Summary:Riordan has some choice words for Zahara on his perception of her.



< First Class | Sol Invictus Logs | A War In The Dark >

zahara sits down on the small, relatively simple bench, and looks around herself. The flowers from Malfaes bloom in all their alien splendor, contrasting with the thorough normalcy of the landscape beyond, barely visible from her viewpoint.

Riordan Zahara's faerie friend pops out from around a corner, his jet-black hair still bound in many-length braids with colorful silk scarves and his skin still marble-white, but his Court dress replaced with an oddly arranged selection of Sunlands fashions,

Riordan as if someone had carefully selected only the most local and unquestionably distinct items and combined them all into one incredibly unique ensemble. "Zahara," he says, leaning forward on his hands onto the back of the bench opposite her.

zahara looks up, tilts her head a little as she takes in his newest outfit, and smiles. "Hello, Riordan. What brings you here this morning?"

Riordan "A stroll in the garden," he says, and with an oddly fluid motion he hops the bench, sliding perfectly into a seated position on it.

zahara "Fair enough." She twirls one of the blooms she'd picked between her fingers. "It's pleasant here. Not many people know about it."

Riordan "I like to know exactly what swells the tempers of the land, in each place I lay my head," he says, leaning back casually on his bench.

zahara "And what have you found here in Solaria?"

Riordan "A hidden pool, of auspicious shape and size, that gathers the first light of morning. A tree that, although its farmer knows not, produces the best apples in Meru, two years out of every three. A rock, with an interesting and unique bug underneath it." He laughs.

zahara gives him a somewhat puzzled look. "Did you find what you were looking for?"

Riordan "You could say so," he says, bring his arms up to stretch out casually across the backboard of the bench.

zahara nods and leans back on her bench, gazing up at the sky. "Always good to get what you want. Perhaps I shall visit these small wonders some time."

Riordan Riordan nods. "I doubt very that you take enough time off, Zahara."

Riordan *very much

zahara "No, Rio... there is too much to do. I should not even be here, really."

Ssithumi leans forward, folding his hands in front of him as he does, and failing to push the small strand of hair that tumbles forward in front of his face away. "Like what, Zahara? What is truly so important?"

zahara "I have to... protect the Sunlands. To rebuild everything. Keep the Deliberative running smoothly. Figure out how to get rid of certain people. The list is neverending."

Riordan "Hmmm," he says, unfolding his hands to rub his chin in thought. "So which of these have you rendered impossible today, by coming to sit here for the afternoon? Which deserving soul will now be cast into the abyss, paying the ultimate price for your hubristic moment of relaxation?"

zahara "I'll find that out when I get back to the Cascade," she says darkly.

Riordan "I rather doubt it," he says. "The day is beautiful! The sun" -- he pauses, looks up at it, and makes a bit of a face -- "what is left of it, at least, is shining; the breeze is cool and fragrant. No one is damned today." He leans back on his bench again. "But nonetheless, you worry."

zahara "The Sun is on my list too." She sighs. "I do wonder sometimes what would happen if I just let it all happen without interfering."

Riordan "That raises my true question," he says. "Why do you interfere?"

zahara "Because... " she trails off. "Because it was my dream to build this, to be remembered."

Riordan Riordan raises an eyebrow. "To be remembered. A life of three thousand years, and already you look to what will come after. Why?"

zahara "You should know. You live for stories."

Riordan "Ah!," he says, with a sudden flourish "But at the beginning of every story, there is a different cause. For when you have heard as many stories as I, often the story itself begins to blur -- and it is what lies behind the story that draws the attention."

zahara shrugs, cracking her knuckles. "I am a Solar. It was a choice of hiding from the hunters forever or carving out a piece of the world for my own. Hate and be hated."

Riordan "But your piece is carved out," he says. "It is not the need to survive that drives you now."

zahara "Momentum, maybe. And lists."

Ssithumi shakes his head softly. "I... I think it is more than that."

zahara gestures silently for him to expound.

Riordan "I have seen the state of this shaped world," he says, leaning back again, this time with his hands behind his head in a self-satisfied manner. "There are not many earthly paradises, or cities where every citizen is fed, or empires in which spilling a drop of innocent blood will bring down the vengeance of the Empress herself."

zahara "I am given to understand there were more in the First Age."

Riordan "Fewer than you might think," he says.

zahara "Ironic, isn't it? That it should be my empire that is the most pleasant to live in?"

Riordan "Is it?" he says. "What did you dream of as a child, Zahara?"

zahara "What do the dreams of a child matter? They are long forgotten."

Riordan "Not to one such as I," he says. "A child dreams with more ferocity and strength than all but the most determined amongst those who have grown," he says. "In a shaped world, they are surprisingly free."

zahara "One of your kind," she snaps, "is the reason those dreams are dead and gone."

Riordan "And many of your kind are why so few places exist in this world where the innocent are protected and the virtuous are safe," he says, clearly expecting this line of attack, "yet you have created the Sunlands. We are each our own animal, Zahara, and I will tell you what I think: neither you nor I the type that tears down and laughs at the ashes. Not truly."

zahara "I created the most efficient way of gathering and maintaining power over mortals. They have no reason to rise up against me and what do I get? The Broken Suns. It doesn't matter whether I build up or tear down, it all becomes ashes in the end."

Riordan "You don't really think that," he says quietly.

zahara "What do I think?"

Riordan "I'm not quite certain, yet. But for you to think what you just said..." he pauses for a moment. "Cerin would have had to have not come back."

zahara looks down at the somewhat mauled blossom in her hand. "Cerin deserves better."

Riordan "Cerin could leave at any moment, and you would never be able to find him," he says. "He could go anywhere in Creation, have any woman, or all of them, without a moment's thought. But he stays here, regardless."

zahara "Sometimes," she manages a small, wry smile, "he's not so bright."

Riordan "Hahahaha," he says. "Maybe not, maybe not." He grins. "I have my eye on you, Zahara Zhan."

zahara "Is that a promise, or a threat?"

Riordan "Which will serve as a better motivation?" he asks, a wry grin on his face.

zahara "An excellent question. You'll have to use your amazing mind-reading powers to deduce it yourself."

Riordan "And I shall be sure to do so." He stands up and smooths the creases of his outfit in a slightly showy fashion. "It has been a pleasure to run into you here today, Zahara."

zahara "Tell me, if you were me, and decided to take the day off, what would you do?"

Riordan Riordan grins. "I'd go to the sun-pool I mentioned, not too far from here, for a swim... and I'd make someone pack me a picnic lunch."

zahara laughs. "I'll take it under advisement."

Riordan "I am glad that you will," he says, and smiles.

< First Class | Sol Invictus Logs | A War In The Dark >

Page last modified on March 16, 2009, at 08:37 PM