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The Sorcerers of Hisderat, Chapter 4.1

by HarryHardy


Chapter 4

That One Day You Regret Having a Portal for a Cat Flap

“Thanks, have a nice day,” Harry thanked the girl at the counter, picking up his hot chocolate. He looked around and spotted Rose, who had managed to find a free table, near the corner of the little cafe. She smiled as he caught her eye. Returning the smile, he walked over and sat down.

“Hot chocolate?” she asked.

“You know me,” Harry replied, “So how’s your…” He was interrupted by a buzz from her communicator.

“What is it?” he asked after she had taken a look at it.

“Message from HQ,” she replied.

Harry took a moment to look around. The tables surrounding them were all filled.

“So did they find the anthill?” he asked.

“The whaa...ohhh...I mean yes, yes they found the anthill,” she replied looking sheepish.

“Damn. I thought I was going to get to enjoy some hot chocolate.”

“Well, duty calls,” she said shrugging,” we did sign up for it.”

“True,” replied Harry.

“Well don’t look so sad about it,” she said, shaking her head. ”Honestly, you’re such a drama queen sometimes.”

“I am not a drama queen,” he replied, trying his best to look affronted.

“You are,” she said, a smile creeping across her face.

“As you decree, your Highness,” he said, bowing low.

“Enough joking,” she said doing her best to appear stern but failing miserably,” Now come on.” The two of them made their way out, crossing the street to get to the bookstore across the street.

As far as entrances to secret organizations went, the shop didn’t look very impressive. A faded sign, hanging from one lonely nail, proudly announced it to be Aprana Books. They made their way into the ancient store. The only light came from the streaks of rapidly fading sunlight that managed to make their way through the grimy windows. There was a light covering of dust everywhere and toffee wrappers and bits of paper were scattered around the floor. A counter was set off to a side, a young woman staring at a computer that had been out of date even in the last decade, sitting behind it. Decaying shelves were arranged in orderly rows, each one bearing a modest number of books.

Harry nodded to the woman at the counter, who winked in return, as the two of them made their way to the back of the shop. Harry stopped at the history section and he bent down to pick up a book at the very bottom of the shelf. The title of the hefty book proclaimed it to be “Domnar Mane by K.D. Jayasinghe in golden cursive.

Harry flipped through the yellowed pages. A faint silvery sheen appeared around the book. Gradually, it began to turn to a dull green. He continued to turn till the color change was complete. Then, putting the book back, he strode confidently into the wall behind the shelf. He blinked and covered his eyes as they arrived in a well lit room. Why on Earth do they have to make the lights so bright all the time? As he squinted at the wall behind him, he saw Rose enter after him, looking a lot less affected by the light.

He turned towards the other side. In front of them, set neatly into three alcoves in the wall, stood three simple wooden doors. Each one was labelled with a number. Above the doors a simple plaque was engraved with the letters S.W.O.R.D.(Strategic Worldwide Operations and Reconnaissance Division.) One more mission to add to the record. Taking a deep breath, Harry walked towards the door with number 3 inscribed on it. He put his palm on the door and waited for the door to scan it. After Rose followed suit, the door slid open to reveal a large metal elevator.

“So, you think they made any headway on the case?” he asked once they were inside.

“Dunno, the message only said they’d found the location of the dirt guy," she replied.

“I guess we’ll find out,” Harry concluded. Rose shrugged.

Harry went silent as he pondered over the events of the past day. Good to know who that idiot is. I owe him a couple of good whacks after what he did to Rose. But why on Earth was he using so many non lethals? The mys… A pleasant “DING” interrupted his musing.

The elevator doors slid open and he stepped out into the corridor. The corridor, much like every other corridor in headquarters, had no decorations whatsoever. The monochromatic white walls, like they always did, looked too smooth to be real. No scratches or stains marred their surface. The corridor was illuminated by strips of luminescent parchment, enchanted with permanent lighting runes. There were reinforced concrete doors set into the walls at regular intervals.

“Which one was it? 1,4 or 7?” asked Harry as they passed by the doors marked “RECON”

“4,” replied Rose.

“Right, of course,” said Harry,” they’d need the satellite. He pushed open the door marked ‘RECON - DIV 4’.

Inside was a spacious room about the size of the average ballroom. The walls were painted a calming sky blue. Ordered workstations, each one containing a large monitor, were laid out in rows, all pointing towards a massive screen about the size you’d find in a standard movie theater. The setup reassembled a very high tech classroom. A massive map was present on the screen, blinking red dots scattered around seemingly at random.

Walter, the head technician, was sitting at his computer gesturing at something on the screen. Johnson, his amber eyes glued to whatever Walter was gesturing at, was standing next to him.

The two agents exchanged a look. Harry raised his eyebrows. She shrugged and tilted her head towards Walter. He gave a nod in return and the two of them made their way towards Walter.

Johnson was the first to spot them.

“Good afternoon. We’ve acquired the location of your dirt king.”

“The satellite picked up the signal in an apartment building on the banks of the Zarate,” elaborated Walter, turning away from his computer to look at them,” a bit of a long jump. I think you know the area well enough to be able to teleport to somewhere that’s fairly close to your target. I’ll send you the exact address so that you can get to the location”

“Right, sounds good,” said Harry nodding.

“So do we leave now?” asked Rose.

“Yes. Your mission should you choose to accept it is to get this man into custody,” he ordered.

“I warned you not to buy him those movies for Christmas,” Rose said, turning to Harry.

“How was I…,” began Harry but his defense was cut off by Walter.

“Guys. Act like adults here. Important Mission. Remember that?”

“Sorry,” chorused Harry and Rose,” We’ll get going then.”

“Good luck,” said Johnson.

They turned to leave but halfway there, Rose slid to a stop.

“What about the case?” she asked, turning back.

“Not the top priority right now. But getting it would help,” replied Johnson.

“But don’t we need both?” asked Walter.

“Not necessarily,” replied Johnson,” I’ll explain later.”

Harry rolled his eyes. Guess this wouldn’t be a secret agency if the boss doesn’t keep a secret. He continued out the door and held it open for Rose. She looked like she was trying to decide between demanding answers of just going with the flow. That look on her face when she’s thinking. So... Whoa Danvers. Where did that come from? Harry shook his head vigorously as if he could dislodge the thought from his brain. Mission time remember. Lots to figure out there. Who was that guy? What does he want? Why did he use the non lethals? How did...Ughhh...why do these things always have to be so complicated? You’d think we were in some fantasy novel...

“Penny for your thoughts,” said Rose, having caught up to him.

“Uhh...just some weird connections,” he replied giving her a small smile,” shall we go suit up then?”


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Tue Jun 30, 2020 10:52 pm
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Shadeflame wrote a review...



Hi Harry! Shade here to do a review. Hopefully I'm not too rusty, considering I haven't done one in a while! xD
Okay, let's get to it!

From the little subtitle below the chapter, I'm thinking that poor Terry made a mistake here setting up a portal for his cat. I'm guessing since you split it into two parts (or more) it's going to happen later and I'm scared for you Terry. Don't die on me!

Anyways, on to the grammar and stuff, I guess.

Harry took a moment to look around. The tables around them were all filled.

You should probably vary your word choice or rephrase the sentence since you repeat the word "around".

“Well don’t look so sad about it,” she said shaking her head,” honestly, you’re such a drama queen sometimes.”

I think you could put a period after "shaking her head". I know you normally continue your sentences, but this time I think it would work better if you started a new one. Also, there should be a comma after "well" and "she said".

“Enough joking,” she said sternly, although the smile didn’t help make it sound very stern,” Now come on.”

So, instead of the whole "she said sternly, although the smile didn’t help make it sound very stern," thing, I think it would sound better if you just put "trying to sound stern". For one, it would read better, and it would still get your point across. Also, there should be a period after "stern" instead of a comma.


Above the doors a simple plaque was engraved with the letters S.W.O.R.D.(Strategic Worldwide Operations and Reconnaissance Division.)

This is giving me some definite S.H.I.E.L.D. vibes here, and I'm loving it. I feel like this is S.H.I.E.L.D. in an alternate universe or something, although that might just be me. xD

Johnson, his amber eyes glued to whatever Walter was gesturing at, was standing next to him.

This doesn't read right. Maybe put a "his" in there or something?


“Good Afternoon. We’ve acquired the location of your dirt king.”

"Afternoon" shouldn't be capitalized here.

Guess this wouldn’t be a secret agency if the boss doesn’t keep a secret.

Yup! That's basically the trademark of them.

How did...Ughhh...why do these things always have to be so complicated? You’d think we were in some fantasy novel...

And I oop. Here Harry goes, breaking the fourth wall! Heh. It works though.

Overall, I enjoyed this new part of the chapter. Your description was good, although it did get a little boring in parts, but that might have just been me. We got to see more of Harry and Rose's friendship, and I can tell they are good friends with Johnson and Walter. I can't wait to find out what is happening with Terry and I look forward to the next bit of this chapter! I hope I wasn't too nit-picky and you can choose to ignore however much of my advice as you want.

Keep writing!
-Shade




HarryHardy says...


Thank you for the review!!!
I agree...I do suck at description.
Thanks for all the grammer stuff...I always miss something...I shall fix those when I have a chance.
Also S.H.I.E.L.D... no comment at the moment. (wink)
And that fourth wall, I do tend to slip in the occasional cheeky reference like that. Well spotted although you didn't spot the very cheeky anagram I slipped in there. *cackles*
Thanks again!! Don't worry about being rusty. It was still really helpful.



HarryHardy says...


Ohh and the cat flap...(wink)



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Tue Jun 30, 2020 10:32 pm
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EternalRain wrote a review...



Hello!! You get the honor of receiving my last review needed for Team Tortoise, hurrah!

Rose and Harry are so fun to read about. I’m sensing some possible ~romance~ between them, and even if not, I love this easygoing friendship they have going on and how much they care about each other (like, Harry wanting to get back at dirt guy for hurting Rose is so sweet!). I like how we got a little bit of banter between the two of them in this first part of the chapter. I hope we get to find out their motives in the world/how they ended up in this secret organization in the first place, because I feel like that could really help the development of each of their characters.

“The whaa...ohhh...I mean yes, yes they found the anthill,” she replied looking sheepish.


Am I totally forgetting what the ant hill is? Could just be me trying to balance a lot of books I’m reading right now heh. One other thing—immediately after this conversation, Rose and Harry just head straight out to the agency. I feel like another comment was necessary, something like “Johnson wants us there” or something, just to keep the reader in the same scenario with the characters. Otherwise they kinda just hop up and go and I’m left wondering why!!

I love the idea of a secret agency in a bookstore. That is AWESOME. I also like how we’re getting more contextual/setting description—I’m having a much better time picturing where everything is! One question- is this [where Rose and Harry are now] the same place they were earlier, with the doctor? I think it could be worth explaining if this is just like a little side-bunker or if it’s the HQ.

You’d think we were in some fantasy novel...


Heheheh

Last comment, is that I kinda want to see more reactions about this new mission from Harry! Earlier he made a comment about him wanting to get back at the dirt guy, so I feel like he would be pretty hyped to have this mission (and maybe we’ll see more of that during the actual confrontation).

I think that’s it though. I’m loving this slow unravel of ideas, and Harry & Rose are just too awesome. Until next time!

Peace,
~EternalRain




HarryHardy says...


Thanks for the review!!
About the anthill, Harry just made up a code word on the spot there in case someone in the shop overheard. So you weren't forgetting anything.
Umm the agency thing...i'll see if I can add something.
And Harry...there shall be more reactions soon.
As for the romance...well...it is in the genre. (wink)
Thanks again!!!
And I am ever grateful for the honor of being your last review for team tortoise.



HarryHardy says...


And Oops I forget to say...it is the same place...it will all be tied together in Part 2



HarryHardy says...


And I'm glad you love Harry and Rose!!!
Note to self: Make sure you reply to every point in one reply by reading the whole review at once.



EternalRain says...


Ahhh the anthill thing makes so much more sense hehe :) And I am excited for part 2!



HarryHardy says...


:D




Besides, if you want perfection, write a haiku. Anything longer is bound to have some passages that don't work as well as they might.
— Philip Pullman