Tuesday, July 14, 2009

SciFi Snippet

1750 words written on my scifi novel yesterday PLUS I hammered out details on my futuristic weaponry - woohoo!! I'm almost ready to present it to you guys to ask your opinion on it. I was itching all weekend to get to work on this scifi novel after I had some breakthroughs with the plot, but was just wicked-tired the whole time. In honor of yesterday's writing binge though, here's another snippet from it.

By the time this scene starts, Loranya has found out what exactly she's pregnant with (but you don't know!!! nanner, nanner, nanner!), and she's also discovered that her brother, the Coravos (ruler) of Andiri, has been poisoned. She's gone to a hotel, the Anyaver, to get rigged out in her Coravi regalia so she can return to the Courts in a position of power. She's now visibly back to looking like one of the Andiri ruling family - brown, gold and peach colored hair, gold rims around her eyes, peach colored skin, and gold tips to her fingernails. If you read my short story, A Little Piece of Home, another character in this scene should be familiar to you... Here it is:

She certainly looked the part, as confirmed by the reflection viewer. Too bad she didn’t feel as regal as she looked. Her whole life here as future Coravi had been one misstep after another. Nothing she’d done had been right. Every time she tried to act the way she thought the heir should, she’d been berated for being an embarrassment. Finally, she’d left. Now she was back, but would her choices be any better this go round? She was essentially the same person.

The door tone pealed, breaking into her thoughts. A check through the view panel revealed a lean, taciturn man with solid brown hair and the dark skin tone of a commoner. He was dressed in loose pants and a tunic in unrelieved brown. A closer look revealed a subtle, yet intricate level of detail and embellishment, but of the same brown, so it wasn’t immediately noticeable. In addition, he stood as if completely commanding the space around him.

A man of contradictions. Somehow she doubted that he was a mere hotel employee or her driver. Curious.

She released the door lock. As soon as the panel slid back, he entered the room, his eyes locked on hers. Again, a deep solid brown that bespoke a common heritage. The look in them was anything but.

“Coravi Loranya Vershtul Quandirr.” Her full name from this man’s stern lips was a shock. “Your transportation is ready.”

She tilted her head to the side, eyes narrowed. Her arrival at the courts wouldn’t have the needed effect if it was already common knowledge.

He answered the unasked question. “I recognized you when you arrived.”

Brown and gold eyebrows raised. “When I arrived, I looked nothing like this. And I don’t know you.”

His head dipped in acknowledgement. “But you are known to me. And I always study new arrivals. This is my hotel.”

Well, that explained some things - like his forceful attitude. “You mentioned transportation.”

“Indeed. My personal glide and driver are at your disposal.”

“I requested a hired glide of the front desk.”

“Be that as it may, you have the use of my vehicle.”

Was he trying to garner some royal appreciation? “That’s very generous of you and quite unnecessary.”

“My Coravi will not be transported in a glide for hire. You have the use of my glide and driver for as long as you need them. The driver also has instructions to act as guard should you need it. He’s fully qualified for such.”

She decided to speak plainly. “Why are you insisting on this? I distrust such overtures.”

“As well you should. My motives are unhindered by greed or self-advancement however. I will explain.” He clasped his hands behind his back and widened his stance. “When you were younger, you did a kindness to my mother. She was servant to a Leo and was ill. While making a social visit, you witnessed a scene where she was reprimanded for laziness. She would have been beaten atop being ill had you not intervened. You removed her from the Leo’s control, ordered that he pay her back wages as well as greater compensation for requiring that she work while ill. Then you placed her with an agency that taught her better skills. You gifted our family with better lives and returned some measure of pride to my mother. You told her that she was worth more, that we were all worth more. It became a family motto of sorts.”

She remembered that incident well. As with every other time she’d tried to do something as Coravi to help someone, there had been complications. Her father had not appreciated her intervention, claiming that interfering in the way the nobility ran their households was not part of her purview. The Leo had been a friend of her father’s and she’d caused him embarrassment. It had been just one misguided incident of many, but she was glad to see some good had come of it.

“That in itself would have been enough,” he continued on. “But then, as a terra-analyst you were instrumental in placing a distant cousin of mine in charge of one of the new NatLife agri-businesses, despite accusations of corporate espionage leveled against him. So, you see, whether as heir to the throne or not, you have been a caretaker of my family, just as those in your role are supposed to be. There is nothing you could ask of me that I would not offer for your use. We would still be pulling produce from dispo-units for meals if it weren’t for you. If we were even still alive at all.”

Lora almost took a step back at his vehemence. His voice never wavered over the course of the retelling. He certainly didn’t look humble or appreciative. But she sensed his tension. And his sincerity. This was a proud man who’d pulled himself up from nothing. Now he was confronted with a living, breathing reminder of how low he’d once been, and that he’d needed another’s help to achieve his current status.

“If your cousin was Hermio, he was a rare, good find. He was falsely accused by his previous employer.”

The man nodded his head. “Most wouldn’t have cared enough to discover the deception.”

“It was in my best interests.”

He raised one dark brown eyebrow at her claim to selfishness. “Was it also in your best interests to have his previous manager investigated and arrested so that Hermio’s name was cleared?”

“What makes you think I had anything to do with that?”

“Tell me you didn’t, give me your word as Coravi, and I’ll believe you.”

They stared at each other in silence until he gave a small, satisfied smile. Lora thought she saw a dimple almost peek out. Wouldn’t that be incongruous on such a severe man? “So what is your name?”

“Jorand Achlavor.”

“Thank you for the use of your personal glide and driver, Jorand. I accept.”

Some of the tension left his shoulders. He nodded.

Then something that had been niggling at the back of her mind since he started his stories caught her attention. Loranya Vershtul. The Anyaver. “My name – you used my name for your hotel.”

Again he nodded his head, this time in more of a bow. “I suspected you’d figure it out quickly.”

“I’m honored.” She searched his face and felt completely unsuited for the trust that he placed in her. “And unworthy.”

“You do not see yourself clearly.” He moved back towards the door and opened it, dismissing her concerns. “If you should need anything during your efforts to right the situation at the Courts, do not hesitate to call on me.”

Her glittering eyes blinked twice. “How do you know that’s why I’m here?”

He shrugged and his mouth hinted at the faintest of smiles. “It is who you are.”

She had to prove to this man that she wasn’t the all-knowing Coravi he seemed to think. “I didn’t know about my brother’s situation until I got on-planet. That’s not why I’m here.”

He tilted his head to the side. “You won’t leave without fixing it, regardless. The All-Being simply arranged a different reason to bring you here when we needed you.”

Part of her was warmed by his faith. The rest was just terrified. But if he was willing to help… She made a split-second decision. “I need a piece of equipment delivered to the Courts. I don’t know who I can trust there any longer. It’s highly specialized, so I have no idea how quickly you’ll be able to find it. I need it there yesterday.”

Something warm kindled in his eyes for just a moment. Then he was all business again. She described the terra-analyst’s rig to him.

He nodded. “It shall be done as you command.” He picked up her bags and led her to the waiting glide. He spoke briefly with the driver and sent the transport on its way.

What an odd encounter, she thought as they zipped through the midday traffic to the center of the city. Somehow, he’d managed to completely distract her from her worries about her brother, the pending confrontation in the Courts, and even the baby nestled under her heart. She felt stronger than she had, more sure of herself.

She would get control of Andiri for her brother.

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