Flash Friday 14/08/2015: Fight Or Flight
The flight agency was small, but homely. It featured advertisements of countries from around the world, as well as photographs of happy clients riding a range of animals and consuming several cultures of food and drink. Everything had its suited spot, except for the brown-bearded man in full plate armour standing by the desk.
“I must seek passage,” the man said between panting breaths. “I need a portal to the Dukeslands. I was fighting an evil wizard with my companion no less than an hour ago, when the wizard cast a spell on me that sent me to this realm. Now, I seek return. I have rode my trusty steed Chrisvird with great haste to this establishment with promises of travel.”
The lady behind the desk followed the pointing man’s finger out the agency’s window. ‘Parked’ outside was an old-looking car with the numberplate CR15 VRD. It looked like it had recently played a game of bumper cars which nobody involved wanted to partake in.
The lady jumped as a gauntlet-wearing hand slammed a brochure onto the desk. An armoured finger tapped with impatience at a specific part that read ‘travel anywhere you please with competitive, low rates!’
“I need you to make good on this,” the man growled. “The Dukeslands and the Arcana Realms are in absolute peril.”
“I’m…sorry, sir,” the clerk said, slowly. “We…don’t do flights to the Arcana Realms. We can only send people around this world, not to other ones.”
The man grimaced. “But it says anywhere.”
“Well…” The clerk opened up a second leaflet with destinations. “If you can find ‘Dukeslands of the Arcana Realm’ in this brochure, then we can go from there.”
“Don’t trifle with me…” The man squinted at the lady’s name badge. “Lucy. I know for a fact that I won’t find it in here.” He began to flick through the brochure to prove his point. “If this world lies outside the collection of planets and planes we know as the Arcana Realm, then there will be very little chance of my return. The Arcana Realms are the only known place where magic exists, after all. The Dukeslands are doomed, and I….I…” The man stopped talking, his jaw hanging open as he gazed at the brochure. “Sorry, are those hula dancers?“
“That’s right,” Lucy said. “That’s part of the Hawaii package. Comes with a seven-day stay at a four-star hotel.”
“And I can go there? You fellows can make that happen?”
“I thought you wanted to get home.”
“Well.” The man began to casually flick through the entire Hawaii section of the booklet. “I mean, if I’m outside of the Arcana Realm, then there’s no helping it, is there? Might as well enjoy the time I have stuck here. Ah, but only my comrade Sir Gavrel was here, too. We’d both go together, I’m sure he’d like it. Last time I saw him, he was fighting the evil wizard with me. I’m sure he’s won by now.”
A man fell from the ceiling.
Sir Gavrel picked his face off of the floor, his younger face with blonde hair looking up at his friend. “I don’t think I got him, Sir Danil.”
Sir Danil helped his friend up. “Sir Gavrel! What on earth are you doing here? I had hoped you would have finished the fight.”
“Sorry, sir,” Sir Gavrel said, dusting himself down. “As the two of us fought, the evil wizard Mulgorn sensed that your presence had left the Arcana Realms forever. Once he did, he put all of his energy into ‘sending you to whatever hellhole your friend ended up in’. A portal spell anchored on you.”
“And your amulet of reflection did not catch it?”
Sir Gavrel gently pulled at a chain around his neck, a dark blue gem amulet appearing from under his armour. “I felt it reflect most of the spell back at Mulgorn, but it couldn’t completely block such a strong tide of magic before going dull. As a result, his spell affected us both.”
“That’s some good news, at least. But…” Sir Danil’s face fell. “If it reflected back at Mulgorn, and the spell was anchored to me, that would only lead him–”
A second man fell from the ceiling, crashing onto the first two.
A grey-skinned, sickly-looking man with sunken eyes and a robe with a high collar picked himself up from the floor. “An amulet of reflection,” he spat. “I should have known you were carrying such treacherous little trinkets. I take it we’re outside of the Arcana Realms?”
“Yes,” Lucy said, trying to add something. “We’re in what’s called ‘the Solar System’.”
“Solar System? Never heard of such an infernal place. But If it’s outside of the Arcana Realms, then that only means…”
The wizard Mulgorn made a motion with his arm, as if he were throwing an invisible baseball at the two recovering knights. Nothing happened.
“Tarnation.” Mulgorn stared at his hand with disdain. “All the magic is gone.”
“There is no mana to be found in this strange realm,” Sir Danil said. “Your spells are useless.”
“Maybe so, but no mana does nothing against my superior intellect. We may be out of the Dukeslands, but once I have planted my dark roots within this world, it, too, will know the wrath that dwells within me. For as long as I have the means to command and control, it matters not which world it is, but only that I will eventually are those hula dancers?”
Sir Danil nodded, pointing at the brochure he was holding up. “Comes with a four-star hotel.”
Mulgorn blinked. “Well, sod the world domination bollocks for a laugh. How about we drop all the rivalry stuff and just have a holiday?”
“Never thought you’d ask.” Sir Danil slapped the brochure onto the desk. “Holiday for three to the mystical lands of Hawaii, please.”
Lucy nodded, entering the details into her computer. She didn’t dare ask how they were going to pay for it.