[[livejournal.com profile] theatrical_muse] 297 - Crushed

Aug. 27th, 2009 03:34 pm
prodigalwatcher: (I Stand Alone)
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297 - Crushed

"So. It is a game of war."

Ilyria's tone, as it was in the instances when it was not imperiously dismissive, was instead disdainfully matter-of-fact. Wesley, somehow, had grown used to the casual arrogance and did not rise to it. Instead, he replied with equal objectivity.

"You are correct. Legend has it that a Prince of ancient India created the game in order to explain to his mother the Queen the tactics that had resulted in his brother's death."


Wesley watched as Illyria, unblinking, studied the board, its eight-by-eight squares of alternating colors and the black and white pieces that sat in their orderly rows and columns at either end. He had been attempting to use games and other props in order to better understand her way of thinking. Chess was actually proving to momentarily hold her attention. "And the ultimate objective?"

"To capture the King," answered Wesley, tapping the white piece in question, which was closest to him. Faster than he could react, Illyria's hand lashed out and retracted. In her gloved fist, she held the white King.

"I win," she stated coldly.

Wesley smiled tightly. "Not exactly. You see, while you might have enjoyed limitless power and commanded hordes of minions, humans are more often required to rely on cunning and intelligence in order to wage our warfare. It's called strategy. You attempt to maneuver your enemy into behaving as you wish while avoiding his attempts to out-maneuver you."

Illyria glanced up, granite-blue eyes fixing his. "If you were, by some cosmic joke, to best me at this game... it would imply that you were more cunning than I?"

He nodded. Illyria paused. "Show me the game."

Hours passed as Wesley took Illyria through the basics of the rules: the movements of pieces, the restrictions, the simplistic ideas of capture and sacrifice. Then, as her fascination with the game grew, he delved into the intricacies of gambits and tactics. It was late into the night when Wesley, nodding off, called a halt, leaving Illyria alone to continue studying the board.

They began their first and last game at eleven twenty-three the next morning. Illyria proved a quick study, but Wesley, despite his mortality, was more experienced. The game attracted many observers from the office for most of the day, but when the last move was made at seven nineteen that evening, it was again only the two of them.

Wesley's rook slid into position. "Check and mate, Illyria."

The god-king's pale lips drew a tight line. "There is no legal move I may employ that will save my King."

"Correct."

Again, Illyria's hand lashed out like a whip, and again, the white King piece was in her clutches. With a slight flick of her wrist, Illyria squeezed until the chessman was crushed into powder.

"You are clever, Wesley. Especially for a human. But not so clever that you continue to wage a war against a foe you cannot defeat, one who does not play by the rules."

Illyria stood and walked out of the room, leaving Wesley alone to continue studying the board.


(517)

Muse: Wesley Wyndam-Pryce
Fandom: 'Angel'/Misc. TV
Please reply here.
OOC Note: The Illyria referenced is [livejournal.com profile] not_the_shell and is used with permission.

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Wesley Wyndam-Pryce

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