lolotehe: WWS (World Without Scars)
“Did you ever try to escape?”
he asked.

She took a long time to respond.

“Once,”
she finally said,
flatly.

“I had been with the Shipping Authority five years.”

Another long pause.

“I haven't worn a pressure suit since.”

The dark pressed on them, like a quilt.

“What--?”
He never finished.

“It was maybe a week later,”
she explained.
“By then, I was in bad shape.
New eyes
New lips
New hands
New feet
The tip of my nose
The end of my chin
So much damage...”

She swallowed the darkness.

“They never found a scrap of him.
They never bothered to look.”

“How old were you?”
he asked.

“I was seventeen,”
she replied.

The answer was simple and unadorned.

“It would have worked,”
she said.
“But we had to trust someone
who was not worth our trusting.”

Story notes

Aug. 5th, 2013 01:37 am
lolotehe: (Haiku/Fact)
Arlene had been informed the body would arrive that afternoon. A high profile case, it would be viewed by hundreds of people over several hours. There would be a full, open casket service, requiring more space than she could provide in her tiny—although intimate—establishment. The examiner had only released the body that morning and the family wanted the service the next day. It would need to be done quickly and done well.

Normally, that sort of attention and speed would not have been done cheaply, but it was family.

So, of course, it's free, right? )
lolotehe: WWS (World Without Scars)
The room was dark, but not dark enough.

Even in the pitch-black, Dana saw the warmth off her own body reflecting off objects in the room. She had stepped out of her slippers an hour ago, trying to get some cool from the floor, but the footprints were ghostly reminders of where she had been. The axolotl tank was vivid red, so many more degrees warmer than the rest of the room.

Oh yeah, she's got wonky eyes.... )
lolotehe: WWS (World Without Scars)
The headache nagged Dana all day. It whined while she walked down the corridor, growled when she sat down or stood up, and barked furiously each time she coughed. It was tenacious, unforgiving, and growing larger by the hour.

Sounds pretty bad. )
lolotehe: (Haiku/Fact)
I was talking to Dan about it earlier and I'm thinking about it still.

The biggest problem I've been having with the second book is juggling all these characters. I need to have them in there (or I just WANT them there), but moving from one to the other is getting awful. I have to admit defeat and say I'm just not skilled enough to move from one to the other smoothly.

What's going to be better in this case, I think, is to concentrate on one character at a time. I can start with Belinda and tell most of her story, then go to Daisy and tell her story, then iDana, then Acadia, so forth.

Now, this makes me wonder about two sequences I'd written that take place in the Library: the characters there are Evie and Ulan (both of whom I'd decided I wasn't going to get into their heads) and Becca. I'm thinking about telling that from Becca's point of view, which should be interesting, as she's dead.

Trying to tell things in a chronological way hasn't worked out for me. Yes, I know this means that the clock will restart with each character. I'm okay with this. Because we're talking about people spread out through the galaxy and on different planets, I just think it's a better way of dealing with it.

Belinda is a bit of a worry. I think I need to break her story into three parts. She'll open and close the book, but she'll also have a major role in the middle. I figure the opening is Belinda in the city and during the memorial, her middle section is everything that happens at the lodge, and her end is everything that happens afterwards. Her coming to peace with her family and finding her place in it is a major theme with everyone involved.

Acadia's narrative also needs to be broken into two parts: before and after her decision to head the revolution. I don't think that's going to effect iDana or iLyssa and what they do or why.

It does mean, however, I have to find the right order for these characters. Each one of them is going to come to the end of the story on their own. I just have to decide how each one does it.
lolotehe: WWS (World Without Scars)
It was Secondday evening, and Daisy took the rail into the city with Ramsey and the children. She had agreed to meet Ulan near her building.

Sounds fun. )
lolotehe: WWS (World Without Scars)
The building was in the old colonial style, with all the doors and windows on the pole side, and a corrugated steel roof running down to the ground on the equator side. The black and white horizontal stripes on the roof were visible from the city square: black to absorb the heat from morning and evening sun, white to reflect the noon's harsh rays.

Just a thing that came to mind on the drive to Target tonight.
lolotehe: WWS (World Without Scars)
It was suggested to me that I watch The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virgina to watch a proper matriarchy. My friend Dan thinks that the Gaines family is missing this aspect.

I disagree.

Better have a good reason. )
lolotehe: WWS (World Without Scars)
I had been debating on which would happen first: the revolution on Ursus Major-47 or Evie's death. I think, the conflict needs to happen first. Here's why:

Belinda has to travel to the funeral in a way she's never traveled before. I'm pretty sure that once things go to hell on Big Bear, there will be new security measures and processes in place.

But, Belinda has never traveled before. She does not see it as a new inconvenience and doesn't understand why everyone older than her is complaining. She has never known anything else.

Her concern is her grandmother and her future. She's coming up on the end of her fallow year and needs to decide what it is she wants to do with herself. She is growing up and becoming an adult during a great time of flux. And, because she's young, she's better equipped to change with her world as it changes. She has no set expectations on how things are supposed to be.

So the main story is Belinda growing up, but at a time of great upheaval. She's maturing at the same time as her universe is.
lolotehe: WWS (World Without Scars)
Belinda lay in bed, staring at the ceiling. The light through the thin, lace curtains traced patterns that constantly shifted. She watched those without thinking about anything in particular.

A few hours ago, when the clock in the main room had struck seven, Belinda had failed to get out of bed. Charlene had not said anything, but only made her own bed, got dressed, and went downstairs.

Eight o'clock passed without incident. Nine o'clock sounded like doors opening and closing. Ten o'clock's final chines echoed with footsteps.

Who is it? )
lolotehe: WWS (World Without Scars)
Annora had to break the news.

It was late afternoon, when the older children handled farm duties and the youngest played simple games with sticks and rocks.

Belinda was coming back to the lodge after the second feeding of the pigs. She held her head high, swinging the empty sop bucket and singing to herself.

I don't want to destroy her, Annora thought. But she has to know.

One of the older girls took the slop-bucket from her. That was Belinda's first warning.

Peter, who had been so strange and cruel during her stay, asked if she needed a hug. That was her second warning.

Annora invited Belinda to the office for a personal visit. That was her third.

Three strikes, kiddo. You're out. )
lolotehe: WWS (World Without Scars)
Ulan released her visit from Paul and looked over to Hestia, who was holding a scroll.

“Who's it from?” Ulan asked.

“Another message from Cygnus-16,” the viast reported. “Once again, it is plain text.”

Ulan rubbed her eyes. “She has a lot to say tonight. What is it this time?”

Something snarky, no doubt. )
lolotehe: WWS (World Without Scars)
Ulan took an dirigible to the Independent Republic the next day.

While she was settling in her private cabin, uRsula appeared in one of the chairs. “Where are you off to, now?”

“The Patriarch has died,” Ulan said. “That only leaves two people on the cleared list for Becca's headstone.”

“You should leave that to Huri Cemal,” uRsula said. “It's her mother.”

Ulan leaned back in her seat and looked out the portal. “I was put on the list for reason. With things as they are now, I have to make sure that there will be a proper line of succession. We don't know what Huri will do.”

“If there's any threat, we sgian dubh,” uRsula hissed. “You know the drill. We're not taking any chances. The Dana said.”

“I'm aware of Dana's concerns,” Ulan said, and delicately fingered the blinker-belt activation button in her left palm. “She does not need to be concerned. I have more at stake than she does. You and your sisters are protected by the Shipping Authority.”

uRsula frowned. “It not just sisters. We have more at stake than you could understand.”

Ulan smiled and nodded.

I suppose they do, considering. Now, what was that about a headstone? )
lolotehe: WWS (World Without Scars)
It was raining when Belinda exited the carriage.

Aunt Ulan was already waiting with an umbrella. They stood in the mud while the driver was paid, then made their way, slowly, to the odd dome in the middle of the cemetery.

It's never sunny, is it? )
lolotehe: WWS (World Without Scars)
They started early the next morning.

Ulan took the north wall and Katherine the south. First things first: all the electronic devices, gadgets, tools, were to be packed in boxes. These were plastic and clear and easily labeled. Ulan had already set aside a separate box for data-balls.

It's a mess when someone dies. )
lolotehe: WWS (World Without Scars)
The best computer is a man, and it's the only one that can be mass-produced by unskilled labor.
-- Wernher Von Braun


Just looking at these combat sequences and wondering why anyone would put actual human beings on the ground in harm's way.

It bothers me. There's so much that should be possible--hell, is possible--that I should never have soldiers walking around on the ground. It keeps coming back to me, over and over, that no human should ever be harmed.

And the only thing that keeps me going is knowing how cheap a human is in comparison. I have to make an economic choice that a human with a shield and a gun is actually cheaper than a robot. I need them there for plot's sake, but I need a decent reason to have them there.

Or a greedy, indecent reason. That works just as well. It's not like this is Moon.
lolotehe: WWS (World Without Scars)
I ran with my kindred: fleet-footed, fleet-footed
The moon trembled overhead
See my teeth now, so dull and unused
How much sharper was the past!

--“Love Defanged” by Swann and Leon.


Octavia was able to sleep through the first of the explosions. Once they came within three kilometers of the house, she woke up.

It's not a cat wanting out. )
lolotehe: WWS (World Without Scars)
Hestia stepped forward. “We have a visitor from the station DaHe.”

Ulan started to tidy the study, “Put them on hold. Let me make the place presentable.” She paused. No, it's not the Shipping Authority. Artemis would have announced it. It's a family matter. “Let her through.”

That didn't take long.  )
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