[LMB] TSK - Buried Alive

Gwynne Powell gwynnepowell at hotmail.com
Wed Jul 10 16:33:07 BST 2019

One of the worst nightmares, to be buried alive.

But Dag's nightmare is just as bad; to know Fawn is so close and not to
be able to help her. He has to get control of himself, and work past the
old suspicions, finding a way to beg them to let him see her again. Just
imagine the horror if they'd refused, or he'd waited until the next
morning... there's your 'in the nick of time' moment, for sure, getting to
the grave just in time to get her out before the walnut fails.

But they get her out in time, and Dag gets the walnut-shield off her, and
it all works out fine. It had to, because there's no way the book, or Lois,
could survive if Fawn had been killed off. Seriously.

Of course then everyone thinks Dag can raise the dead, by some dark
Lakewalker magic, and the people who a few moments before were
tying him up as an evil bone-gatherer now want him to revive their
lost friends and family.

And this is the moment, the heart of the book. Not, oddly, the bat-malice
death, that was just one more exciting event. The really chilling moment
is when someone says, innocently, that they didn't have a Lakewalker to
check if Fawn was alive, and Neeta went past as they were getting ready
to bury her, and didn't say anything.

That's it. That's true evil, not some mindless ancient creature just following
its programming.

All through this the lesson, over and over again, was that you do the job
in front of you, and others do theirs, you depend on each other. Dag looked
after Pakko, others did the malice-killing, cared for the sick, etc. Cared for
each other.  A team, with everyone doing their part.

But Neeta was part of the group. She was there, with the skills and knowledge,
in that moment, and she left Fawn to a miserable, terrifying death.

Neeta had a job in front of her, to say a word, to save Fawn - and she didn't.
She let Fawn down, and Dag, and all of them. Just because of spite and

The malice was huge and beautiful and impressive and powerful, and dangerous.
But mindless, preprogrammed, acting without, ironically, malice. Just instinct.

Neeta acted with incredible cruelty, out of spite and jealousy - out of small,
petty, nasty emotions. Evil doesn't have to be large and impressive, it can be
small and slimy and nasty.

Neeta let them all down. She didn't take her part, she didn't cover for others
who'd done their part. The ultimate betrayal.

And that's the core of it all; integrity. Being the best you can be, whoever and
whatever you are. Dag and Fawn both strive to use their skills, to gain more
knowledge, to achieve. Whit has unfolded whole new parts of his personality.
Berry uses all her talents and strength. Even Bo and Hod do the best with
what they have.Sumac - brilliant patroller. Arkady - just plain brilliant, and
learning so much more now.  Barr and Remo have grown and learned so much.
Do what you can, with what you have. Be the best you can. Be a good person;
 a lesson Barr has finally learned.

Neeta... didn't.

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