First Intermission 37

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{{pager int|38|First_Intermission}}
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{{pager int|37|First_Intermission}}
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'''Turns since TBfGK: 19'''
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'''Turns since TBfGK: 18'''
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It was eight flights up, 128 steps, from the library to the Situation Room. Parson was leading the [[Foolamancer]], who seemed not to notice the labored pace of their progress. After three weeks of climbing and clambering, his legs were really starting to tighten up. Living in a stone [[tower]] was never going to be fun, though. At least this was the last flight. He could see the top.
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The [[Signamancy|Signs]] were all over [[Jillian Zamussels|her]]. It was interesting to see. Her hair was just a little longer every turn. Her cheeks were just a bit rounder. She was losing muscle tone, but acquiring a grace in her posture.
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"[[Jack Snipe|Jack]], do you remember what you did... to project the battle table... when you were linked up?" he asked between breaths, as they plodded slowly upward. Last flight. Last flight.
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It gave [[Vinny Doombats|Vinny]] some hope that she wouldn't [[croak]] him when she understood what he was asking.
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"I remember doing it, [[Warlord|Lord]]. But I don't remember how. If that makes sense." Jack frowned quizzically. "Does it? I often have trouble..."
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He'd never actually seen anyone before and after they became a [[Ruler]]. Like anything, it changed you. The [[Signamancer]]s claimed that all [[Stuff]] was [[Foolamancy]]. Our bodies and all the things we see and touch were supposed to only be [[Sign]]s: symbols of their true nature. Vinny didn't know about all that, but a person's appearance was definitely a Sign. It told you how they think about themselves. And how others see them.
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But Parson understood. "Yeah. Sure," he said. "Like, I remember doing trigonometry in high school. But I'm not sure I could explain what that even is, now."
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Nothing changes those things so suddenly and drastically as taking the throne. She was fighting it. She was denying it. But [[Jillian Zamussels|Queen Jillian]] was becoming more mature, more of a [[King|monarch]] every day. Can't hide the Signs.
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"Yes!" said the Foolamancer excitedly. "And do you feel the ache?"
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There was no way she was ready for what the [[Don King|Big Boss]] wanted, though. He'd fought [[Don King|Don]] on this one, right up to the point where Don suggested he could be replaced as liaison to [[Kingdom of Faq|Faq]]. Then Vinny shrugged, and resigned himself. This was going to wreck whatever good thing he and [[Jillian Zamussels|Jillian]] had going.
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"Ache?"
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When the call from Don ended, he'd been in [[Kibo]]. He had planned to spend a few [[turn]]s managing the [[city]], to make himself useful. But he broke off his rounds there, and headed up the river valley toward [[City of Faq|Faq]].
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"The terrible feeling," said Jack. "That you've lost some grand, [[Titans|Titanic]] capability you can no longer grasp."
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The [[farm]]s were boring. Kibo and [[Otoh]] were boring, too. Dumpy Level Twos that looked like glorified farms themselves. Only the [[capital]] was not boring.
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"With trigonometry? Um... I don't know," said Parson. They topped the landing at last. He leaned on the stone wall for a moment and looked at his bracer. "I probably should, if I'm supposed to do [[Mathamancy]]. But I forget what kind of math it even was." He strained to remember. "Something to do with triangles? Or is that just the name fooling me?"
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When they'd arrived, Jillian had asked Vinny what he thought about maybe naming the new capital and [[side]] "[[Prince Ansom|Ansom]]." After thinking it over, he told her he thought the [[Princes and Princesses|Prince]] would have been flattered, but that he would've had a big problem with her being the "Queen of Ansom." Lacking any other ideas, she [[claiming a City|claimed]] the [[ruins]] and called the city [[City of Faq|Faq]] again.
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"Names can be important," said Jack, stepping lightly on to the landing. He looked [[Parson Gotti|Parson]] in the eye, almost gravely. "And fools, and triangles, too."
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But the failure of imagination did not apply to her vision for the city itself. [[Transylvito]] had sent her enough [[gem]]s to rebuild the [[side|kingdom]], on top of loaning her Vinny and a small stack of [[Goyles]] and [[Goyles#Skanks|Skanks]]. Faq was now a solid Level Four, and not like any city Vinny had ever seen.  
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Parson raised an eyebrow. Jack usually talked in riddles, and often Parson could see what he meant. Other times? Well... any sufficiently advanced riddle is indistinguishable from gibberish. "Right. Anyway, I know you can't do what you did before: realtime battlefield model with data fed by a [[Lookamancer]]. But I'd like to do something similar. I want a tactical simulator."
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It was circular, sharp, and shining.
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Jack looked at him appraisingly, "I'm afraid I don't understand, Lord. And also afraid that I do."
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The [[outer Walls|outer "walls"]] were useless against [[siege engine|siege]], even worse than Transylvito's. They consisted of a ring of stone teeth with a reflective coating of tin, inward-curving towers that terminated in spoon-like roosts for gwiffons and megalogwiffs. There was no gate. Vinny simply flew between these pillars and entered the city. A horn somewhere announced him as an arriving allied unit.
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"You'll have to run it, but I want a battle map," said Parson, turning to walk toward the guarded archway. The [[decrypted]] [[hobgobwin]] [[knight]]s came to attention, without comment. "Animated. To represent the match-ups and scenarios I'll run on my [[Mathamancy Bracer|bracer]]."
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The [[garrison]] was a set of six more teeth, much taller, fortified with solid walls that joined them like webbing. Three of these walls had gated archways, adorned with Gothic patterns in wrought iron and stone. Vinny topped the walls, and veered skyward.
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They walked into the new Situation Room. It was lit and carpeted, with a flat ceiling supported by huge columns. Much nicer than the old cavernous dome. There were paintings of battle scenes on the walls. Wooden boxes were piled in the corners. Parson talked with his hands as they walked. "I could use figurines and maps, but I think you could do it better and faster. Maybe give me things like savepoints... and point of view angles?"
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At the center of the garrison rose a [[tower]] constructed with all the ferocity of Jillian's imagination. It was shaped something like a white marble palm tree. The trunk was a twist of six massive columns, tapering slightly as they reached straight upward. The top of the tower was a miniature fortress, a bristle of glass and hard spikes, with ledges and platforms where many dozens of flyers could land, or hundreds of defenders could lurk. Vinny flew between the perches and platforms, and entered the tower.
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Jack considered this silently. With a flick of a few fingers, he brought a warm and pleasant beam of light down on to the heavy tactical map table as they reached it.  
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The inside of the tower was all business. Defensive engines in various states of assembly were stacked in narrow hallways of marble. Faq didn't yet have the units to man them. Vinny followed the twisted passage to the chamber that served both as Jillian's War Room and her Throne Room. Two [[Stabber]]s in silver and white Faq [[Raiment#Livery|livery]] saluted him as he entered. A [[Royal]] guard of only two. Not even [[Knight]]s yet.
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"I want to learn battle tactics. See?" said Parson, patting the table with a flat palm. "Really dig in to it, you know what I'm saying?"
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And there she was, a queen in armor. She was looking over a set of charts on a cluttered table with her only [[warlord]], a plain level 1 named Dave or Danny or something. He looked confused, and she looked angry.
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Jack looked unsure. "I do, and I don't. I thought you'd lost your wish to fight."
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She glanced up at Vinny, relieved to see him. That wouldn't last.
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Parson straightened. "Well, to lead a battle," he said. "Yeah. Not wild about doing that again. But what you said, about talent supplying its own demand...?" He shrugged. "And I'd like to stay alive. I think if I want to do that, long-term, I might need to learn as much as I can about fighting."
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He knew what kind of pressure she was under. Spotty reports said [[Stanley the Tool|Stanley]] was somehow [[conquering]] every city he could reach. How were they going to stop him? Faq was pathetic; it needed everything. It needed all three cities [[pop]]ping everything as fast as possible.
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Jack stared at him blankly for several seconds. Then his face lit up with sly discovery. "You are bored!"
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Only now he was going to have to tell her [[Don King]] wanted her to dedicate the next 60 turns of her capital city's production to pop a Royal [[heir]].
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"And I am bored," acknowledged Parson.
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"I'm bored as well, Lord. The cure for boredom is curiosity." Jack turned to the table and began picking up the small wooden figurines and markers. "Let's learn something about war."
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"Awesome."
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After several minutes of quietly sorting the miniature pieces into boxes, Parson turned to the caster and smirked. "What's the cure for curiosity?"
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Jack was studying a map closely, running a finger along it. He did not look up. "Getting [[croaked]]," he said.
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[[Category:Page Annotation/First Intermission]]
[[Category:Page Annotation/First Intermission]]

Revision as of 00:25, 4 October 2009

Book (First_Intermission)
Page by page (37)


Page Info

Turn Number:27 AW
Side's Turn:Unknown (probably Transylvito or Faq

Turns since TBfGK: 18

The Signs were all over her. It was interesting to see. Her hair was just a little longer every turn. Her cheeks were just a bit rounder. She was losing muscle tone, but acquiring a grace in her posture.

It gave Vinny some hope that she wouldn't croak him when she understood what he was asking.

He'd never actually seen anyone before and after they became a Ruler. Like anything, it changed you. The Signamancers claimed that all Stuff was Foolamancy. Our bodies and all the things we see and touch were supposed to only be Signs: symbols of their true nature. Vinny didn't know about all that, but a person's appearance was definitely a Sign. It told you how they think about themselves. And how others see them.

Nothing changes those things so suddenly and drastically as taking the throne. She was fighting it. She was denying it. But Queen Jillian was becoming more mature, more of a monarch every day. Can't hide the Signs.

There was no way she was ready for what the Big Boss wanted, though. He'd fought Don on this one, right up to the point where Don suggested he could be replaced as liaison to Faq. Then Vinny shrugged, and resigned himself. This was going to wreck whatever good thing he and Jillian had going.

When the call from Don ended, he'd been in Kibo. He had planned to spend a few turns managing the city, to make himself useful. But he broke off his rounds there, and headed up the river valley toward Faq.

The farms were boring. Kibo and Otoh were boring, too. Dumpy Level Twos that looked like glorified farms themselves. Only the capital was not boring.

When they'd arrived, Jillian had asked Vinny what he thought about maybe naming the new capital and side "Ansom." After thinking it over, he told her he thought the Prince would have been flattered, but that he would've had a big problem with her being the "Queen of Ansom." Lacking any other ideas, she claimed the ruins and called the city Faq again.

But the failure of imagination did not apply to her vision for the city itself. Transylvito had sent her enough gems to rebuild the kingdom, on top of loaning her Vinny and a small stack of Goyles and Skanks. Faq was now a solid Level Four, and not like any city Vinny had ever seen.

It was circular, sharp, and shining.

The outer "walls" were useless against siege, even worse than Transylvito's. They consisted of a ring of stone teeth with a reflective coating of tin, inward-curving towers that terminated in spoon-like roosts for gwiffons and megalogwiffs. There was no gate. Vinny simply flew between these pillars and entered the city. A horn somewhere announced him as an arriving allied unit.

The garrison was a set of six more teeth, much taller, fortified with solid walls that joined them like webbing. Three of these walls had gated archways, adorned with Gothic patterns in wrought iron and stone. Vinny topped the walls, and veered skyward.

At the center of the garrison rose a tower constructed with all the ferocity of Jillian's imagination. It was shaped something like a white marble palm tree. The trunk was a twist of six massive columns, tapering slightly as they reached straight upward. The top of the tower was a miniature fortress, a bristle of glass and hard spikes, with ledges and platforms where many dozens of flyers could land, or hundreds of defenders could lurk. Vinny flew between the perches and platforms, and entered the tower.

The inside of the tower was all business. Defensive engines in various states of assembly were stacked in narrow hallways of marble. Faq didn't yet have the units to man them. Vinny followed the twisted passage to the chamber that served both as Jillian's War Room and her Throne Room. Two Stabbers in silver and white Faq livery saluted him as he entered. A Royal guard of only two. Not even Knights yet.

And there she was, a queen in armor. She was looking over a set of charts on a cluttered table with her only warlord, a plain level 1 named Dave or Danny or something. He looked confused, and she looked angry.

She glanced up at Vinny, relieved to see him. That wouldn't last.

He knew what kind of pressure she was under. Spotty reports said Stanley was somehow conquering every city he could reach. How were they going to stop him? Faq was pathetic; it needed everything. It needed all three cities popping everything as fast as possible.

Only now he was going to have to tell her Don King wanted her to dedicate the next 60 turns of her capital city's production to pop a Royal heir.

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