Welcome to Day 3 of the Stories from Guan-Yu event! Today we are featuring music from Chronicles, Audiomachine’s first public release, which includes 28 of their most identifiable songs from several of the high profile blockbuster movie advertising campaigns they’ve been involved in including Avatar, The Fighter, Pirates of the Caribbean, The King’s Speech, Hugo, Harry Potter and many more.
From Chronicles, I wanted to pair the track “Army of Kings” with Yehoram – a character you met in Iliana’s excerpt yesterday. “Army of Kings” showcases duty and honor, love and obligation. Yehoram is fast, strong, cunning—and terrified. He has spent the last two years crippled by grief, and in the attack on Guan-Yu he finds both a reason to live again, and a reason to fear what he was made to be. As the lies he was told unravel, Yehoram must ask whether he is humanity’s greatest asset, or the greatest threat to its survival.
It was fully dark when he levered himself out of bed. The first moon had waned, the second hid herself behind the horizon, and even the light of the stars was covered by bands of clouds. He felt the strange sensation of moving without will, as if he might be blown about by the wind.
His quarry was at the far east of the camp, closest to the city and soundly asleep. Yehoram crouched down into the grass and considered his options. He knew his sister was there before he saw her. There was the faintest rustle, as wind in the tall grass, and Inanna settled herself down at his side.
She smiled at him, and he saw her teeth flash in the faint light, but his heart sank. Her presence lent an unsavory reality to the process.
“What are we doing?” he asked her, and she smiled at him again, feral.
“Have you thought about it?”
“What is there to think about? He’s a madman.” She had leaned close, and her voice was hardly a breath. Nearby, the man slept soundly. He had not woken at the footsteps in the grass or their faint whispers, and Yehoram fought back contempt. Weak, foolish, unguarded—this man deserved to die, if he would open confrontation so unprepared.
This is how other humans are. It was an unbidden thought. He pulled at Inanna’s sleeve and drew her away.
“What is it?” She frowned at him, and Yehoram felt every bit the younger brother.
“What are we?” he asked, and she tilted her head to the side, wordless, not ready to answer the sentiment. “He said we were wrong somehow.”
“He was speaking nonsense. You know that. We don’t even know who he is.”
“He knows who we are. What if he’s right, Inanna? I nearly just committed murder. If you hadn’t come, I would have. I was trying to think about it and decide, and I couldn’t.”
“What was there to think about?” Inanna asked again. “I came to help you because you were doing the right thing.”
“Killing him,” Yehoram said flatly.
“Do you disagree?”
“No!” To let a madman live, a man who made threats, was itself mad.
“Then what’s the problem?” She shook her head. In her hand, a knife caught the moonlight.
“He would disagree.” Yehoram jerked his head to where the man lay, still asleep, still unknowing.
“No one wants to be murdered,” Inanna pointed out.
“Not like that, not because I’d kill him specifically. Because he would think it was the wrong thing to do. He never even thought that we would come for him tonight.”
“Then he deserves to die,” Inanna said promptly.
“No—that would be if he knew he was being stupid and he did it anyway.”
“Wrong.” Inanna spoke unequivocally. “If he does not even know, he is no credit to humanity.”
“What if we aren’t a credit to humanity?” Yehoram looked down at the sandy earth. His mind was whirling.
“What?” Inanna asked, finally, and Yehoram struggled to find words.
“We don’t think like them” He held up a hand to forestall Inanna’s response. He knew what she would say: we’re better. “It’s like the woman at the farm all over again. We know we’re different, and we know the Aireni had secrets they never told us. You’ve wondered, too, I know you have—what if it’s more than just training, what if they made us different somehow?”
“So?” He could not put words to it. He had spent weeks trying to put words to it.
“So we’re supposed to face an enemy for the good of humanity. We are, because we’re different. To serve humanity.” He shook his head. “But we are different. We aren’t like the rest of humanity. What happens when the battle’s over? What do we do then? We don’t…fit.”
“Humanity needs us,” Inanna said after a moment, but her voice was uncertain.
“While there are enemies,” Yehoram shot back. “What happens when there aren’t any more? Then we’re…”
“You think there’s something wrong with us,” Inanna said slowly.
“Don’t you? Hasn’t it occurred to you, too, that maybe it isn’t good that we’re different?”
“We’re faster.” She leaned forward, her jaw set. “We’re smarter. How can that be bad?”
“Because we kill people in the middle of the night!” He wanted to shout the words.
“You agreed it was the right thing to do! Why are we still discussing this?”
“Because none of them would agree!” Yehoram flung out his arm, pointing to the camp. “What don’t we know? When do we start thinking that maybe they’re better? Lives are in the balance, you can’t tell me it doesn’t matter!”
“Yes!” Inanna flared up. “Lives are in the balance, all of their lives, and our lives, too. If we die, humanity is lost. We were made to fight humanity’s enemies—“
“We weren’t.” Yehoram cut her off, shaking his head. Certainty came down like a weight, suffocating him. “We were made to fight any enemies. Any. And when there aren’t others, we turn on our own. We’re supposed to be protecting these people, Inanna, and we’re killing them for things they don’t even think are wrong.”
I hope you enjoyed this peek into the world of Crucible, and enjoyed Audiomachine’s beautiful track! To enter for a chance to win a signed copy of the album, as well as a signed copy of Crucible, leave a comment below! You can enter once a day!
Juuuuust in case you missed the free download from kickoff day, click HERE to download Solace and Brain Mismatch, two of Audiomachine’s industry releases, for free!