Sex : Female
Age : 26
Race : Human (Breaker : Telepath)
Hair : Blonde
Eyes : Brown
Affliliation : Neutral
“You are the grim, goal-oriented ones who will not believe that the joy is in the journey rather than the destination no matter how many times it has been proven to you.”
Breakers : The Breakers are a group of telepaths gathered together by Trans Corporation the agents of the Crimson King. Their sole purpose is to break the Beams holding up the Dark Tower. They were held in Algul Siento until Roland Deschain and his tet freed them.
“To Break is Divine.”
Kaljada: – The image presented to M.E.R.C.Y was one of a reconstituted cat that she just blew up. That did not compute, and made no logical sense. As it rubbed against her leg, she looked down, her left eye dilating and zeroing in on the cat, her right eye getting all the data specifications telling her data banks, that the cat was perfectly fine. It was like there was some sort of malfunction in her system, and she tried to reconfigure, shutting her eyes and going into a short sleep mode, before restarting and going through the command prompts, only to find when she opened her eyes, that the cat was still there. She lifted up her right hand, and flicked it back, and started to peer inside her arm cannon, and started doing a full weapons check. But that came back with systems normal. She snapped the hand back into place, and you could hear the soft shush sound as it was reset into a normal locked position. There was nothing for it. (M.E.R.C.Y)”Addrezz…pleaze”- she wanted the location of the place in the down town he spoke of….and she wanted it now-
Guest_AtroposMortis: His deeply creased brow would furrow as he listened to her request for the address. No this wouldnt do at all, what made Daneeka useful in the 1st place was the same thing that made her useful to the Crimson King as a Breaker. Throughout her multiple transformations, she had completely lost the touch, that psychic capability to poke into the minds of others & root around like a blind man rooting around in an outhouse for a nickle. He had to figure out a way to bring her out of her suppressed state. As they sat there, those watching them would notice them fading from view, while the view that M.E.R.C.Y. would undoubtably be getting would be that of the same surroundings as before, but in technicolor on acid as everything around them from the sides of buildings, to the ground beneath them, even the crates they sat upon took on an extreme lucidity, resonant hues of color enveloping all around them. As Speedy propelled them up to a substantially higher level, they would notice the sun speeding across the sky, changing from sunrise to non within a matter of minutes, then dusk within the next moment. “This might sting a little, but it has to be done.” he would tell her, his left hand shot out towards her face where, once it landed his fingers would slay out and wrap around her forhead, eyes, and the sides of her head at the temples, his palm resting on the bridge of her nose, a face five, or 2 person face palm if you will. From there All that she would be likely to see would be blanked out by a sharp searing pain ripping through her head. This would likely cause the sensation of her head nearly exploding as all around her became a blind and furiously agonizing madness. After what may seem like an eternity to her, although it could not be more than a matter of seconds the pain would stop and they would be back down to the physical level of the tower. the “Short Timers” level. The crystal core of M.E.R.C.Y. as well as her cyborg exoskeleton, along with all other cybernetic components that were formerly in her lie in a heap near where Daneeka now sat, slumped on her crate, trying to recover from her most recent metamorphisis.
Kaljada: – Everything around M.E.R.C.Y was now in bright colours, and so wrong from what she had been viewing before. The cat was still rubbing her leg, but there was something different. (M.E.R.C.Y)”Addrezz pleaze?” -she asked a second time, but he was not about to give to her what she wanted. They were no longer truly in the plane of the Lorewall and the sun was streaking across the sky. (M.E.R.C.Y)”Addrezz pleaze?” – this was now the third time, but before she could make it a fourth, there would be a searing pain, unlike anything that she had ever felt….she should’t feel…It wasn’t her…it was Daneeka, and all over the floor, was the parts of M.E.R.C.Y…skattered like someone had taken a car apart. The pain stopped as Daneeka was slumped forward, her blonde tangle of curls over her face. Shakily she brought her head up, and then saw what was left of M.E.R.C.Y. Horrified, she looked on at Lester. (Daneeka)”Lester….vhere amz I?”
Guest_AtroposMortis: Speedy couldnt help but feel some degree of sympathy for Daneeka. “you are still in one of the seedier parts of downtown Lorewall. You might want to get some rest. You have just been through quite the draining experience. When you are rested, head to the business district. You will know who to look for from there.” He knew she would be confused, but as her head cleared & she neared the shopping district, he knew she would recognize Slappy and the other one from her time in the Devar Toi. She will be able to put the pieces together from there. He pointed to what was M.E.R.C.Y.’s place. “you might want to just take what you need from there and find somewhere else to sleep though, something tells me that this place is no longer a safe place for you to be.”
Kaljada:- Daneeka rose to standing and was still a bit wobbly. She looked at all the parts that lay on the ground, and there was really nothing in amongst it all that she even knew how to use. Giving one last look at Lester, she shrugged and then went off back to where M.E.R.C.Y used to stay, but…there was nothing there but cybernetic parts, computer terminals, and bandaging. Looking around hopelessly, she had little choice. Waiting till the coast was clear, she ran off down the street, dissappearing into the night. After making her way many blocks, she came to a bus shelter just near the financial district. She saw an old drunk being sick not far from where she sat, and tried her best to ignore him. Daneeka pulled her legs up under her, curling up with her arms wrapped around her, and closed her eyes, as the city of Lorewall went on as before.
Guest_AtroposMortis: Speedy couldn’t let her sleep defenseless in a bus shelter. He had no need for money, so he put his guitar in its case, and snapped the latches shut. He then sifted through the remains of M.E.R.C.Y. and picked out the MK23 pistols & their holsters. Then rummaging through M.E.R.C.Y.’s Appartment, he gathered some leather straps from one of the work tables & made a pair of makeshift gunbelts from them. after looping them through the MK23 pistol holsters, he slings them over his shoulder then makes his way to the bus station, Making his way past stinking Bums, he woke her up. “come on, this isnt safe either. Theres a motel up the road, its not the ritz, but at least its clean, has a real bed and the door locks.” He would help her to her feet then hand her the pistols. “put these on. You can never be too safe.” With that he picked up his guitar case and started in the direction of the motel.
Kaljada:- Daneeka was roused by Lester, shaking her shoulder and telling her she couldn’t sleep out in the open, especially with nothing to protect herself with. She wiped her eyes, as he handed her the makeshift gunbelt with M.E.R.C.Y’s MK23’s that she had stolen from Black Caps. Lester helped her to her feet, as the bum began to throw up again, and just missed barfing up on them. She managed to evade the yellowing vomit and as she followed Lester, she wrapped the gunbelt around her waist, and it felt comfortable. Lorewall now to her, looked alien, unfriendly, garish and cold. Upon reaching the dingy motel, she waited for Lester to get a key, and take her up to the room, where there would be a bed, tv, and a bathroom, a small table and two chairs. She sat on the edge of the bed, and flicked on the tv to see Simon Cowbell interviewing a very animated Mr Nutball, who was about to do a rendition of “Living next door to Nick’s mum” -she switched off the remote and crawled up into the bed, placing her guns and the belt on the pillow beside her. She didn’t thank Lester. No…she was still traumatized, and her head hurt like a jackhammer was going off. She pulled the blanket over herself, and curled up. Meanwhile…somewhere in Lorewall….M.E.R.CY’s parts and crystal core…were waiting for someone to find them-
Guest_AtroposMortis: After escorting Daneeka to the motel and getting her a room, he tells her. “Remember your task once you have rested. I’m sorry I had to seperate you from…. Well.. whatever it was you were, but I think that in the long run, you will be the better for it.” Almost as an afterthought he set his guitar case down, “you can keep that too if you want, I dont need it anymore.” He then turned and closed the door behind him. She may at least be pleases to find when she looked in the case that it no longer contained a guitar, but rather was stuffed with money. Not a fourtune by any means, but enough to floeat her along for a while.
The Heckler & Koch MK23 is a handgun consisting of a match grade semi-automatic pistol, a laser aiming module (LAM), and suppressor. It was adopted by the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) for special operations units in the 1990s.
While the designation applies to the complete system, it’s also commonly used in reference to the pistol component itself. The pistol itself, chambered for the .45 ACP cartridge, was developed by Heckler & Koch, and was selected over the Colt OHWS through USSOCOM’s Offensive Handgun Weapon System (OHWS) program. The LAM and suppressor were developed by Insight Technology and Knight’s Armament Company (KAC), respectively.
The MK23 Mod 0 was built as an “offensive” handgun for U.S. special operations forces under USSOCOM, as per request made in 1989. Military versions of the firearm have the writing “MK23 USSOCOM” engraved on the slide.
The MK23 is considered a match grade pistol, and is capable of making a 2-inch (51 mm) group at 50 yards (46 m), roughly 4 MOA. Production began in 1991, and it was the basis for the HK USP, which began production in 1993. The MK23 has exceptional durability in harsh environments, being waterproof and corrosion-resistant. It uses a polygonal barrel design, which is reported to improve accuracy and durability. It also features an ambidextrous safety and magazine release on both sides of the frame. The magazine release is at the rear edge of the trigger guard, which is wide enough to allow the use of gloves. A decocking lever is on the left side, which will silently lower the cocked hammer. The MK23 is part of a larger weapon system that includes an attachable laser aiming module, a suppressor, and some other features such as a special high-pressure match cartridge (.45 +P ammunition).
The firearm was tested and found to be capable of firing tens of thousands of rounds without a barrel change. It remains reliable in harsh conditions, making it suitable for use by special forces. The .45 ACP round has considerable stopping power, and yet is subsonic making it suitable for use with a suppressor. Additionally, its shared design characteristics with the Colt M1911 pistol have made it easy for people who have experience with a 1911 to field strip and properly clean the MK23.
However, the firearm’s large size and weight have resulted in some criticism. In response, HK developed the USP Tactical pistol based on the original USP; the Tactical retains much of the performance of the MK23 without the bulky size. It uses a different suppressor (due to left handed threading, as opposed to right-handed on the Mk23). An even more compact pistol than the USP Tactical for counter-terrorist and special forces use is the new HK USP Compact Tactical, which also has its own optional LAM. The USP-CT is lighter and is also capable of fitting a suppressor, making it a prime choice for Special Forces on covert operations.
The proposed Joint Combat Pistol (JCP) was intended to accept match grade and +P ammunition. However, it is not clear if the JCP, which absorbed the earlier SOF Combat Program, will be used alongside or replace the MK23 handguns. As of 2006, the JCP has since been renamed and restructured.
The MK23 was submitted to the USSOCOM Offensive Handgun Weapon System (OHWS) competition around late 1991 the goal of which was to create an entire pistol package capable of replicating the performance of longer barreled weapons such as submachine guns with many customizable features. Its rival was the Colt OHWS. Though both Heckler & Koch’s and Colt’s designs were tailored to the demanding requirements of the OHWS competition, the MK23 eventually won.
HK commercially markets the MK23 and derivatives of it, but not the complete SOCOM system. The suppressor is made by Knight’s Armament Company, and was selected over the one HK originally included as part of its entry. Insight Technology won the contract to produce the laser aiming module, later designated AN/PEQ-6. One version of the LAM produces a visible light dot, while another produces an infrared dot that can only be seen through night vision goggles. There have since been different LAM models and, at least commercially, different suppressors as well. The first MK23 production models were delivered to SOCOM on May 1, 1996. At last count, 1,986 units were built (serial numbers 23-0101 through 23-2086). It has been reported by some users that the cumulative effects of recoil may occasionally cause the can of the suppressor to become slightly unscrewed, but that it is relatively easy to improvise solutions for the problem. Other users say the pistol’s large frame size means its wide grips are not always comfortable for people with smaller hands.
Heckler & Koch is offering the MK23 on the civilian market and law enforcement as the Mark 23. It is distributed by its subsidiaries HK Inc. (United States) and HKJS GmbH (Germany).
The models for the U.S. market initially came with a 10-round magazine, to comply with the U.S. Assault Weapons Ban. The ban has now expired, and the civilian Mark 23 comes with the same 12-round magazine as the government variants, except in a few states that enforce their own bans on magazines larger than 10 rounds. In Canada, the Mark 23 pistol is still supplied only with 10-round magazines, as per the 1995 Firearms Act.
According to the Operators Manual, there are few differences between the civilian Mark 23 and the government MK23. These differences are the slide engraving (“Mark 23” instead of “MK23 USSOCOM”) and a barrel conforming to SAAMI headspace specifications.
Telepathy and the Etheric Vehicle
Telepathic Sensitivity – A Normal Unfoldment
It is this aura which is in reality the reservoir of thought substance upon which he can spiritually rely. His point of focus is upon the mental plane.
He is no longer controlled by the astral nature; he is successfully constructing the antahkarana along which the higher impressions can flow; he learns not to dissipate this inflow but to accumulate within the aura (with which he has surrounded himself) the knowledge and the wisdom which he realizes his service to his fellowmen requires.
A disciple is a magnetic center of light and knowledge just in so far as the magnetic aura is held by him in a state of receptivity. It is then constantly invocative of the higher range of impressions; it can be evoked and set into “distributing activity” by that which is lower and which is demanding aid.
The disciple therefore, in due time, becomes a tiny or minute correspondence of the Hierarchy – invocative as it is to Shamballa and easily evoked by human demand. These are points warranting careful consideration. They involve a primary recognition of points of tension and their consequent expansion into magnetic auras or areas, capable of invocation and evocation.
These areas of sensitivity pass through three stages, upon which it is not my intention to enlarge:
Sensitivity to impression from other human beings. This sensitivity becomes of use in service when the needed magnetic aura has been engendered and is brought under scientific control.
Sensitivity to group impression – the passage of ideas from group to group. The disciple can become a receptive agent within any group of which he is a part, and this ability indicates progress in his part.
Sensitivity to hierarchical impressions, reaching the disciple via the antahkarana and – later – from the Hierarchy as a whole, when he has attained some of the higher initiations. This indicates ability to register impression from Shamballa. It would be of value if we now considered three points which are concerned with sensitivity to impression, with the construction of the resultant reservoir of thought, and with responsiveness to subsequent invocative appeals. These three points are:
Processes of Registration.
Processes of Recording Interpretations.
Processes of Resultant Invocative Response.
I would recall to your minds the knowledge that the aura which each of you has created around the central nucleus of your incarnated self or soul is a fragment of the over-shadowing soul which brought you into manifestation. This aura is (as you well know) composed of the emanations of the etheric body, and this in its turn embodies three types of energy for which you are individually responsible.
These three types are (when added to the energy of prana which composes the etheric vehicles):
The health aura. This is essentially physical. The astral aura, which is usually by far the most dominant factor, extensive and controlling.
The mental aura, which is in most cases relatively small but which develops rapidly once the disciple takes his own development consciously in hand, or once the polarization of the personality is upon the mental plane. The time will eventually come when the mental aura will obliterate (if I may use such an inadequate term) the emotional or astral aura, and then the soul quality of love will create a substitute, so that the needed sensitivity does not entirely disappear but is of a higher and far more acute nature.
In this threefold aura (or more correctly, fourfold, if you count the etheric vehicle) every individual lives and moves and has his being; it is this living, vital aura which is the recording agent of all impressions, both objective and subjective. It is this “agent of sensitive response” which the indwelling self has to control and use in order to register impression or to direct etheric or mental impression out into the world of men.
Astral impression is purely selfish and individual and, though it may affect a man’s surroundings, is not directed as are the other energies registered. It is the aura which predominantly creates the effects which a person has upon his associates; it is not primarily his words which produce reactions even though they are supposed to embody his reactions and his thinking but which are, in reality, usually expressions of his emotional desires.
Telepathy is the ability to communicate via our mind with another person via their mind. And this exercise is design to help you get started. The exercise is called the telepathic opening exercise and it is the start in our telepathic journey.
We all have heard about – or even experienced – the process of sending or receiving thoughts from one person to another. In the past, and even in today’s science fiction, a “telepathy” is seen as a rare breed of their species, called upon for special tasks which require their ability to constantly “pick up” the thoughts of other individuals or forces. However, ALL human beings actually have the ability to communicate by the process which has come to be known as mental telepathy.
As with any other ability – such as swimming, playing tennis, memory, and so on – some individuals are born with more natural talent than others. Yet even those born today with a high degree of natural telepathic ability will rarely show any consistent ability. The reason for this is due to the fact that most cultures do not accept telepathy as a common ability – so rather than creating programs to develop telepathic ability – society still debates amongst itself whether this talent exists or not.
Therefore, most known recorded cases of telepathic ability did not occur by one’s will, but rather surfaced by “accident”, or was forced out due to “special circumstances”. In analyzing a collection of documented cases of telepathic ability, several common factors were found which not only illustrate the energy behind mental telepathy, but also how this ability works.
The Third Eye
The main reason our mental telepathic powers of communication are not known to us (or used) basically lies in the fact that we are not taught about them. There has been many accounts describing the occurrence of mental telepathy throughout history, and it was originally described as the power of the “third eye” – which humanity later altered to describe seeing elements in the spiritual world. Modern studies and tests have verified that telepathy exists not only in the human, but also in the animal, and plant kingdoms!. These examples of telepathy in other kingdoms we will look at later in the series, but first let us cover the historical data and evidence concerning telepathy.
As far back as 4,000 BC in Egypt and in Mesopotamia there have been descriptions of mental telepathy -some real, and many faked. The questionable accounts are easy to disregard, since these appeared as many of the “mind reading” acts one can see at a circus or carnival today. The “reader” did not actually see the thought of an individual at a particular moment, but usually claimed to “read” something ABOUT the individual by “looking” into their mind (which of course, only revealed a fact about the individual that could be easily found out by earlier questioning)
Many of the legitimate historical accounts sound like the one you hear about today. One case, a hysterical Greek woman around 340 BC, claims she “saw” the death of her brother in a “daydream”. Months later the town find out he did indeed die on that day – in battle in a far off land. Many of these accounts had witnesses, or we can see from the technology of the time that these individuals had no other means to learn such news so quickly, so therefore would be difficult to fake.
Nearly all documented accounts of mental telepathy involved relatives, and communication between those of similar ages seem significant. Telepathy happened most often among identical twins (68%), followed by brothers/sisters less than 5 years apart (13%), then with brothers/sisters more than 5 years apart (9%), then other relatives (mother/daughter, grandfather/grandchild, etc.) (6%), then finally married couples and close friends (and with higher occurrence of friends the same age) (3%). Less than 1% of experiences were with distant friends, strangers, and – yes – even aliens.
Mental telepathy seems to occur in two distinct patterns, depending on whether the sender and receiver are within sight of each other. The first type of mental telepathy, and that which seems to occur most often, is called ‘global telepathy’. In this pattern, the subjects are not within sight of each other, and usually a picture, impression, or feeling is received by one party. The distance in this pattern does not seem to be a factor. Data shows global telepathy has occurred from those who were several streets apart, to those who were half way around the world.
Global telepathy appears to transfer thoughts on the spiritual plane, for the feelings one had while picking up the thoughts were often described as being similar to a ‘religious experience’. Since the communication appears to travel the speed of light, we can assume light is the medium on which these impulses travel. Also, since these experiences were also accompanied by an accurate “pictures” of the circumstance the sender was going through, light then would be a necessary factor to transfer and see, these “visual images”.
Besides the image of the circumstance being “seen”, many of the “messages” received also gave one strong impressions, or feelings. Quite often these were described as a ‘religious experience’, or of having a “dream” while being awake. This would indicate the spiritual body uses the same processes to deliver telepathic experience as it does to communicate the dreams we have at night.
One interesting example of this “spiritual” type message in global telepathy was that of two brothers who were merchant ship captains in the Pacific ocean just prior to World War 1. One brother described he was overcome by a strange, unexplained feeling to go into his cabin. He arrived just in time to see a ghost like hand write the name of his brother’s ship in the air, just above his bed. So moved by the experience, he took his map and calculated where his brother’s ship should be on it’s route, and changed course to that location. Two days later he found his brother, in a life boat with what crew remained. The ship had been carrying munitions, and a small fire ignited the cargo, the resulting explosion sinking his ship in minutes.
In sight telepathy, both subjects can actually see each other, and communicate sensible, logical thoughts and instructions, without verbal words. This also seems to be a pattern using light, since the eyes play a big function in sight telepathy (in these cases, the subjects report a strange “warmth” in their eyes when this occurs). While this is the rarest type of telepathy, oddly enough this form is the most common perception by the general public as to what telepathy is all about.
The diagram, by Rene Descartes (1596 – 1650), shows how the eyes were thought to work with the brain several centuries ago. (While this diagram is not fully correct compared to today’s knowledge, I personally like it since suggests more than any other picture, that the eyes are an EXTENSION of the brain). Descartes learned an image entered the eyes and was inverted (which is correct). Then he believed the image was sent along the optic nerve to the brain (partially correct), where inside the brain, the soul viewed the image from the optic nerve endings (while I believe one’s soul views all images, it probably does not happen as pictured here, a tiny man viewing the optic nerve as one would a television set!).
In reality, when an image enters the eye (which is actually LIGHT that has been reflected off of the image), it is converted to electrical impulses BEFORE it is sent to the brain. This is done by the ganglion cells that link the eye with the optic nerve. It is in these cells that we will later focus our attention for obtaining descriptions concerning mental telepathy, and an how this form of communication actually works.
Breakers are humans from various parallel worlds in Stephen King’s multiverse who have various psychic powers. For example, a breaker named Dinky Earnshaw, from both King’s Everything’s Eventual and the Dark Tower series, has an ability “from some promise” to kill anything he chooses, although he has no exact control when, and no control on how, which comes from some magic language that is particular only to him. And while some of the breakers have similar powers, most are very diversified, although the most common are teleportation or telepathy/telekinesis.
In the Dark Tower series, breakers are abducted or recruited from various “wheres and whens” to a facility in Thunderclap, where there is a room that amplifies their powers and turns them into a corrosive and damaging force against the Beams for the benefit of the Crimson King. This facility, Algul Siento, is sacked by Roland Deschain and his ka-tet with help from rebel breakers Sheemie Ruiz, Dinky Earnshaw, and Ted Brautigan (a pivotal character from the first novella in Hearts in Atlantis). Breakers are also mentioned in other King works such as Black House.
The Dark Tower
The Dark Tower takes up where Song of Susannah ended, as Susannah’s demon-child Mordred — fathered in a bizarre sexual twist by Roland and the Crimson King and mothered by Susannah and her psychic captor Mia — is born under the administration of the “low men” (minions of the Crimson King who first appeared in the Hearts in Atlantis short story “Low Men in Yellow Coats”) at an outpost called Fedic, which is located in Roland’s world at the far edge of the sickening blackness known as Thunderclap. As in the Arthurian legend, Mordred’s function or fate is to seek out and kill Roland, who is the last of the line of Arthur Eld — an analogue for the British/Celtic King Arthur. After killing Mia (who has been physically separated from Susannah) and revealing his horrific talent, Mordred begins his hunting of Roland, intent on catching up with and devouring his “white father.”
The book is neatly divided into five parts plus closing sections, including a complete version of the Robert Browning poem that partially inspired the cycle: “Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came.” Jake and Father Callahan open the story with a showdown at the Dixie Pig in New York circa 1999, as Roland and Eddie in Maine circa 1977 attempt to ensure the safety of a vacant lot that contains a single rose — our world’s manifestation of the Dark Tower. Eventually the broken ka-tet (“one from many”) is reunited, and its members resume their journey along the path of the beam to the place the breakers are kept. There, they encounter Ted Brautigan (“Low Men in Yellow Coats”) and Dinky Earnshaw (“Everything’s Eventual”) and the boy Sheemie, last seen near the end of Roland’s flashback in Wizard and Glass. In the place known as Devar-Toi, housing hundreds of the psychic breakers, the group must permanently end the plot to break the beams, then shuttle back to Maine in the summer of 1999 for a second encounter with Stephen King, before the final stage of the journey — a trek through a wintry wasteland stretching for hundreds of miles before ceding at last to the road which leads to the gray-black pylon at the crux of space and time, and the end of Roland’s quest.
In the previous books, key characters die but return; in the final book, all bets are off. King takes this last opportunity to once more wrap his narrative in pre-established ideas and stories, drawing from at least fifteen of his related books, as well as countless cultural references and motifs. From the perspective of King’s loyal base, the story has a few problems, notably the untimely demise of one of King’s most nefarious creations early on and in a way that does not at all seem to justify Stephen King’s narrative expenditure on the character in previous and related books. Roland’s strange murderous son, Mordred, is introduced with horrific relish and then mostly forgotten about until the end, where he functions as a brief check and balance in the cycle of karmic nips and tucks. The most significant problem, however, is the surprising superficiality of the Crimson King — a character whose history and motives are never fully explained or fleshed out, and who appears for the first time in the series so briefly and remotely here that the encounter is disappointingly anticlimactic.
Unless, of course, you view these things as deliberate, intentional circumscriptions of traditional Aristotelian narrative (a tradition Mr. King has honored in nearly all his other books), and the endgame of an author whose message is to value the journey over the destination. And what a journey it has been. The triumph of The Dark Tower is the way its narrative connects with the reader at a level that transcends the superficiality of intellectual pomp, the narrative flaccidity of loud apocalyptic battles, and the artificial grandness of god-like characters. In that context, the demise of certain key individuals, the absence of Mordred in the story, and the comedic yet fascinating dynamics of the final encounter with the Crimson King involving Patrick Danville (from Insomnia) are in fact strengths; in lieu of fireworks and other contrivances, the story’s core is the oldest yet most obscure of classical engagements, Roland’s struggle against his own compulsions — to sacrifice and murder indiscriminately in order to gain the Tower and what lies at its top — and the consequences of a life given over entirely to a selfish obsession.