Ain’t All Drunk

I mentioned yesterday that I had a new keyboard. I still have it. I’ve added about four fingers of scotch to the evening. Don’t worry, it’s got three cubes of ice so it can’t be more that two and a half fingers, and it ain’t all drunk.

One thing I’ve not done is define much about The Solex Corporation and it’s religious affiliations…or roots. I think maybe doing that could help me find additional layers of conflict in both the Shanty and Benhá threads. Let’s see what I can come up with.

So far I’ve written all the Brother Gane stuff with an odd mixture of religion and programmer speak. Essentially describing hres as prayers which work directly and very practically on solex panels. The language I’ve used to describe these prayers always uses programming jargon. I call him a monk, but I’ve not spent any time deciding what or who he prays to or why. I’ve loosely thought of the solex panels as solar panels which collect the suns rays and turn them into a form of magic parallel to electricity. Beyond that I’ve not thought it through.

Since I’ve been thinking of The Solex Corporation as a combination of monks and business men then maybe I’ ought to make the whole entity a bit bifurcated. I like that idea since it gives me the chance to have lots of fun internal squabbling and conflict, but I also like the challenge of writing it in such a way as to make it perfectly homogeneous and normal. If I did the later I’d want to make it 50:50. wouldn’t want there to be an obvious leaning one way or another—never a corporation with heavy religious influence; never a religious order with a corporate mentality. Both. Evenly.

Back to the magic though.

What’s the story there exactly? Part of me wants to perpetrate the hoax I’ve been harboring for a while now where a group of magicians pretend to be a manufacturing group to conceal their magic and make it look like mechanics, but I’m not sure I need to waste that little bit of fun on this thread. Since I’ve got a demi-god in thos whole thing I suspect that magic wouldn’t be too hard to add in, but I’ve not really defined the demo-god thing either so that’s easily removed if necessary. Although I suppose I could mix a demi-god with tech and not need magic in there too.

Both as a corp and a religion The Solex Corporation is going to have natural competitors, detractors, and enemies. Let me take these each at a time.

Competitors requires I know what it is these guys do to some greater degree I suppose. Though it’s reasonable to go the Coke Pepsi route here and just suggest that there is an entirely parallel corporation out there working a slightly different angle in the same niche. Exact same products and uses, but a different price point or maybe a different quality point. Maybe just later to market and always with a minor market share. A competitor like Pepsi who never goes after the 800 lb gorilla just tries harder to increase consumer mindshare and be no bigger than needed. Not much conflict here, more like natural good natured rivalry. That doesn’t mean that individuals couldn’t get carried away and competitive, but it’s unlikely the corps will do direct battle. Or I could turn the table and make The Solex Corp the upstart taking on the 800 lb gorilla. That gives them a fire the other guys don’t possess. In many readers minds that puts the other guy in the natural enemy camp. That could be fun and might even give me a place to put Roundmartin in the Shanty history.

Detractors would be competing in the same niche but with vastly different products. These would be the electricity guys trying to play off The Solex Corp as some sort of freaks of nature. Freaks who are potentially even immoral somehow because they use magic. These guys could give anywhere from the full-court press to just being innuendo-y. In any case they’d be aggressive from an oblique angle. Not head on. Always trying to make the customer feel a little dirty about going with The Solex Corp rather than the clean and natural electric co.

Enemies. Hmmm? The first two I only addressed the business side of The Solex Corp and not the religious. Now that I think on enemies I’ve got religion as the only comer. Might want to circle back and make it an even show. Religions hardly ever seem to clash until two get extreme enough compete for the same souls or large enough to finally square off ideologically. I don’t see that happening here. Or at least I don’t see it being something I’m interested in writing.

808 words on day 756

What is the Solex Thing

I guess I’m getting better writing in the night out of sudden necessity. School started up. Other unusual time taking activities have risen up along side. I need to be ready for next week too when I’m single parenty.

Yesterday’s writing was nearly crap but it gave me a good lead to start the rescue from fire scene. I need to spend a little time considering what must have happened to Brother Gane in the Shanty story so that I can have some realistic chance of connecting this version of him to that version. Since one of the key elements from his maquette is that he’s a faker having him not be faking now seems like a natural progression. Or maybe he fakes in a thin way.

I think maybe the solex company may have been replaced by something more spiritual. Maybe I need to better decide what the solex thing even is.

Tomorrow is my real test. I should plan for some scene writing

170 words on day 504

A Rookery of Tin Pans

Two evenings in a row I find myself writing.

Brother Gane rests his elbow on the arm of the chair. He props his head on his thumb and middle finger and rubs his forhead with the spare index. The sun is down. The sea is black.

Behind him, through corrugated metal walls, the nighttime cacaphony of The Song swells with the tide. He resists the urge to check the time. Curfew will fall when it falls. Until then The Song will rattle and cheer and squawk like a rookery of tin pans. Many villagers already sleep. Only the bars and dance cans remain open for business. He stands abruptly and leaves his room.

Beetles clatter at a bare bulb lighting the gang running in front of his door. The early arrivers and first to perish crunch under foot as Gane strides to the railing and heads upstream away from distraction. A quick hres might muffle the noise, but it would also tug at his attention and he can’t have that tonight. Tonight he must find a way to extricate MC and bring her to [wherever] before this trial concludes. For that he needs concentration and time to work out the moves.

He checks the time after all: five more minutes.

211 words on day 503

Yes to Both

I thought of a few sceneless conversations I’m going to just hang here—somewhat—disembodied for now.

This one stems from my speculation that my MC would be young enough to be associating the feeling she was having about her skin writing with having gotten her period only a few years prior. From that came some wondering if her condition might only manifest during menstruation or at least might peak then. In this I’m still thinking of the aged Brother Gaine playing the role of monk.

“Is it possible this particular incident is linked to menstruation?”

She sensed his hesitance to use the long word at the end of his question, but since she didn’t recognize it, she didn’t know why. “What?”

“I apologize. I don’t know the customs of Song as well as I’d thought. I don’t know if speaking of this is proper.” He raised his hands as loose fists near his face like he was trying to hide his face or maybe hit something. She could see he was uncomfortable about something, but it made no sense. So far Brother Gaine, an Outy, had been the only one to understand her skin writing.

“I don’t know what you’re asking. I don’t know what men’s ‘truation’ is.” Gaine tightened his lips into a light smile and shook his head.

“Uh, your monthly cycle,” he offered.

What was so hard about that? “I don’t think so. I think it was barely a quarter moon that day. Or the day before.”

Gaine pressed his open hands to his face and mushed on his eyes. The tight smile opened to a tight chuckle. He seemed like a hooked fish giving in.

“Not the lunar cycle,” he circled his palm in front of her mirroring the moon around the earth. Then pointed directly at her with his eyes closed, “Your womanly bleeding cycle.”

A laugh erupted from her. She caught up his hand like a butterfly at the end of her sputtering and hugged it to her chest. She dropped it gently at the fear she felt from the unexpected closeness.

“The Leaks? Is this what you’re talking about?”

“Leaks?” He looked incredulous.

“Yah. It’s not some fancy word like your, but it’s…descriptive.”

“I forget how practical the Song is. I’m sorry not to have gotten to the point more swiftly. Do you think that may have been a factor?” She ignored his return to the original question. She liked seeing him unsettled and needed to erase [feeling she had earlier witht he hand-hug thing].

“That’s what women here call it. The men say Gon’s Prow. The Gons used to paint the prow of their boats bright red. [One more sentence about that].” Brother Gaine looked like he could wait her out. So she swam deeper.

“At least that’s what they say to us. When their out on the water with just the rest of the boys fishing they use a different word: chum.”

Gaine groaned. “Yes. Well, it freaks some men out. Plus we’re all rather gross.”

“Yes.”

“Yes, we’re gross or yes, the incident might be linked to that?”

“Yes to both.”

Ok, so that ate up all my time this morning. I can’t even recall what the second conversation was going to be. So you just get the one.

553 words on day 498

Brother Gane’s Maquette

Immediately you are struck by the misplacement of the man in the garb. Gane is like a rabbit wearing a hat or a puppy in a shirt. Doable; just not right. But you don’t know what you would change.

From top to bottom he’s Solex Guy. Gane’s dreads are rubbed evenly with alizarin crimson and pleat evenly left and right when he’s at Mass or ride high in a ponytail bound in a tight clasp near his scalp when he’s on the job. His split-sleeved cassock fits smartly. His blue and gold subdermals pulse professionally from the gaps. His cincture is tied expertly in the old style–thank-you brother Chabe. When he walks his boots clip precisely on the stoneways.

Gane’s hres are error free. No one unit tests their prayers as effectively as he. His knowledge of circuits, networking, hymns, and chants is unparalleled. If you had three sons and you wanted the third to be in the clergy you want him to be just like Gane. You just wouldn’t want him to be Gane.

He’s a faker, an impostor, or a liar. Or he’s deluded, confused, or biding his time. Clearly he’s unwilling to be bad at what he’s pretending but he’s not bothered to fully obscure what must be disdain.

Leaving it there. Everything else that I tried fell flat.

Word count: 219
Day 160

The Solex Guy: A Day Before

Gane struggled to prepare his equipment. Fasting made a long day of paperwork and prayer exhausting.

His appointments in the Shanty guided his inventory, but there were always unexpected needs. Some items, like traidl root powder, were easy to carry in sufficient quantities for any occasion. He arranged an extra roll of duct tape into the crate and coiled a dozen more leads into the center of that. The screen on his laptop indicated that the ghosting of the auxiliary laptop was complete. Instead of booting it up to see for himself, he inserted a static hres into the uniport and watched as the indicator LEDs flickered to a solid green.

He placed the aux into it’s cushion in the crate and sealed it up. His primary went into his satchel along with the expensive saffron petals. The tart aroma of the flower whetted his appetite. Lightheaded, he opens a a few cupboards before he realizes that he can’t eat. Closes them gently.

Word count: 161
Day 159

Day 124: A Prayer for Circuitry

This entry relates to previous material tagged as solex.

Gane placed three fresh saffron leaves in a small clay mortar and added a pinch of pure silica sand. He muddled the mixture. Before the aroma and scant juice could soak into the clay he sprinkled the mixture onto the circuit board. Gane injected a brief thanks-prayer that the herbs spread evenly over the surface. Even a veteran monk could botch an install with clumps. He attached the leads and dialed up a test current.

He placed that board aside and repeated the maneuvers for five more boards. The utility room warmed with the gentle aroma of saffron honey and circuitry.

Next, Gane collected the seven hexagonal solex panels from the balcony–two were hot from exposure to the sun, the other five cool. He put one of the hot ones on the floor at his feet and attached the mahogany spacers at each of the six corners. Kneeling with a cool one in his lap, he mounted it to the first, quickly added a joiner to the one in his lap, and mounted a third to the first two. He rotated the group one panel clockwise and added a fourth. In this manner he joined six panels to the first to form something of a strange bowl.

The spacers acted as jumpers between the panels so he could now pass a current through all seven. He did this.

Gane checked his watch. Ten or so more minutes to steep the boards in saffron.

Rather than taking a moment to eat, Gane strengthened this minor hres with prayer.

I should probably define hres somewhere–since I haven’t.

Word count: 280