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Sibling Rivalry

by on May 13, 2013

Last time, in the Catrina Chronicles, our heroine had just decided to give up her quest for Mlrning (the Shovel of Thor!) when, unfortunately, reality came back to bite her. We rejoin our story, already in progress!

Perry and Catrina rushed to the walls of Shmirmingard Castle, Catrina pausing only to retrieve her red Sporksaber and power it up. They scrambled up the steps and dashed out onto the eastern walltop, near the main gate. Catrina’s mouth fell open in shock. There, spread out on the green fields surrounding the castle, was the largest army she had seen since the Second Zombie Penguin Apocalypse. There were soldiers of all kinds and species, ranging from hulking trolls to black-armored knights wielding excessively pointy medieval weapons, to a collection of frost giants stamping about and scouring up the nice clean castle lawns to no end. An array of massive trebuchets dominated the army; one of them appeared to have only just gone off. Catrina glanced down at the wall below her, noted the sizable boulder denting the base of the wall, and put two and two together fairly swiftly. Horns rang out behind her in alarm, and she could hear the of boots and clanging of swords as her own knights rushed to the defenses. Catrina could see that they’d be sizably outnumbered; yet, strangely, she wasn’t particularly worried. Her usual slow smile started on her face, and her green eyes lit with the joy of battle.

“Hey!” Perry said in alarm. “I thought you said you wanted a quiet ordinary existence from now on!”

“Well, yes,” Catrina rejoined, “but this isn’t anything out of the ordinary, really. It’s a standard medieval army, trolls and giants and knights and all, perfect for my time period. We’ll hold their initial attack, then launch a dramatic counter-strike that’ll chase them away, never to be seen again. I might even get to fight a duel with the leader! It’ll be fun!”

“But-” Perry said. He was interrupted at that moment by a sudden screaming roar. Both he and Catrina glanced skywards, just as three warplanes thundered past, white contrails spreading in their wake. The Shmirmingardians stared in speechless terror. Unlike Catrina, none of them had ever time-traveled; they weren’t even aware that they were only bit characters in Catrina’s story. They had never expected to have their castle buzzed by modern fighter planes.

“Susan,” Catrina said, sighing wearily. “It’s gotta be Susan. We lost track of her in Edison City when she went off with Doctor whoever.”

“What.”

“Oh, don’t lets start that again. Anyway. She obviously came back here with modern tech and she’s trying to kill me. Well, we might as well get this over with. I’ll have to challenge her.”

“Actually, I don’t think it’s Susan. I think it’s your other primary villain,” Perry said, and pointing to a tall figure standing near the head of the army.

“My other….Edmund,” Catrina said, her hand tightening on her Sporksaber. “He followed me back here.”

The tall figure vanished in a spray of smoke, and reappeared quite suddenly on the wall-top next her. “Surprise,” Edmund said venomously.

“Will you please stop doing that?” Catrina demanded in irritation. “Couldn’t you just fly in on an evil flying creature like an ordinary villain?”

“You and your teleporting phobia,” Edmund said. “More to the point, how are your darling children? I was quite interested to hear you’d given birth.”

If  Catrina had been upset before, she was positively in a fury now. If you even think about hurting my children-”

“Ah, I’ve gone rather beyond the thinking about it stage,” Edmund pointed out coldly. “I’m at the threatening-to-actually-do-it stage. By which I mean, I am fully prepared to bomb this castle into little bits of rubble. You may be absurdly difficult to kill, or stop from resurrecting, but I doubt that’s true of your mewling little spawn. So here’s the deal: I still want the shovel. Or rather, my oversized friend Utgarda-Loki still wants the shovel. You go and get the shovel, and I’ll call off my army and leave your castle and your children alone. Deal?”

Catrina was in an interesting place emotionally; she had gone quite beyond fury into a sort of very calm, very cold wrath. When she spoke, she sounded almost as if she were discussing the weather. The look in her eyes, though, sent chills running up Perry’s spine as if a dozen tiny centipedes with cold legs were running a marathon. “You want Mlrning? Fine. You’ll have it. I don’t know how I’ll get it, but I will. And after that….after that, Edmund, you are going to pay for this. I swear. ”

“I have an army,” Edmund said. “I doubt I’ll be paying for anything. You have one week to get me the shovel. You’d better hurry.” He made a motion as if he were about to teleport away again.

“Wait,” Catrina said, still quite calm. “I’ll need to get back to the 21st century. That’s where Thrud is; that’s where I left some other friends of mine who were helping to look for the shovel. But I don’t have the resources to time-travel here. I will require your help.”

Edmund laughed. “If you think asking for my help will somehow ingratiate yourself with me so I’ll have mercy-”

“Oh, no. I have no intention of ingratiating myself. Especially not to you. It was only a practical concern, you see.”

“Ah. Well then. I suppose I’ll have to help you get there. But once there, you’re on your own. And you’ll have to find your own way back. I do hope you’ll be careful.”

“Your concern is touching. Let’s get on with it then.”

Perry started to say something, to make a protest, but Catrina cut him off. “Perry, mind the kids. Someone has to stay here and make sure Edmund’s army doesn’t attack before I return. That’s you. Good luck.”

“But-”

Catrina and Edmund both disappeared in a flurry of smoke and flame, accompanied by a muffled bamf sound. Perry sighed. “I had hoped I could go with you for this one.” he remarked sadly to no one in particular. “We’re supposed to be married, after all.” But then he reflected that, after all, he was only a librarian’s assistant. It wasn’t as if he were a prince in disguise or anything. Right? Of course, right.

This has been another exciting episode of the Catrina Chronicles. Be sure to tune in next week, when Catrina, Krystelle, Smudge, and Connecticut Smith resume their quest for Mlrning (the Shovel of Thor!). For previous episodes, go here. For Catrina’s first novelized adventure, which you can buy in print or e-book format from Amazon, go here. Thanks for reading!

 

 

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