Eleven Heads are NOT Better than One

About bloody time!
That was the first thought that came into Brynt's head as he forced himself into the forefront of the Magician's mind. It was a battle - there were a lot of other personalities to push past, and though the Original's mind was drifting, he put up his usual involuntary resistance. However, Brynt had the element of surprise, and soon he was in control, and wriggling the Magician's toes just to make sure he'd got it right this time. This allowed him time for his second thought; "Please tell me those effing cows are gone."

~Technically they were buffalo,~ stated a slightly smarmy voice, one of the vanquished presences Brynt had had to kick aside to fight his way to dominance. Brynt pulled a face, which really wasn't very clever because nobody could see it. To make up for it, he gave the fuzzy mental presence a brutal squashing, forcing it back into the very darkest, dampest corner of the overcrowded mind (the space usually used for thinking about drains, clogged toilets and mouldy shower recesses).

~What was that for?~ another indignant voice piped up. ~What suddenly inspired you to get all active? I thought we agreed we'd let the Original take it until we were needed?~

"I wanted t' itch somefin," said Brynt sarcastically. "And get some peace and quiet from the rest a' you lot squabbling. Honestly, I fought that trick wif the apple juice was very clever." 

The voices sniggered at Brynt's accent, and he resisted the urge to slap himself. He thought cockney was rather flattering, if only it didn't sound so daft when he got irritable - which, come to think of it, was more often than he would have liked.

~Bet you didn't think it could be used to trace us!~ another personality squeaked so loudly that Brynt rubbed his ears. ~They'll track us, you bloomin' idiot!~

"Ah, shut ye trap," Brynt gave Vann (or, as he liked to call him, Panic Button) a mental shove, squashing him under the smarmy voice in the mould-and-muck corner. "It was bloody brilliant!"

~Thanks mate!~ Alf the Joker grinned - or, at least, Brynt thought he would have been if he'd been able to. 

~Well, now what do we do? We have this ... thingie - ~

"Oh, that's very eloquent Vann."

~Shut up!~

~No, you shut up.~

~Stop being so immature Alfred!~

"Stop being so immature!" Brynt imitated out loud, nearly falling off the jaguar's back as he heard the Panic Button fume and splutter to himself.

~Back to the point!~ a sharp female voice cut through the laughter. ~Where do we go now?~

"Find a bar, find a bed, get drunk, sleep," said Brynt.

~But - ~

"You don't like it? Tough luck sweetie," said Brynt. "Besides, we'll fall off and break our neck if we keep going too long in this light."

~Who cares? It's more fun in the dark!~ 

"Shut up Connor!" Brynt, Vann and Kendall shrieked in unison, and Brynt gave them all a good mental shove to remind them who was in charge.

"My plan," he said. "My rules. Any complaints? No? Good, let's go."

And with that, he kicked the jaguar's ribs and urged it on down the left hand side of the road. He would have looked rather dramatic, had he not spent the next few hours sniping and spitting at nothing in particular. 
One head really was too small for eleven rowdy personalities.

On and on through the dark they went, squabbling and yowling so loudly that even the coyotes in the hills stopped to listen and take notes. Up the winding road, down a steep valley, back up the valley again, around a sand dune a few times while everyone tried to work out where the heck they were ... and finally through the doors of a rickety, sand-blown hotel.

"This'll do just fine," said Brynt, grinning as he spotted the name painted in cracked black letters over the door. Last Chance Saloon. Not very original, but well named. Especially as said hotel was located right at the edge of a very steep canyon, with a very small and very stony river running along the bottom.

Still, beggars can't be choosers.

The End

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