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Parthenia Rook, Episode 1: The Third Oldest Trick

by Luc Reid

Parthenia Rook was an accomplished pilot, an expert with clockwork, a certified public accountant, a master of more than 870 convincing disguises, a sharpshooter, a xenobiologist, a famous stamp collector, and a world champion at reverse checkers. Yet none of her skills could help her as the power-crazed Bonobo King dangled an unconscious three-year old over edge of the gasbag of the massive dirigible Regret and instructed Parthenia to jump, or he would drop the child.

She had no doubt he meant what he said. Yet if Parthenia jumped, who would save the passengers of the Regret from being crashed into the middle of the World's Fair and Exposition? Parthenia hesitated. The Bonobo King cackled and let the toddler slip another inch. If only his exoskeletal armor didn't give him such incredible strength!

"The primary difference between humans and bonobos, as I see it," said the Bonobo King putting one hand behind his back, "is that when nature decided to branch into our superior race and your naked and confused one, it left only us with the ability to act decisively."

"If you drop that girl, there won't be anything to stop me from killing you," said Parthenia.

"It's not a girl," said the Bonobo King.

What? Parthenia gaped at the child. She was wearing a little pink dress. She had tumbly blonde hair. How--

Thwack. The paralysis dart slapped meatily into Parthenia's thigh. She had fallen for the third oldest trick in the book. In seconds, she would lose consciousness and fall. She had only one chance.

"Hey!" Parthenia cried out, pointing into the distance. "What's that?"

The Bonobo King looked. Parthenia leapt, her brain swirling as the paralysis dart began to take effect. The Bonobo King had barely begun to realize his mistake when Parthenia crashed into him, grabbing the falling child and entangling them both in the ropes that crisscrossed the Regret's gasbag. The Bonobo King was less fortunate: the force of Parthenia's tackle sent him sprawling, then tumbling over the edge and down into the clouds. Parthenia could hear his maniacal laughter as he fell, and a part of her feared that she might have somehow just played right into his hands. Or paws. Whatever.

"Don't worry, little girl," Parthenia mumbled as the paralysis overtook her. "I'll wake up in just a few minutes and get you to safety."

"I'm not a girl," said the child, and laughed like the Bonobo King.


so informative, thanks to tell us.

Posted by: rorUnsado | September 30, 2010 1:00 AM

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