Saturday, August 21, 2010

Sunday Scribbles IIIL

So. The season is over. Closed. The end, having been nigh for a little while, has arrived. "Brassed Off" has finished, closed, and come to an end.
What the hell do I do now? Dunno. At the very least I'll be able to get back to writing a thrice-weekly blog, which isn good. I think.
The last night - last night- was excellent. We had people craqmmed in e3vertywhere. WhileI'm certain that no fire rules were broken, we still seemed to have audience crammed into every spare crook and nannny. Brilliant.
In the midst of the audience were my cuzzie-bro,Mike, and his ever glamourous partner, Judy. They cameover from Australia. Not to see the show, youunderstand - but to attend a funeral. The show was an excellent bonus. When we all finallygot home Mike and I sorted out the failings and feeblenesses of the All Blacks (ho hum. They beat the Springboks... again!) and the ever invincible Black Caps. We also put an awful lot of Scotch whisky to death. Oh, my spinning head.
Thankyou all for your patience. I am now going to take my wobbly head away, and enjoy a sunny Sunday.
Sigh o nara.
Listening to: The radio.
Reading: I'm between books right now.. but I have a pile that's as high as an Esquimoe's armpit..
More "Paper Heroes" : Yay!
There were plans to be made, sacrifices to be contemplated. For if there was nothing else certain in this shitty world, there was this: The Equus must die.

Chapter Eight.

8:00pm, Pacific Time, November 5th, 2386.
Cienwyn sat at Blunt’s left, looking about the circle of warriors. Paulus sat opposite her, pale, and flanked by Hanno and Grey.

In the moments after Blunt had shattered the table – something she marvelled at, as the Intelplast it was made from was supposedly unbreakable - Cienwyn realised that she and her companions may have made a grave error. There was no way in the world they could exercise any control over these strange, wild beings. Hanno the Barbarian was just that: a savage beast, with no qualms or control. That the man Thomas Crayne, the so-called Crusader, was insane was a truism. John Prester was borderline psychotic; Justin Grey, the small gunslinger, seemingly had the conscience of a walnut; Andrew Blunt was a soldier who experienced moments of battle-rage that any sane man would have sought treatment for. The only stable one amongst the Sleepers seemed to be the eminently phlegmatic Whistler.

She felt her face flush with disappointment, and looked down. The broken table melted into the floor, and a new one rose to take its place.

“My friends,” started Blunt. “We must take stock. We must put aside our feelings - something which we seem to have the freedom to do, and which our hosts, it seems, cannot, having cast responsibility over their emotions and minds to things too small to be seen.”

“Much like a Northerner’s gods,” laughed Hanno the Barbarian. “Too small to be seen!”

Blunt grinned at the giant. He thought he could come to like this one. His eyes swept the table again: Whistler he could count on. Hanno and Grey might make a good team. Prester worried him. He was preoccupied, a loner. He would have trouble with this one, unless he walked carefully. And Crayne was an enigma.

“I say we postpone making a decision about whether we help them,” Blunt continued. “There is much we have to learn about this new world we’re in. So far all we know is that they have sufficient,” he paused, thinking. Sufficient what? “Magic. They have sufficient magic to bring people from different times back to life, they have music that would drive one mad,” the background music snapped off as he said this, and he grinned broadly. “And they have tables which repair themselves.” He looked at the men again, and his eyes rested on little Paulus, who sat calmly between Grey and Hanno.

“I say we must learn more about ourselves, these people here, the people they want us to help, and the people they want us to fight. Then we shall tell them whether or not we shall help them. What say you?”

His eyes swept among the small company of men, and then deeply into the woman’s violet eyes. Blunt thought, and flashed his hard smile at her, his eyes as flat as dead coins. Her eyes were bright green last time I looked.

Crayne stood. “As you’ll all know, My name’s Thomas Crayne. I come from 20th century America.” He stopped, considering how absurd that sounded, even to him. He drew a deep breath, and continued. The Crusader has never backed down. “I have some understanding of the technology, the “magic”, that’s been used to bring us here. I also have no doubt that we are infected with their nanobots: what has happened to us today should make us fearful, apprehensive. But we’re not. We’re calm. We also – as yet – do not have access to their I-See system. I agree with Andrew. We have much to learn.”

Twenty metres away, watching the meeting on holo-monitors, Charles shook his head. His own embots, like Cienwyn’s, Adam’s, and Paulus’, had been subtly reprogrammed to allow him a greater freedom of negative emotions than anyone had experienced for more than a century. He was unaccustomed to the bursts of anger he was experiencing. In the past, frustration had been a cue for a warm chemical wash, followed by reasoned discussion. Now, he wanted to smash his fist against a table. It was a feeling that lasted no more than a second or two, then faded, swept away in a sea of tranquillity. But he was astonished, nonetheless. The strength of the emotion was agonisingly blissful. And, guiltily, he knew he wanted more.

Nothing had gone his way. He had expected the Sleepers to be confused, and then dazzled by the fact of their reclaimed life and in awe of the abilities of those who have given them their lives back. They were meant to be fearful, easily controlled: instead, they had accepted and adapted to their situation with frightening speed, and had turned everything to their advantage.

He had wakened six heroes. Six killers. To do so, he, and his helpers, had distanced themselves from their own society. He hoped like hell that he had done the right thing.

1 comment:

  1. There was an incident in SA recently with an escaped tiger. A cartoonist depicted it hiding in the long grass with a springbuck in a Rugby Jersey. The caption was something along the lines of 'Both too tame to do any damage'.

    More story!