Of The Lieutennant's Evil Plan
Of The Lieutenant’s Evil Plan
The Tricloptic race are not like most Heavenly races - unlike others, the overwhelming majority of them live in isolated tribes in the Southwest quadrant of Otum, amongst the bamboo forests and the serene yellow marshes and occasionally, the sandy planes. Rarely do they ever visit wider civilisation in the pink woods for reasons other than to trade with the townspeople, and had always kept well clear of the villas of Antlewick, Gꝍsforthen, Carmeníl, Salfiere and Kjyros. Known mostly for their agricultural, survivalist lifestyle and outlandish beliefs when it came to the Valen and the Otum gods, they are mostly left alone, too.
Their skin can range from a faint green, through yellow, to a sort of light orange. Their hair is naturally wiry and almost rigid - a tradition of theirs is to keep it bunched in golden pyrimidal hair-stops engraved with the blue glyphs that tether to the middle eye of the wearer. The reason for and origin of these glyphs can only be speculated upon by the Tricloptic race, though they appear at birth and stay with their bearer for life. Why Triclopses insist on staying away from the majority of civilisation, live in the wild, have odd beliefs and wear strange things in their hair you ask? Nobody really knows, perhaps they’re just generally stupid.
Triclopses are not the only Otumnal race to bare greenish through quasiorange skin and thick white hair. And confusingly enough, they are not the only race to bear three eyes, as the grey Cinis-Staigs have a similar facial layout.
[A number of hours later, The Sleepy Box, Pier, the Silvercoast, Ahbon.]
Tripphire met with the rest of her crew for breakfast in the hotel café where there was a selection of hot food awaiting its demise in heated metal domes. See, although it was technically early evening, it was first thing in the morning for the Lieutenant and her crew. That was the struggle that hotels in Ahbon faced, as all kinds of food must be available at all times - breakfast food, lunch food, dinner food, and in the classier Sleepy Boxes in Atlantis, afternoon tea and even brunch food. It must have taken a very chill dude to run the place, and that’s why the job was given to Tabbes (Ahbon’s chillest dude) who had to constantly shift his consciousness between all Sleepy Boxes throughout the world.
“Good morning, Lieutenant Ma’am!” ’Zurei said with cheer, standing behind Tripphire in the breakfast queue. Irig was with her, acting as a sort of guide dog.
The Lieutenant groaned, her eyes a tired mess, her yellowish skin seemed greyer than it had been at the beginning of the mission. “No. Bad morning.”
“Oh.” Said the Archer.
The four crewmates sat around at one of the hotel’s finest wooden tables and scoffed the lot - sausages, beans, black pudding, you name it - mouths too busy to converse, as Tripphire silently looked out the large window some four meters away. She was trying to look as contemplative as possible as she devised her evil plan. See, as soon as she had entered this village, there had been rumours of a Hero come to return the world’s sun. As to why and how these idiots didn’t have a sun in the first place Tripphire didn’t know or care, but after asking around yesterday she had deduced that this Hero was also the person that she was supposed to capture. And that meant, if she were trying to capture this world’s Hero, then that made her a villain! And that, she thought, was pretty cool. She took a break from stroking her imaginary beard, opened her hands and pushed her fingertips together evilly.
A couple seconds later, Adrien looked to the Lieutenant who now chewed seriously on but a small green apple, and with a mouth full of tattie scones he said “Uh, Lieutenant Ma’ama? You’re not having breakfast?”
She shook a lethargic head, eyes raw and a light magenta underneath, and pushed back her hair - which parted down the middle into two bundles, each held together by traditional pyramidic hairstops. “No. I ate half an hour ago.”
“Huh? But you just stopped’d shleeping?” - Adrien’s dark helmet horns tilted sidewards - made entirely of cheap plastic and were of no practical benifit whatsoever.
“Hah! That’s where you’re wrong, you hyperplastic sandbag! Whilst you were all sleeping like limp, mushy logs I took it upon myself to gather information about the target!” The apple turned up 90° in her hand, and she took a bite out of the core, consuming it bottom-up. It was true that she had gathered information on the target and had near enough formulated a terrible mission plan, but she had hardly taken it upon herself.
After her chat with the General, how could she possibly sleep? Throughout the night she had made various trips to the café for food to fuel her frantic, insomnia-encouraged evil plotting on her room’s bathroom floor. Now as she stared out across a black stretch of sea towards the blinking, bustling pier itself, she decided to enlighten the rest of her crew on her findings.
“You see the target, as I assume you’ve all heard from the constant rumours and whisperings in the streets and in this very dining area, is this world’s new Hero.” She smiled fakely, “And that means, there has to be some sort of prophecy for the Hero to fall in line with!”
There four crewmates nodded, but didn’t know what their Lieutenant was getting at.
Tripphire continued, “So my great brain deduced from that this fact: the civilians of this unsightly armpit world must know exactly where the Hero ought to be going, and so they did! I know exactly where the target will be passing through, and devised a method of capture assuming the green cloak boy still has our blade. Here it is!”
The crew were beginning to receive a few odd looks from odd people, and suddenly felt like the most odd people there. Tripphire didn’t seem to notice, and her arms gestured dramatically as she explained her plan.
“That way is where they are headed, the rest of the hotel is blocking our view right now but trust me there is a star out there that isn’t like the others - you see it’s purple, and brighter, and isn’t actually a star at all!”
“It’s actually a city.”
Adrien gasped again, without first exhaling, and almost died.
“And so that is where we’ll go! Once we’re there, we’ll find ourselves a curiosity shop to get weapons, ” See in Otum, curiosity shop had just about anything and everything, which in Tripphire’s favour is true for just about every plane of existence, though they are far more abundant in Otum than in any other world. “and with said weapons we will march upon the city’s armoury and obtain even more weapons! With said weapons we will scare civilians into doing our evil bidding!”
A light mix of confusion and concern seasoned the Archer’s voice when she asked, “And what’s that, exactly?”
“Our evil bidding?” Tripphire replied.
“Well it’s funny you should ask, you surface-mole, because it’s the next phase of my plan is what it is! We force as many as we can to join out crew and keep a lookout for the Hero, giving us the signal when the green hooded kid turns up. Then, we gather the army of people we intimidated and prepare to form a large circle around the green one, intimidating him into giving us the knife!” Tripphire’s plan involved lots of intimidation, and she was prepared to finally be the one performing the intimidation for once. “Then we can go after the target! We capture the target, we complete the mission.”
The café had gotten a lot less busy since the Lieutenant had began sharing her plan, yet her crew weren’t the only ones who were staring her way.
“But obviously, we have to be intelligent about this. Since our target is the Hero, that makes me the villain and you my minions, so we’ll have to keep our plans top secret! And I came up with a great strategy for avoiding the public eye and calculated the best method for avoiding social contact! We steal a- Ah-I mean, we take a boat to the purple city! There has to be docks down by that revoltingly overpopulated wooden plank these people call a pier.”
She gestured to the rest of the café to show what she meant by “these people”, only then realising that most who remained were staring back.
Breakfast didn’t last much longer than that - they were quick to leave. All except Irig, who until that point hadn’t had her usual dose of bar fights since she left the South Criochan barracks (which were atop the valley in which the city sat nestled in, and were not the barracks that Tripphire had spent most of her time at the city in).
The Lieutenant cracked her knuckles with her thumb as the crew walked swiftly towards the pier, not saying much.
Oh great - they had reached what McKraken called “tragic lights”. He was knowledgeable in Overworldish technology, and this world seemed quite similar. But just what was so tragic about them? Back in Otum, they had similar areas for green guardians to wait by roads to escort people across busy carriageways, and they didn’t have these buttons and lights and painful high-pitched sounds. Then Adrien saw it - inside a little cylindrical prison, the green guardian appeared behind the tiny bars, glowing, suspended high in the air with no hope of escape.
“Oh gosh!” Adrien said tearfully, “They shrunk the green guardian!”
-I want to go home.- Thought the Lieutenant not five minutes later. Adrien now carried a large pole, one end a completely pulverised light box, the other a mess of bent, torn metal. Both ends sparked what McKraken had described as “tame lightning” and called “Electricity”. The Lieutenant cursed her General, for everything. The Queen had selected her to lead this mission, but it was he who had selected her crew - one old cripple, one blind, one stupid and as big as a barge, and one stupid (though incredibly loyal) and about as big as a dustbin. One thing that did not help to ease Tripphire’s growing headache was the awful music that was emanating from just outside the pier - terrible accordian music accompanied by a terrible voice. The headless, skeletal horse was quite interesting though, but not interesting enough to justify getting any closer to the source of the noise, which was parked obnoxiously at the towns-end corner of the pier. Most stayed well back out of respect for their own ears and threw eggs from a distance at the crusted ebony caravan.
The Lieutenant had lost sight of her team in the crowd by now, and was holding her breath so as to not breathe in the fuggy crowd air as she pushed through the mass of strange looking people.
-Gross- She thought, for in her mind people were gelatinous, mushy, wet pockets of puss, blood, mucus and other revolting fluids that exhaled humid, bacterial mists. She knew fine well that her Tricloptic form was no different, finding it best not to think about it - though that was not always possible with a bitter mind that loves to traumatise its carrier.
Scouring the edge of the wooden street that extended out onto the waves, only food stalls, lavatories and carnival games were what she found for what seemed like miles. Finally, a large wooden shed that extended out of the pier. It’s stilts moved with the waves, as if they were on some sort of floating airbag, and the whole structure bobbed slightly. It looked like nothing much, and Tripphire would have missed it - mistaking it for just that - if it didn’t have the large neon sign outside that said ‘The Boathouse’.
Still, the docks on the pier differed greatly to those outside her barracks, the ones which she had never thought she’d miss. The docks where fishermen’s boats that came bearing caught, wriggling goods under large white sails and mossy masts like pillars of stench, where the water glistened under the ever burning lamp of Heaven.
These dock on the other hand were dark like the rest of the world, and inside it was incredibly hard to see anything. Inside a sodden door that the Lieutenant flung backwards a little too hard, a steep set of creaking, wet stairs carried down onto a slippery wooden plateu that was coated in thin, slick moss. Beside that, a dark form bobbed on the dark liquid - a silver lining giving it shape in the faint light that entered through short windows on the far side.
Eventually Tripphire’s crew found her standing in the doorway, and joined her in the dingy boathouse. McKraken had an electronic torch - as did Tripphire though it was built into her gauntlet and she couldn’t remember how the bulky thing worked.
In the torchlight, the crew beheld a ship like none they had ever seen before. It had no sails, and the cockpit and wheel were - according to McKraken - in the front.
’Zurei was intrigued as she ran her hand across the bobbing mass - the thing wasn’t even made out of wood, but some sort of smooth, cold substance. Or maybe it was just well painted.
Adrien cried, for he was afraid of the dark.
Irig marched rigidly by her Lieutenant, a face as set in tough stone.
One question suddenly fell upon their minds like a butterfly carrying too much anxious realisation: how were they to enter the vessel? The boat’s side had no footholds or doors, and was a smooth surface that extended high above arms reach onto presumably some sort of deck. A terrifying puzzle, indeed.
McKraken pulled on the few remaining whisps of his beard and was the first one to hint at a solution, “Well, that there is for fish’n.” He pointed his only index finger up to a metal frame that supported a great reel of wire. “So this’s gotta be some kind uh fishin’ boat.”
“So that means it must have a net!” Tripphire exclaimed. “I’m the biggest genius in all of Creation!” She had come up with a plan, evidently, and was keen on sharing it with the crew. So she did, and nobody seemed to object except McKraken, who had been grumbling to himself about anything and everything since the mission began.
The plan went ahead, and the events played out like this: Adrien threw Irig over the ship’s wall and onto the deck, and after failing to light her wet matches he also tossed Irig the torch. She located a net, and tossed it over the side for the others to climb. And they did, one by one, Adrien almost capsizing the boat before it left the dockhouse. All had went according to Tripphire’s plan, and the smug Lieutenant was beginning to get used to this “evil boss” role that she had taken on.
-More like evil mastermind- She thought to herself, as her crew waited for their next orders.
“Peg leg, find the cockpit! Crybaby, locate this ship’s weapons stash! Ponytail dwarf, pass me that torch and blindeye, get to the crow’s nest - you’re on lookout!”
“Look out, Ma’am!” ’Zurei called.
“Yes, that’s what I just -” Tripphire was struck by a flying metal torch on the bridge of her nose - the unsteady beam flashing before her eyes. “Ach! You didn’t have to throw it!”
“APOLOGIES LIEUTENANT MA’ AM. IT WILL NOT HAPPEN AGAIN MA’AM.”