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Mr. Murk

 

Mr. Murk frowned. "You misunderstand me, I am afraid. I have lived fifty thousand years, by my best estimate. In that time, it is not a question of if I have done something, but how much of it I have done..."

 

"Whilst I have avoided war as much as I can, and have become skilled in doing so, I have seen war too. And fought. I am blind, but I can sense the souls of men and gods. And in brutal times past, when tribes would scrabble over water and food and, yes, women, driven by cruel gods and still crueller kings, I have fought. Split skulls with stone axes and slit throats with shards of obsidian. Felt the man next to me scream his death howl. Felt hot blood ooze seep from horrific wounds and enrage passionate hearts. Yes, I have seen all that. In such death, life is so magnificently alive..."

 

He brought himself out of his recollections. 

 

"As for the codus, itself. I can explain as much as you wish to know. In principle however, there are three overriding rules, if you will. To neither kill nor subject to inhuman torment another signature. To aid by all reasonable measures another signature in escaping such fate. And to inflict no violence on body or soul within the grounds of club Immortus. This is safe haven" he explained. 

 

"This is not to say that there are not other smaller principles, but they are of trivial importance, such as flow of monies and charities, sub positions such as treasurer, and so on. But I would not consider them of much, if any, pertinence". 

 

 

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Klara wished to ask about the tales that this immortal man could tell, she knew there was no glory in war but still there still was wisdom to be gained. But she was sure that for now he wouldn't tell such tales, his focus was on this quest of his. And she couldn't really blame him at all.

 

"What if someone breaks your contract? Would there be ground to exact whatever justice needed?" she paused a moment before feeling further explanation was needed

 

"Immortals can by their nature sometimes be mercurial, even more than mortal we can change our ways sometimes drastically. I'm by no way bloodthirsty but sometimes things need to be done."

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Mr Murk

 

"It would depend upon how the contract was sundered" answered Mr Murk

 

"I am not one for vengeance by nature. To love is always wise, to hate is always foolish. But, alas, as you say, we are often fools" he conceded. 

 

"There would be three stages to breaking the contract. Firstly, if the transgression is mild or trivial, it would mean but a note, a warning. Providing, of course, that the immortal makes apology". 

 

"Secondly, there would be forcible expulsion from the contract, as determined by a council of three. If so expelled, said immortal cannot enter the grounds of club immortus and would receive no help from our system. It would be, as the Catholics would say, excommunication. Further aide or malice towards such an immortal would be the choice of individuals and subject to the laws of the world". 

 

"Lastly, for the most serious offences, beyond reprehensible, there would be active action. This would require a universal agreement from all signaturities of the codus. It would be for the most extreme and terrible actions, such that bring the fate of all immortals to great peril. For acts of such cruelty and malice - beyond mere war or violence - that we cannot abide. In such cases, the signaturities will be called to act. Not merely to exclude such a foul soul, but to degrade or even exterminate him". 

 

He looked grim. 

 

"I hope this never happens of course, but the provision must be there...."

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"I guess this is something you've been thinking about for a lot longer than the last fifty years, and being a lawyer must help in such matters."

 

She leant forward to emphasise her next point.

 

"That doesn't mean that I don't think that you codex shouldn't be an evolving thing, I'd suggest regular meetings to see what needs tweaking. Different people new ideas and all that, and regular in a way that only the long-lived can manage. It might be your idea but it should be something that is shared by everyone that chooses to sign."

 

She sat back and gave him a smile

 

"In that case, I'd be happy to sign your agreement."

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Mr Murk

 

"Evolution is the only way to survive. Alas, the Immortal is often bereft of such process" replied Mr. Murk. 

 

"It is my idea, this is true, and it would be foolish to deny it. But it belongs to those who sign. My role is lawyer, book keeper, and business man. My power is no more, and no less. My only claim to authority would be that the club Immortus buildings are in my name, built on my business. Of course, other people may open their own, but frankly, it is a labour of love. Not all find the practicalities of law and finance to their taste. In fact, very few do. It is hardly a passion of mine, but I have found I have a knack for such" he conceded. 

 

He signalled to the waiter, who promptly brought over a large antique tome, well bound. Inside was inked signaturities and a lot of rather dry legal terms. 

 

A glass of port was brought over too. 

 

"The drink is optional, of course. But it is rather good" smiled Mr. Murk, handing over a quill and ink pot. 

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Picking up the pen Klara was going to sign as she had practised for the last few decades, a series of squiggles that equated to the identity that she now choose to live under. But this was different she figured a document that should mean something, and as she'd been taught back home words had power both physical and metaphysical.

 

So with a flourish, she wrote out her name in the script of her people beautiful, though she thought her handwriting was a little scratchy, and reminiscent of many other languages. Finishing she carefully put down the pen and drained the port in one.

 

"Будем здоровы!"

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Mr. Murk

 

"Excellent" said Mr Murk, taking the book and...sniffing the ink. His way of absorbing the experience, as a blind man....

 

"You are of course now free to peruse the book, and indeed the Club, which is at your service. On a personal note, if ever you need legal assistance, you know where to come" he said, with a hint of pride. "Not merely this Club, but its siblings around the world. I have half fancied opening one in Moscow, but have shied away from the prospect. Those in the know have given my sage advice on that matter" he said, rather grimly. 

 

He sat back satisfied and drained a small glass of port in celebration. It was rather excellent. 

 

~ Fin ~

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