War of the Worlds, The Invasion continues. A sample of something I write a while back. Fun stuff with an odd bent to it.
In the year of our Lord
Eighteen Hundred and Ninety One
This August Thirty First
The Globe Theater
The Queen's Room
"To be or not to be...that is the question." My lead actor spoke upon our stage. I watched from the second level gallery, making sure his pitch and diction were strong and clear enough. He looked up at me and I gestured for him to continue, but my mind was elsewhere. So much has happened since I last put anything down in my journal.
I'm not sure where to begin.
When last I wrote I mentioned I had sent my favorite pigeon to bring a message to my friends in Paris. I needed to know if they were alright first, and then if there were problems, what I could do to help. I had the ear of our Queen, and was not loath to wax it with soothing words on their behalf if need be. She was a stern queen, but a fair one. She loathed men who were weak and full of folly, but she loved men who were brave and daring, such as Jules and Wells.
Wells had been on her list of men she was considering knighting for his pretigious output of fictional journeys and adventures. She likened him to her other favorite, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, whom I have not yet had the chance to acquaint myself with personally, as we do keep our lives in pretty much different worlds these days. I have passed him in the palace from time to time and we have chatted briefly, but that is not the kind of conversation that leads to a deep friendship, but rather a shallow courteous one.
I tend to the opposite. I like to know those I am around in all the ways possible. I suppose that is because I am a writer, an observer of life and as such my mind demands more details than most who go day to day on their life journeys.
As I was seated observing my actor deliver his soliloqy, Sarah returned. She always knew where I was and I always kept a treat for her. Perhaps that motivated her more than anything else, I can not be sure of what goes on in a pigeon's mind, other than utter kindness.
She landed on the railing beside me and cocked an eye on me, then nodded to her right foot where a note was attached. I gave her a treat, and hurriedly untied the message to read it. I was distressed while doing it, because my actor had just blown the next two lines and said, "whether it is bolder to go outside and face the storm than..." Furious at the disruption of my beautiful poetry, I almost chased Sarah away, but I kept my temper in check for both her and the actor.
He was having a rough time at home as I understood it. Something about a romance with another man that wasn't going well. I felt for him, for relationships were difficult with the opposite sex, let alone the same. It is the nature of relationships that they have difficulties. If you are looking for a peaceful and tranquil ride throughout your life, then do not seek a relationship, as they are not always tranquil or peaceful, they are human. And humans feel and sometimes too deeply. And sometimes too shallowly. The choices we all must live with.
I motioned to the actor to do it again and as he did I swiftly unraveled the note and read it.
"Dear Will, it is with the utmost sense of urgency that I request you speak with the brotherhood. Paris is in distress such as no man could ever have suspected to happen. Our beloved Eiffel Tower is now a broken toy, and much of our fair city has been burned and leveled to the ground. I fear that my dear friend Wells is taking this much harder than I, and I can barely look at myself in our mirror now, knowing we might have unwittingly set off the monstrous destruction we now survey about us."
It was a long note. I looked up and the actor was looking at me, an expression of what next. I glanced at my Stage Manager who stood right stage watching and motioned for him to cue the man. He did so and the actor got back in character again and continued.
I returned to the note, my hands trembling, for I feared the rest of the news that surely must be there.
"A strange device from another world has descended into our fair city and it immediately began destroying anything and anyone in its path. I fear it is but the advance guard for something far worse."
I looked up and muttered to myself. "Worse than destroying Paris?"
I shuddered in horror.
I read on.
"Contact the brotherhood, let them know we have a greater peril now than the war between our nations. That a War of the Worlds has begun.
"I shall endeavor to contact you again in two days if able. For now my friends and I must help as many as possible to survive this catastrophe.
"Your friend, Jules."
I looked up again, tears misting my eyes. It was that bad. The Captain's words rang in my ears again in remembrance and I knew at that moment that the play was not the thing in this case, and that the Great Wheel now turning was being spun by hands not meant to be guided by our Creator, but by something far darker.
Pardon me if I seem somewhat melodramatic, but that is my nature as an actor and writer, but as a human being I can only shudder in horror at the thought, "A War of the Worlds has begun."
And it was at that moment that a great shout arose from outside the theater, as if a great crowd were crying out in horror.
The Wrath of the Pointless Puzzle
"A Sheridan Holmes Story."
The Pharaoh's Royal Guards carried the heavily, golden scrolled coffer on a stretcher of silver and alabaster into the deep chamber below the Pharaoh's final resting place. It had been his express orders that it be hidden thus, until he could arise from his sleeping death and complete what he had placed in the coffer. His advisor, a wise man from the East, with a long red beard and pale olive skin, had eyed the coffer thoughtfully a moment as the Pharaoh had placed the object inside.
"You honor the dead, who have no honor."
"I thought you would be pleased with the plainness of the coffer."
"It is still a waste of the future."
The Pharaoh was a learned man and ignored the blasphemous words of his advisor. "Perhaps so, my good friend, but I suspect the future will attend to itself as it always does."
The advisor had inclined his head. He knew when to let it go and this was such a time, since he didn't want to be buried with the Pharaoh along with his seven thousand wives, slaves and guards.
The Pharaoh turned to him then and gave him a curious smile. "Do you believe in the future?"
"I believe in the now, which stretches into the future."
The Pharaoh laughed good naturedly and nodded. "Well spoken. Now, let's get back to the court before the nobles there decide to remove me prematurely from my reign.
The advisor smiled. "I sincerely doubt they would ever try such a thing, your highness."
"Oh, you don't know their hearts as well as I do...." Sheridan said, reading the book in his lap to the twelve children gathered about him and the campfire.
Emily sat with them, handing out rolls she had made and sweetened with honey and butter, while they listened, feeding their stomachs and their minds at the same time.
Finally, Sheridan shut the book.
The kids all booed him.
He held his hands up. "Please, please, have patience, the story is not yet finished."
Emily rose smiling. "Oh, I thank it is. Time for bed, children."
She clapped her hands and they all scrambled to climb into their small tents in teams of two. She watched until the last one had clambered inside, then announced. "We will have hot cocoa and sweet scones for breakfast."
"Yay!" Came cheers from all the tents, then they zippered them up and all was quiet.
Emily came over to Sheridan and sat down alongside him, enjoying his warmth as well as that of the still sparking fire they had fueled about a half hour ago in anticipation of the coming night. "You read well to children."
"You always call me a child."
"I do not!"
"So a child reading to children should not be such a stretch."
She raised a fist to punch his shoulder and on the grin he gave her, lowered it. "Must you always tease me so much?"
"Must bears do...you know...in the woods?"
"There are no bears here."
"Exactly. All the much harder for them, isn't it?"
"Oh, you're impossible!" She growled.
"Father doesn't think so."
"Well mine does. He says you and Sherlock are slivers of the same two by four."
"You should speak. You and Watson are birds of a feather...stuck together." He put his tongue out to give her a raspberry and she caught it between her fingers and glared at him.
Sheridan shook his head and looked at his tongue. She let go. He rubbed his tongue, and then gave her an amused look. "Violence is the last resort of a frustrated intellect."
She stood up, and then kicked him in his right shin.
He looked up at her, his face in pain. "What was that for?"
"For being right again. Good night!"
She stomped off to her tent, clambered inside and zippered it up, effectively shutting him out from any further conversation. At that exact same moment an odd noise came from his right. He twisted about to look, but all he could see were the tall Elder trees and shrubs that surrounded their camp site. That and a large owl, whose luminous eyes were examining him with a hint of amusement.
When he thought that Emily was probably asleep, he slipped into his tent with his book, and then came out with a small coffer, the exact duplicate of the one he had described in his book to the kids. He set it in his lap and examined the scrolling marks on its sides and top. He began translating them out loud.
"That which is broken must be joined together. That which is less, must become whole."
He frowned a moment. "Some kind of curse maybe?"
Gently, he fondled the silver clasp, the only thing notable about the coffer and unlatched it. The coffer opened with a creaky sound. He froze, fearing Emily or one of the kids would awaken. Nothing. Satisfied, he opened the lid all the way. Inside were blocks of marble, cut to various sizes. He noticed that the coffer had latches on the inside as well. So he began loosening them. He placed it on the ground to do so.
As he unlatched the coffer, it spread out to form a kind of board with a vague form upon its surface. "Some kind of puzzle?" He queried himself, truly puzzled at its purpose.
He began placing the pieces of marble on the board, over and over, until they began to take some kind of shape. As he did so they finally came together in a rudimentary face with a smile upon its lips.
"You say what?" Emily spoke to him from in front.
He looked up startled.
She rubbed her eyes dreamily. "I heard you chuckling and making all kinds of baby talk out here, so..."
She froze as she saw the coffer and the board and parts. "It's a puzzle."
He gave her a surprised look. "Why so it is!"
Excitedly, they began placing the marble pieces into positions bordering the design on the board, and as they did so, the face with the rudimentary smile turned into a second face, this one with a scowl and a warning.
Emily poked her finger at the warning. "It's a warning, Sheridan."
"Bit late now." He told her, miffed at not getting it first.
"Beware the wrath of the pointless puzzle." She read aloud.
He broke into laughter. She looked at him angrily, thinking he was making fun of her, and then saw the twinkle in his eyes. "Why are you laughing?"
"Because it has read my mind."
"How is that possible?" She asked. This is obviously from thousands of years ago. No one could possibly have known it would land in your hands.
Sheridan sobered up a moment to consider her words. "But what if they had?"
"How so?" She had asked in a manner that was very reminiscent of her famous father, Doctor John Watson.
He rose and began to pace back and forth, his hands clasped behind his back, head bowed over, his deerstalker cap slanted forwards, almost dropping off. A picture perfect replica of his famous father, Sherlock Holmes. He stopped and eyed the puzzle a moment, then Emily.
"Magic? Even with magic, you cannot control time."
He frowned a moment, then his eyes widened. "But Jules and Wells had traveled through time, why not another?"
"Are you saying that you traveled through time and placed that puzzle in the coffer so you could puzzle yourself in this time and space?"
"But don't you see. It's perfect. The humor. The pointlessness of it. It's exactly the kind of thing I might do, had I the ability to travel through time and space."
"Now you're really creeping me out." She answered with a shiver shaking her beautiful young body.
"No, seriously. Maybe I stowed away on Jules Master of the World and got off to do this thing."
"But how did you get back again without their ship?"
"But that's the whole point of this, maybe I didn't! Maybe the man I was, became, knew he wouldn't be returning and passed this forward to warn me of the now."
She stood up and yawned. "Whatever. Wake me up when it's time to make breakfast. Goodnight Sheridan."
"Goodnight, Emily." He told her sweetly, watching her enter her tent, and resolved one day to tell her how much he cared for her, his heart straining at the effort of hiding his true feelings, which had he been a more clever man than he thought he was, he would've seen in her own eyes that she already knew what he felt and was reciprocating it.
He took the coffer into his tent and sat down, pondering it again. He was about to place it back into the rucksack he carried it in, when he spotted a set of initials on the far bottom corner of the coffer with a small symbol
He plucked his spyglass from his coat pocket, and then examined the marks and the symbol. It was S.H. etched over a small smoking pipe.
"I shall not tell Emily about this. I annoy her enough as is, without giving her a pointless puzzle to worry about."
He smiled a long moment at his words and the words of the puzzle he had learned, and then he laid the coffer inside the rucksack, closed it, and lay down on his makeshift bed. He wouldn't sleep that night, because now he knew why it wasn't really a pointless puzzle after all. It was a warning to him to be careful or he would lose all that he loved.
He smiled. Maybe. Maybe not. Then sleep caught him in its gentle arms and swung him away into the blissful rest we all deserve after a hard day of labor.
But before he was lost to this world, for a brief shining moment, he saw into another world and saw himself plunging through time and space in the dark hold of a mysterious vessel. Then time and space vanished and he vanished in the bliss of deep sleep.
"A Jules and Wells Story."
In the deepest niche of time something moved. Something that should not have existed there, but it did. Something that never should have been, but it was. It had been asleep. Now it was awake. That was not a good thing.
Jules and Wells sat side by side on the edge of the Thames, watching sea gulls snap at scraps of bread a few kind sailors had tossed over the railing from their merchant ship to the always hungry creatures of the air.
"We are like the sea gulls, Jules." Wells said.
"Qui. Always hungry. Restless."
Wells looked at Jules. His friend's soft hair was fluttering at the temples of his skull, gently massaged by the incoming sea breeze from the Atlantic. His heart always skipped a beat when he looked into his friend's eyes, because he was always reminded that despite all the cruelty and meanness that humanity exhibited in the world, there were still men like his best friend, Jules Verne. Incorruptible. Kind and generous to a fault.
"I could not sleep last night."
Jules looked at Wells a moment. His friend had expectant eyes. Always looking beyond where they were. He was a dreamer, like himself. His face was serene, but stern looking. He was darker complected than Jules, and much more hairy. His dark hair complemented his looks though. He had a strong chin and powerful nose. A young man of purpose and determination.
"Nor I." Jules said sadly. "Mon Cher complained about it this morning before I left to join you here."
"How is the Madame?"
Jules gave him an impish smile. "As good as can be expected for a person whose body is exploding from the insides out." He joked.
Wells laughed at his friend's humor. "I suspect you would find tonight even harder to sleep were she to hear those words."
"Non. I speak them to her often, and she then tells me my brain is exploding from thinking too much all the time. I agree with her and she agrees with me. A mutual disarmament."
Wells laughed again. "I wish it were so simple for this world we live in."
"Que Sera, Sera."
"What will be, will be." Wells translated. "True enough, but that doesn't mean we can't try to give it a tiny nudge now and then.
The sea gulls snatching at the discarded bread crumbs suddenly tore into the sky as one, the sound of their wings deafening as they arrowed away in a cloud of hundreds.
"What has disturbed our petite friends?" Jules wondered, rising to his feet to search for the source of the disturbance.
Wells shrugged. "They're birds. They disturb easily. Nature's protection."
"Non. Not this time." Jules pointed.
Wells saw and climbed to his own feet, dusting off his black trousers with his hands as he did so. "What?"
Indeed what. The water was boiling in the center of the Thames. In a few moments the merchant ship next to them on the right and the one on the left also came to a boil, with gesturing sailors, crossing themselves and racing back and forth.
"Have we misjudged this day?"
Jules shook his day. "Non. It has instead misjudged ourselves. Come!"
Jules turned about and ran for the warehouse that fronted the docks. Their warehouse. There they kept a wonderful machine in addition to their numerous inventions and tools of trade. As they ran something huge began to surface from the Thames. It emerged tenuously at first, pressing forth large slimy feelers that struck forth from the boiling waters like wrathful slimy rods of some kind of subterranean god jousting for air, then slowly the top of a brine covered skull began to emerge.
Sailors ran for their weapons as the monstrous thing began to come clear of the water, its skull easily measuring the length of the nearest merchant ship, its eyes the size of a captain's cabin and its jaw as wide as the breadth of the nearest ship, unhinged and drooling tons of sea water and mud. The vast creature continued to rise like a legendary gargantuan of the past, a semi-god monster, whose perilous nature had been buried in the slime of the ages of the ocean floor, but was now awakening to reign over the world it had once known.
It rose further, revealing a chest as spiked and nasty as a forest creature of dubious fame who struck fear into its enemies with spines it could fling from its body. Its arms came into view and they were like vast trunks of forest trees, aged and hoary from centuries of growth. Its fingers rose into the air and it flexed them, examining them, as if seeing them for the first time. The fingers were as thick as military cannon with sharp claws at their tips that looked to be able to strike down a tree with one blow.
The creature turned its head skywards and emitted a yell that sounded like some leviathan of ancient times, a trumpeting call that surely would have panicked a herd of elephants, and did cause many a sailor to drop to the decks of their ships in absolute terror.
The braver began raising their weapons to fire.
Gods do not notice mortal man's puny efforts to contain them. But this was no god. And it noticed everything. When the first bullet struck its highly armored chest, it felt a tickle, but when a barrage of weapons fire slammed into its face, it became annoyed, as we might if we were attacked by a swarm of fleas. It did what any sane creature would do, or insane. It swatted at the annoyance, but when that failed, its mind quickly resolved the source of the annoyance as coming from the ships in front of it.
It reached a hand on both sides of its mighty body and clasped a merchant ship. Sailors screamed in horror as many were crushed by the fatal hands, while others ran and leaped to the dock or into the freezing waters, rather than perish with their vessels.
Too late, many realized they had made a mistake by firing. Had they not done so, they might have made it to safety, as some of their more cowardly mates, less brave companions had done, and run for their lives, knowing that some things man just doesn't face with puny weapons.
The two merchant ships rose out of the water, their midsections bleeding planks and water as they arose. The creature peered at the two vessels somberly a moment, then realizing that the annoying fleas had stopped biting at it; it flung the ships away as effortlessly as a child might its toys. The two merchant ships, with some sailors still clinging to their decks flew through the air, high over the warehouses, tumbling stem over stern, until they vanished in the distance, where they crashed to earth in London's outskirts, causing death and mayhem there.
The creature didn't care. Now that it had expended a great effort of vast strength, it began to feel a pain gnawing inside its stomach. At first it didn't recognize the pain and swatted at its own belly, thanking it was being attacked, but then when the pain didn't release, it gradually became aware that the gnawing inside of it was hunger.
Its huge eyes, veiled by thick membranes of slimy red skin fluttered like gigantic shutters over the slitted yellow eyes of the creature and it let out another trumpeting roar. This one was so loud that many of the shops and warehouses nearby lost their windows and glass as the fragile membranes of them broke in a crescendo of horrible sound.
Hunger drives man to accomplish miracles. Hunger would drive this creature to seek food. It saw none where it stood, but its gigantic nostrils caught faint hints of food from distant chimneys. Its nostrils flared and its stomach roared inside. Food. Nourishment. Desire. Feed! Those were its feelings and its emotions. It was not a creature of rational thought, but rather an engine of long ago nature that had slept too long and now must feed and feed quickly or die.
It lifted a gigantic foot from the Thames, trailing the debris of the ships from deluges of water sloshing from it, as it splashed down on the dock, which shattered immediately, tumbling the creature backwards into the depths of the Thames.
Citizens and Constables rushed to help those trapped by the disaster, thinking...hoping that the worst was over. The creature might have become discouraged when it didn't appear again right away, but then the dock exploded skywards in many pieces as the creature grabbed hold of the more solid part of the land and pulled itself upwards to shore.
At that given moment the warehouse of Jules and Wells opened up on its roof and the Master of the World, a splendid, golden flying machine powered by the science of Threads, an almost mystical power source discovered by Jules a long time ago, rose on powerful beams of energy, its mighty shape glistening in the morning sun, challenging the air for domination, but getting no complaints or resistance as it slowly turned on its axis of powerful rays and pointed towards the incoming creature.
The monster sensed, rather than saw the Master of the World at first, then its eyes managed to see it, and it trumpeted a challenge to the mighty machine, which while not as massive as the monster, was large enough to anger it at the interruption of its search for food. It spit out the few humans it had been chewing on, then headed for the Master of the World, thinking, hoping that this massive being in the air was something tasty.
It was wrong.
Dual rays of intense energy struck the creature in its chest from the prow of the might Master of the World, sending the creature plunging once more backwards into the Thames. But this time it did not stay under for long, it arose in an explosion of fury and hunger, trumpeting a battle cry as it lunged for the nearing Master of the World.
Inside the craft Jules delicately maneuvered the craft above the creature, where it couldn't easily strike at it. But he was wrong.
"Jules!" Wells warned from his station at the weapons controls.
Jules flung the ship in a tight arc, but not before a massive fist of bone and flesh struck its underbelly, sending it flying against its own power source. Both young men were flung about like puppets for a moment as alarms sounded throughout the vessel. Jules worked the controls of his station frantically, attempting to right the craft, which was now in a direct line of impact on the great Tower of London.
Royal Guards at the Tower looked on in horror as the golden craft hurtled towards them. No chance or possibility of escape. Not enough time. But at the last possible moment, the ship righted itself and shot skywards. The Guards all instinctively ducked as a massive wash of air slammed into the structure, blowing off their fancy hats and lifting their coats high over their heads.
Inside the craft, Jules set the controls once more for the Thames. "I think we might be needing to take on another passenger, Wells."
"My thoughts as well, Jules."
Wells launched himself across thee control cabin to the panel which they had used only once before. He couldn't remember if he had checked it recently, but right now at that moment, their lives and those of London depended on it working. He hurriedly, but calmly in his own manner, went over the controls, activating this switch, closing that toggle, and as the panel lit up, he looked over at Jules. "Wish us luck!"
"Luck!" Jules hollered.
The creature was climbing back onto the shore again and as it did so, it crushed more warehouses and structures, searching for the tiny creatures that wouldn't satisfy its hunger, but would at least soften it somewhat.
Then it heard an eerie sound from the sky. It looked up as the Master of the World descended towards it, and then a huge blast of radiant energy erupted from its glistening belly and surrounded the creature.
At first it stood there stunned, not understanding, but when its entire body began to rise into the air, it screamed horribly and struggled to break free. The mighty Master of the World lurched from the intensity of the creature's battle to free itself, but then stabilized itself and shot away from the shores of the Thames and towards the Atlantic.
Hundreds of sailors and citizens, Constables and tourists screamed cheers and applauded as the vast creature vanished from view as it was towed towards the cold sea.
No one knew what happened next. Jules and Wells were not cruel. They knew the creature. They had seen it once before. A long time ago and knew it didn't belong in our time, in our world. So they had taken it where only they could. Home.
The creature stood in the midst of a vast primordial jungle, its nostrils flaring in desire as it smelled...food. It stormed off through the massive trees, heading for its first meal in many a long year, its annoyance and anger with the Master of the World forgotten as it found its food just ahead of it. It roared triumphantly and struck.
Jules and Wells watched the food gathering from above in their ship.
"So many lives lost."
"We could change that."
"We must not play God."
"We could have destroyed the creature. That is what we will be told."
"Non. It was not at fault."
"We could change that."
Jules looked at Wells; his face blanched a pale white. "Non! We must not disturb that which we found."
Wells gave his best friend a searching look. "Some must die."
"Qui. Some must. But we can pray for them. And with our fortunes..."
"Help those who have need."
"But we will still be blamed."
"Qui, for a time. Memories are short."
"Yes. They are."
Wells sighed, then settled back into his co-pilot chair and buckled himself in.
"Anon." Jules said.
So having made their decision they activated the String Engines of their powerful craft and flung their golden ship back across time and space towards Victorian London, the place they now called home. The focal point of all String universes. The one place they must protect at any and all costs. Even their own lives if necessary.
And somewhere in the deepest niche of time something woke further.
by John Pirillo
The Constable drove the police wagon as fast as he could, but the roads were slick from sludge and half-frozen snow, causing them more than once to nearly strike a parked vehicle, or horse and buggy.
"We must go faster!" Sherlock urged, his eyes watching the road for signs of the vehicle they were chasing. It had too much of a head start he feared, but he wasn't going to give up, not this time. Not any time.
Images of his own beloved Watson dying and him helpless to prevent it kept emerging behind his thoughts, threatening to throttle his clarity. He kept pushing them back. His heart was pounding. The great Sherlock...he mused ironically...was in fear. Not of what he was facing in a criminal or a monster, but in the loss of someone dear to him.
He was still too young to marry, in his mind. Not having any real women motivate him in that direction probably didn't help any. Most women were put off by his intellect. Women of this age and in this world were catching up to men in equality, but alas, most were still wickedly in the dark ages when it came to developing their intellectual prowess.
Only the few of his group he had met seemed capable on the kind of level that a woman should be working upon...Lady Shareen, Madame Curie, Mrs. Hudson, even Queen Mary of Scots, though he had never had enough dealings with her on an intimate level to perceive the exact nature of her intellect -- she was surrounded by brilliant Lords and Ladies -- which had to reflect somewhat on her superior development of her mind.
He flushed all those thoughts out as the marks of the vehicle they pursued suddenly vanished. Not just a little, but utterly, as if the vehicle had flown straight up at some point.
"Stop the car!" Sherlock hollered.
Constable Evans slammed on the brakes a bit too hard and they veered sideways, glancing against a fire hydrant. A moment later its top sprouted a blossom of powerful spray that pounded skywards. It would only be a matter of minutes and the water would freeze the entire area to the point where no sane man or driver could stand or move without great danger.
He leaped from the car and rushed back about ten yards, and dropped to his knees in the sludge, gauging the last track he had found. It was growing fainter and fainter, as if fading from existence. But how was that possible? His great mind decided and he looked to Constable Evans who was behind him, but his mind on the disaster behind them.
"Leave the broken fire main to the city to worry about. You must return to 221B. There you will find Challenger and Conan. Have them go to this address."
He told Constable Evans and his eyebrows rose several inches in surprise, but he nodded, then back to the scene of the accident, jumped inside the soaking wet vehicle, slammed it into reverse, then spun it around and shot past him, accelerating as he drove on.
Sherlock stood up and looked at the building to his right. It stretched upwards in a thrust of great power and majesty.
Westminster Abbey's history stove back to the times of darkness in the Greater Britains, when it was plowing its way from under the dark hand of the Druid Overlords, a rough band of marauders made up of madmen from the North, linked to the ancient Viking traditions and strong believers of Ragnarök
The Druid Overlords had been the first to acknowledge the power of the church, using its central structure to launch both psychic and occult attacks against their enemies. Thousands had died from that time, until the great Arthur the First had risen from the Land of Cames and struck them all dead with his mighty sword, Excalibur, with the help of his mentor, Merlin the Risen. A great magician of exceeding power and one of a long line of great wizards who had risen to the office of Merlin.
Having struck the Druhish overlords a fatal blow by sword and power, they were thrust back into the arctic wasters, where a series of powerful wards and spells kept them entombed to this very day, only able to subsist, but never to move forward from those dark lands again.
Arthur...soon King Arthur the Noble, the Golden King...used the Abbey for his coronation and subsequent states of affair, before the church stepped in demanding that its darker origins be erased entirely and blessed with the sanctity of the Living God.
Arthur took his might twelve. The Council of Twelve Knights to Cames where they raised the city fortress, Camelot, a golden city for almost a thousand years, until the dark Morgana Le Fey and her hordes of sorcerers overwhelmed it through betrayal and crushed its beauty into the soil it had sprung from.
In the Greater Britains, however, Prince Westminster, an anointed knight left by Arthur to rule over the lands he had freed, was blessed as the new king and arose to make the church even more powerful and thus over the centuries the mighty church became a structure of such immensity and power...arcane, as well as physical...that no nation or prominence would dare to challenge the authority issuing from it.
A treasure house of paintings, stained glass, pavements, textiles and other artifacts, Westminster
Abbey is also the place where some of the most significant people in the nation's history are buried or commemorated. Taken as a whole the tombs and memorials comprise the most significant single collection of monumental sculpture anywhere in the Greater Britains, or the lands of the Europes.
And it was there that Sherlock had an appointment with destiny. He hefted his weapon and marched up the street that led to its massive gates, praying that he was not too late to avert a destiny he had witnessed once already...the lost of a true friend.
This is the last chapter of the audio book novel and so to close this off I'm including some background information on the novel from wikipedia which I found to be interesting.
Master of the World (novel)From Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaFor other uses, see Master of the World (disambiguation).This article relies too much on references to primary sources. Please improve this article by adding secondary or tertiary sources.(January 2015)This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (January 2015)Master of the WorldIllustration from the original publication. Drawing by Georges Roux.AuthorJules VerneOriginal titleMaître du mondeCover artistGeorges RouxCountryFranceLanguageFrenchSeriesThe Extraordinary VoyagesNo. 53GenreScience fiction, adventure novelPublisherPierre-Jules HetzelPublication date1904Published in English1911Media typePrint (hardback)Pages317ppISBNN/APreceded byA Drama in LivoniaFollowed byInvasion of the SeaMaster of the World (French: Maître du monde), published in 1904, is one of the last novels by French pioneer science fiction writer, Jules Verne. It is a sequel to Robur the Conqueror. At the time Verne wrote the novel, his health was failing. Master of the World is a "black novel," filled with foreboding and fear of the rise of tyrants such as the novel's villain, Robur, and totalitarianism.
Plot outlineSet in the summer of 1903, a series of unexplained events occur across the eastern United States, caused by objects moving with such great speed that they are nearly invisible. The first-person narrator John Strock, 'Head inspector in the federal police department' in Washington, DC, travels to the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina to investigate. He discovers that all the phenomena are being caused by Robur, a brilliant inventor. (He was previously featured as a character in Verne's Robur the Conqueror.)
Robur has perfected a new machine, which he has dubbed the Terror. It is ten-meter long vehicle, capable of operating as a speedboat,submarine, automobile, or aircraft. It can travel at the (then) unheard of speed of 150 miles per hour on land and at more than 200 mph when flying.
Strock tries to capture the Terror but instead is captured himself. Robur drives the strange craft to elude his pursuers, heading to theCaribbean and into a thunderstorm. The Terror is struck by lightning, breaks apart, and falls into the ocean. Strock is rescued from the vehicle's wreckage, but Robur's body is never found. The reader is left to decide whether or not he has died.
Literary significance & criticismMaster of the World contains a number of scientific ideas, current to Verne's time, which are now widely known to be errors. For example, traveling at high speed does not reduce a vehicle's weight.
Allusions/referencesThe novel's events take place in the summer of 1903, as characters refer to events of the 1902 Mount Pelée eruption on Martinique. Verne took a few liberties with American geography in the novel. It is set in Morganton, North Carolina and refers to a mountain known as the Great Aerie. The name suggests Mount Airy, located elsewhere in North Carolina; its description as flat-topped is similar to the mountain nearby known as Table Rock. Another portion of the novel is described as taking place at a large deep natural lake in Kansas, but there is no such lake.
ReceptionThis section is empty.You can help by adding to it.(December 2014)Adaptations
[show] Voyages Extraordinaires
[show] Other works
[show] Characters and universe
By today's standards the efx of the film would not hold up, but at the time they were stunning and for a popcorn hungry kid, they were heaven.
Vincent Price became the god of my movie going for a long time into my young adulthood, and continues to keep a special place in my heart for villains who have a heart of gold.
by John Pirillo
Light flickered in through a narrow port hole that seemed stuck in the side of his cabin, more than built that way. The whole interior as he allowed his eyes to take in his surroundings was old and worn looking. Not horrible, just worn, like a trusty chair, or a comfortable pillow. Finally, his eyes came to a wardrobe closet built onto the wall next to his bed. A huge drawing, very complex, was affixed to it by short tacks. It looked like something out of one of Verne's stories, or perhaps even Wells. It looked like some kind of ship. A flying ship. Beneath the ship was another vehicle. Something that looked vaguely familiar, but he couldn't place it at that moment. His mind was still somewhat number from the blow he had been struck.
Then he tried to sit up, remembering what had happened. Someone had attacked him from behind, but now he was here. Where was here? And what was their purpose. He reached for his magical potions he always kept in his right pocket, and that's when he noticed he was undressed.
The door to his cabin opened up and a Giant stepped inside, holding his clothing, all clean and pressed. "I hope you don't mind the temporary inconvenience. I don't imagine a gentleman such as you enjoy walking in public with clothing that was as sullied as yours was."
He threw them on the bunk Harry laid upon, and then sat down on a stool, that creaked and groaned from his weight. He was familiar in some way, but he couldn't quite figure out how just yet. Something about the eyes. But this man was built like a monster. His forearms and upper arms were bulging with muscle and his neck was also thick like someone who worked with weights might get. His fingers were delicate looking though, long and pointed at the ends, like an artist's, or a piano players.
"Do I know you?"
The Giant shrugged. "One never knows. It's a big world. But a small city."
He hunched over, and then put his chin on his hands while resting his elbows on his knees, giving him the appearance of DaVinci's Thinker. The perpetual thinker lost in contemplation. "I feel like I should know you. Perhaps at one time we knew each other. I don't know. I've forgotten a lot about my past."
Harry began dressing himself, his eyes on the Giant. What had happened? Where was he?
As if reading his mind the Giant answered. "You're on the Merchant Marie, bound for the West India Isles."
"Bound for..." Harry almost choked, then ran to the port window and looked out. "Oh, Mother Mary, dear God in Heaven! We're at sea."
"Have been for about a fortnight already."
Harry looked over at the Giant. "But why am I on this ship?"
"Would you rather I left you to that horde of zombies that attacked you?"
Harry sat down hard on the bunk, causing it to groan in complaint.
"I never saw who attacked me." He looked up. "I'm alive."
"But barely." The Giant answered. "Had I been another second or two longer in rescuing you, they would have torn you to pieces."
Harry groaned. "Well, no problem. I'll just use my magical potions to summon Captain Nemo to bring me back to London."
The Giant's eyes brightened a moment. "Another name I recognize, but don't know."
Harry grinned. "If you'll just give me the small bags you found in my right pocket."
"Can't do that." The Giant said.
"And why not?"
"The zombies took them."
Harry groaned again, and then brightened. "Again, no problem. We should be near a port soon, right?"
The Giant smiled gently. "Why so eager to get back into that hell hole. You're lucky to be alive. Why rush back into a trap?"
"Yes." The Giant replied as if he were as sure of that fact as if he wore born with the information. "Yes. I saw it from..."
He indicated his drawing. "You made that...."
"Yes. The Captain humors me with my fancies and I pay him back by giving him better ways to secure cargo and fish."
"Where is that device now?" Harry asked, an indeterminate waver in his voice.
"In the hold, near this cabin. It takes about a week to put it together, and dry land."
"How long till we reach somewhere we can take to port?"
"About two days."
Harry sighed. "Well then. Since we have so much time between us, why don't you introduce me to this captain of yours, and perhaps we can figure out a way to get your craft up into the air a bit quicker."
The Giant rose and smiled. "I'd like that."
"By the way, do you have a name?"
Harry smiled, and then offered his hand. "I'm Harry. I think we're going to get along just fine. Does your crew like magic tricks?"
"You can do magic?"
Harry grinned. "Oh. A little."
They exited the cabin and went up on the main deck. The sea was restless and the ship tossed along with it, but continued to make a strong course towards the east, where the India Isles lay. Harry relaxed for a few moments, allowing himself to take in the faces of the good men on the ship. For good men they were. And most looked familiar to him in some way, though he couldn't put a finger on it quite yet. He didn't let that get in the way of him enjoying their handiwork, as they climbed the masts and pulled in some of the sail to keep the sails from tearing in the strong winds blowing their direction.
The Giant pitched in as well, doing the work of two men. He was a strong spirit from what Harry could see, of mind and body. But something kept nagging him about the man. The Giant was grizzly like a bear, his face hidden in a mountain of facial hair that even Professor Challenger would admire.
But then it all came together in a fell swoop, when Harry, day dreaming about London and what action he might be missing and thanking God for his luck with the Giant saving him, was put into a further elation and confusion at the same time.
He turned around.
Harry turned the rest of the way around and then got the shock of his life. "Captain Nemo!"
The Captain almost sprang forward, his bearded smile lighting his face with warmth as he grabbed Harry's hands and shook them heartily.
"When I was told the Giant brought a stranger from the riots aboard, I had no idea." Captain Nemo apologized.
Harry gave him a look of gratitude. "I owe my life to this man."
The Giant, who was furling a sail up alongside them gave him a smile of appreciation, but continued working.
"Come to my cabin. We must talk immediately." Captain Nemo said, practically sweeping Harry along with him, a hair fist guiding him into the stately cabin.
Harry gave a whistle of appreciation. "The Nautilus hasn't pence on this."
"This brings me to my next statement or question..."
"Where's my ship?" Captain Nemo beat him to the punch, motioning him to sit down on the opposite side of a highly polished rosewood desk inlaid with marble curlicues that reminded him of Indian Sanskrit.
The Captain noticed his look, and then nodded. "Hand made. My father and his brothers gifted he this when I lost the Nautilus."
Harry shot up. "You lost the Nautilus?"
Captain Memo's eyes quivered, almost as if he were about to cry, then he straightened up, reached into a cabinet, and took out a huge flask of crystal with water inside of it. He poured a glass for both himself and Harry, and then sat down in a lavish chair behind the desk that was wrapped in red velvet and silver trim.
He leaned across the desk.
"Aye. A sorry day it was for me and my crew it happened."
Captain Nemo told him.
Harry's eyes widened, his face paled and his fingers almost lost their grip on his glass.
Jules Verne was the apple of my eye as a youth. I loved Captain Nemo the most. A renegade who abhorred war and the violence it had brought upon his loved ones. Although a man with a higher purpose, he became overwraught with his desire to stop violence.
You just can't stop violence with violence. There's always going to be someone with a bigger gun, more soldiers, more murderers. It's the nature of the energy.
Ultimately, any hero worthy of his name has to realize that he can't change the world through overt means, but must instead change it from within the hearts of those about him.
And so it is that all dictators, or men of power and persuasion, must ultimately face their own shortfall...the belief that they are more powerful than life, when in fact, it's the opposite. Life is more powerful than man.