Saturday, September 25, 2010

Sunday Scribbles LI

The fifty-first Sunday Scribbles. This means I've been writing this blog for over a year (I didn't start the Sunday Scribbles straight away, and there have been a couple of Sundays when stale alcohol in my system has completely precluded any sort of writing).
Hmm. I must go back and see if I've actually written anything of worth. Probably not, I suspect.
My website is.. a failure. I was confident that if I armed myself with a book written for ten-year-olds, I'd be able to get a website up and running. Sigh. I was hopelessly over-confident. I followed the instructions to the letter, yet it still didn't happen that way it was supposed to.
Speaking of alcohol: I camew home from work on thursday, to find my wife sitting down with a G&T in her hand, and a bottle of single malt Scotch on the coffee table. I was astounded - I thought we must have won Lotto, or something. It turns out it was an "or something". Something that was equally as good as a Lotto win: my brother had come visiting. He's had a tough year in Seoul, and had flown home on a surprise trip / holiday.
Woo Hoo. On the first day of daylight saving, the sun is shining. Today, I'll be going for a long walk. Yay. So very happy to be living in Auckland when the sun is shining.
Reading: Two books: "A Madness of Anfels", Kate Griffin. This is fecking superb - a supernatural yarn that's worth reading. Also a Robert Ryan book, "Empire of Sand", about T.E. Lawrence. Also excellent. I made emntion that I had started "The Eight". Well, it started superbly, but got bogged down in turgid prose.
Listening to: A lot of Leonard Cohen, because he's coming to NZ again. Which of course reminds me of my Father, who died the night I was to have been going to see the lovely Leonard last year.
Miss you, Dad.
More "Paper Heroes":
‘Merika is the modern world’s Mordor, with the modern world itself one great Shire, basking in the sunshine.

Hanno the Barbarian in particular has become a major celebrity in Auckland, and indeed around the Commonwealth. His great height and musculature, his plaited moustaches, his three swords, his swaggering gait, and the huge animal pleasure he takes from life have all combined to make him the symbol of the six Sleepers, and he has revelled in his role.

But it was immediately obvious to Charles and Blunt that changes must be made if the heroes were to take the mission that they’d been revived for. After the first week Blunt and Crayne had requested an urgent strategic meeting with Charles.

“You’ve placed restrictions on us, Charles.” Blunt, as true to his name as ever, spoke plainly. “And we can’t contemplate the mission until you withdraw them.”

“Restrictions?” Charles’ voice buzzed with impatience. “There are no restrictions. You are free to come and go, to see whom you like, to talk with anyone you want. In no way have we – have I - restricted you.”

“You’ve brought us to life again,” Crayne insisted. “But not to the life we had. You placed your embots into our veins, and they are changing us. I understand that emotionally you are ‘bot free.”

“No,” Charles replied. Then he sighed, and carried on “Yes. I have a greater freedom than most. My embots have been modified, reprogrammed. It is difficult, you understand. I have feelings and dreams that I don’t understand,” he murmured. His voice grew low, almost whispering. Blunt and Crayne were not at all surprised that they could hear him clearly. Their eyesight, sense of smell, and hearing had been powerfully enhanced. Blunt had a vague memory of constant tinnitus, caused by the close-range gunfire he had heard through much of his adult life. It was now little more than a buzzing memory.

Charles continued: “But we – the Commonwealth – realised that we couldn’t have been defended without a few people like us. You realise, don’t you, that I and my colleagues are all clinically insane?”

“That notion in itself is madness,” Thomas Crayne replied. “The fact that you consider yourself insane, I mean. You’re more than capable of rational decision-making.” He stopped, rallied himself, and went on, calmly: “The problem is this: you’ve not given us the same privilege. When we awoke in your white room, woke to the noise and terror, we were more ourselves than we are now. Just a few weeks back, when we were wakened, the embots weren’t effective. You’ll recall the time Grey and Hanno had their little altercation? It can’t happen now.”

“Well, of course not. You men are to be a team. Getting angry with each other will accomplish nothing,” said Charles, wondering where the conversation was going.

Crayne barked a laugh, and insisted “Your embots have stopped us feeling. Look at Hanno: frolicking in the sunshine with children instead of honing his weapon skills. Blunt and I are cruising, taking life easy. And you: so proud of your insanity that you’re worse than we are! It astonishes me that you managed to bring us to you!”

“What do you mean?”

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