The fragmented thoughts of a mage in battle - and why it's very difficult to kill someone quickly, painlessly, politely, and without scarring.

Kitty Ryan, 2001


For every action,
There is a reaction.
For every death,
Life.
This I know.
Ingrained as it is,
In my mind,
Ever since,
Well…
Ever since forever.
That is the great knowledge,
The wisdom,
Of the Mages.

One…
Two…
Three…
Eleven words.
Two fragmented sentences.
Which all with my gift,
Must obey.

But, really,
Really, really and truly,
Those laws and those vows,
Might as well
Go back to the mouth which first uttered them,
Via the back entrance.
For when you're meant to kill someone,
It should
At least
Be done quickly.
Painlessly
Without any scarring.
Politely.

But in my experience,
The only spells that allow you to kill,
Quickly, painlessly, politely,
And without any scarring
Are very, very illegal.

This other mage,
The one with the ruby eye
Garish and glinting in the sun,
Appears to have far less scruples,
Than I.
More's the pity,
For that spell hurt.
A stinging,
Fiery
Pain.
And I'm too tired to use my
Bloody shield.
Too tired.
In too much pain.

I wonder how Daine is.
Alive?
Dead?
Like I'm going to be
If I don't do something
Extremely quickly.

A muttered spell.
A tearing in the ground.
A chasm.
That should keep him busy,
At least for a while.

Damn.
More pain.
That's going to leave scars.
He is good.
The sadist.
I really think,
That he's enjoying this.

Another spell,
An interesting curse.
I wish…
What do I wish?
I wish for Daine's safety,
Her happiness
And that of many others.
I wish this were over.

Oh, hell.
If this keeps up,
These petty exchanges of petty spells,
This pain
And this apathy that seems to follow it,
Like a shadow,
Than let legality
Go back to its god.
Anyway,
Even lawyers
I suppose,
Were children once.
I'm sure they'll understand.
So, I might as well get it over with.

I say the spell.
I hear a scream.
I see nothing.
I've hit the ground.
It's over.

Oh.
This is not fair.
Someone's coming.
For there to be a reaction,
There must be an action.
For every life,
Death.
And if this person is bringing mine,
Whoever you are,
You'll need to do it,
While I remain prone.
And have the decency to be quick about it,

So I can get back to my rest.