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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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Stuyvesant

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The dynamic between Selene and Sebastion has become much clearer now. Of course, much remains unclear as well: why does Sebastion say the Eye was 'entrusted' to him? Why does Selene fight to keep it away from him? And who is the mysterious rescuer of Selene? Did another vampire (one of her pets) come in and sweep her away, or was the other presence merely a distraction that gave her enough time to get away on her own power? Lots to ponder...
 

stnylan

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That is one dangerous dangerous woman.

And Sebastion shows considerable arrogance. To continue the Tolkien analogies, he is reminding me increasingly of Sauron. So arrogant he cannot consider others do not think as he does, that someone might not want to possess the Eye does not appear to have crossed him mind. It is an alien thought to him, one he cannot encompass.
 

J. Passepartout

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So arrogant he cannot consider others do not think as he does

I must say that I know far too many people in real life that behave like that.

I wonder how old these vampires are. I assume, from the name, that the Eye dates to the time of Vlad Dracul or thereabouts. Knowing these dates more firmly would tell us a lot.
 

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Beautiful chapter. I look forward to discovering more of Selene and sebastion's mutual history.. Would be neat to find out how long they've been vampires.
 

coz1

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Fb-fb:

There's that line again :D

Also I see you used 'pets' so I guess my initial hypotheises wasn't that far off! But a lot of information has come forth, such as that they were lovers and that they have a rather abusive relationship...

I do wonder where she went.
I do consider one that has been made the "pet" of one that made them, but that's not a hard and fast rule. The "pet" must still learn to operate on their own, especially Huard. The "master" would still have some sway though, methinks.

Very interesting. Security risk, though.
Security risk, eh? Let's just say it was a tough fight, but Selene still got the better of Sebastion. He neither killed her or got the Eye.

Great work! Love the picture... :D
I've been wanting to use it for a while. It was perfect for Selene and Huard, I thought.

The dynamic between Selene and Sebastion has become much clearer now. Of course, much remains unclear as well: why does Sebastion say the Eye was 'entrusted' to him? Why does Selene fight to keep it away from him? And who is the mysterious rescuer of Selene? Did another vampire (one of her pets) come in and sweep her away, or was the other presence merely a distraction that gave her enough time to get away on her own power? Lots to ponder...
Indeed. I cannot answer those questions here but rather in the text. But I do plan to touch on each one. Initially, I had planned on letting Sebastion kill Selene but she was too good to let go of just yet. She may be "dead" but she's not gone from the story. ;)

That is one dangerous dangerous woman.

And Sebastion shows considerable arrogance. To continue the Tolkien analogies, he is reminding me increasingly of Sauron. So arrogant he cannot consider others do not think as he does, that someone might not want to possess the Eye does not appear to have crossed him mind. It is an alien thought to him, one he cannot encompass.
I like that she is just about as powerful as Sebastion. had she not just turned Huard, the fight would have been far more fair. She's won against Sebastion before. Sauron is interesting, but this one does his own dirty work...for the most part. He is arrogant, though, which has made trouble for him quite often.

I must say that I know far too many people in real life that behave like that.

I wonder how old these vampires are. I assume, from the name, that the Eye dates to the time of Vlad Dracul or thereabouts. Knowing these dates more firmly would tell us a lot.
Ah yes...the real question - how old are they and where was their beginning. It'll be part of the story, I promise. In fact, in the 2nd part coming soon, we'll investigate that. :)

Beautiful chapter. I look forward to discovering more of Selene and sebastion's mutual history.. Would be neat to find out how long they've been vampires.
Quite - it's always my fascination when I see a story about a vampire. I want to know the origins and how they became one. We'll get there soonish.

More nightly action.
And blood.
But nothing worser. :p
But of course - much of the story will have to be at night given my characters. And there should be copious amounts of blood. In truth, I will need to find some good synonyms and descriptors so I don't wear out the word. :D


To all - thanks for your excellent comments as always. The Eagle in Winter is just about to wrap up so I am trying to work a little on both this coming week as well as a heavy work load at work. I'd like to get another update on this up today but it may be tomorrow. But we are nearly to a planned break point between parts one and two in this story. I am really pleased with both the way it is working out and the wonderful reception it has received! That is entirely due to you great folks! :)
 

coz1

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I need to stop giving an ETA for updates because I keep falling short. :rolleyes:

I finally ended The Eagle In Winter yesterday so that's the excuse. The link is in the signature in the event anyone else wants to read it before it falls to page 5. It may not be my best work ever, but I was proud of the fact I was able to bring it to a close after so many years (I started it in 2006.)

The next update for this should come early this week though not today (unless I really get a creative wind tonight.) I've got to work out a little something for the next scene and it is being troublesome.
 

coz1

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Congratulations on completing yet another AAR! :)

Now if only I can :p
Thanks, comagoosie. I'm averaging about two years between start and finish so don't ever give up. Even if you take some time away from it, you can always return. :)
 

Milites

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Boy that was a close call for Selene, although she performed amiably.
Also many congratulations on concluding the Eagle in the Winter! Finishing off an AAR in style is a great achievement...
 

Director

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And Sebastion shows considerable arrogance. To continue the Tolkien analogies, he is reminding me increasingly of Sauron. So arrogant he cannot consider others do not think as he does, that someone might not want to possess the Eye does not appear to have crossed him mind. It is an alien thought to him, one he cannot encompass.

I agree with the Tolkien analogy, and I see merit in your comparison to Sauron. But I say that Sebastion is not (yet) Sauron, he is Saruman - absurdly ambitious enough to try for total rule but without Sauron's power to back it up. He may grow into Sauron's role in time, but I think he is not there yet.

The real source of Sebastion's disfunction is not that he can't see that others want the Eye, but that he cannot see why they deny it to him as a matter of right. He'd have been right at home as a king of the 'divine right' school; his merest whim should be law.
 

coz1

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* * *

New York City, 1938

“It’s just a damned rat, Finch. Put that away.”

Sam could not seem to take his eyes off the creature and soon saw it rush away as if scurrying from something. From behind them, however, a voice rang out from down the hall sending shivers up their backs. It echoed throughout the distressed brownstone, a high pitched cry of anguish. Both Sam and Jasper stood silent at first but quickly Jasper moved back into the hallway stopping only when the illumination of Sam’s flashlight did not follow.

“What are you waiting for, Finch?” the reporter asked half in irritation and half out of fright.

“Your nose gets you in trouble, White. Always after the scoop.” He shined the light into Jasper’s face and the reporter squinted, still questioning. “We don’t even know what that is.”

“And we won’t unless we investigate.”

After a moments apprehension, Sam finally moved, exasperated. “Alright…come on.” He walked past Jasper and the two slowly began to ascend the stairs.

The wailing came again, but this time softer and Sam thought he could make out the word “Please.” Whatever it wanted, it was in pain. Sam stopped and held his gun forward and then took the last step, holding out the other hand for Jasper to wait. He hadn’t any luck prior so why start now. Jasper followed anyway. With the tip of his light, he pushed forward an unlocked door that gave way, the lock long since removed. Inside was a sight that neither man expected to find. But it fit well with the screams.

Before them was a man, thin and gaunt, and his face white as a ghost. He sat huddle in a pile on the floor, a length of chain connecting both his leg and his neck to a strong bolt in the wall. He pulled against the chains, causing them to rattle and Sam wondered why he had not heard it before. The man dropped onto his back and stared at the ceiling, seeming to notice his guests but not giving them any recognition until Jasper called out, “Hello?”

The man pulled a hand to his bald head, seemingly shaved but someone had done a poor job of it. Small tufts of hair remained and he picked at them as he slowly turned his head to look upon Jasper and Sam. He opened his mouth to speak but then closed it directly and simply looked at them with a confused look on his face. Jasper took a step forward but Sam stopped him.

“Hold up, White. He could be dangerous.”

“He doesn’t look dangerous, Sam. He looks to be in pain.” Jasper paid him no mind and was about to reach out for the man before he jumped up and grabbed the reporter’s arm.

“Hey! Stop that!” Jasper yelled and Sam moved to help him. He was able to pull the man off Jasper with some ease, but was surprised to find some strength in the man’s brittle frame.

As he was forced to let go of Jasper, the man offered another slow moan ending in a high pitched whine.

“PLEASE!” he called out and both Jasper and Sam backed away from him.

“Who are you?!” Sam asked, his temper getting the better of him.

The man did not speak at first but then began to offer up his name, “O...O...Oscar?”

“Oscar? That’s your name?” Sam asked.

“O…O…Oscar,” he said again with less question though his eyes seemed to be searching for something in his mind.

“Why are you here? Who did this to you?” Sam asked, taking one small step closer but careful not to get too close.

“H…H…Him. I am here for him.” The man rolled back on his side and drew small circles on the floor for a moment until he saw some small bug scamper across the floor and he trapped it under his hand. To their shock, the man then ate it.

Jasper recoiled but Sam stood his ground and asked the man again why he was there. No answer came. Stepping back, he whispered into Jasper’s ear, “The guy’s nuts. And who ever did this, crazier still.”

“But who, Finch? Who would do this?”

“I don’t know.” Sam looked back at the man…Oscar.

“Should we…should we let him go? Or call the police?” Jasper looked to the man with sad eyes.

“Look at those chains,” Sam pointed, “We can’t get those off of him. Besides, who knows what he will do. He’s obviously been here for a while.”

“Who could have done this, Sam?” Jasper asked in an obvious moment of sympathy.

“Beats me. But there ain’t no clues here.”

“Why would the professor want to come here? Are you sure this is the right address?”

Sam looked to Jasper, barely able to make out his face in the darkness. “Yeah, it’s the right address alright. And he’s all we got.”

The man rolled onto his back and started singing softly to himself, almost oblivious to the two men once again. Sam turned and looked at him once more and shook his head, “Maybe those Krauts…I don’t know.”

“You think the Germans we saw earlier did this?” Jasper asked, almost shocked that any human could do this to another.

“I don’t know, White. But whatever the reason West wanted to come here, it’s gone now.”

“Is it…” Jasper started to ask and then covered his mouth before finishing, “…is it possible they took the Eye, Finch?”

At that, Oscar moved again, this time falling forward onto his hands and knees. He crawled slowly as he hissed, “Th…th…the Eye!”

Both men turned to look at him, backing away slightly at his forward motion. He did not stop until the length of chain forced him to and he pulled at it with increased vigor. Like a man possessed, he wished free and tried to rush Sam and Jasper but to no avail.


“Give it to me!!” he shouted with a strength of voice they had not yet heard from him.

“He knows of the Eye?” Jasper was shocked. For Sam’s part, he could say little. He wasn’t even sure this was happening.

“I shall res…res…rescue it! I will give it to him!” Oscar stood now, holding his hands forward, palms up, and pleaded. “Gi…gi…give it to me.”

The two men remained silent such that Oscar was caused to squeal again, this time the anguish returning, “PLEASE!”

Jasper felt his stomach go queasy and he backed from the room leaving Sam to question joining him or staying. The thought did not last long and he too left the room. “We better go, White. We’ll call the cops and let them sort this out.”

“But Sam…” Jasper tried to say before Sam turned back to him, “You want to get near him?”

Jasper did not consider it long. “You’re right. Damn it!”

As Sam moved back down the stairs he called behind him, “Too bad, White. I thought we had something here. It’s a dead end until we can figure out where this guy comes from.”

They both moved swiftly through the hallway and back out onto the street. Sam glanced up and down the empty area, seeing nothing and then gestured for Jasper to follow. They’d call the police and try and get some information on the man but there were no clues…nothing more to learn…nothing to help break this case.

Behind them, up the stairs and in the room, Oscar slowly turned and sat, placing his hands in his face and weeping. He wept until he heard a voice…

“Shhhh. Be still, Oscar. Be still. It is time to feed once again.”
 

comagoosie

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Nooo, more vampires!

The whole world shall be cover in them! Though I wonder how he got to be that way. Are vampires immortal or did that certain girl give him the gift of life, which then means that she is still alive and that she is immortal..

Ok too many rampant thoughts :eek:o
 

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Left with no clues, Sam Finch is for now. And the man feeding on Oscar would be none other then Sebastion as Abraham Huard would never sink this low to feed. Unless the long years have depraved him and he is not as Selene thought he was.

EDIT: Of course it is entirely possible that I'm missing something and that I'm totally wrong.
 

Stuyvesant

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Had to do some Googling to make sense of that allusion, Director. :) It's been a long time since I read Dracula - that's my excuse, and I'm sticking with it. ;)

Since this mysterious (and miserable) Oscar talks about bringing the Eye to 'him', it seems logical to assume that he's been turned vampire either by Sebastion or by Huard (the voice that calls out to him that it's time to feed is deliberately left undescribed - so it could be Selene, but I'll ignore that possibility for now). Either Huard has lowered his standards in the last 140 years, or Sebastion has grown more sophisticated. Neither option makes me very happy, though the latter should be more reason for concern.

At least Jasper wasn't bitten, with all the complications that would bring. :)
 

ForzaA

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I do get the feeling Oscar is a sort of cattle, hoping to trade the the Eye for his freedom, perhaps?