A Word of Caution

Welcome to the realm of the Unseelie Court. Feel free to wander and browse, but know that the content you will find here is not for the faint of heart. The visions portrayed are often darkly erotic, even disturbing, and should be traversed only by those with the appropriate character and mental age.

You have been warned.


Tales From the Fae – Part V: The Academy of Dana

Chapter 15 – Reflections


Dropping into the chair in his personal study with a deep sigh, Mark rubbed his eyes and let the tension of the day slowly ease out of his body. He considered using various pain control techniques to help push the aches from his tired muscles, but it seemed like too much work at that moment. He just wanted to let his mind veg for a while.

He was just starting to drift into a light sleep when he realized that Marly had entered the room and was seated in the chair across from him.

“Hey, flame-top,” he croaked affectionately.

“Hey yourself. You look beat.”

“I feel beat. In fact, I feel like someone has been literally beating on me all day.”

His lover smiled and stood up so that she could come around the desk and stand behind him. “It was a tough one, wasn’t it,” she stated, as her fingers curled over his shoulders and began a form of magic almost as old as mankind.

Groaning in pleasure and pain, Mark snorted in response. She slowly worked the knots out of his muscles with her strong fingers, occasionally finding a point that she would follow up into his neck. She was a master, and Mark was starting to breathe normally again in only a few short minutes.

“Do you think they’re right,” she asked, somewhat abruptly. Mark instantly stiffened a bit, and she winced. Normally, she never would have brought up such a stressful topic during a massage session, so he knew she must be really concerned about it as well.

“All four Principalities have seen it,” he replied, his eyes opening. He was alert, but his vision unfocused. “Miranda will go to the Unseelie Court, and be welcomed there.”

Behind him, Marly paused ministrations, her hands unmoving on his shoulders. “But can’t it be changed? Surely we can fight it, can’t we?”

He sighed, a sadness coming to his face. “That path is already locked. All we can hope, is that she brings something to them that might change their fundamental view of humanity. Keila is certain that Miranda’s core is solidly pro-human, and that even a catastrophic trauma would not cause her to falter in that respect.”

“But then, what could they want of her?”

“Probably the same thing we do…”

She frowned. “The amplifier. Do you really think they have it yet?”

“No. But they are aware of the possibility and are almost certainly working on it. It’s only a matter of time.” He paused for a moment, considering. “They have someone new,” he said abruptly. “I can’t put my finger on it, but somebody over there is feeding the Unseelie Court some very serious mojo. Top-notch construction. Grand-master Class stuff.”

“Grand-master? But I thought that you were the only…”

He shook his head slowly. “No. I knew that once Gaia opened up access, I wouldn’t be the only one for long, in either court. But that’s not what bothers me.”

“Go on,” she prompted, when he hesitated.

“Mar, back in my college days, when I was young and foolish,” he added with a smile. “I was into some pretty seriously elite stuff.”

“You’re talking about hacking…”

“Yes, and not the kind having to do with pumping code. The other kind, the nasty stuff. I was never into it too deep. I wasn’t about to risk my whole future over the chance to put my moniker up on some cracked government human resource website. But I knew those that would. Most of them were just punks, too young to really know what they were into. It was just a hobby for them. Something to do instead of chasing tail.” He could feel her smiling behind him.

“But once in a while, you would catch a fleeting glimpse of the real bad boys. The ones that could slip in and out of a system so cleanly that you’d never even know they were there unless they wanted you to, and most of the time, they didn’t. They weren’t into the same stupid tagging or defacement that the rest were, they were in it for the sheer pleasure of the code; for the power in being able to take down a system on a whim, or even whole networks. Shit, those guys could probably take down the whole net. But they wouldn’t, because it was their domain, and within it they were gods. Lately, I’ve been seeing some constructions that make me think that the Unseelie may have somehow snagged a Ghost.”

“A Ghost,” she asked, her hand idly rubbing the back of his head. He knew it was a nervous action.

“That’s what we called the super-elite. The gods. We called them Ghosts because they were so damn transparent. You never truly saw them, only a flicker here or there, or a snippet of code that was just too perfect to have been generated by mere mortals. And sometimes, you’d get this weird feeling, like you were being watched by your computer or something, only to find out later through the grapevine that a Ghost had passed through the local network.”

They were both silent for a time. Finally, Marly came around and quietly sat in Mark’s lap, her hands shifting around to caress her lover’s face. Her own countenance was dark and confused.

“But how? A human? Someone like Miranda, only with different skills?”

He sighed and shook his head. “No. That doesn’t quite fit. Miranda is pretty damn special. There aren’t a lot of kids out there with her level of control or power. No, this is something new. Something… Fae.”

“A Faerie?”

“Possibly, but unlikely. They wouldn’t retain enough of their previous human life for it to be of any real use. No, this is entirely new.”

“And what about our little prodigy,” asked Marly, obviously changing the subject. “Is it wise to be teaching her how to generate something as powerful as the amplifier if she’s going to end up working for the Unseelie?”

“It’s too late to pull her off the project now. They can do it, Mar. With Miranda’s involved, I’m sure they can fill in the pieces I was missing. Miss Summers has already forced me to promise the creation of a council, and she does not yet even understand how crucial she is to the whole concept. If she and Miss Mellions can get it running, then perhaps someday we can train others to do it. But in regard to her being in the Unseelie Court, even if those two can make it function, I doubt that Miranda could set it up and control it by herself.”

“Unless she has help from your Ghost.”

Mark’s eyes snapped up. Then he consciously relaxed. “Yeah. Maybe with help…”

“My goddess, Mark! The damage they could do to humanity with that kind of power. What can we do?”

“Perhaps nothing,” he answered seriously. “Gaia was quite clear about the future of humanity, Marly my love. The system is set up to be self-regulating. As human population increases, so do the environmental pressures against it. Remember how panicked the world became a while back over the SARS virus? That one only had a ten or fifteen percent fatality rate in healthy adults. Imagine what would have happened had SARS been just a little more virulent, with a marginally higher rate of mutation, and an incubation period of say, two full weeks instead of five to seven days. Hell, that kind of germ could halve the population in a couple of months! Pack a higher rate of mortality into it, and you could put humanity on the endangered list.

“The point, Marly, is that to some degree, the Unseelie are right in that humans have to reduce, or at the very least stabilize their numbers or the jig is up. At our current rate of increase, we will reach the point of unsustainability within a decade. That’s the blink of an eye where the Fae is concerned. The only difference between their court and ours is that their view and treatment of humanity is founded on hatred, instead of compassion.”

“Ten years,” bemoaned the woman in his lap. “That really isn’t much time.”

“No, it’s not. And as much as I hate to admit it, the Unseelie view is going to look more and more favorable as we get closer to the end of that decade’s time. It doesn’t take a whole lot of imagination to see how someone as forward-thinking as Miranda could be swayed to their side. She’s already capable of viewing problems at a global level. It would hardly be a stretch for her to see how a quick and merciful culling of humanity now would save countless billions in the long term. And the standard of life for those remaining would go from hell-like scavenging in disease-ridden shit holes, to an Eden-like communion with nature, Gaia, and the whole of the Fae. I may have even inadvertently sown the seeds of that concept in her mind this afternoon.”

“You make me want to change sides myself,” she exclaimed with a worried half grin.

“Ahh. But you and I know better. Humanity is more resilient than that. They’d find a way to fight back. They would rather take down the whole world than let it beat them. They would fight the Fae, somehow, and would in turn, seal their own fate. Gaia will not let them destroy her. She’ll kill them herself if necessary, regardless of the pain it would cause her. It’s better to cut off an arm that’s grown cancerous than to let the cancer spread and kill the body as a whole.”

“Is that all we are? A cancer?”

He stared into her eyes with deep love and admiration, then slowly shook his head.

“Marly, we are not the cancer, we are the arm. The sickness is the imbedded traits of greed, selfishness, and a general lack of overall consideration that have crept into and permeated humanity for the last three millennia. If we can change that, then humanity can and will save itself, without our help. They’d turn that resilience towards working with Gaia, instead of against her. We’re remarkably creative as a race. We’d find a way. She told me so. The trick is changing the way we think, from a global perspective.”

“But we’re so few!”

“It won’t take many. Humans are also one of the few creatures able to completely alter their way of life in the span of a single heartbeat. Convincing them of the danger of failing is what’s going to be difficult. Timing it will be critical.”

She laid her head against his chest. “It frightens me.”

Stroking her hair softly, he replied, “Me too, love. Me too.”

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