If you’re at all interested in where I’ve been since this blog was last updated, the answer is EVERYWHERE. And also a lot of the same places. And married! And moved to New Mexico! This blog should, if all has gone well on my end, redirect to The Orion Literary Repository and Tactical Magick Intelligence Center, where endeavors both fictional and non-fictional, mythic and mundane are discussed. We have two fiction series ongoing, and in the pipeline are a review of Iron Maiden’s new album Book of Souls, a weekly review/recap/speculation feature for Doctor Who Series 9, and possibly an unfinished 50-page novel draft I’m no longer keen on publishing directly. Come on over — I’ll pour you some of the good single malt.
Apollo 19: Stardance. Dec 15, 1973. Earth Orbit. The climb from the Cape proceeded without incident, much to Robin’s relief…the command module was her baby, and she was about to shine. Jack was still grumpy, but entering orbit seemed to have ameliorated his angry mood a bit…Zaryov was smiling, a notch above any inner peace he’d ever felt. “The Apollo spacecraft…well, it’s better than we’d expected.” He smiled somewhat apologetically.
Jack looked at him, obviously miffed. “We? Russian intel?”
Robin sighed. “If this dang command module was bigger I’d send Jack to a corner.” She was taking command, slowly…there was a premonition in her heart that this wasn’t going to end well unless she did.
Zaryov was still smiling. “Yes, Russian intel. I may not agree with them, but they’re my path to space. I make no apologies for relying on their opinions before I came to Houston.”
Jack nodded. “Well, at least you’re an all right guy. For a commie.” He grinned wolfishly.
Robin sighed. “Gosh darnit Jack! Do you have to ruin everything?”
“Yes. I do.” Jack unbuckled his seatbelt, slowly going about the process of removing and stowing his spacesuit.
Shaking her head sadly, Robin did the same. Zaryov followed well…suit…was he on drugs? He couldn’t stop being happy. Jack couldn’t figure the guy out…Robin could, though. He was feeling the Spirit and in space at the same time, and it gave him exultant strength. Zaryov was gonna love the Moon, she figured…he was lucky.
Once the crew had got their suits off, a checkout orbit began…just routine making sure Constitution was still capable of functioning in the Black. It was more important after the extreme pogo they’d felt…Robin noted with some dismay that the pogo mirrored what the crew was going through. She was the psychological balance point…if anyone could hold these two extremes of Nobility and Self-Absorbed Anger together, it was her. That made her proud.
At any rate, there were no checkout routines for crew psychological health…that was normally understood to have been taken care of ahead of time. In this case, the only flight-rated NASA astronaut with an intel background had been assigned to command an otherwise quite psychologically compatible crew, just in case Zaryov turned out to be a Russian spy or tried to commandeer the CM during reentry and return it to Kazakhstan or…heaven knew what. NASA planners tried to work out all the bugs, but Zaryov was really beyond them. And, Robin mused, checking over the fuel cell voltage readouts, they hadn’t known he was an Orthodox mystic. No…they should be worried about Jack.
Jack was busy checking the computer, and Zaryov the service module propulsion pressure. Within a few hours, they had all turned out all right…as Robin hoped they would by splashdown…and were getting seated again. Jack, in a rare moment of class, motioned to the seat on the left, taking center. “Have a seat, ma’am…you’re driving while we hit translunar injection and extract Stalingrad.”
Robin smiled. “Is Zaryov’s mellow rubbing off on you? Or is it just space?”
Jack cocked his head to one side, thinking about that. “I think it’s just space.” He laughed.
“Well that’s good enough for now.” Robin smiled, strapping in. “Houston, Constitution here…we are ready for TLI.”
Brennan Puida, running CAPCOM on this leg of the flight in preparation for his assignment to a Skylab crew come January or so, replied in a youthful voice. “I copy, Constitution. Engage the S-IVB when ready…you guys are gonna prove anything is possible.”
Jack smiled. “We’ll try.” He was remarkably placid.
Zaryov shook his head. “I believe Jack is mistaken, Comrade Puida. We will succeed.”
Robin laughed. “That’s my Alex.”
Jack looked at her. “Do you have a crush on the guy? Just kick in the booster and let’s get on with our day.”
Robin grinned. “Oh, I’m so sorry, commander…it just so happens that he’s got that Silver Fox thing happening and you’re kind of um…raw.” She laughed, musically.
Jack rolled his eyes. “Screw that. I was born raw and I will die raw. Drive.”
“I’m happy to. You don’t even have to ask nicely.” Robin was angelic as she engaged translunar injection…flying out of Earth orbit like Flash Gordon, she was dogged by the sudden thought that Jack had spoken a prophecy just now.
“Wahoooo!” Zaryov was pressed back in his seat, arms raised over his head in a relative up direction, towards a Heaven he knew was right here around him. “This is incredible! If only Gagarin could have lived to see this.”
Jack held his tongue for once. He replaced what he truly wanted to say with something kinder. “Gagarin was a good pilot. Not many people get to do something as monumental as he did.” He knew Yuri Gagarin, the first human in space, was one of many heavenly travelers to crash and burn at the controls of an earthbound jet plane…it seemed to be a constant habit of test pilots.
Robin nodded, punching Zaryov in the arm behind Jack’s back. “Your people did real good to begin with.”
Jack sighed. “Can we cut the congratulations, commiserations, ribbing, and whatever else and just get Stalingrad and go? It’s what you’re here for right now, Conley. Freakin’ focus, kid.”
Zaryov looked at Jack with concern. “You should be easier on your comrade, Jack. She is in love with life and requires free exercise of her passions. Also, there is no rush…we are on the way to the Moon and will arrive there no matter what we do in between.”
Jack sighed. “You’re right. I’m just…I don’t know. Sorry.”
It was the first time he’d apologized. Robin saw this as a miracle from Heavenly Father that just might save the mission. “It’s okay, Jack. I know why you’re upset and frankly I think Alex would agree that you need to get the heck over it.”
Zaryov nodded. “I am not against you, Jack. We have left Earth’s orbit. Out here, there are no borders.”
Jack shook his head. “I’ll get over it.”
He keyed his headset push-to-talk. “Houston, Constitution here…Conley is ready to extract Stalingrad.”
Puida nodded, sipping a cold Coke at his desk. “Roger that. Enjoy the dance.”
Robin cracked her knuckles, firing the explosive bolts that released Constitution and her service module from the third stage…guiding their spacecraft forth with a light touch to the translation control handle, firing the thrusters to send it drifting out, like a ballerina. “This is like 2001.” Her face was aglow.
“It is.” Zaryov smiled. “Although I suspect our conversations have more of Solaris about them.”
“Solaris?” Jack asked quizzically, watching Robin’s practiced hands and slender fingers slowly rotate Constitution to face the docking port on top of Stalingrad.
“A Soviet film by Andrei Tarkovsky. A beautiful work of art…I recommend you see it on your return to Earth.”
Jack nodded. “I’ll think about it.”
The probe-and-drogue docking system engaged with a sudden series of thonks and then a loud THUD. “Houston, this is Conley. We have capture. Going for extraction now.” Her voice was gleeful.
“Gotcha.” Bren Puida grinned. Robin was in love with her job.
Jack smiled, overcome by the girl’s exuberance…Constitution and Stalingrad, now mated as one unit, backed slowly out of the S-IVB.
Zaryov could not help but cheer. “Good job, Comrade Conley!”
“Thanks.” Robin blushed, somewhat bashful.
“I knew she could do it. What’s with the Comrade crap?”
Robin sighed. “We’re his comrades. Look it up. I brought a dictionary, just in case.”
Jack laughed. “You got some spunk in ya, kid. I’ll give you that. Now we fly…you can entertain us for the next three days, huh?”
Zaryov and Robin laughed. The Stardance’s first stage was complete…the next movement was just beginning. Towards the Moon they flew…with hope in their eyes, issuing silent prayers to their God that their commander would learn to fly along with them….
Apollo 19: Part III. December 14, 1973. Pad 39A, Kennedy Space Center. Suiting up went well…Robin didn’t find herself nearly as agitated as she had imagined by the process. Zaryov and Fuller mostly sat quietly…Jack, Robin figured, was fuming with rage. Zaryov was intriguing her, though. He sat in his recliner, suit on, hooked up to prebreathing apparatus, Snoopy cap on his head…that head, gr
At risk of interrupting him, in silent wonderment, she tapped him on the shoulder, near the Apollo 19 patch…the hand of God touching the Moon, in homage to the Sistine Chapel, on a black field, with two stars: one white, one red. Her touch woke him, like God (or perhaps Adam) waking the Moon.
“Hm. Did I miss something, Robin? I am sorry.” Zaryov was always so polite, Robin thought…Jack hated it, but the guy had class. The one thing Jack had always lacked.
“Nah. I just…were you praying?”
A slight “snerk” could be heard from Jack’s chair, where he sat poring over a flight plan…maybe he’d calmed down a bit, Robin decided.
“Jack, shut up. We know you’re Catholic and hate Commies and all but it is really time for you to get your head out of your tight little butt…Commander.” Robin sighed.
Zaryov smiled. If only he could find a woman with such fire. “I will speak, for there can be no bugs here. I am a Russian Orthodox…a dangerous and deadly belief in the Soviet military. I am also a hesychast, a mystic, for lack of a better term. I was praying our most common prayer…a kind of mantra, if you wish to call it that, to set my mind at ease and ready me for the mission.”
“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, the sinner.” Robin’s voice was a near whisper…this guy was something else.
Jack Fuller’s jaw dropped…attempting to pick it up off the floor wearing an Apollo spacesuit was a complex task, involving a lot of sputtering, a red face, and a conspicuous lack of apology for misjudging a fellow human.
Robin looked at Jack. “Yeah. He’s not a bad guy, our Alex!” She patted Zaryov on the shoulder. “You go back to that…we only got a few more minutes here before CM ingress. Then – we go to space!”
Jack looked at her eyes, lit up like suns, adorning an elated grin…where had he lost that sense of wonder?
* * * *
A few hours later, the final preflight checks had been completed. Dressed in white, on their backs, looking skyward, atop a gigantic rocket, lay one Orthodox mystic, one lapsed Catholic, and one young woman in love with life and space. The countdown rang out its final ten seconds, with one of the largest crowds in Apollo history watching. It seems that the addition of Zaryov to the crew had brought back a degree of public interest in Apollo…Jack, Robin and Alexei were keenly aware that they could not mess this chance up, or future space cooperation between America and the USSR would be ruined, as might in fact be further lunar missions. 20 was already on notice…despite this, as the rocket began to rise in a peacock’s plume of sunlight and fire into the Florida skies, Robin was sure – absolutely sure – that she’d find something on her survey worth another order of Saturn V boosters. Apollo would rise again.
“Snap out of it, Conley.” Jack seemed less irritable. “What’s that alarm?”
He was fully aware what it was…he wanted her to stop dreaming and focus. “Holy crap.” Robin did indeed focus, visions of Robin Conley, Lunar Base Commander, shattering before her eyes into a rather urgent scenario.
“Ahhh…Cape, Conley here. We have a rather bad pogo effect…number five engine is about to cut out.” Crap crap crap and other words…if they lost number five, they’d be all right…if they lost more, they’d have to abort. Jack was probably going to abort anyway, just to cheat Zaryov…if they could just make it to first stage cutoff, they’d be all right…
“Constitution, we confirm your pogo.” The Cape people were bustling, looking at solutions. They’d faced similar issues on Apollo 13 with utter aplomb…would it work so well this time?
“Confirmation is easier when your teeth are rattling,” grunted Zaryov.
“Roger, Zaryov. First stage cutoff in ten seconds – do not abort. Repeat…you can make it.” The Cape was barely audible over the shaking of the booster. Jack glowered. Robin wanted to pump her fist, but she couldn’t lift it…dang G forces. Pogo created unusually strong acceleration effects – the whole concept was that the Saturn V had a unique ability to vibrate like a tuning fork at certain “frequencies” of engine burn. The effects of various shock waves clashing with each other caused this vibration…it was called pogo because the vibration was along the rocket’s long axis. It had happened to various degrees on many Apollo missions, but Jack reckoned no previous crew had had it this bad.
The crew gritted their teeth, silently counting down until first stage cutoff…Zaryov thought a prayer towards the Uncreated. Suddenly, blessedly, the pogo stopped….the three were jerked forth in their seats as the S-IC first stage popped loose and fell away towards God’s green earth.
“Whoa.” Robin was, as usual, first to speak.
Zaryov was next. “You were not kidding about the Saturn V, Jack. I did not expect such an ordeal, though.”
Jack remained silent. He wouldn’t be able to talk anyway, as he was being forced back into his seat again…the second stage had kicked in, and they continued their climb towards orbit…
Apollo 19. December 14, 1973. Fitful dreams led to the morning of the world…and to a NASA crew getting ready to travel to the Moon with their Soviet LMP. The prelaunch breakfast was a tense atmosphere, the Americans sitting at one end of the table, ignoring their ostensible crewmate, as if a Berlin Wall had been set up between them. That wasn’t how it was meant to be…but even Robin Conley couldn’t help it. Zaryov sat alone, munching steak and eggs, honestly trying to fit in as best he could…the slings and arrows of a hateful Jack had not deterred him, they would not. They could not.
At the other end of the table, Robin leaned across toward Jack and spoke quietly. “Why are you so mean to that poor guy? Invite him over here to sit with you!”
Jack, fully aware of the psychological conditions he was about to go through for the next fourteen days or so, shook his head. He swallowed steak and eggs, and then replied, hushed, obviously tense. “I don’t want to get too close to the guy. It’ll just tick me off.”
Robin, a civilian scientist-astronaut who was the focus of NASA’s experimental efforts aboard Apollo 19, shook her head sadly. “You fighter jocks…well, think of it this way. While I’m manning the SIM bay from orbit, you will be on the Moon for three days, with a Russian you hate. You will be subjecting yourself to this…you and your big ego. All out of patriotic duty.”
Jack nodded. “What am I supposed to do? Tell them I’ve come for the steak and eggs, but Haise is suiting up instead?” Fred Haise was the backup commander, a far more experienced astronaut who could not figure out for the life of him why a 1966 group guy with no class and no flight experience was commanding such a sensitive mission.
“No.” Robin shook her head. “But go talk to Zaryov. Get your crap together. Or I’ll fly home alone and leave you two to get it sorted on the lunar surface for as long as it takes. Capiche?”
Jack grinned. Robin sure was full of fire, that was for sure. But she was nice about it. That was a luxury he didn’t have. “Yes sir, Space Ranger Conley!”
Robin smiled, adding more Valentina to her steak and eggs as Jack scooted down the table with his half-eaten plate.
Zaryov looked up. “Hello, Jack. Is breakfast to your liking?”
Jack smirked, then softened it to a smile. What a cheap bunch of small talk this was. Oh well…it’s all they had. “Yeah…pretty good. You’re pretty mellow over here…excited to be flying where no Soviet has gone before?”
Zaryov smiled. “If my Captain were less like Kirk, I would be less like Spock.”
“Hm.” Jack was confused by this statement. Cryptic iced-over vodka-soaked proverbs did not do him well. “You know…the centrifuge doesn’t cut it, I’ve heard. The Saturn V is nothing like the Soyuz booster.”
Zaryov raised an eyebrow. Was Jack trying to intimidate him? “You would be surprised, Jack. I’ve been in higher-rated G tests than the Soyuz.”
“Yes.” Alexei Zaryov knew why he was here…the Americans did not. Yes, the N1 had been a failure…this was a matter of public knowledge, since he had been assigned to the Apollo program. But he was one of the few cosmonauts who had trained for it…and the only Apollo astronaut who had trained on a simulation of the one-man LK lunar lander, during the height of the Soviet moon effort. “Let us simply say, Jack, that between you and me…it is my dream to walk on the Moon.”
Jack nodded, sipping orange juice. “I get ya. Did that get very far, then?”
Robin looked over indignantly. “Jack! No spying, you jerk! It’s against the rules.”
Jack sighed. As if Robin knew Zaryov’s REAL aspirations any better than he did. Why the heck did she think NASA had assigned an intel man as Zaryov’s commander and lunar partner?
At this high point in the breakfast Cold War, a pad technician entered the room. “Hey. Breakfast is over, you guys…” He put on a German accent that, given the background of a lot of the Saturn rocket guys, may not have been entirely fake. “The Fuhrer vill see you now.”
Jack smiled. “The Fuhrer” was Pad Leader or “Pad Fuhrer” Gunther Wendt…one of Von Braun’s cohorts, and assigned the task of managing the launch, seeing the astronauts off with each Apollo shot.
“Got it. Go time.” Jack swallowed another bite of steak, stood up, and motioned to Conley and Zaryov. “Let’s move. The Moon awaits.”
“I am going to just LOVE sitting still for an hour while I get suited up.” Robin grimaced, almost bouncing on one leg.
Zaryov smiled at the girl’s youthful enthusiasm as they filed toward their destiny. His relations with Fuller were tough…but Robin had helped him to understand why, and been a friend to him. If he was any judge of character for either astronaut, she just might be Apollo 19′s saving grace…
ALSO TO BE CONTINUED! OH NOES! WHATEVER SHALL YOU DO WITHOUT THE END OF THIS STORY? :O (PROBABLY NOTHING, BUT THAT IS ALL RIGHT BECAUSE I LOVE TO WRITE! <333)
Accidentally cross-posted this to my Liber Verendus blog lol…no idea how that happened. O.o
December 8, 1973. Houston, Texas. Advent 1973 was a time of turmoil within NASA and her ranks of barely controllable, rarely controlled test pilots. The original scheme of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project – an orbital shot docking an Apollo CSM and a Soyuz spacecraft sometime in 1975 – had been expanded somewhat radically. Talks for the project between US and Russian factions had begun in 1969, the year the Soviets lost the Moon race…one of the suits at NASA had had a radical idea. Why not offer the Soviets a LM pilot slot on one of the last three missions? This would improve relations drastically, giving the Soviets a booby prize for the whole last decade of work…the space race would end in a relative tie, and a Soviet flag could even fly on the Moon…but it would do so by the good graces, technological expertise, and taxpayer money of the American people! On paper, it was a genius plan. The Russian government, which by the time the decision was made in 1971 had shelved their rather execrable N1 heavy booster and their lunar program with it, enthusiastically agreed. Cosmonaut selection had proceeded quickly, picking a guy who knew English well, had good people skills, could fly like an ace, and who could be trusted to support the Communist agenda despite being paraded before the American people as an Apollo astronaut of sorts and training – bunking – breaking bread with the American military test pilots living in Houston for a number of years.
Jack Fuller was less than enthused. One of the aforementioned American test pilots, he had an extensive Air Force background…he was a signals/intel man who had joined the test pilot school under Yeager and nearly made selection for both Dynasoar and MOL. Lacking these military programs, he was an Apollo astronaut…it was hardly F-86 dogfights over Korea, but it was something. And it made his blood sing with the thrill of flight…they called him Lightning. Like Fulgur…it was an old classmate’s nickname, a far dweebier type…and the name had stuck. Jack Fuller was lightning from heaven, and he knew it.
Unfortunately, Alexei Zaryov did not know it. And the LM simulator for Apollo 19 was beginning to get a bit crowded, much like Germany circa 1946…
“Houston, Stalingrad here…we are go for descent burn.” Zaryov’s English was surprisingly good, though still peppered with a touch of Russian accent…the words rolled off his practiced lips in a way that Fuller found all too reminiscent of a Bond villain’s voice. The LM name didn’t sit well with him, either…the brass had informed him and command module pilot Conley (the first female astronaut, in a likely attempt to upstage the LMP THEY had agreed to, Jack figured) that the agreement was that Zaryov could name the LM. This way, Russia would have more “stake” in the mission…out of respect, perhaps Nobility, Alexei had named it after something somewhat neutral. Jack hated it, but he could see the worth in Stalingrad’s defenders…he wasn’t dumb.
“All right, Stalingrad…godspeed.” The CAPCOM for this sim, a Mick Butler, didn’t like the name either, from the sound of it.
“See ya soon,” Robin Conley said amicably. Dang woman was probably a Russian spy, mused Fuller. She actually LIKED Zaryov. It had not yet occurred to Fuller to wonder why SHE was the CMP, while NASA’s biggest, angriest, lightning dogma curmudgeon was commanding.
“Yeah. See you soon, Constitution.” The NASA planners weren’t stupid, and had casually suggested to Fuller and Conley that they give the command module a name that would cancel out – their words, not Jack’s – the Stalingrad.
“All right…this is Fuller. Descent burn engaged…should be a smooth ride from here. Keep your eyes open, Zaryov.”
Launch was later this month, Fuller mused…how could they land a Red on the Moon when they couldn’t even communicate from one side of the LM to the other? Then he crossed himself, physically (in open mockery of Zaryov, of course), in memory of Gus Grissom, who had burned to ash shortly after asking a similar question…
TO BE CONTINUED…:O :O :O
Two, yet one. Brother and sister, yet knowing each other more than they knew themselves…separated by only a few years in most tellings of their myth, but lately by a gap of ten passages of cthonic black earth through starlit, scintillating night. One named after a blue bird with a sharp tongue and angular body lines, tuft of feathers on his head like messy hair, the other after a soft, round bird with red breast and sweet song. They were love and war, sex and death, creation ex nihilo and reduction back to that same black zero-point…the sword and the cup, air and water, fire and ice, division and multiplication. They looked alike, yet where one stood for passion from warm hugs to cold steel opening fire on a summer night like lightning across the sky, the other stood for playing it cool, knowing rather than doing, rational, careful, cautious thought. And in odd moments, the two crossed each other’s paths like twin snakes climbing a tree that led to heaven, and switched roles.
In all myths they were the last hope of the galaxy, of the world, of worlds, of a fantasy kingdom, of each other against a boring, rainy day. They represented – in no uncertain terms – the glimmering firelight of the Aeon that they were a part of. They were its sword and shield, healer and defender, and in some cases the destroyer of the one before it, the enemy of dead gods who would stop the sky’s progress from Night to Day. She was the Gnostic Kiss, he the archangel with sword of flame.
They were born from the dead relics of lesser-known characters from a famous science fiction story, beginning as names of young knights changed to protect the originality of a work for a local story contest, and winning their maker victory, small fame for fifteen seconds. They walked with him for nine long years – dreams, moons, Odin’s fiery mead and second sight with first and only eye, strength of magic through Art. Unwritten, they were always the germ of a glorious idea if only he got the time, but the idea always changed. It was an epic tale, set here, set there, set in the past, the future, another now. They were servitors, fantasies of other kinds, constant waking companions as he dreamed out what they would be next, what he would be next. But never did he set pen to paper, begin to walk the dream road…
One day he decided enough was enough, okay. He was gonna write a story and make people love it…it was a little bit too weird for the masses, but the story remained as a regular feature in a magazine given light, flesh, cybernetic beeping pixel glory. An Aeonic Edge…a decision point, the edge of a dagger that cut astral bone from astral marrow, a Logos Laser pointed at the heart of those who clung to anything but themselves. For in these trying times they would not last..there could only be self-realization. It wasn’t just The World That Crowley Conquered that was opposed by itself, on the brink, on the Aeonic Edge…it was the world of the writer, the world of the reader, all alternate worlds, The World Within. Dead were dogmas, anything but what flowed forth like living water…and as with any other Aeon, the brother and sister stepped forth to defend this one as well. Except now they were his spirit allies…they opposed and protected at the same time, somehow. A double Aeonic Edge, a combination of flint and steel, perhaps matter and anti-matter.
Their names, of course, were Robin and Jay. But as the Storymaker had invoked a deeper current into a spirit he had created, Ayin Soph, the Beautifier of the old, tired memesphere, Space Wall-E – the current of the Beast and Babalon, Apocalypse Within! Right Here! Right Now! Opposing force of dissolution and existence-joy – could he not bring forth that same primal ebb and flow through the brother and sister, the red and the blue, the song and the shrill logical cadence, the breast and the beak, the twin wings of infinity and primordial nothing? If all that resided on the Internet was ones and zeroes (but mostly zeroes, the Storymaker had found, for most of everything was noise with many meanings, not signal with one bright Sense), could Tales From The Aeonic Edge not tell its tales with the Zero and the One, who together made Two Invincible, transposed from setting to setting and story to story as the need of their author required?
Truly magical things could be done with this, the bond between the brother, the sister and the story…and perhaps the energy, the principle, the joy of the telling would make the stories even better. Make the love that the Storymaker had for these very special characters fuel a new Aeon of Self and Story which constantly spun on its edge, which bore the words EXCELSIOR! WHAM! POW! ZAP! upon its heart, written with a pen of fire. This was going to be awesome…the Storymaker bid the two sibling-friends go forth into the story realm, birthing from clay as the gods of chaos and creation, death and the apocalypse, settled on them like snake-crown and storm-heart…like sun and moon. The horizon was golden, glowing with eternal astral light…and Robin and Jay skipped off into it hand in hand, waiting for the first story to bring them form. And there would be many forms, many stories, many adventures. For the Will was there, and the Heart…now all the tales needed was a reader, who would make the story True.