A civilized exchange of views

The scene, on one side of a open field somewhere in Minnesota, a rare meeting unfolds. Two men, one from the Coalition and one from Tolkeen have come to exchange their views on magic and technology. Debates like these have frequently occurred and are called “fire fights”. This time however, the two sides are using no weapons greater then their words. 1st Lt. Jimmy Patterson of the great Coalition state of Chi-Town and Elfinster the Wizard from the wonderful city of Tolkeen.

Elfinster: You can’t win this war you know, our magic is far superior to your technology.
Lt. Patterson: Really? Name 20 things you can do we cant…and better.
Elfinster: With my magic I can run at superhuman speeds!
Lt. Patterson: Oh really? Just how fast is superhuman?
Elfinster: I can run at 30 MPH without tiring for 5 minutes!
Lt. Patterson: 30 miles per hour huh? Private McRunfast! Front and center!
Private McRunfast: Sir!
Lt. Patterson: Private, how fast was your last PT test?
Private McRunfast: Sir I was clocked at 66 MPH sir!
Elfinster: Wait! That’s not fair, that man is a Juicer!
Lt. Patterson: What’s your point? It’s just technology right?
Elfinster: *grumbling*
Lt. Patterson: That will be all private.
Elfinster: Well with my magic I can create a cloud of smoke to blind my enemies. Watch this! (casts Cloud of Smoke) *30 foot area covered by smoke*
Lt. Patterson: Very nice, watch this, (pulls and throws smoke grenade) *40 foot area is covered by smoke* Mine is bigger.
Elfinster: No matter! I can become invisible at will! (casts Invisibility) Hah! Now you can’t see me.
Lt. Patterson: *picks up rock, throws it at Elfinster*
Elfinster: Ouch! Hey, how’d you see me?
Lt. Patterson: *taps side of helmet* Thermal optics built in the helmet my technologically impaired friend.
Elfinster: Curses foiled again! Now I will have to show you some real magic! (casts Armor of Ithan) Now I am completely protected from harm! This mystic armor of the great dwarven king Ithan grants me 50 MDC.
Lt. Patterson: Really? 50 huh? You must be 5th level then?
Elfinster: *puffs out chest* That’s right.
Lt. Patterson: Private Johnson post!
Private Johnson: Sir!
Lt. Patterson: Private Johnson just graduated from basic training two weeks ago. Private what is the MDC of your CA-1 heavy body armor?
Private Johnson: 80 MDC sir!
Elfinster: *grumbles more*
Lt. Patterson: Thank you private, return to your post.
Elfinster: Ok, now I will show you the power of magic.
Lt. Patterson: Still waiting…
Elfinster: Watch this! (casts Call Lightning, blasts near by tree)
Lt. Patterson: Wow, how far can you hit something with that?
Elfinster: 300 feet if I’m not near a Ley-line or nexus point.
Lt. Patterson: *Draws C-18 laser pistol, sights a tree 800 feet out, blasts it*
Elfinster: ….
Lt. Patterson: And that was only this little pistol.

Too be contined…

We pick up where last we left our odd couple…

Elfinster: No matter, I have other farther reaching spells to slay my enemies with! (casts Power Bolt) *destroys a boulder 2000 ft away*
Lt. Patterson: Hey that is pretty long range, about equal to a C-12 laser rifle but…
Elfinster: *sigh*…what?
Lt. Patterson: How many times can you do that in say fifteen seconds?
Elfinster: Twice, why?
Lt. Patterson: Private Snuffy, front and center!
Private Snuffy: Sir!
Elfinster: *muttering* Oh, here we go…
Lt. Patterson: Private how many times can you fire your C-12 rifle in fifteen seconds in single shot mode?
Private Snuffy: Sir in single shot mode I can fire five times sir!
Lt. Patterson: That will be all private.
Elfinster: *cough* Yes, well that’s all fine and good but can you restore life to the dead?
Lt. Patterson: Bring back the dead? That is a good trick.
Elfinster: *smiling* Yes, that is something your feeble technology will never be able to do.
Lt. Patterson: You might be right there. I bet when the fighting starts you’ll be using it a lot too…
Elfinster: *scowling* Maybe not as much as you think. Golems! Come here!
Lt. Patterson: What are those things? *points at Golems*
Elfinster: *waving his hand* These are my loyal golems, infused my a portion of my own life force, they are fearless, obey only me, will regenerate even if it’s completely destroyed unless the heart is also removed, suffers only half damage from most attacks and has 160 MDC! *Stands proudly before his minions*
Lt. Patterson: *whistles* that’s pretty impressive.
Elfinster: Thank you…What no come back for that?
Lt. Patterson: Well now that you mention it…
Elfinster: *smile gone* Go on; say what’s on your mind.
Lt. Patterson: You have just the four of these things?
Elfinster: That’s right.
Lt. Patterson: Because you had to use your own, life force you said? Like how much?
Elfinster: 6 SDC.
Lt. Patterson: Now don’t take this the wrong way but you mages aren’t really known for being very… strong shall we say? You probably don’t want to make any more huh?
Elfinster: Well no but what of it? Four is plenty.
Lt. Patterson: If you say so. What about your fellow wizards they got golems too right?
Elfinster: Yes, many mages have such servants.
Lt. Patterson: But like yours they only obey the one that created them right? So if you were to gather them up in a platoon, you’d have a hard time trying to co-ordinate them huh?
Elfinster: Well…yes but
Lt. Patterson: And if you were to tell just your four to kill all enemies on a hill, advancing by fire teams with bounding over-watch, would they understand?
Elfinster: Huh? I’m not sure I understood that!
Lt. Patterson: Something simpler then, like kill all enemies on the hill? What if the bad guys run away? Since they aren’t on the hill anymore would the golems follow or stop on the hill?
Elfinster: Um, I don’t know…
Lt. Patterson: *tisk* It’s been my experience that “I don’t knows” in combat cause bad things to happen my infantry tactics ignorant friend. So what happens if while leading you fearless followers, you die tragically for the glory of Tolkeen?
Elfinster: Um, well they will follow their last order.
Lt. Patterson: Hmm, so they basically become useless to the rest of your countrymen? Gee that’s too bad. Let me show you something. Sgt. Conroy, bring your platoon forward!
Sgt. Conroy: Yes sir!

  • sounds of many armored feet marching*


Elfinster: What are those…things?!
Lt. Patterson: Those are Fully Automated Self-Sufficient Assault Robots or Skelebots as they are more commonly known. They have built in radios for instant and continuous communications, two retractable high frequency vibro-blades, are programmed with full knowledge of infantry tactics too include squad, platoon and company level movements, have comparable MDC to your golems and in the event Sgt. Conroy becomes unable to command them they will follow my commands. Say, I bet you used some kind of big ritual to make those things huh?
Elfinster: Yes…
Lt. Patterson: Bet it took a while too. We produce these things by the thousands each year.
Elfinster: *gulp* Thousands?
Lt. Patterson: Actually just between you and me we make tens of thousands each year.
Elfinster: *gulp*…Um, well the war might not be decided by either of our automatons but your technological terrors will never be able to defeat this! (casts Impenetrable Wall of Force)
Lt. Patterson: Wow, that’s one big shiny wall you got there. So what’s so special about it?
Elfinster: No weapon will damage it, not a single weapon known to man, dragon or god will break this wall.
Lt. Patterson: Really? That is interesting. *looks back and forth* Seems to me it’s about 100 feet long and high.
Elfinster: Yes?
Lt. Patterson: Sgt. Conroy, have your platoon assault that hill behind this wall, treat it is an unbreachable obstacle for the purpose of this exercise.
Sgt. Conroy: Yes sir! *Skelebots break in to 4 squads and quickly go around both sides of the wall, assaulting the hill behind it with flawless precision.*
Elfinster: Ok, so maybe we will need to refine our tactics with it some before the war…

Too be continued…

We return to the grassy plain to find our two protagonists still debating…

Lt. Patterson: Ok Lets tally up the points so far.
Elfinster: Points? What points?
Lt. Patterson: Remember the bet? You got to name 20 things you can do with your magic that we can’t do with our tech and better.
Elfinster: Right, let’s figure out the tally so far.
Lt. Patterson: The way I see it you get a point for that whole bringing back the dead trick. In fact I’ll give you two points for that.
Elfinster: Two? Why’s that?
Lt. Patterson: Well nothing we got can bring back the dead and I’m pretty sure not even the wiz kids at Lonestar will figure that one out.
Elfinster: I also get a point for the power bolt spell.
Lt. Patterson: What? No way, that spell only equals our infantry level weapons for range and damage and for every one time you cast that spell we will fire back two or three times.
Elfinster: All right, we’ll call it a draw then. What about Invisibility? , you can’t do that.
Lt. Patterson: So? We can see right thru your invisibility with out optical tech.
Elfinster: Ah, but the bet is for you have to be able to do anything out magic can do and do it better.
Lt. Patterson: *sigh* Fine but you only get half a point for that since we can defeat it so easily.
Elfinster: And the wall? You can’t do that either…
Lt. Patterson: Ok, ok, you get half a point for that too. That gives you three points total. You need seventeen more to win.
Elfinster: I get another point for our golems.
Lt. Patterson: Are you kidding? I’ll give you a draw on that one.

While our protagonists debate the merits of golems yet again, another unlikely, yet civilized meeting is taking place…

Pvt. Snuffy: Hey.
Dangolf: Hey.
Pvt. Snuffy: We got a betting pool for how long they are gona be at it, how about you guys?
Dangolf: Same, I’m betting on after sunset. He’ll just call me over to cast Globe of Daylight.
Pvt. Snuffy: Me too, the Lt. will just have me pop some glow sticks. Want to combine the pools?
Dangolf: Sure.
In the distance raised voices can be heard…

Elfinster: Our golems can regenerate and your over grown tinker toys can’t!
Lt. Patterson: Oh yah?! Well they better regenerate cuz…

Pvt. Snuffy: Did you know they were married?
Dangolf: Nope, was hoping you knew when they got hitched.

Elfinster: Our golems can smash those empty headed tin cans of yours any day of the week!
Lt. Patterson: Hah! Crunch all you want we’ll just make more!

Pvt. Snuffy: Sun’s going down.
Dangolf: Yup, I give it about 30 seconds before he starts shouting for light.
Pvt. Snuffy: Agreed, nice chatting with you.
Dangolf: Same. 3, 2, 1…
Elfinster: Dangolf! Globes of Daylight! Now!
Lt. Patterson: Pvt. Snuffy! I want glow sticks all around the clearing now!
Pvt. Snuffy: *quietly* See you in a few. *offers hand*
Dangolf: *quietly* Right, we’ll split our winnings. *shakes hand*

Returning to the side of the clearing after having provided light for their superiors, we find Private Snuffy and wizards apprentice Dangolf together again, counting their winnings…

Pvt. Snuffy: OK so how much did we get?
Dangolf: Let’s see (combines credits) about 3,400 hundred.
Pvt. Snuffy: 1,700 for me then, that’s an entire month’s pay!
Dangolf: That’s all? Hey wait a second, I thought you guys weren’t taught math? The powers that be in Chi-Town frown on it or something.
Pvt. Snuffy: (laughs) Let me tell you, there isn’t a soldier in any army that doesn’t know how to count money! Especially his own! We just aren’t taught alerba…
Dangolf: Algebra.
Pvt. Snuffy: Yah that’s the one.
Dangolf: Aren’t they ever going to call it quits? At least for the night? My legs are starting to hurt from all this standing.
Pvt. Snuffy: Well can’t you just magic some chairs or something?
Dangolf: No.
Pvt. Snuffy: How about a hammock?
Dangolf: Nope.
Pvt. Snuffy: Bean bag?
Dangolf: (looking skyward, sighs) Nooooo. Not that kind of mage.
Pvt. Snuffy: Well, what can you do?
Dangolf: You a drinking man?
Pvt. Snuffy: You know any soldiers that aren’t?
Dangolf: Let me see your canteen for a second.
Pvt. Snuffy: Um, ok,(looks around, hands over canteen)
Dangolf: (casts Water to Wine, hands it back), Here try it now.
Pvt. Snuffy: (sips from canteen, then takes a bigger swallow) Hey this is pretty good!
Dangolf: Thanks, That’s a pretty classic spell called Water to Wine. I’ve been working on making some new versions though.
Pvt. Snuffy: Really? Like what a Water to Beer spell?
Dangolf: Nah, Water to Lager.
Pvt. Snuffy: Awesome! What else you got?
Dangolf: Well there was this pre-rifts drink I heard about in a movie, it was called Absinth.
Pvt. Snuffy: Is that the one where they start drinking it and they start seeing green fairies?
Dangolf: Yup.
Pvt. Snuffy: Rock on! Here do my other canteen. (hands over second canteen)
Dangolf: One bottle of Absinth coming up! (casts Water to Absinth)
Pvt. Snuffy: (while waiting for spell to finish) So are you some kind of water to liquor wizard?
Dangolf: (smiling) Hey, casting fireballs and making golems is cool and all but what good is it if you can’t make your life a little more enjoyable? (hands over canteen)
Pvt. Snuffy: You know, that’s a good point. (takes a swig of absinth) WOW, that’s some good ****. (passes canteen back)
Dangolf: Thanks, came up with that one back in Ley-Line Walker College. (takes a pull from the canteen)
Pvt. Snuffy: Well there’s a time and place for everything…
Dangolf: And college is it! (both start laughing)
Pvt. Snuffy: Here let me show you something…

To be continued…

The quest for more credits.

In our last visit with our protagonists, Pvt. Snuffy received a demonstration of magic from Dangolf more down to earth then his master’s display in the clearing. We return to them now, just in time to see Pvt. Snuffy display one of his toys…

Dangolf: (watches Snuffy pull a small packet out of his web gear) What do you got there?
Pvt. Snuffy: (pulls out deck of cards from case) 52 of my best friends. *smiles*
Dangolf: A deck of cards? That’s it? It’s not a deck of many things or something?
Pvt. Snuffy: A deck of what?
Dangolf: Never mind…So what makes them so special?
Pvt. Snuffy: This! (fans cards out, then flips his hand around revealing what’s on the other side of the Coalition States flag)
Dangolf: *whistles* Who is That?! She’s hot!
Pvt. Snuffy: That my friend is Jane Jameson, 106 PA’s Miss Coalition States and number one pin up queen! *sigh*
Dangolf: I can see why (unashamedly stares)
Pvt. Snuffy: Yup, this deck has gotten me thru many a boring radio watch. Speaking of which…
Dangolf: Yes? You got a glint in your eye, what is it?
Pvt. Snuffy: I was just wondering do you play spades?
Dangolf: Are you serious? We might be magic using D-Bee loving scum but who doesn’t play spades in the military?
Pvt. Snuffy: Excellent! Now we just need to get ourselves a couple of marks…I mean two more players. *grins ear to ear*
Dangolf: One from your side and one from mine sound good?
Pvt. Snuffy: That works, meet you back here in about 10 mikes.
Dangolf: mikes?
Pvt. Snuffy: Opps, sorry, army slang for minutes.
Dangolf: Oh, right. See you then.

Meanwhile Lt. Patterson and Elfinster have reached a conclusion…

Lt. Patterson: This is getting us nowhere!
Elfinster: Well that’s one thing we can agree on.
Lt. Patterson: Look let’s just table the rock head, I mean Golem issue for now ok?
Elfinster: Fine!
Lt. Patterson: Good. You still have to come up with 17 more points to win.
Elfinster: Well it’s about to be sixteen. (casts spell)
Lt. Patterson: This should be good…
Elfinster: I want you to take that over grown lighter at your side and shoot me. (points to C-27)
Lt. Patterson: (places hand on C27) Say again?
Elfinster: I want you to shoot me with your plasma cannon.
Lt. Patterson: Really? (lifts C-27, points towards Elfinster)
Elfinster: Yes! Unload your whole canister if you want.
Lt. Patterson: (mutters) I’ve been wanting to do that all day.
Elfinster: What was that?
Lt. Patterson: I said “it sure was a hot one today”. (Shoots Elfinster in the head)
Elfinster: (Plasma hits and dissipates) Hah! Now that’s something your oh so great technology can’t do! *looks pleased*
Lt. Patterson: (lowers C-27) You’re not dead…That’s not more of that mage armor is it? We already went over that.
Elfinster: Nope! With my command of magic I have now made myself Impervious to Energy.
Lt. Patterson: Huh. Like all energy?
Elfinster: Everything but kinetic. None of your lasers, plasma cannons and the like will work.
Lt. Patterson: Not kinetic though? So you mean Sgt. Cruise and his C-40 railgun could turn you into salsa extra chunky style? (hooks thumb over his shoulder at a SAMAS)
Elfinster: (nervous look) Well yah but that’s not the point. It’s something magic can do that your tech can’t. I get a point.
Lt. Patterson: Oh no, you get half just like for the other two we countered easy.
Elfinster: *grumbling* Fine…
Lt. Patterson: Hey what about vibro-blades?
Elfinster: What about them?
Lt. Patterson: Well if this spell makes you impervious to energy then a vibro-blade is just a high priced letter opener to you now right?
Elfinster: Um, well no, not really.
Lt. Patterson: Wait are you saying the energy field of a vibro-blade works but it’s not kinetic. That doesn’t make any sense.
Elfinster: *sighs* Look I didn’t create the spell ok? I just know what it does.
Lt. Patterson: (puts out hands in calming motion) Hey take it easy, just pointing it out…

While the Lt. and Ley-line walker were talking, their intrepid sidekicks have been finding new homes for their fellow’s credits….

Pvt. Snuffy: Guys! Don’t think of it as having lost 300 credits each…
Dangolf: Think of it instead as having purchased some very fine drink and an hour of entertainment.
Pvt. Snuffy: (watches their opponents leave, waves cheerfully at their backs) Come back soon! It was fun!
Dangolf: 300 credits each, not bad for an hour's work.
Pvt. Snuffy: Yah, at this rate I’ll have 2 months pay by the end of the night.
Dangolf: Hmm, you’re right. (looks off in the distance)
Pvt. Snuffy: Wait I know that look, I’ve seen it often enough whenever we’re about to do something really fun, sneaky and would get us in a lot of trouble with the CO.
Dangolf: Well I was just thinking…

Too be continued.

Concerning matters of style…

Dangolf: There’s going to be a lot of soldiers involved in this upcoming war right?
Pvt. Snuffy: Yah?
Dangolf: And soldiers, all soldiers have certain needs right?
Pvt. Snuffy: Yah?...Yah! Needs like (holds up canteen with absinth)
Dangolf: So I’m thinking there’s a lot of money to be made by anyone that can provide those things to soldiers on both sides.
Pvt. Snuffy: I find myself liking your thinking more and more. Hmm, know what else?
Dangolf: What?
Pvt. Snuffy: Well I ETS in another year.
Dangolf: ETS? *confused look*
Pvt. Snuffy: Sorry, Exit The Service, you know, when I get out?
Dangolf: Oh, gotcha, and?
Pvt. Snuffy: I was just thinking that if you ETS around the same time we could open up a little place dedicated to providing those needs to our fellow soldiers…for the right price of course. *grins*
Dangolf: It just happens I do um ETS about that time.
Pvt. Snuffy: Perfect and I just so happen to know the perfect place to open our little business venture…

While their subordinates discuss their newest plan for relieving soldier’s unneeded credits, Lt. Patterson and Elfinster are about to call it a night…

Lt. Patterson: Look, I don’t think we are going to finish this tonight. It’s already past oh dark thirty, what say we call it a night and start again at zero nine?
Elfinster: Zero nine? You mean nine AM normal time right? *smirk*
Lt. Patterson: Funny…not as funny as you in that gas mask you ley-line walkers are always wearing though.
Elfinster: And just what’s wrong with that?
Lt. Patterson: Come on Finster, (takes deep breath and lets it out) this isn’t the burbs. I mean you can’t get much cleaner air then here in the middle of an open field.
Elfinster: I’m not wearing it to purify the air, I’ll have you know this is high fashion amongst ley-line walkers.
Lt. Patterson: High fashion? Ok, the aviator stuff the techno-wizards wear is old school but at least it was once in style. What’s with the gas masks?
Elfinster: Hey! At least we don’t look like poster children for Nazi GQ magazine!
Lt. Patterson: Nazis? They some kind of D-bee or something?
Elfinster: *stunned look* No, Earth, Hitler, 1938…ring a bell?
Lt. Patterson: Nope.
Elfinster: Your Emperor wrote a paper on how much he admired their genocidal policies towards everyone they considered to be sub-human! You’re uniforms look just like the ones they use to wear and you’re telling me you don’t know who the Nazis were?
Lt. Patterson: Never heard of them before but it sounds like they not only had the right idea but knew how to dress sharp too. No wonder the Emperor liked them.
Elfinster: Argh! I give up, I’m going to bed. See you at nine AM tomorrow.
Lt. Patterson: You mean zero nine, right? *grins*
Elfinster: (continues to walk away) Yah whatever…
Lt. Patterson: God I love doing that to him.

Chapter seven, where Elfinster shows the Lt. (and everyone else) the amazing transformation powers of magic…

Dangolf: *puts hand up* Hold on a sec, looks like the odd couple are finally calling it quits for the night.
Pvt. Snuffy: *turns to look* Huh, was wondering if they were ever gona get tired of going on and on.
Dangolf: Yah no kidding. See you in the morning then, I’m sure they’ll be at it again.
Pvt. Snuffy: No doubt…

The following morning at 9 AM or was it zero nine?

Lt. Patterson: My you’re looking cheerful today.
Elfinster: Why shouldn’t I look cheerful? This is the day that will once and for all prove our magic is superior to your technology.
Lt. Patterson: Right…*rolls eyes* so everything we shot down yesterday was just you warming up?
Elfinster: Mock me if you will but today with a little help from my apprentice you will see the power that is ours to command! *shouts over right shoulder* Dangolf! Come here! (minute goes by)
Lt. Patterson: Is he using one of those invisibility spells?
Elfinster: No, why?
Lt. Patterson: Because there is no one over there.
Elfinster: What? *looks behind him* He’s supposed to be right there waiting for any command I might give him.
Lt. Patterson: Having a little discipline problem are we? Sounds like another thing us poor technology users have over you, better disciplined troops. *grins*
Elfinster: This is just one isolated case and that’s beside the point, once I find him you’ll see the power I spoke of. Now where is he? *looks around clearing*

Meanwhile, on the Coalition side of the clearing, ley-line walker’s apprentice Dangolf and Pvt. Snuffy are continuing their talk from last night.

Pvt. Snuffy: Good morning my future business partner.
Dangolf: And a good morning to you too, I see our bosses are already at it.
Pvt. Snuffy: Yah and this was supposed to be a short patrol when we left the FOB.
Dangolf: FOB? What’s that? Never heard of that Coalition town…
Pvt. Snuffy: *chuckling* It’s not a town. It’s an acronym, stands for Forward Operating Base.
Dangolf: Gotcha, so about last night, you were… (Elfinster’s shout of Dangolf! is heard) Oh nuts, got to run, the boss is calling.
Pvt. Snuffy: *snorts* Hey totally understand that man.
Dangolf: *takes off running towards Elfinster*
Elfinster: There you are! Just why were you over by those Coalition troops?
Dangolf: Well you see sir it was like this…
Elfinster: Never mind! I don’t want to listen to another one of your improbable excuses, just stand there and prepare yourself for a metamorphosis ritual.
Dangolf: Yes sir. *sigh*
Lt. Patterson: Ritual? Is this going to take long? You’re not going to sacrifice a goat or something are you?
Elfinster: What? Of course not! It will take no longer then 10 minutes to complete the ritual and no sacrifices will be made. *shakes head and turns to start casting*
(ten minutes later) There! Now behold our awesome power! Your precious technology can’t do this!
Lt. Patterson: Well yes, you got me there; I can’t turn my people with discipline problems in to wolves. I find that push-ups or a little front back go works just fine though.
Elfinster: Will you please stop with the discipline thing? You’re missing the point here. This is something your technology can’t do and that’s not all! Watch this! (begins casting spell)
Lt. Patterson: I’m breathless with anticipation.
Elfinster: (finishes Giant spell) There! Can your technology do that?
Lt. Patterson: Wow, you super-sized him.
Elfinster: And that’s not all! He is now a super natural as well.
Lt. Patterson: So that means?
Elfinster: He can cause mega-damage with his teeth and claws, bio-regenerates and can withstand mega-damage in turn! Your oh so mighty Skelebots are like chew toys to him now. *pleased smile*
Lt. Patterson: *whistles* Very nice, so if I were to shoot him with my C-27 he’d be ok? *holds up plasma cannon*
Elfinster: If you doubt me feel free to take a shot. You’ll see that not only will he live but the damage will quickly heal before your very eyes.
Dangolf: Um, sir? Is that really necessary? *looks nervously at large barrel pointing his way*
Elfinster: Silence! Maybe this will teach you to not to run off. Fire away Lt.
Lt. Patterson: With pleasure. *Takes aim at (censored) and pulls trigger*
Elfinster: Good shot and as you can see he is quickly healing from the burn. I believe that gives us two points?
Dangolf: *whimpering* ow, ow, ow, (Laughter can be heard coming from both sides of the clearing)
Lt. Patterson: *suppressing urge to laugh* you know I think I would give you the points just for having been given the chance to do that. Ok you get two points added. So how long will he be like that?
Elfinster: Giant sized? just a minute more. He will change back to human form in an hour and a half unless he wills the spell to end sooner.
Lt. Patterson: *Points towards clothes on ground* so will the magic cause his clothes to be back on when he changes?
Elfinster: Why don’t I have him change now so you can see? Dangolf! Change back to normal now.
Dangolf: But sir! Can’t I wait until I’m normal sized at least?
Elfinster: I said now apprentice!
Dangolf: Yes sir…(spell ends)
Lt. Patterson: *looks at Elfinster* Have you considered a career in the adult industry? If your Tolkeen job doesn't work out you could do well there I think...

  • Dangolf is now standing in the clearing with both hand covering his (censored) until the giant spell wears off and he can once again clothe himself. Pvt. Snuffy can be seen rolling on the ground, laughing hysterically *


Elfinster: Thank you Dangolf, you may go now until I need you again.

To be continued…

Just what is Front, Back, Go?

Elfinster: Hold a moment Dangolf, *picks up small card from the ground* you seem to have forgotten something.
Dangolf: *slowly turns around, looks at card* Um, that’s not mine sir.
Elfinster: Really? I thought for sure it was with your clothes. *Flips card over sees Coalition Emblem*
Dangolf: Oh! That card! I can explain that.
Elfinster: Can you now? Will this be the same explanation you were going to give me for why you were talking to those Coalition troops?
Dangolf: *swallows* Yes sir, the very same! You see it was like this…

Ten minutes and a highly improbable story later…

Elfinster: Let me see if I got this right, you were worried about the Coalition troops possibly falling victim to the tricks of fairies you had heard might be in the area and so went to advise them on how to protect themselves? And as a thank you one of them gave you this card? *holds up card with CS emblem facing towards Dangolf*
Dangolf: Yes, that’s it exactly sir. In the spirit of the peaceful talks you are having I thought I would do my part to help things along.
Lt. Patterson: Excuse me Elfinster; I’d like to ask him a question.
Elfinster: What?
Lt. Patterson: I’d like to know which of my soldiers gave that to him.
Elfinster: Well Dangolf?
Dangolf: *swallows again, sweat can be seen forming on his forehead* Well sir, I don’t recall exactly which one. I mean they do all look alike in their Dead Boy armor.
Lt. Patterson: That’s ok; I think I know who this might have come from. *looks at the picture of Jane Jameson*
Dangolf: You do?
Lt. Patterson: *evil grin* Yes, the biggest fan of Miss Jameson in the entire company. *turns to shout* Pvt. Snuffy! Front and center!
Pvt. Snuffy: *comes running, centers himself, gives salute* Yes sir!
Lt. Patterson: Private did you give this card to that magic user?
Pvt. Snuffy: Yes sir.
Lt. Patterson: And just why was that private?
Pvt. Snuffy: Sir, it happened like this…

Ten minutes and a slightly different highly improbable story later…

Lt. Patterson: So this magic user went in to the woods to make a class two down load and got lost. He found the clearing again but came out of the woods on our side.
Pvt. Snuffy: Yes sir can’t expect a magic user to have much sense of direction.
Lt. Patterson: I see but that hasn’t explained the card yet.
Pvt. Snuffy: I was just getting to that sir. I gave him the card in the spirit of the peaceful talks you are having.
Lt. Patterson: Uh huh.
Elfinster: Excuse me but what is a “class two down load”?
Lt. Patterson: You know, going number two? What you mages don’t take a (censored) from time to time?
Elfinster: *rolls eyes* Of course we do, we just call it what normal people do instead of some over long military term.
Pvt. Snuffy: Sir? Am I dismissed now?
Lt. Patterson: Not just yet private. It would seem we have two different stories, yours and his. *points to Dangolf*
Elfinster: *chuckling* Now who has the discipline problem?
Lt. Patterson: Pvt. Snuffy here is just in need of some corrective training.
Elfinster: Ah, would that be the “front, back, go” thing you mentioned before?
Lt. Patterson: *smiles* It would indeed, observe. Front!
Pvt. Snuffy: *drops instantly in to front leaning rest, begins rapidly knocking out push-ups*
Lt. Patterson: Back!
Pvt. Snuffy: *flips over on to his back and begins to quickly do sit-ups*
Lt. Patterson: Gooooo!
Pvt. Snuffy: *leaps to his feet, beings running in place*
Elfinster: Oh, that does look like it could solve a few discipline problems. May I try?
Lt. Patterson: By all means. *steps a pace back*
Elfinster: Front!....Back!....Goooo!
Lt. Patterson: Don’t just call them in order, it’s more fun if you mix it up a little.
Elfinster: You can do that? This should be very fun…

Five minutes and a very tired Pvt. Snuffy later…

Lt. Patterson: Position of Attention, Move!
Pvt. Snuffy: *panting heavily*
Lt. Patterson: You may go now private. *turns to Elfinster* So where were we?

To be continued…

Someone’s watching…

In a secret complex buried deeply underneath what was once called Maryland, a great machine entity took notice of an unfamiliar sound within its domain…

Hagan: *chuckling, presses another button causing the screen he is watching to change again* Elfinster: Well with my magic I can create a cloud of smoke to blind my enemies. Watch this! (casts Cloud of Smoke) *30 foot area covered by smoke*
Lt. Patterson: Very nice, watch this, (pulls and throws smoke grenade) *40 foot area is covered by smoke* Mine is bigger.

Hagan: *Slaps his leg and begins laughing even harder*
Archie: What are you doing Hagan?
Hagan: *Still laughing, presses the button again and the screen shows a different image* Just reviewing the downloaded video feed from those reprogrammed Skelebots we sent back to the coalition. Lt. Patterson: *smiles* It would indeed, observe. Front!
Pvt. Snuffy: *drops instantly in to front leaning rest, begins rapidly knocking out push-ups*
Lt. Patterson: Back!
Pvt. Snuffy: *flips over on to his back and begins to quickly do sit-ups*
Lt. Patterson: Gooooo!
Pvt. Snuffy: *leaps to his feet, beings running in place*
Archie: But why are you laughing Hagan?
Hagan: *Clutches his sides and is close to falling out of his chair* It’s…just…too…funny!
Archie: I’ll never understand humans…
Hagan: *stops laughing but still smiling* This gives me an idea…

Meanwhile back at the source of Hagan’s amusement, having dealt with their sub-ordinates discipline issues, our odd couple is once again exchanging their views in a “civilized” manner…

Lt. Patterson: So where were we?
Elfinster: You were about to witness more of our amazing magical powers.
Lt. Patterson: Oh, right...So come on, make with the amazing stuff.
Elfinster: Very well. Prepare your self! *begins chanting*
Lt. Patterson: *muttering* Oh not another ritual…

On the sidelines, we find Pvt. Snuffy and Dangolf together again…

Dangolf: What was that?!
Pvt. Snuffy: *huff* what *huff* was *huff* what?
Dangolf: All that running and stuff. I mean I know you guys are xenophobic, genocidal maniacs but that…that was just plain sadistic!
Pvt. Snuffy: *breath now caught* Welcome to my world friend. See why I want to get out?
Dangolf: Yah, I thought only us poor apprentices had it ruff.
Pvt. Snuffy: Hey, how long did he smoke me for?
Dangolf: Smoke? Oh! Smoke, got it, um maybe 10 minutes, why?
Pvt. Snuffy: *points towards sky* So all those clouds rolled in during those 10 minutes?
Dangolf: *looks up, then towards clearing* Oh no.
Pvt. Snuffy: What?
Dangolf: *pulls hood of cloak over his head* Put your helmet back on.
Pvt. Snuffy: *puts helmet on* Ok, you know something the weatherman doesn’t?
Dangolf: Yup, they didn’t factor in our bosses ego contest. *points at Elfinster*

Elfinster: *completes spell* There! Let’s see you mock me this time!
Lt. Patterson: You’d actually have to do something before I could mock you.
Elfinster: Just wait. *pulls hood over his head*
Lt. Patterson: *looking up at rapidly darkening sky* Wait, YOU did that?
Elfinster: That’s right; behold the power that is mine to command!
Lt. Patterson: What the power to ruin a perfectly nice day? That’s your amazing power?
Elfinster: *rain begins falling hard* That’s…not…the…point!
Lt. Patterson: No I think it is, except you didn’t have to do all that hocus pocus. You manage to ruin my day just fine in other ways.
Elfinster: Argh! Don’t you see? With this “hocus pocus” as you call it, I can bring much needed water to drought stricken lands!
Lt. Patterson: That was the point? We can do that too, we call it irrigation. Only it can water the lawn without spoiling perfectly good BBQ weather.
Elfinster: You just can’t admit our way is better can you? We don’t have to lay pipes, dig ditches or maintain any equipment!
Lt. Patterson: Oh yah? Do you realize how many jobs you’ve cost yourselves?
Elfinster: What? *confused look*
Lt. Patterson: First there is the pipe makers, then the construction companies that dig the trenches for those pipes, the people that run the pumping stations, the list goes on. Even if we did use magic, why would we want to hurt our economy like that?
Elfinster: *makes incoherent grumbling noises*
Lt. Patterson: So rain man, when does the shower stop?

Too be continued…

Something this way comes….

Pvt. Snuffy: Look I don’t know about you but I don’t want to get smoked again for talking with a magic user. Shouldn’t we…? *jerks head towards tree line*
Dangolf: Good thinking and I got just the thing to make sure they don’t notice us walking off. You ever see Predator? (starts chanting)
Pvt. Snuffy: Have I?! That movie rocked! Wish our Deadboy armor could do that.
Dangolf: Well now it can my friend. (touches Snuffy’s armor)
Pvt. Snuffy: Huh? (looks down at his armor) Sweet! Just like in the movie.
Dangolf: Yup (cast spell on himself)
Pvt. Snuffy: Man if more magic users were like you maybe we wouldn’t have to kill so many…Um, no offense or anything.
Dangolf: I’ll take that as the compliment you no doubt meant it as.
Pvt. Snuffy: Cool. (starts walking in to woods) Know what the funny part is?
Dangolf: What?
Pvt. Snuffy: Your boss’s little rain storm will make it harder for any thermal sensors to see us.
Dangolf: Really? Well he did something useful today after all…

Meanwhile Dangolf’s “boss” is still fighting the good fight back in the clearing, trying yet again to prove magic is superior to technology…

Elfinster: Well if my control of the elements doesn’t impress you then perhaps this will! (begins chanting new spell)
Lt. Patterson: I can hardly wait…
Elfinster: (finished with spell) Hah! Would did you think of that?
Lt. Patterson: Huh? What do I think of what?
Elfinster: I just stopped time for everyone else but me for several seconds! (looks pleased)
Lt. Patterson: No you didn’t, you’ve been standing there the whole time.
Elfinster: Ah hah, to you it would have looked like nothing happened but for me several seconds passed.
Lt. Patterson: What just now?
Elfinster: No then…I mean just before I told you I had slipped thru time.
Lt. Patterson: Well couldn’t you have done something while the rest of us were “stopped”?
Elfinster: Very well…(begins spell again)
Lt. Patterson: If this is the kind of resistance we’ll face when we take on Tolkeen…(shakes head)
Elfinster: (appears on other side of clearing) How was that? I slipped thru time and walked all the way over here.
Lt. Patterson: No you didn’t, I bet you just turned invisible and ran over there.
Elfinster: Wouldn’t you have seen me do that with your oh so great thermal optics?
Lt. Patterson: Well yah but I didn’t have them on just then, could you do it again?
Elfinster: ARGH!!!

As Elfinster prepares another demonstration of his time slip spell, Dangolf and Pvt. Snuffy, having made it safely out of site of their respective bosses, are once again putting their heads together…

Pvt. Snuffy: So you went to some kind of magic user college right? (un-slings his C-14)
Dangolf: Yes, every ley-line walker in Tolkeen goes to it before being assigned to a senior wizard. Man I can’t wait till my apprenticeship is over.
Pvt. Snuffy: Right and um at this school, did they teach you how to like recognize different monsters and stuff? (checks e-clip)
Dangolf: Of course, basic Demon & Monster lore is a required course.
Pvt. Snuffy: So like if you were to see a four legged beast the size of a house, with a really BIG horn and claws bigger then my chest, you’d know what it was? (pumps grenade slide)
Dangolf: Oh that’s an easy one, sounds like you are describing a Rhino-Buffalo.
Pvt. Snuffy: And are these rhino beasts mean? (lowers in to prone firing position)
Dangolf: Oh yes! But why do you ask? And just what are you doing down there?
Pvt. Snuffy: Cuz three of them are standing about 20 meters behind you.
Dangolf: What?! *loud astonished whisper* (spins around)
Pvt. Snuffy: *speaking in to helmet radio* Lt. this is Pvt. Snuffy, we got 3 monsters incoming, un-happy kind.

Too be continued…

Chapter 11, where Dangolf learns something about laser rifles…

Pvt. Snuffy: *speaking in to helmet radio* Lt. this is Pvt. Snuffy, we got 3 monsters incoming, un-happy kind.
Lt. Patterson: *holds up his hand to Elfinster in a stopping motion* Wait one Finster, got a call. *speaking in to helmet radio* Send your S.P.O.T. report Pvt.
Pvt. Snuffy: Sir 3 Rhino-Buffalos, 300 meters west of camp, prowling in your direction, time now.
Lt. Patterson: Roger that, stand by. 1st Sgt.! We have incoming from the west, get that Mark V moved!...
Elfinster: Excuse me.
Lt. Patterson: Sgt. Cruise, get your squad suited up and…
Elfinster: Excuse me!
Lt. Patterson: Finster, are you familiar with phrase “Lead, follow or get out the way”?
Elfinster: No but…
Lt. Patterson: Then let me clarify it, you qualify for the later. We got monsters inbound and I don’t have to time for you right now.
Elfinster: So that’s what’s going on. Well that’s perfect! *smiles*
Lt. Patterson: (having finished issuing the warno) *turns back to Elfinster* Come again?
Elfinster: Now you will get to see just how effective our golems are!
Lt. Patterson: *speaking softly to himself* Well I guess we could use the distraction…
Elfinster: What was that?
Lt. Patterson: Well get them in to action! I just have to send a quick message…
Elfinster: Excellent! I will gather my fellows and we will send are creations in to battle.

Meanwhile back in the woods…

Pvt. Snuffy: You want me to do what sir?
Lt. Patterson: I want you to distract them for a few moments. You can do this soldier! We are counting on you to give us time! Black Horse 6 out.
Pvt. Snuffy: Why do officers always say stuff like that? Do the really think we believe that #$@^?
Dangolf: (now laying prone next to Snuffy) What? Just got told to do something heroic and suicidal for flag and country?
Pvt. Snuffy: How’d you guess?
Dangolf: What? You thought you tech users had some kind of monopoly on officers that think they are the guy on the recruiting poster?
Pvt. Snuffy: You got them too huh? Well my CO just ordered me too “distract” the nasties. Got any ideas?
Dangolf: Call him back and say you tried your best?
Pvt. Snuffy: Don’t you have some sort of spell to help us out?
Dangolf: Us? I thought this was your mission! *whispering loudly*
Pvt. Snuffy: Ssshhh. Trying to give us away? Just remember if I do something heroic and fail those things will find you too.
Dangolf: You’re not going to fire at them are you? They’ll hear where you’re shooting from!
Pvt. Snuffy: No they won’t, I thought you mages were educated.
Dangolf: What are you talking about?
Pvt. Snuffy: *flips switch on C-14* Lasers don’t make noise, I thought everyone knew that…
Dangolf: They don’t? But how come everyone I’ve ever heard does?
Pvt. Snuffy: That’s just the noise maker.
Dangolf: The noise maker? You mean the CS, Wilk’s, NG, NGR, all of them add noise makers to their lasers? Why?
Pvt. Snuffy: Duh! How lame would it be to fire a silent laser? So much cooler if they make noise.
Dangolf: Hmm, well I guess you got a point there.
Pvt. Snuffy: So got any spells for dealing with house sized monsters?

Too be continued…

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