In the last two weeks, in no particular order, I:
- Was elected to public office. Whether or not this was a good idea is still undetermined.
- Nearly finished a house. Barn. Barn-house. Whatever. Despite my complete lack of carpentry skills I am so close to no longer crashing with my in-laws I can taste it. Mmmm. Tastes like sawdust.
- Nearly had a nervous breakdown after leaving my child under the temporary supervision of a man named Ishmael. He did not ask me to call him that. Missed opportunity.
This is not an insurmountable number of things. Not even an interesting number for many of you who are probably all like, “Yes, but did you recycle?” (I did, in fact, recycle, but not as much as I should have. Shhh. Don’t tell the Sierra Club.) One fortnight gone by, and despite all of this other activity, in the forefront of my mind – my forebrain, if you will – was Barghest. This week I posted Chapter 18: Timing, and I spent much longer than I intended working on it. I deliberated on adding, changing, cutting and just starting over on the whole thing. It was Malak’s turn to tell the story of Barghest, and Malak can be tough to nail down. As a character, he has a backstory that is about as far from my personal experience as can be. In addition he is fiercely loyal, immensely deadly, taciturn, and currently in the grips of a fundamentally important internal struggle.
Is humanity worth saving?
We learned something about that struggle in Chapters 13 & 16. The Legion was created to save humanity by killing Cullers. And while the Coalition has no qualms about sacrificing their own to reach that objective, Malak has displayed a feral aversion to losing even a single Legionnaire to his enemies. If the opportunity presented itself – if he had to make a choice between one of his own and a human – would it be simple for him? What grey area can exist for the genetic experiment of a desperate government? Chapter 18 explores that dilemma further and brings Malak closer to a judgement that could change not just the course of a war – but the future of a species.
Enjoy Chapter 18: Timing, and excuse me while I get some water to wash out the taste of construction and missed deadlines.