Monday, June 30, 2014

Page 745

As she looked at him, she could hardly believe this was the same man. The face belonged to him, but the expression seemed nothing of the sort. He was pleased. And she had a pretty good idea why.

David, Meriwether, and even Mehlsanz had told her about this--Luther’s madness. But even so, she’d felt as though they must’ve been exaggerating the point somewhat. Even after everything that had happened, it was still a difficult thing to take someone’s word for.

“And what, may I ask, is the purpose of your visit?” said Luther. “At this time of night, it must be urgent.”

Helen pressed the button on the speaker box to allow her voice through. “It seems that the Minister of Finance and the Lord High Treasurer have both inexplicably left the country tonight.”

“Oh?” said Luther. “How curious.”

“What do you know of this matter?” Helen was not in the mood to mince words, but she doubted that would make much difference to Luther right now.

Luther took a seat on his milky white bed. His prisoner’s uniform was also white, but the thick vertical stripes of orange ensured plenty of visibility. “What makes you think I know anything?”

“I have multiple reports stating that you frequented the Royal Treasury over the past eighteen months,” the Queen said.

“It is an interesting place.”

“You also claimed that your contingency plan involved money.”

Luther looked at David with false shock. “You told her? Brother, how could you?”

David merely observed their conversation in silence.

“Luther, what have you done?” she tried. “Tell me.”

“Is it not more fun for you to guess?” he said. “You will find out sooner or later, regardless. In fact, sooner, from the sound of it.”

Helen eyed his cell. “You want something in exchange, then.”

“I understand why you would think that, but the truth is, you have nothing I desire. Apart from my freedom, I suppose, but I suspect that is not on offer.” His eyes briefly went to David again. “And after the stunt with my television, I have no wish to make any more deals.”


  1. Messing with the money.... Financial security is so hard to come by these days.....

    The sentence "You want something in exchange, then." sounds a bit odd. I keep reading it as You want something in exchange - slight pause - then. x.x


  2. Then find a way to ressurect him so that you can do it again

  3. "find a way"? It's called "becoming a servant", and we really, REALLY don't want that. If/when he dies I'd incinerate the body. I'm surprised it's not more of a common practice (at least for enemies) in their world considering anyone who dies could be raised in that manner. Who knows, maybe it is. Atreya's citizenry isn't particularly wise in the ways of the undead.

  4. Despite the name of the story, servants technically aren't zombies. I'm pretty sure having someone's soul is enough to make them a servant, so destroying their body wouldn't do anything. And I'm not sure servants can destroy the souls of the recently deceased. If you really want to make sure that someone won't come back, it's probably best to kill them under controlled circumstances and have a trustworthy reaper ferry their soul.

  5. I think it was said earlier in the story we were told that the body has to be relatively intact for the person to become a servant. Destroy the body and you prevent that person from becoming a servant.

  6. Mh, I'm a little torn. I guess it makes sense, reapers can restore their servants to the state they were in when they became servants, but probably not before that. On the other hand, every servant died before becoming a servant, and no servant (we have seen) still bears the wounds of their death, so reapers do have a certain capability to restore their servants to a state from before.

    Maybe Frosty is willing to enlighten us.

  7. Ah, no, that's not true. That was never stated.

  8. Ah, never mind then.

  9. Oh hey, nice to see that you're still around. :)

    And yes, I was referring to zombies as displayed in current pop culture. Darius had suggested burning the corpses to prevent "zombification", and what I meant to say was this: burning the corpses, while probably a reasonable thing to do when "real" zombies are running around (as in, current pop culture zombies who rise from the dead after being bitten/infected), it won't help much in this world because the bodies aren't needed to make someone a servant.

    I don't know that much about voodoo zombies, but it was something along the lines of "some voodoo master makes the undead come back to life as mindless creatures bound to his will", maybe? I suppose there are similarities to servants, but still, almost all depictions of zombies are of mindless creatures without any higher thought, let alone any sense of self (I know two movies/books that avert this, so it's not completely universal, but "mindless creature" is what most people think of when they hear "zombie"). Servants still retain their personality and are not mindless. To me, that's the most important difference between zombies and servants.