Today’s blog continues my long-neglected satirical fantasy, In The Land of the Penny Gnomes
Bug’s mouth dropped open. “You’re who, to do what?”
Nobody, on the other hand, beamed like a child on Christmas. “There is a hierarchy above the lawyers of the Horde. Oh this is fascinating! How are you supplied? Do your ideas all come from the same source? Have you heard about Applied Imagination, and is that how you survive in the lands between realms? Can I…”
Bug held up a hand as Sindy reached around her father to cup his mouth.
“Later, Professor.” He turned back to Finch, “What do you mean you’re here to save the world?”
The Attorney General leaned back in his chair and sighed. “I mean precisely that. This is an unauthorized incursion into a land which has never been part of the Copyright Accords. We fear it could have terrible repercussions on the imaginative economy if it’s not halted.”
“I most whole heartedly agree,” Nobody blurted out as Sills, Sindy, and Bug triple-teamed him with a “keep quiet” glare. The academic missed the warning and continued, shaking off his daughter’s grasp. “My calculations show The Realm is the source of imaginative energy for all the unreal realms. Should it fall, or should the people of The Realm choose to unleash a last resort weapon of mass destruction, I fear imagination itself will cease to flow for a period of several centuries.”
Finch, whose face had been fixed with a confident grin, grew pale. “What sort of weapon would this be?”
Nobody blushed and issued a nervous cough. “Well, ahh…”
“What?” Will spat. He regretted it as soon as the echo of his words hit his ears. Finch turned his gaze upon the teen’s position and spoke.
“Did you have something to add, young man?”
“Nope!” Bug cut in. “Nothing at all.”
Tell Finch what Nobody created. He needs to know.
Will gulped some air and spoke with a quiver in his voice. “The peoples of The Realm have a Penny Ore Detonator. If it’s set off, The Realm will be destroyed. No one will survive.”
“Will!” Sills snapped, the venom of accusation dripped from his name.
The Professor, on the other hand, felt the need to correct Will’s assessment. “Well, that’s not entirely correct. I calculate there is a 50% chance the Forest of Classics will be immune to the release of imaginative energy. And, of course, the Satire Shield should offer some partial protection from the blast.”
Sindy poked her father on the shoulder as he spoke. After several taps of increasing intensity she managed to attract his attention, “Dad?”
“Yes, my dear?”
“Shut up,” his daughter growled.
The AG of Copyright leaned forward and rested his elbows on his desk. Taking a deep breath he lowered his chin on to his hands.
“You really have this weapon?”
Bug grunted. “Yes. And we’ll use it too.”
“What sort of a madman would create such a horrible device?”
Nobody raised his hand. “Well… gnome, but it’s wasn’t madness. It was a government contract.”
“Same thing,” Grimby mumbled from the back. Will hadn’t paid any attention to the dwarf since arriving in the command tent. He noticed the IBI agent was grasping on to Oscar’s shirt sleeve, as if to keep his fellow dwarf from running off. Fineflin stood beside his partner, marveling at the decor of the working space. When the elf saw Finch looking in his direction he took the opportunity to vocalize his appreciation.
“This is some splendid interior design. I really need to meet the person who put it together.”
Bug rolled his eyes, “Elves! We’re facing annihilation and you’re taking time to talk design tips?”
“I’m planning for the future.”
“Whatever.” Bug turned back to the AG and decided to state the facts before anyone else interrupted. “Yes, we have the device. Yes, it can do what the Professor said it can do. Yes, we will use it. So why don’t you back your dogs off and get our of our land?” Turning to his companions, but eyeing Will in particular, the gnome continued, “Now are there any other state secrets any of you would like to share with the enemy?” When Oscar raised his hand, Bug shouted, “That was a rhetorical question!”
Finch shook his head. “I must reiterate. We are not your enemies, and what you’ve just told me only makes my statement to you even more true. We are here to save the world, and it looks like we arrived just in time. Please excuse me.”
With that the Attorney General of Copyright swiveled his chair and picked up a red-handled phone which stood on a pedestal behind his desk. Holding the handle up to his head, he spoke. “Corporal, did you make the connection I requested? Good, please patch me in.”
“Hello, Senior Partner Caustic? I regret to inform you, but your action against the population of the region known as The Realm has been found in violation of your firm’s charter. you are to cease and desist all operations and sue for an immediate cease fire. After which you and your senior staff will report to me.
“Yes, I know you are under attack. All the more reason to call for a cease fire.
“I don’t care what the Patent Trolls have told you. You know better than to get involved with those animals!
“Yes, now. We will await your arrival.”
Finch set the receiver down and turned to face the companions. He said nothing for several minutes, as a grin spread across his face when the distant thunder of guns faded and finally ceased.
“So that’s it?” asked Sindy?
“Oh no,” Finch’s smile grew. “Now we have to have a trial.”