It was a mess out there. Quite literally a mess. I mean, I was expecting a gruesome sight, but this was just untidy. The pirates had upset trash bins and broken windows. They were scattering debris about with reckless abandon. The tribes, meanwhile, were doing all they could to fight through intense sneezing and coughing. The acrid air was misty with pollen.
“This your doing?” I asked the vine, not expecting an answer. It shook. I drew my sword and began searching for my ticket out: the Girl. I scampered into an alley and used a discarded grapnel to scale a roof. From here I could see the most curious sight I’d yet encountered inside the dragon: a scale model of the Eiffel Tower, with its top aflame like a candle on a flesh-flavored birthday cake.
Wait… fire? The Girl!
With the vine coiled about my torso like a bandolier, I lunged from rooftop to rooftop, avoiding all the conflict on the streets below. And what conflict it was! Bowelbears casting minor cantrips to dazzle the pirates before running them through. Pirates lifting gallblins by the ears and hurling them about as though they were juggling pins. It was chaos, and all the while the endless plop of wet muskets and achoo from most everyone. I myself avoided the pollen’s effects by clever use of a handkerchief from my pack.
I reached the base of the tower to find it brimming with pirates. No way I was getting in without a disguise. There was a dead one in a nearby alley whose outfit was mostly intact. “If I must…” I groaned as I removed his stripey shirt and stupid beret.
“Let me pass!” I bellowed to the guard, and was allowed inside. In a flash I made my way up the narrow staircase—why was this tower even here, I finally let myself wonder—and soon reached the landing at the top…
To find the Girl dangling helplessly in the grip of a very ugly, very massive, very dangerous-looking trollon in a pirate costume. He (or she, it was hard to tell, although I guess the true answer is it because trollon have no sexes) had the woman by the throat, and was looking about ready to hurl her over the side to a painful death below.
“Zis iz ze end of ze road for you, druuuid!” the trollon cackled. The beast readied its petrifying vision ability.
Didn’t I mention that trollons have petrifying vision? They do. They don’t use it often, and only the really smart ones even know how, but once in a while they can fire a beam from their eyes that turns the victim to stone. It’s quite unnerving. And can have hilarious results for the trollons who aren’t properly trained in its use. Which includes most of them. I overheard more than one story about a trollon accidentally petrifying a coworker or friend over a cup of what passed for coffee in this hellhole.
Anyway, the trollon was distracted. Time to make my move. But what to do? I thought as quickly as I could. If I fired electricity, it’d cook the Girl along with the foe. If I threw a blade, it might strike her, and it'd use its vision power anyway. I needed a way to turn its power… against it… that’s it! I moved swiftly.
“Zut alors! Your baguette is showing!” I hollered.
“Eh!?” the trollon gasped, turning its head and firing the eye beam.
Directly into the mirror I now held in my hands.
The trollon released the Girl and staggered back, its flesh turning to stone before my eyes. “Non… noooon!” it howled, and then fell over, now a statue. The Girl fell wheezing to the floor, but rose moments later. I felt the vine unwrap itself from my chest and watched it crawl to her side. At last, I stood before her: this ravishing woman who may just be the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen, inside or outside a dragon.
“Hey,” she said. Think Guy, think! Say something clever!
I went with, “Hey.”