Jul 23, 2019 2:40 PM
Sadde in Pact
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"I'll accept your ride, thank you."

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He’s not actually the one driving. His son Malcolm is, rushing at the upper end of the speed limit, while the other half of the family speaks for them at the impromptu council meeting. (Conquest stays back to represent the him-and-Sadde faction. That is his reason for not coming with them to the hospital. Definitely.)

”Thanks for fighting Conquest,” he starts. “However much was planned, and l’m sorry about the cost.”

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"Pretty -" Sadde stops, swallows, and breathes deeply. "Pretty much all of it was. Except for. The cost." She looks down at her legs, then pauses as she remembers something. "Duncan Behaim helped, too, and it would be - good - if he got some recognition for it. It was behind the scenes but - most of it was, and it mattered."

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Both of them are briefly confused, then Malcolm nods. “I’ll thank him too. Wish we could have helped, but...”

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"Yeah. I'm glad I got you guys out from under him. I - understand he can't help being what he is. I just wish -" She cuts herself off and just shuts up.

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Matthew fills in, “Wars suck. And you never really leave, even if you win. It being a war worth fighting doesn’t make it any easier.”

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She nods quietly. She got - most of what she wanted, really. She just lost more than she thought she was actually bargaining.

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They can let it go quiet. Car trips to hospitals are pretty quick anyway.

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At some point during the trip she remembers to text Johannes the... news.

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He replies in quick, short messages.

 

Oh.

I’m sorry.

 I could have been there, helped with the plan, waited to get locked in Toronto instead of locked out...

Is there anything that would help? 

I could track down the thing that did it, let you kill it before— on second thought better not send that one. “It’ll definitely kill again” is maybe not what you say to someone who’s grieving.

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Two quick messages:

It had an oath, it's not like it could've been helped.

And Conquest... maybe can be blamed for this less than a wild animal for its behaviour.

Then there's a pause, and a third:

I'm not sure how I'll deal with him.

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Long pause.

You could dump him in my demesne. He’d do okay here and might like it enough to stay. As close to no relationship as you can get with a familiar.

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Then what would the point have been

Another pause.

Other than removing a tyrant from power and releasing several unwilling subjects from his thrall I guess.

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Hey. You did well and you won and it doesn't have to be worth it for those to be true.

 

This is wrong and awful and should never have happened. And it's Conquest's fault not yours.

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I can't even bring myself to blame Conquest, it feels a bit like blaming a storm or an earthquake, it's not like he meaningfully has many choices there.

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He had some. More now that he’s not working off a finite supply of free will. Either way, definitely wasn’t you.

 

Where are you now?

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On my way to a hospital. I got hurt.

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How bad?

He’ll come up with a pretty good guess at which hospital and be at the entrance with, uh, chocolate and the softest available stray dog. Or something. Whatever you’re supposed to do for people who’re probably in All The Shock. Impossibly well-behaved dogs are trivial anyway.

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Would've bled out eventually if not for magic, but bleeding is no longer happening and the damage is otherwise not severe.

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I can help? Everything but restoring lost blood, if you want it.

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Don't worry about it. I might want a taxi out of here, but I should probably stay around for at least a little while, while everyone deals with Conquest no longer being Lord and such.

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(Johannes...might already be in Toronto anyway and at the hospital by the time Sadde arrives.)

Right. There’s still fallout from the success. You going to get involved?

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Not much. Definitely don't want to be here for the voting, kinda wanna get away from this city as soon as I can.

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Yeah. Understandable.

He waves at the car when they arrive.

 

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She didn't notice him immediately but does a double take when she does, putting her phone away.

Damn, teleportation is so handy.

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