Over at Suvudu, Vin is up against Zedd from Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth series. Here’s how I think the match would go down.
Vin crouched behind the earthen bank, the scent of burned wood pungent in her nose. A stump smoldered nearby, specks of red flaring alight in the breeze. The aging man with the white hair stood with hands clasped behind him at the center of the field; scarred patches of ground lay blackened where his wizard’s fire had fallen.
She stilled her breathing, resisting the urge to puff in and out. He would hear that, this strange old man with the ability to draw fire and lightning into his hands. He didn’t carry a bit of metal on his body, and had stopped her coins in midair when shot at him. He’d nearly stopped her as well, the air seeming to grow thick around her as she’d scrambled away. She’d barely gotten out of that with her life.
“Well,” the aging man said. “You might as well come out. Neither of us find this an ideal situation, but it is what it is, and we must accept it.”
She knew very little of this man. Indeed, she couldn’t quite remember how she’d come to this place, this quiet and darkened forest. She felt eyes in that darkness, watching; she could hear them stirring, the watchers, yet none of them spoke.
The white-haired man strolled forward. “I do feel bad that I have to kill you. Unfortunately, in order for me to live, you must die. Objectively, you can see that I must not hold back, as I must seek my own self-interest first. Certainly that is logical.”
Whoever this old sorcerer was, he did like to talk. Vin crept quietly around the perimeter of the clearing, burning tin, pewter, and steel. Light on her feet, alert and anxious to move, she kept to the shadows, watching for an opening. Perhaps . . .
It seemed her only choice.
“Perhaps we should join together,” she yelled out. “Fight against those who are watching.”
He spun and did that thing with his hands, where he seemed to gather in heat from outside and fling it toward her. She ducked in a roll, sweating, as the fire took a tree behind where she’d been crouching.
She had one bead of atium, powerful enough to let her see the future for a few short seconds. But she’d have to be close to use it—very close.
“I think not,” the man said. “They have taken no move against me as of yet.”
“They’re in concert together,” Vin said from in her hiding place.
The old man gathered fire again.
“I think,” Vin called, “they’ll wait for us to weaken each other and then attack us as one.”
The old man froze. “As one?”
“Er . . . sure. Yeah.”
“Communally?” he said.
His eyes opened wide. “COMMUNISTS!” he yelled. Then, incredibly, he climbed up on a stump and began to address those watching. “Hear me, socialists! Your foul ways have no grounding in rational thought, and only seek to divest men of their rights! You will listen, now, as I explain—at length—why capitalism is the only method by which truth can be found and expressed.”
And with that, he launched into a long-winded speech about something he called “objectivism.” Vin didn’t listen to much of it; she just crept her way forward, behind his back, and he blathered on and on. Was this really the best time for a lecture? She shook her head.
Right as he was getting into a definition of something he called “positive rights,” she Burned atium and leaped forward, driving a glass dagger into the back of his neck. He tried to dodge, but the atium let her see the direction he’d go, and her mind adjusted immediately.
“Urk,” the old man said. “And thus we see that this young lady’s rational egoism is victorious in the end, and that is proof of everything I’ve been saying. And, unfortunately, I appear to have just proven Wizard’s First Rule. . . .” He slipped and fell to the ground, eyes wide, glassy, dead.
“‘Wizard’s First Rule’?” Vin asked. “I mean, really. Is it too hard to say ‘The First Rule of Wizardry’ or ‘Wizardry’s First Rule’? The way you say it sounds stupid. That’s always bothered me.” With that, she slipped off into the darkness.
There you go. If you think this is the way the match would play out, go cast your vote. The poll closes tomorrow.