[LMB] TSK - Aftermath. Or Afterbat.

Gwynne Powell gwynnepowell at hotmail.com
Sun Jul 21 18:15:21 BST 2019

Dag wakes up pretty bleary, grateful to have Fawn, and decides he wouldn't
bother saving a world that didn't have Fawn in it. ... or Berry and Whit...
and the rest of their kin....and friends... and he realises, rather sadly, that
the whole world is a network and he's stuck with it all. He also realises that
you didn't have to love everyone, just someone.

And then, as they all start finding each other and all their scattered gear,
Neeta comes back with the Laurel Gap patrol. Bit late, but at least they
can help with the cleanup, and claim Pakko.

Neeta doesn't quite manage to hide the shock. She also wasn't happy to
see Dag off the mountain; she'd planned on saving him and having her
new team carry him down. I'm sure she had it all planned in her nasty little
rat-brain (biased? Moi?) With Fawn gone, Neeta swoops in like a (bat malice)
guardian angel, and Dag will be struck by her amazingness and suitability.
Then she carries her prize back home, the heroine who reclaimed both
makers for her camp, and gets string-bound to the hero of Wolf Ridge as

Sadly (for her) it's not going to happen that way. Ha.

The new patrol get the whole story - mostly from farmers. See the remains,
see the walnuts and the crossbow bolt, marvel at the way it all happened.
A medicine maker from the patrol wants a lesson in walnuts. And
unbeguilement. He also gets in an ad for his new walnut-making school
at Clear Creek. Things start slow, but they start.

They get back to the wagons, retrieve Rase and Barr, and start collecting
lost horses, etc. The Laurel Gap mob bring Arkady and Pakko off the
mountain. (Arkady is getting a brilliant start on What I Did On My
Summer Holidays.) They all camp together, and have another horse-
catching day, and resting - because for some reason they're all a bit
tired.  Sumac and Remo turn up, with more loose patrollers. Farmers
and patrollers are getting to see quite a bit of each other now.

If anyone didn't know about Arkady and Sumac, they do after their
welcome-back greeting.

Finally the Laurel Gap team move off, with a lot of care for Pakko, and
if he follows Arkady's instructions he'll probably walk again, in time. His
son is taking the bonded knife to put in his mum's charge. Thank goodness
Pakko didn't have it on the mountain. You really do have to hope to the
end, his situation was impossibly dire, and now it looks optimistic. Good

Barr wants Tavia to go North, Neeta wants Remo to go South (she needs
to have SOMETHING salvaged from this disaster.)

And Dag has a Lakewalker-summit meeting. With Neeta.

Neeta had told them that Tavia took Arkady up the ridge, and she was
going to get help for an injured patroller. Didn't bother to make it clear
who had a broken back, didn't even take a moment to tell Vio that Owlet
was alive and safe - and that's a pretty nasty omission. No empathy at
all, no care for anyone who wasn't able to help her.

And there's the opposite of Dag. Dag decided that the whole world was
connected, and if you care for someone you care, by extension, for
everyone.  Neeta cares only for those who can be of value to her, and has
no empathy or thought for anyone else. Letting Fawn be buried alive
was the worst, of course, but not telling Vio that Owlet was alive was
pretty cruel too. There's a whole pattern of callous behaviour.

Neeta claims she was shielded and didn't know Fawn was alive. Dag
won't scan her, he could kill her with a thought (really, why aren't people
more scared of groundsetters? They are DANGEROUS.) But her reaction
says it all.

What sentence is fair for someone who left a woman to be buried alive?
Who didn't say one word to save her? Just left her to a terrifying death.

Dag is just sick of it, and her. Sends her back home. Going home with
nothing after all her big claims is at least some punishment.

Tavia likes Sumac's offer of a place in her camp, but goes home with Neeta
first, to settle things at home. And to make sure that Neeta tells the
story properly.

Now won't that be a comfortable trip home? Tavia better watch her back.

And then Tavia will be heading North to Sumac's camp. And Rase. Looks
like Barr and Remo are unlucky again.

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