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A reader asks, "What happens to Quicksilver because of the raid at the end of The Lost?"

Well, obviously Quicksilver's in a bind, isn't he? A little sneak peek of a few hundred words at Quicksilver's fate, from the beginning of Allegiance....



The lords of the zenana were well fed. That was clear in the instant Guide stepped past the waiting drones, clear in the lazy smiles and the full-fleshed faces. He felt instantly at a disadvantage, sharp and dusty in his plain leathers, while the zenana’s lords gleamed with dark jewels and silver glittered in hair and beards. Death reclined in her throne, sitting casually askew, her head resting against one of the great bone wings that curved above the center.

*Guide,* she said, and her voice was a caress. *Good. There is a matter for discussion.*

*As my queen wishes,* he answered, bowing, and glanced quickly at the others. Farseer was there, looking sleek, his braid bound with silver and the dark blossom of a new tattoo on his scalp. Sky, the youngest of the blades, leaned against Death’s throne, his hair and coat in artful disarray, while the Old One rested his back against the chamber wall, watching with an air of sardonic detachment. It had been a long time since Guide had moved in such company, and then he had stood in Sky’s place, Consort and companion, but he felt himself respond anyway, his body shifting to meet the rhythm of the once-familiar dance. He swept the others with a look, respect balanced against his own worth, and saw heads tip in grudging answer.

*My queen.* That was the cleverman who stood at the foot of Death’s throne, head bowed. He was not a man Guide knew, his mind pale and thin as sunlight in winter. *Forgive me if I press you, but I believe we must make a decision soon.*

*And so we shall,* Death said. She looked at Guide. *We speak of the one called Quicksilver.*

*Rodney McKay,* Guide said, and Farseer bared teeth.

*You know this?*

*Clearly.* Guide did not look at him, his attention focused instead on Death, watching carefully for signs of anger. *And I have heard, too, that you are considering abandoning the — project.*

*I am not Dust,* Wintersun said. *I cannot pretend that this — this creature, this creation — that it is a man and my brother, as Dust did. Better to end this farce, and take what information we can from him.*

*Dust said he could acquire McKay’s cooperation.* That was the Old One, his tone as stiff as unoiled metal. *That was the purpose of this charade. Not mere information.*

*But he cannot remember,* Death said. *No matter how willing he is to aid us, if he cannot remember Atlantis’s systems, he’s of little use to us.*

*Dust did say the drug could be changed.* That was another blade, voice sharp as a hook. *Wintersun could do more.*

*I am not Dust,* Wintersun said again. *And I can promise nothing.*

*If I may, my queen.* Guide bowed. It was a risk, he knew, but less of one than letting Death’s blades carve information indiscriminately from the human’s mind.

Death lifted a hand. *Say on.* She looked more amused than anything, as though she enjoyed the clash of words as much as any other combat.

*I have a cleverman of my own, the chief of my hive,* Guide said. *He is a master of sciences biological, wise beyond his years. And he is not so squeamish as some. Let him take over the project.*

*A stranger,* Wintersun said.

*An ally’s man,* Farseer corrected, but without emphasis.

Death tipped her head to one side, her hair gleaming in the shiplight. *And your cleverman is — clever?* She smiled.

*He is the best I have.* Guide bowed again, hiding the hope that rose in him. If he could get away with this, if he could place Ember in command, then he would have achieved at least some temporary safety.

*To take Atlantis from within,* the Old One said thoughtfully. *That would be a feat, indeed.*

*Dust’s work was promising,* Death said. *Very well. Let your man take his place, and you, Wintersun, will not need to work with the changeling. Let it be done.*

Guide lowered his head still further, aware of the envy at the edges of the chamber. *It shall be as you command, my queen.*

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Comments

( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
kahva
Apr. 6th, 2011 09:13 pm (UTC)
I am SO ready for this to hit the shelves!!! :) :) :) :)
jo_graham
Apr. 7th, 2011 01:46 pm (UTC)
Me too! I love this book so much, and I can say so because it's not mine!
Melissa Jenkins Cross
Apr. 6th, 2011 10:20 pm (UTC)
I so have to get The Lost!! And then this!
jo_graham
Apr. 7th, 2011 01:49 pm (UTC)
I hope you enjoy it! I think it's really fun.
jansma
Apr. 6th, 2011 11:06 pm (UTC)
*froths at the mouth and chews on table*
jo_graham
Apr. 7th, 2011 01:50 pm (UTC)
Guide is really in a bind, isn't he? If they start taking apart Rodney, all his plots will be exposed. But maybe Ember can keep a lid on everything....
jansma
Apr. 7th, 2011 05:19 pm (UTC)
Not to mention Guide has to bring another into his machinations, so the dilemma is can Ember be totally trusted not to bleat?

Other things have occured to me, in relation to That Thought, and whether QS is gonna be on Todd's hive at some stage? If so, what of Jen?
jo_graham
Apr. 8th, 2011 05:13 pm (UTC)
That is the question! Can Ember be trusted? Can Ember be trusted if Queen Death gets suspicious?

whether QS is gonna be on Todd's hive at some stage? If so, what of Jen?

Yes, and yes! :)
draco_stellaris
Apr. 7th, 2011 07:15 am (UTC)
*squees, flails, drools and finally faints*

Must... read... more...

OMG! Thanks for sharing this!
jo_graham
Apr. 7th, 2011 02:35 pm (UTC)
That's Melissa writing Guide -- oh she loves him! I love her Wraithy bits.

He does have a problem, doesn't he? If they pry open Rodney's head, all his plots will be revealed to Queen Death -- including Steelflower.
rodneysgirl
Apr. 8th, 2011 11:52 am (UTC)
I really enjoyed Homecoming and The Lost and can't wait to read more! Totally loved Quicksilver and want to read more about him.
Just hope he'll soon start to remember, but of course I have no idea what you plan to do with him :D
I didn't know about this nice blog until now, but now I'll keep checking back
rodneysgirl
Apr. 8th, 2011 01:23 pm (UTC)
And since I just noticed that someone else posted a fan-art on your blog... here's what I came up with when reading The Lost: Quicksilver.
Hope it's fine for you :D
jo_graham
Apr. 8th, 2011 05:16 pm (UTC)
Oh that's lovely! That's really beautiful! Wow! That's just what I had imagined!
jo_graham
Apr. 8th, 2011 05:15 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm delighted you enjoyed it!

Poor Rodney's really in a mess this time, isn't he?
rodneysgirl
Apr. 9th, 2011 04:41 pm (UTC)
thank you and yes, Rodney's really in a mess, but that's exactly what I love :D
jo_graham
Apr. 9th, 2011 10:20 pm (UTC)
We said to ourselves, "How can we actually challenge Rodney? How can we give him something that will really test him?" And this -- oh this does!
(Deleted comment)
jo_graham
Apr. 9th, 2011 11:24 am (UTC)
Yep! It's a really clear parallel to Michael, who the viewer had no clue about when they first met him. (Certainly I didn't!)
(Deleted comment)
jansma
Apr. 9th, 2011 04:36 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I recall feeling that way too. For me, Michael was one of those seminal episodes where something extraordinary and brave took place, and the writers were allowed to examine things from a moral POV. I love when boundaries are pushed in writing, and TV. :)
jo_graham
Apr. 9th, 2011 10:19 pm (UTC)
It really was a boundary pushing episode. Yeah. It was one that made me go, "Wow, they really did that?" Another of those was Phantoms.
jo_graham
Apr. 9th, 2011 10:16 pm (UTC)
That was my first thought -- that maybe I'd missed an episode? Because I really like CT and I knew I would have remembered if we'd seen him before.

And yes, I think Dust did see Quicksilver as a person.

Edited at 2011-04-09 10:16 pm (UTC)
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )