The Path of Blaggers, Part 8

In the field of self-destructive lunacy, Galina had to say that Padan Fain took the cake in almost every contest against some pretty impressive opposition. He couldn’t even remain the same person for more than about five minutes at a time, and all his alternate personalities were dangerously unhinged and shockingly violent. And in the history of disastrous policy decisions, she would further have to say that his decision to release the Shaido was an easy contender for Padan Fain’s Top Five.

Still, there was little she could do about it at the present time.

“You’re supposed to be questioning him,” she said, looking down at Sevanna and the Shaido soldier with a weariness that had long since replaced her horror and disgust.

“He had nothing to say.”

“Was that before or after you ate his eyes?”

Sevanna, or the thing that had once been Sevanna, examined the soldier’s dirt-caked fingernails. “Both.”

Galina sighed. They had been in Ghealdan ten days, moving from place to place apparently without purpose. Occasionally, Fain got one or another of the Aes Sedai to weave a gateway, a feat for which many of them needed to Link. Then they would wander the countryside for another few days. Apparently, Fain was “triangulating”. This concept summoned up just the right mental image of the crazed peddler turning into a simplistic musical instrument as far as Galina was concerned.

She became aware that Sevanna had said something.


“I said, I don’t need to question him to get the information we need anyway, and Fain knows it.”

“Is that so,” Galina said, trying for a menacing purr and finding herself incapable of anything close. It was very difficult to impose her will on the twisted Aiel, especially since she still had little idea what they were capable of. The few things she did know they were capable of were bad enough. “So why is Fain telling you to question our prisoners, then?”

“Probably just to keep us happy,” Sevanna shrugged. “I like the squeaky noises you make.”

I make?” Galina tried not to squeak.

“You humans. I mean, we humans,” Sevanna corrected herself carelessly. “Alexander says that we already know everything there is to know about these Seanchan, because we have a friend in their royal court.”

In Galina’s considerable experience, nobody who had imaginary friends named Quincey and Alexander could possibly be an asset to the team. “You’re not supposed to be finding out about the Seanchan. You’re supposed to be finding out about the Dragonsworn.”

“What about them? The Seanchan don’t know anything about them. And Fain knows all about them, because he’s the Prophet of the Dragon. He’s been leading them all along. Didn’t he tell you that?”

“N-” Galina clamped her mouth shut and looked at Sevanna narrowly. “Is that why we’ve been traipsing around Ghealdan for days? Why wouldn’t he tell me something like that?”

“Why indeed?” Sevanna replied lazily.

About Hatboy

I’m not often driven to introspection or reflection, but the question does come up sometimes. The big question. So big, there’s just no containing it within the puny boundaries of a single set of punctuationary bookends. Who are these mysterious and unsung heroes of obscurity and shadow? What is their origin story? Do they have a prequel trilogy? What are their secret identities? What are their public identities, for that matter? What are their powers? Their abilities? Their haunted pasts and troubled futures? Their modus operandi? Where do they live anyway, and when? What do they do for a living? Do they really have these fantastical adventures, or is it a dazzlingly intellectual and overwrought metaphor? Or is it perhaps a smug and post-modern sort of metaphor? Is it a plain stupid metaphor, hedged around with thick wads of plausible deniability, a soap bubble of illusory plot dependent upon readers who don’t dare question it for fear of looking foolish? A flight of fancy, having dozed off in front of the television during an episode of something suitably spaceship-oriented? Do they have a quest, a handler, a mission statement, a department-level development objective in five stages? I am Hatboy.
This entry was posted in Kussa mun hopoti? and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s