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Knight Moves

Posted on Mon Oct 2nd, 2017 @ 3:24am by Category V: Supervillain Frederick Hollywood

Mission: The Villain's Spire
Location: The Villain’s Spire - China/Arthurian England
Timeline: The Year of the Apocalypse

Title: Knight Moves
Location: The Villain’s Spire - China/Arthurian England
Timeline: The Year of the Apocalypse

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Lorde sat in his large chair across the desk from Knight, dressed in the exact same outfit she had seen him in the first time they had met, a red and black robe with runes running along the trimming. He had called her in to make good on a promise, one made over a thousand years before in the mystical lands of King Arthur’s England. “So, my champion, are you ready to become a baroness?” He smiled warmly, pouring himself some tea.

The beautiful redhead cracked a small smile herself. She had learned that although Lorde often looked like the cat that had eaten a canary, it was often just from his eagerness to see people happy. “Of course, but why now? Don’t we have so much to do in these lands of yours?”

The young-looking man ran his hands through his hair before taking a bite of a scone. “One thing to remember about working with me is time is always on our side. We can go back, make you the leader of your people, then, after things settle a bit, return here as though nothing has happened. Besides, you have served me faithfully and done your best in doing so.”

Knight nodded remember going to Russia years in the past to collect Spatz Not, one of the other team leaders. “Thank you, Milord. I have always tried my best to serve you and prove my worthiness.”

“If this works out right we will have a great base of operations to find mutants and other creatures of power to bring forward in time to aid us in our cause.” Then came the glint in his eye she had come to worry about. “No time like the present, my mother used to say.” He lifted his hand and a swirling cloud of red smoke covered them, and in a moment the room was empty.

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It so far had been a grand tournament at the capital. Camelot was renowned for its games, and this one had lived up to the reputation. Merlin had even given a light show to open the festivities. The old wizard warned the king that he felt as if something dark might occur this day. Shortly before the midway point of the games, a squire came to Arthur and told him that a Lorde was wishing to have an audience with the king.

With a puzzled look the great king asked the young man, “What lord do you speak of?”

With a certain amount of shame on his face, the squire answered. “That is just it, Your Majesty, the visitor said to simply call him Lorde.”

Merlin nodded at Arthur. “This may have something to do with what I was expecting.” In fact, feelings of something from the wise man’s far-flung secret past came pouring into him.

With a loud crash, Sir Gwaine was dismounted by Sir Lancelot. The crowd cheered, and it was a great victory for the King’s Champion and friend.

“Tell this Lorde we shall meet with him shortly in the throne room.” Then he turned to Merlin. “Let us unravel this mystery, shall we?”

Arthur stepped forward to shake his friend’s hand and congratulate him on this round of victories. “You have done quite well my dear friend.” Then he spoke to the people gathered in the crowd. “We shall be taking a small break so you will have to wait to see the results of the up and coming matches.”

Some small boo’s and hisses came from the stands. Years ago no one would have been so brave as to do that. Although the cheers seemed to outweigh the detractions, the king found it hard to ignore them.

The king and his greatest adviser retired to the castle to confront this Lorde. Arthur sat in his massive carved gilded throne with the symbol of the phoenix and griffon on its sides. Merlin stood by his side, ever watchful for any dangers to his plans.

Frederick entered the room, walking with a finely runed staff in hand, in some ways mirroring that of the King’s own adviser. Once he reached the place on the carpet where he was told to wait, he pulled back his black and red hood and bowed to the legendary ruler.

Arthur was a bit stunned at the man’s youth. Merlin had often told him about living his life in reverse, and until today considered that to be a bedtime story for fools. “Please rise, young Lorde.”

Frederick did as he was told, and as did gave everyone his signature strange smile. Oddly, no one seemed to return the favor.

“So tell us why have you sought an audience with me on this most important of days?” The king’s voice became filled with authority and charisma.

Lorde nodded. “I have come to champion a cause of a dear friend of mine. I wish that she be replaced as the rightful ruler of her people, but before I would even ask such a thing, I would like for her to be able to go on a quest for her people and you, Your Majesty.” Although he could tell the old wizard had buffed up the good king’s persuasion abilities, Frederick had defenses against such things, and besides, it was he who was trying to convince the king of something. Luckily, he had read quite a bit about him, and like many leaders from olden times challenges and other sorts of proof of loyalty and godliness stood out.

Arthur’s blonde eyebrow raised just a bit. “A quest, you say?”

Merlin sighed just a bit, knowing he had prepared for the wrong kind of battle with this usurper.

“Oh yes, Milord. I would like for my friend to have a chance to slay the great dragon to the north that haunts her people to this very day. If she succeeds in this almost impossible of deeds, I would like her to have the chance to face her brother on this very field for the honor of ruling the kingdom he holds sway over now. I figure this gives right two chances to take place.” Lorde raised a hand to pause the room. “Also, I would like to add that I would be willing to fund a tournament in that honor.” His eyes searched that of one of his own childhood heroes. Sadly, later in life, he would think more highly of the villains, thinking of them as the ones who had been wronged.

They asked Lorde to step back into the ornate main hall to await a decision. He hoped he had made his points well.

Merlin tried his best to convince his best friend that it was a trap, but when Arthur pressed further he had no honest reason other than the fact that the other wizard had been trained by his own teacher. Still, there was a strange feeling deep in his gut that this shouldn’t be happening, and that this “Lorde” shouldn’t be here. Perhaps he would find out later. Hopefully before it was too late.

Lorde was brought back into the throne room. Again he performed the usual pleasantries associated with royalty. Arthur cleared his throat and took a drink of wine. “Well, sir, you have a deal. If your friend can defeat this monster and bring back its head, I will allow her the chance to face her brother in mortal combat for the title to that realm.”

“Thank you, thank you, good King. Just so you know my word is gold, I would like to leave you with a down payment on that upcoming tournament.” Hollywood disappeared in a puff of black and red swirling smoke. In his place remained a large wooden chest. Inside, it was completely filled with gold bullion. Also, there was a note which read, “I am sure Merlin will know what should be done with this.” It was an alchemy joke he hoped the old man got.

Lorde appeared next to Knight. “Well, my dear, you have been given a chance. Today you will slay the white dragon.”

The small red-haired woman smiled. “It is about time, Milord.”

He whisked them away to the opening of a frozen cave. Loud groans could be heard from inside. “Ready?” Lorde asked his faithful companion.

Although not quite as filled with confidence as usual, she replied, “Yes, my dear Lorde, I am.”

He lead her into a massive cave complex. A ways inside and the woman could see for herself the great beast. How strange it seemed to her that just recently she had seen it flying over the top of the great city of Atlanta. Under the dragon was a picture perfect pile of gold that would tempt any true adventurer. Enough to send kingdoms to war, or rebuild one.

After Hollywood whispered into her ear, she lifted her sword and spoke aloud in a commanding voice, “Dragon of the North! I have come to banish you henceforth from this place to return no more!” In a bright explosion, the dragon was gone. Knight was caught so off guard she had to catch her balance before falling over the ledge into the cavern below.

Frederick laughed a little. “See wasn’t so bad right? Now let's get you that proof you need.” From seemingly out of nowhere he produced a large bag. He opened it and shook it until out tumbled a massive white reptilian head. “Ah, yes, that's where I left it.”

After calming down a bit, Knight had but a few questions. “I thought I would have to fight the beast. After all, Milord, wasn’t that the reason for the training?”

He shook his head. “For a time, but time is always in flux, and, well, I needed to move things along to fit current events. Of course, for you the easy part is over. Now come the hard part.”

Knight took a deep breath fearing what that part might be. “And that might be?”

“Simple. You're going to defeat, and perhaps kill, your brother on the field of honor in front of King Arthur himself.” He could tell she was mad, but to her credit she didn’t complain at all.

TBC

 

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