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The Protagonist Speaks

Interviews with the protagonists of your favourite books

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Assassin

Girton Club-Foot and Merela Karn (of The Wounded Kingdom series by RJ Barker)

Dear readers, tonight we reprint an intercepted missive containing what appears to be notes for an ancient play – a transcripted conversation between an interviewer, a master assassin, and her apprentice. Without further ado, we’ll also print the letter that accompanied the play.


Princess, I found this when going through the unfinished works of the famed playwright Horir ap Valuth and, knowing your interest in the stories of the past, thought of you. It purports to be a conversation between the playwright, the murderer Girton Club-Foot and his master, the assassin Merala Karn. It is probably little more than a mummers play but the parchment appears old and I know you have an interest in these people so I have copied it out for you. From what is said I think this takes place quite a bit earlier on in the life of Girton and Merela than in the other documents I have sent you.

Please do not tell your mother that you got this from me.

 

Rikkoneth, high scribe of Ceadoc. On the first day of Yearsbirth in the rule of Arakoneth III

~ ~ ~

Tell us a little about where you grew up. What was it like there?

G – I grew up a slave. Then my master…

M – Girton.

G – What? I was just saying that you –

M – Girton. Enough.

G – But the man is interested, Master, and I so rarely get to talk to anyone.

M – And why do you think that is?

Pause.

G – What we do is secret.

Did you have any favourite memories? Any toy or somesuch that you remember?

G – Slaves do not have toys.

M – You are not a slave, Girton.

G – Yes, but I did not have toys. Oh!  My master gave me a knife, would you like to see my knife?

I have seen knives before.

G – But not my knife! Look. When my master gave it to me it was rusty and now it is so sharp it can cut mount claws!  My master showed me how to sharpen it, to remove the rust with sand and to rebind the handle. I used pig leather and I dyed it with the blue berries you find at the road edge in Yearslife and…

M – Enough of knives, Girton. I do not think Horir is interested in the possessions of those he sees as slaves, Girton.

G – But you said I am not a slave, Master. Continue reading “Girton Club-Foot and Merela Karn (of The Wounded Kingdom series by RJ Barker)”

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Katla Sieltjes and Bram Merleyn (of the Amsterdam Assassin Series by Martyn V. Halm)

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Dear readers, It’s quite an honour to receive the protagonists of the Amsterdam Assassin Series for an interview, since both are known to be notoriously reticent to talk about themselves. For this interview we have left the usual couch behind, and meet them at Katla Sieltjes’s new office in the Kavallerie Kazerne near Artis, the Amsterdam Zoo. Katla’s boyfriend, Bram Merleyn, is already there, cleaning his tenor saxophone. His distinctive looks, especially the scarring on his face caused by the shrapnel that blinded him, make Katla look especially nondescript in her appearance. Katla often remarked how her bland appearance was an asset in her occupation, so I asked about that first.

Katla Sieltjes: Unlike most of my girlfriends, I didn’t really want to stand out with my appearance. I often dressed in jeans and a t-shirt, and I wasn’t curvy, so some people even confused me with being a boy.

Assaph Mehr: Why didn’t you want to stand out?

Katla Sieltjes: Fits best with my nature, I think. I tend to be an observer more than a participant. I guess you could call me an Einzelgänger. Continue reading “Katla Sieltjes and Bram Merleyn (of the Amsterdam Assassin Series by Martyn V. Halm)”

Ziva Payvan (of Dakiti by EJ Fisch)

 

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Dear readers, tonight we have the rare opportunity to talk with a very special guest. You know her work but not her face. She is one of the Fringe’s deadliest assassins and commander of the Haphezian Special Police’s elite Alpha special operations team.

What can you tell us about the planet of Haphez? What was it like growing up there?

As you might imagine, I’m a little biased. There are some beautiful planets in this galaxy, but Haphez tops them all. We as a people take a tremendous amount of pride in our homeworld. Some of the views of the mountains and forests and the Tranyi River are absolutely breathtaking. Even so, physical appearance isn’t everything. I didn’t have what many would consider an…ideal upbringing; after spending most of my childhood on my own and most of my adult life working for HSP, I’ve gotten an inside look at the true nature of this place. Like any civilized world, there’s a seedy underbelly – that corruption and danger you don’t see at first glance. Some of that is because we get a lot of foreign traffic here. Our Noro Spaceport is one of the last major stops before you leave the Fringe and enter unsettled space. But there are plenty of Haphezian natives who make their fair share of contributions to the problems we have. It was something I saw first-hand during my time on my own, and something I continue to see almost every day thanks to my career.

I’m sorry, this probably wasn’t the answer you were looking for. I’m probably the worst person to ask about this. Obviously not everyone has had the same problems as I have, and after spending years focusing on and fighting the negative, it’s sometimes hard to see the positive. Continue reading “Ziva Payvan (of Dakiti by EJ Fisch)”

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