"All That Glitters" by NobodyAtAll

Note: read “Star Road”, “The Warriors Four”, “Where Everybody Knows Your Name” and “I Can’t Do This All On My Own” first. Spoilers for the Alien Invasion Saga.

My name is Gilius Bli’kzim-ku’up.

That means “thunder-head”.

I’m a dwarf. Am I a male or female dwarf, you ask?

That’s none of your business.

Though these days, we don’t really care if a dwarf woman decides she hates quaffing beer and prefers wearing chainmail skirts.

We still draw the line at shaving the beard off, though.

There’s saying you’re not a man, and then there’s saying you’re not a dwarf.

I come from a pretty wealthy family. My family owns the biggest rat farm in the Magical Quarter.

Yes, a rat farm. We eat rats.

With sauce, mind you. Have you ever tried eating a rat without ketchup?

But my friend Victor’s tip was a good one, they go well with barbecue sauce.

We don’t eat fluffies, though.

All the ketchup in the world couldn’t make them worth eating.

I’ve spent the last few years roaming around the country with my three best friends.

Reiner, the wizzard who can’t spell, and his Luggage, a sentient magical walking box. Kobul, the troll. Actually a Silicoid, but he was born on Earth, so he identifies as a troll. And Angus, the Big Man of a pictsie clan.

We’ve been travelling around America, lending aid to fluffies in need.

None of the abusers we ran into said anything about us, because, back then, they knew that nobody would believe them if they said a wizard with a magic box, a dwarf, a troll and a tiny blue man showed up and stopped them from caving a fluffy’s head in with a hammer.

Back then, the normos thought they were all alone. They thought we were all just myths.

Joke’s on them, huh?

And back then, all four of our communities mostly kept to ourselves, away from the normos. We lived in the hidden magical neighborhoods, or in remote areas.

These days, of course, everyone knows we were here all along.

So we don’t have to hide anymore.

You try hiding a troll city. Trolls are big, is what I’m saying.

Dwarves and trolls have a long, unpleasant history together, but these days, we get along.

The Warriors Four still do what we do, though. But we came back to the city we grew up in. And we all joined the ChaotiX. Deston, he’s an old friend of ours, is the one who recommended us to Calvin.

All five of us like fluffies, and that’s including the Luggage.

I also got a fluffy of my own.

He’s an earthie stallion, with gold fluff, mane, and tail. Golden eyes, too. He was a pricey little fellow, but he was worth every penny.

I immediately knew what to call him.


Now I know what you’re thinking.

You’re thinking, “Do dwarves really love gold that much?”

Of course not!

We just tell gold that we love it to get it into bed.

Right now, me and Gold are at the park.

The other Warriors are doing their thing without me today.

Hey, that’s why it’s good that there’s four of us, so that we can cover for each other.

I’ve covered for them when Angus needed to go back to his clan, or when Reiner was meeting with the other wizards, or when Kobul was getting a new tattoo done.

Troll tattoos are done with a hammer and chisel. It takes all day to do it right.

Gold is happily chasing a ball, while I watch from a nearby bench with a smile on my face.

“Wook, daddeh! Gowd awmos gut da baww!”

“I see it, Gold! Good work! You can do it, buddy!”

He calls me daddeh for the sake of convenience.

We don’t mind if you assume we’re male, either, we don’t go all “DID YOU JUST ASSUME MY GENDER???” on you.

You biggers sure do make a big deal out of that kind of thing.

That’s what we call humans, by the way.

As I watch Gold bat the ball away and go chasing onto it, my smile widens.

“Gowd gun git yu, baww!”

Aww. They can do that all day.

Then I see a friend walk up with his fluffy.

“Gene! Not on duty today?”

Gene, disguised as a completely average bigger, walks up with his fluffy Roswell.

“Not today, Gilius. Can’t a guy have a day off work?”

While it’s now common knowledge that there’s Intergalactic Patrolmen undercover on Earth, they still use their human disguises, because people don’t know who is actually an undercover space cop. Obviously. They’re supposed to be undercover.

The governments know, the cops know, the military knows, and of course the ChaotiX know. So there’s no confusion there.

I crack a grin as I look up at Gene.

“I can’t blame you for wanting a day off work. Neither can Cal. He’s taking time off for some R&R.”

“Who’s covering for him at the School?”

“Deston. He said he knows what it feels like when you need a vacation. He’s in the exact same boat as Cal, but with magic instead of Phenomenon X. Deston knows the burden of being the best.”

Gene looks down at where Roswell was standing, only to realise that the grey earthie stallion is now chasing the ball with Gold.

“Wosweww gun hewp Gowd! Too fwuffies am bettah den wun!”

“Wosweww gu weft, Gowd wiww gu wite!”

“Gut it, Gowd!”

“Nuuu, Wosweww udda weft!”

Gene and I both laugh.

“You shoulda put a leash on him, Gene!”

“Believe me, that wouldn’t have stopped Roswell!”

A couple of other humans and their fluffies show up.

Or at least, they look like humans.

The “humans” are all looking at Gene with very serious expressions, and he groans.

“You gotta be kidding me. On my day off? What is it this time?”

I decide to take my leave, so I get up and start walking over to Gold to let him know we’re going.

As I do so, I hear a snippet of Gene’s coded conversation with his co-workers.

“A green one from the other side has come to where the grass is greener, it’s gone down the crapper…”

I dunno what that’s about.