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The Old Firm

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Wragg

Chronicler of Crux
Staff member
so has not really come to grips with his current situation. It looks bad.
Bad? It's bloody tragic! Crucified with those three, and unconscious? :crybaby2::crybaby2::crybaby2::crybaby2::crybaby2:

not quite so similarly naked,
:doh: See what I mean? Wragg's wrotten luck strikes again...

since she is complaining.
Finally, unconsciousness has its advantages... :rolleyes:

Wragg made groaning noises.
Do you blame me? :confused:

“Can someone fill me in on how I come to be naked on a cross, while the world fills with baddies and squirrels?” asked Wragg groggily from the cross.
Forgive one for asking, it's merely idle curiosity....:mad:

“I never seem to be able to keep my pants on in this little adventure,” said Wragg in annoyance.

Well, yes, but losing my underwear and my consciousness at the same time, that's what sticks in my throat. :(

“…in a rather excruciating manner…” said Phlebas.
Now that consciousness has returned, must I hang here and listen to Phlebas' awful puns? I don't seem to be able to put my fingers in my ears. :(

A bit unhappy, if you ask me, probably because he remembered the sacrifices he had made not eating those cakes.
I say, you couldn't put an iced bun on one of those sort of pointed sticks, could you? There's a good chap. All this hanging about gives a chap an appetite!

to be continued... Soon. Promise.

And don't forget - I'm hungry! :hambre:
 
“Something like that anyway,” said Racing Rodent. He pulled up a squirrel-sized crossbow and shot Woodrunning Rodent between the eyes. The black squirrel went down and didn’t get up. One often wonders why these things don’t happen more often in stories. So often the protagonist spends pages explaining things, when a quick shot to the forehead is what’s needed.

The problem with high politics is that family Christmases can get unusually frosty even by Canadian standards, the dear (ahem) departed was my cousin after all. Still one should not flinch...the other rodent might shoot first.


“Fortunately,” said Jollyrei, “we are expansive in our thinking. Payment can take many forms. In this case, the terms of the contract were that, in the event of the demise of our employer, we would inherit all assets and prisoners resulting from our operation…”

“…to dispose of as we wish,” said Phlebas. “Is that not so, Mr. Jollyrei.

This is the other problem with having to deal with one's fellow squirrels, forward planning.

Still all in all a rousing return. Well done Jolly!
 

windar

Teller of Tales
It was perhaps not a grand entrance. Woodrunning Rodent, the black squirrel did his best to saunter casually into the ballroom, but with Windar tied in a chair facing away from the doorway, the three naked women hanging from crosses all watching what the Old Firm might do next, and Wragg (also naked on a fourth cross) still unconscious, the effect was rather lost.
I seem to have lucked out here for once, tied to a nice comfy chair rather than a cross (not the comfy chair!!!). And thanks for the recap, Jolly. Who can remember all of those adventures. Must try those jellyfish pills (though I never associated jellyfish with high level brain activity)...
 

Eulalia

Poet Laureate
Staff member
I'm not used to these mechanical horses, so I got a lift from Judith - she's determined to find Messa! :eek: Congratulations on the resurrection of 'The Old Firm'. Well done, Jolly! :D


(Image hosted on DeviantArt - https://www.deviantart.com/bobnearled/art/Judith-and-Bob-on-the-M20-850634987 )​
Judith's ton-up in the fast lane has scared all the traffic off the M20 - Barb in Tree's Mustang is a model of Highway Code rectitude compared to Judith on her mechanical horse! :devil:
 

Jollyrei

Angelus Mortis
Staff member
Old Firm 12

Sir Bob Inder wasn’t sure this was a great idea. He was walking across the drawbridge of the wall of Cruxton Abbey, having been selected unanimously by 40 Amazons and 50 or so Elves, all armed to the teeth and wearing enough armour to cover effectively a force at least one third that size. Amazons tend to favour chain mail bikinis and miniskirt combinations, with a bit of leather and cloth thrown in here and there. Elves wear armour only up to the point where it stops being a stylish accent. Bob wore full chain mail and a helmet, so he was easily the best protected individual in the group, or so said Daisy, Captain of the Amazons, and the Lady (who might have been the leader of the Elves, Bob supposed. He wasn’t up on Elvish social organization).

He felt quite alone now. He looked back over the drawbridge. One of the Amazons, a striking and beautiful dark haired woman named Judith waved at him. She seemed to have a special concern for Messaline, although Bob didn’t quite know whether she wanted to rescue Messaline or inflict some sort of torture. Women are odd, thought Bob. He wondered if the elusive and almost mythical Alice was odd as well. If he lived through this little escapade, he might get to find out. Someday.

He walked through the gate into the courtyard of the Abbey. Racing Rodent was coming his way.

“You’re going the wrong way, “ said the squirrel. “Nothing but a hostage scene in there. I’m lucky to be alive.”

“So what are you doing now?” asked Bob.

“Going to deliver a message, ain’t I?” said Racing Rodent. “I’m a herald now, me.”

“Funny,” said Bob. “I’m going in to deliver a message.”

“Nice,” said the squirrel. “What’s your message?”

“Release the hostages at once,” said Bob, “or we attack with full force. What’s your message?”

“Leave at once,” said Racing Rodent, “or the hostages die.”

“Sounds like there’s going to be trouble,” said Bob.

“We’ll see,” said Racing Rodent. “I shot my cousin. He started this.”

“People always have trouble with squirrels,” said Bob.

“Hey,” said Racing Rodent. “Let’s not get personal.”

“Sorry,” said Bob. “Present company excepted, I should have said. Who is that?” asked Bob, pointing to a woman in a light nightgown striding across the courtyard.

“Haven’t the foggiest,” said Racing Rodent. “All these people suddenly show up and get put on crosses, and you want me to know who they all are?” He shrugged, or he gave a good effort at it – he was, after all, a squirrel in armour and carrying a crossbow. It was a bit like a clattering of soup cans. He looked a bit embarrassed and clattered over the drawbridge.

Bob took a closer look at the woman, who was now removing her nightgown and stepping into the fountain. She seemed to have a chisel and a hammer. Looks like Eulalia, thought Bob. She was standing and surveying a carved stone dolphin that was spitting a stream of water all over her. Good thing she took off her dress, thought Bob. She had a very pretty bottom. Actually the rest of her wasn’t bad either, especially the dark eyes that offset the sun glinting of the water droplets and forming a bit of a rainbow around her.

However, much as he wanted to stay and watch what she was doing, he had a mission to finish, and then likely had to die fighting against insurmountable odds. It wasn’t making him feel curious about what Eulalia thought was interesting about the fountain. He always ended up in these strange situations around naked women, he reflected.

No, he thought, that still makes no sense. Better get the messengering and fighting and dying over with. He went into the Abbey and down into the ballroom.

“I bring a message,” said Bob to Jollyrei and Phlebas.

“How convenient,” said Jollyrei, “don’t you think, Mr. Phlebas?”

“Very, Mr. Jollyrei,” said Phlebas who was contemplating which part of Barb to stick his knife into first. He turned to face Bob, waving his knife toward the doors. “We just sent out a messenger.”

“I met him,” said Bob. “Anyway, the Amazons and Elves outside say to release the hostages or they attack.”

“That would precipitate an unfortunate response,” said Jollyrei.

“For them,” said Phlebas pointing at the group of crucified women and Wragg.

“Oh, hello Wragg, old boy,” said Bob.

“Nice to see you too, Bob,” said Wragg uncomfortably, now beginning to feel the weight of hanging on the cross. Even so, you have to make the effort at pleasantries when old friends show up.

“Bit of a lark, what,” said Bob.

“Not really,” said Wragg. “Not as much fun as one might have expected. Still, could be worse. I’m up here with three very lovely girls.”

“And showing how much he appreciates us,” said Messaline who was the only one who seemed to be fine on the cross. She bobbed and danced in an almost choreographed manner. Wragg looked momentarily embarrassed, but managed to shrug and give a wry grin.

“Can’t see how a fella is supposed to react otherwise,” he said.

“So if we kill the hostages now,” said Phlebas, “I suppose the Amazons will attack us.”

“Correct, Mr. Phlebas,” said Jollyrei. “Whereas if we give in to these demands…”

“We are trapped in here without hostages, Mr. Jollyrei.

Bob didn’t like where this was going. He liked it even less when he was suddenly grabbed by Phlebas and forced into a chair beside Windar and then tied to it. It all seemed to happen very fast.

“Oh, hi Bob,” said Windar, dropping his butler accent and reverting to his New York native accent.

“Not much of a party,” said Bob.

“Oh, I don’t know,” said Windar. “We got naked girls on crosses. Not really my thing, but you take what you can get.”

“We’re going to get killed in a minute,” said Bob.

“No, no,” said Wragg from his cross optimistically. “I’ll think of something. I’m sure of it.” Erin glanced over at him where he hung from his cross beside her. He did look optimistic, which was an interesting look for a man naked on a cross. She hadn’t seen that before. Somehow it made her feel better.

And when Erin felt better, there was an aura, or something like it, that got outside to the Elves, who felt better.

When Elves feel good, they act on it.

“We are going in,” said the Lady, after hearing the message from Racing Rodent. “There is nothing preventing us. If we do not act, everyone inside will die. If we do act, they may also die. In this situation, we would rather act.

And the Elves all seemed to agree. Bows were strung and swords came out. Spears had their pointy bits pointed toward the Abbey.

“Well,” said Daisy to Judith, “they might have a point.

The whole group of Amazons and Elves together charged across the drawbridge. Rather, they tried to charge across the drawbridge. They actually charged to the end of the drawbridge and then took it in turns for about five to ten people at once to go across, after one of the Amazons fell in the moat and had to be fished out by a rather handsome young Elf warrior.

It was a stylish rescue, and everyone had to stop a moment to appreciate just how stylishly the Elf could fish an Amazon girl out of the water.

They all stopped for a moment when the Lady heard a noise, but it was only Eulalia, hammering away with her hammer and chisel at the carved stone dolphin in the fountain. It seemed a curious thing to do in the middle of what was going to be a battle. Eulalia looked up and noticed them.

“Don’t let me stop you,” she said. “Carry on, I’ll be along shortly.”

The Lady was still curious about this, but bowed and gave the signal to the troop of armed Amazons and Elves, and so they charged stylishly across the courtyard.

Eulalia finished her hammering and began to wrestle the stone dolphin out of the carved pedestal of the fountain. It came out and splashed into the fountain at her feet. She reached down in a shower of fountain spray and rainbow droplets, which is a really splendid effect on the body of a lovely naked girl, and far too expensive for us to show you here, so you’ll just have to imagine it.

Once she got the dolphin to the edge of the fountain she climbed out herself and put her nightgown on again. It clung to her wet body in a nicely fetching manner, becoming translucent in the sunshine, and showing off to good advantage all of her advantages. She reflected that, by Amazon standards, she was still somewhat overdressed, and apart from the hammer, chisel, and dolphin, she had no weapons. She was clearly out-styled by the Elves, and may even have faded a bit into the background, but Eulalia was used to fading into the background when she wanted to, and she was not ready to be noticed yet.

She was momentarily amused by the sight of a force of about 100 Amazons and Elves trying to negotiate the front door of the Abbey and work out how many could go through at once, but then went back to hefting the stone dolphin and heading for the side door. The front door looked like it would be busy for a while, if the swearing was anything to go by.

* * *

“Can I at least torture someone?” asked Phlebas.

“As long as you pace yourself, Mr. Phlebas,” said Jollyrei. “We are setting up a tableau. A demonstration of intent, which is part of our broader negotiating strategy.”

“What’s the goal?” asked Phlebas.

“Oh, the normal thing, I suppose,” said Jollyrei. “Mayhem, destruction, and a lot of other people dying.”

“So we’re just waiting for a lot of other people then,” said Phlebas.

“And here they are,” said Jollyrei. “Ladies, do come in. Oh, and some gentlemen Elves as well. I think you will remember my associate, Mr. Phlebas, who will happily begin a slow and mostly non-lethal, but very painful torture of the three lovely ladies on the crosses there, unless you immediately…”

“…cave in to our demands,” finished Phlebas. He had somehow found a whip with several tails and was waving it lazily.

“You must release your hostages to us,” said Daisy.

“And to us also,” said the Lady.

“I meant all of us,” said Daisy.

Phlebas’ whip snaked out toward Messaline and struck across her thighs. She gasped.

“I’m afraid,” said Jollyrei, “that is not part of our conditions. From our standpoint, we suggest that you will lay down your arms and surrender,” he said.

“Or you can all die,” said Phlebas.

“There are only two of you,” said Daisy, uneasily.

“They can’t be killed,” said Erin from her cross to the Lady. “I tried.”

This declaration seemed to fill the Elf force with distress.

“What happens,” asked the Lady’s companion, “if we do surrender.”

“I expect we all die,” said Daisy.

“Then I see no reason to comply,” said the Lady.

Phlebas lashed out with his whip again, this time across Barb’s belly. She gave a yell of pain and indignation.

The Elves, incensed now that someone had assaulted their Queen surged forward. They were not quite sure how three of their members were suddenly dead on the floor, since it seemed that Phlebas had not moved, but he how held an Elf sword and was inspecting it. Jollyrei had blood on his fingernails, and was fuming about a small tear in his suit jacket.

“I think it is time to demonstrate that we are serious about these negotiations, Mr. Phlebas,” said Jollyrei.

“Kill one of these, you mean, Mr. Jollyrei,” said Phlebas. “Which one?”

“I am not important,” said Erin. “I failed to protect my Queen. You must kill me.”

“Well,” said Jollyrei, “if we must.”

Phlebas shrugged and sauntered over to Erin’s cross. “I did want to use this sword,” he said to Jollyrei, inspecting Erin’s lithe body in front of him. “It’s a very well made weapon.”

“Ah yes,” said Jollyrei. “Elvish craftsmanship. Centuries of experience and history there, Mr. Phlebas. A weapon that almost has a soul.”

“Sharp too, Mr. Jollyrei,” said Phlebas. He demonstrated by gently making a cut down Erin’s right side. Small drops of blood ran down her ribs. She shivered as if she had been tickled and then winced as the pain hit her.

“Slowly or quickly, Mr. Jolllyrei,” asked Phlebas as the Amazons and Elves watched with growing horror.

At that moment, the side door to the ballroom opened and Eulalia came in, still carrying the stone dolphin from the fountain.

“No!” yelled Wragg. “Run, Eul! Get away. I didn’t come get you just so you could die in here.”

“I thought I’d die fighting, you know,” said Bob to Windar conversationally. “Now, here I am, tied to a chair.”

“They’re pretty fast, these guys,” said Windar. “Didn’t realize they were unkillable.”

Phlebas and Jollyrei watched Eulalia with a kind of amused fascination. She went to the centre of the room between where the Old Firm stood by the crosses and the group of Amazons and Elves. Then she set the stone dolphin down in the centre of the floor.

“I don’t mean to be picky about things,”said Jollyrei to Eulalia, “but didn’t we, you know, a few centuries back…”

“…kill you?” finished Phlebas.

“The tea was very nice,” said Eulalia.

“We don’t have tea here,” said Phlebas.

“Bite your tongue,” said Windar, now every inch the butler again. “What sort of English manor doesn’t have tea?”

“The point is,” said Jollyrei, “you should be dead. You being alive is untidy. It is an affront to our professionalism. When we kill you, you are supposed to…”

“…stay dead,” finished Phlebas turning menacingly toward Eulalia.

Eulalia, for her part, looked quite calm. Wragg found that annoying. Here he was, hanging pretty much ‘au naturel’ on a cross, a prisoner in his own ballroom, and not a plan in sight to get anyone out of this mess, and Eulalia was just standing there looking placid.

No, wait, he thought. She was placidly setting down a carved stone dolphin on the floor between the Amazons and the Old Firm. Strange thing to be carrying. And why had she been chopping up his fountain? Now she was placidly removing her wet nightgown. She did this in a languid manner, looking directly at Jollyrei and Phlebas, as if to provoke them.

Upon reflection, Wragg thought… Eulalia dropped the nightgown to the floor and stood proudly and elegantly nude in the middle of the ballroom floor behind the stone dolphin, her hands on her hips in a fetching slavegirl dance presentation pose. The sun chose that moment to dramatically illuminate her, glinting off her dark wet hair, with another rather stunning lighting effect and Wragg simply stopped thinking.

“I’ve had enough of this,” said Jollyrei. “First we find out our employer is a squirrel, and then he dies and we don’t get paid, and now our victims just want to stand around and play silly games. I’ll kill you myself,” he said to Eulalia, “although why I should have to, after Mr. Phlebas killed you the first time, I don’t know.”

He walked slowly across the floor, his eyes never leaving Eulalia’s, until he was facing her across the stone dolphin. He raised his hand, elegantly slim with bloodstained nails. Wragg, Bob, and Windar all held their breaths, trying not to look and unable to look away. Eulalia took one step backward, as if to avoid the inevitable.

“Careful,” said Phlebas. “Might be…”

Jollyrei leapt at Eulalia, suddenly becoming a monstrous blur, which somehow was sucked down in a spiral motion into the stone dolphin. There was a swoosh sound and then something like a ‘fwing’. And he was gone.

“…a trap,” finished Phlebas. He looked nonplussed. Then he put down the Elf sword looking slightly deflated. He walked over to where Eulalia stood and looked at her. He shrugged his shoulders.

“Bye,” he said simply, and stepped forward over the dolphin. There was a swoosh and ‘fwing’ sound again and the Old Firm was gone.

…to be continued.
 
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You have no idea what's going on? I've been writing this stuff for about 2 years now, and it makes less sense to me all the time. :D
Oh that's a relief, I am glad all this traipsing around in armour and shooting cousins (always a sore point at family reunions) hasn't been for nothing.
 

Wragg

Chronicler of Crux
Staff member
When we kill you, you are supposed to…”

“…stay dead,” finished Phlebas turning menacingly toward Eulalia.
I say, Jollyrei, isn't it just so irritating when people finish your sentences? :rolleyes::D

Eulalia dropped the nightgown to the floor and stood proudly and elegantly nude in the middle of the ballroom floor
Just when things were dwindling, too! :):)

Brilliant, Jolly - I didn't know whether to hit 'Haha' or 'Love' so I settled for 'Wow!'
 

Eulalia

Poet Laureate
Staff member
You see, even when I'm in my wet nightie, sea-creatures don't always eat me!

Here's the Cruxton Abbey Famous Fountain, with several hearty-looking dolphins eager to consume the garden-party guests.
Note me in my Andromeda party dress just appearing around the mounted Amazon doing something unspeakable with a pointy thing:

1607978765666.png
 

phlebas

PRIMUS POENUS
Staff member
Old Firm 12“Not really,” said Wragg. “Not as much fun as one might have expected. Still, could be worse. I’m up here with three very lovely girls.”

“And showing how much he appreciates us,” said Messaline who was the only one who seemed to be fine on the cross. She bobbed and danced in an almost choreographed manner. Wragg looked momentarily embarrassed, but managed to shrug and give a wry grin.

“Can’t see how a fella is supposed to react otherwise,” he said.

The eternal problem for the naked male in female company. Wragg is relieved it's not an illustrated story :)

“Careful,” said Phlebas. “Might be…”

Jollyrei leapt at Eulalia, suddenly becoming a monstrous blur, which somehow was sucked down in a spiral motion into the stone dolphin. There was a swoosh sound and then something like a ‘fwing’. And he was gone.

“…a trap,” finished Phlebas. He looked nonplussed. Then he put down the Elf sword looking slightly deflated. He walked over to where Eulalia stood and looked at her. He shrugged his shoulders.

“Bye,” he said simply, and stepped forward over the dolphin. There was a swoosh and ‘fwing’ sound again and the Old Firm was gone.

Sigh, I am always cleaning up after his rash actions. Still, must stay together, we come as a set.


Glad you got back to it, Jolly, after so long
 
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