The Tricryptogon

Banny And Lissa
by Dave Lerner

Sorry about the absence. I hope to be back by September 15 October 6, with a full explanation. Or, at least, a decent excuse.


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Part 2: New Friends And Old
Chapter 25: May Cause Nausea, Fatigue, Dry-Mouth, Hysteria, And Death

Okay, thought Antonio. This is bad. This is bad!?! Man, that's like saying I am handsome! It's true far as it goes, but it doesn't go nearly far enough!

The young man lay in a sewer tunnel somewhere (he did not know where) beneath the streets of Cambridge. Or maybe back in Boston. Hell, for all he knew he could be in Newton or Braintree! Did Braintree have sewer tunnels?

This was bad.

Antonio's once olive-skin was now pale and ashen. His long black hair was filthy and blood-matted. His clothes were tattered, his trench coat, with all its gear, long gone.

Not only was he going to die, he wouldn't even look good when it happened!

"Noooo..." Antonio moaned. His voice cracked and petered out.

Two or three days ago, roughly, approximately, give or take, Antonio wasn't sure because he lost his watch when it happened and besides he's dying so cut him some slack, okay? Yeesh! Anyway, two or three days ago he had kicked open the door to the demon bar and burst in.

Antonio's practiced eyes estimated over a hundred demons. All coming at him at once.

And they did not get in each other's way!

Some held back, some moved to the side, some went up the wall or across the ceiling. There was a little pushing and jockeying for position, but nothing like there should have been.

Antonio should have run. But he had never run from demons before, and he'd rather be dead than embarrassed. He emptied his gun into the nearest creatures, no chance to reload, and plunged in, knifing where possible.

The demons were not fighting instinctively. Did they have a pre-determined plan? Antonio did a flip, leapt onto a table. They clawed and tore at his trench. Antonio's beautiful jagged knife caught in the throat of a human-looking demon (she couldn't have been human; she did not die.) He let it go and pulled a long straight blade. They slashed him, their claw poison invading his blood. This was where he lost his watch, but he's got more important concerns right now, okay?

Antonio felt stiff-limbed and light-headed. The poison would paralyze him, knock him unconscious. And ultimately kill him. If he let it. He grabbed an easy-open vial from an easy-access pocket and drank it. Demon Counter-Potion. Cherry Flavored. Only 9 Calories, 1 Gram Of Fat, And 1 Carb Per Vial. He'd survive, and not be flabby afterward. Use Only As Directed. Do Not Exceed 3 Vials In 72 Hours. May Cause Nausea, Fatigue, Dry-Mouth, Hysteria, And Death. If Death Occurs, Discontinue Use.

Somebody was shouting orders! Somebody, it looked like a human woman, young and thin and attractive with long dark carefully-highlighted hair, wearing a fancy "nightclubbing" halter and a black miniskirt, stood on the balcony railing, and, in a hispanic accent, shouted orders to the demons. "Circle him! Watch the knife! You, get above him to drop down! Simon, grab his leg, dammit! You three fools on the left, knock over the table." And they obeyed!

Antonio pulled out of Simon's grasp and jumped off the table, landed clumsily, spraining or maybe even breaking an ankle. To think, he almost brought his video camera! He threw his knife at the girl, hit her through an eye-socket, almost certainly penetrating the brain. She didn't keel over dead like a human, nor did she dissolve into goo like a demon. Instead, she fell back off the balcony, stood up angrily, and shouted more orders. Demons pulled the remains of his trench-coat off him. And with it he lost most of his weapons.

He pulled a knife out of his boot, climbed another table, jumped, and hung off the balcony with his left hand. The woman stood over him, glared down at him. She had a triangular tattoo on her inner thigh and no underwear. Unfortunately, she did have spike-heeled shoes, one of which she jabbed into Antonio's hand.

Antonio hit the floor. He ignored the pain (if you ignore the puppy-like whimpering), stood up. The demons waited for further instructions. The claw poison was overpowering his counter-potion, and he drank another vial.

"Stop!" he shouted. "You can't kill me!"

"Why not?" shouted back the girl. She pulled the knife out of her eye-socket. The wound healed almost immediately. She wiped away some of the blood with a cocktail napkin.

"Because I am astonishingly good-looking."

The girl carefully considered this. "True. Good reason. Demons, poison him and bring him to me."

Antonio ran to the back door, opened it. He could feel broken bones grinding together all over his body. He ran.

Go to Chapter 24: Blooper Reels

Go to Chapter 26: Alone, Lost, Dying, And Handsome

Bring your friends into the Gonspiracy! Tell them about Banny And Lissa and get their eternal gratitude, and a chance to win $10,000 and a Sony DVD Player, because using your friends for your own personal enrichment, and having them owe you for it, is the gonner way!
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