Dear readers, tonight with us is a powerful sorcerer on a mission: to find the elusive, underwater race and secure their help in colonizing one of the newly discovered worlds. He’s here to talk about fast ships, pretty sailors, and giant tentacled monsters.
Tell us a little about where you grew up. What was it like there?
When I was born, Dahls was not the superpower it is today. It was just a tiny world, already stretched to the brink of its capacity and connected only with words that were similarly stretched. One of the ways our government tried to save us was by imposing a one-child policy. I guess my parents wanted a daughter, cause they ditched me like an used condom.
I was adopted by Kanven Sandeyron, a corporation that primarily produces technomagic equipment. At that time they tried to branch out into medicine. The problem with it was that they needed to test their inventions somehow. You didn’t think they took me in out of the goodness of their hearts, did you?
So you were something like a guinea pig?
Something. We—there were a few of us—got education, playtime, social contact, even fucking psychologists. None of it meant shit if every day each of us was taken to a special room, strapped onto the chair, and injected with some miracle cure meant to dissolve our brains and remake them to their liking.
Yeah, I know your next question. One of the side effects of their treatment was strong telepathy that I can’t shut off. I know you weren’t going to ask; that’s fine.
You’re already intruding, if you wanted to be tactful you shouldn’t ask about my fucking childhood.
Seriously, did no one teach you to shield your mind?
Yes, that’s better. Thank you.
Anyway, I hated everything that came from them. Their focus at the time was increasing humans’ magical potential, so of course they were trying to get us interested in magic. Everything they gave us, books, toys, etc. was connected to magic-using.
I’d tell them to shove it. Except they didn’t teach me to cuss. Obviously, I made up for it when I left.
What I played with were illusions. I was instinctive, you see. I can use magic as you can use hands, whether it’s because I was born this way or because of Kanven’s bloody experiments. But when I was locked in, surrounded by people I hated, choking on the smell of antiseptic, I could already weave imaginary landscapes around me. Pretend I was somewhere else. Not just in Dahls, but other worlds. Big, open spaces. Organisms other than humans. Animals, plants, all that shit I barely learned about at school. I thought myself pretty clever. Until I actually went outside and realized how woefully limited my imagination was.
As for friends? It was hard to form attachments if you knew that any day one of you could go for testing and not come back. That you could not come back. Yeah, we tried… not to get attached.
No, we don’t keep in touch. We don’t really like anything that reminds us of those times. Put this damn shield back.
You talk about getting out. How did that happen?
If you were imagining some great escape, releasing all of Kanven’s pupils and burning the site to the ground, I have bad news. Once I became an adult they had no legal right to hold me, so I showed them the finger and took off.
What? Dahls is a civilized world. We’re not perfect, but we have laws and even those bastards have to follow them.
And yes, some bastards can do unspeakable evil and get away with it. If you think everyone gets what they deserve and good always triumphs, what bloody world do you live in?
What happened when you left?
At that time Dahls reached critical mass and just when it was about to break, our sorcerers found a way out. A merge between our world and some unknown and uninhabited world we called Sfal. And a couple thousand others beyond it.
But, just like that, we were the only thing standing between the old worlds, all not much better off than ours, and unimaginable wealth. With no way to keep that to ourselves, the geniuses in the government decided to open the way for everyone, no matter their species, culture, or where they were from. All tightly controlled, obviously, but don’t tell anyone that. Anyway, they needed an army of bureaucrats to handle the influx of immigrants and that was my first gig.
How did it go?
Great. My telepathy makes normal socializing painful but allowed me to communicate with people who didn’t speak Dahlsi-é. Or didn’t speak at all, for that matter. Not all of them were humans, did I mention that?
Until my bitch-of-a-boss got smitten and wouldn’t take no for an answer. So she set out to ruin me.
But maybe that was for the best. With nothing to do and a burning grudge against humanity, I set out to explore new worlds. The business was unregulated at the time. There was The Cosmographic Society, using their magic to locate new merges, but after that, anyone could grab the coordinates and set off. A lot of people got themselves killed. Not all worlds are habitable. There are wild beasts, irregular magic, even shitty, inhospitable environments. One world, I shit you not, is completely filled with water, top to bottom.
“Top to bottom”?
Yeah. Like, you know, when a world bubble emerges from the chaos, it starts filling up with the heavy stuff on the bottom until you end up with a world surface covered with sky-dome? So, there is no surface nor sky-dome, just.. world bubble. Filled with water. It’s crazy.Continue reading “Tayrel Kan Trever (of Octopus Song, by Natalie J. Holden)”