February 23rd, 2009


Krull (not to be confused with Krill)

I was at lunch today and, surprise surprise, the folks at the table next to me were Colwyn and Lyssa, from Krull. Usually, when I'm around famous people and fictional characters, I do the usual fanboy things. I get really nervous. I try to think of interesting things that I can say so that I'll stand out as memorable. I wonder why I can't be calm. And so on!

But this time, as it so happens, I'd ordered a Not Acting Like A Fanboy sandwich and was halfway through eating it, so I didn't get any of that.

"Hi! Colwyn and Lyssa, right? I'm a big fan. Thanks for, you know, slaying the Beast and everything and resolving that whole Black Fortress problem."

I was expecting they'd be annoyed, but no, they were pleased.

"Sure, our pleasure!" Colwyn said, "Not too many people recognize us, actually."

The restaurant overhead music was playing James Horner.

"How's ruling the world of Krull going? And your child ruling the galaxy?"

Eek. The moment I said it, I realized it was an awkward question. They hemmed and hawed as I shrank with embarrassment.

"Not so good," Lyssa finally said, "It turns out that administrative problems require a totally different skillset than rescue attempts and Beast-killing, and so far we don't much have the knack for it. Worse, all of our best advisors seem to die at just the wrong moments. The Emerald Seer and Ynyr the Old One would have been a lot more help than Torquil's gang."

Colwyn gave a bitter laugh, "Oh man, Torquil. Don't even get me started. He was really helpful vanquishing the Beast and rescuing Lyssa and so on, but all those criminals I pardoned? Putting them on my cabinet was a terrible idea."

"We haven't had the time to have a child yet, what with all the nations we have to rule, and the war-torn economy, and so many different countries, and... Gah, I'm just exhausted," Lyssa admitted.

"We tried to maybe quest for some sort of ancient and magical artifact that would help with maintaining the whole Worldwide Government thing, but nobody made one of those," Colwyn said, irritated, "and, while the Fire Mares are a classy way to get around, there isn't any kind of five-pointed pen that I can use to write out international trade policies or criminal codes or anything like that."

"Worse yet, our poor child is destined to rule the galaxy! A single world-wide government is totally untenable. Can you imagine our child facing these same problems, for dozens upon dozens of worlds? If they're all like Krull, our child is going to be totally overwhelmed."

"It's like they said in Lawrence of Arabia," I said, trying to sound interesting and memorable, "The virtues of war are young man's virtues, and the vices of peace are... wait, is that right? The virtues of war, yeah, and the vices of peace. Anyway, you know what I mean."

"Don't get me wrong," Colwyn said, ignoring my misquote, "I'm glad that the Beast is gone, but now what? Seriously, just give me something I can stab!"

I was thinking maybe I should introduce them to the Beastmaster. He was good at delegating. Definitely not Conan the Barbarian, though -- he gets all bored and dissatisfied when he's on the throne.

Or maybe some science fiction guys? I never know whether to recommend fantasy references or science fiction references.