What Comes Around Ch 20 bit – locks

“Drat it all to Hades-!

“No go on the handcuff key?” Alan shivered in the water, trying not to listen too hard to Won’t work, won’t work, you’ll never get free, suffer with us forever! “Figured.”

Oh, he knew that ragged catch of Sarah’s breath. That was someone digging into anger to keep from crying. “If you think I was going to settle for playing with light instead of a key-!”

“Easy. Easy,” Alan soothed, holding onto the light in his heart like a life preserver. Morg. Aladdin. Master Tiburon. I will get out of here. “It was a good idea. Key tucked into your bracelet with the rest of the charms – your husband’s a great guy, I like him already. I just mean they look shiny, but they’re old manacles. Not cut to standard.”

“…There’s a standard.”

Oof, flat fury. Not good. “Since the sixties, I think?” Alan ventured. “I, um… when Mom knew I really liked locks, well… we went out and bought some of the old ones?”

“Who wants old locks?” Matt piped up, glancing between them.

Poor kid. He knows we’re in trouble. He knows it’s bad. “I did?” Alan tried to put the shrug into his voice, given the water was leeching movement away. “’Course, Mom always said I had to keep them put away when I wasn’t playing. People get all freaked out about the craziest things, right, Matt? I bet your teachers would have a heart attack if you built a gun out of Legos. Wimps.”


Sarah groaned. “When we get out of here, young man, we’re going to have a long talk.”

When. She said when. Yes! Alan flicked his thumb at some of the more depressing rukh. And if they didn’t get the ancient flip-off for what it was, that was their problem.


26 thoughts on “What Comes Around Ch 20 bit – locks

  1. “When. She said when.” Nice touch! And Morg and Aladdin and Simon etc. can all be trusted to have your back. They are just outside, breathing fire. Hang on. Help is coming.


  2. I’m guessing Sarah’s mad at the implication that Anne was teaching Alan lawbreaking behavior at a young age, which would fit the view of a FBI Agent’s wife. Looking out of the box a little though locks can be seen as the ultimate complex puzzle and quite a challenge for anyone to take on. I can see a little Alan having fun figuring out how to open them.


    1. Partly a challenge, partly Anne recognizing Alan just wasn’t going to stop opening doors. So she figured the best thing to do was teach him how to do it without damaging anything – that’s one of the principles of “locksport”, as it’s called. 🙂


  3. Alan does what he has always done – getting people to believe in themselves.

    And I think Sarah is a getting firm but needed lesson that kings are a handful and half. Considering who her husband is and where they are going to end up living because Simon will not let one of his Generals go unless the General in question really want to go and Ja’far certainly isn’t turning down king-wranglers given that he has both Simon AND Alan to deal with. (Don’t be fooled anyone, Alan is just as crazy as Simon in his own fashion.)

    Between Around and River, we have so many opportunities for the bad guys to learn why you don’t Bully The Dragon and The Reason You Suck speeches.

    Yes, TV Tropes has fully infected my brain so that I think in tropes and use them to confusion of the non-Tropers. Why do you ask?


    1. Bullying Dragons is wrong. Baal says so. 😉

      (And Tropes are Great Fun. Hee.)

      Yep, that is exactly Alan’s plan, and the main reason letting Alan talk is never wise for the bad guys. Because that’s Alibaba’s thing: “We can do this, but I can’t do it without you.” 🙂


  4. Something slightly worrying occurred to me.

    We’ve already seen Ja’far’s Household Vessel jump into him at the first opportunity and there were some issues due to the fact that he’s a magician in this life.

    That means that Drakon/Domingo’s HV is also waiting in the wings somewhere. The issue is that he was fused with that sucker for a majority of his life.

    So what’s going to happen when Bararaq Barasikh decides to rejoin it’s ‘host’?


    1. Ja’far and Aladdin make with the magoi to keep him from getting scaly. There may be some strenuous negotiations to keep Drakon/Domingo within a few steps of human norm. Whatever happens, I hope we find out soon!


      1. Yes, that is, worrying. However might explain why he could resist the cuffs as well as he could. Baal is back, in the vicinity, and Simon isn’t working at cross purposes. He’s pulling on Simon’s strength to help. And it’s a toss up whether this helps Domingo relate with Simon and Company or not. After all, Drakon was the original member of Sinbad’s Household, even though he was technically supposed to be hunting Sinbad down with extreme prejudice.

        Now, as any group of people who manage to pull something together, there is the chance of plagiarism or parallel development. Does some of the trouble Tiburon pulls Yanraiha out of involve someone experimenting with a similar spell to the, Magnos(?) clan spell to recall lost lives? Only not as elegant, and the mad magician saps pulling it off are expecting something to go back maybe a century or two, and get a deep sea kraken. Yes, dangerous, lethal, social learner, and fatally unexpected. Also out of normal depths, the water available is pretty shallow, and this totally wasn’t where she last remembered being. But hey, there’s Sharrkan! And then suddenly the spell ends because the saps who put it together are not entirely stupid, and now who is the strange guy with white hair? And what just happened? (Potential for needed memory diving to stop from relapsing!)


      2. Huh! An interesting thought; though I was thinking something a little more mundane for whatever trouble Yam was in when they find her.

        And yes, Domingo trusts these idiots. Which is insane. He’ll worry about it later. 😉


      3. Something I’ve been wondering/worrying about the last few days – Drakon spent years all scale-y and dragon-y. As he gets his memories back, is he going to get any body dysphoria? Like, he just feels all small and fragile and wrong? And now, with what you just said about Barasikh never having left, has he had these problems before, and without his memories really not known why? If so, Domingo might actually be relieved to get his memories back, as he finally has an explanation for why he really feels like he ought to be able to, say, claw something open and why are his fingernails so fragile, damn it, but they aren’t any more fragile than anyone else’s, and argh.

        (I worry about the weirdest things when it comes to stories…)


      4. The question is if he ever does get his memories back. I suspect it’d be problematic to try digging for them without bringing back the whole dragon mess; they may just try to seal it all.

        Now, Sarah getting some of her memories back… 😉


  5. Another question to the Generals: Is anyone going to warn them about potential hair color changes or just see if it happens? Of course, not all of the ones going through the hair color changes at the moment are entirely aware of it (understandably – they have a lot on their minds).

    Someone is going to howl about it eventually. “It’s green (blue)! Why is my hair green (blue)?!”
    “Because Simon.”
    “How is it my fault? It’s their own magic doing it!”
    “Because whenever something is crazy, annoying or crazy annoying, it almost always your fault.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, Tiburon’s already been warned. The others will probably be warned as they get read in on the whole “dungeons, magic, Kings,” situation.

      …And given they’re Sinbad’s Generals, technically it is Simon’s fault. Kind of. 😉


      1. Why do I think “Oh your hair might change color” is probably going to get lost for at least one person in the shuffle of:
        “Magic is real.”
        “That is a dungeon and it is very dangerous (but fun!).”
        “That normal life of ours? Gone if you stay here.”
        “We knew each other in a past life.”
        “This is our king. He’s crazy.”
        “He was always crazy. We might be crazier since we chose to follow this lunatic.”
        “All kings are crazy – don’t let Alan fool you into thinking otherwise.”
        “If your household vessel comes back during or after a dungeon raid, tell me. It’s important.”

        Even if they space it out so it’s not one big info dump, circumstances will probably conspire to make them forget little details like your hair might turn green until it does.

        Through Drakon might take green hair over mostly dragon body . . .


      2. Depends on how cranky the magoi is. Like in the Valdemar series the Companions and other node workers can’t dye their hair because the energy bleaches them out. If the magoi gets very cranky? Dye isn’t going to touch it.


      3. So Tiburon’s hair is probably going to change, right? I’ve been wondering about that, since when he got his memories back Ja’far said that they modified the spell to not change things people don’t want to change–but hair and skin color is a pretty minor change, and I really want to see Tiburon’s reaction when it starts happening.

        Plus I keep imagining him running into one of his not-in-the-know buddies, and trying to explain to explain “Why yes, it is perfectly normal for my skin and hair to spontaneously whiten/darken. Nothing suspicious about that :-)”

        Also, do you know when you are going to start posting these newer chapter to Ao3? I’ve been waiting to read them until I can read the full chapters.)


      4. I suspect it’ll be enough to be noticeable once they’re not running screaming from explosions anymore. 😉 And yes, the guys he trains will notice. His explanation will be “Filming.” Or better yet, “Simon.”

        (Simon explains everything. Hee.)

        I just posted 19 (18 on here) to AO3. 🙂 Bunnies are still sluggish after working out a fight in Taka, so it’s slow going.


  6. >>…Based on what we know from canon?
    >>Barasikh never really left.
    Could be an interesting shift of the vessel’s properties. Originally it gave him magical armor and when assimilated he became a humanoid dragon.

    Maybe in this life if he activates the Vessel it turns him into ‘Drakon’ but when it’s deactivated he changes back.


    1. >>Ouch. I’m… not sure how well that’d work. Will chew, though! 🙂
      Was just a thought.

      I figured that the assimilation would leave a permanent effect on his Magoi/soul even after reincarnation and would have ‘side-effects’.


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