StarFall: Spellbinder #1: "Take This Job and Shove It"

Andrew Perron pwerdna at
Thu Dec 16 12:50:40 PST 2010

On Dec 15, 7:12 pm, William Strickland <indomitable.will... at>
> The Spectacular Adventures of Spellbinder, Mystic Defender of the
> Earth Dimension!

Innnnnnnteresting.  Let's see.

> "MEN!" screamed Medusa, although nobody understood her because she was
> speaking a form of Greek that had been dead on Earth for over two
> millennia. "All those damned MEN!" A set of power lines went down,
> dropping stone fragments across the road as traffic began to grind to
> a halt and people began to flee the ancient monster before them. A
> post office box was uprooted and thrown after them, landing and
> rolling along in a lopsided gait, just to make sure the point got
> across that the woman with the mane of snakes was unhappy.

This is neat, and an aspect of Medusa that we don't get to see much.
(Mind you, most female characters in Greek myths would have cause to
similarly rant, except for the ones who were manipulators *of* men.)

> I'm not really a therapist or anything, I don't know how this stuff
> works. Well, I didn't then anyway. But we'll get there eventually.

This is awkwardly phrased.  But then again, maybe it's supposed to be.

> "Yeah," said the floating wizard as she de-stoned the petrified SUV
> and rolled it over with casual ease, displaying strength well beyond
> human.

Weird switch to third-person in this section, by the way.  Yet it
feels natural later on, in the "origin of Spellbinder" segments.  I
think it's because here, it switches from first to third to first
while talking about the same events.

> After a bit of cajoling, he obliged and I popped the top off the case
> and let the newt out. Tracing patterns and chanting under my breath, I
> invoked the power that would remedy this little problem. "By the Law
> of Valcaan, Obeyed to the Letter; 'Es turned into a Newt, Now Make Him
> Get Better!"

Heeheehee.  I wonder if this is a case where it doesn't really matter
what the words were, or if the entity she's invoking simply has a
silly sense of humor?

> Anyway. After the police left, Miles slapped me on the rear. "Thank
> ye, sugar-cakes," he said smugly. "Yer a real life-saver, ye are.
> Dunnoo what I'd do witout' ye. No off wit'cha, I got stuff tae do." I
> fought down the urge to punch him right out the window; beating up the
> ancient faerie trickster for being a jerk wasn't part of the job
> description. It so needed to be in the job description, but it wasn't.

The leprechaun's lines are great - so evocative that I'm not sure if
the rest of the paragraph even needs to be there.

> Flying was pretty much the only way to get it;
> this was fine because I loved and still love to fly. You would too.
> Trust me, it's great.

I love this kind of thing.  Pure enjoyment.

> Fun fact; nearly a third of the Continental United States is owned by
> the federal government. Another fun fact; there's no way in hell they
> can keep track of that much land, especially in the more treacherous
> high altitude forests.

A nice bit of extrapolation!

> I put some logs in the fireplace and focused my mighty willpower on
> them until they ignited. I love saying 'mighty willpower'. You should
> try it yourself sometime.

Miiiiiigh-ty willpower! *hee hee hee*

> I didn't need the fire for warmth - a few
> years back I'd had a family gathering that had changed me forever, and
> one of the changes was that I was comfortable in pretty much any
> natural earthly environment, from Death Valley to Antarctica.

Ahhhhh, so there's an origin before the origin.  Neat!

> "The other thing," said the goat-horned man, "Is the existence of a
> nonspatial library on Earth."
> Zeus frowned. "Explain,"he demanded impatiently.
> A somewhat amorphous blob-creature, also in a lab coat, chimed in.
> "They call it 'the internet'. The simplest way to explain it would
> be... imagine a library. Where it is isn't important. What's important
> is that anyone with the right kind of book can read anything from that
> library, no matter where they are. They can also write anything into
> the library, again no matter where they are."

That is a *great* way of expressing the fuction and the awesomeness of
the Internet.

> Zeus frowned. Realm Nine was one of the divine realms of the Earth
> Dimension. Like Olympus and Asgard, it was populated of being of
> immense power and, at least in some corners, few scruples. It also had
> its share of do-gooders, which the Olympians actually tended to get
> more trouble from. It had never been directly connected to Earth
> itself prior to the recent Quake, however. He couldn't know what this
> portended; he made a note to confer with Athena as soon as she was on
> speaking terms with him again.

Hm.  So, wait, who comes from Realm Nine?  A traditional mythic
pantheon, or something else?

> "One more thing," added the god. "This... 'internet'. Does it have
> erotic literature in it?"

Wonk wonk waa~

> "Yes!" she said, posing again. "A /prophecy!/"
> "Okay, right. A prophecy. About what?"
> "Dark times of... trouble... and..."
> I sighed. "You don't have a prophecy, do you."

Hm.  On the one hand, this doesn't feel like an alien mindset at all.
On the other hand, it's very entertaining.

> "And you never thought about what it meant, did you? You
> never thought that you'd be /'defending' /the mortals of Earth?
> That /'protecting'/ them from magic would mainly be keeping them from
> poking their noses where they didn't belong? That /'shielding'/ them
> from 'ancient monsters'" - here she laughed, knowing that she was
> included in this heading - "would mean keeping them from picking a /
> fight/ with them? It's never occurred to you that /slaves/ are always
> 'safe' as long as their masters are happy, hm?

Well, I-- huh?  That last line doesn't seem to fit.

> I wasn't protecting reality from the beings
> of magic; I was protecting the beings of magic from reality. In
> reality, if you turn people into newts and destroy property by turning
> it to stone, there's /consequences/to your actions! You pay for the
> damage you did, or you fix it, or both. But not when I'm around, oh
> no! Not when you can rely on Spellbinder, Mystic Defender of the Earth
> Dimension. Then you just get a firm lecture (and come ON, who doesn't
> just turn their ears off when listening to a firm lecture?) and then
> you go back to your literally charmed life.

The thing is, here, I'm thinking back to the example with Maddy, who
really doesn't seem like she needs - or deserves - something harsher
than that.  It certainly didn't sound like she was turning her ears
off when chatting with Chelsea - indeed, it looked like she was taking
the advice to heart.

But I'm wondering if this is deliberate - if Spellbinder's bitterness
is going to lead her to going to the opposite extreme, and if she's
going to learn a lesson about finding a balance between the needs of
humanity and the needs of the magical world.

One way or the other, we'll see, I very much hope!  This is good

Andrew "NO .SIG MAN" "Juan" Perron, woosplosion!

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