Friday, November 7, 2014

Page 875

I’m sure you have any number of collaborators in this game of yours,’ Dergoz was saying. ‘I don’t think we’ll be trusting anyone’s word concerning your whereabouts. Why don’t you just admit it?

Parson exchanged lingering looks with Overra, perhaps indicative of a silent conversation between the two.

Easy, Dergoz,’ said Lawrence. ‘He may be ridiculous, but we do not want to pick a fight with Parson, especially not here.

They need us as much as we need them,’ Dergoz said privately. ‘Sanko is coming, so they can’t afford to fight with us now, either. This is the perfect time to press them with hard questions. In fact, it’s probably the ONLY time.

Lawrence wondered how much truth there was in that, but he knew there was no point in arguing.

Parson finished off his ice cream sandwich. He smacked his lips a couple times and took a long breath. “I’m just going to tell them. If they’re this suspicious of us, then there’s really no point in pretending anymore. We’re all on the same side after all.”

Overra gave a public sigh. ‘I suppose you’re right. Go on, then.

“Oh, but soundproofing first.”

Right.’ Overra flew into Parson’s body, and a moment later, Parson’s forearms disappeared, leaving his sleeves to flap wildly in the sudden whirlwind that consumed the room.

Lawrence had seen similar techniques before. The airy hum of Parson’s oxygen would prevent physical eavesdroppers, and the tightly controlled movement allowed the man to also press his soul into the air and thereby prevent reapers from hearing them through the walls.

And Lawrence felt abruptly unsettled. Such a precautionary measure was disturbingly unlike Parson and Overra. Whatever they were about to say was not going to be pleasant, he felt.

Parson stepped closer. “Time is short, so allow us to make this quick. First, we know your secret. You and Lawrence belong to a shadow faction within the Vanguard--a shadow faction which believes Sermung is no longer fit to lead all of us. Which is true. He isn’t.”

Dumbstruck, Dergoz needed a second to respond. ‘That’s not... We’re not--

“Please. Let’s not waste time. We also know that Lamont is the head of your shadow faction, and that no one is able to speak with him about it directly due to the immense secrecy required. Because he is constantly surrounded by Sermung supporters, Lamont is restricted to passing along coded instructions until the time comes when he can reveal himself.”


  1. The previous page went up earlier today. Careful not to accidentally skip it, folks.

  2. In fact, it’s >the< probably the ONLY time. > remove first the

  3. Considering how incompetently his leaders handled the aberration-fueled recruitment spike, I think they might be right about Sermung. Pity to waste the strongest of the emperors and such a nice guy just because hes a bad leader though, even if the way they want to do it wouldn't cost Vanguard so many allies.

    The problem is that they wanted too tight of control over the rank and file. I think that there should have been a strong, loyal core of Sermung's closest allies, and the rest should have been in large groups that each operate as a gestalt sort of like Harper. The Vanguard proper could help out with training, support and direction, but the subgroups should have been otherwise mostly autonomous, and not given access to any intel that they could meaningfully betray the side with.

  4. Kensei Seraph Never Forget OukNovember 8, 2014 at 4:28 AM

    Now that is an excellent organisation structure for an organisation as large as the Vanguard is, however it wouldn't work for a small organisation such as what would have existed when the Vanguard was first formed and once something exists people tend to leave it as is because "that is how it has always been" and "tradition" and "if those who came before us did it then it can't be wrong".

  5. Don't know who sanko is but I hope who ever they are they and zeff kill parson and Lawrence because of the death of zeffs wife and persecution of his children.

  6. Ooh dear. Lamont was one of the three that Salazar thought were still trustworthy. Now it seems only two of the top eight are clean.

  7. OKAY I HAVE A THEORY PEOPLE!!!! I think that the real reason Dergoz and Lawrence want to find out where the oldest rainchild daughter is, is because she knows about their shadow faction that wants to take out sermung... and they want to silence her quickly and they think she went home and told zeff her dad... that's my theory anyway...

  8. The whole story is arguably a parable about the bystander effect take to its logical extreme (immortal reapers who can completely avoid risk), and it already has strong themes of "the world sucks. Do good anyway.", so I suppose a few lessons about mindless application of old policy would fit right in.