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Without : Wavering

Draft 4

It flowed from the hole in her arm. not pink this time. Red—It was serious.

It was serious, but not that serious. She might die, but either way she would live. —— “funny,” she thought (and also said).

“Ah, the King is awake.”

There was someone else there, she heard him. Someone she did not know. Someone she immediately disliked. She said “Fuck.”

“Fuck.”

“What?”

The voice touched her ears, exercising her nervous system, and permeating her brain. but only the outer layer, she thought. (But did not say out loud.)

She looked around and saw the person, a blue, glowing blur. She couldn’t see properly. She was tethered to the land, not vicariously, but rather, quite directly.—The clay and sand, a place where an old tree had fallen and died and another had sprung up to take its place: A new tree—a new branch from the new tree had invaded her new arm. I am very new. I am only a youth. yet I am an adult, and the garden has shown its teeth. the branch is not truly new anyway; it’s near the bottom.

The pit she was in, where was her family? Where were they? Would they ever return for her? Or was she in God’s hands now.

“Yes?”

“yes. the Fuck is talking to me.”

“What?”

“is that all you know how to say? I know I’m assuming you are a fuck, but at least I’m being consistent. that’s why I capitalized your new and exciting title!”

The blue man seemed beyond confused, acting overtly be-wildered. Janna knew, she knew, she knew, she knew. I knew he was full of shit, even at that point. She knew that he only—seemed— bewildered for a reason. That; that little action, she knew, only proved what she knew because she knew. She said,

“I knew.”

At the exact same time that he said, “What?”

Although, she said it a little earlier. She said “I” and then a bit of “knew” before he said What. he said what with a capital, that pieca shit. But she was first. Janna Rhye is faster on the draw than Idiots.

“I knew,” she said for the third time, “I knew. look, you don’t have to be retarded about it.”

“What are you”
—she made sure to interrupt him.

“I’m being very precise here. very literal. look, I said my bit first, which means you’re slower than me. retarded means slower. don’t worry though, it’s not your fault. you probably just don’t know what’s What, which is why you capitalize the word like an Idiot.”

“How can you just treat me like that out of nowhere?”

“out of nowhere? look, I get you’re a little retarded, but don’t give me this out of nowhere nonsense. out of knoweare. do you know where we are? look.”

She blinked a few times, and then the Fuck came into clearer focus.

“Do you prefer Fuck, or Idiot?”

“Idiot. Wait”
—she made sure to interrupt him.

maybe you’re not as full of shit as you seem.

“look buddy.,” She interrupted.

He waited for her to finish, and then realized that she had.

“come on, you’re being slow again. keep up, man.”

“I am a god, not a man.”

Janna frowned. okay, maybe he is that bad. wow. “it’s pretty clear to me that you are not a god. I can tell, and my eyes aren’t even functioning properly.”

“How dare”
—she made sure to interrupt him.

how dare I. what a joker.
“tell me, you human glowstick, have you looked yet?”

“What?”

again with the capital what. “I said, only moments ago, I told you what.” She sighed. “look buddy.” no need to be so slow on the draw man. you are a man, aren’t you?

Finally he realized what she meant.

“Look at what?”

Janna laughed, and then said, “I’m laughing at you, not with you.”

“LOOK AT”
—she made sure to interrupt him.

“oh look, you can be interrupted even when you’re shouting. how noble the gods have become.”

As she spoke, he flared blue. Janna figured it was time to see her attacker. he was an attacker;  something of a con man. you’ll see.

“it’s funny how blind you are.” She wiped her eyes with her non-dominant, non-stabbed hand. She wondered if her right arm would ever be as strong as it was supposed to be, or if she would be permanently weakened.

“look,” She said again, her eyes still closed, fingers rubbing. She was without sight in front of an attacker. I don’t need to see him to understand him. She continued, “look. look. look. do you understand? you came here while I was weak. you came here when I had fallen and I was on the clock. perhaps, even, the death clock.” I have to see his face for this. She laughed internally, the laugh of feminine exuberance, luxuriance. But she laughed internally. She was in control.

She saw him, the artificially glowing man. She watched his Dumbass face turn to rage and resentment.

She said, “I’ve been telling you for, like, our entire conversation, but you just don’t see. look! I’m here, tangoing with nature, a dirge, a dance of death, and all you want to do is talk about the capital what and use my situation against me. kick a woman when she’s down. really fuckin’ classy, Dumbass.”

“HOW” —she interrupted him.

“yes, how dare you. I took the words right out of your mouth. get out of here before my family shows up and we dissect you in a court of law. who are you anyway? you know where I come from, you know what we call the gods there?” She didn’t wait. “servants. you know.  it’s what you are. you serve us, by your ignorance you serve us. if not now, certainly in your future, but likely even now by accident.”

the Dumbass Idiot approached. he moved with intent to kill, holding some sort of sharp, dumbass glowstick. I laughed at him, I lauged and grabbed his arm with my non-dominant. it worked. he was that weak.

“I’d spit in your face, but I’m sure my words have already done worse.” I grinned at him. he was the butt of his own joke. maybe I shouldn’t laugh. maybe he’s been the butt of a lot of jokes. however, he came to control me, and he attempted to murder. resentment and evil. a connection here can be found.

She broke his forearm in her vice and then pushed her thumb into his wrist, forcing it through the bundle of little bones.

“ah, you really are a man, aren’t you. leave me, or else I will bear witness. fill the cracks in with judicial granite.”

he left with haste. he left to lick his wounds and contemplate revenge. I know it, because we’re contending with it now. I’ll explain all that later, for now…

“Janna!” She watched her sister Chloe discover her, literally jump with excitement and then slip and fall, and tumble into the pit with her. it isn’t hard to tell who’s honest when you know what’s What. I made a bet that I knew, and this time, this time I was right.

“We tried to find you!” Chloe pushed her head out of the moss.

“I know.”

“We tried to find you, but we got distracted following, I think it was a blue light? It turned out to be a dagger, ah, Natasha has it.”

“oh; You were misled.”

“What?”

“I’ll tell You when You’re older. You’re lacking certain…I’ll tell you when you’re an adult. But don’t forget the dagger, and don’t forget that it led you away from me.”

Chloe looked confused, but she said, “away from you? Yes, and while you were bleeding like! Oh no, it is red, it is red, your blood is red, it is not safe! Natasha!” She called out. Chloe knew first aid and biology and she began to work. “You will be fine, I know it.” she knows it. I think we both knew it.

“Natasha!” They both called out. They called for their sister, and they called for their family. it was practical…and cathartic.

The Solune Prince: Jagged Assembly II

The Solune Prince

Novella 1

Chapter 17: Jagged Assembly II

[Link to part 1: The Solune Prince: Jagged Assembly I]

Natasha did not wait for anyone to introduce themselves, rather, she began for them. “Astore, here on the wing. Something of a reliable man. Want is your name and station?”

Astore straightened. “Astore Reginal. I am an ex-guard and current rank three Solune Agent.”

As he spoke, Natasha wrote.

“Next, you.” Natasha looked ahead to Alexandre. “Dirge.”

“Yes, um, yes.” Alexandre was tense. She breathed. “I am Alexandre Dirge. I have a degree in Kemia, and I am between semesters for my masters in Kemia.” Natasha wrote, andw hen she had finished, she looked up at Alexandre and frowned. She hoped that by doing this, she could compel Alexandre to continue.

Alexandre did continue, though nervously. “I am also an ex-gang leader, and an ex-convict, and umm…it was only for a few months.”

“Yes.” Natasha nodded. “Next, to the Lussa guest, Lilllith.”

Lilllith spoke, composed. “I am Lilllith of the Lussa City, though I am known to some as Lilllith of the East.” She paused for a moment, possibly omitting something, and then continued. “Though I retired from the Lussa guard, I am still technically satellite member, and am often called to serve the crown. Before I had the honor of serving the royal guard, I was in the police for a period of fifteen years. I was part of the force during the time of the brief military operation that occurred a few years ago.”

Natasha nodded again and wrote.

Chloe squinted at the ceiling in order to avoid eye contact with anyone in particular while she thought about what she had just heard. So Lilllith has always been a woman of combat. And; she is rather aged after all, isn’t she. How strange…

“Next, Kent Rhye.”

Kent stopped whispering to Senica when he heard his name. “What?”

Natasha sighed visibly. “State your name and station so that the rest of your travelling party knows who you are and has an idea of what you may be capable of.”

“Oh, we’re doing like a roll call. Okay.” Kent straightened, deigning for once to look like a dignified part of the royalty. “I’ve done a whole lot of work studying the Sol-Metch in the south. They have some interesting but dangerous methods for creating energy. Nuclear. In the past, I also served as a judge, although that was under a different law system, and it was a long time ago, so I’m not sure if I could do that again.”

Natasha frowned. She wrote documents like this in point form, so she had to translate his words to fit. “Fine. Next, your woman.”

Senica, not realizing that she had been so rudely addressed, said, “I am Senica Eir-Aeur…for now anyway.” She smiled and looked around, bashful. “I work as an anthropological researcher from the Djeb, although like Kent said we also work in the south. While I was in academia, I…worked part time. Due to the nature of that work, I was trained in unarmed fighting.”

“Fine.” She finished writing, then said, “And you…the man who would hide his given name.”

The blonde-haired man mumbled to himself from the corner before speaking up. He said, “Siren.”

“Sure.” Natasha wrote. Chloe peered down the steps and over Natasha’s shoulder at her papers, something she would not have been able to do if not for her elevation, as her sister was even taller than she was. She saw that Natasha had written down a different name, quite likely the young man’s real name.

“And?” Natasha continued.

“I study biology and the liberal arts. I can play certain stringed instruments.” He scratched his stubble. “That’s it I guess.”

“Very well.”

“So, ah, that is everyone?” Chloe asked.

Natasha said, “No, there is one final person.”

“Ah? Who?”

“You.”

“Ah, yes, me! Ah—”

Natasha unclipped the sheets she had been writing on, put away her clipboard and stepped forward so that the stood with the rest, facing Chloe.

Chloe looked around at her audience. She was more alarmed than nervous. She started and then stopped a few times, failing to speak. She realized that she had accidentally begun engaging in one of her greatest fears: speaking to a crowd. She gazed around, dazed and frightened. She found confidence in her sister, Natasha, likely the oldest person in the room.

“I am Chloe Rhye, fifth Prince of the Solune. I have spent most of my life studying. I dabbled in tutoring. I can play keyboard instruments like the harpsichord…sort of. I know a bit about everything, and a lot about certain things.

“My father trained me in the royal weapon, the two handed sword. I am also versed in other forms of martial and offensive fighting, thanks to my mother. And, umm, that is all. Thank you.”

Chloe then sat down in her mother’s throne, exhausted by her effort.

Daniel Triumph.

Table of Contents

The woman in the header is Natasha Glass Rhye.

Natasha sketch
Natasha Glass Rhye, Second Prince of the Solune.

Reflect Deflex

Honestly, I have no idea what this is about. It’s vaguely political for sure. Maybe you can have a go at it, as Northrop Frye says: The poet is not the ultimate judge of his art. (Though he can put on the “critic hat” so to speak, and become one of the many critics for his or her work.)

I’ll also put a note about TSP at the end for those who read the serial.

They’re moving
Forces you do not know, but you could understand.
Missionary, anti-Missionary
Politics, the wake of war,

Cold wars are heating up again.
South Africa, kill the whites.
Don’t cover it, cover it up
Our permissible genocide
In the making.

Waking.

Wake the sleeping giants, wake the beast
Don’t close your eyes don’t stop your feet.
We know, you know: Man is not judged
for what we did not know.

But is knowledge is power,
You know or ignore it,
The world may rot inside your fingers.
(That the world may know peace…)
To whom shall the blame be taken?
For whom does the bell toll?
Executive orders is not a strong plea.
Walk into the pain of the light,
And lift up the rocks,
Sear the parasite.

Watch world.
Watch the world.

Daniel Triumph.

Few references in this piece I have no issues pointing out:

  • Cold wars are heating up again. Megadeth, from “Blackmail the Universe.”
  • South Africa, kill the whites. This is literally happening. Racism, torture, death. And the mass media is silent on it for some reason… (can you guess why? White people can’t be victims!) Katie Hopkins is keeping an eye on it. Here’s a decent link if you’re interested: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AXDpvN4V-RY
  • Wake the sleeping giants, wake the beast. Metallica, from “Shoot Me Again”
  • That the world may know peace… This was a sort of mantra that a few characters from Oretachi Ni Tsubasa Wa Nai (…Under the Innocent Sky) said when he was stressed. It’s an anime, although it’s definitely rated 18+, so keep that in mind if you want to look into it. (Talked about it a bit in an old blog piece of mine.)
  • For whom does the bell toll? A loose reference to Metallica’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls.” To be honest, I’m not that familiar with the song, just the title. I really only know St. Anger.
  • Reflex Deflex. A reference to a type of bow. It’s a form of longbow/recurve bow.

For readers of The Solune Prince!

The 17th chapter, Jagged Assembly II, will be out, for sure, next Thursday. Of course, this doesn’t count as a “missed week” according to the schedule, as I set as guarantees every second week OR every week.

It’s exam time, and the safety net of every second week is in play here. Anyway, see you then. Looks like the narrative is getting a cool little sub plot for a few of the characters.

Here are some links:

Have fun! Bye!

The Solune Prince: Jagged Assembly I

The Solune Prince

Novella 1

Chapter 16: Jagged Assembly I

[Auhtor’s note: This is the full version of the poem: The Solune Prince: Jagged Assembly A]

Three members of the Rhye family deemed it necessary to wash before continuing to the throne room. Chloe finished first (by a large margin), and headed down to the throne room.

 

“Come now, your rudeness, are you to be on Chloe’s expedition team then? Is that why you are here this morning?” Lilllith’s smile was wide, her eyes approaching feral.

I’ve killed more depraved looking people by accident. I’ll not fear her. That Alex had to remind herself of this disturbed her, but she spoke regardless.

“Yes; I believe I’m the first to join.”

“Of course you were.” Lilllith’s expression, despite her words, softened. “I am very interested in your manner. Likely you, you appear to care nothing for status. Is that not so? Is it that you believe everyone to be equal?”

Jutt stared.

“One of these dissident, ‘respect the janitor as we respect the ruler’ types, then?”

“I have a hierarchy. Even criminals rank higher than the lazy.”

“So what’s a janitor on such a scale as yours?”

“Well, obviously above a criminal, if they’re law-fearing.”

Lilllith gave Alexandre a strange look, a look of disbelief; as if she couldn’t understand how the woman had come to such a conclusion.

“You, of all people, teeth of silver, smooth skin around your eyes, the lips and—”

Her words stopped. She didn’t understand why, but she felt the need to speak no more. Alexandre stared, her grey eyes piercing Lilllith’s.

“Perhaps you are correct, and I am not law fearing. I fear he who creates the laws,” Alexandre said. She maintained the stare, blinking passively. Lilllith had the strange feeling that even this statement wasn’t entirely true.

There was the crack of iron on stone, as if someone very powerful had tried to open the door without turning the latch.

Lilllith, intimidated, jumped a little at the sudden noise, and froze. Astore (who had been nervously observing the two women) also jumped, though far more visibly. The handle turned.

“Ah!” Said a small voice.

“Who? Oh, Chloe it is you.” Lilllith composed herself. “Prince Chloe,” she corrected.

The surprised young women mumbled into the room and closed the door behind her “Ah ha, yes, it is me…”

 

Lilllith regarded her. Chloe had cheery, worried eyes. She noticed that when Chloe saw who was (or perhaps wasn’t) in the room, she became openly worried.

This, she who will not even hide her expression, is to be the ambassador of the Solune Royalty? Surely, she thought, this was the same nervous woman from last night. Chloe was dressed in loose clothes, though not in the same robe-like sheets as she wore during the supper. Instead, loose pants accompanied her shirt. Her hair curled softly down her back and chest, ending only past the waist save for the eye-level bangs in the front. Chloe blinked with weak eyes.

 

“Where is my father and mother? Or—” She finally caught herself, “Is anyone here who has authority or royal direction?”

Chloe looked to Astore, but she could tell by his expression that he too was uninformed. She began to gather her existence, but was interrupted by two more visitors.

Kent and Senica entered quietly, breaking her flow. She asked them, “Is Natasha coming? Or father?”

Kent shrugged for the two of them. Chloe was on her own. She rubbed her forehead with both hands, and then walked up the three steps, standing between the two thrones to address the room.

“I, ah…”

Lilllith stared her down, and Chloe noticed. As royalty, she wasn’t used to such looks, but she had in her life certainly encountered enough that it did not cause her to falter.

“I suppose that we must wait for everyone to arrive before—” Chloe started, and then immediately rephrased. “We shouldn’t, ah, get too specific before everyone is here, so, as we have yet perhaps half a sixth, I mean an hour, since we have some time yet, I suppose that I will explain in broad strokes what I believe will be happening?”

Alexandre nodded, and Chloe gave her audience a slight smile, continuing. “Although ultimately we are the party offering and sending aid, Lilllith is the only person from the Underside—” She thought of Ammelia and repositioned, “—the only person from the Underside who has come to help us, and therefore I believe that her wish to test the knowledge or strength or…whatever criteria she as chosen… I believe that such a notion is ultimately appropriate.”

Chloe looked around the room. She was unsure of what else there was to say.

Lilllith said, “Well, I suppose I should be glad to have garnered your approval, although, is not the arena being assembled already?”

“Ah, yes. I suppose it is nearly finished, though I am not sure of the details. Natasha would know. Where is she?”

Astore said, “She can be extremely punctual at times. I think that, as you said this was a noontime meeting and it’s still a few minutes to noon, she’s not here yet.”

“Just as the sun is not here yet.” Chloe nodded, and then looked up at the ceiling. The throne room was two stories high, unlike the rest of the first floor, and there was a hexagonal hole in its ceiling.

“How is it that you keep time in this city?” Lilllith asked.

Chloe replied, “There is the belltower, but even that is tuned to high noon using” she pointed at the hexagonal hole, “noon-poles. They only shine when light filters down the entire tube.”

Lilllith followed Chloe’s finger and saw the hole, between the thrones and the hanging lantern. It was filled with glass, a sure feat of pure craftsmanship. It made perfect sense. “So, when this illuminates, we should expect Natasha?”

“Ah, I suppose.”

Alexandre looked up. She hadn’t noticed it before, but the hole explained how there could be any sort of ambient light in the throne room when the lamps were unlit.

 

As high-noon hit the castle, the glass embedded in the ceiling acted as a lens, brightening the entire throne room three or four times as much as the lantern had.

Natasha arrived as the light began to dim, opening up the door and ushering in a fairly shabby looking blonde man.

“I believe with this one, we have everyone.” She led the man into the room physically, grabbing his blue-grey coat by the shoulder and gently but firmly pushing him into the room ahead of her. She entered behind him and let the door close itself behind her.

To Chloe, the man looked rather dishevelled, but she couldn’t tell if it was because of being somewhat rudely handled by her sister, or if he was like that in general. He seemed young, his hair was shaggy and lightly coloured, and he had a lazily stubbled face.

“Ah…” Chloe surveyed her audience, getting a good look at them before the noon’s light left the chamber and they were returned to less organic light. “Ah…”

Natasha noticed that Chloe was a little lost, so she stepped past the rest of the group towards the throne, stopping at the bottom of the steps, and to Chloe’s left, as not to obstruct line of sight to her.

“You have a somewhat small party. It is fitting, I suppose, that it is to be a small group of supposed elites.” Natasha spoke, echoing the words of her father many months ago. “Let us introduce ourselves while we wait for the King and his Wife.”

“That sounds good.” Chloe nodded a little frantically.

Natasha took a clipboard from her satchel, and took the clasp from the bottom out. She brandished a fountain pen.

Chloe, nervous, yawned and then blinked a little.

Made it! Sort of!

Daniel Triumph.

Table of Contents

Also, the woman in the header is Natasha Glass Rhye.

Natasha sketch
Natasha Glass Rhye, Second Prince of the Solune.