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What Has Gone Before

Posted by on Jul 23, 2013 in Chapter 0.5 (What Has Gone Before) | 2 comments


Navvy Jim, Wrapping Rock









Navvy Jim, wrapping Rock, by Anthony Damiani

– 1 –

Posted by on Jul 23, 2013 in Chapter 0.5 (What Has Gone Before) | 0 comments

The svart-elf Saul finds a puppy. Well, three puppies, really. Or maybe it’s a three-headed puppy? It isn’t really clear. Saul raises the puppy but then he has to abandon the puppy because the sugar fairies drag Saul off to the land of pleasure and happiness.

It’s OK, though.

Hans’ll take care of that puppy for him!

Hans puts the puppy in his pot. He melts it down. He turns it into a treasure hoard of poisoned white wolf-gold.

This is why you should never loan your puppies to Hans.

The thief-hero Vaenwode, perhaps unsurprisingly, would like to have a lot of gold. He travels under the world. He steals a third of Hans’ great hoard. He takes it back up to Earth. Unfortunately for Vaenwode the gold creates a secondary manifestation: a magic wolf becomes a part of him, wound in him and through him, and makes him a very hungry thief indeed.

The svart-elves Eldri and Brygmir go up to the surface. They extract the wolf from him. They bind it. They fetter the wolf’s limbs and maw with a cord made from the footfalls of a cat, the arms of a four-armed ape, the torment of the willing, the bearing witness to the wrongness, the spittle of a bird, and the perseverance of hope. They seal the wolf to Vaenwode and his family, wind it in him and within him, through him and with him, and nevermore to be apart.

Now Vaenwode has one (1) Fenris Wolf!

This does not do him very much good. At first the wolf is his friend but then it is his enemy. At first the cord is comfortable on both of them but later it becomes an atrocity. The cord does not grow with the growing wolf; it cuts suppurating furrows into its legs and snout instead. In some places you can see through to the bone. As for Vaenwode, he is eventually eaten and the wolf passes down to his daughter Jordis; and her son, and his son, and his daughter, and her daughter, and so forth.

It passes eventually into the keeping of the modern Mr. Gulley, owner of the Lethal Corporation, who decides that it must die.

The wolf believes, based on a feral intuition, that the cord is finite: that it will not last forever; and more than that, that the one destined to break the cord and free the wolf is young Edmund Gulley, Mr. Gulley’s son.

Mr. Gulley becomes obsessed with the wolf. He commits an indiscretion. Fearing that the cat’s footfalls in the chain of the wolf will fray, he buys a new set from the smith-dwarf Joffun. These the dwarf affixes to the feet of the household cat, Inedible, who becomes clanking and rather consternated thereupon. In trade, Mr. Gulley gives Joffun young Edmund Gulley’s heart.

Joffun is overcome by the potential of the heart. He becomes drunk. He dances in the streets and rants about the magic he will work. He waves a fresh and bloody young boy’s heart over his head. This proves to be inadvisable behavior in a country quite so well-policed as post-cisorian England; Joffun is apprehended, tried, and imprisoned, and the heart returned to Mr. Gulley and his son. Mr. Gulley places it in a box on Edmund’s desk: at first a box made of straw and then later (when the wind of the wolf’s breath caves the straw box in) a sturdy case of mahogany, balsa wood, and teak.

– 2 –

Posted by on Jul 26, 2013 in Chapter 0.5 (What Has Gone Before) | 0 comments

Mayan sorcerer-sages launch magical jaguars into space. They fall endlessly around the world.

– 3 –

Posted by on Jul 26, 2013 in Chapter 0.5 (What Has Gone Before) | 0 comments

Thon-Gul X, the incarnate wicked god of space, hurls an extremely large swarm of scissors at the world. They fall from space, in some places piling up to twelve feet high.

Humanity survives but is somewhat traumatized by the experience. People switch from using scissors to using “trissors” — the non-traumatic three-bladed trissoring solution.

Even the classic game rock-paper-scissors acquires a deviant and degenerate cachet.

Jaguar Bahlum fights the scissors. This perturbs his already decaying orbit. He falls burning to the ground. Later he is caged near Bibury and Emily sees a jaguar for the first time. This excites her a great deal and she tells her mother, “Mommy! Mommy! Jaguar!” which should be understood as a shorthand for the complex of various emotions that I have described above.

Later Thon-Gul X sends a giant world-killing meteor at the Earth, and — just in case anything survives both rock and scissors — the evil rock-paper-scissors playing prophet, Lucy Souvante, also a space princess assassin from the royal line of the alien Fan Hoeng.

– 4 –

Posted by on Jul 30, 2013 in Chapter 0.5 (What Has Gone Before) | 0 comments

Turtle-people tie Betty to the stake. They burn her.

If I had to explain what was wrong with the world, with Hans or without him; if you asked me why there are wolves and scissors, why there are evil prophets and killer nannies, why there are cruelties and thefts and suffering and wicked gods —

If you asked me why the world needs fixing

I would trace it back to this. To Betty’s burning.

Things were always pretty bad on Earth, you know, what with all the genocide and the torture, but that was the moment when it just plain became completely obvious that the world was gone all wrong.

The turtle-people don’t mind it, though, not really. They don’t even seem to care.

They just laughed and danced, as if to say:

Where is your theodicy now?

– 5 –

Posted by on Aug 1, 2013 in Chapter 0.5 (What Has Gone Before) | 0 comments

The rain of scissors brings about the death of Hans, who hammered down the world into the shape of sense. On that day Jeremiah Sandiford transcends; his heart is made pure and his hands correct. On that day, conversely, young Linus Evans of Sussex falls into despair, knowing in an instant that there will be nothing good in all his life.

Jeremiah will become Jeremiah Clean, or “the cleaning man.”

Linus will become the antichrist.

Amelia Friedman, who is a renegade alchemist, discovers that her son Tom is destined to destroy the world. The young science adventurer has parasitic ophidian DNA grafted onto his own; he will one day go all snaky, warm the world, eradicate the human plague, and replace Earth’s dominant species with his own.

This seems to her to be an awfully lonely destiny, so she resolves to find other children like him and bring them into her home.

She adopts the antichrist Linus Evans. She invites young Edmund Gulley over to play. When she discovers that a young girl named Jane is living with a sun-eating wolf and has a possible destiny of destroying the world, herself, she interferes with the government’s plans to kill them both; using a combination of alchemy and influence, she has a shadowy government Agency kidnap Jane instead. These four children, and their cat Mouser, form the science adventuring “Doom Team,” whose motto is “You don’t have to die just because some people think your existence is evil.”

Eventually Amelia Friedman vanishes, their space princess assassin nanny Maria Souvante attempts to kill them all, and the Doom Team falls apart.

Jane, who’d survived Maria’s death ray by becoming a Taoist immortal, shuffles through a series of increasingly baroque and terrifying foster homes. She winds up living in Ipswich with Martin, a mysterious boy.

Tom investigates his mother’s disappearance but meets “the cleaning man” instead.

He emerges from the meeting human — his fate cut off, his future cut off, even the ophidian DNA in him swiffed right off his genes. Tom, feeling like he can no longer have science adventures, goes through a muddled and confusing time; but after an unpleasant and nearly-deadly encounter with space princess assassin Lucy Souvante, he rejects the idea of being normal and dabbles instead in the forbidden things. From the substances of dead hats, in the cemetery of the hats, he makes a graveyard hat, a corpse hat, a hat to make him better at hat-making. His early experiments are damaging: his guidance counselor tries on one of Tom’s hats and becomes first homicidal and then lethally apoplectic. His roommate Stephan tries one on and is broken. But the hats are addictive, or possibly woven through with destiny; Tom cannot, or at least does not, stop. The better the hats he makes, the better the hats he can make; the better the hats he can make, the better the hats he must make; and so he scales up towards hatpocalypse until at last he has built the final hat, the kether-hat, the crowning hat, a hat to be an answer to his original forbidden dream:

A hat to straighten its wearer’s inner fire, to refine them; to take a scattered and divided and mortal soul and concentrate it into a single pure and shining light.

He lowers it onto his head.

From that moment he is no longer Tom the science adventurer, at least, not exactly; nor Tom the moping milliner’s brat.

He is crowned Thomas the First, instead, head boy of the House of Dreams.

And Edmund is home with his father; and as for the antichrist, Linus Evans —

The government and the Papacy lock him up.

– 6 –

Posted by on Aug 6, 2013 in Chapter 0.5 (What Has Gone Before) | 0 comments

The sun-devouring wolf is dead. It was nuked — that shadowy government Agency that had discovered it, that had kidnapped Jane, dropped nuclear weapons on Bibury to contain it, and thus was the end of the wolf named Skoll. However, you cannot kill all your giant wolves with nuclear weapons.

The notion — well, it’s risible!

Mr. Gulley creates a school — the “Lethal Magnet School for Wayward Youth” — instead, where his son Edmund, and others, will be trained to combat existential threats to humanity and most specifically to kill Fenris Wolf.

– 7 –

Posted by on Aug 6, 2013 in Chapter 0.5 (What Has Gone Before) | 0 comments

Saul looks back from space and he weeps for the fate of his puppy; he abandons hope, then, gives up on sugar fairies and on paradise; and dies, that he may be born again on Earth.