Monday, January 16, 2012
Friday, January 13, 2012
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Saturday, December 31, 2011
Friday, December 30, 2011
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Friday, December 23, 2011
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Monday, December 19, 2011
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Sunday, December 4, 2011
(I guess he's captain of a ship that was at the planet when Ender got in trouble...gah, it's been so long since I've reread that I don't remember exactly how it went)
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Friday, November 25, 2011
Maybe the drug makes it possible (though not easy) for them to have children?
Saturday, November 19, 2011
The ability to genuinely like life and everything about it was, he was convinced, the most important thing for living as long as Immortals could. He couldn't count Cassandra as truly living, merely surviving, and the rest of the Immortals with multiple millennia under their belts enjoyed the world and their lives, even if it wasn't necessarily in a way that others approved of. Today Methos was enjoying a book and a beer. Tomorrow...who knew what he'd be enjoying? There was a whole world full of possibilities out there.
Tap. Tap. Taptap. Normally he wouldn't have taken any notice of the sound, having lived in a number of houses with trees close enough to tap on the windows (or, more often, the walls). But this house didn't have any trees around it. He looked up and had to wonder if his beer had gone bad, because there in broad daylight was an owl, looking at him as if it was a cat that had decided that it was time to come inside and was wondering why he hadn't read its mind and already opened the door—or in this case, window. He decided to indulge its odd behavior. This was just a vacation house; nothing in it was important enough for him to care if an owl destroyed it.
Methos opened the window with all the reverence due to any animal that acted like a cat. To his amusement, the owl took it as its due and flew in to land neatly on the back of one of the kitchen chairs before it raised one of its legs towards him, displaying what looked like a scroll of paper.
A messenger owl? Now he really had seen everything. He wasn't sure he would have braved the talons and beak if he'd been mortal—but then, if he'd been mortal, he likely wouldn't have ever seen an owl tear apart its prey before, and developed a healthy respect for its destructive capability. But he was Immortal, so the worst he had to worry about was a few years spent growing back a finger or two. And the owl did seem docile, or at least domesticated. He took the scroll without incident. It unrolled a bit once it wasn't tied anymore, and he saw that it wasn't a scroll, but an envelope.
Mr A. Pierson
The Yellow Room
19 North Hill Road
The address probably should have made Methos feel like somebody was watching him—the house has three bedrooms; how did the person who addressed the letter know which one he was staying in this time?—but the owl accomplished that just fine on his own, with the way it was staring at him. Right...it was a cat in the body of an owl, which had somehow been convinced to deliver mail.
"Would you like something to eat?" he asked. "I believe I have some dormice." The owl sat up straighter and, if it was even possible, stared at him even harder. He pulled out the cage of mice, already mourning their loss. And he'd just re-found the recipe, too...
With the owl happily engaged, he turned his attention to the letter. Parchment wasn't something that was used much these days. Green ink, an owl...the plot thickened. He cracked open the wax seal and read the letter.
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Headmaster: Albus Dumbledore (Order of Merlin, First Class, Grand Sorc., Chf. Warlock, Supreme Mugwump, International Confed. of Wizards)
Dear Mr Pierson,
We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment. Term begins on September 1. We await your owl by no later than July 31.
A grin spread across Methos's face as excitement grew within him. Here was something he'd never done before, or even heard of. Magic school! He could hardly wait.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Anne should be at the hospital, she knew. The situation out there was sure to be bad and getting worse, and that meant that the hospitals needed every pair of hands they could get, before their ability to do much good went away. Sure, the medicine would still be good after the apocalypse, and many of the diagnostic methods didn't depend upon electronics, but how many of those medicines were made locally, without machines being involved in the process? It wouldn't be the dark ages, or even the 1800s, but still, doctors wouldn't be much good after their supplies were gone.
But she could do good now, she knew that. She could save lives that were in danger now, not at some theoretical future time. But she felt frozen, unable to do anything, even leave the house for a few hours. She'd held Mary until she'd gotten bored and squirmed away to go and play, aware of what was happening but not yet old enough to be interested in "boring adult stuff" for long. But while Mary might not be having a problem (yet), Anne wasn't handling the news well. How could she? She didn't have the first idea of how to handle even the knowledge, much less the situation itself.
The phone rang, and she almost jumped at the sound. "Hello?" she said tentatively.
"Duncan!" she exclaimed, tears prickling at her eyes. "Oh, thank God. Thank God." There'd been a time in her life when she'd sworn that she'd never act like this, like a woman in a romance novel, dependent on a man for everything as if she couldn't do anything for herself. But already she couldn't handle the new world, and it wasn't even here yet. And Duncan was four hundred years old; he'd know what to do.
"Anne," he said, "I need you to calm down. It's not as bad as you think it is." He sounds so confident of that fact that she's pulled upright by the force of his voice, the tears drying on her cheeks. "We have a plan. Here's what I need you to do…"
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Seven days. That's all they get to prepare for the apocalypse.
Maybe that sounds overly dramatic. After all, the world will still be there, and all the people on it. They even know about it in advance, so nobody's going to die when their plane loses all power. But all their electronics, everything that makes the modern world so modern—that's all going to be useless, fried by Earth's own electromagnetic field.
The science is out there for anybody who really wants to know. But there's only a week left before the apocalypse, and most people have better things to care about than science.
The Watchers are, fortunately, better-prepared for this than most other organizations. Until very recently, being out of contact for years at a stretch wasn't just common, it had been the norm, and even in the 21st century they weren't always able to remain in constant contact. Thank God for slow-moving bureaucracy; every Watcher still knows the traditional protocols for acting on their own, although they're sending out a refresher email just to be sure that nobody's forgotten anything since they went to the Academy. The Diaries are, of course, always written first on paper; they'll be safe from this disaster.
Joe's spending his last days of phone and internet making contact with the Watchers he's in charge of, making sure that they know where their nearest coworkers are. He may still nominally be in charge of North America, but from now on everybody's going to have to do a lot more for themselves.
Duncan, Amanda, and Adam have a plan. He doesn't know what it is, and normally that'd have him worried; he's seen their plans in the past. But this time? This time he'll trust them, without a single question. Adam ferreted away the Diaries with six days left until the apocalypse. Amanda brings large crates to the bar, where they're loaded onto a semi for Duncan to drive into the night.
All three of them act like the bar's a stop on the Underground Railroad, constantly bringing people in until sending them to their next destination. Joe recognizes some of them: people that at least one of the three likes, or at least doesn't hate outright.
Already, the city's mood is turning nasty. There's no food left in the stores, and often not much of anything else, either: whether it'll be useful, or somebody just wants one before there aren't any left, everything manufactured is a hot commodity. Once the transportation's gone, there won't be any way to survive in the city, and everybody there knows it.
The Immortals haven't tried to talk him into leaving; in fact, haven't said much to him at all, always busy with their plan. It makes him wonder: after all, they're taking all of their other friends and acquaintances out of the city, taking them away from all of this to protect them. But even Mac hasn't tried to talk him into leaving.
It's easy to fall into despair when the world's ending and you know it. And not only was the world ending, but Joe was all alone most of the time, with the Immortals having abandoned him to work on their plan and save others. Maybe he wasn't as good a friend to them as he'd thought, if they'd save casual acquaintances before him. Maybe they were doing the smart thing and not wasting their scarce resources on a cripple—what good would he be to them, anyway? Even if he could hobble around now, his legs wouldn't last forever, and somehow he didn't think that making things wheelchair accessible would be a priority, after the apocalypse.
Time slipped through his hands like water, as he devoted himself to what will no doubt be his last deeds on this world. He won't be there, not for anybody; the least he could do was make sure that his last actions would do somebody some good.
It was the last day before the Immortals finally come to tell him that they were leaving him behind. He should feel insulted that they thought that he was stupid enough that he hadn't caught on yet, but he couldn't manage to gather enough energy or ill-will to make the last words he speaks to his friends be harsh ones.
"Joe…" Amanda said. "We have to leave now if we don't want to have to walk part of the way."
Joe started to say something, but Duncan was faster than he was. "We've packed all of your belongings already, so all we need is you."
"And yes, I found your hiding place," Adam chimed in.
It took a moment for that to sink in. "I thought you were leaving me behind," he confessed.
"Why would you think that?" Duncan asked, genuine confusion in his voice.
"None of you have said more than two words to me this past week, about your plans or otherwise. You've been moving people through here like it's Grand Central, and haven't said word one to me about leaving. And with these legs…"
"Joe," Adam said, "you are more than just your legs. We didn't have to think twice about you coming, because you're our friend and because you're a valuable resource. We didn't say anything to you because we respect the work you've been doing, and thought that you already knew that you were coming."
It should be a crime to feel this good with the apocalypse less than 12 hours away, but what could go wrong, living in a post-apocalyptic community led by the three of them? He smiled and planted his legs and cane firmly on the ground. "All right, what are we waiting for?" They left the bar and didn't look back.