Sleep ran as Alchemy felt something in the room with him.He wasn’t sure what time it was. Gotta left after their night cap, saying that she had get home. The brownie once again proved to be a most agile distraction. Alchemy thought he’d almost be sorry to see this asignment end just for the sake time spent with her.
Something moved against the side of the bed. The bedspread tightened down as something pulled its way up. Alchemy lay there listening for some clue that would let him know what it was that stalked him. A slight metalic click came every couple of seconds. The elf shifted, wishing he’d thought to sleep with his wand under his pillow. The dark room hid everything from view. “Flash” Alchemy snapped his fingers. A minature ball of lightning danced on his finger tips for a second, long enough for him to see a silver snake’s head rising over the edge of the bed.
Darkness engulfed the room again. Alchemy rolled off the otherside of the bed. He mentally scrambled to remember where he’d left his wand. The metalic snake rustled as it rushed across the bed. Alchemy jumped away from the dangerously fast strike. Where had he left his wand.
The snake shot off the bed with surprising agility, clanging on the floor. Alchemy leapt back toward the bed, grabbing the blanket there. He held the blanket infront of him as he backed toward the door, and the suite’s front room. His wand had been in his jacket pocket. He seemed to remember the jacket laying across a chair after Gotta arrived. The snake’s metalic scales clicked on the wooden floor as it rapidly slithered toward the elf.
Alchemy pointed to where he thought the gas light hung on the wall. “Spark” a small spark shot out of his finger, striking the wick of the lamp. Light shown on the wall and down to the floor. It wasn’t much, the lamp had been turned down. But it was enough that the wizard could see the mechanized pest pursuing him. He continued to back out of the room. He couldn’t cast more than minor things without his wand.
The two lights in the sitting room blazed to life, chasing the shadows from the area. The snake stopped, as if the sudden light wasn’t to its liking. The metalic iris eyes clicked shut, then opened several times. But Alchemy never felt it lose sight of him. He spotted his jacket laying on the back of the chair closest to the long-cold fireplace. He ran for it.
The snake followed his movement. A stream of something shot out of its mouth. The liquid caught the side of the chair, and left a smoking gash there. Alchemy grabbed his jacket, and impuslivly slung it over his bare shoulders. The weight of the wand in his pocket felt good. Something in one of the other pockets bumped agianst his side. He whipped his wand out and pointed it at the advancing serpent. He flicked the wand. “Burn” A fireball shot out of the end of the wand. Flames struck the metal monstrosity causing it to rear up and spit again. This time the spit caught the end of the wand. Sparks flew from the iron-wood wand as the tip disolved. Alchemy flicked it at the thing again. “Burn!” more little sparks but no fireball. The wand was too badly damaged.
“K’s going to be pissed,” Alchemy said as he threw the useless piece of wood at the silver serpent.
The wand clattered harmlessly off the thing’s head.
Alchemy picked up the chair where the jacket had been. He smashed it down over the mecho snake. The thing shot right through the battered piece of furntature as the wizard ran for his sword. The weapon hung from a hook near the door. He grabbed the leather betl holding the scabbard and turned, just in time for the snake to drive its needle sharp fangs into his unprotected leg.
The bite began burning, as soon as the sharp fangs punctured his skin. Alchemy kicked viciously at the snake, sending it flying across the room. Glancing down, he saw smoke rising out of his leg. He remembered the manticore antivenom that Ashton brought. It was still in his jacket pocket. The wizard yanked out the bottles, uncorked the right one, and splashed it down the side of his leg as he watched the metalic snake right itself.
His leg stung, but stopped smoking and the wizard glared at the silver serpent heading toward him. He slashed at it with the sword. The weapon’s sharp edge simply bounded off with a loud clang. Alchemy backed away again, trying to think of something that would stop it before it killed him. His leg ached where it bit him. Then he had an idea.
He pointed the sword at the thing, flicked it like he would a wand. “Box!” Magic surged out of the end of the sword toward the snake. A bright silver box appeared around the mechinical repitle. After a second the ring of metal striking metal filled the room as the snake tried to find a way out of the box. Alchemy wondered if the box would hold. He ran for the bedroom on wobbly legs. He grabbed the minature magic mirror from his bedside table.
He clicked open the mirror and waited for someone to pick up. The smoke swirled before Delphinia’s voice came through. “Alchemy?”
“Delphinia, I need to speak to RD, is he around. I have a situation that could use his expertese.” The young wizard sat down on the bed to take some of the presure off his injured leg.
“Sure give me a moment.”
Alchemy remembered the chest he always carried and hobbled over toward it while he waited. He tapped the unlock code and opened the chest. There under a small pile of cloth was the emergency herb and oil kit that every member of the Frangance Guild was required to carry on field missions. He found the bottle of enhanced Tea Tree oil just as RD’s voice came through the mirror.
“Yes Pond, Delphinia says you need me.” His voice sounded shaky and a bit sleepy. Alchemy couldn’t remember what time it was back in Salemania.
“Good, RD. Yes, I’ve had an encounter with a mechanical serpent. I’m presuming it’s gnome made. Silve in color, spits manticore venom.”
“You’re okay?” Delphinia’s voice came through the magical link.
“I will be, once I get some tea tree oil on this bite,” The wizard responded, trying not to hiss as he poured a bit of oil on the open wound. “Thanks for sending the antivenom. So anyway RD, it’s immune to magic, it killed the iron-wood wand, my sword just bounced off of it and smashing it with furnature doesn’t work either. I have it imprissoned in a silver box, but I don’t know how long that will hold”
“Good Lord, it killed the iron-wood wand?” the researcher gasped. “You say it’s a gnomish creation?”
“Well I didn’t check it for a makers mark or anything,” Alchemy responded. “But it looked like some of the mechanical creatures they like to make, only much smaller.”
“I’d love to be able to study it,” RD said, all signs of sleep gone from his voice.
Alchemy sighed, “If you can help me keep it from killing me, I’ll bring you all the parts back.”
“What spells did you try?”
The wizard thought for a moment, running the fight back through his head. “It waded through a fireball, then it spit venom on my wand.”
Alchemy shook his head. “No, then the wand went dead. I had to use my sword as a wand to get the box spell to work.”
“Most impressive,” the researcher replied. “There’s not many wizards who can focus magic through metal. When you return I may have to see what I can do about making you a better wand.”
“If I return, RD,” Alchemy tried to get the other elf to focus. “What can I do to stop this thing?”
“Try normal fire,” RD suggested. “Place the box you magiced into a normal wood or coal fire. If it’s gnome made, it might not be protected from real fire just magical ones. You know how gnomes hate magic and anything that’s natural.”
“Good, I’ll get the fireplace going and toss the box in it.”
“It seems a waste to destroy such a thing. I’d love to study it,” RD said again.
Alchemy got up, carefully testing the leg where he’d poured the oil. It felt good as new. He picked up the mini mirror and head back to the sitting room.
The snake still fought against the box’s confines. The wizard tossed a few pieces of wood into the fireplace. He pointed his finger at the fire. “Spark” a spark landed in the small pile of wood. Flames roared up.
“Wait until the wood is good and hot.” RD’s voice came from the mirror. “We must be sure that no magic is in the flames, or the little beastie might not melt.”
“We don’t want that now do we?” Alchemy replied.
Minutes later, when the fire was roaring, after the heat forced him to step back a bit, Alchemy took the metal box and tossed it into the fire. The snake inside banged against the confining walls. An eerie scream emminated from the box. Then the box began to melt. The box and the snake within were quickly reduced to a pile of liquid metal.
Alchemy sat in the undamaged chair and pulled back to watch the soft metals bubble. “Thanks RD, I think that did it.”
“Please save any parts you can, my boy,” the researcher said. “They could be invaulable in figuring out how to fight these things in the future.”
“I for one, hope we don’t have to fight them in the future.” Alchemy sighed.