Interview with Cat Dalrish

My name is Blue River Frond and I am from Charikian. We are people watchers and we are scribes. Every being in all time and space has a place and a purpose and to that end we record the words they speak, for posterity … and for insight into the past. Please call me Blue and read my dialogues:

Catalina Dalrish

(I met with Cat in the bar at the Launchpad of Xen III’s largest spaceport)

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Blue: Hello, Cat, please to meet you. Why do people call you ‘Cat’?

Cat: It’s short for Catalina. I like it better anyway.

Blue: I believe you are of the Dalrish family.

Cat: I am, but I prefer not to talk about my family. Nothing good comes of discussing the Dalrish.

Blue: Even your brother Matt?

Cat: Matt is the only good thing in this family.

Blue: I sense your reluctance. Shall we then talk about your talents as a navigator?

Cat: Anytime!

Blue: I hear you studied at Xen’s Navigational School.

Cat: One thing you must say about Xen – it has the ability to instil knowledge and the Navigational School is considered one of the best in the universe.

Blue: Would you say your charts are up to date?

Cat: Absolutely. In fact we discovered some old charts from pre-dome days that have helped our understanding tremendously … but I’m not really allowed to talk about it. We also have the latest duplicates from Beacon’s exploration ships.

Blue: Exploration ships is a bit of a misnomer, wouldn’t you say?

Cat: Yeah. Beacon isn’t known for its benevolence, more exploitation than exploration, in my opinion. Maybe you shouldn’t print that.

Blue: Your brother is a pilot, not so?

Cat: The best. Can fly anything.

Blue: Is it chance that both of you chose careers that take you away from Xen?

Cat: Did we decide together to study in a field that enables it? No. But it isn’t chance either. I think both of us simply understood that was the only way to experience freedom.

Blue: Freedom from what?

Cat: Family, of course, but mostly the domes on this diseased world. If you want to know what real sunlight feels like, you have to leave. Or to feel rain, breathe fresh air. None of that here.

Blue: And yet you return after every journey. Why not simply slip away?

Cat: It comes down to family.

Blue: What do you mean?

Cat: Families always place a sense of duty on your outlook. Sorry, that’s as much as I’m going to say.

Blue: Your next trip is to Valaris, I hear? You and Matt are flying together this time.

Cat: We often fly together, but, yes, we’re on our way to Valaris in two days.

Blue: Have you been there before?

Cat: A few times now, a beautiful world, loads of fresh air and sunshine.

Blue: Easy to slip away there.

Cat: Maybe, but I wouldn’t do it without Matt.

Blue: He wouldn’t want to stay?

Cat: He’d stay in a heartbeat, but has too great a sense of duty to family to simply leave.

Blue: What’s on Valaris that takes the Blue Domian Nine there so often? Nice name, by the way.

Cat: We call our ship the Blue Dom, and it’s produce mostly. We swap solar gear for fresh food … and there’s the tourist aspect, of course. Many pay huge amounts for a few days in clean air.

Blue: Ah, yes. Matt’s actual name is Le Matt, isn’t it? Most Dalrish have a ‘Le’ something – do you?

Cat: The Dalrish women don’t get it.

Blue: Your uncle …

Cat: I’m not discussing my uncle.

Blue: Fine. After Valaris, what’s next for Cat Dalrish?

Cat: Another journey, another chart, who knows?

Blue: If someone were to offer you change, would you take it?

Cat: What kind of change?

Blue: Employment on Beacon, for instance?

Cat: Ah, I don’t rightly like Beaconites, but yes, I’d take it for the cleaner way of life, if Matt did so also.

Blue: Would you do it for Valaris?

Cat: Without thinking twice.

Blue: Have you met any Valleur on Valaris?

Cat: One. His name’s Krikian. He teaches me magic and I teach him science. A great guy!

Blue: Magic?

Cat: Oh, nothing like the big stuff the Valleur can do, just tricks really to entertain the crew on long journeys. Blue, I must go …

 

An alarm sounds and Cat is on her feet and running.

(Next I hear of Cat, she and Matt are both employed by the Valleur on Valaris. One wonders what a techno-poor world wants with a navigator and a pilot able to fly anything, doesn’t one?)

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Interview with Rees and Rayne’s Mother

Rees

(Blue spoke to many Valarians in the week following the drowning and destruction of Galilan, Valaris’ capital city. After, when she collated her notes, she realised she had spoken to Rayne’s sister)

 

Blue: Hello! Forgive the interruption, but I’m moving from plot to plot informing people where to find food and fresh water. Have you been told?

Rees: You’re welcome. Come closer. We’re aware of the relief centres, yes, but I overheard others asking … you’d have to keep moving and keep asking.

Blue: I’ll do so. ‘We’? You have others with you? Are you coping?

Rees: A friend and her husband stay with me … my m-mother didn’t … we found her in the cellar with … sorry.

Blue: I’m sorry, too. What’s your name?

Rees: Rees … yes, after the priest.

Blue: Ha! Who named you? I’m guessing your father.

Rees: Yes! And my brother Rayne still teases me about it!

Blue: Where is he? Will he be joining you? Um, do you know if he …?

Rees: Rayne was here earlier, thank God. He’s fine, doing his thing. What’s your name?

Blue: Blue … but don’t ask me why! I’m only glad it isn’t ‘Green’ or ‘Pink’!

Rees: I’ll bet! And do you have somewhere to stay in all this?

Blue: I do, thank you … it will get better, I hope you know that. Sooner than we can believe right now.

Rees: I hope so. Thanks. I suppose you must be on your way. Good to meet you, and good luck.

Blue: Luck to you also.

rees

 

Rayne’s mother

 

(After checking her notes, Blue found a parallel in her interviews in Galilan. The place she interviewed Rees after annihilation was also the place she spoke briefly with an older woman before the destruction of the city and after the soltakin commenced the campaign of terror. She swiftly deduced she had had words with Rees and Rayne’s mother and was thus one of the last to have seen her alive)

 

Blue: My lady, you should be indoors. It isn’t safe.

Rayne’s mother: Can’t call anywhere safe, my dear. Walls and closed doors will not stop those fiends.

Blue: Lady, is there someone with you? Your children?

Rayne’s mother: Essie from next door. We keep each other company through everything good and bad. My children have their own lives … my daughter gallivants in the country as if she’s a spoilt rich girl and my son flits everywhere trying to be Valaris’ saviour … forgive me, I find I’m disappointed that they saw fit to … to …

Blue: Abandon you?

Rayne’s mother: Forgive me, no. Rees is a good girl and will be here as soon as she can. And Rayne … well, Rayne is what he is, isn’t he? How dare I deny that? How dare I deny our people his abilities?

Blue: My lady, where is Rayne now?

 

(The woman unfortunately returned indoors then, perhaps realising she had revealed too much. Blue has not discovered her name, and there is no image on record of Rayne’s mother)

 

Interview with Dantian

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(Blue could not interview Dantian, Vallorin of the Valleur beyond the Rift, for the time between rift tear and his capture was too fleeting. Blue subsequently spoke to Dantian via a visitation from the realms beyond. The Valleur, it is told, can do this. Whether or not you believe what is recorded below, these are the words as remembered upon waking.)

 

Blue:  My Lord Vallorin, thank you for appearing. We believe others need to know of your sacrifice.

Dantian: I do not regard what happened as a sacrifice. My destiny was written into my name at birth.

Blue: The Valleur scry a newborn’s future and apply a name to suit, right? Is that how you became aware of what you call your destiny?

Dantian: When one grows with a name that is a destiny, one accepts.

Blue: I cannot believe it is as simple as accepting.

Dantian: It was not easy.

Blue: Your brother Dante- what was his destiny?

Dantian: To be the father he was.

Blue: Ah, yes, he had a daughter. According to our records, she did not survive the burning of Ardosia.

Dantian: There are different kinds of death, Blue. Her survival may not be as you trust it to be. Mark the future for news of this daughter of the Valleur.

Blue: We do enjoy a challenge. We shall watch.

Dantian: My time in this form grows short.

Blue: And before you dissipate, my lord, could you tell us what lies beyond?

Dantian: Life. Salvation, if you desire it. Redemption, is you require it. Choice, where before choice was a relative factor.

Blue: I assume you speak now of a destiny voided.

Dantian: Destiny fulfilled. And beyond it new choice. Life.

Blue: We need not fear death?

Dantian: Fear it. What you do in flesh echoes in these realms …

 

(Dantian’s visitation ended then, although Blue claims the essence of his presence lingered for a time. From that lingering she claims to have absorbed more of the man’s personality.)

 

Blue: A footnote, reader: Dantian was a man who loved life despite knowing his destiny. He lived large and loved as much. We are the poorer for his passing. I wish I had known him.

Interview with Llettynn

(A Siric is hard to corner; Blue River Frond is fortunate to have recorded these words.)

 

Blue: You are the Siric leader, Llettynn. How long have you held the position?

Llettynn: Too long.

Blue: I look at you and see a smallish humanoid dressed all in white. Please don’t take offense, but how do you inspire confidence in those you are forced to deal with?

Llettynn: Guardians are not forced into anything.

Blue: I seem to have offended you, after all. I’m sorry. For the record, white isn’t the only colour you wear about your person, is it?

Llettynn: The Siric wear white.

Blue: You are being coy. I am, of course, speaking of your wings. Wings and colour together define the Siric.

Llettynn: It does not.

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Blue: Perhaps I didn’t say it correctly. I meant you wear colour upon your wings, and Siric read status by it. You, for example, carry turquoise … and that, I believe, is the mark of leadership. Others – Declan, for instance – carries red more markedly, because he is your deputy.

Llettynn: Your point?

Blue: Hmm, I see now why others name the Siric as cold. You do not share either information or emotion easily. Why is that?

Llettynn: Immortality teaches even the most emotional of beings to rein it in.

Blue: You’re jaded, is that what you’re saying?

Llettynn: No.

Blue: What do you mean?

Llettynn: Nothing. I suggest you ask a relevant question before I return to my duties.

Blue: Of course. What are your current duties?

Llettynn: The Guardians are present on Valaris, currently searching for hidden sites which may or may not lead to enlightenment. We do this because we hope to curtail Infinity in her desire to unleash chaos upon the universe. I cannot say more, and now I must return. If you seek greater insight, Belun of the Centuar is the Guardian to speak too. Not yet, Blue River Frond; time is of the essence for all of us and even Belun, loquacious as he is, cannot now be spared.

Blue: I thank you for your time and for the advice. Another time, then.

 

(Blue states years later she wished she had pushed the Siric leader harder; in Llettynn there resided a mind of absolute brilliance.)

Interview with Saska

(Recorded before Saska vanished for a time amid the Pilanese)

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Blue: My lady, you appear sad. Why is that?

Saska: I’m sorry, Blue, I know of your work, but I really don’t think it’s anyone’s business. Besides, I have somewhere to be.

Blue: Just a few moments. You know I don’t have to write it down; it won’t take long.

Saska: Taranis has wondered how you’re able to remember everything so well.

Blue: I’m not being interviewed, am I?

Saska: Hmm. Someone should. But I don’t have the time.

Blue: I’m thinking it’s a man. Making you sad.

Saska: Loss makes us sad, friend, whether of a loved one, a way of life … hope, faith, health … many reasons.

Blue: It’s a man.

Saska: Not that I’ll tell you.

Blue: And now you run from him. Do you hope he won’t find you … or do you hope he’ll act with sufficient commitment to discover your hiding place?

Saska: Neither. Both. Argh, he drives me insane!

Blue: Who, my lady? Perhaps I could put him to the question.

Saska: Oh, good luck with that. He won’t talk.

Blue: I’m thinking now it can only be the one they are calling Enchanter who does this to you. I’m also thinking you should expect as much. An enchanter? That is a lonely calling. He will find it hard to commit to a personal relationship.  Not so?

Saska: What do you know about it?

Blue: And there you confirm my suspicion. They call him Torrullin, I hear, and his name means Lifegiver and Destroyer simultaneously. My lady, how do you hope to reach through to someone like that?

Saska: By loving him, damn it! Not that it matters! He has chosen another! She is … argh!

(Saska dematerialises at this point, her pain and anger causing her to flee. Blue is left wondering how she can create an opportunity to speak with Torrullin.)

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Interview with Margus

In this session, Blue speaks to the Darak Or

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(Recorded outside the entrance to the cave system contained within the Stairs Mountains on Valaris)

 

Blue: My lord, a word, please?

Margus: Who are you?

Blue: Folk call me Blue and I record the words of others.

Margus: You are akin to a reporter?

Blue: I am surprised you know what a reporter is.

Margus: I did not attain adulthood in a vacuum. My homeworld was advanced. How did you get here? Can you not see Valaris is about to enter a state of war? What do you want? I should kill you now and be done with this distraction.

Blue: Sometimes one needs take the risk for posterity. You may not win this thing you are engaged in. I may never speak to you again.

Margus: You definitely will not be speaking to me again. I do admire your courage, however. You have two minutes.

Blue: How are you called and where do you come from?

Margus: I am Margus and I come from a world beyond the Rift.

Blue: We’ve heard a tear erupted in space. And we also heard you brought an army with you.

Margus: My soltakin, yes.

Blue: The term is new to me. What is a soltakin?

Margus: A wraith. A soul without a body. It appears as a shadow and its touch is deadly. It hates and its sole purpose is to kill. It wants, above all, to extinguish the light in everyone and everything. Creatures after my own heart.

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Blue: What is you plan for Valaris?

Margus: Valaris will be mine.

Blue: Was that Infinity I saw with you a few minutes ago? Have you made a deal with her?

Margus: Your time is over.

Blue: Please answer the question … and one other. I shall be on my way after.

Margus: I want the dara-witch’s darklings under my control. The deal I made with Infinity will last only as long as it takes to achieve that. Then? Use your imagination.

Blue: Yes, she is hard to abide, isn’t she? Few will mourn her passing, I think.

Margus: Your final question.

Blue: Who is Margus the man?

Margus: I am no longer a man. Your question has no relevance.

Blue: What are you?

Margus: I am the Darak Or, little girl. Now get from my sight before I prove exactly what that is.

 

(Blue River Frond decides to leave then. She never does speak to Margus again.)

Interview with Taranis

Taranis is one of the main characters in the Lore Series. He is the Guardian leader and comes to Valaris with his team to aid in the defence against Infinity, the dara-witch, and later Margus, the Darak Or.

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My name is Blue River Frond and I am from Charikian. We are people watchers and we are scribes. Every being in all time and space has a place and a purpose and to that end we record the words they speak, for posterity … and for insight into the past. Please call me Blue and read my dialogues:

(A dialogue recorded on abandoned Mon Unon before the Guardians embarked upon The Game.)

 

Blue: We should begin with who you are, should we not? Many know your name, but we are now speaking to those who do not. Tell us a little about yourself.

Taranis: I don’t enjoy talking about myself. I’d rather discuss the role of the Guardians.

Blue: And we’ll get to that. Perhaps talking about yourself will reveal the Guardians also.

Taranis: Well, I guess you could say I was chosen to lead …

Blue: Let’s not be coy, my lord. You are Taranis, Lord of the Guardians, and there are those who call you Lord of the Deities.

Taranis: The latter is pure misconception … or misguided perception.

Blue: Humankind, I believe, refers to you as Lord of the Deities.

Taranis: Not humankind in general. Only on Valaris.

Blue: Why?

Taranis: Millennia ago a creature known as Drasso attempted to conquer Valaris, with the help of his mother …

Blue: Infinity, right?

Taranis: Yes, Infinity was Drasso’s mother, and caught between the two of them Valaris was about to succumb. We’re talking poisoned air and absolute annihilation of the population. The Guardians stepped in and because we were seen as fantastical as Drasso and Infinity were, well, Valarians came to regard us as gods. Deities.

Blue: And you led them.

Taranis: Something like that.

Blue: We hear there are temples and churches dedicated to the worship of Taranis.

Taranis: Not my doing.

Blue: How did you become leader of the Guardians? You are, after all, a human, and humans cannot be said to have the ability to do what you have.

Taranis: I guess my humanity during the time of Drasso aided us to victory. I was able to use the kind of strategy humans could identify with. It is a truth we would not have won had it not been for the people of Valaris gifting us their support. Many paid for it with their lives. My colleagues in the Dome saw the time of humankind had arrived in the universe … and chose me as leader.

Blue: A human Immortal. How is that possible?

Taranis: Anything is possible if you want it enough. I do not care to discuss my longevity further.

Blue: The Dome you refer to is the gathering place for the Guardians. Would you care to describe it for us?

Taranis: It’s a dome.

Blue: It’s more than that.

Taranis: It’s made of crystal and obsidian and travels through the ages due to inherent magic, but it is still a dome.

Blue: In vacuum.

Taranis: The vacuum protects it, yes.

Blue: We hear you are married.

Taranis: Was. My personal life isn’t the issue here.

Blue: My lord, female readers like to …

Taranis: My heart is spoken for, and that is as much as I’m prepared to reveal.

Blue: Who is she?

Taranis: This interview will end now …

Blue: Very well, no more of that. Where do you call home, my lord?

Taranis: I consider myself nomadic. Duties to the Dome do not allow for much personal space.

Blue: My sources tell me you have a home on Thisseldrum, but Thisseldrum isn’t the place of your birth.

Taranis: No one is born to Thisseldrum.

Blue: So we hear. It is a world for the wealthy, a chosen destination for those with the means to live there. It follows thus …

Taranis: I am not a wealthy man. I simply require privacy.

Blue: Your status granted you the right to residence.

Taranis: Yes. How did you discover this? Not even the Guardians know where I call home and I would prefer to keep it that way.

Blue: I doubt a Guardian will read the transcript of this dialogue, my lord. Your secret is safe. Where were you born? It must have been a human world.

Taranis: It doesn’t matter where I was born. What matters right now is that the Guardians face a new threat.

Blue: The dara-witch Infinity has a new game to play, we hear.

Taranis: Indeed, and the Guardians will step in once more. We are the protectors.

Blue: And the universe is aware of that and many appreciate you for your calling, but many more wonder how it is Infinity has gone unpunished for so long. Will you finish it this time?

Taranis: The witch is slippery. Our hope is to negate her.

Blue: Where will you do so? Which field of battle has she chosen this time?

Taranis: Valaris. Again.

Blue: It smacks of revenge.

Taranis: It is.

Blue: Valaris. Where humankind already regards you as a deity. That could work in your favour.

Taranis: I am inclined to think it will disadvantage us. Our appearance as gods to the rescue could spread the kind of fear we shall be hard-pressed to function within. It is better, this time, to remain as anonymous as possible. Do not make this public knowledge.

Blue: All transcripts have to be vetted. This one won’t be filed for at least another year. Now, if I may ask: what about you, the man Taranis?

Taranis: I don’t follow.

Blue: What do you do for fun? What do you read, if you read? Where do you go to relax, if it isn’t Thisseldrum? Tell us about yourself.

Taranis: I read histories, mostly, and I enjoy fishing in isolated places. Relaxation is relative, but when it can be found I usually chose green worlds where fish teem in the rivers. I’m a simple man, really.

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Blue: Does she accompany you on your fishing trips?

Taranis: No.

Blue: Would you like her to?

Taranis: This interview is over.

Blue: My lord …

Taranis: I have duties.

 

(The dialogue comes to an abrupt halt at this point, but there is a further interview recorded with Taranis, not yet vetted.)