Here is part of what will make Red Ghost unique. The graphic novel will comprise of both illustrated story and diary extracts all combining to weave a wonderful tale of epic proportions.
Most who know me will know of Stephen, who has scripted the graphic part of our novel, but its about time we pimp out the talented Patrick Burton, who will fill out the rest of the book with his inspired prose.
So please read a sample of what will be in store for you when Red Ghost comes out soon.
October 23rd 1975
7:30 - I have been put in charge of a task force to attack a very uncommon target, paid for by a very wealthy client that my masters cannot pass up. I can’t help but to think of times past – the honor of this life – the history that is associated with Shinobi. I feel as though this job is beneath me. Is that arrogance? No, it’s truth. My master trained me so that I could slip through any defense, kill any target...targets of merit, of worth...people who could or have changed the world in some way. Political targets – ones with countless bodyguards, unlimited weaponry, even Jimmy Hoffa - now THAT had potential.
A Christian Red Cross in Burma...why? Why does Ne Win find these people a threat? Is it because some of them are American? I can’t understand these statement kills. If the Americans do take the deaths seriously as a threat, they will immediately point their guns at every Asian country and begin their usual pushing and shoving...Win will be lucky if he doesn’t get a carpet bombing.
These folk are not worth my time...both the targets and Win. Burma is a military-run country, Win’s coup forced them into Communism – I do believe Communism forced upon the proletariat is not what Marx envisioned. Forced beliefs, freedom of speech eliminated by the military...Win is very brave to have his men shoot unarmed students. I wonder if I could entice the U.S. to make a counter-offer...
I will do my chores and training now. I am supposed to visit the gypsy before I leave to see what the Fates have in store for my quest. Killing white Christians who help the poor that their country couldn’t care about...I can’t see any importance that would warrant such a thing.
Such hocus pocus is beneath me anyway.
18:00 – Training consisted of a 20 KM run around the mountain, up and down, followed by a 15 KM climb up the side of the mountain. 2 hours of multi-target taijitsu training...a little over four hours in total – a light workout day but then I should be rested before the job, even if it is something that I could do by myself in my sleep.
Yes I still don’t agree with the job, but I will not question my superiors...although perhaps I should. As I look through the history books of the clan, I can’t help but to think that each generation has become more corrupt than the last. I fear my masters maybe becoming more and more corrupt as the West. I find it disheartening that the almighty dollar has cast its green shadow in the eyes of my superiors. Where is the tradition, the pride? It seems as though we have become more of a business than a society...I can’t see that as being a positive step for the clan. Would one day we stop using the blade in favour of a book? We would be nothing more than a memory.
The thought sickens me to no end...but I will do what is ordered.
Speaking of thoughts that make me feel nauseous, I was told to meet up with the fortune teller to foresee my future for this “mission”. Every time is the same thing...I draw a card and the fortune teller declares that I have chosen a powerful card, that it will dictate everything I will do during my mission, the swords depict just action and true form, my targets will die swiftly and those in my way will never see me coming blah blah blah. Fortune telling is for ignorant fools, nobody can truly discern what the Fates have planned.
But this time it was surprisingly...different.
The old wench and her group of Sanka wanderers travelled up the harsh mountain per the Masters’ request. This one’s name Akahana - perhaps a wilted red rose more than a blossoming one - was always very obedient to the Order. Her nomad group consisted of eight followers, five men, two women and a young child, dressed in their usual tatters and animal hide outer wear...these are the 70’s, what do these people do with the payments they receive from the Masters? Probably opium no doubt, if I was a wandering slob I would want to forget who I was and where I came from as well.
Her eyes barely opened and she refused to raise her head to greet me as I walked into her rickety old wagon. Ancient tomes sat atop aged bookcases surrounded by superstitious nonsense like wolfsbane, whole mandrake and I’m all but certain I saw a human brain inside a vial of salt water or some clear liquid. The winkled old hag smelled of heavy incense and some rotted foodstuffs...perhaps garlic for keeping vampires away or some stupid thing like that. The old bat is quite insane.
She didn’t beckon me to sit down or offer me something silly to drink as usual. She just sat there shuffling her stupid fortune-telling cards. Wanting to get this over with, I sat down without a second thought. She put the cards down before me and still said nothing. Figuring she was just tired of my arrogant statements, I sat there with a knowing smirk and cut the deck placed before me.
“Do we need to go through with this? We both know what you’re going to say, it hasn’t really changed in almost 10 years.”
She said nothing, I guessed she was feeling ill or something. She dealt the cards out on the table in a way I had never seen before, then stared at them quietly. I pressed her for an answer but she simply ignored my requests and continued to stare at the cards, her milky white pupils looking for something that she had never seen before. No wild accusations, no promises of turning me into a toad for speaking out of line...just quiet.
“The Fates favour you, they admire your strength and conviction. But not tonight.”
“Really?” I asked mockingly, “Will a priest finally be the one who does what others could not?”
She ignored me again, “Tonight you will look Death in the eyes. Your actions will dictate the direction on countless lives in the future.”
Bullshit. “And what will Death look like? Dressed in gray robes with a scythe? Is the Grim Reaper an orphan too? Or was he just waiting for Tuberculosis to hit the children? Maybe he’s on vacation?”
She gathered the cards quickly, “Get out.” She wasn’t going to play our game this time.
I shrugged and proceeded to leave, “Tell your Fates I appreciate their favour, but I don’t need it. Perhaps you should shine your prophecies upon someone else...we both know I don’t believe in any of this.”
“Your Masters wish it,” she said flatly, “But don’t worry, you won’t be bothered by it much longer.”
“Right,” I replied, “Because of Death. I forgot.”
“Get out,” she spat, “And I will be sure you never grace my eyes again, for both our sakes.”
Now that was a prophecy I could deal with.