Sara and I sit on the balcony of my apartment, enjoying whatever is left of the this afternoon’s sun. Or atleast I am enjoying myself, that is to say, until Sara speaks. “What did you think she was going to say? Sorry I lied about a threat to my life made by an infamous supernatural hitman, but could you help me out with something?”
I’d like to think that I knew what an irritating person was like. The nuances, nasal voices and requests for things you can never fulfill. I thought I knew these things, then I had to spend alot of time with Sara Eksjö. And the bond? It has fluctuated somewhat, but does not seem to go away. She continues to talk.
“Did you tell her what you wanted help with? Please tell me you didn’t”, she mutters, raising one gloved hand against the harsh glint of the sun. “No, I didn’t.” “Because I am not stupid. I wanted to check just how mad she was”, I add a second after my rebutal.
Sara’s left eyebrow inches up. Her brown eyes seem to scold me. “You could have asked me, you know”, she chides. /For once I agree with her./ The moment Verde speaks, Sara shudders. While she has never been able to hear him, she can certainly feel him. “Verde says that he agrees with you”, I retort.
“That’s because he is a wise wyrm, and you’re an immature boy.” /Notice how she refers to me as a wyrm and not a dragon. Do you notice that reference?/ I ignore Verde. “But the news about Linn’s ultimatum is out. Elena told Hermann, who I guess will be telling the other-” “All of which is very interesting, however not the most crucial part. Did you tell her about your plan?” Sara interferes.
“Erhm, no”, I mumble. / And therein lies the crux and your opportunity. Tell Sara I said that./ I repeat Verde’s comment. “He’s definitely right about the opportunity.” Sara stretches long limbs, and drags out her phone. “Let’s make a list of people you can approach. We’ll call them the… Yes-group, No-Group and Maybe-group” she decides.
“Hmm, put Elena in the No-group”, I state. “Done.” “Add Hermann to the No-group, because he’d never let me put my life in any kind of danger. Greyscale… in the Maybe-group, I think”, I temporize. /Greyscale is hard to judge, on that I agree with you. He might have a reaction similar to Hermann for he sees you as one of his sons, while on the other hand this is the kind of stunt that he’d approve of./
“Others?” Sara asks, waiting for my analysis. Mine and Verde’s. / Corazon falls in the Maybe-group. He’s a knight, a king of old, yet threatening children has never sat well with him. Perenelle fears and hates the Council equally and yet there is still some of that old integrity in her, so her name too must be filed under Maybe./ Gomagog and Merith?
/Anything that will kill a member of the Seven is something that Gomagog will approve of, so Yes. Merith… Merith too falls in the Yes-group. Although she hides it, she is fond of you, a fondness that will make her help you I believe./
I relay Verde’s thoughts to Sara. “What about Eldridge?” She asks. /I have absolutely no idea, so I will not speculate./ “Me and Verde have got no idea” I say.
“The Maybe-group, then. Our class?” Sara’s question is filled with a certain curiosity. “Amanda for sure. Kai doesn’t like bullies and he is my friend so I think we can count him in. Chiyo, for wherever Kai goes, she will join. Hannah has a murky history with Linn, but in the end I think she will side with me- she despises cruelty and Linn certainly is cruel. Nevena…” I stop.
“Nevena has an indepent streak unlike no other person I have ever met. That alone would make her hate someone like Linn. For the sake of other considerations…. yes, she would be on our side. Erim has been complicit in what we have been doing, in essence giving him no other choice, besides, he took on one of the Branch-Chiefs in order to test his powers, and while that has made him slightly more modest, he still is one cocky son of a bitch. As for the others?”
I shrug, helplessly. “Can’t tell. You’d have have to ask them.” “Which”, Sara says slowly,” defeats the purpose and puts the idea out there. And speaking of that idea…. your plan was to lure him inside your soul and then… off him. But in a more concrete manner, what is your plan?”
I stare at Sara.
She stares back.
“That’s basically your plan, isn’t it. Oh for crying…..”/Hmm, the plain is rather… bare, now that she is pointing it out./ I sigh internally as vocally. “Look, what’s that American saying? No plan survives contact with enemy. Tam Lin… Tam Linn is like that. This a guy who has killed legends, myths, urban-figures. Any plan we make to combat him is going to hell before we know it. So it’s better that we have a loosely sketched-out plan we improvise on, rather than one set in stone.”
There is silence. “Huh”, Sara eventually says. “That’s quite logical. Who are you, and what have you done to Rune?” I settle for a good old glare./ I am proud of you, Rune. Half a year ago you would have decided on a course, not relenting for anything short of a disaster. This is a very fluid way of thinking./ I wince. I hope I wasn’t that bad?/You aren’t, not now./
“I think that the key part of this plan, should we go through with it, is that nobody bothers you while Tam Linn is inside your soul”, Sara asserts, suddenly blushing. “Can’t believe I just said that sentence.”
“Welcome to my world”, I say with certain glee. “Welcomeee…..”