Writer's comment : Well, this was written during Strange_Girl's "other worlds" quiz, where she suggested NPC's would try to live in our world for a change. The story stars Viconia (surprise, surprise) and Vierna... And it basically takes place in "our" world. All the AD&D races are present, so there's bound to be some changes in our history. Like the Jansens coming to America on the Mayflower... Actually, they were the ONLY family to come over with the Mayflower. (Seeming the ship was packed to the crow's nest with gnomes, not to mention all the little sloops tied to the stern, also filled with gnomes...). Also, I've read the Drow were southern jungle-dwellers before the Elfwar, so the place were the Inca's used to live in our world, has all been Drow country since the ice-age. (And no, the Spanish Conquistadores didn't conquer the place this time. Three guesses why... *grin*) Tidbit : The Game Vierna is playing in the beginning is Star Trek Klingon Academy, a game I much loved when this story was being written.
An Average Day
Boost Power to Damage Control.
Viconia stirred uncomfortably in her bed as the deep bass voice sounded through-out the house.
Execute Repair Pattern.
Viconia groaned. The voice was simply to loud to be able to keep on sleeping. The barrage of disruptors and photon torpedo's coming from downstairs soon after that didn't help much either...
'Dammit, why did I ever buy her that infernal game,' She thought sleepily. 'She's playing it in the early hours now... And I've barely slept this night as well...'
Ventral Shield is down to fifty percent, Sir!!
Viconia sighed and rolled over again to look at her alarm-clock... Why does that girl persist on playing that game at 8:17.
Aft Shield is down to fifty percent, Sir!!
Viconia's eyes suddenly snapped open when realisation kicked in. "8:17!!!" She shouted to herself and jumped out of bed. 'The Alarm didn't go off! Vierna has to be in school at half past eight!'.
Ventral Shield is buckling!!
Viconia jumped into a pair of jeans. She still wore the 'I Killed Kenny' T-shirt which she always slept in and quickly used a stylish hairclip to fasten her long white hair into a pony-tail.
We are receiving reports of casualties, Sir!!
Viconia ran down the stairs and entered the living room. Sitting behind her computer, dressed in Simpsons P.J.'s, was her daughter Vierna, engrossed in a game of Klingon Academy. Viconia greeted and ran past her, into the kitchen. Vierna, locked into desperate combat with two Romulan battle-cruisers, didn't even hear her...
Hull integrity seriously compromized, Sir!!
Viconia threw a slice of bread into the toaster. She stuffed a bare dinner-roll into her mouth and almost choked... As soon as the bread popped out of the toaster, she smeared it thickly with strawberry jam...
We are experiencing massive hull-ruptures across all decks, Sir!!
Captain Vierna DeVir of the I.K.S. voDleH was stalwart and brave in the face of certain death. Her ship was burning in space. The voDleH had lost primary weapons, shields and two of her four warp-nacelles, but nonetheless, she had managed to destroy one of her Romulan peusuers and severely damaged the other one. One more torpedo should finish him off. The Romulan VeQ was turning its forward-section towards the voDleH, in a last-ditch effort to fire a plasma torpedo. But with its disabled impulse engines, the turn was simply too slow. A photon torpedo sped towards the Romulan ship... Captain DeVir revelled in what would be a great victory for the Klingon Empire. The torpedo hit home and... Why has the screen turned black?. Vierna looked away from the computer and saw her mother looking down at her, holding a plug...
"Awww, momma! I almost won!" Vierna pouted.
"Vierna, get your clothes on. You have to go to school! You can play Klingon Academy again, when you get home..." Viconia said.
"Awww. I don't wanna go to school!" Vierna pleaded, but from the icy stare her mother was giving her at the moment, she figured she really shouldn't go that down that road... Instead she got up from behind the computer and ran up to her room, while her mother put on her own coat and shoes.
"Momma?!" Vierna called from upstairs... "Where's my shirt?!"
"In your dresser, honey!"
"Momma?" Vierna shouted again. "Where are my pants?!"
"Have you checked under your bed?"
"Thanks!" She shouted again. "Ummm, Momma?!"
Viconia sighed. "Your socks are in the dresser, your cap is on your desk, your shoes are in the bathroom, where you left them yesterday, and your backpack is on the couch downstairs!" Viconia shook her head. 'Every day the same...' she thought with a smile.
Vierna ran down the stairs, fully dressed and wearing her cap back-to-front, ready to go. After running to the couch to get her backpack, she walked back to her mother and took her hand.
"Here... You can eat your toast in the car..." She said after handing her daughter a sticky breakfast.
Vierna was happily eating her toast, while Viconia drove her car out of the garage. As her car was gaining speed she looked over to her daughter. "Vierna, fasten your seatbelt!" She said angrily. Vierna looked around, trying to figure out how to eat her toast and fasten her seatbelt at the same time. Viconia sighed and bent over to do it for her...
"Momma!" Vierna suddenly shouted.
Viconia didn't hesitate for a moment. Almost breaking the soundbarrier, she bent back to the wheel, put a proctecive arm in front of her daughter, floored the brakes, and braced for impact... But nothing happened... There was not a single car in sight...
"You almost hit that poor bird, momma!" Vierna said.
"What bird?" Viconia said, seeing nothing. "And who cares..."
Vierna pouted and continued eating her toast. Viconia sighed and ruffled her daughter's hair apologetically, to make Vierna smile again.
After fastening Vierna's seatbelt, Viconia continued driving her Ford Fiesta a lot faster than the speed-limits allowed. 'I really shouldn't drive so fast' Viconia thought sadly, and remembered Vierna's father, and how a speeding car had taken the only man she had ever loved away from her when Vierna was still a baby. She recalled that terrible night when the police came over to her house to bring her the devastating news... And then realizing Karis would never return to her.
She decided to slow down to below the speed limit. Vierna might be late for school that way, but at least, the chance she would hit someone would be a lot smaller. Then, as she prepared to turn left at the crossing, she was suddenly cut off by a jerky orc in a hot-rod...
"YOU PIECE OF SH..." She shouted at him, but caught herself when she noticed her daughter looking at her with interest. "Shhhhhhhh....sheesh...."
"Momma? Don't you mean sh..."
Then, suddenly, the car violently rocked up and down... 'CRAP!! Speed-bump!' Viconia thought.
"Momma? The car sounds kinda funny..."
Indeed, the engine was making odd ticking and bumping sounds...
'Oh, crap... I'm really having a bad day...' Viconia thought wryly
After miraculously dropping off Vierna at school in time, and running inside after her because her daughter had forgotten her back-pack, Viconia drove back home, put her damaged car back in the garage and took a quick shower. She wasn't supposed to be on campus for at least another hour or so, and after blowdrying her hair, she left to the supermarket to do some grocery shopping.
'Hmmm.... Eggs... check. Bread... check. The candy Vierna likes... check. Cookies... check. Breakfast Cereals... check. Batman comic... check. Turnips and assorted vegetables... check. Buns... check. Stack of TV dinners... check' Viconia thought to herself while looking at her list and pushing the shopping cart through the narrow aisles of the supermarket. 'Let's see... the last thing I need is a bag of catfood.'. As she rounded around the corner, she noticed two dwarven women chatting away and generally blocking the aisle with their carts. 'And, naturally, they're standing right in front of the catfood I need...' Viconia thought wryly.
The dwarven women were engrossed in a conversation about the quaility on stain-less steel. Apparently, it was of better quality than it used to be, but it had lost the much of the charm it had, back in the fifties... Viconia gritted her teeth and waited for them to move. And she waited... And waited.
"Excuse me." Viconia tried... No response.
"EXCUSE ME!" Viconia tried again. And again, there was no response...
Viconia boiled with anger when she realised the dwarven women were simply ignoring her! She had to fight the urge to grab a nearby waffle-iron on display and beat them over the head with it...
"You know, there's a sale on smithy-accessories down at Barnes&Nobles..." Viconia tried. This time there was a result. The two dwarves looked at each other briefly and sped off towards the registers.
'Suckers...' Viconia thought and loaded a bag of catfood into her cart.
When she arrived at the registers, she noticed a much shorter line than all the others! She couldn't believe her luck and moved in. But still it seemed no one else was headed towards that line. Then she saw why... She frantically tried to turn around, and to drag her cart out of the line, but the little door and already snapped shut behind her... There was no escape...
The only customer in front her was a geriatric gnome. And by the looks of it he had been talking to the clerk for a very long time already...
"Ah, then there's an interesting story about this quarter as well. I went over to Mudville, to get a new seat for my good pants. Well, during those days, you had to walk there since all the cars in the world were simply too expensive... Why, only the richest kings in Europe could afford them! I know this because I once was the butler of Princess Anastashia of Prussia. Grand dame that was! Until the nasty accident with the swordfish, of course... Well, anyway, when I walked to Mudville, I had tied a turnip to my belt, which was the style at the time. Now we couldn't get any red turnips, because of the war. The only ones we could buy on the markets were those yellow, stringy ones. Good purple ones where only avaliable on turnip-coupons which we got off the black market. Well, anyway, I had tied a turnip to my belt, which was the style at the time..."
Viconia sighed heavily and sincerely regretted her decision to quit smoking...
She dropped off her groceries at home, changed in a more formal attire (but kept the jeans) and drove to campus. Instead of putting her car in her reserved parking space, she brought it to the college's auto-shop. The teacher there was an old friend on hers.
"Tsk, tsk. I dunno, luv," Jan said, while carefully studying the engine. "It's what we call a teeth-dryer" Jan then took a deep breath through clenched teeth...
"Yeah, yeah, yeah," Viconia said impatiently. "Can you do something about it? I have to get to class."
"Well, sure Vicky! I've got a class with eager students waiting to pounce upon a problem like this. Hell, I once had to repair a car which had a turnip trapped in one of the pistons... Sure wasn't pretty. Some kid had probably put it in the exhaust-pipe as a prank, put it somehow got sucked all the way up there..." Jan said.
Seeing the blank look on Viconia's face, Jan decided to get to the point. "But do not worry, my pointy-eared friend, it'll be ready tuesday."
"TUES..." Viconia started angrily.
Jan chuckled . "Hey, hey. Don't worry. I just always wanted to say that. It'll be done in about two hours..."
"Sir Sarles is widely known to be the first sculptist to use pure illithium for his works. It is said he had an overbearing personality and demanded total adoration when adressed. But, aside from the used material, his work is considered very mediocre by, well, just about anyone..." Viconia said, while pointing at an image of his work on the overhead projector. She was the resident expert on sculpture and architecture in the Art-History department. "Of course, aside from having an ego bigger than the planet, Sarles was also widely known for being found dead in a brothel, dressed in women's clothing and surrounded by three sheep." She drew laughs from her students and chuckled herself.
"You're late again, Mr. Jansen." Viconia said, while facing the blackboard. Alfred Jansen, a burly gnome, grimaced and wondered how the hell she noticed him sneaking in. Everyone in her class knew, that you should never, EVER...
1. Talk in her class.
2. Hide comics in books and read them during class.
3. Be late.
4. Forget rule three.
And now, Alfred had broken every single one of those rules... Twice... And it was only the third lecture of the first semester.
"So nice that you have decided to grace us with your presence..." Viconia said sarcastically. "Tell me, Alfred. What is the subject of today's class you've already missed half an hour of? Oh, come on. Look at the overhead projector! Guess! Put that football-scholarship to work!"
"Urmmmmm..." Alfred began.
"Well, since you have so much free time on your hands, then you won't mind writing a 20-page essay about..." She paused a moment to think. "Technology and architecture in New York skyscrapers during the Roaring Twenties. Have it on my desk a week from now."
Viconia chuckled for a moment when Alfred Jansen was laughed at by his fellow students and continued her lecture on illithium-sculptors...
"Well, that's another lecture finished... Thank the gods..." Viconia sighed as she entered the teachers' lounge.
"What are you talking about, Vic?" A lanky elf named Joneleth said. He was the resident expert on the Renaissance, as well as ancient elven art. "I've given three lectures already. And I'm still bristling with energy!"
"Well, that's because you only showed them some documentaries today! Anybody can do that." Valen chuckled. The vampire was sitting at the table, leaning backwards on her chair.
"Hey, hey. That's not true. You have to be careful to press the right button, or you'll send that VCR straight to hell! You should know, you're the film-expert!" Joneleth retorted. Valen simply extended her tongue.
"Oh, there you go again! You've been sulking ever since Richard Nixon was slain!" Joneleth said.
"Richard Nixon was a true vampire and a great man!" Valen lamented. "That lousy teenage blonde brat!"
"How nice to see you two are enjoying yourselves..." Viconia said sarcastically. "But it's not the lecture. It's the prospect of all the housework that's waiting for me. And having Vierna around doesn't help keep things clean..."
"Why don't you hire a maid, then?" Valen asked.
"Nice try, but I can barely pay my mortgage, and having a child around costs a bundle too." Viconia smiled. "Not that it isn't worth it, mind you."
"How is she?" Joneleth asked. When Vierna was younger, Viconia usualy took her with her to the teachers' lounge, and left her there when she was in front of the class. Viconia once had Vierna walk into one of her lectures, wanting to 'go potty'. That way, she had found out Joneleth and Valen were terrible baby-sitters.
"Well, she's doing great in school and she's a star-pitcher in her Little League team..." Viconia began, but was interrupted when dean Odesseiron entered the lounge.
"Ah, it's good to see at least some of you teachers here (Yes, this will do nicely)." The dean began. "I have to inform you that there will be a new series of budget-cuts to the Arts-History department (Alright, brace for impact)."
The three teachers in the lounge began shouting at Edwin all at once. Eventually, Joneleth managed to break through the angry protests of the two women. "You can't keep slashing out budget, Edwin! We can barely muddle through as is!"
"If it's any consolation, the budgets of other departments are being slashed as well (Yes, that should hold those ravenous dogs for a moment)." Edwin continued and fondled his beard.
"If you need money all that much, why don't you funnel something away from your own salary!" Viconia said angrily and walked to the window.
"Now, I don't think that's an option (Let's not even go that way, in fact)." Edwin said.
"I don't see you slashing coach Bloodaxe's budget!" Valen cried.
"People can live without paintings, Valen. But not without football (And I can't live without all the extra income football gets me)." That said, Edwin approached Viconia. "Ah, my sweet Drow. Did you know, I have two tickets to tonight's opening of the new museum. And then perhaps we could have dinner? (And after that... Hmmm, I'm probably going to need my pacemaker replaced!)
'By the gods! Does this fool think I am so stupid, that I don't realize he's only trying to get inside my panties?! AGAIN?!' Viconia thought angrily. She turned around and faced dean Odesseiron with the fury of the Valkyries.
"Odesseiron, I wouldn't sleep with you if I was the last Drow on earth, and it was needed to save my race!" Viconia shouted, and walked into her office, once again, regretting she had quit smoking.
"You're a rat, Edwin." Joneleth said. Dean Odesseiron huffed and left the room, and almost bumped into Rebecca.
"Ah, Becky, you're just in time," Joneleth began, but was quickly interupted by his colleague.
"Urmm. The police just called. It's about your sister..." She stammered.
Joneleth buried his face in his hands. "What has she done now?" He sighed.
"They didn't quite say. Something about an incident involving emptying a cement-truck over a police cruiser..." Rebecca said.
After failing to find a left-over nicotine patch, Viconia spent the next fifteen minutes on the phone with her brother and grading some papers during the conversation.
"... You bought a Time-Share condo?! How can you be so stupid, Valas?!"
F... A... B... D... Oh, definately an F. Damn, why can't I give Z's!
"Hiking through the Rockies to stay in shape?! But.... Nature?!... I don't want to keep fit like you! I wanna keep fit like fit people do!"
A... C... B, wait, did she spell my name DeVor?! C, then...
"But a time-share condo? But... You bought a sattelite-dish?! I was at your house last month and I didn't see it... What do you mean twelve foot-radius?... Oh, that? I thought you just had your roof fixed badly..."
F... A... I really don't want to know what that stain is! Better give him a C... Always right...
"I'm just jesting Valas... Of course I know you didn't buy a condo... And, yes, I knew about the dish... Other countries?... The A-team in Russian?... Beavis and Butt-Head in Malaysian?... Yeah, yeah, yeah. When are you coming over? Vierna's been asking about you..."
Suddenly a red light flashed on her phone...
"Hold on, Valas. I'm getting a call on the other line." Viconia said and pressed the red button on her phone.
"Yes, this is Viconia DeVir... Principal D'Arnese?... Vierna did what?!"
After driving her newly repaired car to Vierna's school, Viconia walked through the hallways, looking for Principal d'Arnese office. She was surprised to find so many posters for fund-raisings...
Milkpowder for Halfling Bedoeines in the Saharan desert? What use is that when you've got no water?
Save the Whale? Give for the projects? Preserve the Rainforest...? That last one caught her attention. She actually was pro-rainforest, but didn't really care. The terrible conversations with her mother during her youth came to mind...
"It's where our people come from, child!" Her mother had said
"But we don't live there NOW, do we..?" She had retorted and ended up being sent to her room.
'My mother! I really should give her a call. I haven't seen her since that incident with Galna...' Viconia thought when she remembered her youngest sister wanting to join a neo-hippie commune, three years ago. She sighed... 'Peace and Love, indeed!'. Then she found the Principal's office...
Upon entering it, she noticed a red-haired girl sitting behind a desk. She seemed barely older than some or her students. Next to her, Vierna was sitting with bowed head. When she saw her mother enter, she looked up to her for support. When Vierna saw her mother smile at her, she perked up instantly...
"Ah, miss DeVir. I'm very sorry for disturbing you at work, but this is a serious matter. Young Vierna here has been caught fighting on the school playground." The young girl continued to explain to Viconia what had happened...
"Fighting in school is not something we encourage here, no matter the cause!" The young girl said adamantly.
"So you are saying my little girl, fought and defeated a boy who was almost twice her size and four grades higher than her?" Viconia said.
"Oh, Vierna..." Thinking her mother would be angry, Vierna bowed her head in sadness when her mother looked at her. "Am I proud of you!" Vierna perked up immediately. The young girl behind the desk was so shocked, she almost fell out of her chair.
"Come on, Vierna. I'll buy you a big bowl of icecream at the Frosty King, and then you can tell me all about your victory over that male!"
"Yay!" Vierna whooped and took her mother's hand.
"Well," The young girl said indignantly. "Perhaps that's how things go in your jungle-cities, but such practise is not tolerated here!"
"Who said anything about jungle-cities?" Viconia shot back. "I grew up in Montana."
"So... Then that mean old bully Samson just walked up to Shivon and pushed him around! He wanted to steal his lunch-money!" Vierna said while scooping up another bite of icecream. Molten yellow icecream was sticking on her face, giving her already dark complextion an extra accentuation.
"Shivon?" Viconia, who was sitting on the other side of the booth, said. "The nerdy elven kid with the glasses?"
Vierna put down her spoon and looked at her mother with a hint of anger. "Shivon is not a nerd, momma! He can't help it, he needs glasses! And he's my friend!"
Viconia held up her hand. "Whoa there, little one. I don't care why you did it, but I am damn pround you were able to beat that boy in a fight."
Vierna beamed as well. "Samson was beating up little kids for so long now. Someone had to stop him!"
Viconia smiled at her again. "Well, little one. It's almost time for little league. I don't think Coach Fentan can miss her star-player." That said, Viconia gently wiped her daughter's face with her napkin and drove her to baseball practise...
After dropping off Vierna at practise, Viconia returned home. Once there, she did the laundry, hoovered the house, cleaned up Vierna's room for her and put all the dried and ironed clothes back in their respective dressers. After that, Viconia flopped on the couch for a quick nap. Vierna woke her up when she came home, telling her about victories in baseball. Viconia simply smiled at her and stood up to make their dinner. Now, Viconia didn't cook elaborate meals often. Mother and daughter both knew she was an extremely bad cook. Fortunately, this was the age of the gods-given microwave. And cans...
"What's happening, little one?!" Viconia shouted from the kitchen while she was shoving two TV-dinners in the microwave.
"You haven't missed much, momma!" Vierna shouted back. "Homer is strangling Bart!"
Not wanting to miss too much of the free TV-time with her daughter, Viconia pulled the red-hot trays out of the oven and walked back to the living-room. After they had their dinner together in front of the TV, Vierna crawled against her mother and yawned sleepily.
"It was a long day for me as well, little one. Let's get you off to bed." Viconia said to her as gently as possible. Though she had protested at first, Viconia managed to get Vierna into bed by reading her a story. Vierna fell asleep almost immediately after being tucked in.
After doing some reading, preparing tomorrow's lecture and watching some TV, she decided go to bed herself. After changing into her T-shirt and making sure the alarm was set this time, she took a last glance to the picture on her nightstand. It was taken shortly after Vierna was born, when... he was still alive. It showed Karis awkwardly holding his baby, being overly careful not to drop her. She herself was in the picture as well, looking amused at the spectacle. Viconia felt a single tear run over her cheek. 'You would have been so proud of her, my love' She thought sadly.
After sadly wiping the tear from her face, she rolled to her side and fell asleep, dreaming of the weekend, and some much deserved free time.
1. An average day
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