I. Johnlock

"'…If this proves a right to do so, we may, by the same Argument, justifie Adultery, Incest, and Sodomy, for there are examples of these, too, both Ancient and Modern; Sins, which I suppose, have their Principal Aggravation from this, that they cross the main intention of Nature, which willeth the increase of Mankind, and the continuation of the Species in the highest perfection, and the distinction of Families, with the Security of the Marriage Bed, as necessary thereunto.'"

"So? What's your point?"

"Well, it's something to think about, isn't it?"

"Only if you accept Locke's assumption that Nature possesses definite intentions, which can be discerned by observation. If you dismiss that as a typically Deist confusion of mind – and it runs all through them, this attempt to justify morality without a divine Lawgiver by appealing to the mere patterns of phenomena – then the whole thing collapses."

"Well, now, wait a minute, Sherlock. I'm not sure I do grant that Nature can be reduced to patterns of phenomena. Call it illogical, if you like, but I can't regard myself as sane if I deny any real difference between birds and bees – and I don't see how I can affirm one, in the long run, without saying that a bird is meant to be something other than a bee."

"Good Lord, John, that's even worse than the Deist line. You'll be a Thomist in no time, if you don't watch out."

"That's as may be. All I know is, right now I'm a good Liberal, and if John Locke says I'm playing with fire, I'm not going to dismiss him out of hand."

"So… not tonight, then?"

"Not tonight."

II. Jasper

"Nice brooch, Piper."

"Thanks. Jason gave it to me; it's my birthstone."

"Oh? I didn't know you were a March baby."

"Mm-hmm. 22nd."

"No kidding? Your mom must really like to have babies on that date. Wasn't that La Castiglione's birthday, too?"


"Oh, you know. The famous mistress of Napoleon III – the one with all the risqué daguerreotypes of her dressed as the Queen of Hearts. March 22nd… yeah, I'm pretty sure that's right."

"…I really didn't need to know that, Annabeth."

III. – Tate

"Row after row with strict impunity, the headstones give up their…"


"Oh, right. The headstones yield up their names to the elements. The windthe wind… the wind does something, I know that…"

"Whirrs without recollection. And it's the element, Tony, not the elements."

"(sigh) Remind me again why I'm doing this, Ducky?"

"You are doing it, Tony, so that tomorrow, when you accompany Caitlin to Fredericksburg to honor her thrice-great-grandfather who fell defending Longstreet's line, you can impress her by reciting the first stanza of Allen Tate's 'Ode to the Confederate Dead' from memory. Apparently, this evidence of the multitudes you contain will rouse her into a state of 'wild screaming passion' – or, at least, so you claim to believe."

"Just so long as I have a reason. Okay, so the wind whirrs without recollection… and then there's something about Ribbentrop…"

"Riven troughs."

"Yeah, him."

IV. – Stony

"Ah, welcome, Thunder God. And what brings you and your companions so far from either's home? Business, or pleasure?"

"We require, Adam Warlock, that you lift the spell of petrifaction you laid on Tony Stark and Steve Rogers as they lay together on All-Hallows' Night. I do not demand that you approve their choices – I don't know that I do myself – but the Earth requires them for its defense."

"Business, then. A pity; Sovereign is a fine place to seek one's pleasures. There is a little place not half a mile from here where you and I, Black Widow, might…"

"Later, Warlock. I don't fraternize with my friends' captors; their liberators, maybe."

"(laugh) Well returned. All right, then; I will gladly release your invertedly amorous colleagues from their stony prison – just as soon as you have helped me eliminate a few pesky Guardians of the Galaxy."

V. – Lucian

"You seem very glum today, young Lucy. Is there something troubling you?"

"Oh… it's nothing, Professor. Just my silly heart struggling with the latest news from Narnia."

"Oh? Jealousy of Mr Scrubb and Miss Pole, is it?"

"No, not so much that. But you know how I felt about Caspian when we were on the Dawn Treader together – what with the sea air, and his regal mien, and my womanhood just starting to awaken… I don't know if it's seemly to feel that way about your royal descendant, but there it is. And so to hear from Eustace that now he's a ninety-year-old man with white hair and rheumatics… of course, I know that's the nature of Narnian time, but it's just hard to get over. That's not unreasonable, is it?"

"(chuckle) Nαί, ὦ Ἄπολλον: ᾔδεις γὰρ θνητὸν πεποιημένος τὸν ἐρώμενον: ὥστε μὴ ἄχθου ἀποθανόντος."

"Oh, really, Professor, must you? You know what they don't teach us in these schools."

Disclaimer: A partial list of people that I am not would include Donald Bellisario, Tom Crew (source of the cover image; special mention in my next posting to anyone who recognizes it), Sir A. Conan Doyle, Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, C. S. Lewis, John Locke, Lucian of Samosata, Stephen Moffat, Rick Riordan, and Allen Tate. (Which of those facts I vaguely regret, which ones I am indifferent about, and for which ones I thank God, I leave for my readers to imagine – though I will say that there are more than one in each category.)