In year 3512, during a new middle age, a warrior in full battle armor entered the head master's office within a Buddhist Monastery. “I wish to know peace,” said Aegard humbly to the seated Head Master Kel. “I wonder,” mused Kel as he arose and stood before the warrior, “can you actually learn peace?” Elsewhere in the monastery, Kirstn, a confused girl of twelve, regrets the deaths of her family and wonders what fate has in store for her. Kirstn has an amazing gift which, for the time being, only her headmaster suspects. In the coming weeks she will learn to use her gift to protect and care for Aegard. These very different people have been brought together by fate, have a connection going back generations and will eventually realize that together they can unite a people and save their kingdom from ruin.
Brian gives an overview of the book:
At 2:00 AM Kirstn awoke. “He needs water,” she thought.
Filling a glass she went to the warrior’s door. As the headmaster promised, it was locked.
Kirstn had been studying Kung Fu in the monastery for almost two years. It was optional but fascinated her. The headmaster had suggested it to help her begin to understand energy play. He called the energy: Chi. Kirstn had never understood how the Chi Masters could break concrete block or fight lines of people with the most gentle of strikes.
To pass her tests to get her current belt color had taken every ounce of strength she had. She had recently failed the next level. She didn’t have the strength necessary to break two pine boards. And yet, she had seen black belts barely brush the boards and crack them into three pieces. These were not burly men, they were young girls like her who had been studying since early childhood.
It was forbidden to strike a person, even in self defense, to spar with each other unless under the direct supervision of a higher belt, and to strike anything in anger.
Kirstn put her back to the door and slid slowly downward, breaking into tears, sobbing quietly. Inside Aegard heard her and said, “Kirstn, is that you?”
Kirstn placed the glass of water next to the door. She didn’t reply and she stopped crying. “What should I do?” she asked herself.
“Kirstn, it’s okay, the headmaster told me that he would lock the door and let me die. I wasn’t thrilled at first but when he said that only you wanted to save me and said that you were suffering because of it, I realized we would both be better of if I were dead.”
Kirstn sobbed a little more loudly and after a few moments said, “Then why don’t you break your neck and get it over with, why are you still alive?”
“Well, I guess partly because I'm afraid and partly because I wanted to say goodbye and thank you again for all you’ve taught me. I think I learned peace from you. The headmaster may have started me off, but you taught me real peace when you fed me that first muffin. Now I understand and I’m ready to move on to my next life.”
“I want to see you before you die.”
“Kirstn,” replied the warrior, “I think that is a bad idea, and besides, that’s a pretty sturdy door, I noticed the sound when the headmaster closed it.”
“How can I get in?”
“If I were healthy I could kick it off its hinges.”
“I can kick.”
“Kirstn, I doubt even a black belt could affect that door, what are you yellow?”
“Yeah. But I’m not afraid.”
The warrior suddenly realized his accidental joke and burst out laughing.
The pain in his neck reminded him not to move so he fell silent.
“You almost lost me there, I almost laughed myself to death. Not a bad way to go though I think.”
“Can you teach me how to kick like a black belt?”
“I suppose given enough time I could teach you, but Kirstn, I’ve only got a few days left at best.”
“I've nothing to lose, but you could get hurt and that would be on my conscience for eternity.”
“Okay, you’re the boss.” The warrior paused and thought for a second, then he said, “During our training we learn that Chi is energy. It is the stuff from which the universe is created. They teach us that the energy comes in every form conceivable and that everyone most closely associates with one form early in their training. After a while you will learn to manipulate any form of Chi but it takes years of getting used to it in one form to begin to recognize it in another.”
“Have you taught this before?”
“I trained my sons since they were infants.”
“Are they brave warriors?”
“They were, but they are all dead now, massacred by one of my enemies as retribution for what I did to his family.”
“What did you do to his family?”
“You really don’t want to know.”
Kirstn paused, a bit distracted, then said, “Please continue.”
“There is an all driving energy within you Kirstn. Often the wise masters can tell you what it is. You must find that energy and focus it out the bottom of your foot when you kick. Don’t strike with your foot, strike with the energy and let your foot push aside what’s left of the wood after your energy hits it.”
“What could my energy be?”
“It could be anything Kirstn.”
“Argh. This is so frustrating. I just want to open the door. That’s all. It’s so simple. I wonder if I could steal the key from the headmaster’s office?”
“I don’t believe there’s a key to open that lock Kirstn, look at it.”
Kirstn squinted in the moonlight. Inside the hole lie half a key: it had been broken off.
“DAMNIT!” cursed Kirstn, “he broke the key off in the lock.”
“That’s what I thought I heard,” said Aegard.
“This makes me so angry! He treats me like a little girl! Like I can’t decide what’s right and wrong!”
“He’s a very wise man Kirstn. I have the highest respect for him.”
“I want in, dammit! I’m not giving up on you and I’m not giving up on me!”
Kirstn stepped back from the door and felt a tremendous amount of anger welling up in her heart. Suddenly she knew she had found her Chi. She focused on the door, the goal of opening it, and built the burning in her heart and the fire in the pit of her stomach.
Aegard felt her energy building and marveled at what a good teacher he was. Then laughing to himself he thought, “Yeah, like I had anything to do with that.”
Kirstn took one step onto her left foot and pushed forward with her right foot. She imagined a rocket of energy shooting out the ball of her foot and imagined it quickening as her foot approached the door. Time seemed to move slower and slower as her foot approached and yet her foot moved faster and faster. She imagined the door exploding into a million fragments and felt all the anger burning down through her right leg.
The door exploded into thousands of pieces long before her foot struck its surface.
The fragments covered every square inch of the head masters office, forming a spiral pattern of complex geometries. This was the shape of Kirstn’s anger.
I belong to generation X. Which isn't saying they own me, but more that I grok my generation.
I was born in West Virginia, raised in western Pennsylvania. I'm the son of divorced and remarried parents whom I love very much.
I grew up Catholic and very connected...