Death of A Shining Prince

Dedicated to the four-episode long OVA Love Princess Koihime. Perhaps, one day, I will find you again. This story has some graphic and mature references. Reader’s discretion is advised. 

Musashi was dying.

Musashi knew he was dying. He knew because after all those years of college and medical school — after becoming a doctor — he recognized the signs. He knew because each rattling gasp out of his lungs was like the orgasms that young people — and older — lived for.

But most of all, Musashi knew because he was lying in his futon, surrounded by his wives, and not fucking them. Instead, he was dying.

His long white-haired head, now devoid of its ponytail, lay on Nami’s lap where her cool slender hands gently cradled his head. Anzu rested her own head on his right shoulder, while Suzaku grasped his hand while curled up into his left side. Mayuki lay on top of him, and even in his weakened state she was barely even a weight on his body. The small slender woman had her arms wrapped around his torso and her face buried into his chest. He could feel the frigid cold of her tears on his skin.

Musashi smiled sadly. He knew that all of them would take his death hard, but none harder than Mayuki. He was always her Sir Musashi: her Musashi-sama. This didn’t change when they all married. If anything it added another edge to their deeply intimate exchanges, and lovemaking. He brushed worn but strong slender fingers through her long hair, experienced hands in healing and pleasure, and felt an inevitable loss well in his chest before he swallowed it down back to a tired but content smile.

He saw them: forcing his gaze to grasp them where his flesh now failed him. They were trying to be strong for him now, but he could tell their hearts were breaking, and their mortal masks were slipping off of them. Nami’s golden horns sparkled through her greying dark hair and tears glittered in the careworn lines of her mouth and the crow’s feet of her eyes. Even Anzu’s emerald hair was faded and Mayuki’s once light blue hair turned just as white and icy as the flowers she used to wear in it and the element that she represented. Only Suzaku’s hair remained the same colour as before — a deep, brash and angry red that matched the scowl on her lined features as if she could read his mind right now: which — of course like her grandfather before her — she could.

Where once she would have punched him in the gut a few times for his stupidity, instead it was now her frown that seemed to tell him that he was an idiot, and it wasn’t his fault for dying, that it was something mortals do, and that they’d all made peace with that long ago and she would not abide by him belittling their commitment to him with such stupid doubts. Of course, that same expression on her face was also a very stubborn attempt to keep from bawling her eyes out and a promise to herself that she would do it later.

He managed to smile again at her chastisement and knowing her so well after all these years. Musashi remembered just how angry he’d gotten at their parents — the divine nature spirits themselves — over erasing his memories of them. He recalled going through life, doing well in school, even having other relationships and yet feeling a hole inside of him: sensing something missing after he visited his grandmother’s village all those years ago. Musashi recalled being furious at the spirits for making him forget about these girls from his childhood and was positively livid at Mayuki for voting to remove his memories of them.

She’d told him, later, that they knew he was mortal and that he would grow old while they would not. She told him that she didn’t want to keep him from his potential.

But it wasn’t your decision to make! he had shaken her shoulders hard that time and glared into her eyes, remembering childhood vows to all of them, recalling how he stood up to the very gods themselves for his love for them, It wasn’t your right.

He remembered her crying and almost turning the world into another Ice Age before taking her onto the futon and fucking her more fiercely than he ever had before. But that was a long time ago now, and he knew that it was Mayuki who ultimately changed her mind and wanted him back. He smiled back at his youthful passions, and the rash and ignorant blood-vows he made to them when they were all children, and that very confusing and frightening yet incredibly satisfying time he came back and made love to all of them.

Then they left the village, he earned his doctor’s degree and by some silent agreement between them his wives decided to grow old for him. They never had what would be considered to be a traditional life. Sometimes Musashi felt like the Shining Prince from Murasaki’s Genji Monotagari with all of his princess-wives. Yet unlike Genji, Musashi liked to think that he had a much less tragic life. Certainly, it hadn’t been easy. Unlike their lives back in his grandmother’s village, Musashi and his wives could not always be so public — with Nami as his legal spouse and the others considered family — yet it was a “secret” that they always hid in plain sight and not at all among their friends and children.

They had also fought, and bickered, and driven each other — and Musashi — insane. Sometimes he honestly wished their parents had killed him with their elemental powers back in the village. But there had also been the talks and sunny walks under the cherry blossoms with Mayuki in her frilly nineteenth century Western sun dress and parasol; the sparring matches and races with Suzaku that she always won; the movies and video games he and Anzu played together; and the home cooked meals and warm maternal arms and comfort of Nami to look forward to.

And then there was the sex. He recalled the coy submissiveness of Nami as he mounted her and the energy that crackled around her horns as he stroked them. He recalled Anzu as she wrestled him like a bratty little sister (he had long since gotten used to her calling him onii-chan even though they were the same age and not even remotely related by blood), ridden him like a demon, and loved to take him into her mouth. He grinned to himself as he thought of Suzaku riding astride him and in various positions, and knowing that he had at least one competitive sport he could match her in: if not completely surpass at times.

Then there was Mayuki — his Mayuki-sama — who he had almost always made slow, gentle and passionate love to her: the feeling of her cool skin burning heatedly under his touch. He looked at them all now and he knew that they were remembering the same things he did. Somehow, he could still see the strong broad-shouldered youth with his long shaggy dark hair in his ponytail. He could still see himself using his hands to gently spread their legs, and the intensity of his buttocks as he thrust into them.

Even though they let themselves age, they were still beautiful: his princesses. He looked at his own body and what time had did to it. Loving four goddesses had been kind to him. His body was heavily lined but not as broad as it once had been. Anzu said the lines around his eyes and mouth made him look distinguished. They had all laughed at the possibility of him wanting to grow a beard and moustache. Musashi knew he’d been a beautiful young man and that now he was a far cry from that time. Yet he also knew without looking at Suzaku’s fiercely admonishing glare that they still thought he was beautiful, and that they always would.

Musashi was afraid now. The light around him seemed dimmer. He knew he had been — that he was — a lucky man. Not many people could have done what they all did together. He knew that many relationships like these had failed; that unlike ordinary human beings his wives may have possessed different mentalities to allow for this. He also knew that many men never found true love in their lifetimes and that some died lonely and forgotten. Some never found one soul mate: never mind four.

The fact of the matter now was that Musashi wasn’t afraid for himself. He had all the love with him that he needed. Rather, he was afraid for others. He was afraid for his children — his many children — who might not find the happiness that he gained in the human world they lived in. He was afraid that they wouldn’t find that understanding and empathy. He’d told them about how most humans lived and how they usually took only one mate. Yet they always pointed out that he had been an ordinary human and that he found their mothers anyway.

Somehow, Musashi knew they would be fine. They had all visited him earlier and it was now just him and their mothers: just as it had all began. Yet the truth was, Musashi was afraid of leaving his wives: of leaving them alone and immortal to take care of immortal children in a mortal world. He was afraid of abandoning them and his blood-vows to the four of them. But more than that, he was deathly afraid of causing them pain by the mere existence of his own mortal death. Sometimes, when he and Mayuki sat under the trees and listened in companionable silence to the chirping of the cicadas, he could sense that fear of hers there and he wondered if that was part of the reason she had him sent away all those years ago: to avoid the pain of knowing his death.

“Onii-chan,” it was Anzu who spoke in his hair, “you can let go now.”

“You’ve always tried to please everyone,” Nami murmured, brushing his hair back, “It’s all right, Musashi. It’s your time now.”

“Stop being such a stubborn idiot,” Suzaku choked out, her eyes streaming but still burning into his own, “We’ll be just fine.”

Mayuki looked up at Musashi. The other three women regarded her still pale face with obvious concern until she spoke.

“We love you, Musashi-sama. Always.”

Musashi’s eyes began to blur. Then he smiled. They’d all known the risks in having a relationship with a mortal man. A part of Musashi in his later years wondered if a part of them had always regretted their decision, but he knew it was a stupid part. And as Musashi’s vision of the women he’d challenged the very gods for … whom he loved so much … began to fade away, he knew that whatever awaited him now this time he would never, ever forget them.

*

Musashi cursed.

He’d tripped over the last branch, but finally he was at the village. The cicadas sang in the woods under the bright summer sun. Musashi wiped his brow as he walked down towards his grandmother’s house. He hadn’t seen her in a very long time.

Yet as he came down, he noticed his grandmother waiting for him outside. She was the same as he’d always remembered: with her grey hair and kimono neat, and a kindly smile on her face. Next to her was a floating winged old man with long grey hair and a beard.

What is Soba doing with the old man?

“Who are you calling an old man, old man?”

Musashi was about to respond and then had his realization as he looked down at himself. “Oh.”

Grandfather Tengu smiled, “It’s all right. You are still much younger than me.”

Musashi stared at the winged old man, then back down at his now younger, broader and taller body.

“What? Did you honestly think we’d abandon the husband of our daughters and the father of our descendants?” he tapped a finger to his temple, “We are nature spirits, boy. Divine kami. We spend time with a lot of souls: the ones that reincarnate and those that do not …” the old man shook his head, “All right. Maybe you girls can knock some sense into him.”

“Told you he’d still be stubborn, Grandfather,” a young Suzaku told him, stepping out from behind Musashi’s grandmother’s dwelling, followed by the other three girls.

Musashi stares at them in shock: daring not to hope.

“Now dear,” his grandmother told him, “surely you remember your old childhood friends?”

“Your Obaasan is the only human we let live among us,” Grandfather Tengu smiled, “She always knew of our ways and respected us. We should have known her grandchild would be special as well.”

“Musashi-sama?”

“Don’t make us have to knock some sense back into you,” Suzaku cracked her knuckles.

Nami sighed, “Now you three, don’t be disappointed if he doesn’t remember …”

“Oh don’t worry,” Anzu skipped right up to a dumbfounded Musashi, “I know exactly how to make Onii-chan remember!”

But before the green-haired girl could kick his groin, Musashi blocked it with his hand, “Of course I remember you, you idiots!”

Then Musashi spread out his arms and smiled.

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The Spooky Ghost, The Spider, The Bat, And The Count

I promised you all a second Halloween post a few hours ago and so, somewhat against my better judgement, I am going to show you the first Halloween story I ever made.

And when I say the first I mean the first. I don’t know how old I was when I wrote it, but I must have been extremely young because someone had to transcribe it for me. They may have even helped guide my ideas while somehow letting me keep my child voice. I found this creased and rusted paper wedged somewhere in my old desk drawer. I can also barely remember having toys or some figures that inspired the characters. 

And no matter how much parts of this very short bit of juvenilia make me wince, no matter how many parts of it make me want to edit it and shake my head, I have to remember that we all start from somewhere. So in honour of this Halloween and all the progress I’ve made, I just want to show you a little bit of where I used to be.

Trick-or-treat my friends. Happy Halloween, Past Child Me. 

Once upon a time there was a castle and there lived a spider, a spooky ghost and a red bat. And then count was visiting the witch. The count won’t take too long.

The next day when it was nighttime it was dark in the castle. The bat was sleeping.

“Oh!” Somebody open the door. I’m getting scared!” said the count.

The candle was lighted and one candle was turned off, and one was on, and one was dead. Then the count was sleeping, the spider was sleeping, the bat was sleeping, and the ghost was sleeping.

“What was that?”

They were all afraid.

Something said, “Oww!”

It was a wolf.

“Help!” said the bat and the spider to the count.

“There’s nothing to be afraid of,” said the count, “Just go to sleep.”

The ghost said, “Boo!”

The bat said, “Eee!”

The candles burned and they chased the wolf away. They lived happily ever after.

The end

Child Me

Posted in Creative Process, Creative Writing, Horror, Life | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

This is Halloween

This will be the first of two posts that you will see today.

I spent a lot of weeks before and during Halloween differently. When I was a child I would be inundated with television specials, movies, school events, and trick-or-treating. As an adolescent, I spent some time with my group of friends. In my early adulthood I spent a lot of it by myself trying to remember how happy I used to be and imagining all the other people who were having fun that I did not. I spent the rest of my young adulthood, alternatively, with friends and sometimes on my own.

I almost went to a Halloween party last year but I didn’t. I was too depressed and I did what I often do in that state: sleep and work.

This past while I’ve been doing something different for Halloween. Instead of wandering around outside at night in the dark aimlessly, or watching television, or hanging out with friends and lovers I have been busy.

I have been busy.

Last week or so, I covered six films in the 2014 Toronto After Dark for GEEKPR0N. I even covered an extra day, a Wednesday, so I could watch one film that was recommended to me. Those of you that read this Blog or my work at GEEKPR0N already know about this. I wrote reviews on The Drownsman, Wolves, Late Phases, Wyrmwood, The Town That Dreaded Sundown, and Why Horror?

And it was difficult. There were many times I thought I could just watch the films, then go straight home, and write something out that night. But even though I got wiped out, it was totally worth it. The irony is that once, long ago, I was told that I should write reviews for movies — or movies like these — and I didn’t think I was qualified to do so. It’s only in relatively recent times that I’ve realized that the only way to be qualified to do anything is to make yourself so, and start to believe it.

I got some other things published in honour of Halloween as well. Not only did I write a nice short article on the end of Kris Straub’s Broodhollow Book Two, but I got to examine and see just how a creepypasta created by Eric Heisserer the subreddit no/sleep truly lures readers into fear and trepidation. If you have read my articles on creepypastas, you know something of what you might be in for when you read this particular piece of mine.

But I think there is one achievement in particular that I can really be proud of mentioning. Do you recall, that week or so ago before I went off the Mythic Bios grid again, that I was doing another interview: this one live and in-person? Well, with the help and guidance of GEEKPR0N and Toronto After Dark organization … the following actually occurred.

David Hayter Fav and Retweet

Not only did David Hayter, the screen writer of the first two X-Men films and Watchmen as well as the voice of Solid Snake favourite and retweet my review of his movie Wolves I also got to interview him before Werewolf Night at the Toronto After Dark.

You can find my interview with David Hayter right here.

So that has been my time leading up to Halloween so far. The rest of what I intend to do, however, is as follows. Later this evening I am going to the Silver Snail Halloween Party: the same one I didn’t end up attending last year. I don’t have a costume idea as of yet and I’m having some difficulty finding make-up after my last misadventure but I’m going and to anyone living in Toronto or nearby, I hope that you will join me. It’s organized by GEEKPR0N, in part, and it makes some pretty awesome parties and I don’t intend to miss this one this time around.

The next day I’m going to the Comic Book Lounge and Gallery to pay a visit to Drawing For Deb: In Support of Epilepsy Toronto. There will be signings and a 12-Hour Comics Marathon: Special Edition there to raise money to combat epilepsy which claimed the life of Debra Jane Shelly: a well-known friend of the comics community and someone that I only began to know when I first started coming to the Lounge. She was an awesome person and there will be some good people there. I’ve realized long ago that I am just not an artist with pictures, so I will be attending to pay my respects and I may not be there the entire day.

And then the next day I will be going to Horror-Rama: an all-horror convention where I want to explore and particularly meet Jovanka Vuckovic: the brilliant upcoming director of the Jacqueline Ess film adaptation.

Then somewhere, somehow I will catch up with my Doctor Who recaps and next week get back to my fiction writing and probably sleep for a few centuries as I am bloody exhausted.

So this is both what I have been doing, and what I am going to do. It’s funny. When I was reviewing Why Horror? I started thinking about just how it is effective. When I was a child I read many abridged versions of horror stories, listened to and read written down folktales and urban myths. And I would spend time in the now-defunct Hollywood Movies store reading the backs of horror film VHS tapes. I would attempt to avoid watching them, scared of being caught in the web of their details and becoming committed, but so very fascinated with what I might find.

Not much has changed. I think the reason that horror is so fascinating is the fact that when you look at all the gore, the grisliness, and the uncanny you see what you are not and you also get to see a bit of what you are. You are ultimately safe and in sensible surroundings, or so you think, and it gives you a rush of life — of vitality — in the autumn.

That’s why some people have sex after watching horror. That’s why some people have an urge to create stories and study mythologies after watching horror. That’s why people gather around their friends and celebrate their grisly façades: the orange light in the darkness. That’s ultimately why I’m rambling right now.

I’ve spent my life fascinated by, and avoiding life. But it lures you in. It is the ultimate horror but it is also a spectacle, and best experienced in good company. I hope that, today in sharing all of this with you, that I got to be the latter.

Happy Halloween, my friends.

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Interviews and More Writing

I’m still doing my writing, but I just thought I’d go into a little more detail about what I was talking about in my last post.

If you remember I talked about an interview I did for GEEKPR0N. That interview was actually with Larry Wilson: the co-writer and co-producer of Beetlejuice, The Addams Family, and the writer and director of Tales From the Crypt for six seasons. Our interview centred around his current project the web series Cindy: a twenty-first century retelling of Cinderella with elements of Reality TV parody, dark humour, and just plain weirdness.

To be honest, I never dreamed that I would be talking to one of the people integral in creating a large feature of my childhood. I first got to know Beetlejuice through the cartoons and it goes without saying that while I knew about The Addams Family before the film, I recall spending a recess in the corner of my elementary school reading its novelization. And I’m not even going into the time where I would to sneak up late and watch some Tales From the Crypt on Fox.

And I will tell you right now that if I had the money and even basic screenwriting experience, I would definitely take up Larry’s script consultation reward. I honestly hope that if I can’t, someone else does.

I’ve also written a little something for Clive Barker. Yes: that’s right. You read that correctly. Basically he has put a challenge out there to write a story for an image he painted and posted on Deviantart. I will link to the image and I’ll post what I wrote here: because one requirement was placing the narrative in the Comments section.

ON WHOSE DREAMS

They built cities to keep them out.

People will tell you all manner of more pragmatic reasons for the creation of cities. They will mention the intersection of culture and trade, of the need for propaganda art to cow enemies and citizens alike, of a place to better house the billions of human beings being born every day.

But some will tell you something else. They’ll inform you, secretly where they think no one else can hear, that all of that art and architecture, the arrangement of the paths, streets, and buildings, and even the placement of certain homes and peoples were arranged as a pattern: to ward them off.

Yet ultimately it is the enclosures that are the thing.

They are no new innovation. It’s well known that ancient humans and their predecessors would hide in their caves during the night after saying farewell to their loved ones, their friends, and their enemies. And even now they would like to forget the howling outside, the scraping against the rock walls and their paintings of animal blood,  the hunger deeper than the tunnels in which they hid and the pleading: to be accepted back among their people.

However, all of them are wrong. They remember it all wrong. Cities weren’t made for the living to hide and hoard their food against the seasons and the predators. The lost weren’t put outside to roam around for eternity. No. The tribes often placed their lost in their homes: sealing them up and painstakingly maintaining them. They would bring them food, tools, and the results of trade. Over time they bargained with them, prayed to them … worshipped their memory and what yet remained.

Caves like wombs became camps. Camps became villages. Villages towns and towns cities. The monuments grew higher each day: growing from the foundation of countless generations and those that tended their ground: which they still do to this very day.

So now do you understand? Do you know why sometimes you feel so tired: so drained? Even as the symbols lengthen like shadows into the sky and expand across the land, nothing truly changes. It is amazing how, simultaneously, you are cramped and alone: like you are the one living in the coffin. You are the one that’s trapped here.

No. Cities were not built to keep them out, but to keep them in.

For cities are not built for the living, but for the dead: in which everything within truly belongs.

So to say I’ve been busy would be something of an understatement. I’ve already told you about the fact that I’m going to be covering the Toronto After Dark. I actually tried to do this last year with Mythic Bios and for my efforts I got an invitation to view and write a review of their opening night. This time, however, I’m attending on behalf of GEEKPR0N. Expect to see me there for the Sunday and Thursday showings.

And I am going to be interviewing someone else. Again, I’m not going to go into any details as of yet but I will say that it will be my first in-person interview ever and I’m both cautious and excited over that prospect.

I remember once being the person that never even dreamed of having these opportunities or being this person as immersed in geek culture as I am now: even when people encouraged me to do so. And well … here we are.

Don’t worry. I will take time to peer in here and update all of you. I just thought you’d like to know about this. And please, read my articles and tell me what you think. It means a lot to me. Yet again, take care everyone. :)

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Writing Time Again: And More To Come

Hello everyone. I’m glad I got to spoil you with two articles last week, but this will probably be an exception and not the rule. Still, for a while there it felt almost like old times and it was all creative writing: as I obviously have Doctor Who on the brain.

Basically I am going into writing and deadline mode again. So I am going to be focusing a lot of my energies on my current assignment and, when it’s done in some way or form, I’ll be back in force. But before I go, let me tell you a little bit about what has been happening with me so far.

Very soon you are going to be seeing a lot of GeekPr0n articles. In fact, you already have in some ways. Cyan Worlds even retweeted my article on their plans to make a Myst television series. Myst was prevalent in a lot of my young adulthood and there is something very full circle about being recognized by its creators: especially as it is an article about worlds — Ages — linked to by Writing.

But that all said and done, it’s the season of Halloween and I found a lot of current news to talk about. As the zombies moan, spread the love and you know where to follow me.

There are two things of note that I’d like to mention, though, to this regard. First, I had an important interview with someone who has informed many a geeky childhood and is currently doing some good work. The second thing I’d like to mention is that I will be covering some of the upcoming Toronto After Dark for GeekPr0n.

And it’s funny. For years I had nowhere to go and nothing to for Halloween night proper and now I have two events around that time which I am going to attend. I’m excited and I feel different these days. There is still a lot I have to deal with but, and I think this has been happening for a while, I am not the same person that I used to be.

It’s hard to explain and it doesn’t involve spiritual or alien possession, cloning, mutations, or the dark side of the Force as far as I know. I’ve been producing words like a fiend and even though I didn’t get to undertake my Twine projects like I planned, I still haven’t ruled them out and they will be in my thoughts for the future.

In the meantime, I have some other writing to do and I hope to see you all soon and well. Once again, take care everyone. You are all awesome.

Posted in Geek Culture, Horror, Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Seven Day Children

Jenny

It’s easy to lose track of time when you are on an adventure. I’ve learned a lot about time and space since that first day, on what could’ve, and should have, been my last mission: the last day of my last war of my last life.

I had a lot of learning to do and, to be honest, that much hasn’t changed at all. After Messaline was finally changed and united, I just had to … well, run. I took a shuttle and ran through the stars. And I saw so many different things: different people, places, societies … I thought the Hath and the Humans were strange and diverse on their own, my fellow soldiers, my former enemies, but there is so much more.

It’s like the Source, that elemental ball of shifting and flowing energies back on Messaline released an entire universe before me. Expanding out and every outward I discovered new lives, saved worlds, revelled in my victories and learned from my failures.

Someone should have told me about the failures and the defeats. The machine that made me wasn’t much a teacher. If you failed during the War, you died. You died and the machine took your stored DNA and replaced you with someone else to fight and die: until victory or death. It seemed so sensible, so natural until I met my Dad.

Dad …

Perhaps Dad and his Companions were my first real teachers. One of them named me, you know? Jenny. Out of the word “progenation.” I’ve learned since then that other species do not necessarily reproduce like we did back on Messaline, though I’ve heard rumours about others …

You see, I knew — even before Dad would speak to me, not having expected me or even knowing what to do with me — that I was different from the other soldiers. I could see eddies and whirls around me. My reflexes were faster. There were angles in which I could perceive and move that our basic programmed training could not have possibly covered. And I just did them naturally.

Of course, having some hearts to hearts talk with my Dad really cinched it for me. The point is: even before I left I knew I was different.

I think my new adventure began when I found a vortex manipulator. It was an old one. Dad must have been a boffin: a quaint British word from Earth referring to tinkering and invention. You see, I learned something new when I travelled there back in the Sixty-First Century.

When I fixed, and dare I say improved, on the manipulator I realized something that not even Dad’s words could convey. The universe was not an expanding diaphanous cloak of velvet and glittering lights. It is a series of dimensions refracting off of one another: like a gem with different facets but all one gem. And I could, somehow, see those angles on this one surface: knowing that each was different but all of it was unified. In this kaleidoscope of existence, everything is connected.

That was basic Time Lord philosophy, but I don’t think I would have understood it from an Academy. This came later: a lot later or whatever constitutes itself as later when you are even a basic time traveler.

It was this basic understanding of time and my failure to protect so many lives that made me realize something. It’d been fun until it got serious, but I knew then that I couldn’t be alone.

And I did my best not to be alone. I looked for Dad, but I never found him. Sometimes I’d come at the tail end of his passing, or meet some people that knew him. As a soldier, because you never forget your basic training as a soldier, I didn’t inquire too closely as I knew from our brief time together that he had enemies. I wanted to help him. I remember how lonely he looked and how happy he’d been when I made the decision not to kill.

I came close once. One time I was actually abducted by one of his enemies. I briefly a few of his Companions. One of them even rescued me. But I had been taken during an important time and I had to go back. I don’t think I could have faced him if I’d abandoned all those people. As hard as that decision was, it was the right thing to do.

I had friends along the way. I suppose you can call them my own Companions. And they helped me in my new adventure. Perhaps out of a need to know where I came from, to know how I did what I did, and even out of a sense of needing some connection with my lost Dad I scoured space and time to discover more about my father’s people: the Time Lords.

There wasn’t much left.

When he said that their War had been bigger than the Seven-Day War on Messaline I had no idea. Even now, it boggles my mind to consider the horror of a war waged across space and time: obliterating places and people out of existence, warping and twisting basic matter, and creating literally endless and eternal suffering. From what I could gather, and from what didn’t kill me, I cried. I cried for my father’s people, for the races and civilians caught in that War.

And for my Dad: who must have suffered beyond any form of sanity. We had more in common than I thought, and I wish we hadn’t.

But my goal to know more became very important when, it was made clear, that the Enemy wasn’t dead. There were clues. I admit that in my quest to know more about Dad’s culture that I looked for the remnants of their enemies: particularly on a ruined world called Skaro.

I wish I hadn’t.

They literally are the Enemy. It was like seeing the attempted genocide on Messaline writ large and made into a whole other species. It’s the end result of war and hate. And I knew that Dad was their ultimate enemy. And despite what he thinks, he can’t deal with them alone.

So I had to jury-rig a people together. A family.

Messaline welcomed me back with open arms. I could’ve come to them in the future or even before the Seven Days, but it would have been disingenuous. The progenation machine had been shut down after my Dad ended the War. But I needed to look at it even if I didn’t want to get the Hath or Humans involved in this. However, I knew that if the Enemy and their … sickening puppets had gone as far as they have everyone was at risk.

All of us on Messaline are soldiers. My friends in the Human population knew I was something big and they were willing to help me. If my own people, my Dad’s people, were all dead then I would have to bring them back: in a way.

I learned something about Regeneration in my crash course through the remains of Gallifreyan history. It was like progenation — genes being reconfigured into genetic variation by a force that is both mother and father — except for the fact that it uses a pre-existing material template, a body, to create a new adult person. I always wondered how I came back to life after being shot by Cobb. One theory is that I got caught in the energies of the Source which was, in its own way, literally regenerating the whole of Messaline.

But I also know that right after Regeneration occurs for a Time Lord that they are filled with a bio-energy that, for a while, will repair wounds or even regrow lost limbs and organs. I realized that I had just been born the day that Cobb shot me. And even though it was one of my hearts, integral to Regeneration, that I was essentially a new “limb” or being with those same energies coursing through me. The Source might have helped as well.

Only a few on Messaline have even this basic knowledge of what I intended to do. It was risky, but worth it: to see my children born. The first ones had to be adults. I modified the training programming. While we have basic combat ability, there is more room for reasoning and thought. And, much to my mixed delight — as I don’t like being hurt or seeing one of my children in pain — I realized Dad passed on more to us than I thought. We can, in fact, Regenerate.

This makes things easier in some ways. My children have taken a variety of different forms and interests since that time. Where it would have been immensely hard for me to find a TARDIS Graveyard alone or with non-Time Lord Companions, they helped me. We are even developing something of a rudimentary telepathic bond: a shallow echo of the collective consciousness that the Time Lords, our Predecessors, used to possess. But it’s dangerous. I know enough that the Enemy has its own collective and should they ever find a way to access those of others …

In my own travels, I learned how to shield my thoughts and I’ve taught my children to do the same. We are less an army and more a series of cells through space and time.

We’ve suffered some setbacks. During our attempts to salvage from the few Graveyards we could find, and to harvest and grow the necessary coral for our vessels, we began to discover that all Time Lord knowledge and relics vanishing throughout the universe. Even the black markets, which were usually somewhat lucrative in the past and who I’d dealt with somehow forgot about any of our dealings. There was so little of it left to begin with and, to this day I’m sure what was responsible for this: the Enemy, Dad, or something else entirely.

But we keep working. We’ve been trying to repair some of the damage that the Enemy, and the War, did to other civilizations and time periods: but always behind the scenes, always on the move. Dad’s First Rule: Always run.

And we kept working. We worked when something old, powerful and on fire with rage materialized for a few moments in our minds: just to vanish back into past flames. We even took time to deal with the cracks in existence that began to appear before memory failed us and, somehow, we were back in reality: with the multiverse repaired and somehow better.

Somehow I know Dad did that.

I wish I could thank him, but I have other concerns now. My vessel, Unity, has grown to something the size of a station and has seen and protected us from the very beginning. I decided to make the timeline of 6012, Vector N-6012 of the Multiverse, our home. I have, at least unofficially, made Messaline a protected-planet under my jurisdiction. Our vessels grow as do my children and theirs: who are allowed to be children and to choose their path as I did all those years ago.

I’ve gone through a few Regenerations since passing a few centuries and surviving more than a few scrapes. I’m Mom to an entire people. We are not Time Lords, but while not as powerful we are something else: something new. My descendants have taken to calling us the Travelers: for all the exploration and running that we do.

Looking back, it’s miraculous when you think about. From the seed of a soldier grown in one day of seven, not meant to last for even a week, we’ve created a people that might one day live for thousands of years. I just hope that, one day, instead of living short lives in war we will all live long lives in peace.

I never found my Dad, but I’m proud of my Travelers, my Seven Day Children, as we continue to explore, to defend, to help, and to keep running: together and as a family.

Jenny and The Doctor

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Continuity

I am Alaya. The irony that I’m going to have a lot time to write in this journal does not escape me. I suppose I should be grateful. Our sister Felicity and myself are relatively safe, all things considered, and I still have this psychic paper journal that Mom got me into my first century.

If you can read this journal, our language, and the unseen ink which it’s written, then you are hopefully a fellow Traveller and you will materialize this journal and its contents at Home Vector N-6012. I don’t have to tell you that family is important and I want our Mom to know what happened, and what we have done.

Our original quest from Mom was to help repair the damage done to the Fourth Great and Bountiful Human Empire around Vector N-200,000. It was a worthy goal, but we had to be careful. Navigating the soft, grey areas surrounding the fixed points in time is difficult at best. Perhaps the Predecessors might have had an easier time: with more technological aid at their disposal along with skill and experience.

Mom likes to remind us that we lost much: so much that even she, during The Reconstruction, “a jury-rigging of civilization” she said that Grandfather might have called it, still hasn’t found everything. We even lost our own sense of calendar and chronology if, indeed, they can even be called our own all things considered. But we make do. We have to.

Felicity was particularly adamant about helping the Empire. I understand. It fell victim to the temporal machinations of outside forces. When the Council sent us on this mission, Mom made sure to have Parity, one of our oldest and most honoured vessels, to carry us. She made it a point to warn us against the potential of … puppets or agents left behind even after all this time.

I had my reservations, you understand. We are still finding out more about where we came from and what we are capable of doing. Does it make sense to help others rebuild when we are still in the process of reconstructing ourselves? Still, that drive to help — which came from Mom, and from Grandfather before her — burns through my veins too and my protestations were one-hearted at best.

Again, another unintentional pun about time. It took very little of it, all things considered, to begin the process. Felicity has a knack of seeing the eddies and whirls around particular situations, and specific individuals. But it was me, using Parity’s natural resources, that helped to create the crude prototype tectonic manipulators that would begin to give the humans some idea of what to do. It was perfectly plausible. Frankly, they should have developed this technology ages ago and if they want to take the credit for it, that is perfectly fine with me.

So aside from materializing some supplies and upgrading infospikes into something less intrusive and far more miniaturized, at least by our standards, we were about to leave. But I would be disingenuous if I said that we didn’t notice the anomaly within the area.

There were strong temporal energies situated around an old satellite. We knew enough about this Vector that our Enemies had managed to manifest here. After Mom’s own researches, we also knew that Grandfather had been involved in stopping that threat in this very spot.

All of you know just how much Mom wants to find Grandfather. In all of her travels through finding coral, the Graveyards, the ephemeral remnants of the War, and saving all the lives she could she never found him again. Even as she trained her senses, she couldn’t find his mind. And for all our small number, we are nevertheless more than one and our tenuous collective will still couldn’t find any others.

We still couldn’t find our Grandfather. Perhaps we weren’t at his level: at the place we should be. Or perhaps he is gone.

Whatever the case, Parity needed some time to recharge. Unlike the Great Behemoths we found in the Graveyards, she is still small and sleek. Her circuit hasn’t grown in quite the way our gifted sister The Geneticist planned, yet more things we don’t know — yet more — but she manoeuvres well and, unlike the others of the past, only requires two pilots to assist her. Besides, in case of discovery she makes due with the perception filters for which we’ve all been equipped to utilize.

It was fortuitous for us that the site of Satellite 5 was powerful enough a spacerift to feed Parity. We took the time to examine the station . Other Travellers had come here and taken the Satellite’s logs to Mom already, along with samples of cosmic dust and irradiated bodies. We meditated here to honour the sacrifice of the humans and focus on the hope that we would make their lives better for it. Mom gained so few scraps about Grandfather from this venture, but something was different this time.

Parity had recharged ahead of schedule. The rift was simply that powerful. And it was fluctuating. Something happened. Something changed somewhere. Even after hearing Parity’s quiet, silvery tone, I began to … perceive things. They were almost after-images: blurring, merging, and separating from each other. Sometime in environments like this, we see resonances of the past and future. But this was different.

It’s … imagine possibility. There are an infinite number of different things that can happen. And then somewhere in that something does happen or will happen. But the quantum branches of potential actions and reactions still occur. We see it, sometimes, out of the corners of our eyes but it’s always so far and out of reach. But not that day.

Even as my senses expanded out farther than they’d ever done, Felicity saw the rift open first.

It bloomed like a flower of flux and twilight in the darkness of space. And after a while even I could see the golden energies surrounding it. It reminded me of my Mom’s vessel, of great Unity herself and the times under her control panel when something pulsated and thrummed: a slumbering but active power.

Like a heart.

And I could even see it resonating in sympathy from Parity’s control panel. Something was calling to Parity. We could feel her responding to the call even as this wave of possibility rushed into us. It was impossible, you understand. Mom and the Council only heard rumours that, once, there were Other Ways. We had only just learned to travel through space and time. Most of us still use reverse-engineered and augmented vortex manipulators. That was how Mom began adventuring and rediscovering even a fraction of what we know.

But only the Predecessors knew how to travel to alternate realities. I examined the frequency and programmed it into Parity for future reference. It will be included in this journal’s equation and music section: transmitted through the mind through tactile-mode.

Felicity was excited. We found a gate to an alternate reality near one of the places where Grandfather and his vessel left a definite imprint. And then she perked up at something else. It took me a while to feel it too. It was … for lack of a better word, it was the shadow of a mind. It felt confused somehow. Muddled. Felicity could probably feel more, but from what I understand it is old. It is very old. Sad? Content?

And so familiar, like Mom but … different.

We debated this. Our mission to the Empire had been a success though the seeds of our work, like coral, would take a little more time to go. Parity’s communications weren’t strong enough to pierce the fluctuating veil around us. I wanted to wait and deliver our findings, but there was no guarantee we would get another shot at this.

So we decided to go forward. In one of our best vessels and a copy of the temporal signal to go on, to perhaps replicate for our return and future explorations, we not only decided to investigate a rift to an alternate reality, but also fulfil a lifelong unspoken quest.

To find Grandfather.

It’s funny. In our dealings with Vector N-200,000 and others we had to make everything seem plausible. Felicity is good at finding errors and inconsistencies. I excel at creating possible solutions to those issues. Continuity is the key.

Continuity …

It never occurred to us, as we entered that rift, as it flashed and closed behind us, just how like editing — like writing — our quest had been.

Everything seemed so neat and tidy as the birthright of our wanderlust took us. There was only one other being we knew about who could have possibly had even a shadow of a psychic feeling of that kind.

It’s too bad. Because what we found beyond that rift wasn’t Grandfather.

He wasn’t Grandfather at all.

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