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Moreaugarin's Crusade (standard:science fiction, 4322 words)
Author: bufnila ovidiuAdded: Mar 28 2003Views/Reads: 2988/1391Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Ibhib the Gunner of Longville stormed me up from my den. He had scored about the catacombs of Beauburg for the best part of a week


Ovidiu Bufnila 

Ibhib the Gunner of Longville stormed me up from my den. He had scored
about the catacombs of Beauburg for the best part of a week. He wanted 
to know my whereabouts so he had inquired left and right. He made then 
a spectacle of himself and came to blows with a couple of batmen. He 
did them in; he did, and drank their blood. The fickle bastard! Then he 
took his time walking along the banks of the underground river and had 
a fling with the swarthy broad Brunhilde. He had a mouthful of her tits 
and gave her such a hell of a thrashing that she hollered till there 
were cracks in the vaults of the galleries where the stiffs lay 
dormant. I surely followed Ibhib with my feelers. I couldn't trust 
scoundrels like him. I hadn't seen him ever since Moreaugarin had given 
us the slip. The Gunner had not changed a bit. Maybe his belly heaved a 
little over the belt. A flimsy haze shimmered over his eyes. The scales 
on his strong chest seemed to have become rusty in some places. And his 
joints creaked, poor wretch! Well, the old space hound's luck was 
running thin... When I had heard the clang of his iron scales I put out 
the torches in a hurry. Killed the engines. Pulled out my own iron from 
my chest. They I lay in wait. “Freeze where you are!” I screamed my 
lungs out. Ibhib sneered, baring the silver spades of his teeth, and 
croaked something. I didn't believe him. His nostrils were flaring. His 
chest was heaving. He rolled his eyes. His soul seemed to carry a heavy 
burden. The bastard! Through a crack in his shoulder I saw the muzzle 
of his gun... It's useless to wait. I fired a volley. The peeling walls 
resounded. The echo of the boom rolled to the surface and died in the 
tubular streets of Beauburg. The Gunner? Hah, hah! Mealy-mouthed 
bastard! He played that dirty trick of his. Caught all the bullets 
between his silver teeth and spat them back at my head. I extended my 
hairy paw of a hand and Ibhib rushed out of the dark and hugged me, 
roaring with glee. I thought he would break my spine. He was carrying 
his age well, the bum! “Well, Max! Aren't you getting moldy in this 
place?” Ibhib asked flapping his drooling lips. “Nope, not yet,” I said 
with a chuckle. “When then?” “Well?” “And how' s the racket coming?” 
“Stop ranting, you stinker. You'd better tell me your business here. 
What's the big idea?” “Well, are you up in dough?” the Gunner asked and 
scratched behind his flagging ear. “No, I'm rather hard up. Not even 
two nickels to rub together.” “I've got a job for you.” “Spit it out, 
don't keep me guessing.” I said and whisked out a bottle of hard stuff 
from my cache. “I met Moreaugarin.” Well, that topped it all! That 
addled-brained scholar? Was that the reason for Ibhib's coming thither 
and scouring the catacombs? Fat chance, old man. “Go look somewhere 
else”, I snapped at him. “We should have slashed Moreaugarin's throat 
when we had the chance! The cheat said he'd give us a lot of money. We 
sweated our guts out on Mars. We worked ourselves to death combing the 
QET Galaxy in search of that shitty toad with silicon brains. The one 
who had stolen planet Earth to add it to his collection. We ended up 
empty-handed. When we finished the job, that groveling son of a bitch, 
Moreaugarin came and said that he had found immortality and could be 
reborn from a single drop of blood or from his own footprint, even if 
it were one hundred years old. I know what these end-of-the-century 
scholars are up to, Gunner. They'd like to give us the go-by.” “Now, 
what can I say? The man said this time we're sure to hit the jackpot. 
Ever heard of ancient-light diamonds?” “Some rumors, yes,” I said and 
rubbed my hands. “What about them?” “Well, this Moreaugarin claims he 
knows where they can be found.” “Don't be so bloody stupid! An 
amphibian from B'ol Solar system told me that these diamonds are far 
beyond the edge of the cosmos, about fifteen thousand light years away. 
What then?” “Listen, Max, this is the set-up. Moreaugarin showed me one 
of those stones and guess what. I took it to the jeweler's at 
Grazzelli's in Blue city. Cuts quite a figure in his field, you know. 
Well, he says the stone is genuine. Then he takes a gun from a drawer 
and says he will prove it...” “Well?” “Well, he puts a slug through his 
head! Moreaugarin and I get splattered all over with his blood and 
brains. And then Grazzelli comes to life. Moreaugarin just touches his 
body with that stone and...” “You're a goddamn liar”. “No, I'm not! And 
look, that's all there's to it!” “You're trying to piss me. Shoot it”. 
“The other thing is, Moreaugarin said that Pilgrims arrived in some 
spot on the Earth...” “Big deal. I heard that one from a sea-devil!” 
This is an age-old story. One million years ago these Pilgrims 
destroyed civilization on Venus. By treason, perjury and crime. 
Pilgrims were sonorous beings born from the primeval sound of the 
Universe. They carried the walls of the Ideal City beneath their 

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