Summary:Varanim gets in touch with the Doctor and works out a plan for him to look "Winter" over.


< May the Branches Bend to Shade Your Path | Sol Invictus Logs | I Am Aware of Your Perfidy >

`Varanim Sometime after the main group has broken up, Varanim puts an even larger than usual distance between herself and the Cascade before settling down on some withered marshland hilltop that Algorab liked the look of. She seats herself and extracts the mirror, frowning at it briefly before activating it again.

`Varanim "How have you been?"

`Doctor It takes even longer for the mirror to respond this time, and now what she gets is just shy of blackness instead: the doctor's olive-skinned face just barely lit from below by faint blue light, a jagged cut across his cheek dripping what, even tinged purplish-black in these lighting conditions, is clearly a great quantity of blood.

`Doctor "Less than well," he says, curtly.

`Varanim looks briefly surprised, then her eyes narrow. "I don't think anyone sun-flavored did that. Weather problems?"

`Doctor The Doctor laughs bitterly. "Let's call it that."

`Varanim "Anything I can do to help?" It would be a reasonable guess that she's being sarcastic, but if so it's a new weapons-grade super-sarcasm that is undetectable by radar.

`Doctor "Not presently, no." He runs one hand up to wipe blood from his cheek, although it's replaced almost immediately with more, and he frowns. "Why are you contacting me?"

`Varanim "Because Zahara has a lot more resources available for fixing her ancestor issues than I do for fixing my friend."

`Doctor The bleeding man nods very slightly. "Tell me more about the problem."

`Varanim "Sometime while I wasn't looking, he ran off and made himself technically a Deathlord so he could pull the puppet strings on their Solar friend who's now an Abyssal. Not content with that stupidity, he recently threw himself into the Pit to get rid of a few assorted plasmics, and--stop me if this one's a shock--came up funny peculiar instead of funny ha-ha."

`Doctor "That certainly sounds like a problem for you."

`Varanim "And yet, you haven't taken a rock to the mirror yet, which suggests there are things I could do to squeeze an opinion out of you."

`Doctor The Doctor smiles a bit more broadly, now. "I am, if anything, a man with a keen sense of what can be personally beneficial."

`Varanim "If this is one of those guessing game things, it might take a while, unless it's about my brownies. I promised Lucent those would never happen again."

`Doctor "First, I need to know exactly what you want from me. Exactly."

`Varanim Varanim's eyes go distant for a moment, as she sifts possibilities faster and more precisely than most people can hope to conceive of them. "I would want your best professional opinion about the kind of Essence changes caused in him by the Deathlord trick, and the types of structures that might root there when he was exposed to the Void. And any relevant personal reflections on the subject."

`Doctor The Doctor nods. "So... you wouldn't want me to, say, kill him and extract the unusual Essence patterns post-mortem."

`Varanim "If that was all I wanted, I'd do it myself, and I'm sure it'd be one of my more educational botches. I want you for your mind rather than your hands, if you'll excuse the shameless flirtation."

`Doctor The Doctor nods. "Then, in that case, I will perform a housecall for you once again: but I will require a specific payment, half upfront, no questions asked." His face starts out cheery but is grim by the end of his sentence.

`Varanim grimaces at the 'no questions' stipulation. "I'd suggest a spirit of universal scholarly brotherhood, but I'm too busy insulting Spring's intelligence today to go after yours."

`Varanim "What's the cost?"

`Doctor "I will require no less than four cubic meters of magical material, though the type is unimportant. I will need an environment in which to perform soul surgery, quietly and without interruption.

`Doctor I will require access to the energies of your manse in that place, which will be used for a non-destructive purpose that will leave no lasting effect. And I will require a airborne conveyance, untrapped and capable of high speeds, which I will make use of at the conclusion of my services and which will not be returned to you."

`Varanim "Hm." She's silent for several seconds, not bothering to hold an expression over the flat weariness on her face, then nods. "Do you need physical proximity to the manse, or just access to the stone?"

`Doctor "Either will be satisfactory, although it is likely that the stone would be destroyed in the process and need to reform."

`Varanim "How close a look will you need at Spring to form an opinion?"

`Doctor "Very close. I should be able to examine him for at least twenty minutes and have at least limited physical contact if necessary."

`Varanim "All right. I'll call again when I have your materials ready and the rest of it figured out. Strictly for planning my energy expenditures this month, is this something I'm likely to regret a lot, or only that little nagging amount that's like pretty butterflies of discontent every time I go to sleep?"

`Doctor The Doctor puts a finger and thumb to his chin as if to encourage himself into deep thought. "...somewhere in between, I expect?"

`Varanim "Ah, the one that's like indigestion from special noodle night. I can handle another two of those, yet." She nods in satisfaction, then signs off with a smirking, "Don't go out without your umbrella."

`Doctor "Don't forget to go in for your annual checkup," he says, and the mirror fades to normal once more.


< May the Branches Bend to Shade Your Path | Sol Invictus Logs | I Am Aware of Your Perfidy >

Page last modified on October 29, 2010, at 01:28 PM