Monday, November 21, 2011

Introductions of Hannibal and Jayna

So, here, I'm workign on an introduction that does not seem too forced for the first person perspective. I want to show that Hannibal is a mage, indicate how he works magic, and introduce his name to the audience in a way that the situation calls for that information to be relayed to the reader. Which I believe this scene does in just one page.

“Hannibal Moxy! You are supposed to be a mage, so cast some magic!”

The shouts around the bar almost drowned out Jayna ______’s voice. However, the din of 7 people loudly clamoring and shouting in a magical firefight could not hide that piercing voice.

“Jayna, that’s not how my magic works!” I shout back. I peek above an upturned table to survey the carnage in the room and quickly move to the back by the serving bar. Jayna’s hidden behind it. She’s holding a small sword in her left hand. She asks, “So, what do you do?”

“Well, if I get in close enough, maybe I can drain the magic energy of your rampaging customer. I can feel it happening now. I don’t think we have half an hour for it to work, though.” I raise my head above the bar to confirm what I feel. I can sense where people are and how strong there are, magically. I can feel how gravity shifts around them. Worriedly, Jayna asks, “Can’t you cast a spell?”

“Jayna, I can, but I don’t have enough juice for everyone. Just be quiet and let me feel where they are so I know who to spend my energy against.” I can feel that there’s 3 of them. A couple of guys came in thinking they could knock over the bar. I’d been doing some part time work bussing tables at Jayna’s bar. She knew I had some limited magical ability but never was interested in it until now. Today, she gets the crash course on Hannibal Moxy. “Ok. I need you and your stabbing knife to go around the bar to the back right corner. I can feel two bodies there. One of them is Mr. Daniels. I bet the other is one of our robbers. He’s normal. You can fight him. I’m going to hop this bar to get the other two’s attention. Marvin Colquitt’s by the other normal one. When I distract them I’m betting Marvin will play a hero and take the other one down. I’ll get close to the mage and suck him dry.”

I use what little ambient energy I drew into me to conjure a protective field. “Go, go, go!” I yell as I hop the bar. The spell caster tries to throw force my way but it breaks against my field. Just keep throwing at me, I think. My ability to leech magic off a user means that the more they throw at me, the more they spend to fight me, and the more strength I gain from draining them. The longer a fight goes, the more certain I am of winning this fight. I just have to keep myself from being turned to a messy pulp before that tipping point.

Jayna gets to her man easily and cuts his arm’s muscles. She’s trained in using her sword to minimize killing. I couldn’t say the same for Marvin Colquitt. Marvin is an old soldier that I struck a casual friendship with while working for Jayna. He said he was former because he had an anger problem. He breaks the other normal guy’s arm and collarbone with a few twisting grapples. I grab the mage’s arms with my and put him into a hammerlock. The magical energy I’ve been getting from him as he tried to attack me let me make a set of magical shackles to cuff his hands behind his back. I kick his knees to put him kneeling on the ground and use my arms to put pressure on him to stay put. I keep taking energy off of him and using it to increase the strength of my muscles to hold him in place. I can feel him trying to blow the shackles off his hands, but he’s losing energy too fast to put any oomph in his spell. The mage screams bloody murder and struggles to get away from me, but he can’t. Eventually he slumps against my grip, defeated and prostrate. I joke towards Jayna, “Wanna make him kiss your boots?”

Friday, November 18, 2011

A new beginning.

I'm leaning towards doing this break-in scene as the opening for the work. That said, I think i spent too much time describing the lead up to Hannibal's move downstairs. Also, I've switched to a first person narrative. I WANTED to make it third person, but it was not working for me, at the moment. I think it can be better for the story I want to tell, but if I'm just busy trying to get comfortable writing, i should go where my instincts are leading me, first, before I try to weild the written word in a practiced, deliberate fashion.

“The time isn’t right.”

I may not own a working clock, but my sense of perceiving time hasn’t gone to shit. I have lived in this apartment above the ______ bar for almost 5 years, now. During that time I got to know the particular ins, outs, and habits of, Jayna, the owner. The presence I just felt enter the bar could not be Jayna. I definitely perk up in my bed when I register a second presence in the bar.

Almost anyone in this world would never notice someone breaking into a building with the amount of stealth displayed by these two. The majority of mages and magic users would never notice, too. I’ve developed a style of magic my master and I agreed on as “gravitational”. Aristotle only thought of 5 senses. He didn’t think whether people could have more. I can sense a shifting in the fabric of the world. I have a unique way of sensing when new objects warp space-time around them. As a kid, Einstein used to explain gravity as the dent of an object lying on a stretched bed sheet. I can feel when these shifts and movements happen as more things enter a space.

This gives me an added benefit of being able to fight blind. I can feel where anyone is around me. It’s a knack I’ve honed into an advantage. I’m a part-time detective in this town and I often don’t work without making a few enemies. I had to learn to defend myself. Unless these burglars are as exceptional as me, they’re about to find out they’re severely out of their league trying to stealth around me.

I got out of bed and moved to the wall to the left of my bedroom door. The air is warm and humid. It’s been a hot night, tonight, and I decided to sleep in the nude, trying to fight the heat. I guess I’ll be fighting in the buff, too. I don’t have the time or desire to try and quietly slip on some clothes. Thank God it is dark and the lights are out. I’d hate to give these two a show. I put an ear to the wall, hoping to hear any noise from the intruders. They’re knocking things about downstairs. I can’t make out any voices. The sound of a few broken bottles lets me know that they are not looking to steal the bar’s liquor. It brings a pain to my heart knowing all that delicious booze is going to waste, now.

I’d been steadily picking up ambient energy around me over the past few days. Being a gravitational mage means not only can I sense something warping the fabric of space-time near me, but I pull ambient magical energy to me, like light to a black-hole. My body stores that energy and I can use it for whatever little tricks I need. Usually that means I’m slightly better at physical activities than the next guy. This energy doesn’t get stored as fat in my body and I don’t get out of shape by not using it. Usually it just means I can push myself harder than the next guy. Usually that’s more than enough, too.

I’m not picking anything dangerous up off these two, so I’m not drawing in any more than normal. But I have enough to will a field of silence around me.

I exert enough force and energy around me to suppress sound. I guide my right hand to the door and turn its brass knob. I open the door and slowly move down the stairs. The biggest drawback to suppressing sound around me is I can’t hear what’s close by, too. I can sense they’re far away from the stairwell and away from where their peripheral vision could see me, but I can’t determine if they’re saying anything, either.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Hannibal meets The Shade

Another page of writing. More rewrites for it in the future. I'm not sure if I want to have a tense conflict with an unknown charcater in this. It feels like I included some vague drama just for the hell of it. I wanted to use Qarim better than this, too.

Hannibal and the bipedal bird-lizard travel down an unlit trail towards the forest that rings the south of Ember City.

The woman greets him at the forest line. Her gaze is stern and unwelcoming. “I’m sorry I’m putting you off by doing this.”, he says to her.

She replies, “Once you were an ill omen. Then you were a very sad burden. Now you’re a pathetic beggar. Why do you seek to return to this ancient wood, Hannibal?”

He explains, “I know there are things in there that move between the forest and the city. I need to speak to one of them.”

She answers, “Officially, I am the intermediary between the woods and the civilization of man.”

“You are the gatekeeper and my curious companion is the key master, Qarim.” Hannibal points to the creature beside him. “It saw something assist a man in attacking one of the city’s museums. I’ve been told it is darkness, and spreads darkness. If you cannot call it to me, I will go in there and find it.”

The native woman Qarim throws open her arms as a symbol of blocking Hannibal’s path. “You gave up your right of passage when you decided to make your destiny in the world of the engineers and architects. You seek the Shade but you won’t be able to find it this time of night.”

Hannibal mutters, “Qarim, I’m sorry for what I’m about to do to your pride.” The lizard-bird dissolves into bones and falls to the ground. A commotion arises inside the trees. A roar is uttered and Qarim looks back bewildered at what has occurred. Hannibal explains, “I know, too, of the ancient things buried in those woods. They were once alive and now dead. My friend has resurrected one of them. It returns to destroy the balance of your natural society. It invites me into those woods Qarim. It predates any pacts you or those things that go bump in the night may have agreed upon.”

The darkness of the woods begins to recede imperceptibly. However, Hannibal’s magic sense picks up on the movement. A sabre-toothed cat pokes its head out from the dark interior of the woods. Its eyes glow with the reflection f the moon’s light. Hannibal runs to the tree line, to bypass Qarim. “I’ve found you hiding in the night, Shade! You can’t hide your nature from me.”

Qarim tries to tackle Hannibal but is jumped by the large cat. Into the woods Hannibal goes and it is as if the forest of trees moaned in unison. Hannibal unconsciously begins to drain the magic form the woods. He feels charged and more alive than before. His energy rockets through the roof and he pushes that energy into his extremities and his senses. He knows he can’t stay in the wood too long, but he needs to find the Shade to cripple it with his power as quickly as possible.

A patch of darkness tries to retreat further into the forest, but the vigor form the ambient magic of the wood gives Hannibal the speed he needs to catch the fleeing darkness. Once his outstretched hands touches the Shade, the night creature screams in pain. Its body begins to be dragged onto Hannibal’s. He starts absorbing the ethereal being. Now h turns, and races out of the wood as fast as possible. Once he is clear of the treeline and snaps his arms and throws the Shade to the ground, save a small sliver of it still attached to this right index finger.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Back at it one year later

So, I'm, again, trying to go about making this one page at a time. Is it a finished page at a time? No. But it is a page worth of writing and I willa ssuredly write and rewrite each sentence, paragrap, and page againa nd again until I feel happy with this result. So enjoy the next, barest, installment of introductiont of Hannibal Moxy: Mega Sorcerer (title a work in progress)

The small apartment has chalkboards across 3 walls. Each wall is littered with mathematical equations: formulas for universal gravity, [physics}, and an entire board devoted to endlessly adding to the sequence of pi. In a back corner is a large metal sphere, with an open hatch into the interior of it. Next to the sphere is a desk weighed by books authored by Aristotle, Capernicous, Newton, and other great mathematical minds. On the opposite corner is a bed with dirty brown covers and a yellowing, formerly white, bed sheet. Hannibal Moxy has just risen for the morning and shuffles his way to the desk. Past the board with the sequence for pi he writes the next number. He then continues to his desk, picks up a book without glancing at its title, flipping to a page, and writing the first equation he sees on the back board. He reads the text about the formula, trying to digest its meaning and purpose, and determining how it fits in with the myriad of other reference formulas he has on the board.

Learning to use magic was never as hard for Hannibal as learning advanced math.

He doesn’t spend as much time as he used to in his studies. There once was a moment where he’d spend entire weekends locked into his room. Those days are years gone by. Now he just rehearses and refreshes his memory. He’s hoping that inspiration may strike him. He’s hoping a haphazard approach will allow him to find the needle in the haystack when a systematic approach just yielded too many results to be adequately tried and followed. Now he maybe spends 3 minutes each day on his “studies”. That is far more time than he would like to, right now.

It is early in the morning. Hannibal shambles towards the attached bathroom for his morning shower.

Hannibal spends little time during the day in his studies. He kept to himself during early mornings locked in his apartment above ________’s tavern. After looking over new notes of scientific and mathematical research he ventures downstairs to help out at the tavern.

______’s tavern is a relatively upscale establishment. Mirrors set in elaborate frames and bright pastel works of art line the walls. The mirrors are very well polished. ______ has been a source of stability in Hannibal’s life. When work is slow ______ always has a few chores to allow Hannibal to earn his keep. The rate of stay for Hannibal is heavily discounted, as the services most specialized and radical detective in the Ember City come at high premiums. However, his record for success cannot be argued. ______ has benefited more than his fair share of times from Hannibal’s willingness to help out those in need of his heavy handed approach to protection. ______ may be the safest place in the city because of the tenant that sits above it that helps out busing tables and doing dishes. That kind of security attracts a delightfully moneyed clientel to ______’s tavern.

Why is it that ______’s tavern is so safe? In a world of magic Hannibal is a rare breed of magician that acts as a leech. Anything of significant magical power begins to lose their essence once in Hannibal’s vicinity. Hannibal is a man that acts as a safety for every figurative loaded gun in the city. That kind of safety cannot be easily found in a place such as Ember City.

It is barely a mid-morning when Hannibal ambles down to the ground floor. He has a conversation with ______ before picking up a mop to clean the floor. The front door opens and in steps a person. This person has a problem and claims on ly Hannibal can help him/her. Hannibal pauses for a break, lets ______ know that he’s working on his clock now, orders something to drink, and invites to person to spin their tale.