The suburbs where Oriana and her friends lived were a relatively new addition to the city. Twenty years ago a change in the tax rate of the neighbouring state created an opportunity for energetic companies to uproot themselves and move across state lines. The city’s population swelled from 50,000 to 100,000 in just five years before the government of this state decided to raise their taxes too and stifle the economic boom taking place.
As a consequence the city has divided into two distinct architectural zones: that of the factories and sprawling suburbs that housed their workers, and those surrounding the hospital and the old city centre. The latter were old high density town houses that while small were aesthetically more pleasing to the discerning eye. The limited size of these residences did not limit the prestige and cost of living in them. It was a status symbol to live in the old suburbs and Syndi, who considered herself an artist, would never allow herself the disgrace of living in a cheaper roomier suburban house.
Syndi was poor, however, and the seemingly perpetual stipend of student allowance she received for never succeeding to complete a degree was insufficient to pay her rent. She had however two additional streams of income, neither of which included selling any of her ‘artworks’. Continue reading “The Monk – Part 33”
Jodie nervously drove the car through the back streets to the hospital, while Suvarin reclined peacefully in the passenger seat. Jodie had pleaded again with Suvarin not to go into work today, but Suvarin insisted on the grounds that it would raise too many questions. Jodie eventually proposed she would wait in the car near the hospital and Suvarin would let her know if she got sent straight home so Jodie could just pick her up and take her back again.
Suvarin agreed and fifteen minutes later she was hobbling into the hospital on her crutches and reporting to her nurses’ station on the sixth floor. The other nurses immediately mobbed her and asked what had happened.
While she was relating her prepared line of falling down a muddy ditch in the dark on her way home she noticed the unmistakable visage of Peterson walking through the ward towards the nurse’s station. What was peculiar about Peterson was that he was dressed as a policeman, right down to the badge. Unbeknownst to her he had just minutes before left Oriana’s house. Continue reading “The Monk – Part 32”
The conversation with Kent regarding the first revelation was exciting Oriana. She decided that instead of heading directly home from the library she would take a detour through the park and thus allow herself the leisure of reflection. Profound questions echoed through her mind as she walked through the forest.
“Why is there something instead of nothing? What caused the first event? Why can’t logic answer this question? Why are the laws of physics the way they are? The laws of physics never change even if our descriptions of them do: so does this mean that we can have some moral certainty too? Is this universe the creation of a demiurge? What is that which we call God? Is honesty the only way of getting closer to God? What prevents me from being honest?”
The more the thoughts tumbled through her mind the more she found herself thinking that there was something, even if her mind’s eye was too far away to ever see it clearly, there was something. Something which Kent called God, and did she, Oriana the atheist, suppose that she might have been convinced that God really existed? Albeit not like the being she had had described to her many times before but a being that existed just on the boundary of her capacity to imagine? Continue reading “The Monk – Part 31”
Paul typically wore jeans and jumpers whenever he was out in public, however, today he felt his lunch date, if that was what it was, with Deaspara required something a little more formal. He was dressed in a white shirt with a red tie and a pair of his father’s pants, which were noticeably too short for him. He arrived at the restaurant, and was guided to a table for two and commenced waiting for his date to arrive. Although, he wasn’t entirely sure if it was a date, he was sure he had seen a wedding ring on her left hand, but was it perhaps on her right hand and he had gotten confused? He would definitely check today, and besides, even if it isn’t a date, the soup van desperately needed some more money to pay for the food. The demand for food from the homeless only grew bigger each year; it was already beyond what the small parish could comfortably afford.
Deaspara was watching him from the balcony of a neighbouring building with the single minded focus of a bird of prey. Syndi was not far from her cigarette in her left hand, and a beer in her right.
“Awww, the boy has dressed up for our little lunch date! I forgot how sweet these innocent young lambs can be,” snickered Deaspara.
Syndi burped loudly before responding, “You reckon you can break his faith in god? Telling him how scared you are of god probably didn’t get far with him last night.” Continue reading “The Monk – Part 28”
Suvarin was just finishing up her shift at the hospital when her phone started beeping. One of the other nurses at the station noted the unusually urgent sounding tone. Suvarin started out dashing for her phone, then checked herself, and made up a lie about it probably being her mother worried about the TV not working. She made herself appear calm as she took her phone and made her way to the toilets. Once securely sealed inside a cubicle she took out of her phone and opened the message. It was however encrypted so she had to copy and paste a selection of garbled text and move it to the decryption app.
“Emergency situation has occurred. A training accident has resulted in a wounded knight. Much blood loss. Insufficient blood supplies for emergency surgery. Need 3 units of O- blood immediately.”
Suvarin gasped, her heart started pounding. This was not the situation she wanted to be dealing with when there were Tyranni about. Getting caught taking hospital supplies would get her accused being the thief and that could cost her more than her job. However, if a member of the Arshir were injured then she had to do her duty. She had sworn an oath as a Salvati and she had no intention of ever breaking her word. She looked at the time, she still had fifteen minutes left on her shift. She quickly left the toilets and finished the paperwork for the rest of her shift, then staying in her scrubs, rather than changing as she usually does, she went down to the emergency department. There was always a supply of O type blood waiting in the emergency department on standby should it be needed. So far tonight had been a quiet night and there was plenty of blood there. Including the O negative she needed. She had just reached into the freezer to grasp the three units of O negative blood when a heavy hand landed on her shoulder. Startled Suvarin spun around, there in front of her was Nix. Continue reading “The Monk – Part 23”
I am feeling really bad about the lack of updates over the past two weeks. So today I am giving you a special super long update (over 2,500 words). I hope you enjoy it.
Oriana walked into her father’s factory that morning, still wearing the same clothes from the day before. This wasn’t out of the ordinary for her. She would often be out all night and instead of coming home just head back to the factory. She expected that her father would just give her his usual nod and say “hi, honey,” as she walked in but instead he looked at her sternly and used his finger to indicate that she was to follow him to his office immediately. She sat down opposite her father’s desk while he stood for a few moments with his back to her facing the white board behind his desk. Oriana thought she saw his hands tremble slightly as he opened and closed them.
“Ana, I had a conversation with two policemen yesterday evening.”
Oriana gasped, she could hear the fury in her father’s voice.
“What? Peterson and Nix-,” she was cut off.
“They told me that you interfered with their investigation into a religious cult they believe are operating in this area and they are considering pressing charges against you for your own safety.”
“Dad, there’s something you should know, those men aren’t cops. I have a video of what really happened.”
Her father just shook his head slowly in disgust.
“Ana, shut up.”
Oriana’s mouth gaped open, “Excuse me?”
“Shut up. I don’t want to hear any of your lies. You are just like your mother. You don’t care at all how your actions could impact other people.” Continue reading “The Monk – Part 18”
(Because I missed last week, this is a special longer episode of the Monk. Sorry for the disruption)!
Peterson smiled gleefully at the strange audience in attendance to him. He spread out his palms before him in a gesture of welcome.
“May no good deed go unpunished!”
Nix and the two women immediately started chuckling at Peterson’s joke.
“It is good to meet fellow Tyranni, when I put out the call for help I was surprised to find that our order already had two agents living and working in this city. We have a problem. There is a monk living in this city: a young man by the name of Kent. He is studying to become a druid and he has some sort of missionary work here for the Aeshir.”
Nix produced a tablet computer and sent a file labelled “Kent Andrews” to the two women present. Each woman pulled out a similar looking tablet and examined the photos of Kent in the files while Peterson continued talking.
“Kent appears to be working to recruit three young growkons into the Aeshir. We know these growkons are working with him because when we tried to apprehend him yesterday they conspired with Kent to acquire some damaging video footage of Nix and myself carrying out our work for the Tyranni. Kent is now threatening our order with this footage and the growkons he is trying to recruit are continuing to assist him.
“Our primary objective is to first secure the footage at the earliest opportunity. The best approach for doing this would be to corrupt Kent’s growkons and initiate them into the Tyranni. This way if anyone releases the footage we can have someone counter any claims they make about us by saying they are fake. Ideally they would help us delete all copies of this video and murder anyone who is hostile to the Tyranni. If we can get just one of these growkons to convert to the order then we can act to destroy all opposition, but I see no reason why we shouldn’t try to recruit all three if possible.” Continue reading “The Monk – Part 17”