Introduction to the STAKES character and his Head Master—an HG Wells type figure, who through complex machinery has founded the Janus Nexus.
The Stakes boy is a little creepy on the exterior, and we probably don’t think we’re going to get much out of him, but overall through the course of the overall narrative he is most like Goku, because he at heart simply wants to be the best at battle overall, and doesn’t really have any motivation outside of that, and fame nor fortune spurns him—what carries him on is absolute mastery of combat techniques, specifically hand-to-hand, but of all variety, and the war against “the vampires” is just the excuse of necessity a guy like him needed. Instead of impressing others at high school or college athletics, he would be raised inside of a war, given an opportunity, he would never leave.
To add something to the historical element of the story… maybe the co-development of food, across history. For example the Heinz ketchup and Coca Cola stories, alongside the industrialization of the West. Food is at the heart of the vampire story. Heinz is one of the first to use electricity in his factory, for example (quickly recognizing the benefits of electricity over kerosene or candle light). Most food would spoil during the era of the Great Depression, American iconic companies began to arise in order to provide food alternatives that wouldn’t quickly spoil, and were good to eat with anything. Kellog and Post and the morning ritual of breakfast becoming cerealized grain foods with milk poured on top of it.
How to raise a stakes:
Narrator is Omniscient, (maybe) not a character. Exclusive to Master and Apprentice sections. The Old Man and [the Stakes]. Claudius does not know them yet, but they have a working relationship with Augustus and Livia and the whole Royal Court (who rose up together in the times of the conflict with Mark Antony, following the death of Julius Caesar).
****Page Nine, First Panel.
Title 1, Page 9. “Ocatavius the Cog Master—Great Technican, The god Augustus sanctions: Roman Declaration relating to the Janus Nexus, otherwise known as the Society of Janus. The signed and sealed declaration denotes that these premises and this person shall not be interfered with or harassed, in any way, on pain of death—of all persons involved.
The Cog Master’s Room is essentially a giant carved out room in an underground base that is dedicated to the enormously complex machinery and invenstilbs of the eccentric Old Man’s experimentation, which he uses to develop a time machine similar to an HG Wells, a gentleman who is both genius and philanthrope.
A boy in a light brown trench coat, [the Stakes],with a scarf, maybe too big for him, runs along the snowy roads of the city just outside of the Temple complex where the Nexus Headquarters was located. The boy would become the strong arm of the Society of Janus, one day, but now he is just an apprenticing young boy, and Posthumous and Castor are fully-grown strong-arms of the Janus Nexus: The Paladins. Granted authorities but ultimately guardians of the Palace, the history of the Holy Roman Empire era is explored as well.
The gear in his hand is cut precisely to the Master’s instruction. It usually worked like that. All the machinery, it was really just overly-complicated machines, and electricity—before anybody else had it—and the Old Man can do nearly anything. He became friends with the Druids, during the occupation by Rome. He conducted scientific experiments with Benjamin Franklin, mainly vivisections if you must know, and that was a grizzly side to Ben, but it was true, and the Old Man procured the dead bodies along with the future face of the One Hundred Dollar Bill.
The boy treading through the snow holds the cog with brown gloves, like a snowflake, in his hand.
[Out on an errand, hours go by.]
[ An errand that’s simple enough, still takes time… and the drains on his time like these are difficult for him to deal with… he is a habitual, and a ritualistic creature, and obsessive compulsive a bit, and a stickler for safety precautions of many kinds.
Inside the warm workshop of the Cog Master, The door opens, and the yellow-haired apprentice walks in. He is without his trademark circular glasses, as he will look for the majority of the time we’ll see the character from now on as…
(the Stakes) “I apologize for the… delay. But it took awhile, on foot.”
The Cog Master, the ‘Great Technician’, ‘The BOSS,’ the Old Man, sat there, at his desk.
Not turning around to address [the Stakes], he is engrossed in his work—a razor’s edge focus is honing in and he hardly even hears the boy.
The stakes walks in holding the precisely cut cog in his hand. The Old Man remembers why he’d sent the boy out, gone for all these hours, and that cog cut and the accompanying specifications had held up his progress with his latest machine up until that point.
There is a big magnifying lens on his desk, a coffee mug.
The Roman Emperor, Augustus, had been breathing down his neck all week. He was a worrier, and got obsessive with his requests of the Old Man, to modify the timeline—but the Cog Master wouldn’t budge.
Some steam rises above their heads , and the Apprentice jumps in, mechanically, turning off the valve which the ‘BOSS’ had negligently not accounted for.
Sloppy methodology. The boy noted it. He didn’t like sloppiness. It was something he had taught [the Stakes], maybe, or something a little extra re-printed in the boy himself, his wiring maybe, but what the Old Man perfectly understands pangs of youthful energy, and he’s seen the same things all across the timelines. He’s seen it in humans every time—and everywhere, behaving the same ways in youth. In reaction to all their different cultures, their are measurable data here. He’d tried to hammer home the same point to Augustus, but the stubborn mule, they used to call him Octavius though and sometimes he slipped and referred to him by his boyhood name, had never really digested the scientific messaging of that one. He was raised to be a statesmen, but became a war chief, and in a well-coordinates and masterful power move seized the reigns of the Roman Empire from Mark Antony, who fled to Egypt and eventually couldn’t be torn away from another big figure of history: Cleopatra.
There is an empty coat rack to the left of the stage (behind the walking Apprentice) that’s labeled ‘The Armory.’ There is also a steaming coffe-pot station to the far right of the workspace. The fuel depot.
The floors were Wooden, the desks were wooden, wood hand-selected by the Arch-Druids of Brittania, so it was the good stuff, and scraps of metal and machines made by metallurgists of the future, in the background. He was in Rome now, before the Emperor Tiberius era, but he wasn’t always there. The blacksmiths of the Roman era deliciously envied his incomprehensible alloys.
Everyone in Augustus’s court knew him as the undisputed ‘BOSS’, the title he proposes after incredible displays of what seemed like some kind of true magic, military magic, and wizards can be generally left alone, and receive certain indulgences, due to this aura of respectability in terror.
To the right of the seated, grey-haired, unknowable, Cog Master, whose back faces the boy, his coffee mug seemed to respond for him, spontaneously sprouting tiny mechanical legs… and a small indentation at the lid to use as its eyes, and it even had the likeness of a mouth, the coffee mug automaton springs to life to get itself a steaming cup of coffee.
… the mug hops off the desk, we see it mid-air. The camera has zoomed back out to the coffee mug free-falling to the ground.
The Apprentice has stopped to the immediate left of the Cog Master, and as if viewing the descending coffee mug. He watches the device, unflinchingly, as he stands there still holding the cog in his hand.
The cog master, or Old Man as he calls him, turns toward [the Stakes] with large, comically oversized magnifying-lenses over his eyes. There are electronics devices uncharacteristic of the age sparking on his desk behind him.
The mug has made it’s way to the steaming hot coffee pot station, an arm springs out and it reaches to activate the novel to pour the hot liquid within itself.
It has begun it’s crawl up the kitchen cabinets to the counter—gyroscope systems keep the thing from spilling.
(Old Man): “Ahh, yes. Come in, come in.”
“I am at a critical phase.”
“This new machine will revolutionize all of our errands and chores!”
“Right now, the world ends Digitally, as it stands.”
“What does that mean?”
“We’ll get to that another time…”
“For now, everything’s analog.”
The robotic cog-coffee mug… poured some of the brew into itself, and then slowly and carefully, careful not to spill, made it’s way back to the cog master’s work bench. Maybe show this action of the mug over the course of the entire page, or panel by panel progressions.
(Stakes) “Well that’s good news.”
(Old Man) “Yes it is–a mortal’s attention is a precious commodity.”
(Stakes) “What is it supposed to do, Cog Master?”
(Old Man) “A… Hydrophilic/Hydrophobic, cylindrical refuspin. Using centrifugal methods and machine-based systems to dry cloth materials: a washer, and dryer.
The first encounter they embark on is to help out young American Danny Torrance, a young psychic boy who had narrowly escaped a possessing and axe-wielding spirit that had infiltrated his father. He called his powers “shining” and apparently there was another there that had met his end by the axe-wielder, the old cook at the Overlook Hotel. He shined too.
Danny would later have a series of encounters where he will be able to use his powers to do a great deal of good—and he also would find and protect many children, and a few who shine like he had as a kid, sending out the unknown beacon of light for any dark creature out there to see. He would protect a particular little girl from those who feed on and predate on those kids who shone, like him, like them, who was a powerful psychic.
He has battled the demons that accompanied his “shining,” infested tribal lands, with summoned ancient evils, and he has fought his way into the service of the Paladins, but his service is not over. Now, to the histories of the folk we keep, he will forever be remembered as ‘Doctor Sleep.’ He hasn’t yet died in a fire at the Overlook Hotel.
[The stakes] kid, at his core, is Danny Torrance. He’s one like him. He, however, was lucky enough to gain a Father figure.
Jack Crow also “shined” when he was a kid. Luckily, there was on old stone church who took him in, protected him from some forces of darkness, exposed him to different forces of darkness within the Church, but surviving to adulthood, now he’s a fighter, always had been, and they send him to some of the toughest places, rooting out evil, a Paladin, soldier of the Janus Nexus, we work with him through a Cardinal, but he’s going to meet his destiny in places like Arizona, and New Mexico, in America during the end of the 20th Century.
Perhaps both are equally damaged, but they so co-equally shined. Their shine was a strong light in the empty landscape, for these creatures travel like wraiths across the land, observing… and taking for their own lives whomever they could devour.
Kids, few can observe back, and fewer still call out to them, the other ‘good’ ones… on purpose or on accident, some simply shine too brightly, and are caught!
Danny, later in life, so it’s said, discovered someone like him, in his adult life, after a lifetime of substance abuse, and recovery, but a super human “shiner,” a little girl with beautiful black skin who could shine unlike anyone…
Maybe that was his consolation prize—for the horror. The birthing of some good… after the ‘horror’ he had seen, at the Overlook Hotel. This young girl called out—across miles—hundreds of miles, maybe she could go thousands, and she could do unbelievable things. A team of predators, nomadic, long-living, thought they knew what psychic power was, shades, essentially undead, fallen, her power shocked their leader, Rose the Hat, and her power snapped like a trap, Rose’s hand, Rose’s “Cathedral of a mind,” she had bragged, this girl was a super human—an anomaly—a mutation! of—of some kind, Rose thinks it’s her ‘white whale’ but it’s bigger than that, bigger than her, it’s the world’s… a gift to the world, for fighting the shadows…
The Old Man is the Stake’s consolation prize, which was a larger than life purpose. He works so far going no further in the timeline than this little girl, and ‘Doctor Sleep.’ They would go backwards now, and threats in the timeline would spring up which they would have to… ‘correct.’
Around this time period, there was a boy who could see dead people, but wouldn’t hardly whisper this to himself alone than reach out to living people and reveal his secret. He Shined, a little, but we learn little from other than that ghosts exists, too. There is also someone else in America, who runs a crew of vampire slayers.
And the there’s Blade.
And the Highlander.
There are wizards, sorcerers, necromancers, immortals, dragons, blood-magic, zombies, psychics, ufo’s, and even an occasional werewolf or giant bat.
The Janus nexus is good because it anchors us at the start of the ultimate foray into this vast history. This will be a massive history lesson, economics lesson, military history and biography.
In the story’s overarching narrative: the duo, like HG Wells, and Batman and Robin of the Adam West “good ole’ days,” of pleasant tv censorship by the Catholics, with their time machine, and their crazy adventures—and their antics— always staving off the horrors of possibilities.
The Janus Nexus staves off dark dystopic futures that had been consciously avoided, by subtle manipulations across time, and wooden stakes, allowing all or mostly all, those acts of entropy and evil that are perhaps and necessary—unnecessary suffering by innocents… though, and they come with punishments, sometimes, and so HG Wells and his companion from the Janus Nexus may see them passing by in the wormholes, maybe even Santa Claus is there, merrily on his sleigh with those great slobbering well-groomed beasts, the ones with the antlers and the Ruby-nosed one, clearly he was the elder to everyone in the slipstream, maybe it was St. Nicholas.
We jump to America at two main points: the modern era, maybe more around the 80s and 90s, for the movies made then, and then also early on when things get more challenging we go to the Ole’ West, the Dust Bowl, and the Civil War era of America.
We study economics and warfare further.
Then there is the ancient world, at the construction… and first implementation of the nexus of the Janus Society, which is a giant cube of cogs, electronics, and machinery, and also in the medieval period, the evolution of the group beginning upon “the Palatine”, and maybe the next important node will be Renaissance era Italy.
The medieval era will be I think around 1150 AD or so, I think this era had the Holy Roman era and kingdoms with autocrats in around Hungary and the Black Sea, who had merged the state with the religion, and the Mongol Golden Horde was dominating on horseback the Asian landmass. I think this nomadic-tribal culture eventually became the Ottomans, through fusing with Islam, and so in an Eastern-European monarchy in the hills of the Carpathian… next to the Black Sea… the royal family bloodline becomes the famous vampire bloodline in fiction and fantasy.
Perhaps in Bram Stoker’s literary novelization, of ‘Vlad the Impailers’ tale. Vlad Tepesh: The bloodline of the Dragon. But who turned him?
And in our story’s narrative, who killed Posthumous?
Was it actually, really Caine? The purported “first” vampire, of history? Was it an Antediluvian, perhaps, an ancient kindred, who is thousands of years old and capable of powers described only in legend.
*(A secret to come, in the future execution of the series we find that it’s neither, but instead another Roman figure from history, far in the future, a hundred years or so!, also named “Postumus” and is a different spelling than we’ve here used, for the character ‘Posthumous’ because of the use of the word, for “after life.”
The Mongol horde defied a lot of historical norms of their era. They were a formidable warrior force, and nomadic culture.
The Renaissance era will, conversely, have broader view, the macro-economic sphere, visions of Earth and humanity through history as an economics lesson seems to evolve here, and therefore great works of art, unrivaled perhaps, in history, and are thus funded with the abundant excess wealth, as well as building works projects, and in places across the world the funding of armies, and expanding of debts by kingdoms to finance wars.
The textile industry is the basis of the Industrialized economy, and in clothing manufacturing and surrounding labor costs, and markets, accounted for banking when the stable trade could emerge, for emerging new ventures, soon their would be an explosion of inventions, however, for now, some will take out these same loans to finance European conflicts by princes, who short-sightedly borrow money, with or without the ensuring for success in the military campaign, in spoils and in raising and pillaging, and the one you raised and pillaged maybe owed debts too, now unpayable—everybody’s dead.
The cloth manufacturing family and workers are squeezed by the leaders, their “nobles,” regardless, and their self-interest-accruing debts to finance royal wars is passed on again for the suffering heaps upon the common people, instead of the rightful target the powerful. It’s not power itself that’s any problem, but this feudal misuse of power over others, over innocents and criminals alike, and so are looked down upon later on in history. The students of the future see here the birth of a monster, which follows after banking and Italian cloth manufacturing and specializing to mining, and excavating natural mineral resources, minting of coin going hand in hand with banking, in the form of specie, and then when this wealth in mining and metallurgy, the world starts to industrialize…
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