DIVA/WISP: Time Enough For Tea #4
deucexm at gmail.com
Mon Jun 5 22:42:42 PDT 2017
Teatime is nearing its end, but there will be more of these characters, that
much is certain. I like them both far too much to just let them go by the
Anyway, here's some more stuff that's a reflection of my own deeply personal
matters, as most of my present writing seems to be. Hmmm.
TIME ENOUGH FOR TEA: A DiVerse Alpha Chronicle
by Colin Stokes
"Pureheart, you say," Critical Eye murmured softly, staring at her tea - her eyes
open now. "I don't think I deserve a name like that."
"Don't you?" Laurel returned with a smile. "Everyone is thankful for what you do
here, how you've devoted yourself to defending this world from the terrors of the
Void and the trespasses of the Empire. Is it not that knowledge that sustains
you, even without other support?"
The lady let out a quiet sigh. "Maybe. But it's not /enough/. I'm really just
taking up space until there's a crisis for me to handle. I don't even deserve the
thanks I get; the words always feel so... hollow."
"What if I told you," Laurel began - ever so delicately - "that you can, in fact,
take action in a very significant way? And more, that you are the only person who
can do anything in this situation?"
Critical Eye raised an eyebrow. "'Only'?"
Laurel smiled brightly. "In a practical sense. The nearest... 'representative',
I suppose, is far beyond my reach for the moment, and will likely remain so for
quite some time. Still, your personal choice is what matters most." They
clasped their hands together. "I won't force it upon you, but I do think it will
be more fulfilling than what you're doing now."
"Tell me about it, then." Critical Eye lifted the teacup and drank it to the last
drop, then leaned forward, listening intently.
Laurel's eyes sparkled. "The creatures of chaos-space that you battle. Where do
you suppose they come from? A single source, perhaps, one that you might be able
to cut off if you only knew where it was? If /that/ was true, why, you could let
Viverde's people focus entirely on their... relations with the Empire, instead of
fighting a constant battle on two fronts."
The lady maintained a neutral expression through all of this, except for the way
her mouth tightened just slightly at the corners. "Supposing that's true - then
what? What happens when I have no reason to be here? Because I don't need to
fight the Imperials, and I certainly don't /want/ to, either."
Resting a fingertip on their chin, Laurel smiled. "I suppose you'd be... free."
There was a long silent moment as Critical Eye pondered this, staring down at her
empty teacup. She looked back up at Laurel's still-smiling face. "Free..."
"I'd love to introduce you to my friends," Laurel continued brightly. "If you've
no idea what to do next, perhaps we could offer you some suggestions - or simply
point you in a favorable direction. If nothing else, you're more than welcome to
just stay with us for a while until you find what it is you want to do."
Critical Eye took a deep breath and let it out slowly, her satellites rotating
this way and that as she glanced around the chamber. She hadn't considered it a
prison, exactly, but she was starting to realize how attractive 'freedom' sounded;
how much the situation had weighed her down with the chains of obligation. "I'll
have to do a lot of explaining," she began, cautiously, "but... Laurel, I-" She
took another deep breath. "I want my staff back."
Laurel fairly beamed. "I was hoping you'd say that!"
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