Forsaken_1 winced as the sound of the Great Modem rang in his ears. He was plunged into darkness.
“Here we go,” he said. “Adventure, excitement, movie stars, slave girls … what’s this I’m wearing? It’s a dress!”
“Who are you? You sound American! Are you from the competition too, or do all the other people around here speak American? Why am I chained down on a table? It’s dark! Turn on some lights, honestly.”
Forsaken_1 had a sudden, terrible sense of foreboding.
“Contro?” he asked.
“So you do know me! Yay!! Who are you?”
“I’m Forsaken_1, but I wasn’t meant to be teamed up with you! I was arranged to get together in a Merchant wagon team with Debs, and we were going to settle down and…” he trailed off. “Did you say you were chained to a table?”
Slowly, his vision seeped back. There wasn’t much to see, because it was almost pitch dark in the dank cell. What little light there was, seemed to be glimmering directly out of Forsaken_1’s snowy white robes.
He looked down.
“I’m wearing a dress. I knew it! What is this shit?”
“Wait a minute,” Contro said from the table, to which he was indeed chained by wrists and ankles. “It’s a robe, like a priest wears. And you’ve got a golden sun on the front there, with a red … um, a red question mark. I think you’re one of those guys who wanders around looking for things and searching for stuff. An Ogier.”
Forsaken_1 felt his ears. “No, I’m not an Ogier,” he reported with relief. “I think I’m an Inquisitor, you know – the Children of the Light.”
“Maybe that was what I meant,” Contro laughed out loud. It was way more annoying in real life. “Ha ha ha!”
“Who is in there?” a sharp voice came from the other side of the studded iron door.
“It is I, ah, the Questioner,” Forsaken_1 replied shakily.
“And I, Contro! Ha ha ha!!!”
There was a click, and the door swung open. A man in a white robe stepped inside and stared at the two.
“This cell was empty when I came on my morning rounds,” he said. “Identify yourself.”
“I told you. I am the Questioner.”
“Do you have a name?”
“Yes he does! It’s For- ow! Ha ha ha!!”
“For…? For what?”
In a rare flash of insight, Forsaken_1 realised how stupid it would be to tell this man his real name. “Okay, alright, my name is Foreskin, as this little fool was trying to tell you. But it’s a name I don’t much care for, so I call myself Questioner. And you would do well to do the same, young man,” he went on, fixing the Child with what he hoped was a steely gaze. “Unless you want to end up here yourself.”
“Under the Light, I meant no offence, Lord Questioner,” the soldier said hastily. “I was not informed that you would be conducting an inquisition here and now. Who is this? A Tinker?”
Forsaken_1 looked again at Contro. He was indeed wearing bright, clashing clothes of every imaginable colour. “What? Oh, him. Yes, he is. I don’t know what he is doing here. It is my job to find out,” he was quite proud of that piece of reasoning – but it wasn’t enough for the soldier, who frowned.
Contro chose that moment to speak up. “Am I a Tinker? If I’m a Tinker, where’s my spears? And what am I doing here anyway?”
“Tinkers don’t use spears,” Forsaken_1 growled. “You’re thinking of Aiel.”
“Aren’t they the same thing? I seem to recall they started out as the same, didn’t they? Ha ha ha! Or am I thinking of something else?”
“Perhaps we should call this one Questioner,” the Child of the Light said dryly.
“Perhaps I should call yo momma and ask her if Greenpeace have gotten her back in the water yet,” Forsaken_1 muttered.
“Nothing. Leave us. I will question this Tinker, as is my duty. Under the, um, Light.”
“Very well, Lord Questioner,” the Child bowed formally and withdrew. Forsaken_1 stood indecisive next to the torture table. Contro smiled guilelessly.
“Fuck,” Forsaken_1 said.