Saturday, August 6, 2011

Everybody Lives (or: We're Gonna Need a Bigger Boat)


Dear Diary:
Today we kicked ass. Gunnar and Harlan and I were like superheroes.
I'm really fucking tired because of it, but not physically or mentally. I'm tired in a metaphysical sense. It was worth it though, because for about half an hour I felt like I knew exactly what I needed to do and I knew exactly how to do it and I was perfectly capable of all the things that needed to be done.
I've really missed that feeling.
But, the best part: Everybody lived.

Gunnar, Harlan and I were on the ferry, going to look for giants because for some reason I can't really remember anymore that sounded like a good idea at the time. I was losing at cards against Gunnar, which brought back fond memories of our meeting in Vegas. After a few hands there was some commotion on the ferry. A guy who looked like Orlando Bloom showed up, saying he was Cupid.
Yeah. Cupid. At least I rate a messenger boy.
He said my dad was busy, and beyond that he was pretty much no help at all. To me, anyway. He gave Harlan two of the answers to his crossword puzzle. Titanic and werewolf. Um... now that I think about it... that's kinda ominous. But he smelled alright. I think.
And he played a hand of poker, and at least had a look on his face for a minute like he thought he was going to beat Gunnar.
He didn't.

I wished my dad hadn't been busy, there were a lot of things I wanted to ask him. I could have told Cupid to ask my dad to get back to me before March (if the world lasts that long), that probably would have given him the idea of what I wanted to talk to him about.
Unless I get surprised again by the time distortion of a Terra Incognita, I've got four months until these kids are born and like I told Gunnar, that's probably something I should plan for. That was one of the things I wanted to talk to my dad about, whether he knew any good doctors. I mean, he's the doctor-god. He's gotta know someone. Someone who's good with the divine. Someone who won't ask too many questions about how I don't look pregnant and why my blood isn't red and stuff like that.
I mean, it's not like I'll be able to deliver the kids myself.
There's a small possibility I might be too busy screaming, like some women do during childbirth. I mean, I'd be full of it if I tried to pretend I wasn't just a little nervous. Normal labor is supposed to be painful to normal people. I might get lucky, since I'm not a normal person and this might be a completely normal pregnancy. I don't know if this is going to be normal labor. I don't know if these are going to be normal kids. My mom never said anything about me being a particularly difficult delivery. But there was only one of me, and only one of my parents was epic.
Yeah. I'm nervous.
I wish I were selfish enough to spend the time asking Sibyl how much this is going to hurt. Fuck. I want my mommy.

Oh, and I also wanted to ask my dad if Zeus is going to kill me.
It's something that occurred to me a little after the Baron's answer, when I asked him about raising the dead. I've started to get the feeling that it's not something people are supposed to do. So I started thinking about the people who have done it.
I've come up with one name, so far.
My brother.
It uh... it didn't end well.

So I told Cupid to make sure they name me something better than "The Snake Handler" (Why? Because fuck snakes, that's why), and he fluttered off to who-gives-a-fuck. Then I went back to playing poker with Gunnar. And by that I mean I went back to losing at poker to Gunnar. Somehow I didn't really mind.

It was almost like a mini-vacation, a ferry trip in Scandinavia. And then, reminding us that we were still on duty, there was an explosion sound that made the boat lurch. And Gunnar said there was a big shark in the water. I didn't see it, not at first, but I trust his eyes.

That's why, in a move that would have had Nevermore screaming bloody murder, I leapt without hesitation right into the frigid water. In front of a moving ferry, right in the path of an abnormally huge Great fucking White that I wasn't even able to see yet. Jotun Jaws.
It's not like I was being completely reckless though, I've learned this trick where my skin hardens a bit (and for some reason it turns gold and I look awesome) and I can take more hits. It wouldn't have stopped Never from screaming at me, though.
Once I got in the water I couldn't really see what Harlan was doing, but I heard him shouting at people for them to move and people usually listen to Harlan. I figured he had that handled, and then I saw everyone falling off the boat including two fucking kids. They weren't great swimmers, and one got sucked under the water before that big fucking shark decided the kid looked like a Happy Meal. Shit got bad pretty quickly.
So Gunnar grabbed my axe from me and shouted for me to deal with the people. I ran up the side of the boat so I could jump into the middle of the biggest crowd of people and...
I'm not sure how I did it. I didn't know I could do it. Well, until I did it.
I just... wanted. I wanted everybody safe, and I wanted not to lose the boat and I especially wanted that kid the hell out of that shark's throat. I bent the world to my will, is the only way I'm really sure to explain it. I bent the world, and it felt good.
There was... pressure around us. Under our feet, lifting the shark to the point where he was beached and keeping the boat from sinking anymore. Like a shield, except no one could see it. They felt it though. It didn't make any sense, but there it was. Something they couldn't see. Something the boat couldn't break. Something I put there, keeping them safe.
They applauded.
Gunnar hefted my axe, which he used a few seconds later to unleash utter hell on Jaws in a very sexy way, and I hopped over and tore the kid out of the shark.
With my bare hands, which were still gleaming like gold.
The guys got everyone out of the water, and I took my shield thing and started swimming for shore. It was either that or wait to be rescued. Fuck waiting, I was the rescue.

I swam and the shield moved with me. Half an hour later, ish, we found land.
There was a crowd at the port. And everybody was staring. And crowding around us. And wanting to talk to us and generally getting in the way. From that point, that feeling where I knew exactly what to do just kinda went away. I was clueless again. I had no idea how to handle this crowd, they were making me nervous and I couldn't think of anything to do besides smile. Probably like an idiot.

And then Gunnar stepped up and started handing out business cards. He told me he's got some ideas. And he told me that he'd told those people just to call me "The Doctor."

"Some days are special.
Some days are so, so blessed.
Some days nobody dies at all.
Now and then, every once in a very long while—every day in a million days when the wind stands fair and the Doctor comes to call—everybody lives."
River Song from Doctor Who

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