Patrick Lenton has made his first post on Aelyria. Patrick Lenton is leaving the city of Arconis and going out into the world. Patrick Lenton is an unnatural creature. After falling down a rabbit hole of research, I decided that my character lived in Arconis because it had a university and seemed sort of vaguely prosperous and safe. Although, it had recently suffered a pox, some kind of civil war which I can’t find any details about and something called the ‘giant siege’, which I know just enough about to realise it was a siege by actual giants, and not just a really big siege.
Patrick Lenton, a graduate of the Collegia of Arts, has received a grant to travel across Aelyria, researching his family for a book. This is the closest thing I could think of that mirrored this project. Like me, he feels unsure and unready about travelling. But whereas my fears centre on unclear administrative anxieties, his are probably things like: orc warbands, giant bug monsters, necromantic cults, hostile weather, the fact that he is completely untrained to defend himself in a world where there is magic. This seems pretty dumb to me. But I suppose people can kill other people just as easy in reality, with guns and knives and sick burns, and I’ve only got my two arts degrees to fend them off, so the parallel stands.
Yesterday I, the real me, the real Patrick Lenton was sitting in Hyde Park in Sydney, at lunch in the middle of the day, surrounded by hundreds of people, and while I was reading my book, a guy strode up to me and plucked my phone out of my hand and made to run off with it. I got to my feet, and then he proceeded to beat me up a little – put me in a headlock, punched me in the face and the stomach. I managed to disengage and he called me a ‘homo jew’ and told me to fight like a man. I have no real idea of how I did fight him, because he kept trying to put me in more headlocks. It felt like more of a tussle, but my memory of it is all super disjointed. At some point I did grab his arm with my phone and twist it, until he threw the phone away. Then he ran off, punching a lady and kicking a British boy in the chest, stealing something from a sunbathing couple further up. I believe during it, I said ‘give me my phone, fucko’ and ‘you bag of dicks’. I have ended up with the following unimpressive injuries: wrenched neck, sore back, bruise on my butt and a very bitten tongue.
What surprised me about all this is how I reacted. At no point was there conscious thought involved, my brain was just a kind of blowing void, full of instincts. And those instincts apparently told me that I will “fight” with a guy who is fighting me. I honestly assumed I would probably run or curl up into a ball. And it’s not courage or anything – as I said, there was no conscious thought involved at all. Nothing to be proud of. It’s like being proud of a fart – it was just weird bodily reaction. It actually worries me – I could have gotten hurt so much more, in so many different ways. I would have liked to think that I could always run. But until he actually fucked off, there was no way I was even present enough to think ‘run’. It’s like a stranger running your body.
So when and if a moderator picks up my travelling storyline on Aelyria, and attacks my helpless nerd with a bandit or a werewolf, I actually have a better idea about how Patrick Lenton will react to that. And he’ll probably die.