Saturday, June 4, 2011
Met with Hylo -/|\-Bad Memories
Spent Tuesday out of Kay's and back in the real world. One of my new found friends had run into a bit of trouble. I rolled into Sleepy Hollow, feeling pretty nervous. Hylocereus seems to attract all kinds of things, and I was picking her up from a hospital. That meant no obvious brandished weapons, and that Glyphosate guy seemed pretty determined.
I met her just outside the hospital, and there she was. She has possibly the most embarrassing first name I've heard in a long time. Her birthday wasn't all that long ago, so I took her out for a proper overly expensive birthday dinner. We ate, we talked, it was a good time. I'm just glad to see she's alright. Not many people get simultaneously blessed and cursed with awesome and end up on the run from multiple entities that are interested in her.
I gave her exercises to do. We got her an aluminum bat. We had a good time.
And now I'm back at Kay's, staring at my computer screen. Hylo, Lia, whichever she prefers...she'll be alright.
I'm out of excuses. Lets talk about the past.
This is hard for me. You all deserve to know who Mastermind is. You need to know what's going on, because if me and my crazy gang of insane sons of bitches don't pull the mother of all maneuvers off, it becomes your problem. God I need to be drunker to write about this stuff.
You want to know why? Well. Let me give you an example. Remember a few weeks back, when during an explanation of some early fights with Rogue Nemesis, some guy mentioned to me, "I apologize for the mutinies, sir. All four of them."
Lets talk about the first of them.
Observe if you will, the young AmalgamationSage. Young, brash, stupid, he's most certainly not at his best. He's been constantly projecting, running around and trying to keep this rag tag "army" he has to work with from being overwhelmed. He understands that he cannot escape. He has high school, he has his family, he knows that if the creatures of the lower planes get past him, it could all go away so very quickly. There's also the fact that if he gets surrounded by entire armies, odds are he'll die a horrible death. This is generally what happens. He has to keep the army intact. If worst comes to worst, he can send the army north to regroup with Time Lord, but ...fuck it, Ryuu already filled everyone in on my name. Nick can save the survivors, but if that happens he cannot save himself.
Every day is a fight to survive and hold the army together. Every day he projects to a million places, trying to keep morale up. He is young and stupid, and thinks he can keep this up forever. The healers in the army know better. They know he's running himself ragged. Between schoolwork, homework, and the hordes of hell, his mind is starting to take the heat. He's slower, spacier, more distant. But he fights on anyway.
And sometimes, The Presence is there after the day is done, and she holds him. That is all he needs to tell himself, "And we'll do it again tomorrow. And again and again, until the other guy stops getting back up." But they always arrive at 4 AM to kill him. Nick relishes what sleep he can find.
Young Nick is a simple creature. He's bright and quick on his feet, and so utterly blind and trusting. Fortunately. He has help. His second in command was a lovely, pale young thing from the higher planes, with golden hair and a perpetual smile, even in the hell of the war. Nick knew her from his most recent past life, and he could see flashes of her now and then. He knew that they were close then, and in the little flickers that he remembers, he knows that she is probably the only person in this entire force he can trust his life to.We will call her Thinker.
Thinker has her eyes on everything, and she quickly determines where the loyalties of the army lie. She knows the majority of the other officers follow the Rogues. She knows they know she knows. But they do not know that she knows that they know she knows. This is the kind of game you play at this level of intrigue. She fed data to the correct officers upstairs in the Higher Planes. She changed out the Military Police under her command for people she could trust. She went to sleep with a weapon in her hand. She did NOT tell Nick any of this, mostly because his head was an open book. At that time, any mind-reader worth a damn in the army could peek in and see everything they wanted.
Nick will find that out soon enough. But in the mean time, several of the officers working for him decide that Thinker needs to die.
You can prepare for a fight. You can prepare with all the weapons, all the spells, and all the brilliant plans. But you never, ever fight alone if you can help it. One person can be overwhelmed, one person can be stopped, tricked or outmaneuvered. One person means only one chance to get things right. If Thinker had come to Nick, or had gotten the Military Police in a position to protect her from an outside threat, Thinker would have survived. But no, she was on her own, and she was expecting an attack from the traitorous lieutenants and their loyal soldiers. Now, mercenaries from outside the ranks that she DIDN'T have infiltrated and watched by the Military Police? How did she not see it coming? I suppose you don't think of it when you're supposed to be surrounded by a mighty force keeping the demons at bay.
When the attack came, I went to work just as always. The Traitorous lieutenants had the the Military Police occupied. She was on her own. They did things to her. Cold, calculated, terrible things. It wasn't enough to cut an artery and let her bleed out. No, they wanted her to know the pain down to her bones, for daring to defy their new world. Sliced, bled, defiled. When I arrived, her location was covered in bodies. Only three of her attackers were still alive. They were humanoid, and they were doing things to her. After a moment of work, they were no longer humanoid, and wouldn't touch anyone ever again.
I remember kneeling down by her, and trying to weave every spell, every bit of healing that I knew. She apologized for not being better prepared. I kept using everything I knew to try and save her. You see, the worst part is never the Knowing. It's the Not Knowing. I don't even know her real name. I don't know who she was or how I knew her or why she meant so much to me. I know her rank. I know we were close at one point. And I know that as I watched her die in my projection, I began crying. She just kept apologizing. I kept weaving that spell, hoping something might help. My mind could not accept her death, let alone that I had been close to this person who I may never know. I still think of her. I know she was important. I may never know why.
At some point while I was casting spell around her, one of the healers arrived. They carried her off, and the healer lied to me. He said she would be just fine, that my spell had worked, that she would be gone for a while but she'd be back some day. I believed him at that moment, because I had to believe him. I had to believe that I could get back up and do something about this mess. That I was here to save the day, and that once more the Mighty Nick had totally performed a brilliant last-minute rescue. If I couldn't then I would break.
Five minutes later, I was composed again. I had been lied to expertly, so I "knew" she would be okay. It was time to do my job now. That said, the entire mercenary maneuver was all very sloppy. The officers who ran this little maneuver thought that I would be too overwhelmed to NOT sense the Military Police's reports about who had brought the mercenaries through our lines. When two surprised officers found themselves in chains, being sent north for trial, I honestly think they were still surprised that I could handle basic functioning on the astral plane well enough TO have fingered them and given the order. They were arrogant, overconfident shits. Back in those days, everyone thought that because I was a simple kid I was also stupid. You'd think after the third time I spun the situation back around on them that they would figure out that I wasn't as dumb as I looked. As they were carted off for trial and sentencing, the one thing going through my mind was: "No one would fault me for these two slipping down the stairs and breaking their necks."
I won't say I didn't think of it because it would be immoral. I will say that I was too tired from 4 AM attacks to think of it until the day they were carted off. I've gotten nicer over the years, strangely enough.
This wouldn't be the last time I would have to send off officers for one takeover stunt or another. It was the beginning of the end for this unfortunate army, as the most competent officers were also the most traitorous of them. When all you've got are idiots to hold the line, bad times are on the way.