By Robert Asprin
Skeeve was once a magician's apprentice--until an murderer struck and his grasp used to be killed. Now, with a purple-tongued demon named Aahz as a significant other, he is on a quest to get even.
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He spread his arms at shoulder height, looked heavenward, took a deep breath, then clapped his hands. Nothing happened. " -MACBETH AAHZ scowled and repeated the gesture, a bit quicker this time. The scene remained unchanged. I decided something was wrong. " I asked politely. "You'd better believe there's something wrong," Aahz snarled. " He was starting to sound annoyed. " "Look, kid. If I knew what was wrong, I'd have fixed it already. " He sank down to sit cross-legged in the center of the pentagram where he began sketching vague patterns in the floor as he mumbled darkly to himself.
They aren't showmen, they're smugglers, buying and selling technology across the barriers for profit and power. " I must have frowned without realizing it, but Aahz noted it and acknowledged it with a wink and a smirk. "I know what you're thinking, Skeeve. It all sounds a little dishonest and unscrupulous. Actually, they're a fairly ethical bunch. " I asked, forgetting myself for a moment. Aahz didn't seem to mind this time. "It's like the Mercenaries Code, but less violent and more profitable.
Silence reigned for several minutes, then he began to chant in a low mumble. A thread of smoke appeared from the brazier, but instead of rising to the ceiling, it poured onto the floor and began to form a small cloud that seethed and pulsed. Garkin's chanting was louder now, and the cloud grew and darkened. The brazier was almost obscured from view, but there ... in the depths of the cloud ... something was taking shape.... " I nearly jumped out of my skin at the words. They came from inside the hut, but not inside the pentagram!
Categories: Humor Satire