wonder_city: (Default)
[personal profile] wonder_city
On time this week!


“It wasn’t his fault,” said the Dean, scratching absently under the clumsy bandages.

“Like hell it wasn’t,” Tom growled.

“No, your friend is right,” said President Arrowheart from her position at the head of the long set of tables set up in front of her tent. “Poor bastard’s just a construct, can’t help the way he’s wired.” She smiled at Tom and Tom’s ill mood relented just a little.

“What have you done with him?” asked Christopher, looking dubiously into the dark depths of his leather mug.

“He’s having a fine time being broody in the dungeon. Don’t look at me like that,” she added when the Dean raised an eyebrow at her. “It’s just a ruined basement. Really, quite his style and not damp at all.”

A tall, exceedingly blond young man dressed in brown and green leathers stood on the bench halfway down the first table and shouted, “I propose a toast!”

Eleanor Arrowheart put her chin in her hand and looked nearly as cynical as the Dean. “Here we go again.”

The very blond, very young man shouted, “Death to the fascist Puppet Master! Smash her circuits and take back our freedom!” There was a cheer after this toast -- not exactly half-hearted, but not exactly a full roar, either.

“What was that about?” asked the Dean.

“Oh, that’s Fuki-no-tsurugi. He’s bucking to be the next Hood. Elections are next month.”

“The next what?” asked Tom, while Christopher coughed at the eye-watering stuff in his flagon.

“The next Hood. We lost Gwynedd ap Hood a couple of weeks ago -- a raid gone wrong -- so campaigns are on just now. Fuki-no-tsurugi is up against Hakim al-Walid and Mor McKellan, but neither of them is campaigning as hard as he is. They’re both older and better known. And know better,” Eleanor added with a wink.

Tom asked, while Christopher blinked, “You elect Robin Hood?”

Eleanor Arrowheart, Wartime President of the Republic, said, “Of course. We want no inherited titles here. All our important positions are elective. Or decided via single combat, of course.”

“Of course,” said Christopher weakly.

A young woman wearing pale-blue silken pants, an embroidered coat which did not leave very much to the imagination, and a belt of silver disks, swayed up to the top of the table and whispered in Eleanor’s ear. The President nodded curtly, then stood up. “You must excuse me,” she said. “I have something I must see to. I shall be back shortly. Please, enjoy yourselves.” With that, she turned and vanished into her tent.

The young woman in blue silk and spangles mingled with people who were getting food and wine, and disappeared into the torchlit night.

“What was that all about, do you suppose?” Tom asked Christopher, who shrugged.

About twenty seats down, someone at their table started a rousing song about battle and honor and drinking beer. Tom put her head in her hands and sighed.

An hour or so later, when the song was about hedgehogs and she was seriously starting to consider joining their saturnine guide in his peaceful dungeon, President Arrowheart appeared again, leaping out of her tent, running to the table, and jumping upon it in a crash of crockery.

“Jeez, what is it with the jumping on tables--?” started Christopher, but was interrupted.

“My people!” shouted the President. “I have been vouchsafed a sign!”

The feast went silent, all faces turned to the woman in the long black leather coat. Tom noticed peripherally that her right sleeve had been rolled up nearly to the elbow, revealing a well-muscled arm, and her coat was unbuttoned just enough to show the top of some intriguing cleavage. Eleanor’s eyes glittered, and in one hand she held aloft her sword, pommel up. It glinted in the torchlight in a most improbable way.

“A vision!” She wasn’t shouting, but her voice was clear in the silence. “We must welcome these stranded Guests as our own. They will join us and fight for the victory of freedom!”

A pause. A few indrawn breaths, as though the audience were about to cheer, when Eleanor went on. “But first, they must be tested by the Trial, for one of them is choked round with Godmother’s foul wires! I have seen it! We must hold the Trial! I have spoken!”

She leapt down from the table (with fluid grace, of course) and stalked into her tent.

“The fuck?” inquired Christopher.

“I thought she was kind of normal,” said Tom, feeling unreasonably disappointed.

The Dean sighed and propped her head on her hand, elbow on the table. “Perhaps you need to re-evaluate your standards,” she drawled. Tom turned her head away and blushed.










Date: 2012-10-17 07:16 pm (UTC)
the_rck: (Default)
From: [personal profile] the_rck
I'm having great fun following this along. I don't imagine it would be nearly as much fun to live through (I think Tom would agree while Christopher would keep hoping I was wrong).

Thanks for writing!

Date: 2012-10-18 04:23 pm (UTC)
heavenscalyx: (Default)
From: [personal profile] heavenscalyx
Yes, I think it's definitely Not Fun to live through. And Christopher WOULD keep hoping you were wrong.

Date: 2012-10-18 06:31 am (UTC)
kore: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kore
....HEDGEHOG SONG

Date: 2012-10-23 11:17 pm (UTC)
the_leaky_pen: (Default)
From: [personal profile] the_leaky_pen
thank you for that! :D :D

And oh dear. Of course the president would turn out to be just as strange and twisted-fairy-tale-esque as the others. Of course.

Date: 2012-10-23 11:18 pm (UTC)
the_leaky_pen: (Default)
From: [personal profile] the_leaky_pen
I am really enjoying Tom as the POV character. She is so delightfully displeased with everything.

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