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Tell no Tales- rewrite (NSW, R (language), COMPLETE)


Jidai Geki
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I get the feeling we're building up to a rather large event.

 

The admission by Clanton he didn't know where Sam was felt a bit fast, I would have thought he'd hold out for more information about the three of them seeing he didn't really trust them.

 

Otherwise, solid update. Some nice little quips by Clanton in there too.

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You're right about the Clanton thing, Brendan. In fact the interactions with Clanton and the bit straight after are things that I want to change. This Locke-centred part has actually just been re-written to change Locke's attitude.

 

-------------------

 

”œAnd so he said to him: ”˜That depends, sir, on whether I embrace your mistress or your principles.'”

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http://www.themire.co.uk-- being a veracious and lurid account of the goings-on in the savage Mire and the sootblown alleys of Portstown's Rookery!

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I would have to say the addition is absolutely great. Your descriptions of the murder are done so well and I love how you allow Locke to hold onto some of his humanity, while Cooper is almost unattached emotionally. I'm very curious to see where the story goes.

 

The only question I have, and it may have been answered in one of the posts, but what are gants?

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Sorry I've taken so long to get to this one Lee.

 

I love the way you have Locke 'flirting' with Mrs Teal, and the resultant blushes from her.

 

The speed and cold ruthlessness of Cooper is brilliantly conveyed, and i like that you differentiate his normal shy nervous self, with the calm cold killer.

 

Great addition and i look forward to more.

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The high priest, his road-soiled stole pulled half from his neck, looked up in surprise as he took in the opulent chamber. Rather than the sleeping quarters he had expected, bath already being drawn and food laid out on a long table, he found himself looking at a tall, sombre man dressed in austere vestments.

 

The priest who had been guiding him followed him in, waiting impatiently for the slave to follow before closing the door.

 

”œApologies for disturbing you, Rector, but I thought you would want to know about this right away.”

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http://www.themire.co.uk-- being a veracious and lurid account of the goings-on in the savage Mire and the sootblown alleys of Portstown's Rookery!

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Kwame is easily the most fun character to write for, actually. I tried to make him more mercenary and amusing than his former incarnation, who was as brutal and cold-blooded, but not quite as devil-may-care.

 

-----------------

 

”œThere she is,”

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http://www.themire.co.uk-- being a veracious and lurid account of the goings-on in the savage Mire and the sootblown alleys of Portstown's Rookery!

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Hearing her voice was like hearing a beautiful lie wrapped in sonic velvet; it was the sound of a heavenly choir singing a soothing, dulcet song about rape and murder and incest. It was seductive and repellent, melodic and calming, opiate for the eardrums.

 

It was the voice of the High Priestess of Sious, the most vilely beautiful woman ever to walk the Mire.

 

She stepped into the light. Jason's jaw, suddenly unheeding of the knife below it, dropped soundlessly.

 

She was not a young woman- perhaps approaching forty- which made her beauty all the more striking. She wore long, flowing cream robes which were exquisitely embroidered and decorated, dozens of precious gems set into the vestments. A long, gold-trimmed stole draped around her neck and reached almost to the ground, either end embossed with the stylised Eye of Sious.

 

The woman had high cheekbones, a narrow, small nose, and full lips pulled back in a slight half-smile. None of this was especially remarkable.

What was remarkable, however, were the woman's eyes.

 

The lids were closed, the reason being that they were sewn shut with coarse, black stitches that protruded obscenely like hairs on the legs of a fly. They were red, raw, the puncture holes through which the stitches were threaded gaping and scabbed. The effect of the obscene, bloodied eyes in her beautiful face was perverse and unsettling.

 

In the centre of her forehead the Priestess had tattooed the now-familiar Eye. Hers, however, was far more elaborate and well-designed, the colours more vivid, and in the right light it almost looked like a genuine eye implanted in the woman's head. The tattoo had the unnerving effect of seeming to move, to follow whomever she addressed wherever they were.

 

”œYou have spilled the blood of many Faithful today, Godsless,”

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http://www.themire.co.uk-- being a veracious and lurid account of the goings-on in the savage Mire and the sootblown alleys of Portstown's Rookery!

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I love the opening of this post. The complete juxtaposition of "it was the sound of a heavenly choir singing a soothing, dulcet song about rape and murder and incest" is brilliantly executed, written casually and yet is immensely powerful.

 

The image of the priestess with her eyes sewn shut is quite disturbing. *shudders*.

 

Well written. Keep going with this.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks. Locke is easily my favourite character to write for, though he's not in it as much as the principals.

 

That concludes part one: this here's the beginning of Book II. I figured I'd post longer rather than shorter; if it's too much let me know, and I'll scale back.

 

**********

 

As Jason regained consciousness, a few things immediately became clear: firstly, they weren't dead. Which meant the Theists had actually let them go. Secondly, they were no longer in the Thorpe, or indeed in any town or city. They seemed to be in some sort of large, sparsely furnished vehicle- probably a steam engine. Jason was sitting on a long seat upholstered in old, bald leather, a table in front of him from the days where such engines might have featured servants, fine wines, and expensive meals. Opposite him was another long seat, the whole carriage separated similarly into open booths.

 

The sounds filtering in through the thick protective glass seemed to indicate that they were in the Mire. Not the most encouraging news, but the fact that there was a thick layer of metal and glass between them and the sights and sounds of the Mire reassured him somewhat.

 

Lastly, and perhaps the most surprising development, was that the crazy Theist witch had been serious about their taking the Middler woman with them. She sat cross-legged in the middle of the carriage's aisle, seemingly meditating or praying, as they regained consciousness.

 

”œShit,”

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http://www.themire.co.uk-- being a veracious and lurid account of the goings-on in the savage Mire and the sootblown alleys of Portstown's Rookery!

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  • 1 month later...

Sorry it's taken me so long to get to this Lee!

 

Great read. I could feel the tension in the carriage, and I loved the way you described them all waking up...that groggy state can be hard to capture, but you did it very well.

 

I'm very curious as to why the Theist has been sent along, and also how her addition to the group will change the chemistry of everyone.

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No worries, I'm glad that you're reading and critiquing at all.

 

--------------

 

Steam engines were more commonly called ”˜land trains' by hoi polloi. The Mire's nobility scoffed at this; surely ”˜land train', they would say, was a tautology? You might as well call a ship a sea ship, or a dirigible a sky dirigible.

 

Hoi polloi, if they had the brass tacks to say anything back at all, might invite the nobility to shove their tortoiseology bullshit, whatever that was, up their high-class arses, and whilst they were at it, they could do with not speaking from those same puckered shit-holes. ”˜Land train', in fact, made perfect sense, because an actual train didn't go across the land, see, it went around on rails. A land train didn't; it went direct on the land. So land train. And I am Groot you, Little Lord La-di-da.

 

Class-fuelled conflict on nomenclatural convention aside, the phrase ”˜land train' was as visual and evocative as could be used to describe a steam engine. They certainly resembled their track-based cousins: long and narrow, the single rear carriage pulled by a powerful steam-powered front car, containing the powerful engine from which its correct name derived. Such a vehicle had long been considered undesirable outside of a rail-based setting, the primary concern being that it would topple over as soon as taking a bend, and indeed, in the savage wilderness of the Mire, that it most certainly could not traverse anything but the smoothest, flattest terrain.

 

These very reasonable concerns had at long last been overcome by some unsung mechanical genius or other, at some indeterminate point in the last twenty or so years. The provenance of scientific breakthroughs were not of much concern to Mirefolk; their applications were.

 

Said mechanical genius had overcome the issue of balance with gyro-whatsits and other gizmos that, gosh, were far too complicated for the layman to grasp, and the issue of traversing rough terrain was solved via the application of a suspension mechanic which saw the passenger carriage divided into discrete segments which could move independently of the others. What was truly a marvel about this, the invention of some anonymous mechanical wiz (who, it would have chagrined the nobility to find out, was a grubby prole born to a common trader) was that the interior of the passenger carriage was not disturbed by this movement at all. The engine could be driving over a field of jagged boulders, and the passengers wouldn't feel a thing (the driver was another story, but then again, he was only the driver). This had something to do with the actual carriage being suspended within the interlocking metal segments, through some other technological miracle, but what did the mathematics of it all matter anyway? The point was that one could traverse the Mire in absolute comfort and safety, sealed away snugly from all the frightful unpleasantness outside and enjoying a glass of wine and a medium-rare steak, if that was one's fancy.

 

What Jason and company could not understand was why the Theists had given them this very expensive- and incredibly well built- free-roaming locomotive.

 

Jason stepped down from the passenger carriage, his pistol having been holstered for no longer than thirty seconds before being back in his hand, and looked upon the cloying, menacing oppressiveness of the Mire all around them.

 

He knew what everyone knew, or at least what everyone thought they knew; the world hadn't always been like this. Some maintained that the Beforedom had been a paradise; a lush, verdant landscape of rolling green hills, babbling, crystal-clear brooks, and lamb and beef- Gods, the fabled lamb and beef- roaming across the countryside, grazing and waiting for their masters to take them and make juicy steaks and succulent roasts of them. Others- mostly the Theists- insisted that Beforedom had been an oppressive industrial nightmare, where the ruling class waxed fat on the sweat of the working man, and ugly, angular factories belched foul vapours into the air. Jason was no historian, but if he had to guess, he would say the truth was somewhere in between.

Whatever the Beforedom had looked like, the Ascent, or the Fall, or sometimes simply ”˜the Incident', had changed all that.

 

Man had been laid low by the Incident, most of them dead or dying after what had happened (and what had happened was another topic of intense scholarly and theological debate). Nature had taken a beating too, but if there was one thing nature was good at, it was bouncing back. And bounced back she had, with a vengeance.

 

The Mire was a desolate yet thriving place of gnarled, powerfully built trees, vicious and cloying flora, even more vicious fauna. The old Beforetime roads persisted still- in fact, the land train was sitting upon one of them as Jason descended from it- but nature brooked no barrier, not even the unmoving, durable stone of man's roads. Thick, insidious roots had already begun to burrow into and under the road, forcing it up in places and making it look for all the world like somebody had thrown a dull grey carpet over a long line of corpses. The stone was cracked in places, and strangely sinister sprouts of vegetation peeked through, malevolently eyeing man's domain.

 

Jason had heard tales of carnivorous plants lurking the Mire, luring men in with perfectly placed fruit that held them fast as soon as they laid hands on it, before drawing them in and slowly digesting them alive. There were also stories of Mirewolves, twisted, hideously strong boars, even deer and birds who had been”¦ changed by the Incident, but who had overcome the change and were stronger for it. If a hell of a lot less placid and a hell of a lot more dangerous.

 

This, like most of the stories men spin of things they haven't seen and do not understand, were most likely exaggerations, but even the tallest of tales had a kernel of truth to them, and looking into that thick, muted choke of trees and plants, Jason found himself believing all of them.

 

They were surrounded on both sides by the sinister forest, the trees clutching at the sky with twisted, gnarled fingers overhead and blocking a good deal of the natural light. Straight ahead of him, to the left of the train, the edge of the road was swallowed by moss and bushes. It could have been his imagination, but he could have sworn he saw the vegetation twitching hungrily, as if anticipating the meat-thing's approach and waiting to snatch him and drag him screaming into the dense foliage.

 

”œIria's I am Grooting kecks,”

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http://www.themire.co.uk-- being a veracious and lurid account of the goings-on in the savage Mire and the sootblown alleys of Portstown's Rookery!

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I love the way you describe the land train, without actually describing. Quite a novel approach, and well executed. Some good solid descriptions in this piece, that isn't complicated or diluted by needless or interupting dialogue. A piece after my own description-loving heart.

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I hope it's coming across OK, I'm a bit concerned that the banter is a bit contrived.

 

----------------

 

The steam engine was in perfect working order, they were assured by Kwame and the Theist woman (although had she assured them the sky was blue, they would have instinctively assumed it was a lie). Firebox, water tank, and lots of other, more technical terms which Jason forgot after five seconds were enthusiastically lavished upon them, but the long of the short seemed to be: they were good to go. They had even patched Ossus' knife wound up whilst the old man was unconscious.

 

”œHow come you know so much about steam engines, anyway?”

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http://www.themire.co.uk-- being a veracious and lurid account of the goings-on in the savage Mire and the sootblown alleys of Portstown's Rookery!

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No it's not comign across as contrived. I'm really enjoying being able to hear such distinctive voices when I read.

 

I'm intrigued with Glom / The Roadman...sounds like a 'keeper of the path' style character...pay me before you can pass kind of thing.

 

It would appear as if Jason is rather smitten by Xi. But i'm going to hazard a guess that Kwame comes around and takes a liking to her.

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All will be revealed in time vis-à-vis the development of the relationships between the main players. I think you might be surprised.

 

----------------------------------

 

Locke and Cooper ate in almost total silence, the occasional instruction regarding etiquette and good manners from Locke being the only discourse in the modest hotel suite.

 

Cooper still hadn't completely taken to Locke's instruction; the urge to throw away the fancy, pretentious cutlery and dig in with his hands was flagrantly obvious to the older man, but it was with some pride he saw that the boy fought the urge and eat as any civilised young man ought to.

 

Locke pushed his plate away abruptly, not forgetting, even in his disarrayed state of mind, to place the knife and fork neatly on the plate next to the half-eaten venison steak. He picked his napkin from his lap and dabbed at his lips delicately.

 

”œSomething's bothering you,”

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http://www.themire.co.uk-- being a veracious and lurid account of the goings-on in the savage Mire and the sootblown alleys of Portstown's Rookery!

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