Archive for the ‘science fiction’ Category
The scene that might make the whole problem with the Doctor Who Episode ‘Listen’ go away…
SCENE: The tar caverns of the planet Mywurt Five. The DOCTOR lies on a tarry rock floor of a pit DOWNSTAGE CENTER. The DOCTOR is also bound hand-and-foot and his arms are behind his back.
MISTRESS enters UPSTAGE CENTER
MISTRESS (descending tractor beam into pit): There is nothing to be afraid of, Doctor – nothing and no one except me, of course.
DOCTOR (angry and exhausted): What are you twaddling about, today? Every day you have held me for ransom, I have suffered your pretentious staggering.
MISTRESS: Doctor… Be quiet.
MISTRESS stands CENTER STAGE over DOCTOR
MISTRESS (sing-song voice): Shut up, shut up, shut up.
DOCTOR sits upright.
DOCTOR (sarcastic): All right, tell me what you have to say about fear. Let’s get your speech done already.
MISTRESS: I don’t write them down, Doctor.
DOCTOR: Yes, yes… impromptu… a regular Philo, you are.
MISTRESS: Me? A great orator? A master, perhaps?
DOCTOR: It’s getting old. Come on, exercise your lungs. My ears are your treadmill.
DOCTOR: Well, you sound like a comic book character – one of the baddies.
MISTRESS (angry): Your brave speech…
MISTRESS walks a circle around DOCTOR
MISTRESS: About fear making us stronger…
MISTRESS: About making us better people.
MISTRESS: Fear can be a superpower
MISTRESS halts STAGE RIGHT
MISTRESS: Did you lift that little speech? I swear I’ve heard one of your human pets say it before I heard the same irritating pathos from you.
DOCTOR: Oh, who are you talking about?
MISTRESS: Your quaking companion, Doctor. Clara.
DOCTOR: What does she have to do with you?
MISTRESS: Clara visited me, now you know, when I was a little boy. Oh, I do miss my old pantaloons.
DOCTOR: What are you saying?
MISTRESS: I used to be afraid, Doctor. I was afraid of the dark. I was afraid of monsters under my bed.
DOCTOR (urgent): Have you done anything to Clara? I’m warning you…
MISTRESS: Relax, this was long ago.
DOCTOR: We both know what that means to people like us.
MISTRESS: I’ll tell you what happened.
MISTRESS sits down STAGE RIGHT next to DOCTOR
MISTRESS: Do you remember the Magellan columns when we were toddlers? Those storms were nothing but pure electricity, but the sound was terrifying. It scared me. I slept in my family’s barn where I knew I was protected by its static haze insulation.
DOCTOR (sarcastic): Some boys cuddle teddy bears.
MISTRESS: Clara cuddled me.
DOCTOR (dismissive): You say.
MISTRESS: Really. She visited me during a storm– that must have been the summer when my first application to the academy was rejected. Their doctors were concerned with my mental stability. Imagine that, way back then.
MISTRESS: Clara was hiding under my bed.
DOCTOR: That is convenient.
MISTRESS: I’m telling the truth. She grabbed my ankle.
DOCTOR rolls his eyes.
MISTRESS: Then she whispered softly into my ear, “It’s all a dream.”
DOCTOR: I expect.
MISTRESS: Tsk, I can prove it. Do you still have that plastic army man, the one you took from me?”
DOCTOR: I don’t know what you’re talking about.
MISTRESS: You, Doctor, are a kleptomaniac. Some worlds believe your neurosis is worst than murder.
DOCTOR: I expect I’m probably wanted on all of them.
DOCTOR: You would do them a favor by killing me now.
MISTRESS: Doctor, that isn’t what this is about. Besides, the bounty on your head is pathetic. I think Earth will give me all its weapon-grade uranium for your safe return.
DOCTOR: Why, what do you need it for? You could make a big batch for yourself.
MISTRESS: It’s a game. You know us.
DOCTOR: All too casually.
MISTRESS: I guess I should go back and act more professionally.
MISTRESS walks backwards toward UPSTAGE CENTER
MISTRESS: There is something I wanted to say before I bring back the burning cockroaches.
DOCTOR (shouts over his own shoulder): Good, they’ll give me something to do. Maybe I can use their teeth and cut the bands on my Immobilizer Cuffs.
MISTRESS (riding tractor beam from pit): If you must try… what I wanted to tell you – my answer to you that you refuse to hear… about that night long ago Clara came and visited me. I listened to your TARDIS fly away.
MISTRESS exits UPSTAGE CENTER
MISTRESS (from OFF STAGE): Fear will destroy you those times you are all alone. One must Master fear.
Listen Up is a fictional story. Doctor Who and the characters in this story are properties of Doctor Who. I submit this tale as a fan for fans of the BBC Doctor Who television series.
Listen Up by Matthew Sawyer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
I like Jenna-Louise Coleman. I think her acting in the BBC television series Doctor Who is worthwhile Sci-Fi. But honestly, her character, Clara Oswald, sucks. Steven Moffat never really developed a good backstory for the character. And with season eight of the 2005 reboot of the languishing program soon airing worldwide, it is obvious the man stopped trying. So be it. One has to let eggs drop so that more might be saved. Alas, I believe the actress herself is worth salvage. Give Ms. Coleman a new role on the show, I propose. Bring back a favorite face, I dare say. I mean a rewarding character. I elect Romanadvoratrelundar, the Time Lady from Gallifrey. Jenna rejoins Peter Capaldi on Doctor Who in this exciting new role.
Clara is Dead! Long Live Clara! is a fictional story. Doctor Who and the characters in this story are properties of Doctor Who. I submit this tale as a fan for fans of the Doctor Who television series.
Clara is Dead! Long Live Clara! by Matthew Sawyer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Please contact the author for permissions beyond the scope of this license.
Clara is Dead! Long Live Clara!
Clara Oswald has no idea why she stays around. The Doctor is a maniac. He was more considerate when he was a different man. “When he wasn’t so old,” she deliberately thinks.
“Oh,” the Doctor’s companion tells herself aloud. “He’s the same Time Lord. His face has changed….”
The TARDIS is jolted and the young woman grabs a safety rail inside the console room. She is then prompt and complains. “And his whole personality, that’s all.”
The perturbed young lady tells the Doctor on the other side of the console, “You were more considerate before. A gentleman. Slow down. Let me rest if you’re not tired.”
“I’m never tired,” the Doctor declares and he flips levers on the carousel control board. His time and space ship straightens itself upright.
“I remember,” he shouts and presses a single button repeatedly. “An old friend.”
The incredible machine groans and everyone knows it is about to materialize. Clara grumbles. “Oh, where are we now?”
“Home,” he answers. “My home, Gallifrey.”
“Oh,” Clara chirps suddenly chipper. “Is your friend here?”
She strolls around the console while the Doctor remains hunched and attached to its switches and dials. The young woman teases the fixed pilot. “Why else come home?”
The Doctor sounds sarcastic when he tells her, “I don’t know. It’s been about six hundred years since I’ve seen her last and I guess sometimes I wonder how she is getting on.”
“What’s her name?” Clara asks and bites her lower lip.
“I’d like to see her.”
“You will,” he replies in a raised voice. “Get out. Take a look – there’s a light flashing on the console.”
Clara stops mid-step toward the time machine’s exit door. “What is it?”
“Parking authority,” he scoffs. “Evidently, I can’t park here. I’ve got to go somewhere else.”
The Doctor’s female companion stays paused near the door. “I’ll come with you.”
“No,” demands the Time Lord. “Get out. Go. Clear your head.”
The advice resonates with Clara. His precise phrases make her paranoid, but the errant school teacher has felt so about him since she first met the genius alien. He periodically makes her uneasy. And she feels as if he can read her mind.
“I will,” Clara answers the Doctor. “If it’s okay with you.”
“Go, get out, look around. I’ll be right back. I’ll meet you here.”
She cracks wise. “When?”
The moment she opens the exit door, shouts come in from outside. “Take this junk to the shipyard or we’ll ship it to the junkyard. You can’t bring it here, take it to the spatially-bound staging lots.”
The TARDIS dematerializes leaving Clara alone outside the time machine. The abandoned companion sees she’s been left in a strange cathedral, a wild exaggeration with an impossibly high ceiling. The enormous walls appear made of balsa slats and paper panes – like those found in medieval Japanese noble homes.
Silly soldiers dressed in shining and ornate plastic armor tinted red come and meet Clara Oswald here in this spacious antechamber. She tells the dispatch there with their crystal pistols, “I’m with someone. He’s coming back.”
“Is he?” an ancient woman asks her. The question is sincere.
“Sure,” Clara affirms for her own good. “The Doctor has to park the TARDIS. That’s his name, the Doctor.”
She mumbles, “It’s still him,” then says aloud, “He’s meeting me here.”
“Clara?” asks the older woman while she approaches the young companion.
Clara wonders, “How did you know?”
She remembers her suspicion about the Doctor and she assumes everyone of his race all have telepathy. He does read her mind, he has the whole time. Her human brain is stuck contemplating how she can cope being someplace where everyone knows her thoughts. Clara stands chewing her lower lip and knitting her brow until the other woman interrupts her morass.
“Oh.” Clara wipes her hands before taking that of the hostess. “I am Clara Oswald. I haven’t actually known him that long – the Doctor that is.”
“Well, you have,” Romana tells her. The mysterious deepens when she says, “But that is another story.”
“I’ve known the Doctor for centuries,” the worn Time Lady informs the ripe companion. “I was assigned to keep an eye on him.”
“Oh,” Clara states unsurprised.
Romana clarifies, “He was in a different reincarnation…”
“I know how that goes,” Clara blurts.
Romana finishes. “A long time ago.”
The companion promises the old companion and nanny, “You won’t recognize him now. He’s regenerated again.”
“I know,” Romana tells Clara. “It was big news on Gallifrey, unprecedented. The Doctor had been so wasteful with his lives.”
“That hasn’t changed,” Clara gripes. She talks about herself. Inside, she admits she has witnessed his tremendous sacrifices. The man was a hero and she feels guilty about her distrusting him.
“Thank you, Clara,” Romana tells the human. “Time Lords live so long, we forgot how precious life is. You helped the council remember how appreciation feels. Your words were a gift to awaken the dead.”
“Thanks?” Clara wonders.
“Let’s go to Borusa’s old office,” Romana suggests. “I’m about to have it remodeled but mine has just been started. I was going to take the day off, but by now you probably know about Time Lords. We are a restless bunch – that’s why there are laws against our intervention. I had to stay busy.”
Clara agrees with as much as she is able to relate with. “You’re telling me. Whew.”
Romana’s red escort marches away while the two women walk the opposite direction. The Time Lady leads the way by one step ahead of the unattended companion.
“Who?” Clara also inquires. “Borusa?”
“He was the Doctor’s former teacher. The man walked a controversial path, like everyone our mutual friend knows.”
“Mine is pretty straight,” opines the human woman. “I think.”
“Examine your company,” Romana reminds her.
“I’m not judgmental,” Clara assures herself aloud.
“Come to think of it, I believe I’ve met you before,” Romana tells the other woman nonchalant while she pushes open a pair of great leaden doors. A bomb then explodes from inside the room behind the loose slag-marked slabs. Both Clara and Romana die when the tiny women are crushed.
Romana then awakes with a new face. Indeed, her whole body has changed. She is a new woman with the same name. The Time Lady is proud because the fact. She praises a planet as she gets up and on her feet. “Thank you, Karn.”
Appreciation for the Sisterhood’s Art swells both of Romana’s hearts. Regeneration is erratic without the knowledge of their spiritual methods and practice. Without their help, she would have been confused. Their miraculous elixir would have been ideal but the Time Lady was reborn into the form she visualized. Romana had seen another hero while she floated in her lucid dream of death.
The Doctor then finally arrives one more time.
“Clara,” he shouts. “What happened? You look all right. Dirty, but yeah-uh…”
“Thank you for noticing,” Romana responds. “Uh-hem, it’s nice to see you too.”
“Is someone dead?” the Doctor yells. The Time Lord drags his foot against the ceramic while red armored soldiers come and investigate the explosion from Borusa’s old office. More red comes scraped from the sole of his boot.
“Yes,” Romana reports. “I was telling your companion about the disease we Time Lords suffer because we live so long over and over again. Our apathy.”
The Doctor mentions, “It’s because of all your rules.”
A pall then falls over the Doctor’s anxious expression. “What?”
Romana mentions, “I’m sorry, Doctor. Clara is dead.”
“No,” he groans. No one is certain what the man denies.
He implies a thousand questions when he asks the air, “Who?”
“I’m Romana,” she tells him. “I was here when she was killed. We both were – I lost a life.”
“Sabotage, my lady,” a soldier tells the Time Lady before he goes back to investigating.
Romana and the Doctor face each other widemouthed and overhear another soldier identify, “Sontaran.”
“You look different,” she mentions to him out of hand before the Doctor shouts, “I wasn’t here. I didn’t see this, I can fix this.”
“Doctor,” Romana begs. She follows him when he spins around and runs the length of the Citadel cathedral. She shouts while she pursues her longtime friend. “I think I know what you’re doing. Your sense of boundaries got you in trouble during your last set of regenerations, don’t waste your new lives.”
“It’s what I do,” he yells when they arrive together at his TARDIS. “I save people.”
His new self and the newer Romana jump into the time machine, which then disappears. The sound the TARDIS makes as it vanishes is especially tedious this trip. Its noise is even more tired when the machine reappears nowhere else except back a small hop in time. Although, from a perspective inside the TARDIS, that same time is frozen. It’s stopped in the past.
The Doctor and Romana save minutes while an impromptu, prolonged discussion first interrupts then delays Clara’s impractical rescue. The Time Lord is angry. He shouts at the fresh disguise of his old companion. “Why her? Why would you look like her?
The Doctor then immediately apologizes as he always has. “What I mean is…”
“It’s terribly swell to see you again, Romana. You’re one of my favorite people. I’m happy for your change, but you look like her because Clara died. How can you do that? Change back.”
“I came back to Gallifrey just to see your face. Wash-up, for goodness sake. You’re covered in ash. And is that a scab of blood?”
“Thank you, Doctor, but no,” she tells him. “I looked like I was about to topple over. Clara was a pretty girl – and fit. You’ve always like the athletics ones.”
“You did this last time,” he grumbles. A critical point then occurs to the Doctor. He reminds Romana, “Hey, they were people, human beings,”
“They weren’t Time Lords,” she retorts.
The Doctor argues. “They were still important.”
Romana confesses, “Clara still is a hero to the people of Gallifrey.”
“So you take her face?” he snorts.
“Why not? She’s been fashionable all year.”
“I think all of you have confused memorial for fashion,” the Doctor judges. “I’m happy I don’t stay here.”
“Perhaps,” concludes Romana. Her changing the topic is abrupt. “Doctor, the officer said it was the Sontarans.”
Happy the conversation now moves at a speed he is accustomed with, the Doctor replies, “I heard.”
Resentment deep in her belly compels Romana to elaborate. “They invaded our home planet after you were made president.”
“That was hardly my fault.”
“You abdicated your position after you vanished and didn’t come back.”
The Doctor argues, “I came back.”
“You were summoned, again.”
He is grumpy, but his old companion has heard him act this way before and most of the time. She ignores his mood – one she knows he probably pretends – and Romana reminds him, “I think they hid a bomb in Borusa’s office when you on Gallifrey with that jungle girl. I saw the recordings in the Matrix.”
The Doctor grins. “Yes, Leela. Show some respect.”
He suddenly acts outraged. “Is that what this is all about?”
“You threw her into the wastelands.”
“For her own good.”
“Listen, Doctor,” Romana commands. “How far back in time have we come? Do you have a plan?”
“Do you?” he asks her, embarrassingly open to ideas. “I remember when Commander Stor had access to Borusa’s room. We’re here then.”
“That was an awfully long time ago.”
Romana calculates, “I think the bomb was set to go off when a sensor detected your DNA.”
“You think?” the Doctor answers as if he casts blame. “What about Clara? She’s the one who is dead.”
The Time Lady stays calm. “Obviously, a little of you had worn off on the girl.”
The Doctor is humbled and he states, “Right.”
Fiddling with controls on the TARDIS console, he tells Romana, “I suppose that’s the reason I didn’t come back on my free will; mysterious forces, hooey and all. Let’s not talk about it and let’s just rescue the girl.”
“Are you going to stop him, Commander Stor?” she wonders. “Aren’t you worried about causing a Paradox? I won’t look like this.”
“Good,” he replies.
“Time starts over when you open the TARDIS door. You don’t want to do anything bad.”
His tone is firm when he tells Romana, “Paradox? Nooo…”
He stomps his foot. “Someone I know died.”
Romana never relents. “Well, what are you going to do?”
The Doctor blows air up his nostril. “Well, considering the time…”
“Don’t be fallacious.”
“I’m not that,” he replies radiant with mischief.
“You haven’t changed, Doctor,” Romana grants the man. “You never will.”
She looks at herself. “Wait, I suppose Clara brought some of her clothes on board. I assume she came with you in the TARDIS. Let me change before we go outside.”
The Doctor frowns, points down an unfamiliar hallway and says nothing. Romana does not try to understand and she goes the way her old friend has directed.
“Good,” he eventually says after she has left the console room. The Doctor shouts, “Put on someone uglier.”
“What do you mean?” Romana calls from anywhere in the bowels or rafters of the time machine.
The Time Lord waves his hand from where he pauses near the exit of his marvelous spacecraft. “Pff.”
Once he never verbalizes his expression, Romana asks the Doctor from outside the room, “Do you want me to bring you a tie? I noticed you weren’t wearing one.”
“No,” he yells.
She informs no one when she ponders aloud, “I’m not going outside. I don’t want to meet myself. I am sure I was in the Citadel the day of your coronation.”
The Time Lady walks back into the console room wearing a blue summer dress. Her pale thighs are largely exposed and tinted cool shades reflected off the borrowed garment. “How do I look?”
She asks nobody. The Doctor had left Romana alone in the TARDIS with no one to talk with. She now stomps her red sandshoe and searches for a clue as to what her old friend is up to now.
“Oh,” she complains. “He’s moved everything around, like I didn’t expect that. They’ll all be different tomorrow.”
The same time she curses, Romana finds an external monitor. The Doctor had steered the flat screen’s vista toward vestibules run from the big antechamber. Borusa’s old office is located there. Watching for her friend, Romana notices the decoration.
“Wait,” she desperately mentally projects to the Doctor. She can’t know if he receives her message only because they’ve been separated so long.
Nevertheless, she thinks loud. “Look at the ornaments, Doctor. Look out a window. We landed on the wrong coordinates. We never went back in time.”
She criticizes his shadow when it appears on the view screen. “You’re no better at flying the TARDIS than I remember.”
The lead doors of Borusa’s office are closed and the previous she and Clara are nowhere in sight. Romana is grateful she and the Doctor are early. She contemplates the bomb.
“Doctor, where is your head?” She scowls when his image appears on the viewer. “Don’t you remember? The explosive is triggered by your DNA.”
“I’ve got to warn him,” she urges herself. “This is such an unnecessary waste of a life.”
Yet in the guise of Clara Oswald, Romana dashes from the sanctuary of the time machine and goes searching for the Doctor. She must warn him not to open Borusa’s office.
“Doctor,” she shouts.
Romana hears her new self say, “That sounded like me.”
The Time Lady turns around and meets a living Clara. She and her doppelganger are yet dozens of meters away from each other, but the two identical woman do find the eyes of the other. The Doctor is also there. And he is too far away. He is safe from what is about to happen, and the Time Lord can’t get close in time to help.
The old Romana opens a lead door and the room inside explodes.
The next Romana watches herself die. Before her body regenerates, her future incarnation sees she is dead. The Time Lady realizes that moment she wastes her life. She looks at the Doctor standing agape in front of her.
“Well, I’m about to get here,” are the only words he will utter. Romana follows her friend back to the TARDIS. She grills him only when they are alone together inside the time machine.
“Are you satisfied? You only made a horrible event more set in stone.”
“You still need someone looking over your shoulder,” she admits to her companion. “Someone who knows what she is doing. I’m coming with you. We’ll go do something anybody can do for your dead friend. We’ll go to Earth.”
The Time Lady drives the Doctor’s time machine without a sound. During the flight through space and time, Romana wonders, “Clara was that little girl we met together on Earth. It was Christmas time, is that right?”
The Doctor nods his head. His face appears fallen and dull but Romana might swear she sees him glow when she speaks to her friend. She continues talking to him.
“That was quite a while ago – and you still traveled with her? Hold on, she is the Impossible Girl. I remember her story, it’s why Gallifrey is in love with her beyond what is simply popular.”
“Say,” ponders the Time Lady. “She constantly pops up through time and saves your life.”
“Fragments,” growls the Doctor.
Romana tries to sound convincing. “You might see her again. Or are you two done? Was that it?”
“I’m only curious,” Romana mutters in silence after she realizes she has mentioned too much.
She asks the brooding Doctor, “Is she done?”
“Apparently not,” he answers after she asks him again. He looks directly into the face of his companion.
The Time Lord pledges, “I’m going to fix this.”
“Not alone,” Romana tells him.
“We will think about the solution first and take our time. Did you forget, Doctor? You always do. Time is on our side. That is our luxury.”
The Time Lady smiles wide enough for the both of them. “And we’re together again. Let’s remind ourselves what it is like to be alive.”
– END –
Read more of Matthew Sawyer’s Doctor Who fan fiction at Smashwords.
A WIKI article written long after the destruction of Khetam…
Ernest W. Bartman
Ernest W. Bartman (born 7 March 1559, died 1614) was a late, self-proclaimed Mortui philosopher. Bartman forsook a Church assignment during the doomed 16th century Pagan Resurrection movement in the southwestern quarter of the Shur desert. Prior damnation, he was already censored and he promoted blasphemy against the Church, forging over 37 books, including seminary doctrines and printed educational material made available to UnChosen migrants. He evaded detainment by the military and was sentenced in abstentia for heresies promoting heathen mythology. Bartman incited criticism of Church doctrines, dominance of the Chosen tribes and the development of early Chosen foundations.
Bartman grew up Chosen in Sodom when the extinct oasis existed in the Southwest, and attended a satellite military school for seminary induction and civil indoctrination, where he first questioned the existence of the Mortal God and the heathen Living God himself. During his 3-year residence, he obtained contraband stone tablets and made claims to have deciphered the original pagan language. The Church threatened him with excommunication when his clandestine research was uncovered and revoked his privilege into the Promised Land. Bartman then vanished into the Shur wilderness in 1591. His writing emerged in Chosen oases in 1593. Heathen leaders exploited UnChosen doubts caused by overwhelming distribution of the meritless revelations and promoted their errant messiah. These heathens claim Bartman found the Living God in 1599, sought out the single nomadic tribe and appeared to the chieftain, Mordant Frathe, so that he could hear prophecies concerning the arrival of a physical god in mortal flesh.
Bartman was born into the Dan family of the Chosen Tribe. His writing consciously illustrate the privilege the Chosen caste savor over the UnChosen. Despite patrimony he enjoyed as a teenager, he questioned the curse upon the UnChosen tribes. He sought why the perpetual migrants would not execute the heathen Living God when the trespasser first manifested in the Shur. The question occupied him throughout prerequisite seminary preparation for the Church. He became convinced the contradictions and discrepancies in the Chosen doctrines lacked harmony. There was no reconciliation between the edicts of every Pontiff. Nevertheless, he remained Chosen until his excommunication and later identified himself a Pagan philosopher after documenting his encounters with “insubstantial monsters”.
Bartman was first enlisted for seminary induction and civil indoctrination in 1588 after four years of vocational education in military textiles. He missed an undocumented number of induction and indoctrination classes while he continued his occupational training and remained uncertified for either career. His writing assert he was a vagrant fisherman in 1593.
Bartman continued to produce forgeries and original blasphemous letters until his death in 1614. After his initial mailings, he never again wrote how he sustained himself. The Church and military maintain he abetted heathen terrorists.
Heathen leaders openly boasted Bartman made undocumented visits to their camps and confessed to arrogance, waste and indolence inherit to the children of Chosen tribes. Historic heathen commanders including Gregor Lane, Ennis Dinouza, Linklous, Even Gregg, Walter Daniels, Billiam Trent Peters and Weiss Jones each claim he provided pagan prophecies to the enemy and he went unmolested throughout the Shur Desert.
In 4003 and 4015, Bartman’s writing was discovered in the ashes of ruined Khetam. Heathens have since quelled an uncommon UnChosen renaissance and destroyed the pagan-inspired propaganda. Half the encampment became raised to the ground and its surviving population forced to eat the slain.
The Church and military assert nothing survives of Bartman except statistic documentation.
Bartman wrote extensively upon popular issues with Church, over 52 original epistles including a single, unplagarized commentary on the origin of separation between castes and seven direct revelations from “alien powers outside the Shur”. All his works have been discounted by the Church and heathens alike. Copies of his writing have reportedly been discovered etched in stone. These, too, are destroyed.
And after twenty-five centuries, scholars say they hear about his prophecies and philosophy by word-of-mouth. Even among the elite clergy of the Chosen Church, sources say to have “heard about Bartman when [they] were growing up”. Everyone agrees, he had written what is known. Bartman repeated the Creator does not dwell with His creation. There are no gods in the Shur and mankind is the eminent authority.
Bartman is believed to have then disgraced the Church and wrote heathens believe there is no hope if there is not a Living God. He accused the Church and wrote the Chosen cannot control the elements with prayer. Indulgences purchased by both Chosen and UnChosen people only enrich a corrupt oligarchy.
He signed his name to the letter and declared there was never a Mortal or a Living God. He said there is something more and it is something we all know. “That which we have forgotten”. It is hidden and he alone had seen the reality.
Bartman argued a demon came to the Shur in the flesh of Immanuel (sic Joshua). And that Immanuel spoke truthfully when he expected no god will come to the Shur again. Bartman amended the prophesy and foretold no “good God” will visit the “Waste”.
The letters received after his death and testified to have originally been written by Bartman return to the topic of division between Chosen and UnChosen castes. Anyone alive today know sloveness is the greatest sin. The Church and heathens agree on the matter. The meek demeanor of the UnChosen is written to have doomed them to an existence of servitude. And before his death, Bartman wrote he agreed with the facts doctors and scientists have presented all through time. The UnChosen undoing is in their genes.
The sheared truth of the conclusion is no one knows when and how Bartman died. The vanished pagans are rumored to have believed the bodies of their prophets dissolved to dust after three days and their immaterial souls ascended or descended into another life. Bartman himself gave no credence to this ignorant idea or most of their foolish beliefs.
The Chosen military had submitted a bleak, unsigned prognosis to the Church. This evidence is archived in Chosen-occupied fortresses across the northern quarters of the Shur. The document states Ernest Bartman was certainly dead. Heathens traditionally disembowel trespassers alive and leave their victims to perish in the desert. Captain Johno Kris wrote in the report, “It is reasonable to think, if Bartman found any heathen camp, they fed his guts to their pet lions. The passed his corpse around the desert so it could be said to make absurd confessions.”
Manifestation – the first book in the Pazuzu Trilogy. This book is all background. Sure, there are elements to hook readers into the story, but wait for more of Robber in the second book.
Emergence – the second book in the Pazuzu Trilogy. Chapter 10 is the climax of the original half of the trilogy. Here’s the story folks, when what has manifested now emerges.
Abeyance – Armegeddon! All die when even greater evil comes into the world.
Gaunt Rainbow – severing the cosmic web, that undead umbilical chord forever leeching life from all existence. A cursed girl can do that.
Lazarus The Pig – a documented supernatural event told to children in a mandatory Sunday school class.
The Plagiarized Forgery Of The Chosen Gospel – not much seperates the world of the Shur from reality – the book of Mark as written in a godless world overrun with evil.
Children throughout the Shur desert, Chosen and UnChosen alike, attend mandatory lessons in the same classrooms. The Church does not discriminate. There is no segregation among these people. This Saturday afternoon, the plump supplemental school teacher tells eight year old boys and girls “Our two social classes are united against bloodthirsty heathens. You do remember who they are, right? superstitious animals who destroy our cities. Evil.”
Chosen and UnChosen children alike are educated about this singular threat to the oasis parishes in which they cower. Today, a full class in the unguarded city of Gomorrah learns from a Chosen teacher “A marked difference between the composition of Church parishes is simply geographical – a majority of Chosen people live inside walled cities such as our capitol, Khetam.”
She tells them “Descendants of UnChosen workman, those men who physically built the defensive barrier, are also permitted to live behind the protection of the Wall.”
Ms. Mendel worships. “Praise the Church and its wisdom. How else would we have water?”
Benedict Ishkott thinks over the question. Deeper, the boy contemplates the unclassified information Ms. Mendel has imparted.
“Hell with that,” he says to himself inside. As quietly, Ben whispers “I wish I was Chosen.”
Inflected with equivalent disdain, the boy asks his teacher aloud “Where do heathens get water?”
Ms. Mendel laughs. “Silly, they drink blood.”
Ben stutters “But…”
Before the kid recovers his sensibility, the plump teacher comments. “I’ll tell all you children something the Church doesn’t talk about anymore.”
“Is is illegal?” asks a little girl. Her name is Tamara.
Ms. Mendel says “No, this was before visual media was banned.”
“What?” the whole of the pubescent kids wonder together. The question feels as would an ocean wave all these children will never feel roll over even one.
Their teacher replies “Printed materials – book, magazines. Television and movies.”
The examples Ms. Mendel provide are as ephemeral as unseen seas. Any nostalgia reflected in the faces of these children is merely a pining recollection inherited from their parents. A whole generation has passed since the ban had been enacted.
Difficult still, Ben queries concerning the restrictions the Church levied upon communication – all that remains is radio broadcast military bulletins and Church doctrines. “Why?”
Ms. Mendel knows what the boy is curious about. “Images are subversive, Ben. And there was that discovery of background cosmic radiation. The Church will allow no avenue into the world. The Chosen will dictate when the Mortal God will be allowed to join his creation.”
“What were you gonna tell us about, Ms. Mendel?” demands a precocious little boy.
Ms. Mendel gives the kid respect he obviously lacks for his genetic superiors. Judah Ismael here is UnChosen, but his father has money. The Ismael family commands crime all throughout Gomorrah. This power makes each of them equivalent any priest in the Church beside the pontiff. The Chosen school teacher defers to the kid’s unquestionable might.
“I was going to tell you children about Lazy the Pig.”
Judah says “Go on.”
The woman clears her throat and actually presses out a frown with the palm of her hand. “Okay, all of you know how heathens lay siege to walled cities, right?”
After a breath, Ms. Mendel adds “All right, this is about a cartoon.”
“Huh?” Judah grunts. Other kids copy his response.
Ms. Mendel insists “Let me explain, this is the origin of a cartoon called Lazy the Pig. This story is in the Bible. I can petition the Church and read it to you directly. They’ll give me permission, I’m sure.”
“No,” all the kids groan.
Empowered, Ms. Mendel tells her class “This happened long after the crucifixion.”
The woman inhales, holds her breath then says “This happened about 420 AD.”
She is still stingy with her air and claims “But Masada isn’t very far from here.”
A story accompanies her exhalation.
“I don’t think any of you children have heard about the Siege of Masada but I know your parents know what happened. Masada was built on a steep hill – a mesa, really. And there was a wall around that. Well, heathens slaughtered its division of the Chosen military – for what it was in those times – and the enemy breached the wall. But they couldn’t get into the city itself.”
Judah insists “What about the pig?”
Ben wonders “Where did Masada get water?”
Ms. Mendel is quick and snaps “Lazy is why the siege came to an end. The heathens lost and the Chosen prevailed. The UnChosen did nothing to help even then.”
The woman’s outburst has no impact on the little Ismael. The boy decides he sits quietly and waits for a more complete answer. His passive demeanor prompts the teacher and Ms. Mendel continues her story.
“Heathens surrounded Masada forty months. Thank the wisdom of the Church, the Chosen had stored provisions for just that long. Food, water – they had livestock, too, but in the end the animals became diseased.”
Tamara wonders “Did the UnChosen of Masada die?”
“A few, some.”
Ben asks the teacher “What about Chosen?”
“No,” Ms. Mendel attests with a smile. “There was a miracle.”
“The Chosen are never helpless, even when we’re starved and locked behind walls. Our power manifested that day.”
“What happened?” Tamara asks but the teacher already speaks. The girl boggles at what she hears.
“The Chosen didn’t die and the heathens were running out of food, too. The enemy didn’t have stores like the Chosen of Masada but they did bring their women. The heathen impregnated their wives, aborted their babies then ate the dead fetuses. Some of them were still alive.”
Giggles and gasps divide the class.
“In the end, all either side could do is taunt each other. Heathens did something else that isn’t in the Chosen Bible, it might be in their book…”
“Their clay tablets, their mud pies,” Judah chuckles.
Ms. Mendel laughs with the boy. “If they ever learned to write.”
The woman returns to her story. “The Chosen of Masada eviscerated a sick pig – they tore out the animal’s guts because heathens have this strange idea that heaven is located in the intestines. Then the people of Masada erected the disemboweled carcass upon a cross. The beams of that cross were arranged the same as the one used when we crucified the Mortal God.”
“Were the heathens pissed?” inquires a disturbingly attentive Ismael.
“No,” confesses Ms. Mendel. “So the Chosen catapulted the dead animal into the heathen army.”
Judah laughs so loud that Ms. Mendel must stop talking until the boy needs air. The woman thinks what comes next will help the kid split his side open. When his echo is done, she tells more.
“At first, nothing happened. The heathens were too afraid and wouldn’t touch it. Then the pig came to life.”
A tumult of laughter deafens the giggling class. Nobody hears Ben ask “Without its guts?”
Ms. Mendel yells above the noise “And the heathens ran away.”
The class quiets enough and the teacher summarizes a sermon. “The children of Masada – not one older than any of you kids – children shouted after the retreating army. They screamed.”
“There’s your Living God. His name is Lazarus. Lazy the Pig.”
“All the Chosen and the UnChosen who survived laughed because the heathen ran from their god. That’s where the cartoon came from,” she tells her class.
Chuckling, she concludes this day’s lesson. “Heathens say their Living God will return and destroy us. We point and laugh at their pig. We used to, on TV.”
“What about the Mortal God,” Ben asks the woman. “Aren’t the Chosen and heathen gods the same?”
Ms. Mendel promises the boy “No gods are getting into our cities. Chosen lock their doors.”
Like this story? Read Matthew Sawyer’s goddamn Pazuzu Trilogy. All of it. The epic languishes.