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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Chapters I and II

While an honest-to-goodness publication of my efforts seems unlikely (more on that some other time), that doesn't mean you few who have visited my blog so far should go unrewarded.

I present Chapters I & II after the JUMP.



1,591 Years Before the Final Exodus

"Should I write that down?" Pythia asked while twirling the pen in her fingers.  The crumpled papers had been flattened as much as possible, after having been retrieved from the waste bin.

"No, you stupid girl."  Her fiancĂ© didn't say that loud enough to be heard.  He rubbed his brow and turned to face the young woman.

She was twenty-five.  An oracle in the Temple of Apollo based in Delphi, she sat now in a monastery overlooking the city of Theonpolis in the same mountain range as Mount Olympus itself.  She had a vision as a young child and her zealous, proud parents immediately handed her over to the priests.  Now a woman, Pythia was struggling to have the visions and to make the pronouncements that had attained her some measure of fame ... before she ran away.

No matter now.  She had been back with the Temple for a few years and this was her second summer in this stark abode for the facilitation of spiritual pursuits.

"No, don't write that down," Ino said to her, directly.  He walked back to the desk where Pythia sat with her twitching legs and dilated pupils.  "How much chamalla did you take?"

Pythia laughed loudly.  She threw her head back and forced the wooden chair to creak.  "A lot.  More than ever before."  She had been spinning and dancing before Ino arrived, startling her.  "I've had no good fortune with the visions ... for some time.  People were getting disappointed.  So I took more."


"Well," Pythia laughed and pointed at Ino's nose, "You're here, aren't you?"

Her former fiancĂ© stood and ticked his head to the right, "I suppose I am."  He began to walk away from the desk but he made a sharp turn, "Are you ready to get to work?"

She ran her hand over the paper once more; flattening it no further.  "Yes."

"I do not have much time and I am likely only able to visit on this one occasion."  Pythia nodded as Ino continued.  "What I have to say is of the utmost importance and you must transcribe my words as best you can."

"I will.  I swear it."

Ino lifted a single eyebrow.  "Very well.  Try to peer past your hallucinogenic haze and listen."

Pythia put the tip of her pen to the paper, "Yes."

Ino knelt by the desk again to look up into her eyes.  "This first item will be the primary theme of your work.  It needn't be the first statement you make, but it must be a thread through the tapestry."

Pythia wrote and said aloud, “’Tapestry’ …”

Ino blinked slowly and he continued, measuring his words as he went.  "All of this has happened before, and it will all happen again."


2,724 Years Before the Final Exodus

The Lord of Lords, leader of the Olympians, Zeus emerged from the columns and shadows.  His shock of white hair bracketed by golden laurel leaves was first seen by the adoring thousands in the rows closest to the temple steps.  His towering form strode into the sun and then he was spotted by the many thousands more gathered around for several city blocks.  He was clad in his usual pristine white and regal purple robes.  He bore the golden aegis of creatures from tales told far in Kobol’s past.

“Zeus Olympios!” the high priest yelled into the microphone.  It seemed redundant with the god now standing just meters behind him, but the crowd cheered again with renewed vigor.

Zeus held his long metal lightning bolt high above his head.  The golden statues on either side of the temple’s proscenium crackled with energy.  Electricity coalesced at the tips of the statues’ own bolts and then leapt toward Zeus’.  The arcs sustained and rent the air loudly.  When the bolts faded, Zeus spun his staff in his hand and gleefully inhaled the fresh ozone.

He stepped toward the microphone and smiled.  “I am Zeus!  Lord of Kobol!”

“We worship you, O Zeus!” the audience responded.

“For thousands of years and for thousands more, I serve you, my children!”

“And we serve you, Lord Zeus!”

Zeus lifted his head and spread his arms wide, still bearing the gleaming bolt, “For thousands of years and for thousands more, I desire your love, my children!”

“We love you, Lord Zeus!”

Zeus was about to speak when an airship roared high overhead.  His eyes rolled toward it and he waited for the noise to decay.  “All of Kobol hears and obeys the commandments of Zeus and Olympus and reaps their just rewards!”

“We do, O Lord!”

“So say you all?”

“So say we all!”  After barking the last phrase of the routine, the audience cheered and applauded again.

Zeus bowed slightly and lifted the microphone’s arm, “My friends!  It is a new year and with the new year comes a new spring!  Great things are before us all!”  The audience hailed and Zeus stepped back to bask in it.  He glanced down the marble steps and saw the traditional unblemished calf, bound and placed in the sacrificial pan.  Zeus moved to the microphone and said, “I see you have brought me a fine gift!  I, of course, return the favor to you!”

He moved to the center of the platform.  He lifted his hands and brought his staff parallel with the ground.  As he pushed it forward, the large bronze bull and eagle atop a wall on either side of the bottom of the steps appeared to glow from within.  A ghost of the bull leapt from the sculpture and into the body of the prepared sacrifice.  A ghost of the eagle flew from the perch and soared above the ecstatic crowd before finally flying high into the clouds.  Then, from the mouths of the statues, coins poured and sprayed onto the sidewalks and streets.  The people dove for them, pocketing some for themselves and tossing the excess into the audience behind them.

Zeus laughed and he spoke again.  “For centuries now, we have lived in a golden age.  Food, shelter, clothes … the gods have provided and will provide in perpetuity.  The stater I give you now is for you to spend wantonly!”  The worshippers again yelled.  “Live in luxury because you can!”

Two priests moved toward the calf and one bore a knife.  As the armed priest sliced the animal’s throat, the other held a white plastic shield near the wound, deflecting the blood into a reservoir.  The animal slumped and died though it still remained upright thanks to its binds.  The priest slid the blade into a bejeweled scabbard and then took a lighter from under his robes.  The second priest lowered the shield and turned on a fuel line.  After two clicks, flames leapt from the pan and began to singe the fur of the animal and cook its flesh.

Zeus descended the stairs and entered the crowd.  He laughed and greeted each of the citizens gleefully as they moved toward him.  People drew near and they became intoxicated by his presence; feeling a great euphoria.  He touched their heads and kissed the young children.  Women hugged him tightly and the Lord did not dissuade this.

“For time immemorial,” the priest cried, “we have collected the ashes of our sacrifices to Lord Zeus and we do so again, adding still more to the evidence of our faith!”  The calf had been consumed in fire and the priests scooped the gray powder from the pan into a large golden bowl, already filled with ash.

Zeus smiled and turned back to the crowd.  Regardless of how many centuries he had done this, he could do it for centuries more.


As before, you'll note the chapter headers include a bit of chronological placement, indicating how far we are away from the all-important climax of the trilogy.  Also, in case you're wondering, Pythia and her conversations with Ino act as bookends (kinda) in his book and in book three.

Will I post more here?  Likely.  Will you ever be able to read the whole thing?  Definitely.


  1. Good Stuff! Can't wait to read the rest!

  2. Thanks. Your chance to do so will come sooner rather than later.

  3. This is a good first taste of your work! Looking forward to reading more. :)