Monday, December 21, 2009

Dark World: Dvorak Manor

[In an attempt to get back on schedule somewhat, I'll post a few chapters (sections, whatever) of Dark World to get the "Dvorak Manor" arc going; then I'll do some reviews and such. I'd rather not do even a Christian horror tale going into a holy day.]

(The story begins here.)

“It’s a castle,” Darren murmured, gazing at Dvorak Manor. “What did he do, bring it over from Europe?”

“No, it’s all American stone,” Victor replied. “When Karel Dvorak adopts a country, he doesn’t look back.” He guided the car expertly through a minor labyrinth that separated the drive from the main complex of castle and outbuildings.

“I see what you meant about paranoia. No one can get in or out quickly without knowing the route well. I take it you’ve been here often?”

“A few times. I automatically map places I visit.” The doctor parked the car and got out. “Keep your hands in sight and make no sudden moves.”

Darren joined the doctor and stood by the car for nearly a minute before seeing any sign of life from the manor. Then a tall, muscular man with close-cropped blond hair emerged from a doorway. He approached swiftly and silently with a military gait. Only when he stood before them did he speak.

“Dr. Fleming, the master greets you and enquires about your mission and your friends.”

“The man in the car is a patient—and rather a curious case. This is Mr. Darren Christopher, also a curious case, but more annoying than problematic. Darren, this is Antonin Čapek, Dvorak’s assistant and aspiring automaton.”

The man’s face remained impassive; if he had a sense of humor, it was carefully stored somewhere far away. “Is the patient dangerous?”

“He can be extremely dangerous, and so can some other people involved with him—whether friends or enemies, I do not know. I would suggest restraining him.”

“The master will not appreciate incurring an added risk.”

“I didn’t appreciate it either, but I need a safe place to work, and this is the safest I know.”

“It is the most imperiled,” Antonin stated. But he fetched an odd contrivance that made Darren think of a sarcophagus on wheels. When he had brought it to the car, he opened it and, with Darren’s and the doctor’s help, placed Lassiter inside.

The machine now reminded Darren of an iron lung, and he was startled when it moved off by itself into the recesses of the manor. Antonin followed it, and Darren and Dr. Fleming brought up the rear. After they entered, a heavy door shut and locked behind them.

Next: From the New World

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