A Conversation for Camelost

25. (25 November)

Post 1

Dmitri Gheorgheni - Freshly Vaccinated

25.

'You sure this is safe?' Bertie made a point of refusing Gawain's hand, as she stepped carefully into the very leaky boat.

'You're about to row out, in the bloody dark, into a freezing, junk-filled lake, in a forty-year-old pedalo, shaped like a bloody dragon, in search of an ancient, magical sword...and you ask if it's 'safe'? By the Old Gods, you've turned into a bloody whingeing wimp, Bertilak!'

Emrys puffed at his joint and grinned evilly through the smoke, as he cast off.

'Of course it's not bloody safe!'

'Fear not, Good Lady Knight!' Gawain proclaimed, as he jumped, rather carelessly into the fibreglass dragon, 'As Maiden's Knight, I would gladly lay down my life to keep the Fairer Sex from harm, gladly throw mys… '

'Fairer sex!' Bertie was positively crimson with rage, 'Look weirdo, I may be the reincarnation of one of your old drinking buddies, may be some strangely garbed…. '

She grabbed him by his leather Brandoesque lapels,

'But don't you ever, ever forget, I'm a strong, independent woman, and I will not hesitate to punch your stupid teeth down your stupidly scrawny neck if you ever, ever, talk to me like that again, you weird, cow-murdering, fascist, misogynistic, chauvinist pig!'

Gawain sat down. Although he didn't understand half the lady's words, he was sure they weren't complimentary. He decided discretion was the better part of valour and would try to be less chivalrous to this ill-tempered shrew!

Merlin spluttered with laughter, 'Welcome to the 21st century, good Sir Gawain, looks like 'tis not only Arthur who needs to be a bit more woke!'

Arthur ignored the exchange, perched uncomfortably on the bright orange plastic slide of the pedalo, his mood had turned sullen the more lucid his thoughts became.

Talk of water and swords brought sudden painful flashes of memory, thoughts of his own failure, defeat and mortality.

Half-remembered snatches of time, ordering Excalibur to be returned to the Lady of the Lake, being ferried across yet more water to a mystical place, saved from death, only to be plunged into dreamless sleep in the dark embrace of the earth. Was there a difference, was death so unattractive?

Arthur continued his gloomy reflection, even if they recovered Excalibur: from what he'd learned of these strange new times, how was he supposed to bring peace, harmony, and spirituality to this alien, uncaring world?

The soft splashing of the paddlewheel whilst Merlin pedalled out into the basin of what had once been a family log flume thrill ride, the splashiest in all the lands, aptly named, given Arthur's current mood, Pendragon's Plunge.


25. (25 November)

Post 2

paulh, the apocalypse is coming, it's just late

"how was he supposed to bring peace, harmony, and spirituality to this alien, uncaring world?"

Exactly!


25. (25 November)

Post 3

Dmitri Gheorgheni - Freshly Vaccinated

[Profuse apologies from the scribe. And thanks to Tavaron for bringing this problem to my attention. FWR sent me more than one 'master copy' and I misread my own filenames. smiley - blush Here's Chapter 25.]

25.

Lance heard a faint noise coming from one of the gothic facades, he forced the door a little wider, rubble and rubbish making a horribly loud noise in the darkness, enough noise to alert anyone hiding within.

Lance cursed, but squeezed himself through the gap, torch beam lighting up the interior of the Great Hall.

The cat that had drawn his attention fled, but Lance didn't take notice. He stood in the decaying room, eyes drawn to the large, circular, plywood table top propped up against the far wall, twelve heraldic symbols fading around its edges.

Lance's head swam as he blinked, eyes filming in the dust, then clearing, showing him the Once.

Lancelot sat, as always, on Arthur's right, for although the Round Table allegedly had no head, a Table of Equals, there was in fact a very obvious hierarchy at Camelot.

Of the near 200 full knights in the garrison, for example, a mere dozen earned a place at this very table.

Arthur kept only the most devout and trusted at his side, shared his plans for the future of the Britons with less than half of that number.

Lancelot was proud that his own son, Sir Galahad, was granted the honour of a seat.


Lancelot felt a pang of guilt as the Table rose, the Lady Guinevere entering the hall, lighting the room with her beauty.

She curtsied to her King and husband, bade the knights a good day.

Lancelot's heart leapt as the Lady Guinevere leant over his shoulder, chatting to the King, filling his senses with her perfume.

Pleasantries exchanged, her hand brushed his as she begged her leave. Accident or an outrageous act?

Lancelot cared not. His love for her sought out the minutest intimacy, he lived for these fractions of a second, excitement and guilt, love for Guinevere battled his love and devotion to Arthur

Either way, he would end up the worst for either. Sacrifice the love of one for the love of the other, Lancelot could not decide which would offer the biggest hurt to his soul.

Honour and decency had prevailed thus far, but as he breathed in her perfume, he knew, even if it came to treason, split the Kingdom, he was prepared to fight for her heart.

Such was his turmoil, he felt his very armour thudding rapidly with the beating of his heart. His breastplate vibrating against his side.

Irritating, insistent, chain mail buzzing, distracting him from the gathering.

He blinked again, the Great Hall once again a shell, fibreglass props and cheap painted stonework.

In his breast pocket, the phone vibrated against his heart.

Gwen. His heart leapt at the sound of her voice, whispering excitedly.

Come quick, they'd found them!


25. (25 November)

Post 4

paulh, the apocalypse is coming, it's just late

Camelust?


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