Competing for the damsel (Hollow Earth Expedition Ssn1 ep23b)

This is an ongoing story about a lost world of hungry dinosaurs, sinister villains, and non-stop action. If you’re new to Hollow Earth Expedition, I suggest starting at the beginning.

 

Two strapping young soldiers awaited her inside the zeppelin cargo bay. One was a squat, dark-haired fellow who hauled in the cargo platform upon which she rode. The other soldier, a fresh-faced lad with a distinct reddish tinge to his close-cropped hair, graciously offered a hand as if he were asking for a dance at a royal ball.

Now this is more like it, Celeste thought. Down below, none of the Nazis had offered her anything other than harsh glares. Perhaps these young men were more courteous due to better parenting. Or, she mused, perhaps they were less bullying simply because they lacked the machineguns. The only weapons she saw here were the military daggers strapped to their hips—Celeste knew from her stint as Kidnap Victim #3 in Reggie Spark’s disastrous flop Charge of the Lighter-Than-Air Brigade that firearms aboard a zeppelin would be safely stowed in a locked armory. The thought was comforting.

Celeste gratefully accepted the red-haired soldier’s help down onto the relatively stable deck plate. Evidently, this didn’t please the dark-haired zeppelin-steward, who scowled at his partner while offering Celeste a cigarette.

“Thank you, but I don’t smoke,” she said, looking at the limp cigarette in his outstretched hand. It was slightly bent and looked like it might have been caught out during a rainstorm.

She had hoped the courteousness of her refusal would be understood across the language barrier, but the soldier’s scowl only deepened. Too late, she realized that cigarettes would certainly be rationed among the soldiers and probably prized more highly than a week’s pay.

The red-haired soldier beamed triumphantly and then produced a small, paper-wrapped parcel. The moment he unwrapped it, a heavenly aroma of sugar, buttery richness suffused the air.

“Chocolate…” Celeste whispered, her soul momentarily transported by the mere fragrance of it.

With a wink, the soldier unsheathed his knife to cut off a small chunk. When he handed it to Celeste, her mouth watered and her stomach growled, and she realized that she hadn’t eaten in hours, or maybe a day (who could tell in this land of eternal daylight?). Even so, she dared take no more than a mouse-nibble for fear that it would not last. She rolled the tiny bite around with her tongue, coating every inch of her mouth, and closed her eyes so that she might fold her entire being around the taste.

When she opened her eyes, she saw that the red-headed soldier was smiling proudly but the other soldier was glaring with undisguised rage. When they turned to lead her out of the hold, the second soldier jostled the first, knocking him off course with his shoulder. It might have been an accident, but the red-headed soldier knew better, and he retaliated with a more blatant shove.

Without another word, the two were suddenly locked in a standing wrestling match, each trying to drive the other into the metal bulkhead.

Celeste wanted to pry them apart and scold them for fighting over her. Then she remembered that they were Nazis.

“Oh, please, don’t fight over little ol’ me,” she said with absolutely no conviction. Then she bit off another nugget of chocolate and settled in to watch the show.

 

 

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Hollow Earth Expedition was created by Jeff Combos and is property of Exile Game Studio. For more Hollow Earth Expedition action, check out ExileGames.com

About Sechin Tower

Sechin Tower is a teacher, game developer, and author of MAD SCIENCE INSTITUTE, a novel of creatures, calamities, and college matriculation. He lives in Seattle, Washington.
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