The God-Killer

Fantasy written by Narval971 on Saturday 24, September %17

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A short story documenting the creation of The God-Killer Device, a machine born of magic and technology designed for war with the subterranean gods of the underdark

Overall Rating: Not Rated

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Dee sat at the docks, waiting for everyone to return. It had been his goal to keep everyone together as the idea of separation in any part of this cave seemed risky and in a new and unknown city it was outright dangerous. As he sat on one of the wooden posts holding the dock up, he looked around at the completely alien subterranean world that had become his temporary home. “Home?” Dee thought. It certainly didn’t feel that way, more like a prison cell. But none of that really mattered anyways. It certainly looked more foreboding than his previous life as a student, but it held about as much potential and was just as restraining. At least here no professor would look down upon him and his ideas and force him to work on old inventions that would go nowhere. Dee had always wanted to do something new. He stood up, feeling a little dizzy from the food rationing during the trip over, he set off in search of some food. He hadn’t a penny to his name but maybe he could barter for something or find someone generous. Staring down the streets ahead of him he felt strangely at home. These streets were perpetually under a false night sky which suited the night owl. In them, people milled about enjoying their day-to-day existence completely unaware of what undersea troubles had recently emerged. The destruction of Slubuludop to an awoken elder god was certainly not the end of the troubles for the towns that bordered the subterranean lake. More would likely come and even if they didn’t, the one they were already dealing with was plenty bad enough. In front of him he saw four children playing in the street. He squatted on the pavement to watch them. The game they played was completely alien to him but the joy they felt was all too familiar. He remembered trying to play with the boys at his boarding school and being met with surprising kindness, appreciation, and a welcoming pat on the back and explanation of the rules. Moments like these filled Dee with a love for humanity. He longed for a world that accepted him for who he was and played by the same rules these children lived by, but he sighed knowing that this wasn’t the case. Doug made that point an ever-present, ever-dominating facet of his new life. He had initially taken a liking to his travel companion Doug as he seemed to be full of the confidence that Dee so desired but as Dee had slowly become more accustomed to his new friends, he found that showing Doug who he truly was, was exactly what Doug seemed to despise the most. Dee knew that his ideas were good, or at least he desperately hoped they were. An inventor at heart, he placed perhaps too much of his own self-worth on what he was able to create. Darlock, his other companion, seemed to appreciate Dee’s drive, but his last mistake had turned away even that ally. He couldn’t help it! Inventing was hard and Dee was experimenting with ideas that, at least as far as he knew, were entirely new and that meant failures and that meant setbacks. How could he be to blame that the rudder suddenly disappeared when he used his new magic? And when it simultaneously grew Dragon, his ‘pet’ that was more an amalgamation of metal, magic, and chewing gum, twice the size allowing them to escape to safety there was no appreciation. Dee turned away from the kids and continued up the street. As he walked, Dee saw food stands, magic shops, potion shops and every typical store one could encounter in a dwarven town. None seemed at all concerned at the reality that they were all at least a mile underground and the sky above them of inky blackness only extended up maybe a few hundred feet. At last, ahead of him he saw a store with a small stand outside with samples of their food. The store seemed to be a bakery and the samples were small cupcakes arranged in a rectangle. A good few of them were already gone but there were plenty left for him. He considered taking the plate and running off, after-all he was desperate, and the continuous growling of his stomach was becoming more than just a nuisance. He pondered the question for a moment before grabbing just one and continuing his walk down the street. As the night, if it could be called that, began to set in, the stores started to close and the crowds in the streets began to thin. It wasn’t long until Dee was almost completely alone in the city, his only company his fellow night owls and those unfortunate enough to have nowhere else to go. Ahead of him he heard a scuffling, the sound of feet moving fast on cobblestone. This was followed by shouting, some voices in anger and some in mean-spirited support. “Kick his ass!” “Screw you guys!” “Go for the fucking throat!”. Dee started running towards the voices and turned down a back alleyway to find a gang of older teenage boys cheering on two much younger boys fighting. The boys, no more than 12, were surrounded, with no escape save for the defeat of their opponent. What ‘defeat’ meant Dee didn’t care to think about. “Hey what the hell is going on over here!” he shouted but only to the response of a few turned heads that went right back to watching the game unfold. Realizing that his words would mean little to the throng Dee thought about his options. He had left Dragon back on the docks and his homunculus Sugon, a glorified sentient puddle of horrid smelling goop, was pretty lousy in a fight. One of the kids threw a haymaker that had the other reeling and spitting blood. Not knowing what to do, Dee pulled out his light crossbow. Not wanting to use it, he hoped the threat alone would be enough to stop the fight. “Stop this right now!” he cried with as much intensity as he could muster. It wasn’t enough. “What the hell is that?” one of the older ones turned to face him, clearly confused as to all the modifications Dee had added to the crossbow making it more powerful but significantly less stable. This caused the rest to turn. Growing up on the streets of the UnderDark had taught them to pay attention to questions like that. The fear that quickly crossed their faces departed as soon as it arrived as they saw that “that” was an absurd contraption held in the hands of a quivering young man, barely older than they were and who seemed well aware of his significant outnumbering. “Does that even work?” and “Who the hell do you think you are?” came from somewhere in the throng but Dee was far too scared to really care which individual speaker it came from. In the end it didn’t matter anyways as the amorphous voices he had heard initially became amorphous fists and knees and legs surrounding him and beating him to the ground. He curled up and clutched his head squinting out of one eye long enough to see his crossbow snapped in half under the boot of one of his assailants. As the crossbow snapped, the various contraptions affixed to the side snapped with it. Some held mixtures of gasses, others liquid, with the only shared property being all of them being highly unstable. As the chambers were crushed a blast erupted from them knocking the entire crowd backwards, Dee included, with the gang member to blame being thrown into the alleyway wall dislocating his shoulder immediately. After a few seconds of recovery for all, the gang quickly darted into the comforting shadows of the dark streets and alleyways they knew, leaving Dee and the destruction caused by his creation behind. “Wow, just wow. I’ve never seen anything quite like that. Was that supposed to happen?” a kind voice from above offered, along with an outreached hand. “No…” Dee grumbled still vaguely in shock at what had happened. As he looked up he saw a kind-faced middle-aged woman looking back down at him. “Name’s Eve, what’s yours?” she said. “Dee” he replied, taking her hand and steadying himself up. “I don’t know if you heard me but was that supposed to happen?” she asked with a completely blank look, seemingly indifferent to Dee’s condition. “No no of course not. They broke my crossbow but my modifications are a bit… tricky” he replied. She seemed very unusual to Dee. Her expression had no concern or care but did not seem malignant by any stretch, just neutral. Her face seemed a peculiar balance between a deer in headlights and the excitedness of a child on receiving a new toy. Completely surprised by what was before her but not remotely understanding both it and the danger it posed. A fellow inventor. “Tricky?” she stated matter-of-factly. “Fascinating. Would you like to repair your weapon at my workshop? I would love to see how it works. I don’t make weapons myself, but I use magic to enhance mining equipment for the dwarves. It’s quite cool really.” “Um… yeah… yes yes I mean that sounds quite nice and very kind of you.” Her workshop was nearby and was in the form of a backroom behind a mining supplies shop. Behind the small room decorated by pickaxes, helmets, lanterns, and dusty closed sign was a significantly larger environment adorned with large desks, tool-racks, clamps, and equipment for manufacturing any number of devices be they of wood, steel or even magic. In the corner was a locked storage locker that featured shelves full of gadgets of some form or another each with a name and number label along with a piece of parchment labeled “NOTES FOR IMPROVEMENT” at the top. “This place is incredible!” Dee exclaimed. “It’s got as much equipment as our labs at the University!”. “I dedicated pretty much all of my living space to it, this actually used to be a regular city apartment but I took out the walls to create one large ‘temple,’ as it were, to the act of creating.” Eve explained arms outstretched and gesturing her ‘home’. Dee realized that ‘pretty much all’ was a fitting phrase as he spotted through a doorway a small messy unmade cot left in the corner of the room clearly inhabited by one occupant that was more than satisfied with the act of creation and saw no reason to append a ’pro-‘ to that act for offspring or pleasure. Eve showed Dee to one of the only table’s that wasn’t covered in parts but in the process showed him how she had created the world’s first “Magic Engine” that harnessed magical item’s usefulness into mechanical energy. This energy is what powered her specialty mining equipment. Dee saw that many of his ideas weren’t truly his own as some of the contraptions around him mirrored sketches hanging in his dorm-room wall. This was the perfect place to try out a new idea. “Eve?” he asked. “I have two of these crossbows so losing one really isn’t such a big deal, would it be okay if I made something new? I’ve had an idea for a while and I think you have the materials for a prototype. It’s a-“. “No no I don’t want to have it spoiled! But yes absolutely you can use my shop and materials. It’s rare to meet someone like me! And certainly, rarer for them to be of such a young age. I have to go now to meet with one of the mining groups in town to pitch them my new ‘automatic axe’. It works by- actually if I explain it now I’ll be late to the meeting. But yes stay here and invent whatever you please and use whatever you want. I’ll be back in a few hours to see what you’ve come up with!”. She hurriedly grabbed the handle of a large, wheeled cart that seemed to feature no pickaxes at all but a large metal drum tipped with spikes attached to what appeared to be one of these “Magic Engines”. After some straining, the cart finally budged and began to lazily trail behind her, indifferent to her significant efforts. A few moments later she was out the back door and Dee was alone once again but the environment, though new, was far from alien. A few hours later the door swung open again to show the excited face of Eve but this time with no heavy prototype. “They loved it! Kept it there for more inspection!” Her excitement, while substantial, faded slightly as her tiredness began to sneak in. “I don’t know why they have these meetings so late, hope the inventing went well, I’m off to bed.” And she shut the door to her bedroom leaving Dee to his work. He would have replied had he been there, but Dee had been outside retrieving the required supplies for his idea. The reflected and diffused lantern light shone onto the cold pavement a few miles away where Dee was crouched low under a large tank located just outside one of the mines the dwarves used. He held up a fabric bag and let the stream of liquid from the tank pour in. In spite of the near-darkness that occupied much of the city, the lantern lights were there to illuminate one key part of the tank, they were all directed at the large “FLAMMABLE. KEROSENE LAMP FILL STATION. NO OPEN FLAMES” label painted on the side. The light functioning as a warning to all who may be near to take heed. From under the tank, Dee couldn’t see this clear warning and continued filling the bag he held. In the morning, Eve arose to find Dee asleep on the desk, head resting in his arms. In front of him swung a simple burlap sack. The bag was held above the table by a small wooden frame and when Eve peered inside she saw a purple swirl and single eyeball point back up. She yelped in fright, waking Dee. “Huh… what, where am I?” “You’re in my workshop” Eve said not unkindly but a little hesitantly. Dee looked up to find that Eve’s expression to be that of one who feels they have gotten too excited at the possibilities of another. Eve grimaced slightly and poked the bag with a quill. The bag seemed to be bulging and putting a not inconsiderable weight on the rope holding it up. Sugon, functioning as a cork, gurgled at this disturbance. “So… did you make what you wanted to make?” she uttered. “Oh yes, yes I did actually.” Dee was slowly coming to his senses but his recollection at the events of the night before were having a considerable impact at speeding this process up. “Yes! I figured it all out! This should solve all of our problems!” he exclaimed, gesturing at the bag. “Yeah… it definitely will… for sure” Eve mumbled, trying and failing to be as supportive as she could. “Um… how does it work?” She said after a long uncomfortable silence. Dee leaned in and began to explain the device he had created. Over the period of only a few minutes Eve Dee’s respective expressions followed reversed trajectories. As Dee became more and more elated with his creation, seduced by its capabilities, Eve became more and more alarmed with not only what he had created but the fact that she had enabled and encouraged such a thing to exist. After he was finished Eve took a step back from the table nervous, that a misstep could set it off killing them both instantly. “It’s totally safe right now, I’m the only one that can trigger it and I can even do it remotely!” Eve didn’t feel safe, and knowing that this power was Dee’s and Dee’s alone did little to ease her worries. “You need to destroy this thing. Destroy it and forget about it and any other ideas. This isn’t why I brought you here.” Eve declared, surprising even herself with her anger. “This isn’t why we make things! We make things to help people not kill them!” “But this won’t kill anybody” Dee said confused. “It’s for our protection from the beings that are much more powerful than we could ever be! I’ve seen cities wiped out that this could have prevented!” Dee slowly moved in-between Eve and his creation, sensing that it was at risk of being confiscated. “You know what, screw you! I thought you might have actually cared about my designs and ideas but you’re just like all the others. Too blind and backwards to see the possibilities in front of your own eyes!” Dee grabbed the bag. It was surprisingly heavy. He bolted for the door to the shouts of Eve behind him. “Police! Anybody! Stop him!” But it was too late, Dee had already ducked into the alleyways behind the workshop and with the early morning there were no witnesses to help Eve in preventing the release of what she knew to be the most dangerous weapon ever created. At the dock, Doug and Darlock and all the other members of the group that hadn’t been killed in combat or left behind (or both) were waiting for Dee. They had arranged to meet up at dawn but Dee’s late night and even later morning waking had him arriving well after noon. “Hey guys, sorry I’m late” Dee said panting and catching his breath. “What happened to you?” Doug asked, more irritated than concerned. “Yeah laddie take a moment and catch your breath.” Darlock added. After a few moments of recovery Dee explained “I’ve done it guys, I’ve come up with something that can stop all of this.” “What the hell does that mean?” Doug retorted. “No no I really mean it!” Dee showed them the bag. The group was unimpressed. “It’s a bag?” the female dwarf that Dee could never quite remember the name of asked. “Yes, and no… allow me to explain” Dee said, donning the tone of a showman, or at least attempting to do so. He stood on a nearby crate and addressed his ‘crowd’. “Today I wish to demonstrate what I believe to be the most significant advancement in the history of mankind. What I have created is a weapon capable of destroying not simply one man or monster but entire cities and armies. Powered by only 3-” he held up his fingers to illustrate this point “-readily available magical items and 1 and a half tons of kerosene I have created the first, what I term, Vacuum Bomb.” He paused for effect. It wasn’t what he had hoped for. Half the group didn’t know what a vacuum was and the other half didn’t know what it meant, and all of them shared a collective disbelief and dismissal at his speech. Nevertheless, he pressed on. Dee bent down towards the bag which now rest on the crate next to him. He whispered “Hey Sugon, can you fly out like a thousand feet or so with the bag? You know what to do.” “What’s the point of all this?” Darlock asked. Sugon rose up from the top of the bag as an animate pile of purple jelly. Dee handed him a sending stone to maintain communication. Sugon absorbed the stone into his purple mass and tentacles began to grow from his sides giving him the appearance of a melting octopus. The tentacles started to spin with Sugon’s single eye remaining stationary and watching Dee. To the crowd’s surprise Sugon lifted off of the platform with the bag securely held beneath him. “Yeah he can do that, that’s not the trick though I promise.” The crowd watched as Sugon disappeared into the blackness of the cavern. ... As Sugon reaches 1000 ft of distance, Dee hears a gurgle through his sending stone and continues his speech. “Ladies and Gentlemen, please sit back and enjoy the show of the world’s first demonstration of The God Killer.” He speaks now only into the sending stone “Sugon, begin detonation process”. 1000 ft away Sugon receives this message. He flies to the top of the cave and crawls inside the now falling bag. The altitude should be sufficient for a full detonation. As the bag falls, Sugon slides inside only to sink down a full 4 ft, much further than the bag appears on the outside. Inside, the bag is fully loaded with kerosene and a fire striker. Sugon sinks down to the bottom of the bag and grabs the fire striker. It has been enchanted by Dee to contain the Gust of Wind spell. Holding the fire striker, Sugon casts the spell and directs it towards the opening of the bag. Immediately, the bag’s drawstring tie is forced open by a gust of aerosolized kerosene that spreads around the bag. As the bag empties its contents in a fraction of a second, Sugon triggers the detonation. He is not sentient enough to know that his owner sent him to die so he is not saddened when the striker triggers a chain reaction of fire and flame that vaporizes him completely. From the pier the crowd watches as a ball of light several hundred feet across burns bright, illuminating the cavern for miles. 2 seconds afterwards the single loudest noise ever measured reaches the city. Not loud enough to destroy or injure but loud enough to stop everyone in town in their tracks. Upon hearing it, Eve looks up from the streets and from her search for Dee and stares down the gap in the buildings to see the product of his grim work. The fireball expands quickly before dissipating into a cloud of considerable smoke that spreads out upon reaching the cave roof. Dee observes the shock on his compatriots faces. Most are alarmed if not terrified. Doug attempts to appear neutral but beneath this façade is a look of fear. The first fear Dee has ever seen cross that face. He continues his speech “That blast was, by my calculations, big enough to kill anyone within 500 ft and flatten stone structures to 100 ft. With this weapon, the elder abominations of the UnderDark are no longer a threat. Thank you.” Dee outstretches his arms to accept the applause he expects. It does not arrive. Far away, beneath the lapping waves of the UnderDark Lake, the sleep of the gods is disturbed.

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  • Okay, a few things.
    You have a good plot here. You could very easily expand and develop this. Nice job.

    Now, the issues.
    You need to format this. It makes it much easier to read.
    You have some run-on sentences. Edit them and trim them.
    You have mixed tenses. Pick a tense and stick to it.
    - November 10 2022 21:47:46