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Thread: Desperado [FSN] [Corncob]

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    Desperado [FSN] [Corncob]

    With kind regards to Bloble and to Leo. They read my drafts. Shine on you crazy diamonds etc.

    Tagged FSN but only one character shows up. What a shame.

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    Desperado

    There was a road through the long grass that was strewn with ochre gravel and dust. A threadlike causeway drawn miles into the savannah. At the end of the road there was nothing. There was nowhere and there was no way. It terminated without special ceremony and at the limit of that scarcely differentiated cul de sac stood a painted sign atop a stake and behind the stake the grass stood kneehigh unbroken to the haze at the edge of the sky.

    He cut the engine. A callused hand took rest at the top of the steering wheel. A finger tapped out the cooling tick of the motor and the man's eyes flicked from the tense enclosure of his hand to the immense landscape sealed in windshield glass that seemed to make of him his meagre presence a miniature painted rudely in the margin of a manuscript whose every ancient word was scraped away without palimpsest. Light was outpouring across the treeless expanse drenching it and every stalk was held still and gleaming like an incandescent wire. What few clouds could be distinguished against the noontide sky were high indifferent markings of cirrus unmoving as the grass below.

    He exhaled a breath he had not known himself to hold and reached for the glove compartment and opened it. He took a locked case held it on his lap unlocked and lifted the lid and saw in sculpted foam compartments held a patient gleam of steel and bullets arrayed in perfect order. He took the gun and tested its weight and balance and found both familiar. Slid the cylinder out and loaded it one round by one and put it back in place with meticulous care and holstered the gun at his thigh. He closed the box locked and returned it to the compartment. Then he stepped out. Boots impacting earth. Footsteps trailing baked brown dust. He shut the door behind him and the sound of that metallic abruptness reduced thereout with no remainder. There was only silence here and that silence was sound attenuated by no obstacle. Instead by absence. By distance and time and orders of magnitude.

    There he stood in the gear and garb and leather hat of a ranger in the bush stood amid surroundings so great as to reduce his standing figure to a motelike silhouette uprising in the distance. This homeless man. This friendless man. This man of many devices who looked out with a gaze that rather scrutinised than saw and which coolly assayed machinelike the objects which fell before it and yet which at one and the same time seemed primitive naďve and unformed more apt to long extinct hominids than the men of today. He studied the sign and its paint was crimson flaking from age from hardworn years of rust and neglect since the end of the war. On its surface still resolved the words PERIGO MINAS and below a stencil aptly uncoloured of a human skull.

    The shape of the skull more than any words its angled jaw and baring teeth and cranium stuck persistent in his vision as he turned away. A standard shape. A common shape. A deathshead drawn in countless rusted mirrors staked across all the province and far beyond. They in their eyeless sodality bore witness to an enduring cartography of war vast beyond any man's capacity to apprehend. Weeks ago a hundred miles up the rail line in a corrugated iron warehouse busied by foreign staff he had seen nothing more than the dimensions of the problem. The abstract measure of this silent sullen injuriousness. Its mere representation had strained credulity. Heavily marked survey maps outlaid on a table had described a melange of ominous colours severing contour lines. Red zones black zones violent shapes crosshatched and diversely annotated marred the country like gangrene on necrotic flesh.

    This area, the deminer had asked. Yes?

    Yes.

    This is all uncleared.

    I was afraid of that.

    You understand we are not the ones who decide what fields to clear. The provincial governments select the problem areas for the Ministry of the Interior up in Luanda who then contract one of us to take care of it. Understandably the provinces are above all concerned with the A.P. fields laid near the towns and roads in the arable land the national parks and so forth because most of the casualties come from there.

    Understandably.

    This here is known to be an A.T. Line but little else beyond that. You will see a few others alike in this area south of the border. One here. Over here. And there. See?

    Out in the savannah?

    Seems weird doesnt it. Actually it is textbook stuff. S.A.D.F. developed this technique in Namibia and had their advisers pass it along to Savimbi in the late nineteen eighties. These fields are put down to deny the savannah. To deter government troops from executing cross country vehicle manoeuvres over the plain and force their incursions along the main roads.

    Which were also mined.

    Naturellement.

    Trigger weight?

    A.T. therefore quite heavy. Average is one fifty to two hundred k.g. The value is often fixed by the manufacturer not set in the field so we cant say with more precision without knowing the make.

    Take it on foot then.

    If you really must go. In theory you can walk right over them.

    In theory.

    Yes and only in theory. I must disclaim. This line is thirty years old. Noones done a proper survey yet. We dont know what condition the mines are in.

    Take a guess?

    A pensive silence had followed. Do you know, he had said. I have done this work since two thousand one. I have cleared mines on three continents. Four of my coworkers have been killed in that time. Seven injured in most cases quite seriously. And I have seen more locals in more places dead and disfigured from shrapnel than I am able to count. Men women children. The elderly. Animals. Mines dont discriminate. I was in Cambodia about ten years ago. I and Jean-Baptiste. Was an old friend from the army. We were surveying a field and. Ach. You know how it goes. Fuses rot compounds are unstable and. Whatever. He got unlucky. Because getting unlucky you know that is always a possibility. Risk is always going to be there. It is profoundly irreducible. These devices they are mechanical they are surely indifferent mechanisms but what is more dangerous than their indifference is precisely that they are not flawless mechanisms and sometimes they just fucking explode for no reason we can tell and sometimes Jean-Baptiste is standing four feet away when they do. That is just the way it is. An icebox had been brought around and the deminer lifted a Cuca longneck dripping from inside cracked the top and took a swig and winced. Lord I will be glad to be rid of this swill when I ship out. And you know. When I got over to look at his body it was so strange. He was standing side on to the blast such that his left side was all but untouched but his right was pulp. Hamburger. All his organs sort of. Spilling out all chewed up. So strange to look at. You ever seen that before? A human body turned into pulp.

    I have. Yes.

    Its so strange. So strange. There had been a pause a look. You are still going then are you.

    I am still going.

    Clearly youve reasons. Id tell you to be careful but itll take you only so far in the end. So many variables are entirely beyond your control. Do you pray?

    After a fashion.

    He returned to the truck opened the boot and set about equipping himself with wirecutters aerosol paint field compass and other selected tools to be secured in pockets or clipped to the belt. Then he locked up and moved to the front where the tow cable ordinarily fixed had been modified its spool restrung with high tensile wire running to over one thousand metres and he drew it out and fixed the terminal carabiner to the webbing at his waist. Was now tethered umbilical to a steel mother. He took a few experimental steps and found that tension was good. He looked at the featureless horizon that delimited this sea of grass beyond the sign where the earth elided flatness into the illusion of a sheer vertical. As if he was staring down the face of a cliff to an abyss of haze far below. As if the steel wire binding him to the truck was all that resisted the gravitational allure of whatever namelessness fell far across the empty space.

    He set off past the sign and into the savannah. Cable unspooling as he went. One step two step motion painstakingly quantised out of caution yet all the same smoothly conveying him deeper into the field. Ten metres twenty thirty inside there was still nothing and he did not expect there to be as he knew the field proper did not begin for some distance. He forged on trailing wire through insolated air held close to the earth like a great stilled breath. Sweat beading at the brow. His shadow formed a dark pit round which here and there savannah mice scattered as if to keep from falling in. No other movement but theirs and his own.

    At what he estimated was one hundred thirty metres horizontal depth he found the first mine. It was not much to look at a stout disk half exposed perhaps by seasonal rain from its former burial overgrown with dry stalks of grass revealing patches of gunmetal grey. Within it lingered high explosive to the proportion of two or three k.g. He circled the mine and spraypainted a rough perimeter of one to two metres onto the grass and earth around it and made to leave it well alone. He maintained his bearing and more cable unspooled to follow.

    What could he be but alert thereafter. Alert to a fault and set on a hairtrigger scanning ahead for the most delicate clusterings or dispersions in the disorder of the savannah which might suggest irruptions of buried hostility. Beneath the organic geometry of this place underlay a deeper unnatural geometry engineers had so arranged in all its pitiless opposition to life and it was in the task of discerning the impingements of that cryptic network onto the plane of his own traversal that forward progress was mired. One hundred forty metres passed one hundred fifty sixty seventy and in this movement he identified a handful more potential mines and he carefully marked these in the same way he had the first and kept moving. At a short way beyond two hundred ten metres horizontal depth now plainly conscious of the weight of the cable dragging a palpable mass as he moved he came to a shallow depression in the savannah a few metres across filled in with grassy regrowth that obscured the shock that must have borne it. Some unlucky animal perhaps grazing ruminant triggered a mine years or decades back and left behind nothing of itself all flesh and bone and fur and sinew pulverised stripped clean from the spirit in a single violent rebuke of which the only trace was here this crater of golden stalks and sand.

    If the field was laid according to practice the mean dispersion between elements would be less than or equal to the kill radius of each individual element. There was the dim reflection that only in this charnel footprint of the past was he remotely safe. Indeed hideously so. That reassurance born of prior sacrifice. Something had died here in such a way and for that precise reason he would not die here in that way. In this one could clearly discern the truth that the military value of a mine was in potentiality rather than actuality. A mine that exploded was less valuable than a mine which yet retained the possibility. Such was the constitutive gesture of warfare in the postnuclear age which was to say the applied logic of deterrence insofar as it dissolved the need to really engage and destroy the enemy. For what were mines truly other than the attempt overwhelming in its cold rationality to fulfill the highest ideal of war identified by Sun Tzu. To achieve victory without fighting. Surely a twisted manner of attempt. One laid a minefield in order to deter the enemy the duly constituted enemy whose defeat was the object of the present war but inherent in the very act a new war was declared orthogonal to the first. A war on one's children. Their children. An open war declared on the future with no further refinement of its aim. This diffuse machinic yet for that very reason unlimited hostility was the true content of the minefield. It was the dead hand of the past holding a gun to his head. All chambers loaded. Finger on the trigger.

    Dead hand, he murmured not more than a breath. Cold dead hand.

    Months ago a local from one of the railway towns got hired by a foreign shooter at good rates to play sherpa around these parts. Story was they ran into something out here. A bit of the non natural as it were. That was all the lead had amounted to until the guy was tracked down. Would have taken weeks more than it did had he not recently got himself caught in the national park with a pair of bushbuck bled out in the tray of his Hilux and no license to show. The local cops had him in lockup with the usual bunch of drunks thugs petty thieves until they got a judge to sign off on his poaching fine and it was in that window of opportunity that the off record purchase of a half hour of private conversation was sustained. Sat both of them down in the concrete interview room which was the only space available for talk and he introduced himself to the poacher with a string of plausible lies.

    What happened, he had asked.

    Nothin to start with. We got there an Luz had his eyeglass out an scoped some restin flock far out the way so we quit the car an snuck out the field after em. Went a bit far. After a while we both started feelin sick. Sorta dizzy. Hot day so we thought we just better have some water so we did an it went better for a while. But after a bit more again we kept on feelin sick. Was like. You know with a fever. Like your heads bein squeezed together. An it got real bad as we went on. Really hurtin. An you couldnt keep balance right. Felt like you were gonna fall over just bein there. An in a bit he did. Senhor Luz did I mean. I remember he collapsed on the ground an I had to crawl over to him cause I was that dizzy I couldnt stand up for it. An I was checkin hes breathin an all cause you know if he dies out here thats a big fuckin problem an he was alive but full passed out like stone drunk all of a sudden. An the only thing to do for it I thought was to pick him up an try an get us back to the car.

    Which you did in the end.

    Yeah I did.

    He was very grateful to you for that. Wanted me to tell you.

    Told me his self when he woke up in the car an we were on the way back to town.

    He wanted me to reiterate it.

    Thats nice bein reiterated.

    He said you saved his life.

    A pause.

    Yeah I guess I did didnt I.

    And again.

    Something happened when Luz was unconscious didnt it.

    Yeah.

    Can you describe it?

    I. Uh. I dont know. I. I thought I was goin crazy.

    Did you see it? Hear it?

    No. No. I mean I dont know. It. I thought I. Uh. Thought I was gonna die. I was gonna fuckin die out there. I dont know. Uh. Um. I. I felt it. Like it was. Hand on my back. Cold dead hand. Right here right on my back. I was gonna die. I felt it I was gonna die. Fuck. I dont know. I dont. I. I thought I just imagined.

    That there was something else there?

    He was more than four hundred metres into the field and the car though tethered to him by a line of substantial weight had become less than a thumbnail in the distance and it was only then that the nothingness all around for the first time acquired a shape. There he stopped. He tensed. This motionless steel armature in the shape of a man. He looked and saw nothing. He held out his hand.

    There it was. Pricking at the fingertips. Raising hair at the forearm. An unease in the joints that shimmered within like an eddy current induced by magnetic fields. A bead of sweat traversed the cut of his jaw. Lowered the hand and it fell to rest by his side. The unease passed. Hand found holster and unlatched it and sought and took the grip but did not the draw the revolver not yet. He closed his eyes and took a breath and opened his eyes again.

    Who the fuck are you. The poacher had stared straight ahead his voice small as if overwhelmed by the memory it undertook to resuscitate. The fuck.

    I told you who I am.

    No.

    No?

    But really.

    Really what?

    Who are you?

    That question if answered opens a door for you that you cant again close for the rest of your life.

    The fuck.

    Ill answer if you want, he had said. But only if that really is what you want.

    Time had passed. There was still nothing. The empty air extended forever over the face of the grass and there was nothing in it at all. No sound and no-one and nothing. To the front no enemies. To the rear no allies. Emiya Shirou chose to advance.

    No, the poacher had said.

    Good choice.


    * * *


    There had been another time in another railway town one of countless set out along the Benguela line which carved through the land like an unsutured incision. At early evening an hour to sunset the air had a visceral heat a languid thickness to it. All about was activity. Was construction sites was lorries loading and unloading was antennae and satellite dishes rising from cinderblock dwellings scarred by bullet wounds older than he was. There were women in the road and livestock passing on flatbed trucks and four wheel drives negotiating passage and the smell of manure and cooking maize and cassava and diesel engines rising as if to meet the falling sun halfway. He walked past the eaves of the train station which was one of the few prerevolutionary buildings left and there were people milling about those just arrived and those with nowhere to go and those yet to leave standing outside pacing wandering or leaning at the walls impatient for the day to end all around them stirring a great susurrus a whispering that never paused in Portuguese and Chokwe and Luchazi and Mbunda. On the way back to his hotel he passed a gnarled baobab and in its lengthening shadow he saw a boy smoking a cigarette stub selling cuts of sugarcane from a crate. The boy stood quite still and impassive as if a sentry posted there by some nameless authority and had himself propped up with a wooden crutch on one side.

    Hey senhor. Senhor. You buy somethin? In a moment he found himself caught in the eye of that boy stood still gait interrupted by a thought not quite ready to substance itself. Senhor?

    Ah. Speech came to him after a moment. The cane?

    Good sugar senhor. My uncle he cut it just today mornin. Best you find.

    How much?

    You got the American dollar senhor?

    No. I have kwanza though. The boy made a face. He finished his smoke and tossed it away behind the tree. There was something about the way he stood on the crutch. An unfamiliarity. Something about the right leg the way it joined shin to the knot of the ankle.

    You got Euro senhor? Or you got Rand?

    I have Euros yes.

    Euro fine. Euro is OK.

    Ill take your word for it. They agreed on a price and he paid and the boy took a stick of cane from the crate and handed it over and he took it and studied it this hard and fibrous machete cut of plant slightly damp to the touch. Like a piece of cartilage he thought. Something like that. He held it in hand and looked at the boy again. Hey. Can I ask you something?

    Ewa senhor. Whatd you want to know?

    Your leg. It got fixed up recently didnt it?

    The leg? Boy lifted his right leg as to show off. Aha. Yes it did. Howd you know?

    Lucky guess.

    Amazin ewa. Tell you the story senhor. My naana she say when Im just little they have a bomb blow up in the house next to us an a big thing of metal off the bomb go through an I was in the back of the house senhor and it gets me. All I remembers it hurt a big fuckin lot though senhor. Cause the thing of metal it get stuck in my foot an my naana she had to pull it out so Id stop cryin. Still got it somewhere. Its this big. He held up two fingers describing the size of a coin. An my foot after that it went all rotten senhor. It smelt really bad an they had to cut it all off an theres just a stump where the foot was. So for long time Id to use the stick to walk. But then ewa? The white doctor he come here. It was just a while ago in last year. Him limp an walk with the stick like I did but hes an old man. Like my grandfather. An the white doctor he give me a new leg.

    Just like that?

    Just like that ewa. He didnt take money for it or anythin. He just come an say he can do it an he does it. I saw it. Paulo Musompa from the butchers he lost his hand in the war but the white doctor he give him the new hand too.

    His name. The white doctor. Hes called Queimada right?

    So you know him too senhor.

    Ive heard of him.

    * * *


    There was the shadelike figure of that man progressing over a plain who parted in his wake a low tide of grass and left the smell of dirt and cordite. He was bloodied and sweat formed at the pores where blood was not and his pace was heavy and measured as in the cooling ember of some great exertion. Days he might have walked in that sunblanched waste that golden burnt geology which all but swallowed subjective millennia in every forward step. Hitherto the machinery of his soul had ground forth without cease for uncounted years its iron cogwheels turned by insensate engines belching soot and scoria and laboured steel at last to deliver him to a place where there was nothing. There was only the house.

    It lay forlorn amid the savannah like a wreck centuries sunk and lodged in seagrass at the ocean floor its beams and crosshatches of wood attesting to the assembly of an lost and irretrievable era. As if to keep the soil from subsuming it the whole was raised a foot from the earth on half-buried stilts and in the dark shallow clearing produced he saw the coiled forms of resting snakes. Nothing moved here. The stillness was total. His own presence the only discord. The dwelling was square in plan without striking features and girt on all sides by a verandah fenced with latticework. He came to the forefront there and stopped and saw that the door was closed the windows shuttered its threshold thusly denied. He unclipped the steel cable now some five or six hundred metres extended from the spool far back at the end of the road and took the carabiner and with it firmly secured the cable around one of the posts supporting the balustrade at the forward stairstep reaching down to the grass. The truck delegated of the vast world he had left and the house the architectured core of this enclosed world he had entered were now tethered by this steel mediator and he was free to move. He trod carefully to the side and began to circle the outside of the verandah. With right arm extended revolver in hand taking angles with the sights that cut carefully along the dim reach of the verandah. Held in crook to support the weapon was his left its fingers frozen grasping empty air to trace the form of something held only in potential.

    There was on the rear verandah a broad wooden table set with a chair to either side. Queimada was there. He was sitting in the shade this hunched bearded figure unmoving gazing out at the undefined horizon painted in incandescent haze. Queimada remained motionless statuelike as Emiya rounded to the step before the table the bore of the revolver drawing a fatal line unbroken to his skull. When Emiya stood at the base of the verandah's rise he for the first time saw the face of this man. Not the face as it had once been as the photographs he had seen declared in their distant monochrome but the face of the living Queimada the head gone bald the beard turned white and roughly kept the eyes more deepset in their hollow pits than they had even seemed in decades long since gone. His was a face all angles and cuts of line a Euclidean face hard and course and deeply etched outward like a smashed pane of glass. He sat by the table chair turned to face the savannah there in his starched white shirt and boots and pressed trousers quite unlike the fugitive he was. He resembled more the timebitten patriarch of an ancient pastoral line surveying his lands with practised unconcern. It was a long moment before he deigned to notice the gun aimed at him and by extension the man who held it. An eyebrow flickered. His pose adjusted itself minutely. He spoke at last his voice like cracked tar.

    You are the nettoyeur are you.

    Emiya said nothing.

    In your own time then.

    Over the sight line Emiya searched the old man's face as it reassumed that distant vigil over the savannah. Slowly with caution he advanced shifting weight from step to step ascending to the level of the house. He stood on the verandah, an unfinished tunnel of shade. The heat of the day was scarcely mitigated here. The air under the eaves was stagnant and dry as it was on the plain.

    Yield.

    Queimada had followed his movements without inclining his head and now met Emiya's gaze from the corner of one eye.

    Shoot.

    In my own time.

    I see.

    Gestured at the table.

    Two chairs. Were you planning to talk?

    Were you? The salient question really.

    Maintaining his aim Emiya pulled the empty chair out with his foot and patted it down and found it mundane enough. He sat. Now his gun kept level on the tabletop aiming across a roughhewn plane of tropical hardwood. Set out on the table a pale clay teapot accompanied two pale clay mugs irregular and clearly handmade. Could hardly help but wonder if they were a gift. If a grateful family which made its living somewhere out in the colossal expanse of this province had tearfully pressed these pieces into the arms of this man who accepted no true repayment for a service they could not at any rate repay.

    Id anticipated that the barrier would keep you longer.

    My apologies.

    My mistake. Youre adept exceeding the standard of man I had thought this merited.

    Very humble of you.

    The tea is steeping. Itll be a while more.

    Im not in a hurry.

    Good. Queimada nodded not more than the shadow of a motion. Thats good.

    Silence.

    Where are they from, asked Emiya. The ones in the barrier.

    Here and there. All over.

    The province?

    This and the neighbouring one. No need to go further afield. Of course it is a shame to say.

    It is a shame yes.

    You have seen the work of the mines yourself no doubt.

    Dont know how youd avoid it here.

    A man is destroyed by explosives. This is a way of dying that prior to the early twentieth century was very infrequently realised. When a man is destroyed in this way the corpus does not decay slowly but is atomised in the work of a moment and the soul is made bereft of its container all at once. What wraiths linger in the wake of this violent expulsion are. Unusual.

    Some purgatory you have here.

    Such wraiths are the most dangerous kind as I think you can attest.

    One of. Yes.

    Having been wrenched from corporeality their residual attachments to the living are intense because cruelly distended. They can cause all manner of harm. Many such cases around here if you care to look closely. If they must wander I thought it better they wander about here than trouble the good people of this country.

    They could be put to rest.

    Really it makes no difference. They dissolve naturally in a matter of months and are returned to the nothingness of “ “ that is their transcendental referent.

    How long have you been here?

    Since the millennium. Around then.

    Thats a lot.

    Integers can only weakly grasp the dead. There is no counting them.

    He found his gaze drawn in a moment to the old man's hand which lay posed upon the table. The white bones articulated through skin. Tendons betrayed by that ageworn surface like a once glaciated landscape now sectioned by rills and gullies an incomplete sequence of meditations on the theme of water's katabasis to the sea.

    Only, said Queimada. He leaned back in his seat as if to muse upon some antinomy of higher theory. In truth. You knew this already. Did you not. That youre a sharp one or at any rate seem to be notwithstanding a student of the middling grades could have deduced as much on the way in.

    I never did much impress as a student.

    Rather I suspect you wanted to hear it from me.

    You suspect.

    Youre being reticent. Well enough. Its your right. I conjecture that what it is you want from me is not positive knowledge but rather something that I can only tell you as it were out of the corner of my mouth. You are searching my words for an omen or symptom. Something which portends or dare it be said reveals in the proper sense of apocalypsis. You are pursuing a strategy of reticence in the belief that this will most effectively evince the determinate factor.

    What is it, asked Emiya, that makes you think I want something from you?

    Reticence is one thing. Being a smartarse will take you only so far. You havent shot me yet. He gave a flourish of the hand. Ergo.

    A thin smile.

    Catechism holds that there are sins which cry out to Heaven for vengeance. But there are so to speak those other sins which cry out to London instead. It saddens me that those twins are even at this late hour pursuing the blood debt but one could hardly expect otherwise.

    You killed their uncle.

    Their uncle. Queimada looked away for a moment. Well that can hardly be the whole story. They would be here themselves the both of them. And yet not so. You if I am not mistaken represent the interests of only one.

    I do.

    That is just the way isnt it. Whichever of them can claim to have made good the debt will elevate themselves above their sibling. There will be legal ramifications. Matters of probate. But that is the long and short of it. Whatever familial sentiment they ever held toward that man has long since passed away into a purely selfish calculation in which you here and now appear as the terminal coefficient just before the equals sign.

    Queimada leaned forward over the table and lifted the clay lid of the teapot. A faint breath of vapour emerged.

    Another minute I think. Rooibosch needs time. He closed the lid. But perhaps Im mistaken. What did you think of them?

    I only met the one.

    And?

    She is what she is.

    Well. Yes.

    Ive nothing thatd make me disagree with you.

    Really it would defy all probability if you did. That is just the way. I doubt it was mentioned to you and indeed they themselves probably have forgotten because they were very young but I did see them once. At the ancestral château in Dordogne. Would have been June of forty three. A supper was being given there for the solstice and having arrived early I was walking the gardens. Quite beautiful medieval gardens. I imagine theyre still much the same. And they the two of them were out by a patch of cornflowers and they were picking them with their governess. She was teaching them how to weave flower crowns. These two very lovely little girls. They didnt say a word to me as probably theyd been told not to bother the guests but I do remember that tableau as it were of them in the evening garden. Like a Bouguereau painting. Mm. All a very long time ago of course. They have, he enunciated slowly, put away childish things.

    Havent we all.

    You dont want to be here, asked Queimada. Do you.

    Do either of us?

    I would like to be able to say that Ive come to terms with my death but as it nears it seems more and more clear to me that the only thing one can come to terms with is death in the abstract which is to say in the general formulation of its inevitability. Death in the particular is unique because in its concrete circumstance inalienable to all individuals and it cannot be grasped before its time. You on the other hand have a different problem. Youve been sent to do the work of a nettoyeur but you are hesitating at this the penultimate juncture because you think such work is beneath you.

    Silence.

    Yes. The detestation is quite clear on your face. No ordinate or personal loyalty put you here. In any case you arent the kind la maison du Sarrault would have on retainer. I would hazard you are a third party previously unimplicated. An outsider from whose outside vantage you look in upon the closed world those twins now belong to and are able to see it in all its absurdity. Its selfishness its cruelty. Its feudal excesses and formal venalities. You know as only a stranger to it knows how frozen is the world up there in London. How iced over. Without warmth or pity. Without humanity. Humanity would wither in that desert. It must. There is no other way to endure.

    As you endured, said Emiya.

    You detest that world. You want nothing to do with it. But this cannot be so and it is for no other reason that your detestation is brought to the state of refinement in which we here and now discover it. However you may have wished to remain outside of it that world has reached out and caught you in its talons and it has called you to order before it and made you kneel and with its limitless power it has subjected you to its inscrutable whims. In exchange for what I imagine is some pittance some sneering toleration or allowance made your way some favour granted or pardon obtained as it were from on high it has ordered you out here to play the hired pawn in this mirthless contest of sisterly ambitions. In the last analysis you are here because you have no choice and naturally you resent this. You resent the effective impotence which has compelled you thus. The one potential factor that would have mitigated your resentment was the notion that the interest into whose service you were conscripted was an interest wholly circumscribed by that frozen world. All this would have been tolerable to you if the man you were sent to kill was as much the inhuman ideal type of the magus as those who sent you. Only then could you wash your hands of the business.

    And now Im here and Ive found you and I am troubled because you dont seem to be that ideal type. Because of shall we say the lingering stench of altruism about you. Is that where you were going?

    Has that not been the purpose of this conversation? The evidence your senses has conveyed hitherto has been inconclusive and now you seek some revealing slip from me that will at last bring you to an unshakeable judgement concerning my character.

    It is fascinating to me how you can think anyone is so brighteyed as regards human nature that despite knowing your history they would let a few tens or even a few hundreds of these humanitarian acts around the province tip the scales against everything else youve done.

    Queimada looked him right in the eye. A serpentine look it was. Betraying at once the irreducible remoteness and the cold innocence of animals.

    Knowing my history.

    He reached over to the teapot and checked it again and nodded to himself. Lifted it and filled the two clay mugs. He took one for himself and carefully pushed the other across the table leaving it just by where the gun was still held level at his chest. Emiya did not touch it though he mutely observed the deep red near brown liquid as it settled in the hollow of the clay. Queimada lifted his and took a sip before replacing it on the table.

    I visited Dachau several months ago, said Emiya. To see for myself.

    To see what I wonder. Nothing there nowadays.

    Theres a memorial. They preserved some of the old structures.

    Nothing that would help you.

    Certainly there was no trace of the K Building. Not even a photograph.

    I imagine the nettoyeurs were quite thorough yes.

    All the same I thought I might try to grasp what it was for you to work there.

    What it was. Queimada frowned. Youd have done better to stay in London.

    Couldnt I say the same for you.

    Silence.

    Just now, he said at last. I thought to myself how much easier all this would be. For you and me alike. If I truly was the man you came here expecting to find. If only I could summon up that Promethean grandiosity. That coldness. That savage that pure that godlike indifference. That celestial throne from which Id look down at you and see in your rebukes and accusations only the whimpers of a resentful soul mired in finite concerns too blinded by the brute reality to see himself the subtle fruits of gnosis.

    Cant you?

    No I cant. Years ago perhaps. In another life. But you find me here a very paltry thing Im afraid. A meagre thing. Atrophied and sick. And I am not equal to my deeds. Far from it. My deeds are. So much vaster than I.

    Do you regret your work?

    You would spit on my regrets. Perhaps youd be right to but all the same. My regrets arent for you. Im not fool enough to think Ill talk my way around that bullet of yours.

    Would it be doing you a favour?

    Youre a bit late arent you.

    That I cant help.

    A moment passed. Like a wind that rose far across the savannah and died before ever reaching them.

    I. Queimada's eyes searched the horizon for his words and it was a long instant before he found them. I never wanted to be a magus. I would have you know that if nothing else.

    Noted.

    I was born into it. You understand what that means.

    That there was an imperative.

    It is like being born into debt. Reaching up from the grave your forefathers burden you with this. Infinite obligation. That you should bear on your back the weight of all past generations. And what choice have you.

    You were to be the seventh Villalohos at Asunción. Your father named you Curzio after the founder.

    My father. Queimada exhaled. Yes. Don Augusto. Now there was a magus. The lineage was in decline since long before his day but nonetheless. All the more in fact. He had his pride. Such pride that man. No power on earth that compared to he. He and his knowledge his arcane inheritance those centuries mummified in the contemplation of the soul. Like Fafner with his gold. When I was born he lost my mother. Complications. I knew her only from portraits. Speranza she was called. I can imagine how it must have left him with the sense of a transaction gone wrong. A ruinous gambling loss. To have traded this woman. Who. We dare not speak of love. Who at the very least he had a certain understanding with. To have traded her for this. Mewling petulant human larva the responsibility for which was now his. The shame it must have been. A sigh. So much shame in that house you couldnt imagine. Not that it matters to you. But you must understand whatever your past is you must understand what it takes. What it costs. That hideous thing which takes a human child in its jaws and at the end spits out a magus.

    Yes, said Emiya. I do.

    In many ways that frozen world you so detest is nothing more than the sum of everything that was done to us as children. In many ways its inhabitants have no choice but to be what they are just as you have no choice but to be here now.

    I know. Emiya's grip shifted slightly on the gun. However.

    It all seemed so absurd to me back then. So backward. When I was growing up all around me the world was changing the vast currents of history ferrying us toward shores never seen and what was I to do? Seclude myself on the estate and endlessly revise the contents of books whose authors very bones were dust. To continue the work of my forefathers to excavate further their theoretical labyrinths down to and through if possible the very bedrock of human comprehension. To sacrifice yet another lifetime in accumulating expertise at an ever more narrow field of arcana. All in the name of something so dubious. Of this shining light of transcendent Absoluteness that was supposed to be waiting for us at the end. Couldnt for a moment understand how my father took all that nonsense seriously. I was a poor study. We had quarrels. Terrible fights. They ended badly for me of course but. Well. Queimada drank from his mug. I remember he had this. What would you call it? A cane. About so long. Like a schoolmaster in some ridiculous English novel. Hm. Now there. There was a magus.

    So you ran away.

    Probably I wouldnt have had it not been for the war. Now of course I can trivially identify the whole venture in both personal and world historical terms as its own kind of absurdity but at the time I was seventeen. And every other boy my age was. Well. A certain esprit obtained. Hard to explain to those who werent Paraguayans of that generation. War. Seemed like a grand adventure. Indeed more than that. It seemed to carry the promise of an almost holy realisation. One would be purified through battle. A lie of course but what did I know. Staying on the estate was like being buried alive. The life of the mind closed in on itself. The Army was something new. It was refreshing. To be Private Villalohos shipping out to the frontier to fend off the Bolivians. All I wanted was to do something of real import. You understand? Something in the real world. I wanted to. Reach out my hand and touch history as it was being made. That was all.

    Queimada took the bridge of his nose between thumb and index finger and rubbed his eyes.

    Have you been to the Chaco?

    I havent.

    There is nothing to recommend it. In certain aspects it is similar to where we are now but on the whole more. Infernal. In its aspect. That is the only right way to put it. No rain no water. Dry scrubland. Dry swamps. Dead grass and dead trees from horizon to horizon. It was a land so to speak created with no intent that man should live there and properly it belonged to the snakes. To the flies and the ants. To the maggots in the end. We were trespassers on their reservation and such trespass could not escape their notice. In the time I was there it was quite common for men to die having yet to even see the enemy. Disease took them first. Or thirst or exhaustion from the heat. We went whole days without supplies and there were those who simply could not endure. I once saw a man killed over a pilfered canteen. Those were the conditions. Most the time we werent even fighting rather simply moving from one dugout position to another with no real sense to it. At some point there was a great offensive. Hm. What do the details matter. I forget many of them. We marched up a dry gulch somewhere and came under fire from Bolivian mortars. Everything fell apart quite rapidly after that though I must say I still dont know precisely what happened. A shell hit somewhere close by and in the blast I was knocked unconscious. When I woke several hours had passed. It was dusk. I remember there were ants crawling in my mouth and I had to spit them out. And all around me in the gulch there were. Corpses. Hundreds of them in varying degrees of. I mean some were barely intact by then. The vultures were at them. Wild dogs. The flies of course you couldnt scarcely breath for flies. And the stench. Nigh eighty years its been and I have never forgotten that stench. Lord. And right by me on the dirt there was a boy my age who. His face. How do I say. As if it had been wholly torn off. His head sheared in two and there was this. Bloody hollow. Where his teeth were. Queimada grunted. Myself I was bruised all over. When I tried to stand I discovered quite painfully I had a piece of shrapnel about the size of a letter opener stuck through the thigh. It had severed the vein in fact. There was this little dark stain where the blood had soaked into the dirt underneath it. Had it not been for my crest closing the wound. Had it not.

    Had you not been born a magus, Emiya surmised, you would be dead.

    I had to get out of there. I didnt want to die. Not in a place like that by God. I had to get out. I did what it took. I knew how to command people. Use the art to make them do my bidding. I threw away my rifle and my uniform and added my name to the list of the dead and stole passage on a wagon train back to Asunción. That was the easy part. When I returned there was my father to deal with. And he was furious. As youd imagine. His character was such that blatant filial impiety could be tolerated even lauded in the event that I had made something of myself in so doing as that kind of. Independent spirit. In its own way reflected well on him. But I had done no such thing. Quite simply I had returned in dereliction of the duty I had undertaken and even though he himself had forbidden my undertaking it at the outset he. Hm. Was shamed by this. That his son should be. Such. He was ashamed. He called me a coward to my face. Among other things. Queimada took some more of his tea. He didnt understand. It was utterly impossible that I should have remained at the front for one moment longer. I had to leave. I had to.

    And you did. But you had options the other men there lacked.

    Because I was a magus.

    Because you were a magus. Yes.

    That was the worst of it. That knowledge. Worse than anything my father could have said to be sure. However I tried to forget. I felt I had escaped as it were unjustly this fate which had swallowed whole the numberless dead of the Chaco. For a long time after my nerves were shot. In very poor state. Was hard to sleep. Id have dreams that I was still lying in that gulch bleeding out and. Unable to move and right next to me that boys face was gone. Melted like wax. And when I was awake the dead did not leave me. They cast a shadow on me. Everything I saw and touched had become dim and suffused with immense weight. Under immense pressure. As on the floor of the sea. The dead in their limitless cohort their liquid nonidentity had lost all form all names and quantities they had flown together and filled out a fathomless deep. That is how the dead are to me. That kind of oceanic presence. Even today. There is not a moment they are not with me. Time to time I would have such anxious fits in this thematic. I could hardly breathe it seemed. Often I thought that I should have died. That I did not deserve. Coward. I should have died in the Chaco. Better for all.

    Emiya said nothing.

    I was confined to the estate in the aftermath. My father imposed a geas and I could not set one foot off of our land. I devoted what time I had and what energies I could muster to study. Ironic that only in the fearful retreat from that outer world I had so longed to touch as a boy should I attain some understanding of the inner world and its value. Though at first I took my task as merely to keep from going insane. I read extensively in the private journals of my forefathers. Much of the content was dry and fairly pedestrian by historical standards but not all. In their own way the early Villalohos were pioneers. Among the first in Europe to see any potential in the New World. That by itself. Well. Even still in London you will find those who disagree. But one day in the library I came across a document laid down by the fourth generation. My great grandfather. In it he described or rather he set out the terms of reference for a line of thaumaturgical inquiry which diverged from the strict interest in the soul which was the tradition of our blood. He speculated upon the possibility of a comprehensive empirical determination of the way in which the spirit was instantiated and ensconced within the corpus. The ultimate aim of such a determination that is to say of mastery over the pneumatic potentialities of the corpus would be none other than the apocryphal Panakeia or Panacea.

    The universal remedy.

    No doubt my great grandfather had his own motivations. He was ailing near the end of his life. In fact he died before he was able even to finish the writing. His son my grandfather placed the documents in storage deeming them of little use to the overarching generational task of the Villalohos and thereafter they were forgotten until my rediscovering them about nineteen thirty four. I am simplifying this a great deal indeed unacceptably but the sum of it is that my ancestor believed that there was an unexplored route to the Panacea. Hitherto an object of interest solely to alchemists of the Prague School. An unexplored route through the study of the fine interrelations of human soul and human flesh.

    And you took up that study.

    I did. Queimada paused. I did. It seemed to me you understand. It seemed to me that. If I found the Panacea I could heal the wounds of all wars. I could make it so. The men dying in godforsaken wastes the faces sheared off those melted like wax those men. Those men I could heal. I could make it right. I should have died in the Chaco but I didnt. And I could make it right. This sounds incoherent because it was incoherent. It is difficult for me to reconstruct that cast of mind as I know myself now to have abandoned it. If to summarise it could be that I had the need to achieve something worthy. Something that would take the utter. Senseless negativity. Of that scene of death and my shameful escape from it. It would make of that not only a positive but a positive necessity. It would make it right that I had lived. That I was alive. My life would be something right. Something needed. I would have survived for a reason. And it became my obsession.

    Do you think it was a mistake?

    A mistake that will ultimately prove fatal. Queimada nodded at the gun. In your own time that is.

    Quite the extensive causality.

    It is the only proper cause. For what can one set in opposition to that shapeless that dimensionless mass which shadows you every one of your days and seems nothing short of coterminous with the whole world as you experience it. What can redeem that? Only an infinity. Only an utmost ideal seems to promise you relief. Nothing finite nothing of the everyday could make it right for the everyday is always already under that shadow. Sunk in that ocean fed upon by what senseless crawling things are of it. So one comes to pursue an infinity. This is the very hamartia of the thing. The positive infinity you seek to redeem the negative abyss in which youre mired is in its infinity redemptive of that and any other negative. And precisely because you want it so desperately you will lose all perspective of that which is finite. You will become capable of anything. Even to dig the abyss a thousand leagues deeper than it was at the start.

    Hence.

    Yes. The rest I think you know.

    The broad strokes. After your father died you came to London to study.

    In nineteen forty. By then I had exhausted the potential of my homeland as regarded my goal. The Panacea. I needed to undertake research in an environment more conducive. You said earlier I should have stayed in London but now you understand by the time I was there I was already that. Thrall of that notional infinity towards which every step however soiled in the blood of finite things would in the plenum of that infinity be annulled. The damage as it were was done already.

    You had plans for a large series of experiments. Human experiments. An exhaustive survey of the pneuma. But you hadnt the resources to fund it yourself. And you were unsuccessful in securing a patron.

    The Villalohos had been too reclusive. In some ways a position compelled by geography. I had no connections and the frozen world received me coldly as was its nature. Of course the war had some influence. Most of the actors on that stage had retired to their lands in the country unwilling to put up with the. Circumstances. In the city. They were grim days really very grim. Save for I think a handful of enthusiasts. The more progressive types the more youthful who believed the victory of the Hitler regime was imminent and would be the regeneration rather the palingenesis of the West. Hm. Not many of them. Generally folk were pessimists of a Spenglerian cast. Quite common to hear people expound on how this was the end for Europe. The end of civilisation. After this the deluge.

    In nineteen forty two Gaspard Sarrault approached you. He offered you a position at the annexe hed assembled at K.Z. Dachau.

    I suppose there is the way to frame that man as the. Mephistophelean tempter. Hm. Of course its hardly a tenable position. It wouldnt convince you. It doesnt me. I didnt need the temptation. But Sarrault. Well. He was very much the ideal type. That pure unblemished callousness. Cut deep in him. To the bone. He was an entrepreneur you might say. Cast an eye across the incalculable barbarism that had settled over Europe and saw only opportunities. What a mind for rationalising that Sarrault. What pure reason. He never raised his voice in my presence you know. Never once lost his temper. From head to toe nothing but sheer calculation. Like a machine. Terrible. Beautiful in its own terrible way. When he sold it to me. The K Building. The work there. When he sold it to me he knew precisely what he had to say. The people there. I mean at the K.Z. These people were condemned he said. Lawfully or unlawfully their lives were forfeit. Whatever one thought of the justness of the regime. That was the objective circumstance. And what could we do we mere. Ha. We mere magi. In an age in which the machinery of society that bound together the fates of all men had grown so vast that the individual could stand at one end and lose the other beyond the far horizon. The K.Z. was Europe itself. Europe was none other than a vast concentration camp. Every day every hour there was death on such a scale that Hades itself was overfilled by the shades ensuing. What could we do asked Sarrault. The only thing to do was to glean. As it were. To glean some spark of positivity from this grinder of meat. This thresher. If these folk were condemned to die with or without our agency then we. He said. We magi we mere magi. We should undertake to see that their deaths are not in vain. We should undertake to derive something worthy from these deaths. The Panacea. What could be more worthy?

    Queimada's gaze had buried itself in the savannah. He stared out quite unblinking his mug in hand held frozen.

    You worked at the K Building for two years, said Emiya.

    I did.

    In that time you conducted several hundred experiments.

    Theres no need to go into the details. Im sure youre quite familiar.

    I read your notes yes.

    And what did you think of them?

    Need you ask.

    Of course. He took another sip of tea. The flesh and the soul are. Well. To disentangle their relation in its fullness it is. The procedures. Horrible things. Truly. In the time it seemed. Well. I cant say now. Not rightly.

    At the end of forty four you fell out with Sarrault.

    Really it was such a foolish thing. He had played no role in the experiments themselves you understand. His was with regard to me purely an oversight position. Advisory. So on. Toward the end of that year Id had a breakthrough. The first after years of very slow progress. I was able to restore fully an amputated limb simply through the action of. Mm. Well. Its complicated. At any rate I was able to develop such a procedure. In my excitement I rushed to inform Sarrault. Who was. As he was. Encouraged me to pursue that line further. Some weeks passed. A month or two. More experiments. Then one day in the Review. The journal. A new volume came out. Arrived at the K Building and I read it. And I discovered. What else. My own procedure. Written up under the name of Gaspard Sarrault.

    And you killed him for that.

    I confronted him about it. Oh I barely remember what he said. He had his reasons. It was in any event only under his aegis that I. Mm. He gave his piece. His. Impeccable logic. And I was hearing none of it. I was so. Infuriated. I was enraged beyond all reason. It was as if you understand as if he had somehow. Snatched away from me that infinite thing. That positivity. That thing that would have redeemed everything. He had taken it. It was mine and he had taken it from me. And he. Queimada shook his head. I feigned being resigned to it. I left his office. I went outside to a. Woodshed or something I dont know. I took an axe and I went back up to his office and he was sitting there behind his. Old desk hed had since the beginning and he looked at me and said to me something like. Villalohos what on earth are you doing. And I. I just walked over and around the side of the desk and I brought the axe down on his head. Split it open just like that. And I always remember his face. That instant. He looked so surprised. He didnt even for a moment think that he. A magus. He hadnt thought for a single moment in his life hed die like this. I didnt want him to recover so I pushed him to the floor and I brought it down again on his neck. Cut the head off. Prevents the crest from. You know. And I took the head in a suitcase down to the crematorium and threw it in with the rest and I went back to my rooms and packed and. Obviously I couldnt stay there. I knew his family would. Hm. Well. As you yourself can attest.

    So you went on the run.

    I couldnt return to Paraguay of course. That was the first place they would look. In fact after the war ended his brother had a writ issued to seize my estate there as restitution awarded in absentia. Were it that that would have been enough. But the blood debt is not so easily settled.

    You never returned to your research.

    No. No. Queimada drained the last of his tea and gestured at the second mug. Wont you have yours?

    I havent the appetite.

    I see. He replaced his empty mug on the table. No. I never did. I thought of it. At first. Of course exile posed problems. In the first few years I was moving continent to continent every few months. Constantly moving. The most godforsaken places you could think of. Ends of the earth. One cant work under that condition. Cant set up an atelier. Can barely think properly seeing nettoyeurs round every corner. In exile one is utterly alone. Alone with ones thoughts. Which in my case were far from amiable companions. Inevitably I considered why Id killed Sarrault. Whyd I do such a damn fool thing as that. The sheer indignation Id felt when really. Truly. Whoever was credited whoever won acclaim for it shouldnt have been at all important to me. And I could not but conclude that my. Aim. My goal. My utmost ideal well it had really been a very selfish thing. What had I wanted to do. Redeem that ocean of the dead? No. Just to escape it. Or perhaps to destroy it. To drain it away. To boil it down to nothing. All for me. My sake. Wouldnt have made an atom of difference to the dead. Was just as selfish as that of any other in London. Worse in fact for that selfishness had held itself above those others. Detesting those. Horrid people. Frozen people denizens of a frozen world. And once I saw that well. It was. Seeing for the first time. All the dead in Dachau. He sighed. Of course it was none of my business they were in the K.Z. Of course they were condemned all the same. Senselessly. Dying completely. Senseless deaths. But what sheer barbarity it was. That logic of Sarraults. Of mine. Which sought to extract from the suffering the condemned the broken and the dead to extract from them some. Knowledge. Some benefit some profit. And by that measure to claim their suffering redeemed. To claim it sensible. To claim it necessary. No. No that was the worst of all. The very worst thing in the world was right there in front of me. And it had all been for nothing. Less than nothing. The ocean of the dead had only deepened around me. So deep now that. It could not ever be.

    He gave a small cough.

    So, said Queimada. That is where you find me now. I live among the dead as you have seen. However awful it is. However much the. The horror. The nightmares of it. And at every juncture I must fight myself my own nature. Coward. My nature which urges me that I should turn the mast and look to some infinitely distant polestar and align my works in its direction so as to one day attain it and grasp it in hand and there to boil away the ocean of the dead till nothing of it remains. No. I cannot. I must not. If the infinite passes into your hands it does so only by making a finitude of itself a paltry thing incomparable to the dead. Another infinity another shimmering ever distant ideal will need to be held up in its place and all this will play out again. And it would be the worst thing in the world. All I can do is live in finite ways. Do finite works. Even though nothing will be redeemed by them. Even though the numberless dead do mock them. Cruelly. How could I be worthy. How could I think. And so on. But all I can do is continue. Until that ocean dissolves me and there is nothing left at all.

    There was silence for a minute or two.

    Is your life worthwhile, asked Emiya.

    Frankly my existence is an appalling state. It is tiresome. It is full of minor aches and pains and others not so minor. And its every day now the dead whisper to me that I should have died long ago in a place much like this. And every day they are as right as they were way back then. But.

    But?

    I do not find it intolerable.

    I see.

    Ive said everything I can. Have you heard enough?

    Yes.

    Well then. I suppose youd better get on with it.

    Yes.

    Only. If you might. A request. If you care to hear it.

    What.

    Could it be out there? He gestured at the open savannah just before the verandah. On the grass.

    Emiya looked at Queimada.

    He looked down at his gun.

    He looked back up at the old magus.

    * * *

    On return to his truck after it was done the wind picked up. It flooded the savannah and it whipped at the stalks of tall grass and ran through the craters and over buried explosives and in all the hollow spaces in between and from its invisible motion a sound rose a great whispering of wordless secrets an echo pouring resounding alluvial over the plain like the movement of water through an emptiness vast beyond measure. And just as soon as it had risen it fell away and once more all was silent under clear sky. He had come, he thought, to where he was at the outset. To a place where there was nothing. There was nowhere and there was no way.

    He stared out across the savannah and saw every single blade of grass was silent still and gleaming in the light, like the hard indifferent steel of a sword.





    MOXICO PROVINCE, ANGOLA

    Last edited by Dullahan; June 25th, 2018 at 02:11 AM.

  2. #2
    Beats By Matthew ft. Dr. Para Rafflesiac's Avatar
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    What's a corncob?

    Also interesting read.
    Supports:


    Quote Originally Posted by Arashi_Leonhart View Post
    canon finish apo vol 3

  3. #3
    死徒二十七祖 The Twenty Seven Dead Apostle Ancestors
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rafflesiac View Post
    What's a corncob?

    Also interesting read.
    This:

  4. #4
    kookaburra screams in the distance Dullahan's Avatar
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    Corncob is a /lit/ meme referring to Cormac McCarthy, whose style this is a blatant attempt at ripping off

  5. #5
    死徒二十七祖 The Twenty Seven Dead Apostle Ancestors
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dullahan View Post
    Corncob is a /lit/ meme referring to Cormac McCarthy, whose style this is a blatant attempt at ripping off
    Is that why there are no quotation marks and such when people are speaking?
    Last edited by warellis; June 25th, 2018 at 02:20 AM.

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    kookaburra screams in the distance Dullahan's Avatar
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    Yes.

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    死徒二十七祖 The Twenty Seven Dead Apostle Ancestors
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dullahan View Post
    Yes.
    Interesting.

    As for Shirou, who was this Queimada? Did he ever feature in any of your previous stories?

    I both felt bad for, and was disturbed by Queimada.
    Last edited by warellis; June 25th, 2018 at 02:30 AM.

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    kookaburra screams in the distance Dullahan's Avatar
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    Queimada is original to this one and won't appear again.
    Last edited by Dullahan; June 25th, 2018 at 04:39 AM.

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    🔫 Kirby's Avatar
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    Feels pretty Metal Gear, and Metal Gear Emiya is pretty much what I've always wanted. And I always like seeing your takes on magi and what exact type of thaumaturgy they study.

    goodshit.txt
    Quote Originally Posted by Dullahan View Post
    there aren't enough gun emojis in the thousandfold trichiliocosm for this shit


    Linger: Complete. August, 1995. I met him. A branch off Part 3. Mikiya keeps his promise to meet Azaka, and meets again with that mysterious girl he once found in the rain.
    Shinkai: Set in the Edo period. DHO-centric. As mysterious figures gather in the city, a young woman unearths the dark secrets of the Asakami family.
    The Dollkeeper: A Fate side-story. The memoirs of the last tuner of the Einzberns. A record of the end of a family.
    Overcount 2030: Extra x Notes. A girl with no memories is found by a nameless soldier, and wakes up to a world of war.

  10. #10
    kookaburra screams in the distance Dullahan's Avatar
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    Thank you kirby. If you recall a very long time ago i promised you an EMIYA fic. This isn't that one, but I do have one in development concerning roughly the same period in his life and exploring some similar thematics to the above, which is that one. Watch warmly.

  11. #11
    Don't @ me if your fanfic doesn't even have Shirou/Illya shipping k thnx ItsaRandomUsername's Avatar
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    Nice New Yorker-tier Hurt Locker/Metal Gear crossover fic, you Aussie cun-

    Quote Originally Posted by Kirby View Post
    Feels pretty Metal Gear, and Metal Gear Emiya is pretty much what I've always wanted. And I always like seeing your takes on magi and what exact type of thaumaturgy they study.

    goodshit.txt
    Oh, my shitpost was sniped. Feels bad man, I should've R&R'd sooner.

    With this, I see that you continue to carve out a niche of rather more experimental approaches to fanfiction. Corncobbing is a gimmick, but it really forces hold of a reader's cadence and does make for an interesting experience, as I observed firsthand. Thanks, this was an afternoon well-spent.
    McJon01: We all know that the real reason Archer would lose to Rider is because the events of his own Holy Grail War left him with a particular weakness toward "older sister" types.
    My Fanfics. Read 'em. Or not.



  12. #12
    kookaburra screams in the distance Dullahan's Avatar
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    New Yorker-tier
    Your motherfucking life ends 30 minutes from now.

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