mistressmaryquitecontrary: (secretmary)
[personal profile] mistressmaryquitecontrary
Mary Lennox sits cross-legged on a stone in her garden, survey book open on her lap. She's tapping a pencil on the ground, thoughtfully, as she reads over the answers.

She's still nowhere near the end of her List, and she's got more people to ask who aren't on it, and nobody's responses are the same.

It really is all awfully confusing.

Date: 2007-01-25 05:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] holy-oats.livejournal.com
Did Mary know that there were tortoises in her garden?

Because there are!

... Or at least, there's one, a specimen of an astonishingly green hue. He is lumbering rather deliberately towards her, as if he were being very careful with his footing. (Tortoises hate to flip over.)

Some little ways behind him, a young man in long black robes appears. The sight of the tortoise has him more than a little distraught.

"Will you get back here?" he calls after it, half a plea and half irritated snapping. "I didn't say there was good eating on one of them things!"

Date: 2007-01-25 06:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] holy-oats.livejournal.com
Oats gives her an exasperated look.

"I tried being quiet and still," he informs her. "And this da-- this darn thing just kept going! You have no idea how long I've been chasing this tortoise; I can't remember the last time I had a decent bath."

He sighs in frustration, glowering at the tortoise. (Who, if you were wondering, continues to trundle dutifully towards Mary.)

Then, looking a little embarrassed, he smiles at her.

"It's-- it's certainly very nice to see you, though. Quite a welcome change."

Date: 2007-01-25 06:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] holy-oats.livejournal.com
Oats looks momentarily baffled.

"Er."

But after a moment, he collects himself.

"Well, technically, it's not that he doesn't want to-- but I think I offended him." Oats shakes his head. "That is, not me ... not that I can recall, anyway. I should have brought some lettuce."

He looks at her helplessly.

"I don't imagine you've got any? He never eats anything else-- not to mention it's one of the few foods consistently allowed during fast months."

Date: 2007-01-25 06:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] holy-oats.livejournal.com
"Tortoises are deceptive like that," Oats sighs, dropping to the ground.

He appears very glad indeed to be finally not running, standing, or otherwise engaged in tortoise-chasing.

The tortoise, meanwhile, seems glad to be away from him, and looks almost as if it might wag its tail as it glances up at Mary.

Oats watches it ruefully.

"Well-- anyway." That comes out a bit like a sigh, too. "Now that I'm having a rest, how are you, Mary?"

Date: 2007-01-25 07:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] holy-oats.livejournal.com
Oats' face registers surprise-- he'd been steeling himself against a display of adamant sourness that doesn't look as if it's going to come. His expression softens.

"I've missed you too, Mary," he says, with a quick flash of smile that vanishes in an instant. Another sigh. "Uberwald's a place that keeps one on one's toes, but it's certainly no replacement. Besides which, the climate is abominable."

Date: 2007-01-26 04:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] holy-oats.livejournal.com
"I have to stay there."

Oats sounds very sure of this, though not as miserable as perhaps he might.

Then he frowns thoughtfully.

"... Do you think elephants are very much like werewolves?"

Date: 2007-01-26 04:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] holy-oats.livejournal.com
Oats considers this.

"From what I recall, elephants don't seem very pleasant ... and of course, they're technically insensible beasts under the strictest of definitions. Werewolves, on the other hand, are candidates for Om's salvation, just like anyone else."

(... So not only are elephants mean, but they're also apparently doomed to eternal damnation.)

Date: 2007-01-26 05:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] holy-oats.livejournal.com
Oats frowns, curiously following her gaze to the book.

"Do you really think the rules should be the same? More liberal Omnian sects tend to be of the opinion, these days, that we ought to be a bit more lax with animals than we are with people, on the grounds that ... well ... we know better."

Date: 2007-01-26 05:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] holy-oats.livejournal.com
Oats appears slightly flustered by Mary and the tortoise both.

"Well-- doesn't it also follow that it would be even worse-- sillier-- to assume someone does know something when they might not, and punish them for it even though they couldn't have helped it?"

Date: 2007-01-27 06:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] holy-oats.livejournal.com
"... Trials."

Oats' expression brightens. He's on firmer ground with trials.

If only very slightly firmer ground.

"Oh, well, trials and tribunals are an indispensible part of ensuring that justice is served-- though they're not to punish people, exactly, so much as to determine guilt."

Or so it is (sort of) commonly believed, these days.

Date: 2007-01-27 06:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] holy-oats.livejournal.com
"Well, ah--"

Technically, she's correct. Ish?

Oats blinks.

"... Survey?"

Date: 2007-01-27 06:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] holy-oats.livejournal.com
It's a very Mary thing to do, you know. Ask unsuspecting people about murder.

Once again, Oats looks flustered. (The tortoise, meanwhile, regards Mary curiously but is otherwise unruffled.)

"Well, um-- one shouldn't do it, obviously. To the former. And as to the latter ... I really do believe that Om shall be the ultimate judge."

Lack of support for this claim be damned (to a lake of fire).

Date: 2007-01-27 07:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] holy-oats.livejournal.com
Oats frowns back.

"There's been some debate over that at the Synod," he says thoughtfully, not mentioning that there has been some debate over everything at the Synod.

"But ... I'm inclined to say ... if the justice administered is, er, both proportional to the crime committed and discriminating in its execution-- then in that case, one might make an argument for the rightness of ... yes."

Date: 2007-01-27 08:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] holy-oats.livejournal.com
"As long as it's for something equally egregious," Oats amends hastily.

The tortoise appears to be rolling its eyes, but that might only be Oats' imagination.

Date: 2007-01-29 03:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] holy-oats.livejournal.com
"Er," Oats says.

In the distance, a house falls from the sky like a comet and hurtles earthwards. Oats seems not to notice.

"In this context, it mainly means 'bad,'" he admits.

Date: 2007-01-29 04:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] holy-oats.livejournal.com
"Oh-- of course."

Oats takes the book, holding it down against his knees to keep its pages from wriggling about. The house, presumably, has landed by now-- there's no sign of it in the sky, at any rate. Instead, a large grouping of elephants is now raining down on all sides.

In formation.

Oats writes busily, not seeming to notice this, either. The tortoise appears mildly disgusted.

Date: 2007-01-29 05:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] holy-oats.livejournal.com
Oats gives her a mild sort of look.

"I'll do my best," is what he says, before he is a penguin.

The penguin, not really possessing much of a lap, follows the book as it skitters to the ground, pounces on it to keep it from running off, and continues to write. Its flippers are not ideal for this task, but it doesn't seem to mind.

The elephant starts forward after it, gloves up-- but with a warning glance from the tortoise, it opts to leave the penguin alone.

Date: 2007-01-29 06:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] holy-oats.livejournal.com
"Silly?" snaps the tortoise, giving her a reproachful look. "I'll tell you what's silly."

Meanwhile, the penguin is scribbling furiously. Another small elephant challenges the first one to a duel.

"All these years," the tortoise continues irritably, "and someone'll still tell me a melon's not a loaf of bread. Me. I've got a divine decree, for my sake! If I want to say it's bread, it's bread."

The tortoise snorts, while elephants rain down gently.

"Prophets."
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