Thursday, July 17, 2014

Intus Opaca, Part Four

(Author's note: Please read the news on the sidebar and contribute to the poll. Thanks.)

Let me tell you another story.

When the Non still lived upon this planet, at the height of the war with the Imperium, there was a school.

This school was not like other schools. It was a school ultimately dedicated to one thing: bringing out the powers of young, talented Non. 

Each Non, as I already mentioned, has the potential to harness an ability most would consider supernatural. My brother, for example, can control other people with the use of small, spectral versions of himself. Your friend, Plato, can call up an energy scythe capable of highly-destructive acts. Kierkegaard, one of my finest students, can summon up portals to a sectioned-area of codespace, portals where he can store items... or people... he deems important. And I... well, we'll get to me.

Non do not have access to these abilities from birth. They must be drawn out with patience, experience, and learning. Some Non may never develop an ability of their own. Yet we, the teachers of the school - The Baron and myself, among others - would try anyway. Sometimes we succeeded; sometimes we did not. Nevertheless, the school... many of my fondest memories linger in the halls of that school.

Most Non, acting defensively, believed the war with the regulators to be justified. Only a few, mostly the educated and the philosophical, thought otherwise. My brother, The Baron, fell into the latter camp. He always had a soft spot for order and peace, and the thought of a world at war... even if that war seldom touched our school... it hurt his heart.

So, one day, he proposed a field trip.

From the moment of our emergence, the Non were a race apart. We did not co-mingle with the other races. That, mixed with our generally-nightmarish normal form, made it rather simple for the regulators to coerce the other races into waging war on us. To them, we were monsters. I suppose, given recent developments, that such beliefs haven't changed a great deal. Am I correct? Yes, I see that I am.

The Baron wanted to teach his students that they need not fear or hate the outside world. He believed the Non should embrace other species, eternal diplomat that he was. His solution was to take his class out into the world on a three-month-long tour, in disguise, that they might meet - and learn from - the other races. I, wanting a paid vacation, agreed to come along, as did one other teacher. 

It was a fun trip. Interesting. Enlightening. I find the actions of others absolutely fascinating, especially when put into tense situations, and so I spent the majority of those three months antagonizing other races. My brother claimed constantly that I'd ruined their 'cultural exchange' experience with my nutty shenanigans. 

He changed his tune, however, when we returned to Non territory... and found it gone. Replaced by an enormous black pit you people call The Grand Chasm. 

Our home. Our people. Gone. Swallowed up by a black abyss that most visitors barely seemed to notice, nor, as far as I can tell, have they ever. The damned thing is just a quirk of geography no one ever ponders. No doubt the fault of the regulators. The fewer questions asked, the better.

You cannot understand what it is to suddenly lose your home in such a dramatic fashion. Yes, yes, I am aware that your hometown was swallowed up by a pack of Non soldiers, and I do apologize on behalf of my people for that, but my point stands. To discover a hole where a portion of a continent once existed... to wander the edge of that hole for a year, and find no trace of a homeland... it is startling. You'll have to take my word for it.

In time, after a great deal of arguing and travelling as a confused, disoriented pack, the remains of our school separated. Some wandered; some got jobs; some became powerful bandits; some started families, though, I understand, with little hereditary success; some looked for little corners of the world where they could bed down and be alone. I settled for that last after several hundred years of messing with people as a travelling magician. Shenanigans get boring after a while.

The Baron did all of the above. Through it all, he developed a plan.

(Are you still with me? Do I see your eyes drooping under the weight of all this history? You should have accepted the tea. Nevertheless, I am rapidly closing on my point.)

My brother never gave up on our people. He, of all others, knew that he could not allow the regulators to win. So, throwing away his philosophy of co-existence for a loooong time, he plotted a war against the rats. He searched the world for the door that kept the rest of the Non trapped, his intention to release our people and lead them on a campaign to retake our old territory.

It took The Baron nine hundred years of searching to find the location where the door was buried. It took him another hundred years of social climbing to find a patsy whom he could use to build a kingdom upon that very spot, luring the king with the promise of glory, gold, and territory. And it took two more years for The Baron to tunnel through the earth, find the door, and open it.

The Baron used so many people in the past millennium. He, who would chastise me for tricking our students into arguing with one another. But he needed something else, someone around whom others could rally, someone the Non would view as a leader. Someone with charisma. Someone he could use as a pawn, ultimately turning The Baron himself into the commander-in-chief of our race. I suppose he believed that he was the only person fit for the job, and as far as co-existence goes, perhaps he was right. 

The Baron needed his someone ready when he opened the door to release our people. And since the very few Non left whom he employed to help his scheme didn't fit the bill, The Baron decided to create his perfect general. That general was your daughter, Eve, and I believe The Baron would be the first to argue that she's failed in her role thus far. She's about as charismatic as a sloth on opium. I think all the charm remained with the father.

The Baron needed more than just reproduction to complete his plan, though. For... various reasons... he could not father a Non child, or even a half-Non child, himself. And, being a romantic, he didn't want to impel one of his students - now soldiers - into lovelessly mating with a human. The biology wouldn't necessarily work anyway. So he turned to the only alternative available.

You know her best as Bora. Her full name is Litobora the Many. She was employed at our school as a teacher of science. And on a lovely spring day several years ago, she stole a young man's eye.


  1. At the 13th part, "no one every ponders." shouldn't every be ever? So I'm back with unhelpful helpful spell checking! I like your work by the way, and I tell people to read this, but no one ever does, because they are the worst. Regardless, I look forward to reading this story through to the end, and if you think that switching to a monthly update schedule would help that, go for it... but if you think you may eventually lose interest, and constant work every day keeps you going, please follow through with that.

    Spell-check yourself before you wreck yourself, finish the story, and thank you, Mr. Bird.

  2. I did spellcheck, but I recall throwing that line in just before I posted, for whatever reason. Also did it at, like, 6:30 this morning, after a night of no sleep. With a malfunctioning keyboard. Today is just not a good day so far.

    I doubt I'll lose interest. I'm absolutely dedicated to finishing the story. Just don't know if I have the time to churn out entries for every day. I must've been bugnuts to decide on that schedule in the first place.

    1. What if you did a weekly entry then? I mean, it's usually 2 days of "Not much happened, just silliness.", 2 days of "Hey, there's this thing that might be happening. We'll see.", and 1 day of "HOLY SHIT, DUDES! WHAT THE FUCK?!" I enjoy all of it immensely, so it's not like I'm complaining. I just want you to finish however works best for you, and that's what's important.

  3. I like having the daily updates. It's immersive. There's a certain sense of urgency that comes with waiting through the small stuff. Plus, the small details can be fun. Though I agree that a weekly update would be a decent compromise.

    That said, if the frequent updates get in the way of making a living then, by all means, switch to monthly.

  4. First time I comment on your story, I've only followed it since april.

    But for the sake of this loooong story, I think I should : I voted for the daily updates, I mean, I consider this novel (at this point, it is) as a big, gigantic source of entertainement, laughs, crys (when you killed Grylock), generaly, emotion.,

    But above all, what is making this story so good to read to me is the waiting, every day, for a tidbit of the plot, or to sudenly remember the details from a long time ago finaly getting purpose. So, for all of these reasons, I would say the monthly updates would, to me, kill a great part of what makes this story so good.

    Now, I still have to I am really impressed by the fact that you maintained a daily update for this long, and for this I have to thank you.

    SO : if you could not sustain a daily update, just something regular (like once a week) would be fine for what I think is making this text so good. just keep up the good work.

    P.S. 1 : I also prefer the short daily updates because reading a big block of text is really time consuming, and it is so hard getting off your writting.

    P.S. 2 : Please excuse the possible grammar or spelling mistakes, I'm french, and my english needs practice (writting, at least, reading is fine).

    P.S. 3 (last) : Anonymous just cause I couldn't come up with a good surname, sorry.

    Keep up the good work! (If you managed to read evrything, Bravo!)

  5. I chose Once Daily in the polls, but if you could rock it once a week, I could totally dig it!

  6. Thanks for weighing in, all. And for the kudos. You make me blush. (Yes, Anon, I got through it all. Your English is fine.) I have a few weeks to ponder the issue before the next season officially begins, so if you think up any more arguments for or against the change in that time, you know where to find me.

    In the meantime, enjoy tomorrow. I've been waiting for this entry for two-and-a-half years.