Interlude 7B – Asenath

Previous Chapter           Next Chapter

July 10th, 1964

Fire raged throughout the building. The smoke and heat disoriented Asenath’s senses enough that she could hardly even tell where she was, a situation that was hardly helped by the sounds of those crying out for help that seemed to be coming from every direction at once. Almost every part of her subconscious screamed for her to run straight for the closest exit she could find, to save herself.

Instead, the vampire moved for the nearest sound of screaming, coming from behind a thick wooden door. Her hand found the knob, but it was too hot to touch. With a grimace, feeling the flames creeping closer to her with each passing second, the girl reared back and kicked out hard. The force of the blow blew the door off its hinges. Before it could fly into the room beyond and risk injuring someone else, however, Asenath used her incredible speed to reach in, grab the side of the door, and fling it behind herself into the already burning room. The flames eagerly swallowed it with a roar of approval.

Inside the next room, she could see a little bit better. The smoke wasn’t quite as bad in here, though it was rapidly getting worse. As the girl sped into the room, her eyes found the source of the cries for help: three small children, two alters and one human. One of the alters was a dryad sapling, so small and young that her skin was still a pale, barely noticeable green rather than the much darker shade it would become as she matured. Beside the terrified sapling was a young satyr, his equine ears twitching violently toward every new sound as tears streaked down his face. His hands clutched the human child, a young girl slightly younger than the two alters whose cries of terror were almost painfully loud.

Seeing the children there, Asenath took a step toward them. As she moved, however, her hearing picked up the faintest disturbance in the air. At the same time, the children’s eyes moved from her to some spot just over her shoulder, widening in newfound fear. Twisting around while ducking, she felt the rush of air as a sword blade passed through the spot where her head had just been. Her fist was a blur as she lashed upward toward the figure’s throat, striking with enough force to put it through solid concrete.

Yet her hand was caught by an equally fast grasp, and Asenath found herself being yanked around like one of the children she was in the room to save. Her face hit the nearby wall with enough force to stun her, and she sensed that sword coming straight for her exposed back. At the last second, she managed to kick outward and back, knocking the blade off course so that it stabbed into the wall beside her.

While her opponent was yanking the sword free, Asenath spun away from the wall, planted one foot against it to boost herself up into the air, and lashed out with her other foot to kick the man in the face.

The Heretic recoiled, his expression invisible through the smoke-filled room. If the vampire had needed to breathe at all, she would have been violently coughing. As it was, the smoke all-but destroyed her senses, reducing her sight, smell, and hearing down below what a normal human was capable of.

The man came at her in a blur of motion then, so fast that most would have been cut through three or four times by the time they had even noticed the first strike. Asenath, however, wasn’t most. As the blade swung toward her the first time, she met the man’s incredible speed with her own. Her foot kicked the metal leg off a nearby table, snapping it off its mounting and into her waiting hand just in time to smack the incoming blade out of the way. No less than five additional strikes followed, all in the span of two seconds and all from entirely different angles. Each one she knocked aside, though several were such near-misses that she couldn’t entirely avoid them, taking a few cuts here and there. And with each blow, her table leg was being broken apart. In spite of her care in not letting the sword strike it head on, always smacking the flat of the blade, it was still taking its toll. The leg wouldn’t last.

Worse, the smoke had reached the children. They wouldn’t last much longer, not without help. The flames were working their way into the room as well, but the smoke would have done its job by the time the heat of the fire made it far enough to matter. The flames wouldn’t kill them, but it would erase their small, helpless bodies as thoroughly as the smoke would have extinguished their too-short lives.

Acting quickly, Asenath threw the remains of the table leg at her opponent’s face. He easily ducked away from it, but the move gave her time to turn and lean down. Her hand snatched up a fallen metal folding chair. The next strike came an instant later, and she barely managed to put the chair between herself and the blade. Not that it did much, the sword went straight through the metal chair like it wasn’t there, stabbing directly into Asenath’s torso, filling her body with near-blinding agony.

Giving a snarl of triumph, the Heretic’s grip on his sword tightened, ready to shove upward. His eyes flicked toward hers, clearly expecting to see sudden terror as she realized that she was about to die.

Instead, he found her smiling through the pain. Asenath met his eager, hungry gaze with a toothy grin, letting him see her fangs. Then she returned her formerly limp hands to the metal chair that the blade had stabbed through to get at her. Before the man realized what was happening, she gave the chair a hard twist, spinning it almost all the way around while simultaneously yanking on it. The blade, trapped in the metal of the chair, was spun along with it and yanked out of the man’s grasp. Doing so sent another spasm of agony through Asenath as the blade was turned inside her, yet she ignored it.

As the sword was spun up and away from his grasp, the heretic lunged for it. But Asenath was faster. Not for herself, but for the children she was trying to save. She ignored all of the pain and leapt upward. Her foot lashed out, kicking the man away from the sword while her own hand closed around the hilt. Pain immediately filled her palm and rushed down her arm, leaving it almost impossible to keep hold of the sword. A Heretic defense, preventing Strangers from taking their weapons.

Near-blinded by smoke, the flames already filling the room, pain from her deep stab wound leaving her almost delirious, and now feeling bone-crushing agony inside the hand that was holding this Heretic weapon, Asenath pushed on through all of it. For three torturous seconds, she held that sword. Landing, one second. Turning into a full roundhouse swing, two seconds. Slicing straight through the neck of the man who had been so intent on killing her and most likely two of the innocent children. Three seconds.

His head hit the floor an instant before the rapidly discarded sword did, followed a moment later by his body.

Falling to her knees, Asenath brought her uninjured hand up to the wound in her stomach. It was healing, but she didn’t have time to wait. The flames were taking over the room, and it was already impossible to see further than a foot through the thick smoke. Her senses were no better than a human’s in this burning room, and her injuries meant that she wasn’t that much better physically either.

But it would have to be enough. Pushing herself back to her feet through little more than intense willpower, the vampire went for the children. Their sobs had turned to whimpers that barely reached her ears, and it took her a moment to find them in the burning room. Finally, her groping fingers found the leg of one of the children, who immediately flinched away from her with a little squeal of terror.

Rather than risk any time trying to talk, Asenath wrapped an arm around the squirming figure (the human as it turned out), and drew the child up under her arm, holding her awkwardly but firmly. At the same time, her other grasping hand found the arm of the satyr child, and he too was hauled up under her other arm. By that point, the heat of the flames was burning her skin, and she could hear the children screaming anew, their terror overwhelming the smoke inhalation.

One more… one more… Grimacing, Asenath turned her head toward the satyr child. “Hold onto my neck!” She ordered loudly, forced to repeat herself once more before the boy shifted and wrapped his arms so tightly around her neck that he would have been choking her if she actually needed to breathe, his small body pushing in against her chest as he fought to make himself small to escape the fire.

With the satyr boy latched onto her, Asenath grabbed the remaining child, the dryad, with her free hand. Hauling her up, she forced herself back to her feet. The smoke and flames worked together to disorient and distract her. Three children hung from her, blood continued to spill from her not-yet-healed stomach, and if she’d had a free hand to hold in front of her face, she wouldn’t have been able to see it.

Still, she knew where she was in the room, because she remembered where the children had been. Assuming they hadn’t moved, the doorway should be to her left, the rest of the room straight ahead of her, and a little to the right… she turned that way, running in a blur of motion while the children clung to her, their cries of fear growing louder in those couple of seconds before they reached the window.

Just before they would have hit, Asenath spun around and threw herself at the window backwards while clutching the three children tight against her chest. Her own scream matched theirs as her back crashed through the glass, shattering it on the way through. They then plummeted a couple of stories before landing hard on the ground. It hurt, but she cushioned the children’s fall as much as possible.

They lay there together in the fresh air while Asenath healed. The children clung to her, crying heavily.

A familiar figure appeared, standing over her with a grim expression. Another Heretic, so alike the one whose head she had so recently removed from his shoulders… yet so different as well. “Senny,” the blond man spoke gravely, his voice clearly shaken. “Are you all right? They… they took them.”

Asenath blinked, still disoriented by the fall, as well as her wounds and the smoke. It took a moment to find her voice, and she could barely focus. “Uggnn… Tobias? I’m okay. But, who took who?”

“Ruther’s Heretics,” Tobias spat the words hatefully, his anger obvious. “They took the children.”

“No.” Disoriented as she was, Asenath didn’t understand. “I’ve got them. They’re right here.”

“Not those children,” Tobias shook his head. “Hers. They started the fires up where the kids rooms were on purpose, Senny. They wanted to keep us busy. Then they killed the guards at the nursery and took her children, snatched them right out of their cribs, the fucking cowards. They started these fires near innocent fucking kids just so we’d be too busy to stop them from kidnapping her children.”

His words were sinking in, and Senny found herself groaning. “No. No, not the twins.”

“Yeah,” Tobias snarled, his hand clenching tight. “They took her twins. That’s how they’re going to end the war. They think they can make her surrender by taking her fucking children away. How do these motherfuckers call themselves good guys, huh? How are Ruthers’ people the god damn heroes here?”

“If you ask me, they’re the real fucking monsters.”

******

Present Day

A hand shook her shoulder while a low voice whispered, “Senny? Yo, wake up. Are you okay?”

Opening her eyes, Asenath blinked a couple times, orienting herself. It took a moment to get her brain caught up. Right, she was in Flick’s house, in the girl’s own bedroom actually. “Twister?”

Now she remembered what was going on. The day before, she and that Eden’s Garden Heretic, Miranda, had barely managed to make sure that the girl’s Heretic-teacher didn’t run into Flick’s father and spot his shapeshifter tail. Since Senny couldn’t go out in the sunlight, that had required calling the reporter from a disposable phone, disguising her voice, and distracting him with a false story to keep him busy. Meanwhile, Miranda had run out there, whispering to as many animals as she could see before finally finding the right one. The two of them had then barely managed to get out of sight before Lincoln gave up on listening to Asenath and hung up on her. A moment later, Hisao had found him. If getting Twister out of sight had taken any longer, the man would have seen either her or Miranda. Whichever one it happened to be, there would have been entirely too many questions to answer.

Now, the pooka straightened, the dark fox-like ears giving an agitated twitch. “You were thrashing around,” she whispered. “You said something about about children, about twins, I think. And there was something about a fire.” Frowning with concern as well as something deeper, she added, “You had a dream about a fire didn’t you? A fire in a building full of children.”

The dream (or was it a memory?) was already fading. Senny fought to keep hold of the thoughts and emotions it brought up, but they sifted through her mind like sand through splayed fingers. There was something important in that dream-memory, something that she should have been able to hold onto. She had been alive for a long time, yet she remembered things that happened hundreds of years earlier. So why was it so hard for her to keep these thoughts in her head? Twins, children, Tobias, a fire… something else about… she couldn’t remember. It had been there, but now it was gone, washed away.

Her eyes found Twister’s then, and she realized something. “You’ve had the dream too, haven’t you?”

“Fire in a building, lots of kids, yeah.” The pooka nodded before grimacing. “Had the dream three times now. I keep thinking I’ll remember more of it, but it always goes away. I think I remember something about a basement and these two big guys with rifles that are laughing, but then it’s gone.”

“And a war,” Senny remembered, frowning thoughtfully. “Something about ending a war. But how would…” She shook her head, letting out a long, low sigh. “Damn it, I can’t remember.”

“Magic,” Twister sighed, making an annoyed face. “It’s gotta be magic. Heretic Magic. You think it’s got anything to do with all this stuff?”

“Has to,” Senny replied with a sigh before straightening. “We’re rubbing up against the spell somehow. That’s why it’s weakening, why we’re dreaming about it. As far as I know, the only thing we’ve both done that’s so out of the ordinary is meet Flick. She’s the common denominator.”

Before Twister could say anything else, there was a light tap at the door, a soft rap that was followed by a quiet, “Ahh, Asenath? You all right?”

Standing up quickly, Senny walked to the door while Twister shifted herself into the form of a small cat and scurried under the bed. After glancing back to make sure her companion was out of sight, the vampire girl opened the door and gave the man on the other side an apologetic smile. “Sorry, Mr. Chambers. Was I disturbing you?”

“Disturbing me?” The man laughed. “No, I just thought I’d see if you needed any food since I’m headed out to grab dinner. Then I heard talking and thought you might have company. Not that that’s a problem, I mean, make yourself at home. I ahhh,” he coughed, clearly embarrassed. “Okay, sorry, it’s the dad in me. I know, I know you’re an adult. I just heard voices in my daughter’s room and… ahh, guess the impulse to interrupt was a little too much to ignore.”

Asenath couldn’t help but smile a little at that. “I don’t have company, Mr. Chambers. And if I did, I’d tell you. It is your house after all.” Turning, she indicated the room. “I was just talking to a friend on the phone, and I had it on speaker. But uhh, if you give me a minute to get dressed, I’d love to grab something to eat with you. And uhhhmm, maybe I could keep picking your brain about those old stories of yours?”

The man’s own smile broadened. “You keep flattering me by letting me talk about myself and I’ll buy you all the dinners you need, Asenath.”

“I told you before,” she reminded him, “call me Senny. And give me just a minute, Mr. Chambers. I’ll be right down.”

He obliged by closing the door, and Asenath stepped over to the dresser. Twister sprang into view, jumping up on the bed before reverting to her human shape so that she could stretch out languidly on it. Yawning widely, the pooka waved a hand. “Okay, talking later. Sleeping now. Your turn to watch him.”

“Thanks, Twist,” Senny whispered. “I know it’s hard to spend all day playing babysitter. Especially if we’re both having these… dreams.”

The only response she received was a vague thumbs up from the girl, followed almost immediately by the sound of snoring.

With a light cough of amusement, Senny shook her head while reaching out to grab the blanket. She tugged it up and over the slumbering shapeshifter, then moved to quickly dress herself so that she could join Lincoln and keep an eye on the man. Not that she expected Fossor to make a move on him already, and it was far too early for Ammon to have escaped his father’s punishment and made his way back. But it was still a good habit to be in. Flick’s father wasn’t going to end up one of Fossor’s prisoners or petty amusements. Not if she could help it.

Besides, she’d promised to get justice for Denise. And in this case, that justice would come when she ripped Ammon’s head from his shoulders. It would happen. She just had to be patient.

The boy may not even remember the girl whose life he had so callously extinguished for his own petty amusement. But Senny remembered, and she intended to ensure that Denise’s name and face would be the last thing that Ammon thought of before his own life was erased. He would think of that innocent girl and realize that his worst mistake had been in assuming no one would care enough to avenge the life of one girl, that no one would pursue him that far, that he could kill her as easily as any of his other victims.

Senny cared. And eventually, Ammon would find out just how much.

Previous Chapter             Next Chapter

Advertisements

22 comments

  1. Wow… those dicks. I guess they don’t see stranger children as really people, but they had to know that there were human children in there too. What assholes.

    And apparently the Asenath used to work for Flick’s mom theory is correct. That’s awesome.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. a young satyr, his equine ears

    Satyrs are usually goatlike, and I can’t remember what the adjective is for that but I don’t think it’s ‘equine’, which is horses. (Not that there’s that much difference between a horse’s and goat’s ear in any case.)

    Fully-trained Heretics are apparently a physical match for Asenath, even if her experience gives her an edge. Did we know that? I find myself surprised in any case.

    the smoke would have done its job by the time the heat of the fire made it far enough to matter

    This has been a fire safety PSA brought to you by Heretical Edge! (But seriously kids smoke is the real killer in house fires, so stay low as much as possible.)

    Whoever said Asenath probably worked with Joselyn in the comments to last chapter, have yourself a goddamn cookie, that’s looking increasingly likely. Also, holy moly people like to mess with Joselyn by messing with her kids. It probably says something about Joselyn’s personal power that the best way two separate villains have found for dealing with her is ‘attack someone else instead’. Yikes.

    “Magic,” Twister sighed, making an annoyed face. “It’s gotta be magic.

    And we can tick off ‘It’s probably nothing’ on the list of tropes Cerulean’s characters have defied. I guess there’s no substitute for having been round the block, huh?

    The boy may not even remember the girl whose life he had so callously extinguished for his own petty amusement

    Hands in the air, I’d also forgotten this was Asenath’s motivation for getting involved in the story. (And yet another defied trope, goddamn.) It’s good! Denise didn’t mean anything in the grand scheme of things, but it’s her that’s ensured Asenath’s presence, and ultimately her death means Flick and her dad survived when they otherwise wouldn’t have! That’s totally worth honouring, and I like that Asenath doesn’t want to let it go until she’s avenged.

    On the other hand, it only causes more problems for me. I’m trying to figure out best girl here, people, and Avalon and Asenath keep one-upping each other!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Whoever said Asenath probably worked with Joselyn in the comments to last chapter, have yourself a goddamn cookie, that’s looking increasingly likely.

      *happily munches oreo* Asenath’s description of the event where she lost the Hunga Munga has never sat right with me. Nothing about her has suggested that she’s the type to do mercenary work. At first I thought I was just overestimating her morality and that she’s got to earn money somehow. But even then, it bothered me. With everything we’ve learned about Joselyn’s rebellion, including the stuff Cerulean confirmed out of story about some Heretics now working with former enemies (I bet we’re going to meet Tobias at Crossroads soon), it just made sense.

      Anyway, here’s a couple of other things I’m calling. One, Twister was one of the guards killed by the Heretrics that kidnapped the twins, and then she resurrected in a new nine year old body. Two, one of those Heretics was Deveron, as his previous weapon was a hunting rifle.

      On the other hand, it only causes more problems for me. I’m trying to figure out best girl here, people, and Avalon and Asenath keep one-upping each other!

      Go team Asenath!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Satyrs are usually goatlike, and I can’t remember what the adjective is for that but I don’t think it’s ‘equine’, which is horses. (Not that there’s that much difference between a horse’s and goat’s ear in any case.)

      Actually, according to the internet-aided research I’ve done, Satyrs were originally horse-like. They were conflated later with the Roman Faunus which gave them their more commonly seen goat depiction. But in early Greek tradition, they had horse-features. That or it was just a less commonly seen variant. But it did exist.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. In one of his letters, JRR Tolkien was wrote that, had Gandalf taken up the One Ring and supplanted Sauron as its master, he would have been a far worse Ring-Lord because he would have become self-righteous. “Gandalf would have made good detestable, and seem evil.”

    I have never understood Tokien’s reasoning more than I do after reading this chapter. As of now, I hate Ruthers and his thugs more than Fossor. There. I said it. And I really, really hope that this chapter is not indicative of the way the rest of the Committee thinks and acts. Because damn. Seriously, I’m praying that the other Committee members, even the ones who usually vote the same way as Ruthers, still see him as at least a little extreme. I’m probably wrong, given that they had to let him on the Committee in the first place, but I can hope.

    Actually, now that I think about it, Joselyn’s revolution (and I will never call it a “rebellion” again) was probably a factor in getting Ruthers on the Committee in the first place. The huge degrees of unstated (on top of stated) “I told you so” may have lent him a certain degree of legitimacy he would have otherwise lacked.

    In other news, if spending a few hours with Flick (or perhaps hearing about Joselyn, or seeing her weapons) is all that’s needed to start thinning the spell, good. I wonder if it’s possible to break the memory fog on an individual basis while leaving the overall effect intact. Hmm. If my theory that the Bystander Effect is a larger application of the same spell is correct, I would say that yes, it can.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Two more things
      1. I realize that the message where I call Joselyn’s revolution a rebellion was posted one minute after I said I’d never call it that again. I actually wrote the above reply first and then forgot to post it before I wrote my own.
      2. On an objective level, I recognize that Fossor is worse than Ruthers and undoubtedly does more harm if you take his homeworld into account. I still hate Ruthers more.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. In one of his letters, JRR Tolkien was wrote that, had Gandalf taken up the One Ring and supplanted Sauron as its master, he would have been a far worse Ring-Lord because he would have become self-righteous. “Gandalf would have made good detestable, and seem evil.”

      It’s easy for someone like Ruthers to justify any action he takes, because it’s ‘for the greater good.’ What he fails to understand is that it’s your actions, not their consequences, that determine your morality. Good and evil are entirely separate locations on a map. If you travel every road labeled evil, no matter what your intended destination, you’ll eventually arrive where where those roads were always going to take you.

      And I really, really hope that this chapter is not indicative of the way the rest of the Committee thinks and acts.

      There are good ones and bad ones, but generally, no, it’s not.

      Like

      1. What he fails to understand is that it’s your actions, not their consequences, that determine your morality.

        Debatable (consequentialism is one of the few philosophical positions I’m pretty committed to). In a lot of cases it comes out to the same thing, but yeah, I believe you should look at what’s being done by some action and not just file actions together under good or bad. Among other things, this approach is able to take account of circumstances.

        And, I mean, the consequences of Ruthers’ actions are also pretty bad, and not just for Strangers. Genocide, kidnapping, oppression, and promoting reactionary thinking are all consequences of his actions, and I’m sure there’s more. So even if you were to analyse his actions from a consequentialist point of view he still comes off pretty evil. (The key to why he thinks any of this is acceptable, I imagine, is that he discounts negative consequences to Strangers and those who ‘fraternise’ with them, or otherwise weights the value-judgements such that the things he wants to do become the ‘greater’ good.)

        Not to mention, I doubt that Ruthers does much active work any more, so his ‘actions’ are limited to ordering people around. As a consequence of his orders, they commit atrocities and make life harder for progressives, which is why he’s not off the hook for the things he tells people to do (they’re not either, because the bad consequences are also brought about through their actions).

        Of course, none of this has any effect on how any of the characters will see his or anyone else’s actions, and I’m not telling you to change your philosophical beliefs. Just pointing out that consequentialism doesn’t automatically result in ‘greater good’ thinking.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Debatable (consequentialism is one of the few philosophical positions I’m pretty committed to). In a lot of cases it comes out to the same thing, but yeah, I believe you should look at what’s being done by some action and not just file actions together under good or bad. Among other things, this approach is able to take account of circumstances.

        Sorry, slight misstatement on my part. What I meant was that it’s not MERELY the consequences that determine your morality. As in, it doesn’t matter if you INTEND good things. If you’re blatantly committing evil acts to achieve them, you’re still evil.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Is it me or the fact that we are talking about twins is weird ? I might have missed something, somewhere if noone picks it up 😀 !

    Ammon, as I understand it, is the fruit of Fossor’s rape on Flick’s mother and is thus younger than Flick (as seems apparent in the story but you never know when Magic is involved), so if Flick is one of the twins … who is the other one ?

    Like

    1. Whoops, you seem to have missed or forgotten the bit in chapter 7-06 where Flick was in the security room looking up information. To quote the relevant part:

      I was busy blanching at that thought when Scout poked me with a folder before handing it over. I glanced at it, then did a double-take. “Wait, hold on. This mentions Joselyn’s daughter.”

      “Uhh, yeah?” Sands pointed. “That would be you.”

      My head shook. “It’s dated in the sixties. Plus it mentions a son. Twins. A boy and a girl. Mom had a boy and a girl while she was still a Heretic. After she was umm, captured, they took the twins in.”

      “Whatever happened to them?” Columbus was frowning thoughtfully. “Did they keep them, or banish them along with her?”

      “I dunno, it doesn’t say.” My mind was reeling. A brother and a sister? Actually, another brother and a sister? Hopefully less murderous and psychotic than Ammon.

      Like

  5. The day before, she and that Eden’s Garden Heretic, Miranda, had barely managed to make sure that the girl’s Heretic-teacher didn’t run into Flick’s father and spot his shapeshifter tail.

    In one of Orson Scott Card’s books on writing (back before he went full… Orson Scott Card) he talks about how obvious metaphors can sometimes be confusingly ambiguous in genre works.

    This is my way of saying that, somewhat embarrassingly, it took me three attempts to read this sentence before I realised that you weren’t talking about Flick’s dad having an actual physical tail.

    One thing that has troubled me, a kind of germ of a concept – the idea that breaking the spell at this point, surely necessary as it is, may almost make things worse. If it was a nasty civil war before, mystically suppressing it for decades will surely be explosive in the long run if it does break, since you’ll now have former rebels in positions of trust and power. Rebels who’ve raised their kids as loyalists, worked alongside their enemies happily for all that time… every fear that Gaia mentioned about such an internecine conflict opening the doors for an evil stranger opportunist would be even more true at this point.

    Like

    1. I doubt the Committee has allowed any of the memory-wiped revolutionaries to gain positions of power after the spell was cast. That said, yeah, you’re probably right. Ending the spell will undoubtedly have explosive results. At the same time, depending on the circumstances, I might not be able to bring myself to think of that as a bad thing. I can only imagine how much devastation the revolutionaries suffered when it was activated in the first place. The Alters and Heretics that had been friends before probably started fighting immediately. And while restoring the original memories of everyone will likely result in fighting very quickly, I can’t see that as being much worse than what Crossroads and Eden’s Garden are still currently doing to non-evil Alters.

      And Ruthers and his ilk cannot be allowed to get away with their shit.

      Of course, the nature of the explosion depends, as I said, on the circumstances through which the spell is broken. For starters, I’m pretty confident that breaking it is on Fossor’s to do list. He seems like the type to want Joselyn’s friends and allies to know what he’s done to her and I can see him setting up the restoration of everyone’s memories to be as devastating as possible in terms of both actual and emotional damage (If I’m right, the question becomes if he intends to do this before or after he catches Flick).

      So yeah, if someone like Fossor (or maybe the angels… actually, I think they’re behind Deveron’s presence at Crossroads and that breaking the spell is what they want him to do) engineers the breaking: it’ll be terrible. If it happens spontaneously, it’ll be damaging, but not necessarily bad (this is likely the best case scenario for most Alters). I imagine that Gaia’s hoping to eventually do it under controlled conditions (which would be the best case scenario for Heretics, but not Alters).

      In short, you’re right. It’s a tangled, knotty mess of an issue. So clearly, it’s going to come undone at the worst possible time for the sake of the narrative.

      Like

    2. Honestly, something like that needs to happen anyway. It doesn’t matter if the results are explosive–trying to keep it covered up would just make history repeat itself. I mean, really, do you think that mind-raping people en masse should be an acceptable thing to leave in place? This spell *destroyed people’s lives*. It fucked with all of their heads, their memories, their beliefs, and their identities.

      Leaving this spell in place would be the most immoral approach I could think of. It’s downright Orwellian. Think about the precedent you’d be setting–that it’s acceptable to force everyone to forget years, DECADES of memories and experiences (and not even be allowed to know about it) against their will.

      When the spell gets broken, the fallout will be nuclear. And it damn well should be. It doesn’t matter if it allows for Strangers to take advantage–if that’s the price for finally cutting out the cancer and rot that was slowly eating away at Heretic society, then so be it. The alternative is gradually making Heretic society more and more Orwellian, racist, reactionary, and extremist.

      It’s kind of hard to counter that by filling the ranks with progressives when you can’t even speak openly about the issues and the system is working against you.

      Honestly, there’d be a massive outrage/backlash amongst even the Heretics who were neutral or even against the revolution, simply because of how fucking wrong it is to brainwash the entirety of society against their will (and cover up that you ever did it). That’s a huge, terrifying violation of the self that’s *existential* in nature. You’d have people rebelling out of *fear*, because the thought of the people who had done that to society still being in power (or even being ALIVE) is too terrifying to live with.

      If Gaia voted for the society-brainwashing measure, then by your own logic, Cerulean, she’s well on her way to being pretty fucking evil. Though, I have no idea if she was even involved in that vote.

      Like

  6. I’ve gotten kind of behind on commenting on this, and have only now caught up.

    However, seeing what Ruthers & his clique were willing to do in order to capture Joselyn’s children shows just how dangerous of an enemy they could be for Flick, as it’s an illustration of why there are all those sayings about how the most dangerous & vicious tyrants & enemies can be the ‘well-intentioned ‘ extremists & other fanatics & zealots for a cause because those are the ones who’ll feel justified in going to whatever extreme methods & depths of ruthlessness they think is necessary to further what they think the ‘greater good’ is.

    If/when the the memory suppression spell is broken, their dirty secrets come out, and/or their power is seriously threatened, I wouldn’t be surprised if some of them try something incredibly stupid & counterproductive on the basis of ‘having to burn the village to save it’ logic, which ends up leaving a lot of things vulnerable to the monsters like Fossor when they make their move.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My question right now is whether or not the other Committee members are aware of the whole “Ruthers tried to burn children alive as a distraction to kidnap the twins” thing.

      This is what was said about the twins and Joselyn’s capture in 7-06:

      My head shook. “It’s dated in the sixties. Plus it mentions a son. Twins. A boy and a girl. Mom had a boy and a girl while she was still a Heretic. After she was umm, captured, they took the twins in.”

      That report states that the twins were taken in after Joselyn’s capture, not before. That could mean the reports were intentionally written to be revisionist of the event, or it could mean that Ruthers and his goons are hiding what they did.

      I’m not sure which I believe right now, but I really hope he went behind the others’ back to do it. I can just see him playing the “I did what had to be done” line and someone else responding with “It didn’t work! The war last thirty years after we caught her! You almost murdered a baby for nothing!”

      Liked by 1 person

  7. “Asenath looked brought her uninjured hand”
    Extra ‘looked’?

    Wow. So Asenath and Twister used to be part of the Revolution? I wonder who else we might have seen that might have been part of it as well. Sands and Scout’s mom? With their Dad in the opposite side? I remember he fought the two of them for the weapons.

    So, it seems the ‘good’ guys here might be just as bad as some of the Strangers they are fighting against. Burning a building full of children just for a distraction.

    Also, we now have two sets of twins. Referring them as the twins may get a little confusing. Could we get some names to differentiate them? 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “Asenath looked brought her uninjured hand”
      Extra ‘looked’?

      Whoops! Yes, thank you.

      Also, we now have two sets of twins. Referring them as the twins may get a little confusing. Could we get some names to differentiate them?😛

      Sure! Just as soon as the identity of these new twins gets revealed. 😉

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s