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Age of Empire
[ Issue 148 Page 10 ] Thursday, November 24, 2016, 13:13:32 Agar Omondi agar@kaist.ac.kr


The basilisk of lore is a fearsome creature. Her fangs are but twelve-fingers long, and her venom “withers all living plants in her wake.” Her gaze is enough to kill as Mourning Myrtle found out in JK Rowling's Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Only the crowing of a cock has the potential to kill her, but it didn’t work with this basilisk. Despite being rigged out, her anathema  endorsed and embraced her much to the chagrin of many. His crowing and her venom neutralized each other and merged into the unity party of the Serpent and the Cock.

Her opponent is something straight out of a book from The Forbidden section of the library - the orange haired Charybdis who, according to Edwardus Lima’s Book of monsters, is “a huge bladder of a creature whose face was all mouth and whose arms and legs were flippers.”  As if that were not enough, this Charybdis is reputed to be the thrall of the ultimate monster, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson’s Cheshire Cat; the one that haunts the Kremlin and – if the shrill shouts by  the Royal city criers (corporate media) are anything to go by – an omnipresent, omniscient smiling thing rumored to be capable of summoning Charybdis to do his bidding by simply rubbing one of the Mad Hatter’s teapots and “disapparating”, leaving nothing in his wake but a mysterious toothy  grin suspended in mid air.

Since it's based largely on the bombast that spews from his mandibles, the best that can be said about Charybdis is that his threat is largely theoretical. This is unlike that of the basilisk. Her threat is based on her actions over the decades she has “served” as the Empire’s sinister imitation of  King Midas. The only difference is that instead of turning into gold, everything she lays her limbs on turns into blood. “Actions speak louder than words” is a very popular adage in the english language.

Its ancient Rome all over again. The basilisk has by her side the male version of Agrippina, Claudius’ murderous niece come wife whose mendacious proclivities where hedge funds and Wall Street are concerned, makes him the Basilisk’s kindred by choice. Charybdis’ right hand (or is it flipper) man Mike Pence is Nero, saxophone in lieu of harpies; Bill is Claudius, malapropisms for stutters while Ivanka is Valeria Messalina. And overlooking them all like a predator drone ready to snuff out revelers at a wedding gathering in Pakistan is the Nobel “Peace” Laureate Titus son of Vespasian, all charm and treachery.

Who will save the world from Tweedledee or Tweedledum who are joined at the hip like the creature in the third installment of Anthony Horowitz’s The Gatekeepers? Will it be the ancient heroine Bradamante in the form of Jill Stein, whose enchanted lance is supposed to be able to “unseat anyone who touches it?” Or will she prove the modern day Cassius Chaerea (Ralf Nader) whose role in the assassination of Caligula (Al Gore) led to the rise of Claudius. Will it be the gallant Gary Johnson who slays the two headed hydra?  Atop his dashing destrier named Liberty, he is Alexander reborn; not the conqueror of Greece and scourge of Persia but instead the Son of Basil I who, after a polo game, literally “died of exhaustion.”

Who will sit the Iron Throne?

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