Man Friday, страница 1
Kevin L. O'Brien
Text Copyright 2013 by Kevin L. O'Brien
Cover design and typography copyright 2013 by Kevin L. O'Brien
Badmann font distributed under a free use license by R'lyeh BBS
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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents, including those based on the real world, are either products of the imagination of Kevin L. O'Brien or used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Because some ebook platforms do not support special characters, certain words may appear misspelled, but this was done deliberately to avoid the problem of the platforms deleting the characters. Also, the LRF platform used by older models of the Sony Reader does not permit the use of links to external URLs, whereas the PDB platform used by Palm reading devices does not support any form of linking whatsoever. Finally, certain words use British instead of American spelling, to simulate the characters' English accents.
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Sir Differel Van Helsing's troubles did not end when she released Vlad Tepes Drakulya and killed her treacherous Aunt Mandy. There are others arrayed against her, both within the government and without, that want to see her eliminated before she can consolidate her power. Besides which, Miranda Pendragon almost certainly had confederates. Vlad may be her most powerful asset, but she cannot depend upon him exclusively. She must learn to appreciate and trust the talents and abilities of her other servants: her butler, Aelfraed; her housekeeper, Mrs. Widget; and especially her bodyguard, LCpl. Giles Holt.
In the Preface to "Feline Savior", I spoke of other influences on the creation and development of Differel besides Integra Hellsing. Another likely one is Paul "Muad'Dib" Atreides from the Dune franchise, though in a more roundabout fashion. Differel is hardly a Messianic figure, but she did lose her father at a young age (Paul is actually only 15 at the start of Dune, a fact that has been lost in the movie and miniseries versions), she was forced to flee to save her life, during which she found an ally of great strength (though it is arguable that, collectively, the Fremen are more powerful than Vlad), and she will spend her childhood forging the power structure she needs to survive. In a much more important sense, however, the similarity is strongest in the character of Giles Holt. I deliberately patterned him after Gurney Halleck; even his name is based on the initials "GH". Like Halleck, Holt is her faithful family retainer; her protector, trainer, and advisor. Like Paul, much of what she becomes is due to his influence. I even borrow certain minor mannerisms and turns of phrase shared between Paul and Halleck (though modified).
This novella takes place at the end of the events described in "Feline Savior", between when Differel awakens in the infirmary on the morning after Miranda's attempted coup and the funeral of Mr. Mistoffelees. It is the second of three that will constitute her origin story. I am working on the third and final novella, and when it is finished, I will combined it with the first two into a volume entitled Life of Duty, which will contain a framing story and additional bonus material, such as biographies, histories, and illustrations. I hope to publish it by the end of the year, if not before.
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