Jean Crow glanced around the little room and once more felt the vague sense of amazement that she was here. Jean had always possessed an at times painful awareness of being somewhat on the outside of things for much of her life, an awareness that had only grown more acute since coming to live at Castle Terribel. True, Nisrioch was training her for some reason, and frequently implying it was something significant--but in the end, Jean knew she was one of the more minor figures at the castle. And now--here she was, part of the inner circle, for this occasion at least. It was kind of exciting, having the Cthoniques and the Badb listen to you.
“…a small fleet watching the river,” she explained. “I was able to get past them--but they’ll probably be on watch now.”
Viviane nodded. “Right.” She stood up. “Okay--I’ve got a plan. Now--I go to the fleet, summon up a storm, maybe have a few waves wreck any ships I can’t take down with the winds, follow it up with a few explosions to take down the gate…” She idly scratched her chin. “And then we play it by ear.”
Jean stared at the Badb for a moment. “Yeah,” she eventually coughed out. “That’s… not very subtle, is it.”
“It’s very subtle,“ asserted Viviane with a frown. “The lookouts won’t know what’s happening. Because they’ll all be dead.”
Jean blinked, and then turned to the Cthoniques. “Is she… always like this?”
The Cthoniques nodded as one. “We’ve learned to see it as a lovable foible,” explained Nisrioch.
Viviane crossed her arms. “I like simple plans. That solve things simply. And make people who’ve gotten the idea they can mess with me unget that idea.” Her eyes narrowed. “If as a side-effect, they are no longer able to get any ideas at all--well, that’s their problem. Should have worried about that before picking a fight with the Badb.” She raised a hand, and called a flame from a nearby candle. It danced around her fingers. “I wield the might of the land, and at my bidding it explodes forth, in an explosive display of exploding, explosive might!” The flame gathered in her palm and briefly flared up.
Morgaine coughed. “Yeah. Trust me, Viv--speaking as a woman who loves explosions as the next girl, you do seem… a bit fond of them at times.”
“Hey! It’s a simple fact--explosions solve problems!” noted Viviane emphatically, waving an admonishing finger. “If through some miracle an explosion appears to fail to do this, a second larger explosion will remedy this cosmic oversight.” She glared at Nisrioch and Morgaine who were idly looking away, then turned to her husband. “Manny--tell your crazy family they are being crazy…”
Mansemat began to rub his temples. “That… may be difficult, nightshade petals…”
Viviane crossed her arms. “Who backed you up on the gryphon run?”
“You did, dearest one,” said Mansemat, looking guiltily away.
“That’s right,” said Viviane, with a nod. “I did. And that is why I would appreciate your support for Operation: Imminent Doom.”
“It has a name now?” said Morgaine.
“Yes,” said Viviane. “And it is a good name.”
Nisrioch nodded. “No arguments there. Very catchy. And it simply rolls off the tongue.”
“It was meant to,” said Viviane.
Jean coughed. “Yeah… well… I feel I must oppose… Operation: Imminent Doom. On the ground of it being… rather… kill-heavy…”
Viviane wheeled on the young sorceress. “That shows it’s effective!” Her eyes narrowed in what Jean had come to call ‘the du Lac glare’. “Can you come up with a better plan?”
Jean gulped. This was not really how she’d imagined meetings of the Cthoniques going.