The following is a collaborative work between my friend Bridget and I. She wrote the story, and I drew the sketches in between.
I always preferred to read short – or any – stories in this way – with images! Less images than in an actual comic, but definitely more than just one-image-per-chapter! (Although I love regular comics and books as well, but I always LOVED the idea of an image now and smattered between the paragraphs. Is there a word for this style of story presentation?)
The story takes my two Transformers original characterss, Raptor and Technika, but places them in a Fantasy world setting! Enjoy.
“Um, are you sure this is the correct way? I mean, we’ve been walking for half the day and…we still haven’t come to the village.”
“I got this, yer highness. I said it when you asked me an hour ago, and I’ll say it again. I got this.”
When, in reality, Raptor really did not have it.
To be fair, escorting the princess had begun to screw around with the ex-thief-now-turned-bodyguard’s brain. The reward would be well worth it, Raptor assured herself every five minutes, but by all the gods and goddesses that walked the realms…
Princess Technika was going to be the death of her.
It wasn’t that the princess was a bother to Raptor. No, in fact it was quite the opposite–she was an absolute delight. Easy to tease…those innocent, bright eyes that Raptor could have sworn were plucked straight from the night sky itself…and the perfect curves that would have made even the most popular girls in a brothel jealous. The princess’s family were sovereign over a small kingdom that tended to be forgotten about (which was fine for Raptor because it made hiding her less difficult) and had hired the ex-thief to be Technika’s entourage while taking her to some potential suitor that was too lazy to get off his fat arse and come see the princess for himself.
“Miss Raptor,” Technika interrupted said woman’s thoughts timidly, glancing around the forest that they had been trudging around for hours with an anxious frown. The sunlight that had been filtering through the trees was now dim and sparse, and shadows seemed to crawl out of every nook and cranny. “I think we should make camp. We can continue in the morning. There’s no point in getting even more lost.”
“We ain’t lost!” Raptor scoffed, crossing her scrawny arms over her equally lanky chest. She chewed on her bottom lip in frustration, unable to admit defeat just yet. “We’re just, er…takin’ a detour?“
The princess just stared at her with one eyebrow raised.
Grumbling, Raptor heaved a heavy sigh and adjusted her gear so she could slide it off her back easily. “Alright, fine. We’ll camp here. It’s better than nothin’, I s’pose…” At least they had halted in a clearing large enough to put a makeshift tent up. Though being in the middle of a forest, and at night, Raptor wasn’t quite sure if allowing the princess to sleep by herself was ideal.
Before she could bring that point up, however, Technika gave her a cheerful smile. “Do you mind setting things up? I’m going to go wash up in that pond we passed five minutes ago. I know I have no right to complain, but I would feel much better if I could get some of the dust off of me.”
Raptor’s cheeks heated up as a most inappropriate image of the princess in all her splendor wading into crystal clear waters, the sunset a divine background as she–
With a shriek Raptor quickly shook her head so hard that she felt her brain knock around a bit. She couldn’t allow herself to think of Technika in that manner. The princess was going to be engaged. And she was just a commoner–an ex-thief, nonetheless!
“Are you alright?” the princess inquired, facial features shadowed in concern.
“Y-Yeah, fine an’ dandy, yer highness,” Raptor replied shakily, waving a hand at her as she averted her eyes. “Just got bit by a bug. You sure you’ll be alright by yerself? I-I mean, I don’t wanna be a nuisance, but I am sorta here to bodyguard and all…”
“It’s not too far. And we’ve seen nothing but squirrels and birds for the past hour. I don’t think I’ll be attacked. I appreciate your consideration, however.” The princess grabbed some bathing supplies and her nightshift and gave Raptor a nod. “I’ll be back soon!”
As she disappeared into the trees, Raptor resisted the urge to pull her short hair out into clumps and scatter it across the ground. It wasn’t fair. Why did the princess have to be so kind and wonderful and forgiving and cute and–
“Stop thinkin’ right now, you dumbass,” she hissed to herself as she began to prepare a suitable campsite. “Yer makin’ it worse. Ugh…I shoulda never taken this job…”
Technika hadn’t even been gone two minutes when a scream pierced the air. Dagger immediately in hand, Raptor practically raced towards the sound like a starving wolf, chest tightening with apprehension. As soon as the small pond came into view as well as what was going on around it, a rage that burned hotter than hellfire erupted in Raptor’s veins.
The princess was cornered against the water’s edge by two goblins. The little beasts would have been easy to deal with if one had a weapon, but the princess only had her bare hands. Not to mention she must have been in the middle of removing her garbs because she was clad in nothing but her underclothes.
“Get away from me!” she cried out as the goblins shuffled forward, lecherous guffaws leaving their salivating jaws.
“Pretty pretty pretty! Looks tasty too!” one cackled, a clawed hand reaching towards her and making as to grab her long locks of hair.
“Oh no you don’t!”
Raptor leapt forward, dagger outstretched. With a swift uppercut she slashed the blade across the goblin’s back, wincing as green viscous fluid spurted from the gash and the creature let out a horrible screech. It stumbled backward and Raptor gave it a kick for good measure before focusing her attention on the second monster, eyes narrowed as the fury continued to boil within her.
“How dare a filthy thing like you even attempt to touch the princess!” she roared, eyes blazing as she brought the dagger up to the goblin’s grotesque face. “I’ll kill ya! I’ll gut yer intestines outta yer asshole and string them up for decoration!”
Before it could even make a move, she lunged forward and sunk the blade right into its throat, jerking so that it cut through sinew and muscle and artery. More of the horrid green blood sprayed in an ironically graceful arc and splashed across Raptor’s face, smelling like rotten meat and other nasty things she did not care to dwell on. The goblin gurgled once before keeling over, body giving a last twitch and then going completely still.
Chest heaving as harsh breaths left her lips, Raptor turned around to face the princess. She felt hot–too hot–and everything inside of her was threatening to scald her. But that didn’t matter. She had protected Technika.
The princess’s jaw hung open ever so slightly. During the skirmish she had waded ankle-deep into the water and now that the goblins’ corpses were littered on the ground, she returned to where she had originally been standing.
“Raptor, that…” She gazed at the older woman in amazement, eyes flicking from the dagger in her hands to the green blood that marred her gaunt face. Concern immediately lit up in her soft features. “Are you okay?”
“Should be me askin’ you that,” Raptor grunted, haphazardly wiping the gunk from her skin and grimacing at the stench. “I shouldn’ta let you go by yerself. I knew–”
She was cut off by an incredibly lush and gentle pair of lips pressing against her own.
The kiss lasted only a mere seconds, but the effect was that of some kind of drug constructed by only the most mighty apothecaries. Raptor’s head was swimming in Technika’s sweet taste–honeyed fruit, topped with powdered sugar?–and silky smoothness. The princess pulled away, cheeks blushing a lovely pink hue and eyes downcast.
”…thank you, Raptor. I truly mean it.“
And then, as if some demon had willed it, Raptor’s heart had decided that it had had enough and she blacked out right then and there.