Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Dragons Are Coming

I should probably say a word or two about Dragons. In a minute. Sorry for the long delays between updates, and this will be a bit rushed. After a nice sojourn to the Greek underworld, y'know, Hades, where we discovered, among other things, that Cerberus is missing and that Charon the Boatman has skipped out on his job as well. We found a replacement, rescued some poor American woman duped by Ixion who'd been conned into the job. I also tried to help with the recovery of Marie's memories but alas, I wasn't of much help. Gunnar took one for the team, diving again and again into Hades' magic well of memory...and came up...disturbed, but alive. He didn't want to talk much about what he'd gone through, but the look and the lines on his face told me more than I even wanted to know. Anyway, we also explored the land suspended below Hades itself, and met the first Scion called, appropriately enough, First Son. From interacting with him, I now, along with Harlan, know the dead language spoken by Neanderthal. And I can appreciate their cave paintings more acutely perhaps. Anyway, lots of good intelligence gained about the origins of the Gods, the ancient pantheons like the Babylonians, and lots more things. I also had to swear a pact not to oppose Hades. I have no personal beef with the guy, so I said yes. Even underworld gods have their jobs to do, etc, and I wouldn't have been able to even try to help with the recovery of Marie's memories if I had declined Hades at that point. He did do his best to help us escape as the darkness began to flow in and surround, so he can't be all bad. We made it out of Hades, re-appearing in Germany in time to watch a Lufthansa passenger jet get ripped to shreds by a Dragon whom we later learned was named "Splits the Dawn Like Lightning". We learned the Dragons were waking up and very cross with humanity for not holding up their end of the bargain struck long ago between Dragons and Humans, mediated by the Gods as neutral third parties. The Gods agreed to butt out of any direct interference, a tradition we Scions will probably continue. The Dragon helped us bury the dead and then explained we were urgently needed to serve as humanity's ambassadors to all the awakening Dragon princes. Harlan volunteered to meet the senior Dragon in outer space, and the rest of the band divided up the globe accordingly. They all have funky names like that, kind of like the way Native American names sometimes are, more like actual phrases than proper names as we know them in Western culture. Gunnar and Laurel bailed on us to finish their private agenda in the Egyptian underworld of Duat. We were joined in Germany by Kate, a loudmouthed Scion of the Loa, who, we learned, was a daughter of Baron Samedi...despite being white. Anyway, I warmed to Kate in short order and we welcomed her into the band. Any friend of the Baron being a friend of ours, etc. I volunteered to speak to the Dragon located on the coast of England. Having lived in England as a graduate student at LSE, I knew my way around. I determined to meet with Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Gary George Dalton KCB ADC FRAeS CCMI, who is the current Chief of the Air Staff, the professional head of the Royal Air Force. But more importantly, I determined I needed to meet with Prime Minister David Cameron, whom I would then have summon the Air Chief Marshal of the RAF. It wasn't easy, of course, and I did have to disclose my divine nature in the end to make any headway. We loaded up into a British Army armored personnel carrier and proceeded to the English coast to a region I was luckily able to determine after some research. The PM and Air Chief Marshal were skeptical, but dove in with me. I had them grasp Gae Bolga with me and conferred water breathing upon them. I made it through to the secret cave very rapidly where we found the Dragon. Unfortunately Ixion, or apparently one of his clones, had beaten us to the location. With some difficulty I managed to outmaneuver Ixion with clever wordplay and debate and garnered the Dragon's attention...and it pushed Ixion aside with its massive tail to instead focus on me, and upon David Cameron and Sir Dalton behind me. I explained how humanity had lost the information about the dragons. I explained how the message had been corrupted. I also did not try to conceal the truth about what I had done to Canopus, both in Las Vegas and more directly in DC, where I'd delivered the killing blow personally. I decided it best to simply be up front about it and to point out that Canopus had been corrupt, and that Donald Jackson's cult may have been the ones supposed to convey information about the Dragons to humanity but that the message had been concealed and corrupted along the way and thus the majority of humanity left in the dark...I explained that as a Scion of the Gods, I am merely serving as a mediator, and unlike Ixion, I had brought actual human leaders with me, introducing the Dragon to David Cameron and Sir Dalton, both of whom awkwardly bowed to the Dragon in acknowledgement. The Dragon produced for us a copy of the long-lost original treaty between Dragonkind and Humanity...I read through it quickly and committed it to memory...I really focused...harnessing the ebb and flow of legend itself...and committed the treaty text to memory perfectly. In fact, I began to get the sense I now had perfect memory like so many others in the band. I fully volunteered to spend the next few days assisting in the translation of the document into various human languages and posting the full text to the United Nations website. I had originally planned to help negotiate with other dragon princes, but I personally decided that this project was more important and so informed the others not to pick me up on any further passes around the globe by Splits the Dawn Like Lightning. Sir Dalton peered at Gae Bolga and asked if he might have it examined and mass produced for the Army...."Surely as a loyal British subject..."; I cut him off in mid-sentence: "I'm an Irish citizen, thank you very much. And not to worry, I'm not giving this to the Irish army either. Did you think I was from Northern Ireland then? Sorry you didn't catch my Dublin accent. My adopted Da was from Belfast, but I've been a Dubliner all my life." It was quickly decided by the United Nations that a conference was necessary between Dragonkind and Humankind...and a meeting was scheduled in less than a month in the Himalayan mountains, in Nepal, but also accessible via the Peoples Republic of China. The meeting was mostly a success, though we did learn from Nate that some of the Dragons have their own evil agendas and are not to be trusted...he ran into one of them already in league with Kane Taoka. Harlan ran into another hostile one in the Philippines and required Laurel to come save his bacon before making her final departure to Duat. Kane and Ixion tried to disrupt the meeting, but we fended them off. Kane got shot by Kassandra with a well placed sniper bullet, but it turned out that Kane had somehow switched places with Nate's renegade shadow self, and Kassandra's well aimed shot very nearly killed Nate but for some lightning quick reflexes on his own part. Still hurt like hell, though, according to Nate afterward. After the big conference, we all split up and went our separate ways, each with a private mission to fulfill. I made my way back to Ireland by way of the United Kingdom, with a brief stop at Oxford University. After learning so much about Dragonkind, and learning that they were related somehow to the serpentine creatures like Canopus, in my mind there arose two burning questions I needed to answer for myself. I had initially joked about St. Patrick when I delivered the killing blow on Canopus, but I realized that perhaps I should press further and look deeper into the myth, into its occult aspects beyond what mere recorded history has to say on the subject. Then also, the question of one of the oldest European myths about dragons, namely that of St. George and the Dragon...true, it was a story of a Christian Saint, but it did involve Dragons explicitly as well. Since I was now privy to the fact that Dragons were real, what was the origin of this story and could it shed any further light on how the message of Dragonkind became lost? Although educated by Jesuits, if I were not the son of mighty Ogma the Wise and not aware of the existence of the rest of the mythic Gods of the Tuatha De Danann...if I were but a mortal I would myself probably be an atheist. I'm still not clear how to relate to or even understand the great classical monotheisms of humanity now and how they square with our existence as Scions. The great Yaweh, Jehovah, Allah, whatever remains as inscrutable to me now as he ever did before my awakening as a Scion. The others don't seem to have been all that fervent in their pre-awakened days, but I know it remains an uncomfortable subject of speculation for my fellow former Catholics, Gunnar and Laurel, and for me too. I think Gunnar really believed once...which doesn't surprise me given his Hispanic family upbringing...I recall he used to do exorcisms and things even before his awakening. I think Laurel may have believed but I also think her soldiering experience in Afghanistan was devastating to her per-awakened religious faith. I know I always wrestled with it myself, the best efforts of the Irish Christian brotherhood and the Jesuit order notwithstanding. My sharp, intelligent mind always found holes in their arguments and I was always dissatisfied with all traditional apologetics that I was confronted with in my youth. Still, much as I was reluctant to do so, I had to start by picking up the tomes of history and examining freshly the story of St. George and ruminate on the occultish aspects of the story outside the scope of standard history and literary criticism...anything to help secure and solidify the fragile peace we brokered between Dragonkind and Humankind...

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