Greed: The Selfish
royal ball was proceding as scheduled. The entire castle had been decorated
with a series of party favors, ranging from streamers to holographic lanterns.
Several guards, headed by the gallant Bryant Carl, blocked the entrances
leading into the private sections of the castle, preventing hapless
interlopers from trespassing.
guests arrived via hovercars or landaus, causing a series of appreciative
reactions from the awaiting crowd. None, however, received the enormous
applause generated by the ruler of the Colonies. Iffley and Camille pulled up
in a brougham, drawn by silver danae. Iffley had transformed a horse into the
beautiful animal just for this auspicious occasion. Spaulding, Iffley's loyal
butler, pulled the brougham up to the awaiting crowd. Moonbeam, her coat
shining with an iridescence caused by the full moon, neighed softly as
Spaulding pulled back on her reigns.
Iffley stepped from the cab. His black tuxedo and red bow tie suited him well
for the occasion. Camille lighted from the brougham, her silver fox coat
hiding the gown underneath. The most noticable feature was the Tiara that
swept up her long, flowing hair. Iffley and Camille swam through the crowd and
entered the castle.
checked her fur coat, which, of course, had been created by the versatile
Sceptre, and walked up to Bryant and gave him their titles. In a loud, clear
voice, the lieutenant said, "Suralio Frith Iffley, ruler of the Alarian
Colonies, and his escort, Camille Wolffe." Bryant perused Camille with an
appreciative eye. She was wearing a beautiful red evening gown and petticoat.
A string of faultless pearls, ending in a large ruby, hung about her neck. Her
name should be Foxxe, not Wolffe, mused the lieutenant.
and Camille approached Adena and Toltec. "You had better show better
protocol, Camille." Iffley warned her. Iffley bowed first to the
Enchantress, then to Toltec. Camille showed an equal amount of respect for her
hostess. Adena led the way to Iffley's instrument, which had been transported
to the earth for this very occasion. He settled down at the sript and
began to play the "Moonlight" sonata. Iffley had purposely picked
this piece to stir Adena's memories. Nonplussed, she asked Toltec to dance.
The crowd parted, allowing the Enchantress free use of the dance floor.
concluded his performance, and the party erupted in a burst of applause.
Iffley, after being coerced into an encore, finished with "Harvest
Moon." Iffley stood up, bowed to the audience, and quickly departed.
Adena realized that Iffley did not enjoy recognition of his accomplishments.
He had played as a favor for her, and the least that she could do was let him
* * Guess What I Got * *
however, left the party completely. He teleported to the outer fringes of
Bronson's territory. He realized that Bronson had several security devices
against intruders, so he pointed the Sceptre at the ground. A deep hallway
carved itself into the very earth. Iffley would simply walk underneath all of
later, the hallway ended abruptly at the palace's foundation. Iffley
transformed a section of the wall into glass. Dramatically, he smashed the
glass and entered the castle. With a wave of the Sceptre, he removed any
evidence of his entry.
climbed a steep stairway, searching for Bronson. He noted a sweet, little
flowerpot sitting on a window. The Sceptre transformed it into a scimitar.
Armed with his new weapon, he discovered his prey.
and Madison were sitting in the dark, watching a strange movie on a wall.
Bronson made a sickening comment, "More gore! This is supposed to be a
horror film! When the dragon steps on people, I want to see their guts
squishing between its toes!"
Bronson," his mentor assented.
a flash, Iffley teleported behind the old wizard. He grabbed Madison, put the
scimitar to his neck, and told him to remain silent.
stared at the development, "Iffley! What are you doing here?"
I have come for the Belt. I suggest that you hand it over before I slice
quick, a spell!"
old wizard shook his head carefully, "I'd be dead before I could finish
don't believe that you will kill him." Bronson retorted.
this will convince you," he said. He pointed the Sceptre at Bronson.
Instantly, his shoes transformed into concrete. "Cement overshoes. I
could have easily transformed you into a fly! Now, hand over the Belt; and no
tricks, Madison's life depends on it."
reluctantly handed over the Belt. Iffley's grip on Madison, however, did not
abate. He concentrated on the Belt, and said, "What you have just
experienced has never happened. I did not come to this castle." Then in a
fit of insipration, "The Belt was stolen by Toltec. You both saw
Bronson repeated, "Toltec stole the Belt."
Iffley released his grip on Madison, "Now return to your movie." The
mental suggestion probed their minds, causing them to turn their attention to
after stealing a glance at his new possession, raised the Sceptre and departed
to the party.
* * All about Eve * *
ball was going smoothly, but Adena was becoming worried: Iffley had been gone
too long. She put the worry out of her mind, intent on having a good time. She
danced several waltzes with Toltec, as did Eve. Toltec, it seemed, was the
life of the party.
excused herself to go to the little girl's room. The guards, recognizing her
as one of Adena's guests, allowed her to pass without the hastle of an escort.
She entered the study, passing the painting by Kokoschka. She heard a noise
and turned around. Seeing no one, she continued her trip to the water
emerged from the painting and muttered something about having close calls. He
wrapped the Belt around his waist, hiding it with his buttoned coat. Next, he
transformed the crown of Furanose into a red handkerchief, which he put in his
lapel. He calmly exited the study and rejoined the party.
emerged from her hiding place. She had observed the entire affair from the
crack between the wall and door. At a safe distance, she followed him.
was quickly approached Camille, but stopped when Eve called his name.
"Iffley," she said above the blare of the music, "I know that
you have the crown."
What are you talking about?" His face grew painfully white.
don't act so innocent. I also know that you have the Belt."
want the Belt. Hand it over, or I wil1 tell Adena. I also want the
concentrated upon the Belt, but was not accustomed to its power. When he had
confronted Bronson, it had been relatively quiet. Now, the roar of the band
disturbed his thoughts. "I'll change you into a toad." He
in this crowd, you won't." Eve was shrewd, and was accustomed to getting
what she wanted. She wanted the Belt. Blackmail seemed natural to her.
then." She turned around and started to cross the dance floor to
Iffley screamed over the crowd. Eve returned to him, and held out her hands.
Iffley opened his coat, removed the Belt, and placed it in her awaiting
gave the handkerchief to her. He pointed the Sceptre at the red hanky,
transforming it into the royal crown. Eve thanked Iffley, and started toward
grabbed Camille by the wrist, "We have to leave...now!" The pair
departed the party, leaving the fox fur as the clock struck midnight. They
boarded the brougham, and flew off into the night.
back at the party, Eve had approached the Enchantress. Adena smiled at her,
then noticed the crown in her hands. Her smile turned into a frown. She had
trusted her as a friend, and now she was stealing royal property! She motioned
for the guards to come to her aid, and said, "What are you doing with my
| ||© 1985, ||K. Blaire, L. Charles, D. Conrad, Enad the Great, A. Mann, J. Pierce, B. C. Randolf, and T. G. Taft|