Saturday, August 05, 2006

Goodkind meets China Miéville

'The door burst open and hammered against the wall, sprang back. Motley stood before them. He was silhoutted. Richard saw a twisted outline against the black-painted walls of the corridor. A garden of multifarious limbs, a walking patchwork of organic forms. Richard's mouth dropped open in amazement. He realized as he watched the shuffling bird- and dog- footed creature, as he saw the clutching tentacles and knots of tissue, that perched on top of Motley's head, was the bright red comb of a chicken. It was like a red flag. With an utterly bestial roar, Richard pushed KahLin to one side. Her hands twisted as she begged him to stay with her, but he was launching himself at Motley in fury.

There was a sudden loud concussion. An explosion of glass scintillas sprayed across the room, leaving blood and curses. The last slake-moth stood behind Richard. Its unthinkable wings were wide open. Motley had been facing the great beast: his mind was captured. He gazed at the wings with an array of unblinking eyes.

Between the slake-moth and Richard, sprawled on the boards, was KahLin. "Come here, KahLin," Richard hissed, "and don't look behind you."

KahLin slid fitfully along the floor towards Richard's back, his clutching arms. A little way from him, she hesitated. She saw Motley, transfixed as if amazed, gazing past Richard and over her, captivated by...something. She knew nothing about the moths that were not moths. Richard saw her hesitate, and began to howl at her not to stop.

With her one good eye, KahLin took in the extraordinary sweep of the slake-moth's shape with awe; and then she caught sight of the gusting colors on the wings and she was silent. Enthralled. The slake-moth reached out with a slithering clutch of tentacles and pulled KahLin toward it. The moth was not capable of speech, but Richard knew what those tentacles were for.

As Richard grabbed backwards for her hand, staring intently into his mirrors, he suddenly remembered the Bio-Thaumaturge's First Rule: Deus Ex Machina. Richard flung off his helmet as the others stared at him in shock. "You have no power over me, slake-moth! Richard bellowed, "I am only hypnotized by my love for KahLin." The slake-moth let out a slow moth cackle as Richard turned to face it.

Suddenly, Richard was running. The distance between them shrank at an alarming rate. Richard for the first time noticed the soft underbelly of the moth, that was the opening. He was in the iron grip of deadly determination. Richard was lost in the dance with death. Richard dropped to his left knee, using his forward momentum and a twist of his torso to add force to his strike. Fingers straight and stiff, he drove his arm ahead with all his might. Richard struck like lightning, driving his hand through the slake-moth's soft middle. In the blink of an eye, he had seized the moth's spinal column and yanked it back out, ripping it apart. The moth pitched backward, crashing against the wall, slumping down in a spreading, crimson flood.'

- Zadok


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