Thursday, January 08, 2004

back to hinirang

I'm thinking about going back and finishing a couple of stories I started for Hinirang.
Who knows? At the rate fate has been smiling, perhaps a published Hinirang anthology is not too farfetched a notion.

Here's the L'Eteronautas fragment I'm working on:

I. The Opener

It was Alonzo Nicolas Clessidrana, of the Concilio Ciencia, who discovered the gate to the Katao's Heaven, where the gods of Hinirang dwelt.

Alonzo, researching the chronal peculiarities of the forbidden area underneath the Plaza Emperyal, stumbled across the forgotten wooden opening on his thirty-third day, just before he was about to abandon his pursuit of a degree at the Orden and just help his grandfather maintain his shop along the Encantó lu Caminata.

Instead, despite the fervent protests of his research companions, using the calipher resonancia, he forced open the odd looking door and vanished into the unearthly radiance. Those who were left behind, after a painful and hurried discussion, shut and barred the wooden aperture, and rushed to report everything to their superiors.


II. The Powers

Realizing that the situation was beyond their capacity to handle, the Concilio Ciencia sent emissaries to the other Powers of the Ciudad Meiora - the Secular, Poetic, Arcane and Spiritual institutions whose policies and movements decided the fate of Ispancialo Hinirang - requesting an emergency meeting to determine what needed to be done. The missive stated in no uncertain terms that secrecy was required due to the delicate nature of the situation and that it was imperative that all five Powers convened immediately.

First to arrive at the squat red towers of the Concilio Ciencia was an unremarkable qalesa bearing two extraordinary men. Alejandro Baltran Alessio du Verrada ei Ramirez, the Guvernador-Henerale of Hinirang, eschewed his normal accoutrements of rank and wore a dull-colored cloak over simple vestments. He was accompanied by Ser Humberto Carlos Pietrado ei Villareal, the elder brother of the man who had recently, rather embarrassingly, lost a peculiar footrace against a Katao woman. They represented the Military Government, the most visible of the Powers.

A few minutes later, a velvet-covered palanquin brought the representatives of the Gremio Poetica. Betina du Zabala, the Most Excellent Primo Orador, gestured impatiently at her companion to hurry out of the conveyance. Biting back her tongue, Esperanza du Zabala, the Most Excellent Segundo Orador, locked vicious gazes with her mother, before rushing into the Orden’s tower. Both Oradors were masters of Poetics, and the Gremio Poetica held sway over all art and communication in the Ispancialo demesne.

Maestra Onsia Helmina and Maestro Cinco Almario, of the Escolia du Arcana Menor, arrived next, on foot. Maetra Helmina clutched her robes close to her breast and looked up to try to read the thoughts of her reluctant companion. But Maestro Almario, rumored to have enkanto blood in his veins, kept his silence. So, without a word, the representatives of the Arcane surreptitiously erected invisible wards around themselves and entered the tower.

The last to arrive was a duo from the Katedral Grandu, divinely-inspired clerics of the Tres Hermanas and Spiritual Heirs of the Pio Familia. Madre Gorospe invoked her eighty-six years of Faith to calm herself down, inwardly trembling at the implications hinted at by the summoning missive. But her companion, the Tiq'barang cleric Sister Veronica T'gubilin, smiled in anticipation and stomped her hooves once to contain her excitement.

Within the red towers, Consejal Lucio Pejeno, current head of the Concilio Ciencia, ushered all the leaders in after requesting for them to leave their companions in an outer room.

"Forgive the terse nature of the letter I sent," Consejal Lucio Pejeno began. "The sensitive nature of-"

"Yes, yes," interrupted Maestra Onsia Helmina of the Escolia Arcana. "Obviously you have stumbled across something important enough to summon all five of us from our duties. Tell us."

"You must forgive the Maestra for her characteristic mordacious tone, Consejal Pejeno," Betina du Zabala of the Gremio Poetica said, smiling oddly at her great rival. "She would be more eloquent, but is, no doubt, as curious as the rest of us as to the nature of your call."

"Of course, Excellencies, of course," Consejal Pejeno stared at his hands briefly and stated simply, "We have found a portal to Hinirang’s... afterlife. The Katao heaven."

"W-what?" Madre Gorospe suddenly felt the weight of her years upon her body, and stifled a yearning to scream in horror. She closed her eyes and in an instant, she recalled her astral experiences as a young cleric in the lands south of Mejico, and saw only blood and tears.

"It is of great interest to the mother Church, naturally," Consejal Pejeno began.

"It is of great interest to us all, Consejal." The Guvernador-Henerale rose from his seat and gently touched the face of Madre Gorospe, who, eyes shut tight, was shaking noticeably. She opened her teary eyes and nodded her thanks. "Where is this portal?"

"Beneath the Plaza Empyral, Your Excellency." Consejal Pejeno replied.

"Imagine that," Betina du Zabala spoke to no one in particular. "Is it open?" she asked Consejal Pejeno.

"Yes."

"Who opened it?" asked Maestra Helmina. "Or was it open already?"

"One of my own, a young student, opened the door," the Consejal admitted.

"And?" Betina du Zabala asked softly.

"And he vanished," the Consejal replied.

"What makes you so certain that it is a gateway to the Hinirang faithlands?" Madre Gorospe asked.

"Our instruments recorded the presence of the Ether," the Consejal sat back wearily. "As you all know, that signifies the presence of faithlands, time and time again proven by our apparatus, as far back as the conquest of Peru."

"No one here doubts the veracity of your report nor the integrity of the instruments guided by your scientific principles, dear Ser," the Guvernador-Henerale said. "So there is a door. An open door. You were correct to call us all. We must decide our cause of action immediately."

"Then we vote," Betina du Zabala said firmly.

"Yes. Yes, we do," agreed Madre Gorospe, shaking her head sadly, for she knew what position she had to take.

"Very well. As is our custom, I will ask each of you to formally inform us of your decision," Consejal Pejeno said. "I will begin."

"I, Lucio Pejeno, Consejal Temporal, speak for the Concilio Ciencia," the heavy-set man said. "I say shut the door. Science has no interest in the indio faithland. We were the ones who discovered and opened the door. We will shut it as well."

He gestured to the others. "Who speaks for the Poetics?"

"I, Betina du Zabala, Most Excellent Primo Orador, speak for the Gremio Poetica," the fiercely beautiful woman spoke, her mellifluous voice perfectly pitched and resonant. "I say enter the door. Using the stories and legends we have collected from the savage indios, we can navigate what is beyond and find the source of their tales. And we take it in the name of Ispancia. Thereafter, only our narratives will exist in this misbegotten land."

"Who speaks for the Arcane?"

"I, Onsia Helmina, Maestra Honoria, speak for both schools," the silver-haired woman said, considering her next words carefully. "I say enter the door. But only to study, always only to study. We must preserve what the indios have, and learn to share in their culture. What we learn we can use to improve upon what we already know."

"Who speaks for the Spiritual?"

"I, Madre Gorospe, Faithful of the Tres Hermanas, speak for the Mother Church in Hinirang," the old cleric responded, her words heavy with sorrow. "I say enter the door. Destroy them."

"Who speaks for the Secular?"

"I, Alejandro Baltran Alessio du Verrada ei Ramirez, Guvernador-Henerale of Hinirang, speak for the Government," the dark-haired man spoke quietly. "I say shut the door. But if it means entering it to close it, then I recommend that as well. We will protect the interests of our citizenry. Having an open doorway in the midst of our Ciudad is unacceptable. It must be shut."

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