You’ve redecorated… I don’t like it.

So the Day of the Doctor has finally come and now I am going to break my silence and talk about what is going on in Whoville. There is a lot to cover so this might be a little longer than my normal posts. First let’s start with Stephen Moffat, the man with the toughest job in the entertainment industry. I have liked a lot of the things that he has done with the show and disliked some, but overall I think he has done an exceptional job at building on a half century of legacy that he was given and propelling the show into the next 50 years. He is often reviled for some of the story choices that he has made and might very well be the second most hated man to ever work on Doctor Who in its history; JNT earns the title for most hated. But to be honest RTD had it easy, the show had been off the air for over a decade and a half with only the Fox/BBC TV movie in the middle, and old fans were just thrilled to have it back. A new fan base had not developed for the show yet, so anything that he did was okay by them. Then suddenly without even having a chance to bring in a new companion, Russell T Davies and David Tennant both leave the show at the same time. This not only left Moffat with big shoes to fill, but the youngest Doctor ever and a brand new companion to introduce to the audience. Not since the transition from ‘War Games’ to ‘Spearhead from Space’ has the show undergone such a complete change in one season to the next.

                With all of that load on his back Moffat was faced with the biggest event in Doctor Who history looming in his face the 50th Anniversary of the show to fall on a Saturday. The show had not had a big anniversary celebration since the 20th back in 1983 with the airing of the ‘Five Doctors’ an episode that was more of a cluster of fond memories than anything intended to move the story forward. And it had to have a bigger impact than the ‘Three Doctors’ from back in the 10th anniversary which was notable not only in that it was the first, and only time, that all previous Doctors appeared together in one episode, but that it shifted the story back to a traveling Doctor, from one who had been stranded on earth for several years.

                So this presented Moffat with several large choices, after the two previous anniversary episodes had featured multiple Doctors together he would be expected to bring back several other of the previous Doctors in order to make the episode work, but first he is faced with the issue that the first three of the Doctors have passed on, and the remaining four from the original run of the series are significantly older than they were when they regenerated and ended their runs. Do you recast the original three, like they did for Hartnell in the ‘Five Doctors’ or use archive footage like they did for Tom Baker in the ‘Five Doctors’? And most importantly how even by doubling the length of the episode from 45 minutes to one and a half hours could you fit enough material into the episode to give all of the Doctors something to do, the mass of Doctors and companions from the ‘Five Doctors’ was enough to break down the story into mere spectacle.

                Moffat did what he could to bring back together as many of the recent Doctors as possible, Tennant, Smith and introduced John Hurt as the missing Doctor, the War Doctor. This was a story not so much about Matt Smith’s version of the Doctor as it was about John Hurt, and the missing years from the time of the Fox/BBC TV movie up until the time when the series was brought back, and then once it had established that it turned and looked to the future and set a path for future Doctor Who plots going forward.

                First with the mini-sode ‘Night of the Doctor’ he brings back the completely under-used Paul McGann and gives proper closure to the eight incarnation of the Doctor, a death full of sacrifice and longing. And with 6 short minutes he fills in the first half of the transition from the past to the future.

                Then the main event begins, Tennant, Smith & Hurt are brought together to face a challenge that looms too large for only one Doctor to face. The Time War, the mysterious conflict between the Time Lords and Daleks that threatened the entire Universe and force the Doctor to wipe out his own people. From the first moment this is what the fans have been expecting Smith’s frustrated goofiness, Tennant’s bumbling sexiness and the added gravitas of Hurt come together in a delightful mix of personalities that bring out the best in one another. I also thoroughly enjoyed the sneaky way that Moffat included quotes from previous incarnations of the Doctor.

                To top all of it off Moffat uses the fact that the three Doctors who have appeared in the new series are three of the youngest men to play the part and have been getting progressively younger since the new series started as a metaphor for the Doctor trying to escape from what he believes he has done to his own people.  And at the end when a way out has been found that will save all of Time Lord civilization and prevent the genocide that the Doctor has been wrestling with since his return to the airwaves, it is revealed that due to the proximity of the three Doctors to each other that the younger two, Hurt and Tennant, will have no memories of saving their civilization but go back to believing that they are the cause of the biggest genocide in the universe. The War Doctor’s story ends with him regenerating into the Doctor from the beginning of the new series, providing the last piece of the bridge from the old to the new, and making way in the last few moments for Smith to once again step center stage and open up the door to the future with the hunt for Gallifrey that will begin with his successor Peter Capaldi.

                This is not to say that the episode was without fault. As much as I enjoyed the small cameo from Tom Baker as the Curator at the end, pointing Matt Smith’s Doctor in the direction of finding the lost planet Gallifrey. The fact that an older Tom Baker appeared and provided cryptic clues to Matt Smith’s Doctor brings up many problems, while he did not appear as the Doctor he did possess information and hinted at a connection to the Doctor that is never explained, it felt like a moment of empty pageantry that Moffat claimed he was trying to avoid by not having a parade of old Doctors appear in the episode.

                But in the waning moments of the episode as the plan to save Gallifrey is thrown into effect Moffat breaks out the big surprise, something he has become known for, and reveals the presence, if only for a second, of the newest Doctor Peter Capaldi.

                This brings us to the latest firestorm that Moffat has erupted on the Whovians, he argued from the first moment that he revealed John Hurt at the end the ‘The Name of the Doctor’ that Matt Smith was not the 12th Doctor as some were claiming, he insisted that people had not been watching the show carefully enough. Many theories were tossed around the internet, one of the more popular was that the transition from Trouton to Pertwee was not a regeneration at all but only a change in appearance forced by the high council of the Time Lords. But Moffat has now revealed that he was referring to the fact that David Tennant used up one of the regenerations during ‘Journey’s End’ to heal himself from a Dalek blast and so Matt Smith has already used up all of the regenerations available to the Doctor.

                Obviously Moffat has a plan to give the Doctor at least one more cycle of Regenerations so that the show can continue with Peter Capaldi as the Doctor and he will reveal what new twist he has for the Doctor and his Companions to us this Christmas.

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Fey Fyre (Part 19)

James had just finished closing up the office of Emerald Helicopter Tours when the phone rang. Part of the reason he had taken this job was that he was assured by the owners that none of them were looking for help with the day-to-day office work, he had tried that and much preferred to be behind the stick then a desk any day.

                He wouldn’t normally have been the one closing up, but one of the owners Marv had to leave to pick up one of his wives because her car had broken down.

                “Emerald Tours.” James said, as he put the receiver to his ear.

                “James, its Glenda. You know where my husband is?” Glenda asked.

                “Yeah, Marv got a call from Dot about an hour ago and had to go pick her up, some sort of car trouble.” James replied.

                “Okay good, I got her message but wasn’t sure where she was.” Glenda said. “I’m on my way to the office now, so you can head out I’ll finish up any paperwork when I get there.”

                The bell on the front door chimed twice as someone entered the waiting room, and James swore under his breath for not locking the door before he picked up the phone.

                “That’s fine,” James said. “Listen I have to let you go, somebody just came in.”

                James dropped the receiver and heading to the front counter to see if he could convince the customer to schedule for another day. When he entered the front office he was stopped in his tracks by what he saw. A young couple standing at the counter dressed looked as if they were on their way to a club in New York as opposed to booking a Helicopter ride in Arizona. Standing off to the side was an older woman who appeared to have not taken a vacation from her high-powered job for a while. James’ first thought was that he had another pair of rich celebrities and their agent trying to get him to rent out his helicopter to make an impressive entrance at some star-studded event.

                “Can I help you folks with anything?” James asked.

                The young girl at the counter turned to look at James for the first time. When he looked in her eyes he could swear he heard soft music playing, could smell roses and taste the sweat rolling down her smooth skin. He was so enthralled that it took her repeating her question twice before he even realized that she was talking.

                “We are looking for Clio, the owner” T said. “Is she here?” 

                James shook his head repeatedly to clear it. He really shouldn’t be having these thoughts about a girl who looked to be young enough to be his granddaughter.

                “I’m sorry.” James replied. “You must have the wrong place. The owner’s name is Marvin Gale. I don’t know anyone named Cleo.”

                “Glenda” The woman in the corner mumbled. “She goes by the name Glenda now.”

                James stopped for a moment to let what she had just said register.

                “Oh, Glenda, Yeah, I just got off the phone with her,” James said. “She should be here in a few minutes. Let me give her a call back.”

                As James started to turn the old pick up was heard screeching to a halt outside. Moments later Glenda stormed into the office.

                “That man should never be allowed to pick out a single thing that moves.” Glenda ranted as she pushed past James and into the backroom without even noticing the others. “If I left it up to him to purchase the choppers, he would find the only ones in existence where the prop stood still and the cockpit spun around.”

                James for a moment remembered the first time that he had met Glenda, and the sudden attraction he had felt to her just like this young girl. It had been different with Glenda, she was noticeably older at least forty-five he figured, she carried a bit of extra weight, but all of it in exactly the right places. Her mane of strawberry blonde curls usually tied back in a loose ponytail.

                James finally snapped out of his revelry.

                “Glenda, these people are looking for you.” James shouted.

                “What? Oh, Shit” Glenda mumbled as she popped her head out of the back and for the first time noticed the visitors in the office. “James, I think I can handle things from here. Why don’t you head on out.”

                Glenda quickly ushered James out the front door and made sure he had gotten into his car before turning back to greet her guests.

                “Hello, Sweetie” Glenda purred at Cal. “What brings the three of you out to my neck of the woods?”

                “The prince has sent us to gather you.” T said without waiting to be acknowledged.

                “Oh, I do so love when he gets us into trouble.” Glenda chuckled. “What little scheme of his has gone awry now?”

                “This is nothing he has done, Bathory has come and he is looking for blood.” T said. “Damien and the Demon Son are using him to get past the truce and strike at the prince.”

                The door suddenly burst open and Dot stalked in quickly followed by Marv

                “I’m sorry; I thought I had gotten the problem with the harmonic dampener fixed.” Marv said.  “I’ll have the Corvair running again in a day or two.”

                “I don’t think you will have time for that Lieutenant.” Peter said.

                When Marv turned and realized who was there; his face broke into a huge smile.

                “Commander,” Marv said giving Peter a huge hug. “It is good to see you. What has brought you all the way out here?”

                “We were sent by the Prince, Bathory has come to make a challenge to the truce.” Peter explained. “I was hoping my best pilot would be at my side.”

                “You know I will always have your back sir.” Marv responded.

                “That’s good, we weren’t sure how the girls would feel about coming back to help the family.” Peter said.

                “Well you know that we came out here to try to get away from all of the fighting in the family, but you know that if there is one thing that Glenda hates more than her sisters, it is those damn bloodsuckers.” Marv replied. “And if it gives us one more shot at Kali it is worth more than anything else to them.”

                Their conversation was suddenly cut short by the sound of a round being chambered in a shot-gun.

                “Gentlemen” Glenda said, hoisting the gun over her shoulder. “The chopper is waiting out back; Dot is loading up the gear now. If there is going to be a fight I don’t want to keep them waiting.”

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Fey Fyre (Part 18)

                Stephen sat in the parlor, waiting for Damien to make his entrance. His calm demeanor a symbol of the control that he had over every part of his being. He watched Feverstone pace back and forth across the antique carpet. This was the moment that they had been waiting for and Stephen was determined to relish every second of it.

                “Calm yourself.” Stephen said, “Everything that I have planned is falling into place. We will soon have all of our rewards for the hard work that we have done.”

                Feverstone stopped and locked his gaze with Stephen finally.

“Master, why are we doing this?” Feverstone replied. “Surely you are the one who has been fated to wield the dark sword.”

                Stephen rose from his seat with unseen effort and struck Feverstone across the face and knocked him to the floor.

                “You will never speak that way again in regards to the heir, especially in his own hive.” Stephen hissed. “Your services to the Demon Son and myself has earned you much, but it will not protect you from my wrath if you continue with such impertinence.”

                Stephen’s attention was suddenly drawn to the doorway as he heard Damien clapping.

                “It is good to see that you have lost none of your ruthless loyalty that Father has always prized so highly.” Damien said as he walked into the room. “Please Stephen allow him to rise. It can be understood how his loyalty to you might have misled him in his judgment.”

                Feverstone rose up and presented himself before Damien on his knees.

                “Please forgive my failings, Heir to the Demon Son.” Feverstone said. “I did not wish to disrespect you in such a way.”

                Damien continued his conversation with Stephen, intentionally ignoring Feverstone prostrate at his feet.

                “So I had been informed that you have news for me that bodes well for our cause.” Damien said. “What is this miraculous turn of events?”

                Stephen turned to the case that had been carefully placed in front of the chair that Stephen had been occupying.  With reverence he slowly lower the case on to its side and opened it. The precision of Stephen’s movements mesmerized Damien. In the centuries that they had fought side by side Damien had never known him to place any value to material objects. Finally folding back the clothe lining the case Damien saw it for the first time. So enraptured by what he witnessed Damien did not realize at first that Stephen was speaking.

                “In the bowels of Mt. Vesuvius Mulsiber learned and perfected his art of crafting the finest metals in the world. And from them the weapons of the green bloods were made.” Stephen recited. “However when the Dark Lady came and granted him the visions; he knew he must follow them. Four swords were to be created Two of brightest Silver and Two of blackest Steel. These were to be the weapons at the fore of the battle when the day came for the Vampire race to face off against the Fey for the fate of the world.”

                Slowly Stephen lifted the dark blade from its cocoon.

                “Mulsiber did not have the skills to create them himself, and so he found the greatest sword maker throughout the centuries and to him he supplied the materials and to the northern banks of Shawmut they went to craft the madman’s dream.”

                Stephen held the blade out to his lord master allowing him to take the pommel in his hand.

                “But Mulsiber and the Human were betrayed and all of the swords were lost. Some believed they were legend and never existed at all, others claimed that they would once again be found and the day would come that the final battle between the Fey and Vampire races would begin.”

                Damien drew the sword and held it over his head, examining every inch in the gas lights around the room. The amazing metal seemed to absorb and reflect all light at once.

                  “This, my children, is the sign that we have hoped for, this is the sign that the time is right and we will march forward into our victory.” Damien pronounced. “Together we will crush the leaf eaters and spread our control over the entire globe.”

                For the first time since Stephen had revealed the sword Damien turned towards Feverstone and looked down on the underling kneeling before him.

                “You have performed the ultimate service in the name of the Demon Son, and when we have achieved our victory we shall never forget your sacrifice.” Damien pronounced.

                Bringing the dark blade down in a graceful arc, Damien severed Feverstone’s head from his body with the casualest of moves.   

                “Please remove the remains, burn them.” Damien said, “And Bathory, please by a little surer of the loyalty of those that you bring before me next time.”

                Stephen watched with well hidden contempt as the Heir to the Demon Son took the blade and exited the room.

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Fey Fyre (Part17)

The General had been aware of what was coming for over an hour, but only so much preparation would be possible. Everything was packed and waiting to be taken away. As far as anyone would know the aging General Bard would be going to a home due to declining health. Soon Mister Tals would be arriving in Wrexford to take possession of a lovely estate that he purchased with his inheritance from a dearly departed uncle. If anyone inquired General Bard will have passed away in his sleep, not that anyone would be looking for him now.
But that was not worried the General now. He could feel the approach of the Trickster. This worried him since he had made his position clear on their last encounter.
He made his way to the main entrance to greet his guest. He had already let go all of the staff and no one was left to disturb them.
“So two visits in the same decade,” Bard joked. “I am starting to think you do not know when to give up.”
“I am not here for frivolity, General.” Robin barked. “I hope to make one last plea to convince you that you need to intervene in order to preserve the stability of the world.”
“HA, why do you think I would believe that you would care one ounce for the stability of the world?” Bard responded. “You have done more to upset the stability of the world than both Bathory and the Thunderer combined.”
“I do not care for the stability of the world as it concerns your people, General.” Robin glazed at him. “But you do. I have in the past caused trouble for my brothers, and undermined their position with the Highfather, but I have not once in a century and a half  broken my oath to the truce.”
“Yes, well of the three of you only your oldest brother was worth anything.” Bard mumbled. “Oh, don’t be so surprised. Your brother and I were friends. Even with what the Dark Lady did to me I have always judged your family by their own actions and not the actions of the others.”
“Gwion, please?” Robin said, knowing that using his birth name would shock the General. “How will your people feel if they are brought under the power of the Demon Son. Despite how you feel about us, we are one of the few things that have stood between him and the total subjugation of the planet.”
Bard could not respond for a moment. He understood that Robin spoke the truth, he had lived with the painful insight to understand that this truce was all that created the stability and progress that man had made in the last century, and he also understood that if the Demon Son could find a way around it he would trash the truce in a moment. Only the combined threat of Himself and the Highfather together would keep the hordes at bay.
“But until the terms are broken I will not be able to intervene,” Bard mumbled. “You of all people understand this. In all this time, neither the Demon Son nor Damien has failed to uphold the terms. Only once in all this time have a needed to intercede. You remember that day.
Robin mind played back the moments as Bard spoke.

The walls of the Ice Palace gleam brighter that the whitest star. Robin had been sitting waiting for his audience with the Highfather for over a week, the unsetting sun hovering over him in place. This time of year being slow for the Highfather he was known to take his time with minor issues, but Robin was nothing if not patient. He had concocted a new scheme that would sink his brother greatly in the Highfather’s opinion and was relishing the anticipation of springing it.
When the doors to the audience chamber burst open and his brother stormed out Robin was momentarily started and thought his plans had gone awry.
“How dare you speak to me in this place in that tone?” Thor bellowed
It took a moment for Robin to realize that Bard trailed on his heels.
“I am here as the arbiter of the truce, and as a member of the royal family you are bound by it just as the others.” Bard challenged him. “The Dark Lady has poisoned your mind with her psychotic dream of war and bloodshed leading to a single empire of peace.”
“Don’t you speak of my mother that way.” Thor responded, raising his hammer to strike Bard.
Robin intervened and restrained his brother from striking perhaps the only being on the planet powerful enough to withstand him.
“Bard, you have said your peace, The Royal family acknowledges your authority in this matter.” Robin said. “It is now time for you to take you leave.”
Bard turned and departed never once backing down from the hulking prince’s gaze. Once he had gone Thor finally relaxed in his attempts to strike out at the mortal.
“Bah,” Thor growled. He pulled away from his brother and struck the wall beside him with such force that tiny cracks sprang from the spot.
“What is this all about?” Robin asked.
“The ancient dust eater has come to chastise my in the presence of the Highfather.” Thor raged. “How dare he speak of mother that way?”
“Well,” Robin reminisced, “She did try to eat him once. I suppose he might hold a grudge for that. Technically she succeeded too, although that backfired on her completely. I do think he had a point of you inheriting her impulsiveness.”
Thor glared down at his brother. Robin enjoyed the aggravation that spread across his brother’s face and decided to push the issue farther.
“So what was he up in arms about to Father?” Robin asked.
“I was patrolling the border, and discovered some suspicious activity by what appeared to be those vermin.” Thor explained. “When I went to deal with the situation I was forced to defend myself from a throng of them.”
“Damien’s underlings had the audacity to cross the border?” Robin asked, knowing that a break in the truce could lead to all-out war.
“No, I had to pursue the interlopers back to their territory.” Thor explained.
“You attacked a brood in their own territory?” Robin exclaimed. “Were you trying to break the truce?”
“Those vermin have been biting away at our heels for fifty years, I am tired of it, we sit here and wait while they prepare. I will not be caught unready when the day comes. I will face them head on.”
“You thick skulls cretin, we would never be able to survive an assault from the blood sucker if the Bard is standing against us as well.” Robin insisted. “We must act with guile and wit in order to get the upper hand.”
“You and your constant scheming,” Thor growled. “Will I never know an end to your ceaseless plans? The backstabbing, the conniving, I am done with it.”
Thor slammed his hammer down to the polished floor and began to remove the scabbard holding his sword.
“What are you doing?” Robin asked.
“I am done with all of you, the politics and the intrigue.” Thor cursed. “Maybe I can find men of honor among the mortals. Men who are prepared to face an enemy on a field of battle.”
Thor stopped and thrust the bright blade into Robin’s hands.
“Father always wanted it to be Orpheus anyways.” Thor mumbled.

Robin remembered watching Thor leave that day.
“The minute the Highfather told you that the sword was truly to be yours it changed you.” Bard said bringing Robin out of his revelry. “No longer could you thumb your nose at the Highfather and his crown-prince, for you were responsible for the fate of your people.”
“And what of it?” Robin snapped.
“Your brother was right.” Bard retorted. “You have allowed the responsibilities of the crown dull your edge. You did not choose to come here. You were advised to come. By whom?”
“You well know the answer to that question.” Robin said.
“Then why have you not asked the obvious question.” Bard continued. “He should be able to tell you what to do, why have you not loosed the tongue that tells no lies? I will tell you why, for he is as afraid of what he was, as you are afraid of what you have become. When you both accept that fact then this might turn in your favor. Until then there is no hope for anyone.”
He turned and left leaving Robin to realize that he would hear no more from the Bard.

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Fey Fyre (Part16)

       Stephen had been sitting waiting for over an hour. He had made camp in the swamps with the Morlock tribe built up around him. He looked out from his tent at the warriors going about the preparations that he had assigned to them. He felt a connection to the days in Wallachia, before his ascension, back in the days when he and the Demon Son rode against the Ottoman Empire.

     He watched the carriage pull to a stop in front of him and allow the passengers to exit. Ritz and Mags strode triumphantly to Stephen and presented to him the quarry that they had been sent to retrieve. Maddox followed them calmly his dinner collapsed on the floor of the carriage. He seemed to grow more youthful with each step, his greasy grey hair thickening and becoming browner as he walked. The scars in his forward stood out in high relief. Stephen watched Maddox approach; he had been pleased with his accomplishments in the past. Where Stephen prided himself on remaining in the shadows, Maddox was a master of misdirection; his motives had been picked over for decades by the pathetic human forces trying to determine his true motives, what they failed to understand was the end game had not been reached. Maddox had followed the plan that Stephen had laid out almost a half century earlier and now they were prepared to bring the final moved into play.

     Maddox knelt before his master.

     “Lord Bathory, I trust you have been pleased by my progress.” Maddox said.

     “Rise, my loyal servant.” Stephen responded. “Your service has been exemplary.”

     Stephen gestured his hands out across the camp.

     “Please come walk with me, I have much to discuss with you.” Stephen said.

     Rising Maddox followed along and the two walked through the camp watching the preparations around them. Walking in silence they watched the Morlocks continue with their tasks.

     “So what do you think of the army that Damien has provided for us.” Stephen asked.

     “They appear to be ready to march into battle, and I will be glad to be among them when you lead them, My Master.” Maddox responded.

     “I appreciate your faith in me, my servant. I will need to be with Damien to bring down the final stoke that destroys our enemies; I will need a general to lead this army into battle.” Stephen explained. “You have shown me that even through decades of starvation you have been able to follow orders to an exact degree. You will be the general that leads my army into battle.”

     “It will be an honor to step out on the field of battle and lay down our bones for the glory of the Demon Son master.” Maddox said.

     “Good,” Stephen said. “Together we will lead this army to greater glory than any of our predecessors ever dreamed of. However before the final battle can be joined, we must make sure that the final push to drive our enemy over the edge into action must be made at the exact right point.”

     Stephen gestured to a clump of Morlocks as they approached them.

     “These are the elite of the army.” Stephen explained. “They are the most powerful and vicious and blood thirsty of them all. I have personally selected them to be the force you lead to not only pressure them, but to also limit their ability to stand against us in any significant way.”

     “What is my mission, My Lord?” Maddox asked.

     “The one thing that could reveal our intentions before it is time would be the Rhymer, The Madman. As he is not he has surrendered his power for sanity, but at any time he could reclaim them and if he were to see too much it would put at risk everything that we have done.” Stephen explained. “You must take them and make sure that his sight is forever placed out of his reach, she must be kept from him forever. Once they realize that you have done this, they will not be able to stop themselves from charging off to confront us and falling right into my trap.”

     Maddox looked out over the dozen or so brutes, some male some female, but that no longer mattered to them. They were now creature of raw power and hunger. They lived to rip and tear and devourer. And like Maddox himself they received all the excitement they needed from the vile acts they committed.

     “She is the key for us; you will go and teach her what we are truly capable of.” Stephen said.

     “The power and fury of your minions will rain down on them, My Lord.” Maddox said. “My family will see to it.”

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Fey Fyre (Part 15)

     Warden McGuire had taken a lot of strange requests in his time in charge of Corcoran Prison. He had received interview requests from Journalist, Psychologists and even the FBI to interview Maddox, as the most notorious resident of the institution all of these made sense. This request to allow the three visitors that he now accompanied through the halls was the most unusual. He had received a call that morning from the office of the Governor to bring in these three visitors and arrange a meeting with the senior most guard in charge of supervising Maddox. When they had arrived he was even more startled. He was not bothered by the old man, who looked like every auditor or psychologist he had ever met, it was the old cowboy and the soccer mom dressed like a hooker that bothered him.

     His first instinct had been to inform them that they could not be allowed into the prison dressed as they were, but then he remembered the voice on the phone and its warning to not upset these visitors. Once he thought about it and realized they could be kept away from any of the prisoners.

     He brought them into his office as he had been directed. Once he they were settled he sent for George.

     It took about fifteen minutes George to arrive.

     He tapped on the door as he entered.

     “You asked to see me sir?” George said before he realized who else was in the room with the warden.

     “I will step out while you folks talk.” Warden McGuire

     McGuire closed the door on the way out as George sat down waiting for someone to break the silence.

     “Is something wrong?” George finally asked. “I have performed my duty Maddox has not been able to feed since I came here, he is weakened and remains controlled.”

     Rip and Tom looked at their old friend and could not believe the change that had come over him in the time that he had been here. They knew that the loss of his love had taken an incalculable toll on him but they were not prepared for the physical changes that he had undergone. His round face had become sunken and angular, they eyes that had shined back with mirth and adventure were hollow and sunken, his broad frame had become emaciated and his uniform hung off his shouldered as if it were empty.

     “We came to collect you,” Tom finally said. “We fear that Bathory is trying to make an advance against us.”

     “I have my mission.” George said standing to leave.

     “Wait,” Rip exclaimed “We know how you feel about what you are doing here. But it doesn’t look like he is going to be a problem, even if he’s part of their plans the big picture is more important now”

     George stopped in his tracks; frozen by a mindless cold rage. “Not a problem?” George asked. “Just like the Highfather said when I warned him of this vermin forty years ago. I told him that the interloper needed to be dealt with. But he said NO, he didn’t think that one little neck biter was going to cause us any problems.”

     George began to pace as he ranted, and even though they all knew his story they allowed him to continue.

     “No Problems at all,” George screamed. “Until he slaughtered the love of my life.”

     Tom stood and placed a soothing hand on his old friend.

     “We know you are tired, and taking on the burden of being here was something that you asked the Highfather if you could do.” Tom consoled. “But a far greater storm is approaching and we need to marshal all of our forces together in order to stand against it.”

     George stood and quietly began to sob.

     “They wrote on the walls in her blood.” He whispered.

     “I know,” Tom responded. “And he is paying every day in here as he slowly starves to death. However the Highfather is once again not seeing the danger that is looming right before us and Prince Robin has asked us to find you so that we may prevent another tragedy from occurring.”

     George and Tom stood frozen in the moment together, Tom’s hand resting on George’s shoulder. Tom knew what it was like to have your sanity hanging by a thread and prayed to the Powers that he had not pushed his old friend too hard, too fast.

     “We need you to come with us George.” Rip finally said.

     George stopped cry and whipped his eyes with the sleeve of his uniform. Without saying a word he walked over to the Warden’s desk and removed his belt with the Taser and Billy-club still hanging on it and deposited it on the desk. As he turned to face the others they noticed the hollow look in his eyes had reached a new terrifying depth.

     “I must do as my Prince commands.” George said without emotion as they lead him away.

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Fey Fyre (Part 14)

     Stephen sat back as the carriage bounced along the long drive to the plantation house. Damien love for this antiquated mode of transportation infuriated Stephen, how could Damien expect to lead their people into the future and overcome the dirty emeralds if he was so attached to things from the past.

     Slowly they approached the house; Stephen watched the tree on either side of the drive as they arch in over the dirt drive, as if you were passing through a dark tunnel into the past. The pillars of the plantation home were perfectly centered in the middle of the drive and dominated the view of anyone who approached.

      The carriage slowed to a stop in front of the entrance to the home, one of Damien’s underlings approached and opened the carriage door for Stephen.

     “Good evening, I am Louis.” He explained. “I will be here to assist you while you are here.”

     Stephen looked him over, he was tall with an aristocratic bearing, his midnight black hair was slicked back and the paleness of his complexion highlighted his green-eyes. Stephen could see the weakness hiding behind the eyes, as if he had been tired of living and Damien or one of his underlings had used that against him in order to convert him, but they had not counted on his lack of enthusiasm for the opportunities that this existence provided, the powers that could be claimed in this form.

     Once again Stephen was struck by the poor choices that were made by Damien on a regular basis. In Stephen’s cold eyes all of the setbacks that they had suffered over the millennia were due to Damien’s incompetence.

     “Please announce me to the master of the house.” Stephen ordered. “I wish to meet with him at once.”

     “We have already dispatched a messenger out onto the estate to locate the master and inform him of your arrival.” Louis explained. “I was instructed to wait with you and make sure that you are made comfortable. Would you like to be shown to the rooms that we have prepared for you?”

     “No, that will not be necessary.” Stephen said. He wanted to send this lackey away and not have to deal with him slavish demeanor, but he knew that the rules of civility that Damien adhered to were strict, and sending this envoy away would be seen as a slap in the face by the Crown Prince. “Please just slow me to whatever room that I might meet with the Master.”

     “Of course,” Louis responded. “Please follow me this way.”

     Louis led Stephen through the house and unfortunately mistook a turn of the head by Stephen as interest in the architectures.

     “This was originally an indigo plantation when it was built, we had an issue with a fire that destroyed most of the original structure a little over a century ago, but we have been able to rebuild and the master has been very pleased with the comfort of the home.”

     Stephen withheld the scoff that tried to rise from with-in him. Damien had spent far too must time over the last several centuries ensuring his own comfort at the expense of his people. This damnable truce that he had spent the last century and a half working his way around would never have happened if Damien could have withstood some hardship to earn what should have rightly been theirs. Stephen remembered back to the days when he had ridden alongside the Demon Son into battle. The depravation and filth that they had fought through, the suffering that they had endured in order to defeat the ottomans and drive them back from the homeland.

     Suddenly Stephen realized that the simpering fool Louis was still in the room with him prattling on at length about the building and its history. Stephen was interested in building empires not estates, those underlings of Damien’s were surer sign of his unfitness to hold the reigns over the empire that was to come. Finally after an interminable time Damien arrived to meet with Stephen.

     “My brother, please accept my welcome to Thorn House.” Damien exclaimed on entering. “I hope that my pack have been caring for you well?”

     “You man here has been regaling me with the history of this magnificent structure while we have waited.” Stephen responded. He could not believe that Damien would dare to call this collection of misfits that he had a pack. Stephen saw that they we worth nothing more than to be thrown on the swords of his enemies, a fate that he planned to soon present to them.

     “Good. Louis, leave us.” Damien commanded. “Lord Bathory and I have much to discuss in private.”

     Louis rose and exited the room, drawing the sliding door shut on his way out.

     “How goes your plans?” Damien demanded.

     “Well, my Lord.” Stephen responded. “I have reports that all of the players have fell exactly onto the board as they must. I believe if we simply wait a little longer and then make a final move to confront the Trickster, then he will be driven into making an open assault on us here. This will force the Bard into admitting that they have broken the truce and to take action against them. We will then be free to go in and pick off the pieces at our leisure. By the time that bloated old fool the Highfather comes to their aid, it will be all over but the bloodletting.”

     “What do you have planned for your final stroke against the Trickster?” Damien asked.

     “I am leery to divulge the full details at this time, but I have found a weakness in his most trusted advisor.” Stephen declared. “One which will allow us to both remove that piece from the board, as well as push the Trickster the little bit more that is necessary into making his biggest mistake.”

     “What if the others interfere?” Damien asked.

     “The Dark Lady has them firmly under her control; she will not allow them to step into our business.” Stephen assured him.

     “Good, Good.” Damien chanted. “You have my undying trust, Lord Bathory. It is through your hands that my new Empire will rise.”

     Stephen smiled knowing that the trust this soft fool had for him would be his end, and the rise of Stephen as the true and only heir to the Empire to come.

     Stephen was drawn once again out of his revelry by the voice of Damien.

     “I have just come from inspecting the camp we had set up for the Morlock’s at the edge of the plantation.” Damien stated. “Everything is in readiness there.”

     “Thank you my Lord.” Stephen said. “I will be having Lady Kali and some of my lieutenants arriving shortly, to aid in the preparations. Once Maddox has arrived I will have him take command of his salvages.”

     “Splendid, I will now leave you to your work, Lord Bathory.” Damien said.

     As Damien exited the room Stephen knew that soon he would be out from under those ridiculous coattails.

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