The Avendum Chronicles

Game Quotes (Collected)

“Bitches – Let my people go!”
“You have to collect a billion thimbles before you can see panties.”
“I was just bludgeoned. Fortunately nothing broke – except possibly the bludgeon.”
“And also, there’s a mad lizard wivving in my head.”
“Heelbone’s connected to your – nose bone…”
“It’s a flying cheese sandwich… Om nom nom nom nom…”
“Wink wink nudge nudge.” “Bludgeon bludgeon.”
“Lavosier has wi-fi.”
“My eye-jelly hurts.”
“We’ll contact the local Umber Hulk Rescue.”
“So Seth, I hear you have an enormous thing in your mouth?”
“Three and four are also going to swarm in for that up-your-nose attack.”
“Oh, no butt probing?” “Only if you have that kind of mind.”
(in a dwarven city) “Everybody’s Gimli?”
“He’s going to be a diplomat’s apprentice, why wouldn’t he be depressed?”
(sticking head in) “Hmm, I wonder what an illithid’s beak looks like.”
“He has the temporary aspect: covered in ham.”
“Something fishy is going on here.” “Or at least cephalopodous.”
(being offered a fate point) “Before I take that, does she resemble in any way…” “Satan?” “A man?” “I can see we’re concerned with entirely different things here.”
“You now have the aspect: Boing!”
“No, there are no shadows in my brain, get off me, I’m naked!”
“I don’t think it was her fault.” “Whose fault?” “Nobody’s fault.”
“Between now and Magness?” “The end of all things is Magness.”
“Excuse me, I left a plot hook in there, can we get back in? Thanks.”
“…if the poo hits the flan.” “Ew, all over the table.”
(As people are about to be crushed) “Whatever you do, don’t look up, and don’t move.”
“I didn’t feel like being first that day.” “So you’re so slow, you’re going first the next day.”
“On the dais on the dais”
(After River rolled Legendary+1) “You pwned his mind.”
“Paper airplanes! Use the paper airplanes!”
“You do not reach noble goals through ignoble means.” “Silk, you do that all the time.”
“I call it an insult of opportunity.”
“Make it all better right at the end, Magness.”
“A traditional Canadian headdress, from a Canadian nunnery.”
“It could only be better if it had tits and was on fire.”
“It has a sticker on it that says ‘Made in Canadia’.”
(clenching teeth) “This is my nice face.”
“Some people have guardian angels, these have Mistress Victory.”

Force Their Hand, We've Got the Aces.

So, Silk and Mistress Victory went to make the appointment with someone that knew more than desired, in a Guildhall within the Citadel. Ramses, River and Peter remained at the Tap Room of the hotel.

There was a Drow laying in wait for Silk and Mistress Victory, and making Shadows off the receptionist. Back at the Tap Room a Drowess was making an Orc be seen as an Illithid, a Reaver, and a Pirate. Ramses had a moment of insight that a severed branch of the multiverse might have the torque to reach the Outer Realm.

Silk and Mistress Victory try to keep the receptionist from leaving the office and calling the Guard, and the Drow tries luring Silk into the ritual chamber with exquisite treasures including platinum set perfect cut diamonds.

Back at the Tap Room Ramses gets a beak to the skull and come hither eyes from the provocatively ‘clad’ Drowess. River and Peter are doing their best with the enemy as they see them.

Mistress Victory resists entering the chamber for a round, but on entering discovers the Tiefling children being tortured are real and there is Drow Carving. The receptionist makes it out to call the Guard, and Silk finds a secret passage behind the stone wainscoating.

Lavasior is seduced to flame the orc taking three bystanders in the blast:one bursts into flame, one vomits fire and then crumbles to dust, and the third is lit from within as his bones burn. The Drowess draws an invisibility field over the table to get jiggy with Lavsior to the death throes of the third victim.

“Arrest this man!” Sometimes leadership is better than the sword, and the Drow takes a dwarven shoulder (plated) to the groin. Silk realizes he’s found the conduit. And Mistress Victory has two charges (one bone white [including the eyes]with ultramarine spiral locks, helical horns nearly hidden, the other aubergine [hematite eyes]with white hair and the start of longhorns) to get healed and settled into better straits.

Psycho Shadow Posse
I'm pretty sure those are bad headaches waiting to happen.

In the hopes of reaching the next city before the caravan of Gnomes would, we chose to take the Adventurer’s Road, a 4 day trip. We expect the Gnomes will take a week.

As we head out on the road, there isn’t much out there, just your normal goblins and whatnot that exist to get slaughtered by low-level adventurers. I mean, I’m sure there’s some justification for their insistence on attacking adventurers in the first place, but let’s be honest with ourselves. Of course, since we’re hardly “low-level”, we were not attacked on our first day of travel.

In the night, however, someone sent some creepy psychic projections to attack us. As we soon discovered, these projections wanted to use one of our brains as a home. Well, some of us happen to like our brains. The largest projection also tried to eat Peter’s happiness. It’s like trying to drink from a fire hose: All you’ll do is get it up your nose. Of course, Ramses knew that these projections were from some sort of ritual, and River explored the connection in an attempt to view our attackers. She got a glimpse of the very distinctive tapestries, and a headcount, and not much more. Ramses (and Lavosier) then took the opportunity to snap the connection to the projections, almost like a giant mental rubber band. Ouch.

The next day, on the road, we encountered a horrendous sight: there was nothing on the road. And I mean NOTHING. Yeah, we’re just as confused as you are. I’m sure we’ll figure it out later.

The next night, the projections came again. They seemed to develop a taste for Silk’s brain, and focused on him. Peter came to his rescue, and we quickly dissipated the shadows.

The next day, on the road, we encountered a horrendous sight: there was nothing on the road. And I mean NOTHING. Yeah, we’re just as confused as you are. I’m sure we’ll figure it out later. (Did I mention this already? Well, it happened again).

The next night, we decided NOT to stop, because we were tired of being attacked. Well, we finally figured out where these shadow things were coming from. Those wizards were using Tricksy’s daggers as foci! Peter quickly smashed one of them, and the wizards attempted to send too much power through the single remaining focus in one final attempt to possess Silk, causing the dagger to shatter.

We plowed through the rest of the night and made it to the next city (where things on the road seemed actually normal near town again). We need SLEEP. G’night.

Oh, I should mention, River and Ramses (or was it Lavosier?) had a spat. Luckily it didn’t amount to anything (and with Lavosier involved, that is INDEED lucky).

Rein in Your Destruction, the Bar's Done

Lavosier decided, since Peter Pan was in fact the party’s only way back, he should pop the Umber Hulk’s eyes, having recalled that its confusion was in its gaze. This did not stop it from tossing Silk, who almost hit Lavosier on the way out of the ballpark.

SIT! STAY! BAD GNOME! Mistress Victory, tired of the chase she and River Tam had, called on her Power. River Tam got mind blinded, and Lavosier got excited. Ramses took the distraction (Silk’s flyby helped) to stuff Lavosier back in his box.

Mistress Victory worked out the whistle and called the Umber Hulk to her, but the gnome still developed a bad case of Trixie’s daggers. River Tam sends the shadow packing, just before the guard took the opportunity to stop for a chat. They were most helpful with the name and location of a four-star hostelry, and took the Umber Hulk to find its owners. While Silk left his condolences with the Shady Gnome Leader (Emeralds are nice between friends) and then secured rooms, Mistress Victory took the gnome in for repairs, making sure he didn’t wake up with a bad case of dead at the temple.

Oh, Trixie, you stole the Mayor’s translator. Fortunately, revenge is a song sung loud. You can grumble, but management likes the tune. Onto the Adventurers’ Road we go, River thought she knew a short cut but forgot she was wrong. We’ve got cloaks, goggles (cargo go Mistress Victory) and a meeting to make.

Merchants, Goons, and Umber Hulks, Oh My!
When a barfight goes sour and negotiations get heated...

When rogues are beaten on their own turf, they tend to get cranky when the winner hangs around. Unfortunately for our friend the Tricksy Bastard, he’s just the type of rogue to get cranky. Silk’s insults probably didn’t help his disposition, but honestly, don’t go throwing your ego all over the place, lest someone with more skill than you (or the proper friends, or both) trounces you.

When the appointed time of bartime arrived, Silk and Ramses descended to the back hall of the bar, and knocked precisely twice. Entering the secret meeting place of the Shady Gnomes (unofficial title), Silk and Ramses made known their intentions of obtaining the use of an Arcane Laboratory and heat-dampening cloaks.

The initial Superb value was circumnavigated by Silk’s excellent lying and Ramses’s knowledge of local necessities, not to mention his general eeriness. However, the Shady Gnome was quite the negotiator himself, outmaneuvering Silk, of all people. Eventually, by playing to the Man in Charge, Silk and Ramses secured a Good price, and the information that a brawl is going on upstairs. Silk “found” a ladder that led directly to the bar, and Ramses and Silk quickly joined the brawl.

Meanwhile, when Silk and Ramses left for the negotiations, Peter Pan flew off to find more children, but they were all in bed, so he lay upon the rooftops and began to doze. River sat in the square when she lost track of Peter, and Mistress Victory sang with the bar’s sailors. Well, she was, until some 12 Gnome Goons walked in. One club to the head, boot to the kidney, and chair to the side of the head later, and Mistress Victory decided that these Gnomes needed to die. River, catching the ill intent of the Goons, joins the fray. Peter, hearing the commotion, yells “THEY’RE IN TROUBLE!” and leaps off to help… not knowing who “they” are. Luckily for him, “they” were his friends.

A number of felled Gnomes later, Silk and Ramses burst through a hatch behind the bar. The last Goon blew a whistle, and a giant Umber Hulk crashed through the wall. Mistress Victory grabs the whistle from the Goon, and the Goon took off. In her anger, Victory raced after him, and River followed. Meanwhile, the Umber Hulk is confusing people (well, Peter Pan and Silk) into attacking their allies. Unfortunately, Lavosier had decided recently to assert himself by blowing up the ceiling, and after Silk accidentally attacked him, Silk found himself becoming a human projectile. The Umber Hulk then threw Lavosier out onto the rooftops.

So as our act comes to a close, Mistress Victory and River are attempting (and doing a good job) of capturing the Goon, while Silk, Peter, and ahem Lavosier are taking on the Umber Hulk and, well, each other.


Tricksy insults
Negotiation Club, Boot, Chair
Good Price Goons going down
Join the Brawl Umber Hulk
All's Fair at the Faire

Wendel appears with a matter the Wizard Raiston mentioned, a branch of the multiverse in the process of being pruned. So, our quintet sought, and found, the Happiest Part of the Underdark, a gnomish village celebrating their liberation. Ramses greets them in an archiac dialect, but Mayor Jarvis is put at ease when he realized that the party were adventurers Questing.

Silk went to make acquaintances lo, River Tam danced, Peter flew and told tales of high adventure, Ramses contemplated how to solve the language barrier (not being able to cart off the local wizard’s living room, or even a téte et téte settee) and Mistress Victory sought a game of dexterity.

Cheaters never prosper, Mistress Victory tells them “No.” Dagger toss, foot race, dunk the gnome. Rematch secured through Silk’s emerald. Ramses and Silk defused the target charming daggers so Mistress Victory could prevail. Teamwork.

Next Week:Clone this Phone!

Isn't This Fun?

[Feb 20th]
I remember the last time I was down in the Underdark, not actually all that long ago. Well, even though we had saved the Kingdom of Suncrest and gotten our Duchies to boot (Hael became a Duke-Pirate and took in orphaned human brats, can’t imagine why, silly Drow.) when Ryoko told me it was time to meet her Mum. It was another world, another life from the semi-peaceful one I led in Caer Tirith.

Ryoko’s mother, Rumiko, was a Drow who escaped from the Underdark, helping Hael out along the way when he was but a tiny boy. Upon reaching the surface, the story goes, she fell in love with the sun and an elven bard who was wandering near by. I’m not quite sure on the details, but apparently Ryoko’s elder brother was concieved right then and there. (Drow girls, you know.) At any rate, as an elf myself, I was quite nervous about meeting a full Drow. Ryoko was fine, being only of halfblood, but her mother? A woman who had actually been raised in that horrible culture? I had no illusions that if I put so much as one toe out of line, that would be it for me. For our whole journey north to the Sylvan Forest, I can honestly say I had nightmares about snake-headed whips and being sold into Drow slavery. Ryoko assured me her mother wasn’t like that, but I knew better.

Our first meeting went well. Her father, Crimson, seemed cheerful but suspicious that his only daughter had brought home a grown elven boy. He seemed very stately and kind, with the kind of warmth and honest mischief you can’t fake. Rumiko was out tending her little flower garden. Her ebony-skinned hands showing remarkable tenderness and care to the little daisies and bright strawberry flowers. She wore a wide-brimmed hat to shade her sensitive eyes from the sun, but she was lovely. It was easy to see where Ryoko got her good looks from.

Taking us inside, she explained she had sent for her daughter (and me, too, apparently) because she had decided it was time to return to the Underdark. I had always joked about going there during out quest to save Suncrest, frequently teasing Hael about his childhood there. I can see now why he was so frightened and refused to return, for the fear that ran through me was frigid and unforgiving. Rumiko explained that she had had several younger sisters who might not be too corrupted. She wished to save them from the life she had had to endure, but most especially from the Priestess’ final ceremony at Aracne Tilith. At these words, she glanced over to her daughter, a soft expression in her red eyes. Though I didn’t know about the ceremony at the time, I heartily agreed, saying that if it was important to Ryoko, it was important to me. I soon regretted it.

And so it was that we said our goodbyes to the sky, and the sun, and the peaceful surface world, and turned out feet towards the Underdark. We descended, Crimson and I staying close together, while Ryoko and her mother’s infrared vision burned in the blackness ahead.

To be continued…

The Biography

[Feb 27th]
“Of course—I’m not Master.”
“I never said you were.” But Mortimer passed a hand over his face. He held the quill over the page. “What were you saying before that? It was fall…”
“Ah, yes. Fall. Normally Autumn would be busy with students coming in from all over, people forgetting and complaining about their textbooks, trying to schedule classes around how long they thought they could sleep in, and all of the teachers preparing for Orientation. But this was the Sixth Age. The City of Autumn and the other Season Cities were nothing more than piles of rubble and ruin, something mysterious for archeologists to dig into and wonder over. But aside from my day job as a clerk for the Moon City police department, I was also on the board for the Western Excavations Committee. They couldn’t dig anywhere without my say so, and I certainly wasn’t going to let a bunch of 20-something humans tramp all over my precious library, not to mention the buried city itself. Oh, no, I kept them plenty busy up the river, digging for nothing. Occasionally I’d summon up a broken pot or something for my favorite kids to find. And then there would be shouts, and photos, and reporters, and even more people milling around. Sometimes I’d even create a couple more discoveries just below the sight currently being investigated, so it was discovered while the crowd was still there. Fun times, I tell you. There’s nothing quite like standing with a reporter, just waiting as your favorite student pauses in between careful brushstrokes in the dirt behind you while the press snatches photos, and then suddenly—” He waved his arms around, grinning. “ ‘We found something! Oh, my god, no way, look, it’s right there!’” He snickered. “Priceless. All lies, of course, nobody had ever lived at that part of the river, it was all forested land as you know.”
“But it made them happy. Of course the men who just stomped around, and didn’t act like they cared got nothing. Ever. Oh, it felt so good.”
“But your day job, you were saying?”
“Yes, I was a clerk. I had a big pair of thick-rimmed glasses.” He held his fingers above and below his eyes. “Nasty things, I hope I never see them again.”
“What were they for? You don’t need to correct your vision, because if you had needed to you would have gone to a Healer long before that.”
“It’s true. I enchanted them to block my True Sight as long as I was looking through them. I just couldn’t stand the sight of what people really looked like.”
“And what was that?”
“What was what?”
“What do people really look like?”
Ramses grimaced. “In that time? Not very good. Imagine a world with a billion or more people, and now picture most of them totally disconnected from each other, completely plugged in to their technology, their social networking, and their own obnoxiously shallow little lives. It was just driving me insane, seeing all of that on the surface. People just forget when they’re like that. They forget how to listen to others, and I mean really listen. If someone’s speaking to you now, do you expect them to be so withdrawn, so focused on some tiny, silly little thing—looking away every ten seconds? Offering false sympathy? I couldn’t take it anymore, I just couldn’t. So I told everyone my eyes were bad, and no one questioned the glasses.”
“And Mr. Peterson?”
“Oh, him. Yes, I remember the first time I saw him in person.” He leaned back, sinking into his own memories, hair falling slightly to the side to reveal his docked ears. “As I was saying, it was fall. Jamie Peterson, John Sacsini’s adopted son—he was the head of the mafia—was always around, causing havoc of one kind or another. He killed people who didn’t bring him his coffee fast enough, blew up cars to make room for his motorcycle, and thoroughly enjoyed every illicit mind-numbing substance he could get his hands on. It was awful. Before I had started working at the station he had been captured a lot, but always he either escaped or his father bailed him out. The new Chief—the old one had had a good taste of Jamie’s pistol—wasn’t going to let this continue, though, so the next time our troublemaker came to town…”
—Ramses looked up from his hangout place by the reception desk. Four policemen surrounded a tall and imposing figure, dragging him in through the sliding glass doors. Jamie resisted his captors, swearing in a very loud, very angry voice that rumbled at the back of the mage’s mind.
He must be psychic or have latent magical talent, there was no other explanation for the strange, tingling feeling Ramses now felt running up and down his arms. He pulled back from flirting with the blue-eyed secretary—trying to distract himself from the recent restraining order he had just received on Rumiko’s behalf, to prevent him from visiting her daughter—clearly intending to get out of the officers’ way.
Jamie looked down his nose at Ramses and the mage felt the power in his gaze. “What are you looking at, nerd?”
He couldn’t help himself. Some of these new colloquialisms just didn’t make any sense to him. “What does that mean?”
The taller man’s face went red, then white, and he bared his teeth. “Are you talking back to me?”
“What? No, no, I just—” Even the secretary had backed away, Ramses was the only person in Jamie’s line of view as the surrounding officers tried to drag him toward the door for internal processing. Jamie planted his feet, refusing to move. The force of his gaze was overwhelming.
Ramses sighed, knowing his magic could force this proud little punk to beg and grovel for mercy at his feet. But he didn’t dare. Aside from being something his Master would do, it would cause questions. And getting dragged off to a lab and experimented on would not be a pleasant experience. So he just gritted his own teeth in a smile. “I’d never dream of talking back to a puny little upstart like you. You think you’re so scary, so powerful, but you’re not. You’re just a child. Our history holds worse demons than you could ever be.”
“And then what did he do?” Mortimer leaned closer, his delicate writing filling the page.
“He broke the handcuffs and punched me, of course. And I deserved it, too, for aggravating him.”
“What happened?”
“Well, everyone was surprised he hadn’t killed me, for one thing. But my glasses had fallen off…”
“Shit, I can’t see!” Ramses fell back, clutching at his face. His eyes blurred with pain and blood. He scrabbled on the floor, one hand holding his stinging jaw. “Where are they, dammit?”
There was a decisive crunch of glass as Jamie put his heavy heel down.
Ramses looked up as his vision cleared, and saw for the first time in a hundred thousand years his brother Alecto. So tall, so fair and cold, his braids hanging around his face like a familiar haze of smoke. If it weren’t for what his glasses had shown him, he might have leapt into Jamie’s arms, thinking he had at last come home. It had been so long since there was anything natural or magical around him, he couldn’t speak, couldn’t resist as Jamie grabbed him by the collar, yanking him to his feet.
“Can’t see, you say? Don’t lie. Do whatever else you want, but don’t lie, got it?”
“Sir…” he said weakly.
“How did he know?”
“I don’t know, perhaps it was his latent powers coming through. I had to get a new pair of glasses, though. After that all my colleagues clustered around me, telling me how lucky I was to be alive. I couldn’t believe it, he had so much strength, even I felt it. I didn’t see him again until nearly a year later, in the spring. No one had seen Jamie in town for quite some time, and we all secretly hoped something nasty had happened to him. Everyone but me, that is. The question had begun to burn in me; who was this man who resembled my brother? I tried to convince myself that the shock was playing tricks on my mind, but I couldn’t continue to lie to myself. I had to be honest—I’d seen Alecto, but what did that mean? I was walking home after the second shift at the station, taking the long route around by the park, thinking about Ryoko as I’d last seen her—a proud, huffy adolescent woman, with her Mother’s pout and her Father’s gift for music, barely beginning to fill out her dresses—when a roaming drunk crashed into me.”
“A drunk?”
“It was Jamie, actually. He’d been trying to find me, as it turns out, but the drinking hadn’t helped with that much.”
“I can imagine. And then?” Scratch, scratch went his feathered quill. His gentle face was full of handsome amusement.
The glowing pink sign read “The Night Angel”, illuminating the dark brick walls of the underground club. Pulsing music seeped through the walls of the long hallway as Jamie led him to a private room. Normally, Ramses supposed, these rooms were where the dancers made their real money. His loins ached again as he imagined Ryoko dancing for him; she was always such a good dancer…
Jamie opened the heavy door and flopped down into a plush seat surrounding a suspiciously sturdy table. A fire pole ran from the center of the table to the ceiling. “C’mon in.”
Ramses nodded to himself. Yes, definitely one of those rooms. He gingerly took a seat. “Jamie—or Mr. Peterson, if you prefer—what am I doing here? What do you want?” Here, with no one to watch, if Jamie acted up, magic in self-defense was definitely an option.
“John Sacsini, my Dad, you know him?”
“I know of him, why?”
“He’s dead.”
“Oh? How?”
“That was my question.”
“Lung cancer, too many damn cigars, as it turns out.” Jamie rubbed a hand over his face. A normal man might have molded the skin of his cheeks in tiredness or frustration, but his flesh had a strange sheen to it under the red lights, although not everywhere. “So now the administration falls to me. And I…I’ve buried John, and yet…I don’t know what to do.” His eyes looked far away and sad, and very, very human.
Ramses stared down at his hands, and then looked across the table. While that look was on Jamie’s face, he didn’t dare take his glasses off. “You’ll be a good leader.”
“Excuse me?” Jamie let his hand fall from his face, those powerful eyes focusing on the mage.
“I…” He took gulps of air to calm his nerves. “I can tell. I don’t know what it is about you, but you’ve got the right stuff.”
“The right stuff, huh?” He looked away, staring at something unseen. “No one’s ever told me that before,” he said quietly.
After a few minutes of silence, Ramses shifted. “Was there any reason you, ah, wanted to talk to me?”
“Just your eyes, I guess.”
“My eyes?”
“Something about them…I can’t put my finger on it.” He sat up. “I’ll think about what you’ve said. You’re dismissed.”
“And then?”
Ramses scratched his head. “There isn’t much more to tell, really. I went back to my tiny apartment with the distinct feeling that he knew I was magical. It was very strange. Time went on, years passed by. I started to gather myself to move again since I don’t age, when Jamie came to see me. He walked right into the station, easy as you please.”
“Hey, nerd.”
“What?” Ramses looked up from his cubicle’s computer, blinking in surprise as he saw Jamie leaning on the grey dividers, a silly grin on his face. He started to stand up, but the taller man motioned for him to sit. “What are you doing here? It’s, well…”
“It’s been a while.” He smiled. Something about him looked different, more…at peace, somehow. He ignored the commotion of shouts and radio calls behind him. “Are you doing anything tomorrow?”
“Working, why?”
“For me?”
“What do you mean?”
“Will you be working for me?” There it was, in the corner of his mouth and the way his eyes scrunched up in happiness. He no longer stank of illegal chemicals, but nobody smiled like that unless they were on something…or truly, genuinely happy.
“You found it, didn’t you?” It wasn’t really a question; Ramses had felt that way once, a long time ago, right after he had taught his first class. When he had found it, that thing he was truly meant to do with his life, it was like breaking open an egg and finding gold inside. Ryoko had always felt like that, all the time, deep in his soul. And now here was this man, this one human in a world of humans who were so shut away with themselves that they didn’t even know there was a sun anymore, and his eyes were open, and his heart was in his eyes, and his heart was filled with light.
Ramses reached up, but Jamie beat him to it. The mafia boss reached over, and, with amazing gentleness, took off his glasses.
“You won’t be needing these anymore.”
The image of Alecto dissolved itself halfway, and stayed there; his ears still elfin in shape, his slender build, a few braids still knotted in his long blond hair. He turned away from the cubicle, moving with grace.
Ramses rose and followed, setting down his headset. He didn’t even grab his lunchbox.
Both men turned to see the police Chief standing in the doorway to her office. Her thin face was very pale. “What do you think you’re doing? Get away from him, can’t you see who that is?”
Mortimer’s quill paused, the feather quivering, over the next, empty, lines. His golden eyes looked eager. “Well? And what did you say?”
Ramses folded his hands behind his head, and grinned. “I can see, I can see perfectly.”

At The Center

[March 6th]
(This is my submission for a writing contest, about my other OC, Jamie Peterson. Enjoy!)

He was there, so many years ago, when the world was waking in the Paris dawn, holding my hand as I watched the sun rise for the first time. He was there in the dark when I first discovered pleasure, and when I spent that long night in the hospital, hardly daring to breathe through the blinding pain. He was there.
“And now?”
“Get an apartment, try to survive.” We’re there on the playground, in my mind, eighteen hundred miles away from this freezing basement bedroom. The cold stings my cheeks, so it’s easy to remember.
He sits on the rotting bench, long legs stretching out, and looks up through the trees that are heavy with green light. He smiles, flashing two rows of pearly teeth. His grin is infectious, and I sit beside him, holding the scene—not as I last saw it, a few hours before the new year, with snow drifts so high I couldn’t climb over them—as I knew it in my youth. Everything seems larger, everything except him.
“Jamie…” My Jamie.
I don’t need to tell him, he already knows. We’ve been here before, to the place where he was born, sometimes I don’t even get out of the car. But I always come back, back to the beginning, back to the center. My thinking place, the shape my soul takes. I look back beyond the thin veil of trees, to the house that is no longer mine.
“It will always be yours,” he says; my strength. “No one can take that away from you.” My confidence.
I look at him, really look. I’ve lived more years with him than without him, now, this man that I made so many years ago. Was he like a daemon, a silent creature that was born with me, bursting forth from that prenatal abyss, letting me curl my hand around his finger? Was he always my protector, my passion, my voice of reason? I hear him so rarely now, perhaps because I’ve grown to speak the same words, the same wisdoms.
My life…it’s falling apart, but at the same time, it’s coming together. Is this what it always feels like? He takes my hand—I imagine; his smooth, yet rough, palm, his long fingers—and leads me through the discordant music of my doubts. I pass them, their surfaces shimmering with foam.
The playground disappears, and I’m there, watching the white, white moon hang above the plane’s right wing. Another step, a turtle’s ancient, crusted face stares back at me, inches from the side of my kayak. Once more, and the feelings overwhelm me as a crowd of Portuguese women cluster close, blessing me, speaking earnestly in English. The Ghost of the Future returns, her steps hesitant, but soft, bearing in her arms the sheaves of encouragement and strength.
Taking a deep breath, knowing it was he who brought me this, I turn. I turn and meet his eyes in the mirror.

Silk's Effect

Wendell Herman is a sneaky bastard. Honestly, I don’t know how he did it, but he convinced me to accompany Ramses Saracen-Jormundyrr, a magic user who spent entirely too much time “geeking out” (his words, not mine) over the world we were in, and River Tam, a strange young girl with some odd powers (and really, really hard to lie to).

We travelled to the world of “Mass Effect”; although, it was less of a world and more a galaxy, and that was a problem. Wendell informed us that a body of a race of half-machine beings known as the Borg had been transported to this world, and we had to find and dispose of it before the robotic race known as the Geth found it and learned the secrets of “assimilation”. It was a race against time, and we had little to no knowledge of how to go about this.

Being the person that I am, I successfully formed a business empire to procure funds for our exploration, while Ramses and River looked about for information as to the location of our quarry. Sadly, we were hours too late to claim first dibs on the body, but we were still early enough to destroy it and any data they had gleaned (which turns out to have been almost nothing. According to Ramses, they had no idea how to deal with organics). As for the escape… well, why don’t you read the whole thing?

Still, Wendell, you bastard, I’ll get you for this.


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