How we think the fight will go
How Brandon Sanderson, creator of Kelsier and coauthor of the final three Wheel of Time books, thinks the match will go:
WARNING: THIS CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR BOTH THE MISTBORN BOOKS AND THE WHEEL OF TIME
Kelsier flipped a coin off the side of the White Tower. He sat at its apex–upon the ledge that rimmed the tower’s top–with one of his legs hanging out over the side.
He watched the coin sparkle as it fell. The wind up this high smelled fresh. Sharp.
“So,” Moiraine said, approaching the ledge, “here you are. Sitting there seems foolhardy.”
“I like heights.”
“I could shove you off with a weave of Air,” Moiraine said. “Send you tumbling toward the ground.”
“Which is precisely why I dropped a coin,” Kelsier said, throwing another for good measure. “To be honest, though, I’m not particularly interested in fighting you.”
“I don’t believe we were given a choice.”
“We could always stage a revolt,” Kelsier said. “Hunt down the people who did this to us. I have it on good authority that they’re all just a bunch of scribes.”
“No good,” Moiraine said. “I tried to find them through the Portal Stones already. But, if you do not wish to fight, we could always settle this by using plausibility as a measure. As I understand it, you’re actually dead.”
“Spoilers,” Kelsier said.
“We’ll put a warning at the top,” Moiraine replied, settling down on the ledge, sparing not a glance for the plunge. “And don’t change the topic. I believe that I would win, as you’re actually a corpse.”
“You’re dead too,” Kelsier said.
“I got better.”
“You did?” Kelsier said, surprised.
“Damn. I got stuck in Book Ten.”
“It’s not as bad as people say,” Moiraine replied. “Mat’s sections are wonderful.”
“Well,” Kelsier said, “I don’t think it matters if you came back. We could just say this is me from the middle of the first Mistborn book. Besides, I think I eventually got better myself.”
“Doesn’t count. You became a disembodied voice that may or may not have actually been speaking into the mind of a young boy who was probably insane.”
“Yes,” Kelsier said, “but my series has a long way to go yet. Who knows what could happen? I’ve heard that some very remarkable things can happen with spikes . . .”
Moiraine sighed. “Well, if you will not accept that argument, then it will have to come to down to a fight. I do not enter a contest except to win.” Though her calm features betrayed no emotions, her eyes shone with a quiet intensity. A mountain would budge from its place before this woman abandoned her goals.
“I like you,” Kelsier said, smiling. “You’ve got something of the psychopath to you.”
“Prepare yourself,” Moiraine said.
Kelsier held up a finger. “One problem. I believe that there are these little things called the Three Oaths, and–as it turns out–I’m not a Darkfriend.”
“Oh, please,” Moiraine said. “Obviously the Oaths aren’t in force. How could I have gotten this far otherwise?”
“No idea,” Kelsier said. “In this match, however, I’m certain that the one writing it won’t let you violate your innate principles. Therefore, I doubt you can hurt me.”
“I’ll tie you in weaves of Air.”
“That won’t count as a victory,” Kelsier said. “Cage match, to the death, blah blah.”
“I’m certain they’ll make an exception.”
“I’ll file an appeal,” Kelsier said.
“You’ll find I’m good at doing the impossible,” Kelsier said. “It’s one of my specialties.”
“Too bad staying alive isn’t another of them.”
“Does that word even make sense in-world?”
“Damned if I know,” Kelsier said. “We got away with ‘hat trick,’ didn’t we? Anyway, if you tie me in air, I vow to stall. For as long as I can, as loudly as I can.”
Moiraine shrugged. “Why should I care?”
“Because you have something better to be doing.”
“And you don’t?”
“Please,” Kelsier said. “I already saved the world. It only took me one book, I’ll add.”
“That’s funny, because from what I’ve heard, you left that ‘saved’ world in a fairly awful state. Your friends ended up doing all the work in the next few books; the only thing you did was provide a convenient skeleton.”
“Details.” Kelsier said. “The point here is that I can afford to lounge about, but you can’t. If you win this match, you’ll have to go on fighting in this thing for weeks longer. All of that will distract you from your purpose. And, to remind you, the longer I drag this conversation out, the longer a certain person isn’t working on the conclusion of your story.”
“Oh please,” Moiraine said. “The guy writes thousand-page books in his sleep every night. It won’t take him long to write this.”
“Be that as it may,” Kelsier replied, “I think you underestimate my ability to make a complete nuisance of myself. I promise you, I can draw this out. Hell, I’ll bet I could turn this conversation of ours into at least a novella. Maybe a six-part epic.”
Moiraine folded her arms, glaring at him.
“Face it,” Kelsier said. “If you want Randal–or whatever is name is–to get on with that saving the world business, you’re just going to have to forfeit. You don’t have time for this, woman. You’ve got a schedule to keep.”
She considered it. The breeze rustled his mistcloak.
“That smirk of yours is insufferable,” she finally said.
“Thank you. I practiced extensively.” He held out a hand. “Do we have a deal? You return to the Last Battle, and I spend my postmortem retirement filling people with lots of holes–preferably of the type that bleed vigorously.”
“Fine,” Moiraine said, slipping down off the wall and walking away. “I never had an interest in this in the first place.”
“Wait,” Kelsier said, hopping off the wall and grabbing Moiraine by the arm. “We forgot something.”
“And what, precisely, is that?”
“Fanservice,” Kelsier said, then dipped her low and leaned in for a kiss.
He froze halfway through the move.
“Unfortunately for you,” Moiraine said, slipping out of his grip and leaving him wrapped in weaves of Air, “I am taken. I have tied off the weaves; they should unravel in . . . oh, one week’s time.” She glanced at the sky. “Looks like rain.”
She slipped away down the steps into the White Tower.
Well, Kelsier thought, smiling as a drop of rain hit his cheek, I suppose that could have gone worse than it did.
Predicted Winner: Kelsier
NOTE: THIS MATCH ENDS ON THURSDAY, MARCH 29th, 2012, AT 5 PM, EST
Cage Match fans: We are looking forward to hearing your responses! If possible, please abstain from including potential spoilers about the books in your comments (and if you need spoilers to make your case, start your comments with: “SPOILER ALERT!”