Although I wasn't a close friend, we often corresponded, had a pint together
occasionally at the tav and we were hoping to write an 'unofficial' NSA. I'd written the prologue of which he was kind enough to say: "It reads like me. So yes, over-egging. It's lovely!"
So, with sorrow for works that will never be, outside the libraries of The City Of The Saved, here's the prologue of
MAGNIFICAT: A SPACE OPERA.
The Duke of Manhatten, twisted a power-ring and froze the area of space-time encompassing New Earth. On the great-grid that was the gaming board of the End Of Time, nothing moved for a moment, until the Lady Cassandra reappeared.
'That was exhilarating,' she enthused, 'plague, death, guilt, absolution: Duke you surpass yourself. I have never considered you in the shadow of your namesake and never will.'
'Hm, I wonder.'
'If the Doctor was entirely convinced. He must know the magnitudes and scale of the long ages between his time and ours. Surely he expects us to have changed
more greatly than the mere replication of the dawn cultures he normally inhabits.'
'Haven't you always said that time travel homogenises a culture. Maybe he judges humans by his own people.'
With no sign of motion a third figure joined them. A figure dressed as a Chinese nobleman, but with his face covered by an exquisite jade mask. 'Maybe, and
yet the wager stands.'
The Duke bowed, 'I do not attempt to skip an affair of honour Mandarin, I have undertaken to repay my trifling gambling dues by building an entire milieu
you can adapt to your own ends, I merely wonder if this one will do. Of course if you are satisfied, my aesthetic fancies are mere vanity, but as an artist I
must hesitate to hand you an illusion the audience may already have seen through.'
'The Doctor will be at my disposal when next he travels to the ends of time, that is all I ask of you. I will see to the verisimilitude next time.'
The Mandarin removed his mask, to real a face ruined by a livid scar. 'We who walk the winds of time, and bear the mark of wolf will have our revenges.'
(c)Simon Bucher-Jones 2006
Magnificat plot concept (c) Craig Hinton & Simon Bucher-Jones 2006