READ ON TO FIND OUT!
Heh heh heh! Not that anyone actually reads these, from what I’ve noticed. I don’t get it! I draw pictures to go with, even! (Will update this with a picture of some kind if you’re one of the early non-readers.)
Anyway, I find these to be a lot of fun!
Oh, and just to clarify something — Kyle (Sir Kyle), Wardo (Baron von Wardstein) and myself, James (Archduke James), are all real people and work at the National Cemetery Management Council together. We communicate only via email and all work in different corpse-managment sectors. Above each entry is one of our names, which indicates who is writing. As a general rule, we tend to make fun of the other two guys in the “chapters” we write. And by “we” I don’t mean Kyle, who, unlike Wardo and myself—and to the best of my limited knowledge—does not seem to have many eeeeevil qualities.
Take it away, Kyle!
* * *
Sir Kyle sat dejectedly by the fire. He was surrounded by crushed carafes and goblets and wine servers. The new gauntlets he was wearing were not removable, and he had yet to adjust to their crushing strength.
His vision swam green, with beeping and buzzing noises it seemed he heard with his eyes, somehow. He was now over 8 feet tall, and getting comfortable was a chore. Also his hydraulic spine hurt. All in all, he thought he might be even more miserable than when he had a festering head wound.
Across from him, Wardstein’s grumbles became slightly more audible. Sir Kyle looked over at him and immediately the word “THREAT” began buzzing in his eyes. It was all rather distracting.
“Why would you get that? Why not me?” Wardstein said bitterly. “If I had that getup I could probably kill my arch enemy, Van MacWardstein.”
Sir Kyle shrugged. “Just lucky, I guess.”
“Have at you!” Wardstein screamed the scream of a man who screamed a lot and viciously backhanded Kyle across his helm with his sword, which rebounded back violently. “Again!” he yelled. “That face of yours…”
Sir Kyle barely heard him as he writhed on the ground in agony. The blade left no mark and did no permanent damage, but still hurt super bad. The pretty girl at his side laughed her silent laugh. “THREAT” buzzed endlessly in his vision.
“You know, that helm is made of adamantium,” Wardstein explained patiently to Sir Kyle, who apparently had ignored McStogie’s speech earlier. “You’ve been granted special powers, don’t you get that?”
Sir Kyle thought about that.
“When your sword hit my helm, the data could be interpreted as pain.”
“Look, you’re super powerful now and you can interpret anything you want. Get off the ground and be a man!” Wardstein barked. “Should I lead you by the nose everywhere? Now – where is that hot dog I asked about?” Wardstein began looking about threateningly, but no servant would meet his eyes.
The hot dog wasn’t ready yet, and nobody wanted to tell him.
The irony of Sir Kyle’s situation was not lost upon him: despite the fact he had been “improved” in the eyes of everyone around him, the knight had grown up on a manure farm after all, and he had always tried to live a modest, conscientious existence. Now though, he fully expected the Archduke to ask him to crush all manner of life on command, and he found this thought deeply depressing.
The eight-foot-four colossus sat atop a stump with his chin in his hydraulic hand and felt a melancholic sadness taking hold of him. Not far off, he observed Archduke James creeping very slowly in the darkness, holding the severed head of a maiden by the hair as though it were a lantern. Sir Kyle knew right away what James was playing at, but even if he hadn’t been an educated man, his new Heads-Up-Display would have brought him up to speed.
It buzzed and flashed now and lit up with quickly-scrolling text. This new sensation stung his eyes terribly.
*Bleep-Bleep!* Ancient Greek Mythology: Medusa the Dreaded Gorgon: it was believed that looking into the eyes of this creature, whose “hair” was a writhing nest of serpents, would turn the unlucky viewer into solid stone. “Petra,” the Greek word for “Rock,” is the etymological root of “Petrified,” which suggests that a person can become so scared that….” *Bleep-Squawrrrrrrk!!*
Sir Kyle swatted at his visor, shaking his head like an animal and squinting in pain. He saw a spark or two, then a wisp of smoke. He wondered if McStogie was really a doctor.
“Hey!” James giggled excitedly. “Hey look over here, guys! Lookit!”
He was addressing a group of soldiers huddled around a small fire. This small microcosm had helped to finish the imposing motte and bailey castle and its eight peripheral moats by the time the sun had risen earlier that morning, and were then made to abandon it and march on 16th rations to their current position in the dirt. None had enjoyed a wink of sleep and were just now squatting down to eat a meal of a single snared rabbit, which they had roasted and divided equally amongst themselves.
“Ha ha! You guys looked! You totally looked! You’re all statues now and can’t move!”
“Your Grace, please!” said one of the bravest, or possibly stupidest soldiers. “We have had a most tiresome—“
“—STATUES, I said!” screamed the Archduke, causing the men to freeze obediently, some with forkfuls of steaming rabbit just inches from their open mouths. Only the soldiers’ eyes betrayed movement, the whites flashing in the light of the fire. They looked to one another helplessly and wondered how long it would be until the Archduke forgot. They would not have to wait long.
James cackled with delight and then dropkicked the severed head into some tall grass. It thudded loudly off some unseen log.
“WOOOT!! One-hundred million points!” he yelled in triumph before sprinting off into the darkness somewhere. The soldiers then unfroze and hastily ate their paltry meal.
Witnessing all of this, Sir Kyle sighed deeply.
“Try not to look so sorrowful, good knight!” said a voice Sir Kyle did not recognize. “Perhaps you’re not looking at the positive side of things?”
Sir Kyle looked downwards and saw Allspice, meowing at him. Suddenly his HUD display lit up and scrolling text explained that it had done a simple Housecat-to-English translation, which initiated his strange, previously unmentioned inner-ear implants.
“WHOAAAA!!” Sir Kyle marvelled. “This IS pretty cool. And you’re right, maybe I am the luckiest man in the world!”
“Well, don’t over-sell it,” Allspice cautioned. “Your head is shaped like a giant dick now, remember.”
“Oh my God, WHAT?!”
As Sir Kyle’s hands explored his helm in horror, his unnamed blonde ran up to him, gesturing wildly. She was grinning, wide-eyed, and moving her hands from the sky to the ground; then to Sir Kyle, back to herself, and again to the sky. As she did this motion in a repetitive fashion, Sir Kyle kneeled in earnest, eager to understand what was clearly an important message. What was it she was trying to say?
“ISHTOCK!” said the foxy blonde girl. “ISHTOK SAWAY HUWATT!! ISHTOK SOOWAY HUWATT!!”
Sir Kyle examined his HUD and waited for it to translate as it had done before. It did nothing at first, but then he gave it a light swat.
Suddenly, the familiar text scrolled downwards.
*Bleep!* “ERROR! SPEECH DOES NOT RESEMBLE ANY KNOWN EARTHLY DIALECT! ERROR!” *Bleep!-Buh-Bleep!*
The blonde grinned and nodded at Sir Kyle, who stared back at her in confusion. He wondered whether what the hell was wrong with this girl and why, unlike Wardstein, he was so willing to tolerate this nonsense. Then he remembered the girl’s pleasing figure, which he examined closely.
“Uhhh, yes, of—of course!” he said, not knowing what the fuck she was talking about, or if she was even ‘talking’ at at all. “Ishtack….suhwee…..Hoo-hot?”
The blonde laughed and clapped at this, nodding emphatically.
Elsewhere, Wardstein’s voice echoed.
“YARGHHHH!!!! HOT DOG!! HOT DOG!!!”