Remember The Godfather, Good Fellas, even the old Al Capone movies? The romanticism of how a group of thugs ruling the world in secret, through crime and murder. Remember? Dabbling in the idea is fun, but suppose you needed a good hard look in what it really means to be human within a few episodes. Wouldn’t you peek in with the lowest of the low to see what God allows to exist, under his grace? Someone with a conscience, someone who will sin, and someone who can fight to live?
In Project Italy, I wrote that Joshua Ayala worked for the Mafia as a bodyguard for his Boss’ daughter. The idea was to exhibit the standards of morals in a private circle. These days, we find that capital punishment is the only right reason to prove executions justifiable. But in feudal eras around the world, taking action on your own was normal. So if one did not live in the modern legal system, what system would they actually follow? That is, if they ever did have a need for such a thing.
Across the globe, old feudal governments have left remnants of the old world in not just artifacts and artworks, but with certain societies themselves. In Japan, the old Samurais roam as the Yakuza, functioning as a criminal syndicate to fortify their centuries’ old traditions; in Italy, the old Crusaders function as a Mafia in Sicily, commiting crimes in a global scale secretly through “Cosa Nostra”; Hell’s Angels do the same, and many others too go by their old code of honor, or chivalry as our history books call it, in one shape or form. Their purpose is defending their tradition, even if it means to sabotage the new ones. It’s kinda like Religion, but with a little more theft going on.
To associate Ayala with people like the Mafia was to give a more complex sense of humanity for the character’s development. Imagine who it must be to uphold honor in the face of the law, even if it was illegal. Would your sense of loyalty falter, or would you fight to save your family? The government wouldn’t understand. The depth of the syndicate digs deeper than just one heist – they wouldn’t know what fighting to stay alive meant, or how many people rely on your family’s dignity to function their culture, as a family, as a tribe, as a Society. You would be a fool to destroy it. The new government finds all of the Mafia’s ancient properties invalid, and Politics have demolished the old world – the same world that your family needs to live traditionally and socially.
To put it in a better perspective, we no longer have slavery as a norm in the western world. Abolishing slaves killed the Blue Bloods’ way of life for a couple of centuries, and now they have to pay the new standard wages to keep a Nanny – when the wages in the 1800s weren’t even half the amount comparitively by conversion or tax-wise. It’s inflated, by far! I mean, if servants were paid with our salary nowadays, almost half the population would’ve paid off their debt as slaves, and would be walking as free men before the end of the Civil War. Now, old money circulates between the Blue Bloods alone, and the new ones die with every recession our country suffers – though replenishes quite well afterwards.
But nonetheless, the Mafia go to Church, do community charity work, and kill anyone that gets in the way of their livelihood. To them family comes first, even if it means Prison. They will do whatever it takes to keep their chivalrous way of life alive. Anything beyond that is judgment under God. Anarchy at its best!
When creating an Angel, many of the traditional references bored me. The idea of a holy creature traveling lightyears, from heaven to earth, just to announce, “Don’t be scared, I just wanna tell you something”, didn’t make much sense to me. I know the Bible explained that these divine beings obey God, like no other, but there are evidence of their personalities brought up all over the Old and New Testament. My favorite one is in Revelations, where one Angel is about to unlock the gate of the Beast, a prophecied creature of epic proportions that was prepared to battle beside Satan, against God. Now, I would encourage you to read this book, because 1) it sounds awesome, but 2) it shows how bad God seriously does not want to eliminate two of his creations – 1) the Angels who fell from heaven, and 2) mankind. I imagine it’s like burning two of your novels you spent half your life writing, because they both caused something as atroucious as World War 2: on one hand, it killed a lot of innocent lives, but on the other hand, Hitler gave Germany the Volks Wagon Beetle – an economical car to save on gas, aesthetically pleasing to the eye, and had enough room for a vacation sized trunk. Today, we can’t help but buy economical vehicles to continue business and family life in our modern world.
We were talking about Angels, weren’t we? Yes. Of course we were… Anyways, there is this one particular Angel that rushed to open the gate, to release the Beast, and another Angel had to stop him/her [it] from accomplishing this task prematurely. I personally like the idea that this Angel had his last straw, and wanted to do something already. I mean, centuries of waiting on God’s timing must be excruciating! It took 400 years for Jesus to appear as the Messiah, since the prophecy was told, and look how that turned out! Poor Mary had to live with her Sister until the child was born…the shame she must’ve endured. This Angel was probably no less granted any high honor either, but it was recorded. And that problem was averted pretty quick. Even heaven has issues with micro-management. Which leads me to believe that with personalities come flaw.
Remember Lucifer? That douchebag tried to take over heaven, and ended up getting his wings clipped. Now, he roams around earth, being called Satan, or Beelzebub, or whatever dark horse character people wanna call that ex-cherubim – lying in people’s ears to deter them from God, in preparation for (yet again) the battle in Revelations. Sounds kinda like the concept of Valhalla, but that’s for another time… Imagine what it must be like to stay in heaven, still susceptible to sin and temptation – knowing that if you ever say “God sucks” that Hell was the only alternative you had. Wouldn’t you be jealous of mankind?
Think about their position (the Angels): since God is standing right next to them, in heaven, wouldn’t any form of doubt be dismissed or punished without question? In contrast with us, where we don’t see Him or hear Him, from a distance – the liberty of becoming an Atheist, Agnostic, or even Buddhist would be all too convenient – given the endured social repercussions. Wouldn’t you be mad over that clause? Humans are exempt from immediate judgement! I understand that the Angels have no reason to forget God, and just do their own thing without consent, but wasn’t that why the USA broke away from the British Empire?
So here’s the beauty of the Angel in Fate Pendulum: since God allows good and evil to choose their side, and humans have the liberty of being forgiven for their sins, until judgement day, we created an Angel that is actually irritated with mankind. His name is Creed, a Seraphim watching over Joshua Ayala – the personified gate keeper of Sheol. He is blunt, he’s sarcastic, and though he may narrate in Poems, he doesn’t show any sympathy for the poor creations God protects, before judgement day.
One other inspiration I would like to share is the Metatron from the movie Dogma. It’s a more vile version, but man, do I love him! I’ll be sure to post a picture of Creed soon enough, but for now, do enjoy the Metatron – you’ll see where I’m coming from.
Long ago, we produced Theatre Plays. We did rehearsals, we did live readings, preview nights, world premieres – you name it, we did it. As most businesses have certain handicaps to struggle through, ours was always in documenting our shows. After writing, casting, producing, directing, and hosting, you tend to leave hitting the record button on the back burner. You think more about the audience and reviewers over the future reminiscence you would want to savor tomorrow. So…we lost many of what we had, sometimes our programs and flyers would run out, and so…yeah. Nada.
Luckily, on 2011, we had a Media Manager, and he gave us unlimited volunteers to help us produce our media content – filling our Flickr account with hundreds of photos. Unbelievable, beautiful, and still an amazing collection to return to. Our thanks go to Kyle Niitsuma, Daniel Irvin, Candice Koeth, and Elysia Funtiveros (whose creative eye captured these great pictures of Fate Pendulum’s Project Italy – presented at the Pasadena Central Library, on December 2011).