TITLE: Child of Heaven
SERIES: The Adventures of Lord Sam and Lady Brooke
AUTHOR: Jos Mous
DISCLAIMER: Some of these characters are not owned by me and are not used to make a handsome profit.
PAIRING: Lots, including Sam/Brooke and Jessica/Cassandra
NOTE: OK, I'll admit it, I stole a large part of the plot from some videogame. So should you, in a month or so, suddenly read a Lord Sam fic featuring green clothes and meteorological phenomena you'll know where I got the inspiration from. Also, I seem to have lost my humorous touch. If anyone finds it, let me know.
Jessica, Prince(ss) of P'p'l'r and lover of the One Supreme Goddess lay beneath a tree atop a grassy hill. Next to her lay Cassandra, the only human/dragon hybrid in P'p'l'r and the One Supreme Goddess. They were doing nothing except enjoying the sunshine and each other's company. Frankly, they were doing this because they had managed to tire each other out doing. some other things.
It was, however, fortunate that they were conveniently dressed when a light shot down from the skies.
[Behold,] said an ominous voice. [I am the God of the Sun.]
"No you're not," said Prince Jessica, annoyed at this interruption. "My mom is the Goddess of the Sun."
[Ah.] said the divine voice. [Well. I'm a different God of the Sun then.]
"Which one?" asked Cassandra.
[Well. you know. the one from Nail Island.]
"Never heard of it," said Prince Jessica.
[It's a very small island. Hence the name.]
"Right," said Prince Jessica. "And what do you want from us?"
[Ah, now we're getting somewhere.] The God cleared his throat formally. When He spoke once more it was with an impressive godly boom. [Jessica, hero of P'p'l'r, for saving your girlfriend from some fairies gone mad, I now grant you.]
"What?" said Prince Jessica. "That was over a year ago!"
[Err.. Yes. I know.] said the God.
"So why are you suddenly showing up here now? Why not then?"
[News doesn't reach Nail Island very fast, you know.]
"You're the sun. You're everywhere," Cassandra pointed out.
[Well. technically, yes. Technically.]
"Some God," Prince Jessica snorted.
[Hey, do you want My Divine Gift or not?]
"Sure, what is it?"
[I grant you. this child.]
A shape appeared in the beam of light. It formed and shifted and took the shape of a little girl, all huddled up with her arms around her knees.
"Excuse me!?" Prince Jessica cried. "What kind of gift is this!"
[It is a child directly from the Heavens. And now, your daughter.]
"Daughter!?" Prince Jessica shrieked. "I'm just seventeen! I'm too young to be a mother."
[There are younger mothers,] the God pointed out.
"They're usually sluts or just careless," Prince Jessica said angrily. "And besides, how old is this girl? Twelve?"
"Ten," said Prince Jessica. "And I'm seventeen. That's just seven years difference."
[Both your mothers are 23.]
"Yes. And it's still one of the great mysteries of our age," said Prince Jessica. "And I'm still not fit yet to be a mother."
[Well. deal with it. She's your daughter now. It's up to you to teach her the ways of this world.]
And with that, the light vanished. The child lay on the ground. Slowly, she opened her eyes, yawned and looked at her new parent figures.
"Mom!" she said happily. "And mom!"
"Hello honey," said Cassandra. "What's your name?"
The pretty little face of the girl frowned. "Name? My name is. Deborah."
"Deborah?" Prince Jessica asked.
The girl nodded. "That's right. It's such a pretty name, don't you think?"
Prince Jessica tried to smile. She just barely succeeded. "Sure."
The child stood up. "So mom, what are we going to do now?"
Prince Jessica looked down into the little girl's pure brown eyes and saw it brimming with innocence, melting with love and radiating with devotion.
"Well." said Prince Jessica slowly. "How about we go buy some clothes for you first?"
There was something wrong in the throne room of the Palace. Prince Jessica sensed it from the moment she set foot in it. Sure, the guards usually stood in front of the walls, but they were never actually trying to melt into it. And there was usually some good-humoured background noise instead of terrified silence. Prince Jessica quickly noticed what the cause was. Her mother, Lord Sam, was sitting on the throne, her face decidedly unhappy. In front of Lord Sam, her back turned towards Prince Jessica, was one of the new inhabitants of P'p'l'r. She, along with the rest of her race, was humanoid enough, but was covered in fine white fur and came with a tail, cat-like eyes, razor sharp claws and a really bad temper.
"Who's that?" asked Deborah, pointing her little finger at the catwoman.
"That's the tribal leader of the Wildcats," said Prince Jessica. "You can tell by the loincloth."
"Oh," said Deborah. "How come you can tell? Do the others wear different clothes?"
Cassandra blushed. Prince Jessica coughed. "I suppose you could say that."
"Only if you like felines," Prince Jessica said. "I go for the more reptilian types myself."
"What do you mean?" Deborah asked.
"Err. never mind. Look why don't we go pick out a room for you, hmm? I think your grandmother isn't in the mood to talk to us right now."
Deborah smiled happily. "OK!"
Finding a room for Deborah wasn't all that difficult since pretty much every room in the Palace looked the same. And since Deborah didn't own anything apart from the clothes she was wearing, moving her in didn't take very long either.
Deborah sat on her new bed, legs dangling over the side. Prince Jessica and Cassandra had seated themselves in front of her, wondering what to do now.
"Tell me about the Wildcats," said Deborah.
"Err. sure. OK." Prince Jessica said. "I mean, why not?"
"The Wildcats come from the dark realm of Dunc. you know where Dunc is, right?" Cassandra asked.
"Of course, it's right next to us." Deborah made a face. "It's not a very nice place."
"Right," said Cassandra. "Well initially, the Wildcats were just normal cats, but centuries ago the evil magic of that place transformed them into what they are now. A few months ago, their tribe moved from Dunc to the woodlands of P'p'l'r. So far everything went well."
Deborah smiled brightly. "I knew all species could live together peacefully," she said.
"In theory, maybe," said Prince Jessica. "But the fact is that the Wildcats sometimes prey on livestock. The farmers aren't happy with it."
"Why not?" asked Deborah.
"Because they own the livestock."
Deborah gasped in shock. "Are you saying that living beings can be owned?"
Prince Jessica shifted a little uncomfortably in her chair. "Well. yes."
"That's ridiculous," the ten-year old stated firmly.
"It's just the way things are," Prince Jessica said, knowing full well that it was one of the lamest excuses ever used.
"It's still stupid."
"Yeah," Prince Jessica sighed. "I guess so."
Deborah suddenly brightened up again. "So what do I need to do now?"
"Pardon?" asked Prince Jessica.
"I must work or study," said Deborah with cheerful seriousness. "That's the only way for me to become a useful member of society."
"Deborah, you're ten," Cassandra said gently.
"It's never too late to start early."
"It's not?" Prince Jessica asked.
"So, what do you want me to do? Clean up the Palace? Cook for everyone? Or maybe you want me to study Philosophy."
Prince Jessica and Cassandra looked at each other. Children didn't act like this, right? Right?
"How would you like to learn some magic?" Cassandra finally asked.
Deborah clapped her little hands with glee. "Oh goodie!"
"Wait, you're taking her to Court Mage Cherry?" Prince Jessica asked alarmed.
"That's right," said Cassandra smiling. "Cherry is a very nice person and good with kids. You used to hang out in her tower when you were young too and it didn't mess you up either."
"I guess that's true," said Prince Jessica. "Fine, take her then."
It was a few minutes later and inside the private bedroom of the Prince and her girlfriend. Said Prince and her girlfriend were alone in there together and were fully dressed. Of course, that was a state they were hell-bent on remedying ASAP.
Unfortunately for them, Lady Brooke stormed into the room.
"Mom!" Prince Jessica shouted. "A little privacy please?"
"I'm sorry," said Lady Brooke. "But you need to come with me right now."
"Things aren't going very well."
Prince Jessica didn't remember there ever being a ring in the throne room. She knew that this was because there never had been a ring. The ring lying there now seemed to made of salt from the kitchen. Or possibly sugar.
"Mom, what's going on?" Prince Jessica asked.
"A few nights ago, some Wildcats ate some cows."
"They probably did that the night before that as well," said Prince Jessica.
"Yes, but this time the farmers caught them and they were hanged."
Realisation dawned on Prince Jessica. "Oh."
"So now we're on the verge of an all-out war with the Wildcats," said Lady Brooke.
"So what's the ring for?" Prince Jessica asked.
"You mother will face the Wildcat leader in a one-on-one duel. If you mother wins, we remain at peace. If the Wildcat wins, we're at war."
"But that's not fair!" Prince Jessica said. "The Wildcat's unarmed."
"I know dear," said Lady Brooke. "But I suppose we must pray for the best."
"We can't pray," said Prince Jessica. "We're the Gods. Hey, can't mom just use Her divine powers?"
"That's not allowed in the ring," said Lady Brooke.
Lady Brooke jumped and turned around. Behind her was the familiar shape of Court Mage Cherry and the less-familiar shape of an adorable little girl.
"Oh, who are you?" Lady Brooke asked.
"I'm Deborah," said Deborah. "Do you like my robe?"
"It's very pretty," said Lady Brooke. Then she looked up. "Cherry, is there something you haven't told me?"
"Wahl, honestly." Court Mage Cherry was abruptly cut off by a dragon claw clamping over her mouth.
"I don't think that's important right now, mom," said Prince Jessica.
"No, I suppose not," Lady Brooke said sadly.
"Well. is magic allowed in the ring?" Deborah asked, getting just the teensiest little bit impatient.
"Yes. Of course," said Lady Brooke.
"Then I'll fight the Wildcat," said Deborah, moving forward.
"No! Wait!" Prince Jessica shouted.
"Ah, the challenger has arrived at last," the Wildcat chieftain said.
"I'm here!" shouted Lord Sam, barging into the throne room, readjusting her sword belt. "I'm. here?" She looked at Lady Brooke. "What's going on here?"
"This brave little child has accepted my challenge," the Wildcat said.
"That's right," said Deborah. "I'm Deborah. What's your name?"
"Shawl," said the Wildcat.
"That's a funny name," said Deborah.
"So is Deborah," said Shawl.
"It all depends on perspective I suppose. Shall we start?"
"Well spoken," said Shawl. "Let us begin!"
"No, wait!" shouted Lord Sam. "I'm the challenger! I'm supposed to fight!"
"Too late!" snarled Shawl.
The Wildcat leapt at Deborah, who merely smiled. She held up a tiny little hand, and the Wildcat froze in mid-air.
"This is a little trick Cherry showed me," said Deborah. "Isn't it great?"
Shawl snarled. Battle wasn't the right time for small-talk in her opinion.
"Oh well," said Deborah.
The little girl made a movement with her other hand. Searing hot flames erupted beneath the prone body of Shawl.
"Do you want me to make you move again?" Deborah asked.
Snarl vigorously shook her head.
"Do you give up then?"
Shawl nodded with equal vigour.
With a little wave of her delicate hand, Deborah erased the fire and gently put Shawl back on the ground.
"I won!" Deborah said.
"You did indeed," said Shawl. There was respect in her voice. "You are a very special girl."
"Wha.?" said Lord Sam, not having fully comprehended what just happened.
Shawl bowed in the direction of the ruler of P'p'l'r, who was still standing with her mouth open. "Peace is yours, my Lady. We Wildcats shall no longer attack this so-called "livestock" unless one of them wanders too far from the herd in which case it's the human's own fault."
"Oh," said Lord Sam. "OK."
"Splendid!" said Shawl. "But I would also like to know if now we are no longer allowed to kill bandits, rapists and assorted other human scum."
"We've talked about that before," said Lord Sam admonishingly. "Only if they attack you first."
Shawl smiled widely. "It never hurts to try. Well then, I suppose you will want to write up a treaty or something. You just put an X for me, OK?"
"Sure," said Lord Sam. "But what if I write a few other things into that treaty as well?"
"I trust you," said Shawl. "And if you do, we'll just ignore it."
"I thought as much," said Lord Sam smiling.
Shawl nodded and turned to Deborah. "And you, little Deborah, you are quite the magician."
Deborah blushed. "Thank you," she murmured.
"No need to be shy," said Shawl. "We Wildcats do not know magic, but it is my belief that we would greatly benefit from it. I want you to come with me and teach our youngsters the ways of magic."
Deborah's eyes grew wide with excitement. "Can I? Really?"
"Of course. Wildcats never lie."
Deborah jumped up and down and clapped her hands. When she was done doing that, she walked over to the small group standing just outside the ring. First, she hugged Prince Jessica, then Cassandra and finally Court Mage Cherry who was already in tears.
"Mom, mom, the time has come for me to depart," Deborah said solemnly.
"Already?" asked Prince Jessica.
"I know this is hard to accept for you, but my destiny lies with the Wildcats. You have been very good to me, but now I must go. Farewell."
Deborah turned around and walked to Shawl. The Wildcat took the girl's hand with her paw and together they left the throne room.
"Goodbye mah pretty one, goodbye!" Court Mage Cherry cried. "Oh, thar she goes, mah li'l apprentice. All grown up." Court Mage Cherry covered her face in her hands and cried loudly, while wailing even louder.
"Hold up," said Lord Sam. "Did that little girl just call the two of you "mom"?"
Prince Jessica and Cassandra groaned.
"It's not what you think," said Prince Jessica.
"I think you still owe us an explanation, young lady," said Lady Brooke.
"Fine," said Prince Jessica. "But I need to do something first."
"Yeah? What's that then?" Lord Sam asked.
"Find a certain Sun God and kick His ass all over the firmament."
And the Sun God looked down onto the Palace and the P'p'l'rarian woods and saw that all was well. And then, upon hearing the words of young Prince Jessica, He quickly ran away and hid in the corner.
And all was truly well.
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