Long Live Insanity, Special Edition
To Meet The Creator
(Hi. To get more people to enter my plot contest, I promised anyone who entered within a particular one-week space a cameo role in an episode of Long Live Insanity. Four people did (actually, three did. Kiriath got his in the day after it closed, but I like him so I wrote him in anyway. You owe me one, Kir.) and I was stuck with writing it. So here it is, the first, and probably only, Special Edition of Long Live Insanity. Dedicated to Jehan, Selinthia, Preia and Kiriath...)
“We’re lost, aren’t we?”
Shadar and Shani look around indignantly at this remark from Sycho. “We never get lost!” Shani retorts haughtily. “We know exactly where we are.”
Shadar nods. “We’re just not sure where everywhere else is.”
All around them is darkness. It is not, however, Shayol Ghul. In fact, if everything has gone as it should, (which is always doubtful when dealing with this lot) where they are standing is as far as you can get from Shayol Ghul…
“This is all your fault,” Sycho grumbles, glaring at Someone. “If you hadn’t decided that you wanted to meet the Creator first-hand, just so you could get ‘the full story’ to put into your book -”
Someone draws himself up, although considering his ten-foot height, that’s hardly necessary. “In the interests of literary integrity -”
“Quit arguing, you two. If Someone hadn’t thought of it then Shadar or Shani would have come up with an even madder idea.” Shaiel sighs. “And you know they’d have done it…”
Nods and long-suffering sighs are exchanged.
“All right, we’ve got it!” Shadar announces. “Come over here a moment, Snarg, we’re going to play Spin the Trolloc…”
They blindfold the confused Snarg, take an arm each, and spin him around (with a little help from the Power). He eventually stops, pointing in a direction seemingly no different from any other.
“Right. Let’s go.” Shani and Shadar set off, with the still dizzy Snarg held up between them. The other three look at them, then at each other, shrug and follow.
After a while of walking, the darkness begins to lift. Before long they come across a door. No house or even a wall, just a door standing in the middle of nowhere. They open the door, and find a room full of people, some talking, most standing around, apparently waiting for something.
A man near the door looks around at their entrance and groans. “I thought you were just a bad dream…”
It is Mazrim Taim.
“Sorry. We’re real,” Shani says gleefully. “Now we’ve got you where you can’t get away, how about settling a debate for us and telling us whether you really are Demandred or not?”
Taim sighs. “Believe me, Aes Sedai, I would tell you if I had the faintest idea myself.”
“But you must know whether you’re a Forsaken -”
“Nope.” The M’Hael shakes his head. “Not until the Creator makes up his mind and writes it into the Pattern. He’s been putting the decision off ever since I turned up in the sixth book.”
Shadar sympathises. “Talk about procrastination! We’re looking for the Creator ourselves. I don’t suppose you have any idea where we’d find him?”
“Try through the other door.” Taim waves his hand toward the other end of the room. “If you do find him, do me a favour and ask him who I am?”
“Will do,” Shadar promises as they set off through the room. They pass a number of people who look familiar. “What is this place?” Sycho asks a young woman in coat and breeches.
“It’s the character waiting room,” she says absent-mindedly. “We get to wait here until the Creator writes the next book.” Suddenly she blinks, focusing on them. “You know, you lot have the strangest auras I ever saw…”
“Quite understandable,” Shani tosses over her shoulder, “we’re probably the strangest people you ever saw too.”
No one in the room seems to disagree.
On the other side of the door, they emerge into another large room. This one, however, is nearly empty. The only occupant is a shadowy figure, seated at a desk, staring at a strange-looking ter’angreal with a glowing screen.
Shadar coughs. “Ahem…”
The figure spins around. “You? No! I mean, I don’t believe this.” To their surprise, the voice is feminine. “You lot are supposed to be causing chaos down in Randland! What are you doing here?”
“We thought we’d pay a visit to the Creator,” Shadar says, “although I must say, I always thought the Creator was male…”
“Well, so he is.” The woman rolls her eyes. “You didn’t think the Creator would have been mad enough to create you, did you? I’m just one of numerous Wheel of Time sub-creators. Call me Raina.”
(You didn't think I was going to leave myself out, did you?)
“Very pleased to meet you, Sub-creator Raina.” Someone butts in, pulling out his notebook. “Now, please tell me, what is it like being a sub-creator? How many of you are there? Is it a full-time job?”
“Yes,” Shaiel chimes in, “and wherever did you get the idea for these two?” She points at Shadar and Shani.
“I don’t know,” Raina shrugs. “I think divine inspiration must have had something to do with it – or more likely demonic.”
The Terrible Twosome look smug. “I knew we were special!”
From behind them, Snarg is grumbling his opinion of any deity or demon who would inspire the creation of Shani or Shadar. The word “stupid” figures prominently.
“So where is the main Creator?” Sycho wants to know.
Raina points. “Next door. Now go away, I have a plot contest to judge.”
“One more thing.” Shani pauses. “Is Taim Demandred?”
“Well, of course!”
They go through the door into another room with a glowing screen ter’angreal in the corner. Sitting at it is another shadowy figure.
“The Creator!” Shani exclaims. “It must be this time...”
Shadar steps forward. “Robert Jordan, I presume -”
At the sound of his name, the Creator turns around. His eyes are blank and staring. From somewhere above comes a blood-curdling shriek.
“What in the Light was that?” Shaiel gasps.
The shriek comes again, and a hideous, winged black form swoops from the ceiling to land on the back of the Creator’s chair.
“Nothing in the Light, I think,” Sycho says nervously. “Hey, you – what the hell are you?”
The hideous mouth opens, emitting a sound like nails scraping down a blackboard.
Sycho staggers, wincing with pain, as the creature laughs maniacally.
A gasp comes from the doorway. “Oh, no…”
All eyes turn to Raina, standing staring at the scene. “It’s what we all feared – he said it once too often…”
“Said what?” Someone demands. “What is it?”
Raina’s voice drops to a (distinctly melodramatic) whisper. “Robert Jordan has been taken over – by the dread demon RAFO.”
The dread demon shrieks in glee, and everyone else stares in horror – except for Shadar and Shani, who as always remain distressingly calm.
“So you’re the demon RAFO, are you? Well, I know how to defeat you.” Shadar grabs an envelope from the desk and opens it. “Dear Mr Jordan, Please tell me, who is the Daughter of the Nine Moons?”
The demon opens its mouth…
“Oh, that’s easy,” Raina says. “Tuon is, of course.”
The demon shrieks again – this time in pain.
Shani grins and opens another letter. “Dear Creator, Is Taim really Demandred – Well, we know the answer to that, don’t we?”
“Oh, sure – he is.”
RAFO shrieks in absolute agony.
Shadar picks up another one. “Hey, this one’ll do it – Mr Jordan, who killed Asmodean?”
Raina starts to open her mouth, but doesn’t need to. The demon has already started to smoke. As they watch, it dissolves into stinking black smoke.
Sycho makes a face. “Those demons sure do smell foul…”
“But now,” Shaiel says, “we have a comatose Creator and a roomful of characters waiting to know what to do next. Not to mention all the readers waiting for the next book.”
“No problem,” Snarg grunts. “Got Creator!”
“Hey, so we do!” Shadar pulls Raina further into the room. “Looks like you’ve got a new title, Former Sub-creator Raina…”
“Me? You want the creator of Long Live Insanity writing the Wheel of Time?”
Shani shrugs. “It worked for us! Unless you want Shadar and I to do it instead…”
“I’ll do it,” Raina replies quickly. “In fact…” she pulls out a sheaf of papers, “these are the entries for my plot contest. They might just come in handy.”
“I’ll help. I like writing.” Someone takes one of the papers. “Hmm - here we have an entry from someone named Jehan…”
“Ha!” Shadar says gleefully. “This Jehan has taste! He likes us!”
“Or she,” Shani adds. “Could be either.”
“Still, this one doesn’t seem much use.” Raina considers. “But I think I will bring Domon and Egeanin back. I’m getting pretty sick of all the subplots myself. What’s the next one, Someone?”
“We have here,” Someone consults the next page, “the creation of one Kiriath…”
Robber Boredan will off all characters that annoy him.
Thom and Tuon taunted themselves terribly, trying to tie the tight twists together.
Apparently, Robber Boredan has become alliterated.
Perhaps the series will never end and we will always chase each other.
There is a very long pause.
“What’s a keeenigit?” Sycho asks finally.
“I have no idea.” Raina shakes her head. “I think this Kiriath is even madder than you are.”
“No way!” Shani and Shadar exclaim simultaneously and indignantly.
“Well – as mad, anyway. Let’s leave this one out. Puns aren’t my specialty. Next?”
“The entry of the Lady Selinthia Avenchesca.” Someone reads the next one out.
(Sorry. Selinthia’s entry was too long to put in. You can read it, along with all the other entries so far, here.)
“Now that’s better,” Raina approves. “I can do something with that one.”
“But it’s a serious one!” Shani protests.
“That was the idea. That scene can fit right in near the end.” Raina scribbles a few notes. “All right, Someone, there should be one more. Let’s hear it.”
“From one Preia Starle…”
Berelain gets back to tell Perrin about Faile being kidnapped, hoping that now the field’s clear… But Perrin immediately gets very, very upset and rushes off to rescue Faile, making Berelain very, very upset. Eventually Perrin and company attack Sevanna and company, who are currently at odds with Egwene and company, Faile gets rescued and Egwene and Perrin team up, only then (are you following all this?) Galad turns up with a group of Whitecloaks and Berelain falls for him instead, but Galad only has eyes for Egwene, which makes for a somewhat awkward situation since she is now the Amyrlin, and makes both Galad and Berelain very, very upset.
The Seanchan, heading inland, and led by the Empress’s favourite daughter and her newly acquired husband, run into these assorted forces and some more skirmishing occurs, making everyone concerned very, very upset.
For some obscure reason Rand and Min, along with Elayne, Aviendha, Nynaeve, Lan and Birgitte have also turned up in this general area. So now we have all the major characters together and practically forced to have that long talk that they all should have had ages ago.
And if they DON’T have it, then I for one will be very, very upset
with Mr Jordan…
Shadar shrugs. “Well, it’s not as if he’s going to notice someone getting upset with him – even very, very upset…”
“But she might get very, very upset with me.” Raina scribbles “Long talk” in her notebook. Someone’s, actually, since she doesn’t have one. But he doesn’t mind. It’s a great honour having the Creator writing in your book. Or something like that.
“All right – now we need a title.”
“The Great Taimandred Debate!” Shadar suggests instantly.
“I don’t think -”
“How about Long Live The Insane Wheel Of Time?” Shani.
“I really don’t -”
“The Keenigit?” Sycho.
“Very, Very Upset?” Shaiel.
“Written In My Notebook?” Someone.
“Stupid Book!” No points for guessing who suggested this one.
Raina buries her head in her hands. “Light, why did I ever create this lot?”
(So, you tell me?)