Sharkhunt 23-07

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Yeah, okay, we really all should’ve seen that coming, to be honest. Avalon had no reason to hold back anymore. After all, this was the guy who had literally killed her mother and then tried to kill her. He was one of the people directly responsible for destroying her family. Honestly, the fact that she’d waited long enough for him to get all the way through his story and give us the cure for Tangle was more surprising than her eventual (inevitable) attack should have been.

Still, despite all that, somehow I still felt surprised in that moment. As the glowing energy blade sliced straight through the shark-man, literally cutting his top half from the bottom, he let out a bellow of rage that filled the room, echoing off the walls almost painfully loud. His lower half, standing there unsupported, collapsed to the floor with a gross, meaty sound.

Things seemed to happen incredibly quickly at that point. There were three sudden, thunderous roars, each so close together they might as well have been one, accompanied by a loud snap-hiss and a bright, focused light that I only caught the slightest glimpse of as something blew right past me. The sounds were followed by three quick, loud clangs, an explosion of shattering glass, a heavy thud, a low humming that was matched almost immediately by a high-pitched whine similar a squealing tire, and finally a sound like tearing, crumpling metal.

Only belatedly, seeing things after the fact and taking it in, did I realize what had happened in what seemed to be about a quarter of a second. First, the three loud roars had been three different shotguns that had snapped out in three of the room’s corners as soon as Avalon drove her blade into Fahsteth. They had all somehow automatically opened fire on her.  

Meanwhile, the snap-hiss sound was a fourth weapon that had come to life. That one was a turret of some kind that had dropped out of the ceiling to shoot an actual laser at Avalon as well. All four defensive measures had centered on the other girl as their target and started shooting.

The thing that had rushed past me was Gabriel. He had interceded. The three quick, successive clangs had been the shotgun rounds impacting and rebounding off the head of his shovel (which looked just fine), and the exploding glass was the rebounding shotgun rounds taking out a couple of the windows simultaneously. After that, the thud had been Avalon hitting the floor as Gabriel yanked her out of the way of the incoming laser (and probably away from any further counter-attacks too). The humming sound was the small portal he had opened up on the floor where the laser struck, a portal that opened up directly in front of the laser turret itself. That was where the squealing tire-like sound had come from, as the turret literally lasered itself in half.

Finally, the tearing metal sound had been the shotguns being ripped from their housing by an invisible force, which then crumpled them all into little balls as if they were made of paper.

Yeah. In an unbelievably short time span, Gabriel had deflected three different shotgun blasts from three different angles, tossed Avalon out of the way, created a portal that made the laser turret destroy itself, and telekinetically tore the shotgun turrets out of their housing to destroy them. And it was nothing to him. Nothing at all. He had probably expended about as much effort to do all that as I spent on a single swing of my staff. And even that much was debatable.

Oh, and then there was the fact that Fahsteth wasn’t dead. And not only was he not dead, he hadn’t even fallen down. His bottom half had fallen, of course. But his top half hadn’t dropped.  Instead, while Gabriel had been protecting Avalon, a metal tentacle-like coil had already shot from the shark-man’s  innards, catching itself against the ground to support the figure while a plate of some kind extended to cover the rest of his exposed wound so he wouldn’t bleed out.

“S’kelstva!” Fahsteth bellowed a word that was clearly a curse of some kind. Probably an insult. As he spoke, a second metal tentacle extended itself from the plate covering his exposed lower torso, hitting the floor to steady him. “Think I’m that easy to kill?! Wouldn’t’ve lasted this long if some little kiver could take me out like that.” Despite his words, he still looked angry. Even if Avalon’s attack hadn’t killed him, it had hurt the bastard. And it had forced him to reveal that he was a… what, a cyborg? I still didn’t know what the hell that was all about.

Avalon, meanwhile, didn’t seem to care what the guy was. She just wanted him dead, regardless. And she was already back on her feet and moving that way, her expression hard.

Maybe she could have beaten him, considering the damage she’d already done. We’d never know, because the one figure everyone had stopped paying attention to during all that suddenly made himself known again. The purple-skinned, red-haired teleporter abruptly appeared directly behind Fahsteth. Grabbing onto the shark-man (or the top half of him anyway), he blurted something that sounded almost like an apology at us. Then he, and the shark-man, vanished from sight with an audible pop of energy that set my hair standing on end once more.

“No!” Avalon was there, right where Fahsteth had been. Her foot kicked the ground where his metal… tentacle… thing had been holding him up even as the blade of her gauntlet cut through the nearby wall. She didn’t say anything else, though I see the litany of curses behind her eyes as she whirled back, looking at us with an expression that showed her frustration. That in itself, the fact that her emotions were that plainly visible, gave me some idea of how upset she was.

Shoving my staff into its slot at my belt, I moved that way. I didn’t exactly run to her because… well, Avalon. But I did go right up to the girl, biting my lip. “Are… you okay, Valley?”

Her mouth opened, and it looked like she was about to reflexively snap something. But she stopped herself, hesitating slightly before taking a visible breath “I’m fine,” she stated flatly, repeating it. “I’m fine. But he–he should be–I had him right–he was–what the hell?”

It was Gabriel who spoke up. “Fahsteth is dangerous all on his own. But he’s much more dangerous because of the people he’s worked for. He doesn’t just take money for jobs, he takes enhancements, things that make him stronger or better. Unique weapons in some cases, or special magic, or, well… you saw the result of one of his jobs. Cybernetic enhancements that keep him alive long enough for his regeneration to kick in. I’m pretty sure he’s lost more body parts than the entire Star Wars saga put together by this point. Took a couple off him myself.”

Avalon’s voice was hard, her emotions clearly getting to her. “So he’s going to survive that.”

“Unfortunately,” Gabriel confirmed with a slight nod. “Which means you need to be careful. Because now he’ll know not to underestimate you. And you’ve hurt him, which he tends to take a bit personally.” Gaze softening, he added, “The point is, be careful out there. He’ll be back.”

“Next time I’ll finish the job,” the other girl promised, only belatedly blushing a little from getting the direct attention and focus of her childhood hero. She glanced away, looking back to the floor.

Biting my lip, I stepped over to examine the remains of one of the shotgun-turrets that had been ripped out of the wall and crushed. I didn’t know anything about what I was looking at, of course. But it gave me something to do other than grabbing onto Avalon, a display I knew she wouldn’t appreciate right then. Instead, I picked up the metal remains before looking back at Gabriel. “I guess he had these things set to interfere if he was attacked? But why didn’t they shoot at me?”

“You mean when you came in the room?” Gabriel shrugged. “My guess is that he had them set to react to direct aggression or an attack against him. Did you actually hit him directly?”

I thought about it before shaking my head. “I blasted that purple guy away from him… then Fahsteth came after me. I dove away from him… and held the purple guy hostage.”

“That could be it,” the man mused. “Or he might have disabled them from targeting you because of what he said about Fossor’s claim. It doesn’t sound like he was willing to risk annoying the man. Either way, they only popped on when Avalon became a direct threat.”

“I’ll show him a ‘direct threat’,” the other girl muttered darkly, arms folded over her stomach.

Belatedly, I remembered the much more important subject, suddenly spinning back that way as my eyes widened. “Oh my God! The cure, the one for Tangle! Do we–do you still have–”

“Right here.” Avalon’s hand came up with the vial of blue liquid. “Funny how he just happened to have it on him, ready to go.” Frowning, she squinted at it. “I’d say it was fake, but that stone…”

“He couldn’t have lied with the stone in his hand,” Gabriel confirmed. “Which means that really is a cure for what he did to your teacher.”

“Right, and for the record,” I informed the man, “that truth stone is probably my second favorite rock in the world right now.” Magic truth-revealing powers were great and useful, but they’d never beat Herbie.

Smiling faintly, Gabriel continued. “My guess is that he had it ready to go for a situation like the one he was just in, a bargaining chip to get himself out of trouble if need be. He’s a survivor.”

Avalon muttered something about not surviving the next time before looking back to me. “We’ve got more than the cure. We also know she’s innocent. And so was–” Stopping her face fell a bit.

“… Torv,” I finished for her, flinching. “Valley, I’m so sorry about your friend. I’m sorry you–”

“They’ll pay for it,” she interrupted, voice hard. “They’ll all pay for it. Every last one of them.”  

Straightening, I swallowed before murmuring, “At least we know a lot more than we did before all this.” Looking over to the other girl, I went on. “Not just that Torv and Tangle were innocent, but we also know why the Seosten want into that vault so bad. A spell to make every Heretic immune to them? That’d screw up their entire… everything. It’d completely fuck them over.”

“We also know the names of the other three Seosten besides Manakel,” she pointed out. “Charmeine, Paschar, and Lies. Charmeine must be the one that you saw at the beach.”

I nodded then. “Sounds right. Four of them. It could be worse. But then, I guess they can still do plenty of damage even with only a couple at each school, when we don’t know who they are.”

“And there are definitely more of them around,” Gabriel pointed out mildly. “These four will just be the ones involved in this particular mission. They’ll be the ones that are connected to each other, so if you attack one of them before you know where and who the other three are…”

“The others will know about it,” I finished, grimacing. “We either have to get all of them at once, or be prepared for some kind of retaliation if we can only get one of them. But if we can get that collar off of Pace, we’ll know–wait, wait a second.” I paused, frowning to myself thoughtfully.

Avalon looked at me then, squinting a little as I continued to remain silent. “What is it?”

Slowly, I looked up again. “The choker that Pace is using, we already know it can identify Seosten. What do you think the odds are of them allowing something like that to be used by someone that isn’t already under their control? Even if they were really allies. And as… uhh, let’s call it unstable as Pace has been, does she really seem like the kind of person the Seosten would leave with something that could identify them that easily? Hell, when they found out that we were trying to set up a meeting with one of their allies, they went straight to trying to kill him, a guy they’d been working with for like… at least twenty years, off and on. Knowing all that, do you really think they’d let Pace have that choker if she wasn’t already–”

“Already possessed,” Avalon finished for me, lifting her head with a thoughtful look. “I suppose that would make sense. But why does she act like–uh, why doesn’t she blend in more?”

“Has she always been erratic?” I asked then. “Or is this new behavior?”

The other girl shrugged helplessly. “She was older than me and not in my tribe, so I didn’t really know her until all this started happening. Torv mentioned her a couple times. I think he had a crush. That was before…” She hesitated, face falling a bit as her shoulders slumped. “Before.”

Flinching, I reached out to put a hand on her arm. “They’ll pay for what they did, what they’ve been doing.  I promise. They’re already panicking because of what we know. We’ll get there.”

Taking a breath and letting it out, I added, “The point is, Pace is probably one of the possessed people. It just makes too much sense for her not to be. That’s the only reason they’d let her keep something that could identify them. Plus, you know, they went to all the trouble of stealing it out of Litonya’s vault. The only reason I could see for doing that would be to let–hold on…”

Gabriel raised an eyebrow, looking at me curiously. “Something just occurred to you?”

I nodded. “If the Seosten went through all the trouble of stealing something like that out of the vault just to make sure the Committee didn’t have it, that would be one thing. But they stole it specifically for Pace to use. Why? I was thinking that they gave it to her so that she could keep being a host body for them after she was turned into a werewolf. But that only makes sense if-”

Avalon interrupted once more. “If the Seosten that’s possessing her can’t let her go, because she’s the one that’s crippled, Lies. The one that Fahsteth said couldn’t stop possessing someone until they died. But she’s also a werewolf, so they stole the choker because it was the easiest way to keep their host without killing her and let Lies continue to be in on things. Plus, having Pace right there with Trice and Doxer must’ve made it a lot  easier to manipulate them. Only… now we have Trice, and Doxer’s dead. So what good is the Pace body to them?”

My head shook. “I’m not sure. We’re probably missing something. Either way, I think all that fits. Pace must be possessed, and she’s probably possessed by the one that can’t let her go. But we still don’t know who any of the others are yet. And–” Abruptly, I coughed. “Wait, wait, wait. Shiori and Seth. We should really check on Shiori and Seth.”

“They’re fine,” Gabriel informed me. “Already finished dealing with the Alters that were brought over by the teleport-misfire and are waiting for us in the parking lot, if you’re ready to join them.”

I nodded, half-expecting the legendary Heretic to teleport us straight to the lot or something. Instead, he simply turned and walked to the circular hole that had been made in the metal wall. A flick of his hand literally erased enough of the metal to leave a doorway-shaped hole in it, which he moved through while continuing out to walk to the stairs. Which I really should’ve seen coming, considering everything I’d witnessed already.

Before following after the man, I reached out to catch Avalon’s hand, squeezing it gently. “I’m sorry you didn’t get to kill the bastard yet,” I murmured while watching her expression.

She bit her lip, hesitating a little before looking at me. “You’re not upset that I went after him even though we promised not to hurt him? It wasn’t  very… heroic. I just wanted him dead.”

Swallowing, I shook my head. “Trust me, Valley, I get it. I do. If I had a chance to take a free swing at Fossor, I… I’d probably do the same thing. And it’s not like you could’ve warned us ahead of time. You took the shot you had right in front of you. Now he’s pissed off, but… but we’ll deal with that, okay? All of us. We still got a lot out of him. We’ve just gotta use it right.”

“Use it right…” Avalon echoed my words before giving a slight nod. “Yeah, we will.” Her gaze went back to me then. “Now let’s go check up on your other girlfriend.”

“Wha–that’s not–I didn’t–I mean she–that–” My face was pink, which only got worse as I saw the smirk on her face. “You did that on purpose.”

“What, made you blush just to make myself feel better because of how cute it makes you look?” Valley breezily replied before brushing it off with a calculated flick of her hair. “Nah.”

She started out then, forcing me to sputter a few more times before I hurried to catch up.

******

“Wait, so we can just wake up Tangle?” Shiori asked a few minutes later, once we had joined her and Seth. “You think she’ll know who the other Seosten is–oh. Right, even if she does remember, he’s probably switched bodies by now.”

“And that’s a big ‘if’,” I replied. “Considering their love of memory spells, I wouldn’t count on it. But still, she might remember something we can use. And we do know that whoever Manakel’s been possessing, it’s an adult at Crossroads. That’s something.”

“What about that Grandfather guy?” Shiori asked. “The one that taught Bosch’s daughter how to make the immunity spell to begin with. Who is he? Where’d he come from? Where is he now? How does he know how to do all that? Is he a rogue Seosten like Vanessa and Tristan’s mom?”

Avalon shrugged. “We don’t know the answers to any of those questions. That’s all Fahsteth told us. She called him Grandfather and he was the one who helped her make her family immune to Seosten possession. That’s it, that’s all we know about him.”

“For now,” I added. “Maybe he’ll come up again. But the point is, we can wake up Tangle. We… should talk to Gaia about it, find out the best way to do it… you know, secretly. Because if the Seosten think that we can wake up Tangle and talk to her, they’ll kill her. We have to do it the right way.”

Seth cleared his throat. “Right, if Nancy, Bess, and George are all gonna keep kicking at the tires of this case, I’m gonna take off. Got my own stuff to do. Just got the entire series of both The Munsters and The Addams Family on DVD and I’m gonna alternate off every episode just to decide once and for all which one’s better. So, like I said, you got your stuff, I got mine.”

“I don’t have the rest of the money on me,” I informed him. “Gaia’ll have to get the forty grand to you.”

“I’m sure she’s good for it,” he replied lazily, spinning on a heel. “Catch you later, Zipper and friends.” The vampire strode off then, humming the theme song from The Addams Family without an apparent care in the world.

Shaking that off after a second, I coughed. “Okay, well… besides waking up Tangle, I think we know what we’re doing. First we get that choker, we use it to find out who they’re possessing and kick them out, then when we’re sure there’s no other problems, we’ll get into that vault.”

Shiori hesitantly spoke up then. “Do you think we should go for the vault straight off? I mean, if there’s really a way to stop the Seosten from possessing Heretics in there…”

Before I could respond, Avalon shook her head. “Not until we have a way to identify the ones that we’re already dealing with. We have to make sure everyone we take near the vault, everyone who has anything to do with opening it, are clear. And if we go there, the Committee’s gonna know about it. Which means we’ll only get one shot. If we open it up and the Seosten find out too soon… they’ll be there in force, probably Committee-level force.”

I nodded .”She’s right. We get the small-scale stuff, find the choker and use it and the anti-possession spell to get the spy out of our friends. Once it’s clear, then we’ll worry about the vault.”

“It sounds like you have a plan,” Gabriel put in then. I had a feeling that he’d been deliberately staying out of the conversation as much as possible to let us handle it. “I’ll keep teaching you the spell until it’s time to use it, but you should also practice on your own. Just make sure none of the others see you doing it. They’ll definitely recognize the spell for what it is.”

“We’ll be careful,” I promised, before my head fell back. “I guess that means we’re done here. Which means we’ve gotta get back before those Committee representatives tear the whole school apart looking for me.”

Yeah, I was going to have to talk to those guys and pretend to be surprised and terrified about my dad disappearing. I was going to have to sell it to them until they were satisfied. And after that, I had to talk to Dad himself and find out just what the hell had actually happened, how he had found out everything. I had… well, a lot of stuff to talk to him about.

Staying up all night, learning a spell from a literal living legend, fighting our way up to have a confrontation with an ancient mercenary shark-man, being interrogated by some investigators from the Committee, and then talking to my dad about all the secrets I’d been keeping all year? One thing was for sure…

If I hadn’t inherited the stamina boost from that Amarok, I would’ve died of exhaustion weeks ago.

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23 comments

  1. And that finishes off this arc! Whoo! Thanks for reading, guys. I hope you enjoyed how this went. Next arc we’ll be seeing a little bit of Flick’s conversation with the Committee reps and then move into her discussion with her dad. So that should be fun!

    Before that, however, we’ll have the regular end-of-arc interlude on Monday. So if you’re a donator, expect to get an e-mail later that details your choices for what to vote on for the interlude subject.

    And speaking of interludes, we’ve got another one to add onto the list. Or rather, five. In addition to the already-commissioned mini-interludes, we also have a special series of interludes commissioned that will be five separate, full-sized chapters detailing Roxa’s old team’s investigation into her disappearance and into Flick herself. Each chapter will focus on a different member of Roxa’s team as they work together to try to figure out what the hell is going on. So that should be quite fun!

    It also means that our monthly donation amount, counting Patreon which is at 89 dollars, is currently at 319 dollars. Which means that as of right now, at the start of next month, there will be three drawings for one thousand word mini-interludes given away at random to three people on the donators list. So if you have donated before but are not yet on the donators list (meaning you don’t get e-mails about the end-of-arc interlude vote), and you’d like to be included in the prize drawings, please, please e-mail me at ceruleanscrawling@gmail.com with the information about what/when/how you donated so that I can add you.

    Finally, if you’ve been enjoying this story and all that and want to show it in a non-monetary way, I’d love that too! All you have to do is click this link to vote for Heretical Edge on Top Web Fiction! So thanks, every last one of you.

    Tags for this chapter are: Adams Family – Seth. Adams Family Is CLEARLY Superior., Avalon Sinclaire, Fahsteth, Felicity Chambers, Flick, Gabriel Prosser, I Got Entirely Too Much Enjoyment Out Of Watching People Debate About Whether Fahsteth Would Be Killed That Easily., Shiori Porter

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I genuinely wasn’t expecting them to figure out that much about Pace so quickly. Thinking on it now, it makes perfect sense. It just took me by surprise.

    I’m not surprised about Fahsteth. I wasn’t expecting him to die at the end of last chapter (though I segued into thinking that way during ht discussion about it). And, for the record, I find Avalon taking him by surprise like she did easier to swallow since he knew he could survive probably anything she could do to him. Underestimating him and focusing on Gabriel go a long way, but knowing you’re that durable would make it a lot easier to get careless.

    I didn’t see the cyborg thing coming though. That’s cool. And bad.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I genuinely wasn’t expecting them to figure out that much about Pace so quickly. Thinking on it now, it makes perfect sense. It just took me by surprise.

      Yeah, I figured it made sense for Flick to reason it together like that.

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  3. ““Next time I’ll finish the job,” the other girl promised,”
    Me: We’ll see. Like Prosser said, that was the only free shot you’ll ever get.

    ” Hell, when they found out that we were trying to set up a meeting with one of their allies, they went straight to trying to kill him, a guy they’d been working with for like… at least twenty years, off and on. Knowing all that, do you really think they’d let Pace have that choker if she wasn’t already–”

    “Already possessed,” Avalon finished for me, lifting her head with a thoughtful look. “I suppose that would make sense. But why does she act like–uh, why doesn’t she blend in more?”

    Me: For beings like the Seosten, 20 years isn’t a very long time at all Flick. Re: them figuring out about Pace so quickly, I suppose I can see it, even if it needs a leap of logic or two.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Me: We’ll see. Like Prosser said, that was the only free shot you’ll ever get.

      At least now she knows she has to confirm the kill much more thoroughly.

      Me: For beings like the Seosten, 20 years isn’t a very long time at all Flick. Re: them figuring out about Pace so quickly, I suppose I can see it, even if it needs a leap of logic or two.

      To be entirely fair, in some ways you might wonder why they didn’t figure it out before considering how important the thing is if it can detect Seosten.

      Like

  4. so… what does that make it?
    sharknator? Terminashark, Sharkborg? Roboshark?
    Terminajaws?
    Gadgetoshark? (would make more sense since he seem to be loaded with… “upgrades”)

    Like

  5. Sorry just thought id say that isn’t calling someone Asian Zipper racist? i think it was a racial slur once? i think i heard it in Gran Torino the Clint Eastwood movie?

    Like

    1. Looking it up, apparently Zipperhead was a derogatory term a long time ago, though I don’t think it’s common enough by this point for just Zipper to be seen as an insult. Thanks for asking though, just to be sure.

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      1. But isnt Seth old enough for it to be racist? sorry to nitpick love the story

        It’s all right, I understand the thought. But as Hendy said, Seth has no reason to think about (or care about) a slur used by US soldiers decades ago. And given how long he’s lived and how many places he’s been, half the words in the dictionary would be a slur if he paid that much attention to them. Besides, he explained the reasoning of the name and it’s decidedly not an insult. The INTENTION behind a word matters a hell of a lot. He could call her a Unicorn and it wouldn’t be an insult to her, but if HE knew of some other place where Unicorn was a nasty insult and that’s how he meant it, that would be bad.

        Not to mention that Zipper is not the same as Zipperhead. Again, intention matters.

        Like I said, as old as he is, he could probably point to half the words in the dictionary and think of a time that they were an insult from SOMEBODY to somebody at some point in world history.

        People can’t just go, ‘Well he’s being racist because he lived in a time when some random other people used a similar word in a racist way even though he’s stated his reasoning for using it in a completely adorable and utterly unoffensive way.’

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Apparently “Zipperhead” was coined and used primarily by US soldiers during the Korean and Vietnam wars. Given that Seth doesn’t seem to interact with Bystanders much, it’s possible that he just doesn’t know.

      And even if he does, I doubt a guy like Seth really cares about how some Bystanders use it.

      Like

  6. One *small* nit to pick — the “shattering glass”. Hadn’t Fahsteth essentially covered the entire interior of the room in metal plating? That was why Flick had to “hourglass” herself through that tiny hole that Avalon was able to make via metal-to-wood conversion. So… what windows were there to get hit by the deflected shotgun rounds?

    Flick’s leap of logic concerning Pace strains WSOD, but doesn’t *break* it (for me) — it seems to be an in-character thing for Flick (and Lincoln), that knack for finding real patterns in scattered data points.

    I’m actually surprised that Avalon was naive enough to think Fahsteth would go down that easily — I’m a bit concerned that her judgement may be unreliable where he’s concerned, potentially dangerously so. Then again, that’s what she has a team for….
    On a related note… Heretic and Alter society both seem to have a strong “you are worth what your word is” element — makes sense, given how difficult (impossible?) it would be to impose the sort of overarching framework of law and enforcement that we Bystanders are accustomed to. It’s a long-term problem, but developing a reputation for giving her word falsely could come back to bite Avalon later. Even Fahsteth seemed to feel at least somewhat bound by his verbal agreement (and he must literally live and die by his rep), and Gabriel’s word seems to be “trusted currency,” so to speak.

    On Gabriel… he’s definitely lowballing it. I imagine he could have completely dominated the situation easily at any time, maybe even kept Fahsteth from leaving (or killed him?), but he seems to be limiting himself to intervening just enough to keep Avalon and Flick from getting killed, and letting them do their own heavy lifting (as much as they can handle, anyway). I’m guessing it’s his way of ensuring they grow from the experience, instead of counting on their Fairy Godfather.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. One *small* nit to pick — the “shattering glass”. Hadn’t Fahsteth essentially covered the entire interior of the room in metal plating? That was why Flick had to “hourglass” herself through that tiny hole that Avalon was able to make via metal-to-wood conversion. So… what windows were there to get hit by the deflected shotgun rounds?

      The exterior of the room was covered. The windows themselves were covered by metal sheeting on the *outside* to stop anyone from coming in. It still left the glass exposed on the *inside* in order to be shattered. Good thought though, I had a moment of uncertainty there.

      Flick’s leap of logic concerning Pace strains WSOD, but doesn’t *break* it (for me) — it seems to be an in-character thing for Flick (and Lincoln), that knack for finding real patterns in scattered data points.

      See, there are a couple people who have said it strains belief, but I don’t see *how* it strains it. She explained her logic within the chapter. Why WOULD the Seosten give something like that to someone they weren’t controlling? Why would they hand out something that could identify them to someone as clearly unstable and uncontrolled as Pace is unless she was one of them? Honestly asking, do you have any other possibility that Flick/I didn’t consider? Because that was her biggest thing. The Seosten are masters at this stuff, and they just let someone like Pace wander around with an item like that? Why would they?

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Okay so one of the Seosten is an adult, another is Colombus?

    Can’t be Gaia, because they would have won by now.

    Don’t think it’s Nevada – Hybrid thing

    Probably isn’t Dare, because otherwise she would have just not done the time stop in time or w/e, and got Avalon killed.

    Hmm.

    Like

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