Friday, October 16, 2015
Too many years in command, I guess... I can't sit on my ass and wait for someone else to do the obvious, I have to do it myself or at least set things in motion. Thats why a few days after we realize the kids need to know things I am on the phone... That's why I'm on the phone with Stoney at the moment. I called Keon earlier, got him lined up, and once this call is over I need to call Ob... maybe Chiara, too.
The problem with reacting to a crisis is that it leaves you no time to think... but now that things have settled down, at least a little, I see what should have been obvious all along.
Our kids... Ruarc and Mera, Tara and Tomas, Chloe and Terri, Ryan and Gracie... they all have some inkling of what's going on, but I don't think any of them know what it's all about. I'm calling a meeting of the parents to discuss what and how much we ought to tell the kids. They have to be told... keeping them in the dark would be as irresponsible as an ordinary parent neglecting to tell their kids not to talk to strangers, never to get into their car, etc. Our kids - especially Ru - are being targeted by beings as deadly as any pedophile out there. The kids need to know that; need to know, too, that their parents and the people who love them are not going to let them come to any harm.
I get Stoney to agree to the meeting... it wasn't exactly hard, I think he must have been thinking along similar lines. How could he not? How could any of us not, unless we're deliberately blocking ourselves from thinking about it? That would be asinine, but the fact is, sometimes people don't behave logically. Look at the people who know a hurricane's on its way and take their sweet-ass time getting out of town. They've done this before, they know the drill, they've seen what a hurricane can do; but they keep putting it off and then suddenly the hurricane's in their laps.
Sometimes people need a good swift kick in the ass to get them motivated....
Ob's accent is much in evidence when I bring him around to the purpose of the meeting... I've noticed it becomes more pronounced when his emotions get involved in something. Chiara never considered that Ryan might get involved in all this, but now that she has it pointed out, she realizes that even if Ryan himself isn't being targeted, he still could be an innocent bystander who suddenly finds himself in the line of fire through no fault of his own. She sounds shaken when I bring the call to a close. It wasn't my intention to scare her, but maybe a little fear isn't a bad thing....
The mood is ugly that afternoon, an unholy stew of frustration, fear and rage simmering just under the surface. Somehow meeting here to talk about this made it all more real. Chiara is frightened, Stoney is calm and Alise shows that steely demeanour that allowed her to survive captivity at the hands of a psychopathic werewolf. Pandora looks to her husband for comfort, but Ob's rage makes it hard for him to help much with the planning. given the choice, I think he'd just head into Underdark and lay waste in all directions. That would be satisfying, but not terribly smart.
I can sense the anger roiling through my blood-brother at the thought of the Drow going after Mera, but he remains outwardly calm and I can see why Herne made him his captain.
"This isn't about killing the Drow - and it's not just about protecting the kids, either," I say, trying to regain control of the meeting. "What we need to decide tonight is what we tell the kids, how much of the truth we need to tell them. I'll be honest, I think we need to tell them pretty much everything, even if it's scary for them. They need to be scared, at least enough so that they'll keep their eyes open and think before they act. That's tough for a kid, and I know we'd all rather not have to tell them anything; but the potential for danger is doubled if they don't know they're in danger.
These are special kids - special in many ways - and I don't think they'll react like ordinary kids. Anyway - "
"Forgive me this intrusion." The man in black is suddenly just amongst us, with no one having seen him come. Those ice-gray eyes sweep the room, locking briefly with the eyes of each parent. "I received word of this gathering and I thought it good to attend and to see and hear whatever may come of it.
I tell you this now - your children fall under my protection; I will die, if need be, to protect them - but I am only one man. It is said that forewarned is forearmed; therefore I say: arm your children with the truth, couched in such terms as to minimize fear. Arouse instead their martial spirit and emphasize that - although they may count on your protection, and mine, and many others besides - they should also be prepared to protect each other with all the wiles and strength at their command. Thus you shall turn their minds away from fear and make them a party in their own defense."
Somehow the mood breaks after that and we get down to specifics. the kids will have to be told the same thing; too many of them communicate mentally for us to try to tailor the information to each individual child, and lack of trust on their part could be devastating. Mortuis slips out unnoticed - how does he do that? - and we arrive at a rough consensus before the meeting breaks up; the ladies open up some covered dishes and I break out a couple of bottles.
Surprisingly, the mood is one of hope.