MISC: The Girl Who Saved the World Part 47
phillies at 4liberty.net
Sat Jul 30 12:46:01 PDT 2016
So you're immune to poison? And you have a headache. It's a shame
aspirin is poisonous.
The Invisible Fortress
January 13, 2018
I’d be even more delighted to say that on the third day I was fully
recovered. Not hardly. Not with the amount of damage I’d taken. The
healing matrix was doing all it could, including prodding me to eat
more, a request I was happy to honor. At least all my teeth were in the
right places. Regrowing teeth is really unpleasant.
However, it was day three after I left the Maze, so all the bruises were
vigorously reminding me of their existence. That’s what day three is
like, the time of maximum discomfort. The matrix changes how fast you
heal, but some matters remain the same. I felt like I had a really bad
case of flu, something I only know because I can read other people’s minds.
I was sore, stiff despite morning exercises, and half-inclined to go
back to sleep. The worst part of being uncomfortable was that I could
do very little about it. Mind control on yourself is fine for averting
severe pain, but awareness of all the discomfort is tied into the
healing process. It’s part of how the matrix knows part of what needs
The ungifted trick of aspirin and warm tea does not help. After all,
having a good set of gifts does mean you are mostly immune to being
poisoned. I assume Mum was teasing when she told me not to try breathing
nerve gas just to show that I could. I knew perfectly well that I could,
but saw no reason to take a chance on it, if I didn’t have to. Immune to
poisons, though, also means that drugs like aspirin and codeine don’t
work on me, so minor aches and pains are something I have to live with.
The chemicals in coffee are kind of at the edge. Like I said, it’s a
while until I discover if chocolate matches the fairy tales about it.
Breakfast was things that were not much work to cook. I finally
remembered to turn on the television,and then very much wished I hadn’t.
There was the League Peace Executive in its chamber. The ambassadors
weren’t screaming at each other,which made their words all the more
frightening. Half the Great Powers were promising to send personae to
attack me, so soon as I was found, no matter where in the world I was at
the time. In particular, no matter if I were found inside the territory
of another Great Power. The other half of the Great Powers were saying
that if the personae of another Power showed up to attack me, in their
territory, they would come to my defense. My vigorous and violent
defense. Discussion went downhill from there.
The video had a post-meeting interview with League Chancellor Holmgren.
He was not in a good mood. No, he was outraged. I didn’t do what he
said I should. He’d put a price on my head. Two hundred tons of gold.
Life loan of the Mona Lisa. A bunch of noble titles. I listened
carefully to that one. The Celestial Empire only gives titles to its
own citizens. Austria-Hungary was prominent for its complete absence.
I had assumed that people would be grateful that I had recovered the
Namestone. Instead, they were preparing to start wars over me. An
argument about which approach should be used to execute me, the Aztecan
god-feeding ceremony being discussed at some length as a closer, was a
tiny bit dismaying. I am perfectly happy to believe that priests of
Huitzilipochtili can flay someone alive without killing them,
preparatory to frying them and then cutting their still-beating heart
out, but I don’t need them to prove it by doing it to me.
I finished my breakfast, strongly considered putting some more
pear-raisin compote in the microwave, and decided that I should check on
my cats and horses first. I did that yesterday, mentalically, and I
could tell from their minds that everything was fine. Everything, of
course, except they missed having seen me. I rinsed everything and
dropped it into the dishwasher.
I felt awful, but Medico said I should stop whining, that exercise would
be good for me. At the back closet I changed into my barn-cleaning
clothes. Bending over to slip on my heavy outdoor socks and sneakers
reminded me of some of my bruises. It reminded me a lot. However, I
wore black sneakers. No girl in America would be caught dead in black
sneakers. White sneakers? That was totally different. Sometimes I don’t
quite understand that sort of thinking. Actually, almost all the time I
don’t understand that sort of thinking. I slipped into my heavy, loose
windbreaker, my right arm complaining loudly even though I was very
careful, and dropped into a paper bag four apples, two big chunks of
maple sugar, and some cat treats. It was cold enough I could pull up
the hood on the windbreaker without looking suspicious. That was enough
to hide my hair.
The barn was two hundred yards from my house. I did it at a slow walk.
The realtor had apologized profusely to the person he thought was my
mother for the bad layout. He was actually speaking to me. Fortunately,
I’m in a state where lawyers never got involved in conveyancing. When it
came time for everyone to sign the papers, the title insurance people
confirmed the past owner had signed, they thought they witnessed my
mother signing, and we were done. I signed. I paid for it, after all.
It’s truly wonderful how putting down the cash in advance, a good chunk
in silver cartwheels and gold thalers, makes people agreeable,
especially when you offered a bit more than the asking price. Not too
much more, not enough to make anyone suspicious, just enough that you
could say “I really want your house. And I wouldn’t dream of
interrupting your vacation on Pago Pago. The embassy can witness your
signing, and the people here can witness mine.” Everyone was happy,
especially after I paid the closing costs.
There had been a time, right after mom threw me out of the house, when I
was panicked about where I would get money. Fortunately I already had
another persona ready. Pointelisme flew, teleported, was very good at
long-range telepathy, had extremely solid force fields, and was very
good with tools, just like me. After all, she is me. Close-in solar
observatories run into technical problems, but very few persona are
comfortable flying into the solar corona to fix them. The people who
hired me could tell I was completely comfortable with viewing the sun at
a million miles. I did not mention that I was completely comfortable
because three months ago Mum and I had flown to the core of the sun just
to see what was there. I got to use ultravision to look at the solar
deep structures. Yes, I have a real headache afterward, but I can use
ultravision. Notwithstanding the dozen past technical human
civilizations that have studied them, people really do not understand
what the solar core structures are, other than that they are highly
regular, huge, not made of physical matter, and gradually change in time.
A reasonable solar observatory costs five billion dollars to construct,
another billion dollars to get into low solar orbit even with persona
help, and tends to break down. The people who hired me were delighted to
pay a large sum of money in cash, provide me with the tools, and walk me
through everything I would need to do. Pointelisme’s garb is opaque
everywhere, not to mention not vaguely formfitting. They had no idea who
I am. Everything worked almost perfectly, except half the bolts were
seriously stuck. It is truly wonderful what telekinesis can do to
amplify the torque your screwdriver is applying, in a way which
absolutely for sure will not damage the head of the screw. I switched
out bad modules for good modules, looked carefully at everything to see
if anything else was going wrong – rather I looked carefully and the
three people watching through my eyes checked if anything else was going
wrong – and came back to earth. I now have in my subbasement an
extremely large amount of cold cash. Cartwheels and gold thalers are so
much better than bank transfers or paper money. If you are careful to
heat treat them, there is absolutely no way they can be traced, which is
why vast numbers of people insist on using them.
It was a perfectly respectable walk out to the barn, and would’ve been
considerably more of a walk if we had had a half-foot of snow. I say
‘barn’ but the lower level is a three-and-a-fraction-sided shelter,
while the top level is enclosed. The land is low enough that we do not
get snow very often, never more than a half foot, and besides snow
shoveling is superb exercise. Snow does mean that the horses prefer that
I feed them. I spotted my Appaloosas in the lower pasture grazing. That
pasture had gone to seed in the fall, so they would have had plenty to
eat, even if there had been two feet of snow on the ground.
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