JAY HARTLOVE: Hello, I am Jay Hartlove, author of The Chosen, a supernatural thriller published by Damnation Books and winner of Best Thriller by the Independent eBook Awards 2012. Today I have here in the studio a special guest from The Chosen. I would like to welcome to the show, Joseph de Alvarado. Welcome Mr. de Alvarado. Thank you for joining us.
JOSEPH DE ALVERADO: It’s de Alverado, with an ‘e.’
JAY: Pardon me? Oh, sorry. Yes, I see here, it is an ‘e.’ My mistake.
JOSEPH: Names matter. They have meanings.
JAY: Okay. I believe you adopted this name from Silas Alverado, the man who brought you into this plane of existence. Is that right?
JOSEPH: Yes. His name means, ‘Bringer of the Truth’.
JAY: Interesting. Now, I know you are a very private person so I appreciate your agreeing to chat today.
JOSEPH: You’re welcome. If by private you mean I don’t seek publicity, then you’re right. I rather think of myself as too busy for a lot of conversation.
JAY: Too busy with your work, yes? Are you still the captain of the Purgatory?
JOSEPH: Yes, among other things.
JAY: You were an executive assistant to Silas Alverado.
JOSEPH: I still am his Executive Officer.
JAY: Didn’t that job end rather abruptly when he went missing?
JOSEPH: No, in fact my responsibilities grew upon his departure. I am continuing his research work, and I am still searching for him.
JAY: Do you mean you’re searching for a way to bring him back?
JOSEPH: Yes. I am a reflection of the Opener of the Ways. If anyone can find a way, it should be me.
JAY: You and I have chatted about this previously, but let me ask you a few questions about that for our listeners. As I understand it, you are an archangel of Ptah given physical form on Earth by
Mr. Alverado. So how does that work? Magic doesn’t really function here on Earth, so how can you manifest your abilities as a supernatural being?
JOSEPH: It’s not that magic doesn’t work here, it just needs to be converted. What you think of as magic breaks the laws of physics that are part of this plane, getting something for nothing, which you cannot do. To create the desired effect, you have to know how to use the laws of physics.
JAY: So you had to learn quantum physics to perform your magic?
JOSEPH: No, the synthesis comes naturally to me. I come from a plane where physical laws are much more malleable. I already know what the effect looks like. A human magician needs to learn the physical laws and then how to bend them to his will. My Master spent his life learning both the scientific and the arcane, because they have to be worked together to create change in this world. This is why most human magicians can’t accomplish any physical result. They have only learned the arcane techniques and not how to use them together with Physics.
JAY: I imagine modern physicists would love to learn the secrets that, as you say, come naturally to you.
JOSEPH: Well, that’s what My Master was attempting back in 2001. The Tablets of Aeth allow humans to understand the true nature of your physical laws, which allows humans to see how they can be molded to your will. They are literally the keys to your universe. Without these keys, I could not explain what I do to a human physicist in terms that would allow you to duplicate what I do. I don’t know how to show these secrets to you. No creature in history has been able to do so, except one.
JAY: That would be the Demon Prince of Liars.
JOSEPH: Correct. He alone had the audacity and the cunning to reduce these godly secrets to a form that humans can grasp. Of course, he only presented these images as part of his ruse to destroy Pharaoh.
JAY: That was in the story of Exodus?
JAY: Were you there when that happened?
JOSEPH: No. I was indisposed during that time.
JAY: Were you in fact in prison?
JOSEPH: Yes, I had been falsely convicted by my fellow angels of using names that can only be used by evil ones.
JAY: You mean demons?
JAY: I believe Sanantha Mauwad and Charles Redmond thought you were a demon back in 2001.
JOSEPH: They too were mistaken.
JAY: Now Doctor Mauwad and Mr. Redmond believe in Voodoo, so how did you fit into their beliefs?
JOSEPH: They worship my pantheon without realizing it. The gods of ancient Egypt were adopted by the peoples of West Africa and given new names when Egypt was conquered by the Romans. When those peoples were kidnapped and forced into slavery in the Americas, the Egyptian religion was blended with the Christian dogma of the slave masters to become Voodoo. The gods they worship are the gods of Egypt, just with different names. Doctor Mauwad identified that in her religion, I am a manifestation of Guede L’Orage.
JAY: That’s very interesting how history and religion play hand in hand. I guess that means the Haitians were keeping your gods alive into the modern era.
JOSEPH: Indeed. I found Haiti a very welcoming place.
JAY: Let’s get back to your personal history. Some 3200 years ago you were unjustly cast out as a demon, then Mr. Alverado figured out you are in fact an angel, and set you free here on Earth. I guess you owe him a lot.
JOSEPH: Nothing less than my eternal loyalty.
JAY: Mr. Alverado was there, though, correct, during Exodus?
JOSEPH: Yes, his earlier incarnation was given the position of High Priest of Amun after his Master was unveiled to be a traitor.
JAY: So he was the priest who had to pick up the pieces after the Egyptian defeat in Exodus. Did anyone know this traitor High Priest was in fact a demon?
JOSEPH: No. the demon covered his tracks very well.
JAY: Now wasn’t his relationship to his old Master at the heart of why you had the fight in 2001?
JOSEPH: Yes, my Master had seen his Master use the Tablets of Aeth during Pharaoh’s conflict with Moses. So Mr. Alverado knew these images existed at one time in the physical world. His quest was to reincarnate from the Land of the Dead, come back and capture the demon, and wrest the Tablets from the demon so they could be used again here on Earth.
JAY: And he nearly pulled it off?
JOSEPH: Yes. Nearly.
JAY: I notice you are full of pride when you talk about Mr. Alverado, but just now you seemed a little taken aback. Was there something about how the 2001 fight went down that still bothers you?
JOSEPH: I replay the episode in my head all the time, trying to see if there could have been something else I could do that would have given us a better outcome. But there isn’t.
JAY: So you wish you could have done more. Sounds like the sort of thing you could discuss with a psychiatrist. You know a good one.
JOSEPH: Yes, but I can’t see myself hiring Doctor Mauwad to help me sort through my feelings of failure.
JAY: She is probably the only shrink in the world you could talk to, since she knows who you are and what you went through.
JOSEPH: By the end of that conflict, I also considered her a friend. I would never burden her with reliving what was a very traumatic time for her.
JAY: I believe she has since moved to Malaysia.
JOSEPH: Yes, she seems happy there with her former colleague Doctor Herrera.
JAY: So you keep tabs on her?
JOSEPH: I keep tabs on a lot of things.
JAY: Okay. That kind of brings me to something I wanted to ask you. With Mr. Alverado no longer in a position to exercise his control over you, you’ve been a free agent for the last eleven years. The last time you walked the Earth was thousands of years ago. How do you like our modern world?
JOSEPH: You didn’t plan for how many of you there are now. This planet is a nearly unique paradise in all the universe, and you are feeding on it with the abandon of mold consuming a loaf of bread.
JAY: I think we are becoming aware that we need to take a more proactive stand on the environment. You obviously have a strong feeling about this. Do you think we are doing too little too late?
JOSEPH: It’s not a matter of how I feel. It’s what I see.
JAY: Oh, that’s right. You have the ability to see the truth. Can you tell us about that?
JOSEPH: My god Ptah brought order out of chaos with his eyes. Most of what you consider my magic comes from my eyes. I can indeed see the true nature of what I look at.
JAY: You can do other things with your eyes too, like throw lightning. You also teleport. How does that use your eyes?
JOSEPH: I have to see the destination in my mind’s eye.
JAY: That’s great. So are we doomed?
JOSEPH: You need to do a lot more than you are now. Things are going to get a lot worse before they get any better. But no, you are not doomed. If you were on a path to break the planet, the gods would intervene.
JAY: Really? Okay then. Well, let me ask you this. What intrigues you about what we have built? What do you find good in the modern world?
JOSEPH: The Internet shows a longer planning, forward thinking that I find admirable. For most of history people have hoarded information for its value. Now people give information away and raise the playing field for all players.
JAY: How do you mean?
JOSEPH: Google, Wikipedia, Facebook, Wikileaks, all have put information at your fingertips, so that knowing how to do something is no longer among the limited resources you have to marshal for an enterprise. People are freed to try more things, invent more things, be more helpful to the world.
JAY: I am really surprised to hear you say that. You come from a rigidly hierarchical society where everyone has his place and knows where he fits in. This free flow of information promotes a mobility that I would think you’d find offensive.
JOSEPH: I did at first. My first reaction was to ask, ‘Where are the gods? Why have they failed to maintain order? Where are the institutions of control?’ I found your society shockingly disorganized. So I went back and learned your history, and realized your civilization has been moving toward mobility all along. Our old order, with a place for everyone and everyone in his place, gave comfort to the individual and predictability and manageability to those in higher castes. As you pointed out, 3200 years is a long time.
If you are going to let people rise and fall on their own merits, then fairness matters. I have come to accept that my sense of order may be out of place, but as a guardian at heart, injustice is something I cannot tolerate. Over the last eleven years I have come to see the Internet as a means of assuring justice. It is harder to cheat someone who can instantly fact check. I am still amused by some of the quirks that have grown up around how it is used. The Internet was so clearly built by humans. It is steeped in your idiosyncrasies.
JAY: Can you give me an example?
JOSEPH: On Facebook, when a user dies, often his friends continue to maintain the deceased’s profile page so there is a place people can come and pay their respects. Except people then leave messages for the departed as if they were actually talking to the deceased. This shows me that people have not changed in thousands of years. This is exactly why the Egyptians built false doors in the sides of their tombs. People would come and talk to the departed, looking at the door as if it might open and the deceased’s spirit would appear and talk back to them. I am not criticizing the practice. I am just amused that for all the changes you have made to your world, people really haven’t changed at all.
JAY: You heard it here, folks, and from a being who can see the truth. That’s all the time we have today. I thank you for accepting my invitation. I have thoroughly enjoyed sharing this time with you.
JOSEPH: You’re welcome.
Jay Hartlove has been writing professionally for 30 years. His writing has been published in games, newspapers, magazines, legal white papers and online articles. His hobby is religious scholarship, and he blogs on spirituality.
Jay exhaustively researches the facts before he inserts his fantastical explanations. He sees the world as already filled with scary coincidences waiting to be discovered.
He describes his writing as, “Dark connections revealed.” You can read about the research that goes into his books at jaywrites.com.
Running from his dark past, former Duvalier hit man Charles Redmond is forced to take sides in a battle that has been raging since Exodus, between a power mad magician named Silas Alverado and Sammael, the Demon Prince of Liars. When Charles' beloved Voodoo is threatened with extinction, he must wager his life between pure evil and the man who could destroy the world. Charles' psychiatrist Sanantha Mauwad steps into this maelstrom of nightmares, violence and insanity to help Charles find his strength. She tries to save Charles' mind but can she save his soul?