The Engineer, the first novel by Darran M Handshaw, follows the adventures of Actaeon Rellios in the ruined, futuristic city of Redemption.
Welcome back everyone. Darran, welcome back to you as well. Who’s this gentleman with you today?
- Actaeon steps forward and leans upon his halberd. “Good day to you, fine lady. I am Actaeon Rellios of Shore. And what, may I ask, is your name?”
Welcome Actaeon. ::Bows politely:: I am known as “K.” or “Pukah” depending who is speaking. I answer to both.
May I inquire where Rellios of Shore is?
- Actaeon grins. “Well, I am speaking, so you can tell me your preference given that knowledge. And Rellios of Shore is right before you. Rellios is my family’s name, you see. I am from Shore, which lies at the southern edge of Redemption, it is a Hold of the Raedelle Dominion. I grew up there, in the town of Incline. You have not heard of it?”
I am afraid not. I don’t get to get out and travel as much as I wish. Is it hard to get to, Redemption?
- Actaeon appears intrigued. “Quite fascinating, Lady K. I have not met anyone from outside the city before – at least not anyone that was not trying to kill me. Redemption is the ruined city of the Ancients. On the west it borders the sea and on the east it borders hostile tribal lands. It would be quite difficult and dangerous to make it there from without, I would imagine. Might I ask where you are from?”
A little world called “Earth”. With that much destruction, I am led to believe you are not a native to Earth, are you?
- “Curious. So you are from a different world? Or perhaps a different location in the same world as I. I have not heard of this Earth, but I should like to know more. Those who live in Redemption arrived through portals that opened up nearly a century ago. Could this ‘Earth’ have been an origination point for those people?”
Possibly. Do your people consider themselves to be human, or is there another term for your race, or species?
- “We are most certainly human, though for some I am sure that is debatable, ” he says with a chuckle. “As far as I can tell, the vanished Ancients were human as well. Why do you ask? Are you human? Do you know of other races?” He leans forward, eager to know more.
That I do, and I have met others from other worlds who are not human.
You mention portals – that brings up another question for me. Is there magic in your world?
- Actaeon laughs at that question. “Well, some would call it that. The technology that the Ancients have left behind – the artifacts. Many in Redemption are convinced they are magic. Some worship these artifacts while others seek to destroy them, convinced that they led to the destruction of the Ancients. They are not magic though. Their function has an explanation, though sometimes it is beyond our understanding. It is one of my driving goals in life, to understand more about the truth behind such artifacts.”
We have a few pieces of technology like that here as well.
Actaeon, one last question, then I’ll let you go home. Hypothetically, if you could achieve your heart’s desire, what would it be?
- “You do, Lady K? I should like to examine them if you can spare any.”
Actaeon takes a long moment to think about the question before replying. “My heart’s desire – such a strange concept that an organ which pushes lifeblood through the body would have a desire. I understand your metaphorical meaning however. My greatest desire has always been to find the answers to many problems. You see, I am an Engineer by trade. I wish to discover the truth behind a great many things: how the artifacts work, how to make them ourselves, how to utilize technology to solve humanity’s problems, why we are here and what happened to the Ancients. If I could achieve one thing, it would be to discover that – to discover what happened to the Ancients. It is the biggest mystery of my world. I am realistic though, and I realize that such a question is unlikely to be answered in my lifetime, if ever. That will not stop me from searching though.”
He remembers then, her previous statement. “You said you have met non-human people from other worlds. I would be delighted to hear about them – both the people and the worlds.”
Actaeon, there are many different worlds, races, and species. Before you return home, see if Darran will take you by a library. In there, you will find many worlds to explore, and information on just about any subject.
For the strange technology, in part it is from those who may not be as advanced in science as others, and in part it may be phenomena we haven’t figured out yet. (Not everything can be made to fit in a test tube, after all.)
Perhaps one, or both of those sources might provide some help in achieving your desire. It can be hard knowing you are trying to solve something that may not be solvable in one lifetime.
Actaeon, thank you so much for letting Darran bring you over to visit.
Darran, thank you again for visiting.
Any last words?
- Actaeon runs a hand through his hair behind the goggles on his forehead as he listens.
“I will do just that and interrogate this Darran fellow, Lady K. Thank you for your suggestion. As with any endeavor, the success is often questionable. It is our duty in life to try for such lofty goals, for if not us, then who? And if not now, then when? We are the shapers of our own destinies, but the first step is to try. Many times the reward lies in the effort as well as the end.” The Engineer bows his head deeply then and steps back. “You have my thanks, Lady K, for this frank discussion.”
Darran steps forward then. “I hope you’ve enjoyed a sampling of Actaeon. If you’d like to read more about his adventures in the ruined, futuristic city of Redemption as he is drawn into unexpected adventures, romance and politics, look for The Engineer, A Chronicles of Actaeon Story, to hit digital shelves on Amazon late this year. You can follow the progress on Facebook. “
Actaeon stiffens at the words and arches a brow at Darran. “You are going to have to answer quite a few questions, good sir.”
I think I’ll let you two have that discussion, gentlemen.
Actaeon, it was a pleasure to meet you.
Thank you everyone who’s stopped by to visit. I hope you enjoyed the interview (not sure who was being interviewed here.) If you’d like to connect with Darran, you can find him on his Facebook , Twitter, or The Engineer’s Indiegogo site.
Until next time….
Keep those pages turning.