The King went to speak to The Oracle. “I have a problem,” he said.
“Tell me about it,” she said looking up from her desk covered with papers.
“Raiders have begun circling the city.”
“Have they attacked the walls?”
“Have they made any demands?”
“No, but we’ve seen them setting up camp in the hills nearby.”
“Hmm, apprentice!” she called out to the girl sitting at her own desk. The apprentice jumped up and stood next to the Oracle’s desk. “Get me the slab with the story of the Sub-mariner attacking the beach.”
“Yes, ma’am.” She turned to the row of filing cabinets, banged up with peeling paint, and pulled out a drawer. A rhythmic slapping came from the drawer as she sorted through its contents. She pulled the hard plastic slab out and brought it to the Oracle.
“Ah yes, this is the one.” The Oracle turned it so the King could see the brightly colored paper inside. Marvel Mystery Comics was printed in yellow on a red banner at the top. A muscular man with small wings on his ankles wearing only swim briefs menaced a crowd of beachgoers. “In this story, Namor the Sub-Mariner attacks a group of people enjoying a day at the beach.”
“You think I should attack the raiders first?”
“Namor believes they are an army massing to attack his home in the ocean. He was mind controlled into thinking that.”
“You think someone is controlling me to attack the raiders?” The King asked confused.
The Oracle sighed, “Why are you here?”
“I wanted your guidance.”
“You have advisors and a council to seek guidance from. Why are you here?”
“I need your knowledge.”
“Talk to the librarian if you want knowledge. All I have is useless trivia, half-truths, and outright lies. Why are you here?”
“I don’t know,” he admitted.
“Your father liked to hear the stories I remembered. Stories of superheroes and supervillains. Stories of men and women who were more than human. He thought we could learn from these stories. Many times he came to me with a problem and I would tell him a story. He said I had a way of cutting to the heart of matters. I just told him stories. That’s all I am, a storyteller. Would you like to hear the end of Namor’s story?”
“Yes, please finish it.”
“The Human Torch, the first one who was an android and friend to Namor, showed up. The two fought and Namor was knocked out. When he woke up, he had come to his senses and no longer saw the land dwellers as his enemies. It ended with the two heroes about to go after the villain who had brainwashed Namor. To be continued next month.”
“That’s the whole story.”
“It’s the story I told you.”
“I think I understand. Thank you.” The King stood and began to leave. He turned around at the doorway, “Maybe you can tell me the next part of the story tomorrow.”
“I’m always free for the King.”