In this chapter, we'll learn a little more about the gruesome monstrous birth seen in the preceding chapter, and we'll join Annie and Rictus as they contact the humans. Plus, Bartleby's growing obsession with eating boneflesh becomes downright creepy. We'll also get some old-fashioned sf misanthropy as a nonhuman character observes humanity for the first time, coupled with more of my idle speculations about bone physiology. This is also the chapter that introduces some religious concepts (with me writing, it's bound to happen sooner or later), so watch for the off-handed mention of a bone saint and a gratuitous discussion of art that's meant to be a round-about homage to C. S. Lewis.
But more important than all that is the exploitation, because the key to any good fan fic is sex appeal. In the last chapter, I introduced the cute school teacher for the guys,* and now in this chapter I introduce the beefy men with fake Hollywood-style German accents for the ladies.
Diehard Bone fans may also recognize from this teaser quote that I've taken an idea from the prequel Roseand run with it:
The Headmaster turned his stern gaze on the city. “Dark times indeed. Foolish me, I thought the dark times were over.”
“As did we all, Headmaster.”
“This unnatural creature is the product of an unlawful lust, and the very fabric of its being is disorder and chaos. The best thing would be to destroy it before it can cause real harm.”
“I do not know how easily that could be accomplished,” Gran’ma said. “Fone Bone loves his son, and Thorn--”
The Headmaster slammed a hand into the wall. “You have coddled that girl her whole life, Your Majesty. The Dreaming is again unbalanced and we must right it. Such things demand blood sacrifice and they always have. That is the price of balance.” [more...]
*Yeah, I know she's a three-foot-tall sexless cartoon character, but fanboys don't seem to be too picky in this regard, so I figure I can still say she has sex appeal.