The Fiction of Philip Kaveny
Read Part I
Read Part II
Read Part III
Her name is Freya Part IV by Philip Kaveny copyright 2010 2017
Note Year of city is historical way the Byzantines Linked themselves to the founding of Rome. Thus when Constantinople finally fell in this Universe in 1453 It was The Year of The City 2200
Just at that instant in time twelve hundred years before and twenty-six hundred miles south east as the crow files the Byzantine Emperor Basil felt the weight of the Sword of Damocles stretching the single silken thread form which it hung metaphorically and literally above his head. It was stretching a third past it original length about to execute its brutal office, yet that same office held Basil hostage and made it necessary for him to sit thus at every state function. That is until the Varangian officer Ole son of Sven approached the Emperor Basil as he was about to come on duty to guard Basil at a diplomatic function and said, “Doesn’t that give you one hell of a headache? Besides it’s an authentic fallen from the sky forged by Dwarfs Ffaldschaddar dragon killer. Near as I know there are only a few left in the world, and I mean when was the last time anybody ever saw a Dragon in the Sea of Marmara. I mean what are you going to do just let it hang there and rust.”
“So as far as I can see this is a waste of a good sword. What would you take for it in trade? The word on the river road is those Viking Ladies and children call you Basil the good. Who else can you think of that you can say that about. I mean you pay us and everything and my son Magnus died taking a crossbow bolt for you, but I mean that’s what the Guard does. I mean up in Kathgart little pagan girls are calling you Father Christmas and some of them are even taking Christian instruction. Give me that sword and I swear on Odin’s goats that those Vikings will never want for oranges. I promise this as long as there is one living Varangian left, and you know we are about to be invited to Kiev to clean up the place. Can you believe, they want to pay us a tax to protect them and call it Dane gold just like the English pay.”
The Emperor of the Byzantines could not believe that Ole was speaking to him. Actually, was making a speech to him that way, anybody but a Varangian officer would have had his tongue slowly ripped out his mouth in Basil’s dungeon, but less than two months before Oleo’s son Magnus had taken a fatal crossbow bolt in his chest through his body armor that was not meant for him, but was meant for Basil. This had earned for Ole the right of frankness and free speech that none else in the court would dare to utter. Further if anyone had doubted that Basil had gone soft in his middle age, they have only to listen to the muffled roar coming from the perpetrators of the foiled plot as the occasion of a Royal feast one was slowly roasted, alive inside the Brazen Bronze Bull, the accompaniment of the music of the Royal harp quartet, played by the bestially, yet celestial beautiful diaphanously robbed daughters, of the Royal council.
Ole continued as Basil looked on with incredulity as he the Emperor of the Byzantines now in The Year of the City fifteen forty three suddenly figured out the secret that took Roman from a village on seven hills and the sacked by the Gaul’s in the Year of the city three fifty six. You can loot, plunder, and enslave a place only once, but you can tax them forever, and supply them with protection, to protect yourself.
Basil’s Brow wrinkled and for the first time since the death his beloved wife a smile was seen on his face. As he said to Ole,
“What would you give me for this Ffaldschaddar which by the way does not have a speck of rust on it? What would you give me for it?”
“What would I give you, for it? What good does the good it does you if spoil except spoil your digestion and give you a headache? What will you give me to take it off your hands?”
Then Basil signaled to another Viking and sent him down to the Dungeon with a note of mercy for the remaining conspirators, and a quick death mercy for the guy being roasted, as he said,
“How can I bargain with all this noise?”
Basil wanted to tell the harpists to put a cork in it, but he knew that a smart emperor must know his limits. And the harpists had connections with the elementals, so instead he sent them a request to play their most difficult and intricate piece, the Mandelbrot storm of the Butterfly Wings Concerto, which combined both the philosophical absence, and presence which allowed he and Sven to be both in and out of time where they could talk and nobody could listen, and they could be but nobody could see then and time froze, in a diachronic, and nexus.
It is said that the profound heart must keep its own council yet Basil had to share with someone and that someone was Ole. Basil had been testing Ole since Ole’s son Magus had died taking the crossbow bolt for him. This was his last test and Ole passed like a chess master who solves a seemingly insoluble chess problem as you stumble to set it up by helping you with the set and then going to the solution, as you are finishing the set up.
“You want me to take Ffaldschaddar to a place through death and dreams and madness that will not exist for more than a thousand years, because where my brothers have work to do if the world is not to die. You decided that when you freed the assassins and sent them to the Oldman in the Mountain where these two assassins will be your eyes on facing East on the great Khan, who as we talk may move on you.”
Ole Wax eloquent”
“Up until this instant you were willing to let the world die, and I was too, but something changed you. Now I have a place to go with Ffaldschaddar. I also know that though I may die on my way, death is not my destination, it has a certain death that I go to a place of no return.”
“Why did I decide to fight for the world to life? Why did I give the gift of death to those who murdered you only son Magnus? Lastly why am I sending you on this journey?”
Ole gave this single answer to all questions.
Hennes navn er Freya
Then Basil added
“There is one thing else for the sword I want every week, as many baskets of oranges as can fit behind the saddles of a dozen of my finest Arabian horses to go North to the one place in the world that does hate. The place where parents to do not use me to scare naughty children.”
“Agreed,” said Ole and gave the orders to make it real.
Basil signaled to the harpists to change the tempo of Mandelbrot storm of the Butterfly Wings Concerto faster, even as the tectonic plates of existential historical reality ground together releasing more energy than a 512 megaton nuclear explosion into a space now larger than Ole’s human form as he quickly carried Ffaldschaddar, slipped over his shoulder in a sheep skin sheath, just as he was driven exactly twelve hundred years and two days into the future into the Viking encampment located on the green of the New college campus of Oxford University two days ahead of the present future. Where landed with an abrupt thud, to look his comrade Sven in the eye
The first thing that Sven said to Ole was, “Where the hell were you, we have been waiting for you and we have only two days to get everything done before the present.
Ole Rubbed his eyes and said WTF to himself, as Sven said,
“Meet Ivan Petrovitch, he is your new project leader. Ivan has a few theories about physics time travel and the effect of Techtronic bursts of energy above five hundred and twelve Giga tons of TNT on the suspension of the laws of the universe that appear to govern the time travel paradox. “
Ivan Petrovitch, son of former Oligarch and now Oxford shoeshine business proprietor said,
“Somebody get this Viking into a bathtub, give him a shave and a haircut and find him a decent suit.”
Ole could understand Ivan and was in the process of threatening him with Ffaldschaddar, but thought better of it when he looked at Ivan, former Ukrainian heavyweight freestyle wrestling champion, who said to him in that wonderful language of male bonding,
“Make one move with that sword and I will shove it so far up your keister that it will come out next Tuesday.
The two men bonded and the Vikings roared, as the gods laughed