Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Dreams of Stars Part 27

This is a long part, I have more to say on it too, see you Friday with that.

      L’lorne had ordered her a soda, but Deborah couldn't drink it. She just sat and stared at L’lorne, the image of her practically frolicking through a city she had destroyed burned in her mind simply wouldn't go away. What made it worse was the amount of food L’lorne was eating, five or six plates laid out on the table, with another three stacked up on the one end, empty of their contents. Deborah's stomach wanted to growl at the lack of food, but she kept it in check with disgust.

      “You should eat something,” L’lorne said between bites of an open faced sandwich. “I doubt Ritch 'arrd will have much to offer you.”

      Deborah hadn't said anything since she had arrived, the debate on what to say to L’lorne when they met again had been eating away at her since she had woken up. She had nearly given up when she approached the diner, spending several minutes deciding if she even wanted to see L’lorne again. Finally, the words found their way out. “How many people did you kill?”

      L’lorne seemed unphased by the question, and replied between fries. “You'll have to be more specific. Do you mean humans, aliens, quasi sentient beings, living machines. . .”

      “People since we met,” Deborah found herself saying with more than a touch of menace. Such a clarification she felt wasn't necessary, but she knew L’lorne saw it differently.

      “Ah,” L’lorne said. “About 30 or 40, I don't keep perfect track, but it wouldn't take much to get an exact figure if you want.”

      Deborah's body shook. About 30 or 40. They died around her and she hadn't even noticed. L’lorne just kept eating, obviously not bothered by it, and that made Deborah angry. “What gives you the right?” She said with increasing anger. “What gives you the right to kill all those people?”


      The flat, candidness of the response, cause Deborah to snap up a bit, knocking some of the anger off with surprise. A moment passed as she tried to parse the simple response. “What?” Was all she could manage to blurt out.

      “The power Ritch 'arrd and I, and the others of the Order have gives us the right. We can do whatever we like, so we do. That's the only reason.”

      “That's not a reason!” Deborah shouted, but the diner residents didn't even respond this time, they simply didn't acknowledge that she and L’lorne were there, aside from the brown haired waitress. “You can't simply say because you can and leave it at that. Power isn't a reason or excuse or a right. It doesn't let you go off and kill billions simply because it's fun. No one is powerful enough for that.”

      “Wrong,” L’lorne said. “I am that powerful.”

      “Bullshit,” Deborah spat back.

      L’lorne put her fork and knife down and straightened up, looking Deborah right in the eye. “Alright, you want to know how powerful I really am, I'll tell you. Take every hero and villain you know of, from reality and fiction. Every warrior and wizard, man and monster, angel and demon, devil and god. Take all their power, talent and knowledge and pour it into a single person and give that person the ability to use all of it. You got that in your mind?” Deborah nodded slightly. “If I fought that person, I would kick that persons ass without breaking a sweat.” L’lorne leaned back, rather pleased with herself. “The truth is my dear, you and everything else in this universe are less than ants compared to me. In reality, I don't have any reason to acknowledge you as anything more than that. I could tear this planet apart as easily as you comb your hair, and more. So killing 30 or 40 people in a few days is nothing to me.”

      “Then why don't you,” Deborah said, still not entirely convinced by L’lorne's little speech. “If you could rip this planet apart, then why don't you just do it and get Ritch 'arrd so you don't have to deal with us ants.”

      “It doesn't work.” L’lorne went back to eating. “Ritch 'arrd always manages to get away in the ensuing chaos. I've been chasing him for nearly a billion years, trying every way I can think of to catch him. Honestly, this is the closest I've ever gotten to him.”

      Deborah could only just stifle a snickering laugh. “All that power.”

      “He's as powerful as I am, maybe a touch more powerful.”

      There wasn't much to reply to that, so Deborah didn't. She looked down at the table for a moment and the checkered pattern that covered the top. It wasn't made of black and white tiles, but two different tones of white, just different enough from each other to make the pattern visible but not quite. Her face soured again as she remembered the first time the two of the talked, over a chess game. “It's all a damn game to you, isn't it?” L’lorne said nothing. “That's what this is all about, some stupid game, and we're all your pawns.”

      “The comparison isn't without merit,” L’lorne said as she cut into a newly arrived steak.

      “And the rule is he wants you to work to find him,” Deborah said. “That's why you had to resort to this method, that's why he keeps alluding you. Mama and I were just unlucky enough to cross your paths.”

      “You'll have to ask Ritch 'arrd about that,” L’lorne said. “Luck is one of the few things we don't have control of, but we can predict it, perhaps he did, I don't know.”

      Deborah took a deep sigh. She wasn't getting anywhere, not that she knew where she was going with this in the first place. She was still angry at L’lorne for lying, but at the same time she felt sorry for her, sorry she never had a chance to grow up normal, instead she became some hyperpowerful monster. One that couldn't use all that power to find just one person. One person that Deborah had vowed vengeance on over the death of her mother, one she had never met, one that was as powerful as L’lorne. “You want me to meet Ritch 'arrd, don't you?” No response as L’lorne was busy chewing. “Why? What purpose would it serve? I can't help fight him, I'll just be sitting on the sidelines watching the two of you go at it. If anything, I would get in the way, maybe not even that, so why?”

      L’lorne put her fork and knife down on the now empty plate and sat up a bit. “Feelings. Something about you and your mother triggered emotions that were locked behind the block. They tell me you must meet Ritch 'arrd, nothing more.”

      Not a good enough answer, but Deborah didn't say anything. L’lorne was a liar, even when she told the truth. Deborah slid out of the booth and stood there. “I don't know if I want to go with you.”

      “Is there something you want me to say to change your mind? I can think of dozens of reasons, give you a long list of explanations and rationalizations, but is there something specific?”

      Deborah hadn't thought that far ahead, of course, but she thought on the question as long as she dared. She could see a lot of the reasons L’lorne would present, from simply watching Ritch 'arrd or L’lorne die to just asking Ritch 'arrd those important questions. She could demand L’lorne give her a straight answer, but decided that wasn't going to be an option, and perhaps Ritch 'arrd would be more forthcoming with one, so that left one thing. “Say please.”

      L’lorne's head jerked back slightly, as if she hadn't expected such a request, and she probably hadn't. All these years being so damn powerful, she probably never had to ask an ant anything, especially with the word please in front of it. She nodded after a moment and smiled. “Alright. Deborah, will you please come with me to see Ritch 'arrd?”

      Deborah had a smug smile developing and made no effort to hide it. “I will, on two conditions.” She slid back into the seat and held up a finger. “One, you promise that you won't destroy this planet or anything on it, or anyone living there when you fight Ritch 'arrd.”

      “I promise,” L’lorne said. Already Deborah could see the loophole developing, but decided to leave it for now. Forcing the all powerful L’lorne to agree was enough for the moment.

      “Second,” Deborah looked around the diner. “Let them go.”

      L’lorne snickered a bit. “They're not prisoners,” she said, indicating the small group that now worked in the diner. The blond was in the kitchen cooking, the scraggly headed boy was working on paperwork at the counter, the old man and the fat man sat at one table, talking while drinking coffee, the old woman was staring out the window and the brunette was acting as the waitress this time. “They're puppets, at best. They aren't real.”


      “So, there would be no point. They don't know they're trapped here, they won't know no matter how many times I reactivate them. There's no reason to free them.”

      “Sounds like you're making excuses to me,” Deborah said. “As if you aren't powerful enough to do it or something.”

      “I didn't say I couldn't do it, I'm just telling you they won't know the difference, there's no point.” L’lorne paused as the waitress removed the empty plates. “And another thing, if I did do it, I would leave such a large footprint, Ritch 'arrd would see it before I even finished.”

      Deborah smiled, finally having gotten what she really wanted. “Okay, that's all fine and good, but let me tell you why you will do it. First, I'm not going with you unless you do. Second, you want Ritch 'arrd to know you're coming.”

      “So he can escape again, I don't think so.”

      “Ah, but he won't,” Deborah was starting to get excited. In her mind, she was starting to see an odd pattern, and whether it was just because it was obvious or because she had the talent for it, she could be sure, but it was there. “He wants you to find him, but on his terms. You're doing it on his terms now, so it's time to tell him you know where he is and you're coming. What better way than to do something so obvious he can't help but notice?”

      L’lorne pursed her lips in thought. “You have a point. Alright, I'll do it.” She closed her eyes and Deborah took in a deep breath. Before she could exhale, L’lorne reopened her eyes. “Done.”

      Deborah stuttered her breath into a cough. “Already?”

      “Yes, all finished.”

      “How can I trust you?”

      “Like this,” L’lorne pointed over her shoulder to the door, which opened, and a man that Deborah had never seen before entered.

      “Evening Hal,” the waitress said. “Usual?”

      “Yes Sabrina,” Hal said, sitting down on one of the stools at the bar.

      “He's a regular, has been for five years,” L’lorne explained. “The waitress is Sabrina Bogen, she's been working her for six months and has a small apartment on the west end of town. She's going to school for criminal justice.”

      “Brian,” the blond in the kitchen called out. “We're nearly out of buns, better order some more.”

      “I got it,” Brian, the scraggly headed boy said.

      “That's Brian and Tina Roars. They've been married two years now, high school sweethearts. They bought this place last year and have been running it ever since. He cooks the breakfasts and she does the dinners, quite well in fact,” L’lorne gestured to her plates. “They work together on the lunch rush. At the end of the day, the go home to a small apartment a couple streets down and sleep all night. They haven't decided to have any children yet, mostly because they can't seem to find the time.”

      “Mrs. Devenro?” Sabrina said to the old woman. “Did you need a refill?”

      “Huh? Oh, no dear, I'm fine.”

      “Julia Devenro is a widow. She spends her evenings here because she has nothing better to do with her time. Her only son died in a car accident a couple years ago, so she truly all alone in the world, and this is her only refuge.”

      “Miss!” the fat man yelled. “I'd like a refill please.”


      “That's Officer Terry Dentmore. He's the desk sergeant for the local police station. His superiors are coming down on him because of his weight, but he's resistant, just like his father.” The old man held up his cup as Sabrina refilled it. “They had a falling out many years ago and only a few months ago did they start speaking again. They meet here once a week to drink coffee and talk about their days.”

      “You did all that?” Deborah said a bit stunned at the amount of information L’lorne had just laid on her.

      “More than that, actually,” L’lorne said. “That was only a rough background, I also had to build up their memories, give them friends and family, places to live, identification numbers, phone numbers and bank accounts. Apartments had to be found and furnished, debts incurred, educational and medical histories detailed and recorded, both electronic and hard copies. Finding a son for Julia to have that died was probably the hardest part of the whole thing, honestly.”

      “Wow,” Deborah once again found herself in awe of L’lorne's power. She kept the image of the burning city in her mind even as she stared in wonder at L’lorne. Still, she had gotten her to do something that wasn't vicious and evil, so maybe, just maybe, there was still hope for her.

      “Well, it is impressive, but not overly so,” L’lorne said. “So, are you coming now?”

      “Yes, I will.”

      “Good,” L’lorne said. “I suggest you order something to eat, like I said, Ritch 'arrd isn't exactly known for his cooking. Tina, however, is very good. I recommend the steak.”

      Deborah's stomach growled at the thought.



1. What kind of person is Lcorn L'lorne? What does she look like (in your mind)?
2. What kind of person is the Deborah Ignigus? What does she look like (in your mind)?
3. Does the setting seem fitting? Would you like to know more?

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