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PostPosted: Fri Jul 9, '10, 7:17 pm
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Chapter 2

“Dude, you alright?” were the first words that Piotr heard Jack say when he opened his eyes. Piotr blinked a few times and looked around. Instead of houses and a street, there was mostly just a green field with a few small clusters of trees scattered about.

“Yeah, I’m cool. Where are we?” he asked.

“I’m not sure. I’m beginning to think that Corg’s little trick backfired on us, the sorry fool.” Jack answered laughing. “Take a good look at me and you’ll see why.”

Piotr looked over at Jack and noticed that his clothes were different. Instead of the tank top and jeans Jack had been wearing, he was wearing what appeared to be a black robe of sorts. The robe was open at the chest, but Piotr noticed that that Jack was wearing some sort of wire mesh armor.

“Dude, what’s up with that?” Piotr exclaimed.

“Hecka didn’t notice?” Jack asked with a smile. “It’s hecka my ninja garb. Look at yourself, dawg.”

Piotr looked down at himself. Instead of the usual T-shirt and shorts, he was wearing some sort of armor. He noticed that the color was reminiscent of desert-camo.

“Man! What the heck?” Piotr said, almost jumping up.

“Dude, you look kind of like Universal Soldier, dawg.”

“Ah yeah, huh,” came bewildered response. “So, you been awake for long?”

“Just a few minutes.”

“Did you get up and take a look around by any chance?”

“Nah, I hecka stayed close to your booty. Didn’t know what to expect. But I think we’re actually in the game or something.”

“Why do you say that?”

“Because there’s a phatty castle just over there,” Jack said, pointing behind Piotr.

Sure enough, when Piotr turned around, he saw a castle. Actually, it appeared to Piotr to be an entire walled city. The stone walls rose over 12 feet in the air. Some hundred yards or so behind the walls rose the walls of the castle. It looked like your typical medieval castle, although there were some interesting steel structures in the wall that belied its origin.

“I wonder what city this is,” Piotr mused. “Do you remember the names of any of the cities from the game?”

“Just a few. I guess we should get on over there and figure out what’s going on.”

“Yeah, that’d probably be the most logical thing to do.” Piotr responded. “Hey, what happened to Corg?”

Jack shrugged, “I dunno. The sucker hasn’t shown his mug around these parts. I don’t know if he even made it here.”

“That’d hecka suck. Leaving us in heaven-knows-where while he kicks it with his wife.”

Jack giggled. “Nah, knowing him, he’s probably already hangin’ with the royalty here. If he wasn’t married, he’d probably already be hittin’ on the women here.”

Both laughed heartily. They got up and started for the city in front of them. It was already dusk, so they picked up the pace a little bit, fearing what might creep out and attack them. After a few minutes, they made it to the gate. Luckily, it was still open.

They tried to enter as inconspicuously as possible, and were rather successful. Most people weren’t on the streets anymore. Actually, the city seemed rather deserted, save a few guards near the city gate. Quickly spotting an inn, Jack pointed it out to Piotr and the two made their way over to it.

“I guess we should go check where we are,” Jack said.

Piotr nodded.

Entering the inn, there was a comely, purple-haired woman sitting behind the front desk.

“Dude,” Piotr whispered. “I think you’re right. I think we’re in the game.”

“Man, I miss that zippy little tune that they always play every time we enter these places,” Jack whispered with a big grin.

Piotr laughed out loud.

“Good evening, would you like a good night’s rest, here?” the woman asked curtly.

“Uh, no thanks,” Jack said, trying not to use any slang. “We just wanted to know what city we’re in. You see, we’re…uh…well…travelers from afar or something like that.”

“Oh, of course,” the woman beamed. “This is the city of Landen.”

Piotr and Jack looked at each other and nodded.

“Oh, okay. Thanks. Just another question, who’s the ruler of this place?”

“That would be Queen Sari,” the woman commented. “Today is a very special day. You see, her nephew, Prince Sean, is going to marry Lady Kara. There’s going to be a lot of rejoicing at the castle tonight.”

Piotr and Jack looked at each other and felt faint.

“Uhh…thanks,” Piotr mumbled. They then left the inn.

“Man, this hecka sucks,” Piotr said as they left the place. “What are we going to do? We’re trapped in the middle of a game. Our best friend is nowhere to be seen. This place is probably crawling with monsters. I don’t think we’re even prepared in the least to beat…”

Jack stayed silent for a moment. He pondered for a few moments all that remembered about the game and where things were.

“Oh, I got it,” he finally. “There’s a fortuneteller here. She can probably set us in the right direction.”

Piotr shrugged.

“I believe she’s over there,” Jack said, pointing to the opposite side of the city.

They followed the narrow, cobblestone road over to the house where Jack remembered the fortuneteller being. Sure enough, as they walked in the door, there was an older lady sitting at the table with what appeared to be crystal ball of sorts on it.

“Come in! Come in!” the lady said graciously. “I’ve been expecting you.”

“This is freaking me out,” Piotr whispered.

“Yeah, I know,” Jack agreed. “But we gotta do things the way they’re done in the games.”

The two sat down at the table and waited for the woman to speak. The woman stayed silent for a few moments. Finally, she cleared her throat and held out her hand.

“Uh dawg,” Jack said. “Do you have any mesetas?”

Piotr began searching his armor for anything that might resemble a pocket. He finally found what appeared to be a small bag and took it out. There were some strange-looking coins inside. He gave a few of them to the lady.

“Very good. You’re already getting the hang of things here.”

“And where is here?” Piotr asked.

“You know the answer to that one. You’re on the Alisa III in the kingdom of Landen. You’re on a quest to figure out why you’re here and where your companion is.”

“So, do you know?” Jack asked, feeling a bit relieved.

“The answer to your question lies with Queen Sari. However, you must visit her tonight. Otherwise, it may be too late.”

“But—“ Piotr started.

Jack quickly got up and made it for the door. “Thanks for the tip. C’mon dawg, I gotta plan.”

They left the fortuneteller’s house and started heading towards the gate.

“How are we going to make it inside the castle? I bet the place’ll be crawling with guards and the gate’ll probably be shut.”

“Dude, did you hecka already forget the beginning of the first quest?”

Piotr paused and thought for a few moments. “You mean—“

“Heck yeah!” Jack said laughing. “Hecka gonna reach that baby underground.”

They headed for the alchemist’s shop. Entering the shop, he noticed that there two people at the counter. As they walked around and observed the place, Jack saw what appeared to be a stairway behind the counter going downstairs.

“Good evening,” one of the men said. “My I interest you in some Monomate?”

“Uh, no thanks,” Jack said. “However, we do need to take that stairway there. Please let us through.”

“I’m sorry, I can’t let you do that,” the man said.

Piotr and Jack looked at each other and lifted an eyebrow.

“I don’t think you heard me right,” Jack said, putting his hands on the counter. “We need to get inside the castle.”

“Please leave now. Otherwise I’ll have to call the guard.”

Jack looked at Piotr and shook his head. He then jumped over the counter and slammed both of his feet into the man at the counter. The man flew against the wall and slumped over. He quickly ducked and swung his leg in an arc, sweeping the other man out from under his feet. He then got up and swung his leg into a vertical arc and brought it down on the guy’s head, knocking him out.

Jack started laughing. “Man! I hecka did them dirty. Never knew I had it in me.”

“Dude, you hecka beat them down.”

Jack was still laughing, “Well, ya’ gotta take advantage of your surroundings, dawg. C’mon, we need to get to the castle as quick as possible.”

The two ran down the stairs and into the castle dungeon.

* * * * * * * * *

The wedding procession had already begun. Prince Sean was standing in front of the throne at the end of the red carpet. He was dressed in his best black armor and in a white cape, a symbol of royalty. His green hair contrasted nicely with his clothing. He smiled lightly as he saw Lady Kara enter the large hall.

Kara was dressed in a white wedding gown. Her neon green hair was left free. Laya and Sari had joked with her earlier that this was the first time that they had ever seen her dressed in something other than her purple battle armor. They quipped that she should get married more often; she was more beautiful as a bride than as a fighter. She had simply rolled her eyes at them. Now she made her way slowly across the hall to where Sean was standing.

Sari and Laya stood to the right of Sean. Sari was in her white armor and cape; she rarely went anywhere without her armor on. She even was wearing her trusty daggers. Laya laughed at her when she discovered that Sari’s idea of getting ready for a wedding was simply doing something with her hair that wasn’t putting it in a ponytail. This was true; Sari’s hair was all done up and full of flowers, quite a departure from the norm.

Laya had also changed out of the usual clothes that she had used in battle. She wore a persimmon dress that matched the color of the jewel on her forehead. She left her hair in its usual braid, but complimented it with a small crown of pink flowers.

The other members of the party were present. Miu had changed out of her red, one-piece “bathing suit” (as the others had jokingly called it) and slipped into a magenta dress that matched her hair color. Wren couldn’t be convinced to get out of his usual protector, nor to leave his weapons back behind. Nevertheless, he and Mieu stood to the left of the carpet, to be on Kara’s side when she arrived.

As Kara advanced towards Sean, the air filled with the traditional melodies of an Orakian wedding. Queen Sari and Laya were both shedding a few tears. Sari was thinking about how Sean’s parents weren’t alive to see this special moment; they had been killed several years back when their home, Azure, was blown up. Laya was shedding tears, as she was a the type who cried at all weddings.

Kara arrived at the front of the hall, where she greeted the groom with a light kiss on the cheek.

“I, Sean,” Sean began to say aloud. “Take Kara to be my wife, in the presence of the Queen, my friends, and all of these witnesses, to love and to cherish, to take care of always, in sickness and in health, until my very last breath.”

Kara repeated the same thing. The two then kissed passionately, sealing the marriage covenant between them. Then, as was custom, the two began to walk to down the carpet to the salon where the reception would be, followed by the Queen, and then the special guests, and then rest of the people.

Suddenly, a commotion was heard in the hallway outside the throne room. The procession stopped to see what was going on. Sari calmly slid her hands to where her daggers were. With a loud crash, the doors of the throne room burst open.

In the doorway stood two strange men. Sari observed both of them closely. One of them was rather tall and lightly build. He had short blond hair, fair skin, large eyes, and wore a black garb that looked like something a spy would wear. The other was just a bit shorter than the first, although was noticeably stronger. He wore a protector similar to the one Wren always used, although it was painted beige and brown, instead of black. He had fair skin and brown hair that was cut quite short. He was also brandishing weapons: a pair of retractable, steel batons. Both looked like they had been laughing a lot.

Soon, the guards who had witnessed the ceremony were pointing their spears at the intruders.

The blond one spoke first, “Um…yeah! So, we’re here to talk to Queen Sari. It’s kind of urgent that we speak to her as fast as possible.”

One of the guards snapped, “How dare you invade this wedding with such demands. You will spend the night in the dungeon!”

The other intruder spoke, “Please just let us through. We wouldn’t want to have to beat you down.”

“Insolent—“ the guard motioned for the other guards to arrest them.

“Stand your ground,” Sari finally said to the guards. They immediately stopped. Sari walked over to the throne and sat down, bidding the intruders to come forward. As they walked towards the throne, Laya walked over to the throne and stood next to Sari.

“Dude,” Jack whispered. “This is really awkward.”

“Boy, I’ll say,” whispered Piotr, too.

The two noticed that everyone present was looking at them strangely. Even the bride and groom looked at them with more curiosity than anger. They made their way slowly through the crowd, trying not to think about all of the whispering in the crowd, nor the fact that it was common knowledge that two of the guests, Wren and Mieu, whom they had immediately recognized, were probably armed to the teeth. Finally, they made their way to the back of the hall where Sari sat.

Pausing, Jack and Piotr looked at each other, nodded, and then knelt and bowed to Sari. “God Save the Queen,” they said.

“Please stand, the two of you,” Sari said, her voice noticeably tinged with curiosity. “Who are you and where are you from?”

“I am Jack of…of…I am Jack, a traveler from afar.”

“I am Piotr. I…uh…come from the same land as Jack.”

“And what land would that be? Mystoke? Draconia? Hazatak? Please, tell me.”

Jack and Piotr looked nervously at each other. “Well, we are not from the Alisa III,” Jack finally said.

Piotr whispered something into Jack’s ear. Jack nodded.

“Well, I guess I should hecka tell you. We hecka ain’t from this world. We hecka were travelin’ the universe lookin’ for a phatty place to visit and we thought, ‘Man, it’d hecka be phatty to visit the Alisa III and see the Mieu and Wren-stuffs.’”

The crowd erupted with commentary. Jack and Piotr saw Sari and and Laya conferring with each other. They looked over to Mieu and Wren, who with looks of confusion on their faces, were whispering to each other.

Sari finally spoke up, “Your manner of speaking is quite alien to this place. I have never heard some of the words you use in any of my travels. I am impressed of your claims that you come from another world, and yet know the name of both this ship and some of its inhabitants. Let me ask you now: Why are you here? Why do you seek audience with me at this moment?”

“Well, we were hecka chattin’ with the fortuneteller,” Jack started.

“Yeah, she told us that you’d know how to help us. We’re looking for our companion. He was traveling the universe with us and got lost. We were told that you could help us.”

Sari looked at them strangely. “And what could I do? I don’t even know who you are, let alone your friend. How could I—“ She was interrupted by Laya, who whispered in her ear.

“Hey, do you think this has something to do with what the fortuneteller told us? Do you think this supposed new planet is where their friend is?”

“Could be,” Sari whispered. “That would make sense. What do you suggest?”

“If it’s destiny, we should go with them to the planet. We could take the ship that goes in between Dahlia and Elysium. What say you?”

Sari nodded. She then spoke aloud, “You two have come here, have intruded upon the marriage of these two special people, and now have the nerve to ask for my help. I should have you thrown into the dungeon. But I will give you a chance. If you can hold your own against me in combat, I will consider your request.” She glanced quickly at Laya and winked. Laya rolled her eyes.

Sari stood up and removed her cape and took her daggers out of their sheaths. She walked over to the two and asked, “Which one of you two will it be?”

Piotr and Jack looked at each other and breathed deeply. Piotr nodded and rose, batons in hand. He motioned for Jack to step back and give him some space. “Please, your majesty, I’m still not all that great at this kind of stuff. Have mercy on me,” he said in a low voice.

Sari smirked and held her daggers up. “On guard!” she yelled and lunged at Piotr.

She began to strike at Piotr, deliberately holding back on the force of her strikes. Piotr parried her blows, awkwardly at first, and then more assuredly. Soon, every strike of hers was met with a quick block. Piotr, logically deducing that this was more of a test than anything else, refrained from trying to hit her himself. He just stayed on the defense. After a while, Sari did a leg sweep, bringing Piotr down to the ground.

Stunned, Piotr stuttered, “Uh yeah…I…uh…concede to your majesty.”

Sari smiled, got up, and helped Piotr up. She declared, “Thank you for your exhibition of skills. We would all be honored if the two of you could accompany us to the wedding reception. Afterward, we shall discuss what shall be done about your companion.”

As everyone started to leave the throne room, Sari went up to Laya and whispered, “I’ll keep him. You can take the other.”

Laya rolled her eyes and giggled.

Last edited by H-Man on Tue Oct 12, '10, 9:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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