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PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, '10, 8:25 pm
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Chapter 9

Corg drifted awake without the slightest idea of where he was or what was going on. His vision blurry at first, he could only make out the shape of a person sitting next to him. Blinking a few times to see things more clearly, he noticed that it was Mieu who was staring intently at him, holding one his hands in hers.

“Well, well, well. Look who’s returned from the depths of Sheol,” Mieu said in a rather motherly tone.

“Mieu…I…you…” Corg tried to sit upright, but immediately felt a searing pain his back, one his arms, and what must’ve been the remnants of a terrible migraine. Corg abandoned the attempt and simply groaned in pain.

“Calm down there, turbo,” Mieu said with a slight laugh. “You’re still pretty weak. Don’t try to force it.”

Corg smiled weakly. “So it seems that the three of us managed to rub off on you a little.”

“Both Wren and I have language programs that can decipher and assimilate different language patterns, including slang, a lot easier than the others could figure it out.” Mieu kept smiling. “The only difference is that Wren’s logical systems can’t figure out any reason to actually use it. I, on the other hand…”

Corg squeezed Mieu’s hand. It was so human-like; in spite her not being one. “You know, Mieu,” Corg muttered. “I’m not sure how all of this works, but you’ve been like a mother to me. I bet you’ve spent more time by my side than any of the others.”

Mieu took her other hand and ruffled Corg’s dirty blond hair. “Oh don’t worry, the others have been worried sick about you. However, these past four days that you’ve been out have been pretty momentous days for the others.”

“And you? Were you worried?”

“I don’t have the capacity for real, true-blue motherhood. But when I’m presented with the opportunity for the next best thing—“

Mieu paused for a moment. Corg slowly lifted his hand and ran it through her bright magenta hair.

Gazing into the invalid’s eyes, she continued, “Yes, my son. I was worried about you.”

Corg smiled. “Yeah, I should be very grateful that I’m still alive.”

Mieu’s motherly smile was replaced with the look of someone that was going to give a stern reprimand. “Uh…yeah. What in the name of the great Orakio possessed you to take on two big beastmen and a hill giant unarmed?”

Trying to make light of his daring decision, Corg replied, “I had my trusty chain.”

“And they were armed with large clubs made from the femurs of dragons.”

“I killed’em, didn’t I?” Corg said, trying to defend himself.

“You killed two of them. The other one spacked you so hard that you’ve been unconscious for the past four days.”

Corg started laughing, but stopped soon after his body filled with pain.

“There, there, my little one.”

“So, what happened to the last’un?” Corg asked.

“I don’t normally get angry, even in battle. However, when I saw the beastman striking you down, I can honestly say that I just lost it.”
“Oh yeah? So what was left of him?”

“Well, his body was still whole…well…in two whole pieces.”

Corg looked up at the ceiling and with a dreamy smile said, “Wow. No one has ever ripped another living being in half for me before. Thanks, mom. You’re the best.”


* * * * * * * *


“Duuuuuude!!!” a familiar voice called out. “You sorry lil’ sucker! Hecka almost dyin’ on us!”

Corg saw Jack and Piotr walk into the room. They weren’t wearing their battle clothes, but rather what appeared to be a basic white shirt and a pair of brown trousers. Their faces were full of scrapes and bruises, although most of them had nearly disappeared. Oh, the wonders of monomate Corg thought.

“But I didn’t,” Corg said. “Hecka gotta live by the law, dawg!”

“The law?” Mieu asked puzzled.

“Heck yeah!” Corg said. “Brothers—We live together…”

“…and die together” Jack said. He gave Corg a tap on the side of the head.

“Man! Hecka needta beat.” Piotr said.

Mieu simply rolled her eyes. “You three and your strange language patterns.”

“Yeah, but wuddiagonnado?” Piotr said.

“Beat!” Mieu beamed. All four of them laughed, although Corg was soon recoiling in pain.

“Hey Mieu,” Jack started.

“Yes?”

“Can you give the three of us a few moments? We have some important things to talk about…some…’guy’ stuff.”

Mieu bent over and kissed Corg on the forehead. “If you need anything, I’ll be outside, my son.”

“Okay.”

Mieu left the room.

“So what’s sup, guys? Did you both learn that sorry lil’ funk chief of the beastmen?”

Jack looked at Piotr uneasily. “Yeah, that’s what we wanted to talk to you about,” Piotr said.

“Really? Why?”

“Well,” Jack began. “The dude hecka wasn’t a beastman.”

“Oh yeah? Hecka what was he? Azcan? Troglodyte?”

Piotr and Jack looked at each other again, almost horrified. Piotr spoke. “Dawg, it was a regular person.”

“Oh yeah? Dude. So one of the inhabitants of the castle had gone over to the Dark Side? What a funk.”

“I don’t think you understand,” Piotr said. “He was…one of us. He was a gamer.”



* * * * * * * *

Sari and Laya entered a few minutes later. The two women warriors looked none the worse for wear. The few cuts and bruises they had sustained had also almost all gone away. Sari seemed to have been wearier than her blonde companion, but she was also a bit older and had experienced a whole lot more fighting than Laya had. There were stitches and other obvious signs of fixing up in their battle armor. Nonetheless, any weariness on their part was quickly replaced by relief and joy at seeing Corg conscious once more.

“Hey there, little hermit guy,” Sari said jokingly. Apparently, in spite of the years of killing and fighting that she endured, she had maintained a good sense of humor.

“Welcome back to the world of the living,” Laya added. “We were worried sick about you. That was pretty courageous, taking on those ogres like that.”

“Actually they were—“ Corg stopped when he saw Piotr put his finger to his lip. “Thank you. Glad to know that you all adore.”

Sari went up to Corg and patted his head. He closed eyes and thought of his wife, Cristy, who was waiting for him in his world. He imagined himself in a similar situation at home, his head in his wife’s lap and her mussing up his hair while tears ran down her cheeks. Upon opening his eyes, Corg nearly jumped into a sitting position. The pain was the only thing that stopped him.

Sari was standing next to Piotr, her head resting on his shoulder. Jack stood with his arm around Laya, her hands were on his shoulder.

Sari came back with, “Of course we do, although maybe not as much as this splendid soldier here.” She kissed Piotr on the cheek.

When Corg recovered from the shock, he said, “Wow, Mieu wasn’t lying when she said that these past four days had been pretty momentous.”

The two couples laughed heartily. “Man, you were right, Piotr.” Sari said. “Corg is one of the most naïve people in existence. How did you not see this coming?”

“Oh it was easy, I’m also one of the most oblivious people in existence…not to mention one of the most easily distracted.”

“Yup, you can say that again, you lil’ booty.” Jack said in agreement.

“True, although I must add,” Laya started. “I’ve rarely seen anyone as brave as you. Not many people could live in isolation for long and not get killed or go insane.”

“What about me, my sweet?” Jack responded in defense.

“Oh, don’t worry, my dear.” Laya kissed him on the mouth. “It took a lot of courage to do what you and Peter had to do.”

“Anyways,” Corg interrupted. “That’s what I get for being both a dreamer and a husband. As a dreamer, I have my imagination to protect me. As a husband, I have my wife to live for.”

Corg looked at Sari, examining her white cloak and battle armour. He looked into her eyes, the eyes of a person who had suffered and fought for most of her life. He knew her story from the game. She was a lonely woman, raised for battle, but one who had discovered family in the most unlikely of places. Her brown hair was still pulled back in a ponytail as always, but she seemed happier than she was when the two met. He looked over at Piotr, who had only grinned like that on a few occasions.

Finally, Corg said, “I suggest the four of you try it.” He winked and then closed his eyes and rested.

“Let’s let him rest a little,” Corg hear Laya say. “The little sucker is still pretty tired. Man, now I’m talking like you three.”

Corg heard Jack and Piotr laughing.

He then heard Sari comment, “Corg seems to be a good man. I like him.”

“Yeah,” Piotr complemented. “You’ll never meet such an enigma of a person. A dreamer, a people’s person, an eccentric, a lover, a fighter, and a comic all wrapped up into a neat little package.”

The door closed.

* * * * * * * *

When Corg woke up again, everybody was in the room. Mieu was once again sitting by Corg’s bedside. WREN was standing at the door with his usually perpetually amused expression. Piotr and Sari were sitting next to each other, as were Jack and Laya. Mieu put her hand on Corg’s forehead, and then stroked his cheek. Corg smiled at everyone.

“So,” he said. “What’s the good word of the day?”

“I think the most important news involves our neighbors.” WREN said in his serious voice, which almost always bordered on monotone. “The remnants of the beastman tribe came to the castle today.”

“Yeah? Did you administer the beatage?” Corg asked. The three girls in the room rolled their eyes.

“Actually, we made a peace treaty with them. They’ve given us everything on this side of the river, as well as a substantial part of the southern end of the valley on the west side of the river.”

“That’s good news. Does that mean that everyone from the ship will come down?”

“Not so fast there, turbo,” Piotr answered. “Sari said that we should start with the inhabitants of Landen and the remnants of Sean’s people. If everyone poured into the basin at once, we’d soon find ourselves in conflict with the other peoples.”

Corg shook his head. “Oh yeah, huh. There’s still the question of the Lizard Men, the Troglodytes, the Elves, the Azcans, the Oltecs, and the Minotaurs.”
Laya and Sari looked at each other and shrugged their shoulders. “I still don’t understand how he found out so much about this place when he spent most of time hiding in dungeons and stuff,” Sari mused. “Does he just absorb this stuff out of the air?”

“Minotaurs?” Mieu questioned. “The beastmen confirmed the existence of the other races you mentioned, but not the Minotaurs.”

“They live in a number of dungeons hidden in the forest south of the bridge. I don’t think any of the other races know about them,” Corg added with feigned arrogance. “Oh, and Sari, sorry. Can’t tell. Trade secret.”

WREN continued, “Certainly there will be quite a bit of exploration of this planet before all of the cities are moved to the surface. Treaties will have to be established with the races mentioned.”

“Hopefully we can do it without having to wipe out eighty percent of their population,” Laya added.

“Dude, that’d hecka suck,” Jack muttered.

“Anyways, Sean and Kara should be down here in about a week,” Mieu said. “The Alis III is now orbiting the planet and radio contact is now possible between the ship and Wren and I. That should be enough time for you to get back on your feet.”

“But what are we going to do until then?”

“Good ol’ Corg,” replied Sari. “Always oblivious to the obvious. Laya and I have quite a bit of time to make up for—Laya more than I. But this courtship stuff seems to be pretty…how shall I say…phatty? Gotta enjoy while you can.”

“Whatever,” said Corg, rolling his eyes.

“Careful, Sari. Corg’s alone, after all. He doesn’t have anyone to court down here.”

Corg stared at the two couples, who looked back at him with uncomfortable looks. With a toothy grin, he smiled, “But I have my new mom. Her and I have a lot to catch up on. Now go and smooch around or whatever it is you guys like doing. Scram!”

Giggling, Laya and Sari dragged Jack and Piotr out of the room. WREN’s logic programming indicated that it was time for him to leave.

Alone together once again, Corg said to Mieu, “Can you give me a hug?”

“Of course, my son.” She reached over and lightly embraced him.

“Now, mom, let me tell you a little story of where I come from…”

Last edited by H-Man on Tue Jul 27, '10, 8:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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