The Genre Underground is sponsoring a "Tell a Story" roundtable. This is my second time at bat. It's a fabulously kooky story. Start at the beginning here.
As soon as Dr. Glockenspiel’s hands stopped waving, the bright glow faded, leaving both the doctor and Burbleglax blinking away the tears. It was Burbleglax who saw Princess Zyx’s new face… and new form. “Princess…?”
The small lady elf with chubby cheeks, big blue eyes, and a generous smile, nodded. “How do I look?’
Burbleglax shook his head. “Not like you.”
Sitting up in alarm, the Princess touched her face and looked at her tiny, delicate hands. “I’m not ugly, am I?”
Dr. Glockenspiel smiled as he presented her with a mirror. “My spell was to make you the perfect match for your true love—in image only. You, my dear princess, are already perfect.”
Princess Zyx took the mirror and looked at herself for a long time. She turned her face this way and that. She practiced smiling. She practiced puppy dog eyes. She practiced a stern, regal look… that didn’t quite work with her new face. Then, she just stared… a single tear coursing down her apple cheek.
“Princess?” Burbleglax turned from her and glared at the doctor. “Oh, you’ve done it, Mister. You upset my princess. I’ll have your license, your practice, your wives, even your yappy little dogs before I’m done with you. I don’t forgive and I’m her highness’ best chief practitioner of minutiamancy.” The little imp was beginning to froth.
All the while, having the doctor never seen an imp in a full on rage before, backed away slowly, his hands raised in supplication. “But… but… the spell.”
“When I’m done with you, you would be able to clean toilets, much less—”
“Burbleglax. I need you.” Princess Zyx’s voice was higher pitched but still the same imperious tone.
The imp gave the doctor one last glare and hurried to Princess Zyx’s side. “Yes, your highness?” He bowed low.
Still looking at herself in the mirror, she smiled. “It’s perfect! It’s absolutely perfect! That cranky old Claus can’t deny me my love for Tinselton… or his love for me. We’re going to the North Pole to rescue Tinselton from Claus—even if it’s the last thing you do. And we’ve got to do it before the android gets free.”
Francis Pauli is up next here.
I'm participating in Genre Underground's Tell a Story Day story. This is my first dip into the ongoing storyline.
The android tilted his head, its auditory sensors cranked up to detect the disturbance that certainly followed the elf to Assembly. As the sounds of roars, terrified metallic squees, and metal smashing against metal reached it, the android nodded. “I believe I have the trajectory of our quarry.”
“One moment.” The lawyer shuffled through his case again. “I need to make sure I have the correct contracts on hand. I’m biological but I’ve negotiated the right to traverse Assembly as needed in the pursuit of a case.”
“Logically, we are in pursuit of an elf with a troll who might have information on our case.”
“Yes. It all counts. Remember, I’m a master at the fine print.” The lawyer tapped his chin. “Which begs the question of how the elf was able to open a portal at all. I did remove his free will.”
As the disturbance in the distance gained volume, the android shrugged. “A thought experiment for another time. Our lead is getting away.” It turned from the lawyer and set off in the direction of the troll versus droid melee.
The lawyer jogged to keep up with the android’s long strides. “Troll first, then elf. Based on his actions, I deem the elf part of the case. Bounty hunter or not, he knows more than he’s saying. He knew the troll. He broke our contract. He came here. He may be part of the crime.” The lawyer stopped talking to save his breath for jogging as he searched his memory for how long he could be on Assembly without taking damage from the planet’s industrial tainted air. Not long if he remembered correctly.
As they came upon the scene of destruction, mauled bunny droid parts scattered hither, thither, and yon, their original quarry was locked in combat with one of the largest security droids either the android or lawyer had ever seen.
“Halt this combat immediately.” The lawyer pulled out his contract with Assembly and read. “By Section 37, Clause 3, Paragraph 15, of the Assembly Contract 597, this troll is to be bound and released into our custody.”
“Negative.” The security drone did not release the troll who continued to scream and pound against its metal frame. “In times of crisis, Security Protocol 19 supersedes Assembly Contract 597, Section 37, Clause 3, Paragraph 15.”
The android nodded. “This is a crisis.”
Jay Hartlove is next up.