“A Brief Delay” is another scene which I added in order to fit the way the story was flowing. There’s some cool things going on, so let’s unpack.
Sindy may have pushed Bug to make the offer of escorting Will home, but he really didn’t need much prodding. Bug thought Nobody’s plans for The Realm’s deliverance were much more straightforward then they’ve turned out. With his home on the brink of collapse he feels the burden of bringing the teen into an absolute mess.
General Isme, who was against Bug’s field promotion but allowed it when his subordinates protested, saw Bug’s offer as a way of removing two wild card pieces from his board. He’s going to be glad they remained “in play.”
Bug in Charge
Bug’s efforts in saving the convoy did not go unnoticed. Both the surviving members of the “Red Boot Brigade” and observers from the First Guards testified how the gnome’s quick thinking prevented a disaster. His promotion to captain took into account his previous service.
It’s been fun to see Bug step more and more into a leadership role over the past few scenes. While Bug remains an anti-establishment kinda gnome, he’s good at leadership. There aren’t many beings in The Realm who can successfully get a Dwarf and an Elf to cease bickering.
Perhaps the most interesting development in Bug’s shift to be “in charge” is Sills’ shift toward becoming the “critiquing observer.”
Well, I couldn’t call them “Red Shirts” now, could I?
Just a Footnote
I believe I’ve mentioned this before, but I once heard it said, “After Tolkien, all fantasy is a footnote.” The plot, at this point in In the Land of the Penny Gnomes, is very much a footnote to the path Tolkien blazed 1. A small band seeks to move past the enemy in order to seal their doom because open confrontation will certainly lead to destruction of all things good. Heck, even the attack by General Isme might as well be launching out from Minis Tirith.
Do I care I’m nothing more than a footnote in a land of literary geniuses? Nope. I give humble thanks for their work and imaginations. The Realm wouldn’t exist without the likes of Tolkien and others.
Will isn’t wrong. If the mission were only to reboot the firewall he has no role to play. While he’s demonstrated incredible power over the forces of the Horde, he’s also demonstrated an inability to call on those powers at will 2.
But Nobody has no faith in the Firewall, and never has. He’ll happily reboot the system because he finds the project intellectually stimulating, but in the end he knows the Horde has to be dealt with if The Realm is to be restored.
The trick is, however, the Professor has no idea how Will will accomplish this. He just knows he needs Will near by, because his real role is to save Narrative itself.