Good Old Uncle Jurgen

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Good Old Uncle Jurgen

Post by Malchus » Tue May 25, 2010 3:57 pm

NOTE: Well, I finally managed to get this up. I wanted to do this as a one shot, but it got too long so I'm posting the different meetings between "Uncle Jurgen" and Pockets in different parts. The other meetings I hope to finish sometime in this week or the next, depending on my busy-ness.


Good Old Uncle Jurgen


Part One


Jerusalem, 1095 AD

As long as anyone lived, someone, somewhere was going to have a bad day. The kind of day where nothing went quite as planned. It could start out innocuously enough, even seem deceptively like a good day before things took a sour turn. Or it could be rotten from the start, progressively worsening as the day wore on. The kind of bad day most whine about and lament as some great tragedy, but was ultimately something one could live with.

Then there was the other kind of bad day.

Jurgen Sekhet Baccara turned around and cast his eyes at the city of Jerusalem. A splendid city, even at a distance. Too bad that splendor was marred by the ugly plumes of dark smoke rising from the many fires already starting to burn enthusiastically in several places the city. The fact that the sun was going down only made the fires seem even larger since the dull red-orange glow of the flames was quite clear in the dimming light. Not for the first time that day, he scowled before he turned away.

“It’s Rome all over again!” he muttered in disgust, loud enough for the other refugees escaping along the same route to cast a momentary curious glance in his direction.

The disgruntled sorcerer paid them no heed. His recollection of Rome just soured his mood further. He’d been quite comfortable in Rome until that fire had ruined things. And Nero—damn him—had done nothing. He still took some petty satisfaction at the fact that his offhand comment about Nero fiddling while Rome burned had become so widely spread and accepted that it was pretty much historical fact to most people. Nero deserved any besmirching of his name for allowing that outrage alone.

Now it seemed that history had seen fit to burn another city he’d grown quite comfortable in. The fact that this time the fires were caused by an invading army rather than sheer incompetence was scarcely better. The forces of history also seemed to be in an ironic mood since the invading army was fighting in the name of the Roman Church.

He turned again, this time to glance at the small donkey cart he was pulling behind him. At least he’d manage to take some of his more precious books and scrolls with him, though a part of him both raged and wept at all the others he’d been forced to leave behind. So many great, irreplaceable texts all probably going up in smoke or torn to shreds by a bunch of clumsy, uncouth fanatics. He hoped that the texts would instead be looted and carted away by some noble or thief, since that meant that he might just come across them again some day in the future. He had the rest of eternity to do so at any rate. Of course, that was still a very, very remote chance.

He let out a string of curses, many of them in Sumerian. A colorful language, Sumerian; especially if you wanted creative and truly satisfying profanities.

Suddenly, his exercise in expletives was cut off when he felt something grab at the very edge of his ethereal senses. It had been sudden and strong. And close. Very close. He whirled around just in time to be dazzled by a bright blue flash. Instinctively, his eyes snapped shut and his head spun away, almost hard enough to be a literal pain in the neck. He blinked rapidly to clear the spots from his eyes and turned to face whatever that had been…

…and found that “whatever that had been” appeared to be a young lad. The boy was sprawled on the ground, blinking in confusion at the crowed of refugees who were staring wide-eyed at his sudden appearance. Jurgen was looking at the boy intently too, but for a different reason. That had been quite a powerful tug on his ethereal senses, and the fading wisps of ectoplasm around the boy resembled that of a magical summoning. An intense summoning.

The boy’s aura seemed strange as well. There was something there, but his senses couldn’t quite peg it. That was disturbing. He’d had over four millennia of experience now in magic and the otherworldly, and he thought could confidently identify the nature of most beings based on their aura alone. He could identify nothing from the boy other than something was there. It didn’t even resemble his aura, and even that remained a mystery despite that fact that he’d had a lot of time to puzzle over his own existence.

There was little of the mystical that could truly leave Jurgen feeling completely out of depth, and this was starting to look a lot like it. He could almost hear his old master’s chuckle, the one he gave every time he’d managed to stump Jurgen on something he thought he knew. That had always been annoying, and even the pleasant remembrance of his time with the thrice-great did little to change that.

The boy was standing now, dusting himself of nonchalantly. The boy looked around again before flashing a friendly smile at everyone staring him and giving his own greetings. This gesture didn’t seem to reassure the people, and they were still staring at the boy warily—Jurgen himself was one of them. Many of the people looked like they were wondering whether they should run or not.

The child seemed oblivious to this and started walking, right toward where Jurgen was standing. The wizard continued looking at the child warily, even more so now since he’d just noticed that there was also a second aura, a psychic one this time. It was a considerable one, and—almost absurdly—it was coming from what he initially thought had been some bizarre headpiece, but was actually what appeared to be a brightly colored bird.

Some sort of familiar? Jurgen wondered even as he looked over the rest of the boy’s clothing, which was nothing like what he’d seen before.

All the while, the familiar’s psychic aura began sweeping the minds of everyone around. It swept steadily, almost languidly. A casual psychic “glance” for surface impressions.

Until it had gotten to him.

Jurgen felt the psychic aura settle onto him. It wasn’t invasive, not was it intense, but it was still focused right on him. Jurgen could block it easily enough should it turn invasive and intense, but for the time being it was remaining polite. Well, as polite as the psychic equivalent of a pointed stare was at any rate.

What happened next was even more confusing.

The boy suddenly started waving in his direction and started running towards him. Before Jurgen could react, he was stunned to hear the boy talking.

“Hey!” the boy yelled, “Hey, Uncle Jurgen! Wow, never thought I’d run into you here!”

It wasn’t so much the words which stunned him—although he wondered at the “Uncle Jurgen” part, and at how the strange youth knew his name—but the language in which the words were spoken. It was Old Egyptian, the language first taught to him by the thrice-great and pretty much the closest thing to a native language Jurgen had. And the boy was speaking it. Fluently.

“Who are you?” Jurgen asked suspiciously as the child ran up beside him, his wariness partially giving way to curiosity.

“Aw, come on Uncle Jurgen,” the boy said, the grin still plastered onto his face, “Nice clothes, by the way.”

The boy leaned over and sniffed his sleeve. Jurgen quickly pulled his arm away, his earlier annoyance now back in full force. He scowled mightily.

“Stop doing that!”

“Hm, 1095 A.D.,” the boy mumbled to himself. He sniffed again, this time at the air. “Jerusalem.”

“Alright, for the last time, who in the—” Jurgen started to say heatedly, but the boy cut him off abruptly.”

“I guess you don’t know me yet.”

“Obviously!”

“Hi!” the boy said brightly, “I’m Justinian. You met me a couple of centuries from now.”

Jurgen raised an eyebrow and stared at the boy blankly. Before he could say anything, the boy turned his face upward, “Is that right, the grammar?”

It took Jurgen a moment to realize that the boy—Justinian, apparently—was talking to the familiar perched on top of his head. The boy remained silent for a while, apparently waiting for a response. A moment later he seemed to have gotten it since the boy looked back down and shrugged.

“Eh, whatever. It works.”

Jurgen shook his head and grunted. Well, whoever or whatever this Justinian was, he apparently wasn’t hostile. At any rate, he was not in any mood to continue whatever absurdity this was. Although, the boy’s mastery of Old Egyptian was still niggling at the back of his mind—maybe somewhere, somehow his old master was putting him on? He could do unbelievably complex pranks when he was in the mood, some of them centuries in the making; and he had pulled something similar back in 2214 B.C. That prank, his master had claimed, had been set up nearly eight hundred years earlier. Then there was the boy’s accent, which resembled that of the thrice-great.

Jurgen regarded the boy for a while before he shrugged and snorted disgustedly. Well, whatever. Arcane prank or not, he was in no mood for this. He pointedly turned his back on the boy and continued walking. With any luck, the boy would just stand there and chat with his familiar some more while Jurgen walked away. He didn’t seriously think that that would be the case, but his tired, disgruntled mind could hope, couldn’t it?

As it turned out, Justinian did continue conversing with his familiar since Jurgen heard him give replies every few seconds. However, nothing preclude the boy from continuing to follow Jurgen as he did so. He let out a long, exasperated sigh as he heard the child shuffling along behind him as he pulled his donkey along. Maybe if he didn’t say anything more to the boy he’d go away on his own, or at least continue to converse with that bird. As long as Justinian wasn’t talking to him he could at least be ignored.

Around the corner of his eye, Jurgen noticed that the other refugees had continued to move with him, and were giving him and the boy a wide berth. Jurgen wasn’t surprised. Given what they’d just witnessed, they’d probably assume that Justinian was some kind of powerful sorcerer. And if the strange boy was talking to Jurgen like he knew him, then something must be special about him too. Which meant that they’d probably stay safe from any external threat since the assumed sorcerers might at least do something about it. Of course, given that one of them seemed extremely irritable and the other apparently rather mad (the boy’s conversation with his psychic familiar looked more like the boy talking to himself since they, like Jurgen, couldn’t hear the bird’s replies), they were also a bit leery about getting to close.

Then Jurgen heard something that made his blood run cold. It was a series of creaks and rattles that sounded a lot like a donkey cart being boarded. His donkey cart. He spun around and, sure enough, the boy had clambered onto his cart and was now rummaging through his precious hoard of books and scrolls.

“Don’t touch those!” he yelled, practically flying to the cart.

The boy acted like he hadn’t heard him, and was now perusing through one of his more expensive manuscripts. It was the Caleano fragments, a transcript written in a language that did not exist on Earth, and something his old master had been translating on and off just before the man had left to his slumber on Thoth’s behest.

“Oh, wow, the Caleano fragments. Over a hundred pages, too! Last time I saw these back in 1915 there were only fifty—”

Jurgen snatched the transcript from the boy angrily and shook the index finger of his free hand in the boy’s face. “You do not touch this. You do not touch anything on this cart! In fact, you shouldn’t even be on this cart. Get off!”

The sorcerer felt a suddenly flare of psychic power, and he whipped his head to face the boy’s familiar before the energy could be released as a psychokinetic attack.

“Oh, come of it!” Jurgen spat, “I’m not going to hurt him, provided he gets off the cart. Now!”

The people all around them were backing away in earnest now, rethinking their decision to keep traveling with the two apparent sorcerers. They’d never seen a fight between two sorcerers before, and had no desire to have that fact changed by being caught in the middle of one.

“Whoa! Hey now,” Justinian said, raising his hands in a placating manner, “Take it easy, Uncle Jurgen. I—”

“And stop calling me that,” Jurgen snapped, “I don’t even know who in the wretched Hades you are. Given all this aggravation, I don’t want to know either.”

Justinian just stared at him, with a look of an infant trying to comprehend his mother’s cooing and cajoling. The familiar just stared flatly at him as well, its face almost seemed strangely expressive at it stared him down. Bacarra just seethed as he stared back, his temper on the brink. He was about to demand that the boy get down again when a wave of wailing and screaming suddenly erupted through the crowed.

“Oh, what is it this time?” he growled irritably.

He looked and saw that the crowd had begun to panic. Many had dropped much of their belongings and were running away in a panic. Those riding in carts and wagons were frantically urging their animals on. It was easy to see why. In the distance there was a column of mounted soldiers thundering toward them, a cloud of dust in their wake. They were still to far too make out any individual features, but it was easy to even from this distance that there was an eagerness about them. It was the kind of eagerness held by soldiers who knew that rape, pillage, and murder were well within reach.

Jurgen’s scowl deepened. He’d seen that far too many times in history, though he’d been careful to avoid any direct confrontation with such types. It was not that he couldn’t deal with them personally. He could handle an army of regular soldiers easily enough. With the powers at his disposal, it would’ve been child’s play to squash the soldiers approaching them like a man would squash an insect. Of course, he’d always held his master’s words to heart, for so long that they were practically woven into his nature. And Trismegistos had always held a low opinion of anyone who used great mystical power to destroy or wreak havoc upon anyone who do not have such ability.

As such, using his powers on lowly soldiers just seemed… tiny and despicable. Far beneath him, even if it could be argued that the soldiers would have deserved it. However, he had to admit that, given his currently quite sour mood, he was sorely tempted to ignore his unspoken principle, just this once. Maybe just a little curse. A hex. His old master would understand.

The soldiers were close now and their swords and battle axes were up swinging, feral grins on their faces and battle cries erupting from their throats. Jurgen’s hand was up, and he readied himself for a quick finger-snap. Before he could, however, he felt a powerful spike of psychic energy behind. The psychic energy suddenly exploded outward, and the entire cavalry column was flung backward, horses and all.

The immortal sorcerer blinked and turned back, staring at the bird sitting on the boy’s head. The bird seemed to stare back at him evenly. The boy, on the other hand, seemed to totally oblivious. He gone right back to picking through the collection of texts on Jurgen’s dokey cart. Jurgen scowled again.

“I told you to stop doing that and get off the cart!”

Behind him, he heard the sound of cussing and clattering. He turned again and saw that many of the soldiers had picked themselves up. Some seemed a bit stunned but the others were looking at him now, growling menacingly. The familiar’s psychokinetic push didn’t seem to have discouraged them at all, which spoke poorly of their intelligence. In fact, most of them were looking quite angry and seemed to be considering a charge right at them.

Jurgen felt another psychic spike behind him. Before it could be released, however, Jurgen raised his hand and cocked his head at the bird.

“No, you’ve had your fun,” Jurgen smirked, “My turn.”

His smirk turned savage as he raised his hand. He snapped his fingers.

As one the soldiers’ helmets suddenly slid over their eyes. The soldiers all yelped in surprise and dropped their weapons as their hands tried to pry their helmets off. The helmets wouldn’t budge. The soldiers were stumbling around blindly now, struggling mightily against their hexed helmets. Quite a number of them ended up crashing into each other.

Jurgen chuckled as he looked at his handiwork. No, he didn’t think his old master would mind this at all. The man did love a good prank, after all.

Suddenly, there was a green flash behind him. He spun around just I time to see Justinian get off the cart.

“What was that?” he demanded, eyes narrowing suspiciously on the boy.

“What was what?” Justinian queried, cocking his head sideways in a ridiculously bird-like manner. Strangely enough, the familiar still stayed firmly on the boy’s hat despite the movement.

That,” Jurgen snarled, sweeping his right hand toward the boy, “Whatever you just did right now.”

Justinian blinked.

“I climbed off the cart, like you said.”

“You know what I mean, boy!”

“You’re standing on something, you know.”

“Don’t change the subject.”

“No seriously,” the boy’s arm shot out and pointed at Jurgen’s feet, “It’s right over there.”

Jurgen’s eyes narrowed. Justinian just looked at him right back, still pointing. The boy’s faces just looked so damned earnest, and it was genuinely hard to read the boy’s expressions. They were always so overstated, almost theatrical. And, for the life of him, he couldn’t see anything beneath the theatrics, no matter how suspicious such exaggerated emoting usually was on other people. It was aggravating.

Since the boy was still pointing, Jurgen sighed and looked down. Predictably, there was nothing there.

“That wasn’t funny.” Jurgen stated as he looked backed up.

“Well, of course it isn’t,” Justinian said, almost huffily, “you’re still in the way.”

The boy walked over and pushed him away. Jurgen slapped the boy’s hands away irritably.

“Hands off!”

Justinian leaned over where he was standing and reached into the ground. He made a pulling motion, but Jurgen could see nothing. He was about to make a snide remark when something suddenly flashed in the boy’s hand, accompanied by the tug on his ethereal senses similar to that which he had felt upon the boy’s arrival. The boy suddenly moved his hands rapidly, the flashing in his hand growing brighter and bluer as he seemed to weave and knead whatever it was in his hand. As annoyed as he was, Jurgen watched fascinated. He hadn’t seen anything like this in his millennia on Earth.

Abruptly, the boy stopped. He held out his hand, and Jurgen’s eyes looked wonderingly at what seemed to be floating just above it. It looked to be a cube-like object, glowing blue and swirling with a massive aura of ethereal energy.

“See?” Justinian said as he held the glowing blue cube out at him.

“What is it?” Jurgen asked wonderingly.

“It’s time for me to go.” Justinian stated matter-of-factly. The boy smiled his irritatingly bright smile and waved at him with his free hand, “See ya later, Uncle Jurgen!”

Justinian brought his hand down on the blue cube and it erupted into a dazzlingly bright flash of light. Jurgen had had barely enough time to shield his eyes with his hand. When he lifted the hand away the boy was gone, just as suddenly as he had arrived.

Jurgen looked at the spot where the boy had been standing and blinked. He shook his head, uncertain as to whether everything that had just happened was real or not. He looked around. The soldiers were still stumbling around blindly, trying to pull of their helmets. There were still several of the abandoned belongings of the refugees scattered all around. His cart was still disheveled. So, yes, it had happened. And he still wasn’t quite sure what all of it had been.

Perhaps his first guess had been right. Maybe it had all been some overly elaborate thrice-great prank. It was the only explanation that approached some sort of sense. If it had been a prank, then Jurgen had to hand it to his old master. That had been quite a doozy. He even managed to chuckle a bit, though maybe that was some of the lingering petty pleasure from his hexing of the soldiers’ helmets.

Well, whatever that had been, it was all over. He needed to get going. As walked over to the cart to arrange its contents he froze. There was clearly less on the cart than he had started with. Much less. He frantically rummaged through what was left, doing a quick inventory of what he was missing.

A dozen books missing, including the precious Caleano fragments. He didn’t even need to wonder what had happened, and now he knew exactly what that green flash was. All the anger and frustration of the day came rushing right back and he exploded into a scream of “JUSTINIAN!!!” before descending into a state of gibbering, worldless rage. Not even Sumerian was adequate for what he was feeling.

He stood there quivering in anger before kicking the nearest thing as an outlet for his frustrations. Given how close to the donkey cart he was standing, that happened to be his ass.

It kicked back.
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Re: Good Old Uncle Jurgen

Post by Booted Vulture » Tue May 25, 2010 5:55 pm

Poor old Uncle Jurgen. Time travel makes everyone's heads hurts.
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Re: Good Old Uncle Jurgen

Post by Siege » Wed May 26, 2010 2:03 am

:lol:

Perfect. Just, perfect. Every line with Jurgen being irritable and frustrated had me in stitches. I love it, and I can't wait for the other chapters!
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Re: Good Old Uncle Jurgen

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Wed May 26, 2010 6:00 am

Just terribel! How horribel! :lol:

Justinian is a total dick! Poor Old Uncle Jurgen! Man, poor guy. Justinian was totally acting up the whole being a nice kid who'd look up starry eyed and go "Unca' Jurgen!" while actually nicking all of his precious books! Man, terrible! Horribel! I can just imagine Jurgen screaming and going GRRRS! And kicking his ass! IT KICKED BACK! :lol:

If Jurgen is Uncle Scrooge, then Justinian, Tribby and Rasa can be his Huey, Dewey and Louie! It'll be like Duck Tales, hoo-woo! :mrgreen:
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Re: Good Old Uncle Jurgen

Post by Malchus » Wed May 26, 2010 7:38 am

Siege wrote::lol:

Perfect. Just, perfect. Every line with Jurgen being irritable and frustrated had me in stitches. I love it, and I can't wait for the other chapters!
Well, I'm glad you approve, Siege. Jurgen being your character and all. :)

I have a question, though. When did Jurgen move into his Karnak Temple complex recreation, and where was he based before that? I'll need that info for the third meeting.
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Re: Good Old Uncle Jurgen

Post by Siege » Wed May 26, 2010 11:05 pm

Malchus wrote:I have a question, though. When did Jurgen move into his Karnak Temple complex recreation, and where was he based before that? I'll need that info for the third meeting.
Karnak was probably built somewhere in the sixties or early seventies. He was in the USA during the Roaring Twenties so I doubt he left much in-between; he probably had a house in Crowtalon City in that time as well. He was probably operating out of Britain during the late 19th century, and in the Ottoman Empire in the early 19th, having moved there after the French Revolution made operating in France a little difficult.
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Re: Good Old Uncle Jurgen

Post by Malchus » Thu May 27, 2010 7:17 am

NOTE: Well, I finished the second part faster than I thought I would. So, here it is.


Part Two


Thuringia, Holy Roman Empire, 1629 A.D.

Jurgen Baccara stifled a yawn and turned away from the window of the carriage. Long trips such as this became truly, mind-numbingly boring very quickly, and he’d already been traveling for hours. Besides, there was nothing really interesting to look at in Thuringia; nothing but wooded areas and the occasional peasant villages and farms.

He shrugged and leaned over to pick up one of the books he’d brought along with him. The Cthäat Aquadingen was rather dry reading, and the prose was simply terrible. Still, at least the subject was marginally more interesting than staring out the window, even if he was familiar with quite a few of the things chronicled in the manuscript thanks to the extensive teachings of his old master. Besides, he promised himself that he’d get to finishing the long manuscript eventually, no matter how unwieldy the writing style was to get through.

At least the carriage ride was comfortable. It even seemed less bumpier than most carriages. That was one of the advantages of working as an adviser for a duke, especially one as gracious as Duke Wilhelm of Saxe-Weimar—they sometimes felt obligated to be quite generous for long-time faithful service. Duke Wilhelm had been gracious enough when he’d formally left his service due to the blasted war currently rending apart the Germanies (after one too many close calls, Jurgen was not going to experience having yet another city burned away from him, not if he could help it). The duke had provided him one of his best carriages for Jurgen’s journey to Venice, and even a group of just under thirty Landsknechte to serve as a guard. Any trip anyway in the Germanies was risky these days, what with all the mercenaries roaming around looking for rape and rapine.

True, Jurgen could safely handle any old rabble of mercenaries. There was little a bunch of pikemen and harquebusiers could do against an experienced, competent magician—and Jurgen had far more experience than most. Very competent as well, but that was obviously a given. However, he never really liked using his powers to dominate those without. The very prospect had always felt far beneath him, not to mention more effort than his blasé nature wanted to expend most of the time. The thrice-great would be proud of his restraint, he was sure.

He deftly--and carefully since the manuscript was well over a millennium old—thumbed through the Cthäat Aquadingen until he found the page he’d stopped at. He was already part of the way through the Sathlattae rituals and spells of the servants of Ubbo-Sathla. Jurgen sighed and a rolled his eyes. The spells were all so overly elaborate and inefficient that he wondered how they even became rituals in the first place. Honestly, their design was just shameful work for any group of so-called high mystics…

The sorcerer was still deep in his thoughts when it happened. He caught a bluish flash around the corner of his eye just a split-second before something slammed into his ethereal senses, demanding his full attention. As his head snapped up from his readings, he felt the carriage jarred violently in concert with a thud on the roof.

Despite the surprise (and the sense-dulling boredom of reading through the badly-written Cthäat Aquadingen), Jurgen was attuned and alert enough to know that something had just materialized above him. The shocked cries of the carriage driver and the Landsknechte men around him corroborated that, not that Jurgen was paying attention to them either. No, Jurgen was wondering at the familiarity of the yank at his ethereal senses. He was certain that he’d felt that distinct tug before, and the aura emanating from the roof felt just as familiar. For the life of him, though, he couldn’t quite place it just yet.

Then he heard a voice coming from the roof of the carriage, first taking to the carriage driver then at the Landsknechte trotting toward them. A voice speaking in Old Egyptian more fluent than it had any right to be. Jurgen froze.

“No…” he breathed disbelievingly, “it can’t be.”

“Excuse, Herr Baccara,” the Landsknecht commander said to him as his horse sided up to the carriage, “there seems to be—”

Whatever the man was about to say was cut when Jurgen raised a hand in a clear gesture for silence. The commander seemed confused at this, but his confusion quickly turned into shocked surprise when Jurgen suddenly leaned out of the window and half-climbed out of it to bring his shoulders up to level with the carriage’s roof.

“Herr Baccara, don’t—” the Landsknecht commander barked, alarmed at what the man he had been paid to protected was doing. Before he could complete whatever he was about to say, though, he was stunned into silence by the ferocity of what Jurgen said next.

”YOU!” the sorcerer bellowed, right hand pointing accusingly at the figure on the roof.

The figure on the roof, a strangely dressed bespectacled boy with pouches sown onto a green vest and a strange-looking bird atop a fur hat, turned to regard the man.

“Me?” the boy asked, clearly baffled, as the man pulled himself fully out of the window and clambered quickly onto the roof of the carriage himself.

The Landsknechte men were all gathered around the carriage now, hovering uncertainly and watching the spectacle unfold with nigh-identical looks of bemusement. The carriage driver, who had been watching everything unfold with a look so confused his face almost seemed twisted out of shape, looked at the two on the roof one after the other before turning to look at the commander of the mercenary soldiers. As one, they communicated the exact same thought to each other with their expressions: What in the world was all this?

Jurgen seized the boy by the vest. He opened his mouth to say something, but before he could he felt himself shoved back hard with a blast of psychokinetic energy. It should’ve thrown him off of the roof for yards, but he had managed to cast an adhesion spell quickly enough to keep him firmly on the roof.

Jurgen shot the bird on top of the boy’s head a dirty look, “You stay out of this.”

Without waiting for any response from the bird, the immortal sorcerer raised his hand and wordlessly cast a powerful deflection spell. The bird was suddenly yanked off the boy’s hat by a powerful invisible force, shooting off into the horizon at incredible speed. The carriage driver shrank back at the display while a shocked gasp ran through the gathered soldiers. Needless to say, they were more confused now, especially since the conversation on the roof was being done in a language none of them were familiar with. However, none of them were willing to interrupt the conversation on the carriage’s roof to ask about it.

“Hey!” the boy yelled as he turned toward the direction Jurgen had magically hurled the bird toward, “That’s not very nice.”

“Neither is making off with a dozen of my books.” Jurgen stated flatly.

“Huh? What’re you talking about?” the boy cocked his head to the side in his typically theatrical way of showing expressions, “Do I know you?”

“Don’t play coy with me, Justinian.” Baccara warned.

“Wait, so you know me?”

“Of course I do! It’s me!”

Yet another overly theatrical confused look.

“Jurgen,” the sorcerer clarified. Seeing that the boy was still staring at him blankly, he sighed and clarified further, “… ‘Uncle’ Jurgen.”

The boy’s eyebrows shot up in equally exaggerated surprise.

“I have an uncle?”

Letting out a hiss of frustration, the sorcerer grabbed the boy by the vest again and said: “I don’t have time for any more games, boy. Just give me back my books and leave me be. I don’t ever want to see the likes of you ever again. But first, books. Now.”

“Uh, look, er, Uncle,” Justinian said slowly, uncertainly, “I really haven’t the faintest idea about what you’re talking about.”

Jurgen was about to say something in response when the boy’s face suddenly lit up in realization.

“Hey, hold on a second. We’ve met, haven’t we?”

“Yes.” Jurgen practically growled. The boy’s face merely became thoughtful. Well, at least the boy’s caricaturishly overwrought version of what he probably thought was a thoughtful expression.

“But I haven’t met you before,” a long chin rub, “which means I will meet you before sometime soon. So we will had met each other some time ago later. Or had will. Or something. You know, linguists aren’t very considerate about time travel grammar.”

Jurgen let go of the boy’s vest and took on a thoughtful look of his own. Come to think of it, the boy did say something about having met him first “centuries from now” when he encountered him last. All of the subsequent research he had done after the boy’s theft also supported all the evidence that the child was a time traveler. He’d certainly seen enough references about a boy with a bird on his head somewhat matching part of the description of Justinian and his familiar, including one in a chronicle regarding the fall of the ancient civilization of Sarnath. Some of the references also said something about the boy being a harbinger of menacing shadows, but Jurgen thought that part was all symbolic. After all, pretty much all of the references resembling the boy all seemed to be associated with one disaster or another.

He glared at the boy again. Justinian just stared back at him with a wide-eyed blank look on his face, waiting. Jurgen pinched the bridge of his nose thoughtfully. It certainly was possible that, given the boy's apparent ability to appear and disappear anywhere (and any when) that this truly was his first meeting with him. Still, the suspicious part of his mind voiced its doubts. They boy could very well be playing dumb just so he’d have an excuse not to give back the books he took. But, damn the child, he just couldn’t properly get a sense of the boy. His expressions were always so… artificial. Like the boy was trying to show emotions without really feeling any—”

His train of thought was interrupted when he felt a truly prodigious spike of psychic power, and it was becoming stronger and stronger by the second. Jurgen looked in the direction of the psychic emanations and saw that something was uprooting trees and ripping out great chunks of earth, hurling them into the air. It was still some distance away, but the invisible force clawing at the ground was quite clearly heading their way.

The carriage driver had turned in the direction Jurgen was gazing at and a strangled cry of fear erupted from his throat. That had caught the attention of the mercenary guards, and they turned as a group to face the oncoming wave of uprooted trees and torn earth. By the time the scene had registered enough for the Landsknechte to be stunned beyond belief, the carriage driver had already jumped down and started to run away screaming. The mercenaries kept staring for a moment, wavering in indecision, before they broke and started to gallop away as fast as they could urge the horses to go. They weren’t paid enough for this, whatever the hell this was.

Jurgen gave their retreating forms a quick glance and sighed. Now he was going to have to explain to Duke Wilhelm how he’d come to lose one of the duke’s best carriage drivers and a gaggle of his hired mercenaries.

The psychokinetic force finally reached the carriage, swirling around it in a truly impressive wave of sheer mind over matter. Trees and debris flew all around them, like a moving, living wall. In the center of it all was the tiny—almost a speck amongst everything else flying around—figure of a bird flying quickly down toward them. Well, not flying exactly. It was up in the air, yes, but its wings weren’t flapping.

Jurgen stood on the roof watched it approach evenly, an almost bored expression on his face. The bird finally settled before him, hovering about half an arm’s length from his face. The familiar’s bird-face looked the same as always, lacking as it did the muscles to contort its face into emoting, but its stare seemed quite impressive nonetheless. The sheer emotion that was practically gushing from its mind helped too.

He looked at it evenly for a second before turning his eyes slowly and deliberately from side to side, calmly surveying everything caught up in the bird’s psychokinetic torrent. He raised an eyebrow.

“Yes, very impressive,” Jurgen said calmly.

The immortal magician felt a wave of anger and accusation crash into his mind.

“Yes, I’m quite aware that you’re less than pleased with me right now,” he continued in a droll voice, “But, look at him, he’s not hurt. And neither are you.”

Another wave of strong emotion splashed against his mind.

“Oh, come off it. I wanted a private word with the boy.”

Speak of the devil, Justinian decided to stand up that exact moment to stand up. He dusted himself a bit theatrically before shuffling over to where Jurgen was standing.

“Hey, Tribonian,” the boy greeted, “What’s up?”

Justinian gave the surroundings a quick look, “Aside from all the trees and rocks and soil and stu—hey, is that cow?”

Jurgen darted a quick look at where Justinian was gawking at.

“No, that would be a bull.”

“Ah,” Justinian nodded, “and I guess that would be a farmer.”

Looking closely, Jurgen could see that there was something clinging desperately to the bull. Or, more accurately, someone. It was a scrawny old man, his fingers digging into the flesh of the animal as hard as he could clench them. Jurgen studied the strange spectacle for a bit before, in the same deliberately flat tone which he’d somehow settled into, he turned to the boy and replied.

“Quite possibly, yes.”

Nodding again, the boy turned toward the bird still hovering in front of Jurgen.

“And that would be your doing.”

There was no vocal response, there never seemed to be. However, the bird did twist its head a bit to regard its master.

“Well, okay,” the boy said after a while, apparently answering whatever the familiar’s reply had been, “I think you should put it all down, though.”

Again, a short moment of silence.

“Yes, I know,” the boy said, “But I’m sure Uncle Jurgen meant no harm.”

Jurgen raised an eyebrow at this but said nothing.

“Yes, I know you mean him harm, but I can’t let you do that. He is my uncle. I think.”

The sorcerer’s eyes shot a glance at the bird. Strangely, this time Jurgen didn’t feel irritated at being considered an honorary uncle of sorts.

As for the bird, Jurgen could practically taste the irritation it was feeling at the boys orders. It was practically exploding from the familiar’s enraged mind, and Jurgen felt the psychic torrent rather clearly. He felt the bird seethe for a few more moments before finally, abruptly, it cut off the psychokinetic force swirling around them.

Everything that had been caught up in that force—trees, debris, animal, and man—all came crashing down into a circular ring around the carriage. Just before everything hit the ground, however, Jurgen had managed to quickly snap a finger. The bull with the farmer clinging to it landed on its feet, much more gently than it would have otherwise. The trees and earth that would have buried them were deflected away to either side. Not that this mattered to the bull because, the instant its feet touch solid ground, it ran off in an animalistic panic. The old farmer, admirably, was still firmly clamped onto the animal’s back.

Justinian and Jurgen looked after the retreating form of the animal, with almost identical expressions of detached interest. The bird stared at the latter for another moment, sending a flare of extreme psychic annoyance at the man, before it floated gently back onto Justinian’s head.

Jurgen just snorted, “Oh, get over it.”

“Over what?”

“I was talking to him.”

“Oh.”

After that brief exchange, everything suddenly settled into a curious silence. It was an awkward silence, but not in the sense such silences tended to be at any rate, nor was it a companionable silence either. It just seemed strangely out of place, vaguely anti-climactic. Both the man and the boy stood on the carriage’s roof in that strange silence, still staring out in the direction where the bull had disappeared off to, for what seemed like an eternity.

Finally, the stupor was broken when Jurgen let out a soft, slow sigh. He looked around and shook his head, wondering yet again how he was going to explain the disappearance of one of the Duke’s best carriage drivers. For a man who had spent hours sitting on the uncomfortable seat at the head of the carriage, he could run surprisingly fast. He was no where in sight by now.

Justinian, on the other hand, had bent over and leaned down and over the edge of the carriage’s roof, peering into one of its windows. The bird on his hat stayed on the boy’s head in blatant defiance of gravity.

“Hey, cool, look at all those books.”

That caused Jurgen to practically whip around like a snapped line.

“Oh, no. No no no no no no! You do not touch those books. Ever.” Jurgen practically shrieked, wagging his finger severely at the boy.

“But—” Justinian began, but Jurgen cut him off.

“No buts!” Jurgen said firmly, “I will not have you helping yourself to my books. Not again.”

“But I haven’t taken any of your books before!” the boy protested.

“Not yet.” Jurgen stated bluntly, “And I know for the fact that you already have. Er, will. You know what I mean.”

Justinian pouted and his eyes took on a pleading look, “But now that you’ve told me that, I won’t. I promise! I just want to read”

“No.”

“But I promised!”

“I know you’ll break that promise!”

“I probably just forgot,” Justinian whined, “It’s been centuries! Well, gonna be centuries. Gonna have been centuries… Something.”

“Which changes nothing and proves my point.” Jurgen said as he climbed carefully down off the roof of the carriage. Justinian moved to follow him, but Jurgen stopped the boy with a quicky “tut tut” motion of his fingers.

“No, you stay up there where I can see you,” Jurgen commanded brusquely, “And where you can’t touch any of my books.”

“Would it change you mind if I let you have some of my books?” Justinian asked hopefully.

“No.” Jurgen restated as he started gather some of the churned up debris around the carriage, shooting quick looks at Justinian every so often to make sure that the boy stayed on the roof.

“But I have a lot of great books!” Justinian insisted, “Here, lemme show you!”

The boy began digging through the many pouches on his vest. A sudden flare of ethereal energy flared, causing Jurgen to look up just in time to see the boy pull out what looked like a glowing green cube from one of the pouches. Before Jurgen could ask, Justinian flicked at the cube and it flashed a brilliant green.

Immediately what looked like two men appeared in mid-air and fell to the ground in a heap. Jurgen’s eyebrows shot up in surprise. Both men were garbed in the clothing of 12th Century Byzantine soldiers. The men quickly got off the ground and started frantically looking at the surroundings in confusion. When both caught sight of the boy on the carriage roof, they let out a scream of pure terror and ran away gibbering.

“That happens far too often around you.” Jurgen observed when he had recovered from his surprise.

“Huh,” Justinian scratched his head, “wrong tesseract.”

Justinian began rummaging through his pouches again while Jurgen resumed his gathering of soil. Jurgen had started to clump the soil and shape it together when he felt the familiar spike of ethereal energy flare from the boy yet again.

“Yeah, I think this is the one!” Justinian said confidently.

The cube flashed green and, indeed, there was the clatter of a few small books as they plopped down onto the roof. Jurgen gave a momentary glance, but he quickly resumed his pointed disinterest.

“Okay, lessee what we have here… Hm, a phonebook for Baltimore, 1986. No, can’t be that… Chinese Cuisine: Quick and Easy?”

Justinian turned to look at Jurgen hopefully. Jurgen ignored the boy as he poured magic onto the clump of dirt in his hand.

“Okay, not that, huh?” Justinian mumbled, “Okay, how about… Huh, wait a sec, who the heck is Marlene?”

Justinian held up the pink binder notebook in his hand. He looked at it thoughtfully then started flicking through the pages.

“Yup, diary. Can’t be this one.” Justinian casually tossed the notebook aside and looked at the last book in the small pile, “Oh, hey, here’s one. An old original edition of Little Women. How about that?”

Justinian’s only response was an eruption of magical energy. Jurgen stepped back and regarded his handiwork. Standing in front of him was a homunculus garbed in the clothing of a carriage driver. It was a simple homunculus, fit only for simple tasks. A close look by anyone who knew what to look for would make it quite apparent that it wasn’t human. However, it should be more than enough to drive Jurgen all the way to Venice.

“Alright, get to work then.” Jurgen commanded. The homunculus bowed and quickly turned to mount the carriage. Jurgen nodded in approval at his own handiwork.

Justinian had resumed his search through his pockets. Jurgen continued to ignore the boy pointedly, satisfied that, at least, the boy was staying on the roof and away from his precious collection of books. As the carriage resumed moving forward, Jurgen settled back on the carriage’s comfortable seats. He allowed himself to feel the petty bit of pleasure he derived from giving the cold shoulder to the annoying boy.

The was a slightly smug expression on his face when he felt yet another tug at his ethereal senses informing him that the boy had pulled out yet another of his glowing green cubes. Jurgen was all set to ignore anything the boy pulled out from that too when he caught the green flash in his periphery. A split-second later, something big and rectangular—a chest of some sort?—crashed into and through the wooden roof of the carriage, landing atop the chests of books in front of Jurgen. The sorcerer let out a loud yelp of utter surprise as his heart jumped a split-second after the thud.

Justinian peered into the newly-made hole in the carriage roof, a hangdog expression on his face, “Um, oops?”

“WHAT DID YOU JUST DO?!” Jurgen demanded in a yell that probably startled villagers and farms for several miles around.

“It wasn’t me, Uncle Jurgen!” the boy said hastily, “It was the book!”

“What book?!” Jurgen growled as he finally took a good look at whatever had torn through the carriage roof.

What he originally thought was a chest turned out to be a large book. A very, very large book. Anger and annoyance gave way to curiosity and astonishment. The book was even bigger than the Codex Gigas, the so called “Devil’s Bible,” and that was acknowledge to have been the largest medieval book ever bound. The tome in front of him gave a lie to that statement.

Slowly, almost carefully at first, Jurgen reached out to touch the massive book’s leather cover. He ran his hand tentatively over the rough, dry hide until his fingers brushed against the embossed title on the massive book’s equally massive cover. The title was in an older form of Arabic. Jurgen gasped as he read it.

Al-Azif. The infamous work of the Mad Arab Abdul al-Hazred. Known more commonly, infamously, as the Necronomicon. And, by all indications, this was the original, the very copy the Mad Arab had scrawled himself. It was thought to have been forever lost to the sands of time. Until now.

“W-what… H-how?!” managed to blurt out as he peered up at Justinian.

The boy just gave him a shrug.

“Just something I picked up.”

Jurgen stared down at the book wonderingly. He opened the cover carefully, running his eyes over the Arabic text in a mix of gleeful, greedy wonder and stunned disbelief. The original Necronomicon was in his hands! He was actually reading it! Jurgen was almost tempted to giggle like a little child.

“So…” Justinian said slowly after watching Jurgen read the text hungrily for a few minutes, “does that mean I can come in now?”

The sorcerer looked up and faced the boy squarely.

“No.”
Last edited by Malchus on Thu May 27, 2010 11:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Good Old Uncle Jurgen

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Thu May 27, 2010 11:17 am

NO

:lol:

That was brilliant! Even more hellarious than the first one! Man, Jurgen. So damn cranky! What a terrible guy! Grabbing poor kids and telekinetically hurling poor quails off into the wide blue yonder! And angry Tribby's just so cute! An inexplicably levitating quail with a tornado of torn trees and objects and random farmers and cow bulls in a maelstrom of eldritch energy! Jurgen's nice enough to let the farmer down nicely! And had the sense to make a homonculi for a driver, heh.

I loved it. Man, Jurgen. Oh man, Jurgen. How did you get him so right? I almost felt Siege seeping out of the words! :lol:
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Re: Good Old Uncle Jurgen

Post by Malchus » Thu May 27, 2010 12:15 pm

Well, to be fair to ol' Uncle Jurgen, Justinian did swipe some very valuable (some irreplaceable) texts. Plus, the kid ain't exactly helpless and Tribby telekinetically shoved him first.
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I admire the man, he has a high tolerance for insanity (and inanity - which he generously contributed!). ~Shroom, on my wierdness tolerance.

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Re: Good Old Uncle Jurgen

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Thu May 27, 2010 4:38 pm

I like how despite being utterly eldritch and unlike anything he's seen before, Jurgen's still not impressed by neither Justinian nor Tribby and when telekinetic push comes to shove can totally tango with them while maintain his unflappable demeanor - and when Tribby's all uprooted the whole background surroundings, plus farmer and bull, Jurgen's still more hacked off at his lost books! And yeah, the Necronomicons! The only time Jurgen's impresseds at all!

I also like the weird moments of awkwardness and oddness, like when the bull runs off into the sunset. Good humor, that. :D
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Re: Good Old Uncle Jurgen

Post by Siege » Thu May 27, 2010 9:41 pm

Excellent as before :). The only thing I found slightly confusing was with the Homonculus, where it was kind of difficult to figure out at first who was creating the thing. Even so, it's wonderful how you manage to capture Jurgen's bland dry demeanor--which makes his reaction upon seeing the original Necronomicon all the more poignant.

Also it's amusing how Justinian always seems to run into Jurgen when he's relocating from one city to the next because his old city is on the verge of being burned down. Composing a brief timeline, Jurgen got back from the Americas in 1496 (having sailed there with Zheng He in 1434 after abandoning Italy), probably spent a few decades in Spain before making his way to Germany, so that jives excellently with the given date of 1692.
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Re: Good Old Uncle Jurgen

Post by Booted Vulture » Thu May 27, 2010 10:58 pm

This pretty cool. I mean he's made the immortal super sauve mage guy his straight man in a whacky double act. It's the feel good buddy cop action summer movie of the Comix world.
Ah Brother! It's been too long!

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