Okay, I have a few points to make before you go on to read this.

Point 1) My reading of Shadow of the Giant was interrupted, and Shadow Puppets is a misty memory...

Point 2) I like fluff, so if she acts OOC, bite me. Just kidding; let me know, with suggestions on how to change it without changing the underlying feeling of fluff that you are supposed to get from this. Remember, this is fluff. Wartime and fluff don't mix particularly well, but when it is forced, it is a highly volatile concoction.

Point 3) I am not a genius. I wouldn't want to be a genius. I absolutely refuse to attempt to analyze her thought processes.

That being said, I advise you to follow the rules that are to follow. Then, I will quit bugging you until you finish.

0. All people not mine. Orson Scott Card's

1. You read.

2. You like.

2. You hate.

3. You review.

4. You write flame, I send Achilles so that he has a broken leg and kills you for seeing him like that.

4. You write nice, or a cleverly disguised flame (keyword being cleverly), or constructive criticism, I send ... whoever you want to give you a nice present--a brownie? we have a surfeit of those at my home.

5. We all happy.


Virlomi climbed to the roof of her little home. Well, to be completely fair, not her home, and not hers for long. She wondered—everyone wondered—what the new day would bring. Had India merely passed from the shade of one regime to another? What would happen to her people then?

Silly, she knew it, those thoughts. Her people, though they weren't Battle School brats, understood for the most part. Probably better than them, in fact. They would have to continue, even if without her. India had gained too much momentum for that. Someone, it didn't matter who, would bring them out. Or up, at least.

She looked up at the night sky. It was almost possible to see stars here, far away from the large cities with their lights to block out the dark. Not that she knew what the stars meant—horoscopes had died out long ago, when the constellations changed too much from their original meaning. No one looked to the stars, anyway.

"Oh Suriyawong," she let out, more a sigh than a name really. But it caught her by surprise. Why him, why his name, of all things to breathe out? Names had power to call—she'd read it somewhere before. She had not consciously thought of him—she hadn't consciously thought of anything but her people, and they was enough for her to think of unconsciously as well—nor did she have any of those signals the shrinks—or the soothsayers— talked about, dreams about the person or whatnot. In the end they were all fakers.

A name called, a word breathed, a message delivered can't be returned, so why not send out a second in case the one was shot.

"Suriyawong, Surrey, Surly." Each one was barely loud enough to reach her ears.

It was enough to hope, wasn't it?

"She's a goddess, you know."

"I save bridges and summon choppers."

"And you blessed me."

"When you walked on my back. My whole body is now the path of a goddess."

"Only the back part. You'll have to find someone else to bless the front."

But maybe I would like to bless the front.


Somewhere, out in the big world that was now too small, General Suriyawong sneezed four times, prompting him to requisition more medical supplies for his troops.


The bold-italics are from Shadow of the Hegemon, page 422-3

As all writers, i would love constructive criticism (actually, songs of praise would be much kinder to my heart, but tear the story up as you wish— my heart can mend)

As for the sneezing--refers to the Japanese belief that if people talk about you, especially about bad things about you, you sneeze. But you knew that right, you cosmopolitan person, you.

blackmunji