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Dozan'Re: The Ultimate Hero [#Starshatter by The Black Knight]

bobdubApr 6, 2019, 11:35:28 AM

When the Dark Knight introduces us to Dozan’Re we know, without being told, that he is something special. Firstly, he is a member of the mighty Kil’ra, the ancient race that flew to the aid of the Terrans when they suffered violent earthshattering genocide at the hands of the pirate lord Mahimm. Secondly, the Kil’ra – apart from being the coolest allies a planet could have – are a race of tiger-like humanoids with golden eyes - and who doesn’t love the majestic tiger. Not only does the Knight present us with this historical evidence of the propensity for gallantry amongst Dozan’s race but we also are informed by him that the early years of a Kil’ra’s life is occupied by Es’lav, 40 years of wandering in search of meaning, direction, and skill. The Black Knight obviously wants us to clearly comprehend the essential goodness of the Kil’ra, and that this knowledge will be vital to understanding the role that Dozan plays in the unfolding of the narrative.

During his Es’lav, Dozan spends 6 years on the Terran colony of Mars (also the training ground of Catherine the Gorilla client), where he is deeply moved by his personal discovery of the history and artifacts of the Terrans, and falls in love with their tenacity and bravery. Dozan’s history prompts us to the realization that the events portrayed by the mysterious narrator are not to be understood as entertaining science fiction fantasy, but are, in fact, a recount of events taking place in a parallel universe, and are a critical warning for our Reality.

During his exploration of Earth and its peoples, Dozan encounters the elderly veteran Ulfric Wagner, Morale Officer, and sole survivor from the IMS Lincoln, (destroyed along with two other legendary spaceships in the epic battle to the death for the freedom of Earth). This meeting is life changing for Dozan and through it he discovers his vocation. These feeling of allegiance and respect that begin to appear in Dozan with regard to the Terran race a compelling reason why his character is so captivating for me. In our Reality humans are portrayed as selfish, stupid, and arrogant creatures, the authors of the destruction of the Earth. Dozan’s devotion to all things Terran wakes in me an appreciation for human life that has been missing from my world view for many years.

Although Dozan is the strong, silent type, as Morale Officer, words are his most powerful weapon, and this truth is foreshadowed in his graduation ceremony – with which his chapter opens. The sword awarded to Dozan'Re at his graduation ceremony is inscribed with the words “Vigilant Protector”. The first words he speaks “By my Blood, I swear to Bravely protect all citizens of the Empire and the Alliance!”, the opening line of his official vow, illustrate the intense passion and obligation with which he approaches his Life Duty. Most of Dozan’s utterances throughout the upcoming narrative are inspiring chants or hymns motivating his fellows to extreme levels of commitment and engagement. Words surround him and permeate his very Life.

As Dozan’s tale progresses it becomes increasingly obvious to the reader that the shadowy narrator of this epic tale in intimately involved in the saga, and that the background events he describes are carefully selected from a plethora of particulars to provide the backdrop to a salient and specific retelling of these significant events. The Black Knight pauses in the retelling of Dozan’s backstory often to provide insight into Dozan’s psyche. One such instance of this is when the Knight  outlines the morality of the heroic Morale Officer. Dozan’Re, we learn, is a Universalist, that is one who adheres to the belief that the Universe a unified discrete organism comprised of all things visible and invisible, and that sentient beings are the Universe’s attempt to understand itself. This is the basis of his overarching feeling of responsibility towards ALL sentient life. An important aspect of Dozan’s mission is his insistence on treating all sentient lifeforms as equal. This is a subtle but intensely important sub plot within the Starshatter series.

In order to drive this point home the Knight further explains that within the alt-reality of Fringe Space, animals of high intelligence can be “uplifted”, meaning that the species is transformed into a sentient humanoid form. The Galactic Assembly, however, impose cruel laws oppressing all uplifted races, condemning them to 20000 years of slavery and abuse. The G.A despises the Terrans for the very traits of fairness and compassion that Dozan so admires in them. In particular this enmity from the G.A. towards the Terrans stems from the fact that when Terrans created their own uplifted clients they awarded them full rights as citizens. As is usual, the author alludes to future intrigues, hinting at the possible existence of a nascent organization, the Star Knights, unified by an oath to protect underdeveloped races and sentient animals. I can imagine a time when Dozan meets or becomes a member of this group of vigilante protagonists, and it enhances my feelings of admiration for this great warrior. As we progress further into the account an aura of valor begins to take form around the tiger-being.

Immediately after his graduation, and his acceptance of honorable title of fully-fledged Morale Officer, Dozan answers his first call for aid, without so much as stopping for a beer to celebrate his coming into his own. Yet again, the Knight’s meticulous description the details Dozan’s first mission appear to articulate a cautionary communication to the reader. Why is it that this storyteller is weaving these minor details into this epic tale? What does he want us to take from this? Why is it relevant to record that the successful liberation of the tatters of the Semoan colony entails the defeat of the murderous Terran criminal, cannibal, slaver, and leader of the Bloody Chains? Relaying to us this hugely significant event in Dozan’s maiden assignment allows us to discern the character of this mighty hero. Are we receiving a subtle heads up from this benevolent sage?

A characteristic of the magnificent battles Dozan engages in, is the rowdy humor that permeates each recount, and the gusto with which Dozan engages in battle, while motivating others to levels of intrepidness hitherto undiscovered. It is almost as if the Knight heard these battle stories first hand. In Dozan’s first intervention we hear of his deep delight in discovering not only the signs of human bravery and resilience in the little village, but also by the literal signs adorning their devastated buildings - “Pop’s Lair and Booze”, and “Guns” - elicit a mighty grin from Dozan. He clenches his right hand into a fist, hits the center of his chest with it, saluting the fighters’ valor. Using his voice to win the battle before it is started, he loudly commends them for their bravery, and offers them his aid; “A protector am I. For my allies, a guiding light; for my enemies – impending doom”. No-one who hears his words is left unchanged. Every fiber of my being responds to his call – across time and across Reality.

The bravery shown by the exhausted adults, and ragged children, now equipped with all the courage they will need for the impending battle, is testimony to the powerful and successful intercession of Dozan, Morale Officer extraordinaire. He leads the citizens, himself heavily wounded in the conflict but never hesitating, in a frenetic and bloody clash from which they emerge victorious. We come to realise that he battle was won before it was started. In the wake of the clash, Dozan, the liberator, hugs each little child warrior, awarding each one a tiny badge, inscribed with the words “Virtue, Bravery, Honor”. Was the Dark Knight present for this battle? Is that how he knows that the children stood to attention as Dozan’s mighty voice and jubilant laughter faded into the distance? Is this why he tells us that the Morale Officer’s impact upon the children of Semoa was so profound and enduring that they grew up to become an elite fighting force who liberated their home system from the scourge of slavery? If this is how Dozan begins – the remainder of his story must be special indeed. How could anyone not be deeply affected by his Magnificence?