We stepped outside of the Singing Siren and headed up the winding stone street, the breaking waves of the ocean far below down the hill to our left. I was at something of a loss as to where to search for the famous story-teller and adventurer Eaglethorpe Buxton, not the least of which was because he was me, though I didn’t say as much. I did know where I didn’t want to go.
“Why don’t we go back to that sorry excuse for a theater and look for him there,” said Myolaena Maetar.
“No, I don’t want to go there,” said I. “What I mean is that I don’t think we would find him there.”
“There are a lot of people who know me at the theater… and they know that no good Buxton, and they might see that we are after him and give him a warning. He might skip town and we would have to search the entire country of Lyrria for him.”
“That’s a good point,” she agreed. “Where shall we look for him?”
“I have a few spots in mind,” I lied. “Why don’t you tell me what he has done to anger you so?”
“Have you not seen the travesty he calls a play?”
“I thought it quite a fine play,” I said, truthfully.
“He maligned my character.”
“Perhaps the author was misguided by some incorrect information,” I suggested. “It is no doubt misinformation that you once tried to usurp the throne of the King of Aerithraine.”
“No,” she admitted. “That part was true.”
“Well, surely you did not attempt to ensorcel the King.”
“That part was true as well,” she said.
“Mayhaps you did not really consort with a dragon?”
“No. That is not the part that was wrong.”
“Then perhaps you could enlighten me as to exactly what element of the play brought forth your ire, which is to say, made you unhappy.”
“You might note that the playwright’s deus ex machina involves me accidentally falling victim to my own magic.”
“God in the machine?”
“The machination of the gods—it is how poor story tellers fix holes in their plotlines.”
“I thought that bit where you ensorcelled yourself was rather funny.”
“Funny at my expense. That would never happen.”
“And I would hardly call it a deus ex machinegun…”
“Deus ex machina.”
“I don’t think it qualifies at all,” said I. “It’s not as though that couldn’t happen…”
“It couldn’t happen.”
“It’s within the realm of possibility…”
“It is impossible.”
“I don’t think we have the same definition of ‘impossible’.”
“Not possible; unable to exist, happen, or be,” she said. “Unable to be done, performed, effected, etc.”
“Yes,” I confirmed. “That is the definition I usually use.”
“Not to be done or endured with any degree of reason or propriety.”
“Well, not quite to the point, but…”
“Utterly impracticable, totally unsuitable, difficult, or objectionable.”
“I suppose that last part fits your point of view better than mine,” said I. “I still would not go so far as to refer to the plot’s resolution as a deus ex machina…”
She glared at me.
“If that is not what happened, then what was it that alerted the King to your plan to usurp him?”
“I had my spies, but the church had its spies as well, and they preferred Justin’s imperfect rule to mine.”
“I suppose there is just no pleasing some people,” said I.