Simple Decisions

Been a while since I typed directly into my laptop. It never feels comfortable to my hands.

I’ve resigned myself to the seeming fact that this 1000 Day effort will be going out with more of a whimper than a roar. At least I keep getting back here, huh?

Rebecca pushed back from the flit pad railing. Tjon wouldn’t be coming back, and, except for the stars, the sky felt the same way she did: empty. She knew running wasn’t his choice, but the angry words they’d shared [at their last encounter] sapped her full confidence in that thought.

Uma was dead. Tjon was missing. And [the girl] had murdered [someone] and run deeper into the building. Rebecca checked the charge on her weapon; not much juice remaining. [The girl] needed to be stopped, so she holstered her [blaster, ugh] and pulled the barricade apart. She was going back in.

150 words on day 987

In the Beginning there was a Garage

Lets try last week’s successful TB exercise on the Hartwhile gang’s opening situation…

Narkkid (I forget this name often and don’t much like it when I remember) opens the door to the front bay and a body rolls into the shop.

1) Therefore they determine to move the body across the street to the bar, but the girl wakes up and karates the gang to the ground.

2) Therefore they determine to call the police, but the girl runs away before the cops arrive.

3) Therefore they nudge the body outside to let her revive on her own, but she lays in the street all day unmoving, but alive-seeming.

4) Therefore they drag her into the office to revive her, but an important customer arrives to distract them and she’s gone when they get back.

5) Therefore Narkkid calls an old friend to cart the body away, but the police arrive before the friend.

6) Therefore they put her in the customer waiting room to let her finish sleeping it off, but the ‘hospital’ goons arrive to take the girl away seemingly against her will claiming she’s an escaped patient.

7) Therefore…but, her boyfriend arrives to help her home.

8) Therefore…but, it begins to pour outside and they invite her back in.

One of the compelling notions of the Therefore…But exercise is that it neatly encapsulates both the protagonist’s and the antagonist’s forces within the story. Everything in the therefore portion belongs to the protagonist taking action based on the situation. Everything in the but portion belongs either to the antagonist or the author.

I’m thinking though that if you’re careful you could invert this relationship too. Or that this relationship inverts itself in the last act of the story. Eventually the antagonist is reacting to the increasing capability of the protagonist.

302 words on day 959

In Which Tangent Man Plays a Minor Role

Yesterday one of the reasons my writing came to a halt was I’d introduced a possible new character along with Constable Ock. This character (unnamed in the writing, but suddenly alive in my head) has the potential to disrupt the remainder of the plot I’ve got in mind both because of her early prominent placement in the story and her general intentions. She also has the potential to insinuate herself into the plot neatly, but with added tension. I wasn’t immediately sure how to include her. The balance of my halted writing came from my trying to write a cop well enough not to be noticed.

Now that I’ve got a plot of sorts, I’ve got to develop the theme a bit. What cream is rising through the milky bubbles of my poorly stirred plot is that ‘mothers will always protect their children’. However, nascent instinct tells me some catalytic element is missing from that theme. Maybe there should be a ‘because’ at the end? Ugh, I had a book which defined theme in a way that resonated with me—I can’t find it.

Found it!

And he, James N. Frey, in it, “How to Write a Damn Good Novel”, calls what I’m thinking about a premise. Maybe that’s what I was thinking too. Based on a quick re-read I’d amend my phrase above to ‘protecting your child ruins the status quo’. I should make that sound more fun to read. I’m not sure there is much drama in not maintaining the status quo.

271 words on day 923

Fanboy Fails to the Rescue

“Hide it.” Narkkid handed the cylinder to Tjon. “Uma, get up out of there and get back to work on that Shortle’s flit. He wants it before noon.

Narkkid was scooping coffee grounds when the police landed…

[describe the pair of cops here]
“Good morning, officer. I’m just making coffee. Would you care…”

“Citizen, please address me as Constable Ock or just Constable.” The marquee on Constable Ock’s chest plate scrolled an echo of his declaration in the three most common languages of [the name of the city] , [Tjon’s native badger language], and MILSpec. Narkkid read each hoping the not impolite delay would give the girl a few more seconds to gain distance or hide.

“Constable Ock, would you like some coffee?” she asked in the [first most common of the three most common]—the same language they’d both used initially.

###

I’m clearly out of practice writing these days. I’m going to punt with a FANBOY …

for, and, nor, but, or, yet, (so, plus)

Uma toed the foot-shield back and stepped on the button to elevate the Shortle’s another few inches, and Tjon split his attention between a screen and a notepad transcribing the information on one to the other.

Narkkid tried to assure Constable Ock that none of them had a chance to speak to the girl, but she sensed he didn’t believe her.

Neither Uma nor Tjon nor Narkkid had spoken to the girl, for there wasn’t enough time.
Narkkid volunteered many details, but she didn’t mention the cylinder.

Tjon hid the cylinder in their best stash, plus he loaded the gimme-stash with a suitable bribe amount.

Mrs. Crown seemed anxious to interrupt the constable in a number of places, yet she remained quiet till the end.

The constable completed his questioning of Uma, so she returned to her work on the Shortle’s.

Eesh, I’ve even blown that with a couple repeats.

BBL

331 words on day 922

In My Head

I wrote in my head yesterday while driving. Today I’ll try to transcribe those thoughts below.

The girl thinks Narkkid is her mother due to a scrap of paper with her military service number printed on it next to “Mother”. There is a “Father” section, but she was unable to locate any information on him.

This is when it gets weird: I do a whole clone thing and devise a situation where clones caused some social issues in near past and now all cloning is done via deceased DNA. Except in this case, Narkkid’s DNA got used. I manufactured a transposed number in the id sort of thing so that it might seem accidental that hers got used.

I try to leave the government contractor blameless in the end, but still seemingly the bad guy for awhile—they want to get the girl back too since they realize she’s proof they broke the law (how they find out I’m not sure). Or the real bad guy kills the main doc and pins it on the girl. Not sure. The technique for cloning renders the clone sterile and the cells themselves ‘self-destructive’ so that the IP is preserved. Thus the only way to make more clones is to have the original donor’s DNA which the main doctor destroyed (or so he thought).

The trouble with the clone thing is working out how successful and prevalent it is. There’s got to be some reason why the girl is special above and beyond her cloneness. Maybe this is where her inlaid bionics and cyber come in to play. Must be she’s the first/best version to accept the wetware, so they’d like to do more of her.

Then comes the accident which is no accident part and the real bad guy. I’ve done such a great job obfuscating the start-up that I still don’t know much about the RBG. I’m thinking maybe this is just some fellow officer who was a bit pissed about Narkkid leaving the service that he somewhat on a lark posted her DNA out there via the transposition and serendipity turned it into a great thing for him. Big kudos he didn’t want to lose face on when people found out it was Narkkid, which they would since she was popular enough. He’d been planning on killing her in some garage ‘accident’ but then the doc spoiled the germ cells and he had to now keep Narkkid alive. Even if the dates didn’t work out, in the military forgiveness is easier than permission. If Narkkid gets dead at any point it retcons the cloning.

Ultimately they (start-up and military RFP) didn’t anticipate the clone to be as self-directed and sharp as she was. They thought they’d get a worker bee but they got a queen. Which is what queered the whole deal. Maybe at some point RBG decided to cut his losses and kill them both. Plus there’s got to be some dealing with the paperwork. You kill the doc, but he’s got papers somewhere, right? Files?

Upon seeing Narkkid, the girl immediately realizes she’s a clone and not a daughter. She splits to protect the woman, whom she thinks must be hiding out or something since she’s not dead yet (the girl knows a lot, but not everything).

That leaves me with the question of the father on the birth cert. Is that just pure sham? Or is that a red herring. It can’t be a red herring if the girl knows immediately unless the girl doesn’t get back in contact with Narkkid before she starts her own hunt.

621 words on day 914

Melodies or Landscapes

At a glance Narkkid didn’t look ex-military. Her body was small and lithe; her black hair was long and straight; and her brown eyes were soft and light. But when she spoke, when she asked her mechanics to prep a flit or when she told a customer their ride wouldn’t be ready for another week, then the evidence of her past life surfaced like a dead body in a river. Listeners knew that she’d seen and done things they could only imagine. They knew she had told people to “Go there; do that.” knowing full well they’d die in that going and doing. And that she’d done it more than once.

Though she had been very good at what she’d done, she never liked it much. She’d have rather been a musician or a painter creating melodies or landscapes with her hands; being a flit mechanic was as close as she’d gotten in the ten years since she’d retired.

Knowing she wouldn’t utter the next number in her countdown, she went to her office and set the door near closed.

180 words on day 910

Nineteen

Fleh! I haven’t written since Thursday. Let’s call it a mixture of good reasons, laziness, and spoiled opportunities. I did fiddle with the Hartwhile piece, made a spreadsheet of some threads I might devote my final hundred days to, and joined a genealogy site to help organize the Bringer family tree. So, there’s that.

Narkkid put two fingers in her mouth and whistled. The girl stopped abruptedly and turned. Narkkid waggled the [something characteristic] cylinder in her hand. Even at this distance, she could see the girl’s lips tighten into a pissed sneer. The she scanned up, looking to the sky over the Hartwhile shop.

“Incoming,” Tjon said. When the three looked back to the girl, she was gone.

“Hide it.” Narrkid handed the cylinder to Tjon. “Uma, get up out of there and get back to work on that Shortle’s. He wants it before noon.”

Narrkid was scooping coffee grounds when the police landed.

###

Tjon closed the bug scanner and dropped it into his apron pocket. “Nothing here. It will take me longer to do the perimeter. If you even want me to?”

Narkkid stepped back from the huddle and walked over to the still open front bay threshhold. Honey Farm Circle wasn’t the quietest part of [town], but it wasn’t the most raucous. Red Rodney’s, the…[some description I don’t feel like doing right now]. “No. Don’t bother. We don’t want to look more suspicious by being more thorough. Something tells me our little friend won’t have much trouble staying unfound. Uma, the Shortle’s?”

“Done, boss. Want me to put a bow on it?”

“You hear his message?”

“No, then?”

“No, but bring it over front. I don’t feel like two trips up my butt today.” Uma and Tjon laughed; Narkkid went on, “Tjon, you’ve got twenty minutes to scan that tube—nothing harsh—then I need you back on that new Bainbridge.”

Neither Uma nor Tjon moved right away. Narkkid sensed they wanted to talk about the girl since they hadn’t done that amongst themselves—only to the police—but she wanted to think about it to herself for the same reason. “Nineteen…”

352 words on day 903