Apr 18, 2012

P is for...


“Pip!” Gorma yelled. “Get back here this instant!”

“No! That was the last straw!” the Tiefling screamed back. “I've had enough of your crap, and if I never see you again it'll be too soon!” She stomped off toward the artificer district. “Come on, Glitch.”

“My apologies, lady Gorma,” I rumbled. “It would seem as though this is where we part ways. I believe that you-”

“Just get out of my sight,” the half-Orc growled, spinning away. “Like we needed you two anyways.”
“Now hold on a second,” Isaru gave me a sickly smile. “There's no need to just rush off and-”
“Glitch!” Pip yelled impatiently.

“Master Isaru, lady Poppi, it has been a pleasure practicing my prevarication with you. I too hope to never see you again.” I smiled at them. That was a good one, after all.

“We'll be at the Whirring Wheel Inn down by Hunter's Landing while we're searching for this guy,” Poppi said, glancing over her shoulder at Gorma's rapidly retreating back through the Dargoon crowd. “Try to talk some sense into her and meet us there, okay?”

“I shall do no such thing,” I responded solemnly, waving my hand in a fond farewell. Hopefully Pip would listen to reason. Turning toward the artificer district, I let out a long, creaking sigh and made my way after our artificer.

“What took you so long?” the little Tiefling demanded, tapping her foot impatiently. “We don't have time to just dither about, you know.”

“My apologies, mistress Pip,” I said, brushing away one of the tradesmen who was desperately trying to get a look into the internal mechanism of my arm. “I believe you are aware of the difficulties I face in a trade district, after Periasa.”

“Oh, right, sorry,” Pip said absently, fishing out her protection cube. I glared down at a mangy looking Shifter with a backpack full of spinning gizmos as he tried to pry off the armor plating on my calf. “Here, this should do it.” Pip stretched up on her tiptoes, plugging the cube into the modified input jack in the center of my chest. A light blue glow surrounded my body, shocking the artificer who was still diligently working at my leg, making him jump back with a start. “This is private property,” Pip sniffed imperiously. “Come along, Glitch.”

“That was not annoying at all,” I informed the Shifter before following her away. “Mistress Pip, I believe I am getting better at that.” I glanced back over my shoulder with a smile. “I think he bought it.”

“Calling me a half-demon mongrel just to get in good with that shopkeeper,” Pip muttered, ignoring me. “Like we even need them. They'll be begging us to come back, you'll see.”

Things hadn't gone smoothly after the goblins. First there had been the incident at the hot springs, which Isaru claimed was a completely harmless accident. I've been practicing lying, though, and I'm pretty sure he was cleverly covering up the fact that the only accident was him getting caught. Gorma had started sniffing around Pip's belongings then, something about her Dragonmark acting up. Then there was the inn by the road in the rainstorm. We had sat out in the rain all night, just because the innkeeper had said something about “tainted blood” and refused Pip service. Not that we would have forced the others to sit out with us. I shuddered, remembering the last time Poppi had gotten wet and I hadn't turned off my scent receptors fast enough. It didn't even make any sense. I mean, they were all equally squishy on the inside. Just ask the goblin chief.

Pip turned down an alley, stopping in front of a door and glancing around nervously. She coughed once, and knocked in a measured pattern. “Mistress Pip, is something-”

“Quiet Glitch,” she said softly. 

The door creaked open, revealing a wizened old Halfling woman. She eyed us critically. Well, as much of me as she could see from there, anyway. “Scrums?” she rasped, extending a hand.
Pip bowed formally and deposited a bag of something into the old woman's palm. The Halfling weighed it before grunting and vanishing back inside.

“You, um, may want to wait here, Glitch,” Pip shifted from foot to foot, obviously nervous about something.

“I am your tank, mistress Pip,” I chastized her gently. “I believe that I should go first.”

Pip placed a hand on my arm, shaking her head sadly. “This is something I have to do alone.”

“It is about your Dragonmark, is it not?”

She blinked up at me. “How did you...?” 

“Please, mistress Pip.” I gave her a serious look. “My sensors are well attuned to the resonant frequency of Dragonmark energy emissions.”

“But... you never said anything... I mean, you haven't told anyone, right?” she demanded, suddenly flustered.

I grinned down at her, gears in my jaw grinding. “No, mistress Pip. I am a very good liar.”

She paused for a moment, then burst out laughing. “I guess you are, Glitch,” she gasped around mirthful breaths.

“I shall stand guard here, then,” I said resolutely. She nodded and walked inside, closing the door behind her. I waited. Of course I would wait for her. Without her, I would have marched into that tower until my power cells died. She fixed me, gave me the new Prime Directive. 

Guarding was what Warforged were built to do. And I was meant to guard Pip.

All artwork is (c) Michelle Corbelli.  Do not copy or reproduce.

1 comment:

  1. i love fantasy so i really enjoyed this piece:)
    Happy A-Zing!