Saturday, March 2, 2013

Chapter Nine: Getting Facts

A/N
Dear, Americans, I know you will know what I'm talking about when it comes up, but I'm not sure my dear Australians will.
I'm guessing you Australians have infomercials, right? They go something like this:

"Have you ever really needed to--- [fill in the blank]---, but you just can't find the right tool? [shows images in black in white of people being really tired and irritated with the things they have] Well not anymore! [shoes people in color happily using the item] With--- [fill in the blank]---  it's as easy as 1! 2! 3! And for a limited time only, you can get this wonderful--- [fill in the blank]--- for only 19.95! But wait! Call now- and not only will we send you this- but we'll also send you the other thing! A fifty dollar value all for only 19.95! But that's not all! If you call within the next ten minutes, not only will we send you this and the other thing, but we'll also send you that! That's an eighty dollar value, all for  only 19.95! You won't find this on stores! Call now before you miss this amazing opportunity!"

... You get the picture... xD Well, yeah... I couldn't resist :P
  
 __________________________________________________________

Persephone Dove

  The mirror was an oval with a golden detail of curly-cews and flowers along its edge. I was always grateful for this mirror since it had gotten me out of more than one close-scrape when I found my necklace was crooked or there was an out-of-place speck which had somehow found its way onto my clothes. I still didn't understand how specks of anything could get into this house. But, after considering, who am I, really, to judge whether a speck is in the right place or not?

  I gently tugged on the dangling bit of scarlet hair -which fell down from the loop held together with pins at the back of my head- to be sure there weren't any loose strands. There weren't. The seaweed colored dress I wore, I thought, was a bit much, and it kind of made me look like a strangled mermaid unable to breath out of water, but on Melinda's unfaltering persistence, I wore it today. She said it looked- and I quote- "Dazzlingly elegant, my Percy, darling! It 'ull show yer father your not a li'l girl anymore."

  So I took as deep a breath as was possible with this dress, put on the most serene smile I could muster, and entered the dining parlor where my father was already seated at the head of the table. His dark eyes flitted over me, and I bowed my head in acknowledgement. He only hesitated a moment before indicating I sit in my usual place, to his right.

  I sat. We ate salad in silence but for the inevitable clatter or scrape of silverware. I cleared my throat, "Father..." He didn't reply. He always told me to complete a thought before looking for an answer, so I continued, "Father, how was your trip?"

"Successful."

I swallowed. Ok, not a great invitation for more conversation... I tried to think of what else I could say, "I won every sparring match last week."

"I should expect so."

I sighed, "Father, I wanted to ask you a question."

"So ask it, child. Don't state that you want to. Weakness of words is weakness of character. Who's been teaching you these bad habits?"

"No one, Father! Really-" I checked my tongue, forcing the words back down my throat and looking down at my plate. "I'll do better next time...-" awkward silence... "But Father, I wanted to a- I mean- may I...- May I take a trip to America? I've been dearly wanting to, and Theodore Moussant was saying that it would be good to travel and get experience from-"

"No. I have told you before. This is your home, and there's no reason to leave. The rest of the world is full of idiots and scoundrels. Don't slap my generosity aside by asking me such things. You should know better."

My mouth hung open for a second before I snapped it shut, looking away, hurt. I was horrified. I'd never asked something like this of him before, but... I thought he'd agree with me... My lips twitched, wanting to argue my case, but I honestly didn't know what to say. I stared silently down at my plate.


  Angel's hand flitted into view, fingers gripping the plate and taking it away. She replaced it slowly with the main course. I looked up into her sympathetic eyes and turned away again before I got her into trouble.



***

Nights Raven

  We were definitely out of earshot of the house. I never like butlers with good hearing. They just weren't... right. Plus, the fog was fast frying in the sunlight, and none of us wanted to be easy targets. I shaded my eyes, wondering how a thunderstorm could possibly have passed through here last night.


  Kallista leaned against a tree, and Israel and I stood next to her. This was our "undecided" stance, apparently. Kal had told us Jericho was calm, talking to some man at a desk. Israel was deciding what to do. Go in and "rescue" him? Wait? Ring the doorbell? Hence the silent ponderous standstill.


A cricket chirped in the distance. 

Israel's jacket suddenly sang with Nightwish's "Amaranth." It was slightly muffled, but nothing can really silence Nightwish. Israel jumped, searching his pockets for the source of the music, and He found it: my phone. 

Answering, "Elysium."

An indistinct murmur replied.

"Skyril, are you sure?"

My ears perked up. Kal had the same expression.

She looked at Israel, "That's Skyril on the phone?"

He nodded distractedly, "Ok, thanks." He laughed, "Sure thing.... Ok, ok! I solemnly swear that I owe you a favor- a big one. Alright?....,  Don't I always? Alright, bye."

"What did she say?" I asked

"She said to have fun whooping the bad guys." 


***

Jericho Matteus

  "Timothy Curtis..., really?" I was skeptical, but I actually just wanted to make him focus on me, having so nearly seen Kallista when my eyes had flicked to the window before she ducked back. I avoided swallowing while he was watching me so closely.

"Yes...," he said after a moment. "I wanted a name that sounded mortal."

This fellow was far too cocky by -what he thought of as- his supremely clever mind to let even a pathetic insult slide. "Ah, well, I know who to come to when I need to think of a seriously drab name. Except... -oh yeah!- anybody can think of those." I faked a French accent, "It takez a true arteest to find za zupremely perrrfect name. Attrapez-vous ma dérive ?" He scowled at me. I shrugged and glanced at the bookcases, my insides already calm.

  I stood in front of the books as if I was actually interested. My left hand [my right was still clutching my shotgun] touched a spine of one whose name I didn't care to notice and slid down to the shelf it was on, where my thumb pressed a listening device beneath it. "Hm, disappointing bookshelves. Did I see Jane Austen up there? Don't get me wrong, she's a great writer, I just didn't think she was your type." I browsed another bookcase.

  "Jericho Matteus, you seem to think of me as some villain. Why would you presume thus when you hardly know me?"

"I think of everyone as a villain until they've changed my mind. 'Sprobably the reason most people I know are either dead or in prison." I smiled, picking up a bookend with half the world on it. The books it had been holding slid off the shelf. I stepped back, "Whoops..."

Timothy sighed, "Please, Mr. Matteus," I was getting on his nerves, already, and I had barely even tried. I mentally marked my new record for causing such useful trouble. Timothy went on "Will you put that down-" I still had the bookend in my grip- "and act like a grown up? I have a proposition for you, and I've barely gotten ten words in!"

"Ninety-seven."

He spluttered, "What are you talking about?"

  "You've spoken ninety-seven words since your butler left. Or- that is- 102, if you count the last five, which means you've actually spoken 10 words 10.2 times... I suppose you could say, 'I've barely gotten ninety-seven words in,' but that does defeat the drama, doesn't it? My suggestion? Don't say stupid things in the first place. It's surprisingly simple if you try...," I glanced at him, "Oh, but don't worry, I understand if you're... special." I sprawled in the seat across from him, having figured he wasn't about to try anything. His head would be under my knee if he did anyway. "Got any sarsaparilla?"

  "No, I do not," he was slowly rising to his feet, "and despite your arrogant refusal to be anything but a conceited fool, you are going to listen to what I have to say, or I will take my proposition to another, far more reliable source, whom I only disregarded in the first place because I had heard a shining report about you by a personal friend and associate of mine. If you do not stop this behavior immediately I shall have to demand you depart from my premises at once!"


I almost asked how he was planning on backing up his demands, but I thought I had probably pushed his buttons enough by now, so I remained silent- wearing an adequately humbled expression- as he again took his seat.

"Now," he began after a second or two, "what I have to tell you has only been told in stories before, and then, only a few. It's knowledge of truth that not many men know, and I am only telling you because I have the money and the means to hire you to search for it, even if you think the artifact doesn't exist."

  My face twitched. The fact that he had supposedly heard about me from a "friend" had already been doubtful, but if said "friend" thought someone could hire me to do anything just for some money... Well, I wondered what the truth was about his knowing me. He went on.


  "Items... items hold memories, Matteus. I'm sure you know this, or, if you didn't, perhaps you wondered who that girl was, laughing in the sunshine when you touched a hat, or some other circumstance. It's rare, only occurs when the owner of the item- whatever it may be- had strong emotion while possessing it at some time in his life. Then, you can only see a few glimpses with a feeling of deja vu or a sense of a dream long forgotten, suddenly recalled. You probably would have put it off as nothing, the girl was just a memory from a dream.


  "But that, Mr. Matteus is where you would, most assuredly, be wrong. The flashes of deja vu are real, showing you snippets of someone's past. The sad thing is, you can't hold onto them, nobody can. They trip before your eyes and run away again before you catch a few seconds of memories- and then, only memories of powerful emotion.... Do you understand why it would be so invaluable to have the power of finding, searching, keeping, storing, and using memories from anybody? Memories of- say- Edward John Eyre as he crossed Australia from east to west, or Christopher Columbus as his ship schemes mutiny only just before discovering a new land. Do you see? Do you see the priceless knowledge such a thing would enable?" He was getting excited, feverishly standing, pacing, and sitting again.


  "But," I said, as he took a moment to catch his breath, "I foresee a problem with this... this artifact which I'm presuming you want to find, which I'm further assuming allows you to do just what..." I waved my hand, "all you said. As useful as said Priceless Item of Infinite Wisdom, Knowledge, and Power would be how many watches and a hats and underpants do you have? Because, you know, I'm guessing you do still have to have something for it to work."


Timothy Curtis steepled his fingers upon his desk, smiling knowingly, "I'm glad you asked me that."

Oh, how I hated it when I chomped down on someone's dangling bait. 
But I didn't say anything, raising my eyebrows in question instead.

  "You were, however, correct in assuming there's a device in existence which allows what I have mentioned, only better. Not only does it allow you to literally see through a deceased being's eyes, feeling what they felt, thinking what they thought, but it's equipped with freedom. See an image of someone- even merely a likeness- and think his name. That is all. You're suddenly allowed to browse his memories, jumping in wherever you would like, learning anything you want as easily as breathing! As easy as one, two, three!"


I paused, and there was one question in the forefront of my mind...,
"For only 19.95?" 

3 comments:

  1. That was awesome!! :D

    lol I loved the end with the infomercial reference.

    and THANK YOU FOR GIVING ME AN EPIC RINGTONE :D :D :D I love that song Amaranth :D
    *dances to it*

    I can't wait for the next chapter :D So PLEAAAAAASE write fast :D *hugs her*

    Excellent writing, as usual :D

    ReplyDelete
  2. BWAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!! SO EPICA! Love that last line..."For only 19.95?"
    It's all so cleverly written and so funny in parts and you write Jericho Matteus so WICKED COOOOOL! ANd I wanna noogie him and suprise adopt him! YAY
    Loved how you did the stricked villian father thing. Poor girl. Hoep she can get out soon.
    Everythign is just so wonderful Sky! Hope we will not have to wait to long befor ethe next part comes out!
    *hugs*
    BRAVO SISTER

    ReplyDelete
  3. My dear sister, I feel I must add that your writing is extrodinary. In fact, I feel that you are the Mozart of teh writing world (a few of you are) XD
    YOU, Skyril put the ARt into MOZART! :D

    ReplyDelete