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The Merlin Factor. Prologue.
Topic Started: Dec 16 2015, 08:38 PM (176 Views)
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****** The Merlin Factor ******

A story of fear transformed into Love,
The Merlin Factor was begun in a time of great fear,
lay fallow through a time of great change,
and was completed in a time of great Love.
Rather like Camelot.


"For there were the many and there were the few.
Afterwards, there were the others.
Not having been there, in this body, I could only do my best
to choose a name and give it life, to imagine how it might have
been, and how it all might end. Though fiction, I trust there runs
a thread, a word, a thought, a feeling lost to time, regained and
rekindled, fanned once more to gritty glory.
This is for them, those children given wings, who paid with their
lives to live mere moments, free; wherever they are now.
The stuff of legend. The razor edge of youth.
It is not fact, but tribute paid to those who paid life's price.
The tragic, reckless, glorious few. Though I never knew you,
I will never forget you; will never forget your finest, final hour."

(Gabriola Island, British Columbia, Canada. 1989.)
(San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico, 1994.)

The Merlin Factor. 1989.

Prologue. England: The Dark Ages.

And there came a Man, unlike any other before him. Dressed in purple robes and afoot.
He bore no arms, though he was more to be feared than all the knights of the realm, and all their weapons too.
Yet he was a man of peace. A holy man.

He came, this Man, alone, from the clammy mists of nowhere, across grey waters, in time of greatest need. Unarmed, yet mighty. Seeming old, yet able to cover more ground than the swiftest horseman. Solitary, yet able to sway the might of armies, the destinies of kings. With a word, a gesture, could he silence thunder, bring peace where there was war. War where there was oppression. Might where only weakness dwelled. Deliverance. A Man...

In all his might, fell he to Woman. Enslaved and humbled. Beaten and chained. It was an age of magic!
So it was that time reigned supreme, his only ally. His only hope. With its passing, did magic fade and come to pass from all the faces of the land. With time did Woman lose her edge, and fade, too, with all her dark, Woman's powers. Forgotten, was she. While he, greater from the beginning, became legend, while living on...

England: The North Norfolk Coast: 1940.

"...as I was sayin'... as..." The pilot's florid face beamed blankly at the stranger, utterly happy from English ale.
"As I was sayin', it were Merlin that made England! Not yer Arthur, or 'is bunch o' knights. Sure they 'elped! But it were 'e that done the deed..."

The stranger nodded, smiling. With amusement, he wondered if perhaps he had known something then that now was lost. Why had he even bothered? The pilot knew this legend, to be sure, but what had happened to England in all those years? During that long, dreamless sleep? Did the race do nothing, now, but drink and fondle ancient glories? Why had he come in the first place? But he knew, of course. It was the reason he smiled now; would never stop smiling, at all these oddly fractured souls. It was for something worth preserving. Hope. Life itself.

"Do you theenk, per'aps, zat zis Mayor-lann 'e live steel?" He used his hands to help translate the words. "Anozair biere, per'aps?"
The airman's face creased as he worked at deciphering the frenchie's odd pronunciation. The beer only made it the harder. Eagerly, though, he nodded his willingness for more. Beer, after all, was at the very heart of all that was English...

"Never know, do yer? Do magicians die, then? Nah. Not likely, izzit? Bet the bugger's still..." He paused, collecting what was left of his thoughts on the subject. "Bet 'e's still around somewhere or other... Jus' waitin', like, jus' in case 'e's needed..."

And it was clear. Through the haze of alcohol and fuddled foolishness, that the man was sincere. That the Great Magician was remembered with pride by a race of islanders who held him in high regard. Always would. And even he, needing nothing, had to admit that this felt good. He smiled, as was his custom. For was there anyone, anywhere, who did not need to be needed?

The public house reverberated to the alcoholic mirth of its assembled complement of ploughmen, airmen, and assorted passers-by. There was trouble somewhere, this summer's evening, but happily that trouble did not intrude here. He rose, with unusual grace for one who seemed far beyond youth, bidding the pilot adieu. With a final, fatherly glance around the smoky room, he stepped through the open dutch door, scarred by the blades of many penknives, and was gone.

He strolled the sandy cliffs, sharing another sunset with these people he had adopted as his own. It was foolish, he knew, to stroll at all, but he liked to do it. When, at length, he was satisfied with it, he would have seemed - to any chance observer - to have vanished, and from his vanishment appear a small, purposeful shape, rising swiftly into the twilight on short, pointed wings. The predatory shape streaked inland, heading for a copse of ancient oaks, seen only by a young man lying in the arms of an older, fully-figured woman.

"Oh, look, Auntie!" he cried, pointing, for he called her `Auntie' now. "Did you see it? It's quite rare!" He absently brushed a twig from his hair, eyes still intent upon the shape he had seen. The woman moaned a little moan of sensual contentment and caught the speeding form just as it was lost to the deepening shadows.
"What a lovely little bird, Johnny. Do you know what sort it was?"

Johnny stared off into space, imagining how it would have looked in daylight, comparing it, like an aircraft, to pictures he had seen. "It was a falcon. I forget which, but it wasn't a Kestrel, or a Peregrine. Much rarer than that..." The name came to him slowly, like salt crystals forming in a glass bowl left in the sun. "Oh, I know! Funny name for a falcon..."

The woman squeezed him gently, wanting his attention back. "What's a funny name, dear?"
His serious young face turned back to gaze earnestly into her alluringly made-up eyes. The moment stretched on in timeless silence, for somehow they both sensed, that for perhaps the first time in centuries, magic was alive again in England.

Reluctantly, almost, or perhaps reverently, Johnny spoke the name, a name so familiar that he had been unable to think of it, releasing it into the pulsing silence of the swiftly falling night...

The little falcon pulled up, hovering, sensing something beyond sense, yet hearing, knowing, that here was the place, and now was the time. As the Sound reached it, it folded its wings, dove straight down, and vanished.


Edited by crow, Dec 18 2015, 08:39 PM.
"Squawk!" said the crow, and then made space.
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