Happy Halloween, Dominaria!
Jose Philipe Mendola
Legal Notice: I do not own any of the following names or places. They are copyrighted trademarks, property of Wizards of the Coast. I have seen no money for this fic, nor will I be ASKING for any (From WoTC). On another copyright note, the characteristics these characters take (and HAVE taken) on are the intellectual property of a one Mr. Sean Murphy. However, as far as I know, he is dead. Not like he was doing anything with them anyway… I can only hope that I anger his ghost to the point of a linear Red vs. Blue experience… 'We're gonna be BEST friends.'
Authors Note: As always, do not bother pointing out that some of these characters are OFFICIALLY, as per the REAL storyline, dead. I would also appreciate it if you did not bother reminding me that Dominaria was just an alternate dimension created by the Mirari. Seriously, it's like Wizards of the Coast took a story-line lesson from Blizzard… GARBAGE 101.
We join this story, already in progress.
'I love this time of year.' Barrin said as he and Urza walked one of the many paths that were on their island of Tolaria.
Tolaria was home to Barrin, a master wizard, and his companion, Urza Plainswalker. Urza had quite the reputation for many different reasons, and depending on who you asked you'd the idea the he was seen as both a menace and a savior.
'I really don't think there's anything better than the fresh air mixed with the smell of leaves, apples and woodstoves. Don't you agree Urza?'
'Hmm?' Urza mumbled, lost in thought.
Barrin and Urza had been working together for as long as anyone could remember, and their time together measured longer than that. Barrin had come to expect and except that Urza could get very distracted when it came to anything that was not centered on artifacts. In fact, he was normally just oblivious to anything not an artifact.
'I was saying,' Barrin started 'That I love this time of year. The colors,' Barrin pointed to the trees on the hills that overlooked the campus grounds. 'The smells of the trees and woodstoves and that feeling you get being out in the clean, chilly air.'
'That reminds me,' Urza said 'My heated socks need fresh power stones in them. I can almost feel my feet getting cold.' The nature of Urza was such that he was very passive when it came to natural beauty. More often than not, he was oblivious to something anyone else might find interesting or even beautiful.
'I think we should check on the students' dorms at some point today and make sure they will be well protected from the weather this winter.' Barrin suggested.
'OR,' Urza spoke up 'We make it their end of Term Project to construct an artifact that will allow them to live comfortable through the winter. We can award bonus points if they call it Project Gerrard and then blow it to smithereens.'
'I really don't know why I bother talking to you, Urza.'
'Does that automated rake look like it's working at full capacity to you?' Urza asked, no longer paying attention to his partner. He pointed underneath a canopy of one of the trees that was sporting fall colors like every other tree on the island. A Simple artifact that resembled a rake on a slow operating piston suspended between two spindly mechanical legs was raking away at the fallen leaves. Urza had created hundreds of them as soon as he saw there were leaves collecting around the Academy and grounds.
'I have no idea.' Barrin sighed. 'Why don't you ASK it?'
'You there!' Urza yelled at the rake. It jumped a bit as if startled and continued to rake. 'Work harder or I'll turn you back into scrap!'
In response to the threat, the rake began to work a bit faster. Urza looked content with himself.
'Remember the LAST end of Term project you assigned LAST year?' Barrin demanded.
'Ah yes,' Urza replied, rubbing his hands together and looking rather maniacal. 'That was the 'Create a Mechanical Robot Horror' end of Term Class. That was my FAVORITE.'
'They destroyed half the island before we could get them under control!'
'I liked the mechanical stomping and automated fire breathing best.' Urza replied.
'So what's your plan tonight then?' he asked Urza.
'Plan?' Urza repeated.
'It's HALLOWEEN.' Barrin reminded him 'We went over this the other day. Remember? The local youth come out tonight and wander around ALL NIGHT looking for candy?'
'Ah yes.' Urza had a distant look about him. 'Those Biting Candies last year worked real well, didn't they? And were relatively cheap to produce too.' Urza again chuckled evilly.
'You know,' Barrin said as they neared their shared house 'you could be just as evil FASTER if you just went BACK to kicking puppies.'
'Perhaps.' Urza agreed as he opened the front door 'But at that rate, there will be less of a reason to make some kind of artifact. I'm thinking-'Urza was deep in thought '-Self Propelled candy bars this year.'
Urza stood at the bottom of the stairs, next to a large jar of suspicious looking candy bars. He had just removed the power stones to the main lamps on the front of the house and replaced them with oil lamps and a few lanterns. It gave the front of the house an eerie look. Behind the house, the lights of the student dorms were mostly off, many of the windows displaying seasonal decorations.
Urza was waiting for Barrin to appear, as Barrin has promised the most terrifying costume he could imagine. Urza had done the same thing.
Wearing his normal robes and carrying his familiar staff, Urza had dressed as the most Powerful and fearsome mage he could imagine; Himself.
Urza prodded the artifacts he had created earlier, causing most of them to become agitated and squirm around in the glass bowl.
There was a knock on the door and Urza turned to open it. Flinging the door open in anticipation, the two young Elven children that stood there jumped back a bit.
One of them was dressed in expertly crafted black armor plating that fit him very well. He carried a Bulwark Shield and a broadsword was strapped to his back. His helmet was crafted so only his eyes were barely visible. A miniature Black Knight.
'Trick or treat!' They shouted happily.
The Elven boys' sister was dressed in a long white robe and was carrying a replica of a Magna Sword.
'Great.' Urza said to himself 'Serrans.' Urza had a long, bad history with the Serrans. Was it that hard to imagine someone would not want their Plain destroyed in order to aid in saving everything else?
'You're pretty lucky that the Ice Age worked the way it did.' Urza said under his breath to the little Elven girl as he tossed one of his new creations into each of their bags. She seemed not to notice. 'Nice armor you have there.' Urza said, trying not to laugh because he had successfully planted the fake candy.'
The tiny Black Knight pointed behind him and pointed at a lone figure standing at the end of the footpath that led to the front door.
'Daddy made it.' He said.
Urza looked toward the long figure again. Features not clear due to poor lighting, the father was as tall as Urza, had long hair that was tied back and wearing a robe that billowed out around him as the wind blew. He waved in the direction of Urza, as if to confirm that he was indeed with his kids.
'Elven steel.' Urza mused to himself 'I'll have to use that next time I make a giant killer robot. Best armor there is I'm pretty sure.'
The two children left running back to their parent. Urza laughed to himself, despite the horror he would end up inflicting upon everyone that came by his door tonight.
'What are you chuckling about?' Barrin asked from the top of the stairs as Urza closed the door.
Urza gave a quick look out the window that bordered the door, wishing he could be around when the candy bars came to life. Urza was in no way EVIL, he just enjoyed the idea of others being tormented and set upon by enraged artifacts.
'Ah, you wouldn't understand anyway.' Urza began as he turned around to face Barrin 'You'd only think less of- Whoa!' Urza interrupted himself, becoming startled.
With barely a thought, Urza conjured an apocalyptic sized fireball spell and launched at what sounded like Barrin.
The figure at the top of the stairs did not make a single move as the fireball slowed to a stop and became encased in a blue shimmering field of mana. The ball of murderous fire continued to burn and spin slowly inside it's prison of mana.
'Oh, calm down.' The figure said. It was dressed in long robes that were darker than any shade of night. A robe was clasped over its shoulders with what looked like carved bone. The clasps themselves matched the off white almost gray mask that was being worn.
Both the mask and the clasps were shaped like an egg standing on its end, a square shaped mouth carved out of the bottom rounded edge. Closer to the apex of top most rounded edge; two eyes were visibly carved into the substances. There was certainly no mistaking this for Yawgmoths' very own Mask of Pain.
'I really wish you'd relax.' The masked figure said as the fireball winked out of existence, the shield following along with it. 'Don't you think that if THE lord of the Wastes came HERE, you'd know it long BEFORE he had a clear shot at your exposed back?'
'Barrin?' Urza asked, sounding almost relieved 'Well, good thing you made yourself known as quickly as you did. I was a single thought from another ice age.'
'Uh-huh.' Barrin challenged.
'Besides, Urza added 'How do you know I'm not an artifact designed to look and operate like Urza?'
'Because if you WERE an artifact,' Barrin began as he removed the mask 'I expect I'd see Urza right up there.' Barrin pointed blindly behind him, up the stairs.
Urza only stared back at Barrin, his artificial eyes seemingly looking through him.
'Now don't even tell me.' Barrin sighed. 'I'm going to turn around and see Urza at the top of the stairs.' Barrin turned around and saw no one there. 'Well that's a nice surprise.' He continued as he went to face Urza again. 'I was half expecting-'
Two more Urzas', looking exactly the same, were now standing at the front door along with the first Urza. His shoulders dropped a bit and his head fell slightly to one side, as it normally did when he was not impressed or not amused by something that anyone else would see as an amazing feat.
'Ok,' Barrin started, wanting to get this over with as quick as possible. 'Urza was or was not the Ice Age the best tactical offensive that you could have taken against the first invasion, and, in that respect, is you brilliant for taking those actions?'
The three Urzas discussed this for a very short period of several seconds among themselves and come to the conclusion that it WAS brilliant of Urza to take those actions.
'In that case, Urza,' Barrin continued 'If it WAS the brilliant move of one mind, how can the most brilliant mind of all the plains share glory with another?'
Urza one and three blinked at each other in deep thought while Urza two twitched a bit before it shouted:
'Circular logic! Program error!' before it exploded in cogs and artifact scraps.
'Here,' Barrin said to the other two as he dug into a pocket and produced a small egg shaped container. It whirred and smoked as it produced a high pitch whine. 'Hold this.'
Urza three took it and looked closely at it.
'It's a miniature EMP,' Barrin began as it detonated; causing Barrin to stumble a bit from the distortion of electronics it created. Several of the nearby power stone powered lamps gave out.
Both of the Urzas' stood in place for a second before collapsing, one of them bursting into flames.
'What's going on down there?' Urza shouted from up the stairs. 'What's happening to my Urza-bots?'
Urza appeared at the top of the stairs and looked down at the scene that had transpired in front of the door.
'Oh, damn it, Barrin.' Urza began 'Well, might as well pitch them out in the yard as decorations. No sense in wasting perfectly good corpses. Nice costume by the way.' Urza smiled.
'Where's yours?' Barrin asked.
Urza held up his arms and swept his hands across the front of his robes.
'The most powerful and terrifying Plainswalker in all of the realms.'
Barrin shook his head, disappointed with Urzas' creativity.
'Hey, any idea if that Urza-bot gave out any candy?'
'I miss baseball.' Lord of the pit grumbled as he switched off his television. It had been several months now since the season had ended. Lord of the Pit had taped the games and planned on watching them again once he started to miss the sport, but he had already watched the first two weeks of games. 'Is it spring training yet?'
Picking himself up from his couch that was being held together with duct tape, glue and badly hidden 2x4's after being repeatedly smashed by the clumsy demon, he moved over to his fridge.
Opening the cooler door, he pulled out a still dripping and very raw manticore flank and a bottle of Phyrexian Ale. Shoving the steak into his mouth, he moved himself over to a drawer and pulled out a bottle opener.
Having drained the bottle of Ale, Lord of the Pit shuffled off toward his armoire (An ancient Voldarian piece) to piece together his Halloween costume.
'Ugh.' He grumbled as the phone rang. 'It's always something.'
Lord of the Pit stomped away from his closet toward the phone that sat on his very evil bedside table, next to his very evil bed (complete with ULTRA evil New York Yankees comforter).
'Joe's Pool Hall,' He answered 'Who in the Hall are you looking for?'
'Remind me of the Game plan tonight?' A familiar voice answered, unfazed by the greeting.
'I figured we'd take in a local bar, it being Halloween and all.'
'Right,' Nemetta said 'But the only one you have there is Tsabos', and I'm not sure if I can do that.'
'Oh you'll be fine.' Lord of the Pit assured his Treefolk friend 'everyone will be in costume anyway. You'll blend right in. She won't even recognize you.'
It was no secret to Lord of the Pit that Nemetta had a history with the bar in question. Tsabos' was a common target for Nemettas' phone-oriented pranks. Having never met the harassing caller face to face, Lord of the Pit was pretty sure that the owner would not realize that the thorn in her supposed side would be drinking right under disfigured nose.
'Yeah, I suppose.' Nemetta replied 'Serra and I will be by in a little while.'
'Yeah, yeah, I'll see you soon. I got work to do.'
Hanging up the phone, Lord of the Pit turned back to his wardrobe to get his costume on.
'Oh, damn it all!' Commodore Guff shouted as smoke poured out of the oven in his kitchen. Opening the door, Guff pulled out a very burnt something of the poultry family. 'Second bird burnt today! I don't know WHY I, a PLAINSWALKER, don't just MAGIC IT DONE!'
Guff reached into one of the pockets on his robe and pulled out a large kitchen knife and skewer. Cutting into the bird, Guff looked for anything worth salvaging. Most of the bird was burnt through, only a very small portion of the center remained un-burnt, though very dry.
Slamming the knife onto the counter, Guff dumped the burnt bird into the garbage can that magically sped over to his side.
'Food for the damn Luhrghoyf then.' He grumbled as the bird hit the bottom of the can. 'It's a good thing that madman delivered a few of them to me. Fancy him talking me into buying a few more. Still, not sure why I tolerate those prices.'
Commodore guff had once again made a large purchase from Bo Levar, and ended up buying more from him that he originally ordered.
Having requested only a few Keldian Sweet Potatoes and some Yavamian spices, Guff had ended up buying these Mystery birds and some Benalish loaves of bread when he realized that he had forgotten the bird and stuffing.
Luckily, he already had a fresh baked Urborg Pumpkin Pie.
At one time, Commodore Guff had made it a point to NOT ask why Bo Levar was always laughing at him, but he could not help himself today. Bo Levar had made some kind of crazy claim that NO ONE was making Urborg pumpkin pies today, but were CARVING the pumpkins instead.
'Some kind of damn fool.' Guff reasoned with himself. 'What use is cutting up a pumpkin unless it's already a pie?'
Something hissing and steaming caused Guff to take notice of the stove again (Because the steam had fogged up his monocle) as the pot of sweet potatoes began to boil over.
'Damn damn damn!' Guff shouted as he turned down the heat under the pot. 'To marshmallow or NOT to Marshmallow,' Guff mused to himself as he drained the water into the sink. 'THAT is the question.' Guff snapped his fingers in realization, almost dropping the pot into the sink.
Replacing the pot on the counter, Guff opened up one of the cabinets and began to browse through what was an infinite amount of cookbooks.
"Cooking for Dummies', 'The joy Of Cooking', 'Cooking Made Easy', 'Coking made so Easy a Barbarian Could Do It', 'Fancy Snacks', damn it all, where IS that book?'
'Alright everyone!' Bo lever called from the head of the table that he and his crew sat at in the mid ship level of his smuggling boat 'Dig in! It's not getting any warmer!'
Bo Levars' Crew sat around the table, patiently waiting for someone else to start filling a plate with something off of one of the many plated and tureens filled with food.
'Oh, come now!' Bo called 'Surely SOMEONE wants some of this expertly cooked food?'
The crew's eyes shifted from person to person, no one having made a move yet.
'Captain,' a dark haired woman said from behind Bo Levar, she was wearing a tall white and an apron that made her look like some kind of food-medic. 'According to the book, you're supposed to cut up this bird first. According to 'tradition' I mean.'
She held up a thick book with the title 'Commodore Guffs Complete Guide to Cooking and Serving'.
'Let me see that.' Bo Levar said as he began to flip though a few pages, stopping mid way through and scanning one of them. 'Here it is,' He ripped the page out and speared it into place on the table with one of the many forks that were present. 'Looks like I'm supposed to cut this thing up.' He read as he drew the sword that was attached to his hip.
After some fancy swordplay, the bird was carved up expertly, as well as the pies and anything else that got in the way.
'And people say I get carried away too easily.' Bo Levar laughed. 'Eat up, everyone!' He shouted as he sheathed the sword back into place. 'And save room for dessert! All KINDS of sweets tonight! Remember, when we stop somewhere tonight on our deliveries, we hand out candy to everyone passing by so we don't give the impression that we're a smuggling ring moving illicit and hard to find Elven chocolate bars.'
The crew nodded as they shoveled fancy foods onto their plates.
'Hand me that book,' Bo called to his cook. She passed the book over that he had ripped page out of 'Do me a favor,' he said to his assistant, a young man with the same light colored hair that he had 'After you eat, make a copy of this and destroy it afterwards. The original, not the copy. I want no one else able to make a meal this well.'
The assistant nodded, his mouth full of food.
Bo speared himself some food with his fork and sat back momentarily.
'It's good to be Captain.' He said to himself.
'Damn!' Commodore guff said as he looked though his list of loaned books 'I lent that book to Levar! Oh well, I hope he's taking better care of it than he did with that CHRISTMAS book. NOW, how am I supposed to prepare these string beans?'
'I don't get it.' Sissay said to Hannah as she looked over Hannahs' shoulder, who was tying a bandanna onto her skull.
'What's not to get?' Hannah asked as she stepped back from the mirror and inspected herself for something done wrong.
'Well,' Sissay began cautiously 'You don't look all that different?' she finished meekly.
'Are you kidding?' she retorted 'I've never work overalls in my life!' Hannah was wearing a red bandanna on her head, a pair of heavy work boots and a new pair of overalls. For whatever reason, she had refused to wash her exposed skin after spelunking into the engine core earlier that morning. 'Now hand me that heavy looking thing next to you.'
Sissay looked next to the table the mirror was attached to and saw what looked like a tube of steel with a hose sticking out of the side of it.
'Oof!' It was surprisingly heavy. 'What IS this thing?' Sissay asked as Hannah took it from her.
'It's a rivet gun,' Hannah replied as she shouldered the 2 foot long tool 'It's for driving rivets into steel.'
'Naturally.' Sissay said morosely 'So what did you say you were supposed to be again?'
'Well, if this required more work, I'd look as good as YOU do, but I was happy to find SOMETHING that would allow me to work in it easily if I had to. YOU are only going to get makeup and – what IS that anyway?'
Hannah pointed at Sissay's face, where a mixture of something black, green and red oozed out of her mouth.
'Just something Orim hooked me up with. I happen to think she did a pretty good job turning me into a cadaver.' Sissay had decided to dress like the living dead for the holiday. She was wearing battered leather pants, rusty chain mail over a dirty shirt and more than enough makeup to give the impression of a dirty, bloodied and withered walking corpse.
'It's VERY convincing.' Hannah nodded 'It makes me wonder why Orim knows so much about what a corpse looks like. She's not a bad healer at all.'
'I hear they hide the bodies in the floorboards.' Sissay said with an evil glint in her eyes.
'Quit it.' Hannah replied. 'Gerrard would do nothing of the sort.'
Sissay shrugged. 'Just trying to get into the mood I guess.'
'Hrmph.' Hannah snorted as she added the last bit of grease to her face.
'So how's this working tonight? Does Gerrard plan on landing somewhere, or what? I mean, I know we're heroes, but don't we deserve the occasional break from- what do we DO? Patrol the skies?'
'Just let it go.' Hannah replied 'I'm not sure what he's planning, but the word is that it's something entertaining. Some kind of party I think?'
'Nowhere near his home I hope.' Sissay added 'Ugh, could you imagine a BENALISH Halloween party?'
'Yarg.' Hannah agreed.
'Speaking of which,' Sissay began as she looked herself over in the mirror and attached her sword to her hip 'Any idea what anyone else is doing for the holiday? I have my doubts that we'll be the only ones dressed up.'
'Even if we were,' Hannah replied 'what would it matter? Tis' the season after all.'
Outside the door, it sounded like someone was running down the hall toward the lower decks.
'Who's that?' Hannah said to no one in particular.
Lighter footsteps preceded heavier ones that chased behind it, a familiar deep voice yelling
'Come back here you thieving goblin!'
Hannah and Sissay looked at each other, no longer as worried about what was going on outside the door as they used to be.
The sounds of Tahngarth stomping after Squee and shouting receded as they went down the hall toward the ladder that would take them further blow deck.
'I wonder what it is this time.' Hannah said as the sounds faded away.
'Maybe his wallet again?' Sissay offered 'Or a timepiece?'
'No, I think Tahngarth started locking them up in a lockbox.'
'I have no idea, as long as they don't bother me. I'm almost dome with this makeup so-'
The door opened and closed, a short white sheet with FAR too many eye holes cut into it leaning against it, attempting to catch its breath.
'What in the NINE hells are you doing to annoy him THIS time?' Sissay demanded as she made a grab for the ill dressed ghost.
The ghost dove under the chair that Hannah was under and wrapped its green arms around her legs.
'No!' It shrieked 'Don't tell the angry Cowman where Squee is!'
'Squee,' Hannah said easily as she looked down at the trembling ghost 'You know he has a name. Why don't you call him Tahngarth?'
'Meh.' The goblin said as he stood up and shrugged. 'Squee don't know. It easier just to refer to everyone the way they look or act.'
'What did you take from Tahngarth this time?' Sissay asked, no longer trying to grab Squee.
'Squee take nothin'! Cowman just go CRAZY when he see Squee!'
'I can relate.' Sissay said quietly.
'Squee,' Hannah began 'I'm not sure why he's angry, but PLEASE try to be careful around him. You KNOW how Tahngarth can be sometimes.'
Squee nodded his bony green head under its hole-y sheet.
There was a sudden, heavy pounding on the girls' door. Squee whipped his head around to glance briefly at the door and then dove under the bed.
'That would be Tahngarth.' Sissay said as she neared the door.
More heavy pounding on the door.
'Yes?' Sissay said nicely through the closed door.
'Sorry to bother you two,' Tahngarth said as nicely as a stressed Hurloon Minotaur could 'I don't suppose you've seen Squee this morning, have you?'
Sissay looked over to Hannah. She made a rowing motion with her hands, signaling Sissay to prolong the conversation.
'What seems to be the problem, Tahngarth?' She asked sweetly.
'There's no sense in pretending that I'm NOT going to toss that short green pain in the tail overboard when I get my hands on him,' Tahngarth seemed to be getting more and more agitated 'but I'd like to give him a once-over for my wallet before he leaves.'
'Squee!' Hannah said quietly, turning in her chair to glare at the edge of the bed he had vanished under. 'There's no chance you DROPPED it somewhere?' Hannah called
'Unlikely.' Tahngarth called through the door 'I'm sure I would have found it already!'
'And what makes you think-?'
'He was leaving my room!' He shouted.
Squee poked his head out from under the bed, the sheet now gone. Hannah continued to glare at him while he shook his head.
'Well, if I see him, I'll be sure to stuff him in a cage and hand him over to you first.' Sissay called.
'You have my thanks.' Tahngarth called back. 'I'm going to check the galley for him.'
Tahngarth stomped off up the hallway.
Gerrard straightened his top hat and looked himself over. He wore a dark wool coat over a formal-looking shirt, dark wool pants and a pair of formal footwear. He connected the clasps on a black cloak that was on his shoulders and picked up a small leather satchel that was on his table.
Gerrard smiled to himself and nodded.
'Damn fine looking Ripper you make, Gerrard. Damn good.' He had even shaved off his goatee for the event.
Gerrard was interrupted by a heavy knocking on his cabin door.
'It's open!' He called over his shoulder.
'Captain?' Tahngarth called through the closed door.
Gerrard side stepped over to the door and opened it. The large of frame of Tahngarth filled the doorway.
'Yes Tahngarth, what can I do for you?'
The Minotaur looked Gerrard over momentarily before he resumed his request.
'I don't suppose you've seen Squee as of recent?'
'Is THAT who you were stomping after? Gods, I heard you from HERE.'
'Unfortunately, the circumstances called for it.'
'Uh-huh.' Gerrard nodded 'What was stolen this time?'
'My wallet again, Captain.'
'Second time this week, is it?' Gerrard asked.
'The damnedest thing is, I wonder that he thinks he's going to DO with it. I mean, he can't send the MONEY anywhere, and there's no way he can pass for you.'
Tahngarth shrugged his massive shoulders.
'No idea, sir.'
'Well, I'll certainly let you know when I see him. He'll come by here once in a while to try and 'borrow' something.'
'I'd appreciate it.' Tahngarth glanced up and down the hallway. 'Well, I'd better be off then. I've still got get my stuff on.'
'Ripping good idea.' Gerrard said with a smile.
'Squee gonna need a LOT of that.' Squee said to Orim.
Orim, being the ship's healer, was in charge of taking care of injuries and taking care of anyone in any kind of pain, present or destined for the future.
Squee had knocked on the infirmary door not 10 minutes ago, looking for something that would cure a headache he did not have yet. After asking what the headache was going to be about, Squee had gone on a diatribe about how Tahngarth was going to bash him up once he saw him again.
This was nothing new to Orim, as she was always bandaging up Squee when he was on the receiving end of a vengeful shipmate.
Orim handed Squee a few capsules of a headache cure, making sure to save a few for herself.
'Squee like the look, by the way.' He said as he left the sickbay. 'Very rustic.'
Orim had abandoned her traditional Cho-Arrim garb for the Holiday in favor of a darker brand of Healer Wear. Her hair, normally braided with coins, now sported small bones and bone fragments. Instead of the traditional Cho-Arrim dress and turban-like head wrap, Orim was instead wearing black, low-cut robes that were relatively restrictive on her slim figure, woven sandals and her hair swung freely off her head, the bones making a rattling noise every time they collided with another tight braid.
Orim said something under her breath as the door shut behind Squee. It was not like Orim at all to dress as an Urborg healer, or even play the part of one. It was only after the idea was suggested to her that she dress as one for the holiday. Necromancy was seen almost as a crime to the Cho-Arrim.
Orim sighed and looked down at the clothes she was wearing.
'Well, she said to herself with a small smile 'At least I look good in this.'
Serra set her book aside and rubbed her eyes. It had been a while since she had read a book. She had forgotten how much she enjoyed Michael Crichton. She cracked her knuckles and glanced at a clock that was hanging on a nearby wall. Nemetta would be calling her soon. She yawned and looked at the newspaper that was tossed onto the white leather couch that she was occupying.
Today's headlined read:
'Everything's freaking AWESOME in the Serran realm.'
The forecast was just as good.
Serra stood up and moved toward the front window. She looked across the street and saw that her neighbors had already set out a carved pumpkin, as well as decorated. In the windows were stuck plastic decals, candles already set up along the front door and faux tombstones propped up in the front yard as well. There might have been a rubber arm protruding from the bottom of a pile of leaves too.
'I love this time of year,' Serra mused to herself. She opened the window and took a deep breath, the smell of leaves on the wind. 'Makes a Serran HUNGRY.' Serra had suddenly become aware of how empty she was. She whistled to herself as she made her way to the kitchen.
She opened the fridge and scanned the shelves. There were a few containers of leftovers, a bag of old Chinese food that Serra had neglected to get rid of, a few obligatory containers of juice and milk, a bag of apples not yet candied and a clear bottle of something brown and carbonated.
Serra pulled out the bag of Chinese food and gave it a sniff.
'Urk.' She gagged before tossing it into a trashcan. 'Let's see what else we got.' Serra opened up a Styrofoam container and peeked inside. Half a cold pizza was housed, still relatively fresh from the night before. 'Score.' Serra said to herself as she pulled it out of the fridge.
She grabbed the bottle of carbonated cider as well and brought both items over to the counter.
Serra rinsed out a glass in her sink and looked out the window that was just above said sink.
'I should really rake that yard.' She mused 'Maybe I can buy one of those Automated Rakes I've seen Urza advertising.'
Serra poured herself some cider and replaced the bottle in the fridge. The kitchen certainly was looking better since she cleaned up the house. It was very interesting how much dust and *stuff* accumulated when you cleaned the house fewer times than once a year.
Serra finished off the cold pizza just as the phone rang.
She tossed the container in the trash and picked up the receiver.
'Happy Halloween, Serra here.'
'Serra?' Nemetta had finally called.
'The same.' Serra answered. Nemetta sounded confused.
'Are you feeling ok?' He asked.
'Never better.' Serra said. Nemetta evidently had NO idea what was going on this Halloween.
'OK,' Nemetta said cautiously 'I'll be leaving here soon so we can go to wherever the heck Lord of the Pit is taking us.'
'I'll be ready when you get here.' Serra said happily.
'Are you SURE you're feeling ok, Serra?' Nemetta asked, sounding more and more worried as the conversation progressed.
'Oh, you're gonna love it this year.' Serra said 'You and lord of the Pit are in for a surprise.'
'You don't say.'
'Why don't I come pick YOU up?' Serra offered. 'It won't be a prob-'
'NO!' Nemetta practically shouted 'No no no no no no. I'll be there to get YOU soon enough. Don't leave the house.'
'Why WOULD I?' Serra demanded.
'I just never know with you.' Nemetta sighed.
'You can say that again.' Serra laughed.
'What does THAT mean?' Nemetta demanded before Serra hung up the phone.
Serra replaced the phone and set her now empty glass of cider in the sink, reasoning that she'd wash it out when she got back from wherever they were going tonight.
'Those poor guys.' Serra said to herself as she considered the state her friends would be in once they figured out what she was doing for the holiday. 'I hope they can take this ok.'
Tsabo Tovac was working behind her bar again. Ever since she had gone head to head with Crovax over who was a better servant to Volrath and lost, once Crovax had come into power after a bloody takeover of Rath, Crovax banished Tsabo Tovac out of the Citadel and into the local bar. Having, understandably, not taken this too well, Tsabo Tovac has changed the name of the bar, replaced all the employees and began serving imported beer in addition to the Phyrexian Ale swill that was brewed in one of the extra spawning vats. Or maybe it was what was left over FROM the spawning vats. She did not know, she did not really care.
The job itself was a bit easier from being the right hand minion of Rath, and a bit safer, but the job had its own hazards.
Aside from the common bar fight that seemed to draw every creation ON Rath to it, there was a constant parade of food orders, drink orders, incompetent employees that always fell into the pizza oven, Plague Lords that could not get drink orders correct and the worst of all, the crank calls.
Tsabo Tovac had been PLAGUED with crank calls since the day she had opened. Each time, she would somehow fall for whatever the trick was, and that would lead to the bar laughing at her, REMINDING her of the incident, then talking about it until the next one happened.
Tsabo busied herself with wiping down a few glasses before the doors opened for the holiday. It being Halloween night, the bar would open late and close late. Special menus were printed up and strange concoctions of liquors were still being mixed and brewed by the most experienced Plague Lord that was on payroll.
'And put that damn sign up!' Tsabo yelled to one of her employees, a Slasher. 'And once you're done there, get back to cutting up those orders!' Slashers were large, skinny creations with long blades protruding from most of the joints on its body. They made for good walking kitchen knives, and landscaping employees.
The Slasher that was closest to the door pulled it open and held a small wooden sign up beneath the small window that was on the door, eyeballing placement, as well as the sign being level.
Taking an iron nail out of the tool belt it was wearing, it drew a Scuta skull out of a holster and slammed the nail through the sign and into the heavy wooden door in one swing.
'Good enough.' Tsabo grumbled as she glanced up from the glasses she was lining up.
The Sign Read 'No Vampires.'
Tsabo glanced behind her toward the back wall. Next to a Terminator II pinball game was the swinging door to the kitchen. Around its edges, a bright red light was pulsing slowly. This was a sure sign the ovens were on, preparing the specials for the night in advance.
All 45 feet of the bar was washed down and recently wiped dry. Shallow bowls of missed nuts and pretzels stood ready for the inevitable rush that would follow the night.
The beer delivery, however, was very late.
Tsabo had installed a new component to the bar the day before and was only now getting used to it. Installed to aid in putting a stop to the crank calls, a new Caller ID box was flashing a little red light.
Tsabo folded her metallic spider limbs a bit and pushed a button with her scarred humanoid hand.
None of the numbers viewed were anything unfamiliar. Mostly delivery companies that had nothing to do with beer. Only one personal number came up, and it was the one phone call that came in almost as soon as the head cook did.
Tsabo sighed to herself and swore swift, brutal crushing on the beer representative once it showed up.
Finishing off the glasses, Tsabo looked around the bar. All of the employees busy elsewhere, be it cooler, kitchen or the one Plague Lord working reception, Tsabo quickly poured herself a beer out of the tap and drank it down in one go.
'Hooray beer.' She said to herself.
'Oh-h-h-h Gods.' Mirri groaned 'No more. I can't stand it.'
The doorbell rang again and the cat warrior decided she was FAR too busy to attend to it.
Mirri began to sweat, thinking this was going to be it. The big one.
'And here I was, thinking I knew my limit. That last one was FAR too big.'
Whoever was at the door had just given up, as Mirri could hear them clomping back down the path.
Mirri tried to reposition herself to be a bit more comfortable. Not much could be done for her at this point.
Mirri grabbed another towel and used to mop off her forehead. She threw it on a growing pile of towels.
Mirri reared back, the fur on her back standing on end and heaved.
'Ugh.' She groaned as she flushed what she had just expelled from her system 'no more King Sized Three Musketeers for me. In fact, no more sweets tonight.'
Mirri had set upon the candy meant for anyone arriving at her door about an hour ago. In a lapse of judgment, she had been mixing the assorted candy with glasses and glasses of soda.
'It's not like I'm fucking 5 anymore.' She told herself, thinking back to the days she could pack away candy and soda with barely any side affects. Side affects not including driving her parents crazy while she tore around the house in a mad sugar rush.
Mirri stumbled away from the toilet and back into the living room.
She settled down in a large wicker basket that was lined with pillows and a blanket. She batted a rubber mousey out of her way and considered leaving a blue ball of yarn where it was.
'I give up,' she said to herself as she turned on the TV. 'I'm done for the night. 'Tomorrow morning, I'm tossing what's left of the candy.'
Whatever network was on was advertising a night of horror movies and claimed many hours of them to come.
'Whatever.' Mirri sighed 'Not like I've never seen Evil Dead before.'
Nemetta buttoned up his new white jersey, straightened his hat and picked up his keys.
Before he could touch the door, a familiar voice penetrated into his mind.
'So where are you off to beautiful?' a familiar female voice asked him.
Nemetta tried to ignore it as he searched a small desk for his wallet.
'Not in the talking mood, huh? Well, we'll just have to see about that.'
Nemetta concentrated on where his keys were as he worked on a mental blockade against which an attack would soon hit. This was a normal occurrence, and he had only recently been able to put up a decent fight.
'Hmm,' the voice went on 'Not a bad go this time. You really enjoy making a girl work for it.' Another mental barrage. A feeling similar to what a dam might feel holding back a reservoir of water, only deep inside ones own mind.
'I'm leaving.' Nemetta strained as he found his keys. 'I hope you fucking choke.'
'Almost-' the voice went on 'Almost there.'
Nemetta was out the door before a mental image of the bat he was carrying could do anything else except come into being.
As Nemetta drive off, the last thought he got was Rith calling after him:
'You can't fight me forever!'
'Let's get this over with.' Tsabo said as she finished another glass of Phyrexian Ale. 'Open the door you!' she yelled to one of the nameless employees.
The monstrosity of a creation, complete with black and orange bowtie, unlocked the front door.
A large mass of things outside it moved and shuffled around.
Tsabo Tovac sighed to herself, attempting to ready for the oncoming headache.
As soon as the monstrosity opened the door the smallest amount, the waiting crowd forced the doors open and trampled the employee flat as they all rushed in to fill up the bar and tables.
Tsabo only shook her disfigured head as she paged someone to the front door with a mop.
Immediately, the patrons at the bar, some clad in Halloween garb and costumes were clamoring, clattering and hissing for orders. The Plague Lord that was assisting behind the bar was already working at full capacity. On her mechanical spider legs, Tsabo started down the bar to take and fill orders.
Nemetta, his car parked on the side of the street, knocked on Serras' front door.
He ran through a quick mental checklist.
'Garbage can for the front seat (Serra had ruined more upholstery than Nemetta had bought), Whitbread to get rid of beer breath (There was nothing worse than getting stopped and the car REEKING of liquor), Game boy to cure ADD (as Serra had one time decided it a good idea to jump out of the car window to get a closer look at a Kavu). I think I'm ready for this.'
Contrary to what Nemetta was very used to, Serra answered the door at first summon. His first thought was that she had passed out in front of it again and had been sleeping lightly.
'Hiya, little buddy.' Serra said with a big, perfect smile. 'Ready to get going?'
'Umm-' Nemetta began 'Are you- ok?'
'Sure.' Serra said uncertainly 'Why would I NOT be?'
'You seem- different somehow.'
Serra was dressed in a clean white robe, her Magna Sword holstered on her back and long blond hair neatly combed and tied back.
'What do you mean?' Serra asked with a hint of a knowing smile.
'I mean- Hells! You even have BOTH sandals on the CORRECT feet!'
Nemetta had always been a bit observant.
'Oh!' Serra said, raising a single finger up as if just coming to a point 'Did I forget to tell you?'
'Tell me WHAT?' Nemetta demanded 'That you've gone completely loony?'
'This is my Halloween outfit.' Serra said with a very serious air.
'Escaped mental patient, right?' Nemetta offered.
Nemetta went to a default, passive expression and said nothing.
'Don't you like it?' Serra asked sweetly.
'Serra?' Nemetta began in a small voice
'Yes darling?' she said
'I'm really, REALLY scared.' Nemetta finished, his voice cracking a bit.
'Aww-w-w-w' Serra moaned, doing a good job at faking a sad face. 'I'm sorry to hear that.' Serra rubbed the top of Nemettas head, much like she would if he was a pet Kavu. 'But it IS the season for it.'
'I guess so.' Nemetta said as he sniffing back what might have been tears.
'You better let me drive.' Serra said as she took the keys away from Nemetta 'I don't; think you need any more stress right now.'
'Look at me.' Nemetta said weakly as Serra led him toward the car 'I think I'm losing leaves.'
'Nice costume, by the way.' Serra added as she rounded the car.
Nemetta looked up from the passenger seat.
'Babe Ruth, right? Looks like Boston colors. Just be sure you don't forget your bat.'
'How did you figure THAT out?' Nemetta demanded as Serra slid the drivers' seat back.
'Strange things happen when you're sober I guess.' Serra shrugged 'Besides, the bat and the big red 'B' on the hat kinda helped.'
Nemetta whimpered something as they pulled off.
'How did she get here WITHOUT parking your car up a tree?' Lord of the Pit asked as he left his front door.
'I'm telling you, big guy. She's SOBER.'
'Quit messing with me.' The demon replied 'At least give me the option.'
'WHAT option?' Nemetta asked as they walked back to the car Serra was now driving.
'You know the rules, Babe. The choice is I give you candy or you get to mess with me.'
'I THINK the option is you give me candy, or you give me a box full of pills. The trick is supposed to fall on ME.'
'Semantics.' Lord of the Pit shrugged. He pulled the car door open and sat in the back, eying Serra at the wheel. 'So are you two going to switch places now?'
Nemetta looked back from the front passenger seat at his demonic friend, his wide.
'Oh, not you too.' Serra said evenly, glaring at him through the rear view mirror. 'You know, I thought you two would get a kick out of this. Guess I was wrong.'
'Serra!' Lord of the Pit gaped 'I don't know how to put this-'
'Let me stop you right there.' Serra said 'Whatever it is, I've already heard it from Nemetta here.' She jerked a thumb at him.
'Hmm.' Lord of the Pit finished, looking uneasy.
'So.' Serra said, looking back at Lord of the Pit.
'Indeed.' He replied, a bit uneasy, as he scratched at the back of his big leathery, horned head.
'Are you going to tell me where I'm GOING, or not?'
Lord of the Pit directed Serra toward their mysterious destination, the whole time looking very uneasy.
Nemetta finally looked back at him.
'The shock wears off at some point.' Nemetta assured his friend. 'I think.' He added quietly.
'Oh, for the love of Serra, WHAT?' Serra demanded, looking back to see the large demon frowning at the back of her head 'What's wrong?'
'You frighten me more than I care to put into words.' Lord of the Pit said quietly.
'Then my work here is almost done.' Serra said with a grim smile.
'But,' Lord of the Pit began again with a laugh 'You plan on getting TRASHED at the party, right?'
'Do you plan on taking off YOUR New York Ruth costume?'
'Buh-what?' Lord of the Pit finished weakly.
'Pinstriped Jersey, Pants and a baseball bat.' Serra pointed out.
'How did she do that?' the Demon whispered to Nemetta
'She got me too.' Nemetta mouthed back silently.
'Funny things happen when you're sober.' Serra said again 'Funny things happen.'
'Easy. Easy. Little more. Little bit more.' Hannah was calling to Gerrard as he was attempting to dock the Weatherlight. 'Don't want to damage anything. Little More.' The ship bumped to a halt. 'Got it.'
Gerrard wiped his forehead and reached for a nearby tube that had a flared end.
'All out!' He called into the Power Stone-powered intercom. 'Liberties granted until closing!'
A few of the hatches on the deck opened. Orim climbed out of one, Squee right behind her. Tahngarth dismounted from one of the gun mounts and turned around, almost running into Sissay.
Having run into him earlier, Squee made an effort to avoid a still testy Tahngarth.
Gerrard pulled a lever that released the airships ramp, making for a sturdy exit off the ship.
'Ok everyone,' Gerrard said as they exited the ship and touched on hard ground. 'Don't get split up too bad. And for the love of Shiv, don't start anything.'
The crew turned and walked toward the entrance of a very busy, festive party, Tsabos' Bar.
'What a jerk!' Serra sighed loudly as an airship swung in front of her and parked in the SAME spot she had been eyeing. 'You know, if I was DRINKING, I'd have gotten out and kicked some skulls off some bodies.'
Serra pulled into another space as some Phyrexian grunts were passing.
'Where are we?' Nemetta demanded.
'Don't worry about it.' Lord of the Pit replied.
'It's my JOB to worry about things.' Nemetta shot back as Serra and Lord of the Pit exited the car
'Not tonight.' Serra reminded him.
'Yes, tonight. EVERY night.'
Nemetta exited and shut his door, finally seeing the sign for the party.
'No. NO WAY. BAD idea.' Nemetta was shouting.
'What's the problem?' Lord of the Pit asked
'Dur-r-r-r, did you FORGET this is the place I crank call EVERY DAY?'
'Will you get a grip?' Serra asked as she stopped and turned to face Nemetta 'It's Halloween. And it's not like she's ever SEEN you before. You CALL this place. Not mail them your picture.'
'Besides,' Lord of the Pit added as they neared the door 'How do you expect anyone to recognize you? You're in a Halloween costume.'
'How do they not freaking recognize us?' Tahngarth asked Gerrard quietly as they stepped into the bar.
'Must be that we're wearing costumes.' Gerrard answered uncertainly.
Gerrard and his crew did not get so much as a second look when they walked into the Phyrexian Bar.
'Security is defiantly lacking a bit.' Hannah Observed.
'I remember when getting NEAR Phyrexia was a workout.' Sissay laughed.
'Look.' Gerrard said as he pointed toward the door. 'A Serran. With- a treefolk?'
'They must be really high quality costumes.' Hannah said.
'Or they're pulling the same stunt WE are.' Tahngarth offered.
'But they seem to be buddy-buddy with that huge demon in the Yankees clothes. And that does not make ANY sense.'
'I need a beer.' Sissay sighed.
'Get Squee a beer too!' the short, cut up white sheet cried.
Lord of the pit had picked up the first round of drinks from the bar, as, despite Phyrexia being populated by those without a brainstem, he was most likely to blend in.
'One Bud tall boy,' he said, handing Nemetta a bottle of beer 'and a diet Pepsi.'
Serra happily too her non-alcoholic and began to sip it contently.
'This is so damn weird.' Lord of the Pit sighed as he began on his glass of Strongbow. 'Anyone up for a game of darts?' He asked.
Nemetta jumped at the chance and Serra decided to follow them.
The crew of the Weatherlight had laid claim to a pool table and were setting up for a game when Gerrard stopped them and motioned toward the crowd.
'That demon looks like it's coming this way.' Gerrard said quietly.
'EVERYTHING looks like it's coming this way.' Sissay replied
'Wait, look.' Sissay said, leaning in 'It's the same one that we say with the Elemental and the Serran.'
The large demon that had been making a beeline for the crew now angled himself toward a nearby dartboard. Pulling the darts off the wall, he handed them to the shrimpy Elemental that accompanied him through the door. The painfully obvious Serran sat in a nearby chair.
'Just how stupid IS this place?' Gerrard shouted over the noise.
Tsabo stalked up and down the bar, taking orders and refilling beers. Food was already running late out of the kitchen and several bottles were already tipped over and broken on the floor.
On top of it all, the phone had yet to ring.
More and more food orders, more and more drinks to mix up.
Still no phone call. The one that ALWAYS came. The one that would RUIN the night as sure as The Matrix was ruined with its last two movies.
'I'm not in the mood tonight,' Tsabo said to herself as she mixed up a Phyrexian Grunts third Cuba Libre 'I'm just NOT in the mood.'
She began back down the bar, taking empty glasses down and replacing them with full ones.
Halfway down the bar, she was stopped when one of the patrons demanded for attention.
'Hey ugly! How about some service here?'
Tsabo stood frozen momentarily in place, having to force herself to remember the rules she was forced to abide by.
The Customer is always right.
Don't hurt the customer
Don't KILL the customer
you work for me
Crovax is god here
Get off your ass and do your job or I'll rip something ELSE of and beat you with it.
Where the voice came from, a Phyrexian stood waving a 20 in a very convincing Serra costume.
'Yes?' Tsabo said with as little rage as possible.
'Heineken 24ounce, Bass Ale and a can of sprite. STEP ON IT.'
Tsabo growled under her breath, briefly thinking back to when SHE was in control of Rath for all of 10 minutes. If anyone had talked to her like that within those 10 minutes, they'd STILL be finding pieces of them all over the citadel.
Tsabo fished around under the bar and produced several glasses. Filling them with the appropriate beers, she set them on the bar in front of the 'angel'.
'The Sprite too, you twit.'
Tsabo shook with rage as she placed a can of soda on the bar as well.
The Phyrexian placed the 20 on the bar and stood there, expecting change.
Still muttering, Tsabo placed the 4 dollars change on the bar.
Serra, as soon as the change hit the top of the bar, swept all 4 bills up and walked back toward her friends.
Serra handed Lord of the Pit his beer.
'Here ya go,' she said happily. 'You're right. They have NO idea what we are.'
'You two are.' Lord of the Pit replied before taking a mouthful of beer 'I belong here, really. Thanks.' He added.
'Where's Nemetta?' Serra asked, a beer still in hand.
'Bathroom?' Lord of the Pit shrugged.
The phone rang.
Tsabo looked at it, as if daring it to continue ringing.
She moved over to it as fast as her metallic limbs would propel her.
It kept ringing.
Tsabo, almost blinded by her anger already, came close to picking up the receiver before remembering that she now had a secret weapon. Looking at the small white box and the very important display screen it used, she waited for a name and a number to show up.
'Not today.' She said to the box 'I'll have you this time.'
After a few more rings, the very important information came up.
'Huh?' Tsabo said "Restricted'? Well, this is it. Now or never.'
Tsabo picked up the phone and brought it to her head.
'Tsabos' Bar.' She said easily.
'Yeah, hi.' The caller began 'I'm looking for-'
'You're ALWAYS 'looking for' someone.' Tsabo said to herself 'Well not today. TODAY the thumbscrews are on the OTHER hand.'
'I got news for you.' Tsabo cut off the caller 'Whoever it is, he's NOT here. In fact, I have a proposition for you.'
'Oh?' the voice on the other end asked.
'How about, if you ever call here again, I come to your house, disembowel you on your front lawn and decorate my mechanical lower half with your entrails?'
'And once I'm done with that, I bring the leftovers back here and serve you as the special of the day to a band of Moggs as brunch.'
'I- I was really just hoping-'
'You really don't seem to understand this, do you asstard? I'm going to put this as simply as I can and maybe you can get it to sink into that Kavu-like brain that you seem to be running. I – WILL – FUCKING – KILL – YOU.'
Tsabo slammed the phone back down onto the receiver and, despite all of the patrons at the bar looking at her warily, felt pretty good about how everything had turned out.
'Wow,' Nemetta said as he returned to the table Lord of the Pit and Serra was sitting at, with darts in hand 'Did you two HEAR that coming from the bar?'
'No,' Serra answered immediately 'I was JUST setting off dynamite in my ears.'
'What was that all about?' Lord of the pit asked as he took another pull from his beer.
'Don't know.' Nemetta responded with a shrug 'I've only heard her go off like that after I've called here. Thanks for the beer, Serra.'
Yawgmoth stared wide-eyed at the phone before he replaced it on the hook. He turned around slowly to face his loyal assistant.
'Bob,' The Lord of the Wastes started slowly.
'Yes lord?' Bob answered with a bow.
'I want you to take a letter.'
Bob reached under his carapace and produced a small notebook and a new pencil. Noticing that the pencil had no point, bob stuck the end in his mouth and chewed on it a few times. Removing the once-blunt end from his mouth, there was now a fine point on it,
'Dear Crovax,' Yawgmoth began 'Please accomplish the following things once you have a moment. Remove the arms of Tsabo Tovac, beat her about the head and neck with them. Much love from your best friend, Yawgmoth.'
'Your – best – friend –' Bob read off as he wrote the note 'Yawgmoth.'
'All I wanted,' Yawgmoth began to whine 'was to secure a table. Why did she have to be so – so – MEAN?' Yawgmoth began to sob.
'Shit!' Gerrard yelled as he dove beneath the table the crew had claimed as their own.
'What's his problem?' Orim asked as she was returning with a fresh round of beers for the crew.
Squee was laughing to himself over Gerrards' mysterious reaction. Tahngarth had long put it off as annoying, as well as Hannah. Sissay only shook her head.
'Will you relax?' Hannah shouted under the table at Gerrard 'You don't; have a THING to worry about.'
'Are you sure?' Gerrard asked, peeking over the table.
'Really,' Tahngarth said as he rolled his eyes 'Act like you are a captain of a crew. Instead of someone that is BORROWING one.'
'Belay that.' Gerrard squeaked 'I may be frightened, but that gives you NO right to insult me.'
'Gerrard,' Hannah began 'Perhaps you ARE overreacting a bit.'
'You don't know what it's like!' Gerrard shouted excitedly.
'You really need tog et over this irrational fear.' Sissay chimed in 'There's no reason to live your life like this.'
Gerrard slid back into his seat and exhaled deeply.
'Think you could give me something for the nerves?' Gerrard asked, looking at Orim.
'I might be able to,' she started 'if I KNEW THAT WAS GOING ON.'
'Oh, right.' Hannah shook her hear as if trying to get her brain back into action 'Our fearless leader here thought he saw Mirri walk into the bar.'
'It's such a nightmare.' Gerrard defensively as Orim glanced quizzically at him 'It's like she's stalking me or something.'
'Again or STILL?' Hannah asked quietly.
Orim looked around the crowded bar, scanning for a familiar face.
'Well, the good news is, I don't see her.'
'The bad news is I think the barkeep might suspect that we're up to something.'
'Hmm.' Tsabo Tovac thought to herself 'That one guy looks awfully familiar.'
Underneath the black dark trench coat, top hat and shorn face, the guy in the group of expertly costumed Phyrexians made Tsabo think there was something familiar about him.
'But that can't be right. I've seen that costume before. And anyway, what would he be doing hanging around with other Phyrexians?'
It made sense to her anyway.
'Son of a bitch.' Tsabo said aloud as the same Phyrexian in the Serran costume that stiffed her last time returned to the bar.
As the night progressed, Serra returned to the bar a few times to order beers for her guy friends and sods for herself. Serra was full aware that the alcohol consumption between her friends was beginning to affect Nemetta. Several times already, he had spaced out on conversations, knocked a few things on the table over, and had, without offering to share, devoured a plate of Buffalo Style Wyvern shank strips.
Again stiffing the owner, Serra returned to her friends loaded with a large glass of Oktoberfest beer with a Jameson back, a bottle of a Belgian wheat beer and a glass of Cranberry juice for herself.
As soon as the shot hit the table, Nemetta grabbed it and promptly threw the whole thing back; wincing at the burn he did not feel so much any more.
'Thanks again.' Lord of the Pit said as he took his Belgian wonder. 'Do I have any change?'
'Serra reached in between her cleavage and pulled out a few singles, handing them to the Demon.
'Are you just not tipping or what?' Lord of the Pit asked.
'Hell no.' Serra replied hastily 'The owner is a total bitch, and I think it's only making her madder.'
'Way cool.' Lord of the Pit laughed 'and how are you doing, short-stuff?'
'Wow,' Nemetta slurred 'This Phyrexian stuff is STRONG.'
Serra shrugged as her Demon friend looked from Nemetta to her.
'I'm not even going to tell him that he's ordering NON-Phyrexian brews.'
'We should probably think about going soon.' Hannah offered as the clock at the bar announced 11:45.
'If we hang around,' Tahngarth interjected 'We can see the outcome of this supposed costume contest.'
Orim and Gerrard were still discussing the whole Mirri situation as the rest of the crew had moved on to shooting pool or just trying to blend into the crowd.
'Well, Gerrard what do you say?' Hannah asked, turning her head in the direction of Gerrard.
'I think that if I tell her off in the most DIRECT way, she'll take it as an invitation to molest me.'
Squee had returned from adding his song requests into the large music player and jumped into a stool next to Gerrard.
'Squee'd hit it.' He said happily.
Gerrard only dropped his head onto the table with an audible thud.
Orim looked disgusted and said
'Ugh. Typical male.'
Tahngarth spun around on the spot, pool cue still in hand and cocked a large, dark eyebrow in disbelief.
'Oh fine,' Orim corrected herself 'Typical GOBLIN.'
'Thank you.' Tahngarth said 'I was very close to taking offense to that.'
Gerrard laughed, despite himself and his woes.
'Who's making all that noise?' Sissay asked over the growing, drunken tune that was being belted out.
'No! No!' Tsabo yelled form the bar 'Any song but that!'
'Oh Danny boy,' Nemetta began from his stool at the table he and his friends were occupying 'The pipes, the pipes are calling!'
Lord of the Pit put his large face into his large hand and shook his head as his friends began to sing drunkenly. Serra seemed to be enjoying this spectacle.
The Phyrexians at the nearby tables began to catch on. The drunken singing spread like wildfire, starting at one corner and engulfing the whole bar.
'From glen to glen and down the mountainside
The Summer's gone, and all the flowers are dying'
Tsabo began shouting from the bar, demanding silence. Or maybe it was just a different song.
''Tis you, 'tis you must go and I must bide.'
The crew of the Weatherlight ambled out of the bar, one of the last groups to leave for the night.
The crew recounted the judging and categories of the contest the whole way to the ship, and up the gangplank.
A strange-looking treefolk and his Demon companion, the 'Babes' they had been called, had won 'Most likely to get Into a Fight in the Parking Lot.' It had something to do with being the same person.
Best Couple had gone to two Phyrexians dressed as Urza and Mishra.
Most Unimaginative had gone to Karn, who had shown up towards the end of the night, claiming to be not a solver golem, but a silver golem impersonating a bar of silver. Despite the title of the award, Karn was happy for the recognition.
Best in show was originally going to the attractive Serran that had shown up with her small, intoxicated friend and the Demon, but it was later awarded to Crovax, after he showed up to the bar, tore the arms off of the bartender and beat her with them before leaving with the grand prize: a 100 Credit gift card to the bar.
Gerrard and his crew pulled the gangplank up and resumed their positions on the ship.
'Everything all set to go?' Gerrard called into the communication tube.
The crew reported in, last of all Karn, down in the hold, ready to depart.
Gerrard let out a ragged sigh as the ship rose up out of where it was anchored.
'What's on your mind?' Hannah asked from the navigation table, just off to Gerrards' side.
'I guess I wish I could do one last thing to celebrate the night.'
'Well,' Hannah started, looking around to make sure no one would hear her 'I MIGHT have a suggestion for you.'
'And what might that be?' Gerrard asked with a crooked smile as he gazed over the helm of the ship.
'Well,' Hannah began slowly 'I MIGHT have kept a few eggs from our last meal. If it would make you feel any better, how about I set us up to Plainshift over to Yavamaia and egg a certain Cat-warrior dwelling?'
'All hands!' Gerrard called into the tubes with a smile 'Prepare for Plainshift!'
'Let's go buddy,' Lord of the Pit said as he helped Nemetta out of the back seat of his car 'Nice and slow. No need to rush anything.'
'You know what we need to do?' Nemetta slurred.
'What's that?' Lord of the Pit asked cautiously.
'We need to get us some bitches.' Nemetta finished strongly.
'I'm still here, you dick.' Serra fumed.
'Oh! I know!' Nemetta shouted into the night 'Is that Grove Watcher across the field home?' Nemetta swung himself in the direction of Sylvanis' place. The same Grove watcher he had met near the beginning of the year. 'Yeah, she's pretty hot. I'd let her make me a sammich.'
Lord of the Pit directed him back toward his front door and began walking him back, practically carrying him.
'Get out here, sexy!' Nemetta yelled 'let me be VERY straightforward about how I feel about you!'
'Guess he only needed a little bit of Liquid Courage to get him over his girl troubles.' Lord of the pit offered to Serra.
Serra did not respond, but only continued to look unhappy.
'Oh, come on!' Nemetta continued to drunkenly shout 'I only want to get laid a LITTLE!'
'For the love of Urza,' Serra seethed 'I'm still HERE-'
'Yeah,' Nemetta said, looking at Serra but no longer yelling 'I guess you'll do the trick.'
'-will you PLEASE behave?' Serra finished, grinding her teeth.
Lord of the Pit stifled a laugh, just in time for Serra to glare at him as well.
Serra unlocked the front door and Lord of the Pit carried Nemetta in, Serra following them.
'Where am I?' Nemetta demanded.
'Keld.' Lord of the Pit answered right away 'Don't you feel cold yet?'
'Someone get me a beer.' Nemetta moaned as his Demon friend laid him on the sofa 'I need to even myself out.'
'Sounds kind of familiar, huh?' Lord of the Pit asked, looking at Serra.
'What? Sounds familiar from where?'
'Never mind. You know, I'm starting to think that letting him get plastered was not a good idea.'
'Brilliant deduction,' Serra said as she placed a hand on the side of her face. 'I'm glad I'M never this complicated.'
Lord of the Pit looked at her blankly. Serra did not seem to notice.
'He's going to hurt in the morning.' Lord of the Pit observed.
'Ok, so how are we doing this?' Serra asked.
'Well, there's one bed free, and a whole lot of floor.'
'Dibs on the bed.' Serra called.
Lord of the Pit grimaced, not happy with himself that he had missed his cue to call the bed.
'Do you mind sharing half of it?' he asked earnestly. 'My back is killing me.'
Serra, face stony, contemplated her Magna Sword attached to her back.
'I understand that we're friends and all,' she began 'But don't think it beyond me to run you through.'
'Are you kidding? My back is KILLING me from having to carry him.' He pointed at a very passed out Nemetta.
'You must be forgetting who's been drinking.' Serra retorted 'It's NOT going to happen.'
'Fine.' Lord of the Pit said with a growl. 'But I get first choice on pillows.'
'As long as you leave me with one.' Serra said, shrugging.
'Are you going to be ok here, little guy?' Lord of the Pit asked as he turned to face Nemetta.
Nemetta snored a response and coughed a bit in his drunken-sleep.
Serra and Lord of the pit headed for the stairs, where Serra would find a bed, Lord of the Pit a pillow and a few sheets.
'Oh yeah,' Lord of the pit said as he stopped near the front door. 'Almost forgot.'
Opening the door, Lord of the Pit took the top off of an Urborg pumpkin that had been carved a day before and spit a wad of flame at the candle that was already set inside.
The candle illuminated the pumpkin, and Lord of the Pit closed the door.
'I'm never not drinking again.' Serra claimed as she ascended the stairs, the Demon right behind her.
Happy Halloween, every body!