The AlchemistMature

Lara Leona

     My workshop was a mess. It's been weeks since I've cleaned up, and sheafs of paper covered my desks. All of my wires had been tangled hopelessly, keyboards and speakers and chargers. I had the habit of starting too many projects at once, and almost a dozen screens were on, each crowded with more messes.

     A simulation was playing in front of me. A newly designed poison made its way through a transparent human model rotating in the center.

     Somewhere on one of the computers, loud dupstep was pounding through the speakers, filling the room with music.

     An abandoned art project sat on another screen, but my tablet pen was nowhere to be found under the mass of jumbled wires.

     A video game was paused as my character was in mid-jump. I should save it and shut it off, but I didn't want to lose progress on my quest. So, as usual, I pretended that I could get back to it once everything else is finished.

     My internet brower was halfway down my Tumblr dashboard, and 20 other tabs were next to it. A half-played video, a new fanfiction to get started on, a youtube channel I was checking out. Nothing could hold my attention span for more than two minutes.

     Maybe I should finish that video, I thought. It took a few tries to find the right mouse. I looked through the tabs, finally finding the website, and moved my cursor towards the play button.

     Suddenly, a huge warning sign appeared on every screen, and the steady wail of a siren blasted out of the speakers. I whirled around in my chair.

      Marx was standing sheepishly behind the door, Carissa behind him, glowering. A huge crack had appeared in the glass, where he had probably knocked to hard.

     I silenced the alarm and pressed enter on my main keyboard. Or what I thought was the main keyboard. It took a few seconds to locate it and let them in. A soon as the door started to open Marx was blurting out apologies.

      "That's the second door I'll have to replace because of you." I said in a low voice, crossing my arms and glaring at him. Marx was alway fun to mess with.

      "I'm sorry!" He said, waving his hands helplessly, "You couldn't hear me though your music, so I had to knock louder."

      "I have a doorbell." I told him, "It's a really simple device. You press the little button next to my door, and a sound lets me know that you're there."

     "I forgot!" He said, obviously flustered.

     "I could've been experimenting. I could've had poisonous gas in here. Someone might've died because you didn't press the doorbell." I fixed him with a long, hard stare. I was only allowed to experiment in my lab, but he didn't need to know that.

     He looked so horrified that I couldn't hold in my laughter any longer. "I'm just messing with you!" I choked out, "It's just glass, it's fine."

      Marx breathed a sigh of relief, but Carissa's expression hadn't changed. "Get on with it, Lancer," she snapped.

     "What are you here for?" I asked them, tapping my fingers against my armrests, excitement surging through me, "I just designed a new bomb! Do you want to try it out?"

     "No, I'm not on a combat mission. Just some spooky monastery."

     "Ooh, that sounds interesting," I raised an eyebrow, "Is it ghosts?"

     "Dunno, but I ran out of health potions. I just want a refill, in case something happens."

     "And anything for you?" I asked Carissa, twirling around in my chair.

     Her lips twitched upwards into the first sign of happiness I've seen in her today. "I think I'll try out one of those bombs."

     "Okay! Follow me." I lept out of my chair and led them towards the back door.     Fortunately, the storerooms weren't as messy as my workshop. Neat rows of shelves formed clearly labeled aisles, and the white walls and floor were immaculately clean, but personally I've always found the place a bit boring.

     The health potions were right next to the door, filling shelves with containers from tiny vials to huge barrels. I grabbed one of the standard round bottles, swirled the blood red liquid to check that it wasn't decayed, and handed it to Marx.

     All the bombs and ammunition were stored in a another chamber, surrounded by shields and runes in case there was an accident. My favorite part of the storerooms, I thought as we neared the door with a huge red warning sign painted over it.

     After getting past the complicated security system, I carefully pulled out a crate and revealed my newest inventions. The tiny metal cones were carefully packed in foam, light glinting dully off their metallic surfaces.

     "I call them Spikes," I said proudly, handing one to Carissa, "It can create one precise blast that can blow a hole two inches thick but five feet deep. Just stab it into some creature and pull the pin." I grinned at her.

     Noticing the scythe on her back, I continued to ramble on, "It's a pity you don't have a gun. I've been trying to develop it into a bullet, or a mine, but that would require much more mechanics and -"

     "Sure, Nightshade. Sounds lovely." She interrupted, tucking the Spike carelessly into her back pocket. "Can we go now?" She brushed past me, retracing her steps back to my workshop.

     I locked the door and rushed after her, struggling to match her pace. As I watched Marx follow her, I suddenly got an idea. "Wait!" I shouted, just as Carissa reached for the door.

     "What?" she asked, annoyed. I grabbed my headphones and my jacket from the back of my chair.

     "I'm coming with you." I told her, pulling on my boots, "This mission sounds interesting, and I haven't been outside in - how many days, computer?"

     "18 days, 6 hours, and 24 minutes," she replied.

     "Great!" Marx's smile grew wider. Carissa's frown grew deeper.

     "Plus, if you need to fight off a huge ghost army, I'll be there to help you." I grinned at them. "I haven't been on a mission for months."

     With a simple gesture, I told the computer to go to sleep, and all the screens faded to black.

     As I followed Marx and Carissa out of the room, I suddenly felt a sense of foreboding. The door shut behind me with a loud click, its sound echoing in the silence.

The End

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