Summary:Spring invites a new Deliberator in the process of gaining access to Greyfish's library.



< What I Am Promised | Sol Invictus Logs | Never Shouldst We Speak That Name >

Spring writes the call number of the book he is searching for in the sand, then waits for an hour, counting the waves as they lap against the shore. He then stands and looks down to see what the wind has made of his inscription.

Where once Spring's carefully drawn inscription stood, now there is only smudged sand -- and in it, the few unsmudged strokes making the unmissable shape of an arrow.

Doing a little mental geography, Spring quickly calculates that the nearest library in the pointed direction unquestionably falls in the city of Seven Carp's Eyes, in the southern Greyfish Archipelago.

Spring considers swimming there, but instead heads back to the group and charters a demon wasp. A quick hop later...

The city of Seven Carp's Eyes is a rather small, quaint island town, with blue-slate roofs on whitewashed stone buildings built at angles between the rolling cobbled streets that run up and down the many undulating hills underneath.

A pleasant town, it (like much of Greyfish) escaped the brunt of the warring and violence that marked the end of the First Age, and never fell to the fae or the dead, so much of the architecture remains from its original, ancient incarnation. Somewhere in the northeast of the city is the five-story building, red and white characters marking its driftwood-carved signs, that Spring recognizes immediately as the library.

Spring calmly walks towards the library, humming to himself.

The streets are reasonably well populated, and many passersby stop to give Spring an odd look as he passes through the streets.

It is not too far before he reaches the library that something in the back of his mind begins tingling, telling him he might want to pay attention to whatever is coming next....

Spring betrays no apparent concern, but his weight drops and his step shortens imperceptibly, as he prepares himself for violence.

It is a few moments later that a set of Greyfish guards, nattily dressed in their elegant and perfectly-tailored uniforms of navy and grey, step out from a nearby alley at precisely the right moment to stand in Spring's path.

"Halt," the first one says, relatively politely.

Spring halts. "Yes?"

"You are are the known citizen of a foreign sovereign power," the guard continues, again in a relatively amiable voice, "by what call have you set foot in Greyfish and why have you not reported your presence to the proper authorities, namely, ourselves?"

Spring "I am a scholar, and have come to Greyfish in search of a book that is necessary for my studies. As a representative of the Exalted Deliberative, it is also my honor to invite you to join us, should you be capable of producing a qualified representative of your own."

Spring "As to the authorities, I am afraid I did not encounter any before you, or I would assuredly have mentioned my presence to them, as I do now."

"Use of our library and the other fine resources of the elegantly appointed and Divinely blessed nation of Greyfish is limited to the sworn and justly upheld citizens of said nation," he says, speaking more swiftly but no less politely.

Spring "I am afraid such access is vital to the security of Creation. Who among you has the authority to make an exception?"

"I do," says a low, confident woman's voice, from a point well above where Spring is standing.

Spring glances upwards.

Spring sees, hanging out of the window of a nearby tower, a woman, greatly attractive and unique in appearance; long, wavy blue-green hair falls down in rivulets far past her head, while eyes like grey stone lit by sunlight passing through five-foot-deep seawater peer out of a smooth face like mother of pearl.

Stepping out of her window, the woman -- clad in a (literally) flowing seawater robe and tiny green slippers -- sets her foot upon the wall and slides gracefully down, until she lands ever so gently at its foot and begins walking slowly to where Spring and the guards stand.

Spring inclines his head politely. "Greetings. I am Long-Awaited Spring."

"D'ellenna," she says, extending a hand to shake.

Spring does so. "Charmed."


Spring "Will you make such an exception?"

"That depends," the woman says, a wry smile creeping up her face. "Why should I?"

Spring "For one thing, as I have mentioned, the security of Creation, and all our lives and the lives of all that lives, may well depend on it."

Spring "For another, I am asking politely."

D'ellenna laughs. "Ah, is that how it works," she says. "If I asked politely to borrow your Hematite Legion for the weekend, you would just hand it over, no questions asked?"

Spring "The Hematite Legion is not a book."

Spring "However..."

Spring "To a member of the Exalted Deliberative, of course, it is the work of a moment to requisition military intervention when it becomes necessary."

"Hmmm," she says. "You do seem very enthusiastic about this Deliberative of yours."

Spring "I enjoy living."

"But you do not enjoy having your freedom compromised, which is what confuses me about your professed membership."

Spring cocks his head. "Have you heard of me?"

Spring "I have learned that we must all make sacrifices in order to do what is necessary."

She laughs again. "Interesting," she says. "You're not quite like I expected."

Spring "What did you expect, D'ellenna?"

"Someone more obnoxious." She looks somewhat satisfied that he's nicer than advertised, but a little disappointed that they did not wind up sparring.

Spring "I used to be someone more obnoxious."

Spring "Things changed."

Spring "Shall we proceed to the library?"

D'ellenna takes a moment to look Spring up and down. "What else are you going to offer me here, besides the purely hypothetical aid of an army at a moment's notice?"

Spring "And membership in the Deliberative?"

Spring "What else would you like?"

She crosses her arms. "An advantage," she says. "Everyone else and their brother here in the West came begging you to join, but I think you want more people on board because it legitimizes your operation. So," she says -- as she starts walking idly closer to the library, and the guardsmen seem to fall back to let Spring join her -- "I want you to smooth my way into the projects I want in on, once I join."

Spring "Which projects would those be?"

"Ah-ah," she says. "You want this book, don't you?"

Spring "I do, madam, but not enough to agree to support you on anything within your presumably vivid imagination."

Spring "If I were to agree to that, would you really believe me?"

"You raise an excellent point," she says, and stops at the door of the library. "We have business interests," she says, more haughtily, "like making sure people can actually reach our island. Just because they've joined your Deliberative doesn't mean our neighbors have all decided to play nice with naval traffic destined here," she concludes, "and I want a position to put the screws to them, if I need to."

Spring "Mm."

Spring "I can support you in passing such resolutions as will ensure the safety of your nation against pirates."

Spring "I note, in passing, that the Deliberative possesses the largest extant fleet of sky-cruisers, and has already begun major merchant operations using them."

D'ellenna stands aside and gestures broadly to the doors of the library. "By all means, then," she says, "as an honored member of the Deliberative, please make use of whatever you wish from our library."

Spring nods, and turns around to leave.

D'ellenna's jaw drops wide open. "You're... not even going to go in?"

Spring "It is the thought that counts, madam."

< What I Am Promised | Sol Invictus Logs | Never Shouldst We Speak That Name >

Page last modified on March 16, 2009, at 08:36 PM