Dr. Gnome part 1

Here is the first part of Dr. Gnome, 2 short chapters,about 2000 words. Now this has not gone through my editor, it will go through her once the book is finished. I am going to put up 1000-2000 (or more) words a day until I finish the book. If you like this and would like to contribute to the fund to have a professional cover done for the book, please use the paypal link on the right side panel. I hope you enjoy and look forward to part 2 tomorrow.

Dr Gnome

By

A.M. Burns

1

Three goblins, Alake, Kojo and Razi Rutu tapped their white canes along the narrow avenues of Buteamore. Razi sighed as they walked. Beneath the sheer white gauze covering them, his keen eyes kept watch for anything out of the ordinary. They had their orders. They must carry out the boss’s plan. No one must be the wiser. Too many people nosed about where they shouldn’t. It was time to cut some of the noses off. The brothers were the best assassins in the valley. No one ever suspected the three blind helpless goblins.

***

“Well played my friends,” Hydd Berryman said, laying his cards down on the table. The tall slender elf ran a hand through immaculate blond hair. “But I’m afraid you must play the next hand without me. My wife’s expecting me in a few minutes.”

“You know, she keeps you on a very short leash,” Professor Drystan said. A smile crossed his angular Elven face.

“Nonsense, they’re still young and in love,” Major Havenstan, the former troll army commander replied with a gruff laugh.

Berryman joined in the laugh. “I shall return after dinner, then we can have another round, perhaps I will win this one.”

“You can try Hydd, you can try,” the major chuckled.

***

Horses nickered as the goblins walked past. Razi Rutu wished the beast would remain silent. They edged around the carriages, carts and horses waiting out front of the Lady’s Pleasure, an exclusive club in the middle of Buteamore. The upper crust of valley society and their friends rarely paid any head to the comings and goings of the likes of three blind goblins. The area was empty accept for the horses. Razi made sure to keep his tin cup held up as he tapped his way across the carriage yard in front of the club.

The front door of the club opened and a tall elegant elf walked out, heading toward a horse not far from Razi. The goblin recognized the elf from the image sent to him and his brothers. This was their first target, right on schedule.

***

Hydd Berryman walked out of The Lady’s Pleasure. He spotted his horse standing there waiting patiently for him. Three blind goblins tapped their way across the carriage yard. It always amazed him how handicapped people of all races managed to get around as well as they did. He reached into his coin purse and dug out a piece of copper. He dropped it into the cup of the first goblin who continued on past him with just a short “Thank you m’lord.”

Two steps later, Hydd wondered how the goblin had known he was a lord. He turned back toward the blind goblin, just in time to have the smaller creature swing its white staff into his stomach. The elf doubled over in pain as green knuckles laced with heavy metal cracked him in the nose. Hydd Berryman went down.

***

Kojo Rutu pulled the short knife out of the base of the elf’s skull. Hoof beats sounded from the narrow avenue they’d just come down.

“Get him up,” Razi ordered “Here comes our ride.”

Seconds later a small wagon driven by another goblin, and drawn by a heavily- lathered large black horse pulled into the carriage yard. The three brothers hefted the dead elf into the back of the wagon, threw a tattered blanket over him before piling in on top of the corpse. Razi tapped the driver on the shoulder . With a crack of the whip, the driver drove the horse out of the carriage yard at a fast trot.

***

Sarff Willowstaff uncovered the simple wooden-framed silver mirror on the wall. Long delicate Elvin fingers tapped the frame three times. Then she waited for the face to appear. In a swirl of mist, the mirror connected with it twin back at Fragrance Guild headquarters.

“Willowstaff are you there?” A voice came from the mirror.

“Willowstaff here, but Berryman isn’t back yet,” the elf replied.

“Go ahead and give your report Willowstaff.”

Something moved outside the window. Willowstaff turned and saw a squat green face with large ears looking in at her, a large metallic tube leveled at her beyond the thin glass of the window. In the next room a window crashed just as the metallic tube shook, smoke poured forth and the window before her exploded in a shower of glass. The elf screamed as something slammed into her chest, throwing her across the room.

***

Razi Rutu jumped through the shattered glass and landed on the plush carpet.

“Willowstaff report!” the voice from the mirror shouted.

The goblin walked over and pulled the cover back over the mirror as his brother Kojo walked over to the fallen Elven female and plunged his dagger deep into her small breast. Razi held a finger to his lips to remind his brother to be silent. They didn’t want their voices to carry through the magic mirror back to Fragrance Guild HQ.

Luckily the elf woman was lighter than the man had been. The two goblins picked her up and carried her out to the waiting cart while their brother Alake proceeded to go through the small house. Their boss had told them to search for anything that might lead the Elves to him.

Minutes later the goblins loaded back into the cart and drove off down the small valley.

***

“Willowstaff report!” field liaison Greenbriar shouted into the mirror.

“Greenbriar, what’s going on?” liaison coordinator Falcon asked coming over to his cubicle.

The younger elf stood up, and nervously ran a hand through his long brown hair. “Agent Willowstaff had just opened a connection when she was cut off. I heard a loud boom and glass breaking. Also Agent Berryman had not arrived in time for their daily check in.”

The senior officer nodded. “I’ll inform K about this. She’ll want to get someone out there quickly.”

2

Patrons filled the Tiny Hinny Wine and Whorehouse for the annual gaming tournament. People of all sorts pushed their way into the normally spacious main floor of the bar trying to play or observe the games in progress. The clamor in the place made it impossible for anyone to hear much beyond the area around the particular table that held their attention. Each table had its own sound dampening spells to allow the table’s dealer and players to hear each other without strain.

At one table, several Elves and a Vixen bent over cards in their hand. A large pile of chips sat in the center of the table.

“I fold,” the Vixen muttered laying her cards on the green table. She glared down her muzzle at the young Elf sitting across from her.

“Too much for me,” one of the other Elves said also laying his cards on the table.

“Well?” the young Elf asked the beautiful woman across from him.

The Elf woman took a long deep breath, heaving her tight chest. She peered at the man across from her, then looked at the dealer. “May I raise? I’m good for it.”

The dealer looked at the other player. “Does my lord wish to raise?”

The younger Elf nodded his perfectly-groomed brown head. “I don’t care if she raises or not.”

The woman pushed the rest of her chips to the center of the table with a predatory smile. “I’ll raise then, an additional one thousand gold crowns.”

The area around the table hissed into silence. Before he could respond, the young Elf startled at the tap on his shoulder. Madame Yvette Tiny, proprietress of the Tiny Hinny stood there. “Alchemy, you’re needed in the office.”

“K has the worst timing. Winning this hand would put her in just the right mood for me. I wonder if I can bill her for the loss.” The young Elf sighed and laid his cards down on the table. “I am afraid duty calls my lady. The game is yours.” He rose and headed toward the door with a wink across the table.

***

“Alchemy, where have you been?” Delfinia Dove asked as he walked into her office below Lady Kamala’s Fragrance Fantasimy.

Alchemy tossed his cloak across the room. It landed lightly on the cloak rack. He smiled at the first assistant to the head of the Fragrance Guild. “Off at the games. You remember the annual tournament was today? I thought you were going to come watch me play.”

“Sorry Alchemy, some of us have to keep regular hours. K’s waiting for you.”

“Pond! Get in here!” the voice of K, also known as Lady Kamala, rolled from her office into Delfinia’s.

“Maybe you can watch me tonight?” Alchemy smiled as he walked toward his boss’s office.

Not a speck of dust lay anywhere in K’s office. She wouldn’t allow it. The mistress of the Fragrance Guild ran a tight ship, and Alchemy Pond knew it. She could be a tough mistress, but she got things done. The elegant elf sat behind a massive ironwood desk. Her long black hair spilled down around her delicate shoulders. Her sharp green eyes flashed as Alchemy walked in. “What kept you Pond?”

“I left as soon as Madame Yvette delivered your message.” Alchemy sat in one of the cushioned leather chairs in front of her desk. He knew better than to argue with K.

“I need you to go to Buteamore immediately. We’ve lost contact with our agents there,” K began without further preamble.

“What’s going on in Buteamore?” Alchemy relaxed in the chair.

“That’s what I need you to find out. The valley isn’t far from where the human’s are working on developing a new communications system using specially breed firebirds. They’re much faster than either pigeons or pixdragons. The problem is there is some kind of field coming from near Buteamore that’s interfering with the firebirds. The humans asked for our help. We suspect the gnomes are behind it. Agents Willowstaff and Berryman were working on trying to find out what’s causing the problem. Willowstaff was cut off in the middle or a report via mirror and Berryman never made his report that same day.”

Alchemy leaned forward intrigued. He’d heard the human’s were working on some new messaging system, but it was all very top secret. “So who else do we have in the field in that area?”

“Gavin Whitehawk has been working with the humans for a couple of weeks. He’ll contact you when you arrive. You have a room reserved at the Lady’s Pleasure.”

A door opened and a stout older Elven mage in long grey robes walked in. “Ah, I see that Pond is still here,” he smiled

“RD, what do you have?” K asked.

The old mage walked over to the desk. “Mister Pond, let me see your wand.”

Alchemy pulled his wand out of the pocket in his thin leather jacket and handed it to the guild’s senior research and development man. RD looked at the wand and shook his grey head. “Just as I remembered, this birch sapling is great for an apprentice wizard, but you’re now a top agent for the Fragrance Guild, honestly Pond, you need something a bit more substantial.”

Alchemy looked sharply at the old mage. “Now RD, you know I don’t have any problems with my wand, or at least none that I’ve been told about.”

“Pond!” K snapped. “I must insist that you carry a stronger wand. RD brought the new standard issue for field agents.” She gestured to the man.

The old mage laid the wand on K’s desk before pulling a long wooden box from his robe and extracted a long dark wand. “Ironwood, thicker and slightly longer than what you’re used to carrying” he tapped the wand lightly on K’s desk before handing it to Alchemy.

Alchemy waved it around. “A bit heavier than I’m used to.”

“Get used to it. You’ll find it more useful than the little thing you’ve been wielding.” K said snatching the old wand before he could reclaim it. “Now you’re going to travel by gate. There’s one up at the castle that will take you to Buteamore. I need you there as soon as possible.”

Alchemy watched his old wand disappear into the desk with a sigh. He’d learned a lot over the past twenty years with that wand. He hated the thought that it might be gone forever. Maybe Delphinia could reclaim it for him if he asked her nicely.

“I’ll be there.” He turned and walked toward the outer office.

“And Pond, don’t dilly dally. The humans have a new batch of firebirds due to hatch any day now. We need this resolved quickly,” K called after him.

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