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'Does the moon look bigger to you tonight?'

The Book of Ataniel

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“You know, Matsie,” Vickie said, knocking one of the yuan-ti halfway across the room with a swinging kick from her denim boot, “there’s something that’s just not right about all this.”

“How so?” said the ninja, slashing implacably away at his reptilian opponent.

“Well, where are the devilish traps? Have you ever been in the dungeon of a mad Oriental sorcerer that didn’t have any devilish traps in it?”

“What about the pendulum blade in the anteroom?” Garal demanded.

“Oh, c’mon, that was nothing. It didn’t even hit you.”

“Because I’m 3’8”! Six inches taller and it would probably have split my skull open.”

“Few wu-jens in this region build their dungeons with halfling intruders in mind,” Amatsu agreed, severing one of the yuan-ti’s four arms.

“That’s not the point.” Vickie tumbled artfully out of the way of one of the monsters’tridents. “It’s like nobody here was expecting us.”

“Why would they be expecting us,” Garal huffed.

“Because we’re adventurers, Garry, and people pay attention to us.” She grabbed a statuette off the mantel and sent it caroming off the yuan-ti’s scaly head. The monster groaned and sank to its side, but the mantel and the statuette did nothing remarkable. “When we move around new plots stir up, and when we go after McGuffins, they take on lives of their own. It’s a Heisenberg kinda thing. When we focus on something that changes it. It’s always been that way.” She yanked the tatami mat out from under the third yuan-ti, depositing it on its rear. “This... feels more like busy work. Somehow. No one really cares about this crystal thingamajig but us, and I can’t for the life of me figure out why.”

“Not every meaningful task is glorious, Miss Dare.”

“I know that, it just...” The secret agent sighed, and deflected a nunchuk shot with her forearm. “Oh, never mind. It’s probably just my time of the month or something.”

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'Does the moon look bigger to you tonight?'

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