8FOLD: Mighty Medley # 18, June 2015, by Messrs. Brenton, Perron, Russell, and Stokes

Andrew Perron pwerdna at gmail.com
Sat Jun 6 11:27:26 PDT 2015

On 6/6/2015 7:59 AM, Tom Russell wrote:
> "Collateral Security" by Andrew Perron
> Being that the preceding four stories tended toward despair and dark
> magicks, it is only fitting that we leave you with magick of the most
> delightful sort. Shall we dance?

A note on this one: I was inspired by Age of Ultron, and turning an incidental 
moment into a career.

> One morning last year, he
> woke up and it was there. He remembers thinking, It's not a tattoo; it
> burned and itched and pulsed and breathed, like a living thing.

Man, that must have been a great party.

> The hours aren't bad, benefits package
> is very nice. He's coming up on six months, and is actively being
> groomed for management of Q-and-A.

Oh well that's ni--

>     Q-and-A handles interrogations and, occasionally, reconditioning.

Oh god D:

>     "Donald," she says. How does she
>     "When you were a kid, you had a dog, and you named her Donald.
> People thought you had said Donna, but no, it was Donald. You felt,
> and you still do, that Donald is an exemplary name, the perfect name
> for any occasion.


> You're one of us. Not just a mancer. But a part of the
> circle. You're here undercover. You wiped you own memories to keep
> yourself safe, and to keep me safe.  And Beth.

Oh snap. o.o This is fascinating - I really love the "super-secret 
super-manipulative cabal being immediately out-secreted" thing.

> Now, when
> you wipe my mind, you need to wipe it clean. Not just the last six
> hours. Everything."

Oh man. o.o

>     "I'll live."
>     "No, you won't," says Donald gently.
>     "I won't, and I will," says Lieke. "There's a reason why I'm the
> one on this mission.

Oh maaaaaaaaaaan. o.o This is RAD.

> The third act begins with the renegade Nazi necromancer Marcus Oustler
> sitting on a train heading northwards from the town of Rotewald.


> He had tired himself with those activities, but by his reckoning he
> should have been unable to replenish himself because of the resulting
> drop of magical energy in the arcanosphere. Instead he was expecting a
> lengthier period of mundane rest. Yet only a few hours after
> destroying the Nindenheim camp he once again felt alert and active.

Hmmmmmm. It feels like he should worry/think more about that - but then, you 
only have so much room.

>     What Marcus had discovered had appalled him. It wasn't just the
> otherwise mundane diseases that were appearing as a result of
> super-natural vectors. It was that, *and* the people contracting
> lycanthropy (both the ones suffering from the psychiatric delusion as
> well as the ones who were physically transforming into wolves - and
> worse). And the birth defects that were cropping up, some of them
> producing monsters that had survived the birthing process and had
> escaped to prey on the unwary. And the spontaneous human combustions.
> And the rise of the hordes of zombies in the East. And the list went
> on.

Interesting. I think I got a bit confused - this is happening in the "real 
world" present day, or in the Nazified world, or...?

>     Marcus was worried that the world was entering a new age of
> monsters, and that humanity might not survive. Or worse, that even if
> it did survive it might be reduced to nothing more than the livestock
> for an emergent aristocracy of vampires.

Hm. I feel like that's supposed to be a dramatic reveal, but it feels more like 
his train of thought has just kept going on in whatever direction it will. `.`

> With a single, powerful undulation of her wires, the Librarian yanked
> Fn'ordh off balance. With the reverse motion, she slammed him into the
> cavern floor, flat on his back - with a meaty *thud* that, under more
> dramatic circumstances, might have caused the floor to crater.

WHAMMO! Did I say this is good description, because it is

> A feeling like liquid fire - which he knew all too well  -

I'm betting this is, like, one of those things you eat a ton of in your first 
year of college and get sick of and then never eat again.

>     Fn'ordh despised the idea of submission to another, as did most
> daemons.  Even in circumstances like these, he still chafed at the
> thought, even more so than at the wires impaling him - physical
> discomforts were but a temporary annoyance, after all, for an
> effectively immortal being. It was a trait that seemed to be hardwired
> into all daemons, one that drove their trickster-like behavior and
> seemingly needless cruelty towards their summoners. The only reason
> they put up with contracts of any sort, ultimately, was to gain access
> to the physical realm; even if it was merely temporary, even if they
> were unwelcome by anyone's standards, even if they had to enslave
> themselves to come here for such brief windows of time - even then, it
> was all worth the trouble.

I love insight into the motivations of such beings. <3 And especially the idea 
of access to physicality as a reward.

>     Talk. Yes. Fn'ordh could deal with talking, for one because it
> didn't involve him getting kicked around any more than he already had.
> It also meant he had time to recover his strength, time to regenerate,
> time to formulate a plan to-
>     -to do /what/, exactly? Take this monster by surprise somehow?
> Escape and get resummoned later for another beatdown? No, he was
> beaten and cornered quite neatly this time, no matter how much he
> wanted to deny it.

That's always painful.

> The fence upon inspection was rotted; the stream, muddied; the cattle, as
> sinister as Peake's inconstant steed, which curled away like smoke as
> soon as Peake and his captive had dismounted.

I'm just imagining shifty-looking cows with heavy eyebrows and little goatees.

>     Skin of Snake dismounted his horse. He left Adams slumped across
> it, and started to lead the horse toward the gate. Peake clicked his
> teeth: "Horse stays outside. Boss don't like any horses but his at
> Thebes. There's at least one horse in these parts that's peculiar.
> Makes the boss jumpy."
>     Smiling Horse, most-like, but "Brad Clay" wouldn't know that, so
> Skin of Snake didn't say another word about it.

Heh heh heh. Peculiar is one world for it.

Andrew "NO .SIG MAN" "Juan" Perron, peliculas?

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