Thursday, June 18, 2020

Darvinin: Interlude with Leander

"You know I'm not an idiot, right?" Leander's voice was soft, matter of fact.

Darvinin lowered the broadsheet he'd been reading, one which purported to carry the only true news of the Human Invasion and the War At The Front, and which currently covered some wild conspiracy-theory of a third army pushing into Sol Povos from the southeast under the command of an evil brass dragon. The two of them were alone; Evrimon had taken to the sky as a hawk, to stretch his wings and clear his mind, while Mistra had gone to send a very incomplete message to some of their friends in the King's Own and Shanna and Sam were... occupied with their own interests. Cautiously, he said: "How do you mean? Sam tells me you're really an elf despite being born as a halfling, and that's good enough for me. I'm a little past the point in my life where I thought that the gods don't make mistakes."

"Not that," said Leander dismissively, then paused. "...But thank you. No, I meant about the heist."

Darvinin frowned, puzzled. "Because of your over-complicated and impractical plan?"

Leander nodded. "That. I saw your expression."

Darvinin shrugged. "I noticed that you didn't argue too hard when we decided to do something else."

Leander nodded. "That's because I didn't actually want to run it as a heist."

"All right. So why...?"

"Because people need something to bounce off of," said Leander. "Elves, more so than most. If we'd sat down to make a plan, four hours later we'd still be talking about what we wanted to do. Whereas if I opened with something solid but impractical, everybody could see the weaknesses and come up with something solid and workable instead. Giving people something to react to forces them to focus."

"Huh." Despite himself, Darvinin was impressed. "Well, it worked. Does it still work if the rest of us know what you're doing?"

"Not as well," Leander admitted. "Not unless you play along, like Sam and Ev do."

"So why tell me?" Darvinin asked. "I didn't have the impression that my opinion meant much to you at all."

Leander drew a long, slow breath. "It doesn't, exactly. But your opinion matters to Shanna, and Shanna's opinion matters to Sam... and to Evrimon and me, at least a little. Shanna, I think, has found a place in our little group. You and Mistra are... at least influential to it. And you strike me as the sort of person who prefers to have people just come out and tell them what they're doing. So... here we are."

"You're right," said Darvinin. "I do. And I thank you for trusting me with this."

Leander smiled. "Thank you for accepting it."

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