Honshua, Georgina, Matt's and Soldier had been rowing the boat house with the unconscious Samuel for awhile. Samuel was being fed in this time by having fish stew pored down sis limp throat. Georgina was had become a distinct part of the unit, doing her (or increasingly sis) bit. However they were all getting tired, and when they saw the first tall Mountain near the beach they were pleased. They moored up on a beach of a small estuary, and with Matt's and Soldier carrying Samuel, they began to walk through the Mountains of the Maximen. At some point, Georgina noticed something, a strange thing standing on a large boulder. It looked like a human being, yet it was about 8 feet tall, covered in hair and appeared to have a horn growing out of its head. She asked Honshua,

"What is that over there?"

"That is a Maximan" replied Honshua.

"What do you mean a Maximan?"

"It has the maximum of all the physical abilities that a human being can achieve in one body, it is the fastest, the strongest and most durable a human can be. It also has many of the strange mutations and growths that humans have been known to have, giving it additional advantages. At the expense of this they lack the same intellectual capacity the average human has and live a similar life to many animals."

"How could such a thing exist, and I'm guessing this place is called the Mountains of the Maximen because they all live here?"

"Yes, the Maximen do congregate in these mountains. They were created by G-D as living weapons for our people, but when the war with the Resistance began they all became feral. Yet they never tried to harm our people, and since they live in these mountains and will attack any Resistance member or Dragon, they provide us with a bleak but affective foot hold on this land."

"Dragons, what do you mean Dragons?"

"The first Witch of the Resistance created Dragons as a challenger to the Maximen."

"Right, and you keep referring to G-D, back in 'the Age of Wizards' G-D was a Jewish way of saying God."

"Your references to 'Jewish' and 'God' make no sense to me, G-D was simply the Wizard that created our people, but explain?"

"Well, Jewish refers to what Jews do, and Jews are like Christians but they don't think Jesus was the Son of God...."

"Your going ahead of me now, besides, were here now."

Georgina, having been walking as she talked now, realised that she had come to a village between two mountains. It seemed bustling, with Goblins, people who looked like Honshua and Samuel, people who looked more like herself and 21st century people and some people who seemed to be neither. One such person was walking towards them. Se had the same green tinge as the Goblins, yet se lacked the severe scarring the Goblins had, wore clothing and was taller and broader than anyone else in the vicinity.

"Ah, Shylack" exclaimed Honshua, "haven't seen you for a long time."

"That is obvious, you should refer to me as Goblin Commander, not my first name, I'm not some Goblin warrior" replied the Goblin Commander.

"Okay Goblin Commander, we've come here to allow Samuel to rest and redevelop muscle before we complete our part of the mission."

"I can see why, se looks in horrible shape as well as being fast asleep."

"Se's managed to develop a fat layer, but se needs a dose of honey, otherwise se may never wake up."

"That can be arranged, Morwen, Hagenat!"

A man and a woman came out of one of the huts and ran over to the Goblin Commander.

"Do you have a pot of honey?" asked the Goblin Commander.

"Why yes..." replied the man.

"In which case I'm commanding you to take Samuel here in with you and give sim a dose for sis recovery."

At which point Morwen and Hagenat took the comatose Samuel off Matt's and Soldier returned to their hut.

"So, how did se get like that?" asked the Goblin Commander.

"Well" replied Honshua "After completing our ordered task, which resulted in us finding Georgina over here, Georgina and Matt's was captured by the Resistance, and me and Samuel rescued them, but Samuel practiced a magic binge in the process."

"I can see from your mace that you carried out a weapons swap, involuntarily I guess."

"Well, they took two of ours and we took three of theirs, plus we did major damage to the castle walls and tower structure."

"Very well, you know, you returning reminds me about when you first came here."

 

Some time before then, when Honshua and Samuel were still adolescent, they were walking towards that same village with their guardians.

"So, why are we going here?" asked Honshua.

"We are going to learn for our respective duties, you to be a Pirate warrior, me to be a Wizard" replied Samuel.

"Oh yeah, besides, whats so good about having hair that can stand up on ends and being able to cause compass needles to spin in your hand?"

"Heah, a trained Wizard can create lightning sparks, cause Iron pieces to stick to each other, even cause objects to fly."

"Yeah and every time they do those things they go unconscious and their partners have to pick up after them."

"Heah...!"

"Don't start fighting now" ordered one of their guardians "we've got to get their quickly, the night is falling in."

When they reached the village they met the Goblin Commander, who began talking to their guardians.

"So, why have you come here?" asked the Goblin Commander.

"We've come so that our wards can learn for their parts in any future campaigns" replied one of their guardians.

"I guess you have taught them the basics of surviving at sea and the usage of boats?"

"Certainly."

"Very well, you can stay here for as long as it takes."

As time moved on, Honshua managed to gain knowledge of the use of various weapons and built up strength through exercise. Samuel was taught by other Wizards how to mediate his blood flow towards parts of sis body to increase the magic there, along with the knowledge of how to perform spells. After awhile Samuel and Honshua were called to the council, which consisted of Commanders, Goblin Commanders and Wizards.

"Honshua" began the Chair, a Wizard, "As is well known due to your performance in quelling the attempted insurgency into these mountains by the Resistance, we can safely dub you a Pirate Warrior."

Honshua bowed in approval and was given a sabre and a rod by a Goblin.

"Samuel, you have not yet performed such a feat, therefore to be dubbed Wizard and earn your magic jewels, we shall provide you with a challenge."

Two Goblins carried in a peculiar looking device, it consisted of five mechanical limbs attached to each other at the base, flailing around randomly.

"This was found during the last attempt to reclaim our land. Legend says that during the Age of Wizards this device was built as five individual limbs to build the mysterious horseless carriages. When our race first appeared, these five limbs were fused together to become a single unit, used to power weapons against us. However, the device rebelled against its creators, and has since then done very little. We challenge you to modify it further to form a device that is useful to our cause."

Samuel walked up to the device, and when se did, it stopped flailing so much.

"It is magic, and the magic pulses of Wizards, Witches, Dragons and Maximen can stop it. You shall do all the work here, but you may bring equipment from else where."

At this point the council began to leave and Samuel began to inspect it further. Se saw that it was very intricate, that it had magic eyes and magic ears on each limb.

"Honshua" expressed Samuel "I think I could form this into a body, with two of the limbs becoming the legs, two becoming the arms and one becoming the head."

"Oh come on" exclaimed Honshua "that would never work."

"I'll give it a try."

For the following days Samuel began hammering the device into shape with basalt stones. It soon began to look like it could stand up, but it couldn't. Samuel guessed that it was the lack of feet, so converting the fire place into a forge and picking up some basics from the black smith, se made a pair of metal shoes for the device. It still couldn't stand up. Samuel began examining carefully how people walked, and after making some adjustments to the shape of the device and its magic codes (doing which was the first time se started passing out regularly), it was soon walking around the council hall.

"So, what do you think Honshua" asked Samuel.

"It's, interesting, but it isn't useful in any way, have you ever considered perhaps asking permission not to be a Wizard and just become a Fisher or something?" asked Honshua.

"No, I have the gift, and I will be dubbed Wizard one day whatever you think!"

"Whatever you say."

Samuel tried to think, how could se make sis creation useful. Se ended up thinking about the stories from most ancient times about the warriors who rode horses and wore metal clothes. Se thought about the stories about distant galaxies where large empires had armies of human like machines. Then it struck sim, why not turn this device into a fighting unit like it had been in the past, but do it in the style of those 'knight' from most ancient times. Se then began modifying the two upper limbs to be more like arms. Se then began making metal hands for the device, one of which had a long sword fused to it. Finally se started making metal clothes to fit around the device, including a metal hood that had an opening for the devices last spare magic eye. It was ready.

When the council next met, they saw the device in its metal clothes with Samuel standing a clear distance away from it.

"Some time ago, you challenged me to adapt this ancient device for a new purpose. I now present to you, Soldier, a machine warrior for our people" said Samuel whilst the council members began making commenting to each other.

"I would like the resident Goblins to replace the dummy hands of Soldier with the clamps provided."

The Goblins did just that.

"Soldier! Row!"

Soldier lifted sis arms up, closed the clamps, and began to make the rowing motion with sis arms.

"As you can see my council, this amount of flexibility would have been impossible when you gave me the device. Soldier! Stop!"

Soldier stopped as soon as the command was given.

"Now, I would like the Goblins to replace the clamps with the long sword hand and present the table......Soldier! Kill! Table!"

At that point Soldier lifted sis long sword bearing arm and moved towards the table. Sis long sword began spinning, faster and faster until it began to look like a pole rather than a sword. At this point, se lowered the long sword and it churned through the table, sending splinters everywhere, and leaving two jagged table pieces, at which point the long sword began to slow down.

"This device will send fear into the heart of the Resistance."

At this point the council began a thorough discussion. After awhile, the Chair decided,

"Whilst Soldier as you have dubbed it won't have major battle uses due to its instability, it does have a use, plus the magic code modification shows great skill in magic, therefore, we dub you a Wizard."

The Goblins gave sim a collection of magic jewels.

 

"So, interesting story" asked Honshua.

"I never realised Soldier was a robot" replied Georgina.

3                                                                                                                                               5

A yellow block of what looked like cheese bounced a few times before coming to rest again. A large grey panel appeared, covering a blue expanse. A column of arrows, paint brushes and miscellaneous lines and shapes stood like half the World Trade Center against the left hand side of the landscape. A dreamy swirl of colours, like staring at the Mac OS beach ball till it goes out of focus, topped the other half of the WTC on the far right. A ruler defined the top boundary of the overcast nothingness of canvas between the peaks.

A tiny hand appeared at the bottom of the scene, it dashed back and forth between buildings. Suddenly a lush green floor, velvety like freshly cut grass, unrolled back towards the infinity. A matrix of short cylinders quickly sprang up at consistent intervals, populating the plane. A moment later four letters were printed on the top of every bump, the same four on every one but too small to read.

The hand continued its mad trips between buildings, depositing sections of a wire frame model on the grass. Slowly, the frame developed into a foot, then a leg, a trapezoidal attachment node topped the structure. A smooth plastic finish flashed over the frame, a coat of khaki rippling down an instant later. Lines continued to appear, forming a military like boot, which was quickly skinned in like manner, then bucket filled black. A lace snaked through the front of the boot, ending in a bow at the top, and was blackened. It was the work of a few seconds before a duplicate of the entire leg slid out from behind it and was affixed to the floor immediately beside the original.

Point, point, line, point, line... the process was repeated again and again in a blank area in the middle of the unoccupied grey. What looked like half a cheese grater began to take shape, and suddenly it too was blanketed in khaki. An ellipsoidal wire frame appeared, grew and shrunk a few times until it was the right size, then snapped end-on to the side of the cheese grater, just below the top. An identical ellipsoid appeared from out of the first, and rotated down 175 degrees. Both gained a surface texture as one. The tiny hand that had not ceased moving up to this point retrieved half a doughnut from the sky scraper on the left, went back for a long thin cylinder, and snapped the two together. A skin rolls over them, a human-like skin, in human-like tone. The entire top section assembly is cloned, flipped, and joined to form a symmetrical piece twice the width. This is then snapped onto the connecting nodes on the first, lower section.

Still that tiny hand will not rest, and a rolling pin appears, standing on its end, and is soon compressed vertically. A pair of ellipses and a semicircle are snapped onto the front of the rolling pin, and it is slid down onto the top of the previously created section. More strokes, and a helmet appears and snaps on top. Stock, receiver, magazine, barrel... a rifle appears from seemingly nowhere, and is slung over the creation's shoulder. A click and a menu appears. Import. Lines of text scroll by in a frenzy. JEEP_01.SWF. A jeep appears, and the hand grabs him and places him in the driver's seat.

I hit save, and was just about to exit when the engine started. Uh-oh, what have I done...

I may have spent slightly too long in the Macromedia Creative Suite of late.

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