Almost two weeks ago, I announced that I’d completed the first draft of the novel I’d been working on over the past year. I had a few folks query me about the download for the complete PDF. To those: Thanks! To everyone else, here’s the first 503 words:
The fires in the Port Calvert Asylum burn the greenish-yellow that the mind paints on the word sick. You can see them burning in the refugee camps scattered just inside the perimeter fence — green-yellow tongues singing their songs to the sky and stars, anthems and laments both carried in the thinnest, whitest smoke. The sick green-yellow flames were produced by a log that was essentially a giant, arm-sized bean that the branch of the ICCC running the Port Calvert Asylum had had genetically engineered to provide ample heat and light while producing a minimum of ash, smoke, and other waste. We knew this because it was our co-op that grew those beans.
Getting in to the Port Calvert Asylum was the easy part. Getting in unnoticed was only slightly more challenging. Getting in without revealing ourselves to our pursuers however was the challenge with which we were faced.
Gregor and I had gone at each other’s throats during the flight from the Capitol Wastes over whether to stick to the original rendezvous or flee for the Port Calvert Asylum. Crewism dictated we head for the refugee quarters at Port Calvert, regroup, and figure out some fail over plan. I didn’t like the idea in the slightest but bit down for crewism’s sake and pushed harder on the wiser battle to split up while we figured out how to get inside. Gregor fought back hard on that plan saying we should keep tight and unified but ultimately backed down after the second close call with that trailing layvee. That near miss almost cost us all and we all knew it.
I took Viktor with me as we marched the last three kilometers to the south west gate while Gregor and the rest doubled back to hide wherever they could. We all knew that there wasn’t much cover but they had a better chance fleeing in the open than getting jammed up at one of the Port Calvert gates. The general feeling in the crew was we were two hairs from fucked whichever way we went. Viktor confided in me during the march that he was beginning to think the whole thing was hopelessly blown to shit once we got spotted. Not even 200 meters from the snatch, he kept saying, drawing himself tighter and tighter into the coarse brown cloak.
I was not sure if I could believe him or if I just did not want to believe him. It was naïve to think that we could have gotten away clean. A Soy Guild crew up against a troop from Pacifica? That was challenge enough but our stakes were so much higher and we knew that going in. None of us had had any illusions about that and Papa Ivan had sat us all down and given us each the option to back out with no shame. Maybe it was crewism that kept each of us looking in the faces of the others choosing to say it loud — Count Me In.
Not the whole first chapter but I hope with that to garner a bit more interest…
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About Rob FrieselSoftware engineer by day, science fiction writer by night. Author of The PhantomJS Cookbook and a short story in Please Do Not Remove. View all posts by Rob Friesel →
5 Responses to 1st 503
please. me want
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