"I want my brain back."

Ovistine could have spent weeks rehearsing exactly the right way to approach the Bronzes — had, in fact, spent several days thinking about how to formulate her request — but somehow the minute she ran into Chromie, it all flew out the window.

"Look, ma'am," she said, planting her hands on her hips, "this bit with my head being half-lost to time is all well an' good, but I want my brain back. I want it back how it was."

Chromie tilted her head and looked Ovistine over, head-to-toe. "You are who you were, and who you are now. All of you is still you. What is it you're looking for that you don't have?"

Ovistine rolled her eyes and tossed one braid back over her shoulder. "We talked about this the first time I came to see you, hey? If I'm back then, before the Light went, I can still touch it. So I thought if I did a wee bit of science, I'd be able to bridge the gap between then an' now, an' here I'd be, patched perhaps, but still able to be both."

"You are who you were," Chromie repeated. "You are who you are now."

Wondering if it would really be in poor form to throttle a small gnomish dragon, Ovistine sighed and tried again. "A'right, that's true enough. I am who I was, I am who I am. But I want to be me, who I am now, even when I'm me, doing what I did then. Does that make sense?"

"Not really, no." Chromie shook her head. "The Ovistine Lighthammer of today is who she is. From what you've said, the only way to reconnect yourself to the Light, today, would be to undo what you did to sever that bond. If you were to go back and–"

"No!" Ovistine's braids flapped out behind her as she shook her head. "No, absolutely not. No, no, no. Not an option."

"Well, no," Chromie agreed. "As I was going to say, your decision has had many long-standing repercussions; while it wouldn't destroy all life as we know it the way the Infinite Dragonflight would do, certainly several lives would be affected…"

"Aye," Ovistine murmured, "and that's why it can't be done that way. I understand that. Just…" She sighed again and took a seat next to Chromie, resting her chin on her knees. "I can't keep being two of me. It's hard an' it's confusing an' it isn't fair to someone. To more than one someone." She thought about Valinar–battle-weary these days, taking more and more risks in Icecrown as Arthas's fall came nearer and nearer. Her father, in Icecrown himself, working on siege machinery, repairing all the guns he had time for; her mother, standing on the front lines outside the Citadel, keeping the place clear of Scourge so adventurers could assault the place itself. "I can't help the people I love because none of us can trust my head to stay where it's put. D'you know what it's like to have the people you care about running in to battle without you, knowing you ought to be able to guard them and keep them safe an' being able to do nothing of the sort?"

"Yes, although maybe not today. Maybe I knew how that felt yesterday, or will know how it feels tomorrow." Chromie shrugged. "But it's all the same, isn't it?"

"Aye. More or less." Ovistine nodded. "It's me what needs to be all the same. I need to be me, as I am now, and not Ironhammer along with Lighthammer. Can you help me?"

"Are you certain?"

"Made the choice once," Ovistine said gruffly, scrubbing at her eyes with the heels of her hands. "Could be there's other ways of dealing with it. Bringing in time itself? That's not the way a dwarf works with things. Let's get me fixed, ma'am."

"We can certainly try."

Jun 21st, 2010
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