When Good is Dumb : Day 10 Draft Post (2089 words)

This is a rough draft (read: really really rough draft) that has yet to be edited so it can be read by people who are not me. I figured since I had to put it up here anyways, I might as well let folks see what an unedited lunch writing spree really looks right.

I did mention it’s probably undecipherable to anyone expect me, right? ^_~;;

~*~*~*~*~

“I still don’t think you’re being honest.” Henri gave Balance a grumpy look from across the apartment’s living room. “There has to be something we can do.”

Balance met her champion’s disgruntled look with the same bland calm she gave to everything. “It is not our place to do anything.”

“But we’re the referees in this thing, right? Don’t we have some responsibility to step in if one side is cheating? And he was -definately- cheating.”

“No.”

“But that doesn’t make any sense!”

Balance paused in her work, laying the chroceting needles aside for a moment. She folded her arms in her lap and gave Henretta her full attention. “I have explained this to you my champion. There was no violation of the rules in this matter. Although I understand your displeasure with the outcome of this conflict, I do not understand your insistance that the contest was somehow unregulated.”

“He got to pick who the champions were! That’s like, stacking the deck when you’re playing cards, or fixing the dice when you’re in Vegas. It’s cheating! Jut because it happened -before- the contest started shouldn’t make it legal.”

“I would point out that the rules also did not stop the meddling of Good for the past millenia.” Balance looked almost annoyed, although the only reason Henri could tell was because she’d been spending all of her time around the immortal since they had found each other. “The rules are— limited in scope. While this has benefitted you in the past, there should be no assumption that it will continue to benefit you in the future.”

“Fine, so you won’t do anything, I get that, but why can’t -I- do something?” She wiggled her fingers and the odd grey sparklies coelesced around them. “The contest is over, right? So why can I still do this if I’m not supposed to do something?”

Balance frowned, starting not at Henri but at the magic “This is outside the rules.”

“Yes. I -know-.” Henri snapped.

“You did not tell me you could still access the blanace magics.”

Henri stopped wiggling her fingers. Balance had gone from maybe possibly kinds annoyed to angry. This was the first emotion she’d seen out of the immortal in well ever actually.

“I just found out this morning. No seriously, I was cooking and I drop the spatula and there was molten egg everywhere and I just, well, wiggled, you know.” She held up her arm where a faint red mark still lingered from the attack of the breafast foods. “And it fixed it, well mostly anyway.”

“So your access is limited.” Balance held out a hand and Henri let her examine the arm, only flinching slightly at the static sparks when the two balance magic fields met. “But the access should be gone.”

“Actually, so should you, right?” Henri tried not too look at what Balance was doing as the immortal sussed out the damage to her arm. “Aren’t you all supposed to leave when this thing is over?”

“Once the Veil has shifted completely into the Dark, then we will retire to our holdings. Our absence from the world was not a voluntary one.” She has regained something of the calm nature from before. “When Atlantis sank, the rules banished us as well.” She finally released Henri’s arm with a small nod. “I believe the access to the balance magics will continue to fade until Veil shift completes. This is the first time I have seen this happen, it is— unexpected.” She sounded thoughtfull.

“So you’ll just go back to the mountain?” Henri rubbed her arm, which was completley unhurt, it was just a reflexive move. “Do I have to come to?”

Balance looked at her in confusion. “Why would you come with me?”

“Well, ah— I dunno, I just thought mayeb I’d have to hang around until the next champion was chosen or something.”

“No, the duty of choosing the new champion is yours alone. Mortals control this contest, for all the influence the immortals have we are forbidden from intereference outside the contest timeline.”

“Aren’t you going to be lonely though?” Henri cocked her head and gave Balance a worried look. “I mean, a thousand years is a long time to spend by yourself.”

“And five thousand years is somehow less arduous?” Balance raised and eyebrow.

“Well, no, I didn’t mean that,” Henri objected, “and you know it. I meant now that we know you’re there we should, I dunno, visit or something.”

Balance gave her a long considering look. “If you wish.”

“That’d be cool.”

~*~*~*~*~

“So what exactally are we fighting here?” John shifted in his chair, trying to find a way to make the tiny seat comfortable. “I know about as much as anyone on the street, but I figure you know a bit more than we do.”

Zoe gave him a disaproving look and he grinned. “Thought so!”

“So you know what these things are?” Kat rasied an eyebrow. “And you just haven’t has a chance to share that information with the rest of us? ‘Cause it might have been helpful to know something other than ‘stay out of the dark’ while the thing was —eating my car-.”

“I offered you a new car.” Alec objected.

“Fuck off.”

“Can I have a new car?” John interjected hopefully.

“No.”

“Children!” Zoe snapped, sucessfully getting attention back which was something she was finding she needed to do about every six seconds. “Now, if you are ready to actually pay attention, we’ll get to the more useful section of this conversation.”

They shut up and looked at her expectantly… except for Alec who was still annoying Kat, and Kat who was trying to find a way to hit Alec without getting caught.

And these were who were going to help her save the world. Zoe sighed.

“You’ll notice the six of you have been given communications devices—”

“The radio-watches, yeah, always wanted to be Dick Tracy.” Kat snarked.

“—which do not work the way you are assuming.”

“What, it can’t be that complicated.” John poked at the small raised oval on the bracelet and promptly vanished in a flash of white light.

The rest of the class stared, for once speachless.

“And -that- would be why you listen before you start fiddling with things that I haven’t explained yet.” Zoe tried not to give up all hope, but it was getting harder and harder. “Now if you’ll follow his unexpected lead, we can use the bracelets to access Atlantis.”

“And he’s not dead?” Kat asked, more concerned for her own safety than Johns, but it was still a valid question.

“No.”

“And this won’t kill any of the rest of us?” Alec clarified.

“They are perfectly safe Mr Bandon, now if you please.” She held up her wrist. “You first, just to make sure no one stays behind to abscond with our stuff.”

Turner attempted to look innocent— it didn’t work very well.

There was some hesitation and then the rest of the class followed suit, vanishing one by one in a similar flash of light. Once the classroom was empty Zoe sighed and activated her own device. This was going to be a loong day.

~*~*~*~*~

“THIS IS SO COOL!” John came bounding down the corridor at the group as they appaered, followed by someone who looked about as pleased as Zoe with the invasion of the class. “Look at this! It’s so, well, alien like, and shiny, really really shiny.”

“Yeah.” Kat was eyeing the walls with something akin to annoyane. “Whoever built this place really liked the Superman movies or something.” The walls ignored her critism and continued their crystaline color-shifting.

“You had to bring him?” The newcomer nodded at John and Zoe sighed.

“We’ve been over this, we need all three teams—”

“No we don’t.” The immortal crossed his arms and gave John a rather impressive glare. “We’d be fine with out any of them.”

“Well, personally I’d like ‘we’ to include more than two dozen people,” Zoe snapped. “We’ve lost, now it’s time to do the clean-up work.”

“So we’re evacuating people to Atlantis?” Alec asked, running his hand along one of the walls. The crystals responded in a rainbow of colors, following the path of his fingers.

“No.”

Alec looked over at the immortal. “Then what are we doing? It’s too late to save the world—”

“That was not my fault.” The immortal snapped.

“Didn’t say it was.” Alec continued, nonplussed. “We’ve got to find the best way to arm and fortify what we can. Other than moving everyone into Atlantis, I’m short of ideas.”

~*~*~*~*~

When Atlantis rose from the sea she did so abruptly and caused several small tsunamis along the way. The city was the focus of media attention for quite some time before Daniel realized that the odd looking snowglow he had gotten in the mail was somehow connected. To be fair, he wasn’t the sort of person to accept the unexplained without serious investigation, so he hadn’t really decided if the city was simply and elaborate hoax when the dreams started. By the time he made it out to the shoreline where the transporters could reach him, Evil was already well on it’s way to winning the contest.

Brian was very careful in the selection of the other two champions. The seaglobe was sent to someone who wouldn’t embrace the idea of a fantastical conflict that decided the fate of the world, nor was prone to heroics in his daily life. If anything, Daniel was much more apt to cotinue burrying himself in his work than take the time to figure out whast was going on. The heartstone was sent to someone who would figure it out immediately, since he neede Balance in play to keep things to a honest contest— as rigged as he was making it. But he made sure Neutral’s champion was anything but neutral. Which should keep Balance on the defensive against Good and hgopefully distract her from anything Evil needed to do that might be slightly bending the terms of the contest.
He kept the stormglobe for himself, of course. and spent much of his time up until the contest starting idly into the swirling minature thunderheads. Technically Air should have been a clear globe, but he thought the creators had done it justice by adding a little water to the mix. Evil was nothing without Good to defy it, after all.

~*~*~*~*~

Demons were insubstantal things most of the time. They couldn’t be shot or stabbed or sliced when they were amorphus, but they also couldn’t hurt anyone. They also had to stay out of the light, no one was quite sure why, but it was a black box of a thing in the best light. No one knew what the demons ate when they were over in the darkside and there was a lot of speculation abouit dmon bunnies and demon sheep for a bit in the scientific community.

It was found that demons could be driven off with light, and in the end that would have to be enough. They might not be able to kil lthem, but they could at least keep them at bay. Maybe in the coming thousand years they’d develop a way to keep the demons from running away when faced with overwhelming odds akak light, but for now all they could do was draw a line in the sand and say this far no farther.

The scary bit was the darness didn’t need to be connected for the demons to move. They could pop up anywhere anytime if there was a shadow to show up in. So when you got chased it wasn’t linear, although it seemed as if they moved in their own dimension at the same rate, so the glimpses of the chase would be seen in a predictable fashion , even if you only saw them move every ten to fifteen feet. Which meant you could run away, which was good.

There is something to be said for an unkillable creitter, which thankfully was not an intelligent unkillable critter. It wasn’t something anyone had problems fighting agaisnt. There was no pity or compassion for something you knew would suffer no lasting harm or even any temporary harm from the weapons you could employ. So the pacifists and th PETA people and anyone else who might have otherwise thought twice about grabbing a flashlight to defend themselves was in o nthe fight woithout a qualm.

[Click here for the When Good is Dumb Index Page and National Novel Wiriting Month for the NaNoWriMo homepage]

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These snippits are copyright Martha McMahon Bechtel and may not be reproduced or distributed without express permission. All rights reserved.

Technotari Tags: Fiction, Fantasy


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