MISC: The Girl Who Saved the World Part 53

George Phillies phillies at 4liberty.net
Thu Nov 24 00:09:04 PST 2016

I have a major rewrite ongoing.  I am largely done with a colleague's 
research monograph, on which I am doing an intensive line edit. Ten book 
pages a day of line edit. especially when I am inserting scientific 
questions -- it is a book on polymer dynamics -- is actually a lot of work.

  Chapter Nine

The InvisibleFortress


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 
fixing. 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 video, 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.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. 
To the barn was well downhill. 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.

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