Sunday, August 27, 2017

night bleeds August

So the selections combo for this round was the Russian fantasy Night Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko, and the movie version.

Book: Anton is a member of the Night Watch, a group of Others who police the streets in the name of Light magick. His talents include being a magi and Seer, as well has his more mundane skill of being a computer analyst. His biggest assignment to date is tracking down a large vortex and stopping it. Which seems simple enough at first. But, he ends up getting mixed up with a couple of rouge vampires who have kidnapped a young boy -Egor. Figuring out that the vortex was accidentally caused by a female Other- Svetlana; who's unaware of her real powers, he manages to calm her down and disarm the vortex. But, not before learning that he himself is the bait of a much bigger plan. Both his own boss and the boss of the Day Watch -the Other's who work with Dark magick - are after both the boy and the female magi. Each connected to the next like a small piece of a much bigger puzzle.
Meanwhile, a serial killer is on the loose, killing only members of the Day Watch. The murders are then blamed on Anton. As Anton goes undercover by switching bodies with a female co-worker, he finds himself once again the pawn in a larger plan still unknown to him, as he is put in the path of the serial killer twice in one night. It's soon learned that the serial killer was indeed an Other designed to become the Judge. One who is neither light or dark.
To make matters worse, Anton's bosses are aware that the young boy who's destiny has not been chosen, was meant to be the greatest magi the world has ever seen.  Anton learns almost too late that he is the missing key element designed to push Svetlana into an extreme emotional state which will accelerate her magick powers. This is then channeled into her ability to rewrite a new path for Egor; allowing him to be shuffled from darkness to light. When Anton figures out his part in the bosses plan, he removes himself from the group leaving them to come to terms with it.

We actually have three kinds of vampirism happening here. Blood drinkers, energy sifters and old fashion manipulation. The fact the Day Watch, who work with the "dark energy" do so by taking the emotions from normal humans and turning them into energy for spells, falls into folklore of what a vampire really could be, and why witches were feared as being able to become vampires after death.

All the characters are technically "vampires" be they witches/seers, shapeshifters or vampires as all the characters gain their powers by "tasting" the emotions of humans. Be them "light" or "dark".

The Night Watch boss, is as much a bad guy as the actual bad guys are, because he has seen how everything is going to play out, and decides to take things into his own hands, turning his watch into pawns for slaughter without telling anyone what his end goal is. He lies for the greater good, destroying so many lives in the meantime.  

movie:  The rulers of two fractions, the Dark and the Light, are seen battling on a bridge in the middle ages, their knights slaughtering each other. A truce is created by the two warlords, declaring a divided agreement to keep humans out of their affairs.  We then fast forward to 1992, where a young man has gone to a local witch doctor in order to get his wife back. She had cheated on him, choosing the other man over him. The witch doctor tells him she can do the spell to reunite them, but also that the wife is pregnant with the other man's son. In order for the spell to work, Anton must agree to allow her to kill the child. He begins to refuse, but gives in. Before the spell can be completed, a group of invisible men arrive arresting the witch doctor and informing Anton he himself is a Seer. Fast forward another 12 years, and we see a young boy being lured by a couple of young vampires. Anton, now a member of the Night Watch, is tracking down the two rouge vampires. He manages to kill the male, and injure the female. But Anton is hurt in the battle, and his boss has to use magick to heal him. In doing so, he learns that while Anton was tracking the vamps, he crossed paths with a woman in the eye of a storm. His boss tells him about an old legend that prophecies the return of a curse that will start be the catalyst for the shift in power. Warning Anton that everyone is in danger, he partners Anton with a shapeshifter. Anton and Olga then begin tracking the woman, and the young boy Yegor; to stop the prophecy from happening. Anton, learns during his investigation that Yegor is his son. Before long, Yegor is captured by the rogue female vampire, who demands revenge for Anton having killed her husband. Yegor learns the truth about Anton being his father, and turns his back on him, choosing to be part of the Day Watch.

This is the 2004 movie starring Konstantin Khabenshy and Valdimir Menshov.

The big difference between the two stories, is that the movie only covers the first 200 pages of the novel. As the female vampire, has a small role in the actual novel but is a main plotline in the movie. 

The movie also, down plays the role of the (dark side) Day Watch's boss to a few short scenes. We see him mostly sitting in a room playing a video game. Which we learn is how he actually figures out how the situation can go by "playing out" every possible path. The novel has him with a much heavier role. Both have him as a sympathetic character and is one who seems to tell the truth all the time. The idea being, you can do more hurt with the truth that's been hidden, than you can with a big lie.

Both the movie version and the novel play out the idea that everything is connected and therefore nothing is ever by chance. Something that you do now, will have large consequences down the line. The idea of free will is heavy here too. It draws parallels to how governments have tried to unify society over the years; comparing the characters manipulation to this.  Which once again, comes back to the big theme of vampirism.

The novel is actually the first in a series of novels (followed by Day Watch, Twilight Watch, Last Watch, New Watch, Sixth Watch) called World of Watches.

That's about all I've got for now, I'll be back later in the week with the announcement for the October selection.

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Nosferatu Adventures s12 p17

The Nosferatu Adventures
page 317, chapter317

Out of Time...

Our heroine lay on the floor her wounds already healed, the blood drying in the salt, forming a prison of its own. She should never have opened her mouth. Never corrected the other creature when she had been boasting of Valhalla. Our heroine should have just let it be. But she didn't, she couldn't. The female creature spoke of having been there, of having moved along side the valkyries. Boastings of nothing but play acting. Our heroine had only to let the female have her moment, even if it was a lie. But, the banshee couldn't leave well enough alone. It cost her two back teeth.

"I'm fine. Good even. I mean, the floor is somewhat clean. Cleaner than some of the floors I've been left to bleed out on. No, really, don't get up. And I don't blame you for not wanting to get too close to me cause you little rat are big enough for a snack. What's that? Oh you spotted a crumb of something by the leg of the table enough for your dinner. Groovy, but first can you swing that tail and just move some of these damned grains of salt for me huh? All nine thousand eight hundred and fifty two of them..." she shifted her head a half centimeter. "make that fifty eight. I didn't see the sprinkling of it by my ear."

"Why are you still on the floor?" Shayne said from out of nowhere.  Our heroine sniffed as she sat up her short spiked hair smashed sideways.

"The view was nice." she shrugged getting to her feet. She pointed towards the spilled salt. "I wasn't done counting them."  Shayne shook her head in confusion. "Vampiric creatures can't pass by things like seeds or sand or any kind of little spilled grainy things without counting every last one."

"Oh." Shayne's eyes went wide. "So what else is true? Do crosses work?"

"No. Garlic yes. Which totally sucks by the way cause I really miss garlic bread." she pointed to the salt that still lay on the floor by her feet. "Seriously, can you sweep these for me. They are blocking me and I really need to pee."


Dagan stumbled into the doorway of the building as he was exiting the bar. The sudden sense of heat at his left elbow causing him to blink; his body on automatic as his fingers encased the offered hand. His ears were more than ringing from the noise, his very sensitive nose nearly burned from the inside from the lack of air conditioning; as stale beer and sweat clung to him. He barely heard the female's giggle as she drunkenly stumbled over her own shoes. The pair stumbled and staggered their way in a zig zag across the next few streets as the shapeshifter tried to ignore the constant babbling his drunken companion was saying. He'd picked her simply because of the white fur coat she was wearing. One of those shaggy messes of fakeness that hung just below the edge of her too mini mini-skirt, and seemed to be puddled at her elbows in a careless angle. He felt her move away from him as he stopped suddenly. The city zoo had been closed for years, the 'do not enter' sign faded from the weather and sun, but the scent of the animals still clung to areas long forgotten within. Raising his right hand, the auburn haired male felt the heat coming off it. Spreading his fingers, he pushed the tips against the heated area, a slight resistance making him wonder.  "Baby, I lost my purse. I think it's back at the bar." the slurred giggling voice said from a few feet away over his shoulder, causing Dagan to look. He moved back towards the girl shrugging.

He woke the next morning to some horrible station on the radio, the girl still passed out, the fake fur coat clutched in his hand. It even smelled synthetic. Years of bar hopping clung to the wool and acrylic like a life of its own. Using his werewolf speed, he moved in a blur, out the door of the girls' apartment, out of the building and halfway down the street, before the magick mist had fully formed around him. Dagan found himself once again standing at the back entrance to the old zoo. He couldn't explain it, but it was almost as if someone had stuck a grappling hook into his chest and reeled him in. Sniffing, he ran his left hand through his hair, smoothing it back before deciding to break the lock and chains baring up the gates. Screaming, the werewolf shook his hand as smoke rose in heavy grey clouds from his now burned palm. Snarling, Dagan cracked his neck rotating his shoulders more determined then ever to get into the place.  He was still wearing the white fur coat.


"What are you doing?" Ruthven asked his younger cousin as he walked into the kitchen refilling his coffee mug. Landin said nothing at first as he continued to stare out the window squinting.

"Trying to read his mind." he finally whispered gesturing towards the backyard where Arthur was. The werewolf was crouched down on his heels in the farthest corner of the yard, completely naked, covered in dirt and leaves chewing on a bare turkey bone. "He's been like that for the past hour. Just chewing away on that thing."

"And that's entertaining?"  the dark haired human asked reaching around his cousin to see what the book was he had in front of him. Ruthven flipped a few pages of the journal discovering that other than the date, it was blank. "And this?"

"Why I'm trying to read his mind." Landin sighed biting his lip. "He's easier to read when he's in full wolf form."

"Yeah too bad we have to keep him locked up when he is though. Okay you going to tell me why you want to read his mind?"

"I want to know why Nosferatu keeps scoring these guys? Is it just a supernatural thing?" the bleached blonde looked at his older cousin. "I mean, you've become smitten with her too, I've seen it. So, spill, what is it that attracts you to her?"  Ruthven stared blankly at the journal for a few long seconds before shrugging. "So is it this so called love spell because she's half god?"

"Not too sure myself. But one thing I do know..." Ruthven pointed his coffee mug towards the backyard. "We're going to need a higher fence if we want to keep the neighbours from calling the police on him. We've been lucky so far that Mrs. Brownstone has been on vacation. He's going to get himself arrested for indecent exposure soon."   The two Van Helsing boys snickered as Arthur gave them the finger not bothering to look up from his chew toy. "Shack. Forgot about the wolf hearing."

Tune in again for another installment of the Nosferatu Adventures starring your up story. Mid-season always a hard point)