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[personal profile] wonder_city
Wonder City will be returning by November, because I'm mostly through my other work, and I'm missing the gang. If we're not done with the Dean by then, we will continue to run Compass Rose to the completion of this episode, posting on Fridays.



Daylight did not improve the encampment. It was clear that nobody bathed, except possibly Eleanor Arrowheart and definitely Fuki-no-tsurugi (how else did he keep that golden hair of his so clean?). Christopher and Tom were sitting on logs beside a smoky fire, bereft of breakfast, caffeine, and temper, when the Dean emerged from the low tent opposite theirs. She looked nearly immaculate, although she had not bothered with the tailcoat.

The Dean said, “Breakfast?” pleasantly enough to them.

“Porridge,” said Christopher, in a tone of voice usually reserved for “Stomach flu,” or “Finals.”

“I think perhaps not,” said the Dean, and walked briskly off. When she returned, she was followed by a rather dazed-looking young man, who set down his tray of mugs, gave her a slightly hostile look, and departed. The Dean sat down and picked one up. The fragrance of coffee drifted to Tom’s nostrils, and she snagged one.

“How do you do it, Dean?” asked Christopher, sighing luxuriously into his coffee.

“Common sense,” replied the Dean dryly. “Ah, here comes breakfast.” A young woman approached with a tray of something which definitely was not porridge.

“What do you suppose this ‘Trial’ thing is, anyway?” asked Tom, opening a small earthenware jar to discover that it contained some sort of jam.

“Well, it’s either trial by combat or trial by fire. Since they’re looking to see if any of us are, shall we say, contaminated, I’d guess it’s trial by fire,” said the Dean, putting a slice of bread on a stick and holding it hopefully over the smoky fire.

“I... don’t much like the sound of that,” confessed Christopher. “Do you think we can get away?”

“You’re perfectly safe,” said the Dean composedly. “It’s me they’re after.”

“What?!?” said Tom, nearly dropping her mug of coffee.

The Dean raised an eyebrow at her. Tom glared.

“No, wait, I don’t understand,” said Christopher. “How do you know? Dean, if you’re in danger, we should leave! Now!”

The Dean examined her toast, turned it, and held it over the fire again. “I don’t think that’s necessary. Besides, if we leave, you won’t get to find out what happens.”

Christopher looked deeply upset. “That’s not as important as keeping you safe!”

The Dean looked at him as though she would very much like to put him in his carrier and give him back to the shelter. “There is no such thing. Now eat your breakfast.”

The Trial was not by fire, but by water.

Whatever Tom had expected, a classic witches’ dunking stool had not been it. She was conscious of a slight disappointment -- it seemed relatively banal. It lacked panache. It was, in short, faintly ridiculous.

The crowd around the dunking stool did not help, as their ragged clothing and mud suggested a comedy sketch rather than a serious trial to Tom’s mind. Still, while she wasn’t relishing the idea of getting dunked, at least it didn’t look lethal. Uncomfortable, certainly. Still, it lacked the ruthless expertise of CIA interrogators and their forms of watery persuasion, right?

At least, it didn’t look lethal until she glanced down into the water.










Date: 2012-10-24 06:07 pm (UTC)
the_leaky_pen: (Default)
From: [personal profile] the_leaky_pen
Aaaaah this worries me. What's in the water?

I continue to appreciate the way in which the Dean is unperturbed by anything. <3

Date: 2012-10-24 07:09 pm (UTC)
the_rck: (Default)
From: [personal profile] the_rck
::bites fingernails:: You have a way with cliffhangers, cruel cliffhangers. I'm fascinated by the Dean's attitude to events, too.

Thanks for writing!

Date: 2012-10-25 12:49 am (UTC)
kore: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kore
::bites fingernails:: You have a way with cliffhangers, cruel cliffhangers.

THEY DO.

Date: 2012-10-25 12:49 am (UTC)
kore: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kore
he Dean looked at him as though she would very much like to put him in his carrier and give him back to the shelter. “There is no such thing. Now eat your breakfast.”

DEAN <333

Why can't THIS be on the air instead of stupid Who and Nu-Sherlock?

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