Order and Chaos

Order and Chaos
RE: Order and Chaos
Face the music, loser.
RE: Order and Chaos
(10-01-2015, 04:21 AM)Schazer Wrote: »Face the music, loser.

Flay the music, servant of the glocktopus
RE: Order and Chaos
Please remember to actually post which choice pepper you picked a decide here in the thread. I can't automatically see the decisions or anything, if that's what you were thinking.
RE: Order and Chaos
I'm confused but I picked the jailbreak....

/me tweaks chwoka's nipple
RE: Order and Chaos
https://i.gyazo.com/4f8b8dc6e3e75da1274c...8defa1.png oop
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RE: Order and Chaos
I'm running away to Cordonia, claiming to want to stop a war but really to stir some shit up and make sure this war really happens.

It's totally canon and what's going down.

Also canon is my linear story telling:
"Fuck nobody told me I was going to have to come up with this next segment. shit. Ok. So. We bust out of jail to stop the war, but the us on the chariot is running away to Cordonia to start shit at the same time. It's like trying to have your cake and eat it too, which is a phrase that's always been mildly confusing because what else are you going to do with your cake? Anyway. Since our current goal is to "stop" the war, let's stop following Mary-us for a second and go back to the us that we left ourselves for dead in the jail cell, the us that wants to try and stop this war dealy. Or we can be the princess we just killed, maybe? how does this work. are we a zombie nothing?"
~◕ w◕~
RE: Order and Chaos
(10-01-2015, 04:21 AM)Schazer Wrote: »Face the music, loser.

I looked myself in the eyes and concluded that I was right. After all, it had been my idea in the first place to turn myself in.

"We'll stand trial, then. It's starting soon?"

"It's time, my dear," a guard said, fumbling with the keys. As the cell door awkwardly swung open, he simply held the keys out in his hand.

"I think it's going to be easier if you let yourself out," he said apologetically. "But don't think you can try anything just because I'm blind! I'll be listening for your footsteps."

I unlocked the cuffs, on both the bed and the radiator. Both of me stood up and followed him. He seemed puzzled, probably because it sounded like I was walking twice as fast as he expected.

Nonetheless, he guided us to the courtroom, where the Harmony would decide our fate. I had to admit, I was nervous. I knew I was innocent, or was reasonably sure I was, at least. But would we both be judged as one? What song would await us within that chamber?

And why did I feel as though I wasn't entirely there?

(10-01-2015, 11:57 PM)AgentBlue Wrote: »I'm confused but I picked the jailbreak....

"I don't trust you at all," I told myself. "For all I know, you found some way to rig the Harmony."

"If you don't trust me, you don't trust yourself. And how could I interfere with the Harmony? I can barely play the recorder."

"I can. You represent the road not taken. Maybe that includes more musical training."

"Whatever. I said I'd stand by my decision, and I will. Jailbreak it is."

"But how do we... get out..."

Even as I said it, I realized our bonds had vanished and the door hung open.

"When did that happen? Did you do something?"

"No. The guard opened the door to take us to trial, and he gave us the keys so we could release ourselves. Then he took us to the Harmony for judgement."

I stared at the other me.

"Are you telling me there's another pair of us running around?"

"At least. I only know about those two because I saw them leave. Regardless, escaping should be rather simple, so that only leaves the question of where we should escape to. What do I say, Mary?"


The Harmony was a thing of terrifying beauty. I couldn't help but reflect that most of those unfortunate enough to come before it would be unaffected by its imposing appearance. Indeed, the other Mary and I might well be the first to actually see it, other than the craftsmen who had made it so long ago.

"The accused will now play for the Harmony," said the judge. "Let the content of your character come out in its song."

I held up my recorder, and my other self held up a knife. I wasn't sure exactly how this was going to work, but it couldn't be that complicated when I knew only one song.

I played Three Blind Mice as best as I could on a recorder that decided to be a knife half the time; fortunately, the other me apparently was able to pick up the other half. I didn't really want to think about how that worked. I didn't want to think about anything. All I could do was play, and hope that it worked out somehow.

When we finished, the Harmony began to warm up. Its next song would decide our fate.

And that song was...
RE: Order and Chaos
no song, just a pregnant silence
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RE: Order and Chaos
William Tell Overture
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RE: Order and Chaos
Neil Cicirega's smash hit Smash Mouth mashup album Mouth Sounds
RE: Order and Chaos
(10-02-2015, 03:52 AM)Crowstone Wrote: »no song, just a pregnant silence

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"Shh!" said one of me to another, both creeping around in the shadows outside the court en route to escape. "Did you hear that?"

"No. Oh my gods, did I go deaf? In the land of the blind?! At last!?"

"Just because you can see doesn't mean you're deaf, asshole," you said.

"Hey, don't call me an asshole, I'm you!"

"I'm sorry. But listen!"

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"I'm not hearing anything."

"Exactly. It's the sound of silence!"


"What? I... don't know what that is."

"Wait — the sound of silence, I know that one!" I began to quietly sing:

Hello darkness, my old friend.
I've come to talk with you again.
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping,
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence...

I paused, then continued, louder and more confident:

In restless dreams I walked alone!
Narrow streets of —

"Shut up! Holy shit!" I said, cupping my hand over my mouth. "You're gonna blow it for the both of us, youze hear? Besides, you're not alone."

"Well, there is nothing before me but me, that's pretty alone!"

"Well, you're not dreaming."

"So you WERE just being a sarcastic dickhead!"

"Point is, if Harmony wanted to sing The Sound Of Silence it would have sung The Sound Of Silence. This is different... there's something about this silence that's... foreboding."

"Is it silent but deadly?"

"Maybe... oh my gods, it's a pregnant silence! Get down!"

We got down on the ground and put our hands over our heads. "What is it?"

"It could be anything that comes howling out of the silent womb, covered in silent placenta and begging to be spanked and made to cry."

"That doesn't sound... pleasant."

"It's a beautiful, natural process. You just don't see it that way 'cause you never met your real mom."

In hushed tones: "I don't get it. Is it 4'33''?"

"Don't you see? It's a pregnant silence!"

"Oh no... It could be anything that comes howling out of the silent womb, covered in silent placenta and begging to be spanked and made to cry."

"Yeah, that definitely doesn't sound pleasant."

"Actually, it's a beautiful, natural process. You just don't see it that way 'cause you never met your real mom."

I let that comment drop with an angry thud. "What is it waiting for?"

We both turned to the gigantic double-doors of the court as they slowly, but loudly, creaked open. This was it. We could all tell we were witnessing the dilation of the cervix of the pregnant silence. (If that metaphor seems gross and overly-literal to you, you should probably ask your parents if you are adopted or even human, because it is actually one of the most beautiful, wonderful events on this, our planet Earth.)

(And hey, you were able to handle the whole eye-cauterizing, hand-severing businesses earlier and this is much less graphic, so what gives?)

(I suppose you want to get back to the story now.)

(Well, here goes:)

(Here it comes:)
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(Forthcoming, the part of the story where I tell you what came through the court doors:)
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(Right here:)

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Though the court doors came none other than the Queen herself, the very crown who had assigned me to bodyguard duty! That's why Harmony was waiting: it did, after all, have to defer to the absolute authority of the monarch. This was bad, probably. She was dressed in an ornate, all-white dress, complete with gloves and a veil that completely covered her face, topped with a crown of white chocolate, because when you're queen, every day is your wedding. Your wedding to your country.

We all kneeled as the queen took her spot on the highest podium, and trailing her, carrying her train, was her metaphorical placenta. To my astonishment, the man who came through the doors second and closed them was Sir Nose!

"Put that snoot to use, you mother!" the queen hollered.

He began to snap a back beat with his trunk and sang, over and over again:

Make my funk the P-Funk, I want my funk uncut.
Make my funk the P-Funk, I wants to get funked up.
I want the bomb, I want the P-Funk, I want my funk uncut.
Make my funk the P-Funk, I wants to get funked up.

"I don't understand," I said to Sir Nose as he passed. "I thought you only existed in my dreams?"

He stopped to caress my chin with his nose — ensnare it really, like a python giving you a hug. (Harmony took up the beat duty with claps.) "Mary Lee, Mary Lee, Mary Lee," he said. "Life is but a dream." He smiled, and returned to gathering the queen's Soul Train, blowing his nose like a trumpet.

Finally, the queen rose her hand, and the band stopped. It was another pregnant silence. I would have been on the edge of my seats if I hadn't been kneeling.

She took her other hand, leaving the other one raised, and, oh-so delicately, lifted her veil. I gasped. Nobody had ever seen the queen's face before; at least, anyone that lived to tell the tale. Part of that was definitely that everyone was blind.

As her veil raised, I realized: the old adage was true! In the land of the blind, the one-eyed woman is queen!

I was once again coming face-to-face with my own face. The queen had been another, funkier superposition of myself all along. Did this have to happen every time I kneeled?

All material concerns — the question of identity, my own innocence or guilt, my jailbreak, the nature of dreams and reality, even my own possible execution — melted away like so much butter in the light of this revelation. There was only one question, dwarfing all others: What kind of queen was I?

I woke up in my luxuriously-appointed 4-post bed in my castle chambers. I was, in real life, a pretty pretty princess. In 15 minutes or so, I estimated, my servant would come up to my room to groom and dress me, and I would kick up a stink like every day.

"What's wrong with the silk shift?" I would say.

"Your excellency, those are your pajamas! You might as well walk out in your underwear!" they would say.

"Why can't I do that?" I would whine, burying my head into my innumerable pillows, before eventually acquiescing and to get my hair done up. It wasn't fair — my father, the king, Malcolm Vindictus, had slaughtered his way up from barbarism, so he never had to deal with any of this "court culture" that demanded he know the names of all 5 forks and wear a corset. He could walk around in a loincloth and eat with his bare hands and burp and nobody could tell him anything, because his power was absolute! It just wasn't fair!

Is that what I really wanted, though? To follow in my father's uncivilized, tyrannical footsteps after he passed? One day my power would be absolute, too. It was a dilemma that my life revolved around, causing me a lot of adolescent stress and gory dreams, even at 19 years old.

With spare time this morning to luxuriate in my hypnopompic state, I could recall the ending of my dream perfectly. I was the queen, and with perfect information due to being one with those I judged, and the situation muddied with intense ambiguity, I could plausibly render a just verdict in any direction I pleased. But how did I please? Did I want a war with Cordonia or not? Did I order the execution of one of me, both of me, nothing, or none of the above? Broadly speaking: What kind of queen was I?
RE: Order and Chaos
you are a very very very peaceful queen that would never declare war at all
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RE: Order and Chaos
you are a very nice queen that rewarded all of her loyal subjects with knives, flying from your hand.
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RE: Order and Chaos
The exploding kind
RE: Order and Chaos
The kind to spend months pretending to be a peasant in order to escape certain death
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RE: Order and Chaos
(10-02-2015, 10:01 PM)Crowstone Wrote: »you are a very very very peaceful queen that would never declare war at all

Of course. I was so disgusted by Father's warlike ways that I vowed to preserve peace as best I could. It still gives me shivers to recall the brutal training regimen he instituted. To him, an army of the blind meant little more than an army that wouldn't see the bodies they left in their wake.

When I took the throne, I disbanded the army, and put aside a portion of the treasury to pay for their therapy. I know it was the right decision - yet the other kingdoms still fear the name of Malcom Vindictus, and aren't convinced I'm so different.

That was why they sent the assassin, wasn't it.

(10-03-2015, 04:21 AM)Papers Wrote: »The kind to spend months pretending to be a peasant in order to escape certain death

After the narrow escape, I knew it wasn't safe any more. I posed as a peasant, as a lowly bodyguard for my own daughter - yet, somehow, she was me as well. Now that very bodyguard sits below me, awaiting judgement, from none other than herself.

It's as though, rather than taking one path through life, I take them all. I am the queen. I am a bodyguard. I am the ambassador. I am fleeing from jail, and helping myself flee from jail. I was even my own daughter...

Wait. What choice could possibly cause that to happen?


"Mother! Get up, mother!"

"Mary... There's no time, Mary. I hoped... hoped it would be ready before now..."

"What are you saying, Mother? You still live! We can take you to the doctor!"

"No, Mary. The dagger... a deadly poison. I feared this might happen... take this..."

Mother handed me a small key, and pointed to her bedchamber, before collapsing one final time.

I was queen now... no! I couldn't be queen now! I wasn't ready! What if the assassin came back for me?

I ran away... I ran for Mother's bedchamber... I ran so fast I hit my head, and couldn't remember a thing... I was so young, still!

No. Focus, Mary. I took many paths, all at once. But the one that matters now... yes, I went to Mother's bedchamber.

I don't know why I thought to look under her bed for the keyhole. Perhaps she said something of it, perhaps I was just starting to think like her. Whatever the reason, I put the key in, and turned it, and the floor popped open.

What I saw was Mother's face, staring back at me. Or half of it, at any rate. The other half was nothing but cold metal.

She knew I did not yet feel ready to take the throne. This was her backup plan. How she would protect me, until I was ready to protect myself.

"Please insert memory template," the half-Mother said, and I realized it was unfinished more than just physically. I didn't have Mother's technical sense, but when I saw the helmet next to it...

I recoiled in fear. And I also put the helmet on.


So this is who I am. How I am.

Melissa Vindictus, Malcom's bride, took the throne upon her husband's death. Knowing her life was in danger, she crafted a mechanical duplicate of herself, and began copying her memories into it.

But the assassin's poison killed her before it was complete. Her daughter, Mary Vindictus, was forced to complete the process with her own memories, so that she need not take the throne right away.

Now that mechanical amalgam of the two women was the ruler, and had governed for so long that she had forgotten how she came to be. Until now, when she saw two people that she knew were, in part, herself. And also her daughter.

But as the memories came rushing back, one image that had been blocked out for nearly a decade was suddenly as vivid as ever.

The assassin. Mary had seen him for just a moment, but that was long enough. The trauma had submerged the memory during the transfer, but now it rose to the forefront.

We knew who he was.

It was as clear as day. That mask. That nose. And now he had the gall to show them again, as if he were one of our dearest friends!

We turned towards him, and pulled out our recorder.

We started to play. The Harmony joined in. It was a beautiful song, a joyous song, a liberating song.

The defendants were not guilty. But the true guilty party had to be punished.

We stepped closer. He was clearly nervous.

We played a few bars, but the tone was different. Darker. More ominous. The Harmony sounded a thunderclap in accompaniment.

Everyone scattered, but the man with the nose stayed defiantly still, even as we stepped right up to him. We put down the recorder.

"Ten nine eight seven six five four," we sang.

(10-03-2015, 02:32 AM)Mirdini Wrote: »The exploding kind

"Three, two, one," we concluded, in an older voice. And then, our reign was over.


The courtroom was in a panic. Of course, nobody had seen the queen explode, other than myself and I, and perhaps Sir Nose. But there was no escaping that noise, nor the wild cacophony the Harmony played in its wake.

The other Mary and I were free now, yet free to do what? Was one of us to take the throne? And what of the war?

What would happen next, and what part would we play in it? It seemed up to the whims of fate now.


I told myself there wasn't much use waiting to see how the trial of our other selves worked out. Better to flee, and do whatever would need to be done if we lost the trial.

Of course, I was quick to point out that we still hadn't decided on where we were fleeing to. Where would we go, and for that matter, how would we get there?
RE: Order and Chaos
War is more your father's style, you want to carve your own legacy, right? Instead of that, we sent some courtiers and assassins (All of them versions of us, of course) and took over Cordonia in a political and barely bloody at all fashion. Like, just a few rulers and their loyal followers died, all at our hands, no biggie.

As for executions: Yes. And no. Simultaneously. You had your cake and ate it too, because it's your dream and you can do what you want. And everyone agreed it was very fair, just, etc.

I'm sure everyone will agree that we'll be a far less bloody and more peaceful ruler than our father, though perhaps not by the widest margin imaginable.
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RE: Order and Chaos
Forget the war, let's escape into someone else's dream and wreak havoc there! Or maybe tomorrow night.

The point is: fleeing your problems
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RE: Order and Chaos
Dream of icy volcanos
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RE: Order and Chaos
escape into SPACE
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RE: Order and Chaos
(10-04-2015, 01:57 AM)ICantGiveCredit Wrote: »Dream of icy volcanos

"I went back through the mountains to Cordonia, but the dream sort of broke down into incoherence after that. There a volcano that erupted, but because the mountain was so cold my brain figured it should be deadly ice magma, somehow. It was really as if my dream got disinterested in itself once the meaty question of my conduct as royalty was disposed of."

Already, the memory of what had happened was fading as I woke. It was interesting that my recurrent dream tormentor from my childhood — Sir Nose, the subliminal seducer, the Boogieman — returned, only to be vanquished, perhaps once and for all, by my making the ultimate sacrifice as queen. I set down my calligraphy pen and closed my dream journal. It was time for the day to begin.

My servant entered the room ringing a small bell, punctual as always. "Your Highness, if you are finished with your dream journal, it is time to get ready for the day to come," he said.

"Yes, thank you Edward." I said. The next hour or so was spent being bathed (which is fine because Edward is blind and he does it with a long stick;) then applying the first layer of underclothes; then applying my make-up (besides the nose and nails;) then the elaborate, gaudy second layer of overclothes (which took the longest and was protested the whole time, as elaborated above;) taming my hair (which took nearly as long;) and finally, applying the paint to my nose and fingernails.

Immediately, to "wake the body," it was off to the first class of the day, which was just murder. My battle instructor, an old (and I mean OLD) friend of my father's, had strung up a man on a stake, one arm raised and the other at his side, with a bag over his head and a full suit of armor over that.

"Now, today I want you to go for the shoulders," she said, handing me my sword. I sighed and set to work. Once I had literally disarmed the man, by sliding the sword in between the joints of his armor, his arm loosely flopped off his shoulder, hanging by the skin, which I had to awkwardly slice off in multiple clumsy hacks until he stopped screaming and convulsing. "Good," she said, "or at least, good enough. You don't have the strength to cut through the whole arm in one fell swoop yet, but he couldn't very well have counterattacked in that condition. But you did leave yourself open when you swung, and he could have got you then! You must work on that."

The next classes, to "wake the mind," were under a different tutor. First up was politics and military tactics.

"I think," I told him, "I want to be a more peaceful queen."

He laughed once. "You don't have the chance. All of the territory your father conquered is kept in line only by their personal fear of him, not on his virtue or allegiances. As soon as he kicks the bucket and all their eyes fall on you, they will all be asking themselves, is she made of the same stuff as her father? Does she have what it takes? What can I get away with? They'll have to test you. Revolts will spring up like wildfires across the whole kingdom, and your brother and gods don't even know who else will most definitely try to kill you to take your throne.

"The world runs on blood. Your father only got where he was by spilling the most blood, and you're only here because of your blood relation. Your power might be absolute, but only so long as you keep the blood flowing. Next you'll be telling me you want to marry for love. Now, today you're going to continue to learn the value of a calvary..."

The same man was responsible for my class on poise and manners.

"I thought you said you wanted to be loved?" he taunted me. "How could they love a queen who can't dance?" I had to learn twice the dances, following as a princess and leading as a queen.

Language. That meant penwomanship, enunciation, vocabulary, rhetoric (of which he considered himself a master — see the above), grammar, and occasionally even literature.

I handed him my dream journal, my homework. "What do you think it means?" I asked as he flipped through it.

"What does it mean?" he said. "It means your handwriting and sentence construction is immaculate. Dreams are junk. I want you to write this stuff in Tilish from now on. And don't use made-up words like 'radiator' or 'robot.'"

After that, he took a break for food, and I was sent back off to the battle tutor for horseriding. I didn't get a break, because my mother had stopped allowing me food during the day because I was too chubby. It made me so hungry, I considered eating the horse I was riding.

We would run off into the wilderness, and my tutor would teach me how to "rough it" and survive off the land, make fires, tie knots, as I might have to do in an emergency.

After that was technically archery, but I was not strong enough to arm the bow for distance. My tutor put it delicately:

"Oh, we don't have enough arrows again," she lied, handing me an ax. "Go chop down a tree into splinters and run each one around the castle once to test their aerodynamics." Did I mention that I didn't get to change out of my cumbersome, heavily-layered princess costume for any of this?

Now exhausted and half-starved, I returned to the other tutor and was expected to keep up with advanced mathematics; religion, which was just rote memorization of the thousands and thousands of gods and their idiosyncrasies; history; and then a ludicrously labyrinthine law code, which, it was acknowledged, would not apply to me in any way, besides that I would be trusted to apply it.

My day was not even close to over. While everyone else in the castle had another food break, I was sent to the royal library to read. Everything. Fiction, non-fiction, almanacs, the news, ancient scrolls. It was the longest stretch of the day — though it was practically self-supervised, except for the guards that stood over me the whole time, making sure I was always reading, not trying to escape or sleep. I arranged to have some of them sneak in food for me, but not others, and I never knew who would be my guards for the day. Today, I was not lucky.

My mother would fetch me. My mother, the queen-consort, had been the queen-consort of the previous regime before Malcolm Vindictus, the one that had sired my older brother. My political tutor tried to insist that this was a shrewd political move by the king to garner goodwill and an illusion of regime consistency — indeed, my mother had managed to keep everyone on the court who hadn't already been slaughtered, and much of the bureaucracy and general society of the country, by the grace of Malcolm's disinterest in all but war. I had a suspicion, though, that it was more like Malcolm thought that he had simply inherited the king's wife by having murdered him, and the queen-consort was eager to play along, unaccustomed to life outside queendom.

She very badly wanted to be helpful to me and ensure that I would lead the country well after the king's passing. She took it upon herself, personally, to teach "queenly duties," which she didn't quite realize were very different for a consort and monarch, even if they were both queens. For example, the first thing was sewing, which I can't imagine I'd have to do myself as queen. Then we'd take those same needles and go do some surgery, then I'd have to clean a room of the castle until it was spotless, then I'd practice the proper ways to blink and wink (which my manners instructor could never hope to capture, according to her) for half an hour straight, then she'd teach me rules and strategies for all the games that might be played among nobility, all of which were taken far too seriously to allow for fun in the playing, then she'd teach me how to play various instruments and about music history and names I simply must know and have an opinion on to not look the fool and the strict, strict, strict rules of composing, then it was time to paint, and not just my nose and nails, but on canvas, then I would have to practice holding my breath underwater for as long as I could — a vital skill for a queen-consort, it goes without saying, and one that my mother could perform for 31 minutes on end, and inversion of my paltry 13, and then, finally, we'd cook ever-more-elaborate dishes that nobody was allowed to so much as taste, which was essentially torture for someone who hadn't eaten since they woke up, what, 41 hours ago?

Almost all of these subjects were completely useless, but arguably, I learned more about how to practically operate as a monarch in this period of the long day than any other, since lessons were constantly interrupted by her attending to pressing business, since, in the absence of a king who gave a shit, it was down to her to wheel and deal and bail out sinking ships and negotiate and glad-hand and generally keep the kingdom operating, while I was sitting right beside her, watching.

After all of that, Edward would regroom me from scratch, and put me in a third set of overclothes, somehow even fancier than the last.

At last, it was time for a grand dinner, with the whole castle in attendance — including me! Somehow, I was expected to be the one to start eating last, even though I am served first, before the king (if he is present) then my mother and brother, and then also to eat small portions, very slowly, when I did get to start. It was always the height of rudeness to ask for seconds, and my mother would kick me under the table for it, but I couldn't let that stop me.

After that, my time was nominally my own to do with as I pleased. Though I would usually use the time to get a few hours of sleep before the 2-day-long-day began all over again, I was to turn 20 in 7 weeks, and on that same day I would be wed, as is culturally mandatory. I was free to provide my own spouse, but if I didn't, one would be provided to me by my parents. (My mother had mentioned that she had one set up already, but kept who it was secret.) If I wanted to try and find one for myself, it would be wise to start sooner rather than later, perhaps by schmoozing at the post-dinner dance, or perhaps by pouring over the country's national and international political situation and arranging a marriage that would bring in a beneficial alliance. Or I could sneak off from everyone's view and go swim in the moat like I've always wanted to. Or just go to bed, because I still have 7 whole weeks. What should I do?
RE: Order and Chaos
Take a "day-off"
RE: Order and Chaos
Get married to yourself. Or to your country, if you are somehow unsuitable to marry yourself. You'll probably have to get a consort of some kind eventually or otherwise arrange for the whole succession thing, but perhaps this bold political maneuver can delay that decision to further than seven weeks away.

Let's get changed out of this princess clothing and sneak off to like slay a dragon or something
~◕ w◕~
RE: Order and Chaos
swim in the moat! oh baby, marry a mermaid!
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RE: Order and Chaos
(10-05-2015, 12:59 AM)ICantGiveCredit Wrote: »Take a "day-off"

The more I thought about it, the more I realized how tired I was of it all. My entire life had been meticulously planned for a long as I could remember, and I wanted no more of it.

The question of marriage could wait. I needed to get out of here. Oh, no doubt there would be a fuss or two when I got back, but it wasn't as if they could realistically punish me. They wouldn't dare to disinherit me; Father had been adamant that Milton would not take the throne from him, and he would not relent if I were gone for a mere day unless I could be proven dead. I might only be his favorite by process of elimination, but that was favor enough for the moment.

Today, I would be my own woman. I would leave aside all worries about my lessons, about the crown I would one day wear, about who to wed. I would go where I wanted, do what I wanted, be who I wanted.

And if I happened to meet someone worth marrying along the way, all the better.

(10-05-2015, 01:02 AM)Whimbrel Wrote: »Let's get changed out of this princess clothing and sneak off to like slay a dragon or something

Of course, the first step in that process was wearing sensible clothing. The sort that wouldn't be restrictive in a fight - not that I was specifically planning on getting into one, but you couldn't be Malcolm Vindictus' daughter without taking combat practicality into consideration. But also the sort that I could move around comfortably in. And that wouldn't be ruined in water - I expected to do some swimming very soon, after all, and didn't care to change my clothes more than necessary.

And I had just such an outfit, which would be more surprising were it not for how extensive my wardrobe was. I took off all the excess layers, put it on, and began tying my sheets together. I had so many that I had to wonder if the laundry-maid was actively encouraging me to escape.

Regardless, I climbed down - an activity I found myself almost suspiciously well-trained for, in retrospect - and found myself at the edge of the moat.

(10-05-2015, 04:31 PM)Crowstone Wrote: »swim in the moat! oh baby, marry a mermaid!

So I swam. Not for pleasure, though it was certainly a relaxing experience compared to the sheer length of my day. But I had places to be, even if I hadn't worked out exactly where they were yet.

Then I felt something around my neck. It took me a moment to realize that it was an arm.

"Well, well, well," a voice said. Presumably, it belonged to the same person as the arm. "What have we here? One Mary Vindictus, Crown Princess of Vendet, if my eyes don't deceive me."

I tried to free myself from my captor's grip, but it was no use - my training hadn't gotten as far as aquatic combat yet. I was only able to turn myself around and get a better look at my captor.

And damned if she wasn't beautiful. I found myself at once jealous and intrigued. She smirked at me, as if to say she'd noticed my reaction.

"There's no need for a fight, Princess. You're more valuable to us alive than dead. The only question is, would it be more profitable for us to bargain with your father for your release, or with your brother to keep you out of his way?"

She started dragging me down into the depths. I knew enough about the merfolk to realize that I was safe so long as she wanted me alive, but that didn't mean she had to keep me comfortable. For all practical purposes, I was drowning; it just wouldn't kill me.

Was there anything I could do to escape, or would I just have to let her drag me wherever she pleased?