Dark Renaissance – Chapter 4- Appearance & Chapter 5 – Interlude 2

Chapter 4

Sapphire walked back out of Diagon-tubely, heading for the Checkpoint. With luck she’d have a note at the dead-drop. The note would also give her a location to lead the children to. Those hiding the kids had regular jobs. Moving the children themselves would jeopardize their cover, and their lives. Once at her hidden tube, she changed to the black-clad huntress, and sped off to the small drain that emptied the subway during storms. Crawling on hands and knees to exit, she accelerated towards downtown London. She emerged from the Tube at an abandoned spur near Charing Cross. A quick sprint away from the small crowd at the Tube and she was in the open.

Cars dotted the streets, with a few pedestrians hurrying home just before curfew. The cars were easy to avoid, and she darted forward, outrunning them easily. A quick turn brought her to the edge of the Park. Here she ran past the entrance, and to the first bench seat. She knelt quickly and felt underneath the seat, finding a small taped plastic package. She pulled it loose and tore the plastic away. Opening the letter she got the location for the next dead drop and the one for the children – Charing Cross Orphanage.

The children had been hidden in the closed orphanage as it had adequate beds for them. Her job was to get them north to the border. The first step would be to get to the orphanage without being detected. Her speed would make it hard to track visually. The trouble was that any report would give Control a place to start looking. If they started looking, the kids would be found. The first order of business was to be seen elsewhere. She bit back a sob. The decoy would have been her job, and Selene would have been leading the kids to another stop northward. Now, she had to do both jobs. She offered a silent prayer to her sisters, and hoped they could hear it. Then she ran towards downtown once more.

Chapter 5

Hamish Montrose fidgeted at his desk. He liked the desk, and hated the work. The desk represented power. It was his. The work was the captain’s. He glanced at the paperwork, then opened the bottom drawer, and swept the papers into it. He kicked the drawer shut with savage satisfaction, and stood up. Grabbing his coat, he stalked towards the Seeker room. It was here that spells to find were cast. Not that they worked, but it did catch those that couldn’t hide themselves, or were too poor to have a obscurement spell cast for them. The Seeker on duty glanced up as Montrose entered. “We’ve got a sighting, sir. “Two blocks east of Charing Cross Station. Yellojakket. Report says she’s moving south at a high rate of speed. Casting’s confirmed she’s out and about. Whatever’s protecting her is still working, we can’t narrow the search down.”

Montrose nodded, then turned back around. “Keep me updated. I’ll grab a mic, set it to channel K. I’ll be listening in.” “Of course sir. Anything else sir?” Montrose shook his large square features. “No, yes, yes there is. Can you track Captain Sheffield for me? I’d like to talk with him soonest. There’s an irregularity that must needs cleaning up.” Very good sir, I’ll pass the captain’s location on when we have it.” Montrose nodded, then continued out of the room. Yellowjakket was waiting, and he intended to finish the job he’d started.

Dark Renaissance – A look at Sapphire

Sapphire is the main protagonist in ‘Dark Renaissance’.  She is the last surviving triplet of Saffron  Carter-Hargrave.  Her sisters were named Shiva and Selene.

Sapphire was the odd triplet.  She was born not breathing and her umbilical cord wrapped tight about her neck.  Heroic measures were taken to save her life, and they worked, but her brain had been starved of oxygen long enough that some portions, such as the connection between the other two triplets, did not exist.  Shiva and Selene both could anticipate the other’s thoughts, Sapphire was alone while identical.

Her sisters grew up highly intelligent, and driven.  Sapphire was not the brilliant mind her sisters were, but made up for most shortcomings by being determined and persistent in everything she attempted.  Power-wise, her sisters shared a greater portion of abilities and powers, Sapphire’s own power set was a part of her mother’s who was the original Yellowjakket.  Sapphire’s powerset was in speed, and electricity, being able to fire bolts of it that could burn out equipment and stun human opponents.  She could push her power and use it effectively against hostile superhumans.  Her sisters could teleport, use light to create solid objects and use electricity like Sapphire, only with more control.

Her sisters never felt sorry for her, nor did Sapphire feel envious.  They were sisters and looked out for each other, just like their father and mother taught them.  As stated in the book, they took their mother’s identity as Yellowjakket when she was killed.

In the story, Sapphire is picking up the pieces and attempting to carry on as the sole-surviving Yellowjakket and protect people from the powers that be in the form of Hamish Monroe.  She is thrust into a far bigger role as she discovers that her sisters were aiming far beyond just saving lives in London.  The story is as much about where Sapphire comes from as it is about her differences from her triplet sisters and what they have set in motion.

Grimaulkin Tales – A Review

Grimaulkin Tales is about the main character in Grimaulkin, Mike LeBonte.  It’s also about those characters that appear peripherally within the series also.  Through their experiences we see some of the costs of magic, repercussions, triumphs, and tragedies that come with being a witch.

The Demon’s Tale – This is a story of revenge; it is also one of tolerance, and a cautionary tale. The protagonist is the victim of constant bullying in and out of school. When the temptation to use power to stop the bullying happens, he immediately succumbs to the quick fix, only to find that all he accomplished was to change whom he was bullied by. The use of power amounted to a temporary fix. The story is dark, but also interesting, as we get to see the formative situations for the main character of the “Grimaulkin” series. And what causes him to eventually be thrown in magical prison.

The Origin Tale – This short tale gives the reader the signal moment that created Mike LeBonte’s new life, and the consequences that follow him into the first book of the series. It’s a classic example of ‘going postal’ that you read about, only with a different method of ‘revenge’.

The Tale of the Eight Deaths – We seldom see the results of actions we set in motion, but in this vignette of short tales we are able to experience the full result of Mike’s actions in ‘The Origin Tale’. These tales encompass revenge and tragedy in equal measures, show also how temptation in the form of carrot and stick can take a person over the moral line they’ve toed to this point.

The Knight’s Tale – “The Knight’s Tale” poses an interesting question of what constitutes being saved. Is it for simply saving a life … or saving a life for something else?

The Inmate’s Tale – This tale is an interesting look at the inside of a prison. How relationships are made, how your life is molded by the choices you make in an instant that change the direction of your life.

The Jailer’s Tale – “The Jailer’s Tale” is somewhat of a misnomer but it was the best fit with the characters and place. This is a tale of more a second chance than about a Jailer, though the Jailer is the main character. There’s more about mercy, and acceptance than jail.

The Prodigal’s Tale – This tale is somewhat like the Knight’s, but is a bit different. It deals with a person more suited to back alleys than a confrontation, but does end up being ‘called’ as a knight. One might see ‘The Scene’, the life outside of the church, as a chance to experience the difference between the secular world, and the place he grew up in.

The Squire’s Tale – The Squire’s Tale is about finding family secrets — and in a surprising way. In a sense, it’s also about a child ‘coming of age’ in an unusual manner.

The Tale of the Unicorn – This story is a sidelight of sorts, being more about how magic can be used to build rather than tear down. The effect of magic is muted here, and we can infer that magic may be working, but the situation is just vague enough to question the use of magic in the situation.

The Rogue’s Tale – This is a bit of a misnomer considering the subject. I suppose that with magic involved, if you want to be rid of a person, you do the job yourself, or have irrefutable proof that they are gone. Otherwise things tend to bite you at the most inopportune moments.

The Tale of the Two Rings – “The Tale of the Two Rings” is about prejudice, overcoming it, love, and some of those things a person in love does … and how sometimes it all works out into a happy ending.

The Family’s Tale – “The Family’s Tale” is one about Family, obviously, and acceptance. It’s also about finding your place in the world and avenues that need to be explored to more fully understand one’s part in it. It’s also about magic, the family kind, and the kind that allows the scientifically impossible to happen. Family is the greatest place of joy, and can be the deepest place of unhappiness, horror, and hatred. There is a little of everything to go around in this tale.  I like this story the best of the series.

The Apprentice’s Tale – This is a tale that becomes intensely personal for Mike, and his new apprentice. It begins with a request from a Police station in Portsmouth, New Hampshire involving a young child, and a satanic cult. The writing is compelling and could easily be turned into a much longer and more involved story.