Before I share with you my final excerpt of Episode Two – Rise of The Black Doves, I wish to express my deepest sympathy for the families and friends who’ve lost loved ones due to the Manchester bombing a few days ago. My thoughts are with you all, what happened was a terrible, unforgivable tragedy. I hope everyone who is suffering is able to pull through over the coming weeks and months to show these terrorist groups that we will not hand them our terror, that we are stronger and more resilient than they ever will be. RIP to those who are no longer with us, you will not be forgotten.
Also, RIP Sir Roger Moore, to hear of his passing was upsetting and I’ll always remember him for his role as the legendary, 007. When I return to the UK I’ll be sure to watch a selection of his films that I’ve not seen as tribute to this fine actor.
This will be the third and final excerpt I share with you on my Blog. Although the previous two were a success and you guys and gals seemed to really enjoy them, I feel like this is enough to keep you all eager for Episode Two’s release, which has unfortunately been pushed back from a June-July launch day to an unspecified time at this point. As like with the other excerpts which I hope you check out after this one if you haven’t already, content is very likely to change over time during the writing process, but I assure you that all three excerpts will appear in the final draft. This segment has been condensed for your own enjoyment but please be aware that it has been spread over the course of a chapter in the book, mixed up among other character story lines.
Feel free to E-Mail me, tell me what you think and so forth, follow me on Twitter and be sure to consider purchasing Episode One on Kindle from the Amazon Store. A Paperback Edition is in this works, the moment I get the final edit back from my editor it will be formatted and up for sale asap, I could not anticipate this any more than I already do, it is beyond exciting. Also, a concept artist will have a rendition of the opening scene in Episode One ready by the end of next month, maybe sooner if we’re lucky, I am looking forward to seeing his interpretation of this epic story through a painting.
Contact links will be provided below as always. I pulled the image of the Ying Yang off of Google, it does not belong to me but I cannot name drop the artist or his or her website because there is none to be found, it’s a fantastic image and works well for the context of this scene. I hope you enjoy one of my favourite moments in Episode Two – Rise of The Black Doves. Grab yourself a coffee before you immerse yourself once more, in the world of Equis.
Denzel neared the opened doors of the auditorium, before he entered he rest his board up next to the wall and placed his premade roll up in his front coat pocket to be lit and enjoyed later. Inside the light was very faint, a round portion of the roof could be lifted by the use of levers inside to manage temperatures and light, but currently this round hatch was not in use, and was shut tight. The hall sunk low, down toward a grand centre stage with thick wooden floor boards. Ringed around the stage were widening rows of seats behind conjoined work surfaces, on a usual day, these rings would be full of attendants of Gaia, to listen and to learn from well-educated lecturers and teachers. Upon this wooden stage was a black chalk board. Half of what was written upon it had been recently wiped away with a duster, but something decipherable remained written upon it, something profound. Professor Atheriax was on the stage, sitting on a tall stool behind a high rectangle table reading from a notebook. He wore black lecturing robes over a dark green expensive waist coat, his tie was purple, his shoes were polished, his appearance in general was smart and very neat, a man of the modern age. Denzel found a pair of small brass binoculars attached to a thin rod lying on one of the seats close by. These must have been left behind by a student. He looked through the lenses and read what was on the chalk board. Taking away the binoculars from his eyes, he begun the calculations in his head, dividing up the numbers, reducing their meaning into singularities until he was left with one, the answer. Denzel knocked on the door with one hand twice, putting the lenses back onto the seat. Master Professor Caleb Atheriax, swiveled around on his stool and looked up, squinting his eyes and smiled at the arrival of his guest. Denzel stood still, waiting for a further invitation. This was Caleb’s building after all, one of his workplaces, it would be rude to just stroll on in after arriving so late. “Denzel Suade! How nice of you to come. I thought you might not make it. You have a tendency to be pre-occupied with other matters, mostly work related I assume. I respect that. It’s always good to see a man caring about his occupation as much as I do, whatever it may be” said Caleb, closing the notebook, putting it onto his desk and pushing it away from himself “Please, come in, take a seat.” Denzel began to descend the stairs that split the ringed rows of seats that lead down to the hall, he did this in no hurry for a calculation were still taking place in his head. “Caleb Atheriax, as do you have a tendency to show devotion to your work? It’s an admirable feature I like to see in someone, unfortunately lacking in most people I meet” Caleb put his hands together and rest his back up on his wooden stool “I think there is a Master Professor in there somewhere, but I’ll excuse you.” Denzel sided a smile to this statement and then drew his attention to the chalk board. Caleb could see that his eyes were taking a keen interest in it “That code, written upon your board” said Denzel. “It pre-dates our origins and has its own historical life to draw on” Caleb explained, secretly thrilled that Denzel could engage with him in conversation about it. “Indeed, it predates our own origins by a significant amount of time, seven millennia I’d say was accurate. Wouldn’t you agree?” asked Denzel, hands behind his back, gradually getting nearer. Caleb agreed, dipping his head the one time. Denzel got back to studying the board “This is not a phrase, it’s what some people call a hybrid equation, more than rare” said Denzel being everything Caleb had expected “A combination of highly advanced mathematical numerals whisked in with ancient philosophy, blended with chemistry and biology all written in a language from an extinct predeceasing race, existing seven thousand years ago, seven and a half more accurately speaking. Interesting” said Denzel, studying the code as quickly as he could, it speaking to him on a level he had not encountered before, at least some of it did, worryingly, other pieces of the riddle were fuzzy, out of focus for his mind to make sense of, but they would soon be deciphered and made visible if he kept pace with his mental calculations. “If the hybrid speaks to you Denzel, I’ll have to give you a prize, a prize of the century” said Caleb. Denzel’s attention left the board and fixed itself on to Caleb’s much older, wiser face. The Professor still had all of his hair, though there were signs of greying at the roots near his temples, he looked good for his elderly age, he wasn’t skinny or ill, he could walk perfectly well with pride, jog even put on a run if he wished “Welcome to my auditorium Mr Suade, treat this as if it were your study area, during closed hours of course.” Denzel looked around the auditorium while he strolled steadily down the steps, his footsteps echoing around this rich lecturing hall. “It’s impressive, a fine work place indeed. I’m envious of your achievements and jealous of the many places you’ve visited that I have yet to” he praised genuinely, chin held up high. “As am I Mr Suade, as am I. I’ve heard about you and what you wish to accomplish, I wish you the best of luck it being such a tricky subject to fathom, one of the hardest, the human mind” said Caleb “But not impossible to unlock.” “Thank you, sir” replied Denzel. “I’ve been following your progress as best I can Denzel, but I’m a busy man as you know” Denzel nodded as he neared the stage, eyes occasionally drifting to and from the board, hiding his concern for he had not one singularity yet, but dozens and counting building upon one another “Tell me, how is the postal service coming? I hear it can get particularly hectic around this time of year” “It’s manageable, so long as everyone does their part things get done on time, but no one can help unforeseeable mishaps” Denzel answered. “I see. I had a package that was late yesterday, the contents of which were rather important to me. I felt like dropping by your establishment to make an enquiry but I never got round to it. Do not worry, I will not lodge a complaint, the package arrived safely a day afterward, no harm done” Denzel did not reply to this, he just pouted his lips and nodded “Are you pressed for time or do you have a moment to spare?” “I have a moment Caleb, but I won’t be staying long” “Care for a refreshment while we talk?” Caleb offered. “Very much so. What are you serving?” asked Denzel. Caleb invited Denzel on to the stage and lifted up a metal flask from his leather bag resting at the side of his feet “Ground coffee all the way from the tops of mountains in Pura, nearby one of your friend’s estates, The Glazed Vineyards, I only settle for the very best. I hope you do not mind, it’s quite strong and does not contain any sweetener” “Divine, I take it the same way.” Caleb popped the lid and poured a little into two cups, one for himself and one for his guest “Before I forget, you must congratulate Nielata for me next time you see her, I hear she has been granted the rank of High Councillor” Denzel could not help but look at the chalk board, he hesitated to make his response on time which threw him off and the Master Professor caught on, while handing him the cup of hot coffee. “Still trying to figure it out I see?” he asked “It’s a head scratcher I must admit” “Yes, she was named High Councillor Charity after Cillian Landris’s demise. I hope she is ready for the responsibilities that entail, we all do, for her sake” “As do I. I respect those Denzel who rise for great responsibility, to be all that they are, especially in this day and age of, uncertainty. We need good people to see us through these trying times” said Caleb, with his noticeable cultured voice, coming from an older Norkron time in history, while Denzel’s was youthful, similar to a Norkron accent yet not as proper, like he used to speak as any common Requorn but had adapted to the accent of old. After Denzel took the coffee with one hand, Master Caleb held out his hand for a proper greeting. Denzel chose not to see the friendly gesture and instead took a sip of the hot drink and sat down still in admiration of the hybrid equation. Caleb recoiled his hand and closed it, not taking it personally. He turned and sat back down onto his stool, opposing Denzel.
Master Caleb had a sip of hot coffee, holding the warm cup close to his face with both hands, smelling the rising heat of the dark bitter aroma. Denzel sat opposite, in a laid back slouched position, one hand was deep inside his pocket the other rested around the handle of his cup. His mind, his veiled, inquisitive nature in free flow, forming three trails of thought. One trail was here, present, acting in the moment, taking note of everything the Professor said and did. Another trail was analyzing what little there was to be analyzed in the auditorium, every detail from the scuffs on the chalk board, the cracks in the table, to the clothes the Professor wore, he saw. And finally, the last trail was soaking up more and more of his focus by the minute. It was of course, attempting to find the solution to the hybrid equation. Every move Caleb made, every gesture, remark and facial emotion expressed, Denzel did more than just see it, but he sampled it, had predicted the actions that had not happened yet and dismissed it as if it were as easy and as thoughtless as breathing. He called this practice of his, the foresight waltz. All the while he had to make sure to behave casually and not get lost in his trance, should he over think, the hesitation could last as long as a noticeable three seconds. “I’ve read your papers, thoroughly. Your studies are explained so eloquently. I have someone in my services, someone I think you may wish to talk to about publishing your work, the first step toward the success you rightly deserve” said Caleb. “Success is subjective, Professor” “Quite right. Living here can become difficult, you’ve probably noticed it during your many tours of the City. Your publication can afford you more comfortable lodgings, a view perhaps and buy you the time to try to perfect what you have built. I can make this happen, if you’d like?” polite were Caleb’s words, kind were his intentions toward Denzel, yet the young lad squinted, crunching his face. Something about what Caleb had just said, Denzel didn’t quite agree with. “Try, and perfect?” he questioned “My work can be understood by any thinking man or woman of the City, anyone who has grown up with a proper education should be able to grasp the practice and what I’ve described therein. Those who decide to read my material are advised in the earliest pages that this requires your full attention, no half-measured amount will do, not in this field of psychology” “But no one knows you’ve written a book, it is only available to a handful of people” said Caleb. “I have other works that take up much of my time, works that have been plaguing me for a troublesome amount of time, two years, eleven months and sixteen days to be precise, and I’d like to be done with it, perhaps then there will be time to see the work I’ve produced be copied and put into libraries for all to read, but for now I’m busy” said Denzel. Caleb smiled and replied “I understood your work, I enjoyed it, but until it’s been put into play, until your practices show promising results in the field, how can I or anyone else for that matter be sure that it works?” Denzel took a heavy breath “I’m undertaking the task as we speak, the field is this room, my field is here, now and everywhere Professor” Caleb’s green eyes met Denzel’s wood brown ones. Caleb looked like he wanted to correct him, but he kept his words saved for a more appropriate time “I will be the one who decides whether or not my methods work, not you or one of your…Students, under your employ. Apologies if I sound rude but I like to speak my mind.” Caleb placed his cup down on the table and said “What you plan to unravel is a bold exercise, to detect choices, reactions and possibilities before the subject is even aware of them themselves. Persons, subjects vary so much, the mind is a diverse and extreme place. I warn you, if you venture inside the heads of your enemies or friends, you may not like what you find” “Let’s stick with enemies for now” said Denzel. “You play a very dangerous game” replied Caleb. “Fortune is often the great reward when paying for it with chests of boldness” said Denzel. “It’s never been done before, this is why I believe in you Denzel, I like how you’ve ignored all your peer’s advice after your graduations, and not hesitated to dive straight into the big leagues of education, but I am left wondering with the question on the tip of my tongue; Why? What set you on this path and what it is you want to actually achieve here?” Denzel took a sip from his coffee cup and savored the taste, dark and bitter “Why don’t you say what you came here to say, Denzel Suade? You said you like to speak your mind. Please do not waste any more of my time” asked Caleb, putting his hands together, awaiting the response of his guest. Denzel stood after the calculations in his head finished their mental arithmetic’s that found him one of many singularities. This one would have to do for now because he knew his presence was becoming unwelcome and awkward. He put his back to the Professor and answered “Upon the board, I’ve noticed your hybrid equation has no ending, just a suggestion, it has no solution. No result is within sight” taking out a pouch of tobacco folded in a brown bag, he started to roll himself up a smoke “This in turn means that either we are both indulging in things we do not fully understand, our knowledge is wrong and will at some point take a drastic turn for better or more than likely, for the worse. Or, this option being far more likely must I add, the code is in fact incomplete, it being part of a much larger equation” Denzel licked the paper, sealing the roll and placed it on the table, he then moved close to the chalk board, standing before it, ready to tackle the problem with what answer he had concluded. He necked his coffee “I’m sorry, may I?” Denzel asked placing the cup down, holding out his hand. Caleb handed him the duster. Denzel erased some of the numerals and smeared out a part of an abbreviation. He carefully re-arranged the equation to how it should have been, using the chalk to fill in the gaps, tweaking a couple of the symbols. Eventually, after a brief period of reorganizing the puzzle, he stepped away, put the chalk on the rim of the board and dusted his hands off, grinning at Caleb. “There, the equation now is not a hybrid but a singular, something we are more familiar with, something we can perhaps put to good use. It has meaning and an answer. It’s easily understandable if you take note of the first few sections” Denzel used his hands to point out what he meant “Here and just here, they must coincide to level out the spikes in radical spontaneity as suffered before, another word, a far simpler word for the spikes is, chaos.” Caleb scratched his chin as he listened “The numbers helpfully direct you to the biology and by that route they lead you to the chemistry. The chemistry is then broken down into easily devised proportions, anyone with a basic knowledge should be able to figure out what this string of code means and, well there you have it, the meaning” “And what does it mean, Denzel?” Caleb knew, he just wanted to hear Denzel say it. “These components Caleb, this equation derived from the prior is a code for…Life” answered Denzel, picking up his roll and popping it in his mouth “Unlike your hybrid which has a variation of endings, endings I could only begin to calculate telling a disturbing and unsettling unfinished story, mine results in hope with the promise of life, rejuvenation and continuation. The ending is the most impressive piece, the ending among the gaps and mathematic poetry is, ingenious.” Caleb gave Denzel an applause “Well done” his thin smile lifted up on to one side of his face. The Professor pulled from his bag a very small box and arose. Coming closer to Denzel, he pulled from inside this box a collection of finely cut sticks and a square sheet of rough sandy paper, he struck the end of one of these sticks along the paper and the end of the stick lit up into a single yellow flame, Denzel leant forward, allowing Caleb to light up his roll and inhaled the smoky, smooth taste of tobacco. Caleb placed the little box on the table and distanced himself from his young guest, exhaling a cloud of smoke. “Very well done indeed Denzel” Caleb picked up his coat hanging from the back of his stool, he felt it time for him to leave “I expected nothing less from you” he said throwing his coat over his shoulders. Denzel was just getting comfortable within this man’s presence and now he wanted to leave! “I trust you will show yourself out, forgive me but I have a meeting I must attend to and I do not want to be late” said Caleb, packing up his few belongings, heading for the steps of the stage. As he placed a foot upon the first step Denzel spoke out to him “I’ve chosen my prize.” Caleb turned as did Denzel, restarting the calculations in his head. “I beg your pardon?” questioned Caleb. “Your hybrid equation spoke to me, I suspect you didn’t think it would. Not only did I see through it but I re-arranged it into something practical and useful” “You over credit yourself but, I will do as I said, name your prize” Caleb was quick to cut to the chase. “How about a little honesty, Professor? Remove the veil of lies that protects you from those who think you a friend, clear the shroud of deceit that keeps you safely away from Krondathian justice and drop the mask which shadows your creative genius, and expose to me what lies beneath, your true maniacal nature with an endless appetite for destruction” “You confuse me with someone else” said Caleb. “Then show me?” “Should I do that, Denzel Suade, I believe you’d flee. The side you see now is the only barrier preventing tragedy from befalling on you and everyone you see around you. The notion of your very existence gives me purpose, fills me with warmth of joy that there is at least one person out there, who speaks my language. What pleasure can be gained if we remove you from the field so soon?” asked Caleb. Denzel puffed out some thick smoke and stepped through it as he replied “Tease your subjects Caleb, by all means play them with your games and trickery for you’d win, each and every time. Attempt thus so with me and you’d lose. You’ve picked your battles wisely up to now, and now that you’ve stirred my curiosity like dangling string over a feline, I will attempt to unravel your devises” warned Denzel. “Ah, so the boy detective finally reveals himself at last. You are not here out of common courtesy are you? You are here out of self-gain, am I correct?” asked Caleb, stepping back upon the stage. “Correct” answered Denzel. “Well now that my mask has fallen, it’s time to remove yours. How may I be of service to you Mr Suade?” “Tell me what happened to my father? Last I heard from him he was under your instruction, I have the letter tucked away safe and memorised, its dated two years, eleven months and sixteen days ago” Denzel demanded, taking the roll up out of his mouth after a brief drag. “Like father like son, always asking one too many questions and, venturing into domains you really shouldn’t go. Your father is dead Mr Suade. Do as we all must do and accept that our guardians will die.” “I accept the fact that all guardians die, what I do not accept however is when they are taken before their time. As have many others been lost under your employ, their deaths written off as accidents or unforeseeable incidents, brave sacrifices all for the pursuit of a great cause” “A cause, which will lift our race above any other” “People dyeing is a tragedy Caleb, people dying for a cause they are unaware of is a disgrace. The natural order has been cheated, if what you say is true and my father was slain by yourself or one of your cronies, I will go looking for the evidences, will follow your bread crumb trail all around the world if I have to, and present the evidences I find to the Night Guard head officer in the City, Lance I believe is his name, Fredrick Lance or perhaps I’ll raise a discussion with General Lethaniel Presian himself, he has a knack for slicing up troublemakers, wouldn’t you agree? Of course, you could save me the trouble, make it easy for yourself, and tell me what events occurred and where he is? Should you tell me, I will do you the honour and postpone the chase. Choose wisely, Professor, because whether you like it or not, your days of freedom, your puppets of New Xiondel, will not remain yours for long” said Denzel, repositioning the roll in his mouth. There was a pause between them. Caleb realised that he had long-lost Denzel as a potential Student and work partner. Both knew where they stood, the line between them was clear and permanent. “You think that I have not been challenged before, that I have worked without resistance? You disappoint me Denzel with your fragile hollow threats and lose sight of the bigger picture, a picture that ascends far beyond anything you can comprehend. I know this because you failed to see the hybrid for what it is” Denzel did not respond, he held on to a grim expression as Caleb continued “You remind me of your father, you have his strength. He died tragically, keeled over after inhaling highly toxic spoors from the Seizurelock Plant. You are familiar with this particular organism and how it feeds, I assume? We left him where he fell to sleep peacefully within the cove” Denzel could not know if Caleb was speaking the truth but he did know about the Seizurelock Plants, one of the deadliest plants in Equis, getting too close to this plants scent can induce a coma, falling into a flower bed results in death, a very slow death while the plants ingest you through the soil from which they grow, draining all nutrients that reside inside a body. Denzel’s eyes filled and his jaw tightened, he avoided Caleb’s face and looked back at the equation on the chalk board “Feel free to report me to Presian, I can speak a word and he is easily misdirected, like a loyal dog I speak to him as would I be if on his level, it’s humiliating for someone like me. As for the Night Guard Officer, just be aware that it’s thanks to me that they act as our security force at night, they keep us safe from the unlawful, safe from those who want what you have, they watch over the innocent and…The sick, as they sleep in their beds. You have your mother’s eyes, did you know?” Denzel froze, twisted his head and glared at Caleb’s grinning face “Am I right in thinking this will be our last meeting Mr Suade?” asked Caleb, succeeding in getting his warning across. “You’ve done much for this City in which I and my family are thankful for. You have powers surpassing my own and the backing of the law, you think this is enough but I bear you fair warning before you harm anyone else, from one moral Human being to another immoral man cursed with lunacy. Threaten those close to me again and I assure you with a confidence you’ve lost with the tick of time, that not your Night Guard, not those you pay in the shadows for protection or the law itself, will stop me from bringing destruction down upon you” Denzel pressed the end of the roll up on the rim of the board and took his leave, jogging up the stairway between the seats of the auditorium. “Watch yourself out there Denzel, I may need your help toward the end” Caleb called, smearing out the ending of the life equation with his left hand and chalked in what was originally in place, transforming it back into its hybrid complex.
Copyright © 2017 by D.W.Gill
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means, including recording, photocopying or other electronic or mechanical methods without the prior written and signed permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other non-commercial uses permitted by copyright law.
All rights reserved. Published by Taoteque Publishing.
Tha Ancestral Odyssey: Rise of The Black Doves – Volume Four. Written by D.W.Gill.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or people living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
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