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Monthly Archives: September 2010

“I Am Human.”

So ends Chapter 26, with Jakken Jalhalla Servidos finally standing before the Juxtani Assembly, speaking to possibly the most powerful being (well, subservient being at least) in the universe (or Space), presenting at last his case – and humanity’s – to Juxtani Civilization. The first climax has arrived! Rejoice, for progress has been made! I’m going to try to finish another chapter later today, but I make no firm promises. And here is a relatively plot-insignificant sample (read at your own risk!):

***

A massive monitor above the panel that had somehow escaped my notice lit up, showing the image of the speaker. The word “Narrut” appeared below it, and its appearance was slightly shocking. The Narrut was a fierce-looking wolf-like being, with two heads and two arms that looked as if it could stand on two feet. Each head spoke with its own distinct voice, and at some times, as I listened to their speech, realized that they were actually two separate personalities. One of them sounds vaguely female, and the other male. This thought of two beings sharing a body fascinated me, but the speech soon concluded and applause somehow reached my ears and the image of the Narrut vanished, to be replaced by a S’vet – a pointy-eared pseudo-Ayudaric race with only one nostril and pale blue skin.

“Galakia is a nondenominational port, as the wise beings of the Congregation surely know.” The thing had an elegant voice. “The Narrut and Gettlan have repeatedly violated the terms that govern Galakia, slowly gathering more and more influence, seeking to conquer and divide the planet for itself!”

A red circle of light appeared in the upper right, and the image of the Narrut appeared adjacent to that of the S’vet. “The Narrut have made no such moves, honorable delegate Andru. I put before you that your people, the S’vet, have been the real aggressors in this situation.” The female personality was speaking, and despite her calm words, it looked like there was a terrible rage behind her eyes. The male head looked much more calm. “We all know that the way a civilization gains true power is not by conquering more planets – planets are self-sufficient, and adding one to your empire does nothing. Adding a planet along an inter-civilization trade route, such as the Evoriim-Tanikaz Passage, does add power – controlling the local space around such important locales as Galakia, the central planet on the aforementioned trade route, allows unscrupulous owners to impose tolls and make themselves known, peddling their own goods and controlling prices.

“This practice may be acceptable in some less important locations, but Galakia is of central importance to Juxtani Space, being the central stop on longest route of easily traversable space in all of Juxtani Civilization. How many civilizations depend on this route, which winds its way all the way from Evoriim in the Elfviyat Empire and High Civilization to Tanikaz of the Ratalians in Low Civilization, running through Middle Civilization and areas of the Centrid as it goes? The astral winds blow many a vessel at incredible speeds through Dassev, Sharrack, Verenia, Tallas, Shorzal, Forgrad – need I go on? I am sure that we can all agree how central Galikia is, being not only the largest primary port on that, but also at the crossroads of four other trade routes, three of which are also astral wind highways. The Narrut already control large swathes of two of them, and the Gettlan the other two – what motive would we have to take Galikia as our own? Even we can acknowledge the need for competition!”

“You would have the most to gain – splitting Galikia between you two would be the first step towards domination of more networks?”

The red light appeared again, and a third figure shared the screen, appearing on the opposite side of the S’vet. “We would have the least to gain, honorable Andru. If we are allied and unified on this issue, as we clearly are, us splitting Galikia would accomplish little, as we would have to turn on the other to obtain any more power by taking the other’s trade-routes – and neither of us are foolish enough to attempt to control the Evoriim-Tanikaz astral highway. That is the realm of the Elfviyat.”

Fascinating as this argument was, I could not find any place to reasonable insert myself. I continued listening carefully, both for an opening and to try to find out how these meetings worked. Judging by the lack of interruptions from any other parties other than the three directly involved in the debate, I surmised that they were not yet allowed to interrupt. It seemed as if, from my very limited amount of time spent listening, that there would be some form of debate, and then presumably a vote of some form would be called using the “Call Vote” button, and everyone else would vote “Yes” or “No.” It seemed simple.

I began to half-listen again as I continued looking over the buttons, and finally found the one I was looking for: “open.” I half-smiled to myself and pushed the button. To my surprise, its effect initially was to shut off the images before me and retract the monitor into a space behind the panel. Disappointed, I looked again for the button to bring it back, but before I found it, there was a gentle hiss, and the light blue curved surface of the pod in front of me slipped away, and I saw before me the real Great Chamber.

***

Here’s to hoping that the rough draft is finished soon!

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Posted by on September 30, 2010 in Writing

 

The Great Chamber and a Milestone!

Sorry for the lack of updates, but life’s been hectic, and likely will continue to be so for the next week or two. However, I come bearing good news! A milestone has been reached – The Light of Civilization has finally passed The Loneliness of Stars in length! TLOS topped out at 232/234 pages (depending on edition), and TLOC currently sits at 238 pages! The climax is rapidly approaching, with Jak now actually in the fabled Great Chamber, and I now have an outline for how the final chapters will go. The end is nigh! I hope… Now that I have lots of inspiration, hopefully things will go faster and papers on Leninism’s influence on the Russian Revolution and its deviance from Marxism won’t interfere overly much.

I’d also like to take this time to inform you that I have changed my mind! People of the Storm is beginning to look like an exceedingly ambitious project, and as such, my 2010 NaNoWriMo novel will be The Libel of Blood, completing the Jakken Trilogy. More books will be set in that world, however, so don’t lose hope! After TLOB is completed, I shall work in earnest on Dark Aeons – I miss my short stories – and on People of the Storm. Hope to update soon, and here’s a tidbit for you all, unedited as always:

***

“Now, look in the distance, near the end of the line in your vision.” This time, I did as I was told without question, and was surprised to see that there was something at the end of the line. My concentration slipped for an instant and the image vanished. But I hurriedly re-entered my meditative state and found it again.

What I saw was a nexus. In my attempt to peer more closely at it, I found myself actually moving along the line, until I reached the nexus. Countless Lines branched off in every direction from this central green circular hub.

“The Ley Nexus. There is one nearby. Try not to be too alarmed, but every Ley Nexus is a black hole – as the Ley Lines are the Stelisians’ communicative and travular pathways, and are frequently used.

Before my eyes, one of the lines suddenly began to vibrate rapidly, and then turned a deep red. “See that red? That is the line being used by a Stelisian. The red means that a communication message is being sent through it.” As he spoke, the red abruptly vanished and the violently vibrating line returned to its more gentle thrumming green state. “If a line goes red, don’t take it. If a line goes red while you’re on it, you want to stop moving forward and focus all of your concentration on not getting thrown off. It will only last a few moments, and then you can continue on your way again. If you get thrown off, you have a near certain chance of death.

“If the line ever goes blue, look behind you for anything else travelling along that line and get out of its way. Don’t let it knock you off. Blue means that a Stelisian is using the line to send something to one of their compatriots.

“If a line ever goes black… there is nothing you can do. It means that a Stelisian is traveling along the line, and any others along the line when he reaches them will be slain instantly and painlessly. So don’t worry about black lines – if they occur, you won’t feel a thing.”

That didn’t make me feel any better.

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2010 in Writing

 

A Flip-flop, It Turns Out, is a Dangerous Weapon When Put in the Proper Hands

A very true statement, if I may so myself – especially if those proper hands are those of the infamous Ayakk Seer Kalkkis. Sorry, but I shan’t be spoiling too much for you – you’ll find out who Kalkkis is, and why he should never be given a flip-flop, when TLOC finally is released.

In terms of plot, TLOC is now advancing remarkably quickly, and we have reached the meat of the novel – after only 200 pages. That’s right, I passed the two hundred page mark! It currently sits at 201 pages, after the splendid and ridiculous entrance of the amazing Kalkkis. Hopefully I’ll get to make more progress soon, and begin work on Chapter 23!

 
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Posted by on September 15, 2010 in Writing

 

Acid-trip From Hell

Another update! After having returned to university with a heavy courseload, I finally managed to make significant(ish) writing progress! Chapter Nineteen of The Light of Civilization has been completed (in rough draft form), and with it comes two shifts in the novel –  Jak begins to become more independent and self-sufficient, and with this change the writing style also begins to change to a slightly more Lovecraftian feel – but don’t worry, Jak’s sarcastic voice is still very much there! Chapter Nineteen is a vivid description of an out-of-body experience Jak experiences when… well, you’ll find out! As such, I thought the above title was appropriate, especially as this experience is triggered by a drug. An excerpt (not edited at all):

The figure on the far left was a beautiful figure carved almost entirely out of what looked to be jade. It was female, and though I was gay, I could still appreciate the beautiful contours she had – or rather, what few I could see under the thick, voluminous cloak she wore. The cloak was the jade-like substance, and was fringed with what appeared to be gold. Delicate fingers and a stirringly beautiful face, highlighted with sapphire eyes and golden hair, were made out of what looked like marble, thought slightly more uniform and… well, fleshy. She stood calmly, her hands held out open before her. Behind her was a massive bell of bronze, covered in runes – the same kind that seemed to be the glowing symbols all over the room.

The next figure, to the right of her, was one terrible familiar to me. Emerald made up the majority of this statue, and it was very clearly a representation of an entity I was very familiar with: the green-cloaked man, who had helped me in my struggle to overcome Psy. His green cloak was of emerald; his mask, gloves, and boots of obsidian. The three crossbow bolts he held clutched in his right hand, held up at about chest level, was a strange combination of obsidian, iron, and diamond. His whip, held in his left hand, resting naturally by his side, looked to be of pure iron. His eyes were of some yellow gem I could not identify, and glowed with an eerie inner light. Behind with were the carved branches of a disturbing gnarled tree, whose twisted branches were still somehow filled with emerald-green leaves.

Beside him, in the center of the five alcoves, was a figure that towered over even the previous two. This effect was achieved mostly through the presence of a hideous horse of some kind. Of all of the statues, this was the most dazzling: rubies and other fiery gemstones were carved somehow to make flames that came out of the eyes of his nightmarish steed, flowing from the hooves, and consuming its mane and tail. The horse itself was of the darkest black obsidian.

Its rider wore thick armour, coloured in with gold, silver, iron, and platinum. Like his steed, he burned as well, with gemstone flames emerging from the eye-slits in his mighty horned helmet, from his steel gauntlets, and all across the majestic black cape thrown back over his shoulders, frozen while blowing in a silent and ethereal wind. In one hand he clutched the reins of his steed, and in the other he held above his head a terrible and majestic blade of flame, burning with all of the colours of the known spectrum – and some beyond that spectrum as well. The hilt of that blade was of black steel studded with brilliant diamonds, and it seemed almost as alive as the ride and his steed. Behind him was a wall of flame, created through the liberal use of brilliant and fiery gems.

To the left of the flaming rider was the first figure that was not humanoid. It was easily the blandest of the five, yet to me seemed to exude a special malignance, far greater than that any of the other statues emanated save the fifth. The obsidian that made up all of its entirety, save for two rubies that served as slitted eyes, was carved into the shape of a massive, serpentine cloud of smoke, coming out of a hole in the stony ground. The mass widened as it became higher, and I wondered how it was that the statue did not topple. At its widest point were the eyes, glaring down at me with special malevolence, and on either side of this large mass were two arms, topped with vicious talons, formed from the smoke, reaching forward and down at me. The wall behind this grisly horror was bare of any decoration.

The fifth and final figure was unlike any of the other four. It was not even remotely humanoid, yet seemed the most terrible of all. The entire fifth alcove was filled with a perfect diamond, reaching from the floor to the ceiling. From my front-on view, its silhouette took on the shape of a kite, with many faceted surfaces gleaming brilliantly at me, reflecting the light and somehow also causing it to shimmer in a most disturbing and unnatural way.

Surrounding this massive diamond was a ring around its midsection. I counted seven smaller diamonds, identical to the larger one, arranged in a ring around it, evenly space. Between each diamond save two was a connecting bridge, consisting of yet more diamond carved into a curving sheet, enclosing the diamond in a circle save for one spot, between two diamonds, where there was nothing. To my increasing horror, this ring seemed to float in the air, unsupported, with its open side facing me.

***

Intriguing! On an unrelated note, NaNoWriMo 2010 is coming up, and I have decided that, instead of my original plan to write The Libel of Blood during the month, which would have completed the trilogy, I shall instead right a horror/post-apocalyptic novel I’ve been playing around with in my head entitled People of the Storm. I am going to do my best to finish TLOC – at the very least the rough draft – before November, and then after People of the Storm is done and possibly submitted to a publisher, will begin work on The Libel of Blood, which will detail Jak’s return to human space.

 
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Posted by on September 10, 2010 in Writing

 

Back to TLOC!

After several delays to my writing progress – notably learning the entire Paranoia RPG system in two days and writing a Call of Cthulhu scenario, the subsequent playing out of those scenarios (it went quite well), and then getting sick for a few days – I have again returned to working on TLOC, and hope not to get sidetracked too drastically by any other projects. I wrote about ten more pages today, and will start Chapter 18 soon!

 
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Posted by on September 2, 2010 in Writing