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Thread: Thief - the Mental Age, chapter eight

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2001
    Location: yo mama

    Thief - the Mental Age, chapter eight

    Thief II: The Mental Age

    A Thief II parody by Lars Melander (odourpreventer)
    Based on the work made and copyrighted 2001 by Seamus Sullivan (Muuurgh)


    Paints we them
    many a fun faces,
    Dances we under twinkle lights
    in them summer night sky,

    Saids them to us that
    carousing is over,
    tourists are gone,
    and the season is fled.


    – Text scribbled on a napkin in a tree house bar.

  2. #2
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2001
    Location: yo mama
    Chapter 8 – Trail of blood and bodies and stuff

    The portal from the graveyard deposited me in a grove of trees, and the wounded pagan is nowhere in sight. What is in sight however, are multiple wheel tracks and worn down paths. What is the point of having a secret portal to a public place?

  3. #3
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2001
    Location: yo mama
    Gary followed the blood from the wounded pagan to a field, also following a set of wheel tracks that spread out across the field. On the other side was an entrance to something. A battered sign carved out of wood hanged from a single chain at one side of the entrance.

    "The Tranquil Grove," Gary read on the sign. Not so tranquil anymore I guess. Everywhere were signs of a battle, and it must have been quite recent. There were burn marks and arrows on the trees and here and there on the ground were remnants of peoples' clothes, with and without remnants of people. Pagans, from the looks of it.

    Walking further, Gary entered a small village, of the type that urban people like to call "quaint". It was basically a handful of huts spread out in a clearing. A small river divided the clearing in two, and it was fed from a fountain in the mountain wall. The fountain was carved to look vaguely human and the water came out of its mouth. It looked, appropriately, like it was being sick. Gary checked his notepad:

    Find a map: Not done yet

    Gary saw a wet and battered piece of folded paper on the ground:

    Welcome to the Tranquil Grove Rest and Recreation Resort! Enjoy the modest luxuries of the Pagan life style.

    The trees are our friends! (Unless they are in a grumpy mood)
    Learn how to build a sturdy tree house from where you can hurl stones and invectives at passing M.C. Hammerites!
    Dance around the bonfires where we grill sausages and city man-fools!


    On the back of the folder Gary found an overview of the area. It showed a handful of huts spread out in a clearing, a rudimentary zoo, a smithy, charcoal pits, and some sort of monument. Over the huts someone had scribbled "Here be pagans" and over the monument "Gathering place?".

    On the wind, Gary could hear chanting of the kind Mechalomaniacs sang when they were bored. Cautiously, he entered the nearest hut through a smashed door.

    "You canst have this. I don't needs it anymore." Gary managed not to yelp, barely. The voice had come from right next to him. It was a small girl. A translucent girl, emitting light. Great, Gary thought, I feel a Murus moment coming on.

    A light-emitting, translucent mother appeared at the other end of the room, completing the setting. "Lily, comes now, daddy's waiting with the carriage. I haves told you, don't talk to strangers."

    "His name is Bee-bop. He doesn't likes Mechalomaniacs." The girl pointed at a rag doll lying among the debris on the floor, and then both disappeared, leaving behind a quickly dying echo. The hut went dark. Gary calmed his breathing and picked up the doll. It had a strange cuteness about it that Gary found strangely alluring. He stuffed it down a pocket.

    Moving on, another apparition appeared, a Mechalomaniac his time, sporting a briefcase with cogwheel adornments. He knocked on a non-existent door, and a pagan apparition came into focus at the other side of the doorway.

    "Yes, whats do you want?"

    "Good day to thee, sir," the monk said, not meaning it. "I'm here for the hostile takeover. If thou wouldst be so kind to hand over all documents previously asked for and proceed to evacuate the premises in an orderly fashion?"

    "A hostile takeover, by you?" the pagan sneered.

    "Oh, I'm merely administering the takeover. Others," he waved a hand indicating some not seen persons behind him, "will handle the hostile part, as needed. I should tell thee, they are quite efficient and enjoy their profession very much."

    "Profession you say? We calls it life style." Suddenly, the pagan was holding a sword.

    "Is that supposed to be a threat? I have gone through combat training would thee know. I may be a pencil pusher, but thou wouldst be amazed how hard and far I can push it! This area is a mockery to everything that is holy, and we will tear it down, come what may."

    "Really now?" The pagan smiled, nodding at something behind the monk's back. The man turned around, suddenly looking very upset. Not for long though, since the pagan took this opportunity to expertly sever his head from the rest of the body. The images faded in a spray of blood.

    Slightly nauseated, Gary moved on, when yet another apparition appeared in front of Gary. It was like walking through some ethereal menagerie.

    "Most of these dwellings art empty! Where hast those wretched heathens gone?" a priest asked the empty air.

    A ghost monk filled the empty air to balance the conversation. "From afar, I saw some pass through a portal. Alas, I could not follow. A toll must be paid, it seems to me."

    "Surely we can find the means as well. The Builder and Housepainter will forgive us if we use Pagan witchcraft in the pursuit of His wishes."

    "Yes, thou speaketh the truth, friend. Let us—Oh my! Is that an arrow protruding from thine chest?"

    Gary had been to the theatre a few times, at least what passed as theatre in Creeper society. His encounters with the apparitions played out like some sort of historical play, only the events depicted were only a day or two old.

  4. #4
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2001
    Location: yo mama
    There was a glimmer from something behind a hut, like a ray of light bouncing off a mirror chard. Gary had a look. Then he started drooling. It was a ruby, the size of a cabbage. It was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen. (Actually, it was the fourth most beautiful thing he had ever seen. The first was the time he had checked himself in a full-length mirror after having donned the clothing for his impending career as a thief, the second was watching the Trix Rabbit explode, and the third was the cash promised by Constantine, which he never even saw. Personal thoughts don't have to make sense.)

    Otherwise, there was not much to see. The huts were empty, save for smashed pieces of furniture and occasional bodies. It was a ghost town, in a quite literal sense. Gary found a piece of parchment in one of the huts, but it was just more of that insipid pagan poetry:

    Shakes him his honeymaker
    and hollers we in joy
    Shakes him his leafed mixer
    and drinkers we them fruit drinks
    He am the Trix Rabbit, and the Whoopsie Lord he bes
    and parties we till dawn.


    Irony wasn't always supposed to be amusing, Gary surmised.

  5. #5
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2001
    Location: yo mama
    Kletus believed women could be just as vicious and zealous as men, and had with a swift declaration doubled the amount of potential recruits for his new order. Thus, she had soon become a priestess, which meant she could wear these gaudy robes and wield the flames of the Builder and Housepainter, and that was totally awesome.

    But then they had been ordered to attack this resort, and take as many pagans as possible alive, which was a bit of an unfamiliar concept. They had won, but it had been costly, and therefore she was now alone guarding this dinky bridge across this dinky river. She passed the time by taking pot shots at squirrels and birds.

    She was crossing the bridge for the umpteenth time when something small fell into the stream with an inconspicuous plop. She looked over the railing, but could not see anything. Suddenly someone gripped her ankles and heaved her over the railing, into the water. When she finally got out of the water, furious, the surroundings were again empty and quiet.

  6. #6
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2001
    Location: yo mama
    It was time to move on to this gathering place, but Gary needed to slip past two monks first. He watched them approaching each other from a nearby shadow of a tree. So he doesn't likes Mechalomaniacs, eh? Well then, let's find out.

    "Hallo friend, soon we shall move on. 'Tis going to be fun, no?" the first monk said.

    "Oh yes, I'm all geared up, heh!” the other one said. The first one rolled his eyes, and then looked down.

    "Hey, what canst this be?" he kneeled down and picked up "A doll! And a cute one too, in a strange kind of way."

    "So? It's just a doll, why wouldst it be interesting to thee?"

    "My daughter wouldst love to have this one!"

    "Thou dost not have a daughter. Thou art not even married!"

    The first monk looked hurt. "But if I was, and had one, she wouldst love it!" He raised the doll. "Just the kind of present a loving father—"

    POKE

    "YAAAAAAAAAAARGH!" The doll had suddenly planted a stubby but very long arm in the monk's eye socket. He dropped the doll, which bounced on the ground and flew like a rocket towards the other monk, hitting him head-first in the groin with a crunching sound. He folded up, whimpering. With all the screaming and other noises going on, approaching voices soon appeared. Gary left the scene, keeping a wary eye on the now motion-less doll.

    This was too good to be true. Gary had found another ruby, just as large as the first one. Was luck finally with him? Gary was walking up towards the monument while lingering Mechalomaniacs were distracted elsewhere:

    "My goodness, what hast happened to thee? Dangerous? But it’s just a—"

    WHUD

    "Omph..."


    Gary walked under a vault, which housed a... swimming pool? It looked like a face, similar to the fountain, but with an enormous mouth. There was even a trampoline under the chin of the face. The projection of a child appeared on the trampoline.

    "Mom. Mom! MOM! Looks at me, I'm going to jump!"

    "Yes, yes, I bes looking! Wills you hurry, dear!" A ghost woman appeared on the other side of the pool, looking vexed.

    "Mom! I’m jumping now! Look!"

    “I looksies! I bes right here!”

    "Wheeee...!" The child jumped and curled into a cannonball. It fell down into the empty mouth, disappearing before it hit the bottom. When Gary looked up, the woman was gone as well.

    "So this is the portal I need to activate?" Gary walked a lap around the face/pool. The eyes of the face had strange slots in them, just as if... He extracted one of the rubies from his person and placed it in the eye. It fit perfectly, and there was a clicking sound. Gary hurried over to the other eye and placed the second ruby in its slot. There was another clicking sound and the mouth/pool lit up with a shimmering red light. Gary was just about to punch the air in triumph when a foreboding thought troubled him. He tried to pick up the ruby again.

    It wouldn’t move. It was stuck.

    Gary sat down behind the face, hugging his knees and crying.

    A couple of tear-flooded minutes later, he stood up and walked to the edge of the pool. From the top of his lungs, he screamed a string of expletives at the world in general, and then he jumped in.
    Last edited by odourpreventer; 23rd Jun 2007 at 20:41.

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2001
    Location: yo mama
    Since the entry portal was horizontal and the exit portal was vertical, Gary landed on his back in a rather undignified way. Therefore, he immediately noticed that the sky was gone. So, he was in a cave. And he was on the right track, according to the fresh and sticky blood on the cave floor.

    Well, talk about being eye-balled. Gary walked a few steps, and dozens of enormous eyes on top of stalks followed him.

    I'm being looked at, but is anybody watching? Gary walked up to one plant and poked a thumb in the eye of, well, an eye. Nothing happened. I thought so. He shrugged and moved on.

    It looked a bit like an amusement park, in a not amusing at all way. He had followed the tunnel in which he showed up, until it opened up in a big cave, adorned with lots of things, like a lake of... diluted blood? Gary didn't feel like checking. And there were vines, and big glowing crystals that hummed in chorus.

    What kind of vines grow in a cave? Strange, hollow stalactites threw coloured light patches on the walls, like some big disco balls from hell.

    Is this the maw I see before me? There was apparently only one way to find out, and that was following the path that snaked up alongside a cavern wall. The path was lined with pitcher plants, each large enough to digest a cat. Human bones were neatly piled next to them, and they emitted vapours that were almost unbearable, even at a distance—yet also somehow familiar, but from where?

  8. #8
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2001
    Location: yo mama
    Having walked the winding path through the cave, following the ever present blood trail and avoiding what appeared to be pagans but with less clothing and more hair, he arrived outside again, in some sort of treetop village. He saw two ape creatures shuffling through card decks.

    "Has you sultry wood nymph? I trades you deranged alchemist."

    "It bes not worth much. I wants more cards."

    "Not worth? I paids twenty plumsies!"

    "Then you bes fooled! Hahahaha!"

    "Aaaaaaargh!"

    Gary left the squabbling creatures behind, and went up into the nearest tree house. Well, it was a house, technically. It had the walkways and lookout points you'd expect from a regular tree house, but it had been refurbished to accommodate inhabitants, meaning that it was no longer usable as a tourist attraction, but lacked the comforts of regular house, such as doors, windows, and rooms. Gary picked up a crumpled letter:

    Fellow Pagans,

    My name is Mostly and I'm a Lieutenant in the City Watch. I gather that you are in desperate need of supporters, what with the Mechalomaniacs now hunting you down like varmints. I can aid you, if you in return help me when I ask you to. I'll provide you with free passage through the City and intelligence regarding operations against you, and you return the favour by doing dirty work for me when I've figured out what I want done.

    You can trust me, because you don't have much choice anyway.


    Yours truly,

    M.


    Gary’s mood lightened slightly. Well, well, who'da thunk? Someone in the Watch who actually had some brains. Must be a first. But it made sense, and since so few things had recently, it was also a slight relief. But it also meant that whoever Gary was going to meet, it was someone high up in the pagan hierarchy. A dire feeling of foreboding started gnawing on his insides.

  9. #9
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2001
    Location: yo mama
    It was a really nice trick, alright. The walkway passed straight through a large tree. On this side of the tree it was summer, and looking around the tree Gary saw summer everywhere. But looking through the hole in the tree, he could clearly see winter. Having walked through the tree, it was winter everywhere, except for the other side of the hole in the tree. It boggled your mind. Fortunately, Gary's mind wasn't prone to boggling.

    The winter season was quickly traversed, and Gary soon came to an opening in a cliff. The other side was clearly visible and opened to summer again. But this opening was completely covered with big icicles. How had the pagan passed through? Gary wielded his sword and slashed at the ice. The sword bounced, sending stinging vibrations up his arm. He touched the ice with his left hand. It was actually quite warm, and had a rubbery quality. Gary sighed, sheathed his sword and felt around the edge of the opening. Something went click and the icicles went upwards and downwards, like gigantic jaws.

    Gary had only walked a few steps from the opening when he heard an unearthly roaring ahead of him. It was like a mix of a lion's roar and someone revving a chain-saw. Swell. Why couldn't the sound have come from behind him? It was an open forest now, so he couldn't take a side-track, lest he lose sight of the blood stains.

    Presently, he came to another clearing. Moving cautiously around it, he soon came to a halt. Didn't the trees look... different? They actually looked vaguely humanoid, and Gary was quite sure trees were not supposed to do that. And although he had never heard that kind of roar that he had just heard before, these... beasts certainly looked the part.

    Gary was back at the opening of the clearing again. Sneaking past those beasts while still keeping track of the blood track had proven to be impossible. Each time he came near one of them, it had started moving its arms – for want of a better word – and creaking ominously. One had indeed started moving and making sounds like a wild boar on steroids. He would have to resort to take an invisibility potion and then run across the clearing—if he hadn't been out of them. He did have plenty of speed potions though. He gulped one. Then he gulped another one to be sure, then a third one to be on the safe side. He started running—

    —The next thing he knew, he was lying on his back and looking at the starlit sky, feeling exhausted and having an acute sensation of flatness in his face, especially his nose. Now what had happened? He had started running, and the sides of the clearing had blurred past, and the wind had streaked tears from his eyes, and he had been unable to stop, or even turn. He lifted his head. Between his legs was a very solid-looking tree trunk, bar for a face-like dent at face height.

    After the ringing in his ears had stopped and he was sure that everything was quiet, he sat up. At least he had made it to the other side of the clearing. He downed a health potion (fresh apple and cinnamon flavour!) and felt his nose pop back in shape.

    And there was the pagan, the blood loss finally having caught up with him. He was lying on the middle of a path, in the middle of nowhere, the path winding further with no end in sight. Gary picked up the letter and continued down the path.

    End of chapter

  10. #10
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2001
    Location: yo mama
    Sorry for the long delay, people. Hope you enjoy it anyhow.

  11. #11
    Voice Actor
    Registered: Nov 2004
    Location: South Korea
    The Mental Age is back! Hooray!

    Please continue.

    Don

  12. #12
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2006
    Mental Age?
    What's that?

  13. #13
    jtr7
    Guest
    What're you really asking, Palantir?

    Thanks for the chuckles, odourpreventor.
    Last edited by jtr7; 24th Jun 2007 at 02:06.

  14. #14
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2006
    Now... after reading those passages...
    I begin to know what that means...
    Off to bump my head on some walls....

    BTW, quite funny
    Last edited by Palantir; 24th Jun 2007 at 23:53.

  15. #15
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2007
    Location: The grotto, Virginia
    funny stuff, man!

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