Ten Thousand Worlds

Southern Knights

Can You Ever Go Home Again?

What do you do when you and your friends make a story based closely on a real-world city, and the people of that city suffer a major disaster? While you’re doing your bit to help them out, or after things more-or-less settle down, do you still play out the story of a city that no longer resembles its real-world counterpart? Do you stop the story entirely? Do you change it? What’s the most respectful thing to do?

I can only tell you what I did with a story my friends and I opened years ago, based on (pre-Katrina) New Orleans. I didn’t want to just end the story, nor have a story where nothing happened to the fictional New Orleans. This story picks back up five years after Hurricane Katrina devastated the US Gulf Coast. The surviving characters have moved on and moved out of their beloved city. They’ve changed, and their mission has changed, but New Orleans is still a presence in their lives.

I swear, if the Jurassic rock station hissing out of the car radio plays “Radar Love”, “Going the Distance”, or “Warm Leatherette” one more time, I’m going to wrap the Thunderbird around the next big tree I see. Who’m I kidding? That may just happen anyway, the way I’m tearing through these Alabama back roads trying to out-race the moonrise. But we have to hurry: It’s the last full moon this month, and if we don’t catch our elusive pack of Loup Garou tonight, they’re going to melt in with the locals, and we may never find them again. The team’s counting on me.

In the passenger’s seat, SureShot is digging through empty Happy Meal boxes to get at her newspaper clippings, web printouts, maps, and other evidence that points to Werewolf activity in this county. In the back, Tin Soldier is loading silver bullet clips into his H&K and mumbling to his prosthetics, while Voodoo Child is sleeping in the spirit world, a binding relic from St. Bernard Parish in her lap. Suddenly, the girl’s eyes snap open as she announces: “Stray Cat, turn around! White barn, half a mile back!”. I pull the T-bird through a bootleg turn –just ’cause I can. “Seat-belts! Now!” I yell, “I'm taking us right through the barn doors!”.

Titles for Southern Knights describe the surviving characters of a post-Katrina South, their new lives, and their new mission:

SureShot

Version 1.0, December 2010

Excerpt:

…She was long content to play with the tourists of New Orleans, date the locals, and participate in her species’ dominance displays and mating rituals when required. That is, until Hurricane Katrina hit and broke the Mad Ones out of their cells along with many other old monsters. The Mad Ones actually do all the horrible things that all In-betweeners are accused of doing in the old legends…

Tin Soldier

Version 1.0, November 2010

Excerpt:

…the garbage crawled over him —and into him. It was a swarm of broken little reject robots, just another piece of poorly stored industrial waste hidden along the gulf coast. They went first for his eye, his legs, even his cell phone, trying to fix him, to upgrade him, then they went for his flesh.

Voodoo Child

Version 1.0, October 2010

Excerpt:

“When I recovered from being nearly drowned and trampled by ghosts, there was one ghost left at my side, Uncle Beau. As I huddled with everyone else in the reeking SuperDome, he slowly told me about how the storm took out more than just the levees, but the magical wards that had kept all kinds of evil locked up in this town. Now that evil was running amok all over the South, and as his heir, it was my job to find those old monsters wherever they hid, bring them back…”

Stray Cat

Version 1.0, September 2010

Excerpt:

“So now I race down the back roads of the old South in a beat-up ’71 Thunderbird. It has a lot less style than my ’Vette, but between the trunk and the hollowed-out doors, it can pack a lot of ammo. Most days I eat road-house chow; Most nights I sleep in my car. … We gather clues, both mystical and mundane, to the whereabouts of those old monsters, and then we go hunting…”

 

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