Chapter 9: Royals, Snakes, and an Easy Rescue
The lost Prince walked through the doorway spell and with a cocky smirk said, “Hello Sister, I knew you couldn’t resist opening my present.”
“Still copying my work I see.” The Princess seemed completely unimpressed or did a great job of faking it.
“Why mess with genius? Come now, big sis. Your work has paved the way for a whole new world.” He waved at the portal behind him.
She looked like she was going to reply but before she had the chance the Prince whipped his head towards Ezekiel and screamed, “KNEEL BEFORE YOUR BETTERS, FOOL.”
Ezekiel didn’t remember falling to his knees but suddenly they hurt and he was looking down. If felt like his mind was being squeezed by a pillow. Similar to the time he had too much to drink after a gig and woke up semi-naked in an alley.
The two royals talked about something, but Ezekiel couldn’t hear anything other than a thrumming in his ears. He concentrated on getting control of his mind and body. He struggled and forced all he could, but the more he fought the more the spell tightened.
Knowing that he couldn’t fight it he gave up and let the spell take hold. He concentrated on being as calm and relaxed as possible. After a while he could feel the slimy tendrils of the spell slipping around him. The spell was designed to constrict but when it was faced with relaxation and acceptance it just slipped off.
Singing a song in his mind, he imagined it as water that would wash away the slime. It worked and he was able to move.
Things had changed. The room had been turned upside down. All the science and magic tools had been tossed around like a tornado had passed through. Both the Princess and the Prince were gone and there was a half dozen demon bodies strewn around the, still open, magical doorway. The Princess’s long single bladed sword was sticking out of one of the demons.
There was no sound, but Ezekiel ran to the workbench to see if the Princess was on the other side. She wasn’t, but there was a piece of paper with blood on it and a word. The word was Gaboon.
“What does that have to do with anything?”
About a year previous Didi had finished upgrading all the Apollo ships with the self-repairing balloons. A large shipment of Gaboon snakes collided with another ship. It should have only destroyed one but it destroyed both. He’d read the reports and it turned out that the snake’s venom had anticoagulant properties which caused the balloons to stop being able to heal themselves. He guessed that the Princess must have read the same report.
The Princess talked a lot as she worked and Ezekiel had found himself falling into the same half-listening habit he’d developed with Didi. There was so much technical jargon and babbling that he only half listened. One thing he did hear was that the blood in the demons healed like the airships. Which meant the Gaboon venom would stop their healing. Too bad there weren’t any snakes in the lab.
Looking around he saw a large glass cabinet that had been turned over. When he lifted it he saw that it was filled with vials of different chemicals. He grabbed a pair of heavy gloves and sorted through them. He found three bottles that were marked Gaboon one through three. Unfortunately one and two had smashed when the cabinet fell.
He took the last bottle and grabbed the Princess’s sword and ran through the portal.
He’d expected a hell scape, desert, or something horrible but it was just a stone room. The room had thirteen walls and a throne in the centre. Each of the walls had a doorway like the one he’d come through except for one that seemed to go into a corridor.
“Hello?” he said tentatively. He didn’t want to attract attention but he needed to find the Princess.
“Help me!” he heard a cry from the hallway and ran towards it.
Laying under a giant hulking demon the princess struggled to get free. Ezekial did his best to move the mountain of green muscle but it was much too large. As he pushed he saw the wounds closing and the demon rolled off the Princess.
“Let’s get out of here, Mr. Apollo, before he awakens,” she said standing up and wobbling. “My leg… it think it’s broken. Can you help me walk?”
Putting his arm under hers he helped her get to the doorway. Once through the gate, she waved her hand and cast a spell to close the door. He was impressed that she’d worked out the spell so quickly, but everyone always said she was a genius.
She leaned heavily on him and he saw her hair was matted with blood. “We should get you to a healer,” he said expecting her to argue.
“Take me to my chambers, we’ll ask someone to get a healer on the way.”
They didn’t talk much on the way, other to ask someone to get a healer. He was in pain; even though she wasn’t heavy, the way she leaned on him put a lot of pressure on his artificial leg. Even with the impressive prosthetic that Didi had made for him he still was putting a lot of weight on his stump.
They reached her chambers at the same time as a healer and the Princess pushed him out of the room and said, “Thank you, Mr. Apollo. I’m sure you’re very busy goodbye.”
If you’re enjoying this year’s serial story why not check out those from past years?