Subject: IC: Powers
Posted on: 2020-08-14 00:24:49 UTC

El-Ahrairah turned his head this way and that, mostly for show. His children were so far away in this place - already, they were vanishing back to wherever Ananke had pulled them from - and he was so, so far from the light of Frith, source and proof of his power. His heart ached from both these pains. He had missed being in the mortal world, if indeed it was, but oh, he had not missed this.

And here was Ananke, her arms spread wide. The air in this place was conditioned - he could feel it thrumming with artificial movement, hear the whirring faraway fans and devices that kept it moving and cool - and yet there was an inexplicable chill about this new realm. It had been so, so long. He was out of practice. His body was different, too, the feet feeling too small but the legs vast and densely muscled. His forepaw was a hand, and he knew it, and knew what it did. His hand held a weapon, and he knew it, and he knew what it did. And yet, he did not act upon it. There was a strangeness about this. His eyes were placed wrong, his blind spots moved from the centre to the sides, but that was simply how these bodies worked. And he knew it. Why? How? What else did he just know, because of how he had returned?

His feet were covered, yes, but the floor beneath him - Generic Surface under tiled linoleum for ease of cleaning in a medical science environment what in d*mnation did any of that mean - still vibrated, and he could sense those vibrations through his boots and through his body and into his mind. The familiar wheeling fireworks of cleverness and ideas and trickery overthrew him for a moment but he remembered that he was the future Earl Wymbourne and there were Expectations of Propriety to be met. And there were. Weren't there?

"My lady Ananke," he said, and he bowed low without knowing entirely why. "Long have we been parted. Too long."

"Such a pleasure it is to meet a child with manners," Ananke replied.

El-Ahrairah straightened, and met her eyes. They sparkled with a smile, so he thought. And smiles were different to bared teeth. "As they say, manners maketh man. I must take my leave, however. This form, this world, this place... I must reacquaint myself with them all. And thus, I bid you good day."

Before Ananke could respond, the god was gone.

And he was running

The First Rabbit easily kept up with him despite the speed at which he ran and the terrain against which he was arrayed. And arrayed against it he was. Every door and box and inventively-foul-mouthed vending machine could harbour danger to him and to his children, and though they numbered beyond counting and were protected by his gifts each loss hurt him still. He recalled well kind old Frith's fateful words. "All the world shall be your enemy." He didn't quite realize he'd said it aloud, and in English, until after the fact. The throats of these forms were incredible! The noises they could make! He laughed as he ran, and ran faster from the joy of it, and scooped up the First Rabbit with his free hand and tucked him under his arm and snapped his fingers and


El-Ahrairah rocketed down the blurring network of corridors, bouncing freely from the walls and doors and ceilings and guardrails without the slightest semblance of a care in the world. He wasn't going anywhere. He wasn't looking for anything. He was just running, his divine power manifesting as sheer joyous speed, beneath the grey Generic Surface sky lost somewhere beneath a black untouchable one whose stars still searched for Lord Frith. It felt incredible, it felt free, it was power beyond imagination and beyond reproach, it was-

He stopped dead.

Then he took off in the opposite direction, mumbling something incomprehensible about Lanchester's squares.

It had been a late luncheon, and Algernon, 7th Earl Wymbourne, was - per his wont - asleep in his chair. He was the sort of man who roused from his slumber precisely when he meant to, and prior to that time could not be woken by anything short of a bomb going off. This wasn't as much of a problem as it might appear at first glance; he was a quiet sleeper, much to the delight of his partner, currently stripping down a complicated-looking weapon whose innards glowed with baleful green plasma.

Said plasma promptly discharged itself through the opposite wall when the door slammed open.

Lola spun around in her chair, not least because HQ's doors didn't slam like that. Not unless it was dramatically appropriate, anyway. The bunny boy in the doorway certainly looked appropriately dramatic, and the rabbit under his arm looked faintly traumatized, but there was something oddly familiar about him that she couldn't quite place. The mode of dress? No, White Rabbit expies looked like that all the time... though they didn't normally carry an actual rabbit with them.

"Listen, cob," she said, reaching for her sidearm with the arm her chair obscured, "I don't know who you think you are, but in polite society we knock-"

At this dramatically appropriate point, Algie woke up. "Hm. Hmwha? Ah. I find it most pleasing that you consider yourself an authority on society and politeness, Commander. Perhaps we have been rubbing off on each other." He got up from his chair, and yawned, and stretched.

And then he turned around.

"My boy... my son..."

His voice was whisper-quiet and desperate.

"Whatever have they done to you..."

"I think," said El-Ahrairah, "we may have something of a problem."

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