The Vetinari Dualegacy Chapter 18 75


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In which explanations are offered and Eeevil plans are carried out, with tragic consequences.

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The Vetinari Dualegacy Chapter 18 75

  1. 1. Welcome back to the Vetinari Dualegacy! This is Chapter 18.75: Reconciliation. Last time, the Uglacy dealt with the aftereffects of Archie's murder, Cypress asked Spider Jerusalem to help him alter a weather machine, the Gen 7 kids bonded with their siblings, Carver and Marco scored dates, and Spider went knocking on Dora's door. Time to pick up where we left off!
  2. 2. "Hello, Andie." "...Ellis?" "Yes and no. I'll explain if you let me in." "I shouldn't." "I know." "You don't deserve my forgiveness." "I know. But you do deserve a reason."
  3. 3. "All right, Ellis. Talk." "That's not my name." "What is?" "Spider Jerusalem." "Cypress's son? The Reaper Child?" "Yes."
  4. 4. "Was it a game for you? Is that it? Did you just want to see how badly you could hurt me?" "Andie, no. I... Dad... I was supposed to invite you home with me so that he could kill you." "So, what? He decided to change his plans at the last minute?" "I lied to him. I told him a Cow Mascot broke us up. I may have lied to you about who I was, but I didn't lie about being in love with you." "Am I meant to believe that?" "You have no reason to, but it's the truth. If I didn't care about you, I'd have let Dad kill you."
  5. 5. "So that's why you let Archie die?" "...I couldn't stop it. I don't want to be like Dad. I don't want to be a murderer. I didn't realize what he was planning to do." "Why me?" "I don't know. I can't begin to fathom how his mind works." "Why did you fall in love with me?" "Because of the way you looked at me. The way you treated me. Not a lot of people have ever been as kind to me as you were. I felt awful about what I was doing to you. I know it's selfish, but I liked feeling like I was just another guy. When I was with you, I could almost forget about what I am and everything that's happened to me."
  6. 6. "I remember you looked so sad sometimes." "It wasn't about you. It was about what I knew I had to go back to when I left you." "I should have seen what was going on beneath the surface." "There's nothing good beneath my surface." "Why wait until now to tell me all of this?" "You got over me. You married Topher. You had a family. You had a good life, as far as I'm able to judge these things. You wouldn't have risked that for me, even if I'd asked you to cheat on your husband. I didn't leave you to save your life just to bring you back into the dangerous world I live in." "Why now?" "Why do you think?"
  7. 7. "Tonight, then? Rizzo will be home from work by then, and the kids'll be home from school. I'm sure they'll all want to see me off." "I'm sorry, Andie. About everything. I didn't mean to hurt you, but... I don't always know how people work. Even myself, sometimes." "I felt safe when I was with you, you know." "You were never in more danger than when you were with me." "You couldn't let him hurt me. My mother was right." "About what?" "About making me heir. You loved me, and you couldn't hurt me, and that kept my family from harm." "I did love you. I still love you." "I'm old, gray, and a grandmother." "It was never about your looks. It was always about you."
  8. 8. "You always did like flattery." "That doesn't mean I didn't mean it. I meant it then, and I still do." "You were a hard man to get over." "I never meant to hurt you. But it was better than killing you." "And how much hurt did that cause you?" "I'd take my emotional pain over your real pain any day. Anyway, I'm kind of used to it." "I wish I could have helped you." "You did, Andie. You loved me. And you'll never know how much that meant to me." "I know how much love is worth." "I guess you do. ...I should go. It's dangerous for me to be here."
  9. 9. "You don't have to leave, Ellis. I mean, Spider Jerusalem." "You can call me 'Ellis' if you want. I liked being Ellis. You loved him. He was worthy of being loved by you. Ellis was a happier man than I'll ever be." "That's sad." "Is it? I can't tell. But I really should leave."
  10. 10. "I'm safe if you're here." "Andie, that was all a lie. You don't want me. You want the man you thought I was." "You're still the only one who ever called me that." "I'm glad. At least you know there was one real thing between us." "There was more than that." "I should go." "You should stay."
  11. 11. You can insert your own transitional innuendo here, but Kennedy and Robin are finally coaxed into the doghouse for some Making of Puppies.
  12. 12. "I want to buy a shrub." "I want to go on a date." "Why are we studying?" "I don't know. I'd rather jump on the couch than sit on it with a book."
  13. 13. "Hey, where'd Marco go?" "Dunno." "If he got to stop studying, I should get to stop studying!" "No more studying for any of us!"
  14. 14. "The kids are studying! Bathroom pillow fight time!" "Wouldn't this be easier in a larger room?" "But they'll never find us in here!"
  15. 15. "Tess, look, it's a puppy!" "Already?"
  16. 16. "There's no puppies over there." "I guess I must have been mistaken." "Oh, that's OK!"
  17. 17. "Does eating grilled cheese bug you?" "I gather that it's better for me if it doesn't." "Will you come play catch with me?" "Are you sure you want to play catch with me?" "Well, yeah, why wouldn't I?"
  18. 18. "Aaaaaah! Buckyyyyyy! You throw too hard!" "Can't say I didn't warn you!"
  19. 19. "Hey, you're a good dancer, Daddy!" "I've had lots of practice." "Teach me!"
  20. 20. "Well, you move your feet like this and you wave your arms like this and then you shake your butt..." "You're silly!" "I'm silly, am I? Too silly to hug?"
  21. 21. "Of course not! Silly Daddies are the best kind!"
  22. 22. Bucky and Marco brought Connor home from school, and started the obligatory water balloon fight.
  23. 23. It eventually devolved into the sort of fun only Vetinaris have when they get together. Bell is somewhat perplexed.
  24. 24. Kennedy has her puppy, Tara, who will hopefully look cool.
  25. 25. In case you wondered, Archie's cranky even as a ghost. But there's someone else about to become a ghost...
  26. 26. "Bye, Mom." "Goodbye, Tolly. Take care of that dog of Archie's, will you?" "Sure. He'd find a way to haunt me if I didn't."
  27. 27. "You'll be all right, Rizzo. Your grandmother wouldn't have said her family would be safe if that wasn't the case." "I'll take your word for it. And I'll probably still worry about Cypress." "That's probably wise." "Besides, my heir won't be grandma's family. I mean, really they will, but not really really. Great- grandparents aren't technically family. Maybe that means her protection will be gone." "I don't know how it works. Being ready for anything is your best course of action." "There's a lot of 'anything,' Mom."
  28. 28. "Cypress is scary. But there's more to life than fear." "I know. I'll miss you. Tell Dad I said hello." "Absolutely."
  29. 29. "I'm gonna cry, Dora!" "You still have too many nice points, Chad." "I know."
  30. 30. "All right, Betty, time to go." "Will there be grilled cheese sandwiches?" "Would you like there to be?" "I really have no idea."
  31. 31. Dora's last thought is of her granddaughter. Everybody cried, including Dora's uncles Wren and Rhea.
  32. 32. Andorra Vetinari, Gen 5 Prettacy heir. Dora went Permaplat off of a 200 Grilled Cheese Sandwiches LTW after being switched to Grilled Cheese after rolling Pleasure with a dearth of playful points. Dora has two children, Ptolemaeus and Eratosthenes, and three grandchildren, Carver, Whitney, and Bell. Dora lived 77 days and left money to 22 people, including $10K each to Tolly and Rizzo, $2400 to Whitney, and $1975 to Bell. Dora, you were my first-ever Grilled Cheese Sim, but you were at least happy, which is more than I could say if you'd stayed Pleasure. You may have had five Want Slots of cheese, but there was always one reserved for Topher or your family. You were a good mom, a good grandma, and you and Topher were great together. Thanks.
  33. 33. And there's Dora's Grilled Cheese Platstone next to Raven's Knowledge Platstone. Rizzo's portrait is up as well. I still don't have the Founders' portraits repainted, though. Eventually, I promise.
  34. 34. "We're ready to do this, Spider Jerusalem. Go up onto the deck and aim the telescope at the Uglacy. I need to know what's going on, and I can't work the weather machine and spy at the same time." "What should I be looking for?" "If you can't figure it out, I'll shout at you." "Ah. So, like everything else we do, then." "Just get up on the deck."
  35. 35. "Spider! I'm starting the machine! Tell me what's happening!"
  36. 36. "It's..."
  37. 37. It's raining? That's what we did to the weather machine? We altered it so it'd change the weather somewhere else? But why? What's the point?
  38. 38. "It's starting to rain at the Uglacy! Is that supposed to happen?"
  39. 39. "Yes! The monkey-faced twit is playful, right? And what do the playful types do when it rains?"
  40. 40. "They jump in puddles, Dad."
  41. 41. "Is he doing it yet?"
  42. 42. It's the middle of the day. The kids are at school and Coco and his wife are at work. He's home alone. I don't get it. Why was it so important that we make it rain at the Uglacy?
  43. 43. "Yes. He's jumping."
  44. 44. "Time to activate the lightning! ZAP! I hope the ape likes a few million volts."
  45. 45. Lightning? But if he's jumping in a puddle and he gets hit by lightning and there's no one around to plead for him, he'll end up dead!
  46. 46. Stop. Please stop. Go back inside while you still can.
  47. 47. This is happening because of me. Because I helped Dad rewire that thing. Coco's son could die and I'm responsible. I never wanted this. I never meant for it to come to this. I guess that's sort of meaningless now.
  48. 48. No. This doesn't have to happen. He doesn't have to die.
  49. 49. Come on, I'm supposed to have these stupid Reaper Child powers. If I can know something I have no way of knowing, I should be able to do something else too, right? I just have to figure out how. I can stop this. I can. Shazam. Avengers assemble. Wonder Twin powers activate. Hulk smash. Blatherin' blatherskite. Flame on. Azarath metrion zinthos. It's clobberin' time. Come on come on come on come on something I need to do something I need to stop this I need to...
  50. 50. Maybe it won't work. Maybe...
  51. 51. What have I done?
  52. 52. Oh, God...
  53. 53. No...
  54. 54. "Well? Did it work as I planned? Is the little mutant an ex little mutant?" "Yeah, Dad. Xander's dead." "Excellent! ZAP, Oh help I'm dyyyyiiiiinnnnng, gasp gasp choke choke bluh!" "...Something like that."
  55. 55. "I wish I could have seen it! Next time, I'll have to do it in person. It's just so much more satisfying when you get to watch it happen, when you get to see the look on their faces when they realize they're breathing their last." "There's definitely nothing like it."
  56. 56. "Ugh--stop talking. Why the hell does your breath smell like puke?" "I thought breakfast might have been a little more green than normal. Pancakes shouldn't buzz, right?" "Idiot. Be glad that you're occasionally useful."
  57. 57. Useful. Sure. I guess I am. I tried so hard to not be like you, and now there's innocent blood on my hands. I helped you tweak that weather machine. I should have known you wouldn't alter it for benign purposes. I could have gone back later and sabotaged it, but I didn't. I could have killed you, and I didn't, because I didn't want to be a killer. Ironic, really.
  58. 58. One person died to bring me into this world. The one person who treated me like a normal guy is dead. The one person alive who means anything to me is beyond my ability to help, if he even wanted it in the first place. One person is dead because I failed to act. One person is dead because of something I did.
  59. 59. I wish I knew what Raven meant. There's something in what she said that could help me, if I could just make sense of it. She said I could have more if I let go of what I have, but I don't have anything anymore. She said I was human. But I'm not. I'm a monster.
  60. 60. I wish I could give up. I wish I could stop. I can't. If I keep fighting, maybe I can prevent anyone else from getting killed. If I could just kill Dad... ...I'm not that cold-blooded. I can't do it. Maybe not a monster after all, then. Neither one thing nor the other. Too human to deliberately kill, but enough of a monster that there's blood on my hands. So it's business as usual. Try to act like a bastard while not becoming one for real. Try to keep people alive when they'd rather hurt me than welcome me with open arms. Try to figure out a way to help Cassidy even though he doesn't want my help. Try to stay alive. ...I'm so tired.
  61. 61. "Uh... Bucky? Did someone move Uncle Archie's grave?" "What? No, why?" "Then, um..."
  62. 62. "It's Dad, Marco." "I know!" "But it's Dad!" "I know!"
  63. 63. "Buckyyy... What are we gonna do?" "I don't know." "You have to have a plan! You always have a plan!" "I don't have a plan for this, okay?" "No! It's not okay! Dad's dead and nobody has a plan!"
  64. 64. "Easy, Marco. We have to Tess and Fair get home. We can't let 'em find out like this." "That's your plan?" "One thing at a time. We'll the others and then figure out what to tell Tess and Fair and wait for Brittany and Gramma to come home." "That's a crappy plan, Bucky!" "Well, it's the only one I've got."
  65. 65. Anaximander Vetinari, Gen 6 Uglacy heir. Xander has four children: Fuller, Marconi, Tesla, and Faraday. Xander was six days to Elder when he died. Xander, I'm sorry. This is just one of those things that needed to happen. You really were an awesome father, and I hate that you didn't get Permaplat and that you won't get to meet your grandkids. I'm sure you'd have doted on them as much as you doted on your greenies. Zero-nice- point Bucky cried autonomously when you died, which just goes to show how much you meant to your family.
  66. 66. There you have it: the first heir or spouse to not die a Platinum Old-Age death.
  67. 67. "That you, Romance Boy?" "It's me." "Is something wrong?" "I checked my voicemail when I was done with my gig tonight." "And?" "There was a message from Tolly." "What did he say?" "Xander's dead."
  68. 68. "Xander the Uglacy heir Xander?" "That's the one." "Oh, Riz, I'm sorry! Do they think it was Cypress?"
  69. 69. "Who else would it be? Cypress killed Archie and now he's killed Xander." "You think we're next?" "I think that's a real possibility. Nobody knows what Grandma's prophecy about protection meant. We're probably safe for now. Probably." "But that doesn't help your friends." "No."
  70. 70. "We'll be all right, Rizzo. I know they will. As long as we stick together, things will turn out okay." "He threatened to kill my mom. He's killed two of my best friends. Things aren't exactly sunshine and roses here." "We're fine, and the kids are fine, and there's not much more we can ask for." "You know I love you, right?" "I love you too."
  71. 71. Dora haunts for the first time, and Rizzo doesn't look too happy to see his mother again, no matter how much he wishes she were still around. He's not the only one who wishes the former heir were still around...
  72. 72. "DADDYYYYYYY!"
  73. 73. "Tess!"
  74. 74. "Tess, what's going on? Where's Fair?" "I... I..."
  75. 75. "I was playing outside with Fair an'... an'... an'..." "I'm on it, Marco."
  76. 76. "FAIR! FAIR!"
  77. 77. "What? I'm right here." "Are you all right? What happened? Tess is hysterical." "Tess is a crybaby."
  78. 78. "She's really upset. Did you tease her or something?" "I didn't do anything! We were out here playing and then she screamed and ran inside. It wasn't my fault!"
  79. 79. "Just to be on the safe side, get in the house." "I don't want to! I wanna see if there's enough snow to make a mean snowman!" "There isn't. Go inside." "No!" "Get in the house, Faraday!"
  80. 80. "You're not the boss of me, Fuller! I don't have to do what you say!"
  81. 81. "I'm not Dad or Gramma, but I am bigger than you, which is why you're going to go inside now." "Fine."
  82. 82. "Tess, you gotta calm down and tell me what happened." "Fair's fine, Marco." "Just... Just take a couple of deep breaths, all right? C'mon, stop crying."
  83. 83. "Why does Tess get all the attention just because she cries all the time, huh? I'm not a stupid little baby like her."
  84. 84. "That's not fair, Fair. We're all trying to deal with what happened to Dad, and she's taking it really hard." "And I'm not? Why doesn't anyone care about me?" "We do, but no one knows how to handle this, not really." "You're lying! Everybody cares about Tess more than me and I'm sick of it!" "Fair--"
  85. 85. "No! Leave me alone!"
  86. 86. "Now Fair's mad at me too!" "Tess, no, it's not you, okay? Fair's mad at everybody. Don't worry about him right now. Just tell Bucky and me what happened outside."
  87. 87. "I was playing with Fair an' I saw something by the garage an' I went to see what it was an'--" "You should have come and gotten one of us. You shouldn't do stuff like that on your own." "Cool it, Bucky. What next?" "An' it was Uncle Archie an' he was all green, but not good green like us, bad green, an' he looked angry like he was mad at somebody an' then he grabbed his throat like he couldn't breathe an' then he looked at me an' reached out to me like he was asking for help an' then he fell down an' then he curled up an' then he disappeared!" "Shhh, Tess, it's all right. It was just a ghost." "But... But that's how he died, isn't it?" "...Yeah, we think so." "He was so scared!"
  88. 88. "It's all right. He can't hurt you." "I know, but... it hurt! Did it hurt when Daddy died?" "...We don't know. Maybe." "No way, Bucky, Dad didn't feel a thing." "He got electrocuted. It wasn't like getting handed a tiki drink." "Shut up, Bucky!"
  89. 89. "Marco?" "I can't do this!"
  90. 90. "Marco!" "Everybody's running away!"
  91. 91. "I want my daddy!" "Tess... I want him too. I'd do anything to have him back here, but there's no way. I'm sorry." "Where's Gramma?" "I don't know. She's been leaving us with Brittany as soon as it gets dark, and Brittany's sick so she went to bed early." "Daddy..." "Look, why don't you go take a bath, okay? If you take a bath and put your jammies on, I'll read you a story before bed." "Okay."
  92. 92. "Marco?" "I can't do it. I can't be the one in charge. I don't know what I'm doing. I know they want me to be the Black Sheep and take care of things here, but Gramma's gonna die soon and Brittany doesn't need to stay, and that's gonna make me responsible for everyone, and I can't do it! I'm gonna mess everything up! Dad could do it; he was a grown-up, but I'm just a kid and it's too much for me! I want Dad back, Bucky, I know we said it couldn't happen but we could make it happen, and then I wouldn't have to be in charge and it could all go back to the way it's supposed to be, couldn't it? I wouldn't have to be alone."
  93. 93. "I can't do this alone either, Marco. We all miss Dad, but Gramma keeps disappearing and Brittany can't shake the flu, Fair's a little bundle of hostility, and Tess is a basket case. If you check out too, I don't know what's gonna happen to me. I need you. And you need me, so I guess it all evens out. If we can't pull through this, the family's gonna fall apart, and I do not want Larch's angry ghost haunting us because we're the ones who let the family down." "We're just kids." "We're Vetinaris. That makes us the biggest, baddest kids around, and we're not 'just' anything." "Really?" "Yeah. Really. Now you'd better get up, because Tess'll be in here for a bedtime story soon, and if she sees you upset, we'll never get her to sleep." "Okay."
  94. 94. "Bucky? You promise you won't leave before you have to? You won't decide you've had enough and head off to college and leave me here by myself?"
  95. 95. "I promise, Marco."
  96. 96. "Are you still worried about the Uglacy, Rizzo?" "Sure. I mean, it's hard enough growing up, and harder growing up in a Legacy, and even harder growing up in a Legacy without parents. Coco and Brittany work, and that's a lot to put on Bucky and Marco. I talked to Bucky earlier, and he said Fair's mad at the world and Tess cries at the drop of a hat. I really feel for them. We can invite them all over and feed them and pamper them, but we can't give them back their father."
  97. 97. "You're a good man, Eratosthenes Vetinari." "Xander was a good man too. More than that, he was my friend and my fellow heir, and as far as I'm concerned, his family is my family." "What can I do to help?"
  98. 98. "I can think of a little something off the top of my head..." "And what might that be, Romance Boy?" "I'm sure you can guess."
  99. 99. "You think Gramma will let me go out with Carver tonight? I wanna get out of the house for a change." "She'd probably rather you stayed at home, Marco." "I know she's worried about Cypress, but I wanna be a kid for a while!" "It's not that. Dad died. Both her kids are dead. We can't just abandon Gramma." "I don't want to abandon her, really I don't, but I should be able to be a goofy kid before I have to be a responsible adult!" "You can ask her when she gets back, but I bet she'll say no." "I'm gonna go find out; I just heard the door!"
  100. 100. "Are you boys still up?"
  101. 101. "Hey, can I...? Uh... Gramma?"
  102. 102. "Bleh!"
  103. 103. "Well, you know what it's time for, although this one's going to be a bit... unconventional."
  104. 104. Another turning point A fork stuck in the road Time grabs you by the wrists Directs you where to go So make the best of this test And don't ask why It's not a question But a lesson learned in time
  105. 105. It's something unpredictable But in the end is right I hope you had the time of your life
  106. 106. So take the photographs And still frames in your mind Hang it on a shelf in good health And good time Tattoos of memories And dead skin on trial For what it's worth It was worth all the while
  107. 107. It's something unpredictable But in the end is right I hope you had the time of your life
  108. 108. It's something unpredictable But in the end is right I hope you had the time of your life
  109. 109. It's something unpredictable But in the end is right I hope you had the time of your life ~~Green Day, "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)"