Flash Friday 09/01/2015: Surprise Inspection
Garkun the Destroyer did not rise to the top of the orcish chain of command by watching people idly walk into his camp. Therefore, when he saw the elven woman wearing glasses enter his tent of command and begin to brush at the armour of one of the guards, he could not simply stay seated on his throne.
“You there,” Garkun barked, pointing a finger at the elf. “What do you think you’re doing?”
The elven woman did not flinch as she finished brushing at the shoulder. “Smear of mud on your royal guard’s armour.” She tutted, making a mark on her clipboard with a pencil before putting it back before her ear. She turned to the entrance, clapping twice. “Alright, you lot. Come on in and give it a once over. I want every corner scoured.”
Without warning, a group of elves burst into the tent, fanning out in multiple directions. They all got to work inspecting various aspects of the tent. Some of them took scorched iron swords off of the walls, turning the foul metal over in their hands. Others went to peering at the guards around the room, prodding them with the ends of their pencils and nodding at the lack of reaction.
Garkun glared at the chaos that was now his command room. “I demand an explanation for this treachery immediately!” he yelled. “Tell me your business this instance, else I shall have all of your heads on pikes!”
The elven woman crossed over to him. She flashed a card from her pocket, handing it over. “Elysia Weatherbrook, agent. Pleasure to meet you, Garkun.”
Garkun took the card. It read ‘Elysia Weatherbrook, Hero Agent and Event Negotiator’ in gold ink. It smelt like the scent of rain, like everything the elves made.
“You are doing a foul job of explaining yourself,” Garkun growled, crumpling the card in his hand and throwing it over his shoulder. “I need you to explain yourself this instant. I can command the guards around this room to kill you all where you stand, with a single word. Now, start talking.”
Elysia adjusted her glasses. “We have a client wishing to partake on an…” She looked down at her clipboard. “A quest of great glory, treasure, and adventure. As such, we’re making sure that the adventure hotspots on the route that we have chosen are up to scratch for our clients. We cannot have an adventure where all the bad guys are impotent and the treasure dire. You, there.” Elysia turned to one of the other elves, who were inspecting the weapons. “Do you think they’ll be up for the fight?”
The elf nodded. “Pretty good hell-forged steel we have here, ma’am. I say it would make a nasty festering wound, creating tension amongst the main, or supporting characters.”
“Excellent. And you,” Elysia said, pointing at someone inspecting a guard. “What do you have to report?”
The inspector tapped a pencil against a stoic guard’s armour, making a light tink tink noise. He nodded at the result, writing on his clipboard. “Seems to be well-equipped and well-trained, ma’am. Would make a fantastic fight scene, I think.”
Elysia nodded. “And you, there. Have you found anything worth looting in this camp?”
A third elf looked up from behind some crates. “Nothing yet, ma’am.”
“Well, make sure to check under the bear-skin rug and behind any tapestries. They usually hide the treasure in some secret trapdoor or enclosure.”
Before Elysia could turn back to face Garkun, he did the job for her; grabbing hold of her collar and holding her up to his face, Garkun sneered at the intruding elf. “Stop ignoring me and answer the question,” he growled with a low voice. “I need an explanation for why you and your ruddy elves are digging through my possessions.”
Elysia did not flinch, neither did she look worried. She simply stared at Garkun with a deadpan expression. “If we’re to have a satisfying and engaging tale for our client, we need to ensure that every step of his adventure is in tip-top condition, lest we get a bad review on QuestAdvisor. I’m sure you agree it’s a terrible blow to our business.”
“I don’t give a damn about your business. What is it about your agency that gives you the right to come into my lair, uninvited?”
Elysia calmly removed her glasses, wiping the steamed-up fog off of them. “To put it in terms you’d understand,” she continued, putting her glasses back, “you and your tribe here will be part of an engaging and riveting Fantasy story that will capture the hearts of people everywhere. People will be on the edge of their seats as they read about your very clan’s involvement with my client and his party, and you’ll be sure to see more heroes take up packages that will include passing through your territory. It’s all exposure.”
“And what the hell can I do with exposure?”
Elysia blinked. “Don’t you know basic business? Of course, you’ll be entitled to payment plus royalties for your involvement in this story. The exposure will get yourself known to other agencies, who will use you for their services. And should I, or anyone else’s story, receive a nice movie deal…” Elysia stopped to allow Garkun to work the rest out.
Garkun blinked. “You mean…I can be in a movie? Like, as myself?”
Elysia nodded. “No better person to do it.”
Garkun released his hold of Elysia. “Check the entire camp. Let me know if there are any problems with it. When will the adventure take place?”
Elysia stared at her clipboard. “Two months.”
“More than enough time to fix any problems. Go, now, and take your posse with you. I want my camp in novel-level condition by the time you leave.”
Elysia broke a smile on her face. “Pleasure doing business.”
Garkun sat back in his throne as the elves left. He’d have to start practicing autographs.