Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Snippets IX - The Custodians

Snippets are small pieces I am considering expanding into larger works.

The click-clack-click click-clack-click of rail car passing over tracks fades into the background score even as it remains ever present, permeated into every element of the car. Every few minutes a sliding crescendo of sharper sound, the outside air rushing past unmuffled by walls, signals the occasional opening and closing of the doors to either end of the car.

Through the windows, countryside slides by peaceful and undisturbed. There is a faint rocking back and forth on the tracks, like the swell and crest of a ship at sea but left and right instead of up and down. Today the country is green, rolling hills covered in evergreens, rusty hills in the far distance, dim and out of focus. A stream just shy of being a river flirts with the rails on the left side.

There is no one else in the car.

There never is.

The swooshing sound of the rear door does not care, however. No one comes in or out but the sound goes off at least once every seven minutes.

Sigh. I guess they had to miss something.

A tone sounds, soft on the edges but unmistakeably not the sort of sound expected in an antique rail car.

"Program ending in thirty seconds. Program ending in thirty seconds."

"Already?" I checked my chronometer. Spot on, as always. I am not sure why I have been spending my sim-time on the train. It always speeds by.

The sim decouples with a fade to gray followed immediately by soft lights coming up in the sim room. The couch releases and retreats.

"Agenda." A tone acknowledges receipt of the instruction.

"Today's agenda:" The polite but impersonal female voice spells out my fate for the day.

"Ship time oh nine hundred, observational maintenance, stasis wing seven. Ship time eleven hundred, observational maintenance, stasis wing eight. Ship time thirteen hundred, meal, commissary. Ship time thirteen thirty, observational main.."

"Stop," I say with exasperation. "Why don't you just tell me the only thing I am doing today is checking popsicles for nonexistent temperature fluctuations and give me ten more minutes with the rail car?"

"Query error. Daily simulation time has been expended. Agenda is not monolithic."

"Not monolithic? It's a pile of two hour shifts looking at stasis readouts!" I groan and rub my eyes.

"Ship time thirteen hundred, meal, commissary," the voice replies.

"Oh, right. I forgot. I get to eat lunch." I grumble to myself and start heading for Wing Seven.


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And that is it for Snippets.  Hopefully there was something in the lot you enjoyed.  A few of these are stabs at some story working its way through my head (all that ice - ghoul - northwest passage stuff).  I have a full length novel of The Custodians that is in deperate need of a complete rewrite.  "Pearson Was A Fool" is a kick off for the prequel to my first novel "Means to an End" which is undergoing editing at the moment.  In fact, I am going to go back to that post and put the original opening in the comments.  The working title of that novel is "The Fools".  At the moment Fools is trapped somewhere between my ears.

November is going to be exciting and adventurous for me.  I am going to serialize the full length story "The Necropolis of Alkhezzar".  I have been finishing it up this week and will have a special treat going up on Friday the 30th in celebration.

Thanks for reading!
-np

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About Me

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Geek - Gamer - Librarian - Writer. Only awesome at one of those things at a time, unfortunately.

About Fading Interest

After writing op-eds and travelogues for several years, after finishing a few books, and after failing to get the ball rolling with project after project I stumbled into an idea that might just hold my interest long enough to enjoy some level of satisfaction with my writing.