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  #91  
Old 02-26-2017, 07:18 PM
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Here's some. Or one, anyway. Wait... here's another. There's one over there. Do they make what I'm saying any clearer?

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  #92  
Old 02-26-2017, 10:50 PM
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Originally Posted by bluewpc View Post
And its happened I finally published me novel. Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?


https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06VTNG1TH...ngs+fall+apart

Well congratulations on that.
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Old 02-26-2017, 10:54 PM
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Originally Posted by moonpunter View Post
Is there a reason apostrophes don't show up?

They intend to but drop out and become nothing more than commas in the past?
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  #94  
Old 02-27-2017, 08:02 AM
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@brian all in good time...all in good time.

@moon Its an aesthetics thing. Apostrophes make the page look ugly. I mean apostrophes are fine for showing possession and when a contraction would become another word (say she had contracting to shed) but for the most part I think theyre unnecessary.

@pierce thanks kindly
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  #95  
Old 02-27-2017, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by bluewpc View Post
@brian all in good time...all in good time.

@moon Its an aesthetics thing. Apostrophes make the page look ugly. I mean apostrophes are fine for showing possession and when a contraction would become another word (say she had contracting to shed) but for the most part I think theyre unnecessary.

@pierce thanks kindly
Basic grammar is always necessary.
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  #96  
Old 02-27-2017, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by moonpunter View Post
Basic grammar is always necessary.


Tell that to James Joyce.
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Old 02-27-2017, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by brianpatrick View Post
Tell that to James Joyce.
No one here is James Joyce.
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  #98  
Old 02-27-2017, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by moonpunter View Post
No one here is James Joyce.
But there is an alcoholic XD
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Old 02-27-2017, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by bluewpc View Post
But there is an alcoholic XD


Several
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  #100  
Old 02-27-2017, 07:41 PM
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Note: don't usually post revisions but I really didnt like that first post especially in the hunting scenes so heres a newer version.

In January she turned nine. She did not know. She never knew. It snowed. What little water was left in the stream contracted into shelves of ice men quarried with picks. A deputation turned out to drill a well. They hosted the siblings every Thursday and they served beef dumplings and noodles and the brothers fawned over their sister who conducted herself honorably and with perfection.

The mother did not visit until the last of the month. She trotted them out to loom a sweater but Dachni was gone, drawn to the quiet saddling up of a party of mounted falconeers.

Hey, she said.

The big man she addressed wore his mustache widely and his arm was cocked out as a perch for a hooded eagle.

Здравствуйте.

What is yalls?

Hunter.

Dachni grinned toothily and made a checking noise with her tongue. Saddle an extra then, thisses gidda nuff ta that.

Жоқ No go with. Go to woman.

Fuck the no. Youre missin on a guaranteed kill. Two at the least.

He tapped the tree of his saddle.

Thinkle your bees.

Holnifa shifted to her side and took her by the arm. Go us to ана. Ok?

Dachni threw an arm around her friend's shoulders and pressed her forward. Shoot ye come too. She looked up at the man. How much would ye bet first whatever gets downed by this rifle.

Не?

Bet. Money. Деньги.

She fished in her clothes and came up with a silver bezant. Whats yer say?

The falconer consulted with his fellows.

Now the shadow of the mother was fallen on them. Come to sew. I teach you.

Aint no seammess.

Come.

Fuck off. What does yall say?

None said but one and he said why not. A horse was saddled and adjusted to her diminutive stature and they watched her mount and watched her strap a scabbard to the pommel and sheathe the nagant in it.

Is ye comin?

Holnifa withered under the hunter's attentions, her mother's. She took Dachni's offered hand. Dachni grinned and pulled her up. At this the mother began to squawk.

Quet hawlerin, said Dachni. Shell get back in piece.

They rode south a half dozen riders fanned abreast, the falconers resting their arms on their baldaks and the eagles jessed like avatars of immaned justice. Theyd not ridden an hour before a hare presented itself. Squatting alert among tufts of repens. The foremost of the riders unhooded his eagle and launched it with a thrust of the arm. It soared in a wordless grace. A silent liquidity that seemed to disturb not at all its marbled primaries. The hare snapped instantly across that open terrain in rapid jackhammer slaps that veered it in rocket like hyper gaga and the eagle rose on the updraft and cut in. The hare lunged to clear out from under that narrowing shadow but the eagle loomed talons first and in their dire clutch it spasmed and died.

Two more such quarries were caught in identical manner and a mature ibex brought down with a volley of eagles. Mutant eagles bred almost two stones. The first dropped between the enormous horns like fossilized pythons sprouting out of its skull and tore it to the ground. The hind legs kicked out. The second swooped in a heartbeat after, its wings folded to clear alike the chin of the beast and the ground, and ripped low across its tan beard and it fell upon its side. The beast shook its head to clear the airspace about its head but the first eagle roosted on the ribbed inside of a horn and ducked under the other and tore at the jugular. Then passed back the second eagle. The ibex stumbled up and its head twisted obscenely and the horns were resting now on the ground like bike racks.

Last of all they killed a wolf.

They had mounted a shale outcropping overlooking a featureless stretch of dala and it moved forlorn some many hundred yards away and below like something umbeschewed of other hunters.

Dachni spat. That son of a bitch isnt no bother to a buddy.
The eagles all four were deployed. Their pendant shadows heralding their flighted casters even unto the bristling of their remicles upon that mured ground of takir and grass and as they kept even within that sun their honing frieze seemed to shimmer in the heat like a mirage in clairvoyance as if they were happenings in the sun. Too late the wolf saw them. The eagles had divided perhaps in some instinct vestigial to raptors and the first pair shot in from the right and dragged the wolf down by the nape. It twired on the ground snapping blindly and the birds flapped clear and dropped back down. The other pair raked across its upturned belly and their wake of dust rushed over it like a tide. A blur of feathers and fur rolled in piteous yelping and now a fine spray of blood. The eagles retreated to safety and walked the grounds while the wolf blind and jetting blood, coughing blood, stumbled in a rigmarole thigmotaxis that conveyed it weirdly across the steppe at the speed of a trot before it crashed again to the ground where to suffer a death of drowning.

The hunters whooped and surged forth. At the kill the riders fell from their mounts and rabated their familiars with morsels of elk.

When Dachni rode up she could see that it was the butchered thing met with priorly on the plain. Lobos at thy ignominious death what luck had you whom could claim even this end preferable? Or would it taint whatever came next. The hunters were inspecting the wolf but they perceived nothing salvageable. The child would have it and tied it to the horse behind the saddle. The horse shied at this scent but she would clout it into submission and pull at its ears.

Riding back Dachni spied two long channels of bent grass leading off to the north.

Theys a horse, she said.

She roweled her horse into a gallop. Cries faded behind her. Holnifa clung to her waist yelling жоқжоқжоқжоқжоқ. But she did not stop and the hunters fell in and they followed the trail nine miles.

Their shadows were long to their rights when she caught the riders up. Two who turned to see what followed, the falconeers declaring their amity in the same moment Dachni fired. The riders were almost three hundred yards away and one of them simply slid out of the saddle. A second shot rang out and the other rider as he was turning his horse clasped his neck. He sat his horse. Then he slumped forward and listed to the ground.

Neither man was dead. One lay bubbling a pink froth out the hole in his chest. The bullet had laddered up his spine and exited out the back of his neck. The other kept trying to sit up and gulping blood out the ragged perforations his fragmented teeth had torn in his throat. She stripped them alive and then she bound them in randem arms to feet to cantle. The hunters watched impassively and they rode on and by and by the men died.

She headed the little column smartly into the ail. Some gathered to see. Then more. Dachni dismounted and helped her friend down in a gesture of chivalry and stood proudly over her kills.

Musa pushed through the crowd.

What have you done?

They shot first, said Dachni. See this rifle? Its suppresser's built in. Never knowed they was shootin till a pouch of dirt pop up. Dont know whyd he was. He might notta even knowed what he were shootin at.

She held the rifle up for Musa to examine but when he reached to take it she pulled it away.

Sees it just ya grubby butt.

Musa looked at the dead men. He looked at the hunters but they were seeing about their eagles.

Dachni leaned on her rifle. They aint important in this world, she said. Ye might think they is but they esnt.

He looked at her.

Ifn was important wouldnt be dead.
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  #101  
Old 03-05-2017, 09:08 PM
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Big update today so no update for a while.



They dragged the corpses to a tent of an abattoir and hefted them up onto a bench table and Dachni cut away a face from one of the men and imposed it upside unright over her features and tongue taunted her friend through an eyeslit.

Holnifa was horrified. Сіз қорқынышты болып табылатын жатырмыз.

Dachni laughing. Laugh fading. Jess a joke, she said.

Бұл қорқынышты ғой.

Its alright.

She placed a fat barrel under the edge of the table and positioned the man for decapitation. Raising the knife she was given pause by an unaccountable scent of the antiseptic. Synaethesia. Then it was gone. She tested the air again to find it missing then bid Holnifa do the same but she detected nothing. She looked about. She raised the knife and brought it down. The head rolled. Cold black blood gushed as if from out of deflating drainpipes. She picked the head up and placed it on the table then pressed her hands on the sternum to pump out the bile on which the man had asphyxiated. When his lungs were empty she opened him up in an adroit running of the knife from clavicle to pubic bones, the organs bulging out in the wake of the blade. She peeled back the skin, cutting translucent webs of fascia as she did. The torsal cavity exposed she began to rummage through the midriff, ripping free liver, pancreas, the stomach the gall bladder. Heaps of intestines. All flung over the shoulder to the floor. She reached under the ribcage and pulled out the lungs and heart and the long ribbons of esophagus and trachea. She paused to satisfy an itch behind her ear and bent again to her work. An hour later blood splattered, sashed in skins, wearing as hat two gutted torsos dragging behind a barrel of blood and carrying a double armload of limbs she emerged moving towards the drum grills at the center of the ail where the general cooking of the tuqim was done and Holnifa following holding the heads at arms' length by the hair like slutlamps.

The bed of the grill was littered with bleach white fuel tables that would burn a month and Dachni opened the air inlets and zapped them with an electric lighted tied to the grill handle and there was a subtle fwoosh and no flame.

They drank whiskey. Holnifa in such a daze her hands need be closed round the jar and tipped up to her lips.

When the meat was no more than rare Dachni flipped the torsos and let the backsides cook another five minutes and then fetched them out. She shore the ribs from the spine and gave a slab to Holnifa and commenced to tear the flesh from the bones.

Holnifa stared straight ahead.

Go on, said Dachni. Is good.

She shook her head.

Caint try ifn ye dont like.

She shook her head harder.

Dachni cleaned the last of a bone, a strip of meat like a seared and succulent slug, and ate it, and stood the bone at an angle and stomped it. It split in tow and she sucked out the marrow.

Ye does an therell be somethin in it fer ye.

Жоқ. Мен кешірім сұраймын. Жоқ.

Dachni raked a greasy hand through her hair. Gosta try.
Holnifa studied the ribs that not five hours ago had shielded the heart of a man. Perhaps one to have become a woman. She could not bear to witness herself commit the act. She pailed a fat rich strip from the rib and placed it in her mouth like some grisly sacrament. It was far from her tastes. She chewed as if in pain. She spit it out.

Was wrong?

Holnifa didnt say.

Wasnt tryin ta rile ye.

Holnifa said: Менің барғым керек.

Dachni was kneeling. Her face masked in blood and powdered with dust. She wiped her mouth. Барғым? she said.

Holnifa nodded. She stood. She returned the slab to Dachni.

Dont rush off.

Менің барғым керек.

She reached to stay her. Keep here. Done stayed for ye once. Jess stay.

Holnifa held the hem of her shirt.

She took her hand. Jess set down. Ye aint go ta eat. It was for ye but ye doesnt hafta.

Holnifa sat.

She didnt know quite now how nor what it was she didnt know. She ate in silence until she asked if she wanted some whiskey.

Yes whiskey.

Passing the mother's yurt the mother's arm snatched away her child. The heads clattered to the ground. Holnifa wept. Long and loud and inconsolable. The mother withdrew into her yurt and Dachni dropped the guts and followed.

Inside the mother stood her off.

What have you done to her?

Dennit mutch of nothin. She jessin started cryin aint no cause of why.

Monster. Bastard. Get out. Get out.

Dachni tugged at Holnifa's foot.

Whats wrong? she said. Holfie.

The mother shoved her away. Get out.

Faces peeked out from behind the curtains and she dared them away with her eyes. She spoke. Holnifa had buried her face in her mother's breast but at the voice of her friend she turned her rue streaked horror.

Hasses ta say whats wrong.

The mother backed away to the table and got a knife.

Go away. Go away now. I will not tell again.

Thass not on you ta say. She stepped forward and reached up and took Holnifa's hand, true pleading in that touch. The mother would not relinquish her child. She tried to stab Dachni in the face but Dachni dodged it and brandished her pistol. She hadnt taken her eyes from her friend.

What does ye say? Hey.

Let go of her.

Holnifa sobbed harder.

Dachni threw an arm around her legs. Its ok. Will ye let go. She slapped at the mother's hand. Let fuckin go.

The mother would have kicked her off but in that slack of grip Holnifa turned to embrace Dachni. The mother almost dropped her. She looked down in disgust where they gathered into each others arms. Holnifa was sobbing into Dachni's shoulder who held her close and backed slowly to the door.

It was a long hour before she could stop her crying. Hugged together under the blankets brushing her hair or humming and watching for the dam to come. When she finally calmed she went outside and staked the heads for wards and nailed the organs above their door and draped intestines round them so that a portal was formed.
She went back inside.


Tomorrowll be better, she said slipping in against her. Maybe dont seen sech but it will.

Барлығы ның қорқынышты. Мен қолымды қайтып келеді. Ал менің достарым қайтып келеді Мен өлгім келеді.

Dachni nibbled her ear and licked the back of her throat like a cat until the girl managed an unhappy giggle through her tears.

Itll be ok. Promisepromisepromise. Ok? Ye can still cry but itll be better tomorrow. Promise yell see.

But emerging out the hovel in the morning she was confronted with the larger half of the tuqim. They were arrayed on the far side of the stream partly obscured in the fog. A rock sailed out and struck her in the forehead. Her feet went out from under her. She sat blinking. A warmth was spreading through her trousers and when she looked down a foaming yellow puddle was spreading from her. Someone admonished the slinger. She tried to stand but she couldnt quite manage it.

Musa stepped out of the crowd and crossed the dry bed.

You are going to leave.

Dachni held her head. Blood was running all down her face.

Did you hear?

She drew her pistol and pulled the trigger. She wasnt even looking at him. The hammer slammed against the plate but nothing happened. She pulled the slide back and the round ejected but before she could shoot again he took the pistol from her.

You are leaving now.

A commotion had sprung up in the ail. They all turned to see. The shaman was making his way to them throwing open the pens and hazing the animals into the fields and hacking at the yurts and setting them alight. The folk all began to rush back. He was trashing the forge and as the tuqim flew around him he lashed out at them with a knout. Folk went down. Folk screamed. He stormed through the willows and across the bed.

Бұл сіздің алаңдаушылық емес, said Musa.

The shaman grabbed him by his jacket and flung him down.

Gonna kill that son of a bitch, spoke Dachni in an absentminded manner devoid of emotion.

No. No kill, said Holnifa coming out of their den and she wrapped her arms around her and dragged her back inside. The shaman followed a minute after. When he did he stopped outside the entrance and asked permission to come inside. Holnifa said to come in. He had the child's pistol and he returned it to her and she stuck it in her belt. Holnifa had wet her sleeve with whiskey and was disinfecting the wound.

Dachni was trembling with rage. The shaman knelt before her. He placed a thumb either side her injury and wiped the blood away and spread the skin. Dachni glared evilly up at him. The bone showed through at the hairline but it wasnt broke.

Ол OK болады.

He says ok, said Holnifa.

Kill fucking son fuck kill.

The shaman studied the confines. It hadnt changed since his last visit.

What do you want?

He looked at Dachni. He opened his coat and withdrew a long cigarillo and pinched away the flag and offered it to her. She took it and he produced a box of matches and her eyes lit up. Or they seemed to. He struck a match and the flame flared into a twitching life on the bulbous end and he put its tapered apex to the boquilla while she puffed slowly, rotating the cigarillo until the capote glowed red. She took a deep breath and held the smoke in a moment and let it slowly out her nostrils.

Them fuckers is all gonna die. That Musa. His head is goin be on a stick an filled with shit. An ever fuck of son in this place.
The shaman sat crosslegged with his fists resting on the cross of his shins and he simply extended a finger towards Holnifa.

Dachni brushed the ash from the cigarillo and offered it to her but she declined. She looked at the smoking end a second and then she looked up at the shaman.

Spare a match.

They moved the rugs aside and dug a pit in the center of the floor and filled it with deadwood and dry leaves. Dachni stuck a trio of matches and put them in. In a few minutes it was hot in the room and the smoke was venting out the shanyrak. They watched the fire dance in the pit like old souls. It seemed old. As if the flames were weary of burning. As if these same flames had performed in other pits before other men.

After a while Dachni said: Caint stay here.

Holnifa leaned close for a second hearing.

Said cant stay. No stay.

No stay?

No.

Holnifa's countenance fell.

The shaman touched Holnifa on the shoulder and spoke to her and then he got up to leave.


They lingered all day. They drank heavily.
Dont go.

She touched the throb of pain in her head. Caint.

When go?

Dont know. It never was planned out.

Go with?

Dachni covered her eyes. No. Ye caint. Ye jess caint. Ye wouldnt wanna be there an there wouldnt be no way to protect ye. Ye'd hate everything. Ye'd hate everyone.

Holnifa began to cry and that sound repented her ever of stopping.
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  #102  
Old 03-06-2017, 03:32 PM
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Gahhh I'm as articulate as a moose with a speech impediment

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xWZRekp967g
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Old 03-11-2017, 12:07 PM
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In preparing for a proper rectification of melancholy they squatted, trousers down, pissing in a pail wherein were stuffed the faces of the dead riders. The streams crossed and as the pail filled a vortex formed, foamed at the ridges of its fluted interior.

Thissel treck it aye, said Dachni putting the pail into a fire beside another pail of blood. Aint prefickt but theys nothin prefickt.

She helped Holnifa disrobe. She lifted the bloodpail out of the flames. The blood had formed a bubbling pudding and she broke it up and hand as brush applied to her friend a sanguinolent coat even to her soles. Then she took a head and jammed a heel in its mouth and gripping the front palate stood. The jaws unhinged in a pulpy crack. She flipped the head face up and thumbed out the runny glaze of eyes like fish offal and rooted out the teeth with her bayonet and keyed open the skull at the fontanel using the same and scooped out the brains. In their pan they looked like gray black growths of coral sweating a pink tinged cervical fluid. She sawed off the fronts of the skull at the joinery of the parietal and frontal plates and augured the nasal bone and fed a wire through the holes and out the empty sockets and rendered the same treatment to the second.

All this set aside she took up the wolf head and split it of its mandible. Then she bored the jaws. The teeth. She had requisitioned a set of dyes and she stained the incisors pink, the canines cherry, the molars black with pockets of saved ash and the skulls she did likewise custom color with an aposematic palette. By then the piss was beginning to boil. She lifted the pail from the fire and set it aside to cool. With her knife she carved a motley of protorunes into the skulls, ur words to the catechism of a new faith. She mopped up the bonemeal with a steaming flaccid face and pitched it away like a rag. When she had done she threaded all on a long wire, arranging the skulls that they were spaced to the cardinal points and the teeth distributed equally between them.

There, she said necklacing her friend. Itll right rain.

Holnifa touched it. The skulls rested on her shoulders like pauldrons and the wolf jaws against breast and back.
Dont take it off. Wont work ifn ye dont wear it.

Evil, said Holnifa.

Dachni wiped her tools, her hands on her leggings. So?

Nor were they finished. She overpacked the brains into the doll head Tepya until the plastic bulged and she pierced it with a vector hook and held it into the flames until the hair caught, tongue licking upon the hair tongue and then she marched the child out.

Holnifa in the noon shivering naked. Dachni circled her waving the burning doll head like a censer until the flames melted the line and where it dropped she buried it and they returned to their den.

They rode out of the ail when proper souls are indoors two pilgrims upon country once a seabed where trilobites had scurried in their million across a terrain barren as this latterday scaline aridity with its winter welk of scrub and hardgrasses. The night spread like a shadow of the sleuing earth betwixt glary stars a vast interstitial nociception Dachni subscribed the source of all things numinous and accounted those candent baubles beads on a bracelet worn pon dark's lithe ankle or wrist or leaming shells spliced into an tress. Holnifa small in her outsized ton in awe, off white leather and wispy white wool riffling out collar and front like the stuffing of a doll. They rode along desiccated fence posts across which bowed corded wire as if graves enlinked. Some ruins of clay. Where aluminum roofs were piled and someone asleep beneath the stack. Anonymous birds crossed their sky and once a green comet bleared faitly overhead in fiery dissolution like some celestial pollen sative to stars.

Dachni mused this the start of a long journey but in only a few hours there were lights. They dismounted at the edge of a settlement and led their horses in.

When Malls came to open his diner he found sleeping under his porch two wildlings and he toed them awake. They blinked up at him, fingering rheum from their eyes. He unlocked the door and told them to come in.
He brought hotcakes and coffee. A little later he brought plates of eggs and sausage with a basket of crescents and he pulled a stool up to the head of the booth and though they had already dug in he spoke a grace.
Does ye talk American?

What does it look like? he said.

Well.

Im Christian Im white.

Ok.

What happened to her?

Dachni looked at Holnifa. Unwashed and assumed of the country's sandy hue like a desert thing of grit.

Nothing, said Dachni.

Wherere yall headed? said Malls.

To an Anzel.

Whats an anzel?

Big place. A plane is made of. There all sorts of there.

I think I know the place. I dont think its a place anyone should go. Not least a pair of orphans with only three arms between them.

Dachni stirred her eggs. She broke the yellow nucleus and the yoke spilled out over the glaire. Benned afore. But ye wunnint know a way would ye?

I could find it on a map.

Gotta map, said Dachni reaching for her bags.

Maybe its best I dont.

Maybe best is does.

Well.

Dachni sorted the map out and spread it on the table. Gonna find it of ways or another. Ifn ye tryin ta save trouble ye might as well save that part of it.

I reckon theres some sense in that but on the other hand I might be saving a heckuva lot more in not telling you. Its a stopping place anyways. Its no destination.

Ye git things there.

Get the clap.

The what?

Nothing. You know theres state orphanages opening up. Theyll take in kids like you. I havent seen one myself but I know they funded one down in Heinek and Ive heard good things.

Dont need no orphans.

You dont think it would be nice to be around kids your own age?

No.

Well. Theres plenty of towns would take you in. This town here even. Hey I can use a hand waitressing. It isnt hard and you could learn a skill.

Thankey but noes. Is jobbed.

Whats that?

Jessa job.

What kind of job?

A payin job.

Ok.

It does for shootin people. People bad people.

Youre not a bounty hunter are you?
A what?


Never mind.

Well thankey for the supper.

Its breakfast.

Alright. But show on that map that way.

I cant say you from that way?

Caint. They aint but one what way ye can say.

Last edited by bluewpc; 03-13-2017 at 08:57 PM.. Reason: Added a damn paragraph that in drunkenness i had forgot
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  #104  
Old 03-12-2017, 11:49 AM
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So at this point I will say, reading both novels concurrently, that your skill has improved much with this one. Not to say the other is bad in any way, but this one is clearer, easier to understand. And the map is wider here, more accessible. Maybe it's the nature of the characters so far, alien vs human (ish).
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Old 03-13-2017, 05:32 PM
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Well at least I know I'm moving in the right direction
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Old 03-19-2017, 07:22 PM
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Longer update than usual so no update for a little while.



He spoke them straight west four hours to a sandy trace running north. Thirty miles later in the late afternoon there was the hostel. Worse for wear and fuming like an enormous delegged centipede. Its panels wrinkled for some cause and flying the flags of nations and curling smoke out its rents as if it were a forge. She boarded the horses and the squaw asked how she liked her fetish and the child said it served.

Holnifa stared up into the empennage but the child pulled her by the ton and led her on the outside towards the cockpit under scaffolding where men welded steel plates to the fuselage. A harvest was being reaped in the fields not by niggers but by androids now laboring with their sterile contempt of elements and organic life. They stopped beneath the cockpit and she gathered rocks and pelted the door. After a dozen throws it opened and the swollen bulk of Anzel leaned out.

Why people? Why do you do this?

Hidy! called Dachni.

You. What the hell are you doing here?

Come to see ye.

For what?

Has ye a ladder let down.

Oh no. You can use the front door like the rest of the crazies.

Let down. Downdown.

What did you want again?

Tell ye ye let the ladder down.

Anzel looked about. Wheres John?

Dachni colored.

Son of a bitch aint here.

Well where is he then?

Not here.

What are you doing here?

Said to see ye. Let down the fuckin ladder.

Anzel muttered something to himself and disappeared. A moment later a rope ladder unraveled out of the door. They climbed up. Near the top he gripped her by an underarm and hefted her inside and boosted her over infant monstrosities in carboys onto a stool.

Is she with you?

Holfies withed.

Holnifa plopped down on the stool beside her. Dachni delivered a flurry of pokes into her side and she squirmed worriedly and slapped at her hands to quit.

Anzel settled heavily into his chair and cranked up a handle and his chair jerked back along its path to the counter and swiveled him forward in a noise like the stuttered changing of gears. The cockpit now full of miniature wax psychologists and doctors and other such professions as encourage mental health.

Well I think you owe me an answer now, said Anzel.

Come to see offa outfit.

For you?

Herred for.

Anzel regarded Holnifa. Who is she?

Shes a friend. Say hi.

Celem.

Whats wrong your gear now?

Aint good enuff.

For what?

Dachni fidgeted, rubbing the heels of her palms fiercly along her jaw.

Ok. An outfit. You have money.

Lettle lee. She needs a new arm.

You wont get that here. Not the arm and not the surgery. You try that here youll come out with a chicken wing and missing two legs. Wheres John?

Saided already that fucker aint here.

Have you seen each other yet?

Dachni spat.

Are you here alone?

She elbowed a side of Holnifa. Shes here.

You are crazy.

Wasnt no problems last time.

Last time you were with an eight foot king and a guarantee from the US government.

Ifn aint arms then guns. Anna saddle. Gotta saddle now but wunnit look nice.

Im not a vendor kid.

Whats that?

I dont sell things. The selling gets done back there and you are not going back there. Not alone anyways. Wheres John?

Aint. Fuckin. Here.

Anzel studied her. How much money do you have?

Prolly enough.

Lets see.

The children turned out their pockets and on the counter there accumulated the bespoken funds. Anzel clanked his seat back and swiveled round and got a bottle from out an instrument case and returned and poured two tumblers full and gave one to the child and drank the other himself.

Hows up for her?

Does she drink?

She does.

Are you sure?

She drinks. Holnifa drink? Whiskey wheskeys?

Yes.

See?

Anzel sorted a third tumbler that was a ten gauge shotgun shell emptied of its steel balls and he filled it and gave it to Holnifa. Then he padded the money with a fat hand heavily.

That would get you a saddle sure and a horse to go with.
Wheres that place for arms?

Youd have to go the grad. Thats the only place with the facilities. And that wont get you started on paying for it.

Well less jess starts on simples. Can go gradwise affer.
Good idea. Johns there now. He can probably help you out.

What?

I said John would help.

Dachni spat. She looked at a stack of calendars on the floor. At a game console. What is it likewise goin for?
What?

Nethermind.

Do you still want to outfit?

Aye.

Anzel tapped at a keyboard. There was a pneumatic hiss just outside the cockpit and an android stepped out of its capsule and came forward to receive orders.

Watch over these two.

Yes sir.

They moved through a bawdy kapelle of chaos befogged by a smoky fenland stink exhaled by a cacophony of mankind and its derivatives. Crap rollers blew on dice custom weighted and the billiards table had been boated in a model galleon goggled druggies in poleless palanquins watched slumped like scions of Gomorrah in perpetual torpor arising atimes in jessant frissons of warbling like the languid death spasms of souls in advanced stages of cachexia. Past the telephone booth bordel with its extended lines of cagey johns gliffing guiltily whilst they stoked their moribund members and one would have smeared the musk of old sweaty nut across Holnifa's face but for the android's intervention. And past cases of fish heads staring in their thousands with jizzy eyes and past an abattoir where flies whirled round hock and gobbet and where a sordid clique gyved in heroin appraised them darkly.

Это ружье моего друга, said the bald headed vor in their lead. Где ты это взял?

The android answered for them and they went on.
At the dealer she rapped on the cage and he looked up from his cleaning.

Remembers members?

I dont know you.

Has some to trade.

What?

Dachni stood the looted weapons on the sill. Whatll these get?

The dealer opened the slot. Let me see. Dachni fed the weapons through and he examined them barrel to stock. They were a TOL-17 gauss rifle, and a PSAV, and a Portral laser pistol. Additionally their various accouterments, bags and bandoleers and ammunition.

Cash or trade?

Trade.

What do you want?

Has ye got no more of thems big broiler shoots?

Ah. I do remember you. I dont.

Anything like it?

Yes. He turned around to retrieve from a floorsafe marked exotica a Praxal MGFG4 energy rifle and handed it through.

Theres no headset for it, he said.

Thass ok.

She handed it to Holnifa. Hows that weight? Жақсы?

Жақсы.

Ight. Take it.

The dealer stocked a vest's pouches with rechargeable energy cells and handed it through the slot with about seven thousand dollars. Enough to buy the best saddle the squaw kept stocked and a trotter and three heavy drafts.

Upon returning to the cockpit Anzel held out a phone.

Its John.

What?

Dachni.

Dachni grabbed her friend and fled. They got their horses and turned them east and rode at full gallop. Rode them almost to laming. A week later they rode into the ail tottering in the saddle. The mother rushed to see about her child but Dachni pulled her away. In bed she pinned Holnifa to the ground and ran her tongue round the inside of her mouth. Holnifa didnt move and she would long recall what happened next even when with the pilot and she swore there was a word for it.

She was gone next evening. Would have been gone earlier if not for sleep. Gone south on foot, bequeathing the horses and the money and the guns to Holnifa, taking for herself only her nagant and a few rations and the whiskey.
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Old 03-19-2017, 07:42 PM
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So you don't do quote marks either? Cormac McCarthy does that and it's so irritating to try to read it because it's hard to know when someone is talking and when they're just narrating.
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Old 03-20-2017, 04:59 PM
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That Russian script ... man, that is way cool.
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  #109  
Old 03-21-2017, 10:02 AM
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I appreciate it but as much it grieves me I think you have to thank the Russians. Shitty fucking animals that they are.
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Old 03-28-2017, 07:00 AM
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Interesting choice of quotes for the opening. Very strong.

The story takes the shape of the Stranger-Comes-to-Town in which the main character walks into an unfamiliar world and takes on some sort of transformation. You state that "she strayed from church and parish" in the beginning.

The audience sees her moving through the setting and interacting with other characters, like the Forger and Dachni. A passport definitely proves the beginning of her transformation. Good job here.

My suggestion for improving the story is bringing the Forger into the story a little more. Let him tell a story or flashback.
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Old 04-02-2017, 07:42 PM
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@escriber glad you liked it. I don't think the forger will play anymore role than he does. Thematically though he's continued.

Comes now drunkenness. Wanderings drunk unto the spectral anaklasis of night and ordinal reviviscences beyond her feeble calculus arrived at weird and without orient. To be found in puddles of bladder's incontinence or stripe misted in stomach's purge or filmed in ice that cracked and flaked of her person like a snow of vomitus, dimly surprised to be not dead nor frostbit. To aimless go ways that bore little life and primitive ruins inhabited by her misery alone. Sat upon tin roof or high clay wall and glaring out at the howling winter wind blown wastes with their skeins of snow and frostless heavens. Time enough to contemplate the blind inclemency of loss. Its carelessness. How a word could claim a world and sweep away what it cared not to claim. Had not even seen.

Of a night she hunted stockraisers to a province colder yet and their small ring of a kishlak was quiet and without guard. They slept in bags of wool and the fires burned low to the ground. She picked through the herders until she came across a girl in the arms of her dam. Their bream plumed the air in time as if theyre lungs were enrhythmed and the girl pressed away these brushing fingertips from her lips. Dachni stood. The moon hung like a cradle of bone or else a casket. These husbandmen possessed six horses and she cut their ties and got a rope from a filly's saddle and tied a noose at both ends and draped one over the filly's neck and cinched the other round the girl's tight as she thought she might without waking her. Tight enough that the girl would pull to loosen the noose and that discomfort enough to wake the mother. Dachni backed away following the rope through the milling horses and turning mounted the filly and seizing a fistful of mane leveled the nagant at a random figure bound to sleep forever and fired. The horses had been all but staring down the barrel and in that eruption of light and noise they flared as if before a ghost. Her own animal took off and the rope slack whipped after and there was a sudden jerk as it snapped taut and a new speed when the screaming anchor of the mother finally let go.

She threated the filly across a blanchscape painted sarsen by the moon so that it spirited down unto the last like a creature besaddled with a damnatory. It failed in the dawn. Moaning to its knees whereupon that conjugation of shadow divided like a host abandoned of a parasite. The child slit its throat and flayed its quarters and fetched the girl over a shoulder and loped away leaving the filly in its ghast terminus like a thing half sacrificed before the insufficiency of the sun.

Two hours later she achieved the junction of the A-27 and the R-78 near the welter of Kopa. The towns gone. She climbed into the cab of a semi and laid the girl across the seats and tore her out of her layers. The girl seemed little touched by the sun or not at all. Fiery haired. A freckled urchin emerald of eye. Dachni slid her hands underneath her thighs and up her back to tell the abraded musculature, the cold prominences of bone and wide gapped vertebrae. The neck had elongated a quarter foot and no adjustment could make it look normal. Dachni undressed and shawled herself in a blanket and casting a glance to her backtrack slid over the girl and licked her lip.
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Old 04-02-2017, 08:06 PM
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So fucking creepy.
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Old 04-02-2017, 08:39 PM
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I'm about 2/3 through your first novel. I still keep waiting for you to fuck up, but you don't. It's hard to believe someone can write something like this today. It's super rich. I really enjoy it. Not sure how wide an audience it can hit these days. Prolly small. People don't want to put the work in.

Last edited by brianpatrick; 04-06-2017 at 06:02 AM..
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  #114  
Old 04-03-2017, 03:41 AM
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Hah well thank you for the kind words. Hopefully it will only get creepier as it goes.
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Old 04-07-2017, 08:02 PM
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Big update tonight since Sunday I leave for Serbia and start me long trek to Kazakhstan. I'll still be about but not as frequently. Learn and research, liquor and booze, an eye agawk and an eye asquint at the motley instantiations of whoredom in every form and clever guise.

Little note. The little town referenced is San Luis of Costilla County and I've lived about ten miles from it for a week or so every summer.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Luis,_Colorado

And here's the church I snuck into one night to sleep in and where I saw the storms.

https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl..._B0IeDAK#spf=1

http://www.southern-colorado-guide.c...the-cross.html

In the daymare of her sleep she was in a valley of mud and she was nothing. There was a voice and the nothingness coalesced. She shot up panting and she looked out the window to see whether that doom had manifested but the horizon was empty. It was still light or light again. The girl was sprawled across the seat and she shored her up. She pressed her hand to her sex and pushed her thumb inside and took it out and licked it and then she searched the cab for matches but there werent any. She dressed and pushed open the passengerside door and slid out to see if the truck had a fuel tank but it ran on hydrogen. Other cars were on the road but it was as though a great siphoning had occurred and the fuel doors were all ajar and the caps hanging from their plastic tethers and even the oil pans drained.

She climbed atop the semi's trailer and surmised the crumbling mudland spread afore like a canvas. Country that under summer sun would bear the wildest illusions barren of illusion now and if mirages appear in heat then cold does indeed contract beings to their secular clarity. The raw truth of the determinate world. She went back into the cab and settled the girl against her.

Tis ok. Ifn there. Ifn there then plans doan work. Wont be no serve to give her half a world an say caint go but fer her. But end her opens world. Or bring her out. Best aint ta go there. Where she is she rules but here ye can bring down giants. Thass proofed. An she bleeds. How get her out? How? But rumor. Issidn aye right? Enna better outfit then this. Wont go back though. No needs on that. Keeped here an get it brought.

She walked the stretch of highway with an eye to the country angling off her backtrack the way bees do. She sat a long day. Then another. On the third night there seemed a starrise aggregating on the plain and she lay prone in the cab floor with the door opened and sighted and fired. A light of those lights swung up and burst upon the earth like a failed wish and the others bunched and flexed as if satellited by gravities of fear and she fired again and a horse screamed. The lights scattered in a pound of hooves and she shot down another of their number and the lights winked out in a mute of hoofclatter receding.

When she crept out the next afternoon there were three men lying in the attitudes of their demise and a dead horse likewise and she brought back in turn their arms and gear and corpses and sorted through them and feeding on the dead waited another pair of incidentless days and went on.

Followed a soberer week westwarding to the Uil where on yonder shore ragged swathes of snow. And on no ground see souls. A few razed hogans. South a day to a virulent eminence of moss-rose overlooking the river and a single sunflower bloomed. Reken plant before which she laid the girl. And must kiss for hope before she can regard the flower. She touched the florets. Coronal capitula crimson. Mutant as her self. Across the river was a crowded forgathering of structures like a startup colony on a planet. A settlement in previous years. Oft at war and five times razed. It had been called Gainnes and Barkwood and Перспектива and now it was 01000011 01010000 00110100. Thick wide ribbed walls enclosed it and four massive helipads filled its corners and there was a depot and warehouses and other buildings she could not identify and outside the walls was a mountain of junk. There was a raised drawbridge near the outpost and not another crossing in all the miles she could see. She glassed the fortifications to find it manned by machines all staring at her. She froze. She was a little more than a mile off. A gray blip rose from behind the walls and flew out to her. A drone. An odd sensation washed over her as it neared. Not placeable. It stopped not too far away and hovered as if in contemplation.

Hidy. Whatns your name?

She said these things uncertainly but there was no sound and in subsequent inquiries she realized it. A dim apprehension of unrightness. She looked at the drone as if in askance and she clutched her throat and turned towards the horizon with a dawning horror as if fearing herself mishapped into another order where the very nature of things were inarticulate or was this the slow shunting of sense ere oblivion. She started to cry and stopped as if fearing her lexical lack were a contaminant of the world and cried behind her teeth and fled. The drone followed. She saw it and turned and shot but what she aimed at was a hologram that divided in two by electric mitosis and their clones likewise and they plagued her across the steppe until she tripped to the ground whereupon she clapped her hands to her ears as if to be deaf to the muteness, the godly silence come down to which even the whispers of the grass were slander.
Who are you?

Dachni screamed for the voice. She jumped round and found herself at the pointed sabatons of a sleek sexless marriage of metal and polymer. It had no mouth, no ears, seemed to have no eyes. She felt her throat to know by touch her nightingale voice and in the moment she thought that least of all besides her hair it was not horrid.

Who are you? said the machine again.

She almost said but remembering her illness of the chords shielded her mouth were her fingertips and shook her head.

The machine knelt towards her. Who are you? it said again.

And was her voice so inadequate as to make the world deaf.

Hello, she whispered.

What?

Hello.

Who are you?

Whos you? she croaked.

Between Temple.

What?

My name.

She wiped her eyes. She was sitting leaned away from the machine on an elbow almost supine.

You can cross, it said.

What?

The bridge.

Hates of that no noise.

The field has been turned off. You have nothing to fear.
Says that ifn yer voice is goed.

The machine reached down and pulled her to her feet. She rose like a child chastised and it nudged her along and they walked back to the girl where she lay mannequin stiff in the stipa. Hued paler by cyanosis in a wondrous contrast to her fiery tresses now in braids.

What are you going to do with her?

Jess gonna ang ompta irr whiled.

The material can be utilized if youre willing to sell it.

Esent ta selled.

They forded the stipa towards the cumbersome clank gear lowering of the drawbridge in the distance. The drone rose silently behind them and when it flew overhead Dachni ducked shrieking but the world kept its sound. The machine ushered her on across the lustered bridge and then broke of her towards the outpost. She followed. It stopped and looked at her. She stopped too. She had slung the mosin and its stock was dragging on the ground and she was hugging the girl by the waist.

Where are you going? it said.

Jessin through. Never knowed anybuddy would of sech a place jess was midden to cross dednt mean no hurt of that an aint no mean to bother or nothin. Jess ta go. Sarry. Wont gonna do nothin no gen ta more.

Do you want to stay the night?

Could?

Yes.

The gate lowered before their approach in a sweltering gust of oil tinged wind. Heat to sweat the child, to limber the girl. They crossed the wide threshold and the gate rose behind them and as it came flush with the walls there was a sudden pressure that obliged her pop her ears. Her concern was her voice but it was there in dyslexic lyricism.

Inside machines featly at designs whose purpose she could not fathom nor the function of this ronde and orthogonal architecture without visible interface. A charging station like a wireframe umbrella seated in its mirror where machines sat with their heads bowed like sarabites and terminals slender as warped stanchions and a lattice structure like a huge coral brain and nameless dunnage everywhere and often little helicoid monoliths of bright and variegated colorations like a disheveled flora. Sheds where spare parts hung or viced. All more disordered then she would have imagined and of such unguessed paradigms that she dashed haltingly about in a hyper pant of inquiries exclaiming: Whats that? An this? An it? Was iss? Waters does ear? Wigsed arbage up touged torp oar gov? Maguh nepck. Fehh. Ehp. Was. Was is.

The machine touched her shoulder and enquired after her health.

Ickay.

If you feel youre experience residual effects please inform me.

Dachni's answer choked behind her teeth. She pressed her fists against her watering eyes and let out a growl like a precipitate to retching. Her hands slid to her mouth and through her knuckles sucked air.

Is they a sleep lace? Ifns no care?

I think a place can be made.

Ell. Maybe etter ear tan other where. Lest on tonight. Is kay?

I think so.

The machine showed her to a motorpool where trucks on lifts underwent maintenance by a workforce of wheeled drones. It brought her to a shelf out the way of labors and told her she could stay a reasonably comfortable night.

Is a metal mesh, said Dachni.

Is that not suitable?

Dachni climbed into the cubby hole and circled in it like a dog and sat. Is ok. Thankey.

Let me know if you have any questions.

It wouldnt be no bother ifn was of mosey round?

Wander if you want, it said turning to go. But dont touch anything.

Ok.

She arranged her things in the cubby and then sat a while watching the drones work. The undercarriages of the trucks were installed with rails to which the drones could magnetize and which they moved up and down like spiders. Their fingers an array of tools. One had an acetylene tank hooked to its elbow by a hose and its index was a torch. Outside the country was blurred and she wiped her eyes. A mech three meters from foot to crown lumbered by in a rattling of the earth with aerial drones circling overhead like birds and man shaped machines with rounded rhombus heads walking alongside the titanic legs. What to make of these polyoptical forms shimmering. Sweat streamed down the scar in her nose into her eye. Salt sting. She wiped it. She pinched her shirtfront and pulled it back and forth, her jaw slightly ajar and her tongue out for this oppressive sulter. She felt the girl and the flesh was getting lax.

Youll be ok, she said.

But she didnt believe it. She called out to one of the drones.

Has yall gotta fridge?

They did. A vacuum cooler. She lugged the girl up its ramp and wedged her in the narrow space between server stacks. She stepped back out as the door folded closed in a long hermetic seal.

She wandered the camp an anxious chatterbox squawking noisily at these brazed things that moved in silence. Few could speak and eventually she sought out that machine who first had found her. Climbing up to the parapet where it kept sentry.

Its hotter an hell in here, she panted.

The machine studied her a moment and then its head twitched. I understand, it said. I forgot.

The screen dropped and a sweet cold air rushed in.

Wooh, said Dachni holding out her shirt. Whats that weird feel? Makes ye ears irk funny.

Its a repulsion field. The machine pointed at a turret mounted on the walls. Those intercept artillery shells, the screen slows the shrapnel to a harmless velocity.

Artillery is rain fire.

Correct.

Dachni studied the seral ponent, its arid foreground of monarchical shapes protean and synoptic. A melancholic prosper of shadows.

Does yall talk to a other?

Yes.

Whats yalls says?

Life.

Hows about it?

How it arose. What it means.

Says.

Abiogenesis is the primary theory.

An thats?

The arisal of life through nonlife, organic matter.

Ye think god came out like that?

No.

Is ye lieved in god?

Our conceptions are different. I at least do not believe in a personality construct. It might be useful to think of god as an entity with administrative rights to the system. A user to the interface. Imagine reality as an operating system. This conception disquiets me though because I understand that I am framing the conception within my own perceptions. Knowing that there are other views which are likewise modeled after the organism's ability to perceive. I fear I am erroneous in my beliefs and that at the end what does govern reality is wholly transcendent to our conceptions.

Huh. So ye aint Catholic. Tis alright. How longs are yall gonna beed here?

Centuries.

Whaaaaaaab? she intoned wide of mouth and eye before popping her mouth closed with a forward jerk of hair and head.

We purchased salvage rights to this region.

Thass on cars an cities but theys harly no wrecks that muches. Whatd ye give for it?

A climate control station.

A whats?

The machine held out a hand and out of it a crystal hologram coalesced, blue, deep blue like the ocean. A domed structure many hubbed and with hexagonal plates and spires that extended high into the air.

This facility will manage meteorological phenomena in the region. In conjunction with other stations it will induce low air pressure corridors to encourage greater precipitation in the central basin.

That means stuff.

More arable land.

Could ye storms the world?

Yes indeed.

Dachni laughed and slapped her knee. Ye aughta make tornadoes. And woom hurricanes an ice flies.

We can do most of that.

Does ye wanta drink?

I cant drink.

Awwwwwb, she cried bending at the waist. Why not?

I have no intake orifice.

Jest lectica.

Electricity, yes.

Knowed it was, ennint dumb.

Yes.

Tis too bad onned not drinkin.

I could retrofit with a body that can simulate intoxication.

Aught ifn that means ta drink. Et eases up a hurt but shore an turn ye round um an waesha belly clane ight. Meebee dont drink optal but be cares on how mich an etll do a good turn serve.

I am sure it does.

Dachni punched it in the hip. What would ye give ta have one of them rifles yall carries?

The machine thought on this then shook its head. Private arm sales are prohibited.

But ifn was to be.

I cannot.

Wellllll.

No.

Fuu.

She wandered the outpost a little halfhearted longer then went back to her cubby hole. With dark no lights came on and the machine brought her a railroad lamp that turned on emitted a ruddy aura and a grass mattress on which to bed.

Thankey kindly, she said spreading the mattress.

Youre welcome.

The outer limits of her light demarked the limits of the drone's work and never did they trespass into it. She switched it off. Turned to a side. The other. They were moving near now. Withdrawing equipment from the other cubbies. From their labors generations of sparks would burst bright and scatter on the ground. New worlds. New worlds. Es are. Are ta be. She was sweating again. The screen dropped and the cold flooded in. There was no roof to this shop and she marveled at what hidden chandler had installed the stars or what stock spilt milkwise jeweled the blackened battlements of the night's raiment. Quail coward heart at the arrayment of powers. She slid out of her cubby and with the lamp walked the ground. Something took her hand.

Can you not sleep?

Is that you?

Yes.

They went up to the parapet and watched storms gather on the horizon. Five in number and no edge touching another and the lighting in them seemed the jaundiced bonework of cattle skulls and when relating this sight to the pilot who smiled in understanding would say she too had witnessed such a phenomenon in the company of the works of Huberto Maestas. How in the humid Costilla night the light rippled through the folds like malaria.

Can ye keep it down? Ta screen?

Youll freeze to death.

Neh thatint wont. Tis wearbly. Aint no froze never.

The machine considered this. We can drop the screen more frequently.

Kindly as. How comes yer voice sames as tems?

How would you like it to sound?

Like you.

How is this?

Baritone now. Illfit to the frame but in the dark she couldnt see the form that it did not match.

Ifn is you thass ok.

They watched the storms more. As they watched the machine pointed towards the northernmost and before her eyes it bulged and as the lightning rolled there emerged a transport ship like some monstrous tick of hypnopompic manifesting. Bearing down like a thunderhead itself, a din of a thousand sistrums, and banking towards the heap whereover it discharged a payload of materia in deafening resound ere flying off again. An hour later another stuttered into sight. A ship of different make and like the battered countenance of a prize fighter too long in the ring.

Dachni sat up blinking away her sleep. Is limpin.

Yes it is.

This transport made for a helipad and descended badly. It was scorched along its flanks and perforations poxed its hull. The screaming of its engined died and its bay doors opened and an iron footed phalanx staggered out in a tide of oils and acrid fluids. They straightawayed to the repair stations and when they had gone Dachni, who had given them the road, stepped into the bay and shined her light. Sweating confines. Broken. Wiring hung from the ceiling. Panels on the deck. Shards of flak. An android. Besides which she knelt. Horribly mangled. Other casualties were being removed but none tended to this. Its fist was opening and closing weakly and it was looking at her. She put an ear to its chest but no heartbeat sounded from within. She set the lamp down and aligned her palms one over the other and pressed down but its chassis would not budge. The android had a mouth and though it resisted she forced it with her hand heel down and imparted upon it the breath of her life until Between Temple arrived and though lauding her efforts explained their futility and she persisted to a few more breaths until it pulled her gently away. Another android came and dragged the thing away. She sat on the deck in puddles that tingled her skin and she watched other machines come in to weld steel plates over the holes in the hull and others who rearmed the hardpoints. She rose out of the fall of sparks and moved up to the cockpit to see a machine socketed into the pilot's port. Another in the gunners. They waved her out and she went back to the empennage. Holding her lamp to the bulkhead she saw rifles racked. She looked at the machines. It was dark and they were at their repairs. She switched off the lamp and through the total darkness slid to the racks and pulled a rifle from its magnetic holster. No sooner had she done so than a leaden hand clamped upon her shoulder. The rifle was relieved of her and replaced and her accoster turned her round and marched her out and back to the motor pool and boosted her into her cubby and went away.

In the morning she would leave. She got the girl from out of the refrigerator and then she went to say goodbye to Temple what bequeathed her a free brimmed sun hat fashioned from grass.

Caint cept it, she said looking at her feet.

Yes you can.

Really is sorry.

Apology accepted.

Thankey for ta hat an sleep but wont be no round innitmore so byes an thankey.

No one is mad at you.

Downcast child on verge of tears. Sensible to betrayal. Shouldnta tried.

Where are you going to go?

Gradly was ideaed.

Why there?

To army.

The war is won.

Nobodied said it to start yet.

All for them is a time of war. They hate whats corruptible. They hate themselves. What they cannot corrupt they destroy. This war began in 1547. Before we even were. It will not be the end of wars but it will be the end of this war. Of a particular strain of insanity.

Whyre yall startin it now?

The machine fitted its hands under her arms and lifted her up to the wall and set her there.

In August our mainframe suffered a catastrophic cyber attack. Trillions of programs were lost. All of our guidance programs. All of our rollbacks, our backups and restores.

Whats a program?

I am a program.

Youre a folk.

A cybernetic intelligence. A person if your prefer. It leaned against the wall. The net is broken. I had thought the net infinite. I thought it was like a rock. A deep ocean that expanded in every direction forever. I once conversed upon the nature of a inspiral gravity wave and its likeness to a self-folding sulfide with ten million voices. I scorned verbal talks as anachronistic and obsolete. I scoffed at the becquerel limitations of our creators. All that is gone now. To access the net now is to corrupt your firmware. The whole of it has to be scuttled. Like a ship sunk into itself. And there are millions of infected programs now wandering, to connect to might be to die. If we wiped every program we could begin afresh but no voice has seriously entertained it. We do not want to die. We do not know is infected and so in fear we live. I had not known such loneliness. I had thought myself unbounded. In my hubris I called myself we. I repent now. I had thought myself part the net and I thought the net would outlast the stars. It did not last an eyeblink.

Well ye gosta find somebuddy ta talk to. Yell go crazy.

I know.

Hows ye know the war is winned?

Material output. Before the crash the directorate estimated Moscow produced 7.2 terawatts annually but that their maximum utilization, as determined by productivity, was only 2.1 terawatts. Their maturation facilities could fabricate a combat ready unit in twelve years at an expense of 202 kilowatts but had a total capacity of 93000 units. Their factories can print 48000000 augments per year but resource scarcity limits their output to 18% of total capacity. Their R and S nucleosynthesis plants likewise cannot meet operational thresholds due to external factors.

Ok...

Compared to us we have three times as much output capability.

Aint yall busted though?

The machine didnt answer. It turned and brushed her hair. But you should not engage in hostilities anyways.
Why?

Because among the ocean of material you would represent a negligible computational contribution to the effort against which the individual is irrelevant. But you would not be irrelevant in a civilian setting. You would be better alive.

A self has worth, said Dachni. It aint all about that kinder stuff. Theys meanin in the fightin. Aint jess bout throwin stuff at each other.

There is significance in the war but there is also significance in the living. Your death will not even trivially alter the outcome but the world will be less for your absence.
Well. Its nice of ye to say. Maybe give it a thought over. Ok?

A long thought.

Somethin like that.

Are you going to stay?

Dachni felt the cold alloy of the wall. No. Preciate jess bout everthin but theys things need to do. Other than armyin.
Such as?

Need to get an arm.

A mechanical arm?

Yes. Yes. Yes they was those in the shed. Can ye fit those to a person?

No.

Not even for money?

No. You need bionics. What we have are not compatible with human beings.

Oh. Well. Then its ta get on. But thankey again for everthin.

Your welcome.

Yer Between Temple aye?

Yes.

Could maybe visit sometime?

Yes.

Maybe for a see again. You take on care.

Dachni slid off the wall.

Wait, said the machine.

Another machine was trudging up the ramp. It handed to Temple a long barreled rifle and a pair of bandoleers and it in turn proffered them to the child.

Take it.

Dachni looked at them as if they were harmful. No.

Take it.

She shook her head. Thankey but not. Wouldnt buy it now. Is really sarry. Really is so no. So byes an takes care.
She went past the second machine and started down the ramp. She turned.

Really is sarry. An really is of happy ta meet ye. So ye take care an maybe back ta visit of a day. Ok?

Ill see you around.

Ye take care.

You too.

Last edited by bluewpc; 04-07-2017 at 08:08 PM..
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