Monthly Archives: October 2012

Character Profile 2: Steen

In the chapter I posted earlier, we saw two main characters introduced. The first, Katsukami, already was given a character profile so I thought it best to give the second post on Character Profiles to Steen. This character is one of my favorites and I hope my readers will see the greatness in him as well.

A little background on Steen will not provide much information at all about his personality. As a member of the Vasteen Royal Guard, Steen gave up his past life in order to fully serve King Belfrus Efrendiel – the ruler of the Kingdom of Vastar. Members who make the choice to join the Royal Guard go through a memory wiping process that completely erases family, childhood, friends, and any other previous attachment from their mind. Steen’s first memory was of waking up on an operating table, being rushed into a small room with others like him, and beginning the year long, strenuous Royal Guard training.

Very shortly after completing the training, Steen and his comrades are immediately issued an assignment to bring a stop to the murderous actions of the deranged Katsukami. When the menace strikes a tourist city one of Vastar’s moons, Langrin, Steen was immediately summoned to a briefing with Major Starg, the highest ranking official in the Royal Guards. During the brief, Steen along with other members were presented with an interesting development. Katsukami wanted a meeting. After wiping out the city of life, Katsukami left behind a voice recording requesting a meeting with one individual to discuss terms on how to save the galaxy. The major sought to use the opportunity to set a trap for the beast, but Steen saw truth behind the words on the recording. After an argument with the major, the King himself stepped in and granted Steen his request. Steen alone would go to Langrin and meet with Katsukami. His mission: to gather the necessary information in order to bring an end to Katsukami’s wave of destruction.

The chapter I presented in my last post picks up where this leaves off. I encourage you to read the chapter if you are interested in what happens next!

I would like to take this opportunity to reveal a little something about the books in this series. Katsukami and all sequals will be split into 3 parts each. Parts 2 and 3 cover what is happening in the “present day” of the story. Part 1, on the other hand, covers a portion of the past that allows the reader to gather clues as to how everything in this supernatural fantasy began. The chapter I revealed before as well as the information I gave in this post occurs in the first part of book 1: Katsukami. I have been thinking greatly on releasing the entire first part of my book on my blog if I can gather enough interest!

Are you interested? Well spread the word! Direct your friends to my blog and (more importantly) my Facebook page! The Facebook page will have links to all posts on my blog as well as other information about the book that you will not see here!

Thank you all for reading! I am extremely grateful to all the support I have seen thus far.

Until next time!

As Promised: A Chapter from Katsukami!

Well, everyone, we did it! My Facebook page was able to make the 25 like goal before the end of Friday! Awesome! So, as promised, I am releasing a chapter from the first book in the Nicerian Chronicles series “Katsukami!” I hope you all enjoy it! This chapter follows one of the protagonists of the story, Steen, as he comes face to face with Katsukami. For some reason, the psychotic superhuman Katsukami has requested a meeting with one man from the elite Royal Guard of Vastar in order to discuss a way to “save the galaxy.” Enjoy!

____________________________

Langrin, third moon of Vastar, was not necessarily a place that most people wanted to live. Visiting, however, was a different story. Children and adults alike would come to Langrin for vacation, to get away from life, or just for fun and relaxation. The attractions of Langrin were famous throughout the entire galaxy. In one short moment, however, their reputation changed. An estimated 18% of the population of Langrin, including tourists, was slaughtered for no reason. This was enough to drive even the most devout customers away. No one wanted to be there – except Steen.

Ironic, Steen thought.

The evening before he was scheduled to head into the site of the last massacre, Steen stayed in a small town on the other side of the moon. To his surprise, many of the people did not even know much about the recent tragedy. There was no hiding in fear, no worrying about a possible strike. In fact, there were more people who had not even heard about the travesty than those that had.

It is amazing how little people care about the world around them, Steen thought sadly. So many people caught up in their own little worlds, completely oblivious to the events going on around them.

The major had told him it would be best to accomplish the mission at night, so Steen decided to leave for the meeting site early in the day – when the sun was nearing its highest. He timed it so that, when he arrived on the other side, he would still have several hours of darkness. By air transport, Steen could make it to the other side of the planet in two standard hours.

When Steen woke up early the day of the meeting, he began his preparations. All during that time, he could not stop kicking himself for the way he stood up to the major. He knew he was lucky that the king came in when he did; but that did not take away the displeasure he knew the major felt toward him.

I know I would not be pleased if one of my subordinates questioned me so blatantly in front of the king, he thought. Oh well. Nothing I can do about it now save to make the best of the situation.

After a couple of hours preparing mentally for what he was about to do, he called the major. “Sir, Lieutenant Steen reports as ordered,” Steen said once Starg answered his transmission.

“Are you set to go, Steen?” the major asked.

“Yes, sir,” he answered, pouring as much confidence into his voice as he could muster.

“Good. Now, don’t do anything stupid. If the situation changes for the worst, at the very least, do your best to escape with your life. Understand?”

“Yes, sir,” Steen answered.

“Report to me as soon as the mission is accomplished.”

“I will, sir,” Steen said, then ended the call.

Major Starg seemed to be in a better mood, Steen observed. It’s good to see that he’s come around. I really didn’t like the idea of being alone in this.

Steen looked at the time and stood to his feet. Time to go.

 

_________________________

 

As soon as the transmission with Steen had ended, Major Starg turned to Captain Griffon. “Activate imaging.”

Griffon pressed a few buttons on his computer. An image of the meeting site came up on the display. “Images are now online.”

Starg nodded. “Good. You are sure these recorders can’t be seen.”

Griffon nodded. “Yes, sir. They are too small to be seen with the naked eye and can be completely controlled from here. You just tell me a place, and I’ll give you any view you want.”

“Very good. Let me know the second Steen’s ship arrives in the area,” Starg commanded.

“Absolutely. If you don’t mind me asking, though, why? What are we watching for?”

The major smiled. “There is no way I’m going to let an opportunity to kill that bastard slip out of my hands. I have men waiting just miles from the city. I will be ordering them to converge on the meeting point as soon as Steen arrives.”

The captain frowned. “Are you saying that you are still sticking with your original plan? You’re using Steen as bait.”

“Yes,” Starg confirmed. “Steen will go in thinking he’s completely alone. Who knows? Maybe he’ll get some information before my men pump that Katsukami full of metal.”

“With all due respect,” Griffon began, “this is not a good idea.”

Starg looked Griffon in the eye. “Your opinion has been noted.”

As the major turned to leave, Griffon stood and followed. “Sir, you are going against the king’s orders. You should call your men off completely.”

Starg turned around. “Captain, if this works, the galaxy will be rid of that demon and you will have helped to accomplish that task. I’m sure you may be looking at a promotion.”

Griffon could not mask the look of disgust on his face. “Bribery does not become you, sir. As for the promotion, I will be more than happy to take your job when I inform the king of your disobedience.”

As Griffon turned to leave, the major pulled out a small stun baton and buried it into Griffon’s back. The captain let out a small yelp and then fell to the ground – out cold.

“I’m sorry, Griffon, I can’t let you do that. You don’t understand my position. That beast killed my wife and child. For that, he will pay.”

The general sat down at Griffon’s desk and looked over the controls. “Now, how do you work this thing?”

 

_________________________

 

“This is Steen of the Royal Guard. I am requesting access into the Restricted Zone by order of the king. Pass code is 77-bravo-68-golf-0-niner. Over,” Steen said as he flew his transport ever closer to the city. Due to the severity of the situation, the entire area around the city had been put under restriction. Electrical fences had been erected and an all day – all night guard had been put in place. As far as Steen knew, everything had been left exactly the way it was when it was found.

“Permission granted, Lieutenant Steen. Advise you proceed with caution.”

“Will do,” Steen said back. “Over and out.”

After a few passes above the city, Steen set the craft down in the center of town. Leaving the ship on standby, he exited the craft and stepped out into the night. All the city lights had been turned off and it was quite a bit darker than he had imagined it would be. Good thing I brought a light. He reached into his pocket, pulled out a small flashlight, and turned it on.

What he saw nearly dropped him to his knees.

The sight was horrific to say the very least. Bodies, some intact – some in pieces, were strewn all over the ground for as far as Steen could see. Looks of terror covered the faces of the dead. He saw mothers holding their dead babies, husbands reaching for their wives. It was reminiscent of a horrid nightmare.

“Not exactly a pretty sight is it?” a voice said from behind him.

Steen quickly turned, hand on his sidearm. “Who’s there?” Steen saw a silhouette of a man standing not five meters in front of him. Due to the darkness, Steen could not make out his face, and he decided it was best not to shine his light at him either.

“That is really a stupid question seeing as you know exactly who I am. Why do people always ask so many questions of which they know the answers?” Katsukami said.

Steen took a deep breath. “You’re right. I do know who you are and no, this is not a ‘pretty sight’.”

Katsukami stepped closer so Steen was able to see with whom he was speaking. He was more than two meters tall, had long dark hair, and had a strength that was not so much shown physically but was like an aura of power that seeped out of his being. His eyes carried a crimson look that Steen had never seen before. A small, out of place smile lingered on his lips. “Imagine having to wake up every morning and see this knowing you are the one who did it. It kind of makes a man wish he were dead.”

Steen was slightly confused. “I’m assuming you are talking about yourself.”

Katsukami nodded. “Very perceptive of you. I don’t expect you to believe me but, yes, I am referring to myself.”

Steen gave him a sideways look. “So what you’re telling me is that you black out?”

The man chuckled. “To put it crudely, yes. I am assuming you want to know why I asked you to come.”

Steen nodded. “Very perceptive of you.”

“I want to die,” Katsukami said plainly. This, of course, took Steen of guard.

“Die?”

“It is the only way to save the galaxy,” Katsukami said matter-of-factly. “As long as I am alive, Kyosora is in grave danger.

“Why don’t you just…um…?” Steen was not sure if he should ask.

“Kill myself?” Steen nodded and Katsukami shrugged. “Do not think I have not tried. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to accomplish that one small task. Every time I’ve tried to commit suicide, I ‘black out’ as you say. If I was to ask you to kill me now, I would slip into a completely instinctive mode. Most likely, you would wind up dead.”

Steen shuddered. “I would really like us to avoid that if at all possible. I don’t exactly share your thoughts on the whole death thing.”

A smile crossed Katsukami’s face. “I would not expect you to share my suicidal sentiments. The reason I have requested your presence here is because I believe there may be a way to outsmart me.”

Steen thought for a moment. “You mean make it so that every possible situation that you find yourself in would end in death.”

Katsukami nodded. “Exactly. I want to tell you all of my abilities and thought processes. With all the information I give you, along with as much firepower this galaxy can muster, there is a chance you could bring me down. Even when I am no longer myself, I know that is my goal – to end it all.”

If this guy’s telling the truth, Steen thought, he could go off at any moment. Steen decided to try to gather some information. “Why the Kondors? What is your reason for killing Markus, his son and grandson?”

Katsukami paused for a moment and then nodded. “That almost requires a history lesson. Seeing as we have some time, though, I do not see the harm in telling you.”

Finally, Steen thought. This might be exactly what the galaxy needs to know. “Please, tell me. I’m sure this will add light to our situation.”

Katsukami opened his mouth to speak and then stopped as if something distracted him. He shook his head and began to laugh. His laughter grew and Steen’s confusion began to grow along with it. Katsukami bowed his head as he continued to chuckle to himself.

“What’s wrong?” Steen asked.

Sharply, Katsukami raised his head and looked into Steen’s eyes. Steen was surprised when he saw that, now, Katsukami’s eyes were completely black. The red color his eyes previously shown was no more. When he spoke, his voice carried a much darker, more eerie tone. “It appears you are not alone.” Then he was gone. He just vanished.

Not a few seconds later, Steen heard what sounded like screams of pain coming from all directions. Sounds of rifle fire sounded for a few seconds and then silence. What the heck is going on? Steen wondered.

Just as suddenly as he had vanished, Katsukami reappeared with his sword drawn, pointing it at Steen’s face. Steen was completely dumbfounded.

“Katsukami, what happened?” he asked, mustering all the calmness he could find within himself.

“As I said earlier, you were not alone,” the man said through clenched teeth.

Steen caught Katsukami’s past tense verbiage. That was when Steen noticed the blood dripping off the man’s sword. Steen closed his eyes and shook his head. Starg. “I swear to you,” Steen told the swordsman. “I knew nothing about treachery.”

Katsukami nodded. “I am fully aware of this fact, human. You are quite lucky that you still live. Tell me your name.”

Steen swallowed hard. “My name is Steen, soldier of the Royal Guard of Vastar.”

A sinister smile crossed Katsukami’s face. “We are still going to want to die, Steen, soldier of the Royal Guard of Vastar. We will meet again.” Katsukami sheathed his sword and Steen began to breathe again. “When we do, you had best kill us. Else wise, you will suffer the consequences.”

“I will,” Steen promised. Katsukami was gone before Steen finished speaking, leaving the Vasteen guard standing in the city square alone.

Steen closed his eyes, and tried to process what had just happened. What did he mean by ‘we’ and ‘us’? When he changed, it was almost as if he became a totally different person. He reached into his pocket, pulled out a small, metal cylinder, and ended the recording. Everything that had occurred was now on audio record. I must get this information to the king immediately.

Making sure not to step on any of the numerous dead bodies, Steen made his way back to his ship and on toward Vastar.

 

_________________________

 

Major Starg stared at the monitor in utter disbelief. He had never even considered the possibility of failure. Under pretence of peace, the monster that had killed his family was set up for the same fate. It was a flawless plan. “How?” was all he could keep asking out loud. Now, he knew he stood to lose everything.

Twenty-one men he had sent in to kill Katsukami. Not one of them would come home ever again. It was too much of a burden to bear. “How did he…?”

The major turned around in his chair to see that Captain Griffon no longer lay where he had stunned him. He has probably already made it to the king’s chambers by now. It will only be a matter of time, he thought in dismay.

Starg reached down at his belt and pulled out his sidearm. In less than ten seconds, that thing made it to every one of my men’s positions, which were hundreds of meters apart. How? What are we dealing with? He smiled as he put the gun to the side of his head. No. I’m not dealing with this anymore.

Good luck, Vastar. Good luck, Kyosora. He pulled the trigger.

 

Character Profile Number 1: Katsukami

Who better to begin my character profiles on than the one who’s name is also the title of the first book? The primary antagonist of the story, Katsukami is complicated and full of mystery. When the reader first opens the book, they see a man of unimaginable power with sanity long ago broken. Seemingly driven by an unquenchable desire for vengeance, the once “Savior of Kyosora” is first shown as a killer on rampage. Superhuman strength, speed that renders him invisible to the naked eye, and other assorted supernatural powers make this man/demon a formidable foe indeed.

Leading up to this story, Katsukami was once known as Katsuro. He first made his public appearance when he joined the Nicerian Elite Force (an organization of mercenaries whose sole purpose is to protect their homeworld Niceria and her allies). During a difficult conflict with the Nicerians long time enemies, the Vorax, Katsuro took charge and showed the galaxy a power they had not seen since ancient times when Angels and Demons roamed amongst the humans. Successfully driving back the Vorax onslaught with naught but a sword, Katsuro became the Savior of the galaxy.

His victory saved billions of lives and brought a quick end to the conflict. Numerous government officials from worlds great and small sought to meet him and plead for his protection. He was an icon; or, probably better put, he was an idol. Yes, there were even people that thought he was a messenger from heaven or even a god himself. He single handedly brought peace to humanity.

Then, he disappeared.

No one knew what happened. Some said he went back to heaven. Others said he desired to be alone to relieve himself from all the attention. Others still claimed he had hid himself and would only appear again when the galaxy needed him.

No one ever could have expected the suffering and agony that befell him. What could have possibly happened that could cause the “Savior of Kyosora” to become such a ruthless psychopath? What changed him?

That answer and so much more is found in the Nicerian Chronicles. Book 1, Katsukami, will show the reader who he is: an insane, ruthless killer who seeks vengeance against the one who made him. So many innocent people who lie in his path are cut down. No one is safe.

Suffering has a name. Katsukami. And he is coming.

Only 4 more days to go!

Hello, everyone! It’s almost Friday and we are getting closer to our goal of 25 likes on my Facebook page! I know I have more than 25 people reading my blog, but I wanted to build popularity and have a large enough audience when I release the chapter I have chosen to let all of you read!

I have spent the last several days trying to choose the best chapter to use as a sample for my book, and I have almost made my final decision!

Last Friday, I started pushing for likes to my Facebook page in order to raise awareness of my two blogs and also to get an idea of people who were interested to read my book. I know my audience is kinda low right now, but that’s ok! In just a few days, my page went from 15  to 21 likes so it is very possible to reach this easy goal!

I know there are many of you that read my blog that are not active on Facebook and I am keeping that in mind. However, if any of you can help me out, go ahead and click like on the widget on the right! Let’s reach this goal!

Thanks so much!

Who’s Interested to Catch a Glimpse of My Book?

This one will be short, but sweet.
I started an event on my Facebook page to try and boost a little popularity! If my Facebook page (not my personal one, but the one created to promote my blogs) can surpass 25 likes by October 19 then I will post on here an entire chapter of my book for your viewing pleasure!
Feel free to jump on board! Click like on the Facebook widget to the right or head on over to my page and like it there! All of my followers have been very supportive so far and I really appreciate it.

Again, 25 likes on my Facebook page and I will post up a chapter of “Katsukami”!

A Solid Foundation (Part II)

I want to start off by apologizing. If there is one constant in my life, it is always having the most crappy internet service. That’s right. I have been fighting back and forth for a while trying to get my internet working. It is the primary reason why I have been unable to post on here for a few days. However, I was able to get it back up and running so… here I am!

Last time, I went over a bit about the setting of the story. Well, I went over half of it anyway. You see, as you may remember, I mentioned before that this story is a supernatural fantasy. So, by definition, there must be something natural in order for there to be something “super”natural. My “natural” was explained when I briefly described Kyosora (aka the Physical Realm). Today, I want to explain the much older and quite a bit more strange Spiritual Realm.

In the physical realm there are many people and places. Multiple planets and each planet has its own climate and variety of landscapes and other scenic locales. The spiritual realm is just as (if not more) diverse than Kyosora. The spiritual realm is composed of three main locations. All three are not officially named; however, I am using these temporary names as stand-ins until I make the final decision: The World of Above, The World Beneath, and the World Between Worlds.

The World Above is the location of residence for those beings of Light. As of now, the World Above is merely mentioned in the first book and in the first half of book two. I am still in the creation phase for this location so I wanted to get this one out of the way as quickly as I could to move on to the World Beneath.

The World Beneath is quite a bit more filled in. A hell-like location, this place is home to the beings of Darkness. The World Beneath is the largest single portion of the spiritual universe, spanning approximately 50%. The World Above and the World Between Worlds share together the last half. The demons of darkness who dwell here are monstrous (in the opinion of humans) of all shapes and sizes. Lesser Demons serve the much higher and more intelligent “Children of Pravus”.

When I was creating the World Beneath, I wanted to stay somewhat away from the typical ideas of a hell that comes to our minds. It is a land of darkness, but I wanted the similarities to stop there. There are many countless levels in this place. Twisting staircases glowing red and yellow wrapping around pillars of ice, pits of complete blackness save for the glow of lightning attempting to burst outward into the orange sky, and prison floors for the worst of the worst – the demons who were cast out – are just a few examples of the places in the World Beneath. It is not a physical realm, so there are no laws of gravity or any actual physical existence at all. Everything in the World Beneath is subject to how the onlooker is perceiving it. Although a human CAN exist in the World Beneath, it is said that spending any extended period of time would rob that individual of any shred of sanity he or she would still have after the initial shock upon first arriving.

Lastly, we come the the World Between Worlds. This place is very simple in structure. There is no physical manifestation of earth or fire or water to be found. The World Between is most accurately viewed as a “pathway.” To cross from world to world, realm to realm, beings in the spiritual world go to this place. All roads lead here and subsequently head everywhere. To an onlooker from the physical realm, a soft green hue covers the entirety of this location. No visible portals or doors can be found to anyone besides those beings whose existence originated in one of the two worlds: Above or Beneath.

The first book in the series, “Katsukami”, focuses the vast majority of its narrative in the physical realm. However as the story progresses, the protagonists are slowly shown that the events of their world are being carefully guided, manipulated, and designed by beings on a plane of existence far separated from their own.

I really wanted to go into more depth and detail but, I do not want to give anything important away. I mean, come on, I writing a book here! So I need to save SOMETHING for you to read. This leads me to my conclusion for today.

One more thing. I know that some of you may read this, and be interested. I want to give you a heads up. I was thinking about posting a small portion of my book (maybe a chapter or part of one) on here. If you are indeed interested, leave me a note by way of comment. If you head on over to my Facebook page and let me know there, that would be best. However, I try to check here, my email, twitter, FB, and any other modes of social interaction as often as I am able.

Ok! Thanks so much for reading and all of your support. The positive feedback I have so far is encouraging and is really keeping me going! Thank you all!

Until next time!

A Solid Foundation

In the last post, I mentioned the two primary ideas I had for the setting of my story. The first was a more medieval atmosphere with warring nations. The second was a more futuristic, sci-fi version of my supernatural fantasy. In the end, neither worked. However, I realized that a mix of the two (no matter how tricky it would prove to be) would indeed provide the best foundation for my story. What eventually came about (and is still being meticulously developed) is the galaxy of Kyosora.

In the end, I needed the vastness of space. Limiting the narrative to the confines of a single world was, to me, ineffective. The struggles of humanity against the supernatural beings I had created would be crushed to oblivion with the intelligence of a “dark age” mentality. On the other hand, trading in my fantasy for a pure technological/over-advanced approach would put to much “sci” in the “fi” I was building. My solution was not what even I expected it to be early on.

Let me break from this briefly by pointing out a very definitive moral (if you will) that I am trying to get across with this story. This story is about Light versus Dark. THIS IS NOT MEANT TO BE ANY TYPE OF ALLEGORY. There is no deep real world spiritual meaning behind this story where I am trying to infuse any personal beliefs into the lines between the words. That being said, I want to define Light and Dark. It should NOT be confused with Good and Evil. In this story, good and evil are morals that are not seen nor cared about by the supernatural. Good and evil are purely human morals that are stressed to be superior over that of the raw light and dark of those who exist outside the physical realm. From the human perspective, actions that fall under the “good” side of morality can be followed by both beings of light and dark. Similar to this, actions that are on the “evil” portion of morality may also be committed by beings of dark but also of light as well. In the end, Balance is the only way Kyosora (the physical realm) has any hope of survival.

Alright. Sorry for the break, but that was an important point that needed to be brought out for future reference. In fact, the very idea behind balance being needed to keep Kyosora together is exactly what I used when making my decision for the setting. The first idea for setting I had was one of the past, if you will. The second was one of the future. If this world was going to exist on the need for balance, then that is what I needed to build starting with the foundation. I toyed with a more “present” setting (or rather, a setting that more reflected where we currently live). However, I realized that very idea was not balance either.

Kyosora is, in fact, a place where the past, present, and future are combined. Elements (such as technology, weapons, culture issues) were taken with care from Earth’s past, present, and ideas of our future as well. In Kyosora, it is not uncommon to see men spar with swords in a university that teaches battle skills to prospects attempting to earn a place inside an elite military/mercenary group. Some prefer hand to hand combat focuses while others prefer to take studies in long range specializations such as in rifle training. After their day of battle training and academics, they jump into a four-wheeled motor vehicle where they drive down a stone paved road. Along the way, they see houses made of stone or wood, markets along the road side, and an assortment of colors from advertisment banners, parades, or floral life. A crier may walk by, shouting out the most recent news to passers-by. The vehicle takes them to a large building, a hanger. Inside that hanger, are air and space craft that are able to take them to the skies or even to a massive fleet of space vessels that can transport them all over the galaxy in a blink of an eye.

The idea is, nothing is impossible.

I am going to end it here for now. I hope this was descriptive and that you were able to see a little more about my story. I explained a bit about the setting, I have laid a foundation. The physical realm is not bound to any particular time period. Next time, I will delve into a bit about the spiritual realm. It is a much stranger world indeed. Perhaps the only word that can be used to describe it is “twisted”.

Thanks for reading! Until next time!