Saturday, October 30, 2010

Put a Stake in It, Scene 4

“Now,” said Wintra as she sat in a chair. She watched with mild annoyance as Calvin flexed and bent his newly healed arm like he had never seen such a wonder before in his entire life. "You're going to break your arm again," she predicted, more because she hoped it were true than because she actually believed it. Despite his apparent success in healing himself, she found that she was disappointed all the same. Surely he might have rendered himself speechless, at the very least. His excited chattering and exclamations of amazement were grating on her nerves. “Now," she repeated with more force, startling Calvin, "we must formulate a plan to kill these cows. Ideas?”

He shrugged. “I don't know much about the undead, and even less about how to deal with vampire cows. Maybe we could lure them somewhere...”

“Luring them into a trap is a good idea, but that is not what primarily concerns me. Luring is the easy part. We must plan how to eradicate them first.”

“Stake them?”

“How would we subdue them long enough to do that?” She shook her head in exasperation. “You need to think about the entire picture, not just pieces of it. And eradication of the undead requires much more caution and precision.” She brushed aside some of the rolled up maps on the table. “Once we lure them to us, we must render them incapable of movement. We don't want a mass of angry, hysterical cattle coming at us again. After I immobilize them with a spell, I'll dissolve their stomachs so they can't eat--”

Calvin turned faintly green. “Dissolve?” he inquired weakly. “That's disgusting! And cruel.”

“It's practical,” she corrected. “These aren't cows, they're undead. I think all bets are off when they inflict death and suffering of their own.”

“It's inhumane!”

“You hired the wrong person for humane,” she pointed out. “Necromancy often employs cruel methods of magic. Besides,” she finished, “you have no other choice.”

“You don't know that,” he argued.

“Of course I do. I'm not stupid. If you felt you had any other choice, you wouldn't have hired me. I know my reputation; I've spent years cultivating it. You exhausted your other options before coming to me.”

“How do you know that?” he replied weakly.

“Because they always do.”


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