...in which certain things are not mentioned out
of embarrassment, a family reunion is held, there's
lots of girl talk and Lina tastes like coffee.
By Stefan Gagne, Spoof Chase Productions.
DISCLAIMER : Today's episode does not deal primarily with huge
clawed things from dimensions of darkness or earth-shaking
and huge explosions and stuff.
(Okay, maybe one or two claws, but that's IT.)
Instead, it largely involves... mush. Mush, and barbecued
Those uninterested should probably go watch pro wrestling or
hen Drama came to from his climactic sword battle,
someone was dumping a bucket of cold water over his head. He awoke
with a jerk, and saw--
"'--three figures in the cramped, underground room
with him, through the murky haze of the single lantern,'" Myth wrote, in
her book. "'Gourry lurked in the background, an implied menace; Myth
and Lina were on either side of him, and both looked ready to rip his face
off. He realized he had been defeated; worse, defeated and not killed.
Helplessly tied to a chair, his Talents were unable to save him -- Myth's
writing put him into an 'Interrogation Victim' role, which no amount of
Drama would provide escape from, only further humiliation. And that
was when he realized, finally... the jig was up.'"
"Thanks, Myth," Lina said, nodding to her companion.
"So. You're bagged and tagged, and if you try to get all melodramatic
on us you'll just end up making yourself worse. Are we clear on the
"Why are you HELPING her?" Drama asked Myth.
All his pretense of might and superiority were gone; his role now was the
plaintive, panicked crook caught in the act, voice hurried and tense.
Drama had to fit his namesake, after all. "You're one of us and you're
betraying the whole group. She's going to ruin it all! Haven't
the wingless been picked on by the Lord of Nightmares enough?"
Lina moved to occupy Drama's the entire view of
world. She Was Not Happy.
"Let's just say that if you don't fork over the
information we need, I'll do things to you that the Lord of Nightmares
would consider harsh," Lina said, in a voice that you could store a side
of meat in for a month. "Not only did you make all our lives weirder
than we wanted them to be, but you stripped me down to my UNDERWEAR and
tried to dissect me. Weirdness I could forgive. My life is
weird. But for the rest, I'm seriously considering using... this."
Lina held up an ice cream scoop, and clicked it
menacingly. Gourry nodded slowly in the shadowed background of the
room, as if agreeing with the concept.
"I'll talk! I'll talk!" Drama pleaded, sweating
under the hot lights. "What do you want to know??"
"First, the other wingless" Lina asked. "I
want names, locations, the works. We've found Myth, Luck, and you,
but that's it. Do you know of the others?"
"None of them," Drama said flat.
Lina clicked her scoop twice.
"None!" Drama repeated, frightened. "I swear.
I knew Myth was running around somewhere. Everybody knows Luck's
settled down outside Sailoon. Paradox is.. wherever the hell his
home is, nobody really can tell. The twins -- Love and Loathing,
I mean -- haven't shown up for awhile, Reason faded into the intellectual
human society and vanished, and Nightmare... who can say? If he ever
shows his face, it's not from any corner you'd suspect. I was going
to sell him the information about you, if I could find him. He could
find me if he knew, no doubt... but otherwise, I've got no clue where any
of them could be, and that is the TRUTH."
Lina looked at Myth for confirmation. Myth
gave a shrug; she was just as clueless. So, Lina decided to move
"Second, what do you know about the Giga Lores?"
Lina asked. "We've got a puzzle here without pieces, Drama.
When you were busy taunting me in that trap, you said you knew things.
You didn't give me any details. I'd suggest right now, you be detailed."
"I... not much," Drama said. "I just know...
look. Merlin Giga might've been the best thaumatological hacker around
in his day, but he had a few screws loose, you know? He was obsessed
with his own species."
"Humans. He was obsessed with defining humanity,
figuring out what it meant to be human," Drama continued. "He joined
the priesthood to gain enlightenment. Every hour he wasn't doing
marvelous magic, he was this zen master of patience, meditating constantly.
I remember meeting him one day, because I thought maybe his exploits could
be more dramatic, you know? Ride his coattails... but he didn't care
about glory. He just said one day he was going to MEET the Lord of
Nightmares, and... and 'find out where humanity was intended to stand.'"
"You're going to be talking about the lores soon,
right?" Lina warned.
"I'm getting there!! Okay, so he's all hyped
up about meeting the Lord of Nightmares, which I CAN'T see, considering
the Lord hates us. But one day, he actually does it! For some
reason, the Lord took him back to the Lake of Chaos for a full day to talk
with him. And there's some kind of bargain, because he came out bearing
a book that he started to spread around the world, a book with three spells
in it, but it gets banned when some folks try them and the whole nation
of Nohao vanishes. And that's it. Giga died like a week after
he got back to reality. I didn't see him during that time, I just
know what happened."
"That's not much more than I knew before, Drama,"
Lina said, curiosity edging into her malice. "Three spells, leading
up to some kind of bargain. Even Myth could feel that story.
Did anybody cast all three spells before now?"
"Just two people that I know of," Drama said.
"I followed what was going on for a few years, since it seemed Dramatic...
but the first guy was never heard from again. Flat out disappeared.
The second supposedly ran off to join the Mazoku, or something -- I couldn't
track him. After all that, nobody tried to repeat the spell prophecy,
and everybody forgot about 'em. But it wasn't three spells in the
Giga Lores, it was four."
"A fourth Giga spell?" Lina asked, surprised.
"I don't know what it was, before you ask," Drama
said. "Supposedly, Giga had an afterthought right before he died,
that a supplemental spell would be needed. He wrote it up fast and
tried to get it published. But the fourth one was lost in the shuffle,
and nobody saw it again... and I swear that is ALL I know about the matter.
Just bits and pieces of a story that doesn't make any sense!"
"So why were you assuming that this whole thing
would be bad for you?" Lina asked. "Seems to be about humanity, somehow.
Not the wingless. I don't know why you guys are involved."
Drama stared at her in disbelief. He turned
to address Myth.
"You mean you didn't tell her?" he asked.
Myth, surprised at being talked to, twitched slightly.
"Tell her what?"
"She doesn't KNOW?"
"What doesn't she know?" Lina asked, distracting
"That humanity... the whole species... came from
us," Drama said. "The eight wingless. Nightmare discovered
life and death, and it was only natural after that, I mean..."
"The Talents didn't transfer over, and you guys
aged when we didn't, but... you were part of the wingless. In a way.
We started the ball rolling; our kids had kids and so on. Don't ask
me how it was possible, but it happened," Drama said. "And now, with
the Lord of Nightmares calling us back and giving you wings and Giga's
drive to find humanity's place... who knows what's gonna happen?
The Dragons and Mazoku are probably having a fit right now. I mean,
who knows what's gonna happen to ANY of us, wingless, human or otherwise?"
Two figures stood on a tall parapet of Sailoon
Palace. It wasn't a place you could walk to, and climbing there would
be insane. But that was okay; they weren't the sort of people who
would need to do either.
"You sure 'bout this?" the ugly, smelly bastard
asked. "I mean, HER? I agree we need to enchant a human to
send after these humans, you know, 'to catch a thief' and all, but..."
"She is ideal for the cause," the Dragon said, watching
her quarry through a tiny castle window. "She knows Lina Inverse.
She WANTS to help her, and with coaxing, that cause is ours. If we
can't counter the Talents, we can at least send in some cannon fodder which
can worm by the wingless's defenses, yes?"
"Lady, if I go near that brat, I'm gonna get cavities,"
Bugger spat. "And I likes my teeth the way they are. I'll go
get my OWN human to put into the fray, thank yew very much. Fair?"
"Fair," Angela nodded. "Twice as many chances
to stop Lina."
"That's the right way to see it," Bugger agreed.
"'course, knowin' my luck, they'll both completely screw up and we'll have
to take care of the tart ourselves..."
"Mazoku. You're always so negative," Angela
said, smiling with perfectly straight teeth. "Dragons choose to see
things positively. I believe she will be a valuable asset."
"Uh-huh. Pull the other one, it's got bells
on. I'm heading off to find MY pawn. Have fun with yours."
"And you," Angela nodded. Bugger floated up,
still standing, and drifted off into the distance.
His smell remained behind.
"And you too," Angela warned. The odorous
gas took off after its master.
Angela sighed. This was a very taxing endeavor.
But her nightmare vision would not go away. She had it again, last
night; the laughing figure, wearing the butterfly wings and leading the
humans to destroy her kind. If anybody was to bring down the menace
of Lina Inverse, it would be her. SHE would be the savior of the
Dragons. What a pleasant ring it had...
The transition into the castle went smoothly, Angela
transporting herself into the girl's private chambers. She kept her
wings well groomed for the meeting, to give a good impression. Most
Dragons didn't like using their wings in front of humans, but she felt
they had a certain mysterious air about them.
She fluttered her wings briefly for effect, as her
feet touched the floor.
"I bring thee greetings from the Dragons," she started.
"AAA! Intruder!" Amelia shrieked, sitting
up in bed.
That wasn't the reaction Angela wanted.
She reached out, and used Enhance Calm on a mild
setting to calm Amelia down. Hitting a great deal of hyperactivity
that refused to quit, she cranked up the spell to a more suitable level,
until Amelia's eyes were sufficiently glazed.
"Now then... as I was saying," she began again.
"I bring thee greetings from the Dragons. There is a task we require
your noble services for, as you are Ameila wil Tesla Sailoon, champion
of justice, princess of Sailoon, light and holy warrior in the great crusades
"Yes... that's me," Amelia said, a distant smile
on her face. "For love and justice, I fight!"
"Your friend is in danger," Angela said. "Lina
Inverse. She is being corrupted by ancient magic, led into a quest
of terrible consequences for all living things. She must be stopped."
Amelia's brain pulled itself up to sharper focus.
"Lina... Lina! You found her, Ms. Dragon? I'll go alert Dayvid
and we can get the royal guard--"
"No, this is a task for you alone, good Amelia,"
Angela warned, holding up a hand. "She is in great danger.
A large show of arms would alert her corrupters to your presence.
No, you must go after her alone. I will show the way, the path of
light towards your goal."
"Alone?... but Dayvid wanted to go, since he's her
friend sort of..." Amelia said.
"Do you require Dayvid to help you?" Angela asked.
She reached out, twisting Amelia's sense of glory -- Angela's specialty
magic. "Truly, a noble one such as yourself is capable of defeating
the menaces of evil. Are you not a warrior of justice, proud and
"I guess I don't NEED him..." Amelia smiled.
"And it would be so wonderful to singlehandedly bring Lina home!
There would be a parade, and a fanfare..."
"And good Lina would be happy to know her friend
came for her," Angela added. "And there would be a glorious homecoming
feast, and your father would be so proud."
"I'll do it, miss!" Amelia promised, walking forward
and bending on one knee before the Dragon. (Angela liked that touch;
and she hadn't even mentally suggested it! What a human!) "For
the glory of Sailoon, for the justice of the Dragons, I will not rest until
poor Lina is brought back and we can get her off those nasty drugs!"
"Those what?" Angela slipped. "I mean, yes,
indeed you will. But before I bring you to her, I will give you a
gift to aid in your quest..."
Reaching into her robes of splendor, Angela retrieved
a simple pen, which she had enchanted earlier that evening...
Lina stepped out of the inn, to get some air.
The problem with Kynese inns wasn't just that nobody
knew the local language except Myth. It wasn't the cots that were
as thick as your thumb and about as much fun to sleep on. It wasn't
the strange food, either. It was the incense.
The air was THICK with colored smoke, from various
sticks of incense being burned to ward off evil spirits. The country
didn't like having weird foreigners like Myth, Lina and Gourry around;
but they were also a very polite people, it seemed. Certainly, Lina's
group could stay here, for free, if they don't turn into devils and terrorize
the village. But to make extra-sure that wouldn't happen, about sixty
seven prayer sticks had been toked up outside Lina's door, and the air
in her room was nearly a solidified mass.
Drama's words were disturbing, to say the least.
After getting the story out of him, he started to clam up and plead ignorance;
Lina sealed him away in his Man-Trap, then walked on out. She was
What was going on here? Why here, why this,
why now? The Lord of Nightmares was using her, and she had no idea
what for. Not just her, but all of humanity, if Drama was right;
and had the Mazoku and Dragons started to move? Xelloss said in a
dream that forces were starting to move. Was the debacle at Bigtop
Bigtop the result of that? Back at the castle, why did.. WHAT WAS
"AAARGH!" Lina growled, pulling her hair.
"What?" Gourry asked, who had snuck up behind her.
"Kyaa!" Lina yelped, turning. "Don't do that!"
"Surprise me," Lina said, turning to look away.
"I was just wondering what you were doing out here,"
Gourry said quietly. "I didn't mean to upset you... umm. Naga
came around a few minutes ago. Myth told her what was going on..."
"Don't tell me Naga's coming along with us too,"
Lina hypothetically begged.
"She hasn't decided. I think she's pretty
confused, I mean, she doesn't remember anything about the castle, or about
Drama... which is weird, because we remembered it, right? Right,
"I'm wondering where we'll go next," Lina said,
evading the question. "We've got no leads."
"You do remember what happened, right? I mean,
before you screamed a whole bunch and slapped me around--"
"YES, I remember!!" Lina barked.
Gourry took a few steps back defensively.
"...just checking..." he mumbled.
"None of this makes sense," Lina said, changing
subjects. "We're tracking down all these yahoos, and for what?
Why can't someone just give me a straight answer about this stuff?
It's like they're all a bunch of Xellosses, and it's all a bunch of secrets!"
"Umm... cheer up, Lina!" Gourry said, taking the
opportunity to try and get Lina's spirits up. "After all, tomorrow's
a better day, and, umm... the light is always darkest at the end of a tunnel
and you can't make a silk purse out of a pig in a poke and stuff.
So keep that chin up, and the sun'll come out tomorrow, because you're
only a day away, right?"
"We've got no leads," Lina repeated, tired.
"I'm sure we'll find one!" Gourry exclaimed.
"I bet one is coming any time now."
"Yeah, like a message is going to drop out of the
sky, reading 'There's a wingless at So-and-so,'" Lina joked.
A pigeon lighted on Gourry's head, cooing lightly.
Lina blinked a few times to make sure she saw that.
Surprised, Gourry reached up, and fetched the bird.
"That's strange. I didn't know pigeons were indigenous to Ky."
"They probably aren't. We didn't see any on
our last quest to this continent-- wait, how do you know what indigenous
Studying the bird, Gourry spotted a tiny note tied
to its leg. "Hey, wow! It's a messenger pigeon! Looks
like I've got mail."
"But nobody knows where you ARE!" Lina reasoned.
"So?" Gourry asked, unrolling the letter.
"My Uncle Ed runs a magical courier pigeon service back home. It's
a franchise based out of Darata, the latest thing; teleporting birds!
They can find you ANYWHERE! Let's see, this one says, 'Gourry.
Aunt Koirry is dead. Come home.'"
"Come on, Gourry. Magic birds? That's
The paper slipped out of Gourry's fingers, the light
breeze catching it. It fluttered to a halt at Lina's feet.
Unbelieving, she picked it up, and read it again : 'Gourry. Aunt
Koirry is dead. Come home.'
"Oh my..." Lina started. "Geez, Gourry...
I'm sorry. I mean..."
"Dead?" Gourry asked, confused. The idea was
about as comprehensible to him as nuclear physics; something he grasped
for and completely missed. "Aunt Koirry? But she was the healthiest...
I mean... dead? What?"
Lina felt like a heel. Here Gourry was, trying
to cheer her up when she was lost, and now she didn't have anything meaningful
to say when HE was dazed and confused. She didn't even have a barrage
of trite, cheesy sayings, which, while not comforting would at least mean
she wanted to make the effort. She did want to make the effort, but..
what to say?
"I don't know what to say," Lina said truthfully.
"I don't get it. Aunt Koirry?" Gourry repeated.
"But.. I mean, of all the people who could be... there's got to be some
mistake here. I'm sure it's just a big misunderstanding. It
wouldn't be the first time."
Now Lina was confused. "What?"
"Well, one time we thought Grandpa Mortimer was
dead. We had a big wake and everything, until we heard knocking.
Turned out he was just really sleepy."
"I... don't think that's the case here, Gourry,"
"If not, then.. Aunt Koirry really is gone, isn't
she?" Gourry recognized. "She was my favorite aunt. I mean,
really. She always would talk to me, and she always had candy in
her pockets and liked to smile more than anyone else in the family..."
"There's.. a Sub Way station right in your home
town, right?" Lina reminded. She was thrown by this, but realized
she had to stay positive for Gourry. "You can go visit. We'll
rest up for the night, and I'll have Myth send you home tomorrow morning.
The quest isn't going anywhere right now, anyway, and it's important that
you be there."
"Oh. If it's okay with you, I'd like to go,
then..." Gourry said.
He did something Lina wasn't expecting. He
"Would you like to come, Lina?" Gourry asked.
"Eh?" Lina asked. "But it's your family, not
mine... and it's a funeral.. right?"
"Actually, we have wakes in my family," Gourry said.
"It's a Testabournian tradition. When someone dies, it's a joyous
passing, with the whole family there to celebrate and support each other.
That way you don't feel so bad, because you get to say last goodbyes in
a happy way with all your loved ones around you, and you know when you
pass on the family will do the same. I bet Aunt Koirry would have
liked you, too. I know her. She wouldn't mind."
"I wouldn't really want to get in the way..."
"It's no problem, Lina. Where would you go,
anyways? The quest would be on hold until I got.... uh. You
do want me to keep questing with you, right?"
"What? Yes, yes, of course, Gourry.
Why wouldn't I?"
Remembering back to the castle...
"No reason," he replied.
"Okay, then. Let's go... uh... celebrate your
aunt's death!..?" Lina halfheartedly cheered, hoping she was getting this
"That's the spirit!" Gourry smiled. "See?
I told you good things were around the corner. More or less."
A polite knocking on the nearby doorframe alerted
The timid bardess peeked out of the inn. "Umm...
I just thought you should know, Naga's asking to see you, Lina."
"I'll take off for a bit," Gourry said, stretching
out. "I've got some things to take care of."
Lina cocked her head. "Eh? What things?"
"Personal stuff," Gourry said, waving a little.
"I'll be back for dinner. Later, Lina."
The swordsman stepped off the inn porch, and wandered
aimlessly down the street. Lina was curious, definitely, but didn't
think invading Gourry's privacy was a good thing to do right now.
She turned, and nodded to Myth, heading inside; but paused.
"Actually... mind if I ask a question?" Lina asked.
Myth seemed surprised. "Huh?"
"Drama was wondering why you didn't mention it,"
Lina said. "The thing about the wingless being the... parents of
humanity, I guess. Strange, but... is that really true?"
"Yeah... it is," Myth agreed. "It was mostly
Love and Reason that started it. Love because she loved the idea,
Reason because of some logical purpose... the others, I don't know why...
it was a confusing time, I mean... you know. We were young and foolish..."
"So all of you had human kids, then?"
"I didn't," Myth quickly said.
"I wasn't interested," Myth added. "I didn't
want to, so I didn't do anything. Um, I need to go shopping for some
writing supplies, since I'm running out... excuse me."
The bardess brushed past Lina, also wandering off
aimlessly; in the opposite direction as Gourry, without any real sense
Huh, Lina thought, doing some mental head scratching.
Then she dismissed it.
Inside, Naga was helping herself to a large bottle of
plum wine, and looking very confused and angry. She didn't care about
the incense; after the inn patrons heard her laugh for the first time,
the number of prayer-sticks outside her door tripled, but it didn't faze
Despite difficulty breathing (and moving through
the viscous air), Lina stepped into Naga's room, and tried to wave some
smoke out the window.
"Your little friend there can really spin a yarn,"
Naga commented, setting down her bottle.
"It's.. a talent, I guess," Lina said. "So...
um. Naga! How are you today?"
"You would not believe the headache I have," Naga
grumbled. "First of all, I don't think I've been fully conscious
of myself since I met that guy who was offering the job in a tavern at
Sailoon. I know a mind enchantment when I feel one. I hate
them, they're so clumsily done."
"You certainly were acting weird," Lina said.
"Heck, you even said you were angry at me for sitting around Sailoon."
"I am!" Naga barked. "I mean, jeez!
Here we are, on the tails of a really successful adventure, and I'm all
hopped up and waiting for more glory and fame and fortune and what do you
do? You become a hermit. Honestly, Lina, if it wasn't for me
staying around to keep you sane, you'd probably go off and become a moisture
farmer or something. Or maybe you'd get an APARTMENT and be a housewife!
"So why did you leave, if you were keeping me sane?"
"I didn't know the freak's job offer meant personal
security halfway around the world, for starters," Naga said. "I figured
I could get a questing job, maybe invite you along, we could enjoy some
interesting times... so I shake the man's hand, and everything gets nice
and blurry. Like walking in a dream. Oh, by the way......."
"......." Naga continued.
"Spit it out, Naga!"
"Thanks," Naga bit off. "Not that you deserve
it, since you're responsible for me accidentally falling prey to the forces
of darkness in the first place!... but thanks for the rescue, or something.
Hmph. I probably could have busted out on my own, you know--"
"You're welcome," Lina smirked.
"So. You're clearly outside of Sailoon.
And from the lively expression, you're off on another quest," Naga summarized.
"What is it this time? I hear the fabulous Jade Idol of Frat Hesti
Orcalus is in Ky..."
Lina sighed, and had a seat on the floor, in front
of Naga. "No such luck. I'm on some mystical prophesied journey
as mandated by the Lord of Nightmares to gather up the first eight beings
that ever existed."
"OOOHOHOHHOHOOHOO!!" Naga laughed, playing along
with the joke. "No, seriously, what are you up to?"
"I am serious. That's it. Yes, it's
weird, no I'm not lying."
"Hmmmmm," Naga said, tapping her chin with a slender,
gloved finger. "Yes, that does sound serious, then. You will
require my presence, naturally! Without Naga the White Serpent, your
strongest and most powerful rival and ally and occasionally brainwashed
enemy, where would you be?"
"Headed to Testabourne tomorrow to attend a funeral
for Gourry's aunt," Lina said factually.
"Oh. Nevermind, then," Naga withdrew.
"I'll go look for the Jade Idol instead."
Lina wobbled, and fell over. "What?!
After all that ab out keeping me sane and being lost without your presence?!"
"Oh, please, Lina. I'm not going to go traipsing
along on a BORING quest," Naga said. "Besides... I'm not one for
funerals. They irritate me. I only went to one in my life,
truth be told... but that was more than enough. Will you be coming
back this way again?"
"Maybe... I don't know," Lina said. "I don't
actually know WHERE we're headed after this."
"Bah. You really do need to be more organized!
I'll just catch up to you after I find the idol, and I'll save your neck
then," Naga prophesied.
"Naaga! You're in KY!" Lina blurted.
"You aren't exactly down the street and around the corner, you're going
to be on another CONTINENT!"
"So? Since when have small things like insurmountable
distances and requests to stay away stopped Naga the White Serpent?
OOOOHHOHHOOHOO!!!! I'm not through with your tale yet, Lina!"
Lina groaned. She was afraid of that.
"Fine, fine. You go and have fun with your Flat Nestor Orhicalcon
"That's Frat Hesti Orcalus," Naga corrected.
"In fact..." Lina said, remembering something.
She dug around in her backpack, fishing for some impulse buy she had made--
and found it, pulling out a Y-shaped stick. "Here, have a magical
divining rod and instruction booklet. Just tell it what you want
to find, and WHOOSH, off you go."
"Bah! I have no such need of those things,"
Naga said after grabbing the magical toy like she was going for a lollipop,
and leafing through the instructions a little.
"When'll you be going away?" Lina asked, getting
to the important part.
Naga corked her plum wine and stored it... somewhere
in the depths of her inventory, then rose to her feet. "I shall take
my leave now, so that I may lessen the amount of time until we meet again.
Observe, my new powers of teleportation! FAREWELL, LINA! OOOOHHOOHOHHOOHOHHOOOO!!!"
In a flash of light, purple smoke began to engulf
Naga, choking up the room worse than it was previously; Lina coughed and
wheezed, waving the smoke away. She looked left, right -- no Naga.
NAGA actually learned a teleport spell?!
But when Lina looked out the window, she realized
"Naga, we're on the SECOND FLOOR, you know," she
reminded the crumpled sorceress, who was flat against the pavement below.
"Next time, don't jump out the window without looking, okay?"
Story copyright 1998 Stefan Gagne, characters copyright H. Kanzaka
/ R. Araizumi.
A Spoof Chase Production.
Not too many 'conversations' and not enough
'action', I hope?
I do so enjoy writing dialogue... ^_^;
|Click to continue...