Cousin Justine — born Justine McManus, called Kodomo Kami in Michael Brookhaven's Mujun: The Ghost Kingdom, and known to the Ancient Egyptians as the goddess Isis — was the messiah figure of Faction Paradox who escaped the destruction of the Eleven-Day Empire.

Biography Edit

Much knowledge of Justine's early life is derived from a combination of flashback hallucinations she had while imprisoned on the Great Houses' prison planet, and the writings of Godfather Morlock. According to these sources, she was born Justine McManus. In 1899, when she was sixteen years old, she first encountered the Faction, in the form of Godfathers Morlock and Sabbath. The Godfathers were conducting Sabbath's initiation rite — in which Sabbath was to hunt down and kill his ancestors, alternating genders in reverse chronological order. Justine and her cousin, Emma, caught Morlock's eye, and he bet Sabbath that if Sabbath failed in his hunt, Morlock would be allowed to induct one of the girls into the Faction. As Morlock was well aware, Sabbath's quarry — Emma's Aunt Fiora — was already pregnant with Sabbath's grandfather (whom Sabbath had already killed), and was therefore off-limits. Sabbath was forced to settle for killing his great-grandmother's closest available relative: Emma. Although Emma had been Morlock's first choice of initiate, he recognised a determination in Justine that made him just as happy to accept her, and (surprisingly enough) she agreed to join Faction Paradox. (AUDIO: Movers, A Labyrinth of Histories)

After her initiation, Cousin Justine chose a sword as a shadow weapon, and broke with Faction tradition (though breaking with tradition was itself something of a Faction tradition) by declining to change her name. (AUDIO: The Eleven Day Empire) Her first mission as a Cousin was to be the Faction's representative at the auction of the relic. She failed to obtain it, but through no fault of her own. (PROSE: Alien Bodies)

Fifty-two years after the War started, a troop of Sontarans (secretly working for the Great Houses) invaded the Eleven-Day Empire. They planted a fusion bomb and (unbeknownst to the Faction) stole the Faction's biodata samples. Justine stopped the bomb by dropping her shadow weapon and (at Godfather Morlock's behest) using her shadow to pick it up. When it detonated, it destroyed her shadow, but did no physical damage. Because of her lack of shadow, Morlock could graft on a replacement: specifically, the shadow of Grandfather Paradox, still attached to the blood on the knife with which he famously performed the Act of Severance. (AUDIO: The Eleven Day Empire)

Lolita and representatives of House Tracolix signed a treaty with the Faction which purported to again recognise Paradox as a House, but included a clause on the extradition of Faction members who had broken Homeworld law. Using an obscure, archaic Faction rule — which stated that the bearer of another person's shadow should be treated as that person — Lolita was able to declare Justine the Grandfather, declare the Faction in breach of the treaty, and have the Sontarans enforce martial law. Using the stolen biodata, Lolita used the stolen biodata to commune with the Empire's spirits, and then consumed the Empire into her interior dimensions. Morlock bundled Cousin Justin and Cousin Eliza into a timeship. He told them to go to the Homeworld, saying that Paradox was now officially a House, and that the laws Lolita used didn't apply outside of Faction territory. (AUDIO: The Shadow Play)

However, instead of going to the Homeworld, Justine piloted the timeship to 1762, hoping that because of the Gregorian Compact they would be accepted as diplomats. She and Eliza initially took sanctuary with the Order of Saint Francis in Medmenham, but after the Order was attacked by the Secret Service, she decided that as a foreign dignitary it would be for her to introduce herself to the Royal Court. His Majesty The King George III gave her the dubious honor of a duel with one of his Peking Homunculi, which she won. Once she had returned to Medmenham, the Earl of Sandwich introduced her to the real head of the Order: Compassion V, in the body of Mary Culver. Compassion explained that Lolita was trying to conquer 1762 by way of Britain, and Justine and Compassion formed a tenuous alliance to stop her. (AUDIO: Sabbath Dei)

The Great Houses finally caught up with Justine in St James's Square. The Serviceman Sabbath (no relation), acting as their agent, transformed it into a courtroom cut off from Earth, in which she was put on trial for the Grandfather's crimes. Aware that she had no chance of winning her case, Justine made only a token effort to defend herself — instead summoning Lolita as a witness, and questioning her about her intentions on Earth. Justine-as-Grandfather Paradox was found guilty, and sent off to the Houses' prison planet. (AUDIO: In the Year of the Cat)

Frozen in the Houses' prison, Justine dreamt of her childhood. She remembered when she first encountered the Faction, and seeing a beautiful face in the sky — except that the latter was happening in her present, as Cousin Shuncucker looked in on her in her casket. It was enough to trigger some self-awareness, and she used the Grandfather's shadow to obtain the type of weapon which would let her out of the casket's time frame. Immediately she found herself confronted by someone else who claimed to be the last scion of Faction Paradox, and bearer of the shadow of Grandfather Paradox himself: Kresta Ve Coglana Shuncucker. (AUDIO: Movers)

Each insisting that they were the last true saviour of the Faction, the two Cousins were initially at odds. Demetra Kine, a posthuman from Siloportem, had a feud with the Faction and had had herself imprisoned so she could kill Shuncucker when the prison inevitably failed. However, the Cousins soon reached an accord, and killed Kine and her agents. Justine discovered that the entire breakout had been orchestrated over the past six months Compassion, just to rescue her. Compassion sent Justine her timeship, and Justine returned to Earth in 1763. (AUDIO: A Labyrinth of Histories)

At least eight months later, still in 1763, Justine was ritually summoned by Corwyn Marne. He explained that Faction reproduction equipment (race banks, biodata codices) had been left on Earth at the time of the Gregorian Compact (which Justine could use to rebuild the Faction), and that he would give her the location if she assisted him in destroying a mal'akh grotesque.

Justine, Eliza, Marne, John Pennerton, and Abelard Finton went to Italy to find a single mal'akh. Instead, they found an entire army of mal'akh, led by Merytra. Justine slaughtered her way through them, and Merytra retreated. Justine chased Merytra to the mayor's house, where she had a strange animal she planned to sacrifice to open a time corridor. Merytra claimed that the Faction no longer had interests in Earth, because "the tree is barren." Justine killed the animal, then interrogated Merytra, wanting to know the source of the animal, the nature of Merytra's "Dark God" and what had happened in the mal'akh conflict 300 years previously. She identified her Dark God as an Osirian, and explained that the mal'akh had been on Earth to fight interfere with history and force the Great Houses into a peace.

Justine and the group decamped for Civita, where Marne said the Faction's equipment was. There, small black flowers grew which, when made into wine and drunk, affected the memories of people near the drinkers — as if the drinkers had too much history. Behind one of the same ritual-operated doors used in the Eleven-Day Empire (modified to respond to the symbol of the Eye of Horus), Justine found the remains of the Faction's potential children — a black tree, smelling of rotting history, with a broken remembrance tank in the roots and the shapes of bodies in the bark. Accessing the tank's records, Justine found a message: Sutekh was responsible for destroying their heritage, and revelled in it.

Merytra came to the Civitata site and activated the sarcophagus-time corridor, creating a portal to the Osirian Court. However, her god failed to arrive, and Justine entered the corridor instead, going to the Court to kill Sutekh. (AUDIO: Coming to Dust)

Appearance Edit

Justine was white, with red hair, green eyes, and far less harsh of a face than you'd expect from someone who went around wearing a skull mask. When she was imprisoned on the prison planet of the Great Houses, she was given the customary tattoo.

Behind the Scenes Edit

Faction Paradox recruit. Young, probably early twenties. Recruited from nineteenth-century England, and it shows. Polite. Demure. Tends to be overly formal, and therefore an unusual candidate for a time-travelling voodoo cult. Probably quite uncertain about her new role in life. Nineteenth-century upbringing means that she's ashamed and embarrassed by the fact that she comes from a family of witches, even though it's the reason the Faction's interested in her. Actually capable of being quite aggressive, but only when she's sure of what she's doing. At the moment, she isn't.
Lawrence Miles's character notes[src]

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