by Chief Constable Bodwyn Wook [retd]
WHEN I was a cadet-candidate in the Police General Staff College on Alphanor, we were encouraged to read widely in the classics, Carl Barks, the complete works of C G Jung of Old Earth, the pre-Space Age Future Historians R A Heinlein & cet, Mein Kampf, Beatrix Potter, Camille Paglia, Chaucer and so forth. The story of the apprehension of the five so-called ‘demon princes’ of crime by vendettist and sometime-IPCC * operative Kirth Gersen was considered a classic in the literature, of first-class solo revenge- and police-work. The story was first communicated backwards in Time as an experiment with a modified Jarnell Intersplit; and, then, conveyed by invisible rays in to the the sensorium of the targetted writer identified as most suitable by certain Sufi field operatives. Finally, it was indeed chronicled anachronistically by the pre-Galactic Future Historian Mr Jack Vance, and published by DAW Books, in Vance’s 1964 – 81 (OES — **) quintad: Star King; The Killing Machine; The Palace of Love; The Face *** and The Book of Dreams.
For certain enthusiasts of early policing in its pre-intuitive or ‘scientific’ phase, and indeed of early scientific experimentation in general, the collection of artifacts of early time travel has become a passion in its own right; and, I am glad to number myself among these. With assiduity, the fortunate collector can for a fact come to hold in his **** hands an actual object that figured in the vancean tales. I am as noted more than happy to reckon myself a true afficiando and, indeed, have now come to own two (!) singular objects of those rollicking adventures. They are a heretofore unpublished early image of Viole Falushe or, as he then still was, Vogel Filschner. And, next, we see a second extant picture of the young ladies of the Philidor Bohus Choral Society as they appeared shortly before the boy slaver Filschner attained to his first notoriety in crime, through their mass-kidnapping:
In this image there are forty-two persons shown, the twenty-nine lyceum choristers and their sororal colleagues of the Anther Dance Troupe; readers here will recall that young Filschner kidnapped the singers one evening after practise in order to lay hands for good and all on his inamorata, Jheral Tinzy, shown here in the centre front row. ***** Alas, Ms Tinzy had not appeared on this particular evening because of a quinsy and, so, young Filschner — now a manifest criminal — had no choice but to flee the West coast of Europe in Old Earth!
Vogel Filschner went on to sell off all but the comeliest of the Philidor Bohus choristers into slavery in a far planet orbiting Murchison’s Star, and in turn installed the others (and many, many more to follow!) in purdah in his infamous ‘palace of love’, in a hidden private world in the Beyond. By all accounts, crime princedom was more than good for Filschner, he lost the oily sallow skin and hair, and the unwashed adolescent odours, of youth and became a notable aesthete and art-critic as well as sybarite and voluptuative innovator; Filschner-Falushe was, as well, the notable advocate of a thanatropic and aetiloated, languid, pan-sexualism. He was become altogether by the time Kirth Gerson threw him to his death from the flyer over the Palace of Love ‘…a man of fine appearance and poise’.
Gerson, after laying Falushe by the heels and before leaving for good the Palace of Love, found the above picture of young Filschner in one of the electronic data banks, there; and, the much-folded newsprint picture — apparently Falushe’s only actual treasure of Jheral Tinzy — was taken from the Demon Prince of Crime’s pocket by Gerson in the course of rifling his clothes despite Falushe’s anguished yelps of heartbreak at this final divesture, before the latter was tossed souvenirless and out into the empyrean.
* — Interworld Police Coordination Company; in the First Pan-Galactic Human Period the only functioning interplanetary organization of any salience whatever; it provided by always-lucrative contract to different planetary and star-system enforcement agencies many of the features akin to those of Interpol, in Old Earth. These included [or, rather, will include –ed] a centralised data base, state-of-the-art laboratories and the most ethereal of interrogatory modalities. As well, there is an excellent retirement plan and the company stock is widely held — often by the most doyen criminals of the Beyond!
** — Old Earth Style, eg — ed
*** — Sociologists have noted that it was, detestably enough, the fate of The Face through a certain malassociation of ideas to be taken after first publication in 1979 (OES) as inspiration for a certain widespread form of pornography in the succeeding generation.
**** — For reasons perhaps best known to themselves The Women do not choose widely to pursue the collector’s hobby.
***** — The face of Dundine, who first helped Gersen to identify Falushe’s boyhood antecedents, is partly obscured behind the top of Tinzy’s head; Inga who ‘…threw herself into a vat of dusty-orange’ is in the fifth row.
[all text-rights reserved & all others revert to holders
[2 February 2010]