Monday, November 19, 2012

The Adventures of Val and Derek

Although most of you have read this already, here is the first three chapters of the story I'm writing for when I meet Derek in Ireland.



Chapter One

Valkyrie V. frowned. She had been sitting in her room, reading, and suddenly, as if she had blinked, she was here. Wherever 'here' was. There were trees. There were some leaves on the ground. There was a scary looking unicorn sitting in front of her. There was... Wait a second. There was a UNICORN sitting in front of her. It was purple. It was giant. It had red eyes, and shadows swirling around its horn. And it was almost as if there was a rainbow trailing behind it.

Val stared. “What?... WHAT?

She heard a rustling behind her and whirled around. The bush behind her parted and she had to lunge to the side to avoid being trampled by a second unicorn that had just arrived. It looked like someone had been riding it, from what she had seen. She heard some shouting, a weird horse noise, another shout, and another horse noise. The two unicorns dashed off, kicking up dirt behind them.

Dusting herself off, Val got up slowly, in complete and utter shock of what was happening. She tried to blink her focus back, and could only barely manage to pay attention to anything when she heard a groan beside her.

Val walked over to where the man who had groaned was. She helped him up. “Excuse me, but do you have any idea what...” She trailed off and stared. “DEREK?”

“Yes?” Derek Landy answered.

Val stared.

“Who might you be?”

Val stared.

“Uh... Are you okay?”

Val stared.

He waved his hand in front of her. “Er... Hello?”

She blinked. “So... You're... You're DEREK LANDY?”

“Yes, yes I am,” he said with a smile. “And I'm awesome, but I'm sure you already know that. Who are you?”

“Uh... I'm... I'm...” She couldn't think. Everything was a bit too confusing right now. “Oh, wait, I remember! I'm Valkyrie V., from your Blog! The crazy one who had a party for you!”

It was Derek's turn to look stunned. “Ivy?”

Val nodded, a grin on her face. She thought for a moment. “Wait... Were you just riding a unicorn?”

Derek thought about it for a second, trying to remember. “Yes,” he decided. “Yes I was.”

Val arched an eyebrow. “Impressive.”

“Well, I AM amazing.” After a few moments they both frowned.

“How did we get here?” they asked in unison, taking a slightly more detailed observation of the place. It was some sort of forest, that was for sure. And it was pretty dark, so it was probably night. As for where they were, they hadn't the slightest idea.

“Maybe we're in another dimension,” Val suggested. “You know, like in Kingdom of the Wicked.”

“No, that couldn't have happened,” Derek said, thinking about it. “We would've had to have been near each other if we were to shunt at the same time. Or we'd need to be sent directly by a Dimensional Shunter. And I know I wasn't.”

“Neither was I.”

“Maybe we teleported here, then.”

“But wouldn't we need TWO Teleporters? If we both got sent at the same time, in different spots, that wouldn't be possible with one. We'd need one to send you, and one to send me. There's only one Teleporter left, and he's, well, an idiot.”

“Well done,” Derek nodded. “My brilliant books have taught you well. Is there any other ways you can think of?”

“Not at the moment, no.” Val looked around. “I wonder if there's anyone else here. Maybe we could ask them. Unless they're evil. Then we should hide or something.”

“Or we could fight them.”

“I doubt we have magic or anything.”

“Ah, good point.” The both paused, then grinned. Focusing, the clicked their fingers.

Fire.

They had just generated a spark by clicking their fingers.

“Okay,” Val said, a grin clear on her face, “fighting them is now an option.”

Using their flames as light, they wandered around a little. There had to be SOMEONE around. Wherever they were, there had to be some sort of person for them to talk to.

Val pushed aside some bushes and tried to peer into the dark behind it. Nothing there. She sighed. “Are you finding anything yet?”

“No,” Derek replied, turning away from the bush he was observing, “but that's probably because it's only been about five minutes.”

“Five minutes too long,” Val muttered.

Derek looked at her. “You really have no patience.”

She shrugged. They heard a scream behind them and whirled around.

“Hide!” Val said quickly.

They looked around for a place to hide. In the dark, all they could really see was trees and bushes. Putting out their flames, they started climbing the tree. After a bit of difficulty, they both managed to find a way to keep themselves balanced,

A figure came into view beneath them. It was hard to see, but from what they could gather, the figure looked like a purple octopus. In a forest. Running in a way that would remind someone of the word 'squiggly'.
“The Ninjas!” the octopus thing cried. “The Ninjas are coming! They have the lizard as a hostage! Everybody, RUN!”

There was silence, and nobody ran, because there was no one there to run. The octopus gave an exasperated sigh, then looked directly at Val and Derek.

“I told you, RUN!”

They glanced at each other. There was no use trying to hide if the octopus thing already knew they were there. Moving quickly, Val and Derek began their climb down.

However, they must have been moving a little TOO quickly, because Val lost her grip and slipped out of the tree, hitting every branch on the way down. Groaning, she saw Derek arching an eyebrow at her.

“Wow,” he said. “You must really be a fan of the books.”

“Trust me,” Val told him as her helped her up, “I am.”



Chapter Two

As far as Val and Derek could tell, the squiggly run was the only way the octopus could move around. It was taking all of their self control to keep from laughing as they followed.

Despite the fact that they were supposed to be running for their lives, apparently, Val and Derek only had to walk at a normal pace to keep up with the squiggly run. Either way, walking three hours was still exhausting.

They didn't really have any idea what time it was when they arrived, but now it was light out, so it was probably around six in the morning or so. They finally saw what looked like it could be a community in the distance. Val practically squealed with joy at the sight.

“Can we stop there? Is that where we're stopping?” she asked.

The octopus thing didn't answer.

“Hey, are we going to stop there?” Derek asked.

Still, no answer.

Val turned around. “Hey, where'd that squiggly guy go?”

“What do you mean? It's right...” He trailed off, looking around. They stopped walking, and looked around. After about a minute and a half, they stopped and turned to each other.

“How did we just LOSE somebody?” Derek asked slowly.

“I really, really don't know,” Val answered.

There was an awkward silence.

“Well, I guess we should keep going,” Derek said.

“Right. Yes. Okay.” Val nodded, and followed Derek as he continued forward.

As they approached the city-like place, they noticed how small it really was. Literally. The buildings, at the most, were about three metres tall, and the majority of them were even smaller. A group of tiny cat people swarmed them.

“Ah!” Val shrieked. “Tiny cat people! They're stabbing my feet!”

“Calm down,” Derek said. He picked one of them up. It was small enough to fit in the palm of his hand. 

“Look, see, it's not that-” He dropped it. “OW! It bit me!”

They started kicking them away, with the occasional stomp. After all the creepy little cat things were scattered and moaning, they cautiously continued forward. Approaching a building, Derek bent down to knock on the door. A face appeared at the window that was level with his eye. The tiny thing shrieked in terror.

“Eeeeek! It's a giant alien eye! Like from Doctor Who! Ahhhhhh!”

Derek frowned. “I'm not the Atraxi.”

The thing, that looked like a miniature walking fish, shook its head. “You lie! You lie! I will tell the Doctor about this! I will, I will!”

“Geez... Repetitive much?”

“Whoa, wait. You know the Doctor?” Val asked.

“OF COURSE!” the fish shrieked, exasperated. “I'm going to call him RIGHT NOW! I will report the threat posed by the Atraxi, and -”

Another fish person came out ans whispered into the first one's ear. The first one scowled. At least, that's what Val and Derek could gather from the facial expressions of a fish.

“Well,” the fish growled, “it appears the Doctor has gone off to stop the world from ending again. It ALSO appears that you AREN'T the Atraxi. I guess you're just boring old humans. Bah. That's LAME.”

“We aren't lame,” Derek pointed out. “I mean, at least we have LIMBS. And FINGERS. And decent sized brains. Oh, and I know for a fact that I'm amazing.”

“And we have, you know, magical powers and stuff,” Val added. “Just to let you know.”

The fish stared, making a startled fish impression. Which isn't too descriptive, on account of the fact that that was what it was. And the previous sentence didn't make much sense either, but whatever.

“You people have MAGIC?” it practically squeaked.

“Uh, yeah.”

“I must go tell the queen of this news, I must, I must!” The fish ran off, leaving Val and Derek standing there, confused.

“Is getting the queen a good or a bad thing?” Val asked.

“I actually don't know,” Derek admitted. “But they're fish people, y'know? I'm sure we could step on her if we need it.”

Val laughed. The fish person came back out, followed by a man in a poofy pink dress. Val and Derek stared.

“THRASHER?!” they exclaimed in shock.

“That's QUEEN Thrasher to you!” Thrasher shouted. He frowned. “Valkyrie?”

“Um... hi. Where's Scapegrace?”

“He, well, she, doesn't seem to like me very much. I think he-she is just jealous because I'm royalty now. But don't think I'm saying anything bad about Master Scapegrace, I just -”

“Okay, that's quite enough of that now,” Derek interrupted. “I can see why Scapegrace found you irritating.”

“Remember, Derek, you're the one who made him up,” Val pointed out to him.

“I was made up?” Thrasher squeaked.

“Well, you're the one who made him a bit annoying just now,” Derek replied to Val, ignoring Thrasher.

“I'm annoying?” Thrasher asked.

“Very,” Val answered. “Also, I suppose you ARE right about me making him a tad annoying just now, but that's because the class the real me is sitting in while writing this is boring, and the real me just noticed this sentence is a bit confusing at this point and that she should probably stop writing it.”

She finished her sentence and frowned. “I am so odd sometimes...”

“I can agree with that,” said a velvety voice from behind them.

Val and Derek spun around to see who was standing there. They couldn't help but stare.

“SKULDUGGERY?!”

“Hello, Valkyrie, hello, Derek,” Skulduggery Pleasant said. “I can't help but wonder: how did you get here?”





Chapter Three

Neither of them answered. It was Skulduggery. For real. And it was absolutely impossible to do anything but stare. Finally, Derek came back to his senses.

“Uh... We don't know how we got here,” Derek told Skulduggery. “Maybe it was a Dimensional Shunter.”

“That's what I was thinking,” Skulduggery replied. “However, I can't remember any time that could've happened, unless the Shunter figured out some way to send people without them being aware. Do you remember anything odd happening before you got here?”

“Not exactly. I remember reading some of the Minion's crazy comments on my Blog, and then I went to feed my dogs, and then I was trying to think of some other way to delay writing, but I blinked and ended up on a unicorn and found Val.”

“Interesting,” Skulduggery said, nodding. He turned to Val. “And you?”

Val finally managed to stop staring. “Uh... I was sitting in my room, at the computer, delaying writing by commenting on Derek's Blog, and at the same time I was reading one of my SP books, then, like Derek said – I blinked and here I was. Which was a bit of a bad idea, blinking. There could've been a Weeping Angel in the room.” She paused. “Are you really standing there? Like, for real? Or am I going mad?”

Skulduggery tilted his head. “Valkyrie, dear, you've been mad for quite some time now. Remember?”

“Oh. Right.”

“However, on the topic of your arrivals, I haven't the slightest idea how you got here.”

“What were YOU doing before you got here?” Derek asked Skulduggery.

Skulduggery thought for a moment. “I was about to punch a Necromancer in the face,” he answered. “I hope my fist connected with them before I ended up here. Otherwise my code would've sounded a tad ridiculous. Well, more ridiculous than before.”

Thrasher, whom they had completely forgotten about, asked, “What code are you talking about? I can keep secrets, if your code is a secret. Well, Master Scapegrace doesn't think I can, but-”

“But the sparrow flies south for winter,” Val said, and punched him in the face. Thrasher did a little twirl before he fell over. The fish people made a Fergus-like face at her. Skulduggery's expression was unreadable, on account of the fact that he didn't have a face, but Derek was grinning.

“Awesome,” he said.

“OUR QUEEN!” the fish people shrieked in horror. “WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?!”

“Er... Helped him take a nap?” Val tried.

GET THEM!” the leader screeched, and the fish charged at them.

The fish were very brutal with their attacks. They kept on throwing punches, and biting, and trying to tackle Skulduggery, Val, and Derek to the ground.

In other words, the fish continuously flopped their fins against them, attempting to clamp their toothless mouths on their shoes, and kept flinging their flimsy fish bodies at feet.

“This is upsettingly pathetic,” Skulduggery remarked, shaking his head.

“We should leave,” Derek commented, kicking away a few of the harmless yet irritating fish people.

Turning to leave, Skulduggery and Derek walked off the way cool people did in movies, but Val had to use all of her self control NOT to skip and start singing, “We're off to see the Wizard” from the Wizard of Oz.

The three of them walked about five miles through the forest without finding any sort of civilization. There had been a few brief conversations between them, a couple of murmurs, but for the most part they had travelled in silence.

Val, who was by far the most irritated by this ridiculously long walk, asked, “Are we there yet?”

“No,” Derek answered, also bothered by the trip.

Val groaned. “I hate walking. It's so boring. And tiring.”

“Not all the time,” Skulduggery countered, watching a tree as he walked past it. “You can admire the scenery.”

She frowned. “Do you even GET tired? Like, is that even possible? You don't, do you? That's not fair.” She turned to Derek. “Can he get tired?”

“Why should I know?”

“You created him.”

“Oh. Yeah. Let me think about it.” He turned to Skulduggery. “Do you get tired?” he asked in a whisper.

“Not necessarily,” Skulduggery whispered back.

“Okay, okay, I heard your conversation,” Val said. “So this entire trip is completely unfair for Skulduggery.”

Skulduggery paused. “Valkyrie, does the word 'patience' mean anything to you?”

Val was about to answer but Derek hushed her. “Do you hear that?

“What?”

“That.”

“You really aren't being descriptive enough here.”

“And you really aren't paying attention.” He pointed to the giant green monster coming right at them. “That.”

She stared. “Oh. Right. That.”

“I apologise for disrupting your bickering,” Skulduggery interrupted, “but I feel we should probably get out of the way.”

They all dodged to the side as it barrelled past. The monster looked around, saw it hadn't trampled them, and turned on its heel, searching for the three people standing there. The monster stared them dead in the eyes.

“Well,” Skulduggery said slowly, “this is just DANDY.”

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Chapter Three

EDIT: I had to change it; I couldn't write it and I needed to do something. So, most of it's the same, but sadly, no troll. Don't worry, though - I'll make up for it with awesome in Chapter Four.



Chapter Three: Bits and Pieces

Being forced to run into the area of trees, they found that it proved itself to be much larger than they expected. That was good and bad. It was good because they had more space to hide. It was bad because they had a worse chance of getting out alive.
Hearing footsteps behind them, Ivy and Anomaly climbed up a tree to hide.
“I hate you,” Ivy muttered, glaring as she climbed on to a branch she could balance herself on.
“Quiet,” Anomaly snapped. She hated being so rude to someone quite as scary as Ivy, but she didn't have much of a choice. By the look on Ivy's face, she was clearly displeased about being told what to do, but shut up anyway.
The man who had tried to blow them up ran by, and stopped under the tree they were hiding in. Casting a quick yet nervous glance at each other, Anomaly and Ivy tried their best to be absolutely silent. With him almost directly beneath them, they could get a better look at the man. He was tall, with shaggy black hair that hung long and messy at his shoulders. His chin was covered in stubble, and he looked dirty, like he hadn't bathed for days. It was a bit gross. On his back, his bow was strapped on next to a pouch of arrows. From his pocket he withdrew a crumpled piece of paper.
Reading from it, he said, “Ivy Animosity and Anomaly Despair, you are under arrest for the murder of Cimmerian Cantrip by the authority of the Ascendancy. You have five minutes to turn yourselves in. After that, you're on the death sentence. Oh, and don't bother trying to lie by saying you didn't commit the crime. Your time starts now.”
Anomaly turned to stare at Ivy and mouthed the words, “You killed Cimmerian Cantrip?”
Ivy shook her head, and silently mouthed back, “I didn't kill him. Why would you suspect me for doing that?” She paused for a moment. “Never mind.”
“You're absolutely positive you didn't kill him?”
“I didn't kill him!” Ivy whispered, exasperated. Anomaly shook her head at Ivy for blowing their cover. The man below them looked up, put his hand in his pocket, pulled out a picture, examined it, put the picture away, and got his bow ready to fire.
Ivy frowned. “Wait, did you just pull out a picture of us to make sure you had the right people?”
“Yes,” the man answered.
“Oh my God, that's creepy. How did you even get that picture? Is there some secret stalker following us around? We just met each other yesterday, and already you have a stalker photo of us. I am thoroughly concerned.”
“You,” he said, “are an interesting little girl.”
Before Ivy could go into the angry rant that Anomaly knew would come, she interrupted, “You said the Ascendancy sent you?”
“I did.”
“And who exactly sent you after us?”
“Saturnine Morose.”
Anomaly stopped talking. “Oh, hell.”
“I'm afraid I have to cut this conversation short,” he said, and prepared his bow to fire.
“Move!” Anomaly shouted to Ivy, and they both leaped out of the tree as one of the explosive arrows – which clearly reacted much faster than the one earlier – detonated where they had been sitting only moments before. Losing time due to the fact that they both had to scramble to their feet after the fall, Anomaly and Ivy took off running again.
Ivy stopped suddenly. Anomaly whirled around. “Come on!”
“I may not have murdered Centurion Catnip or whatever,” Ivy said, “but that doesn't mean I can't kill him.”
“Don't!” Anomaly shouted. “You don't have to!”
But it was too late. Running back towards the man, Ivy lunged at him, yanked one of his arrows free and stabbed it through his heart. Sprinting back towards Anomaly, she caught up with her and leaped into a bush to avoid the bloody pieces of flesh that exploded from where the man had been standing. Once it had finished raining down bits and pieces of him, Ivy stepped out from where she was to see Anomaly glaring at her with such anger it was almost scary.
“You didn't have to kill him!” Anomaly shouted, seething with anger.
“He was going to kill us,” Ivy snapped. “And I for one don't appreciate that prospect.”
“He wasn't going to be able to kill us and you know it! You knew that even if he had really been trying, he wouldn't have done it! You knew that killing him in such a brutal way was unnecessary! And then you did it anyway!”
Ivy didn't say anything for a moment. “I don't care what you think about that,” she practically growled. “In my mind, it was necessary. I see things differently than you. And you don't have the right to say that you see everything the right way. Being right, in our current manner of speaking, is a matter of opinion. And in my opinion, I made the correct choice.”
Neither of them said anything. They fell into an eerie silence. After what seemed like forever, Anomaly said, “Let's go. We shouldn't stay near murder scenes. Particularly ones where there's bits and pieces scattered everywhere.”
Ivy and Anomaly walked back out the way they had come in silence. Anomaly wandered around where they were. She had teleported them to the first place she thought of, and was trying to figure out where the were, just for the hell of it. Bored, Ivy sat in the grass, not really caring much that it was soaking wet.
“I think we're somewhere in Seattle,” Anomaly said, coming back towards Ivy. “Although, I could be completely wrong, so don't trust that assumption.”
“Wasn't planning on it,” Ivy muttered, inspecting a blade of grass. She tossed the grass aside and looked up. “So, who's this Centurion Catnip or whatever we're being accused of murdering?”
“Cimmerian Cantrip,” Anomaly corrected. “He's one of the oldest sorcerers around, and legend says he actually discovered magic. Whether or not that's true, he was definitely very old and extremely powerful. He could stop either of us pretty easily, and that's saying something.”
“So Catnip was legendary?” Ivy asked. “Damn it. That would've been cool if we had killed him. Then I could be like, 'Oh, I killed a legendary guy' to everyone, and then I'd be even scarier, and...” She trailed off. “Stop giving me the disapproving look.”
“Stop giving me the psychotic teenager look.”
Ivy laughed. “Anyway, you seemed pretty shocked when he told you who was behind all this. Who was that? Saturn Rose or something like that?”
“You're good with remembering details, but my God, you are terrible names. Saturnine Morose. She's... She hates me. A lot. And she must hate you, too, if she's blaming you for this.”
“I can't imagine why anyone would hate me, though. I'm too awesome to hate. I can't remember meeting her, but as you pointed out, I'm rubbish with names. What's she look like?”
“Kind of brownish-red hair, green eyes, gives off the radiance that screams crazy... Pretends to be friendly, but is very unsettling. Ringing any bells?”
Ivy thought for a moment. “Oh! Her. Yeah, I think she hired me to kill a few people. I didn't pay attention to her name because I was thinking about how much I wanted some cookies. Because, really, you just can't beat cookies. Come to think of it, that's why I was out yesterday. Not for cookies, though. To kill those people. That's when I met you.” She frowned. “You know, it's almost as if she-”
“Almost as if she planned it,” Anomaly finished. “Which means that she wanted us to meet.”
“But why? I don't like you.”
“You're so kind.”
“What's the Ascendancy?” Ivy asked. “They were mentioned. In the way that it was used, it seemed to be some fancy government authority thing I have a tendency not to like. Saturnine Morose works for them, right? At least, that's what I could gather with what happened in that conversation. So what is it?”
“I am amazed you remembered all that. Congratulations. The Ascendancy,” Anomaly continued, “is kind of like the cops of the magical world. They elect leaders, enforce officers, hire rubbish detectives... All the usual boring operations of an organization. And yes, Saturnine does appear to work for them now. Which I personally didn't expect to ever happen in a million years, but apparently, I was wrong.”
“How very interesting,” Ivy said nonchalantly as she stood up. She frowned. “Wait a second... If that guy was meant to kill us, and Saturnine Morose wanted us dead so badly she sent some guy to blow us up in broad daylight, don't you think she'll send someone else? I haven't really met her, but from what I know of her, she seems like the crazy type of person. Am I right?”
“You are,” Anomaly agreed. “But I doubt she'll be able to know immediately.”
“She might have spies watching us,” Ivy suggested.
Anomaly shrugged. “That's true, but don't you think they already would have-” She glanced behind her and looked at Ivy. “Do you hear that?”
“Hear what?”
She listened. “That.”
Ivy growled. “I hate when people do that, they ask if you hear something and then you ask, and they don't even give a bloody answer...”
“Hey, now, shut up.” Ivy was about to shout something back, but Anomaly shushed her. They heard a few faint noises from behind them that sounded vaguely like clicking. They glanced at each other, and Anomaly started to move off towards the noise, leaving Ivy standing there.
“You coming?” Anomaly asked, stopping, and turned to look at Ivy.
“Why should I?” Ivy responded. “I don't go into someone else's mess. And being hunted down is certainly your mess. You knew Saturnine, after all. That means she's trying to get you.”
“And you, now,” Anomaly reminded her. “Listen, Ivy, this isn't my fault here. Now, I don't know what Saturnine has against you, but it must be something if she wanted to get us together to kills us.”
“But doesn't that mean I should stay away from you, then?”
“Of course not. Saturnine thinks she's going to kill us easily, but we both know that's not going to happen. So why not make it harder by fighting back? It'll be fun, like one of those adventure movies or something. Completely ridiculous, yet oddly entertaining.”
“What if I don't want to go on an adventure?”
“I could always just arrest you on the spot.”
“Hand cuffs are pathetic.”
“Not the ones that make you unable to do magic.”
Ivy shrugged. “I guess adventures might be fun.”
Anomaly grinned. “Cool. Now then, let's see what's making that obnoxious noise.”