Emerald Hound Raffle
By Kenneth Shumaker
September 26, 2017
In Kenneth Shumaker’s Eren’s Challenge, we enter the world of the robotics research technician, a mature human male, Eren Mallet. During Eren’s 5th Galaxy Palcard sector journey, he encounters hazards with his friend, Esmelda(Es) Lantora, the mature human female who is an ambassador’s administrator. The pair struggle with adventures and dramatic developments while in the metropolitan industrial trade city of Goral, on the planet of the Krenar. Here, they fight with bureaucrats and the Hean priestly hierarchy.
In the previous Eren’s Challenge episode 008, ‘Amber Calendar Heart’ …
Having delivered the Red Paper book, Eren laughs at Angel which for most people would be a death sentence. Instead, the team’s Red Paper and Eren’s foolishness nets them each twenty-five K credits and a dance on Angel’s Amber Calendar.
We continue with Eren’s Challenge episode 009, ‘Emerald Hound Raffle’ on …
Lezmor 4th RD 78
We arrive home safe, thanks to Rifus and Tairence’s diligence. Angel’s Amber Calendar designation has me in a bolloxed way though. This means at any moment no matter where we are, the yellow hound can call us and command that we follow up on some chase of hers. If we refuse to comply instantly, members of one of her enforcer squads will see to it we never have choices again.
How did I get Es into this situation again? … oh yeah! … she insisted!
Walking into the house, for a distraction, I idly pick up the mail that was delivered today as Es walks by to wander upstairs. She tells me that she is going to change out of her sweaty dress, and I say to her, “I’ll be doing laundry in a few minutes. You’ll be amazed how clean I get items. You’ll like how clean I get your dress without stressing it. I can see you don’t have under garments on, no need to worry there either.”
She glares evilly at me, saying, “I can do MY OWN laundry!”
I shrug, replying, “Only offering.”
Looking through the junk I received, I laugh at the grinning gnoll pictured on the lottery raffle ticket offer. The raffle is for a space flight for four to Freque. Freque is the second inhabited planet in our star system. All expenses will be paid by Friends International of the Gnoll Federation. The flyer shows the raffle is a gnoll diplomatic gesture of friendship to our people.
Looking at the flyer, I see the contact listed is a home-world native gnoll by the name of Halquare. He is an emerald hound who, oddly, he is located in Angel’s tower. Swiftly sitting in my comfy padded living room chair, I speak out. “Yundel, terminal.”
The computer brings to life the display of its vivid visuals on my Telvid screen. Commanding the computer, I say to her, “Yundel, contact number 26179056 of Master Halquare from Friendship International.” Then I wait for the live connection.
Repeating myself, I say to the old emerald hound, “You say anyone can enter the raffle, and there are no ID checks of any kind?”
Energetically nodding, the tall hound on my Telvid replies in clear, precise New Goren, “Correct, Vel.”
I’m amazed at the lax entry into the Freque raffle. I have to ask, “How much are the tickets?”
The enigmatic gnoll grins and I burst out belly laughing. He looks hurt, but I wave him on, as he hesitantly replies, “Vel, why the laugh? Tickets are ten grand credits each.”
Choking, realising the vetting for applicants isn’t so lax, it’s financial. I think a moment as I wipe tears from my face while watching the tight expression of concern on Halquare’s face. Then, gesturing, I say, “I’ll take two.”
Slumping back, even more confused, the gnoll dares ask, “Seriously?”
I compassionately nod, addressing him, I add, “As long as they stay together as a matched pair. Can you do that?”
Shuddering dejected, the emerald hound shrugs. He starts to shake his head negatively, so I add, “I’ll throw in an additional five K.”
Suddenly smiling eagerly, the gnoll grins, causing another belly-shaking outburst from me.
The gnoll replies, “For you, Vel, yes. Pay when you’re ready … before we disconnect this connection.”
I close my eyes to stop seeing that silly ass grin. But damn it, the image follows me visually in my mind. Fighting to gain control, I finally calm, and then say, “Yundel, pay twenty-five thousand credits to this connection.”
Calm, Yundel asks, “Master Eren, do you confirm a payment of twenty-five thousand credits to Friendship International’s, Master Halquare in Friend Tower of Goral City?
Nodding only to myself, I say firmly. “I, Eren, confirm.”
A few second pass, and then Yundel adds, “You have received confirmation of two matched and attached Friendship International raffle tickets to Freque, Master Eren.”
Smiling, I ruefully say, “Thank you Halquare. Yundel, terminate the connection.”
About now a disgruntled Es arrives, muttering under her breath, she snidely asks, “So exactly where is your laundry set?”
I chuckle as I stand. I motion for her to follow me and lead her downstairs to the sonic cleaner in my utility room. Displaying how to use the hyper expensive unit, I strip down naked, getting out of my synth-suit and placing it in the sonic-cleaning unit. I seal the front-load door and set the keypad, showing her the various setting, I turn on the unit for a full clean. I congenially inform Es. “The clothing and other items don’t get wet, and this doesn’t use detergent. Items come out dry and clean, but better than a dry-cleaners, as nothing ever gets damaged.”
By, Kenneth Shumaker
To be continued in the next Eren’s Challenge episode 010, ‘Purple Terrace Wound’ …
Having cleaned up and entered a raffle, Eren goes to work on his Archy project, only to be called out on Angel’s Amber Calendar for another project in Angel’s organisation.
© 2017 by Kenneth Shumaker with Inevitable Unicorn Press
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Join Kenneth Shumaker (Rusty Knight) in his Dragoman Bloodgrue Volume collection anthologies. ‘Dragoman Bloodgrue, Volume I: Fare Where?’ is the first of the episodes of the Dragoman Bloodgrue serial series. Read how Bloodgrue tests the gods’ resolve. Do the gods let the brave be fools? Is Bloodgrue brave or a fool? Follow Bloodgrue to see where his life’s path leads him. In ‘Dragoman Bloodgrue, Volume I: Fare Where?’ we are introduced to Bloodgrue as he begins his journey climbing the social ranks of Mount Oryn in North Docks.