FOR PAST CHAPTERS, LOOK HERE: https://accordingtohoyt.com/dark-fate-an-mhi-fanfic/
*FIRST AND VERY IMPORTANTLY, THIS IS NOT CANON. THIS IS COMPLETELY UNSANCTIONED (okay, not completely. Larry said I could do this for you guys without his ripping my head off) MHI FANFIC.
Good, now that we got that out of the way, why am I doing this? Both Grant and Fado Negro (Portuguese Monster Hunters) have minuscule parts in Guardian, the MHI book I’m collaborating with Larry Correia on. However, obviously the Portugal of Monster Hunter is not the real Portugal (Really, no arcane creatures come stumbling out of the undergrowth there. If there were arcane creatures, the country would be chock-a-block with them, when you take in account the continuous human occupation since… well, forever.) And this story gives me more of an opportunity to firm the worldbuilding. (Yes, it would be MUCH easier to do this with a notebook and noting things down, but that’s not how my mind works, d*mn it.)
Okay, that’s the rational excuse. The real reason is that d*mn Grant Jefferson won’t leave me alone. (Always had a thing for men from Patrician New England families. Ask my husband.) So I’m torturing him in order to redeem him.
Will this ever be a book? Don’t know. First Guardian will get delivered. Then, this being finished, I throw it at Larry. And then it’s his SOLE DECISION. (Which means, don’t you monkeys hassle him.) It’s his world and his character. I’m just grateful he lets me play in it in Guardian and here for your amusement.*
The twenty foot goddess brought me up within reach of her face and looked at me with an eye the color of a stormy sea and the size of a Volkswagen beetle.
“If you’re going to climb the empire state building carrying me, you’ll have a long walk first,” I said, and was shocked at saying it. My voice sounded teeny and weird, but more than that, you see, I was born — I think — kind of a wise ass, but my dad had made me stop blurting out this stuff by the time I was ten. I guess the concussion had brought it back. That and perhaps the fact I was being held by a twenty some foot woman.
It occurred to me she might be about to geek me, and I squirmed. She transferred me to her other hand, where I ended up lying down on her palm. She smelled like the sea, too, but this was the clean, salty smell of a summer morning.
I stood up, and glared at her. Well, at her nostrils, which were the only thing I could compass in my field of vision. “Listen up missy,” I said. “Don’t you go thinking you can do whatever you want just because I’m bigger– No, you’re bigger than me.” My head hurt.
She laughed. The gales of her laughter almost pushed me off her palm. “I like you,” she said. “You’re not afraid of me. I like that. And I’d never have expected it of your history.”
I refused to take the bait. I didn’t know what about my history made me likely to be afraid of twenty foot women: I mean, wasn’t it normal to be afraid of 20 feet tall women? Wasn’t it called sanity? And wasn’t there a horror movie about attack of the twenty foot woman?
I had no clue what to do, so I crossed my arms and tapped my foot. She laughed again, which might have been an atttempt to blow me off her hand.
“I like your courage, little one,” she said. “And you’re going to need it to face what’s ahead.”
I hated cryptically talking supernatural creatures as much in concussed dreams as I did in real life. “And what’s ahead?” I asked.
She shook her head. “I can’t tell you, except much fighting, much struggling. In the end, maybe, possibly you win. They wouldn’t have won without you. Today they would have lost the city.”
“Yeah, they all need me. I’m superman, I am–”
“You are the one we need,” she said.
“And who are you?” I asked, testily.
“Call me Persophane. It will do as well as any other name.”
“Aren’t you supposed to be confined to Hades for having eaten pomegranate?” I asked.
She opened her mouth to answer, and then the entire world fell apart and I fell down, down, down an impossible height.
Everything hurt. I was squished against something hard and cold, there was the sound of waves in my ears, and some woman who sounded much like the goddess in my dream was screaming, “Wake up, please Jefferson Grant.”
I managed to speak through lips that felt as though they were made of wood “Grant Jefferson.”
“The waves are coming,” someone screamed.
“We can’t move him,” the woman said. He’s injured in the head.”
“It’s that or let him drown,” a male voice said.
I was grabbed roughly, and hoisted up. It felt like they were lugging me up stairs. Then they dumped me on what felt like sand, which doesn’t feel even remotely soft when they drop you on it from three or so feet up.
I growned, and tried to open my eyes. It took forever. It was as if I had great weights on top of them, and I couldn’t move my eyelids. When I finally managed, I saw… nothing much.
For a moment I thought I had gone blind, then I realized it was night time, and there were no lights, except the distant glow of burning bits on the beach. I was above the beach, probably on the road. Down there, the waves roared and crashed and spots went out.
“What in hell?” I managed.
“It’s the live tide,” the woman said. I thought it was Silvia, but her voice was having doppler effects in my head, which shouldn’t be possible but was.
Suddenly the contents of my stomach decided we had irreconciliable differences and rushed up to leave my mouth in a hurry. I barely turned to the side before I vomited. When I was done, one of the guys handed me a bottle of water. I rinsed my mouth, then took a swig, and looked over at the guy. He looked villainous like all other Portuguese males, but when he glared back, he said, “You saved the city and us, today.”
“Persophane said that,” I said.
“Who?” the guy said.
Silvia said, “Wen?”
“Just now. She was twenty feet tall and she…. I guess it was concussion.”
“Probably, but we can’t discount it being more,” she said. “We value our seers, Grant Jefferson.”
“I’m not a seer.” At least she’d got my name right. “In fact I’m as far from a seer as I can possibly be.”
She pursed her lips. She had really cute lips. I stopped that thought. This was the last thing I needed. Anywhere and anytime, but particularly here and now.
She said, “Um…. I think you’re wrong.”
I’d have answered, but then my phone rang. On the screen there was “Grrrrrr?”
I wasn’t about to get in a war of growls with Franks. Instead, I typed, “Not now” and lay back down.
Te Portuguese kids were arguing enthusiastically.
“Concussion,” someone said.
“Yeah, we should stay and watch him, or someone should take him and put him with the wounded at headquarters.”
“If he’s a seer or a sensitive, that could become dangerous,” someone else said. “What if he wakes up and becomes violent. We don’t have enough sentinels there to stop him.”
“It’s no problem,” Silvia said. “I thought I’d take him home with me. He can have dinner with the family, and we have a guest room.”
There was a long silence, which I understood, since at the back of my head I was thinking “What, what?”
But then a guy whistled low and said, “I bet your grandma will just loooooove him.”
“And vice versa,” someone else said and snickered.
And I wondered if I’d been safer with the twenty foot woman.