One of the things I learned in Law School: Clients will never tell you the whole truth. People want you to like them. It’s just in their nature. This gets worse when they’re in legal trouble. They’re secretly afraid that their lawyer will judge them, and decide to turn on them, if they knew what was really happening. Lawyers have done some very unpleasant things, all to make sure they never appear to be working against their clients. There are men in jail unjustly today because a lawyer didn’t betray his client. And despite all of this, clients lie to their lawyers. I studied the short, red-haired man with large, bushy eyebrows, sitting across from me. “So. When were you going to tell me you’re a fairy?”
Q: Are we going to get more of Silas Nash? – Hazzard, and numerous others.
Yes. Nash is probably not going to be the protagonist of the future stories, although he’ll be a major viewpoint character of the future Serpent in Zion stories. To a certain degree, I’m inspired by the old Marvel levels- That is, there are three levels of heroes: Street, World, and Cosmic. Nash has been, suddenly and unexpectedly, thrust into the Cosmic level of the setting, set against one of the most powerful and merciless forces for the destruction of the world that exists, aiming to snuff out humanity entirely. He has also become a symbol for what a human being is capable of. I’d very much like to have him show up in some of the other storylines I’ve got floating around in my head at some point, because a recurring theme of this setting is going to be mundane human protagonists.
Q: Also, have you thought about going back over this, and submitting it to a publisher? It’s really damn good. – Hazzard
I have. And ultimately, my posting it on Tumblr and WordPress is my way of saying ‘I’m not going to try to publish this traditionally.’ Most publishers don’t want to republish something that’s already been put up. I’ve had some modest success posting this- A few thousand views- which is enough to make me feel positive about it, but I’d need to have ridiculous, unprecedented success to make a real publishing company or agent interested in it. I’m a bit depressive about the whole prospect of getting something published.
Q: Will we see more of Pearl and her sisters? -van den Berg
Absolutely. They’re one of the major features of the cosmology of the setting, although they may take other forms than the ones they’ve had here, which are primarily Greek-inspired.
Q: Is Cassandra the new MC?- A Real Big Guy
No, although she will be the MC of a future story. She’s taken her first step towards being a hero, which is to decide that she’s going to do something about the way the world is going.
Q: Is Silas going to quit the FBI? -Anon
Yes. I’ve got plans for a short story to write at some point in about 6 months, that will be leading in to the sequel to A Serpent in Zion, which will show some of the things that happen between books. Silas will not be a member of the FBI when he returns.
Hell’s Kitchen Sink will resume on July 15th, with a new story set in New York City. In the meantime, I’ll be working on the story that will happen after that; You’ll get a short story starting next week, Small Folk’s Court, which will lead into said third story, which will be starting up some time in October most likely.
In the next seven days, you can send questions to me; Either asks on tumblr, e-mails to email@example.com, or comments on Hell’s Kitchen Sink, about A Serpent in Zion, characters, and the future of this, and so forth. Anything that I don’t think will specifically be spoilers for the story in the future, I’ll answer, and post on Hell’s Kitchen Sink on the 24th.
This is not the end of Nash’s adventures, it should be noted. I envisage Hell’s Kitchen Sink following a kind of seasonal pattern; A novel for each season, effectively. Nash will be the protagonist again, but he’s not the only protagonist. And for much the same reasons, I’m running a character poll, here.
You can choose up to 5 characters who you particularly enjoyed in the story, and who you’d like to see show up again in future works. I can’t promise they’ll wind up showing up, but it’s a way for me to figure out who my readers enjoy.
Nash woke up with a start as the bad dreams drifted away. Panic fled with Pearl’s gift, holding away the nightmare visions. The last thing he remembered had been speaking to War. He felt a little stab inside of his heart. The memories of the pain she had been through. She had hurt him so many times, and she had wanted to do it every time she did. She had wanted to die, and she had pushed him to be the one to kill her. She was probably quite disappointed that he hadn’t picked that up. He blinked slowly. He was sitting in the clinic again. His stomach was bandaged. Nobody was there.
Throughout history, War had empowered people. She had harbored the secret little dream that one of them would not come to resent her for what she had done. It was a foolish dream. People resented power, once they had it. They became powerful, and they forgot what it was like to be weak. Once in control, they found she raised champions against them, and they hated her for it. They did not understand that it was in her nature. That she had to do it, because that was what defined her. And so, the people she cared about most ended up despising her.
When first one creature slew its sibling out of hunger, or fear, or rage, she was born. She did not have thought, because she was an idea. She existed only in the thoughts of others. When the winter came, or when food was scarce, or when the mating season became fraught, or when overcrowding threatened, she arrived. And things died. She did not think that this was good or bad, because she did not think. She simply existed, and grew very powerful, because she lurked in the hearts of all living things. Life was conflict, and struggle, and this turned living things against one another.
Silas Nash stood in the rain, his eyes on Bella, keeping Susan in his peripheral vision. His arms were aching. He could feel the pain in his fingers. The stabbing pains in his nose and forehead, where Megara had hammered him with blows. The soreness of his throat from Harry’s stranglehold. His solar plexus still ached. He could feel sharp pains in his chest, his heart beating erratically. He was shaking. The cold was getting to him. It was almost enough to make him laugh as he studied her. “So, Bella. Just the servants of War, here. What do you intend to have me do to make things worse?”
Silas Nash walked across the grass. There were still imprints in the ground from where the tables had been set up the previous day. The memories flooded back. The taste of good food, and the laughter of his friends. Zion was a quiet town at the best of times, but the silence in the streets was profound, right now. The words ‘sepulchral’ and ‘silent as the grave’ were marching to mind, and that was not a very happy thought.
Consciousness returned to Silas, alongside unbearable pain. He let out a low groan, his eyes opening slowly. His head was spinning, and he was being dragged along through the asphodel. “I am sorry about this, Mister Nash,” said Persephone, her voice soft, and a bit sorrowful. “I really am. You seem like a genuinely decent man. But the laws of Zeus are sacrosanct. The agents of the Horsemen are agents of the Titans themselves, seeking to overthrow the gods and to destroy mankind. The only appropriate way to deal with you is with Tartarus. I shall leave a plea with the judges that they show you mercy in whatever torment they decide you must undergo, Mister Nash. I only hope that you can find it in yourself to understand why this is necessary.”