Episode XIII -- Land of the Druids
Premiered 20 March 2009
Multiple Choice -- Episode XIII
Land of the Druids
David and Evyr dropped feet-first into a crystalline pool of fairy-tale water located at the bottom of a waterfall surrounded by lush greenery in the tradition of English elves, fairies and other magical forest creatures. As she tried to regain her feet and defend herself, Evyr kept looking around in panic, but could find no sign of aliens. She was also now wielding a broadsword instead of a laser pistol (as was David), and the switch in weaponry added to her confusion and alarm. David looked at Evyr, his eyes bright and a broad smile on his face. Evyr just looked seriously confused. “What the…?”
“Wholly shit,” David announced. “We did it together!”
“Where did we just come from?”
Evyr, still holding her broadsword as if ready to fight, suddenly lost some of her panic, as her mind reached back to sort things out.
“Gunnison Bunker? Foul-smelling aliens?”
David was delighted. “You remember! Fantastic!” Then the implied assumption hit him. “We’re a team!”
Evyr found the latter point superfluous, not to mention reaching. “Well… yes, I suppose. But isn’t the issue about where we are now?
David then lifted his sword for inspection. “Can’t say I really know.” Then he began weaving the sword into magical curves in the air, getting the feel for what was an amazingly comfortable grip. The sword felt better than an extension of his arm.
“So,” Evyr asked, “Why are you so calm?”
David reflected, looking at her with a calm, unhurried intensity. “Maybe it’s because we’re together.”
Evyr smiled. “You’re weird, David… really weird!”
David laughed and began to wade out of the pool. Evyr followed, but cautiously. As they reached the edge, David turned back to Evyr.
“Remember the Ta Ra Nee?”
Evyr’s eyes suddenly widened and her mouth opened… the latter not so much as to speak as to indicate a temporary loss of motor control as all available resources were being directed toward brain coping schemas.
“You mean that wasn’t a dream?”
“Felt real to me,” David replied.
Evyr’s expression turned to one of profound surprise, as David extended his hand to her. Evyr looked at the hand with a skeptical eye, but then accepted it.
Now on semi-solid ground… one never knew when a water spout or fall was about to appear… the two swordpersons looked around to find themselves within a lush forest, where all manner of mystery and the unexplained were likely to be commonplace. True to form, out of the greenery, a small furry, non-threatening creature suddenly popped up and looked at them. Evyr was the first to see the creature whose preferred personal name was ‘Furry’. Sheathing her sword, she dropped down to the small creature’s level.
“Why hello, little one.”
Furry smiled at the attention, thumped the ground a few times, hopped over, and with his long arms wrapped them around Evyr’ bare leg in a very affectionate hug. David seemed skeptical, but Evyr appeared okay with the receipt of unsolicited and unconditional affection. She reached down and stroked the creature’s fuzzy fur. This caused the creature to go into a minor ecstasy at the additional attention, and his arms began to move up Evyr’s leg. She reacted, but casually. She stroked Furry again.
“We have to leave now. You have to let go.”
Yeah, right. One of Furry’s very long, slender arms began moving up toward Evyr’s crotch. Furry had a more extensive agenda than the average dispenser of unsolicited and unconditional affection. Evyr, on the other hand, had her boundaries.
“Hey! Watch it buster!”
Furry’s arm continued its movement upward, as the second arm began a similar tactic. Evyr used both of her hands to keep each of Furry’s arms away from her genitals. Furry then tried to move his head between her legs, his legs wrapping tightly around her leg and all the while edging upwards. At this point, a spry looking Yoda with a hint of Elf-ancestry, appeared at the edge of the forest, casually observing the proceedings.
“Tickle him,” was Men-Tor’s advice.
David and Evyr both looked up to see who has spoken.
“Tickle him,” he repeated.
Men-Tor then gestured how and where. Evyr let go of one arm, reacted as she felt Furry’s arm go direct for her vagina, and then began tickling the cute furry animal. The small creature immediately went into gales of laughter, losing all interest in his previous goal. Evyr then relaxed somewhat and using both hands, tickled Furry with abandon. He quickly changed his tactics into an hysterical, laughing orgasm. As Evyr quit tickling him and straightened back up -- still looking down at him -- Furry blew a small amount of smoke, and then looks bleary-eyed at his paramour.
He blissfully asked, “Good for you too?”
Evyr was far too amazed to comment. Then she turned to David, and the two with similarly blank expressions, turned to Men-Tor.
David asked, “Who are you?”
Men-Tor was clearly offended.
“Like we’ve been properly introduced!”
If nothing else, David had recently learned to roll with the punches. Hardly breaking stride in his thinking process, he said, “Oh… Sorry. A thousand apologies. Allow me to introduce our elves. I’m David Walker, and this is Evyr Annah… We’re from… Elsewhere. Perhaps you’ve heard of it.”
“We get a lot of such travelers,” Men-Tor politely responded. “Where you're from must be a place that encourages emigration.” Then after a proper pause, he said, “You may call me Tor.”
He could have added, ‘but not often’, except he didn’t know these two strange new creatures well enough for such intimacy.
Evyr finally found her voice. “Excuse me, but where are we?”
Tor found the question curious. “At the edge of a pool?”
“It’s just that we’re a little lost,” David explained. “We’ve just arrived from another dimension.”
Men-Tor did a quick appraisal of their war-torn clothes, their combination flax jackets and medieval mail, their swords and what looked like very complicated knives.
“Looks like a fun place.”
“You had to be there,” Evyr replied, with just the right amount of sarcasm.
“Not fun exactly,” David added. “But it was very exciting.”
“I think,” Men-Tor decided, “that the two of you are warriors.”
“What gave you the first clue?” Evyr was definitely in her sarcasm mode.
Men-Tor studied her for a moment, before answering.
“Your arrogance.” When Evyr became torn between laughing and taking offense, he added, “You’d better follow me. She will want to know about you.”
Evyr’s hackles raised their storm warning signals at the bare mention of a ‘she’.
“Wait a minute… who’s ‘she’?”
Men-Tor smiled mischievously, said nothing, turned and began walking down a path, a path which magically appeared… the grasses and undergrowth parting just in front of Men Tor as he walked. David started to follow, until Evyr grabbed his arm.
“Where are you going?”
“With Tor,” David replied. When that answer didn’t seem to suffice, he added, “Go along with me on this, okay?”
"Go along with you?” Evyr was almost stunned. “You don’t have the slightest idea of where we are, who this creature is, what’s happening…”
“I know,” David replied. “But you and I together can probably handle anything. Besides, it’s better than trying to push the river.”
“Push the what?”
David smiled and turned, moving quickly to catch up with Men-Tor. Evyr looked bewildered as she glanced around. Then when she saw Furry beginning to get a glint in his eye, she shuddered and hurriedly tried to catch up with David. The path had already begun to disappear, the grasses and undergrowth closing on her heels. To avoid the pesky undergrowth, she scurried ahead, just barely staying ahead of the path’s mysterious disappearing act. Quickly, she came alongside David and took his arm, her voice now in an undertone.
“No idea,” David answered. “Unless, of course…”
David might have finished the thought, or left it for the future. But the decision was never made as distant sounds of dancing, merriment, and celebration began to reach their ears and consciousness. David smiled broadly.
“Great! A party!”
David’s gait quickened, while Evyr frowned, kicked aside a eager-beaver clinging vine, and continued down the temporary path, trying to keep up with David.
In the midst of the lush greenery, Men-Tor led David and Evyr to a village of elves, fairies, and other woodland creatures (many of which were imaginary and some just slightly beyond imagination). All of the creatures were extremely festive in a Mother Nature sort of way, carrying on in a dozen different modes -- from grouches grouching to Furrys tickling one another to others engaged in games and horseplay.
The creatures called humans followed Men-Tor into the melee and merriment, with most of the locals only vaguely aware of the threesome. The exception was one Furry, who while tickling another was momentarily distracted by Evyr. The other Furry immediately noticed the sudden reduction in attention, and promptly whacked the distracted Furry on the head. The two resumed their play, with the previously distracted Furry managing only a furtive glance at Evyr’s retreating figure.
As several pixie-like creatures suddenly noticed David and Evyr, they did a comic panic -- performing a Disney-like cartoon routine of stumbling over each other in their haste to get away. A fire-breathing dragon flew immediately over the village, causing David and Evyr to duck slightly. But inasmuch as no one else in the village including Men-Tor took any notice, the two smiled and continued following their guide. As they moved along, David was all smiles, while Evyr was in something of a daze, glancing around, reacting to sudden noises by reaching for her pistol, only to be again perplexed when grabbing the sword hilt, or the Klingon-style multiple bladed slashing knife.
The threesome approached a small beach-style bungalow, complete with open air and thatched roof. Avyn, an apparently middle aged woman in the prime of her life was sitting on an easy chair, combination bench arrangement, conversing with a small shy creature. Avyn was gently and lovingly admonishing the small creature, who was looking down in juvenile shame. Then the small creature replied begrudgingly (but whose words could not be heard by anyone other than Avyn). She gave the small creature a hug and kiss on the head, and he quickly bounded off with a big smile and all of the energy of the very young and recently forgiven. Avyn smiled as she watched the small creature.
Then she turned to Men-Tor, who did a formal bow. David mimicked Men-Tor’s bow, while Evyr looks skeptical before managing a very awkward curtsey. Avyn apparently did not notice Evyr’s hesitation, but smiled at each of the acknowledgments.
“What a delight to see you again, Men-Tor. And what new adventures have you been on this morning.”
Men-Tor fairly glowed. “Been trolling for strange creatures. This morning, I found two. Just look what I drug out of Tagil’s Glen!”
“Strange indeed, but is that a nice description? Do they speak?”
Men-Tor’s enthusiasm was suddenly dampened. “More than you might like.”
David stepped forward, even as Evyr hung back.
“Hello, I'm David.”
Evyr then took one step forward. “I’m Evyr.”
“Evyr!” Avyn was suddenly enthused. “What a lovely name! Mine is Avyn. Maybe we’re sisters.”
Men-Tor tried to alleviate any possible confusion on that subject… i.e., he didn’t buy for a minute that Avyn and Evyr might be sisters, anymore than that despicable Iris in the next glade was somehow on the level of his beloved Avyn. Instead he made the more relevant point to their anticipated conversation. “I think they’re warriors.”
“Really,” Avyn inquired? “How apropos… and timely!”
David nonchalantly asked, “You need a couple of experienced warriors?”
Avyn smiled. “Experience is always less important than motivation.”
David’s smile broadened. “In that case, we’re ideal!”
Evyr glanced at David out of the corner of her eye, managing to frown at the same time. Her aside was mostly to David, but Avyn had very good hearing.
“Speak for yourself,” Evyr said.
To which Avyn replied, “Oh… I think you will like this one. It turns out that there is a local, self-appointed patriarch who has recently begun lording it over the populace of a nearby village… a village of humans like yourselves. He seems to be intent upon imposing his philosophical beliefs on those who are, unfortunately, not of like mind. But his greatest crime, and that which concerns us most, is that he has kidnapped our Princess and is determined to marry her -- an act very much against her will. He apparently hopes to gain status from such a marriage.”
David smiled. “I guess some things never change.”
Evyr was less enamored with the proposed quest. ‘A princess?’ she wondered. ‘Like I could give a flip for some helpless female! You have got to be kidding!’
Not waiting for David to volunteer them, Evyr took a notable step forward, along with a deep breath, and then smiled in a condescending manner. “Gee…” she began, “We’d love to help. But we’re currently engaged in another battle. This…” she glanced around, her arms raised, “This is sort of R&R time for us. You know what I mean?”
Men-Tor then said, “Maybe the roots of the Ta Ra Nee go back further than an ‘apprentice’ might suspect.”
Evyr’s cocky attitude abruptly dissipated, as she looked intently at Men-Tor, her mouth wide open and available to be rented for fly-catching duties.
Avyn was still smiling, cajoling and capturing her voluntary prey. “Your task here is a small one. But then again, most challenges to tyrannies begin as minor tasks.”
David’s smile had turned serious. “What would you have us do?”
Avyn shrugged in a delightful way. “Rescue the Lady… what else?”
David was in his planning mode. “Are we talking about a major league siege?”
Avyn shook her head. “I wouldn’t think so. I think we’d do far better with simple but creative solutions to what might be considered an age-old problem.”
Evyr decided to interject a more practical consideration. “Just out of curiosity, why should we risk our necks to help you? I mean… I’m all for making a difference, but I just recently retired from saving damsels in distress… after my last incarnation.”
“The damsel in distress is only the excuse, not the reason,” Avyn replied. “As you noted, it’s far more about ‘making a difference’. As for the risk… we can endow you with certain magical charms to protect you against all harm.” Avyn failed to mention that the charms were really immune enhancers such that their bodies would do their own healing, and the magical charms were merely convenient placebos. But inasmuch as a placebo is really only a placebo if its status is known, we can forgive Avyn for not telling the whole truth. After all, she did mention in regard to protecting against all harm, the traditional disclaimer, “Save a sword blow which disconnects your head from your body. That we can’t help you with.”
David acknowledged as much. “The key is to not lose our head, right?”
“Right,” Avyn confirmed. “And if you’re successful, there’s a reward! Our Lady can be very generous.” Smiling encouragingly, she focused on David. “Do you have a fantasy?”
David smiled thoughtfully. “Well… yes, as a matter of fact. There’s this poster I have back home… or what used to be my home. It’s a copy of a well-known painting.”
“Tell me about it,” Avyn encouraged.
“There are these rocky crags and sheer, magnificent cliffs rising directly out of a pristine lake. On the opposite shore is some mountain land and windswept trees. The whole scene’s enveloped in a light mist. It’s absolutely wonderful. I’ve always wanted to live there, build a home, live off the land...”
Avyn smiled. “Sounds like a Bierstadt painting. And I’m sure it’s perfect.” She then turned to Evyr. “What about you?”
Evyr took the bait. “I’m not real sure. I guess, it’s about setting things right. I keep thinking about the people who are caught up in terrifying situations -- everything from tyrannies, environmental hells, anal-retentive societies, UFO attacks, whatever. It all seems so pointless! I guess my number one priority would be to make a difference in some way.”
Avyn smiled thoughtfully. “Setting things straight…”
“It’s something I’ve always felt a calling for.”
Avyn then leaned back slightly, studying both of them. “Wouldn’t it be a nice reward to have such fantasies fulfilled? It’s always a possibility. In the interim, between task and reward, why not make some creative plans? Naturally, all of our resources are at your disposal.”
Standing in regal fashion, Avyn extended her hand to David, who gallantly kissed it. Evyr grimaced, and did a pseudo curtsey, one designed to offend as many as possible, and which was ignored in the fashion of the more sophisticated of those present.
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