Another installment in the Grimrock series! This time it's only a rather short interlude, but it is a necessary segment and will be followed by an actual dungeon again.
Interlude - Sort of
There was a knock on the door.
"Whozit?" came the sleepy voice of Jack.
"A message from his highness the king," was the answer.
That woke Jack up and he started to get out of the bed, but was stopped by a hand fisting his shirt.
"What's going on?" the sleepy voice of Sinister asked.
"There's some royal pain knocking on our door," Jack explained.
"Can we kick the royal pain in the ass and go back to sleep?" Sinister asked with puppy dog eyes.
"Sorry, but I don't think it will be possible," Jack kissed his lover and then moved to answer the door.
"Why not?" whined Sinister.
"Because of my past..." grumbled Jack as he opened the door.
"What do you want?" he asked the man who was dressed in the most garish kind of yellow that existed.
"His highness asks that you make your way to the castle for a private audience."
"And what if I say no?" Jack asked. "I left all that in the past."
"I am afraid that if you resist, that I am authorized to use force and before you ask, I did not come alone. There are guards on each end of the corridor."
"Damn..." groused Jack. "Can't you zap him?" he turned to his lover.
"I'm not suicidal."
"Oh well... It was worth a shot..." sighed Jack. "I'll come, but on one condition."
"And what would that be?" the messanger asked.
"My three friends come with me if they so please," Jack promptly answered.
"Very well," the man answered. "I was actually expecting that."
"Good, now scram so that we can get ready," Jack slamed the door in the man's face and turned back to the bed.
"Guess I'm gonna see the palace from the inside," he muttered.
"Oh yes, you were disowned and never been there, right?" Sinister asked as he stood from the bed and went to look for his discarded clothing.
"I would prefer to keep it that way, but oh well..."
"So your royal relatives want you in the palace?" Shadow asked when they all congregated in Ruk'Ur's room.
"No idea what they want though..." Jack answered.
"Maybe to ask us about Grimrock?" Ruk'Ur suggested.
"Possibly, or something else, but we probably won't like it," Sinister said.
"You don't have to go, if you don't want to," Jask told them.
"And you know very well that we will go with you," Ruk'Ur shut him up as he answered with a small smile playing on his face.
'It's nice to know that they will stay with me through thick and thin,' thought Jack.
But his thoughts were interrupted by a knock on the door.
"This is getting old," he muttered and went to see if it was the royal pain in the ass.
"What do you want now?" he barked when he saw the man standing there.
"Are you ready to depart?" the man said in his neat and – to Jack – snobbish sounding voice.
Jack turned to the group.
"Are we ready to depart?" he asked them.
They nodded and stood up with their bags. Jack grabbed his and they all followed the messanger out of the inn.
There was a carriage waiting for them and they all piled in. It was a bit of a tight fit, considering Ruk'Ur's size. But they still managed somehow.
The messanger hauled himself onto the saddle of his horse and soon, they were all of to see the king.
Jack shook Sinister awake.
"Huh?" was the wizard's inteligent reply.
"We're there!" Shadow was bouncing in his seat.
"It will be nice to be out of this cramped space," Ruk'Ur said and was the first to exit the carriage when it came to a complete stop.
He was quickly followed by Shadow and then Jack and Sinister who were holding hands.
"This way," the messanger was walking towards a great oaken door.
There were guards on each side and they obviously recognized Jack even if this was his first time there, since they were glaring at him.
Well, it wasn't really his first time there, it was just his first time to enter the actuall palace. He was very well aquainted with the jail... Unlike the others, he was held in the main royal prison before being transported to Grimrock.
"You sure you've never been here before?" Shadow asked.
"Not inside the palace, no," Jack answered as they walked through the door and then followed their guide down a long corridor that was lined with portraits.
"Family members?" Sinister couldn't help but ask.
"Probably," Jack grinned. "I definitely don't know them."
"Through here, please," their guide interrupted as he indicated towards a door. Again, there were guards on each side. But at least this time, they weren't glaring.
One of them opened the door when they reached it and the guide told them to go in.
For a split second nobody moved. But then Jack decided to fuck it and strode through the doorway like he owned the place.
"I'm home!" he yelled and the others couldn't help but chuckle and laugh at his behaviour.
"Shut up you wacko!" a voce similar to Jack's yelled back.
"If I knew there were more of them like Jack, I would have never agreed to come here!" Shadow whined.
Ruk'Ur chuckled and Sinister just facepalmed.
'He's lucky I love him,' he thought.
Meanwhile, Jack and the man on the throne were glaring at each other.
"So, which one are you?" Jack asked. Rather rudely.
And the group totally lost it. Laughing out loud.
"Seriously?" Jack managed between two bouts of laughter.
"I could have you thrown in Jail!" the king barked.
"Oh please..." Jack scoffed. "Been there, done that."
"Go figure..." Herbert grumbled.
"How did you escape anyway?" he asked.
"You threw me into Grimrock, remember?" Jack said. "And well, I'm stubborn."
"Amen to that," Sinister quiped.
"Bugger of!" Jask laughed, as he did the contradictory thing and tugged the mage close to him.
But became serious soon after, as if someone fliped a switch.
"So why are we here?" he asked.
"Because you're expendable and I need someone to find and bring back my heir."
"Yeah, well, I ain't doing it," Jack crossed his arms and glared at the king.
"You will, or you and your friends won't be leaving. Ever again," and there was something deadly in the king's voice.
"Why us?" Sinister asked. "And what exactly happened to the heir?"
"Because you escaped Grimrock. And he was kidnapped and none of the people I sent have returned."
"And do you have any idea where the heir is?" Ruk'Ur asked.
"I even have a way to send you there," Herbert answered.
Finally, Jack sighed.
"On one condition!" he said.
"And that would be?"
"You stay out of our lives when this is done!"
"Gladly," Herbert smirked. "After I have my son back."
Several hours a platoon of royal mages were preparing a reverse summoning circle to send them to where the kidnapper was. Sinister was just itching to tell the mages what all they could improve, but decided to keep his mouth shut. Or well, it was just that there was something evem better to occupy him.
He loved magic and all the research that was a part of it, but he loved Jack even more and kissing him was the best passtime that he could eve ask for. Well, maybe with the exception of sex, but he didn't think they had enough time for that so he was content with kissing.
But soon, way too soon in Sinister's oppinion, they were interrupted by Shadow.
"Come on, guys, they're ready!" the excitable rogue called from where he was already standing in the circle.
They joined him and Ruk'Ur nad the mages started chanting the activation spell.
The lines of the circle started to glow and then there was a flash and the group was in the circle no more.