Sunday, December 13, 2009

Asael XVII

This is part of my ongoing novel. Think of it as Killer Angels taking place in a musket and magic fantasy world with characters that combine the religious sensibilities of American revivalism with Beowulf-like blood feuds. All this while engaging in Talmudic style dialectics. "Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition" is about to take on a whole new meaning.

Introduction, A Note from the Author, Prologue, I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, XI, XII, XIII, XIV, XV, XVI

Kuphdin suddenly cut in. "So you dreamed something from your Vorn saga?"

Asael let out a laugh and jumped onto the edge of the cart, swinging his arms out for balance. "What makes you say that?"

"You tend to go back to the source for the name of your main character for your story when you dream about it. You felt compelled to reread the massacres of Captain Vorn, despite the fact that you have that piece memorized. Ergo you dreamed about your Vorn."

"I dreamed up a new piece of my tale. It was from the Marcellus sequence. I finally learned how Gin joined Vorn and Caxton. We also got the lead up to the prison breakout, which, may I say so myself, makes for an absolutely brilliant fight sequence. This piece also had a pretty interesting fight sequence. We had the raid on Marcellus, complete with armored flying balloons. The pale faced hunter also showed up and came after Caxton and Gin. There was a chase across rooftops; you should feel what it is like to jump across a ledge and see the ground over a hundred feet below your feet."

"To each their own." Kuphdin thought for a moment. "Gin is the woman teamed with Caxton, who seems to constantly save him from trouble."

"I think they get together later on," added Asael. "They have a child."

"They get married?" nudged Kuphdin piously.

Asael shrugged his shoulders. "I do not write the story, it just comes to me. I have no control over whether my characters are living in sin or not."

"Their having a relationship does not make logical sense. From what you have told me, Gin hates Caxton."

Asael smiled. "This just goes to show that you do not read enough romances. The lady always has to dislike the hero or at least pretend that she does not like him. It creates dramatic tension."

"What does your story have to do with romance? I do not see any riders in armor with magic swords."

Asael swung his arms. "Don't you see my story is much better? Instead of taking place in the past with ancient weapons, my story is a romance that takes place in the future. This means that I do not have to turn to magic. We can turn to technology, which is much more in keeping with reason. Also Caxton is a much better hero than some knight. Caxton can fight, with firearms and even with his fists when he needs to, but he gets by with his head. Does it not make much more sense for the beautiful girl, particularly one sensible enough to not always stand around and wait to be rescued, to go for the guy who also has brains?"

"You make it sound as if Caxton is the hero of the story," said Kuphdin.

Asael sensed that Kuphdin was simply baiting him, but he went for it anyway. "Caxton is nothing compared to Vorn. Vorn is going to be the greatest fictional hero ever told when I am finished with him, enough to overshadow the fact that he shares a name with a real life villain. Because you know what makes Vorn so special?"

"Yes," said Kuphdin, rolling his eyes trying to pass over the speech that Asael was about to tell to him as he had done so many times before.

Asael pointed a finger inward and let out one of his teeth-filled grins. "Vorn is modeled after me. I gave him a laugh like mine. He has a scar on his face like I do, albeit one running up his chin instead of his cheek. He even has my walk." Asael jumped off the cart and demonstrated by trotting around Kuphdin with his head and shoulders hunched forward, his hands reaching toward the ground as if to walk on all fours, accompanied by a wheezing cackle as he breathed in and out. What kept the movement from looking awkward was a peculiar rhythmic swaying of the head that seemed to balance everything with a level of animalistic dignity. "Vorn has really long arms so he can actually walk on all fours if he bends his knees a little bit. He can also climb really well like me except that he can even climb share walls. He has my abilities, just more so. He is a Shifter, an exceptionally powerful one at that. He likes to run around and chop people up, which I just think I would like to do."

"I find your version of Shifters to be quite intriguing, though at times it goes against the legends."

"Shifters have not been a part of our world for over three thousand years. I imagine that we have managed to confuse the details. Anyway Vorn is not like other Shifters; he is special."

"If this is a romance about Vorn than why does Vorn not fall in love himself?

"He has his one true love, Selene, but that ends tragically as does everything else in Vorn's life."

"Tragedy! You never told me how the story ends. Does Vorn die?"

"That is because I have not yet seen it clearly," answered Vorn heatedly. "I do not know for certain if he dies,

I do know that there will be lots of blood when things do end."

"Yes there does seem to be just a bit too much violence in your story."

Asael throw up his hands: "I do not decide how much violence there is in this story. It just comes to me."

"We dream what we think about during the day. So it gives one pause to wonder how you managed to dream up your Vorn and his bloodbath inside this monastery."

Asael pulled out his copy of the Oraitha and held it out over his head and began to chant: "Behold the Law of Rachmana your God, who fights for you today."

"Yes," said Kuphdin," and that is supposed to justify what?"

"Well I have compensated by cutting down on the swearing, drinking and sex. Vorn does not have much time for that."

"Your Vorn kills way too easily Asael and I do not think that it says anything good about you."

"Not as easily as the Shifter we call Paleface." Asael struggled to recall the name of the tall creature that had chased after Caxton and Gin. It had taken a bullet designed for the preternatural in the forehead without a mark; this thing that carried no weapons and seemed, despite his best efforts to cover for it, to unnerve even Vorn. Somewhere in his head, Asael knew there was a name, even if it was maybe only one of the names it used to call itself. For now Asael would have to stick to the nickname Paleface or the pale faced one.

"I find," said Kuphdin, "that of the two Shifter beings in your story the pale faced one is the less problematic. He kills in the service of a higher power that he subordinated himself to, his Council. He is a soldier and a warrior. Your Vorn turned against the Council; he is a law unto himself. When he kills he does so as a murderer."

"Vorn serves a higher power," said Asael. "He is a righteous man of faith, of God. And you think you can judge him by the standard of human laws that exist only to chain a great man such as he."

"The first rule of faith is to submit to a power greater than oneself and that starts with the earthly powers around you, your priest, your religious order, the local magistrate and even the earthly state. You do not reject these yokes and then turn around and say that you serve God and act in his name. Do that and you lie. Such men only serve themselves and are hence servants of the Satan."

"Marcellus and his crew are freedom fighters, fighting injustice. The sort of injustice that your human laws support."

"Freedom fighters!" Kuphdin rolled over those words as if he could taste them and smiled at the thought. "There is another word that I heard you use for such people. What was it?"

"Terrorists," muttered Asael.

"And Marcellus is one of the least troublesome of these 'freedom fighters' for Vorn to aid. By your own admission, Vorn, through Caxton, knowing full well what they were doing, sells firearms to people for the express purpose of using them against coffeehouses and even schools. This is a terrorist and a child killer and you know it boy."

Asael folded his arms together definitely. "It is my story; I dreamed it so it means what I want it to mean and I say that Vorn is the good one here."

"Ah," said Kuphdin with a twinkle in his eye, "but I am the audience. Once your story leaves your mouth and enters my ears it becomes my story to do as I wish."

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