Not Dead – Yet!

Long time no write…

Work has been amazingly hectic and I have spent the last two weeks sad that I do not get paid hourly.

I had to take a hiatus from NaNoWriMo (excerpt below) and spent the holiday weekend frantically pounding on the keyboard. I don’t have time to write about it right now, but it’s amazing how many writing ideas you can come up with when you’re trying to focus on a different one.

Related, it’s amazing how poor my typing skills have gotten the more I write. I am now misspelling more words than I spell correctly. It makes no sense.

Anyway, I’m now over 37k words as we head into the home stretch.

I even managed to squeeze in a bit of WoW and finally hit exalted with the Klaxxi after sitting at something like 20k/21k for almost two weeks.

My DK got exalted with the Tillers but is best friends with none of them. My farm looks so sad and pathetic.

There has been a minuscule amount of raiding – minuscule is defined as one night wiping 15 times on Stone Guard. There’s more to that story, I’ll try to get it down after November ends.

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. If you don’t celebrate I hope you had a great Thursday.

Turkey Tweet:

When polymorphed into a turkey you should at least be able to mount the red flying cloud and zoom around on a silver platter.

My cousin replied:

So glad that you’re talking about videogames and not an LSD trip

I love my family.

OK, random bit of the novel to follow, remember this is rough regurgitation of idea on to paper and little (if any editing).

Translation: It may very well suck and I am totally OK with that.

“Do you know what to expect?”

He shook his head.

“Martin is correct, it doesn’t hurt much at all. The needle will sting a little at first but the procedure is relatively painless. Once you’re used to it, it’s more boring than anything else. It will take about 10 ticks and then you can return to your cabin. The medic will have a restore-pac for you before you leave, drink it and go rest.”

He nodded and they continued in silence for a dozen paces. The thought dawned on her that Hadria may never have explained the purpose behind this ship duty, “Cable, do you know why we donate?”

Again, he shook his head.

“There are two reasons. First, mining can be a hazardous occupation and it never hurts to have a blood supply on hand for emergencies. When you train in the refinery, you’ll get to know Miller. He may have lost his leg, but the blood supply on hand kept him alive.

“Second, this is a Nav-ship. Our Navigator requires regular transfusions to manipulate space for the Seagull to travel efficiently.”

Cable knew about the presence of the Navigator. From the observation deck he could see the tinted dome that marked the location of the Navigator’s quarters. He knew that the Navigator was the most important being on the ship; even with a full engine failure a skilled Navigator could get a ship to the safety of a Beacon or shipyard. But he had never seen the Navigator and the remainder of his knowledge was a mixture of overheard curses and classroom whispers; the Navigator played the role of the boogeyman in the minds of children in the dark of space.

This was the first that he had heard about how a Navigator could move the ship, he had always assumed it was some unexplained force that propelled the ship, manipulating space was an entirely different matter. The image of the golden thread the ship traveled along sprang to mind.

“How?”

Dena was surprised, she had accompanied more than a few patients to their first donation and they always asked ‘why?’ asking ‘how’ was new. Her canned speech of adhering to the contracts laid out by the Beacon-Command would not be useful here and she found herself groping for an answer.

“How they manipulate space? I honestly don’t know. The captain might have an idea, but I doubt he knows for sure. The Ryyken keep their secrets very closely guarded.”

“R-uuu-kin?” The foreign word felt strange in his mouth.

“That’s the best approximation I can say. Most people just call them all Navigators, but I don’t think every member of their race is installed on a space-vessel.”

They arrived at the door to the med-lab, “Would you like me to stay with you?”

He nodded, eyes down again. Dena reached out and lifted his chin so that he was looking at her, “There’s nothing to be worried about and it will be over before you know it.”

She palmed the door open and they stepped through into the fluorescent light of the medical bay.

Medic Jerrel was nearly as thin as his voice and he conducted his business in a crisp, no-nonsense manner. In a matter of minutes Cable’s vitals were taken, his health recorded on his official script, his seat taken in a chair with more cushioning than his bed, a tight band around his arm, and then the needle.

Martin and Teacher Dena were right, it didn’t hurt much, but the sensation of the needle in his flesh was itchy. To distract himself from the annoyance, he returned to the conversation with his instructor seated on a metal stool beside him.

“So what do you know about the Navigators?”

“Not much,” she admitted, “I’ve met our Navigator, Kieran, a few times but we’ve never spoken at length.”

“What does he look like?”

Jerrel slipped in to the booth to check on the progress of the bag slowly filling beside the chair, “She doesn’t know what he looks like, none of us do, save maybe the captain. They’re a secretive lot.” Satisfied with the plump bag, he withdrew from the booth and the conversation.

“Is that true?”

“They wear clothing that covers them from head to toe and they are said to all be very tall and thin.”

“Are they ugly or sick?” He imagined gnarled limbs and splotched skin with sores. They must be diseased, why else would they hide their bodies and require so much blood?

She laughed, “What is ugly to us may be beautiful to them, if they even recognize the concept of beauty the way we do. And we know less about their physiology than we know about Old Earth. But if they are sick, it’s nothing that can pass to us.”

Cable mulled that over. The existence of Old Earth was on that nebulous edge between fact and fantasy. To know less about a being that lived on the ship – a being that the ship and her crew depended on – was unsettling. Maybe this was why some of the crew didn’t like the Navigator.

“Why do people hate the Navigator?”

Dena looked at him sharply, “Why would you think people hate the Navigator?” It was a truth that Navigators were almost universally despised by space-farers, but there were very strict laws in place about their treatment and how the human population should behave in relation to them.

His eyes dropped again and he stared at the needle in his arm. “I don’t know. Some of the miners say things. They don’t think I can hear. They don’t say anything outright, but no one likes having to donate. It seems like it’s such an important thing, I don’t understand why people wouldn’t want to help. This really isn’t that bad.” His face brightened as he looked up at Dena, “And I don’t have to do any more assignments on the cycle I donate, right?”

“That’s right, you are to go directly back to your quarters and drink this,” Jerrel had once again inserted himself into the booth and the conversation and handed a restore-pac to his patient. With the same speedy efficiency that started the process, the needle was removed, the blood bag catalogued, and the teacher and student were sent on their way with Dena carrying the boy’s school bag.

Dena was concerned for Cable. He was tall for his age, but very thin, and the procedure had left him pale and shaky. “Come on now, I’ll walk you back to your room.”

It was the middle of the second work shift and the passageway returning to the living quarters was deserted. They walked, Cable stumbling a bit, in silence until they came to his door. Before he could palm it open, she took his hand and said in hushed tones, “It’s true that many people don’t like the Navigators. But we owe our continued existence to them. Most can be cruel in that knowledge or uncaring at best. The captain believes that Kieran is different and I trust his judgment.”

Releasing his hand she continued in a conversational tone, “Now go drink your restore-pac and try to get some rest. It won’t taste very good but it will make you feel better.” She handed him his satchel and watched him enter the cramped quarters he shared with his mother. The lights were off when he entered, hopefully Hadria was on second shift today and the boy could rest in peace.

Dena turned and headed back to her classroom. There was a quiz on the founding of the first

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