What the...!?
Fuck no…

“Stop struggling” Talon gasped.

“You stop doing that!”


“Don’t act the fucking innocent,” Cass snarled “or I swear, if we survive this, I’ll cut the fucking thing off and ram it down your fucking throat”

“I...” Talon gulped “I can’t help it”

“Try” the word dripped with venom.

“Listen, I... Ah...”

“I can’t believe I was so fucking stupid as to think a fucktard like you would ever have had a plan” Cass twisted violently “You fucking twat”

“That’s - Oh man...” Talon groaned as the vines tightened, pressing them even closer together “That’s really not helping”

“Do you feel this?”

“I’m trying hard not to...”

“No – This!” Cass pressed something hard and cold up against gut.

“Is that...?”

“It’s a knife”

For a moment, Talon feared she was going to disembowel him. He licked his lips “Please don’t…”

“Get a fucking grip”


“Of the knife?” Cass tried hard not to let her impatience show “My arms are pinned – You can use it to cut us out”

“Okay” Talon wriggled a bit, trying to get a hand to the knife.

“If you touch anything you shouldn’t, I will kill you”

“It’s a bit hard...”

“Don’t fucking remind me”

“I said I can’t help it...”

With a bit more wriggling and what he hoped wasn’t too much gasping for breath, Talon managed to get hold of the knife and worked it out, towards the nearest vine.

“Ow” Cass hissed in pain as he nicked her with it “Careful!”

“Shit” Talon grimaced “I'm sorry – Nearly there – I...” the knife cut through the vine with ease “Yes!”

Even in spite of the remaining vines trying to tighten around them, the knife cut through them all with alarming ease and before long, he and Cass slithered to the floor.

“Oooff” Talon cried out in pain as Cass landed on top of him for what must have been the third time that day; although this time, her knee connected sharply with his groin.

“Whoops” Cass said, coldly, as she clambered up, off him, leaving him rolling on the floor in high-pitched pain.

The sound of thrashing leaves ans splintering branches preceded Tanaka by just a few seconds before he came crashing through the foliage, his hard light body impervious to the carnivorous plants’ attempts at devouring him “Are you guys alright?”

“Yeah, he’ll live” Cass regarded Talon, dispassionately for a moment, before stooping to retrieve her knife and slipping it back into it’s sheath, inside her jacket.

“Was that…?” Tanaka asked in surprise "What sort of Chaplain packs a fractal blade?"

“Sensible ones”

“Oh, God” Talon gasped, rolling over onto his side “The pain...”

“That seems to have calmed his ardour” Cass observed, in satisfaction.

Tanaka grimaced and shook his head “Brutal” he murmured “Wait! - What’s that!?”

Something small, about twenty centimetres high, hurtled through the undergrowth nearby.

“What?” Cass frowned.

Another diminutive figure shot past them, on the other side.

“Was that a...?” Tanaka said in disbelief.

“A what!?”

“A garden gnome” Tanaka said, half in disbelief “People used to put them in their gardens”


“I dunno”

As Talon finally managed to regain his breath, and rolled unsteadily over onto all fours, a small ceramic man, wearing a pointy red hat and blue dungarees, stepped out of the undergrowth and waved a tiny hoe in his face.

“You,” the thing said in a high pitched voice “are our prisoners”

someone’s been building robotic garden gnomes – is this the bad thing that’s been happening in the garden centre, or are they symptomatic of something else?
How may of them are there?
Do we fight or surrender?
Are they responsible for the carnivorous plants?
Where do they want to take us?
What other denizens of the garden centre are out there?

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