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A Meeting of Old Friends

Doctor Obolensky eyed the tiny gearing mechanism critically, before setting it aside.   The deep rumble of thunder echoed, even here in the old villain’s laboratory under the observatory.

“It’s been a few years, Mister Riprock…how are things on Mars?”, he asked the burly man who had just finished stealthily slipping out of one of the ventilation ducts.

With a low growl, the man leaped, a jagged bone knife in each hand.   Doctor Obolensky launched himself backwards at the last moment, rolling to his feet as the intruder smashed into the worktable, scattering tools and tiny gears.

“Mars is a miserable hell-hole, as you well know, Obolensky.”  Riprock turned and glared.   “You’ve gotten old….and slow.”

Obolensky eyed the line of blood starting to soak through the arm of his jacket.  “Ah, yes, I’m afraid the years haven’t been as kind to me as they seem to have been to you.   You hardly seem the what….late sixties it must be now?”

“The Mystic Eye of Om-Gah grants me vitality…I have not wasted the forty years I have been stranded on Mars, fiend.   I am not the weakling I once was, and I will have my revenge!”.   Riprock’s hands blurred, and the knives spun acrossthe room, pinning the old man’s lab coat to a sparking bit of machinery.

However the villain himself had disappeared…his voice trailed downward from the spiral staircase leading up into theobservatory.   “You have no idea how glad I am to see you, Reef.   The young people just don’t understand how to do things properly these days.  No speeches or carriages chases, or swordfights on top of airships.   All they want to do is shoot you.   Say, have you looked up what’s-her-name since you got back?   That girl you were sweet on…what was her name?  Penelope?  Penny?”.

Riprock muttered and charged up the stairs, only to be confronted by a rotund automaton with glowing eyes.   With catlike grace, the warrior somersaulted over it’s flailing arms, landed behind it, and with a mighty heave, sent it tumbling down the staircase.   “Primrose.”, he growled, his eyes shifting around the room.   “Primrose Penworthy.  She was the love of my life, and she’s married a loading dock clerk and has six grandkids.  You stole my life!”.

“Well, that was my favorite Smashington.”, echoed the Doctor’s voice from behind one of the bookcases.   “What say we call it even?   And besides, I seem to recall that there were some stories about you and one of those Martian Princesses.   Hmmm….let’s see.”   There were noises of hasty rummaging   Here we go!”, a gleaming length of steel described a lazy arc over the bookcase.”This should bring back some memories.”

The muscular intruder snapped the sword out of the air, and weighed it.   “Calvary saber?  Nice of you to provide such an appropriate instrument of your own death, Obolensky.   And my relationship with Delah Nui is none of your business.Now why don’t you come out and let’s get this over with.”

“Sorry it’s not the original, but if you recall, it’s still stuck in that giant’s earlobe.   Those were the days, eh?”, replied Obolensky, waving at Riprock from yet another staircase, a matching saber in his hand.   “Of course, back then, I’d have had a few hundred minions for you to fight through.   Sure you don’t want to reschedule?   I can lay on a few locals, but they really aren’t up to your standards.”

Riprock muttered, and shoved a writing desk aside as he headed for the old man, who scampered up the stairs with a gleeful grin.

To be continued…. 



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  1. Victor1st Mornington Victor1st Mornington July 24, 2012


    Old Doc O having a polite conversation while dodging knives and an assailant… :D

  2. Pilipo Underwood Pilipo Underwood July 24, 2012

    I like Doc Quilty taunting from behind the bookcase.

  3. Breezy Carver Breezy Carver July 24, 2012

    /me  … sips an evening tea .. thinks to self .. ah at last , the kind of

    “to be continued” dreams are made of ………………… What a grand Imagination .. Still :)

  4. Mr Tenk Mr Tenk July 24, 2012

    he’s right you know. we should be out having sword fights on top of airships.

      • Sky Melnik Sky Melnik July 24, 2012

        *feels Junie’s poke* Oof! Oh, yes, I completely agree! Swordfights on top of airships for all! *grins excitedly*

    • Pilipo Underwood Pilipo Underwood July 24, 2012

      Well dang, those airships are hard to run on, and cavalry sabers are heavy;
      like as not yo’ll accidently slice a hole through which to fall into
      the envelope, and hollering for help in helium is not as entertaining as
      yew would think . How about bowie knives and arkansaw toothpicks on top
      of the trolleys?

      • Grendel Footman Grendel Footman July 24, 2012

        I’ve had canesword fights on top of tesla generators, does that count?

        • Edward Pearse Edward Pearse July 24, 2012

          Just don’t have Tesla fights on top of airships. That could be… explosive!

      • Jedburgh30 Dagger Jedburgh30 Dagger July 24, 2012

        We had a kukri fight on top of the old Cocoajava…

      • Mr Tenk Mr Tenk July 24, 2012

        of course it’s dangerous. that is the whole point of it, right?

  5. Kristos Sonnerstein Kristos Sonnerstein July 24, 2012

    ::keenly awaits the next part with baited breath!::

    • Pilipo Underwood Pilipo Underwood July 25, 2012

      A worm on yore tongue? Yuck.

      • Jedburgh30 Dagger Jedburgh30 Dagger July 25, 2012

        He’s one of them folks what eats raw fish.

        • Junie Ginsburg Junie Ginsburg July 25, 2012

          *dances a jig*

          Get wiggy with it!

  6. Doctor Obolensky Doctor Obolensky July 26, 2012

    Doctor Obolensky pulled handkerchief from his pocket and winced as he tied it around his wounded arm.   Despite his casual banter with Reef Riprock, the old man was worried.   Reef had been a challenging opponent forty years ago, and it seemedhe had only become more dangerous.   And the doctor himself had gotten complacent, and was pushing a hundred and twenty.   Still, he wasn’t out of tricks just yet…he quickly moved over to a panel of levers on the wall, and pulled the largest.

    And nothing happened.

    “I begin to believe it really is you, Obolensky.”, said Riprock, arriving at the top of the stairs, brandishing the saber.   “I had to be sure, you see.   I remember all your trickery…doubles and mechanical puppets.   But you’ve passed all my tests,you use the White Eyebrow Style, you know things only the real Obolensky would know.   And in a fight, you always take the high ground if you can.    But I’m afraid I disabled your telescope doors…and the only other exit is sealed with Martian spiderwebs.   There is no way out for you this time.”

    Obolensky muttered to himself, then raised his own saber.  “And I was so looking forward to a swordfight on the roof.   Still, I suppose we can leap about in here fairly well.  Do go easy on me, I haven’t used anything heavier than a swordcane in decades.”

    Riprock charged in, and the shining blades clashed, and despite the almost comical mismatch in physiques, they seemed evenly matched, with Riprock’s superior speed and strength being offset by the Doc’s immediate retreat into the worky bits of the telescope, using it’s various flanges and gears as obstacles.

    “Good lord, I think you’re even more over-inflated than I remember.”, the old villain commented, a bit breathily.  “I suppose you’re goi….”.

    With a sudden twist, Riprock wrenched Obolensky’s saber out of his hand, sending it flying through the air.

    “Ah, sweet baby jehosophat, that stings!”, exclaimed the villain, blowing on his fingers.  “I was *talking*!   You really are out of practice on how we do…gah!”

    Obolensky dove sideways over the telescopes chair, Riprock’s saber flashing through the spot he had just been.   He then scampered over to a shelf on the wall, and pulled down a small keg.

    Riprock circled from behind the telescope, closing the distance once more.   “I’m here for revenge, old man.   I’m going to kill you, and then set fire to your corpse, and this whole building, just to be sure.    This isn’t some comedy frolic.”

    “Well, you play your way, and I’ll play mine.”, replied the doctor, pulling the lid off the keg, and suddenly several dozen shiny metal balls out onto the floor between them.

    “I have danced on oiled vines above pits of ravening manglors!   You think I will trip on *marbles*?!”, roared Riprock.

    Obolensky tossed the keg to the side.  “Not really, but it would have been amusing.   So, we’ll have to try something else.   Bombloons!  Attack!”   There was a hiss from each of the small balls scattered about the floor, as they popped open, and small gasbags began to inflate from each.   Riprock eyed the nearest leerily as it bobbed into the air, the eyes on it’s tiny gondola lighting up.

    “I live!”, it exclaimed tinnily.   “Target located!  I regret nothing!”., and with that, it exploded, knocking Riprock backwards into the telescope.   He shook his head as he got to his feet, only to see the other bombloons launch into the air.

    “I live!”    “I live!”   “I live!”  “Me too!”  “Get him!”, came a chorus of the tinny voices, as the bombloons started to converge on the intruder.

    Doctor Obolensky wheezed and patted his pockets as explosions echoed around the observatory dome.   The telescope would be ruined, sadly…and he really didn’t believe the bombloons would actually keep Riprock distracted for long, but it was timethat he needed.   He was simply no match for the irate calvaryman…and was simply not properly prepared.   But, he could still pull this off, and maybe even work in a classic rooftop swordfight in the middle of the storm that was raging outside.

    He pulled a slim metal tube from his breast pocket, and twisted off it’s top.   A glowing blue vial slid from it into his palm.   Magic.   He despised it in general, but this…this was a gift, that he could never quite bring himself to discard.   And it seemed it was finally time to use it.   He paused as several more explosions rocked the observatory, then raised the vial to his lips.

    The glass shattered, and the liquid inside sprayed into a rainbow cloud of glitter before disappearing completely, leaving the doctor clutching a bit of broken glass.

    Riprock, looking blackened, and possibly even *more* irate than he was previously, stepped out of the clouds of smoke left by the exploding bombloons.  Clenched in his fist was a large caliber revolver, it’s barrel still smoking from the shot that had broken thevial.   “None of that, Obolensky.   None.  Of.  That.”

    The old man shut his eyes briefly, then opened them again, and smiled at Riprock.   “Well, you win, Reef.   I’ll come quietly.   What’s it to be?   I’m afraid the local authorities really aren’t up to snuff, but I’m sure there are rewards and prisons aplenty who would love to finally get their hands on me.   Oh, wait, don’t tell me.   You’re planning the ironic punishment, and are going to strand me on Mars.   It really is a miserable place, but I suppose, if your mind is set on such a cruel and….”

    The revolver barked again, and Doctor Obolensky was knocked off his feet, crashing backwards into the wall.

    “I should have done that at the start.”, muttered Riprock to himself, stepping up to the slumped body.   He checked, then double checked.   Obolensky was finally dead.

    He holstered his pistol, and touched his jeweled pendant.   “It is done, Delah.   Prepare the charges, and let us return home.”

    – Fini



  7. Brother Lapis Brother Lapis July 26, 2012
    Years of work and training taken out by one upstart with a pistol. What is the world coming to. 
    • Avariel Falcon Avariel Falcon July 26, 2012

      Indeed, where is the artistry! The diabolical plot well executed! *sighs*

  8. Maddox Sinclaire Maddox Sinclaire July 26, 2012

    ((NoooooO! Poor Doc O! :-{ ))

  9. Edward Pearse Edward Pearse July 26, 2012

    I won’t believe it until I see the body

  10. Glaubrius Valeska Glaubrius Valeska July 26, 2012

    For a six score old gentleman, even a slug against an armored breastplate is highly problematic.

  11. Nathan Adored Nathan Adored July 29, 2012

    Course, in a world like the Steamlands, death isn’t necessarily permanant.

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