Episode 5, part 1 - The game is about to change....
Ahri watched curiously as the white hextech hover-truck pulled into one of the parking spaces in front of LoLmart. Big, black lettering on the side of the truck read: MundoCorp – Spec Ops Division, with Mundo's universal logo printed to the left of the letters. She saw the driver-side door open, and a solidly built man with short black hair and buzzed sideburns stepped out. He carried a fancy, golden manager's pen over his ear.
Another more slender man stepped out from the passenger side, this one wearing a black stetson cowboy hat that partially obscured his features. Long, flowing black hair and a shaped beard and goatee rounded out his appearance so that it resembled that of a classic card-dealing gunslinger. The two men went around to the front of the truck and conversed with each other for a moment, and then the larger man proceeded to walk towards the store entrance - he seemed to be the leader, and the slender man followed suit behind him.
As she watched the two men, Ahri remembered earlier how Veigar had told her it was imperative she be on her best behaviour today. Something big had happened in the complicated corporate environment of Valoran, and the hextech truck that stood outside had been the result of orders directly from Corporate Mundo himself. No doubt, Mundo had handpicked the persons who were now stepping out of the truck (actually, he probably just threw cleavers onto a dartboard with pictures of various subordinates on it), and Ahri felt her ears positively tingle with excitement as she thought about what possible intrigue all this might entail. Twitch had been asked to hide as he usually does when the store had company, and Veigar was standing nervously beside the counter in anticipation of their arrival.
Ahri watched the larger man as he entered through the sliding doors and walked up to the front counter of the store.
“Hey...he's pretty cute,” Ahri whispered to herself.
Veigar motioned for Ahri to quiet down. “This is serious, Ahri!”
Ahri fixed her hair back slightly, then perked up her ears, clasped her hands together, and flashed her cutest smile at the two men as they walked up.
“Welcome to LoLmart #77! My name's Ahri -”
The larger man held up a hand, abruptly silencing her.
“We've already been briefed back at MundoCorp HQ. I'd rather we get down to business first, and save the small talk for later. For now, you can refer to me as Jayce, the regional manager for the central Valoran zone. My partner here is codenamed Twisted Fate, otherwise known as TF, chief agent of special operations.” Jayce turned to Veigar. “Veigar, lets get this started. And bring the girl too.”
“Yes sir...of course!” Veigar said, a tinge of nervousness in his voice.
Veigar motioned the two men over to the food station, and pulled out four chairs from one of the larger dining tables. Ahri started following behind the two men. She seemed to be a bit upset that Jayce had not even bothered to refer to her by name.
Jayce and TF sat down on one side the square table, and Ahri and Veigar sat down across from them. Beads of sweat could be seen forming on Veigar's forehead. He looked around and noticed the bits of old sausage chili and random cheese nips scattered over the floor, and gave Ahri a slight nudge.
“Psst, Ahri, where's Twitch? I thought I told him and you to clean this place up this morning,” Veigar whispered. Ahri, trying her best to ignore Veigar, simply gave him a shrug.
Jayce stared at Veigar from across the table, and raised an eyebrow.
“Twitch? Who's this Twitch you're talking about?”
Veigar winced and turned his head to face Jayce.
“Umm, Twitch? I was just uh, wondering where my eye went. I mean where my twitch went. It twitches. Eye. Twitch.”
Veigar pretended to twitch his right eye, and pointed to it, giggling nervously.
“See! There it is! Good old eye twitch!”
Jayce stared at Veigar coldly for awhile, then rapped his knuckles on the table calmly.
“Ok, then. Before we start, I just want to state that this store you run is shockingly filthy, and I will be filing an official demerit on your manager's record when we're done with all this.”
Veigar's right eye started twitching for real.
Jayce sat back in his chair and seemed to relax slightly.
“Ok. Let's get down to business. As you know, store #77 is located right in the heart of the institute of War's Champion's villa, which gives it a reliable source of tourist income for whenever there's a match held here. What most don't know, however, is that the company that ends up controlling the stores within Champion's villa also ends up with a large amount of political influence within the institute of war itself, and that translates to both political and economic influence across all of Valoran. LoLmart 77, then, serves as MundoCorp's official and only foothold into the institute, which is why it's imperative that it does well so we can convince the League to give MundoCorp a general development permit for this area.”
Jayce motioned to his partner, and TF took out a hextech holographer from his coat pocket, and placed it on the desk. It emitted a large, holographic map of Valoran on the screen, along with a picture of a spectacled yordle with a massive brain, with text below that read: Heimerdinger, President of Darkplum Technologies, Inc. Beisde the text was a company logo of a black plum that looked like someone had taken a bite out of it. TF looked at both Ahri and Veigar, then proceeded to speak with a smooth, laid back cajun drawl.
“Now, here's where things get tricky. As y'all know, Darkplum Inc is the only other corporation big enough to challenge MundoCorp both economically and politically, and my agents within Darkplum HQ have come back with some disturbing news.”
The hextech holograph switched images to a map of the inside of Champion's villa. In the center stood a massive spectator's arena that enclosed a field of justice, with multiple residences, stores, and other facilities surrounding the arena that roughly combined to create a small but growing city.
“Darkplum Inc has recently received a conditional permit to erect one of their Plum retail stores within Champion's villa. Now, I 'reckon none of us are stupid, and we know they don't plan to stop at just one store. Their ultimate goal is to win the right to develop Champion's villa as they please. If they can win the institute over, then that means they gain the political influence necessary to oust MundoCorp and make sure they never do business within Valoran ever again.”
The hologram changed again, this time to a picture of a yordle covered with blue fur. He was sitting atop a massive weaponized mech, replete with dangerous weapons like flamethrowers, stun rods, and shield generators. Below was the plum logo and text which read: Rumble, Chief Annexation Officer, Darkplum Technologies, Inc.
“Now whadda ya'll reckon is the easiest way to win the exclusive development permit? Why, eliminating the competition, of course. My spies have good info direct from Heimer's mouth saying Rumble is on his way here now, as we speak, to LoLmart, along with a small band of hired mercenaries, in order to forcefully take over this store, and annex it into Darkplum inc.”
The hextech holographer turned off with a slight click, and TF placed the emitter back into his coat pocket. Jayce stood up from his chair, and faced the rest of the group.
“We've been sent here as an advance guard, both to put a stop to this annexation attempt, and to oversee further expansion of this store into a MundoMart, so that it's big enough to compete with one of Darkplum's retail Plum stores.
Jayce looked at Ahri and Veigar to make sure they were comprehending everything. Ahri smiled and and started applauding happily.
“That was such an awesome presentation, Jayce and TF! I wish I was as good as you guys!”
Jayce stole a quick glance at Veigar, who was now attempting to slide under the table to hide himself. Jayce cleared his throat, then motioned for silence. He took out a hextech tele-device from his pocket.
“Ahem. I'm not quite done yet. Now, in order to fend off Darkplum's annexation attempt, we have in the back of our truck an advanced robotic security guard, one of the latest new technologies from Mundo's new robotics division. With a press of this button, the truck's teleporter device will warp the robot into our store.”
TF groaned loudly after hearing Jayce utter the word “Mundo” and “robotics”.
“Seriously Jayce? That's what we've been transporting this entire trip? You realize MundoCorp's robotics division is the laughing stock of the entire corporate world?”
“Shut up TF. Mundo demanded we take the robot out for field duty. It's out of my hands,” Jayce whispered. He pressed the button on his remote, and a blue beam appeared within the store. After it dissapated, it revealed a dingy, yellow robot with huge hands and steam coming out of it's back. It emitted a slow, monotone robotic voice.
"BLITZCRANK AUTOMATED DEFENSE SYSTEM ACTIVATED. HELLO WORLD. I AM NOW GOING TO START THE MACARENA. PLEASE DANCE WITH ME HUMAN MASTERS. I AM ALSO PROGRAMMED WITH THE ATL STOMP, CRIP WALK, AND GANGNAM DANCE STYLES."
The robot started shaking it's hips and flipping it's hands in an imitation of the macarena dance. TF groaned again in disgust.
“Goddamit, we're so screwed. Mundo seriously needs to let spec-ocs make the on-field management decisions.”
The sound of a large explosion suddenly boomed across the store, and the double sliding doors blocking the entrance to the store shattered violently. A gaint mech with a small yordle sitting atop it walked in, followed by two men, one wielding a brutal-looking axe, and another spinning an oddly shaped whirling axe in both hands. Another shorter but grizzled looking man holding a shotgun and wearing sunglasses stepped in from behind. He raised his gun into the air and let off a wild shotgun blast.
“Awww yeah! Black Doom mercenary company here. Sorry, but this is the end of the line for you folks.”
The mechanized yordle laughed at the grizzled man's exclamation, then rose up haughtily and introduced himself.
“Rumble, chief annexation officer for Darkplum Inc. On behalf of our great CEO Heimerdinger, I hereby claim this store as the new property of Darkplum Technologies, Inc!”
TF rose suddenly from his chair, sending it tumbling onto the floor. He looked at the grizzled shotgun wielding man with disgust.
“Why if it isn't old Malcolm Graves. Couldn't cut it in Mundo's spec ops divison, so now you're runnin' a sad little mercenary company, eh?”
Jayce turned to face the intruders. He grabbed his pen from his ear, then looked back towards TF, Ahri, and Veigar.
“Damnit! They're here early. TF, Ahri, Veigar, get ready, we are NOT going to let them take over this property!”
to be continued in Episode 5, part 2 further down this page....things are about to get nasty!
Episode 5, part 2
#This episode contains mildly descriptive scenes suggesting "feisty" yordle mating behavior. Viewer discretion is advised#
Rumble stepped forward, looked across the room, and laughed maniacally.
"And just how are you going to stop us from taking this store over, Jayce? Just my mech alone can beat all of you combined!"
Rumble paused for a second, then reached into his cockpit to press a button. "How rude of me! Before we begin, I forgot that Heimerdinger had a personal message for you guys straight from Darkplum HQ!" A light started blinking on his mech, and it emitted a transparent blue holo-screen into the space in front of him.
Jayce, Ahri, TF, and Veigar all looked towards the screen. It flashed, and then the holo-screen focused itself, revealing a large, lavish-looking room with chandeliers and luscious red carpeting. Laying sprawled on the floor was a female yordle sporting pigtails and dressed in sexy lingerie, looking like a coked up smurf prostitute. She had her legs spread open beside a ladder encrusted with diamonds and gold foil, and on top of the ladder stood Heimer, who was looking down at the female yordle and saying something to her, while cocking his legs and preparing to jump down on her. There was a crackle of audio.
"Hee hee hooo! Poppy my love, I'm craving for some more sweet nectar!"
"Ohh Heimy, my sweet little boo boo bear! My honey jar is open and ready!"
Rumble cleared his throat, then spoke meekly into a mic in his cockpit.
"Excuse me Mr. Heimer. I'm sorry to bother you, but didn't you tell me you wanted to say something to the LOLmart employees via the holo-communicator before we took it over?"
Back inside the holo-screen, Heimer looked up, appeared to stare outwards from the screen, then smiled and casually looked towards where Jayce was standing.
"Oh dear, what do we have here? Jayce? After we take over your store, please kindly go back to Mundo and tell him to stay away from the Institute. It's ours, got it? I've already sent a team to start building a new retail Plum super-store across the street, and there's nothing you can do to stop it. Now, Rumble, hurry up and finish your job, I have important business to get back to!"
Heimer looked back down at Poppy, bent down slightly, then leaped off the ladder into a belly flop, his body accelerating towards where Poppy was laying spread eagle. Back in the store, Rumble frantically reached into his cockpit and mashed some buttons, and the holo-screen dissappeared.
Ahri stole a quick glance at Veigar, with a slightly horrified expression on her face.
"...Heimy? I'm never going to use "Veigy" the same way, ever again..."
Jayce shook himself, trying to clear his mind from what he just saw, and growled angrily.
"Enough of this! I have NO CLUE what I just witnessed, but if Heimer wants to send Mundo a message, he can do it himself! It's time to end this!"
Jayce flipped his golden pen into the air. The pen flew upward and, as it reached the apex of it's ascent, suspended itself and started spinning in the air. Sparks began to fly out from it in all directions, and it began emitting sounds of electric discharges and tiny whirring gears. In a flash of light, the pen suddenly enlarged and took the shape of massive hammer. In one swift and impressive motion, Jayce somersaulted into the air, grabbed the handle and, still somersaulting, landed onto the ground, smashing the hammer into the earth with a thunderous blow.
"Time to make a stand! Ahri and Veigar, support me from behind, TF, let's do this!"
On the other side, Darius took a step forward and brandished his axe menacingly while his brother started whirling both axes and laughing maniacally.
TF smirked at the display, took one step back, reached into his coat pocket, and took out a deck of cards. He looked down at the cards, then over to the two axe-wielding maniacs, then back at the cards, then finally looked over at Jayce.
"Ok Jayce. In all seriousness, I asked Mundo for a Hextech rifle, and he gave me this pack of cards instead, mumbling something about a recession and cutbacks. WTF does he expect me to do with a pack of cards-"
Darius slammed his giant axe down right beside where TF was standing, and TF barely dodged to the side in response. Twirling around, he brought his leg up and shot out a swift roundhouse kick straight into Darius's face. The man stumbled back, stunned momentarily. TF took out a card from the top of the deck, and aimed it at Darius' head.
"God, I'm so screwed," TF mumbled to himself, as he readied the card, then threw it at Darius. The card sliced through the air, pinged Darius in the forehead, then flopped and floated harmlessly to the ground and came to rest beside his feet. TF groaned. Darius looked down at the card, then burst out laughing.
"Ah, hahaha! Playing cards? Is this supposed to be a jo-"
A massive explosion of mana suddenly erupted from below Darius, and sent him flying through the store. He landed on his back, half conscious, his body covered with mana burns.
TF stared at the broken body of Darius, then looked down at the deck of playing cards in shock.
"Seriously Jayce? These cards explode? And you've been letting me play poker with 'em?"
Jayce shrugged. "I've been meaning to tell you, but it never came up."
Draven stepped forward, then threw an axe that flew through the air and landed with a thud between the two men.
"You're gonna pay dearly for that, Jayce and TF. Don't think I'm gonna fall for your tricks as easily as my idiot brother! Get ready for Draaaaaaven!"
Draven took out another axe and, whirling both simultaneously to form a tornado of spinning axes, dashed forward and engaged Jayce and TF, locking the three of them into a mortal combat of whirling death and destruction.
From behind the main fight, Ahri and Veigar watched as Jayce and TF struggled against the mass of spinning blades. Seeing an opportunity, Ahri began to focus her mind, and twirled her hands, summoning three tiny fox-fires that began to circle around her. As she was about to release them at Draven, there was a sudden click of a gun being cocked, a blur of something brown, and Graves appeared right before Veigar. The yordle cried out in surprise and attempted to ready a spell, but was quickly dispatched by a rapid uppercut to the face with the butt of Grave's shotgun, knocking him out cold. Before Ahri could react, Graves swiftly dashed up towards her in one fluid motion, and she realized that Graves was now behind her and about to bring his gun up to fire a volley into the defenseless fox-girl.
I didn't expect him to be so fast! ...But he underestimates my speed as well!
Ahri whipped her nine tails around in a twirling motion, leaped upwards and, using the momentum of her tails and a surge of magical energy, flew upwards and over Graves in an awe-inspiring display of agility, flipping around and landing a short distance behind the man, using her tails skillfully to control her landing. At the same time, Graves had unleashed a volley of bursts from his triple barreled shotgun into the space Ahri had occupied seconds ago.
Ahri saw her opportunity, and fired her three fox-fires directly at Graves. Sensing immediate danger from behind him, the grizzled veteran spun around while whipping his heavy cloak around to cover his body, and blocked the fox fires with it. The fires impacted the heavy cloak and ignited it into flames, singing and charring his exposed flesh. With a grunt of pain, Graves unlatched his flaming cloak and threw it aside, then turned back to face Ahri. He grinned evilly. Ahri didn't flinch from his gaze, and instead she used this brief lapse in action to analyze the old man's tactics.
I think I have him! ...He's fast, but can only maintain that speed in a straight line...I just have to be ready and react quickly to his dash..!
"Not bad, missy, but I have decades of fighting experience over you, and you'll find that this old dog definitely still has some tricks up his sleeve!" Graves cocked his shotgun, and again dashed with blinding speed towards Ahri.
Even though she expected the dash, Ahri barely had time to react, and she desperately leaped to the side, landed, then swiftly turned around and fired off three fox-fires at where she thought Graves would be.
Ahri blacked out momentarily, and when she came to, the world was spinning, she was laying face-down on the ground, and her head was throbbing. She saw blood dripping down from her face and onto the floor, and felt the hard pressure of a boot and a cold metal barrel pinning her to the floor.
"I'm impressed! If times were better I woulda spared your life and tried to bring you in as one o' my mercenaries." Graves shook his head. "Lady, what a shame..."
Ahri struggled to get away – she felt like she was suffocating.
...How did he anticipate all my moves? How? I'm so sorry everyone...!
There was a slight disturbance in the air from behind Graves, and an arrow whizzed past his ear. Abruptly he whirled around and fired a quick blast from his shotgun at the empty air behind him. A voice cried out in pain, and two arrows flew out from nowhere and pierced Graves through his chest and thigh, forcing him to the ground and making him cry out in pain. Twitch materialized in front of the fallen Graves and doubled over as well, heavily wounded by shotgun shrapnel and bleeding from his abdomen.
A jarring explosion erupted all across the store, and Ahri managed to turn her head and watched hopelessly as Rumble fired off electrical hooks that struck TF, disabling him with shocks of powerful electricity. With TF down, Rumble moved in to try and finish off Jayce, who was now cornered and forced to fight off both Rumble and Draven by himself.
Ahri struggled onto her knees and started crawling towards Twitch. Her head was still throbbing, and the entire store seemed to be swaying back and forth in a dizzying motion. She found Twitch down on the ground and out cold, completely unresponsive. Not knowing what to do, and still slightly dazed, Ahri started crawling towards Jayce. She knew she had to do something - Jayce was outnumbered and wouldn't hold for long...but what could she do?
Still crawling desperately forward, Ahri suddenly brushed up against some cold, yellow steel. She looked up and saw Blitzcrank, who had now moved onto doing a robotic version of the Hawaiian luau. Ahri reached out and grabbed the robot's ankle. She was scared, but tried to remain calm and forced herself to hold back tears welling up inside her.
The robot continued to dance, and Ahri laid her head down. A tear streamed down her face, and she thought about that time long ago, when she was still a fox desperately longing to be human. After all that happened, was this to be her ultimate fate?
As she laid there and started crying, Ahri felt something stir from within her soul, and she became aware of a tingling sensation that traveled down her arm and into her hand, which was still grasped around the robot's ankle. The robot suddenly paused, shuddered, and then came back to life, and steam started to escape rapidly from it's exhaust ports. Ahri's head started throbbing again, and she began to lose consciousness.
"AHRI. JAYCE. TF. VEIGAR. TWITCH. I UNDERSTAND EVERYTHING. I WILL PROTECT MY MASTERS."
Blitzcrank became supercharged, jets of rapid steam pouring out from it's vents, and the robot jerked forward, then started charging at Draven, who was now standing over Jayce and about to stab one of his axes down into the struggling man. Drawing back its fist, Blitzcrank popped Draven with a punch so strong that it sent him shooting out of the store entirely. Rumble drew his mech back, surprised at the sudden show of force, but quickly recovered his composure and activated his equalizer rockets, and fired a salvo of mini-missiles at the robot.
"MANA SHIELD ACTIVATED. BATTERY RUNNING AT 37%."
An energized barrier formed around Blitzcrank, and the missles slammed violently into the shield and exploded, sending bits of debris and shrapnel everywhere. As the smoke cleared, the robot emerged unharmed, his shield still active. Rumble's jaw dropped.
"This can't be! Those missles are one of my most powerful weapons, and it didn't even scratch him!"
Blitzcrank charged forward, then leaped and slammed into Rumble's mech, clinging to its front end. It started punching and ripping at the armor. A low metallic thud rang out, and a piece of the mech's forward armor plating crumpled and tore off the mech, revealing the more vulnerable aluminum plates underneath. Rumble was in complete shock, and he desperately spun his mech around and slammed the front of his mech into the ground in an attempt to get the robot off his mech. Rumble drew the mech's fist back, then slammed it into the robot, this time knocking the robot off and a distance away. The robot flew into one of the aisles, scattering food products everywhere, and landed with a loud CLANK into the floor, but it quickly got up, and started walking towards Rumble. It showed little sign of wear or damage from the struggle.
Rumble cried out in frustration. "How? How did Mundocorp suddenly get so advanced in robotics?"
A shotgun blast rang out towards the back of the store, a several smoke canisters landed onto the floor around. The canisters filled the entire store with black, acrid smoke that made it impossible to see what was happening.
"Rumble, I'm getting my men out of here! We weren't prepared for this, they were ready for us! If you've got any sense, you'll fall back as well!"
There were sounds of men being dragged and metallic clanks of movement, and when the smoke cleared, the Darkplum invaders were no where in sight.
With Rumble gone, the electric harpoons stopped responding, and TF got up painfully and yanked the harpoon off his body. Jayce walked over to help him up.
"What was that? I had no idea our Blitzcrank model was that strong..." Jayce supported TF on his shoulder and helped him walk. TF looked up and fixed his gaze towards the half conscious fox-girl.
"I was disabled, but I was still able to watch the the whole thing. That fox-girl had something to do with it. I saw some kind of magical energy transfer from her hand into the robot, and it suddenly became sentient."
Several warning beeps sounded across the store, and Blitzcrank jerked and then stopped abruptly.
"WARNING. MANA BATTERY CRITICAL. SYSTEM SHUTDOWN INITIATED TO PROTECT INTERNAL MEMORY." The robot's steam dissipated, and it's lights went off and became inactive.
TF looked over at the robot, then to the fox girl, and racked his brain to come up with an explanation. "Jayce...you remember how they briefed us at HQ that the fox-girl had turned into a human by some magical force years ago? I'm guessing that somehow this mysterious power has developed within her over the years, and she is now somehow able to grant sentience to objects that already have a desire to become human themselves. My guess is that all robots have an innate desire to become sentient and more human-like because of how we made them, and she's able to tap this desire with her magic to bring out the hidden potential of those robots."
Jayce looked over at Blitzcrank, who stood there motionless and powered down. "TF, take my teleporter and put the robot back into the hextech hover-truck, and drive back to HQ to have the robot analyzed. I'm going to call in medical and help the fox-girl and the others - if they can be helped, that is."
TF nodded, took the teleporter, and limped over to complete his task. Jayce took out his communicator and dialed in a line for medical. He looked over at the unconscious store employees, taking particular notice of the fox-girl. She had much more resolve and determination than he initially gave her credit for. Ahri was her name, right?
Jayce let out a sigh of relief, then brought his communicator up to his mouth to speak into it. They had somehow driven off Darkplum's annexation attempt, and they were unlikely to try another outright show of aggression like that again for fear of League retaliation, but he wasn't naive - he knew this was only the beginning of a long and brutal corporate war between the two mighty companies over control of Champion's villa.
Poppy was dressed in a sexy french maid costume, and sitting bound to a chair with ropes. She stared lustfully at her lover. Across from her, Heimer was dressed in a leather getup, and was sitting inside the cockpit of a mini-replica of a German Panzer battle tank, except that it's main gun was shaped in a rounded phallic-like cylinder with a bulge at it's head.
"Oh Heimy! France is utterly defenseless! How will we ever stand up to the might of Germany's invasion?"
The mini-battle tank lurched forward, and Heimer armed it's phallic-like main-gun at the defenseless poppy.
"Hee hee! Prepare for the invasion of France! Resistance is futile! Main cannon armed and ready to fire!" Heimer commenced the launch sequence, which involved him bucking his hips forward repeatedly in order to activate the pressure sensors that would initiate the main-cannon firing sequence.
The door to Heimer's office opened, and a wheeled robot strolled in, and went up directly to Heimer.
"MASTER. MISSION 111 HAS FAILED. I WILL NOW SHOW A VIDEO REPORT OF THE SCENE AS TAKEN FROM RUMBLE'S COCKPIT CAMERA."
Heimer stopped the main gun launch sequence, shut down his battle tank, and viewed the video quietly. When it ended , the yordle angrily dismissed the robot, jumped out of the tank, and walked over to his executive desk and sat down. He pressed a button to call his secretary.
"Wilma, make a call over to Darkplum Robotics and have them send over Urgot. Tell him it's urgent, we have a new development that may threaten our robotic superiority over Mundocorp."
"Understood Heimer, I will make the call right away."
The com closed, and Heimer leaned back in his chair, contemplating the video he had just seen.
"So her name's Ahri, huh? If I can find a way to extract, isolate, and control her power, it might be just what we need to give our robotic division the power to crush all of our rivals...and take over the institute itself!" Heimer sat there brooding, contemplating at the new developments that had occurred in the complex corporate world of Valoran.
Episode End. I know this was a long one, and thanks for reading!
“I’m gonna need to get some tools set up from my truck, and then I can finish the remodeling,” Renekton said as he walked by the counter. The crocodile tipped his hat at the fox girl, and Ahri reciprocated with a sly wink. He then walked out to his truck parked outside, emblazoned with the lettering: RENEKTON’S TOP QUALITY CONSTRUCTION COMPANY.
Ahri turned back to the counter where an issue of the latest Famitsu Weekly lay open, and twirled a strand of her hair around her finger, staring past Veigar absentmindedly. “So why is he working in construction? He’s a melee top bruiser, has a great early game, and doesn’t need mana. Plus he’s got a great body. I’d figure he’d be booked 24/7 for league matches.”
Veigar looked over to make sure Renekton was out of hearing range, then scoffed loudly. “Renekton? That croc is a freakin’ idiot. All he does is hog all the top lane experience, then when we’re fighting he never protects the carries or the mages and just charges in like he’s a tank. He has no idea how to teamfight, and teamfighting is what wins you matches.”
“Oh really? I thought it was killing the enemy nexus.”
“It is! But you can’t get to their nexus if you can’t win the teamfights.”
Ahri frowned a bit, and closed the magazine she had been pretending to read. “Hmm, sorry Veigy, I think you’re wrong about that. Haven’t you read Master Yi’s new book?”
“Yi? That idiot wrote another book? Really? Don’t tell it’s about yet another useless strategy that never works.”
”Advanced Backdooring Theory: Alternative Strategies and Principles for the Sneaky League Aficionado. He released it only a week ago, and it’s already #2 according to the Valoran Times best sellers list.” Ahri reached into her bag and took out a flashy purple smartphone. “I actually bought the book - here, lemme show you.” She tapped on the screen to bring up some text on the book, then showed it to Veigar.
Veigar stared at Ahri’s phone, and narrowed his eyes in suspicion. “Is that a Darkplum XD-5 LeaguePhone?”
“Close, but nope,” Ahri replied. “It’s an XD-6. They just released it. It’s totally amazing! Look at how shiny the text - “
“AHRI! You’re using a Darkplum phone...why are you using a phone made by our rival?”
“Relax Veigy! It’s not like I went out and bought one. A couple of Darkplum employees were standing outside the street this morning giving it out for free to everyone walking towards our store.”
“...And you didn’t do anything about it?” Veigar said. “You just decided to go and get a free phone?”
“Veigy, come on...it’s not like I could have done anything about it. I wanted to tell them to leave, but I didn’t want to start another fight, and they were actually pretty nice to me...and besides, I got you one too!” Ahri looked down and fumbled around her bag a bit, then took out a shiny neon pink XD-6. She beamed a big smile at Veigar and held the phone out to him.
“Oh, god. Like I would even be caught dead holding a Darkplum phone. And what’s with the neon pink? Didn’t they have another color? Like, darker and more evil?”
“It adds personality! Now when you meteor a litter of baby kittens, the last thing they’ll notice before they die is that cool pink smartphone you were holding!”
Veigar sighed, closed his eyes and rubbed his temples. “Why can’t I have just one day where nothing goes wrong?” He opened his eyes and took the phone from her hands, and examined it closely. “Well, at the very least, I can take this phone over to TF and have it analyzed by spec-ops. They already have stolen versions of the XD-7 in the lab, but this XD-6 seems to be a revised consumer edition... “
Ahri sat back and grinned at the Yordle holding the pink smartphone. She thought the color looked cute on him. “That’s a great idea, Veigy. See? Isn’t this better than if I had started another fight with Darkplum by myself and caused more damage to the store?”
Veigar grumbled a few inaudible words, then took the phone and started heading towards his office. Ahri rolled her eyes and turned back to the counter to pick out another magazine to read, but was interrupted by the sound of the double doors sliding open. A large, imposing dog-like creature stepped into the store, and confidently perused his surroundings. He gazed towards one of the aisles, then smoothly turned his head and fixed his unwavering gaze at the fox-girl behind the counter. “My bowels are as empty as the eternal desert land of Shurima. They cry out for a savior to sate their hunger. Does your store carry Kibbles n’ Bits?”
Ahri stared at the awe-inspiring creature before her. She didn’t know why, but she felt her heart flutter, and the room seemed warmer than before. She felt her throat constrict, but after a short struggle managed to squeak out a response.
“Umm, Kibbles? I think that’s on aisle three. No wait - it’s in aisle four.”
“I thank you for your assistance. I shall one day repay the favor you have given me, so that the world may remain in balance. Now, for grace, I shall go.”
Ahri watched the large creature turn to walk towards aisle four. She got up from her counter and started heading towards him. Kibbles were always stored in aisle eight! She just restocked them this morning - how could she have forgotten?
The creature stopped and turned to face the girl. “Yes?”
“Well, ahh...the kibbles are actually stored in aisle eight. I’m really sorry. It’s been a long day...just follow me and I’ll lead you to them.”
Ahri led the creature down the store towards the pet foods aisle, then went into the hallway between the aisles. She looked around at the random assortment of chew toys and cat chow, then finally spotted the bags of Kibbles on the very top shelf.
“There it is! Kibbles and Bits Xtreme edition. It’s on the very top shelf though. We don’t get a lot of people coming in to buy pet food. I’ll go get the grabber.”
Ahri started searching around for the long grabbing stick usually placed at the end of every aisle, but the dog-creature stopped her.
“Lady, have you never seen Nasus, the Curator of the Sands, in an official League Match?”
“Umm, I’m sorry...I don’t think I have. Are you really a League Champion? I work in the League also!” Ahri fanned out her nine tails and made sure to display them in a way so that Nasus could notice their full beauty. “The league calls me Ahri, the beautiful and amazing nine-tailed fox!”
“Yes, I have seen you before.” Nasus looked at her and nodded slowly. He then looked up at the top shelf where the Kibbles n’ Bits Xtreme were stored. “I shall now show you why we do not have need of a grabber.”
Nasus let out a low but formidable growl, and Ahri could feel a slight draft of wind start to form inside the store, as well as a strong source of power emanating from within Nasus. As Ahri stared on, the dog creature suddenly grew to almost twice in size, with his head now reaching almost to the ceiling. Strange gusts of a mystical green sand started to swirl around Nasus, causing the aisles to shudder and the assortment of chew toys and lighter articles to scatter, with some crashing loudly onto the floor with a squeek. Nasus, now taller than the top shelf of the aisle, casually reached out and grabbed a package of Kibbles n’ Bits. Then, as suddenly as everything had come about, the swirls of sand receded and disappeared, and Nasus shrank back down to his normal, but still formidable size.
Ahri stared at Nasus, her mouth half open in pure amazement. “That was crazy! I wish I could have powers like that!” Ahri remembered her special fox-fire ability, and wanted to show it to Nasus, but she stopped herself. It was just three little blue flames that circled around her and protected her. Nasus would probably laugh at such a stupid little ability.
“Ok well, umm,” Ahri finally said. “Lets go back to the register so I can check you out. Err- check your item out, I mean.” Ahri drew in her nine tails so that they clumped together to form one bushy tail, and they both walked back to the store lobby. Ahri went behind the front counter, then took up the scanner and scanned the package of Kibbles n’ Bits Extreme. The register flashed the number 595.
“So your total today will be 595 ip. Would you like anything else, Nasus?”
“No, that will be it.” Nasus handed Ahri his League Card.
Ahri took the card and swiped it on the register console, debiting 595 ip from his account. “So, well - I guess that’s it then. Um..thank you for shopping at LoLmart number 77!”
Ahri handed the card back to Nasus, and he nodded in thanks. She watched quietly as he turned and headed towards the double doors. The doors slid open, and Nasus walked up to the doorway. He then stopped, and turned around to look at Ahri.
“You know, I forgot to mention this before, but when you spread out all nine of your tails, I thought it truly one of the most beautiful and amazing sights I had ever seen. I noticed that you tend to keep your tail clumped up so that no one can see it, so I feel truly grateful to be shown such an amazing sight. I travel the world to experience things such as this, and for that, I thank you.”
“Oh...” Ahri could feel her face redden and get hotter. “Well, ah....”
“I hope to see you again in one of your League matches. Farewell, Ahri.”
“Err..I hope to see you too in a League...” Ahri managed to mumble out her sentence to no one in particular. Nasus had already turned and left the store. The fox girl turned back into her chair, and took her tail in her hands. She stroked the soft furs slowly, and as she thought of her encounter with Nasus, she couldn’t help but feel a bit of pride and happiness as she slowly spread her lovely nine tails out before her.
End Episode 6.
Renekton quickly got out from his truck parked behind the store, and started walking around to the front. He had felt it. Him. He knew that power and could smell and taste it from miles away whenever it appeared. He walked hastily through the front doors of the store, then slowly scanned theinterior. Nothing. He looked at Ahri, who had been intently staring at her tail and stroking the furs back and forth.
“Is there something you need, Renekton?” Ahri said, looking up from her little task.
Renekton shook his head. “Nah, It’s nothing. I thought I had felt something, but its probably ‘cause I’m tired from working all day. Oh - by the way, I’m gonna need to come back tomorrow to finish the job. There’s some extra tools I need but they’re at my store.”
Ahri shrugged. “Alright then, I’ll be sure to let Veigy know. See ya tomorrow!”
Renekton headed out and back around the store, then headed into his truck. He didn’t start the vehicle. Instead, he sat back, and stared absentmindedly into the sky.
“Nasus...” Renekton said to himself, quietly.
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