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The Time is Now

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Maxx Blackwell

"A writer wants his work to affect people. You'd prefer the effects not be expressed by death threats, but beggars cannot be choosers."

— Jose Chung, Millennium: Jose Chung's Doomsday Defense

Well, I've taken the plunge so to speak. I have signed up for National Novel Writing Month (in the US) and have put my Millennium/Hellraiser story, Lament's Configurations - on hold for the month of November. There doesn't seem to be much interest in it, so I figure no loss for now.

THE TRUST will be my project, the goal of which is to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days in November. The website for National Novel Writing Month, in case anyone's interested can be located at ...

http://www.nanowrimo.org/

To go along with this endeavor I have created a new banner - I think everyone will probably be happy to see a new banner ad in my posts for a change, and this one will be up for the month of November.

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In addition I have created a new avatar...

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I hope you like it! A review of your opinions on these would be great!

I guess that's it for now. I'm working on developing a plot, figuring out who my villain is, and developing a support cast. While I won't be posting chapters here as I'm working on it, I may put something up when I'm finished. We'll see how it is first.

Until then be well.

Maxx

THIS IS WHO WE ARE

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Maxx Blackwell

DISCLAIMER: "Millennium" and Frank Black (and his family - Catherine and Jordan), Peter Watts, and The Millennium Group, Peter Bletcher, Sammael, Lucy Butler and Dr. Ephraim Fabricant are the property of Chris Carter, 1013 Productions and the Fox Broadcasting Company. "Hellraiser", Pinhead, Cenobites and the Lament Configuration are the property of Clive Barker, New World Pictures, Mirimax Films and Dimension Films. Deacon Fox, Jonathan Saxby and all other support characters belong to me. This story is not written for profit and is for fan-fiction purposes only.

Stephen Maxwell Frankton-Lowe (smlowe@northwestel.net) a.k.a. Maxx Blackwell

September 2005

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Lament’s Configurations

“And I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation; and I will bring up sackcloth upon all loins, and baldness upon every head; and I will make it as the mourning of an only, and the end thereof as a bitter day.” – Amos 8:10

CHAPTER 1

“Frank? Peter Watts,” said the voice on the other end of the phone.

“Hello Peter.”

“Frank, the Group wants to send us to Ottawa, Ontario in Canada. It seems there’s been a murder there that they would like us to take a look at.”

“Canada?”

“Evil knows no boundaries, Frank.”

“Why us, Peter? Surely the group has members in Canada given its global perspective.”

“Absolutely. But the group thinks your gift could really be of assistance in this case and that my insight due to prior experience may be useful.”

“So, when do we go?”

“Pack your bag Frank. I’ll pick you up in 45 minutes. That will allow you time to review some of the material I’ve received on our way to the airport. We have a 11:54 am flight out of Seattle-Tacoma and should be arriving at 10:53 pm Ottawa time.

-------------------------

Deacon Fox looked at the clock on his monitor – 1:00 a.m.. A man of thirty-five years of age, Deacon sat at his computer, nimble fingers tapping away at the keys. By the light of the computer monitor his skin took on a luminescent light blue tone. Piercing blue eyes looked at the rotating wooden cube with inlaid bronze patterns on his screen. As he moved the curser over the cube’s surface it rotated in response as though hanging weightless in space. Below the graphic, bids kept incrementing upwards. He raised his right hand and combed it through the gray hair above his ears.

Since public access to the Internet had become common-place his task of making quotas had been made easier, especially after the creation of online auction sites like ebay and onlineaUctions – At onlineaUctions we put U in the action.

In each case the successful bidder paid for their “art” through an online payment service to a charity selected from a list Deacon specified. Frequently the ornate boxes sold for amounts in excess of $1500 American, but in all cases the minimum bid was damnation.

Deacon lifted his coffee mug and took a drink. The harsh taste of black rum mixed with the Columbian coffee burned the back of his throat. He swiveled his head to the right of the monitor and looked at the cube that sat on his desk – another masterpiece of perfection – and touched it. It was as though he could hear a whisper calling his name but he knew it was no audible sound that called to him, but rather something that only his soul could hear. He removed his figure from the increasingly seductive cube, resisting an impulse to trace his fingers over its fine lines, revealing unseen surface pathways and …

“Seek and ye shall find,” commanded a cold unwavering voice, rich in bass tones, soothing to the nerves and lulling to the senses. “Knock and the door shall be opened.”

Deacon did not start but his eyes snapped back to the monitor wherein he saw a reflection of Hell looking down upon him from behind.

“You can hear its siren song calling out to you, but still you resist, Deacon Fox. So it is with each and every one.”

“You know the deal, so why do you pretend…”

“It is not I that pretends, Deacon Fox. It is you. It is you who denies the calling of your own soul. You know it could not be otherwise.”

Deacon swiveled round in his chair and looked up at the leather clad being that stood there looking down at him. Its skin was a deathly pale blue that seemed to glow in the light of the monitor. Its eyes were soulless black pits that sucked you in. The pale flesh of its head was lined vertically and horizontally with grooves and at the intersection of each, a nail had been driven in. Where the skin of its chest was exposed it had been torn away to reveal the deep red of raw muscle tissue – always wet as though it oozed, yet never clotted nor dripping. It wore a garment that looked like a priest’s cassock made of leather, from its high collared neck to the floor that it swept, concealing all hint of the human legs beneath. Unnervingly accessible were a small array of bladed hand tools which hung at its waist. A droplet of blood collected at the curved edge of one of the blades, became too heavy and plummeted, appearing to Deacon to fall as if in slow motion, to the floor where it splattered. Though they always bore signs of recent usage in the sculpting or carving of flesh there was little doubt of their sharpness. Deacon’s eyes tracked upward from the floor to its face. There was no doubt that this being was male, nor a doubt that it had once been human. It carried itself with a reverence befitting a prince, yet without the arrogance of one that lords his station above another. He was Hell’s favoured son, the Black Pope of Hell, a servant to Leviathan.

“Look, pinhead,” Deacon’s voice dripped with antipathy. “ You know very well that I opened that first box, years ago, and that we forged a deal. A deal that assured my damnation almost as surely as if I had resigned myself to the fate that cursed box had concealed.”

“Enough, Deacon Fox! We agreed that we would make you one of us, when you were ready, but your attitude bears out the lack of progress you have made to curb the chaos of the flesh and bring yourself into order. There are those in Hell that feel your progress has been less than exemplary. You buy yourself time in this realm as a puzzle guardian, but know that if you fail to discipline the flesh by the time your end comes, there are those eagerly awaiting to test and bring order to the chaos of the flesh that embodies you.”

“Whoa, whoa, whoa there. Let’s not get too excited. OK? The deal we’ve got going is a good one. I distribute your little boxes and ultimately bring you souls. The fee for my little service here is for you to make me one of you. Let’s not let my passions…”

“Your passions threaten to be your undoing, Deacon Fox. If you bring out what is within you, what is within you will save you. If you do not bring out what is within you, what is within you will destroy you.”

Deacon shrank a little within himself. Perhaps he’d pushed this one too far. Deacon got a momentary faraway look in his eye as he sought a way to placate and reason with this Cenobite.

“Well, what about that guy — that doctor — the one who killed all those nurses? I found him for you and got him the puzzle and now he’s your, right? I got him the box just in time, and now he’s yours. And all the other ones got was his kidney, right? That’s gotta count for something, right?”

“Unlike you, Deacon Fox, the good doctor had a finely honed sense of order. Yet like you, he too was a slave to the yearnings of his flesh and this was his undoing. In Hell he travels the road most arduous in search of his salvation – the Path of Pain. But he is not beyond redemption. He lacks focus when it comes to the desires of the flesh, but in Hell he will find new purpose or new purpose will find him.”

Deacon Fox did not want to contemplate what that meant.

“Find what is within you Deacon Fox, and what is within you will save you.”

The computer behind Deacon chimed merrily and said, “You have mail.” Like Pavlov’s dog Deacon looked over his shoulder at the monitor.

“Fail to find what is within you and what is within you will destroy you, Deacon Fox.”

Hearing his name he looked back, but it was gone. “Betrayed by my own flesh …” he thought, “… again.”

Deacon Fox turned his chair back around just in time to see five hooks flying forward out from the screen. They tore into his flesh and dragged him forward out of this seat, blood streaming from the wounds, face crashing into the monitor.

“Eyaah!” he shouted, suddenly awaking and sitting bolt upright, the flesh of his face still imprinted with the keys of his keyboard. On his screen the ornately crafted box slowly rotated and below it a black and yellow striped bar, with the words AUCTION CLOSED knocked out in white, stretched across the screen. Superimposed on this was a message from his email program - You Have New Mail! According to the time on the clock it was now 3:33 a.m..

Deacon lifted his coffee cup to his lips but found it empty. What he really wanted was a cigarette, and maybe a little more black beauty in his coffee. “Screw the cigarette,” he said. “Gotta curb the yearnings of the flesh.” He got up and went to the kitchen and set about brewing another pot of coffee.

-------------------------

Jonathan Saxby read the message on his screen and couldn’t believe his luck. Superimposed on the screen bearing an image of a rotating ornately crafted box with a black and yellow striped bar with the words “AUCTION CLOSED” knocked out in white letters was a pop-up screen with the message: “Congratulation Saxman. You are the successful bidder for Lot 666. Please proceed to checkout to confirm delivery instructions for your item. As per your instructions the bid of $1,248.00 has been debited from your account and has been transferred to the charity of your choice: ‘The Missing Children’s Foundation.’”

Jonathan printed the screen as a memento of his success and pinned it to the corkboard above his desk. He next inspected the financial transaction, confirmed the shipping instructions and concluded the order by pressing “OK”. Next he printed the record of order screen that followed and filed it with his other online purchases. “A place for everything,” he said to himself.

He then shut down his computer and made for the bathroom. He retrieved the toothpaste from where it lay between his hair brush and his toothbrush, squeezed out a line of paste with a perfect curly-cue at the end, and capped it. He brushed his teeth for two minutes in a soft and massaging manner, in swirls and strokes away from his gums. He filled the rinse glass with water that was neither warm nor cold, swished with a mouthful and spat out into the sink. He then rinsed his toothbrush under the running water, emptied his glass rinsing the sink, refilled it to the half-way mark and drank the water down. He then turned off the tap and set his glass down where it came from, the toothbrush where it came from beside the toothpaste and then turned the taps again as final drop of water came loose and fell into the sink and splattered. He surveyed the hairbrush, toothpaste and toothbrush and adjusted them so they were straight, in parallel rows, and as he did so he said to himself, “And everything in its place.”

After attending to his comfort he switched off the light in the bathroom, walked to the bedroom and slipped between the sheets in a sitting position. He reached over and turned off the light, slid down into the bed, and within minutes, into a peaceful slumber.

Maxx Blackwell

DISCLAIMER: "Millennium" and Frank Black (and his family - Catherine and Jordan), Peter Watts, and The Millennium Group, Peter Bletcher, Sammael, Lucy Butler and Dr. Ephraim Fabricant are the property of Chris Carter, 1013 Productions and the Fox Broadcasting Company. "Hellraiser", Pinhead, Cenobites and the Lament Configuration are the property of Clive Barker, New World Pictures, Mirimax Films and Dimension Films. Deacon Fox, Jonathan Saxby and all other support characters belong to me. This story is not written for profit and is for fan-fiction purposes only.

Stephen Maxwell Frankton-Lowe (smlowe@northwestel.net) a.k.a. Maxx Blackwell

September 2005

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LAMENT'S CONFIGURATIONS

Prologue

Nora Miller tightened her bathrobe around her as she laboured up stairs dimly lit by the flashlight in her left hand. Her head throbbed horribly from a migraine that was threatening to become a three-day event, made worse by the thunderstorm that had knocked out the power. She wouldn’t have been out of bed at all were it not for the troublesome neighbour upstairs – a young man named Simon something-or-other, who she thought of as Sullen Simon because of his unwavering despondent demeanor.

She lived in an old brown stone three-story Victorian style house, on the corner of Stratsconner and Corona – a quiet sidestreet in downtown Ottawa – that had been converted into a dwelling with six units.

Nora had complained many times to the landlord – Raj, an East Indian fellow – about the tenant who lived in apartment five directly above her and he in turn had spoken to Simon but with little to no effect. Simon’s list of transgressions, as far as Nora was concerned, included wearing black eyeliner, drinking, smoking, listening to loud music, burning strange incenses, chanting, and now watching movies late at night with the volume turned up too high. By the sound of the screaming going on it was a horror movie to be sure, and the shrieking caused her to wince.

When she got to the door of apartment five, marked as such by a bronze number 5 hanging upside down from the bottom screw and looking more like a deformed 2, she thought her head might explode.

As lightning flashed through the hallway window a black silhouette appeared suddenly. Nora, startled, pointed her flashlight at the silhouette and saw that it was nice Mr. Perkins from apartment six arriving who then greeted Nora with a furrowed brow and a nod.

“Damn noisy kid!” said Nora. “Someone’s got to stop him from playing his movies so loud so late.”

“But Ms. Miller, the power’s out. He can’t be playing a movie.”

He balled his hand into a fist and banged the base of it against the door, which then swung open.

The sound of the screaming and shrieking grew louder and seemed to be coming from a door with light streaming out from under it. Mr. Perkins identified it as the bedroom - his apartment was the reverse layout of this one.

The shrieking gave way to a gurgling sound as Nora watched Mr. Perkins swiftly cross the room to the bedroom door and take hold of the doorknob. Neither of them noticed something start to flow from under the door.

Mr. Perkins turned the doorknob but found the door wouldn’t open. When something thick and warm sufficiently soaked through his socks, Mr. Perkins took notice and looked down. Something was blocking the light that was streaming out from under the door earlier.

Nora lowered her flashlight and they both saw that a red, viscous liquid had pooled around Mr. Perkins’s feet. Blood. Mr. Perkins stepped back in revulsion and Nora’s hand covered her mouth as she gasped.

“Simon!” called Mr. Perkins. “Simon!” he shouted again, raising his voice and pounding on the door. “Nora, Call 911,” he instructed over his shoulder. “SIMON!” he yelled once more before starting to repeatedly throw his shoulder against the door.

Nora Miller, 63, who lived at the corner of Stratsconner and Corona turned on her heel and ran down the stairs as quickly as she could manage, her head pounding as the words “Call nine one one” repeated in her mind like a mantra.

Guest

A New Idea Millennium: The Trust

OK, so I just had a brainstorm idea. I was thinking about how we could promote the idea of a Millennium movie (as you may have seen the post in the thread regarding the petition) and while working up a promo piece came up with an idea for a novel, a movie, or a series direction. My idea is Millennium: The Trust. In second season we were introduced to another consulting group - The Trust - made up of former colleagues of Frank's from his early days at the FBI...Excerpted from "The Fouth Horseman" —[Front room – day. Frank is sat on his sofa. Richard Gilbert places a silver folder marked "THE TRUST" on a table.]RICHARD: We're calling it "The Trust", and we have two ex-KGB, two ex-MOSSAD agents working alongside an old company man – who'd have believed it. Of course the rest of us you know from the old Bureau days. Duncan, Vitaris, Brian Dixon. We feel, Frank, that we have taken the best elements of these organizations, and dumped the worst, and put together a corporate security consultation dream team.FRANK: That sounds great, Rich. I'm really happy for you and those guys, and …RICHARD: I tell you what, Frank – we've taken off like a rocket. And it's not just disgruntled employees and stalkers. Y'see, we're working with Western corporations in Moscow harassed by Russian gangsters.FRANK: Threat assessment?RICHARD: Yessir. And we've worked with, uh, the Japanese officials about the Aum Shinri Kyo Sect. Even governments in Columbia.FRANK: (smiles) Rich, you don't have to pitch me, you don't have to sell me.RICHARD: I just can't tell you how many times one of us from the Bureau says "well, we could sure use Frank on this one."FRANK: You want me to come and work for Brian Dixon?RICHARD: (chuckles) No, even Dix didn't want that – no, you're his idol. Now we all agree that the only way to do this is for you to come aboard as a full partner.[Frank is intrigued, and sits closer.]FRANK: What?RICHARD: My hunch is you're tight on funds …[Frank looks slightly embarrassed.]RICHARD: … so the company will take care of the buy-in money. And you can work against it. Now I don't know what the Millennium Group pays you, but I'm sure we'll be in the ballpark, and the advantage is this one's yours. So you know what it is, and we're all upfront about everything. Hell, you'd have more time to spend with Jordan, and the potential to make more for her future.They're what appear to be a squeaky clean outfit set in juxtaposition to the tarnished Millennium Group. The Trust would be a logical evolution of setting for Frank for the next leg of his adventures. At the beginning of third season Frank has moved from the Millennium Group to the FBI where he can expose and pursue the Group for it's evil turns. Thwarted by disbelief and misdirection within the FBI he finally leaves when Agent Hollis makes the ultimate betrayal and joins the Group as their insider at the FBI. At the end of the third season Frank "runs off into the sunset" with Jordan, leaving behind the FBI. At the end of Season 3 we are left with the impression that Peter Watts has been killed by the Group, but we don't have definite proof of this. It is conceivable that Watts could have killed his attacker. Which of course means it is possible to "ressurect him from the dead."At the end of Season 2 we are left with the impression that Lara Means has possibly gone irretreivably insane and was left to die from the marburg outbreak in the asylum. But we learned in Season 3 that the outbreak only killed 80 people, meaning poor Lara's still in the asylum pending release by another writer. It was Frank's intent in "The Fourth Horseman" that he couldn't leave the Group for The Trust without bringing Peter Watts and Lara Means with him ..."FRANK: I'm here to accept your offer.[They shake hands, begin walking together.]FRANK: I'm really grateful for you guys. And I'm anxious to begin working with you.[Richard stops.]RICHARD: But we have to wait.[Frank nods.]FRANK: We can no longer communicate by phone.RICHARD: The Trust understands the danger you're in.[This surprises Frank.]RICHARD: We've heard about the Millennium Group.FRANK: There are people involved. I can't leave them behind. I've got to get them out.RICHARD: Investigating the Millennium Group will be the most difficult case you've ever had. They don't tolerate enemies.With the right spin it could be possible for the three to reunite and go to The Trust. I figure that if Frank could come back from mental place he was in ... [A small, square room with one small window and door. Lara is lying strapped to a bed, staring straight at the ceiling, blinking occasionally. Frank is sitting with his leg crossed at a chair.]FRANK: Lara, you're the only one – not my wife, not my family – who ever understood. (a beat) Only you.[Lara just stares, peacefully.]FRANK: I've traveled that road, Lara, that you're on. What I saw made me swear that I would rather die than return.[Lara is unresponsive.]FRANK: Oh, I know peace can be found there. And if you do – if you do find it – I know you will never return. (under his breath) Thank you. (to Lara, louder) Thank you.[Frank gets up and leaves. The room's door slams shut.]... then so could Lara. Peter's loyalty to the Group presents a problem, but having a hitman sent to wack him might have been just the encouragement he needed to convince him that he had to get out. In addition to this the execution of some or all of his family would be enough to finish the job. According to the X-Files episode Millennium the Group disbanded. Hopeful thinking I'd say, and I suspect the FBI's information is wrong, likely skewed by Director Hollis. As it is put in "The Hand of St. Sebastien" ... "The church is a snake in the open. It is the snake in the grass that causes concern." The Group has likely gone underground as it was when the Templars disbanded and became the Masons.Afterall, the Owls believing in a secular Apocalypse - as Lara explains it in Roosters ...LARA: So, Johnston's claim, the Owls claim, is that six billion years ago, before the formation of the Earth, two neutron stars collided six billion light years away. This collision released cosmic rays, particles of such extreme energy, that the collision of these particles could transform the vacuum of space and cause a tear in the fabric of our universe.[Lara pauses, preparing.]LARA: The Owls claims to have proof, that this tear, this expanding cosmic bubble, will reach our solar system within the next sixty years. And a new universe, its properties calculated anywhere between apocalyptic and inconsequential, will be created.... will see they have not been relieved of their responsibility to the world and will carry on in one form or another, the same way the Family fragmented from the group and have continued with their mission. The Roosters may or may not have persisted. Given the theme of "we are racing towards an apocalypse of our own creation" I would think if anyone would have a reason to create an apocalypse it would be the Roosters in an attempt to bring about the return of the Messiah. There are many threats out there including our favorite devil-girl, Lucy Butler. Many avenues to explore. Somewhere there's a story waiting to be told by me. I just need to find it. And who know what it may become. A comic. A novel. A movie. Part of a series. (OK, so I like to think big.)This Is Who We Are

Guest

The Time Is Near

gallery_1248_57_24587.jpgThe Time is Near. Will I turn out to be a Rooster, crowing at the dawn, or is it still late at night? This, I hope, will be the prologue post to the first posting of my Millennium/Hellraiser Fanfic Crossover - Lament's Configurations.Chapter 1 is complete and Chapter 2 is underway. If all goes well I will shortly be receiving feedback from members of our local writer's group and shortly thereafter it is my intention that it be posted. The entire story as I envision it should be at least the length of a novella and if all goes well a full-blown novel. Like the Legion mythology that has a story arc that covers many episdoes over three seasons, it is my belief that I have enough ideas to generate the material for a trilogy of novels that explores Frank Black's discovery of the existence of, and encounters with, the Cenobites - servant's of Leviathan and his introduction to a new order of evil.At the outset my desire is to follow a Millennium style story template and refrain from the bloodbath and gore-infested slock that always looms as a danger when you try to write something for a horror series like Hellraiser. My aim is to write a tale of such calibre that were Frank Black to read this story he wouldn't find it to be the mindless schlock that he views the horror genre of films with in "Thirteen Years Later" and "Midnight of the Century". I hope my intent carries through in this way, and it is perhaps a good omen that in general, the Hellraiser movies were somewhat restrained in their graphic portrayals. I invite and welcome comments. This will be my first time putting my writing out for public consumption, so I hope you find it worthy. If anyone associated with Millennium or Hellraiser should read it and find it entertaining and good in your estimation I'd love to hear your feedback as an insider. My thanks go out to my wife, Gwen, and also our friends, Caroline and Sue, who have always believed in me and supported my desire to write stories. I'd also like to thank the various roleplaying gamers I've played with for the last 25 years for whom I've been generating plotlines, scenarios and dialogue on a weekly basis. This has been the fire within which the metal of my skills as a storyteller have been forged. I'd also like to thank the good folks of the TIWWA forum who have encouraged me and helped me build a better understanding of Millennium and in some cases Hellraiser too. I'd also like to thank the good folks as Ten Thirteen (1013) Productions and especially Chris Carter, without whom there would be no Millennium, and of course Clive Barker and all those responsible for the Hellraiser mythos. Finally I'd like to dedicate this story to Lance Henriksen and Doug Bradley who brought the characters of Frank Black and Pinhead to life for us.
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