Goose took a deep breath and stepped up to the podium. In the days since the battle, Crown Square had cleaned up nicely. Gone were the signed of battle and fire damage. Gone was the McDonald’s. All that remained of the Starbucks was rubble. In its place, a large stone spire took residence, designed and inscribed by Geomagii. The new cenotaph marked the names of those who gave their lives, both Halish and Dunsmithian in the now-infamous Battle of Crown Square Mall. The committee had made the decision to have it erected the day after the battle, and it was meant to honor those dead.
In total, four-hundred and twelve dead Dunsmith men and women, four-hundred sixty Halish men, forty Freemen and one Featherclaw lost their lives in the battle, but it was won, and their names would be forever remembered, inscribed on the cenotaph.
Goose looked out over the crowd. It was a sight to behold. He could see men and women from all sorts of places present. Halish, Dunsmithian, Freeman. Even Silvereye and the rest of the Quicktooth had gathered. As he stood there, the crowd began to hush. Goose pulled his speech out of his pocket and skimmed through it.
A moment later, he tossed the flash cards away. Goose never liked speeches. He always had a better time winging it.
“Last month, we found ourselves faced with something new and unexpected,” he said. “An entirely new world, as foreign to us and our people as anything our imaginations could conceive. We’ve faced a long uphill battle since then, and lost many good people in the end, but we stood our ground. We told them we would not bend to their will, and we’ve held to that.”
“Four days ago, we found ourselves faced against something most of us thought we’d never have to face, and we pulled through. With the help of a foreign King, and many, many acts of bravery and selflessness, we pulled through. Some would say we pulled through because we needed to pull through, because we had to,” he said. “But I don’t buy that. I think we pulled through because of our spirit. Because of our unwillingness to lay down in the face of adversity.” He gestured to the cenotaph. “We lost almost a thousand lives at the Battle of Crown Square, but they didn’t die in vain. Their deaths opened the way for new life for us and for all of the Disputed Lands.”
With another sigh, he continued. “And so it is today, July the First, that we as Canadians celebrate the birth of our old nation, but today also hold another meaning, every bit of special. That’s because today, Septra the Twenty-Fourth heralds a new beginning. A beginning of a new world, and new method of doing things. Today, we say goodbye to the world from which we came, and welcome the Pactlands with open arms.”
He turned around, then gave a nod to Carla Meriweather as she stood next to a flagpole. She started pulling the rope, and a flag started to rise in the air. On the flag, a single violet maple leaf could be seen within a circle against a purely white background. Goose turned back to the crowd.
“It’s on this day that I’m proud to announce the birth of a new nation. Its borders stretch north, to the country of Halen, to whom we owe a great debt. It spreads south, to the borders of Vector, to whom we’ll show no fear, and no remorse. And to the west, it spreads to the borders of Rasza, to whom we announce our presence. As far as we know, our home world is forever lost to us, but we are fortunate enough to have brought our homes with us, and with it, a source of new hope within these lands. Today, Septra the twenty-fourth, we celebrate a day we’ve long since celebrated. The day of the birth of Canada.” He paused for effect. “But from this day forward, we forge a new nation. A new nation born of blood and tears. A new nation born of the remnants of the old. Today I’m proud to announce the birth of our new land.”
Goose looked over the crowd and smiled. He loved this part. “Today, we announce our sovereignty over the nations of the Pactlands. Let it be known that will bow to no King, save out of friendship and respect. Today, we celebrate the birth of the New Canadian Territories. May God watch over us all.”
To be concluded in
Engines of Creation:
The Liar’s Law
A note from the author:
First off, I want to thank you for getting through over 225,000 words to reach this point. Children of the Halo was a project that represented a major turning point in my life. Not only is it my first completed novel, but it was the catalyst for me to learn as much about the craft and art of writing as possible.
When I initially wrote Children of the Halo, my intention was for it to be the first book in a trilogy. That was in 2008. Since that time, I’ve been through much, and came out the other end alive. The sequel, The Liar’s Law, is still in works, and as I write this (December 2016), it is currently clocking in at 116,000 words. Fans of Children of the Halo have been waiting patiently for its release.
And I’m pleased to announce that The Liar’s Law will begin in earnest, to be posted weekly, starting February 6, 2017, along with another project I’ve been working on for years, Sol Ruin, which will begin being posted on a weekly schedule on February 10, 2017.
These past several years have been a real trip. And I thank you, the reader, for sticking with me this long.
And remember, if you enjoyed Children of the Halo and you’d like to support my writing, please consider giving to my Patreon, buying a copy of Children of the Halo either on Kindle or Paperback, and stay tuned to this space for more.
With great thanks,