Interlude: Adder

Time: Roughly congruent with main story line

Place: A secluded room within the Lair

***********************************************************************

Adder: Nessa, so good to see you!

Vanessa: We know.

Adder: That’s a trifle cold, my dear.  The least you could do is-

Vanessa: About Linker.  We know about who he really is.

Adder: Do you?

Vanessa: We have a new source inside the Regime, one slightly more cooperative.  He spilled the beans, and it has your fingerprints all over it.  Prevailer can’t multiply by nines without looking at Her fingers.  There is no way that She came up with this scheme.

Adder: You underestimate Her, but … you are correct.

Vanessa: So you admit it?  You knew Linker’s identity, all this time, and you didn’t inform us?

Adder: Indeed.  I would have preferred that that knowledge never be made public.  I know that it is fruitless to ask your organisation to restrain itself, but you must know that no good will come of any effort in this area.

Vanessa: No good will come of cutting off Her supply of immortal soldiers?  Have you lived with Her so long that you’ve forgotten what they are used for?

Adder: Not for one minute.

Vanessa: They are terror troops!  They are executioners, rendered fearless by Linker’s gift and set loose among their prey.  The Fists are monstrosities.

Adder: They are groups of people.  They obey Her because they are afraid of Her.  It is understandable.  They have a difficult role.

Vanessa: You are so full of understanding for the killers.  Do you ever give any thought to us?  While you sit here, in your palace, pining over how hard these monsters have it, do you for even one second consider how hard the rest of us have it?  Do you consider what it must feel like to be mercilessly hunted by these deathless freaks?

Adder:  To be truthful, it rarely crosses my mind.  I assign great moral weight to the suffering that my decisions entail, but the truth is that the subjective experience is mostly foreign to me.  As you point out, mine is a comparatively pampered existence.

Vanessa: I’m amazed to hear you admit that.

Adder: Lying to oneself is pointless.  Lying to your organization previously had an important point.  Protecting Linker protected you, and in all things I strive to protect our world.

Vanessa: Protect your master, you mean.

Adder: The two are one and the same.

Vanessa: She survived before She had Linker.  She won’t go to pieces just because he’s gone.

Adder: How little you understand.  Linker is nothing to Her.  She despises him.  But his gift keeps Her friends alive, and they are everything to Her.

Vanessa: Friends!  Prevailer has friends?  Tell me another one.

Adder:  Confederates, then.  The word doesn’t matter. Peggy Martin is desperately lonely.  Her Fists are important existences to Her.

Vanessa: And now your sympathy extends to a killer of billions.  How convenient, that you feel most keenly the pain of those it would inconvenience you to act against.  It’s almost as though your vaunted kindness is simply a mask for abject cowardice.

Adder: I’m sorry that you feel that way.

Vanessa: We’ll be taking Linker off of the board.

Adder: Please tell your superiors not to act on this information.  I fear the consequences of any action against Linker.

Vanessa: You fear a lot of things.

 

***********************************************************************

Walter here, just a reminder that I’m doing these little interludes while I work on NaNoWriMo.  If you want to hear one from a particular cast member, just leave a comment.

Thanks for reading TFD!

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