— Omah DeLion and Bri recruit a tree expert to help them locate the missing chess Grand Master Ezekiel Bentwell and the quantum AI, A-9. —
‘So she did record our conversation in her office,’ Omah thought, as he left the meeting.
Used to clients’ frustration, the detective shrugged off Greentree’s attacks, took a relaxing lunch with Rialto and led him to meet Bri in the conference with the tree expert. A large blow-up of the photograph had been projected on the wall, and the expert paced up and down in front of it pointing out shrubs of interest with a laser pen. Half an hour passed without him giving them anything of interest. Omah glanced at Bri, as if to say,
“Let’s wind this up.”
But then the expert coughed and pointed to a sapling in the corner of the photograph, asking:
Bri and Omah nodded.
“This is the most interesting of all. It’s Prunus trilobal, the flowering almond shrub. I had to do some research because I haven’t come across it personally. It’s only found now in
Omah and Bri sat up, but the expert didn’t say anything else.
“Well!” Omah said, losing patience.
“Tell us!” Bri added.
The expert smiled.
“It grows around the Barro area, near the Behrendt Sea. Hope that helps!”
— Omaya and Mesago help plan the battle and Omaya show’s his friend a book —
Omaya and Mesago walked into the main banqueting hall, filled now with waiting officers. At their head, stood a large map table, and behind it sat Lord Tarian and his brother, Barian. Trays of food and beverages had been placed at one end of the huge, oak table and a chandelier with over a hundred candles swung ever so slightly above it, disturbed by the draft when the two new arrivals had entered.
“Take a cup of tea!” Tarian added, gesturing to a tray.
“Tea?” Omaya and Mesago said together, astonished.
“We’ve just managed to import the first crate,” Barian said. “Zeeland is going up in the world!”
“I tasted it once!” Mesago said, sipping from a white, china cup. “Mm.”
“Mm,” Omaya repeated. “It’s good. I heard of it. I tasted chocolate once.”
“Ah! Chocolate. I haven’t tasted it since I was a kid,” Tarian said. “Where?”
“Currency Palace. The Princess gave it to me.”
“So you did know her well,” Barian declared.
“I was her slave,” Omaya replied.
“Pleasure slave!” Mesago murmured, just loud enough for Tarian to hear.
Tarian nodded, with set lips but a slight smirk around the corners of his eyes.
“And now he’s buying books!” Barian added.
“Are you thinking of taking those with you?” Tarian asked.
“Yes. To read on lonely evenings.”
“Soldiers should never read books!” Barian said.
“They say books quicken the mind but slow the hand,” Tarian added.
“Though women do the opposite!” Barian said.
— Omaya is woken by Tina, who wants him to try on something new! —
Omaya woke in the morning because Tina was jumping up and down on him.
“What’s … going on! What … are … you … doing! Stop!” he cried.
“The clothes! They came!”
“What clothes?” Omaya asked, when Tina had stopped jumping on him and climbed off the bed.”
“These!” Tina said, holding up a sturdy carrying case. They fell off the wagon after it left your friend’s house. Joseph made me swear not to tell you until they found it.”
“Clothes? For you?”
“No! For you! Look!”
Tina held up a white, loose fitting tunic that looked remarkably like the one Mesago had worn.
“On no! It’s not warm enough for that! What is it?”
“It’s called a toga, but really it’s more like a kaftan. My mum told …”
“Yes, I know. Your mum told you. Do I have to wear it?”
“Yes. It’s all the fashion now. Put it on!”
Omaya felt awkward in the long, flowing toga, but he tried to look relaxed when he left the farmhouse and walked into the yard. He immediately stepped into one of the many puddles in the muddy courtyard and felt the water slop against his shins. Fearing the worst, he looked down and saw mud on his nice, clean toga.
Mesago meets slavegirl Brenda and Omaya has to whip slavegirl Tina when she sneaks into his room,
late one night.
Omaya raised the whip and struck again, this time on the narrow part of her back, just above her hips. She let out small cry and shuddered. Omaya struck her until he had counted to ten, by which time red marks lined her back from her shoulder blades to the base of her spine. Omaya could resist no longer.
“Turn over!” he ordered.
Tina turned over and covered her breasts with her forearms, a reflex that she hadn’t intended.
“No!” Omaya said, falling upon her. He began to kiss her breasts, her belly and moved down to use his tongue where she could not resist. Tina moaned softly and closed her eyes. Having satisfied himself that she was moist and ready for him, he moved up to her face and kissed her red lips. Tina opened her eyes and stared into his. He saw her eyes open wider as he entered her and began to move rhythmically up and down, thrusting with all his unspent frustration and desire. He arched his back as he began to climax. Tina gripped his wrists and shuddered, accepting his lifeforce with a fervour that made her grit her teeth and utter:
Omaya lay down beside her but after only a few minutes, Tina began to wriggle down to his hips.
Omaya and Mesago meet Lord Tarian Bow to discuss how to defeat the Currencians. Omaya notices a strange man, who turns out to be from his own City, Currency.
A man in a top hat with a wooden leg that ended in a fixed wheel raised his hand and turned to leave the room. Omaya hadn’t noticed him before but now that he had seen the strange appendage, he couldn’t take his eyes away. The strange man, also wearing a coat with tails, which looked like it had been mauled by dogs, didn’t hobble but walked quite adeptly on the wooden leg.
“I keep him as a butler!” Lord Tarian said. “Not much use for anything else except good stories – mostly porkies. He has an accomplice somewhere. Can’t see him now. Strange fellow but good as a pickpocket and spy.”
“White wine for me!” Omaya replied.
“Don’t be stupid! Soldiers drink red! Bring the good stuff Smithy!”
“Yessir! Coming right up! Screwthumb!”
“I like your idea!” Tarian told Omaya. “Are you an engineer? I mean; could you build this thing? And how long would it take?”
Omaya hesitated. In truth, he didn’t want to see the end of the Currencians. He had a grudging respect for The Dragon, particularly his love of books and dreams of building a new power station. Most of all, Omaya could not get the sight of a working light bulb out of his head. He cleared his throat to reply but the butler cut him off, handing each man a glass of red wine from a tray.
“Here you are gentlemen. The very best red wine!”
This is Issue 1 of a daily news update of News in the seven worlds of Rip – Find the Magic Key.
Omaya and Mesago scale the walls of the last Currencian stronghold, while Brina suffers as a pleasure slave in the President of Tasman’s Palace
Omaya stripped naked and rubbed damp mud all over this skin. By the time he finished he looked like a clay man.
“Ready?” Mesago whispered, incredulous.
Both men bit onto their knives and picked up the coils of rope.
“Neither of you have done this before, have you?” Barian whispered. “Tie your knives around your necks!” He handed them both knives on cords and backed away.
“Damn, these are heavy!” Omaya moaned, trying to adjust the weight of rope.
“Stop being a cry baby.”
They hunched and crept from behind the eucaly bushes up to the base of the cliff. On its other side waves of the Tasman sea crashed against vertical cliffs that the President’s best soldiers hadn’t been able to scale.
“Not many handholds!” Mesago muttered.
“Follow me. I’m lighter.”
“Makes sense. Sort of!”
Omaya felt with his finger tips and began the long ascent. Everything became a blur to him as he fought for breath at the half way point. He knew he had reached half way because he couldn’t see the ground nor the top of the cliff in the gloom. The pale rind of a waxing moon didn’t give off enough light to help much.