DIVA/WISP: Time Enough For Tea #2

deucexm deucexm at gmail.com
Mon May 29 09:54:35 PDT 2017

Well, still working on actual content generation, but the bitesize part of 
things at least is working out well enough.  I'm trying to do less obsessing 
about making everything absolutely perfect the first time around, so some of 
this hasn't been through the usual review process - but so be it.  Progress.

Also I have been wanting tea as I've been writing this.  Dreadful, really.

TIME ENOUGH FOR TEA: A DiVerse Alpha Chronicle 
by Colin Stokes 


"Tea," Critical Eye said flatly.

"Oh yes!" Laurel returned cheerily.  "It's my own blend."  They regarded the 
black-suited figure with a smile, and pressed their gloved hands together for a 
moment - then pulled them apart, a glowing purple sigil floating between them.

Some of her satellites shifted to get a better look, but Critical Eye still 
didn't recognize the shape at all.  "And what've you got there?" she inquired 

By way of reply, Laurel simply moved one hand to the side and let the sigil go; 
it fell like a snowflake, drifting lazily from side to side as it descended, 
until it touched the chamber's metal floor.  Then lines of purple light exploded 
upward from it, like a plant growing in time-lapse video, and formed a 
delicate-looking table and two chairs to go with it.  As the sigil flickered and 
faded out, the table and chairs solidified into white metalwork (with pink 
floral-print cushions for the chairs), and Laurel stepped over and took a seat.  
"I'll have the tea ready in just a moment," they promised with another of those 
smiles.  "Care to join me?"

"I've seen some crazy things in my time, but never anything quite like that," 
Critical Eye murmured, pulling the chair out cautiously and sitting on it - 
lightly at first, then resting her entire weight on the soft cushion with a 
little sigh.  "What sort of magitech do you use to make furniture, anyway?  It 
seems a bit... I dunno, excessive."

"But it's a lovely place to sit, isn't it?" Laurel returned with a laugh.  "And 
that wasn't magitech, Ms. Eye, it was simply magic.  Conjuration, specifically; 
you might say I'm a practitioner of the old ways.  But we're not here to talk 
about me," they added with a little wave of their hand, before giving a quiet 
clap and producing another, smaller sigil.

Critical Eye blinked a few times as the sigil turned into a kettle and tea set in 
short order.  "What do you want to know about me, Laurel?  I mean, public affairs 
has my biography, doesn't it?"

Laurel shook a small package from one sleeve and dropped it into the kettle.  
"Well, there's more to your story than just that, I should think.  I was hoping 
we could talk about your staff."

The auburn-haired lady's face paled in an instant.  "I don't /have/ a staff," she 
said, very slowly and deliberately.

"That's why I'm here," Laurel returned delicately, the scent of citrus and exotic 
spice starting to waft from the kettle.  "You /had/ a staff, once; they made you 
give it up, that's all."

"It was for the best," Critical Eye half-whispered, staring at the table.  "It 
was supposed to be... how do you even /know/ about that?!" she demanded sharply, 
looking up at her guest.

"Because I am Laurel, of the Lost Order," came the reply.  "The misplaced, the 
forgotten, the thrown away; all these and more are the dominion of me and my 
companions."  They smiled peacefully once more.  "And your staff still has your 
name engraved on it, Ms. Celia Ermine."

There was a long silence as the lady leaned forward, resting her head in her hands.

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