Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Pilot Episode

At Dokan, school for preparation of war, the prefects ruled.

It was common knowledge to the student population that if they picked a fight or fell on the wrong side of a particularly influential prefect, their grades would 'accidentally' slip, check centres all over the school would purposely leave your name out on attendance lists and your file would suddenly explode with a whole list of misdemeanors that you never did.

Ceri Lang was used to this. He hailed from Freeport, a nearby city just a stone's throw away from the Black Moon border, and it was battered by the war that had ebbed and flowed like an unforgiving tide. Ceri was in Dokan solely for his ability in a martial art, and this made the prefects think of him as one of a class below them.

But Ceri couldn't care less about the social divides that cut the school in a neat half. He was on the roof of the library, lying on his front and looking down at the prefect check point below him.

"In place," he said into a tiny mike clipped under his collar.

"Good," Kyioshi answered, "Ross should be in place soon."

"Ditto," Ross yawned. Ceri rolled his eyes. The lazy bugger. They should all be hidden now.

"So we go when that girl in the black skirt over there reaches the checkpoint." Kyioshi said.

"But a witness - " Ross stuttered, and Kyioshi moved.

Five white balls, each the size of an egg, bounced into the group of prefects, releasing a huge amount of black smoke. There was a blur - the same colour as the smoke - that streaked out of the bushes and into the chaos that had erupted at the checkpoint.

A prefect staggered out of the smoke, coughing. Ceri lifted a small blowpipe to his mouth and blasted a sedative dart into his back. It took the whole of two seconds before the prefect, trashing about wildly, crumpled into a heap.

Kyioshi rolled out from under the smoke and sprung into the bushes, just as the smoke began to thin.

"Prefect patrol, six o'clock from north, heading to checkpoint." Ross's voice crackled into Ceri's earpiece. "Run."

Ceri didn't waste time. He got to his knees and lowered himself into a ventilation shaft, pocketing the blowpipe, then slithered out of the shaft into an air vent, looking through the netting at the students studying in the library. The librarian was just approaching her desk as a new crowd entered.

Ceri pushed the netting away and slid out behind a bookcase. He randomly picked a book, leapt up and hit at the netting, closing it but not perfectly. Then he pulled out a piece of card from his shirt pocket, put the blowpipe along with the leftover darts and folded it, licking the sides as he did. It was an instant bookmark, with a bulging embossed design of a pen and flowers. Ceri put in his pocket as he walked out from behind the bookcase.

Mrs Pirez looked up at the black haired boy before her, holding out a book.

"Borrow?" she asked, almost lazily.

"Yeah," The boy replied.

She nodded and filled out the necessary papers, handing the book back. "1 week period only. You know the rules."

The boy said his thanks and left, calmly putting a thick bookmark into the book as he did so.

Prefects were coming up the stairs, looking quite harried.

"You!" A boy with an upturned nose pointed, "Over here!"

Ceri put on an act-cute look.

"Give him a quick body check." Upturned Nose said.

Upturned Nose took his book as another prefect scanned his name tag and ran a once over through all his pockets.

"Weird book." Upturned Nose sneered, flipping through and teasing out the bookmark. "and what's this?"

"Bookmark from master Leroy. He expects me to finish thirty books this month, and the bookmark would prove it." Ceri grinned. This was true - partly. Master Leroy didn't need a spell to see if he has finished thirty books.

Upturned Nose put the bookmark back into the book as the other prefect finished the body check.

"Weird selection then, " he said, lip curled, "Master Leroy never liked trash fiction."

Ceri nodded demurely as he took Smugglers Island and made his way downstairs.

Ceri's blog extract

The Centauri has always been a part of the Dokan. A secret society organised with rank and file for two main reasons:

1. Protect the school
2. Annoy the prefects

And hey, since the prefects are such stuck up magisters, can't the martial arts people have fun too? We're supported by some obscure government ministry, all the better to piss them off.

Personally i think its a great idea - but I was accepted in only because of the throws that got me into trouble at my old school ...

I'd rather forget that.

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