Dragon Knights Fan Fiction ❯ Inside Tetheus's Head ❯ Retro Knight ( Chapter 14 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Rather than having two introductory fics in a row, I'm going to intersperse my first retro classic. This is set in an older time, a groovier time, where every action is made to a soundtrack. Get out your record player, stick on the Bee Gee's greatest hits and skip the needle forward to Staying Alive. This is the Dragon Knights, during the greatest age, the age of Disco Fever!
summary: A baby is found on the doorstep of the Dragon Castle with a note attached. "Please raise my baby, he's the heir to the Dragonlord"

The pumping basetrack started up, as he left his room. His feet skipped out, in a complicated strut that wiggled his butt in a manly way. Dolled up girls watched his ass pass and a sigh followed him, as he progressed through the castle. Two Dragon Fighters, in identical threads, slipped in behind him and they strutted along, in perfect unison. You're going nowhere, Somebody help meh, Somebody help meh, yeah. A dazzling smile, from his perfect teeth, matched his pristine, white suit. A girl swooned, toppling from her platforms into the arms of her disco'd-up lover. He was too busy watching Tetheus, to catch her, his face betraying his jealousy. His jealousy and his lust.

He tossed his girl aside and strode up to Tetheus, two nameless goons from the multitudes, falling in step behind him. He stood in the Dragon Officer's path and once he had his attention, struck a pose, the first blow in his assault on Tetheus. You're going nowhere, Somebody help meh, Somebody help meh, yeah. Tetheus smiled, shaking his afro a little, as he strode forward and matched his challenger's pose. Their posses stepped forward, prepared for battle, but the affronted lover waved them back.

"This beef is between me and him," he grunted. They slid back and gave the combatants room for their battle.

Arms wide, pointing to the honeys in the crowd, he stared at Tetheus, then he lowered his arms and his jacket slid off. With a quick flick, he tossed it to one of his seconds, who smirked at him.

Tetheus walked forward. Well, you can tell by the way I use my walk, I'm a woman's man, no time to talk. He circled the challenger, every step a beautiful, cocky move. As he turned, his white jacket glided down his arms, revealing his buttoned, matching waistcoat and silken, black shirt. He caught it on a fingertip and swirled it over his head, once, twice, shaking his hips to gain more steam. It flew from his hand, a collective gasp following it, as it streamed through the air, before landing on a coat hook. It spun dangerously on the hook, before settling and a small clap came from the enthusiastic audience.

The lover started to move, attempting to steal the momentum from Tetheus. He swung his hips, pounding out the beat in a much heavier tread. Music loud and women warm, I've been kicked around since I was born. He knelt down, spinning somehow, perfectly balanced on his knees. He finally ended up on one knee below Tetheus, his accusing arms extending the challenge.

Tetheus regarded him calmly, raising one arm and touching his cufflinks, before duplicating this gesture with his other arm. And now it's all right. It's OK. And you may look the other way. He stayed there, merely switching the weight from one foot to the other, until he exploded onto the dance floor. Touching the sky, pulling his arms in, perfecting the cross and back again, he twirled across the cleared space. When he was far enough from the challenger, he stopped, hips jerking. An arm shot out, his hips still gyrating, as he pointed to every attractive woman in the audience. A scream erupted after every movement and a few more spangly girls fainted, their places stolen by fans at the back. He finally let his gaze fall back on the young dancer, his piece at an end.

The desperate young man jumped up, into a squat. He bounced up and down in a disco cossack dance, patrolling the perimeter and shaking some of his sweat onto the young lovelies at the border. We can try, to understand, the New York Times' effect on man.

Whether you're a brother or whether you're a mother, you're stayin' alive, stayin' alive. At last, the two moved together. A small balletic movement from Tetheus, complemented the last of the cossack dancing. The crowd joined in, clapping to the rhythm. Feel the city breakin' and everybody shakin', and we're stayin' alive, stayin' alive. Facing each other, they unleashed their final moves, the challenger rolling his arms around each other, while his weight shifted, his feet alternately pointing to his left and right. Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin' alive, stayin' alive. Tetheus planted himself on the floor, one hand glued to his hip, rocking it back and forth, as his free hand fled from its crook, to point at the ceiling and back again, in a remorseless finish. Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin' alive.

That kid was good, on any given day he could have been the dancing king, but that day would have to exclude Tetheus. With a final pelvic thrust, that threatened to rip the fabric of his tight trousers, Tetheus defeated him and he fell back into the crowd. As Tetheus resumed his journey, his seconds comforted him through the medium of dance.

The base-line continued as he swaggered about the castle. A sudden spurt of coughing interrupted it, drawing his attention, as he neared the Great Hall. Casting about, he saw a mop of aqua hair, coating a tie-died T-shirt and dowdy green trousers. The open-toed sandals reeked.

"Alfeegi?" he called, motioning his followers to continue without him. They carried on with a chicken-walk, while he approached the hairy mess.
"Huh?" the aqua mop said, waving back and forth unsteadily. "Is someone there?"

Tetheus parted his hair, trying several times before a face appeared.

"It's me, Alfeegi. You really need to cut your hair," he said, hooking some locks behind Alfeegi's ears.
"No, man. Hair should be free. I'm not going to impose my scissors on it. That's just fascist," he moaned.
"At least tie it back," he offered.
"No way, man. Hair should not be fettered. Don't push your fascist ways on me," Alfeegi crooned. "Want a drag?" he said, holding up a rolly.
Tetheus took it and sucked, tentatively, before coughing heartily. "It's strong," he said.
"Yeah," Alfeegi said, smiling. "It's my new crop, man. Don't tell Ruwalk, but I've planted it under his window."
"Poor Ruwalk," Tetheus sighed, taking another drag.
"Don't pity him, man. He's working for the man, man!" he exclaimed.
"Alfeegi," said Tetheus, leaning against the wall. "So do you."
"Oh yeah," he said, taking his cigarette back. "Heavy."

They shared the rest of the cigarette, gossiping and talking easily, until Ruwalk marched past, in a smart, pinstripe suit.

"Meeting-in-the-Dragonlord's-study-now! Get-your-asses-moving-now!" he called, as he raced by.
"Man, he's such a tight-ass," said Alfeegi, glaring after him. "He thinks that everything's, like, heavy. He really needs to chill. Lie out under the stars. Grow some weed."
"Smoke some weed," said Tetheus.
"Yeah, man," laughed Alfeegi. "Like, can you imagine what would happen if he did? It'd be, like, ... heavy."
"Yeah," sighed Tetheus. He stretched his muscles and shook his flares. "Let's get moving."
"I've got another cigarette," Alfeegi muttered, while rummaging through his clothes.
"Let's wait until after we talk to the man," said Tetheus.
"Yeah, talk to the man," said Alfeegi, pushing himself away from the wall. "Heavy."

Tetheus and Alfeegi entered the Dragonlord's study, like schoolboys called before the principal. Ruwalk was already there, rustling some papers self-importantly, at the head of the room. Kai-Stern was standing by the table, wearing a blue version of Tetheus's outfit and talking to Raseleane. She interrupted their chat frequently, to shoot daggers at the Dragonlord, who didn't seem to notice. Lykouleon had rolled up the sleeves of his crisp, white jacket and was staring, bewildered, into a simple, woven basket on his desk.

"My Lord?" said Ruwalk pompously. "We're all here."
"Ah? Yes," said Lykouleon, tearing himself away from the basket. "Right, let's just, um." He made the mistake of looking at Raseleane and completely lost his train of thought under her withering glare.
"My Lord?" asked Ruwalk again.
Raseleane stepped forward, breasts heaving in her spangly boob-tube and plucked the basket from the table. "It's about this," she said, displaying the contents to the curious Dragon Officers. Inside, lay a sleeping baby.

Everyone cheered. "Finally!", "Yeay!", "An heir", "They did it!", "I thought she was ...", "Shhh", "A miracle", "Oh happy day". The murderous scowl on Raseleane's face grew darker.

"It," she said, "was found on the doorstep this morning, by one of the maids." Everyone shut up and stared at her. Kai-Stern was eyeing the amount of leg exposed by her mini-skirt and Ruwalk's eyes also slipped downwards. "It," she said, "came with a note." She reached into the basket and took out a rough piece of paper. "'Please take care of my son,' it says. 'He's the heir to the Dragonlord.'" Everyone turned to look at the Dragonlord, although Ruwalk's eyes were a little slower than the others.
"Err," he said. "I'm quite sure that it's not mine. I mean, it couldn't be. It's obviously a desperate plan by some poor girl, from the country, looking for a better life for her child." A trickle of sweat that had started as a mountain stream, turned into a raging torrent, as he continued to talk. "Not mine, of course. still, err," he stammered. "Just in case, we'd better hold onto him, until we can prove that he's not mine. Long shot that he is, but just in case there was a set of circumstances, involving my blood and an injured demon, say, as an example, that caused me to create an heir, without physical intercourse, then well, we'd kick ourselves if we tossed him out."
"I am not happy," said Raseleane quietly, but with malice. "We shall discuss this further in private."
"Heavy," said Alfeegi, shaking his long hair out of his eyes. "What're you going to call him?"
"Call? Him?" said Raseleane, testily.
"'It' isn't a good name for a boy. It's got bad karma," he explained. "You need a name that gives him a groovy future, not one that loads him down with cosmic baggage, man. Like Rain, or Starchild, or Golden Catfish."
Tetheus saw Raseleane start to build up fury again. "How about Wrath?" he muttered.
"Rath?" said Alfeegi. "That means 'fortress', eh? It's a good, strong name, man. Definite, good karma there. Not heavy at all. Look at him, man," he said, poking a finger into the basket and waking the sleeping child. "He looks like a Rath, too."
"Since you named it, you get to raise it," said Raseleane, thrusting the wailing bundle into Alfeegi's arms and storming out.

Alfeegi stood there, holding the screaming basket, a confused and horrified look on his face. "Heavy." While he was still trying to process the information in his addled brain, Tetheus snuck out with Kai-Stern. Lykouleon followed swiftly afterwards, but Ruwalk stayed behind to yell orders at Alfeegi.

"Get that blasted child asleep again now!"
"You can't control him, man. He doesn't march to orders. He should be free to do as he wishes."
"Make him stop crying! Do something useful."
"Woah, your waves are too heavy. Just get off my back, man."
"I am yellow Dragon Officer, Ruwalk, not 'man'. That is my title. That is how you will address me."
"Don't be so fascist, man. Titles don't mean anything."
"Cut the hippy crap and shut that child up or I'll gag him."
"No way, man. You can't stifle his right to speak freely."
"What did he just do?"
"Eeew. Heavy."

Kai-Stern smirked at Tetheus. "We're well out of it," he said. "Still, there's something I want to talk to you about."

The two of them walked off to Kai-Stern's study. He locked the door behind them and sat Tetheus down, with a nervous grin. he walked over to his cabinet and opened it, pouring a drink while Tetheus waited.

"What's it about?" Tetheus asked, lounging back in the velour chair, before he accepted the drink from Kai-Stern.
Kai-stern pulled a funky egg-chair closer to him and sat on the edge of it, resting his elbows on his knees. "Something struck me, when Raseleane read out that note," he said slowly.
"What? Do you know who the Dragonlord was slamming?" Tetheus said, leaning forward, but finding it very uncomfortable, due to chair's design.
"No, that's not it," Kai-Stern said, avoiding his gaze .
"Tell me," said Tetheus, sinking back into the chair. "I can dig it."
"Well," he started. "I get a lot of attention from the girls when I travel. They think Dragons are exotic."
"Mmmmm, hmmm?" nodded Tetheus's afro. "Lay it on me, brother."
"You see, some of them are friendly," he insinuated, looking directly at Tetheus.
"Oh, I know," said Tetheus. "They see a pair of pointy ears and they, uh, bend over backwards, to be, uh, friendly."
"Exactly," said Kai-Stern, whacking his leg and leaning back a little. "So you know that they're all curious and think you're so cool and you never see them again, so when they ask if you're the Dragonlord, what would you say?"
"If I was blonde, I'd probably say what I think you said," muttered Tetheus, shifting uncomfortably.
"Exactly," said Kai-Stern, flopping back in the egg-chair.
"How likely do you think the Dragonlord's blood and an injured demon story is to fly?" he asked, sitting forward and drawing his legs in closer.
Kai-Stern flicked his eyes from the area of space they were staring into, to look at Tetheus without moving his head.
"I agree," he said, holding his hands and sighing deeply. "Is it yours?"
"How do I know?" said Kai-Stern. "It was just a lump in a box. I couldn't get a clear view with all the crying."
"Let's find Alfeegi and see if he looks like you. Maybe he's the spit of Lykouleon. You could be lucky."
"Okay," said Kai-Stern. "After I've had a drink."

He headed for the drink's cabinet and bolstered his courage. After one, he was shaking, but, by the third, he was nearly back to himself. After a brief search, they found Alfeegi holding the baby alone, in his room. Tetheus tried to catch a good view of the child, looking for Kai-Stern's eyes, or the Dragonlord's chin, but Alfeegi walked too quickly, back and forth across the floor, rocking him erratically in an effort to cheer him up. Giving up for now, Tetheus saw a fully laden table, piled with meat, vegetables and some suspicious herbs.

"Hey, man," Alfeegi said, holding Rath away from himself. "What a downer."
"He's still crying?" asked Kai-Stern, who kept a good six feet from the wailing bundle.
"Yeah, man," he said. "I get munchies vibes from him, but the little nipper won't take a bite."
"Babies don't have teeth, Alfeegi," warned Kai-Stern.
"They don't?" he asked, looking up in surprise.
"No," he said, stepping forward and finally getting a good look. "They drink milk."
"But I've got milk," answered Alfeegi, nodding at a nice tall glass.
Tetheus sighed. "Alfeegi, go into town and talk to any women that have recently given birth. Ask each one if they'll act as a wet-nurse, until one of them says yes. Then bring her straight back here. It's the only way we'll be able to sleep tonight."
Alfeegi put his head to one side. "What use is a wet nurse?" he asked.
Tetheus froze for a minute, then replied. "No, it's a phrase that means that she'll feed the baby, instead of its mother."
"Ah, okay. I'll go then," he said, handing the baby over to Kai-Stern and walking out the door. "You watch little Rath and I'll be right back."

Kai-Stern laid the bawling infant on the table and Tetheus stepped forward.

"Well?" he said.
"I don't know," said Kai-Stern shrugging his shoulders. "It looks like a baby, not a person. How can you tell when his features are so chubby? Look at all these folds of skin! And the tiny, tiny, fingers. How can these work properly? They're so small." He picked up Rath and demonstrated his tiny fingers and his tiny toes.
"Yeah, if he's anyone's son, it's one ugly guy," agreed Tetheus.
"I think as they grow older, they start to look like you more," said Kai-Stern, holding him high and eyeing him critically. "He .... oh. Let's warn Alfeegi not to eat the fruit, all right?"

He wrapped Rath up tightly, in several layers of cloth and handed him over to Tetheus.

"There you go, my friend. Watch him until Alfeegi gets back," he said, brushing his jacket and moving away. "I'd better leave, in case that baby starts to look like me."
"If you stood in now," said Tetheus, blocking his exit. "You could save the Dragonlord some marital harmony."
"Not until it's written in black and white," said Kai-Stern firmly, shaking his head emphatically. "I'm not the daddy kind. There's no proof it's even my baby. Maybe it is Lykouleon's. Anyway," he pointed out. "We do need an heir."
"That's true," said Tetheus calmly. "But if Raseleane doesn't calm down soon, we won't have a Dragonlord."
"Look," said Kai-Stern, spreading his hands wide. "I'll watch the boy, I'll help to raise him. I'll even take him to his first prostitute, but I'm not taking the fall for Lykouleon and I'm not going to be that child's daddy."
"His name's Rath," said Tetheus, lifting him up.
"You could step forward," Kai-Stern said, circling Tetheus until he was closer to the door. "Hey, Alfeegi could be his dad. He doesn't seem to mind caring for him."
"Do you really think that Alfeegi can raise anything?" asked Tetheus in disbelief.
"Look, all I do know is that it's not going to be me. It's not my baby and I'm not hanging around," he said, before he fled.
Tetheus watched him go, then looked down at Rath. "Shhh, little one," Tetheus said, cradling the child. "We'll find out who your daddy is. Salazar can tell us and then you'll be a happy boy, with a good family and we'll all love you as uncles and aunts and everyone will look after you. Don't worry, little Rath. You'll be okay."

Obviously, his next phase was his goth phase, followed by military chic. Hippy Alfeegi is mostly based on what I remember of Neil from The Young Ones. He moaned a lot, had long hair and continually said "Heavy". Ruwalk is a yuppy, an era ahead of Tetheus (and the natural enemy of the hippy) and Lykouleon is in a Miami Vice vibe, right now. Maybe Raseleane should be in a power suit, but I want to have Tetheus as close to the Zeitgeist as possible.

You know, the only tangible reward you get for writing is that little review button down there. It doesn't take much to hit it and say if you liked the story, or not. One thing you liked, disliked, or would change/alter/don't understand, would mean the world to me. Thanks to everyone who does review, but there are bound to be others, right? Man, it's hard without a hitcount. Kitchel will be written, but the frenetic pace I've had is going to slacken off. I'm taking a break. I'm a bit tired of writing and I need to rejuvenate my batteries.