- August 9th, 2011
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April, 1900 – England
If there had been a time before war, most of humanity didn’t remember it. Even before the threat fell from space, mankind had a few million years experience slaughtering their own unnecessarily. It was with great expertise that their Earth was carved and bombed, raped and poisoned. With the haziest of boundaries and dividing lines they grouped themselves into camps of opposing forces. Waging war started perhaps as an evolutionary tool for securing food and territory. But like all predisposed compulsions, abominations began to arise.
“We’ve never been content just to kill ourselves.” Shanna said, glancing up from her history lessons. “But globalization hasn’t helped much. We don’t have hereditary culture anymore. We have languages, but not accents. Dialect are dying out or neutralizing in every major city as it they become more and more averaged. Even genetically we are marching towards multi-diversity. We are losing reasons to murder other people. We just have humanity in general. Did you ever wonder if we just killed Fomorians simply because they had the poor taste not to be born human?”
Her question was asked so innocently, so curiously that Allessandro had to remind himself not to scold. Many people saw Ms. Chylde as a tiresome student, but what other tutors interpreted as insolence; he was beginning to view as perhaps genuine philosophy. Of course he did have to agree that she was quite the burden, and he was really an expert on the subject. Master Voyle had been the unlucky third year mentor assigned to her almost half decade past. After only a year, he’d been burned, bitten, punched and even knocked unconscious by the feral little northerner more times than he could count. Though her episodes came much less frequently now, they were also far more severe. But sometimes, at moments like this, when she was sitting primly and well behaved in the library, head lowered into her books, it was hard to remember his dislike. In fact, as time went by, he’d developed something of an affection for the girl. This recent self-realization had been plaguing him of late and often times Allesandro found himself wondering if she felt the same way in return.
“We’ve hardly lost our hereditary culture, Shanna.” he replied in his own native language to prove the point.
“So says the one that hasn’t returned to his mother’s country since he was a child.” she countered back….in Italian as well.
The point was not lost on him, nor was her talent for languages.
“My country was obliterated. What’s your excuse?” The girl pressed with a smug little smile.
Allessandro narrowed his eyes. “My ‘excuse’ is that I am in school learning the tools I will need to be a contributing member of Society. This is perhaps a thought that should occur to you a bit more often. Now be quiet and finish the chapter. There is a test on this tomorrow.”
Shanna flashed him a pretty, mischievous grin but as instructed, returned to her reading. There was always a lot of reading to do for those taken in by the Society of Morrigan. Each and every last of them from first year student to exalted Voice could wield terrible and destructive powers. The constant learning forced discipline. Without it… well…
The boy sighed and shook his head.
“Voice of Water, what is your will?” The chairman’s tone sounded tired and not the least bit enthusiastic. A long moment passed before one of the Junior Pages awkwardly nudged his elderly compatriot back to consciousness. The Parliament of the Society was in session. All matters of business for the clandestine organization of stone-wielders and modern -day sorcerers were brought up here.
“Water humbly forgoes this honor.” The words were mumbled through sleep-thickened lips. None else noticed or seemed concerned. The gathered magus’ were feeling quite similarly apathetic in the oppressive heat.
No answer at all. All of the windows of the old stone building crafted in the time of Viking raids had been opened up. Still the cool country air did little to curb the afternoon heat.
“Lord Walden, do you move to open an inquiry into budget standards for this fiscal quarter?” The chairman sighed and loosened his tie.
An uncomfortable stir moved through the hottest side of the chamber. Voice of Fire didn’t even lift his head. Instead one of younger assistants waved the chairman on.
Baroness Elinore St. August dipped her head politely and made a vague, dismissive gesture with her fan.
“Then it is all agreed. Page Wolke, your proposal stands. Thank you for your contribution. Next order of business?” A long, miserable silence followed. No one of the Society’s upper echelon wanted to be here any longer.
“So be it. This session of Parliament is hereby adjourned.” It was as if a long held breath was suddenly released. The heavy silence of the chamber hall bled off in a series of mumbles and groans as uncomfortable chairs were pushed back and members rose wearily to their feet. All except for one. A frantic Page tried desperately to rouse his master, who was still quite content to continue snoring unabashedly.