As an offering for my reader (hi, mom!) below is what had once been Chapter One of THE HERMETIC MILLENNIA. The scene takes place immediately after a tower falls on Montrose, interrupting his first duel with Ximen del Azarchel.
The scene was cut for reasons of space, but I regretted having the significant historical character of Thucydides Montrose go unrecorded. Also the fragment of the poem by Peerworthy that Scipio the Cryonarch later quotes at greater length is here recited for the first time. The character of Rada Lwa perhaps takes on a heavier significance.
But, alas, it was a trifle long for an opening chapter, with too much history, and it slowed the pace of the whole book. I thought it Better to start in the era of the Sylphs, with the old world already in ashes, and the First Men already things of legend, and to give the more prominent place of first chapter to Sir Guy.
In honor of the recent (at the time I write these words) visit of the Pope of the current era to my local town, I thought the lost chapter worth reprinting.
CHAPTER ONE: Descendants and Emulations
1. Uneasy Lies the Head
All he wanted to do was stay dead.
“Leave me the hell alone,” were the first words out of the mouth of Menelaus I. Montrose when the lid of his coffin hissed open, and shrouds of mist unfurled in contact with the outer air.
“Greetings, High Ancestor, Highest and Highly-Evolved!” said a gaudily tattooed figure. It looked like a woman in a skintight wetsuit of glittering pictures, but then he realized, when he saw her nipples blinking, that she was nude.
She was covered from head to toe with a labyrinth of tattoos and body paints, some of it glowing as if with neon light, and there was a semicircular headdress of yard-wide ostrich feathers, looking like a cross between a warbonnet and a feather duster, spread out from a beehive of hair. He hoped this was just a revivification hallucination.
He rubbed his hand across his eyes, and blinked. On the inside of the coffin lid, conveniently near his eyes had it been closed, was the calendar. November, AD 2501. He looked at the date with dismay.
The women who was not his wife was talking, “The World you rule welcomes and adores you! Are you ready to receive the petitions and supplications of those who watch and guard you as you slumber?”
“Shuddup. I don’t want to be brought back to life. Waste of my time.”
His words were preceded and followed with a gush of nanotech medical fluid, dibbling into a beard spread across his chest like a damp bib. So they came out in more like a gargle than the commanding bellow the world’s first posthuman should possess.
“Abject apologies, High Ancestor. But in the eyes of the Law, persons in suspended animation are alive, and retain the privileges and immunities of life, as well as the duties.”
“Thought I had those damn laws fixed. You lot fix ‘em back whilst Greatgrandpa Meany was a-slumbering, eh?” He was not the great-grandfather of any here, of course, having been married only one day, and fathering no offspring. These were descendants of his long lost brothers and cousins.
The tattooed lady was still speaking. “I bear the greetings and praise of a grateful world, O Liberator, Defender of the Slumbering Dead, Shield against the Ghosts of Iron, Bridegroom of the Stars, and Firstfruits of the Humanity beyond Humanity!”
“Did you just call me a fruit?”
“While you slumbered serenely in suspended animation, you have been elected by the Advocate Authority to the following positions…”
“Skip the list. I resign.”
“Sire and Archon, I respectfully regret to inform you that certain of the Advocates of the Darwinian Translation have decreed that you may not forswear the various duties that your status as a transhuman being, the Next Step of Evolution, imposes upon you. They have clearly decreed.”
“Fine. Leave the names and addresses of those guys who decreed all that, I’ll go find them and decree them a few broken bones, and then I can get back to being dead, like I wanted. Who the hell are you, any way?”
“I hold the commission of Auditrix and Intercessor for the Slumbering of the Elevated Elite, World Hibernation Syndicate, Quebecois District, with Patents of Power of Attorney, Chief Montrosologist with degrees cum laude in your Life and Work and History—” (Montrose could practically hear the letters being capitalized with Breathless Self Importance) “—I am the Right Honorable Unwearied Vigilance Serenmisina Aphthartolatrai y Isisi Santiago Lustral-Montrose of the Vernal Argent-Montrose Line, Evolved and Highly Evolved, Twenty-Eighth in lineal collateral cross-descent from your brother’s Napoleon second wife’s Edith great niece on the distaff side, one Petruna Ekaterine Woad. My escutcheon and heritage are most proudly displayed!”
She turned her back, and the pattern of swans and peaches that gleamed up and down her legs, buttocks and back winked out, to be replaced by a glowing tattoo in inky black and bright gold.
Her back was bright with a heraldic shield of gold scallops on a black field, and quartered with roses, while, above, a helmet with a serpent crest gleamed along her shoulder blades. Ornately folded and slashed mantling meandered down her sides toward her waist, right where some women are the most ticklish. The family motto ne oublie “never forget!” blazed at her neck beneath her upswept hair, albeit what the motto meant, or what was supposed to be remembered, had long been forgotten.
Beneath, the curves of her hips and thighs her long dancer’s legs were covered with an intricate pattern of genealogical trees, with the significant names and marriage ties blinking. Montrose saw his own name occupying a predominate position on her shapely buttocks, surrounding by a pattern of cloudbursts and thunderbolts.
“Great,” he muttered. “You must think of me every time you sit down.”
Continue reading “A Lost Chapter: Descendants and Emulations”