(Actually, this story is titled “Legacy” but I seem to have screwed that up in the emails I just sent to subscribers, so at the moment we’ll go with “Trinity”. There’s another completely different half-written Old Races (or it was half-written til I had the computer crash; I think it may be one of the very few things I lost when the hard drive died) story called “Trinity”, but nevermind that.)
*clears throat* Right. Anyway. I’m doing a six-story Old Races short story project throughout 2011. This, “Trinity”, is a story about humans, and the sixth and final story, so if you’ve been waiting to get the whole ORSSP in one lump, this is a good time to buy in. You can buy in through New Year’s Eve up until about 5pm Eastern, after which I’ll be closing down the links and the stories will no longer be available to purchase.
You can find teasers for the other stories here: The Death of Him, a story of the selkies</a>, Awakening, a story of the vampires set after the Negotiator Trilogy; Falling, a story about Biali in 1890s New York; St. George & the Dragons, a story about Janx; Salt Water Stains the Sand, a story of the djinn.
1840, New York City
A Germanic voice murmured, “A shame about the old church,” and Richard Upjohn snorted.
“Not at all. There was nothing extraordinary about it, nothing memorable. It lacked even the respect of age, and moreover, it was poorly enough constructed that the weight of winter snow weakened it beyond repair. My church,” he said with already-significant satisfaction as he examined the enormous hole that the foundations would be laid in, “will stand for the ages.” Then he glanced sideways at the man who had spoken, and fell silent in surprise.
He was perhaps the tallest man Upjohn had ever seen, standing two meters in height, and had the breadth of shoulder to match. He was not old, but his hair glowed white even in the early evening moonlight, and his eyes were so pale as to seem colorless. His hair was unfashionably long, not coiffed at temple and top but rather smoothed back in a tail that fell between his shoulderblades, and his coat was of a cut not seen in a decade or more.
No one, Upjohn thought, would mock him for his lack of style. Not with the height and breadth of him, nor the warning rumble in the deep voice. He found himself searching for, if not an apology, at least a moderation of his strong stance against the old church, when a smile flickered across the huge man’s face. “The snow was very bad that year,” he said, defending the older building, “but it is true that it lacked age. The second church on this site, I believe. I never saw the first.”
“Of course you didn’t. It burned during the Revolution.” The war between the colonies, Upjohn had been taught to call it in childhood: the Revolution, the Glorious Revolution, had happened more than a century earlier by English reckoning, but he had come to America by choice, and become a citizen only four years ago. In America the colonial war was the Revolution, and so too for Richard Upjohn.
Either way, the first church had burned a quarter century before Upjohn was born, and the giant German at his side could certainly be no older than Upjohn himself.
Another smile flickered across the tall man’s face. “Yes, of course. Still, I had some fondness for the second church. I lived here, you know.”
Upjohn’s gaze sharpened, then fell into puzzlement. The man was not the vicar or the reverend, nor did Trinity employ a groundskeeper that Upjohn was aware of. And he could hardly be unaware of this man, who might well cow the grounds into growing tidy hedges and short grass with no more than his size and presence. “That’s absurd. I’ve never seen you before, and I was commissioned to work here when the old church was so badly damaged.”
“And yet,” the big man said idly. “Walk with me a while, Richard Upjohn. I have a favor to ask of you.”
Upjohn, curious and mystified, matched the German’s steps as they left Trinity’s grounds for the surrounding city. Three hundred thousand people lived there, a tenth the number in London, but its freshness was rife with potential. New York could be beautiful, if Upjohn and others like him were allowed their way.
The German, as if hearing his thoughts, said, “I’ve followed your career, Master Upjohn. You have a love for the Gothic. What is it that draws you to it?”
“I am a faithful man, Master…”
“Korund,” the German said. “Alban Korund. The pleasure is mine.”
I’d like to thank everybody who’s bought in so far. This has been huge fun and I’ve learned and accomplished a lot with the Old Races doing this project, so I’m completely thrilled. You guys rock my socks.The Old Races Short Story Project patronage window is now closed.