The Spectator; The Thief

Jason Arson walked across the rooftops. Most other people in his position may have run, but Jason was a punctual infiltrator. He was already ahead of his own schedule by fifteen minutes, and his schedule was set ahead by twice that much. Running would actually be detrimental, as the longer he stood in his hiding place, the more likely he was to be discovered. The only real downside to walking was that he had to push harder to jump from roof to roof, but Jason had strong legs, so he didn’t mind.

So Jason Arson walked.

He ran down an alley, thrusting his legs from wall to wall. He ran, losing a cubit of height with each step and hitting the ground right before running out of alley. Then, he walked out into the streets, entirely unassuming.

Arson wore a brown trench coat, cut right above the knee. He preferred black, but brown would blend in better with the castle’s insides, as well as its inhabitants. Jason patted himself down, checking items off his mental list.

Short sword? Left side, tied high on the waist. Spike launcher? He felt around. Also on the left side, above the sword. Truncheon? He knew he had that for sure, it kept knocking on his spine as he walked. Wallet? Jason tapped around his seven pockets. Nope, forgot the wallet. Hand pick? Yes! In a pocket! At least he had that.

The last item was his ear-trumpet. The use of the trumpet had made him a laughing-stock, until it had allowed him to hear a vital piece of information that everyone else had missed. They stopped calling him ‘the deaf spy’ after that.

The inside of the castle was extremely crowded, the walls browned with age. Jason quickly got lost. It is an infiltrator’s job to get lost. He quickly made his way to the second floor, and after making two lefts in the wide halls, he looked around for a haven where he could plan his next move. He found the door to a broom closet. According to the map he had been supplied with and subsequently memorized, Jason knew that this closet was only one wall over from the throne room. He looked around. So far, he hadn’t seen anyone on the second floor, and he guessed it was restricted from the public. This was both good and bad. It meant he was less likely to be caught, but it also meant that his presence would immediately draw suspicion. Jason tried the doorknob. Locked. He felt around for his picks, and then remembered that he didn’t have the wallet he kept them in. He was going to have to get creative.

Jason casually launched himself back towards the staircase, sidling around the corner. Before turning it, he stopped. He could hear footsteps, but they were unusually paced, as if the person was stumbling continually. He rifled around his coat for the small ear-trumpet. Thu-thump, thu-thump. The sounds became louder and more distinct through the horn, but they still made no sense to him.

He took a deep breath in, and then turned back from where he came. He tried every single door as he skulked down the hall. All were locked. He ran around the corner once more, and vainly tried the closet again. Nothing. He was farther from the footsteps now, so he took the extra time to feel around the walls for loose stones, maybe a hidden entrance. He again found nothing. He heard his oblivious pursuer getting closer. He didn’t have much time.

Jason tried all the doors in the section of the hall. No. No. No. No. Yes. Wait, yes? He opened the door and saw that it was another staircase, but that this one went up. He closed the door and ran to the top. The door there unlocked as well. “Okay,” he whispered.

Right as he opened the door, Jason heard the knob at the foot of the staircase turn. The odd footsteps had caught up. He rushed through the portal and closed it behind him, carefully turning the latch so that it clicked silently. The steps got even more unusual, as if they couldn’t understand the concept of stairs. Jason shuddered, but continued trying rooms, and continued to be denied entry.

Jason was getting nervous now; he was running out of options. He noticed that the rooms on this floor were labelled. He grabbed the one titled “supply door” and to his relief, it opened. Jason entered and slammed the door as silently as his nerves would allow.

Minutes went by, and the footsteps became audible once more. He listened as they passed and then turned the corner. In an act of poor judgement, Jason opened the closet door and looked around the corner of the hallway to see what kind of creature had been following him.

He saw a short woman. She had tanned skin, and thick sun bleached hair. She was a child! She was skipping down the halls! Jason receded back into his closet He took his face in his hands and pulled downward. He lamented the idea that he had been genuinely fearful of a prancing youth.

Jason sighed and returned to his task. He hadn’t memorized the third floor, so he felt around, hoping he had his map. Its presence in his coat surprised him. He quietly unrolled and read it. The throne room was two storeys tall, which meant that he could probably listen in from this closet, if he dug into the edge of the floor diagonally.

Jason Arson took the hand-pick out of his pocket and started at the mortar by his feet. Within twenty minutes he had removed many of the smaller stones from behind the outer brickwork. He worked his way around a wooden support beam, and then broke through into another room. He stopped digging, pulled the debris inward, and then peered inside. It was the target, the throne room. He could see the King’s wife milling about and talking to someone who he recognised. His mind began to wander into memories. He cleared his head. The King arrived. Jason lay face down on the ground, pressed himself against the wall, and readied his ear-trumpet.

 

Another of Jason Arson.

This is an edited re-release of the story fragment that was recently removed from the site. I figured that the story that was contained on the page might be worth keeping posted. Also, my editing game is getting up there. Pretty happy about it.

Daniel Triumph.

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Gathering All of the Evidence [ROUGH DRAFT]

Evidence

This is a compilation of the first draft of the Evidence series.

Evidence is a novella, only 20 000 words long. This is the first draft, a simple copy of all the chapters that I’ve released individually over since May 28. This is almost word for word what you would find in the Table of Contents. If you want to read the final draft, you will have to wait for the editing process to be completed, right now there is no ETA. Otherwise, feel free to enjoy this heavily flawed first draft. I apologize for any grammar or logic mistakes, as this is the first draft, and it is entirely unedited and not at all proofread. Apologies.

One day, this will be fully drafted and finally self-published.

Finally, to hear the two songs that inspired it all, follow the YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IpcDQGdwlGU, and then, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BMcUxONgcsE.

You may download this manuscript: Gathering All of the Evidence

Gathering All of the Evidence

The First Draft

By Daniel Triumph


© 2017 Daniel Triumph, Canada.

Digitally published August 16, 2017 on danieltriumph.com and as a .pdf file.

Some rights reserved.

Continue reading “Gathering All of the Evidence [ROUGH DRAFT]”

Broken Teeth

This serial has been cancelled, and set to private.

Preview

Chronological Order

In Progress

Below are planned releases. This section changes a lot, as it is only a plan and I love changing my plans as I write!

Alexandre “Jutt” Dirge

Natasha Glass Rhye

  • 1: Jump
  • 2: The Thief
  • 4: Terrific Fatal Mania, Prelude
  • 6: Redeemer of Souls
  • 7: The Schizophrenic
  • 8: Coils Deep
  • 10: All but One

Old Drafts

Want a Different Story?

Alice and Finch

Evidence

Other works

Evidence

Previously, Table of Contents

Before he spoke, before he gave Janna her sentence, Kain called Natasha up. Janna assumed that this was so that they could discuss some form of law, as Natasha knew more about the exact laws of the Kingdom than anyone else in the room.

Then, Natasha sat down.

“You are sentenced to two years, with a potential for coarctatio in…”

Kain looked at Natasha, as if searching for answers. Natasha just shook her head, as if to say there was nothing she could do.

Kain’s eyebrows furrowed, and he said, “Eight months.”

Janna’s eyes widened. Eight months? She could be out, highly constricted, but free for the birth of her child.

She stood and bowed, then exited, followed by Drake, then Chance, then Chloe and Natasha.

 

Outside Janna leaned back and stared into the sky. Maybe all this wouldn’t be so bad. As she pulled her arm up to block out the sun, someone grabbed it.

“You are quite aware that this coarctatio is only to apply if you are absolutely clean of action during your incarceration.” Natasha stated.

She was handling Janna with force, locking her arms together. Janna turned, looking over her shoulder. She could see Drake being shackled by Alice. They were lead to the hotel-like prison. Janna continued to stare up at the sky as she walked, looking and feeling utterly condemned, relying solely on Natasha to guide her through the city.

“Is there hope of mourning?”

Natasha almost stopped moving, “No.”

It was an unusual phrase, but it had a very specific meaning. Their oldest sister, Jealousy had said it one day, when she was seven or eight, or possibly even as old as eleven. She had blinked, and suddenly looked somehow more mature, and then she said it.

“There is hope of mourning.”

No one else had been there, but two years later, on the exact date that this subtle but meaningful event had occurred, Jealousy blinked again, and looked somehow younger. This was moments after their mother had died, of natural causes.

Janna shook her head. She wasn’t going to think on the details of how her father had gone through to revive and stabilize Gwenhime, not now. Since then, it had become an ill omen, whenever Jealousy said those words. Usually of death, but occasionally of something far more sublime.

 

Natasha lead Janna into her room, and removed the cuffs. She stood on the threshold.

“Avoid confrontation in the coming months. Report to a guard if anything happens. I know this may be the hardest thing you’ve ever done,” Janna noticed that her sister was being entirely sincere, “But for the sake of yourself and your child, you must be entirely passive.”

Janna grabbed her sister’s hands and stared into her eyes. Natasha simply raised an eyebrow. They stared at each other for many moments, and then Janna fell into her sister. Janna did not shed a tear, but simply embraced Natasha. After a moment, Natasha returned the gesture.

“You have a couple of sixths to rest before the ceremony,” Natasha said in hushed tones.

She did not lock the door from the outside, and as she exited, Alice strode in. Again she was dragging Drake behind her as though she had forgotten about his existence.

Janna ran to the bed, stripped and leapt in. Drake rubbed his wrists, and followed, standing at the edge of the bed.

Alice became very bashful, and ran out the door, locking it from inside. They were not locked in, it was not yet time. The rest of the world was locked out.

Well, Evidence is finally over. It seems not a lot of people followed the series, but to be honest I don’t think it was that great. But! This is just the first draft. With most works of fiction, the first draft is awful, and so it is here.

That’s it. There may be a part two, but far in the future. It will start, of course, with Janna’s ceremony, and end with Janna choosing to continue her search for Zealott a few years later, in the company of her daughter and Drake.

The second draft will likely be released in three 6000 word parts.

Daniel Triumph.

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P.S. Check out the Table of Contents for more.

Evidence

Previously, Table of Contents

When Drake returned from upstairs with Alice, he seemed a little happier. Forgetting that Drake was still handcuffed to her, Alice ran over to Natasha, excited, and dragged him behind. Alice was unusually strong for such a short, thin woman.

“Hey!” She said, “It looks like your little sister mightn’t be in so bad of a position as she was before anyway, anymore!”

As usual, Alice’s sentences made sense, but were quite awkwardly constructed.

Natasha waved her off, and then Alice sat at the other side of the long cafeteria table next to Chloe, facing Natasha, Janna, and Chance. Janna faced this newcomer with interest.

“Well, what did Drake tell him?” She asked, eyes swivelling back and forth between them.

“Oh, he talked ever so much about the Servant of Death, who I am not vary much a fond of, and also I don’t like the Servant of Conflict either.”

“Are there any that you do like?” Chance asked, cutting off both Drake and Janna.

“Oh yes!” Alice continued excitedly, “I like Mother Nature, and also especially I like the small god of Friendship!”

“The what?” Janna butted back in, “Hang on, what’s a small god and what does it have to do with Servants?”

“I, uh, well,” Alice was eager to answer, but seemed not to know how.

“I can explain if you like,” Chloe smiled.

Janna knew that Chloe had always loved explaining things, and Janna had the suspicion that she would be able to do it better than Alice. It seemed Alice agreed with this too, as she had stopped stammering and was looking at Chloe expectantly.

“Okay, but don’t go into too much detail. Looks like break is almost over, and I really want to know what Drake told my brother. I mean, what Drake told the Chair.” Janna said.

Drake nodded, “Yes, I would like to tell her.”

“Fine, all right.” Chloe shook her head, “I really don’t like abridging though.”

The table leaned in to listen, as though Chloe was about to tell some sort of epic over an imaginary fireplace.

“Let me start by making one thing clear. The term ‘small god’ is a colloquialism.”

She looked at the confused Alice and continued.

“It’s not proper terminology. A small god is like a lesser Servant, or a Servant in training. Actually,” Chloe paused for only a moment, “Small godhood is really more of a trial. It should be no secret that Servants gain power by serving their cause. Death has been known to spur on wars and assassinations to sate her hunger. Conflict has no issues any more since he figured out how to maintain nearly eternal wars. The conflict between the N’Tariel and the Batzers, and the everwar between the East Metch and the… well we’re still not entirely sure what those creatures are. But, both have been raging for centuries because the Servant of Conflict protects against death! Can’t fight if you’re dead, right?”

“Of course not!” Alice shouted a little too loud.

“And Tendrils-” Chloe went to continue on about Servants when Janna interrupted her.

“Can we get on about the small gods?” Janna prodded, “I’m not sure how much extra time we’ll have with Kain deliberating.”

“Right, sorry,” Chloe knew she had been getting carried away, “So we call a small god a Servant Page. That’s why it’s like a trial, though it’s on a more grand scale than we’re used to thinking about. See, the Page’s task is to gain enough influence that they can ascend, commit apotheosis that is, and become a full Servant to their cause.. Well, failure means death, right? But no one kills you, I mean not usually. Instead it’s just your natural lifespan that ends.”

Janna noticed that Alice was listening with an uncanny attentiveness.

“A lot of Pages fail, and when they die, their cause is lost. Take McPunch, instigator of group hugs. Not a very universal cause, hard to get followers. He was a fine king though, so I’ve read. He should really have supported comradery or something more general,” Chloe was going to list more examples, but she caught Janna’s stare, “Right, well, really there isn’t much more to say.”

“Uh,” Alice said, “Umm, Janna if you don’t really mind that much, I would like to ask about Chloe that I had a question.”

Janna shook her head dismissively. She wasn’t quite sure why.

“Can you tell me about anyone that did ascend?” She asked.

“Of course I can,” Chloe said, “The Servant of Duels for example. Duels is one that Janna really should be paying more attention to. It’s actually a pair of them, Duels. They were N’Tariel duellists that found their art being threatened. Obviously duelling is dangerous, and the N’Tariel dueled with real swords. They created rules to make things safer and avoid bans. It wasn’t long before they got into healing and became Pages for Duels. Their set of rules and first aid spread to the Djeb and Plainkind populations.”

Alice gasped, “I’m a Plainkind!”

Chloe nodded, “It was the spread to wider domains that got them their full Servanthood. The Servant of Music, or Inspiration, or Muses… He keeps changing his cause to similar things. Anyway, Muses and Duels are the youngest Servants as far as I know.”

“Who’s the oldest?” Alice asked.

The sun was drifting toward a horizontal brick that was meant to block it out for a few minutes, marking the end of break.

Natasha broke in, “We had better go upstairs before the rest of them rush off and we have to dodge through a crowd.”

“Well, I think I’d better tell you about Servants later,” Chloe smiled at Alice.

Janna had the vague suspicion that this wasn’t the first time these two had met.

They walked back to the courtroom. It was empty; Kain was still working on his verdict. The session would not continue until he came down from the room upstairs.

Janna was in her usual spot in the centre of the room next to Chance, to their right at their own table sat Chloe and Natasha. Five circular rows of benches radiated out from the centre, breaking for the door at the back of the room, and also at the front of the room, for the Chair’s seat. Alice, still dragging Drake behind her, stood on the left near Janna. Alice decided that she was going to stand, but Drake sat down anyway. Feeling limited by Drake, and having already delivered him from the prison long ago, Alice finally uncuffed the man.

“So who is this Page of Friendship?” Janna asked.

Alice blushed and pointed, “I am.”

“What?” Janna didn’t believe her.

Chloe tilted her head, “Really?”

 

“Well,” Alice jumped, making Drake grateful that she wasn’t still pulling on him, “I got the temple after the four years I came back here.”

“What?” Janna asked again.

She wasn’t quite used to Alice’s odd manner of speech. It’s like she had some sort of broken and hilarious accent to match her jumpy and hilarious temperament. Alice sort of reminded Janna of a more excited version of her own ditzy sister, Chloe. And like Chloe, it seemed that she was not to be underestimated. Alice was a Vice-Captain, and apparently also a Page.

“I got a temple,” She said a little more slowly now, “It was a Conflict temple, from the man, Batshiva. He willed it to me, you see? The poor dude is dead now.”

Janna found it amusing that Alice had called the old grouch that Batshiva had been a “dude.”

“Right, it was a temple for the Servant of Conflict, but I changed a few things, and Conflict’s presence eventually left. Well, I’ve been living in there and playing with my friends there too as well.” And then for good measure, Alice added, “Also.”

Playing with her friends, Janna repeated the sentence in her mind. This Alice woman talked like she was still a little girl or something. Janna waved it off and told Alice to continue.

“It seems to be have been because I am so friendly of a person!” Alice smiled, “Once I became a guard and started talking to all of the people that I ever met in the town, and being a real friendly person also as well…”

Alice finally took a breath. Janna wondered why she felt it necessary to use “as well” so excessively.

“So, what I mean is, I started to feel a buzzing that was in my brain every single time I talked to someone. At least, every time I talked to someone that liked me as much as I liked them. I liked the buzzing, it was a nice feeling. Well, as the months and weeks happened, the buzzing got more… specific. I mean, definite. I, uh.” She searched for a word.

“Consistent?” Chloe offered from halfway across the courtroom.

“Yes!” Alice jumped again, “It was in my brain, and I heard odd ideas coming into my mind, as if they were my own thoughts. I knew they were not. I learned, seemingly from myself, that I had become something of a channel, a source. I was both an inlet and outlet for friendship! That’s what I thought. At first I figured it was Mother Nature, but my ideas told me that it was instead Father Nature. It seems Mother Nature has been missing for thirty or forty years, so I heard from my thoughts.”

“So… the Servant of the Underside came to congratulate you, because the Servant of the Overside was… missing?” Janna tried to piece together Alice’s story.

Janna was coming to like Alice a whole lot. This little girl, or rather, this young woman had a bit of innocent charm to her.

“Yeah!” Alice replied, “I’m a little worried about Overside, I mean, Mother Nature. It seemed that my thoughts weren’t really though. They were just a little unhappy to be with more responsibility than usual.”

“So what has, ah, what’s happened to Mother Nature?!” Chloe’s voice cut through the air.

She had a notebook in front of her, and it seemed she had been writing about the process of the ascension to Page.

“I…” Alice trailed off, timidly, “I don’t really know.”

“Yeah, come on Chloe, how would she know? You’d have to ask Overside or Father Nature or whatever,” Janna concluded, “But still, look at her, she seems so… Well now wait a minute.”

Janna turned back to Alice.

Accusingly, she said, “Do you passively influence people? Is that what Friendship does? You get the power to make people like you?”

Alice blushed, her eyes darting back and forth between the floor and Janna, “No… It was always like that before. I’m super good at friends.”

Alice stood, shifting on her feet timidly. Janna crossed her arms. This girl had a way about her, and it wasn’t just her bright hair and striking facial features. Alice seemed the kind of person that was very easy to like. Something like an innkeeper, Janna mused.

Kain came down from the top floor at the same time as another set of feet thundered up from the lower floor. This second person collided with Kain when they met at the landing.

“Janna,” Drake took advantage of this confusion to speak up. There was a franticness about him, “It was about Death again. You were possessed by her when we fought down in Venus’s catacombs. That’s why that man died so easily.”

The person who had run into Kain, a dark haired, dishevelled looking man, stood up, having knocked himself to the ground. Kain looked down at him, interested.

“Sorry sir,” Said the second man, who then walked to sit next to Alice.

Alice mumbled something to him, and Janna overheard, “Finch… careful, that man is a man who is also a prince…”

Natasha shook her head at the foolish display, and Chloe laughed. They both seemed to know this man, Finch. Janna vaguely recalled him and Alice attending the court either yesterday or the day before.

Kain took his time walking to the podium with a scroll in hand.

That must be the verdict, Janna thought.

He sat at the head of the room and, with a serious expression on his face, as the crowd began to shuffle back in.

There’s probably only one more after this. Unless I make an epilogue. I do have a sequel series in mind, but I’m not sure if I’ll end up writing it, what with Alice and Finch to finish, as well as my novel CN Natasha.

This is actually a second draft, and a major overhaul of the first. I actually added nearly a thousand words, and I’m not sure if I’m happy about it. See, Alice’s explanation of Pagehood was a little garbled, and so I put it into the hands of Chloe instead. I feel like poor Alice’s speech is becoming more and more like the awful dubbing in Garzey’s Wing… I’ll have to have Chloe or Finch (probably both) help her with that.

Daniel Triumph.
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P.S. Check out the Table of Contents for more.