"I do hate it when they keep me in the dark like this," he says sadly. His two "children" nod their toaster head, not disagreeing with their "father."
Nantucket Earth, Nantucket
After the Doctor picks up the adventurers in his TARDIS from the Key's insertion point that had already been determined by it's prior visit to this world, the male pixie and the woman that's on her way to becoming a goblin are dropped off at the holding facility where the other accursed non-Champions afflicted by the Unseelie curse that have already been recovered (drawing some odd looks from the only other prisoner there....one William Walker....but not much more, as the presence of Dragon Synizn seems to keep him behaving for some reason, re: 15531).
The group is about to insist on having the Doctor take them back in time a bit so they can continue on their quest. However, they all decide to break for a bit for lunch.....and the Doctor insists on one particular Nantucket restaurant. The Time Lord feels like having a bite to eat there, and it has the benefit of having fast service AND good food. The Doctor adds that the others must eat something, else they'll soon fall flat from hunger! They'll do a better job to be properly fed in their quest.
He also adds that perhaps they'd like to replenish their supplies (Thessamar ix'latl had been ravenous and when offered a bit of food from the Champions had in quick order put a large dent in their supplies.....before she'd stopped herself in shock). While the provender was getting the order together, they may as well use some of this down time to get a warm meal (God knows when another opportunity presented itself in this fracas).
So, after placing an order at one of the new general stores in Nantucket, the group takes a well deserved small meal break. As they order their meals the note the buzz of the crowd seems to center around the events that have happened today. Talk abound about two strange tribes called the Tesh (who seem to like dressing like the flying monkeys from The Wizard of Oz) and the Sevateem (who seem to like running around in leather and could use a bath). Talk also seemed to be somebody in the Sevateem was looking for a young woman named Leela by the name of Tomas. There was much discussion about the glowing, impossibly tall tower of cards that Stephen King had been building before meeting one of his own story characters. Somebody tries knocking it down, only to get cuffed by several people who are frightened to death by doing that would unleash. The guy tumbles and the table collapses, only to leave the blasted house hanging in mid-air! This causes the room to pause in consternation. Then, the buzz starts up again, with a relieved air in it.
Finally, there was talk about what was going on in one corner that attracts the attention of the adventurers and they all go over.....to see another....new Champion in the company of several special elven children (one what they recognize as Jenny Elf of the Wolfriders and several ex-Wolfriders). They are talking with two comic book authors named Wendy and Richard Pini and one Piers Anthony. The authors look a bit befuddled, though not as befuddled as Stephen King, in meeting people who's life mirror stories they wrote. The Doctor and others, interested, move over to speak with Eric Jones and friends.
"I had a dream of Dor and Irene.....meeting with Queen Irene.... Did.....Dor say something that....er....he only thought back in Centaur Isle?" Piers Anthony asks Jenny Elf. "Something that could have been.....considered rather insulting if actually said aloud?"
Jenny Elf had a pretty good idea of what Piers was talking about....her ears had been sharp enough to hear it all... It had been rather embarrassing (re: 13401)....
After a short delay, as required by royal protocol, she and Willian join them there.
Queen Astra and King Willian get a feeling, after a few false starts made by the Xanthians (some of them had such quant ideas about how things would be run in Aqaularia) that this would be rough going. Thankfully, Queen Astra's newest "sister" (putting much put upon in some cases) is able to iron out some of the more insulting gaffes made by the others.
On gaffe involved the dating system of Terra Prime just being put down as "something to do with some type of religion" (that gaffe was made by some young man by the name of Dor).
The new Astra is able to make a calming joke about it, disarming the situation.
Then, somehow, something about almost breeching some "Adult Conspiracy" comes up, and the elder diplomatic member of the group, a junior member, and Astra nip this in the bud before it can continue.
"Will you're Majesties excuse us a moment while we.....sort out something?" Elder King Trent (one of the members of the ad hoc Council of Kings) asks nervously. Queen Astra smiles a small, tight smile and nods graciously.
"Thank you, your Highness," he says graciously.
He smiles, then turns and calls over several of the offending members to him.
The smile drops, and there is ICE in his harsh whisper.
"What in the name that is holy are you doing!?" he asks, incredulous.
"Making a difficult, humbling task into a major fiasco, that's what!" the youngest Trent (newly Crown King....much to his surprise). "You left these two in charge during several diplomatic trips? And the other is your....my....er....your daughter?"
Last is said with a slight jerk of the head at a young couple made of a Dor and an Irene.
Queen Astra, while her guests are quietly bickering, leans back and grins over at Willian, who smiles back. Unbeknownst to the Xanthians, each and every word can be heard through a trick of acoustics up on the throne area of the room. It had originally been designed for the idea of any and every advantage a Queen could get over hostile neighboring nations should be employed, on the battle field and in negotiations.
Intitially, Queen Astra had qualms about it, but after some rather annoying dealings with the remains of Hespan, Mal Bacton, and the like (before cowing them) she thanked the wisdom of her foremothers.
As for the slight gaffes about attitudes about what was seemly for what a child should and should not know about sex (the very core of the dreaded Xanthian "Adult Conspiracy")......that was a matter of understandable culture clash that WOULD be squelched here and now. While visting Xanth, she would not insult their customs and beliefs. But the Xanthians damn well better reciprocate in that regard when visiting her land!
As for the other social gaff (Dor's slip about sounding dismissive of Christianity in regards to the dating system)....while Queen Astra was not a Christian.....it would behoove the Xanthians to remember that this was a new....strange world they were on. Some people would NOT be so understanding.....for religion (especially Christianity) was very much a large part of life in many parts of Terra Prime. Her Church was also, but that was another story for later.
She was happy to have been able to see to the conversion of a large section of the surrounding, recently acquired territories. Unlike places like Mal Bacton, a set religion hadn't been forced upon the masses with Aqualaria....and there had been a drifting BACK to olden religious (hidden) beliefs.
Something for later....
The Elder Trent (after ironing out some differences and settling business), turned back to the Queen of Aqualaria....
Thus being that she had little to know talent at hiding her inner feelings, the look that briefly told Anthony enough. He winces, remembering the dream had also told him that the parents had been distraught about their son now being engaged to two woman (they'd thought that the "Test of the Roses" would have cured that foolishness....but had instead sealed the deal as it were). It was a terrible breach of royal protocol, but it couldn't be taken back....without losing much political face. This "distraughtness" had trickled over into this meeting, making both parents less than political savvy (almost political morons.....in a way). They'd never had to deal with a situation like this before! No Xanth citizen had....until now. Now things had changed. That was neither her nor there and.....
"It's none of your business, sir." Jenny says simply, a look of anger in her young face. "You shouldn't be asking, even if you did create a character based on me so that that young paralyzed girl, Jenny Gilwarg, would react to the outside world after that drunk ran over her)."
Anthony sighed, and nodded.
"Sorry." he said simply, and just walked away. Jenny sighed and scratched Sammy Cat, who purred in contentment.
Meanwhile, let's turn to the discussion between the ex-Wolfriders and the Pinis....
"I notice....you have....a 'cyberjack'?" Wendy asks, surprised, "Isn't that....er..... a bit out of character for you, One Eye?"
Wolfriders were something of a "get along with nature" kind of people, and cybernetics kind of classed with that philosophy.....
Point in fact, that philosophy was pretty much the philosophy of the Pinis (mostly Wendy). In fact, she'd only bowed to the need of replacing a bad knee with an artificial joint when previous surgeries had failed to fix it..... This kind of was almost a slap in the face for them, really.
"That was then....this is now," the son of Eric Jones says simply, "Medical science was able to safely install it...and I like the stuff I can do with it. Things change....as you can well see by the new body I have now....."
"Wasn't like I tried to talk him into it," Eric said to the still distraught Pinis, "But it's his right and he knew the cost it'd had on his budding magical talent....."
Indeed, Eric had almost drawn pictures to spell it out back then.....but his son still followed in his footsteps (to be a better mechanical genius).....
The Pinis look at each other, bow to the fact that these real life folk shouldn't be expected to follow the storyline.
"Sorry if we insulted you....it just took us by surprise," Wendy finally said.
"None taken," Eric's son said, nodding.
Richard, trying to sort out himself, coughed and then turned to another topic.
"So....Ti'mma," he begins, trying to be friendly, "How's Skywise? Has....anything?....."
"Ah....sorry," the young elfin girl sighed, remembering that in the comic book there had been speculation about her and 'Skywise' getting together as a couple, "I never met him, all eight of them, fell for various others, including some of my analogous sisters....."
Most of the ex-Wolfriders had up to eight versions of themselves from time fracturing. She herself was unique in having eight other selves like her (eight other sisters). She'd been the one who'd been up in the new Palace of the High Ones when Rayek merged his Palace with her's....destroying everything. She'd only survived through a freak set of circumstances, a burned out slab of flesh who'd the Rules and Agents had transformed into the elfin baby girl known as Ti'mma and given her to her parents so long ago (re: 10187). Being as she was, it kind of made falling for Skywise unlikely, since she'd never met him before.....
she explained all this the best she could (as confusing as it was), and Richard nodded....saying that he was glad that Ti'mma had gotten healed and all....and hoped whoever she did fall for in the future would be a "good catch."
"So do I.....and it will....that's how elven hearts of Terra Prime work," she says, smiling a slightly fey smile.
6/2/2001 6:48:37 AM
The Never Ending Quest Home
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