RANKED 1st BY VOTERS IN CHARACTER CREATION CONTEST #32!
|Date||Heironymous in Indigo, Part 1||View||Read the...|
|04/08/15||Why Are We Here?||(Blog) (Forum)||Disclaimer|
|Note: This is a crossover. Heironymous does not normally take place in Indigo or the 5CC universe. -cb|
|T+||Moderate violence, sexual innuendo, and sarcasm, but good chance you're not reading this explanation anyway.|
The Iron Circle- an industrial roundabout near one of Indigo City’s crash sites from The Great Impact:
“Tell me again why we’re here, Special Agent Heironymous,” said Crystal Salt.
Looking at the work going on in the foundry, Heironymous answered, “We’re not here, Special Agent Salt.”
Looking up at her new partner, Crystal raised an eyebrow and asked, “We were sent here by our commanding officers, weren't we?”
Still looking at the foundry, Heironymous cocked his head to one side and replied, “Of course...but that doesn’t mean that we’re here.” He turned his head slightly, looked at Crystal from the corner of his eye, and winked.
“Ha. I see. So a dragon smelting iron, and trolls working the metal have what to do with the U.S. Treasury, or protecting the President?”
Heironymous looked down at her fully this time. The question not being entirely unexpected, he replied dryly, “I’m sorry?”
“Trolls and a dragon,” she said, pointing at the foundry. “This must have something to do with POTUS or the Treasury. Otherwise, why send in the Secret Service?”
The bald agent looked back out toward the dragon, and sighed like he was tired. “Damn whoever came up with ‘need to know.’ Is that allyou think we do, Agent Salt?”
“It’s all I was trained for,” she said. “It’s all that’s on the agency’s website,” she added.
Heironymous sounded only slightly annoyed when he said, “Great. A greenhorn.”
“Excuse me?” Salt challenged, plainly offended.
“What does it say?” he asked, watching the copper-scaled dragon breathe fire into the great smelting pot of metal ore.
“The website,” he said, turning his attention to the young agent. “What does it say?”
Salt ticked off the items on her fingers as she listed, “We safeguard the integrity of the economy, protect national leaders, visiting dignitaries, certain sites and events.”
“It says all that, does it?” asked Heironymous, his handlebar mustache twitching as he talked.
“Yeah,” said Crystal.
“I see,” he said, pursing his lips. “And who has access to this website?”
“Everyone,” she answered, plainly bothered by the obviousness of the question. “It’s the World Wide Web.”
“Uh-huh.” Leaning towards her slightly, he asked, “And what part of that says Secret Service to you?”
Crystal considered for a moment, and said, “So we handle other things that aren’t made known to the public.” Heironymous nodded. “So back to my original question: why are we here, watchdogging trolls and a dragon, for weeks on end?” The great smelting pot tipped into the molds at that point, and the trolls began working the molten metal.
Heironymous looked at her curiously. “That’s it? No shock and disbelief? No umbrage over disinformation? No surprise that those are real trolls and a real dragon down there?”
“Special Agent Heironymous, my father was lost in some sort of portal accident, my sister is part of an elite military unit that I gather encounters weird and unexplained on a regular basis, and during my time in the Navy, I’ve seen things at sea that defy conventional explanation,” she lectured, again ticking her list off on her fingers. “Trolls and a dragon are just more of the same,” she added.
They looked at each other for a long few moments. Heironymous broke the silence with, “Hmph. Not a greenhorn after all then.” Crystal nodded her appreciation before he added, “Just ignorant.”
“Hey--!” she started, before he put a hand up to stop her.
“We- that is the Secret Service- are here,” offered Heironymous, “because our government has a vested interest in Indigo City recovering from the trials brought on by The Great Impact. The foundry hasn’t returned to fully operational status yet, so their smelting equipment isn't working. So we asked a dragon--”
“--That we just happen to know--” interjected Crystal.
“--to smelt the metals needed to aid in rebuilding, in exchange for a favor that’s beyond your paygrade.”
“But not yours,” she stated.
“We asked the trolls to work the metal, because there are no better metalworkers on Earth--”
“--Or beneath it,” she pointed out.
“--and ordinary citizens can’t be allowed to know that such creatures of lore still exist.”
“Because…” she shrugged.
“Will you please quit doing that?” Heironymous said gruffly. Crystal gestured with both hands for him to continue, then clasped her hands in front of her. “We, specifically, are here, because dragons are my purview. If this goes sideways, we are to protect the dragon, and see that he gets out of here safely.”
“And if it’s the dragon that sends us sideways?” she asked. There was an audible hiss as the metal castings were cooled in the foundry.
Heironymous looked at her quizzically, almost offended. “Dragons are honorable, above all else. Once they agree to do something, they will not waver from it.”
“And if the dragon has an ulterior motive for being here?” she asked with a raised eyebrow.
Gritting his teeth slightly, Heironymous said, “Then it was probably covered in the deal he made for his services. Or he decided that doing this service wouldn’t conflict with his own agenda.”
Salt gave a knowing look as she turned back toward the foundry. She clasped her hands behind her, rocked back-and-forth on her heels a couple of times, and said, “Uhh-huh.” The trolls removed the iron girders from the molds, and began resetting the equipment to repeat the process.
Heironymous scowled and said, “Do you have something to say, Agent Salt?”
Crystal looked at him like she had been waiting for this moment all day, and said, “What’s your motive for being here, Agent Heironymous?” He just looked at her. “What deal did you make for your services?” Still nothing. “What favor are you getting in return?”
“That’s definitely above your paygrade,” Heironymous said flatly. Crystal did not look amused. “You read my file.”
“I read your file,” she confirmed with a nod. “You’re a dragon too.”
“And? It’s in my file, because it’s not a secret.”
“Nooo,” she said, still working her way up to her point, “but some people think you’re making that up. There’s plenty of people in the world who are super strong, invulnerable, and breathe fire. Still others don’t believe you because they don’t believe in creatures of lore.”
“I don’t give a damn what people believe,” Heironymous said calmly, “but as you can see, we do exist. Which is why,” he said pointedly, “we have hidden this creature of lore in a foundry, and only have other creatures of lore working with him. Less to explain.”
“Then why am I here?” asked Salt. “I’m just human.”
“If you keep it up? To be a snack,” groused Heironymous.
“Ha!” Crystal put one hand to her chest in mock offense, and said, “Why, Agent Heironymous! Are you saying you want to eat me?” Heironymous looked uncomfortable with the implication she gave his words, and she laughed heartily.
Heironymous’ mustache twitched a few times as he regarded the woman before him. Finally, he said, “Young lady, you have quite a mouth on you.”
Crystal smiled wryly and said, “You have no idea. I was a sailor y--”
An explosion rocked the foundry, and a wall fell away at the entrance. It was followed by the screams of several trolls as they turned to stone, having been caught in the sunlight flooding in through the hole. The other trolls scattered to dark corners of the foundry. The dragon swiveled its head toward the hole and roared.
What appeared to be a blue-clad samurai in high tech armor stepped through the damaged wall, sword in hand. Heironymous was already headed towards the hole, followed by Crystal. Gun drawn and aimed at the intruder, Salt fell in step next to her partner, and asked, “Carrier?”
Still walking, Heironymous snarled, “He’s not a carrier.”
“How do you know?” asked Salt. “Friend of yours?”
A faint hint of smoke came from Heironymous’ nostrils as he answered, “No, but it is someone I know.” Crystal looked at him questioningly, but he only said, “Follow protocol. Protect the dragon.”
“Invulnerable and breathes flame?” she said sarcastically.
“Not to everything! Protect the dragon!” he barked. “At all costs!” Crystal nodded, but he was already moving faster toward the samurai, who was moving toward the dragon.
|Next Issue: Heironymous in Indigo, Part 2 - The Samurai.||-|
|Please let me know what you think, and thanks! -cb||Originally Presented In: CCC #32.|
Story and characters owned by Chris Bishop, copyright 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021.