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Author Topic: Some extracts from my book. The dimension of stone.  (Read 504 times)
Deck Hand

« on: April 22, 2013, 01:05:39 am »

This is an extract from my novel, The Dimension of Stone. It deals with the creation of the empire of Atlantis and its first wizard. A bit cliche'd I know, but it is an era that so suits itself to steampunk technology.  Take a read through and let me know what you think.

UNIVERSE Gamma, BC 10515 BTC 15 Dimension 3


he Wizard Denatikot was at home when the squad of soldiers arrived to escort him to the palace of the Lion King.
“What’s going on ?” he asked of the squad leader.
“There is trouble at the palace, the King wishes to consult with you immediately.” Was all he would say.

Well, nothing unusual there. The king usually only wanted to see him when there was trouble, the problem however was that the King always seemed to imply that Denatikot was always the source of the kings troubles.

What could it be? He asked himself. Were the great eyes of the King not a great success. Were the people not in awe of the power to see the world reflected in the face of the moon and to gaze upon the depths of the universe., Were the people not amazed that the king could speak directly upon the face of the moon to all of the world.

Were the great eye and the great shield not great earners of revenues for the coffers of the King.

What could the trouble possibly be? Oh well, he would soon find out. The trouble with trouble though, he thought uneasily to himself, was that it usually came from the most unexpected quarter. Oh well, he would soon find out.

So, off he went with the soldiers to the palace.

The King was spitting mad.

“Come here you.” He said as he spotted Denatikot.
Denatikot walked over to where the King was standing looking out over the gardens of the palace.
“Once again,” began the King, “I am faced with the curse of Denatikot.”
“My lord?” said Denatikot, the frown on his face emphasizing the question.
“Do you remember when you set out to figure out if the world was round or flat,  do you remember what happened?”
Denatikot nodded, he remembered.
“You figured out, quite correctly that the world was round and that it was in fact five and a half thousand times bigger than the people had thought it to be and by pointing out to all and sundry, you created quite an uproar. Now, you did resolve the problem, by pointing out that all though it was bigger, that my divine self did still rule all of it. And so I did by your great plans. Resolving this first problem however, created an ever larger problem, and so I find myself being drawn inexorably into the situation where your solutions create even larger problems in a cycle of ever increasing magnitude.”

“The people, and by that I include my divine self now find ourselves in the position where your great revelations, of the empire and the great eye and the great shields have created a new problem of even greater enormity, and I find myself in the position where I am placed on a fine edge, where I on the one side find myself at the point of invoking the wrath of the people by refusing them, or being faced with an even greater dilemma by asking you to seek a way of accommodating them.”

“This is my dilemma, for I know that by asking you to accommodate them, I know that you are going to have to perform works of magic far beyond the scope of anything you have performed to date. The thing that worries me however, is whether or not, we will be able to deal with the unexpected consequences of the side effects of your great magic’s.”

“You have placed my divine self in a position where as I look at the choice before me, I am forced to chose one of two equally bad options. On the one side is the wrath of the people should I refuse them, and the other side is the wrath of the people once the side effects of the magic come home to roost should I choose to accommodate them. And, side effects, I know from bitter experience there will be. This is a position that I do not like to be placed in. Usually when called upon to make a decision, it is good or bad, and the decision is clear.”

“Now, however, the choice is between three options, bad for me, bad for me, and bad for you. Now, which option do you think that I am starting to lean towards here do you think?”

“I don’t quite follow the third option my lord.”
‘The one that is bad for you ?”
“Yes, err, that one.”

“Well, that one is good for me, because then I can refuse the people their silly demands on the basis that the Wizard Denatikot is no more, and that he will not be able to accommodate their aspirations. The great wizard will have departed for a remote corner of the empire and will never be heard from again. Of course, this will be true, and as an added bonus he will be headless as well, so that he can never again inflict his curse upon me again.”

Denatikot contemplated this revelation for a few moments. The King continued.
“The only  thing that stays my divine retribution at this time is that firstly you have been a loyal and true friend of the court, and that secondly, you have always managed to adequately control the havoc you have caused, albeit by leading us through great works of magic into even greater levels of havoc. Then, of course, thirdly, the fact that your magic’s have ever increased the royal coffers, and as a natural consequence substantially added to your personal fortunes, I am curious to see how you are going to overcome this new problem that your magical works have presented to our selves.”
Denatikot was still unaware of what the actual problem that needing solving was, but, he felt that the King was getting there. He waited. He did not wait long.
“The problem Denatikot is that you have become a victim of your own success. Your success has opened the eyes of the people to the fact that they can aspire, step by step to ever higher levels of greatness through the virtues of your magical works of truth. A revelation was made and we became greater. This posed a problem. The problem was once again over come, and we became greater, and so the cycle has continued, and, now, the people have yet again presented a problem, and they expect you to resolve it, and elevate them even further. They want you to elevate them to the ultimate level.”
“What level is that?”
“They want you to elevate them to the stars.”
“They created the huge domes by your direction. And they walked within them and gazed upon the heavens that the great eye magnified many times over. Of course, the side effect that no one ever anticipated was that the sphere is a healing shape, and, by making this huge sphere, the healing forces of the stars were concentrated in it. We both know it is a dome, but the floor is of water, and therefore a reflector which reflects the top half of the dome in the water below giving the impression that one is standing in the middle of a sphere. This, as an unexpected positive side effect, provides, in some or other way, a healing force when people stand inside it, for there have, undeniably, been great cures to those who bathed in the waters.  Now, the people believe it is the power of the stars that you have so perfectly concentrated in the great egg that is responsible for this and they see this as a force of God. And, to them, God resides in the stars and so, they want to elevate themselves to God. They want to go to the stars Denatikot. What worries me however, is that it will require one of your greatest works of magic yet, and, if I am to learn from experience, the unexpected side- effects will be equally great in their unpleasantness. Now, the entire empire of Atlantis is willing to put at your disposal, all of their labours and fortunes and resources to assist you, if, you are able to perform a magic that will take them to the stars. But, I tell you this now and I wish you to understand me as clear as night is different from day, that you will put every effort of your intellect in to understanding the consequences of the magic you are to perform and, if there are any nasty surprises that leap out of this magic, I will have your head on the block and never again will my divine self be placed in a predicament of the natures that you have presented to me in the past to date. Do I make myself clear?”

Denatikot nodded. It was crystal clear.

He was on top of the world, he had the go ahead to seek a path to the stars with the full backing of all the people of Atlantis, the King, and his, by this time, quite considerable treasury.

“I need to consult with the spirits Great King” he said.
“Tomorrow at noon then.” Said the King.
“Tomorrow at noon.” Agreed Denatikot.

Denatikot was not even aware of his feet touching the ground as he waked home.

This was it. This was the big one. The king had given him the go ahead to find his path to the stars, and he had the backing of the empire and its peoples. This, was truly going to be the greatest magic of all.

The only thing that worried him, and it worried him severely was the fact that as the king had quite rightly pointed out. His ever greater works of Magic had, quite rightly, invoked a degree of havoc, although it was not as bad as the King seemed to think it was, for the king always seemed to think in terms of worst case scenarios during times of even minor amounts of havoc.

It was the nature of Kings to do that, for as they had learned from bitter experience was that if small amounts of havoc were not dealt with hard and fast, the hard and fast rule was that they became larger amounts of havoc which ended with the king that neglected the havoc, hard and fast to the block himself.

The problem was of course, the people themselves. Everything he had done to date he had done so that the people could see. Had he not set out to show the people that the Earth was round so that they could see that it was round. Had he not set out to settle far away island city states so that the people could see that the king ruled the entire world. Had he not built the great eyes so that the people could see the heavens, and the great shields so that their messages could be seen in the heavens.

And what had the people given in return for allowing them to see the truth. They had rewarded him with havoc. And, they had risked his neck so that they could feel better about themselves. Well, this time around, the people were not going to mess up his greatest work of magic ever. This time, the people would see nothing; he would conduct his work as far away from the people as he could. This time, they would see nothing, and there would be no havoc.

He would build his vessel that would go to the stars in a far away place, and then, he would test it, and then he would go to the stars, and he wasn’t sure if he wanted the king and the people to go with him for the ride. There would be no havoc, and there would be no King threatening him with a beheading, and he would have made the kings wish come true. He would have gone to a far away place, never to inflict the curse of himself upon the king or the people of Atlantis again.

Then everyone would be happy. There would be no more trouble ever again.

But, that’s the trouble with trouble. You can never fully anticipate which bush it is going to leap out from behind. Because, if trouble is going to dog you, as it inevitably will when performing great magic, some would argue, that one should just let it come from behind a known bush, because, if you remove the bush that it hides behind, it just goes and looks for another bush to hide behind and camouflages itself a lot more carefully so that you don’t see it till the very last second.

So, Denatikot thought he was going to take his magic far away and hide it from the people. Well, trouble is a beast of it’s own, and it doesn’t like being hidden away. Trouble likes to make itself heard and seen. It is an attention junkie and when it is hidden away, it grows until someone does pay attention to it.

And, so, as Denatikot set out, to perform the biggest magic he had ever performed, trouble rubbed its hands together and followed on behind the bushes, because, he knew, that Denatikot was going to give him a whole lot of new toys to play with, and he was going to show everyone, just how much trouble he could become. And, he was bringing his buddies, ‘danger, laugh, speed, amps, escape, havoc, whale, weep, enigma and green*’ with him. They were all going to have so much fun.

(* you have no idea how much trouble green can be when it sets it’s mind to it. All = 49 = 7 x 7.  Applying the elevated state of an entity to the elevated state of itself can only be trouble, Cosmic Law 49: The truth of barrier is the danger beyond it)

Denatikot, however, was unaware of the plotting of trouble and, having thought to himself that he had neutralized havoc, he was now of the opinion that the issue was dealt with. He was blissfully ignorant to the fact that havoc, had so many buddies, and that they were all very keen to see him out of his cage and running free again.

One should never hide trouble, one should throw it out in the open as soon as you can, and beat it with the truth of itself.  It won’t bother you much after that. But, if you try to suppress it, it becomes a very large and nasty and unmanageable entity, and entities that take on those proportions are hard to beat.

The next day at noon, yet again, true to form, the Great Wizard, now elevated to the status of Lord, The Lord Denatikot unveiled his great plan to the King.

“First, we are going to carry out this great magic in a far away land. A land where the people will not be able to gaze upon the great magic. This is for their own good, this will ensure that they do not see the great magic and become uncertain, and worried and angry and create havoc and threaten to cut peoples heads off, for this will truly be a magic beyond any other magic known before.”

This pleased the King. Visible magic made the people uncertain. The further away the magic was, the less people should worry about it. It seemed like a sound premise.

“What we know for a fact, is that we stand with our feet on the ground, and we look up at the stars and the only way we can get closer to them is to jump up and try to grab them from the sky. But alas, they are too far away. So, what we are going to do, is we are going to take all the things that we know that one could use to jump greatly, and we are going to jump as high as we can into the heavens. And, we are going to continue to jump higher ever more until we can jump to the stars.”
The king was interested.
“And, this magic will have a great name.”
“What will the name be?” said the king.
“It shall be known as the Leap of Faith.”
The king looked at Denatikot long and hard.
“The leap of faith.”
“Yes my great King, The leap of faith. The greatest leap that one could make. That will be the name of the great ship upon which we will leap to the stars.”
“And, how is this great craft of yours going to leap into the sky?”

The king needed clarification on this one. He knew men could leap, they had legs, but a sailing ship. It had no legs.
“We are going to take every known manner in which we know a man can leap, and we are going to take all of those methods and build them into our craft, the leap of faith, and with it we will leap to the stars. “

“Show me.” Said the King.
Denatikot was ready. He had spent the morning preparing his technology demonstrators.

The soldiers stood around looking at Denatikot. They hated it when they were summoned to aid the wizard for it usually entailed climbing to the tops of mountains with polished shields. Well, today there was only one polished shield, and a thousand soldiers. It did not look as if the workload would be too great. They stood around in little clusters, like little clusters of unassigned equations, waiting to be assigned to the great equation. They were duly assigned and young maidens ran up and down the line giving each soldier a lemon and a iron nail and a copper nail.

A volunteer was called for. One was tossed out of the ranks.

“Take of your shoes and stand on the shield.” Said Denatikot, “Now crouch down and wait.”
The soldier obeyed. A bit nervous he looked around, but it was sort of all right, the Lord Denatikot had never killed a volunteer, usually they got laughed at. Though, you never knew with wizards. They were scary folk.
“The rest of you, Line up, all the way out, and then all the way back, a complete circle.”
He waited.
“Place the lemon between yourself and the next man”
He waited
“Take the Iron nail in your left hand, and the copper nail in your right hand. “
He waited
“Push the nail in your left hand, into the lemon to your left, and the nail in your right hand into the lemon to your right.”
He waited
Then he said to the first man to the left of the shield.
“Grab hold of the shield and wait.”
Then he said to the man on the shield.
“Stick your nail into the lemon to your right.”
He did. The nail didn’t go in. It didn’t have a chance to. It barely touched. The charge in each lemon was about half a volt, times one thousand lemons; he was belted with about five hundred volts of electricity.
He did a substantial leap. The king had never seen anyone leap so high in his life.
“The leap of juice.” Denatikot said simply.
The King was impressed.
“You may all now eat your lemons, unless there is anyone else that wants to get juiced.” He said. None did. They all started peeling their lemons.

Next they stood before a round bronze kettle, that had been half filled with water, a cork bunged into the neck, and placed upside down on a fire. Some wood was thrown on the fire and the flames curled up around the side of the kettle.

“You may want to stand back a bit for this one.” He said to no one in particular, stepping back a few paces. Everyone else did likewise.  The kettle rumbled a bit then blew its cork, and it’s contents down out of the neck. The kettle departed skyward.
“The leap of steam.”  Said Denatikot.
The king was more impressed.

The last technology demonstrator was the most impressive of all It was a big pot into which some pigshit had been scooped, turned upside down, and allowed to ferment. It contained an amount of methane. When all had gathered around in a circle, at what was assumed to be a safe distance, Denatikot whispered in the Kings ear, One would want to stand considerably further back My Lord and the attention of the king drifted to something of interest a bit further away. Denatikot nodded and strategically positioned a soldier between himself and the pot. He nodded, and one soldier darted forward and lit the fire under the upturned pot. Then retired to what he considered a safe distance when one took into consideration the performance of the previous two leaps. It was a sad miscalculation. The methane in the pot ignited and detonated. The blast hurled the pot skyward, and the inner circle of spectators was coated in a layer of steaming pigshit.
“The leap of gas.” he understated simply as the pot returned to Earth bouncing across the lawn.
The king was most impressed.

“We will combine the leap of juice, and the leap of steam and the leap of gas into the leap of faith, and with it, the people of Atlantis will be able to leap to the stars.” He said.
“That is going to be a very large leap.” The king said.
“Yes,” agreed Denatikot, “it is going to be a huge leap of faith.”
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