Barry stood behind Captain Pete’s desk, a mixture or annoyed, bored and terrified. Annoyed because Captain Pete was dragging his feet on the paperwork, bored because watching the Captain slowly fill in paperwork was frankly dull, and terrified because a primordial trilobite spirit was scuttling ever closer to taking control of his body.
It was not a great day.
“And initial schedule D,” he said.
“No, schedule D. There’s no schedule I.”
“Why, ye lubber…”
The door crashed open. The first thing that Barry noticed about the person standing in the doorway was that she was a woman. It was hard not to notice this, clad as she was in a suit of furs and chainmail that were strategically arranged in a way that didn’t leave a lot of confusion about the wearer’s gender presentation.
Barry wasn’t a short man, but the newcomer was a solid ten centimetres taller than him. He tried not to gawp, and found that the well-used broadsword that the newcomer was wielding gave him all the encouragement he needed to avoid staring.
“Behold!” the woman bellowed. “It is I, Varlya the Victorious! Warrior of the North, Slayer of the Dragon-Men, Hunter of Sea-Serpents – and chief of security for Trilobite Park Holdings, Limited. I bring woeful tidings of security issues that need to be brought to your immediate attention, Captain Peter.”
“Yar, I’ll be with ye in a moment,” Captain Pete said. “Busy with the paperwork o’ this bloodsucker.”
“Art thou a vampire?” Varlya said, pointing her sword at Barry’s throat. “Then we shall battle!”
“He’s speaking metaphorically,” Barry said, gingerly pushing the blade away from his Adam’s apple. “And insultingly, I might add. I’m no vampire. Look — am I sparkling! No. Not even a little.”
“Aha ha ha haha!” Varlya laughed, tossing back her silver-haired head. “Truly, I can never get enough of shade, thrown upon the Twilight novels! Though there are those that do say that ’tis 2019 and that shit is old, Varlya never fails to appreciate such humour!”
“The trouble be that we be in lockdown,” Captain Pete said. “You’re head of security – can’t you override the systems and let the cops in?”
“Nay my liege! Forsooth, the ‘lectrics are down.”
A twisting in Barry’s guts made him groan. “Hurry up with that paperwork, Captain,” he said.
Or he tried to say it. Nothing came from his mouth but a terrible clicking.
“Bugger,” he thought.
He could still see through weird crystal eyes. He could feel his once slightly fleshy body become hard, brittle, creepy. He’d turned into a trilobite, hadn’t he? Kafka meets Flintstones. Just his bloody luck.
He sighed as his newly monstrous body attacked Varlya. The battle was swift and confusing, though he was actually kind of pleased that grappling with the warrior woman was in no way arousing. That would make it much telling this story to his wife easier, once he recovered.
The battle was swift and violent and ended with scuttling away into the darkened corridors of the Park. It was seriously turning into a really crappy day.