Oh My Actual God. NaNoWriMo Day 4.

Posted: November 4, 2011 in National Novel Writing Month, sci fi
Tags: , , ,

Yeesh. This was rough today. I think I realize now that what I’ve written on days 1-3 were part of the prologue. Also, if this keeps up, the story might become something that can’t quite be told in under 50,000 words. I’m about a fifth of the way there. 

At first, I really didn’t care for where this was going. I would look up at the word count, at the blank page, and despair. “What did you guys do next, dammit? Tell me!”

Alas, they were shy. Coquettish, even, teasing me. Grr, stupid science fiction characters I made up. But I figured, “Take your time. Aw, yeah, baby, thas’ right. Reallllll slowwww…” 

Ahem. 

So, anyway, tonight’s excerpt. Face it. 

 

Battle For Floating Rock 1181a

 

“Corporal, a word?” Lieutenant Kiseritelere asked. Setetenepini crossed the floor of the mothership’s launch bay, saluted crisply. “At ease,” the lieutenant replied. She was younger than Setetenepini; the corporal assumed (correctly) that she was fresh out of Divine Military, and hadn’t seen much fighting. Yet. She’d see enough, Setetenepini thought. The idea that they served a goddess with an alarming hunger for blood crossed her mind, but she quickly shunted away the blasphemous notion.

“Do you know what happened down there?” the lieutenant asked.

“Ma’am, we fought like soldiers, ma’am,” Setetenepini answered.

“That’s not what I’m asking, Setty.” Ugh. Setty. This one has that annoying habit of shortening surnames. Don’t look insulted. Don’t look insulted. “You all fought like soldiers, and a lot of you died that way, Candace be praised, but this went all wrong.” The lieutenant shook her head, for emphasis. “All wrong.”

“Ma’am, I’m not sure I know what you’re getting at.” Setetenepini fought the urge to add, “lieutenant Kissy.” Calling your superiors a derogatory name for backsides, was never a good idea.

“I know. I’m bumping you up to sergeant, for now. Lelly’s dead, you’ll have to pick up his slack. I think you can handle it.

“We got ahold of some bad intel, is what happened, sergeant Setty. It was an ambush. We need to find out who set us up, and how and why. That’ll be your job.”

“Ma’am, yes ma’am.”

Kiseritelere considered quietly for a moment, then, “I wanted to let you know this. Floating Rock 1181a would have been a crucial outpost for us. You’re aware of that.”

“Ma’am, yes ma’am.”

“Hmm, yes, but the enemy’s pretty well entrenched. We can’t shake them loose now, but we can’t let them have it. You’re a woman of the cloth; let me ask you this.”

“Ma’am?” Setetenepini responded.

Kiseritelere sighed. “Let’s drop the ‘ma’am’ for just a moment. The Wise Woman … what do you think she would say about all this?”

“We fight against an enemy that has Erred. If they don’t see Correction, then it’s our duty to war against them. You’ve been to Divine Military; you know this.” Setetenepini looked puzzled. Kiseritelere nodded.

“Yes, of course.” She looked down at her shoes. She struggled to find the words. She looked back up, looked directly into Setetenepini’s eyes. “When … how much is too much? Do you know what’s going to happen to this asteroid? To everybody on it?”

Setetenepini could only shake her head, trapped in the lieutenant’s questing gaze.

“It’s … we’re going to erase it.”

Setetenepini blanched. She’d heard rumors that this awful weapon existed, but had always treated as just that – baseless rumors. Barracks gossip: A friend of a friend in another platoon got caught up in an eraser. That sort of thing. But, the lieutenant looked serious.

“Erasers are real?” she whispered, in spite of herself.

“Yes.” The lieutenant sighed. “Very real. This will be the second time I’ve seen it in use. It will make the asteroid vanish, quite efficiently.”

“It will no longer exist?”

“That’s why they call it erasing. Not only will it no longer exist, it never will have existed. Erased from spacetime. Erased from the past, the present, the future. Everyone who died here, will still have died; but no one will know why, or how. A weapon that undoes time.”

 

Outside the ship, there was a flash of light.

Then, suddenly, there never had been.

 

 

words and pictures © Christopher Ward. All rights reserved.

 

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