Getting the passports was the easy part. Once
they had completed the highly personal and slightly perverted questionnaire,
and after Lina threatened to shove the clerk's head so far up the body
part in Question #34 that he would be able to see his lunch, the passport
guy was convinced the three were sufficiently evil to pass for Evilanians,
and they were off.
The hard part was finding their way out of the building. Somehow, the halls had rearranged themselves while they were busy being interrogated by proxy, and the stairs had apparently been relocated.
Hours passed. Hunger grew, as did whining complaints. Eventually, they resorted to drilling straight up through the building with highly destructive magic, leaving confused looking janitors and scorched offices in their wake, eventually popping out on the roof.
Lina was trembling. "Food. Food. Food."
"Well, I'm glad to be out of there!" Gourry said, trying to be enthusiastic for her. "Now, it's on to getting a coach ticket, and... ano.. Lina, you're OW! Hey, wha OW!"
"Mmhpmphmph," Lina responded, continuing to try to eat Gourry's leg.
Naga scanned the city skyline. "Most of the coach stations are closed, it seems... ah! Lina, I see one! Lina?... oh."
"Help," Gourry said weakly, unsuccessfully prying Lina off of his limb. She had already gnawed through his armor with a blank, starved look in her eyes.
Naga laughed a bit at the absurdity of her two sidekicks, then flew down to street level, blew up a sausage-in-a-bun stand and carried up an armful of slightly charred greasy snack foods. "Lina! I brou--"
The emaciated sorceress snatched all the taste delights in a blinding flash and swallowed them whole. Naga hoped leather was good for you, because she was missing a glove as well.
There was a deep rumbling, as Lina's stomach went into maximum overdrive. A few scary moments passed, and...
"YOSH!" Lina exclaimed, clenching a fist. "Lina Inverse Calorie POWER UP! Ready to go!"
Somewhere a few miles out to sea, Zelgadis slept like a rock.
Sailoon is known worldwide for its highly sophisticated
system of travel. The roads are always in excellent condition, there
are frequent rest stops to water your horse, take a nap or get prepackaged
nutritionally hazardous snack foods, and most major cities had coach stations
where you could rent a horse-drawn carriage and ride in comfort and style.
If you're stinking rich, that is. If you weren't, or if you were unlucky enough to be caught up trying to get a passport all day, the best you could do would be a shady 'midnight rental' coach station. Good for those in flight from prosecution or men trying to escape angry husbands, it promised fast escapes. What it didn't provide was quality escapes.
The coach Lina, Gourry and Naga had rented was not exactly top of the line. It seated three uncomfortably, and offered 'arrow resistant' armor, which Lina managed to poke through with her pinky finger. The driver's seat on top had no sort of safety harness, which was bad, because the two mares who drew the carriage were foaming at the mouth and trying to break out of their restraining gear.
"No driver?" Lina gagged. "We have to drive and maintain this blasted thing on our own? I thought we could kick back and relax on this trip!"
"We could wait until tomorrow, although with the money we've got..." Gourry said, absently counting the coins in their purse and getting the wrong amount.
"I certainly am not driving," Naga said. "It wouldn't be fitting. I will ride inside while one of you two drives."
"Forget that! I don't know how to steer one of these things!" Lina protested.
Both girls looked to Gourry, who was still struggling with basic economics.
"Ano?" he asked. "Oh... uh.. I can drive, I guess. Can't be too hard, right?"
Lina looked at the sky, and waited for a dramatic ominous thunderclap of forewarning.
There wasn't one.
"Good," she said, approvingly. The sorceresses piled into the back, and Gourry unrestrained the horses. He climbed onto the top of the carriage, got his balance, and snapped the reigns.
The coach shot off at the speed of a pair of rabid horses, quickly exiting the city through a thankfully open gate, leaving a pair of smoking wheel tracks in its wake.
Then the thunder sounded.
|TO BE CONTINUED|