Today’s blog continues my long-neglected satirical fantasy, In The Land of the Penny Gnomes
Bug cocked his head, “I’m sorry, you’re from the whatnow?”
The lawyer smacked his palm against his forehead. “That’s right! You have no idea, do you?”
A tendril of steam floated in front of the stranger’s face. “No idea about *what?” snapped Sindy.
“About the Bar, and this unsanctioned enforcement of the copyright accords?”
“Unlicensed?” Will interjected.
“Copyright accords?” Questioned Nobody.
“Why do you keep saying your a bar? Are you some sort of craft brewery?” poked Grimby.
Roy Stevens sighed. “Hmmm. Well I suppose I’ll take those questions backward.
“First, I’m not with a craft brewery. I’m with the Bar, the organization tasked with overseeing the copyright accords.
“Second, yes, ‘unlicensed.’ This particular firm was not authorized to enforce the accords on this particular region. Indeed, until recently the Bar didn’t even know this region existed.
“Third, the Copyright Accords is the name of the treaty which governs the flow of trade and information between the various fictional realms. They prevent the pollution of fiction by managing just what thoughts are permitted to cross-pollenate between realms.”
“You’re talking about Actualized fiction?” Sills probed.
Roy shrugged, “I’m not familiar with that term, I’m afraid. But if that’s what you call the fictional realms I would hazard to say that’s correct.”
Steam was now filling the compartment, and Sindy’s face was crimson.
“Sindy, hon,” spoke Bug as he creeped into his wife’s cone of attention. “Are you OK?”
Her husband’s prod was all the encouragement Sindy required. With a whistle-blast of steam she threw open her mouth and shrieked “It’s his fault! My mom is gone, faded from everything, and he says his group was in charge of it!” Roaring with rage, she then stood 1 and lunged with clenched fists at the startled Roy. The unsuspecting lawyer may have lost several teeth if Sills and Bug hadn’t restrained her.
Her target coiled back in alarm as the infuriated gnome struggled against the retraining hands of her friends. “Madam, please!”
“I’ll please, knock you into a new narrative! Don’t you know what you’ve done to us?”
“As a matter of fact, madam, I do not. This Firm reported coming into contact with a new region several years ago, and then went silent. I was sent here to investigate the matter. Imagine my shock to discover one of our Firms had not only made contact with, but also invaded a territory not covered under the Copyright Accords!”
“Well what took you so long,” spat Sindy. “We’ve been at war for years.”
Again, Roy sighed before answering. “Madam, you must understand. Fiction is huge. I’ve been traveling for months to reach this conflict, and I only established my observation post last week.”
This piqued Sills’ interest. “What do you mean, ‘observation post?’”
“My role here is the observe the conflict, gather evidence, and return with it to the Bar.” When this declaration was met with blank stares the lawyer continued, “I’ve come to put an end to this conflict, and file charges against the Firm’s leadership.”
“Fineflin,” Bug prompted the Elf. “What do you make of all this?”
“Hmm. Aside from his ridiculous outfit I’m not sensing any danger from him. I think he’s telling the truth.”
“OK, great. So… Mr. Stevens. You’re gathering evidence and then heading back to your bar thingy. Right?”
“I’m heading back to the Bar, yes.”
Bug waved a dismissive hand. “Whatever. You’ve gotten here about a year too late. By the time you get back to the Bar, your horde of rampaging lawyers will have wiped out The Realm’s resistance. After that, they’ll be ex-lawyers. And this will be an ex-region.”
“Ahhh,” Roy sighed with a dawning realization. “You think I came here alone. I’m sorry, I hadn’t made myself clear.”
An explosion, followed by gunfire and shouts of “Drop your weapons!” echoed outside their transport. The vehicles halted, and for a brief period the noises outside their transport grew in both violence and urgency. When silence reigned, once more, Roy continued.
“I may be a forward observer, but I came here with the Bar.”
The doors to their transport were thrown open, revealing several more lawyers, each clothed like their imprisoned compatriot. With the notable exception these newcomers each carried an assault rifle.
“And I’ve gathered all the evidence I require.”
Roy then hopped out the back of the transport and accepted a sheet of paper from one of soldiers who’d opened the doors. The lawyer then turned and handed the sheet to Bug.
“I’m afraid I must insist you all come with me.”
Bug held up the paper. “And just what is this supposed to be.”
“That, my dear sir, is summons. You’ve all be called to testify before the bar.” The Lawyer then fixed his attention on Bug and added, “And what did you mean by ex-lawyers?”
- She’s a penny gnome, remember? Standing up in a van is not a difficult feat. ↩