Plans for the upcoming winter.

Plans for the upcoming winter.

Postby channe » Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:09 pm

Agnieszka has rarely ever looked better than she has the evening she visits Glenn for the first time since he returned from Golben.

She is sober, she is clean, she's trying to put a lid on her swear words -- she hasn't always been her best at this government thing, she knows, but tonight she'll try. Her collar is starched, her shoes are shined, her soul as clean as it is going to get on a night so dark. She enters the Calomel castle through the back, skipping her family residence. Tonight, she isn't the Agnieszka they know; she is the Chairwoman, every inch of her, every crackling, terrible iota in her eyes and her mouth and her regret.

"Glenn. Let me see him," she'll say to the maids.
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Re: Plans for the upcoming winter.

Postby Glenn » Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:15 pm

She was, sober or otherwise, free to see him whenever she wanted. She almost always had been, for years now. Agnieszka was a special case and she was the sort that it was best not to look at too closely. He had the special initiative for her, yes, and he had called her what he did to Ariane or Cinnabar, but she still had rights and privileges almost no one else had. He would not have used up so valuable a speech to protect her otherwise, if what he did was protecting her (there was some debate about that, likely not least of all with her).

No, she was allowed in. He looked like hell, yes. His clothes were a few years old, worn down even, though once nice enough. They were what he had worn on his return from Underdark a few years prior. He seemed tired and still was thin, far too thin, from his time in Golben. There was but one small stack of papers on his desk. That, in itself, was jarring.

"If you've come to beat me up, you might have a chance for the first time in years. Picking up these papers is still a little bit hard." That was likely a joke. "If you've come to hug me, you best squeeze tight or i might just slip through even your bulky arms."
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Re: Plans for the upcoming winter.

Postby channe » Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:29 pm

The special initiative. The thing she did not know about -- the thing she'd better not know about, else it destroy some very quiet, silver-strung plans, not to mention her regard for him, shown quite easily in her respectful stance as she enters the room.

To her -- he has saved her twice now. Even if it's for his own ends, that deserves something, does it not?

"I tried to get you," she says. "But, I -- I couldn't, and I had to make the choice, and I knew it was the choice you would've had me make. So." Nothing there, yet, of Rhaena, of the terrible sacrifices, of the awful things that yet may draw a line between them. Agnieszka wants so desperately to forget, to move on.

"I'm sorry," finally, she says, but does not move from the door.
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Re: Plans for the upcoming winter.

Postby Glenn » Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:31 pm

"It was the right choice." There was no doubting it, no denying it. Though, he had to add. "I'm not entirely convinced it was the choice I would have made." That only made her apology worse, of course, but it was true, true enough at least. He would have found a better way. Maybe it would have led to even worse things, a further splitting of resources at the very best and so much more at the very worst. It would have been his way though. He never would expect his way out of her.

Instead, she apologizes and he just nods. "I'm sorry as well. I was blind to what was in front of me. Love, right? It makes murderers of all sorts out of us all." Murderers and widowers.
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Re: Plans for the upcoming winter.

Postby channe » Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:33 pm

A forest, a party in the background, the things they had to do. Aeryn.

"You're not me," she says, and it's the understatement of a lifetime. She walks in, stops, touches the door-lintel. "You didn't kill her. Glenn... she meant well. She meant so well. I never thought anything less of her. Because it wasn't her, at the end. She died a long time back." She moves forward, and finally, after a few seconds of a breathless-half consideration, drops to her knees beside the sickbed. "But we have to go do something. We're losing, out there. We can't win it, not at all, and we have to go."
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Re: Plans for the upcoming winter.

Postby Glenn » Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:36 pm

Ah ha. We have to go. We're not winning and we have to go. He looked at her. He smiled and wasn't it a grim thing, his almost skeletal visage? Strength came and went and right now, perhaps it was here.

"Agnieszka." He began. That speech the other day had been a near miracle. Miracles had a cost and he was still paying it now. She knew him though. He was getting stronger every day. Oh, he couldn't eat a steak yet, but he had figured out exactly how much he could eat every day and it was growing. With it, his strength. "I am going to say something and you will think it a thing of grief and likely dismiss it. I am telling you not to. Do you understand?"

Did she? Did it matter. She'd do what she'd do and so would he. "We go. What then? What do we do with our lives once we've left Myrken behind to rot in its own filth and ignorance and stubborn persistence and boundless spirit? I'm not Helstone. I'm not Bromn. We could both have good lives in Trae Kelsa. I could be a politician. You could be an Agnieszka. Good lives, maybe even doing good. It's no life i want though. Do you know what you helped me decide years ago, my back pressed up against a bar, you bullying me for being a foreign, well-meaning, know-it-all who couldn't know anything at all? I die before I run away from Myrken. It's the only home I have. It's the only home worth dying for. It's worth living for too, so, again, if you were worried about the loss and grief bit, I don't plan on dying."

That was a tough speech, even if it was a relatively small one, and he had to take a nice long break before punctuating it. "I don't plan on losing either," but then, when did he?
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Re: Plans for the upcoming winter.

Postby channe » Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:39 pm

"No, you're not," she says, and her voice breaks for a second. And she opens her mouth, she wants to say -- I've seen what's beyond all this shit, and there is a life, Glenn. A life. God knows what it is, but it is a life.

She does not.

But, she thinks, she doesn't have to travel now. The spring, when the pass opens. She'll leave then.

"Hey," she says, "hey. Then." A pause. "Then if you're really willing to do this, to stay here... how far do you want to go?" She reaches out, she pours a glass of water, she holds it up to him to take. She won't be terrible enough to assume he needs to be fed.
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Re: Plans for the upcoming winter.

Postby Glenn » Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:44 pm

A life wasn't good enough. Living wasn't good enough. Living for the sake of living was the greatest sin possible in Glenn Burnie's philosophy.

He took the water. He didn't need to be fed. This was a bad time she caught him at. Sometimes he was good. Sometimes he was up and about, even visiting other buildings, the Dagger. He wasn't always an invalid. Just sometimes. Some of it was physical. Some of it wasn't. You had to walk before you could run and part of him was still prone, just like Rhaena Olwak's corpse.

"It's a good question. It was my first question." He didn't ask her the question though. She had been transformed. She had been a victim. Maybe that's why. "My main concern was whether or not I went too far, whether or not I should stop, should try a different way, whether it was too late for that. Genevieve Tolleson," the same Genny that had stood by them, right beside them on that stage, ready to take the rocks or fire or the noose, defending not just the regime, not just Glenn, but Agnie as well, Agnie, who she didn't owe a damn thing, "told me that I should do what I was doing before, to work with what we have and to do whatever works. The only difference is that I should no longer do it alone, but to do it with her, and you, and with everyone else that gives a damn and that can handle it. What do you think of that?" It was, after all, why he was telling her any of this.
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Re: Plans for the upcoming winter.

Postby channe » Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:51 pm

And she pauses, there, hears what he says and takes her own breath. "I -- I need to know," she says, "before I answer that. I get that what you said was political. And I get... how political it could have been. I'm not dumb."

She reaches out to take his hand. Not to grab it -- but to offer. There is friendship there, and terrible sacrifice, and sin, and repentance. "... you were lying, weren't you, I didn't do it, but... but I have to claim it, don't I?"
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Re: Plans for the upcoming winter.

Postby Glenn » Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:54 pm

Political, as in he was saving her life. He didn't have to turn the whole crowd to her side, just enough of it, enough who grew up with her, who saw her fight for them, who knew Dom and worked with him, who remembered a daring girl defying convention, running around with a pot, people who would accept whatever hero they could, maybe, especially if it was of their own. He just had to turn enough of them, and he likely did. The cost was high, though. The cost was standing up there and dragging the woman he loved, becursed and victimized, through the mud.

"What I know, Agnieszka, is that when you were in that room, you could have done it to save everyone you care about, to save your home, not because you're a cold, hard killer," though she'd killed before and they both knew it, "but because you care so damn much." That's why she killed before too, because she cared. "That's what matters right now. As to what you say? You don't remember anything more than anyone else, except for that you remember how hard you wanted to help people before it all went south, and you remember how god damn stubborn you are. That's just another word for will power, Agnie."
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Re: Plans for the upcoming winter.

Postby channe » Mon Jan 06, 2014 4:12 am

Saving her life. Like she couldn't have fled to Thessilane and pledged her troth to Burel, like she's been thinking Aleksei might have done. Like she couldn't have just said 'fuck it,' and have been done. Because she has her anger against Glenn, and what he never did. But.

He's right.

She's stubborn. She used to want something for Myrken Wood, and that something had lined up with what Glenn had wanted. But that was before what she wanted got her best friend killed.

"Be sure, Glenn. Be sure and tell me sure. It was me, and not Ariane. Because I'm pretty sure it was actually Ariane. Be sure."
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Re: Plans for the upcoming winter.

Postby Glenn » Mon Jan 06, 2014 5:38 am

"Ariane was capable as well." He didn't say one way or the other, yet he was still Glenn and he could still look her right in the eyes while pulling this sort of thing. "It's Myrken. A fucking tree could have fallen on her Agnie."

Her life, yes, her life, the one with her and her family, that she had killed to get for them. That life, because for Glenn Burnie, living alone wasn't enough and your life was something of value, not just the beat of your heart. It was everything you were and everything both of them had made for each other and for those they cared about.

"Rhaena's dead. I wasn't about to let her death be a worthless thing."
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Re: Plans for the upcoming winter.

Postby channe » Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:04 am

It is then that she realizes that she may never really know what happened. That the truth was a dark seed, a terrible place in his soul that he wasn't going to share. She could choose to take his truth, or she could choose to reject it. Quietly, inside her mind, she drew a line. It wasn't too hard to imagine two truths. "....n-no," she finally says, deflating, all the bravado shaking into a set of shoulders and sweat-dank hair at his side. "No matter what happened, it was never worthless." A pause. "I'm so sorry, Glenn. I'm so sorry."
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Re: Plans for the upcoming winter.

Postby Glenn » Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:08 am

This was Myrken Wood and so often, for the sake of sanity and survival and in the face of unspeakable horrors that so often were haphazard and cruel, the truth, like Rhaena Olwak's death, was what they made it.

She lost her bravado and his was a loose mourning veil at best, a soft smile, one full of hurt but a smile nonetheless. "Here, Agnie, I'd say that we'll make sure that it's not worthless, somehow. I don't want to though, not if you would rather go. There's darkness if you did and darkness if you didn't. We're damned, Agony. It's my fault, ultimately. So don't be sorry. I was lost and it took me too long to get back to the light. By the time I did it was too late and here we are. If you want to go, to start anew, I'll be okay with it. Just make the most of it, whatever 'it' is."

And know that, despite that, he would be here in Myrken, fighting for everything she ever was, everything she had been, and everything she ever could be.
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Re: Plans for the upcoming winter.

Postby channe » Tue Jan 07, 2014 3:52 am

She was capable of so very much, yes. But so was he.

She leans in, penitent -- "I'm not going to leave you. I never would. But I haven't heard from Aleksei in months. Months! He'd never go so far from me without writing. Something's happened." That last, with an angry, broken tone. "But Myrken is keeping me here... it's going to be hard. I've been out there, I've had rotten shit thrown at me, I've done some shitty things under Rhaena's rule. Maybe I just need to run to get him and not come back. Maybe that's the best option."

She thinks of the little boy in the front row and she shakes.

"But you need to consider running with me. Because they will kill you."
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