Tap Tap Tap by Iceninejkw
"tap, tap, tunk, tunk!"
Hey? Is someone in my apartment or is the neighbor doing something outside? It went on sometime so I hauled myself out of bed from where I had been enjoying an afternoon nap on my day off and walked into the living room. A little golden person with a pointed head was tinkering and tunkering around with some contraptions he (?) was assembling on my coffee table. As I watched, he pulled something out of the air and carefully positioned it in place where it made a sucking, boonking sound as it attached itself. Then it looked up at me with a gracious smile.
"So is this the usual joke in the afterworld, I being dead now?" I forayed with an attempt at humor although I could hear the blood pounding in my whole body and I felt like I might faint.
"Not at all young man! And sorry to drop in like this on you but it's an important emergency I assure you!" he said in the expected pipsqueak voice and a serious look on his face. I was sure he was a he by now. "Here! Take this!" he commanded while tossing me something. It was a bulbous gun and it fitted into my hand with the same sucking noise I had just heard.
"Huh? What's this for?" I said and somehow I knew it was a parsmesh 99 atomizer as I asked the question and could feel it adjusting to my brain.
"Remember I'm your friend when you use it!" cautioned Goldy as whooshing noises sounded in the room and two large gexcon hunters appeared with their backs turned to me facing Goldy.
"Got you this time Goldy! The Drild will enjoy playing with you tonight!" they chortled. Goldy was paralyzed by a force field playing around his body.
Goldy's face appeared in my mind and it was quite clear and talking, a viztran comm device a background voice in my mind informed me. "Shoot them quickly! They'll kill you too as cleanup before leaving!" he pleaded.
Somehow I knew it was true from my new in mind computer and my own gut sense so I opened up on the two goons without any fairplay notices. The gexcons registered surprise and turned to me but it was all up for them as their attempted counterattack dissolved in their own general dissolution. Only a peeved, "How the . . . ?" was heard from them before they were no more.
"Thanks! I owe you one! Let's get going!" Goldy urged me and I could see a black hole opening in the room with vortexs of energy playing in the distance within, Goldy was climbing through furiously beckoning me to follow. "They aren't the forgiving kind!" he finished and the sounding of more whooshing noises in my apartment convinced me and I hurried in after him.
After the regulation spinning and freezing we came out in a big industrial type room which was humming with activity – robots, little flying machines, etc.. "Home sweet home!" Goldy said, we landing on our feet with some kind of small tractor force helping and I gaping and following Goldy. "You're orienting quite well you know. All the tests are giving you A+s."
"Oh, thanks but I've practically lived my life in similar fantasy environments you know. Modern city life so dull, reading and playing fantasy games is the norm now. How come its so easy to come here? Can't the goons get in too?" I couldn't resist asking although I felt naïve.
Goldy laughed, "Of course we were scanned close to a million times as we entered civilized space and you've already been registered and approved. Welcome to super computer, technology world!" As he said that we arrived at a door which ovaled open and we stepped into a slick office.
"Ah! Professor Gold and our newest immigrant! Welcome. I hope you're feeling well as we have a new mission for you which must go out in one hour," said the fat purple humanoid with a long orange beard who stood up to meet us. I was stunned looking at the 3d TV floating in the air which was playing our little episode in my living room. "Surprised Mr. Wells? It's the new smash hit all over the 5 galaxies! You are already a hero, saving the famous Professor Gold from the evil gexcons. We all do hope you'll continue as a special agent but of course you have a right to be resettled with a standard salary."
Goldy chipped in, "Yes, I'd be honored to have you as an assistant, but I must warn you five of them have died in the line of service."
"Hey! Go for the gusto, that's me! Where do I sign?" Being young and foolish I though the whole thing was incredibly cool and plunged right in. What a spaceball!
"Okay," the armorer started, I had noticed his title on the door, my computer enhanced brain felt like I had known the whole language for my whole life, "here's the new booby trap we've developed to counter their new force field that grabbed you." He started clicking buttons on his desk and a 3D display appeared in the air. "When you close in on the planet they're holding the princess on, they'll try it again, it'll look like its working this time as you'll both be caught. Then the Drild herself will probably pop in to gloat and we'll scoop up the whole collection."
"Excuse me, who's the princess and how did you develop this counter trap so fast?" I had to open my mouth again, curiosity was getting the better of me.
"So fast? It took 5 years on a slow world!" the armorer said.
"Oh, I see." And I did as my internal prompter filled me in, a slow world was a parallel universe where time moved slowly in relation to ours, 5 years there is 5 minutes here. So these guys in the armory department get old real fast but of course they live their whole life on slow worlds with families and all the amenities. "And the princess? Who's she?"
"Well what do you know?" Goldy cut in. "She's a human just like you! An important figure in the human quadrant who got kidnapped by the Drild to try to pressure the humans to ally with her. Naturally I was called in to try to save the day."
This time I didn't ask stupid questions, I just asked my internal computer and got informed that Earth was a lost colony of the human empire which went through some cataclysm long ago and is only now pulling itself back together. Earth has been scheduled to be reintegrated in the near future after the scientists finish analyzing the best approach so as not to cause too much trauma to the local psyche. Now things are complicated with the Drild sniffing around and replacing Earth politicians with her androids and both sides trying to control the area militarily. A picture of the princess floated into view and she is stunning!
"Okay, I got it now from my computer," I said proudly. "Of course I'm in. It's my patriotic duty and plus I always wanted to save a princess in distress."
"Well, we're all loaded with the new stuff, let's go Romeo!" Goldy laughed and we stepped into another hyper opening. This time it was a long trip as we bounced all over the universe looking for a way to penetrate Drild Central. I was briefed by my computer on various weapons at my disposal tucked away in a transdimensional pocket linked to me. Most of them worked intuitively in tandem with the computer, just think of what you want to do and the computer helps you. Basically you just guide computer operated battle, defense and transport systems.
"Okay, we've got a new dimensional entry to Drild Central which should get us in undetected," Goldy piped in and I found myself falling to a soft landing on the red landscape. Three red suns burned above and volcanoes were all about. I noticed that I now looked like one of the thugs I shot.
"Protective coloration. Next we try penetrate the prison the princess is in and spring her, its about 20 kilometers from here," Goldy filled me in. "Hopefully we don't have to try to use the trap the armorer gave us as they never work quite according to specs." With that we started trudging off down the road. I was heartened that other monsters that looked just like us didn't give us a second look. Of course Goldy's previous five dead assistants made me a bit nervous but I had faith in my own specialness and was sure I would be another famous adventurer like Goldy.
After going over a rise we encountered an interesting spectacle. A female looking like humanoid lizard, dressed head to foot in red armor was standing on the back of an enormous 10 storey high dinosaur! Surrounding her were about 100 flying reptiles and goblin type creatures. All were holding various weapons. "Doesn't look good, let's take a look behind us . . ." Goldy started, "Whoops! I was afraid of that!" Looking behind, I saw that the road behind was filling up with a similar grouping of fiends!
"Hello armorer! Got the Drild herself here. Spring your trap!" Goldy barked out. A fantastic array of multi-colored lights and forces went into play, swirling about the hostile forces but the Drild just laughed and raised her hand and immediately a black wave of energy swept the field and our weapon died out.
"Right. The usual effect from these new fangled weapons," Goldy sighed.
"Any more cute tricks, Goldy?" the Drild laughed. "I see you brought that little human along that helped you last time. After I'm finished with you he'll be dessert!" I didn't like that too much especially as the monsters were closing in and all laughing diabolically.
"Let's try the rockets, Wells," Goldy ordered. We packed some old style rocket jackets this trip as an emergency escape plan. According to the armorer, they were not susceptible to damping out like pulsor transport systems. As to the force fields surrounding the whole battle array meant to prevent our escape we had micro nukes to punch a hole through. The idea was that these archaic things might outsmart a modern system.
The jackets were fitted instantly by our robot forces and we blasted off at supersonic speed, the nukes opened the force field and we were running! A look behind saw a very angry Drild with most of her forces wiped out. She must have had superior shielding as she looked unaffected. Her dragon or dinosaur quickly flew after us but we were over the horizon in a moment.
"The Drild likes to use animal power as a tradition, but it backfired this time," Goldy explained to me. "Now we have to hide out for a while. Our entrance was detected but now we can move incognito if we don't use any big forces."
With that we ditched the rockets and used a simple magnetic transport system to quickly skim over the land. I noticed we were invisible now and evening had fallen. Soon we arrived at a forest hut. A tall green humanoid with blue hair was waiting for us as we landed. "Quickly! Get inside! Its all clear now but there is an occasional hunter round about here."
Inside we were soon enjoying a fine meal. The green guy was a deep cover agent named Filgant who carefully maintained his solitary hunter role actually doing it with primitive technology and selling his catches in the local village. He filled us in on the current situation.
"The princess is in the House of Questioning, but hasn't been tortured as they want to use her as a hostage, but with the Human Quadrant refusing to bargain her situation isn't very permanent," Filgant tersely informed us.
"Those idiots!" Goldy fumed, "They could have played for time. Now we have to move immediately and they're definitely expecting us."
"Right," Filgant continued, "but I've got a little surprise for you which might help out." With that he opened the door and called to a figure outside. "Come on in, Sethdrex!" A tall eerie figure with long white hair, black skin, four eyes and a long rod topped by a diamond like gem walked in.
"A Diadrane sorcerer!" Goldy exclaimed, "But they haven't been seen in 200 years!"
"Sethdrex, this is Goldy and his assistant Wells. Can you tell them what you told me?" Filgant said.
"Gladly!" Sethdrex started, "There are only three of us on planet and we keep out of sight. When we detected your man here we made contact and decided that your upcoming rescue attempt is the chance we've been looking for to get the Drild and overturn her government. She's on planet now due to her vendetta with you Goldy. We'll go in with you and try to capture her and help you with your mission. Then with her under control we can execute our coup!"
I was busy consulting my computer. The Diadrane sorcerers possessed an almost invincible organic power which tapped into the inner most cores of reality. In effect they really were magical but they were wiped out by the Drild when she seized power in her planet group 300 years ago. Several planets were destroyed in this war but the Drild finally won. Technology over magic, although of course the Diadrane were just in possession of a profound organic technology.
I couldn't resist asking a question. "Why did you wait so long to make a move?"
Sethdrex gave me a sad look. "We must be absolutely certain to win. We foresaw your coming and the probability matrix showing a narrow way through to our win. If we took shelter of your empire we would never get a good chance but now the Drild's defenses have slackened due to long success and resulting overconfidence. Tomorrow when we go in, we will masquerade as part of your group. When the Drild springs her trap, we'll spring ours!"
Goldy shook his head, "Seems like I heard that one recently but this chance is too good to pass up!" And so it was settled. We all turned in and the next day we would make our play. A broad daylight stealth entrance!
Well here we were at the gates to the House of Questions, a massive complex extending 10 kilometers in all directions. We're disguised as local monsters as usual with the three sorcerers perfecting our stealth technology with their magic. Filgant stayed behind because his role is vital, an inside agent on the Drild's world. But somehow he had gotten the latest security system and these mechanisms and passes got us through the main gate. Here we were stopped for a double check of our credentials and the sorcerers used their powers here to hypnotize the whole security detail and we smoothly got past this insurmountable block.
Leaving vast swathes of the prison hypnotized we made our way to the princess' suite. "Wow! This magic really leaves us behind!" Goldy commented to me, "I wish I had some." I could agree to that as the sorcerers then melted the indestructible door to the princess's suite into nothingness! And with that we leaped in with weapons drawn.
And there sat the Drild, lounging on a sofa drinking a lemonade or something and the spectacular princess leaped to her feet shouting, "Be careful!"
"Too late for that princess!" the Drild chortled. I pulled the trigger on my gun at super computer enhanced speed but nothing happened! Just a little spitzing noise. Next I felt a paralysis creeping all over me and I noticed before total immobility seized me that the others of our party had suffered a similar fate.
"I knew it was too easy!" Goldy commed me before our units went silent. Now none of us could move including the three Diadrane sorcerers.
"Look here princess!" said the Drild, "Its your pathetic Earth hero. Yes, I let her watch telecasts from your empire. I had a feeling you'd show up today!" As she said that, my disguise dissolved and so did Goldy's but the Diadrane's didn't!
"Oh! My hero! Come to save me!" the princess exulted, but at the next moment the reality sunk in and she glumly said, "Oh, its terrible!" Still I felt a thrill when she called me her hero!
"And what have we got here?" the Drild mused. "These three are camouflaged also but I can't dissolve it! Oh well, a little mystery for the techies to solve for me. I see they are safely paralyzed though! Well Goldy, I've got you at last. Anything you'd like to say before . . ."
At that moment something strange happened, my paralysis disappeared! My gun still was out but my propulsers came on and I staged a suicide attack on the Drild zooming towards her with my head as a weapon pointed at her stomach!
Visibly startled, she said, "What??!" but she reacted well holding her hands up and broadcasting some force field which caught me like a spider's web. Fortunately or perhaps unfortunately, it caught me slowly and started bringing me to a stop. I wasn't hurt but . . .
"Ha, ha! Lot's of tricks today! But . . ." the Drild started but then her face froze in horror! "No!!! It can't be!!!" The Diadrane sorcerers' disguise had now dissolved too but they were advancing on the Drild! Their hands extended, visible balls of multi-colored forces were emanating from them and enveloping the Drild. She was clearly weakening and moaning now. "No! no! No-o-o!!!"
"Drild!" Sethdrex barked out, "Do you hear me?" He was standing right in front of her and her body was shaking back and forth from the virulent energies engulfing her from his outstretched hands. The two other sorcerers were standing behind him and their energies were passing into Sethdrex whose energies were three times stronger, the sum of all three of them.
"Yes, you are my new generals, I will do everything you want," she said. Goldy and I looked at each other in amazement, he also now free from the Drild's spell. Slowly a big grin broke out on both of our faces.
The Diadrane were relaxing a bit and Goldy asked, "What happened?" Sethdrex was also smiling.
"We foresaw over 100 years ago yours and Well's adventure here with the captured princess. You would fail. Then we calculated timelines and saw this chance. By putting ourselves under the Drild's power we had a chance to reserve enough mental powers to free the young man here. Madly in love with the beautiful princess here . . ."
The princess interjected here, "You love me?" I was very red faced at this invasion of my mental workings but shamefacedly nodded my head.
Sethdrex continued, "So he launched his suicide attack trying to kill the Drild but would have definitely killed himself in the process."
The princess murmured, "Oh, its so romantic!" She looked at me tenderly then and said, "and so handsome too! You must court me! You will be my prince!"
Goldy said, "Why?"
Sethdrex then explained, "The Drild was distracted long enough for us to break free and launch our counter-attack on her. We had only a quarter of a second to do this because she is the supreme warrior of the universe. We have practiced for this for 100 years! We are the three strongest Diadrane sorcerers."
"What now?" Goldy continued.
Sethdrex was fully prepared, "There are five hundred of us off planet. In disguise we will occupy all key positions of power under the Drild's orders. Our hypnotic powers will also be judiciously used to build up our influence. The Drild will have a change of heart and approach your Great Empire for reconciliation and we will fully integrate into the Great Empire."
"You know this plan will work? You don't need any help?" Goldy was doubtful.
"Absolutely! We can only see success in all variations," Sethdrex finished.
"Well prince, come here and give your princess a kiss!" the princess was almost swooning in romantic ecstasy as she said this. I was too!
"But I'm just a little computer programmer!" I stammered out.
"Oh, I think it can be arranged for the empire to grant you a prince title and estates in recognition of your services," Goldy confirmed, "especially as this whole episode has been recorded and will be played empire wide as soon as our friends here consolidate power. Now of course you could continue as my sidekick . . ."
I looked from the princess back to Goldy and back to the princess. My feet decided for me as I fell into her arms, "My prince!" she cried!