to leave but held Sandra there.
“I don’t know how to create a demon like Tobe. I doubt anyone knows. I do know the company needs a person of your talents.” Eft said.
“My time isn’t cheap. Nor do I whore myself out for simple babbles or coin.” Sandra said, her tail flicking behind her.
“By examining Tobe are you able to glean any information?” Eft said.
“No, for the most part, he appears like any other demonic creature. The only difference is he isn’t from one of the lower hells. In talking to him, he doesn’t have any memories or life before the point Ventus created him.”
“Do you think that by examining him or using some divination spells you could get more information?”
“What if we offered to let you examine Tobe, not as a way to complete your contract, but as a temporary measure. I’ll keep looking for information on how to create him, but it will ensure that your time here at least wasn’t a complete loss.”
“I’d be willing to consider it if there was a clause for failure on Mortis Operandi’s part.”
“What would you wish as a consolidation prize?”
“Partnership in Mortis Operandi.”
Eft whistled and took another drink. He paused and considered the option. Mentally he reviewed everything Tobe had told him about gaining ownership of the company. Nowhere did the demon state there was any co-owners or shareholders.
“One-third ownership, and upon discovery of the creation method, your ownership drops down to 10%. Also, I must review the company documents to verify there are no shareholders or a board that I must answer to.”
“You don’t know if you own the company?”
“It has been a busy week and it was kind of dropped on me.”
“Fine, you have a week to review documentation and I’ll wait. Have Tobe bring me them when you are ready.” Sandra started walking towards the door.
“Wait, I need…” Eft started to speak, as he wanted Sandra to complete a few tasks.
“I’m taking a personal leave. I’ll send the paperwork to you on my way out. Until Mortis Operandi has a way to pay me, I feel I cannot complete any more work.” Sandra said. She quickly opened the door and closed it, leaving Eft alone with his alcohol.
The goblin threw the bottle at the door and cursed. Briefly wondering if dying with Ventus would have been better than dealing with this.
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Life long gamer and geek, after decades of RPG's, decided to start telling his own tales. Ones where the players can't derail.
I love fantasy and sci-fi. Have for decades, from the first time I read Dragons of Autumn Twilight to Stormlight archive, the worlds created have entrapped me. Now after years of attempting to complete a story, I've finished a few and am working on a new ones.