11.5 Literary Comparisons

by Matt P.

By the time Walter and Ryan re-entered the room the Mexican food had been put out on the table and the rest of the beer brought out. Gabriel Shepherd had also apparently shown up, and was sitting down to join them in their spicy repast. But there was something else in the center of the table that caught his eye, and he looked quickly up to Morgan.

“You have shards?” Shepherd asked, apparently stating the obvious as he considered what were very obviously shards of metal. They were silvery, shiny like steel but too much, and after a moment Walter realized they must be from some a sword very similar to the ones he had seen Morgan and Tania pull out of literally nowhere.

“Someone broke your sword.” Walter offered off-handedly as he came to a seat. “Maybe you can use this giant ass dining table to reforge it.” He gestured off-handedly, before he reached out with those hands to grab some chips and guacamole and pull them on to his table.

“It is reforged.” Morgan explained, as she cracked a beer and poured it in to a glass for herself. “It is from the Sword of Lugh, which is often confused with Fragarach of Manannan. It was, allegedly, given to Oberon by Lugh himself, but for longer than I’ve been alive it has been Oberon’s sword. It is fused with his own energy and traced with his own magics. And we will use it to kill him.”

Tania, Gabriel, and Ryan sat down at the table as well. They started divvying up tacos and burritos, and Walter was passed his carne asada fries. “Ok. I appreciate you’re still resisting us calling it Fraggle Rock, really—fighting a losing battle is worthwhile.” Walter offered with a grin. “But I’m sensing a lot of import in that sentence that I don’t get. Also, magic doesn’t exist.” He pointed out more out of obligation than anything else.

“It’s like what we talked about earlier with the store of goods, one of the rules of magic. The one thing you can’t protect against is yourself, something made with your own essence. It’s why we are so protective of things that are bound to us.” Tania explained while her sister grumbled at the continued re-naming of an important cultural artifact. “Which brings up another topic, besides Walter’s insistence that magic can’t be real even if Faerie Queens are. How the hell do you have this?”

“You’ve read Lord of the Rings, right Walter?” Morgan asked, as if it was a given that every other person at the table had. It probably is a given, considering all the stuff these people live through.

Walter shrugged. “Yeah. I figured you all for Sci-Fi people though. Figured fantasy hit a little bit close to home.” He offered with a grin as he took his fork and began shoveling hot French fries and warm steak in to his mouth.

“Oberon used the sword, Claidheamh Soluis, through wars against the Fir Bolg and the Fomorians, until it shattered. It was reforged for him and he used it until the end of the last great Faerie war. An ancient blade wielded by a man who would be king, broken and reforged by an Elf?” Morgan offered, striking a regal pose. “Not exactly the same, but Tolkien got a good story out of it.”

“OK, stop showing off.” Tania gestured. “Next she’ll be breaking out the D&D Books she had Gygax sign, and we’ll lose an afternoon. So let’s get back to the point: How do you possibly have these, and even though they’re pretty damn good what are they going to do about the fact that he’s the only thing keeping the Fomor back?” She asked before she drained her bottle of beer and set it aside with absolutely no sign of any effect.

“Because I’m going to make them into a goidte dubh.” Morgan said with all the weight of a pronouncement, and everyone else at the table leaned back in shock. “It’s the only way.” She said seriously to their obvious concern, shrugging it off with a swig of beer. “He won’t be able to stop it because it’s him, and then it will do its job.”

Walter was about to say something when Gabriel spoke up. “It means ‘Stolen Night’. It strips magic from one person and gives them to another, and if you kill the person while it is in effect then it is permanent. It is very rare and very difficult to make, and I didn’t know that Morgan knew how to make one. Although it makes sense, given it is a thing of transition and change. And,” He added with a side-eye toward Morgan, “Death.”

“So we stick him with the goiters, and then off him, and then what…you take over holding off whatever the heck those things are?” Walter asked. “Will you be able to do that? That has to have some long term side effects?”

Morgan and Tania considered their Mexican food for a long moment before they looked up almost at the same time. “Long term? Probably drive whichever one of us gets it more than a little batshit, maybe kill us. But it will save the world in the mean time, so sometimes you just have to nut up and embrace the crazy.” Tania said off-handedly, as she reached for another beer.