14. Inglorion Returns

Musical Score: David Bowie, Station to Station When Valentine returns to the townhouse, a footman intercepts him and leads him to Sieia’s withdrawing room. Apparently she’s decided to send footmen with verbal instructions instead of notes. He’s grateful for her delicacy — it saves him the trouble of questioning the messenger and dissembling.  It’s gloomy […]

11. I Couldn’t Turn Back If I Wanted To

Musical Score: Download, Suni C Valentine has dutifully shown up at a ball of Sieia’s, largely to distract himself from his internal ethical debate. He’s distracted, though. The weather itself has a kind of moody intensity. Even here, in a stuffy ballroom lit and heated by dozens of candles, he can feel a thunderstorm rolling […]

10. A Good Op

Musical Score: The Crystal Method, Ph.D. Valentine wakes up to a knock on the door, and the sound of Aramil’s voice. “Room service.” “Oh, fuck. What time is it?” “Just after seven.” “Then what are you doing up? Fuck. You might as well come in.” “I brought you coffee.”  Valentine accepts the hot mug from […]

4. Further Training

Musical Score: Beastie Boys, High Plains Drifter The next day, a footman delivers an elaborately folded note from Aramil. “What the fuck is this?” Valentine asks, “an origami swan?” The footman shrugs. “His handwriting is terrible. Can you make this out?”  “He’d like a rapier lesson this afternoon, if convenient.” No valid excuse rises to […]

3. The Island

Musical Score: Adam and the Ants, Killer in the Home Just a few days later, Valentine has a fresh opportunity to experience the benefits of family membership: Sieia holds a garden party in his honor. For much of the day, being honored seems to consist of standing around nursing a glass of lemonade and watching […]

2. The Beholder

Musical Score: David Bowie, Starman (1972) The next morning, Valentine receives a dinner invitation from his cousin Sieia, Xardic’s wife and, apparently, one of his many living Shelawn relatives. It’s delivered by a servant who was told to wait for an answer. Valentine gives a verbal reply: “The invitation is for dinner tonight?” The servant […]