Sunday, October 21, 2007

Phobos

It is a long time since Umbriel found a dimension door, but now there is a new one.


Umbriel: Look, sir Isaac Newton, there is another dimension door. I wonder which of my keys fits... But wait! the door is already ajar! Someone must have opened it from the other side!

And true enough, that someone is entering through the door...

Umbriel: Who are you?


Phobos: I am Phobos.

Umbriel: How did you get throught the dimension door? Do you have a set of keys, too? Which one did open the door? Time or Space or Imagination or...

Phobos: I have a master key. It opens all kinds of dimension doors, but then one never knows what the door is.

There is a slamming noise that makes Umbriel drop his keys...

Phobos: Oh no, the door is gone! Someone must have locked it from the other side. Now I can't get back the same way I came in!


Umbriel: Did you come through just out or curiosity?

Phobos: No, I'm looking for my demon.

Umbriel: A demon????

Phobos: Yes, he is about this high. Have you seen any around.

Umbriel: Well, I think Sampo and Pilvi are about that high, but I have thought they are hobbits, not demons... There they are, see for yourself.


Sampo: This is boring.

Pilvi: You promised to play home with me if you can be the daddy who works in the robot factory.

Sampo: Yeah, but I thought it meant I could just work in the robot factory, not push stupid smurfs around in a pram.

Pilvi: The children need fresh air. And besides only one of them is a smurf.

The hobbits are surprised when they see Phobos.

Pilvi: Oh, no, a scary looking guy!

Sampo: Ummm... Maybe he can be the boss of the robot factory and he tells that there is a problem at the factory and I must go to work immediately...

But Pilvi is too scared to stay. She leaves in a hurry.

Pilvi: Must save the children from the evil robot factory manager before he turns them into robots!

Sampo is not scared.

Umbriel: Does Sampo look like your demon?

Phobos: No, he's the right size, but he's just a little hobbit, not a demon.


Sampo: You saved me from playing home. I can be your demon if you want to. How is demon played?


Umbriel: Why are you looking for a demon anyway? Aren't they dangerous? And you don't look like an elf or hobbit. What are you? Just an ordinary kid?


Phobos: I'm an alchemist. It's a long story. A really long story actually,centuries long. But I try to explain very shortly. Way back in the Middle Ages I worked as an alchemist's apprentice. The ultimate goal of all alchemists is to manufacture the Philosopher's Stone that can change base metals into gold and make the Elixir of Life that brings eternal youth. My master managed to produce the Elixir of Life, but before he could drink it, he got a heart attac and died. He was an old man, you know, and could not take the excitement. I was devastated, and the only thing I could think of was to drink his potion. I was only 13 years old and I had lost my beloved master. I thought he had just manufactured more rat poison. You see, he always tested his concoctions on rats, and they invariably died. But this time he had already tested the stuff, and the rat did not die. That's why he got so excited that he got the heart attac. But unfortunately I had not been paying attention, and I thought I was drinking rat poison when I drank the Elixir of Life. If I had known, I would have saved it for a few years before drinking it.

Umbriel: Why would you have saved it until later?

Phobos: It's not easy being 13 years old forever. In the Middle Ages it wasn't so bad, I just drifted from one alchemist to another and worked as their apprentice and took off before they noticed I'm not getting any older. I accumulated a lot of knowledge that way. But it became more difficult later, 13 year olds are not taken seriously and not treated as adults, so it takes lots of cunning to cope nowadays. If I had saved the elixir until I was,say, 21, it would have been much easier.

Umbriel: And what about the demon?

Phobos: Oh, yes. Do you remember the story about Faust and how he made a pact with the devil, and the devil did whatever Faust asked? I thought it was a swell idea. As I would live forever, the devil would not be able to take my soul in the end. Faust found the devil by bringing a poodle home and doing some tricks. I found a promising poodle and did the same tricks, but my poodle did not turn into a devil, but a small demon. And not a very good demon at that.

Umbriel: If the demon is not very good, why are you looking for him?

Phobos: You see, when you make a pact with a devil or a demon, you are stuck with him forever. It's in the small print. Unfortunately I did not read the small print before I signed the contract. If you turn a poodle into a devil or a demon or leprechaun or whatever, you are stuck for life. You can't break the contract as long as you live.

Umbriel: And as you are going to live forever, you are stuck with the demon forever, right? But then there is no use to look for him, if you can't get rid of him no matter what.

Phobos: I was looking for him just to prevent him from doing domething that gets both him and myself into trouble. He'll turn up sooner or later.

Umbriel: But how can he get through when the dimension door is gone? And does he have key of his own?

Phobos: Dimension doors don't hold demons back. They have their ways.

Umbriel: And what are you going to do now?

Phobos: Well, I've been running some patent medicine business since the alchemy has ceased being popular. Patent medicines can be sold through the internet nowadays. It takes some special arrangements, though. My demon could help with those...


Umbriel: Niks and Naks have been running patent medicine business themselves, maybe they can help. See, there they come. Pilvi must have told them that there is somebody new here, and they have come to investigate. They are very curious, you know.


Niks: Did we hear something about patent medicine business.

Naks: We have some experience in that area.

Niks: We could start by making some more hair potion, the last batch has lost its potency.


Phobos: Yeah, I guess you can be of use until my demon appers. I suppose trolls and demons are equally suitable for an alchemist's helpers...

Naks:You don't look like an alchemist.

Phobos: I can't run around in a black robe and a beret or a robe and a pointed hat covered with alchemical symbols. That would be too conspicious. I'm trying to blend in.


Umbriel: I wonder if it was a good idea to introduce Niks and Naks to Phobos.I sure wonder what they'll come up with. Especially if a little demon will appear later. Oh, well, this place seems to be some kind of attraction point to all kinds of strange characters and I can't do anything about it.

1 comment:

Dukkelisa said...

Great intro story! I like how Phobos hinges all the characters together without being over powering!