Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Madrol Empire Part Three

The Madrol Empire Part 3
                The sun has not yet risen yet, the hour is very early. Marcus prepares for the hunt; he packs his crossbow, ten bolts and a hatchet. He has become quite good at using the crossbow. Other villagers prefer rifles but Marcus swears the crossbow is faster and he knows it’s quieter, plus he can reuse the bolts it fires. He slings it over his muscular shoulder and prepares to leave the hut. He meets up with Abe and two other hunters. They each have their rifles in hand; they shake their heads when they see Marcus with his cross bow, always with that damned crossbow. Marcus leads the hunt despite protests from the older hunters, Abe defends the boy, holding his club.
                They set off for the prairies to hunt gazelle, it will take two hours of walking to reach it. They would hunt closer to the village if they could but there are not many big game animals nearby, so they are stuck with the prairies.
                Marcus spots a gazelle in the distance, they must be close to the prairies. He slowly approaches and aims his crossbow. The wind is at his back, working to his advantage, the bolt will travel farther and faster. The sun however is directly in front of him, rays of light hitting his eyes, partially distorting his vision. He fires, the bolt strikes the back of the animal, it falls to the ground, suddenly Abe springs up and charges with his club. Once he reaches the gazelle, the animal stands and with a swift kick sends Abe falling back wards.
                “Abe!” Marcus shouts as he runs over to his fallen guardian. He approaches and sees that Abe is bleeding profusely from his head. The other hunters join Marcus and look down with horror. The hunt stops there. The men fashion a stretcher out of branches and drag Abe back to the village, he dies during the travel.
                Abe was like a father to Marcus. He fought beside him during the battles with the barbarians to the west. He taught him all he knows. Marcus will make a good leader someday, Abe assured him, but now he’s dead. What will Marcus do now?
                That evening the villagers went to Marcus’s hut. “You must leave; your kind is no longer welcome here. You lead the hunt that ended in the death of one of our great elders. He always defended you, but now with him gone you are defenseless. We never liked you but Abe made us tolerate your presence here.” Said one of the hunters.
                “But this is my home; it has been for the last seventeen years. Where am I to go?” Marcus asked.
                “Go back to your castle. Face the enemy who tried to kill you. Avenge your father’s death and claim the throne. You can do that. We have raised you into a great man, but we’re afraid you will hurt more of us if you stay.”
                Marcus nodded and packed up his belongings. He picked up the wooden horse and caressed it with his thumb. “Should I go back there?” He said to himself. It is his destiny to claim the throne.
                He set off then under darkness of night. He didn’t know where he was going but was somehow guided west. The dragon that brought him to the village was in disrepair and he had no idea how to fix it. He would have to travel by foot. The road ahead of him was long and treacherous.      

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Madrol Empire Part Two

The Madrol Empire Part 2
                Leeana removed her robe as she prepared for the hot bath. Her servants took the robe from her and added soap to the water to create a frothy, bubbly mixture. The bathroom was large and ornate. Gold tubes and fixtures were on the walls along with torches and candles. The room was perfect for the cleansing rituals of the royal. The water turned to steam at the surface and tantalized Leeana’s senses. The temperature of the room was in stark contrast to that of the outdoors. Wind howled at the walls and sent drifts of snow flying, ice struck the window but did not penetrate.
                She was an older woman, in her sixties by now, the sister of Alernus. Her son, Tailon Gaius, is now emperor, just as she wanted, just as she predicted. Her life wasn’t bad at this point, she was of the nobility. Her food was brought to her on a platter and her clothes were all laundered and presented nicely.
                Tailon assumed the position of emperor following the death of the old man, Alernus, who ruled Drahil for twenty years. His health was rapidly declining until he could no longer command power; he died in his bed at the age of sixty five. Tailon, at the tender age of twenty eight, took over Alernus’s duties. He took the job despite not wanting to. His mother, Leeana, wanted him to assume the powerful position, so she could reap the benefits and he could command the empire. He was a general during the second campaign against the barbaric nomads to the east. That was all he wanted to do, and what he was good at. He was an amazing general, commanding respect but no adoration. His theory was he didn’t want his troops to like him, but they must respect him, and that they did.
                The responsibility of the throne would have gone to the young Marcus Madrol II but he disappeared seventeen years ago, about the same time as his father’s murder. His father, Marcus Madrol I was a highly respected man. He was the hand to the king and was groomed to be the next emperor. His death was a shock, the people wept and even Leeana was present for the funeral. The pyre was stacked high with juniper with Marcus I on top. The peasants were allowed to view the funeral pyre. He was a man of the people, his motto was if you can please the populous than you can lead a country. He, however, never did lead the country, his life was ended short by an assassin. So was the fate of many of the emperors or those in line for the throne; power corrupts all, no one is immune.
                While Leeana bathes on one side of the castle, a historian writes on the other. He was hired by the Gaius dynasty to record everything about them, no detail will be left out. Neesus carefully writes using a quill and ink. He doesn’t believe in technology, he prefers to hand write his work. Neesus isn’t just a historian, he’s also an experienced investigator. He wants to delve into the mystery of the Madrol’s, who they were, how Marcus Madrol I and Alernus Madrol died, and why. I suppose it’s obvious as to how they died and for what reason, but no one has yet to find the murderers, and no one is searching. The ruling class also commands the law, they are above it. Neesus doesn’t believe that anyone is above the law, not even the royal class.
                Neesus asks himself some questions: how did Marcus Madrol II flee? Where is he now? How did he fight off his attacker? If he returns then he should be the rightful emperor. Who arranged the murder of Marcus Madrol I? Who could benefit from his death? These are all questions that Neesus wants to know the answers to. He will take it upon himself to correct the bloodline and the rightful heirs. “Now I just have to find little Marcus. Ha, little Marcus, he’s nearly a man now, if he’s even alive.” Neesus whispers to himself. He concludes his writing for the evening, Tailon will be happy with the account of his heroic exploits. Always flattering, always good. Neesus must please them or else he will end up like some of the others, the less fortunate.   

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Madrol Empire Part One

The Madrol Empire
                The three year old Marcus sat on the floor playing with a wooden horse, he looked out the window and watched the snow fall. It has been snowing non-stop for five years, it has nearly reached the window of the castle. In some parts of the kingdom, the snow reaches two hundred feet into the air, a layered mixture of ice and snow. Marcus Madrol II is enamored by the snow, he loves to watch is, and, on warmer days, he loves to play in it. His grandfather is emperor of the country of Drahil, making Marcus second in line to assume the throne. The country is an alliance of fifteen smaller countries, each conquered by the Madrol dynasty. Many people died for this empire and many more will. Little Marcus has no idea how important he is, but some people do.
                Marcus plays with the horse, making it run and jump. He could entertain himself for hours.
 The door to his room is open and a light is slowly making it’s way down the hall. The person holding the light reaches the door way and stops to aim his pistol. The laser pointer reaches little Marcus’s head but the gun jams. A nearby slave runs to the door and tackles the intruder. He wrestles him to the ground and stabs him repeatedly with his glass knife, killing the assassin. The slave runs over to Marcus and cradles him. Little Marcus had no idea his life was in danger.
“My boy, we must leave…you are not safe here.” The slave says as he picks up Marcus.
In another part of the castle Marcus’s father is killed by a sniper who is was able to see into the man’s chamber window through a tower window on the other side of the courtyard. Two assassins were sent to eliminate the heirs to the throne, one was successful, the other failed and died.
That night the slave and Marcus left the castle by the steel dragon, a robotic transport built for two or fewer occupants.
                Seventeen years later the twenty year old Marcus Madrol wakes in a grass and stone hut in the outskirts of the continent of Raif. The slave who rescued Marcus seventeen years ago has raised him with the help of other villagers.  The climate is much different here, Marcus doesn’t see snow anymore and he doesn’t have to deal with winter at the castle. In Raif the climate is always warm and there is never snow. It barely rains here.
                Marcus learned all the cultures of the villagers, how to hunt local game, how to scavenge for berries and vegetables. At night he even learned how to smoke the greeneries and drink the spiritual tea of the elders. He would consume the awful tasting liquid and have visions of the life that once was. He would have flashbacks to when he was three and living in the castle playing with his toy horse. He didn’t remember much of the life back then, but the tea helped.
                His leadership abilities were evident at the tender age of ten. He would plan hunts and find the best spots at the right time of year for berries and other edibles. He was a very quick learner and incredibly strong. The villagers knew he was different, not just his skin tone, but his way of thinking and his innate abilities. The slave who rescued him, Abe (short for Abebe) told of his royal blood. He told how he saved him from death. Some villagers were weary of the new comer but they soon accepted him as one of their own. Marcus was now a native; he will bring the villagers much prosperity.     

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The End of Sickness

The End of Sickness
                Medicine advanced to the Omega Point. Pills and vaccines reached the height of complexity and breadth. Even the most obscure and rare diseases were treated with close to one hundred percent cure rate. That was a good thing for mankind. Even the little proteins at the ends of our chromosomes were lengthened to extend the age of humans. The world wide life expectancy is one hundred and twenty. The world population is somewhere in the one hundred billions. We’re literally building on top of one another. Sky scrapers have reached a record setting height. To feed the masses, the moon was turned into one large farm. Crops were sent by transport to Earth several times a day. How long would we be able to survive like this?
                The oceans have been filled in with composite earth and terra-formed into plains for level construction. There was still war however, but nothing takes out millions like a pandemic.
                “This isn’t natural, there needs to be attrition.” Said Mr. X the worldwide dictator.
                “We need to develop a virus that spreads easily and cannot be treated.” Said Mr. X.
                “You’re saying we need to kill people!?” Said Davis, the dictator’s trusted advisor.
                “Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying. We can’t sustain this level of population. The Earth cannot support it. I’m sorry Davis, if you don’t agree with me, then you have to go.” Said Mr. X as he raised the silenced pistol and pulled the trigger. Davis fell to the floor, blood leaked into the fine carpet.
                “Now, I don’t have anyone to talk to.” Mr. X said as he speed dialed a number in his phone.
                “Hello? This is the retro virus lab.” Said a scientist.
                “Hello, this is the president. I want you to engineer a highly contagious and resistant virus. This will be for research only. Let me know how the experiments are going, you’ll be funded completely.” Said Mr. X.
                “Um, ok. Can I ask why you need this?” Said the scientist.
                “For population control. If you don’t agree with this, then I’ll have you killed. I already killed one person today. But in all honesty it’s for genetic advancements through specialized transduction. I’m sure I don’t have to explain that to you.”
                “No sir, I understand.” Said the scientist.
                They developed the virus and released it into the public. It spread rapidly and wiped out 99.9999% of the population, leaving only the president alive, who happened to take the only vaccine for it. Now he’s alone with a completely empty Earth. The deliveries stopped coming to Earth from the moon, with no one to guide them. The president tried to kill himself but every attempt was a fail. He lived until the end of the Earth, millions of years later. He died a lonely, maniacal man.