Rating/Warnings: PG-13 (Cursing)
Summary: Blue and Horn eat, drink, and are not at all merry… and then I get bored and end the scene abruptly. And Brian was named David, but he refused to use that name, so, um, yeah. I’ll retcon the post before this at some point. 😛
NOTE: This is a very rough draft with no editing at all (per National Novel Wiriting Month rules) and is presented for amusement value only. Think of it as a periscope into my writing process rather than a coherent story!
There will most likely be spelling and grammatical errors afoot as well as flat out bad writing, info dumps, plot holes, contradictions/retcons, uneven characterization and pacing. These snippits are also posted out of order, so please refer to the Outline to figure out where it’s supposed to fit.
Of Pomegranates and Favored Sons
The two return in a few minutes with food and another younger man in tow. While Horn pounces on the food and inhales it with disturbing speed the three pull up chairs to talk with Blue.
“This is going to be a little one sided and I apologize,” the younger man started, “but my name is Brian, this is Nathan,” he nodded at the man from before, “and Sara.”
“We need to ask you some questions, but it might be a little hard for you to answer,” Brian smiled ruefully, “So, uh, have you ever played Pictionary?” He shrugged when Blue shook his head and handed Blue a pad of blank paper and a pen. “Try and draw out the answers and we’ll have to guess what you mean.”
[Sir Basil Exposition]
Brian is roughly sixteen, but that’s because he’s mostly in the areas where the time dilation has kicked in. He’s in charge of the Purples, to some extend, but the group is much more fractured that I had anticipated. He has short sandy brown hair, ice blue eyes and is apparently where Gibbs went.
Nathan (whose name was suggested by a fellow NaNoer and has nothing to do with someone I know) is build vaguely like a quarterback and is shades of Colossus. He has dark brown-black hair, brown eyes, and is the calm normal people slash medic for Purple.
Sara has dirty blond hair, green eyes long in a ponytail, she is shades of Buffy but less kickass and more Cordelia crosses with Willow. Nice but snarky when she thinks you can’t hear her. Sort of Kaylee then I guess.
[/Sir Basil Exposition]
“First off, how did you get here?”
Blue paused for a moment and frowned, then tried his best to draw Black killing someone, him and Horn chasing Black, and both of them running through the tree.
He handed the paper over to Brian who blinked and then sat back so that Sara and Nathan could also see it.
“Someone, um, stabbed somebody?” Sara offered and Blue nodded. “And then you chased them, right?”
“So what is that?” Nathan pointed at the tree, which Blue belatedly relized he had draw no leaves on. He took the paper back for a moment and drew a quick tree on the side.
“A tree, okay, so you ran into a tree?”
Brian frowned, “Wait, so he ran into the tree and you ran into the tree- that was it?”
Blue shrugged, which hurt and he winced which bad Horn trill at him in concern.
“Wait, so he was chasing Black?” Sara gave Blue a worried look. “He has no self preservation whatsoever or he’s a lot more powerful that he’s letting on.”
“I’ll go with ‘had no idea what he was doing’” Brian sighed. “Okay, let’s see,” he frowned thinking. “Can you draw how Black opened the door?”
Blue shook his head, he didn’t remember much other than the chase and then falling.
“Okay, can you draw how you opened the door?”
Blue looked at him confused.
“The door should have shut right after him, so how did you open it again?”
Blue shook his head and pointed at the picture of him chasing Black.
“Oh, this is bad.” Sara said, “Seriously, he’s telling us that he just ran into the tree after Black? That the door stayed open for him? There’s no way Black would leave that open, even if he did want to kill him.”
“I dunno,” Nathan said, “He can understand us, and he got in somehow. Maybe he’s got something he doesn’t know about that triggered the door. Folks do lose the keycards now and then.”
Blue raised an eyebrow.
“There are trinkets that make the doors open,” Brian held up a hand and there was a braided leather bracelet with a small shard of deep blue that had been woven securly into the bands. “Without these you shouldn’t have been able to open it, they work in proximity, so as soon as Black was more than a few steps away it should have closed behind him.” He gave Blue a thoughful look, “So unless you have one of these, how did you get in??”
Blue blinked, and took a quick stock of what he had brought with him, but he couldn’t think of any way a shard like that could have gotten into his posession without him noticing. Bodyguards were pretty regimented on what they could wear and where it came from. Elves and humans were both known for their dendance for homicide so it never hurt to be careful.
“Did you try to go back out the door?” Brian asked.
“He was too hurt,” Sara said, “him and the critter were both pretty far out of it, I don’t think he could have moved much further if he tried.”
“Well, when he’s better we’ll have to try it. If he’s got a shard of a keycard somewhere, we can use it.” Brian said.
“And if he doesn’t?” Sara asked, “What if this is something wierd thing connected to the fact that he can understand us and we can’t understand him? It took me forever to learn this wonderful mishmash you use and boom, he’s here wihtout having to do anything.”
“How’s he going to learn?” Nathan asked doubtfully, “If he can’t hear what we’re saying…?”
Horn looked over at them and then up at Blue, so far the elf had given no indication that he understood them, reacting on when Blue reacted. But the conversation and pictionary had apparently perked it’s interest. He tugged on Blue’s sleeve with an inquisitive chirp.
“Huh? Oh, yeah, gimme a second.” He turned to readjust the pillows behind his back until there was room for Horn to climb up behind him and settle down into his normal position on Blue’s shoulder.
Horn settled in with a happy muttering purr and gave Blue a happy headbutt. Now that he was in range, he could use Blue to understand the conversations. At least that was the hope.
Blue turned back to Brian and made what he hoped was ‘say again’ motion.
“Uh, okay, we need to know how you are understanding what we’re saying.”
Horn blinked then coughed, second eyelids flickering as he shifted vocalizations. “Saying.”
Brian, Nathan and Sara looked at Horn with alarm and Blue laughed. “You said it right I think.”
Horn grinned, curling his tail smugly up against his flank. “Understand what saying?”
“Uh, yes,” Brian said, hesitantly. “How are you doing that?”
“Know,” Horn tapped Brian’s head with a forepaw, “Understanding” and tapped himself. “You saying, we’re saying.”
‘Oh!” Sara said, perking right up, “Ah, okay then, this is easy. I’m Sara, this is Brian and Nathan and you are, um, sorry don’t know your names, and you are in our eastern forward camp. This is, hmm, The Endless City and you were chasing Black before. Who apparently is busy stabbing people in your fragment of the world.”
“Fragment?” Horn asked.
“There are hundreds of doors—”
“Thousands,” corrected Brian, “and each one of them leads to somewhere completely differnt. Differnt worlds, but they’re all sort of the same.”
“It’s all humans, well at least it was until now.” Nathan gave Horn an odd look. “You’re the first person who’s come through that wasn’t, well, a person. No offense.”
“Offense!” Horn objected angrily, “Not person!” He hissed angrilly and Blue winced as his gripping claw caught on one of the bandages.
“They didn’t mean it,” Blue objected, “they’re beyond feral, they don’t know you.”
Horn was not molified and continued growling.
“You know, I’m not really thinking it’s a positive thing that you think being human is an insult.” Brian said mildly. “There’s an awful lot of us and only one of you— you might want to rethink that position.”
Horn gave an indignant chirp, but settled back onto Blue’s shoulder. He was smart enough to know when he was outnumbered. Blue wasn’t in any position to protect him, which was unusal, and it was frustrating.
“So, back to the vocablulary lession, eh?” Nathan said, trying to bring the conversation back into neutral territory. “This city is the nexus between all of the worlds, but we don’t know how or why.”
“All of us came from the worlds that the city connects to,” Sara said, “we all came in through trees, but everyone came in different ways. Some of us were brought in by White, some found a keycard fragment, some just found a way in— we’re not sure how they did that. You seem to be one of those, we just need to figure out why.”
“The city is enourmous, which is why we call it the Endless City. None of us have eveer explored all of it, even after all these years.”
“And years are sort of arbitraty here,” Brian said. “As you get closer to the ctiy center things slow down.”
“Well,” Nathan said, “time says still, it’s just aging that slows down. You just sort of lose track of how fast or slow things are going by, but it doesn’t seem the same.”
“And the city’s alive.” Sara said.
“No it isn’t,” Brian objected.
“Then it’s haunted.” Sara sniffed.
“Now, now,” Nathan said, “Let’s go with ‘odd things happen now and then and some folks think it’s alive’.”
“Alive?” Horn said, ears pricking forwards, “Endless City connects all worlds, connects all time?”
Brian blinked. “Uh, we don’t know. Hadn’t really thought about it. Don’t suppose we really have any way to measure that.”
“Worlds different, how?” Horn asked.
“Well, we’ve got everything from high technology worlds with flying cars and cities on the moon and then we’ve got prehistoric worlds with dinosaurs and the very beginnings of humans, and then we’ve got whatever your world is.”
“Cars?” Horn asked, confused.
“Wagons that work without horses.” Sara offered.
Blue and Horn took a moment to think that over because I’ve hit sixteen hundred words and this scene is going nowhere so it’s time to swap back to Gray and Tan and see if they can manage to do something other than talk— but I’m not holding out a lot of hope. Le sigh.