Thursday, December 4, 2014

Saturday, November 29, 2014

i have bigger news than Blake Shelton!

No, it's not a new Cockroaches post.  Sorry.

But it just might be something better!  Has this ever happened to you?  You're perusing the King of Cockroaches hoping that worthless guy has finally put up another post to tell you what the heck has happened to Ch'Loi, Amis and Kurga and ... nothing. 


So you scroll down to that picture of Chofa hugging Ch'Loi that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy...or makes you wish you were being hugged by someone all warm and fuzzy and you think to yourself, "self, how cool would it be to have a sweatshirt or a tank top or a v'neck with this picture on it?"

Well, now you can!  No really!  Chofa and Ch'Loi are on clothes and you can really, really buy them!  No really!  Go to my brand, spanking new society6 page and take a look around!  They're there with a couple of friends!  Including a clock with Ch'Voga and the harvest-that-chose-not-to-harvest on it!  Too cool!  Surprise your friends with an hour long dissertation on why you have a clock that sorta looks like a yin-yang but has a jewish looking lion and a cyborg on it!  Oh the laughs!  i'm laughing now just thinking about it.  So why wait?  Go today!  And if you don't see something you would like to see, drop me a comment and let me know what my next titanic struggle with photoshop and web based design should be!

Thanks from all the gang here at the King of Cockroaches!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Where'd he go?

Hey y'all, sorry to take an unscheduled hiatus from the life and times of the Girl named Son.  i'm over on my Rabbit Trails following a... um... yeah, tangent.  i'm writing and illustrating a comic just to see if i can.  Check it out if you're so inclined and haven't already seen it on my flikr, tumblr or fartbook page. 

Meanwhile, don't fret, i'm still plotting and scheming and the roaches will crawl back out of the walls soon enough.
Thanks for your support!

Monday, September 1, 2014

7: the odd bird

             Captain Rayjay took his eye from the deck mounted telescope, his jaw set in a hard line.  Kurga took a turn with the glass and commented, “what an odd bird.”
            “Indeed, Master trader, odd indeed, if it were a bird,” to Amisbhake he said, “we seem to have picked up a tick.”
            “What kind of tick can fly?” Kurga asked.
            “The kind,” Amisbhake said, “militaries use to track possible targets.  Just scouting us?”
            “Since we haven’t blown up already, I would assume so, yes,” the Captain answered.
            “It could still be coming.”
            “What?” Kurga asked, “what could still be coming?”
            “I don’t think so.  It was only luck we noticed it at all.  They would not trust to luck.  We most likely picked it up at the Caravanserai.  If they only meant to destroy us why let us cruise on so long?”
            “Who would want to destroy us?  What’s coming?”
            Amisbhake scratched his chin, “To make sure no one found us?”
            “We are well off the normal trade routes, who would find us?”
            “What do you mean, “find us?””
            Captain Rayjay put his finger to his mouth.  “Shh, adults are talking.”  To Amis, “Because we are a trading vessel well off the trade routes with a hold full of plague victims, to a military mind we are threat. 
            “They couldn’t possibly have any idea what we are up to.”
            “How could they?  When we don’t even know what we are up to.”  His eyes slid to Ch’loi, only for a moment but Amisbhake hadn’t missed it.  “I tell you, even if it were not illegal to be this far out into the Sea, they have every reason they need to eliminate us precisely because they do not know what we are up to.”
            “And yet, they are just following.”
            “I see where you’re going.”
            “I wish I could say the same,” Rayjay said.
            “So do i!”  Kurga threw his hands up.
            “Captain, would you mind explaining the situation to Mr. Din Allorowro.  We benefit from his cooperation, not his confusion.”
            Captain Rayjay bowed, “Apparently his but not mine.”
            The whole conversation took place on the sterndeck by the wheel.  Ch’loi had remained where she was in the bow with her book.  Amisbhake went to her now.  “Pyanuka*, how long will you keep counsel only within yourself?”
            “Not much longer.  One is almost arrived.”
            “One is not one.  One is among kin.”
            She looked up at him sharply and her eyes, still somewhat unreal despite all the amazing work of the physicians and their uncanny vats where they grew flesh like the dairymen grew cheese, gave him a barely repressed shudder.
            “Kin will not like it.”
            “Fear not.  Trust us.  We will follow you even into death.”  He looked over his shoulder and amended, “I at least will.”
            “This is what one fears.”

(*"Pyanuka": a term of affection used mostly for children)

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

6 What to Want

            “Are you unhappy here, Ch’loi?” Chofa asked after the morning meeting had broke up and the counselors had all gone their separate ways.  She would normally go to her lessons, learning how to read and write and behave in a completely new society but she had lingered and he sensed she wished to speak with him alone.  She sat next to him on his divan, her smallness all the more pronounced by her posture, as if she were trying to fold herself even smaller.  He poured them each a fresh cup of coffee, adding a straw for hers; she was so nearly healed but still struggled with swallowing.  She examined the dark fluid in her fragile cup for a long time before answering.  He was comfortable with the silence.
            “One does not know ‘happy’.  One has heard the word but one cannot smell it.  It makes no fire.” 
            “It makes no fire,” he repeated.  He had learned by now what she meant.  “What is making fire for you?  Where do you burn, Ch’loi?” 
            “One is not useful.  One only takes.  One has no purpose.”
            “A child takes, does a child have no purpose?”
            “A child’s purpose is to grow, one is already in the adult phase.”
            “How did you know your purpose before?”
            “One has always been ruled by need.  The need to obey the Primary.  The need to harvest.  The need to feed the kin.  The need to defend the kin.  Then the Firemaker came and one needed to know where the fire came from, what the fire meant.  This new need was stronger than former needs; it chose a new purpose for one.  Then the kin rejected one and one needed kin.    The Firemaker fed one and made one kin to the Firemaker.  The Firemaker gave one a purpose and one obeyed the Firemaker.  One brought the Firemaker and one to this kin-home.  Now the Primary feeds one, the Primary has made one kin of the Primary.  The Primary defends one.  Now one has no needs but one, a purpose.”
            “You’re purpose is to heal.”
            “The procedures are complete.  One is nearly healed and utilizable again.”
            “You have your lessons…”
            “Learning is necessary, learning is vital, but learning without knowing one’s purpose is inefficient.  One does not know what is best to learn, what will be useful.”
            “Are you asking me for a reason for living or just a job?”
            “Are these not the same thing?”
            Chofa rubbed his eyes.  “I haven’t had enough coffee for this conversation.”
            “May one pour the Primary more?”
            “No, that’s not what I… yes, yes you can!  There, I’ve given you a purpose.” 
            She poured him a fresh cup, fixed it as he liked and handed it back to him.  “The Primary is joking.”
            “Yes he is.  He is stalling because he feels ill equipped to decide your fate, daughter.”
            “Is this not the purpose of the Primary?”
            “It is, but I am actually the Secondary.  Yahweh is the Primary.”
            “One studies the Firemaker’s book and is learning much but one still has this need.  How does the Primary..”
            “Secondary,” Chofa corrected.
            “How does the Secondary..”
            “I’d prefer Father.”
            “How does the Secondary determine the Yahweh’s will in such cases?”
            Chofa set down his coffee and motioned for her to do so.  He enveloped her hands in his great paws and said, “We ask Him.”

Monday, August 25, 2014

Vacation update

i'm on vacation but never fear, that means i have time to work on work that isn't work to me and no one acts like i should be doing something more constructive.  Well, no one but my son who thinks if i'm not throwing, bouncing, splashing, bumping or setting a ball with him then i'm doing nothing.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

What Ch'loi wants

            “What is it you desire?” Kurga asked.
            “Pardon?” Ch’loi blinked.
            “Did I startle you?  I’m sorry, milady, I didn’t know how deep in your own thoughts you were.  But we are nearly to the Last Caravanserai and I only wish to know…what now?”
            “A topic I’m rather interested in myself,” Captain Rayjay said. 
            “As am I,” Amisbhake added.
            “You?” Kurga exclaimed, “I thought you were her counselor?”
            “I cannot counsel where my counsel is not asked for.”
            “Tell that to my mother.  Well then, it would seem we are all in the same boat.”
            “Did you really mean to say that?”
            “Say what?”
            “Never mind.”  Amisbhake turned to the small girl staring at the deck of the skiff.  “Child, the time has come.”
            She looked at him then turned to Kurga, “One would like to purchase slaves.”
            “Ah,” he smiled, “I see.  I could have guessed.  And what kind of slaves should I buy for you, children I suppose?”
            She slashed the air with one hand.  “Age is irrelevant.”
            “Oh.  Uh.   Well then, um, do you prefer males or females or..?”
            “Also unimportant.”
            “Well then…ah… could you give me something to go on?  What qualities are important?”
            She focused on the deck again and was silent a long time before she spoke.  When at last she looked at him, he shivered, “One only needs them to be dying.  Preferably of fever.”

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Why i think we need more poets, artists and musicians

There are people in Kosovo kidnapping others and harvesting their organs for the black market.  There is a market for illegally harvested organs.  There are people kidnapping girls to use as sex slaves.  There is a market for sex slaves.  There are people selling their sons and daughters.  There is a market for sons and daughters.  There almost isn't a country left that doesn't have unrest and armed fighting in its streets.  There has never been a better time in history to be rich nor a worse time in history to be poor.  There has never been a wider gap between the two.  What used to be sins are now inalienable rights.  Murder is now contraception and assisted suicide.  The church now has a greater divorce rate than the secular world.  Faceless, soulless corporations now have the same rights as people but with far greater power and influence and no conscience.  Children are showing up on our doorsteps, homeless, hungry and afraid and we think the answer is more guns and laws on the doorstep.  Famine, drought and diseases we should have eradicated by now kill millions but we do nothing because those millions are in countries we don't care about.  We build elaborate homes for our cars while others sleep under tarps.  In a world where nothing is wrong, power is the only right.

It's not a lack of resources, laws, guns, money or power or will that's the problem, it's a lack of prophets.

It's a lack of the fear of Yahweh.  It is the prophet's job to call us back, to open our eyes and ears and turn them inward to see the sin in each of our hearts and outward to see the God-man wanting to heal those hearts.  The train of the world is running to the end of the track and it's only picking up steam.  Now more than ever we need to repent and return to God.  Who will call us back?

Sunday, July 27, 2014


            “Natural beauty ignored and hand built wonders disdained, here I find you with your nose in that book.”  Ch’loi looked up at the voice of Counselor C’yashi.  “If I did not believe you were Ch’voga’s disciple before, you have successfully removed all doubt.” 
            She looked out at the view of the city and surrounding countryside they had from the palace tower.  The quick refocus of near to far hurt her new eyes so she turned back to the book.  “There is much to learn and buildings and mountains are mute teachers with little knowledge.”
            “What?  Little…?  Could you be so blind, child?  Each building tells the story of the builder.  Each home reveals the life of those who dwell within its walls.  All collected they tell the history of a culture and a people and predict its destiny!
            And those mountains, they have seen it all. They stood there ancient, unchanging, unfazed and unmoved long before men dreamed up the words in Ch’voga’s book.”
            “One does not know how to read sticks and stones.”
            “Perhaps one just needs a teacher?”
            She looked at him as he sat down on a bench near where she squatted.  “Perhaps,” she allowed.
            “After all, once you didn’t know how to read the words in Ch’voga’s book either and apparently Chofa’s tutors have that remedied.  As you say, there is much to learn and not all of it can be found in books.”
            “Is the Counselor offering to teach one?”
            “Is one asking the Counselor to teach?”
            “One has teachers.”
            “Yes, I’ve seen.  Many teachers, yet all they teach is that book.  A rather narrow curriculum.”
            “One felt the words of this book make fire.”
            “I confess I have no idea what that means.”
            “One is content.”
            “Ah, I see,” he said.  She turned back to the pages and he seemed lost in thought.  He interrupted her reading a moment later, “you know, it’s a funny thing, destiny.”  She looked up at him.  “If you think about it.  Just a few short years ago, I sat in this same spot, having a very similar conversation with Ch’voga.  I have a.. a talent for seeing the future.  It's what gives me value as a counselor.  I hesitate to call it a gift.  It’s a blessing and a curse really.  Did you know it was I who convinced Ch’voga it was his destiny to be a missionary?  I sent him into that desert.  What grief I bore when he did not return!  What guilt! 
            But now I look at you and think, no.  No, I was right all along.  It was his destiny to find you.  I had not misread the signs.  So, in a way, I’m responsible for bringing you here.  And now here you and I are, in the same spot and destiny verily dances in the air around us.”
            “One is not familiar with destiny.  One heard the Fire-maker.  One made choices.  One obeyed the Fire-maker’s words.  One is here.”
            “Of course you did dear.  I’m not saying any of that is not true.  I’m just saying there are forces arrayed which we do not always perceive but are true as well.  As true as those mountains.”
            Ch’loi looked at the mountains, faded and hazy with distance and her weakened eyesight.  “Does the counselor perceive a ..destiny for one?”
             “No child, such is not the question you should be asking.  No one has the right to tell you what your destiny is.  I cannot claim to know your destiny.  I’m merely … a guide.”
            “To destiny?”
            C’yashi smiled. “To your destiny.  The question you would ask, if only you knew to ask it, is: what do you, Ch’loi, legacy of Ch’voga, most fervently desire?”

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Please stand by...

The King of the Cockroaches staff would like you to know we are currently experiencing technical difficulties. Certain staff members are shirking their responsibilities, whining about how hard illustrations can be, day jobs and the like.  We assure you they will receive a thorough fonging.

In the meantime we ask that you please be patient and enjoy this picture of a goat.

Monday, July 14, 2014


            “Ah Aedlin!” Kurga said.  “They’ve stopped the waterfalls.  And I do believe the lake is smaller too.  Come to think of it, the whole place looks kind of run down.”
            “As long as they still can supply us with water, it could be a shed and a hand pump for all I care.  You will aid Captain Rayjay with the negotiations for our provisions?” Amisbhake asked.
            “Delighted.  The Emperor will probably gift us what we need, so excited will he be to see another holy person.”
            Ch’loi, sitting among the baggage, slashed the air in front of her, yet it was Amisbhake who spoke.  “No,” he said, “you will present us as traders.  Nothing else.”
            “But I thought..”  Kurga looked at the girl, “don’t you want to meet with the Emperor?”
            “Why,” her voice was as light and tremulous as dust lit by stained glass, “would I want to do this?”
            “Why?  Why?  Why because I thought the idea was to proselytize.  To spread Yah’s message of peace, love and whatever comes after that.  Ch’Voga seemed rather keen on it.”
            “I am not the Fire-maker.  Aedlin is not my calling.”
            “Not your.. well, what is your calling?”  But she would not speak anymore and Kurga knew from the look in Amisbhake’s eye that he was not welcome to push.  “Ah, well, all things reveal themselves to the patient.  Looks like a delegation is coming out to meet us anyway.” 
            They came alongside the quay and the gangplank was settled.  The delegation didn’t look threatening or welcoming.  It looked bored.  This was routine.  The toady at its head opened a scroll but never looked at it.  “The Emperor of the Sand Sea welcomes his honored guests to his capitol of Aedlin, the Jewel of the Empire.  He blesses you by the gods and prays your stay here will be one of fortune and good luck provided your papersareinorderandtaxesarepaidinfull.  Here is a list of currencies and trade goods no longer acceptable for tax purposes by order of the Chief Steward.”
            “And how is ol’ Khop these days?” Kurga asked.
            The toady turned one baleful eye in his direction.  “Dead.  Tea is provided for your refreshment as you are to enjoy the privilege of the search of your ship for impurities.  Please to step aside.”  They were made to exit the ship and stand on the quay as the desultory soldiers ransacked their goods looking for contraband. 
            “Probably looking to supplement their pay with whatever they find,” Captain Rayjay grumbled.  “’Impurities’ is probably code for ‘whatever fits in my pocket.’”
            “Oh cheer up Captain and have some lukewarm lake water with some leaves tossed in,” Amisbhake sipped his, “mm, poison sumac I think.”
            “It would seem the jewel of the Empire is anthracite.  Hear now, here’s a familiar face.  Ho there!” Kurga hailed the wharfmaster.  “Well met, friend, what’s the news?”  The wharfmaster began to tell them of his bunion and the horrible fee he would have to pay to have it removed, “yes, yes, I can see how that would be troublesome.  Almost as troublesome as removing and replacing a Chief Steward.”
            “Oh, has Rizzlethop gotten the axe too?  I hadn’t heard!”
            “I’m sure he hasn’t, (long life to him) I was referring to the Khop who was Chief Steward when last I weighed upon your hospitality.”
            “Really?  Had you not heard of his removal?  It came shortly after the succession of course, surely you must have heard.”
            “The succession?”
            “Oh now you’re just poking my belly.  Everyone in the Empire and beyond follows the successions.  Are you so removed from politics?”
            “You would be amazed how far one has to go to hear no news of the Empire.  So the child is no longer Emperor?”
            “Gods, no.  He was called to join a monastery in one of the far off provinces, I forget which one, not being a religious man myself and made his Vizier Emperor in his stead with full rights and lineage of succession.  Very generous.”
            “Yes, very generous indeed, one wonders if he knew what he was doing.  And the people, the people are happy with the new emperor?”
            “People are people,” a dismissive wave, “keep them fed, keep them busy and they don’t really care who sits in the throne room.  But overly principled people, religious fanatics, you know the type,” he elbowed Kurga, “Zealots who take their faith so seriously, they make normal people nervous.  Trust me, the people are better off with a bureaucrat than a crusader.  You know what I mean?”
            Kurga looked over the man’s shoulder at where Ch’loi was squatting and reading Ch’Voga’s copy of the Holy Scriptures under a parasol held by the Royal Counselor who was not a bodyguard.  “Yes, yes, I think I do.”

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Intermission, don't forget to visit the snack bar.

i have a third installment written, i'm just struggling with the illustration.  In the meantime, here's a portrait of Amisbhake to tide you over and a excerpt of the conversation he had with the artist...
"Will this take long?"
"About two or three hours."
"Only?  And I'm not supposed to move in that time?"
"I'd rather you didn't, no."
"That may present a problem."
" so?"
"I may get hungry and eat you."
"Just kidding.  Fear not, I am a vegetarian."
"Oh, you had me worried there for a second!"
"Terribly sorry.  Are you quite recovered now?"
"Yes, just a momentary shock."
"Good, good.  Because if I don't like the portrait I may kill you anyway."

Saturday, July 5, 2014

A time before the tooth.

            “Ch’loi?”  It was the voice of the Great Primary.  The voice of the benefactor.  The voice of the Fire-maker’s .. originator.  There was no cast for “Father.”  The Harvester-known-as-Ch’Loi struggled with the concept.  ‘Kin’ it understood.  It had many kin.  This was a type of kin.  A special type with special privileges and bonding rituals.  The Harvester-known-as-Ch’loi had never been held and gripped as the benefactor had held it, like a restraint..yet with gentleness.  As if the benefactor was giving something instead of taking.  Sharing.  Not in the harvester way.  Not the way the hive took a harvester’s bounty from its crop.  Not with a frenzy of pain but with…  Again the wall of silence.  The Harvester-now-known-as-Ch’loi wished for the words of the Fire-maker.  New words that brought back old meanings.  There were no fires of ideas and concepts without words.
            “Ch’loi?” the voice said again.  “Can you hear me?  I thought you said…”
            A new voice, the primary of the physicians, “it will take some time, the hardware, if you will, is sound, the mind must learn to use it.  Make new connections from the brain to the…”
            Without thinking the Harvester-known-as-Ch’loi cast, “Not thee.”  A sound frightened it!  It jumped, or tried to.  Something held it down.  It strained, it was so weak.
            “Good Yah have mercy!  The bonds..!”
            “Will hold, Sire.  Amazing!  So quickly!  Truly a beautiful piece of engineering!”
            “Ch’loi, you must not be afraid.  I am with you.”  The Harvester-known-as-Ch’loi ceased struggling.  “Your eyes are… not ready yet.  Much of your body is different now.  How do you feel?”
            It wanted to slash, “No!” but its arms were held fast. 
            “How do you feel?  Tell me, are you in pain?”
            It wanted to chop.
            “Use words, Ch’loi.  You have them now.”
            “Hoort.”  The sound made it jump again.  It was so loud!  So close!  It happened when she cast!
            “How much, Ch’loi, how much do you hurt?  Is it bad?  Would you like to sleep instead?”  Strain.  “I feel your arm trying to answer, use your mouth.  Learn to use it.  It will take practice.  Is it bad, the hurt?  Do you want to sleep?”
            “No.”  Only a little jump.  “Not ..thleep.”  It felt now the organ that made the sound.  It moved and was ..filled with something, something new and flexible and it could feel itself, touch things.  The Harvester-called-Ch’loi explored this little cave with the flexible organ and realized, “Not tooth!”
            “Yes, we took that out.  It wasn’t a part of you, not what you were, what you were meant to be.”
            “You will learn, you will learn how to drink and eat!  Do you remember eating?  There will be many things to learn, to discover.  Most can wait till your strong.  But tell me, Ch’loi, what do you remember?  Do you remember a time before this was done to you?  Before the tooth?”
            “No.  Tooth alway.  Need alway.”
            “You don’t remember a home?  A mother or a father?  You don’t remember where you came from?  What you were?”
            “No.  Tooth alway.  Need alway.”
            “You don’t remember a time before the tooth, a time when you were.. a little girl?”

Friday, July 4, 2014

KotC: Book 2: A Girl Named Son: Chp 1: Traveling with Strangers

            “Are you well, Mr. Din Allorowro Vela D’Pomani D’Moro?” Amisbhake came up beside him on the rail of the skiff.
            “I am well enough, Sir.  Overjoyed to be free of the Docks if somewhat…ill at ease to find myself once again putting out into the Sea again.  And please, if we are going to be companions on this journey of several months, I am going to need you to call me just ‘Kurga’.”
            “You are ashamed of your family’s history?”
            “No.  Quite the opposite actually, I believe I bring shame to it.  It is better for them if everyone just thinks Kurga has failed, not the ignoble son of a great house has failed.”
            “I see.  You feel the weight of people’s expectations for you.  That can be a heavy burden.”
            “You have no idea,” Kurga said, then amended, “or do you?  I’m sorry, I really don’t know anything about you…or your rather silent companion.  Where is she?”
            “She seems rather frail.  This is not a journey for the weak you know.”
            The great, hulking Tigra bodyguard raised one eyebrow, “She is stronger than she appears.  How much did you know about Ch’Voga when you sailed from here with him?  Did you know his family?  His past?  His burdens?”
            “Not really, no.  I met him in a dockside café.  We both wanted to go east.  He had a contact with a boat but no money.  I had a contact with money but no boat.  That was all I needed to know.  I took him to be another child of privilege on a summer project of social justice.”
            “It would seem then, you are developing the habit of traveling with strangers.”
            “Well,” Kurga raised his waterskin, “Here’s to bad habits with better outcomes!”  He took a drink, wiping his muzzle with the back of his hand, his mother would be appalled, especially if she knew how much liquor he had added to the water.  Maybe this musclehead was right, he really was developing a lot of bad habits.  “Well, then Mr. Amisbhake, let us not tempt fate.  Tell me a little about yourself.”
            “What would you like to know?”
            “You said you work for the Viceroy?”
            “I serve him.”
            “Well, what’s it like being a bodyguard of a near-king?”
            “I am not his bodyguard.  Others do that work.”
            “Oh, I had assumed from your.. you’re not a..?  Well then how big are..?”  The eyebrow went up again and Kurga regrouped and restarted before he heard about another of his bad habits, “So what is it you do for the Viceroy?”
            “I sit on his council.”
            “You’re an advisor?”
            “I am.”
            “Well, fancy that.”
            “Yes.  Fancy that.”
            “Must be… interesting.”
            “It can be.”
            “Probably took a lot of schooling.”
            “A lifetime.”
            “Yes.”  The sand hissed under the boat.  The rigging creaked.
            “Why is she named, ‘Son’?” Kurga blurted.
            The Tigra smiled, “I was wondering when you would get around to asking me that.”


Sunday, June 29, 2014

Monotooth Drone sketchy

i haven't yet given up y'all.  Though i've hit a few roadblocks of late.  Have to pick my way through the rubble and see if and/or what God has in mind for this tale.

Meanwhile, here's a lil' something that squeezed out of my pencil today.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Thanks mums.

A reprint of my old Rabbit Trail... for me mum.  And for all mums ever'where.
Best.  Gift.  Evah!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Lord Willin' and the creek don't blub...

So Novella one of the King of the Cockroaches is complete.  i'm in the process of piecing together all the writings and sketches into a rough draft of sorts, a prototype to hand to my crash-test sweeties who don't get their readings from the fancy thinkin' box.  Novella two is firmly started... in my head.  But don't worry, this convoluted journey of Ch'loi's doesn't end here.  She won't let me stop now.  Even if no one else cares, i want to see what happens to her next.  Especially knowing what her plan is.  So pray for me, the forces arrayed against both her and i are myriad and mighty, but the God i serve is mightier still.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

KotC: Book 1: the Disciple: Epilogue

He entered the tent and took in the scene.  Phinehas sat like a toad on his divan, jeweled warts sparkling in the lamp light.  The cloying stench of incense nearly made him sneeze and the brothel/bilge/stable smell of the docks where his days were consigned was a fresh breeze by comparison.  Phinehas had guests he saw through the smoke haze and darkness, a young girl and her hulking Panthera Tigra bodyguard.  “You called for me, Master?”

“Ah, Kurga!  Here you are, and not a moment too punctual.  I’ve nearly exhausted my anecdotes of the Sand Sea trying to entertain our guests in your lassitude.  Sit!”  Kurga sat where he was, right on the floor, knowing he would not be offered a chair.  “These lovely people have some questions for you, you will be polite.”  The usual threat of violence if he failed to be ‘polite’ was left off, probably for the delicate company’s sake.

“How may I be of service to my Lord’s guests?”  He did not look at them.  He only looked at the table, eye level before him and its bounty of foods and glistening crystal glasses of cool wine.

The bodyguard spoke, “Are you the Kurga who accompanied Ch’Voga on his missionary journey into the Sand Sea in the cycle of Aven in the time of T’wend?”

An invisible fist squeezed Kurga’s heart at the mention of Ch’Voga’s name.  “Yes.”

“Would you be willing to guide a second expedition as far as the caravanserai where he purchased Ketra the slave girl?”

“Ha!” Phinehas barked.  “It is most fortunate for you that he is my property and you cannot have the ill fate of being led on an expedition arranged by this son of a motherless goat!  All who trusted in him before lie with the ancestors a’waiting their turn to whip him in hell!  And the lucre put in his porous paws found its way to other’s coffers and this leaky vessel was foolish enough to return destitute and begging for mercy!  Mercy?!  The only mercy here is for you my esteemed guests as I will not release him to be your executioners as well.”

There was a whispered conversation between the girl and the bodyguard.  “How much?” the bodyguard then asked.

“Ten lifetimes would not be enough to pay me back!”

“Would forty?”

These people spoke Phinehas’ language.  The merchant was stunned.  He had expected them to haggle and had set his first price far above his actual asking price.  They had countered by quadrupling his wildest expectations.  Robbed of any basis for further negotiating, the deal was set.  Kurga should have laughed.  Phinehas who had just come into a king’s ransom could not enjoy any of it for wondering how much more he could have had.  Two things checked Kurga’s mirth however.

One was the shock.  It was a king’s ransom!  And it had been paid for him!  Why?  He was nothing but a disgruntled slave and a failed businessman.  All his schemes, all his plans, all his designs had led him to a lifetime of servitude to a tyrant with no chance or hope of freedom save in death.  And now he walked out of the tent into the light of the brilliant sunshine for the first time as a free man!  It was madness!  Who would do such a thing?  Who was this girl?

And that was the second thing; the eyes of the girl.  They were eerie, chilling as clear blue ice, older than a glacier yet as new as last night’s frost. 

And they were fixed on him.  The bodyguard led them to an outdoor café where Kurga was treated to the first meal he had eaten which was not rice and muddy water in longer than he could remember.  He temporarily forgot the girl’s eyes while he made an ass of himself stuffing his face.  He was ashamed of himself but not enough to quell a burp after polishing off thirds.  The bodyguard had eaten nothing but vegetables (how does one get so big on vegetables?) and the girl had eaten nothing, merely sipping her tomato juice through a straw.  He looked at her closer, around the eyes the dark brown fur said she was Eastern, Mwang-Tai.  He should know.  He’d seen enough of them when Jacques and he finally made it across the Sea, but there was something different about her.  Something that also made her look old, older than the hills in a body that obviously marked her as late teens.  Her direct stare for instance.

“Who are you?” he asked wiping his mouth on his filthy sleeve.

“I am Amisbhake,” the bodyguard introduced himself, “servant of Chofa, the Viceroy most high and guardian keeper of the Paschimi Goh’cranna.  This.. is Ch’Loi.”

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Fate of Ch'loi

The Harvester-called-Ch’loi remained motionless and listened.  The Need was as nearly still as it had ever known.  Its hearing was remarkably acute.  It had always thought the Need made its hearing sharper but that was apparently only true in the painful sense.  Now, it registered sounds and conversations all over the building in which it lay.  One voice above all however drew its full attention.

“How is he?” Chofa asked the primary of the physicians.

“Stable, my lord, healing itself at an unimaginable rate.  All we really need do at this point is feed it.”

“A matter of self-preservation as well, I reckon.”

“Indeed, Lord Amisbhake.  The creature…”

“My son.”

“Apologies, my lord!  It..he..Ch’loi’s body is a highly efficient machine, utilizing very little of its intake and storing the vast majority, yet its augmented appetite is nigh insatiable.  It-he is always starving, as it were.  Always hungry.  Yet is always in possession of plenty.”

“How is that possible?”

“It seems it was designed to store the food product…”

“’Food product.’  Ha.  There’s a delicate term for people’s guts.”

“Peace Amisbhake, let her speak, continue lord surgeon.”

“The ichor if it please the Lord Counselor then, is stored with astounding efficiency but it is nearly unable to access it except in times of most dire need, and even then entirely involuntarily.”

“The food he stores is for another,” Chofa said.

“So it would seem.  We are removing nearly as much ichor as we pump in and then re-using it.”

“Recycling?  Feeding him his own stomach contents?” Amisbhake asked.

“Crop contents in actuality but indeed.  It’s a truly fascinating design.  A marvel of applied bioengineering that is completely lost today and we are most fortunate to study.”

A new voice spoke, “Which could mean a boon in the elimination of the Monotooth scourge altogether, could it not doctor?”

“It certainly could go a long way, Lord C’yashi.”

“I’m not interested in killing him,” Chofa interrupted, “I want to save him.”

“Save him, Milord?”

“Lord Surgeon, if Ch’loi is willing, I wish to heal him.  I wish to make him.. a person again.”