Sorry about the absence. I hope to be back by
September 15 October 6, with a full explanation. Or, at least, a decent excuse.
Banny and Antonio had rested and healed for three days. Lissa had healed by shifting, but she still needed three days worth of sleep. Banny and Lissa had each given a report, and yes, Banny's report actually took up two full pages. After he'd finished playing with the font and the margins.
The Worthy Ones still had to meet with Mr. Fwuzzums and Nicoletta Corvair face to face. And the Demon Tracker had wanted to be there for that.
"O'Herlihy, how did you slay the gonner?" Mr. Fwuzzums asked Banny.
"Easy, I shot her."
"Hey," interjected Antonio. "I shot her, too. How come that didn't count?"
Banny sat forward, cleared his throat. "This is what I figured. Why make such a big deal about 'The Worthy Ones' if anyone can kill a gonner? Only the Worthy Ones, the ones wearing the Rings of Beneficience, could kill them. And only if we'd earned enough XP." He looked at Lissa. "We'd better start collecting points for the next fight."
"That makes sense," said Nicoletta. "Except for the last part. Why else would gonners fear the Worthy Ones so much? According to Vanessa's diary, gonners can kill gonners. If the Worthy Ones are the only other beings able to kill them... that would explain a lot."
"Speaking of killing, are we allowed to kill humans?" asked Lissa (who else?).
"No, Cheng. Murder is against the law."
"I know. I don't mean that. I mean with our powers. Do we have the ability to kill humans? 'Cause Vanessa said we couldn't kill humans."
Antonio added, "yeah, then she said she was a human, so her credibilty ain't what it could be."
Mr. Fwuzzums sighed. "Your Rings were crafted by the Good. The ultimate force for good in all existences. However, since the Rings are good they allow the two of you free choice. If you choose to use your Rings for evil, then you may. And the evil you commit will add to the evil commited by the gonners you fail to stop. And evil will win."
"If you or Banny have to kill someone for a good cause, and you get arrested, Mr. Fwuzzums and I will do what we can to help."
"But if you commit murder, if you become evil, Corvair and I will attempt to stop you. By any means possible. In any event, be careful of your actions. Evil can be subtle, and seductive. A justification here, a rationalization there, and you can become as evil as any gonner."
Lissa muttered, "I don't know I want that responsibility, man." Banny was one thing. She knew that whatever Banny was, whatever he did, he'd never be evil. She, on the other hand...
Antonio was exceedingly uncomfortable with this line of conversation. Some of his actions, if viewed in a certain way, may possibly be considered, by some, less than 'good'. He needed to change the subject. "Lissa, when you told that demon you were going to make the other one kosher, what was that all about?"
"Huh? Oh, yeah. Well, when I was a kid, one of the foster homes I'd stayed at, they were Jewish, so I learned how to keep kosher. In order for a cow or a lamb to be kosher, it's gotta be killed instantly. I mean no pain, no fear. I mean, 'La la la, I'm a happy cow. La la la, life is wonderfslash!' And it's in cow heaven, no idea how it got there. Or cow hell, depending on what kind of a life it led, I guess. But what sins could a cow commit, really? So anyway, I meant to that one demon that what I did to that other demon would look quick and painless by comparison."
"Ah. Referencing Jewish dietary law in a death threat. You are truly a unique individual, Cheng."
Antonio was still uncomfortable. They were not talking about him. "But it was a good thing I was there to help you two."
"Help?" asked Lissa. "I must have missed that part."
"Come on, Lissa. He did what he could. He couldn't fight the gonner, but that's not his fault he doesn't have special powers. He's a Demon Fighter. Okay, we killed the demons, and saved his life, but he's a world-renowned tracker. Except you tracked Vanessa, Nicoletta got the pervert's address, and I talked to the pervert. But Antonio... uh..."
"Antonio," said Mr. Fwuzzums gravely, "I am aware of your talent for self-promotion. However, O'Herlihy and Cheng are not yet strong enough to protect themselves from random gonner attacks. I must request that you relate these events to no one."
"Not a problem, Fuzzy. I don't want anybody knowing what happened here neither."
Go to Chapter 38: Time To Go
Go to Chapter 40: Just A Light Lunch
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