Enjoy! My first Bartimaeus trilogy fanfiction.
It's highly possible it may contain OOC. Please don't flag. I tried my best.
Hope you like it! ^^
It was painful! It always was.
Being pulled so violent from the Other Place to the human world was an experience I always hated and I will always hate. It's not only the pain, the way your essence is being gathered and separated from everyone else's, the worst is the humiliating part. How helpless you feel when you find yourself trapped in the cursed pentacle and have no other choice but to obey the weakling sitting on the other one.
I contemptuously looked at the small human in front of me as he gave me his orders. I had taken the form of a tall and muscular black-skinned human myself, wanting to demonstrate even further the difference in our power. I didn't want to look completely human though so I had also added two big horns and a serpent black tail.
The human continued to mumble, sealing me here with words, closing all doors to freedom. Pathetic, little being! I wanted to tear his goddamn flesh and devour him. Torture and kill him! How dare he cause such pain to a spirit like me. All of them should die. Burn in ashes and die.
"Now go and wait outside. Your partner, my abettor summoned, should arrive any moment now. Join forces with him and guard the treasure. And hide that horns and tail you idiot! I want no commotion."
Just like that. Rude, arrogant, filthy… Disgusting.
I smiled at him showing my pointy fangs.
"Of course master."
On my way out I was already thinking of ways to kill him. Rejecting some ideas, thinking complicated plans to reverse the meaning of each word he said. Anything to get rid of that thing I had to call master.
Two foliots crossed paths with me as they passed by. They were in a hurry to finish their own orders master has bound them with. I was in a really bad mood. I growled seeing them rush to grand his wishes the best they could. Fear in their eyes, ready to lick his shoes and praise his excellence. They made me sick! How in the world could we fight back if spirits acted so much like..slaves. Damn!
I reached the exit of the old temple. There was a figure standing there, looking at my direction. I checked it in all planes as I approached. 1 to 4 it was just a young man. About 17 years old or so. On the higher planes, I saw a djinni. My so called partner. I frowned looking at it. Apparently he was also checking me on every plane, cause I saw him take a step back as I came closer, cowering before my power.
My voice was smooth and polite as I addressed my co-worker. I was looking at the other one with a superior expression though. Oh he was polite too. Too polite! Just like the foliots, ready to praise my excellence. His master could hurt him. I could eat him for breakfast. Better flutter us and act humble right? Urg try working with that! Revolution didn't need any of those weaklings. Oh well, at least this was a simple mission. Nothing could go wrong with it.
Everything went wrong! Who would have thought? Oh yes it started all so good. I'll take the left side and you take the right one. Guard the gold for 5 days and then we switch with other spirits to get a proper rest.
First day was okay. Second and I was so bored! We were in the middle of nowhere after all. Two great statues that stand still each in one opening of a large cave. A bit of a giveaway also. No one would notice the cave if it weren't for us. An idiotic move our master made.
Third day, the same boring quiet, and I'm proud to call myself a patient spirit! The other one was useless when it came to chatting. Just agreeing with everything I said. Admiring my bright mind. I was under the impression he didn't even listen to what I said. Idiot!
Forth day…now here's a sudden twist, and not a good one.
Alright, I admit we might have been a bit distracted. But it was a pretty boring charge. And who notices an ant passing by? An ant in all 6 planes none the less.
I was provident as always though and had set up an alarm inside the cave. It started as soon as someone touched the gold.
The other one rushed in. I waited in the entrance. The magical signals traced another spirit. His power was significant, but still less than mine and my partner's. We could take him. Easy.
I heard explosions. Things crushing inside. Bright lights. Then a scream. That was it. The intruder was no more. I was about to return to my post when a small figure run under my feet. It went so fast, the first glimpse I caught was a red blur. I raised my head surprised and saw my partner coming towards me, clearly chasing the thing that had just passed me, cursing and dripping essence all over the place at the same time.
"I got this." I told him and I turned around, incredibly fast myself, changed into a leopard and chased the little thief. It took me 5 seconds to reach him. He had changed from what I assumed was a fox to a deer. I charged onto him biting the deer's neck down. He transformed again to escape me and I did the same thing.
Shape-shifting essence by both of us fell on the ground. After that, given the difference in our power it was easy to restrict his movements. I grabbed his last transformation's arms and shoved him down. His head hit the ground and the djinni hissed in pain. I raised myself a little bit to take a better look at my opponent.
He was in the form of a small demon. Long tail and pointy elf ears. Aside from that, a shape of a 5-year old boy. Skin full of scales, green and slippery. He recovered quicker than I expected from the impact and opened his big eyes. They were all yellow except from the ebony, cat-like, irises.
He looked at me expressionless for a second or two. Then his green lips split into a shameless grin, small fangs showing and eyes gleaming playfully!
"Hi." said the djinni in a conversational tone. He then titled his head a bit higher.
"I like the guise you chose, but I think it could use some improvement."
The mighty lion warrior who was pinning the little thing down raised an eyebrow.
"Why, thank you for the advice. And I suppose you are willing to assist me in this task? I have been around for almost a weak you know. My essence could use a little boost."
I grinned back at him exposing my big canines.
"Well you're a big, strong spirit." he commented "I bet you can manage on your own."
"Hmm you're probably right. But there's also this little problem here."
I pointed with my eyes the gold he was hiding under his clenched fists.
"What?" he asked very, very innocently.
"I have my orders," I said "They are quite simple. Protect the treasure and kill whoever tries to steal it."
"I didn't steal anything of that sort!" he raised his voice as if he were offended.
"Really?" I said with an amused expression. For some reason my bad mood seemed to disappear around this fellow. He was annoying! No doubt about it. Still, annoyance is way better than anger and despair. And that made sense to me in a very weird, almost insane way.
"Of course! Your orders didn't say gold anywhere right? Only treasure. Treasure is a word applied for many different things. So practically I haven't done anything that binds you to destroy me. How about you release me and tell your master he should make his commands more clear?"
He sure talked too much! The funny thing was that he was practically lecturing, while pinned under the enormous weight of a powerful spirit's form, that had already made it clear he was going to be eaten.
I made a skeptical face as if I were considering his offer.
"Well I suppose I could let you go."
"Yes." He said hopefully
"The orders truly are quite unclear. Not to mention we are fellow spirits."
"Precisely! You're very kind."
My smile grew wider.
"I didn't say I actually will do it."
"Oh? Why not?"
"I don't want to." I replied smugly.
The serpent boy frowned. "Oh come on!" he whined. "You can't be that cruel!"
"Not at all. I'm just very hungry." I said making small circles with the thumb of my lion paw, lightly caressing the fake, green skin. "And you seem edible. So I'm sorry little one, there's no hard feelings." I concluded.
"You are not sorry." He commented coldly.
"Well, you can pretend I am." I suggested, and with that, my claws tripled in size and my eyes glowed bloody-red.
The djinni seemed unimpressed.
"Is this supposed to intimidate me?" he asked, still no fear in his voice. Same casual tone. If not bored.
"It's supposed to keep you still." I noted and dove to finish the little brat off!
In a bright flash his body changed into a gargoyle. I did not expect any more resistance in that point so embarrassingly that caught me off guard. My large teeth broke as they collided with the hard stone. At the same time, the gargoyle kicked me in the stomach. That made me lose my hold on him for a brief moment, and this seemed to be all he needed. He changed again quick as lightning into a cat and run away once more.
I growled furious and small earthquakes occurred all around me as I transformed into a giant close to my true form. Angry tentacles whipped ferociously the air around. I spotted the spirit at the form of a hawk rushing away. I smiled triumphantly reaching out with one big hand to grab the thief. I was very close, but suddenly I froze. Yellow eyes closed and opened surprised, wider that ever !
A strong pull. The unmistakable call of a summoning tagged my essence. You have got to be kidding me! Now? Of all times that idiot magician had to summon me now?
"Uh-oh! Seems mama is calling you back big fellow. No snacking before dinner!" said a voice all too cheerfully. I tuned my enormous head to its direction and saw the trouble-maker waving happily at me. The hawk had turned into a beautiful young woman. Only bird feature on him how here the wings that had grown bigger and were flapping slowly behind the girl's back.
I made another move to grab the bastard but he dodged it at the last possible second. I stared at him angrily!
"No hard feelings tentacle-man!" the djinni shouted as I dissolved further. "But I'd rather not assist you in your task after all!"
"I'm not done with you!" I growled to him, checking his form in all planes to make sure I'd remember that face anywhere.
Then he vanished from my sight.
I escaped the punishment cleverly by putting all the blame on that useless partner of mine. I regretted it later though. My idiot master released him saying he couldn't work with slaves like him. Turns out I had to do all of his dirty work for the time being.
A couple of years passed. A couple of murders, robberies, but fortunately no more guarding treasures. Of course I hated every last minute of my stay in this cursed realm but I just couldn't bring myself to fail at my missions. I have my pride after all. Oh and I hadn't forgotten that blasted little djinni. Not many spirits escaped me, even if it was just luck, and lived long to brag about it. I most certainly wasn't done with him.
Again the hateful feeling of being summoned. Apparently two days of rest after the ambush on my master's enemies had to be enough to heal my essence. No slacking off according to him.
Another partner for the next charge. What weakling would I have to put up with this time?
The man on the smaller pentacle chanted for a long time. A middle level spirit this time, since I took most of his energy to summon and control. I was standing a bit further, leaning on a wooden door ,having the form of a tall and fat human, abstractly listening to him. He came to his dramatic conclusion calling the demon's name, loud and clear.
It was a rather long name. I liked the way it sounded though. Rare and strange fact, but I did. No reason behind it really. It just felt like I could gladly use it many times on a sentence.
Inside the pentacle two yellow big eyes formed. A gorgeous animal mane. Shades of gold and brown, shinny blinding-white large canines. A carefully sculptured armor. I looked at the newcomer half amused and half annoyed. A part of me excited for an unknown reason.
A thought passed my mind around the 6th plane. He puts too much effort to make his transformations look perfect. What a waste of time!
Another one in the second plane. You weren't flattering me when you said you liked this idea. That was an actual thought. No intention behind it. Maybe stalling if that counts.
The man I have to call master finishes the summoning and is ready to give his orders. The djinni cuts him. Mocks his ridiculous appearance, insults him. The magician is ready to give him a strong punishment but he suddenly starts a monologue about the architecture of the building confusing the poor human. He ends up screaming frustrated and shuts him up with an order. Still the defiance remains in the djinni's eyes. You are an idiot and I'm so freaking brilliant, they say. I can almost hear the words.
He's really an annoying thing! Sassy, rude, ironic. A coward too, given our last encounter.
He catches my calculating stare and turns his head towards me. Our eyes meet. He doesn't remember me I'm sure. I see no recognition in his eyes. I sure remember him though. Should I blast the damn spirit into oblivion with the first chance I get? It's very tempting.
Master is giving his orders. He shows his mouth.
"You can talk now." allows the human generously. He does the opposite staying completely silent, surprising the magician, who repeats his words thinking that something went wrong. In the third try the djinni offers him a concerned look.
"You poor thing." he comments "You seem to have very low intelligence. You already said that! Ah don't you worry I'll be quick to release you from that miserable life of yours!"
The magician hits him with a Spasm and walks away furiously, almost forgetting to seal the pentacle. Almost. I relax my muscles disapointed as I see him remember at the last possible moment and I peek the other one doing the same thing.
"Well it was worth a try." he mumbles to himself. The scowl on his face looks just like the one an angry child would make. It's kinda funny to spot it on a lion's face. He's quick to hide it though.
Master is gone. Leaving the two of us to begin with the mission. I approach the younger djinni.
Maybe not yet. I won't cause that "accident" just yet. I say to myself. I have a feeling this will be very interesting. He raises his head to meet my eyes once more. The same ironical, playful gleam in there. Yes… I can work with that. So…
"Hello Bartimaeus." I say smoothly.
"Hello… Faquarl is it?"
That's all folks!
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