Friday, September 20, 2013

The Treasure of the Iron Range-12

“You expected otherwise?” Ken said as Gabriel walked into view from nowhere.

Gabriel approached, but Ken felt no fear. He tore off an ear and chewed on it.

“Oh no.” Gabriel said, “But you did surprise me with your earnest attitude. No whining, no moping, no ‘But I’ve got to do this boring old shit that I hate’ crap that I’m so used to sweeping away to get a monkey to do what I want.”

“Just needed a second opinion is all.” Ken said, cracking open the skull and getting at the brain, “Some super-powerful guy shows up out of nowhere, talks like something out of an old movie and has me wanting to screw over his buddy- and I’m supposed to just go with it? You’ll forgive me if I’m a wee bit skeptical.”

Gabriel clapped his hands and smiled. “It’s been a very, very long time since I found myself a monkey that finally got what’s going on.”

Ken finished chewing some brains. “I’ll take that as a compliment.”

Gabriel now got close to Ken. “Maybe the old man was right about your kind after all.”

“I figured that there was something you weren’t telling me about this.” Ken said, “That’s why I got that second opinion. Deeds don’t exist in vacuums, especially something that crosses streams like some dude using a European name and talking angels and demons wanting little old me to take on some ancient monster of a First Nations’ mythology. Once I got up to speed about this hunt you wanted me to do, I figured out that context.”

Gabriel took a seat across from Ken. “Go on. This should be amusing.”

Ken swallowed the eyes whole, one after the other. “I found it quite interesting that you’d send me against an ancient entity whose legendary prowess, and hunger, was so similar to my own. That’s when I recalled your words, that you still served loyally despite what you thought of Mankind, and put that together with something else I recalled from many years ago.”

“Which was?”

“The enemy can’t create, only imitate—only repurpose, rectify, remix—and therefore imitations can’t be better than the original.”

Gabriel nodded. “True, true. Go on.”

Ken finished the last of the soft bits, and now broke down the stripped skull into chip-sized bits. “I also recalled that you lot don’t reckon time as we do. ‘Wibbley-wobbley, timey-whimy’ as some of us call it, so I figured that the imitation and the original need not appear in the same place in linear time.”

“Go on. This is good.”

“This was a set-up alright, but not about me and the Necromancer. This is about the big picture, about long after I’m done here. I needed something that he had to complete myself, from your point of view.” Ken said, mixing the bone bits with some water and drinking it down, “And now, that’s done. By consuming Wendigo, I take on the curse and—because I’m the original—I fix it into a strong trait that makes myself into a subrrace that breeds true. I’m now, potentially, the father of a race of Men.”

Gabriel smiled, and took back his sword.

“Correct. Now, that wasn’t so bad, was it?”

“You’re still a dick, Gabby.”

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