Sunday, November 13, 2016

Sassy Sunday: Mad Scientist and a Monster Unicorn

Welcome to another week of Sassy Saturday at Trickster Eric Novels, although technically this is Sassy Sunday.  Every week will be an excerpt from one of my novels showcasing a kick-butt heroine. If you want read about the original blog hop the link is here.

The previous Sassy Saturday post can be read here:Haggling with elves is easy for Emily

The context for this post: Nunnal Enaz, the mother of Annala, is evaluating the latest specimen in her mana mutation research. She does this by jumping into its cage and fighting it.

I redacted names in three places here because they are spoilers.

A lightning bolt shot by his head, just missing his ear, and struck a piece of machinery behind him. It exploded and two aides doused the ensuing fire. Nunnal and Meza returned their attention to the pit, where the monster was firing more bolts from its horn. They bypassed the shield as if it weren’t there.

“Recalibrate the shield now!”

“Working on it!”

Screens of light above the monster flashed, then it stopped the bolts like everything else the monster threw at it. Nunnal joined the elf at the terminal for the shield and looked over the readings for the last five bolts.

“A-Guy, did he do what I think he did?”

“Yes, Director. Instead of electricity formed from mana, he generated the bolts from earthly electron activity.”

“Monster intelligence is a fascinating subject. Add this to the database.”

“Yes, Director.”

“B-Guy, begin analysis of the monster’s insides, but use something that’s least likely to cause damage. That’s still \\\\\\\\  in there, after all.”

“Yes, Director.”

“C-Guy, take samples for later chemical examination and treatment. I want hair, scales, feathers, blood, and saliva. If you can get a shaving of the horn, do that too.”

“Yes, Director.”

“D-Guy, prepare fodder so we can see how he reacts to prey. Unicorns typically aren’t carnivorous, but given that this is a new breed, I want to know for sure.”

“Yes, Director.”

“E-Guy, start up the durability test implements.”

“Yes, Director.”

As Nunnal continued giving orders and rambling theories, her minions sighed and went about their work. The director was always like this when she got excited. It was best to keep one’s head down and avoid attracting attention.

“Just once, I’d like her to remember our names,” Bealir muttered.

“I’m not even a guy,” Caluly moaned.

Such tests and more were performed to learn about this new monster. As each result came in, Nunnal giggled like a schoolgirl in anticipation. As she became more involved, she stopped referring to the monster as “him” and instead as “it.” Then F-guy smacked her and told her of her slip. She coughed and thanked him and then walked to the pit and apologized to the monster. It responded by exhaling poison gas. The barrier adapted to the new material and forced it back to the monster, but before the monster could breathe it in, its horn neutralized the poison. Nunnal’s face lit up once more and she rattled another list of orders.

Then she jumped in.

“Hello, ///////////////////.”

The monster jabbed her forehead with its horn. It pierced her head and her brain, causing a good deal of pain. Her Seed of Chaos mended the damage. The light of her eyes never dimmed.

“So you don’t respond to your title.” She dodged three jabs. “How about ///////?” She dodged two more jabs but not the following energy blast. She let that one hit to determine what it felt like. “Concentrated. You know your stuff.”

It breathed more poison and she took a deep whiff of it. She continued dodging and observing it at close range while waiting for the poison to take effect. Then, all of a sudden, she blacked out and her body fell limp. The creature bit her stomach and chewed on its muscle. Then she blew it away with a chant-less wind spell.

“Poison that goes directly to the brain and shuts it down, thereby killing the target without damaging the internal organs or muscles. You are a healthy eater, aren’t you?”

She jumped to her feet.

“It also lends support to the theory that you can’t handle your own poison, but there are monsters like that. Generally, they don’t live long enough to be studied but—”

Another horn blast cut her off, and to her surprise, it was neither mana nor the pure electricity but wind. It blew Nunnal clear off her feet and onto her backside. The monster stomped its front right hoof onto her stomach and the front left talon onto her left wrist, then it spat slime onto her right hand. It quickly hardened and Nunnal found herself unable to remove it.

“Battle tactics? Fantastic! D-Guy, are you getting this?”

“Yes, Director.”

The monster lowered its head to bite her chest, forgoing any kind of attack to her head. This fascinated her all the more; it remembered that attacking her head merited no results. She spirit-flared the creature off her, broke the slime restraint, and jumped out of the pit.

“It’s possible that the battle instinct of a mercenary carried over,” she said to herself. “Indeed, muscle memory is a potent thing and well recognized in monsterology, even among mortals, and the capacity for killing is a primal one….”


Mana Mutation Menace, and the rest of the Journey to Chaos series, is available for purchase at Amazon as both an ebook and as a paperback.

 To learn more about the heroines of Journey to Chaos, visit the Tvtropes character sheet. 

The next Sassy Saturday is Annala tells the God of Order that he's full of crap

In other news, I did a radio interview with The Author's Show last week and it will be broadcast on this coming Tuesday. In it I talked about my writing process both for this book and more generally. If you could help me spread the word about it then that would be great; much appreciated.

Brian Wilkerson is a independent novelist, freelance book reviewer, and writing advice blogger. He studied at the University of Minnesota and came away with bachelor degrees in English Literature and History (Classical Mediterranean Period concentration).

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