rguements are endless loops. The Dragons
do not argue. They discuss. The difference is that one goes
on and on with no resolution, while the other comes to a decision.
Beings of light and goodness, they believe they understand the meaning
of compromise and balance.
They had been arguing for the better part of a day
A Council of Dragons had been called to discuss
the issue of what to do about recent developments. It was not THE
Council, simply a gathering -- a spontaneous gathering of those felt most
appropriate. For this meeting, they chose to meet bearing the same
appearance, each a mirror of the other; androgynous persons in white robes,
with the symbols of the Dragon legacy along the sleeves. This way,
identity was masked into a group whole, and ideas could be exchanged freely
without identity compromising the purity of thought.
Despite this, almost instantly the group was divided
into two factions. One suggested immediate action to terminate the
happenings, the other recommended observance of the event to determine
future activity for or against it.
"The drawing of the wingless may prove to create
powerful allies for the cause of good," a Dragon said.
"The drawing may forge powerful enemies as well,"
an opposing faction's Dragon countered.
"They are only eight, and not all know magic," another
"They have Talents, which can be more unpredictable
than magic. Chaos can work against the light."
"Chaos can work for the light. Chaos is the
modus of the Lord of Nightmares above all."
"They are humanlike, and humans are capable of great
light and dark. But we do not fear humans."
"We do not fear humans because the ones that are
are allied with us in ideology are companions, and the ones that are twisted
by the dark can be destroyed or reformed if required, for the betterment
of all humans. Thus, they are a safe ally. Humans do not have
Talents, whereas the wingless do. Thus, they can be a strong threat.
They must not gather."
It was a strong point. A very blunt one, but
identity and feeling were removed earlier to ensure a solid discussion.
The others mostly nodded in agreement.
"To interfere may mean interfering with the Lord
of Nightmares, a thing which should not be done," another said.
"We have no proof that the Lord is involved."
"We have no proof that she is not involved.
If we act hastily, we accept great risk."
"If we do not ask, the risk may be greater."
Finally, a wise head prevailed. Which one
couldn't be said, as a result of the masks. "This is extending.
We are going nowhere. Compromise and send an emissary to observe,
and pass judgment if Lina Inverse's endeavor must be terminated or assisted.
Trust one to make the right decision. Are all agreed on this measure?"
"Yes." "Yes." "Yes." "Yes." "Yes." "Yes." "Yes."
"Then it is settled. Who will go?"
"Filia has experience with this group."
"Filia has other obligations."
"Aqua also has assisted them in the past."
"She is too important for what could be a minor
task, and would have bias."
"If I may recommend someone," the one who had pointed
out an argument state earlier said, "There is an aspiring one named Angela.
She has taken the guise of negotiator several times in human affairs to
arbitrate a solution that is best for human and Dragon alike. She
would be unbiased and wise in these matters."
"I can confirm much of this," another Dragon said.
"My experiences with her prove her to be a gentle speaker and level headed.
All deals made with her have benefited the Dragons. She has shown
no unstable elements. She could carry our cause with success."
"Nomination is seconded," the first said.
"All others in favor?"
"Yes." "Yes." "Yes." "Yes." "Yes." "Yes." "No."
"No?" the first of the Dragons asked.
The naysayer, who had actually been very quiet over
the course of the meeting, did something not to be done and stepped forward.
"I wish to know your reasons," the Dragon asked.
The naysayer raised her head, smiling from a truly
human face. "Trust," she spoke. "I don't."
"Nobody informed me that the Knight of Ceipheed
would attend this council," the Dragon said, taken aback by this unmasking.
"What reason is there for this thing?"
"Human affairs," the Knight said, still smiling.
"And who would you nominate, then, Luna?" the Dragon
asked. "If you have objections to Angela."
"Myself," the Knight said.
"Bias. Lower rank. Conflict of interest,"
the Dragon recited. "You are unsuitable. She IS your sister,
and you are human, even if you have an honored place in our ranks, a representative
for your species among ours. Does anyone disagree with these facts?"
The other Dragons said nothing.
"Luna Inverse, will you change your vote, or name
another option?" the Dragon asked.
Luna, the only Human present, considered this for
a long, long time. Perhaps she was thinking the whole time; behind
the smile, she could have decided moments ago and simply wanted her opponent
to sweat a bit.
"Angela'll do," she said simply, plainly, not inflecting
how she felt about it.
"Then all are in agreeance, and she will go," the
Dragon said. "It is decided. The Council is over."
One by one, the Dragons vanished, leaving only the
more vocal one, who left moments later, teleporting to the base of the
mountain retreat they had chosen. She quickly removed her appalling
disguise, fluffing out her beautiful golden tresses and her feathery wings.
Now, to go observe this Lina matter, as she had
nominated herself to do. She was the best candidate for the job,
after all; Angela ALWAYS looked after the interests of her kind.
Halfway across the world, a man slumped his way through
the countryside, leaning heavily on a ruby-tipped staff to keep himself
Xelloss was quite used to feeling pain. A
very normal brain function, defined in most living things as an array of
signals designed to tell when the body had been damaged. As a Mazoku,
he could simply think 'Hmm, I'm in pain' and smile it off. He had
forgotten how difficult that was for a human.
He limped badly, his entire body a wave of fire
and agony from having his Mazoku essence ripped away. Most people
would buckle under pain like that, unable to move for weeks. He decided
to look at his crippled state as good fortune, since here he was, up and
about, even if speed was an issue. Things were progressing nicely.
Perhaps it was just his imagination, but he felt
that he was able to.. sense things better, now. The smell of a nearby
flower, the sound of the forest animals, the taste of fresh, clean air.
To be human, to have a limited amount of time to do things in life, amplified
everything else; a theory long held by the Dragons. Quite ironic,
Perhaps he had not made the right decision with
this action. This was a bold move, to leave the comforting and accepting
nest he had made for himself with the Mazoku, who applauded his efforts
and celebrated his successes for their shoddy little causes and pathetic
infighting. As absurd as it may be, he did enjoy his work, on some
level. Grew to enjoy it, even, in sweet rebellion. The plans
inside plans, the creative application of orders, the backstabbing, the
battles... it was a living, more or less. Once you're in the family,
you're in for eternity; it was unthinkable to LEAVE the Mazoku.
Perhaps he shouldn't have promised himself to take
care of this particular bit of unfinished business. His role in it
technically ended when he came under the wing of Zelas-Metallum.
Why involve himself again? It would make itself done with or without
him. He was likely to be extraneous, even if he could help to some
Perhaps the deciding factor was not some silly sense
of obligation, or of past mistakes he wanted to have redeemed. As much
as he told himself those were his reasons, he knew it was a load of monkey
snot. They may have been valid reasons long ago, but now they were
simply pleasant bonuses. He knew why he had himself voluntarily cast
out of the darkness, dumped into a situation that was above his head for
the first time in centuries, and opened himself to all sorts of risk.
Perhaps Xelloss hoped she'd appreciate what he was
doing for her, but he didn't figure it was likely.
So instead, he limped along, working out the plans
in his head of how to handle the situation. He would have to track
down Lina again, obviously; an easy thing to do, once he was up to speed
and able to access his magic. Once he explained the situation --
no real need to keep secrets now, after all -- she could be pleased to
have his help, and he could aid her, side by side. Perhaps see his
son along the way...
Xelloss paused in his pained walk, hearing the voice
behind him. He turned to look, keeping a nice smile on. Just
a simple traveler, like himself, dressed for the road.
"Hello there, stranger," he responded. "Lovely
weather we're having today, isn't it?"
"Showers ahead, I'd suspect," the man said.
"From what parts do you hail?"
"Nowhere in particular," Xelloss said.
"Oh? I've been nowhere," the man said, approaching
Xelloss, step by step. "It's a boring place. I've been everywhere,
but it was too unorganized. I've been somewhere as well, which is
a nice place to visit, and each time you go there, it's somewhere different.
I don't like that either. I'd say you've had your fair share of such
travels, haven't you, trickster priest?"
"Pardon? Why, I am but a humble--"
A minute shift of time, located right inside his
chest threw Xelloss's heart off by a beat. He collapsed to his knees,
having his first heart attack, quite shocked. It was an interesting
experience, but had one drawback; he couldn't move.
The other man knelt down. "You don't know
how happy I am to see you like this, so I can finally punish you for that
stunt you pulled one month, two days, seven hours fifty nine minutes and
twenty one seconds ago. Did you really think I wouldn't notice you
screwing up space and time like that, you arrogant bastard?"
Xelloss wasn't sure what to say. He was probably
going to die. He didn't really want to die, not after starting such
important plans, but what was he going to say -- "Please, Paradox, don't
kill me?" It was trite.
"Oh, don't worry," the wingless man smiled.
"We've got plans for you, maker of plans. You'll see, in time."
Two bored people sat outside the gates of the market,
squatting by the curb and trying to pass the time.
"I'm going to the fair, and I'm bringing an
apple, a battered Amelia plush doll, a carrot, and..." Lina said, thinking.
"A dead antelope."
"Ewww," Gourry said, in distaste. "Okay.
Ummmm.... I'm going to the fair, and I'm bringing an apple, a battered
Amelia plush doll, a carrot, a dead antelope and.... eggs, one dozen?"
"It has to start with an 'E' to work, remember?
That starts with an 'O'."
"I thought Eggs started with an 'E'?"
"You MEANT 'one dozen eggs'. That's an 'O'.
This threw Gourry's memory off track. "Uhh.
I'm... going to the fair, and I'm bringing an apple, a battered Amelia
doll, and... a cat? A carrot, and a dead... deaaaad... anteater."
"Antelope!" Lina groaned. "I win again.
Ne, Gourry, this game's no fun unless you can remember stuff for more than
"We could always play Bonkers," Gourry suggested.
"Never heard of it."
"It's a game from my home country of Testabourne.
See, you get these boys in a circle, and you take turns issuing challenges.
And when you challenge someone, you run right at 'em and WHAM! bonk your
heads together. The only person left standing wins!"
Lina sat in dumb shock for a bit.
"You know, this explains a lot," she mused.
Before they could get down to a serious game of
Bonkers, Myth arrived.
She was considerably worse for wear. It's
easy to spot someone who could use more exercise; they're usually flat
out exhausted and unable to form complete sentences after running half
a mile from the palace while wearing heavy wool and carrying a load of
random goods on their back. Myth could use a few years of exercise.
"Ameila....." Myth wheezed. "Planning... find...
search for... got stuff... gonna..."
"Is this a game too?" Gourry asked.
"Yes, it's called 'Time to Leave,'" Lina said, taking
the bag mercifully from Myth's shoulders and unpacking their goods.
"Let's book. Myth, you did good work! Thanks."
"Don't... mention... daaaah..."
"So, where do we go next?... oh. One second.
Ahem... *Dicleary!*" Lina cast, twisting a spell used for clearing exhaustion,
poisons and other minor body ailments out of her hands and into the girl.
"Whoa," Myth exclaimed, feeling a couple strong
jolts of coffee wetwired right to her spinal column.
"Next stop?" Lina repeated.
"Ah... south," Myth said. "I know two other
wingless, and one of them has a fixed address. We can find her there."
"Great!" Lina said. "See, Gourry? I
don't think this quest will be very hard at all. Smooth sailing from
And so, the group set out, unaware of the Mazoku,
Dragons and Other Strange Things already gathering on their tail.
Story copyright 1998 Stefan Gagne, characters copyright H. Kanzaka
/ R. Araizumi.
A Spoof Chase Production.