Title: The War God’s Sword on the Hell Mouth
Author: Ghost who Walks
Disclaimer: David Weber and Josh own it all
Responding to the “In Jim Baen’s Memory” Challenge #1578
Author’s note: Thank you for all the wonderful reviews.
Cordelia Chase knew upon waking that beyond a doubt it was all Xander Harris’ fault. He and his loser friends had been an annoyance of some kind or another to her ever since kindergarten. She knew that for her life to get this screwed up it had to be his fault.
She had gone to Party Town to pick up her reserved cat costume for the Halloween party she was going to attend. Only to find out the panel truck that had been delivering it had been in an accident of some kind. A little girl, a ball, it was a whole big thing evidently. She had not been happy. She had stormed to her car and driven over to that new place she heard some of the other kids in school talk about, Ethan’s. Just in time to be knocked over by Harris as he exited with a stupid grin and that fake chain mail.
She had vented, anyone would have. To her surprise the shopkeeper had been surprisingly sympathetic, he even had a suggestion to offer her. Xander had let slip that he was going as an apprentice knight of some kind of a chivalric order. Why not, the shopkeeper had said, go as a full fledged member of that very same order. Therefore if their paths crossed she would only have to identify herself and Harris would have to at the very least show her some respect if he had any intention of remaining “in character.”
She had liked the idea. There had been some bargaining with Ethan about her costume and accessories. She had finally settled on suit of form fitting black leather “armor”, and a pair of sabers (the broadsword she had tried at first was way too heavy), and a few other trinkets.
She had looked good dressed up, as if she could look anything but. Then after she had gone out things had gone down hill. That stupid spell had gone off. Everyone had changed into their costumes. It had no longer been her in control of her body, but someone who had outranked the knight Xander had gone as. The problem was there were not many females knights in that chivalric order. The few that did belong to it were always something out of the ordinary, master sword women, great leaders, or more rarely champions of their God. All three of which Dame Kaeritha Seldansdaughter had been.
Now in the cold light of the morning of the next day she was absolutely positively sure that it was Xander Harris’ fault that Tomanak Orfro, Scale Balancer and Lord of Battles, The Demon Bane, Captain General of the Gods of Light had appeared in her kitchen as she was eating her breakfast. No question about it Xander Harris was somehow to blame.