Snow Angel: Chapter 2

Printer-friendly version

lights06.gif

December 2021 Christmas Holidays Story Contest Entry

snow angel.png

 

Chapter 2: Light-bearer

Snow's whole life changes when the winter solstice arrives.

 

I nodded and smiled. “Good, now you should all try to get some sleep and I should get back to tending the light. But first, how about I sing you all one of the ever-night songs?”

 


 
Author's Note: It's a little later today that I hoped for since my arm really wasn't happy with me, but it's done. Big thanks to Talia and Dot for all their help and support and Merry Christmas to all. So, here's part 2 of Snow Angel. Thanks to Big Closet and to all my readers for your support. I hope you all enjoy. ~Amethyst.
 


 
Chapter 2: Light-bearer

The shelter was a large cave in the cliffside, enough to fit the two hundred plus people of our village twice over. There was a great fire pit in the middle which had been readied to start the great pyre, with all the wood that could be carried inside waiting off to the side for me to refuel the fire as needed. With the doors closed the only openings were some small openings that had been made in the ceiling of the cavern and covered with metal grates to allow fresh air inside and smoke from fires to escape if we needed to take shelter for long periods.

It was dark inside, only a few torches lit so far and I was suddenly grateful for my excellent low-light vision as I approached Chief Ragan. “We should get started, I guess,” I said, though it came out with the air of a question.

The Chief nodded but his gaze was on the doors. “Where is Abby, Snow?”

“There was a big Demon outside, she said it was a Razorwing? She told me that I should tell people that there’s an Angel out there fighting for them and then ran off to get its attention away from the shelter,” I explained uncertainly.

“So, she finally told you, did she?” he asked with a sad smile as he placed a gentle hand on my shoulder. “We haven’t often needed her skills since she came here to raise you but if anyone can keep us all safe it is your aunt, Snow. Abbadine won’t let us down. How are your injuries, lass?”

“I’m a bit sore, but I’ll be just fine. I have work to do, after all,” I admitted with the best smile that I could manage. The pain could have been worse but while everyone else was hurrying about and moving things for the ceremony of light to the shelter, our medicine woman, Sharee had taken me back to the cabin that I shared with my aunt. Once we were there she had tended to my injuries to ensure they were properly cared for, given me one of her tonics to ease the pain, and encouraged me to get out of my hunting leathers and into my most cheerful winter dress. I needed to provide an image of confidence and cheer for our people and I knew that as well as Sharee and Chief Ragan did

My smile was gratefully returned. “There’s a good lass, let’s get to it then,” Chief Ragan said as guided me by the shoulder, taking one of the torches from a sconce near the doors before leading us to the pyre that had been quickly rebuilt in the cavern’s large fire pit. Then he handed me the torch and called for everyone’s attention. Suddenly every eye in the cavern was looking at me.

I took a deep breath to steady myself and then nearly dropped the torch as a loud boom resounded through the cavern, seeming to shake the very ground. I was followed by a second, less intense one and I wondered if that was because Aunt Abby was leading the Razorwing away. I wasn’t quite sure what I should be saying but Chief Ragan squeezed my shoulder reassuringly and whispered, “Just speak from the heart, lass.”

I once again held the torch high and tried to speak loudly and clearly enough for everyone in the cavern to make out my words. “Tonight is the ever-night. We stand here together, ready to face the darkness ahead, to hold it back until the dawn. The old world fell into the longest night, but we will not allow that to happen to us. We stand here together, family and friends, and we will endure and hold onto the light until dawn because we are here for one another and we are stronger together.”

I paused a moment to look around at all the familiar faces around me, keeping the torch held high so they could see my attempt at a smile before I spoke again. “You all heard those bangs, you felt them. There is a Demon at our doors, maybe more than one. I faced one today and I’m still here to talk about it, so I know that if we hold on to hope and the light and take care of one another that we can hold back the dark facing us tonight. Right now, my aunt is out there facing the Darkness at our doorstep. We have an Angel watching over us tonight and she will not fail us, so we won’t fail her either. Hold back the darkness in your hearts and I, your light-bearer, will hold back the darkness around us until Kriss-mass dawns!”

I crouched down and, ignoring the protests of pain this caused in my injured leg, reached out with the torch to set it to the pitch and kindling at the bottom of the pyre. It quickly caught and slowly began to build into a roaring fire that I hoped would not only give us light but warmth in this cool cavern as well. Once I was sure that the blaze wouldn’t die out I got back to my feet, a small hiss of pain escaping my lips. I just kept my breathing steady and tried to show no outward signs of my discomfort as I moved from the fire to light the two dozen lanterns that had been placed around the cavern.

The lanterns were simple earthen oil lamps that had been fitted with glass covers in a variety of colors. One of the larger towns southwest of us had a potter and glassmaker who specialized in creating such things and each year they traded us a few for a supply of clay and river sand. It was well worth it since they sold their wares for large sums in the larger towns and cities.

They certainly provided a more cheerful atmosphere once lit and when I finished my task the inside of the cavern was bathed in the colored lights in addition to the large pyre. I had also lit some smaller cooking fires so that those responsible for cooking our evening meal, including the two grouse that I had caught, could complete that task. One would think that my job was now done, right? No, I still had much to do.

Throughout the night I would be feeding the pyre whenever it looked like it was starting to die down. I would be doing the same for the lanterns, adding oil rendered from animal fat that we had saved up all year long in bladders around twice the size as what we usually used for water or the various berry wines that we produced in the summer. The most important fires that I would be stoking through the night though would be those in the souls of my fellow villagers as I tried to keep smiles on their faces and hope in their hearts.

And so began my duties as the light-bearer of the ever-night. We ate and talked about the past year and our hopes to be blessed with another like it. Sometimes the conversation lulled as I tended the lamps and pyre, especially among the children. Their eyes would shift uncertainly toward a darkened corner when a lamp started to sputter and wouldn’t leave until it was once again producing a steady flame. I didn’t know this because I was watching them but because I could remember doing so myself when I was their age. I knew that tonight keeping their hope was going to be difficult with no moon to light the sky outside and us stuck inside the shelter with Demons at the gates.

~o~O~o~

It was getting late and the children were getting too tired to stay awake. Alas, they were also too scared to sleep. I had just finished adding more wood to the pyre and oil to the lanterns in the corner where they would be sleeping to reassure them but I wanted to do more to ease their young minds. They were all huddled together, over thirty of them, on blankets and rushes that had been stacked and placed together to make their sleep as comfortable as possible in what was essentially a cave. I smiled down at them and sat cross-legged among the circle of children huddled together, quickly suppressing a hiss of pain at the discomfort.

“Tell me, what troubles you?” I asked. I knew what it was, or at least I could make a good guess, but sometimes it helped to get it out in the open, to face it and have someone tell you not just that it would be okay, but why.

It was Nalma, one of the younger girls and a Harekin who hesitantly replied, her ears twitching nervously. “Wh… what if the world ends while we sleep? There are D…Demons out there.”

“It won’t end. I won’t let it,” I vowed. “The elders say that Kasala, the Great Spirit of the moon and snow has plans for me. Do you truly think that She would have such plans and then just let the world end? My aunt won’t let the Darkness come for us either. If I can fight off a Demon, just think of what she can do. She’s an Angel, so no Demon is going to stop her from keeping us safe and ensuring the dawn comes. And until it does, we’ll be safe in here. The walls and doors are thick and we have the Pyre. Do you know why fire provides light and warmth, Nalma?”

“Because the Great Spirits gave it to us to comfort us during the long night after the fall of the old world?” Her answer was uncertain, but it seemed that she remembered the story of Tatuke and the Fire Spirit.

I nodded and reached out to ruffle her long dark hair. “Very good, but it was also given to us to protect us. You see, Demons fear fire above all other things, except Angels. That is why the Angels burn the Demons’ bodies, to destroy them and keep them from ever coming back. Even Darkness itself flees from the light of the flames. As long as the pyre burns we will remain safe from the Darkness.”

“Did you really fight a Demon, Snow?” Oscar, one of the older Foxkin boys asked, tilting his head to look at me incredulously.

“Yup, it was a Demon-wolf and its howl could shatter trees. If you ever see a Demon, find a place to hide until help can come. I probably only beat it because I’m spirit-touched, and I had to use my gift to fight it and make sure I didn’t get any of its blood on me,” I replied.

Len, a Catkin girl who was just starting to show the signs of becoming a woman spoke up next. Her ears turned lightly to the sides and her slowly swishing tail gave away her anxiety and uncertainty as much as the expression on her face or the quiver in her voice. “Wh… what if our cabin or the whole village get destroyed?”

“That could happen,” I told her honestly. “When I was little, half of the village was destroyed when Demons attacked, but my aunt will probably try to keep fighting away from there, and so would any other Angels who come to help. If that does somehow happen, then we’ll rebuild. We’ve done it before and we’ll likely have to do it again. It doesn’t matter though.”

“Why? Everything we own is there; my clothes, the bow that grandpa made me, and the gifts that I made for Mama, Papa, and my brother.”

I shook my head, reaching out to gently stroke the anxious Catkin’s cheek, and told her, “Should Kriss-Mass come and we see daylight when we leave this cave then that is what is important. Our homes, possessions, and the gifts we plan to exchange are just things. They can be fixed or replaced. The important thing is those people you mentioned, people who can’t be replaced. You’ll have another year with them and being together with those we love is what Kriss-Mass is all about.”

I could see Len and the other children thinking over my words. Her body language relaxed a bit as she nodded. “You’re right, Snow. I can’t wait to wake up and spend Kriss-mass with them. No matter what it brings, at least we’ll have each other.”

I nodded and smiled. “Good, now you should all try to get some sleep and I should get back to tending the light. But first, how about I sing you all one of the ever-night songs?” Eager nods and smiles met my proposal and as they all got comfortable again for sleep, I began to softly sing.

Darkest night, Ever-night
Stave off the dark, until the light
Round the light-bearer, one and all
Light pyre and lanterns, to hold back nightfall
Keep hope until Kriss-Mass dawns,
Keep hope until Kriss-Mass dawns.

Darkest night, Ever-night
For our sake, Angels fight
Shield us from Demons, born from Darkness
Til Darkness is vanquished, they will never rest
Keep your hope shining bright,
Keep your hope shining bright.

Darkest night, Ever-night
When Kriss-Mass dawns, all will be right
When the night is over, don't be afraid
Hope for the future, let's celebrate
Celebrate light, hope, and joy,
Celebrate light, hope, and joy.

It was one of my favorite ever-night songs. The melody was so soothing and relaxing and I smiled as I saw some of the children already beginning to drift off. I checked once more on the pyre and seeing that it didn’t seem to need any more wood yet I made my way to the other lanterns to check on them. As I was doing so, Chief Ragan came into step with me and reached out to ruffle my hair just as I had done earlier with Nalma. “Fine job with the young’uns, lass. I knew that we made the right choice for our light-bearer. We will miss you and Abbadine but you will make a fine Angel someday.”

I could feel my face flushing and not from the heat of the lantern that I was tending. “Thank you. Wait, Aunt Abby?”

“She only came here to care for you until you were old enough to make your own way in life, lass. She’s an Angel, and her duty is to the Queen and all of the peoples of Misota, not just our small village. She will be going to the capital with you so she won’t be far if you need her,” the large Bearkin assured me. “And as for you… You may be leaving the village but I think that we will always be in your heart and, since we aren’t going anywhere, we’ll always be here if you want to visit.”

“I… thank you… I,” I attempted to reply, embarrassed and not quite sure what to say.

“You’ve always been a good lass, even if you’ve never been quite sure of yourself or your place in the world,” he said suddenly interrupting my inane attempt at a response. Sometimes we choose light-bearers more for your own sake than that of the village. If I were to choose what’s best for the village I wouldn’t want to let you leave because even when you don’t care for yourself, you still care for the people around you and that drives you. We all care for you too but most of us can see that this is not where you belong, you belong out in the wider world, finding yourself and making the world a better place.”

~o~O~o~

For the rest of that long night, I thought about what Chief Ragan said to me as I tended the pyre and the lamps. I had plenty of time to think and even many of the adults were settling in for sleep so it was quiet as well. He had been right that going out and seeing more of the world and helping others appealed to me greatly. As an Angel I could do that, I could make a difference.

Could I truly find myself out there though? It wasn’t really as if I was lost, after all. I knew exactly what I wanted, I just didn’t think that it was possible. I could dress the part all that I wanted, and sometimes it was almost enough, but it wasn’t like I could ever be the woman in body that I knew I was in my soul. I doubted that even the Angels could help me with that. Angels could do great things, but miracles?

Thinking about Angels of course also made me think about my aunt. She was one of the strongest and smartest people I knew, and knowing that she was an Angel made me even more proud than ever to have her as my aunt. I was worried about her though. I had seen what she had run off to fight and it made the Demon that I had fought in the woods seem like an infant by comparison. How could anyone, even an Angel, fight something like that and win?

I was trying not to dwell on such things and instead, I began worrying about something else that was weighing heavily on my mind as I tried to stay awake. It was hard to tell how close we were to sunrise inside the shelter with the doors tightly sealed but everyone else had seemingly fallen asleep. Meanwhile, I was fighting to stay awake, we were close to running out of oil for the lanterns, and I had been letting the pyre dye down a bit between wood feedings to conserve fuel. That was when my sensitive ears picked up the sound of metallic tapping, causing me to jump in shock and my heart to race as I let out something between a shriek and a squeak in my surprise.

Someone, or something, was tapping on the great iron doors to the shelter. I listened carefully, my heart skipping a beat. Three quick taps…Pause… A quick tap and a long tap… Another pause… Two quick taps, followed by a long one and another quick one… Pause again… A quick tap. I breathed a sigh of relief as I spelled it out in my mind. S.A.F.E.

Aunt Abby had taught me the tap language when she taught me to read, write, and calculate numbers. For the first few years after she had arrived, she had taught me, several of the other kids my age, and a few adults like Chief Ragan as well. She felt that they were useful skills and it was no different to her teaching one person or a group. Nobody in the village had had any of those skills before she started teaching us and, except for the tap language, all of the skills had proven useful to the village when trading, and one of the women she had taught was now teaching the village children.

I had always wondered where she had learned those skills. I had never really left the village except to hunt or help with gathering berries and other things but from what some of our traders had told me, they weren’t commonly taught skills. Usually, only wealthy people in the larger towns and cities of Misota and the other nearby countries that they had visited on trading expeditions were taught such things. Now that I knew she was an Angel it made a little more sense to me.

I approached the doors and removed the bar securing it. Opening it cautiously and peeking outside I saw something that made me open them wide and practically jump through. It was Aunt Abby. Her clothes were half shredded and she was bruised and bleeding but she was alive and her face was lit by the rising sun. My chest tightened and tears filled my eyes as I ran to embrace her.

Only I didn’t actually embrace her, I fell through her. I turned around, looking around in confusion and sudden fear. Had she died? Become one of the spirits? “Huh? What? How?”

Her voice coming from my right snapped me out of it and I turned to see her standing about twenty paces away. “It’s my gift, Snow. Sorry to use it on you like that, I’m happy to see you too but I can’t have you hugging me yet. I’m covered in Demon blood. I need to burn these clothes and get clean. I just wanted to let you know that I’m okay. All of the Demons in the area have been suppressed and there is just the clean-up to deal with now. I thought that you might want to see that though.”

I followed her pointing finger and stared in awe. It was the most beautiful sight that I had ever seen. It wasn’t the sunrise, though it was magnificent and a huge relief after waiting out the ever-night. Shining there in the distance above the forest, bathed in the golden light of the dawn was something that defied description, I had never seen anything like it before.

It looked to be made of dark metal and hovered above the ground, but it didn’t seem to be alive like the Razorwing was. It was almost shaped like a massive dragonfly but the thick wide wings were on the underside and while they weren’t moving I could hear a high-pitched whine. “What is that?” I asked in stunned awe as it lowered itself to the ground slipping down amongst the trees.

“That’s our ride to the capital,” she told me with a grin.

“That… That’s not the airship that the Santa comes on. It’s like… a dragonfly,” I stammered, shaking my head in wonder. For one thing, it was much smaller. The airships that the Santas came on every year were huge, made from dark wood and shiny brass like great ships in the sky and they had these massive bladders tied above them that Aunt Abby said were filled with hot air.

“No, that’s something that we use to get Angels to an area fast. I can’t tell you too much yet, it’s a secret, Snow. Nobody but the Queen and Angels know about it, but since you’re heading to the academy you’ve been approved. You’ll need to learn to keep secrets, Angels have a lot of them,” my aunt told me, her tone as serious as I had ever heard it.

“I… okay, I promise I won’t tell anyone,” I assured her, still watching where the strange craft had landed. “Umm… why do I need to go on that instead of the Santa’s airship?” I was half disappointed and half crazy with excitement. I was a bit uncertain about riding with a bunch of Angels and the Santa that they sent was usually a nice elderly man. So approachable, and probably a little less intimidating than a group of Angels that I didn’t know.

She nodded as I spoke my promise and seemed to relax a little as she explained, “A Razorwing shredded the air bag of the airship that was coming to get you and give the blessings to the people of Serkis this year. So, once the other Angels out there and I have finished the clean-up we’ve been approved to give the blessings ourselves and you and I can get a ride back to the capital with them afterward. We’re going to have to go and visit the other three villages that the Santa was responsible for too and pick up their light-bearers.” She didn’t sound too pleased by the thought though.

“What’s wrong, Aunt Abby?”

“One of the teams that came on the… dragonfly says that they can hide it whenever we have to take to the sky or land but I’m not certain about it. I haven’t met any of them before today and I’ve been out of the action for a while so all I know about them is what I saw while we were all hunting Demons in a dark forest,” my aunt replied with a shrug. Then she sighed and looked toward the forest. “We’re going to have to test the light-bearers of those villages too, to make sure they’re Angel material before letting them in on any secrets.”

My ears laid back and my tail began to swish in agitation as I gave my aunt a hard look. “Test? Shouldn’t I have to take one too? I don’t want to get any special treatment just because you’re my aunt.”

“Snow, you’re not getting special treatment and I’m not…” she let out a sigh and gave me a long look. “There are… matters that we’ll need to talk about soon. I promise that you’re not getting special treatment though. You’re being allowed to see the dragonfly because you already passed your test and gained me as your sponsor by doing something far more difficult than any test that any Angel could devise. You fought and killed a Demon using nothing but your gift and wits and lived to tell about it. We found the place where you fought and the remains of the Demon and I had to explain what happened. Including me, you have nine Angels willing to sponsor you.”

“I… oh, well…” I mumbled, my cheeks flushing.

“I need to go help them with the clean-up and burn these clothes, Snow. You have your duties too. Go wake everyone up, tell them the sun is rising and it’s safe to come outside. We’ll be back once we’ve located and destroyed any additional Demon-seeds.” With that, she dashed off for the forest with inhuman speed.

~o~O~o~

Aunt Abby and the other Angels didn’t finish their work until near midday. I had already packed what few small personal possessions that I wanted to take with me, mostly some mementos of my parents. Aunt Abby had cleaned up and she was dressed in some of her other clothes from our cabin. I had been half-expecting the other Angels to be uniforms or matching armor or something but she explained that while they did have something like that they were only used for official functions and that they worked in whatever they felt comfortable with. Since they had just been hunting down Demons and this was a last-minute request they didn’t have them with them.

There were eight other Angels besides my aunt, as she had earlier indicated. They usually worked in teams of four, though sometimes you’d have those who worked solo or in pairs. These were two teams of four though and one of them had stayed with the Dragonfly airship to make sure it was ‘secure’, but I thought that maybe they didn’t want to overwhelm the people of the village as well.

The team that had come to the village with Aunt Abby was led by a tall, willowy blonde Fay named Talea who wore simple dark-colored travel clothes and a cloak. Her teammates were a short and curvy brunette Squirrelkin named Dorthea who was wearing a bright pink dress that hugged her figure, and a sister and brother human pair named Jacinda and Telas. They were both tall, dark, and muscular but other than that they couldn’t be more different. Even though none of them were armed, Telas was wearing armor and he looked like he didn’t need weapons. The guy was kind of scary in a really masculine way, everything that I secretly feared I was cursed to become whether I liked it or not. He probably didn’t need a gun, I’d bet he could just put the bullets in his mouth and spit. Jacinda wore a dress that while not quite as bright pink as Dorthea’s, was really frilly with a poofy skirt and white lace cuffs and collar.

As I shared one last meal with the people of my home village, my aunt and the other Angels with her spoke a blessing over each of the village children, and any adults who wanted one as well. Eventually, it was time to say goodbye though and it was with mixed feelings that I left the village of my birth. I stopped to take one last look, a shuddering sigh escaping me before I finally turned back and followed my aunt to meet whatever my future held as an Angel.

© 2021 Amethyst Gibbs
All Rights Reserved
up
329 users have voted.
If you liked this post, you can leave a comment and/or a kudos! Click the "Thumbs Up!" button above to leave a Kudos

Comments

It's going to be interesting

Wendy Jean's picture

To see how Angel can resist demon blood, among other things.

Yup.

WillowD's picture

I'm looking forward to more chapters, to the solving of little mysteries like this and to learn more about this world.

Mysteries

Amethyst's picture

Mysteries will be solved, secrets shared, and we'll see more of the world than Snow's somewhat isolated village in later chapters.

*big hugs*

Amethyst

ChibiMaker1.jpg

Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3

We'll get explanations

Amethyst's picture

for that and a few other things in future chapters, hopefully once my arm stops screaming at me.

*big hugs*

Amethyst

ChibiMaker1.jpg

Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3

More awesome stuff

Podracer's picture

From Amethyst. And new characters too, I like that they are seen through Snow's eyes.

"Reach for the sun."

Thanks Podracer

Amethyst's picture

I'm glad that people are enjoying it so far since I was a little worried about my writing lately. There will be more new characters next chapter and some big revelations for Snow.

*big hugs*

Amethyst

ChibiMaker1.jpg

Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3

Thanks for the christmas gift

Thanks for the christmas gift of a new story from you.
My Christmas wish for you is good health in a Happy New Year.

You're welcome

Amethyst's picture

With my life sucking lately and my massive writers block I wasn't sure if I'd be able to write something for my readers for Christmas but I really wanted to. Talia and Dot helped recharge my muse though so I'm glad I was able to push myself enough that I could finish at least the two parts I had envisioned for the Christmas contest. Hopefully in the new year I'll have my arm healed up properly and keep the cooperation of my muse so I can get back into a writing schedule.

Happy holidays to you and yours

Amethyst

ChibiMaker1.jpg

Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3

the longest night

imagine being in the far north, where the night can last months under these conditions.

I'm happy if any of my suggestions helped hon, and I love Dorothea

DogSig.png

yeah

Amethyst's picture

I doubt that I could stay awake for months or keep a fire going that long. You and Talia were a huge help getting my groove back. Sucks that it takes me so long to type anything right now though.

*big hugs*

Amethyst

ChibiMaker1.jpg

Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3

More chapters?

Jamie Lee's picture

Hopefully there are more chapters coming for this wonderful story. Chapters that tell the continuing story of Snow in training as an Angel, and her life after.

Others have feelings too.

More eventually

Amethyst's picture

There will be more chapters but it may be slow going for a while for any of my stories. I had to go to the walk-in clinic today to get a check-up on my contused arm and I got in shit for straining it by rushing the past few days to finish these first 2 chapters. It's been in agony since last night. I'm supposed to take it easy the next four weeks to allow it to fully heal. If I simply must do anything that might strain it further, including writing, then light duty only or use a speech to text program for now. Or I can just type left handed only, like I am right now, but that really slow. :(

*big hugs*

Amethyst

ChibiMaker1.jpg

Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3

Chapter two lived up to the

Chapter two lived up to the promise of chapter one.
Thank you.

Glad that you enjoyed it

Amethyst's picture

I wanted to keep the feel of chapter 1 but go more into the Kriss-Mass tradition and reveal a bit more about the Angels before chapter 3.

*big hugs*

Amethyst

ChibiMaker1.jpg

Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3

Angels

look to be using some equivalents of late 20th early 21st century technology, Abby's gun is clearly heavily suppressed and magazine fed, the Dragonfly is an Osprey style VTOL. An extensive emphasis on individual comfort, non standardized kit from weapons to armor/clothing, makes me think that goes beyond just what they wear, maybe using what magic/tech they have to make sure everyone has a body they are comfortable in?

On the secrets, there are generally 2 reasons for strict secrecy, to conceal something from an adversary (unlikely with a primary adversary lacking apparent organization), or because it isn't ready for the public or the public isn't ready for it, be it availability, reliability or a matter of public opinion. I'd go with option 2, small villages might be suspicious of tech, but i suspect even there from what we've seen, the sentiment is largely "if it can be used to fight the darkness it'd be foolish not to use it out of spite. They clearly at least have some form of telegraph system set up, "tap language" clearly has at least 4 characters that are encoded identically to Morse. They may not have mass production, but they clearly have precision machining, some of what have seen isn't feasible on a prototype level without interchangeable parts

Good guesses

Amethyst's picture

There do seem to be some things similar to our modern tech in the Angels' arsenals. Personal comfort seems to be important but we haven't really seen them in a combat situation yet so we can't be sure how much they adhere to military discipline They have good reasons for the comfort thing though as will be mentioned in later chapters.

It's possible that the secrets might be kept in part to keep other countries in Nomerica in the dark about what they're capable of. If other countries don't have similar means to fight Demons then they might risk trying to take it by force. It's probably largely because the public isn't ready for it yet though. If other towns share the view that the old world's tech brought the Darkness upon them then the Angels would be viewed with suspicion rather than as heroes who are trying to keep their people safe. Snow's village didn't know about tap-language until Abby came to live with them, so it might just be a form of military emergency communication between Angels and now wide spread. With a name like 'farspeaker' it's more likely that it is a form of two way radio or something. And yup, there aren't any factories pumping out VTOLs or anything, but precision crafting is probably a thing with the other tech we're seeing.

*big hugs*

Amethyst

ChibiMaker1.jpg

Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3

not just the VTOL

reliable magazines that get removed and replaced whole rather than getting left in and getting fed with a clip, only really started to appear significantly in WW2, with SMGs and weren't ubiquitous across other types of guns for another couple decades or so. those are only possible if you have really tight manufacturing tolerances, part of the reason why the military issue version of the Thomson and the less expensive SMGs like the "grease guns" that followed it used the rectangular mags rather than higher capacity drums, is because they are easier to manufacture to the required tolerances, making them more reliable. if you dont have the easily swapped mags, then inserting a mag would be part of assembling the weapon, not reloading it. I also suspect sentiment is changing, just slower for more rural areas. Figuring the cities being about half a generation or so ahead of rural towns on ideals, Snow's beliefs while likely influenced by her aunt, about it being foolish to hold back out of spite with regards to tools of the old world that can be used to fight demons, are probably not uncommon among people twice her age in cities. If they didn't think the public was at least ALMOST ready, they'd wait or redirect a dirigible for the other towns, sure they can hide it, but not the travel time, and the more they use it the more likely it'll be discovered.

Changes

I hope they can help her with her body issues.

hugs :)
Michelle SidheElf Amaianna

Nuclear Winter?

laika's picture

Tragic loss is such a big part of so many hero stories I half expected Aunt Abby to not make it after she got locked outside, or just when we thought she was safe to start turning from her exposure to demon blood and order Snow to kill her. So I'm happy she survived her fight with the razorwing and other nasties + she can continue mentoring her niece in the ways of the Angels. I love that hologram-projecting thing she can do, it'd be a handy power to have during a battle.

While reading Chapter One I was wondering about what sort of apocalypse could have caused the world and the human race to change so drastically, beyond the usual Mad Max/The Postman descent into a minimally populated world where everything's ugly and has shit all over it. I thought maybe some biological weapon had spawned both the demons and the critterkin; but when Snow told the crowd "the old world fell into the longest night" I started thinking nuclear winter. And that might explain the animal features too. Too bad atomic mutations don't really give people tails or cool superpowers, I'd be downwind of ground zero hoping to get nuked into a telekinetic mermaid-bunnygirl with butterfly wings (if you're gonna fantasize, fantasize big...)

But we may never find out all the details of how the old world fell as this story unfolds, because it doesn't sound like the characters themselves know, and what they do knoq is jumbled up with mythology and metaphors. And that part's pretty credible. With most of our information contained in software, a series of sizable electromagnet pulses would cause things to get real primitive real quick when people discover their smart phone is dead, the internet's fried and they're on their own for how to do shit. Ooga Booga.
~Love (hope to get current on this series by Xmas), Ronnie