The Soulkiller Option
/Rune, I think I have an idea that might help us combat Tam Linn./ Mhm? I stir uneasily in the bedroom of my apartment. Despite the fact that I have owned this apartment for several months, some part of me still considers the old villa home.
Of course, I am not alone my bedroom, Verde not included. Sara Eksjö snoozes on the floor, encased in a luxurious pink sleeping bag. First time I have a girl sleeping over, ever, and it’s Sara effing Eksjö.
Could you repeat that? This time perhaps slower?/Come over./ I focus–
— and then my feet land in soft white sand. I swallow, slowly. I haven’t been to the Summer Isles, the inner sanctum of my soul since Tam Linn threatened to kill me for my lack of control. The thought suddenly infuriates me. How dare he! If there was ever a place where I could be myself, far from the expectations of how a normal person act, this would be it. And Tam Linn robbed me of this place. I make a solemn oath to take it back.
The placid waters breaks as a gigantic dragon rears its green head. “Well met”, Verde says in a voice that has changed. In my first visits here, Verde’s voiced sounded…. well, like you’d expect a skyskraper-sized lizard to sound like. Now there is something of a teacher in his voice; clear-cut syllables, clearly announciated and with a accent I can’t place.
“Tam Linn?” I ask. He nods. “Since his last visit I have combed through Greyscale’s memories.” Verde clears his voice; it sounds like a dozen beehives buzzing. “All of them.” “Oh”, I say. “Oooh”, I repeat. Three millenia worth of memories. And knowing what kind of person Greyscale is, I’d expect those memories to be filled with alcohol, women and silly, silly things.
“The answer”, Verde muses,” was right in front of me the entire time, as such things usually are. It’s surprisingly simplistic, and extremly dangerous”, he reiterates. I sit down on the beach, grabbing a fistful of sand. “Don’t leave me hanging. What’s the answer?”
“Remember the barrowman’s poison?” I frown at Verde’s non-sequitur, wondering where he is going with this.”I sure haven’t forgot it, if that’s what you’re asking”, I mumble, remembering a hall slowly corroding into nothingness. ” And then Greyscale spliced his soul”, Verde states. “And then he split his soul”, I repeat.
“In the ensuing fight, between you and I, an accord was reached. But”, Verde halts,” what would have happened if we hadn’t come up with a resolution?” “One of us… would have died. But what has that got to do with Tam Linn?”
“Don’t you see?” Verde’s excitment causes the waters of the Summer Isles to surge and swell. I scramble up. “It’s a two-way street, a double-edged sword. For Tam Linn, to be here and hurt us, he puts himself at the risk of being hurt back. He could kill us here in the Summer Isles, that is certainly true. But do you know what? We could kill him here. And unlike the wounds Greyscale or Hermann or any of the others might inflict on him, these would be permanent.”
I stare at Verde. I had been too busy to see it. Too afraid of death. But this is a place of souls, visited by souls.
Damage a soul and who knows what might happen to its mind? “It will be risky though”, I say. “What is life but a moment of risks?” “That’s awfully philosophical of you”, I retort with levity.
Verde places his head in front of me, so that our eyes meet.I can’t help but note that his head is bigger than a car. The light catches on his green scales, throwing splintered shards of veridian light at my eyes, blinding me. “Consider it. Tam Linn has managed to kill more people than there are stars in the sky. The reason why he has managed to do so, I think, is because so many of his would-be killers targeted his body despite the fact that they knew he could heal, indeed, this is the very conceit of Tam Linn; he always heals.”
I dissect Verde’s logic, working my way through the implications. “But we can’t be the only ones that have considered this kind of attack. I mean, the Council weren’t able to kill him. They must have someone among their number that can damage souls?”
Verde bobs his head. “They do, two of them can in fact do so. But I believe the circumstances are unique in this particular case. Tam Linn will be here, inside our soul. It will not be an attack delivered externally, but rather, internally. Burned from the inside out. If we coordinate it so that someone stabs Tam Linn with the shards of Zulfiqar at the same time…”
“Soul and body”, I say. The idea, the concept of it all is almost too much. So many ‘ifs’ I think. But on the other hand, what else can be done? The shards of Zulfiqare nullify magic, but apparently not good enough, as Hermann showed.
“We’d have to time it with military precision”, I voice, not entirely sold on the prospect. ” In the best scenario we would need someone who can enter the Summer Isles”, I muse. “Greyscale?”
“He would be one”, I state, not too sure of what he would make of Verde and the Summer Isles. “Elena or Sara might be able to visit the Summer Isles”, Verde temporizes. “Really?” Uhuh, I don’t think I want either them here, but if it helps us stop Tam Linn? Then I’d be willing to make a deal with the Devil himself( the Devil isn’t real, or that’s atleast what Hermann says).
“Sara has a connection to you and Elena can see that very connection. Indeed, there is no telling what either of them might be able to do. Of course, they’d have to risk a fight with Tam Linn…”
“I will ask Elena.”