Author has written 9 stories for Bolt, Doctor Who, Hellsing, and Kino's Journey.
My name is Smith. It's my belief that fan fiction is a sort of literary version of the newspaper chess puzzle -- id est, instead of beginning from scratch, we are offered an engaged (and therefore limited) field from which we must extrapolate a conclusion. In keeping to this belief, I do my best to adhere to the style and presentation of the copyrighted stories I write about, while at the same time exploring ideas and concepts left unexplored (yet plausibly suggested) by the source material.
It's a very interesting writing exercise. And one in which I enjoy going far beyond the necessary parameters.
Merlyn stood at the far end of the room, peering through the wide window in serene contemplation. Moonlight played about his shoulders like spider’s thread. He’d exchanged his wispy robes for a narrow Edwardian suit, but in this light he still seemed to have the mystical glow that the embroidered stars and sigils of his robes had given him.
Integra Hellsing did not make a sound when she entered her office, but Merlyn still turned to regard her with eyes as deep and bright as the moon above. That gaze seemed to pierce her own, right through her eye patch even, but not uncomfortably so.
He smiled at her, faintly, though his beard, and then idly clutched at the empty air below his chin – Merlyn’s Beard, such as it was, had been greatly reduced at the same time as his change of clothes, and it seemed even the great wizard himself was still getting used to the idea.
“A good evening to you, Sir Knight,” Merlyn said, with a nod. He turned back and continued to gaze out the window.
Integra, meanwhile, was in the unusual position of not knowing quite how to compose herself. This was a new type of situation for her. She’d had childhood heroes, of course, just like anybody else. But hers had been great legends and famous warlords, leaders in history. Men and women who had all been dead for centuries, or never existed in the first place.
Never had she expected to actually meet one of them.
She breathed in, and out – no cigar to help her this time; she’d run through her entire supply that morning after getting the news – and managed to respond with a simple, courteous “Good Evening” in reply.
Merlyn reached into the breast pocket of his jacket, produced a cigarillo, and offered it to the knight with a sidelong glance. “I remembered that you’d need one of these,” he said. “They’ll kill you, you know, but I suppose I’m not really one to talk. The pipe’s not really done much to me over the centuries except for make my voice sound a little more wise.”
Integra opened her mouth as if to speak, but then accepted the gift without a word. Merlyn produced a match, lit it for her, and then the warm smell of ash and tobacco expanded and swirled about the two lonely figures.
“You know,” Merlyn said, eyes on the moon, “I can honestly say I wasn’t expecting any of this. I spent so much time remembering the future that I never stopped to consider the present might be just as prescient. And yet, here I am, emerged after a deathly sleep into a world of mirrors.”
Integra breathed smoke and raised an eyebrow. “Mirrors?” she asked, intrigued.
“Oh, indeed. After all, did I not come from the side of a great king of warriors, chief of the Round Table and master of a kingdom famous the whole world over? Yet in the world I emerge into, that a queen governs the table, and her kingdom is a dark secret, known only to those within its walls.
“And yet at its heart, still serving the same purpose: to keep Britain safe from harm. To know what is just. To fight the monsters, and to win.”
He smiled at Integra again, and this time she allowed herself the hint of one back.
“That’s very observant of you, Merlyn,” she said. “I hadn’t thought of it that way before.”
“Oh, it hardly ends there,” Merlyn said. He turned his eyes back to the window, only now his gaze was lowered, and when Integra followed it she saw that he was looking at Seras, strolling casually across the darkened grounds. She moved comfortably, stepping in and out of starlight. It was dangerously easy to forget that all the darkest corners of the night now belonged to her by inheritance.
Merlyn spoke again, but his voice was softer, now. Regretful, in a way: “Just as Arthur had me, so you have the girl Victoria. A friend, a confidant, an advisor. But immeasurably powerful, and so unflinchingly loyal that it would take death to break the bond."
His eyes flickered. “And while I am forever old, the child of a demon, raised by men, so she is forever young, a child of men – and raised by a demon. You see, then. Mirrors.”
Integra looked contemplative. “I hadn’t thought of it that way.”
“So you’ve learned something, then. Good. It’s the best thing for being sad.”
“I’m not sad,” Integra said, but she was turned away, now, and the smoke that curled about her head was impenetrably thick. Eventually, after a few more deep breaths on her cigar, she turned back to the old man. There was a question in her eye.
“Does that mean Seras has your fate to look forward to, then? Betrayed and trapped in a prison she might never escape from?” Her voice trembled, almost imperceptibly.
Merlyn considered the question seriously. “Not necessarily,” he said, finally. “After all, reflections aren’t always perfect – and she wasn’t the first, was she?”
Smoke poured across Integra’s face. She was grateful for it. It kept her eye as narrow and dry as a desert.
(A couple people have asked me about a sequel to Walpurgisnacht Eternal. Understandable, since I did leave a hook for one. The answer is "probably, but not for a while," considering the myriad other things I have to be doing in my life. I do, however, have a brief fragment that very nearly stands on its own. With nowhere else to put it, I think I'll leave it here awhile.)