Chapter 3: Can we take Rutabaga with us?

At the Municipal Council Meeting:

"It can never be done, we would need more funding, you demons will soon face judgement for your poor decisions" said the chairman.

"We don't need judgement. We need to relax" said Milton, a board member.

"Oh, contrare, Mr. Laissez Faire. A demon must never face judgement unless he didn't do a good enough job with his devious task. You need-ME!" said a voice out of nowhere. Suddenly, a tall dark figure entered the room.

"Oh, it's him again," said Wang, a board member.

"Yes, it is I. Dolion Benedict Norbane!" said Dolion, flashing his cape and storming about in an angry huff. He motioned his right hand upwards and guided a pen from

the table into his hands.

"What does that prove?" asked Lester, another board member.

"What does it prove? My dear fellow, the pen is always mightier than the sword, as you no doubt know. You don't obey me, you obey the pedestal upon which

you sit and the customs created by said pedestal. But for all practical purposes gentlemen, today I truly am that pedestal" said Dolion.

"That would mean I'm sitting on you" said Geronimo, the chairman. Dolion looked rather enraged by this statement.

"Drink this, and you'll be like the gods," said Dolion, offering Geronimo a drink from his chalice. Geronimo drank the substance.

"I don't feel anything" said Geronimo.

"Rest assured, you will eventually. Now then, back to business. I am hoping to negotiate a deal as you no doubt know there are many spice traders out there

and due to the fact they are largely employed by me and my organization, I am in the fortunate postion to be in possession of many of their illustrious warez" said Dolion, depositing a large bushel sack of goods and items.

"What does that prove?" asked the board unanimously.

"Nothing," replied Dolion. "Here's the deal, you can't just go about this stuff willy nilly you need time. My island needs fair and accurate representation despite its secrecy.

I don't want my island to ever be found until the appropriate time, though that time does draw ever closer. Until now, travel by any mechanical means was a relatively new phenomenon. Now it is common knowledge, thanks in part to this so called Industrial Revolution, which has components comprising of ships and trains and more advanced boats, this ridiculous 'Industrial Revolution' could mean my days are numbered. As with everything, it's a double-edged sword. Now entrepreneurs, spice traders, and conquerors have been scouring the oceans and looking for ways to spoil the fruits of my dedication and pride, possibly even finding my island itself!" said Dolion.

"What do you mean?" asked Chairman Geronimo. Dolion looked steely eyed.

"What do I mean? WHAT DO I MEAN? I mean that every time some disgusting adventurer employed by me comes along with a new discovery-he thinks it is his OWN creation!

He takes credit for it. All roads-all pathways eventually lead to me and my island but do I ever get any thanks? No. I get nothing because of my devotion to the

sacred art of deception, or as I call it-'anonymity'. And now-now the adventurers are being attacked by violent mobs. Dare I say they deserve it? No, no they most certainly do not deserve it. But what of the supernatural powers these violent criminals seem to posses? These are not your average thieves who rob a loaf of bread. These are perhaps-soldiers of the gods! The gods are angry with these people for getting credit for things. Borscht soup from Russia? Not the case, came from Lambooshka.

Mechanical cotton gins invented in America? Not the case, it came from Lambooshka. Frankfurters from Germany? Not the case. It came from Lambooshka. Spices, herbs, recipes, they all came from Lambooshka, if it wasn't for Lambooshka there would not be any goods or items of worth whatsoever. Nothing would have any value! They have SOILED my creation of all existing raw materials, metals, inventions, and food, liquid, and life itself!" thundered Dolion in a vociferous tone, making a belligerent fist with his hand and clenching it. Suddenly, Chairman Geronimo began dissolving into a grey gloppy liquid on the ground. Dolion walked over to it and picked some of it up with his right hand.

"What is that liquid?" asked Wang.

"This-this is what remains of your chairman. In order to save this city from these ruffian travelers...you're going to need the employment of my ever so humble

services" explained Dolion.

"What are those services you suggest? Tarrifs on goods from outside Lambooshka?" asked a board member.

"No silly," said Dolion, laughing. "I must preserve my islands anonymity for one thing. And besides, all goods come from Lambooshka, all power is centralized.

All pride in ones creations is adorably naive, my little heaven owns them all. Do I contradict myself? No. Lambooshka is home of the gods, many of whom are seated at this table as we speak"

"Is that so?" asked one board member.

"Yes. Some of you will be incompentant but that too serves a slight purpose at times" said Dolion, clasping his hands together.

"What is it you propose?" asked a board member. Dolion laughed.

"Trade must be allowed to flourish more widespread than ever before, with no restrictions whatsoever. Why? This way all shall see the fruits of my magnificent spices and inventions with untold benefits. Then, we must remind the humble folks of Earth where everything originated from, and who authored it. God himself? No. Me! ME! Many spice traders are ultimately hand picked by me, so why should I be complaining about them? They help me just as much as they hinder me. What upsets me? People who upset the sacred process of conflict, resolution, and power!" shouted Dolion.

"Who are those people?" asked the board.

"Those who would claim to adhere to my principles, living by them recklessly. Those spice trading dogs who deliver goods, invent things, failing to give me credit.

And then, finally worst of all-those worthless rats of no value who attack spice traders, they must all be eliminated one by one, after serving their purpose of course" said Dolion.

"But we thought you didn't like spice traders!" said the board.

"I don't," said Dolion, his eyes gleaming with secrecy.

"How can we give funding and aid to a fictional country not even believed to exist?" asked a board member.

"You will do it-or you will die! Every grain of sand belongs to me" replied Dolion.

MEANWHILE, BACK WITH VICTORIAH AND EDMUND:

Victoriah Baker and Edmund Chapman were visiting with Mr. David Baker-the father of Victoria.

"Well now," said a middle aged handle bar mustachioed David Baker, as he adjusted his monicle, and cleaned it off.

"Yes?" asked Victoriah.

"Yes, well, you've come for my opinion on your new husband," said David.

"Ahem, no. He would not be my husband if he were the last man on Earth" replied Victoriah.

"Oh. That's too bad, he seems quite suitable" said David.

"He's there for anyone who wants him" replied Victoria snidely.

"You know, you could travel back in time and marry yourself from a past life. I know of a man named Dolion who did so once. Nearly all of his wives

were his previous incarnations" said David, who seemed senile. Victoriah and Edmund just looked at each other and laughed.

"Really?" asked Edmund.

"Well, you know, that would be a sin probably. But some also say that the people whom you were supposed to interact with in THIS life meet you on the other side if you didn't grow a pair and set out to meet the right connections to help you with your quests. They then reprimand you, but in a friendly way and invite you under a waterfall for soda and tea, while telling you where you went wrong!" explained David.

"Oh come on," said Edmund. "Enough humor, we need to focus on the objectives at hand. I need to deliver nutmeg to Sri Lanka and we were hoping we could

find out where to purchase a boat for such travels" he explained.

"I told Victoria to stay away from spice traders and I'm sticking to my word. As for a boat, you could probably find one near Telektenoon Hills" said David.

"Thank you," said Edmund.

"Telektenoon Hills? I'd have settled for the Cliffs of Dover before Telektenoon Hills. They say strange things happen there-disappearances to a large degree" said

Victoria.

"Oh well, you know we could just go there and see" said Edmund.

"Right-oh then chap. You have fun together," said David, as he waved goodbye to Edmund and Victoria as they set about their merry ways.

"See you, would not want to be you!" said Edmund.

"Me and my big mouth!" said David.

As Edmund and Victoria walked along the street hand in hand it suddenly occured to Victoria that her goose was left at home to fend for himself, probably

going into trash bins to find worms and crackers and little cakes, maybe even meat and cheese tacos.

"We musn't leave without our Rutabaga" said Victoria.

"We'll get you another one in the vegetable market when we sail to Vienna, Austria, later!" replied Edmund.

"We MUST get my goose!" said Victoria.

"Oh, alright. We have a few hours, if we're lucky. The forces of evil are about looking for prey-spice trader prey!" said Edmund.

"We have to bring Rutabaga, he needs the sun, his wing has healed and he yearns for bloody freedom" said Victoria.

"Keep me far away from him," said Edmund.

"Why?" asked Victoria.

"I don't trust him," said Edmund.

"Oooh, look at this Edmund. There's a large migration of geese heading towards Telektenoon Hills right as we speak, perhaps they're running from that vampire at the orchestra performance halls" replied Victoria.

"Terrific, just bloody terrific" replied Edmund.

"Oh, that reminds me. Edmund, I forgot to tell you. I met the most incredibly handsome man. His name was Dolion Benedict Norbane isn't that a bit unusual? Funny name huh?" said Victoria in a vivacious tone. But Edmund looked horrified.

That's an understatement.

After hearing the sheer words "Dolion Benedict Norbane," Edmund felt as though he had not only seen a ghost-he had been transported to the very bowels of the

inner core of Hell and then back up to the surface of Earth again.

Shivers ran down his spine like blood through a forest of nervous veins.

"Relax, I have Spanish rice!" said Victoria, pulling out an old salad bowl full of rice and tossing it about merrily like rose petals from a flower pot.

"Oh good god" said Edmund, reading from the paper.

"What is it?" asked Victoria.

"Annie Oakely is going to perform for Queen Victoria today" said Edmund.

Meanwhile we see the villains plotting outside a beautiful hotel house covered in vines, on a rainy day atop a hill:

"We need to be able to mutate the soul. We all know that humans and the Earth share a symbiotic relationship" said Dolion, to his

small imp like assistant.

"Yes, yes boss, indeed" replied Darthulia, his assistant.

"Well, if we can combine the spices and metals and use alchemy combined with the bodies of dead mortals we can capture the soul

and then we'll have the key to Atlantis, which sunk and became known as Lambooshka years later. The island is a myth you see" explained

Dolion.

"Why do you need the myth, boss?" asked Darthulia.

"It keeps people guessing about that locked door in the home of the wealthy merchant. You know what's really behind it?" asked Dolion, pushing a lever.

Human remains and blood dripped from a pipe.

"Oh, all those people I killed for you, boss?" asked Darthulia.

"Exactly," said Dolion, with an evil pompous grin. "You have it right. With these materials we can forge the etherial symbiotic relationship between the spice traders and their places of origin. Once one human from each land has been sacrificed, we will have the keys to Atlantis" explained Dolion.

"Are you going to watch the show for the Queen?" asked Darthulia.

"No, no. I intend to use magic to create a reanimated body that I will cover with a layer of technology. This technology will create a fake version

of the well known sharpshooter who will then kill the Queen, and put me on the throne-disguised as her. Once I am in charge of England I will be able

to accomplish my goals of reawakening Lambooshka all the more succesful. The day someone finds out there is no

Lambooshka but in the soul is the day I am slaughtered by wild geese! That of course will never happen!" said Dolion.

Little did the villains know that Annie Oakely herself was easedropping.

"I do declare-that is downright horrible stuff they're planning. Just unspeakable. Anyone tries to impersonate me and do that? I'd look them in the eye, and say you ain't me. And I'd pull the trigger on that bastard!" said

Annie Oakely, looking into a mirror and brushing her hair. She attempted to shoot the two men but they were gone, as if they were ghosts.

She shrugged it off as a possible nightmare.

Read Chapter 4 to find out what happens next!

to be continued...