In Dreams of Trees : The Last Data Point

Wordcount: 961
Rating/Warnings: PG-13 for death and disappointment (and mild cursing)
Summary: Black is dead, but Blue isn’t happy.

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.

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The Last Data Point

Black is dead, stiffening in a pool of slowly widening blood and Blue finds that he doesn’t care. He’s avenged his friends, done his duty to a society and his oath, but he’ll never see home again and he’s not sure what the point is anymore.

Horn is still pacing around the body, snarling in that odd sort of warble. He’ll come down from the hunting frenzy soon enough and Blue’s not got enough energy yet to stop him from eating the body if he wants to.

If he wanted to, but he doesn’t.

Maybe Black was right, maybe the elves were corrupting his world and needed to be removed– but they were his friends, his family, didn’t that count for something? Life hadn’t been that bad, and from what he knows of other worlds it could have been much worse.

It wasn’t perfect, but it had been home.

And now they were safe again, at least as safe as he could make them. Maybe their door would close, maybe they’d stop existing in some incomprehensible twist of fate– but no one else would die to Black’s knives of light.

He tightened the wrap on his leg, tying is snugly, but not too tight. The city would be able to help him heal, there were medical units hidden away in the walls that the squirrels could get him to.

Horn needed help as well, although it wouldn’t be safe to get near him, or even attract his attention until he’s calmed down a bit.

Thankfully Sara and Nathan had figured that bit out and were staying well away from the body. They’d made gesture in his direction, subtly to see if they should come help and he’d shook his head. This he could handle– what came after, maybe not so much.

Horn finally calmed down a few minutes later, quills and fur settling into place with the same quick shudder he used to shed water. He gave the body once last dismissive bark and then trotted over to Blue, limping slightly from where Black had thrown him into the wall.

Sara and Nathan moved over at that point and Blue lead them through checking Horn to see how bad the damage was. He’d do it himself, but his fingers were starting to seize up, the adrenaline rush over and the start of the other poison starting to lock down his responses.

“Get over to a medical unit,” said Nathan, shooing him out of the way as soon as they understood what to do with Horn. “No telling what he put on those blades.”

Blue grinned ruefully, he actually had a pretty good idea what was on them, which meant he had a few hours before total paralysis set in. Count on Black to find the torturing poisons. Blue had no idea how Black had gotten them, but he hoped that the assassin had take out a few torturers along the way.

He sent out a quick call for help and Dance showed up leading him along a short corridor to a med unit.

“You killed him.” she said as he sat down and let the machines go to work. “Why?”

“Because he would have kept killing.” said Blue, wincing as they machine injected the numbing agent before starting to work on the stitches. “I couldn’t let him do that.”

“Why didn’t you just convince him killing was wrong?” She asked, moving in her habitual loops along the shelving units, carefully not touching any of the assembled items.

“You can’t always do that,” pointed out Blue. “Sometimes people won’t change their minds, no matter what you say.”

“Did you try?” asked Dance, coming to a pause in front of him.

“Not as hard as I could have, I suppose” admitted Blue, “but to be fair he was doing his best to kill me at the time.”

Dance looked unconvinced, but it was hard to tell expressions on a mobile unit.

“Why didn’t the city stop him, if she didn’t want me killing him?” asked Blue, tiredly.

“The city can’t interfere.” said Dance.

“Then why did you?” asked Blue.

There was a pause as Dance considered this, tail twitching in confusion. “I don’t understand.” she finally said.

“Why didn’t you use the mobile units to stop me, or stop him?” Blue asked, slightly annoyed that it apparently hadn’t occurred to the squirrels to help. “There were plenty of you there, you could have tripped him, or me, or something.”

“That’s not what we’re for.” said Dance.

“You aren’t for anything.” snapped Blue. “You spend most of your time playing around in the mobile units, I haven’t seen you do anything useful for more than a tenth of the time I’ve been around you.”

“Meatspace,” said Dance with a dismissive twitch of her tail. “Meatspace isn’t important, only sparkspace is.”

“Meatspace is where the rest of us are.” Blue pointed out. “It’s a hell of a lot more important than you see to think it is.”

“Without sparkspace there is no meatspace,” said Dance. “Where would you be if we stopped doing our jobs and spent all of our time playing with you?”

“Well, one of us wouldn’t be dead.” Blue snapped.

“Which one?” retorted Dance.

“I’m done with this conversation,” said Blue, standing as the machines finished closing the last of the cuts and sealing it with waterproof bandaging. “You don’t get to look down on me for solving the problem unless you were willing to solve the problem yourself. Maybe my methods weren’t the best, but I have to work with what I have. Remember that next time there are people dying in your city, eh?”

Dance just twitched her tail at him and watched him storm out of the medbay.

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