Monday, February 8, 2010

Garden Shadows

I was lucky yesterday. My job at Fuiaske Corporation Regional Headquarters is simple. I am a door guard; I check ID’s of visitors entering the grounds and cheerfully greet regular workers and VIP’s. My booth is located in the front gardens, halfway between the actual building entrance and the garden entrance. The landscaping there is amazing; it looks wide open but realistically you –have- to come through my little gate. To enter any other way would require a lot of climbing or a LOT of brute force.

So I stand at my little booth and I interface. I was hired as much for my smile as for my security credentials and my simple firearms skills. I’ve been working there for over a year now. I love the hours and the pay. Oh and getting to eat really good food at the corp. cafeteria? Yeah that is a huge bonus for a simple wage slave like me. Everyone that comes through the door? Dressed nice, looking pretty, clean middle to upper class. Think about it. If you are paid all day to look at people who do you want to look at? Some gangster wannabe’s down in the slums? Or corporate movers and shakers who know that image is everything. I know who I’d pick.

Oh and another great thing about my job? There is an earth elemental living beneath the garden and when days are slow he and I will spend the afternoon chatting. Two creatures just standing there in a gorgeous garden in the sunlight spending the whole day just sharing thoughts. Over the year I’ve worked there we’ve become great friends. His job as far as he has explained it to me is to keep the garden in good shape and to maintain the foundation protecting the building from faults and other things.

In addition to keeping each other company we exchange favors on occasion. He molded a rock near my station so that it would hold a mug just right while keeping it out of sight of people coming and going. I do small garden work before and after my shifts that it is impractical for him to do and that he has been unable to get the gardeners to do. Things like that. Not every day but often enough. You know the kinds of things that friends do for each other.

Friends. I think that is why he warned me. He is very unconcerned normally about the guests and visitors and workers that I talk to. Their lives and actions never affect him. So it is surprising that he even noticed the intruders. But he did… and mid conversation suddenly went very still and hissed “outsiders”.

Now when he and I talk it is mind to mind, not vocally. He doesn’t have any vocal cords and everything is a matter of pictures, sounds, and smells. This is why I don’t have a “name” for him but I can call him by his –name-. I know the sights, sounds, smells that make up him. I just project them and he hears them and we talk.

So when he said “outsiders”…. It wasn’t just an announcement. It was a sense of direction, a sense of motive, a sense of threat. From what he said I –knew- these beings he was referring to were threatening my life. I –knew- their intentions were hostile and there would not been any talking it out. Like seeing someone lifting a knife to stab another person… you –know- they aren’t just out for a stroll. So I turned and shot.

I don’t know how I picked who to shoot. I think I picked the one that he considered more threatening. I’m not sure. I just aimed at where I knew the threat was coming from and pulled the trigger. Every bit of that was muscle memory, because I was too much in panic mode to do anything else. I’m not a soldier I picked this job because it was relaxing not because it was high risk.

And here is where the lucky came in. My shot was perfect. The dwarf took a bullet right to the brain and kinda just half fell and half slumped back into the bushes. The other intruders kind of paused for a second… another bit of luck because I was able to drop for cover just before they recovered and sprayed the air above me with bullets.

I frantically half crawled/ half ran to a nearby rock wall…. As they dropped a flame grenade into the booth and turned what –had- been cover into a burning pyre. And got lucky again. I tripped and as I recovered looked behind me seeing the orc sneaking around. I sent the rest of my clip towards him. I was pulling the trigger so fast that most likely only the first bullet had any accuracy. But one of them did. He dropped as well.

That left I don’t know… three? And they had grenades and machine guns and who knows what else. I was dead. I knew it. So I screamed for help. Maybe if I hadn’t spent the last year with all my spare time being mind to mind communication with him I would have yelled out loud. But habits grow on you. So I sent out a mental blast of “HELP ME!”. He wasn’t happy at being yelled at, and I’ll have a lot of bridge building to do when I get off of recovery leave but I’m alive to do that and I’m not sure I would have been had I not.

The yell was effective though. He erupted out of the ground between me and them. The security forces that arrived later told me the intruders tried to run. All I know is that there was a brief increase in their rate of fire followed by their screams. When I peeked over the rock I was hiding behind… all I saw was blood… they… ground up….

I don’t want to think about that anymore. I’m just glad I’m alive. I got a bonus for stopping the intruders; as if I did it alone…. Without him… well I’m just glad he was there. He got some kind of gratitude gift I think. Hah even after a year of knowing him I’m still not sure what you get an earth elemental as a thank you gift.

Well I guess I better start figuring that out. Because he’s still mad at me about telling him what to do.

1 comment:

tami said...

That was awesome. I thought it was just a blog entry and did a doubletake when the earth elemental was mentioned. Very, very nice. Great job with the action and the menace as well as the humor. What WOULD you get an earth elemental, I wonder?

(lol, my word verification is "haterses" which cannot be said without using Gollum's voice, I think)