Tag Archives: The Chronicles of Carter Blake

Rise of the DarkWalker Chapter 5

I stumbled through the underbrush, wondering where the hell Weijia was taking me. She’d set a pretty harsh pace, too. Moving across open ground, I’d have kept up with ease, but moving though the groundcover left me tripping and stumbling like a toddler learning to walk.

“Where are we going?” My breath leaped from my lungs in short, rapid bursts.

“My clan. The Shaman will be able to help you with the lichen on your stomach.”

I stopped. “You’re taking me to an enclave of trolls? Don’t they hate humans?”

She turned with a sigh. “No, Carter. I’m taking you to my tribe. We’re all half-bloods.”

I used the time she paused to catch up. “What’s the hurry?”

“Do you wish to be chained again?”

“Do bears speak Krogan?”

“What?”

“The answer is no.”

“Then why not say so?”

I hung my head and resumed walking. “That’s what you get for trying to be poetic. Dumbass,” I muttered at myself.

“Did you say something?”

The tone of her question told me she hadn’t heard my mumbling. “No. How much further?”

“We’ll arrive near sunset. Can you keep up?”

“Sure. As soon as we get to a path, or something.”

“Paths would make it easier to track us.”

That didn’t make sense. “Wouldn’t one make it harder to follow us? Heavily travelled versus forcing a trail through the woods and all that.”

She glanced to the sky and then back the way we came. Turning to me, she shook her head. “The path will make it easier to track us, but we’ll move faster on it.”

A flock of birds exploded into the air, chirping and screeching. I looked to my right where they’d taken off from in time to see a couple trees collapse with crashing thuds. Without waiting for input from my companion, I turned and bolted in the opposite direction from the destruction.

I raced past trees and bushes. Hurtled a stream and ducked under a low hanging branch. The path was crossed without a thought. A sapling provided enough support to allow me to whip myself behind a boulder without slowing. A root, or rock, or something ended my running.

I belly flopped down an embankment. Dirt, leaves, twigs and other debris went down my shirt. I slid into a wide, yet shallow, brook. I was soaked, scraped up, and a lot cooler.

The water turned out to be rather refreshing. I lifted my face from it and cleared the liquid from my ears in time to catch the last of Weijia’s words.

“ —ter! Why did you run off?”

I blew water from my lips, trying not to think of what was upstream and pissing in as I lounged in the brook. “I ran from whatever was knocking down the trees.”

“Why? You’re the Walker of Worlds.”

“One, I don’t know how to use my powers, nor what they might be.” I stood and sluiced some water from my body. “Two, if it’s big enough to knock down growing trees, it’s big enough to run from.”

“But, you killed Belial.”

That should have been my first clue that Weijia wasn’t necessarily on my side, but the trembling aftereffects of my sprint and the breeze chilling me in my wet clothes caused that to pass by unremarked. I sloshed through the water and held out my hand. She helped me climb the slippery bank, and I pulled off my shirt. Holding it out between my hands, I spun it in a rope and then folded it over, twisted it more. Water squirted from the wrung out deer hide, but it remained damp.

I sighed and tossed it over my right shoulder. I noted her watching me closely, but thought nothing of it. “Please tell me I at least ran in the right direction and we’re now even closer to your clan.” She shook her head and pointed back the way we came. “Damn it.”

 

***

 

As it neared sunset, the surrounding woods grew thicker. The trees grew closer together and seemed to have distorted faces. ‘Pareidolia and an overactive imagination equals rough night sleeping tonight.’ The denseness caused a premature twilight to fall. As we hiked, I gradually became aware the noise of the forest became quieter.

The drumming of a woodpecker seemed to become the wail of a scared child. I stopped and listened intently, but only heard the hammer of the bird’s beak as it searched for insects. I scratched my head and then resumed walking.

A fog rose from the ground and rolled steadily through the woodlands. Indistinct whispers came to me on the breeze.

“Weijia, do you hear that?”

“What?”

“Sounds like a group of people whispering nearby.”

We halted and she listened. After several minutes, she shook her head. “I don’t hear anything.”

I raised my eyebrow, but continued on. The ground became softer with each stride. It was like I trudged through mud. When I took my next step, my foot sank into something warm, wet and fetid. The rank odors of sour milk and rancid meat hit my nose. I recoiled from the sensation of squirming maggots around my ankles and fell to the forest floor.

My heart lurched when I discovered the earth was dry and nothing was on my foot.

“What the fuck is going on?”

“Are you okay, Carter?” Weijia came over and knelt beside me.

“Has anything seemed odd to you?”

She shook her head. “The fog may seem a little spooky if you’re not used to it, but all is normal.” She pushed to her feet and offered me her hand. “Come on. We’re not too much further away.”

I accepted the hand up and the apple she tossed to me. I bit into it with a crunch. I wondered where she’d found the red fruit. ‘Oh well. Doesn’t matter.’ The flesh was both sweet and tangy. It reminded me of a Winesap. I absently glanced down to take another huge bite and discovered bloody teeth with chunks of hairy skin. I launched the disgusting thing away with a cry and puked.

I coughed and spat, trying to clear my mouth of the horrid taste of vomit. I shrugged her hand off my back when she touched me.

Standing upright again, I pinned her with a glare. My body was hot. “What the fuck is wrong with you, woman?”

She backed up. “Carter?”

I closed the distance between us. “Why would you give me something like that?” Each of her steps backwards were answered by one forward from me until her back was against the trunk of a black walnut.

“Something like what?” Her voice was high. “Carter, what’s wrong?”

I pointed at the remnants of the apple I’d been eating. “That!”

“I’m sorry. I didn’t know you don’t like apples.”

“Does that look like a fucking apple to you?”

“Y-yes?”

“Are you kidding me?”

I was so close to her face and yelling so hard, flecks of spittle landed on her cheeks. She cried out and cringed away. “Whu-what did I do? Why’re you so mad at me all of a sudden?”

“Look. At. That.” I all but bit the words out as I jerked my finger at the discarded fruit.

Shivering, she turned her head to see what I pointed at. “I don’t know what you want me to see. It’s just a half-eaten apple.”

I whirled to pick it up and stopped in my tracks. The only thing on the path was an oddly lumpy red spheroid with rough white pieces exposed where I’d bitten pieces away. There was no sign of the teeth or the skin. “What the fuck is going on?”

Rise of the DarkWalker Chapter 4

 

The screams echoed off the stone walls and faded away. A large fire pit sent dancing shadows through the room. Another scream sounded as a dark-haired dwarf in blood begrimed clothes pushed a finger into a wound in a human’s chest. The dwarf withdrew his finger, wiped it on a rust brown rag and picked up a quill pen. Dipping it into an inkwell, he made a few notations and blotted the parchment.

He gestured and a pair of orcs turned large cranks, rotating the table with the prisoner until it was flat. Taking up a thin bladed knife, he sliced a line from the man’s left shoulder, across his chest to his right. Then, he did the same at the human’s waist, from hip to hip, ignoring the wails of pain. A line was cut down the center of his torso, connecting the other two. The prison shrieked even louder than he had before. Blood gushed from the new wound. The dwarf placed the blade next to other sharp instruments and picked up a wooden bowl. Gathering some of the contents in his bloody hand, he sprinkled it over the human while chanting.

The orcs watched the black powder begin to glow and change color as it liquefied. Wherever the magic liquid touched, the blood withdrew into the man. The two looked at each other, and then back to the dwarf. He pulled the wound wide, eliciting a scream that sounded like it tore the human’s throat. To the amazement of the orcs, no further blood flowed. They stepped closer to better see, drawing the dwarf’s attention.

“You appear puzzled, my friends.” His voice was smooth, powerful. They nodded. “Allow me to hypothesize. You desire to know why the human’s lifeblood no longer flows.” Another nod. “The conjuration is named ‘Prohibere Sanguinem.’ It maintains life while I conduct my experimentations.”

The orc to the left spoke. “Why do you experiment, Master?”

“I seek knowledge of better interrogation techniques.”

The one on the right tilted his head. “What information do you seek?”

Drago stared at him, stone faced. “You’re joking.”

“I meant that you would need better interrogation techniques for.”

The Dark Dwarf’s countenance brightened. “Oh. It is for when the demons bring me Keeper Dearbhaile. She has the most delicious secrets, I’m sure.”

A door at the far end of the room opened. Moving with a swiftness that belied their bulk, the orcs slipped between their master and the opened door. One orc drew a hammer from his hip and muttered a command word. Seconds later, the small tool has expanded into a huge Warhammer with a wicked looking spike at the opposite end of the blunt one. The other unhooked a coiled chain and stretched it out, spinning the large spiked ball at the end. The two prepared themselves to fight to their deaths to protect their lord from the intruder. None were allowed to disturb him in his laboratory.

When the human dressed in deer skin, with shoulder length, curly brown hair entered, the orcs dropped to a knee and placed their left hands over their right chest, covering their hearts and offering their fealty. She flicked her gaze over them and walked past, ignoring the orcs’ salutes. She didn’t care for the ugly creatures, always cringing in the face of a superior foe, and then plotting behind its back. . Like the demons, but mortal. Drago continued his experiments, unconcerned with who might have entered. The orcen warriors would have given him enough time to prepare for any enemy. Though she hadn’t seen him in battle, she knew enough about his training regimen to believe he’d be a formidable enemy.

She curled her thick fingers into fists at the thought and then reluctantly opened them. This was not the time to challenge him. For now, his enemies provided enough of a challenge to keep her satisfied with being his second. ‘I wonder how Bjorn and Fenrisúlfr are doing? Do they miss me?’ The twins had been her friends and self-appointed guardians for as long as she could remember. She gave herself a mental shake. ‘Focus on the present. Leave the past where it belongs.’

She clapped her fist over her heart. The deer hide muffled the sound, but she knew the keen ears of Drago picked it up. “Belial has captured Dearbhaile.”

“Of course he did, my friend.” He glanced over his shoulder. “Did you doubt me?”

“No. Just the half-demon. He’s constantly coming up short against Carter.”

Picking up a rag, he surprised her with a laugh as he cleaned his hands. “Belial has a twisted sense of humor.”

“What do you mean?”

“He enjoys setting up his opponents to think they’ve bested him only to later strike them down.”

Her eyebrows went up. “He enjoys being cut down with his own sword?”

“The pure white broadsword?”

“Yes.”

“Razorwing cannot harm him. It’s made from his own essence.”

“But, I’ve seen him both decapitated and run through with it.”

“Do not trust your eyes where the Prince is concerned. Or any of your other senses for that matter.”

“Are you trying to tell me he is invincible?”

“Of course not. You just have to know how.”

“Hmm.”

She walked over to the dangling human. Dried blood covered the areas of his flesh that remained whole. His remaining eye was fogged, whether from pain, or blindness, she didn’t know. With the speed of a striking snake, she punched her fist through his heart, putting him out of his misery.

“Why did you do that, dear Sera?” The dwarf’s voice held only curiosity.

“You can’t learn anything from the tortured.”

“On the contrary. I’ve learned quite a bit from this one.”

“But was it true, or was it a lie to get the pain to stop?”

Drago scratched his smooth cheek, sending scales of dried blood to float through the air. “What do you mean?”

“Back in my world, torture is banned because you cannot gain reliable intel from your victim. People will say anything they think you want to know, just to get the pain to end. It is a sadistic war crime to torture.”

He raised his hand. “Your people try to uphold laws in war?”

“Not during, but after. And only some laws. Usually moral ones.”

He leaned his hip on this table. “Even though morals are subjective?” She nodded. “Humans are odd creatures.”

“We’re odd because we have figured out what works and what doesn’t?”

“No, because of the war crimes. Who decides what the crime was versus what was acceptable in war?”

“The winners.”

He laughed, his head thrown back. “Perfect.”

Sera snorted. “I had a feeling you would approve of that.”

He sobered. “Where is Dearbhaile now?”

“Belial is awaiting her delivery to him, and then he will bring her directly to you.”

“Excellent.” A bell tolled once and then went silent. “Excuse me, my dear. I must see to this.”

She clapped her fist to her chest. “I will go prepare the troops for the invasion.”

Drago dipped his head in acknowledgement and hurried off. The young woman watched him go. ‘I will find out what the hurry is all about soon.’

Rise of the DarkWalker Chapter 2

I stalked outside, leaving Adora to jog in my wake. All I found, to my intense displeasure, were Robilar, Corath, and heaps of dead demons, their remains beginning to steam and stink in the early morning sunlight.

“Damn it.” I stopped before the two men and scowled at them. “Did you fuckers have to kill all of them?”

Robilar’s chuckle sounded tired. “We didn’t come close to killing all of them.”

“About twenty minutes ago, the demons broke free, and ran.” Corath wiped at ichor on his face, but only smeared it. “We have no idea why.”

I slammed my sword into its sheathe, cussing under my breath. So much for that idea.

“Where’s the Keeper, Carter?” Whatever he saw on my face caused Robilar to blanch, and back away. “Sore subject. Never mind.”

“I’ll not never mind.” Corath marched up, and poked my chest with his finger. “You have a lot to answer for, human.”

I growled, and reached for my sword. I met Adora’s warm, calloused, hand instead. “Now is not the time, Corath.”

“Tha—”

My blade pointed at his larynx, and a ruby droplet formed at the tip. “Utter one more word. I dare you.”

The Gorauch clamped his mouth shut so fast he bit his tongue.

“Smart man,” the Chronomancer said.

“Robilar!”

“Y-Yes, sir?”

“Ha-How did you do that?” The Lady’s voice cracked as she spoke.

I ignored Adora for the time being. “Can you track demons?”

“I can do better than that.”

I sheathed my sword again, and folded my arms over my chest. “Go on.”

“I can bring one from the past, to the present.”

“Do it.”

Robilar nodded, closed his eyes, and furrowed his brow. He took a deep breath, and held it. Sweat rolled down his cheeks as he rolled his arms through the air like Dearbhaile has when we played in the river at the beginning of our journey from Lady Soo-jau’s palace. Wonder what the Vaush-Tauric is up to?

A glowing white rectangle appeared before the Chronomancer. His eyes flew open, and he thrust his hands into the light. A mighty yank, and one of the wingless bat-like demons with rippling, angry red muscles, and a clear, glistening and viscous fluid to roiling down its body tumbled free, rolling across the ground.

Before it regained its senses, I had it lifted in the air with my right hand wrapped around its throat. “Hello, Ugly. You’re going to answer some questions for me.”

It screamed, and chittered in rage, slashing at me with its sharp claws. When they raked over my forearm, I squeezed.

“Carter, don’t kill it, yet.” Robilar’s voice was a hoarse wheeze. “I’m not going to be up to Pulling another for some time.”

I growled, and hammered the demon to the earth like I was a professional wrestler executing a choke-slam. Where I got the strength, I didn’t know at that point. The demon had ceased its squirming, stunned from the impact with the ground.

Adora’s rough hand touched my shoulder. “Carter, allow me to question it? I speak Infernus.”

“Really?” I glanced at her over my shoulder. “Alright. Make it quick. We’re losing time.”

The demon rolled to its belly and tried to scamper away. My foot in the small of its back sent it flat again, putting an end to its attempt. The Princess, or Queen, technically, chittered at the daemon which made the sound in return. A few minutes of back and forth made my head hurt worse.

I stepped away, focusing on the smoking ruins of the keep. The fiends had used some magic which had melted stone like tallow. An ungodly scream ripped through the air, causing all the hair on my body to feel as if it all wanted to run. I spun around so fast I must have looked like a top, even though it was a one-eighty. Made me dizzy as hell, too.

A silvery-white glow engulfed Adora’s left hand. The bat demon’s right shoulder oozed a greenish smoke. She chittered something loudly at the creature which then shook its head. Her radiant palm clamped down on it. It shrilled. I thought it was pain, but there was an odd note to it. The Princess… Queen… released her grip. The fiend panted. A glint shone in its eyes. She spoke to it, but it cut her off, much louder.

I strode over and caught her hand as she went to touch it again. A thousand bees stung me simultaneously and acid dripped from their stingers. I felt a jolt in the center of my chest and found myself looking up at the sky with no clue how I got there.

My field of vision grew darker for a moment and then I realized I was surrounded by Adora, Weijia and Robilar. “What happened?” I attempted to sit up, but my abdomen felt as if someone had beat it with hot hammers. “Fuck me.” I tried to scream it, but the pain left me breathless. To be honest, I don’t know if I made a sound other than a groan.

Adora took my hand in hers and fire raced up my arm. I recoiled and rolled to my hands and knees, scrambling away about five feet. I tried to rise, but it was as if someone else controlled my limbs.

“Carter? What’s wrong?” Concern hoarsened her voice.

A crimson bolt shot from my up thrust hand. She leaped away and it hit a tree which exploded in flames. A hissing cackle erupted from my mouth, tearing at my throat. I found myself flying through the air as whoever controlled my body leaped to attack her again.

A black aura engulfed her fist. ‘Oh, shit.’ Her hand suddenly vanished from my sight and the lights went out.

My Newest Work In Progress

“Hey, why are you starting another story when you haven’t finished any of the others?”

Well, imaginary speaker for my fans – both of them – technically, with this, I am finishing one of the others. Or, continuing it, anyway. This is the continuation of The Chronicles of Carter Blake. I have a prologue and three chapters complete. Maybe posting them here will be the kick in the pants I need to finish.

“It didn’t work for the other stories, jackass!”

Stifle yourself, brain. You keep me up too much.

Into the Realm: The Chronicles of Carter Blake, Book I (C4, S5)

Previous post is here.

 

Subchapter 5

 

I awoke with a start. Sunlight streamed through windows I hadn’t noticed before. I took a few minutes just to look around the room, savoring the joy of sight which was something I hadn’t realized I had taken for granted. Things I would have overlooked before I had become blind, I now took pleasure in. ‘Sight is awesome!’ There was a mural on the far wall from where I sat. It was of a forest clearing with a blue dragon which sat, posture regal, upon a stone plinth and at her feet was a clan of elves kneeling, worshipful. I assumed it was a female because my hostess was. I took a deep breath and turned my thoughts to my dream.

I remembered it with extreme clarity. I’ve never been able to do that before. There was the tall, muscular man with the cinnamon hair and uncomfortable Armani suit; the curvy woman with the dark hair who was about my mother’s height; that strange, yet familiar, control room with its many screens, the technicians, polished granite floor and the sleepy, rumpled looking man who stood in the center; and the asteroid which I knew was going to destroy everything the big man knew and loved. A rapid knock at my door, startled me. ‘By all the hells! I almost soiled myself!’ The urgency of the knock caused me to leap from the bed, dash to the door and yank it open.

“What is it?” I said to a surprised Keeper Dearbhaile.

Her eyes grew large as they traveled down and then she blushed scarlet. Wondering why, I glanced down as well. Imagine my mortification when I realized I had forgotten I’d slept nude, just for the experience mind you, and had answered the door that way. I gave a yelp of embarrassment and jumped behind the door. I stuck my head around the edge and repeated my question.

“O-Oh!” she stammered, playing with her necklace. “Lady Soo-jau sent me to get ye. She said ’tis urgent.”

“I’ll be right there!” I shouted as I slammed the door.

My face aflame, I scrambled to where my clothes hung drying from the washing I gave them the night before. As I began to get dressed, I ran myself down for not being smoother with the accidental flashing. I wondered how Angriz would’ve handled it. “Nah. He wouldn’t have answered the door that way. He’s always aware of everything,” I said to myself.

For once, I was glad to have simple deerskin clothing rather than my jeans; it just pulled on and I was ready to go. I picked up my shoes and carried them in my hand as I re-opened the door. Keeper Dearbhaile stood waiting with her hands clasped in front of her. Not knowing how to handle what happened, I resolved to not say anything about it unless she did.

“Let’s go,” I said.

“Aye,” she replied.

As she led me to the Vaush-Tauric, I asked, “Where’s Angriz?”

“With Lady Soo-jau.”

I nodded and said nothing more until we were before the Lady. This morning she wore a light red dress which flattered the color of her scales and was seated on a raised dais on a bronze throne with ornate designs. Something about her posture told me she was upset.

“Carter Blake,” she began without preamble, “your original quesst hass come to a conclusssion. Your sssight isss ressstored. Now you have a choissse: you and Angrizzz may go to the ressscue of Adora Orwen and perhapsss sssave her life; or you may go north and perhapsss encounter the architect of thisss war. What will you do?”

I paused for several moments. To tell the truth, the sudden hissing from my hostess scared me. After a bit of thought, I assumed it was due to her being upset and was able to put my unease behind me.

At last, I said, “You didn’t indicate a direction for the rescue attempt.”

The Vaush-Tauric sighed. “I do not know the direction she is to be found. All I was able to learn is: To aid her, you must first journey to Rivorei City. There, you will find your clues as to where she is hidden. Know these things as well: One, there is not time to achieve both goals. Whichever you decide, you lose the other. Two, thirty days from today, Adora Orwen will be dead and the architect will be gone to another realm. Three, if you and Angriz split up, you will both die.”

I thought about this for a couple of minutes. Then, I had an idea:

“Would you aid us, milady?” I asked.

“I cannot,” she said. “Because of what I am, I am both bound to this location and forbidden from interfering.”

“What is a Vaush-Tauric?” I asked. “And why are you forbidden from helping?”

“She is a conduit to the draconic gods,” Angriz rumbled.

Smoke rolled from his nostrils. Something told me he was upset by this choice.

‘Why me?’ Aloud I said, “Angriz, your thoughts would be appreciated.”

“From a strategic perspective, it would be best to go after whoever is behind this war. However, Lady Orwen has been my friend since she was a child.”

For some reason, hearing it in Angriz’ voice crystallized it for me.

“What a minute!” I exclaimed. “I thought Drago was behind this war?”

“He is a pawn in the scheme of someone else,” Lady Soo-jau said.

“Alright,” I said. “We know what happens to Lady Orwen if we fail to rescue her. What happens if we find this architect? Will stopping him stop the war?”

“No, but the number of people who die will be limited.”

“Hellfire,” I said. “Why must I make this choice? I’m only fourteen!”

“A man’s age,” Angriz said.

“Not where I’m from. I don’t want this kind of responsibility. This is nuts!”

“Nonetheless, Carter, you must take this on.” Lady Soo-jau spoke in a soft voice meant to soothe.

“Why?” I demanded. “Because the Great and Mighty Mordecai pulled me from my world? Or because Morgrid the Soul-forger ordered him to do so?”

“No,” she said. “You must because you are the Walker of Worlds.”

“What the hell is that?” I shouted.

“I cannot say,” she said. To her student she said, “Keeper Dearbhaile, you are to go with these men and aid them in any way you are able.”

“Aye, Mistress.”

“I will now take my leave of you,” the Vaush-Tauric said. “Good fortune to you all.” She vanished like a dream in the morning light. I looked at my friends and let out a sigh. “What should we do, Angriz?” I said.

“Wherever you lead, I shall follow, Carter.”

“And I also,” said Keeper Dearbhaile.

‘These two are adults declaring they’re going to follow me. I don’t even shave!’

‘Why are you doubting yourself?’

‘No one’s life has ever been in my hands.’

‘Come on, how is this a question? Faceless strangers versus your friend, Lady Owen. There’s no contest.’

‘Any other time, I’d agree, but what would she say if we told her we rescued her instead of trying to stop the war?’

‘Who says she needs  to know?’

Internal argument complete, I knew what needed to be done. I looked at Angriz and Keeper Dearbhaile who waited, expectant.

“We’re going north,” I said with as much conviction as I could muster. “It would be selfish of us to let innocent people die just to rescue our friend.”

My companions nodded agreement and we walked from the throne room.

A Conversation Between Carter Blake & Lucas Rumpff

I wonder how much hate this is gonna net me? Not too much I hope. It’s a work of fiction, after all. Oh well.

“Have you heard of Jesus Christ?” He slapped his forehead. “Of course you have. What am I thinking?” He gave me a wry smile. “Anyway, I’m directly descended from Him.” Lucas nodded. “Yep. That’s where I get my abilities from.”

I narrowed my eyes. “How can one alleged to be so pure spawn one such as you?”

“That’s the key word, isn’t it? Alleged. You see, just like any other demigod, Jesus wasn’t predisposed to good, or evil. Hell, he was a huge disappointment to his father.” He laughed at my quirked eyebrow. “Yeah, Yahweh wasn’t too pleased with the way His Son was preaching about love, peace, and tolerance. What? You think in thirty-three years, a deity would cease being a douche? Fuck no. As a matter of fact, Jesus was supposed to be more like his older brother, Moses.”

“Wait a minute.” I rubbed the back of my head. “I though Moses was supposed to have lived long before Jesus.”

“He did. Mary of the House of David wasn’t the only mortal Yahweh knocked up. He also fathered Moses and a few others. Yahweh impregnated mortal women for both sport, and for prophets. Seems he was more like Zeus than he would have admitted.” Lucas chortled.

“So, if Jesus wasn’t supposed to be teaching the whole peace love and hugs spiel, what was He supposed to preach?” I said.

“This is rich. He was supposed to be scaring folks straight. Kind of like Moses tried before the Exodus. He did a pretty good job of it, too. Earned Himself a gorgeous redhead of a wife. You may have heard of her. Mary Magdalene?”

“Yeah. The one Christians largely condemn as a whore.”

“Paul was a dick for that. But, jealousy does weird things to people. The real downfall of Jesus came when he met Judas.”

I remembered this tale from when I went to Sunday school. “He betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver.”

Lucas shook his head. “Nope. That’s Mary Magdalene’s lie.”

That knocked me for a loop. “What?”

“She framed Judas.”

“Why the hell would she do that? Wait, wouldn’t that also mean she betrayed Jesus?” He nodded. “Why would she do that?”

“As I said: ‘Jealousy does weird things to people.’”

“Why was she jealous of Judas?”

“Her husband forsook her for him. Soon after Jesus met Judas, they fell in love.”

“Wait. You’re telling me Jesus was gay?”

“Bisexual, actually. He fathered two children with Mary. And, He did love her. Judas just captured His heart.”

“Let me guess,” I said. “Judas got Jesus to preach the peace, love, and tolerance.”

“Very good, Carter.”

I rolled my eyes so hard, I nearly knocked myself out. As it was, I got a killer headache. “As fascinating as all this is, what the hell does it have to do with us?”