Todd

Jessie woke up because she felt like her bladder was going to explode. She had no idea what time it was, and she had to guess where she was. The room looked like a nice hotel suite. She was in the same bed she’d been in earlier, though it had been reconfigured until it was basically normal. Other than that, there was a large TV, a dresser, a few lamps, and a couple of doors. One of them seemed to lead to a living room, the other a bathroom.

She got up and hurried to the bathroom first. Fortunately the after effects of the IV, which were rapidly taken care of, seemed to be the only side effects of her recent medical adventure. This time she didn’t have a headache, nausea, muscular stiffness, or broken ribs. Really someone ought to come up with a way to use Chinese healing magic to replace the stun magic currently in use. Though, she supposed, that wouldn’t sell unless consumers of defensive magic were really concerned about the comfort of people they were knocking unconscious.

It wasn’t until she came out of the bathroom that she realized the bedroom was missing a window. She went into the next room, which was in fact a living room, and found it was nice but also window free. The suite also contained a windowless office and kitchenette. There was one more door, presumably the exit, it was locked. She just had time to think, Great, I’m trapped again, when the door opened.

She didn’t recognize the man who opened it, but he was probably one of the least threatening people she’d ever met. He was tall and thin but hunched, wore thick glasses, and had practically no hair on the top of his head. He sort of looked just past her and spoke in a quiet voice when he said, “Hello, I’m to take you to Thomas if you’re feeling up to breakfast.”

Jessie looked at him in confusion. “Um, sure, I guess. How did you know I was awake?”

“You had a heart rate and blood oxygen monitor on your finger while you slept. Just a basic precaution. You took it off.” Jessie didn’t remember that and it probably showed on her face, “You might have pulled it off without noticing if you were in a hurry when you woke up. They just unclip. You might even have knocked it off when you started moving.”

“Oh, sure.” That seemed possible. It also seemed possible they were spying on her somehow, but she decided to keep her suspicions to herself. She looked down and found she was wearing a hospital gown over the pants she’d been wearing when Thomas worked on her. It was nice she no one had undressed her, but she’d definitely been wearing the same pants for longer than was at all reasonable.

Todd was either great at reading expressions or she was being really obvious because, for the second time, he answered a question she hadn’t asked. “Some clothes in your size should be in the drawers in the bedroom. If you’d like to shower and change, just buzz me and I’ll escort you to Thomas whenever you’re ready. There’s a call button on your bed, or you can dial 0 on the phone there.”

“That sounds good,” Jessie said, and then she didn’t rush the door when he walked out.

* * *

Todd had been true to his word. Though the door was once again locked, when she got out of the shower, the call button summoned him, and he escorted her to an elevator which carried them both a long way up. It carried them far enough up, in fact, that Jessie was surprised not to be on the roof when she walked out of it. Instead, she appeared to be in a large greenhouse. The air was warm and humid, plants grew all around, and there were even a few tropical birds. But, despite the glass roof, Jessie couldn’t really see anything more than sky from where she stood by the elevators. She suspected that would be true wherever she went. She actually knew where she was, Dwennon had seen to that, but it was unsettling that the facility seemed to be constructed to hide its location from its occupants.

“Thomas will be just down this path,” Todd said. He didn’t exactly look at her while saying it and then he punched a button on the elevator and the machine whisked him away rather rapidly. Jessie couldn’t quite decided if he was super creepy, or just shy. Normally she would have gone with shy, but the whole ‘potentially a minion of an evil organization’ thing was evidence in favor of ‘creepy’.

She walked along the path, which was made of chipped wood despite being indoors and found Thomas as easily as Todd had predicted. He was seated at a small wrought iron table just a few yards away from the elevator. She probably would have seen him the instant she got off, but the table was nestled in next to a tree growing in a little artificial pond. The tree was bulky and seemed somewhat confused about the difference between roots and branches. It hid the table quite well and made the already private setting seem even more private.

Thomas stood when she walked up, and pulled out a chair for her. Jessie nodded, and sat, he sat too. The silence was making her a little uncomfortable so she offered an awkward, “Hello.”

Medimagic pt2
Breakfast in the Garden

For some reason I cannot adequately explain, even to myself, I'm trying to write and to write better. So if you like my story let me know. All feedback is appreciated.

Posted in The Beginners Guide to Magical Site Licensing Tagged with: ,
9 comments on “Todd
  1. Thaumaturgical_Support says:

    So I’ve got the Hugo controversy all figured out.

    OK that was probably an odd thing to say. It’s a bunch of racists fighting with a bunch of commies over a SciFi award right? Probably as a step in their plan for world domination?

    But that doesn’t make much sense. Barely 50% of eligible voters in the US make it to the polls, yet we’re laboring under the theory that there was a vast cache of SJWs and/or white supremacists willing to rise up and pay real money to take over a *Science Fiction* award? That premise didn’t sit right with me.

    Then I read an article that talked about the recent withdrawals from the Hugos and, as a part of that, it said something along the lines of “Author X (name changed so I’m not slagging anyone’s book) can be certain they won the award legitimately because they wrote a great book.” Um, what? Until I read that line I hadn’t known the author had won a hugo, but I *did* read the book which got them nominated for the award back when it came out and I hated it!

    Still that book wasn’t political. I have no reason to doubt the sincerity of the statement above. So what accounts for the difference between my perception and the perception of the people who voted on the Hugo? Well the book in question is very much a character piece. If you find yourself really enthralled by the main character’s life you’re going to like it, if you’re looking for a strong plot….

    Then I sort of mentally went through the list of Hugo award winners that I read or attempted to read and they’re all character heavy. Meanwhile the SP nominees are very plot heavy and it all clicked.

    Both sides are sincerely boosting books they like. And both sides sincerely dislike the books put forward by the other group. However, because they like very different sorts of books they can’t understand the choices of the other side. Because of that they’ve gone looking for an ulterior motive. They found it in the relatively small sliver of voters on both sides who are very political and very vocal, and the name calling was driven to a fever pitch.

    “This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind,” I suppose. Still, I’m convinced that’s how this whole controversy got spun up and I had to tell *someone*.

  2. Watson (AvidFan) says:

    Excellent deduction Holmes! Utterly astounding.
    (I’m completely serious)

    Do you have any suggestions for a good book series to read? It sounds like you have good taste in novels 😉 . My small collection of backup books to read is nearly exhausted, and I might have to read my signed copy of The Great Zoo of China… But no matter how carefully I try to read new books, they always look old after I finish with them. 🙁

    • Thaumaturgical_Support says:

      Hmm, interesting question. I’m a fan of plot, of course, and if I were a hugo voter I’d be putting in for Skin Game, so if you like Urban Fantasy and explosions you should certainly check out the Dresden Files. That series begins with Storm Front though some people feel it’s a bit weak until Fool Moon. And, really, the entire SP slate conforms to that sort of model.

      I don’t know if you’ve checked out the other serials from Top Web Fiction (many of which are great) but if you have and you enjoy the super hero stuff and have already read through Worm, Citadel, Super Powerds, and the others you might like Soon I Will Be Invincible. It’s a bit of a deconstruction / reconstruction of the superhero setting and some people don’t like it for that reason but I like how the author gets the whole nutty super hero world into prose form. It contains a three way fight between a robot, fairy, and a time traveler… Confessions of a D List Supervillian and Ex-Heros are also good. Both of those are more on the plot side of the spectrum.

      The Magicians is good for a plot-light character heavy novel. Honestly, its driven more by it’s theme and cheap shots at Harry Potter then plot. Still – if you’re tired of typical high fantasy novels it’s a good change.

      In Mil SciFi the Troy Rising series is good from a HFY angle. Old Man’s War takes a bit more time to think about the critters that are getting blasted to bits by cool future guns. Although both series seem to cut off short of their respective finish lines. I was certain Ringo was setting up gravity based weapons for Troy and I thought Scalzi had a twist planned for one of his alien races yet sequels have not been forthcomming. There are also some good serial stories going on the HFY subreddit and all of those are free.

      I dunno, there’s a lot of great stuff out there. I think it’s just down to what you’re looking for.

      • saintPeter says:

        Heh, no wonder I like your story… You like all the same authors I do.

        • Thaumaturgical_Support says:

          🙂

          Mixed in with the posts I’ve read about the Hugos, there’s been some dower chin wagging about the decline of SciFi / Fantasy. However, I think it’s a great time to be a reader. There are a lot of really exciting things happening in self publishing and a lot of good authors publishing through the traditional houses.

      • irrevenant says:

        If you like those, may I also recommend “Wearing the Cape” by Marion G Harmon, for a more realistic take on supers while not being so bleak as Worm or Citadel.

        BTW, I don’t really follow the Hugos, but this whole Sad Puppies thing really does seem like a backlash against diverse SF writers finally getting a look in. Voting for books you like is one thing. Even voting for books you like because of their political leanings (for example pro-military or libertarian SF) is cool. Organising a voting block specifically to smack down books that are by or feature women, homosexuals or people of colour is not cool – that’s going beyond mere politics to opposing basic human rights.

        As an aside, I helped Kickstart a special edition of Lightspeed magazine called “Women destroy Science Fiction” (now selling on Amazon) and the first few stories alone were well worth it. Imaginative *and* good stories.

        I’m of two minds about the Hugo system. It sounds like they need to tweak it so it’s not so easily gamed. But I do think that an industry award needs to be more than just a simple measure of popularity. We have the book bestseller charts for that.

        • Thaumaturgical_Support says:

          > Wearing the Cape

          So I got the sample of that one time, but it just didn’t grab me. I’ve often thought I should give it another chance because the premise is interesting, but I haven’t done so yet.

          > Organising a voting block specifically to smack down
          > books that are by or feature women, homosexuals or
          > people of colour is not cool

          Sure, agreed, but I don’t think they really did that.

          One of the people they voted in is a female homosexual, and Correia, the guy who started it all, isn’t white. Entertainment Weekly wrote an article critical of the whole Sad Puppies thing then corrected it with a full racial rundown of the nominees: http://www.ew.com/article/2015/04/06/hugo-award-nominations-sad-puppies

          Of course, the argument could be made that those 11 authors are part of some sort of false flag operation, but I still like my theory better. I don’t have to assume any malice – Hanlon’s razor. (Not that I want to call anyone stupid either, you don’t have to be stupid to be confused about why someone would like something you don’t, but it’s a fact of life.)

          > But I do think that an industry award needs to be more
          > than just a simple measure of popularity.

          I guess, I think an award needs to be highly specific. It’s basically a book recommendation, but you can’t make a recommendation unless you know what someone likes. That’s why I ranged so broadly above.

          Anyway, I’m just a spectator, so it doesn’t matter too much what I think of the award.

  3. irrevenant says:

    “The room looked like a nice hotel suit”. Suite.

    “The suit also contained a windowless office”. Ditto.

    “spoke in a quite voice”. Quiet.

    “longer then was at all reasonable”. Than.

    “Some cloths in your size should be in the drawers in the bedroom”. Clothes.

    “than she didn’t rush the door”. Then?

    “Tod said.”. Todd.

    “Tod had predicted.”. Ditto.

    “he sat to”. Too.

    she offered an awkward, “Hello.”. That comma looks weird to me when the dialogue is a continuation of the action like that. But if you have reason to think it should be there, I’m not confident about that one.

  4. Pontus says:

    Does Todd actually introduce himself before he starts being referred to by name?

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