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Monday, July 25, 2011

Ravnica: City of Guilds - Chapter 12

It's been three days since the bombing, time for both our Fonn and Kos to wake up and find out what's been going on.

Ravnica: City of Guilds - Chapter 12

No wojek officer shall engage in routine patrol duty within the Golgari territory of Old Ravnica until further notice.
-League of Wojeck General Order 13
the "Undercity Rule" (8986 Z.C.)


Fonn wakes up for a second time, this time with a better understanding of her situation. Her captor seemed to be lying on the ground, humming to some insect. With is back turned, this might be her only chance.

As slowly as possible she props herself up, ready to spring and attack. But just as she's ready to make her move, he speaks to his captive.

"I guarantee it will hurt more than you think."

She naturally asks what will, and he tells her to look up.

What she originally thought was darkness above was an innumerable amount of beetles. He kindly informs her that the bite of a single pinchbeetle will sting. The bite of that many... well... they can devour an entire person in a couple minutes.

For some reason, that information about how quickly the eat leads her to ask the question:

"You can hear them?"

And that launches him into talk about how Selesnyans are supposed to respect and understand all life, yet they frequently ignore anything that lives underground, even the most numerous of creatures on the planet. He then explains that she's here because the matka wants her alive. The term is unfamiliar to her and that sets him off again. Despite her situation, sarcasm isn't beneath her.

"All right, I'll learn to love the bugs and bless the fungus, all right? Just tell me why I'm here. My charge is unguarded, and-"

And then he tells her Bayul is dead. The news is like a kick in the chest, and how does she respond?

She realizes he could only know because was there at the bombing, he admits that he saved her life but only because he was ordered too, and then in the very next paragraph:

"Thanks, you really know how to make a girl feel special," Fonn said. "So what now? You going to kill me? Sic another spider on me? Sacrifice me to your dark bug-god? Turn me into a bug? Make me eat bugs? It's going to have to do with bugs, isn't it?"

(I guess the death of her sacred charge, the failure of her only duty, the end of one of the few non-dryad members of the Conclave wasn't a big deal. She's alone in a room with a guy. And he's kind of cute being all dark and dangerous with his elven dreadlocks. That's what's important. The Conclave has eleven other members anyway. There's only one man of her dreams.)

Jarad is kind of fed up listening to her prattle on, and he says he's going to leave and get some food. (Not get food as in a date. Get it for her in a prisoner/captive kind of relationship. Completely professional.)

However this non-date plan of his falls through as soon as he opens the door. Three harpies swoop in and attack. The battle doesn't last long, even with Fonn fighting with her hands still bound, then comes twenty questions.

Something has changed. He was sent to capture her, yet he was able to get confirmation from the final harpy that it was his sister that wanted them both dead. He insists they have to stick together, and she says it'd be a better idea if he just cut her loose and let her go her own way.

(Wants to leave with a good impression.)

But her can't let her leave his life that easy. So he proposes a deal. He finds out why his sister wants him dead and he gets his revenge, and he helps her find out who assassinated her charge. The answers to both their problems are likely originate from the same source. The last bit of info that tips the scales. She's been unconscious for three days, and now she's wanted for questioning. The wanted poster he pulls out of his pocket says so.

She didn't want to believe it, but she feared it was possible. (Because she's a glass half empty kind of person?)

Then for some reason he asks her if she has any idea how the Selesnyan Guild handles interrogations, rather than asking if she knows how the Boros Guild does it. She replies they don't ever interrogate people, and he laughs at her naivete. He's seen the results of a quietman interrogation. The persons mind gets wiped, and he's killed friends before rather than seeing them continue to live that way.

But anyway, they're teamed up now, so what's next? Well they go to his Orzhov contact, who can both get him info on whose hunting them exactly, and who can help hide their tracks. And oh yeah, he owns a restaurant and they might as well grab a bite to eat while they're there.

...Back in the hospital the moment after we last saw Agrus Kos...

"That settles it, Phaskin," Kos said. "There's no way your'e not giving me this case. Be reasonable."

Kos thinks he's the perfect one to go after her, to talk some sense into her. He had promised Zunich that he would take care of his wife and child, but after his death he was too shamed to face them even once. Now he was gone, and Phaskin informs him that her mother committed suicide nearly twenty years ago, and now was time to make good on his promise.

But Phaskin won't have it. There are others handling the case, including Phaskin himself. Feather tries to calm things down, but the conversation continues to heat up. Kos tells Phaskin straight out that he and Stanslov are better at paperwork and bureaucracy and they should put the investigation in the hands of a real wojek. And with that, Agrus Kos is suspended.

He has seniority and he doesn't have to stand there and argue. And Phaskin has a meeting to go to. So he orders Feather out, leaves the room, and gives orders that his guards who were there originally just for his protection have now been given the duty to also make sure he doesn't leave the room.

Alone with his thoughts, Kos sees something flicker in the corner of his eye. There's nothing there. But as he lies back down, he sees a bald ghost with a handle bar mustache looking down on him. He calls out his name.

The figure nodded once and raised a spectral hand.

"What are you-" Kos said. "Are you leaving?"

The apparent ghost of Myczil Zunich did not wave goodbye, in fact, but thrust its hand against the front of Kos's forehead. It felt clammy and cold.

* * *

Mr. Awkward

No, not Jarad. Herndon. This was such an awkward chapter. Conversations didn't flow with the facts and/or their emotional states. Jarad wasn't actually hitting on her, but Herndon was just forcing things left and right and it showed.

My biggest problem, I've already stated. Bayul is dead. And how does she react? She goes analytical and figures out that he was there (despite his being able to know that in any number of ways, including just going up to the surface and hearing the gossip about an event big enough to create protests), and then continues with her sarcastic mouth and the whole bugs paragraph.

Where's her remorse! Her regret! How could Jarad even think she'd be interested in finding out who killed her charge when she doesn't give any indications that she even cares beyond on quick ask for forget question wondering if he was still alive!

She might think he's cute, but if he had any kinds of smarts he'd keep their relationship completely platonic. She doesn't seem to be able to hold on to relationships very well. (Maybe 'cause her dad died while on duty, but sympathizing with someone and dating someone with all kinds of issues are two entirely different things.)

May the Force Be With... Herndon

The second segment of the chapter was better. We got lots of conversation that led to consequences and emotions that felt appropriate. The closing paragraph was excellent. It's too bad the set up was forced.

How slow was the ghost of Myczil Zunich moving and/or how fast was Agrus Kos talking if he had time to see the ghost lift its arm, process it as him beginning to wave good-bye, and get out the words asking if his ex-partner was leaving all before the ghost's arm then moves forward to touch his forehead?

That was a great closing line, and I can see why Herndon would want to close with it, but the method he used to get us there just felt way too forced. I know I didn't interpret the "raised a spectral hand" to mean "raised its arm as if in the beginning stages of waving good-bye" until after I read the sentences after that one.

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