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Uno and Fog: Bargaining with a She-devil

May 16, 2019

“I haven’t done anything yet.” I answer, trying to sound confident.  Her appearance actually helps with this.  If she was fifty feet tall, with an head like an octopus, or worse, I probably wouldn’t be.  Even so, I know what her level of power is and I am completely outclassed.

I hope SHE doesn’t just pounce on me and shred me on the spot.

“All that will be left of you is a smear on the ground.”  She is furious.  Her eyes flash, her thin lips tighten, but she hasn’t acted yet which tells me that she considers the threat to her offspring to be real.

“If you are fast enough.” I bluff and reach out and sooth the child’s nervous system.  I can see the fear on her face.  I know that she can sense what I’m doing.

The Fog moves to get between me and her, which is one of the reasons why I count him as my best friend.

SHE looks at him and the fury hardens but hesitates, “What do you want?”

“Send them away,”  I gesture at the Forlorn. “and return to where you have come.”

“The first I can do, but the second I cannot, someone has to bring me, or send me.  I can’t do that myself,” a heartbeat pause, “nor do I want to.”

“Do the first, and we will discuss the rest when they’re gone.”  I say, staying very still.

She calls out now with a cry similar to the first one that had summoned them, and the Forlorn stop their relentless attack against Ms. Teri’s spectral warriors, their cries of despair and loneliness take on a plaintive ring as they shoot up into the sky and away.

I wonder if they are always lurking out there for the unwary, or if they are going some place where they have to be called out.  I hope its the latter, but I suspect its the former.  Despite how weird the world is, it keeps getting weirder and, upon reflection, scarier.

The Fog and I deal with the low level threats: thugs, the mob, bank robbers, gangs, serial killers, drug dealers and grifters.  The stuff the heroes are too busy to notice.  The end of the world stuff is for guys like Luminary and Ms. Teri, not us.  Yet here I am speaking to an old god.  I really want to ask Teri why she wasn’t here sooner, and I don’t know why we’re the ones she involved in all of this instead of getting Luminary or The Cadre involved.

I get the distinct impression that SHE’s just waiting for the chance to crush me like a bug.  I have no doubts that I’ve now made an extremely powerful enemy that has a very long memory.  I suspect there’s a very unpleasant death planned for me in the future of the type that is described as ‘long and painful.’

As the Forlorn slowly fade away in the distance, their cries growing softer, I ask Ms. Teri, “Can you send her back?”

“Not alone,” she hesitates, “at least not without a lot of preparation like James did to bring her here.” Which is not the answer I was hoping for, but was expecting.

“Do you know anyone that can?”

“Maybe,” the answer from Teri is grudging

SHE smiles, “We are at an impasse, I will not act while my child is threatened, but you cannot keep the threat up forever.  If you follow through with the threat, I will be no longer restrained and I will kill you.  So, are you ready to bargain, mortal?”

“Not sure I trust you to keep your end of the bargain.”

SHE actually laughs at that, “Surely you have stories about these kinds of deals, my kind have made them since the beginning.  We always keep our word and are bound to do so unless you break faith first.”

I think about the stories of people making deals with the Devil, or genies granting wishes, or even bargaining with a god.  These types of deals in the stories were usually fulfilled literally.

I had some thinking to do and not much time to do it.

 

 

 

 

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