Viewing a single comment thread. View all comments

mattswritingaccount t1_j5vilfs wrote

There is always a chance of failure. Every spell, every cast, every fireball thrown will forever come with a remote possibility that something will fizzle… some component won’t be of the correct potency… or a word wasn’t spoken with the correct enunciation. Every mage, from the greenest of students just entering the academies across the kingdom to the eldest of the sages across the land - we all know this to be the basest of facts.

Failure is always a possibility. But today, of all days, failure was not supposed to have been an option. Every component was meticulously sourced to be perfect. Every word was rehearsed, every flick of a wand and every casting of a ward burned into muscle memory until every participant could do the movements in their sleep. Nothing was left up to chance. The summoning of a hero from another world was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, bound by fate and limited to a single moment in time by a particular flow of the ley lines.

It had to be perfect.

Nothing could be left to chance.

So of course, something had to go wrong.

At the very apex of the spell, just as the magic began to reach through time and space in search of a hero – the dragon attacked. The impact of the massive creature’s landing was enough to topple a few candles, and I saw the look of desperation and dismay cross the king’s face as the spell flickered. The sounds of dying men outside of the castle walls reached our ears, but we had our priority. I steeled my nerves and continued pouring my essence into the spell, hoping against hope that my son wasn’t one of the dying men outside.

A hazy form began to take shape in the wide area before us, and I could already tell that our spell had failed. The form that had appeared was not human at all. Instead, it was rectangular, boxy almost, with a circular shape atop the mass.

It appeared to be quite large, easily double the size of the largest of our horse-drawn carriages, and barely able to fit within the confines of our summoning circle. But to stop the summons now would invite calamity, so all the gathered mages continued the flow of mana as best as they could.

Finally, the spell was complete, and I stared in a mixture of awe and shock at the building we’d accidentally pulled from some other world. And a building it must be, for what else could it be? It was massive, clad in metal, and, though not quite as rectangular as I’d initially thought, quite boxy. A dome-shaped platform rested neatly atop the center of the mass, with a thick pipe of unknown function protruding directly from within. An odd-geared mesh ran the length of each side of the box, but beyond that, the box itself was fairly unremarkable.

We’d hoped for a hero. We’d summoned a building.

Before any of us could speak, the wall behind us crumbled as the dragon began to make his way into the summoning room. I dived for cover, pulling the king along with me, and screamed for someone to grab the queen and princess. As I instinctively put myself in front of the king, knowing that, at best, I’d only slow the dragon’s killing stroke marginally, something caught my eye.

The dome atop the building was moving.

Time seemed to slow to a crawl as the pipe attached to the dome adjusted to point directly at the attacking dragon. The dragon did not pay it any attention as it feasted on the mages against that side of the wall, but for those of us nearest the throne room, we could only watch, transfixed, as it moved. It came to a stop with a jerk and seemed to consider the dragon as if inspecting it.

I do not remember the next few moments. The blast of sound that hit everyone assembled was enough to throw us to the ground in agony. Gasping in pain, I managed to squeak out the words to an area-wide heal, enough to repair some of the damage to the ears of those in the general vicinity around me, but I knew from the blood trickling down both mine and my king’s ears that nearly all of us would need more healing very shortly. I tried to pull myself to my feet, but the concussion from the blast still had me very unsteady.

When I did manage to stand, I finally looked toward the dragon – and very nearly collapsed again, this time in shock. The body of the dragon was still twitching in its death throes, though its head and the vast majority of its upper torso had simply… vanished, though from the pink mist everywhere I had a general idea where it might have gone. Additionally, a good portion of the castle walls behind it had disappeared as well, though some of it had collapsed into rubble that now lay scattered as debris around the body of the dragon.

I gaped in astonishment as the building rumbled once, twice, then made another loud noise that sounded like a pop. A small door at the top of the circular dome popped open, and a rather large man with close-cut hair emerged from the interior of the building. He was extremely muscular, more so than any farmer or warrior I’d seen to that point in my life, and he pulled himself out of the building with ease. With a grin that split his face wide open, he pulled a slim white box out of his pocket and fished a white cylinder out of it, and stuck it in his mouth, setting it on fire with a small metal box.

He gave me a wave, which I meekly returned. It would be a while before any of us could speak to him; few of us could stand at the moment, after all, and I doubted the language translation magic had worked correctly in the first place.

Regardless. The spell might have gone wrong, but it had still worked, to a degree. We might not have gotten the hero we’d expected. But perhaps we’d gotten exactly what we needed.


28th_Stab_Wound OP t1_j5vwam2 wrote

Now that's good! Absolutely love it! Considering the turret is described as a 'dome' I'm going to assume its gotta be some form of rounded turret, something cast maybe. This narrows our search a LOT. Most of the candidates are going to either be French or American as they love their cast, round-boi turrets.

Personally I'm going to believe its an M46 Patton, for no particular reason at all.

Anyway nice work! Loved reading it!


mattswritingaccount t1_j5wmcls wrote

Heh, thanks. Wasn't picturing any particular model in my head, but also kinda figured any era tank from WWI to modern day would likely make quick work of a dragon at point blank range. So if I had to choose one as a model, then yeah, the M46 Patton is pretty on-the-money


SoulKnightmare t1_j5wgs43 wrote

>We’d hoped for a hero. We’d summoned a building.

what a line lmao


mattswritingaccount t1_j5wmg2g wrote

Thanks. I like to think he was absolutely deflated at that moment, only to be utterly flabbergasted when it started to move. :)


SuperSyrias t1_j5x8j0c wrote

what would it take to convince you to turn this into a 50 ebook series i can buy for 3 dollars each on amazon?

in other words, please dont leave it at that, continue!